Archive for April 10th, 2013

, | Games podcasts

third_life

Tom Chick and Nick Diamon call out Linden Lab CEO and erstwhile Sims developer Rod Humble for that weird Second Life game. Not pictured, by the way. That’s a screenshot from the lovely but inchoate Patterns, also from Linden Lab. We discuss what the studio is up to, and then talk about the non-news for the new Xbox, the upcoming TRONny shooter from Timegate, the Defiance MMO, whatever Timber and Stone is, military codes of conduct in the ARMA 3 alpha, and solo wargaming in a custom built warbarn.

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, | Games

greg

After Greg Zeschuk left BioWare, he created quite the stir by saying he’d probably never create another game again and instead devoted his retirement to beer. Not just drinking them, but the process of brewing and selling them. Recently, both he and Ray Muzyka were honored at GDC with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Greg sat down with GamesIndustry International to discuss his game-making days, what it was like working for EA, and why he thinks the next-gen may be at a crossroads.

Also, right now, there is this sort of classic innovator’s dilemma where we see a new market emerging, but it’s not really that great – with the mobile business, certain people make a lot of money but on the whole it’s not generating as much revenue as the console business. Everyone’s kind of holding out hope for the new consoles, but I honestly don’t think they’re going to be that big a deal. I worry a lot that unless Microsoft or Sony pull something magically out of a hat, it’s pretty much the same old, same old repackaged and I don’t think they’re going to change the dynamic of the retail market. I don’t see how they can – the market is what it is.

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, | Games

I don’t get sports. I just don’t. Why do people care so much about teams of dudes who aren’t even from the city they’re representing engaging in excessively formalized, heavily regulated, and ridiculously overpaid contests of athleticism? And why do people who watch sports care so much when most of them certainly don’t play the game they’re watching? Is it just for the cheerleaders? That I could understand.

I do, however, get e-sports because I actually play the games I’m watching. I know the rules, I understand completely how the players feel and the dilemmas they face, and I enjoy the tension and drama of a game without necessarily being inside it. But I feel like a prerequisite for enjoying e-sports is knowing the game at hand.

For instance, Netrunner, a masterfully designed card game of bluffing and asymmetry, with a superlative sense of theming. Listening to a cast of the game really plays up the theming. Experiential Data, Datasuckers, Account Siphons, and Heimdall ICE! “That is a rather mighty server!”, “I’ve seen this before, the old ‘don’t care about tags’ strategy”, and “He has not been lucky running the centrals!” are all proclamations in the above Netrunner cast.

These casts for Netrunner’s clunky but serviceable OCTGN module are narrated by a friend of mine with an actual British accent. He goes by the name Mr. Skinny as he Britishly commentates on the cyberpunk proceedings. A generically bitchin’ techno soundtrack plays discreetly in the background. I don’t know if folks who aren’t hip to Netrunner would get these, but if you’re going to watch a bunch of dudes kick a pigskin around, wouldn’t you just as easily enjoy this weird cocktail of Hugh Grant-a-like, William Gibsonism, and faux Daft Punk?

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