Tag Archives: video games

Indie Games

I wonder if the existence of games like Braid are holding the indie games scene back. The game has been critically praised so totally and unconditionally that it has created the impression that the only games worth doing are high-concept brush-painted affairs with incomprehensible stories set to a soothing Celtic soundtrack. For all it’s musings on the concept of time and causality, Braid gives credit to the idea that the progress of the video games medium flows only one way.

How many projects out there are lying dormant because their developers don’t want to release something that is less “perfect” than breakouts like Braid? If games like I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 are any indication, you can be successful through the honesty and humanity of your work, rather than infinite layers of polish. I’m not saying that indie games would be better without Braid, but up and coming game makers would do well do ignore it while they carve their own paths to greatness.

QA Reality Show? Seriously? Seriously!?

When I was reading this Penny Arcade strip, I thought to myself, “A reality show where the contestants win a position as a games tester. Oh, ho, ho, ho, what fanciful jesters this Gabe and Tycho be. No one would be as daft as to compete for such a non-wager. No one indeed! Ho, ho, ho!”

And then I clicked on the link. This. Is a real thing. With hosts. And contestants. The hapless fellow you see in that strip is an actual contestant, Anthony “Nauseous” Brown. WHY IS THIS A REAL THING?!

It appears that in 2010, the game industry still has too much glamour for its own good. Sure, you can get ahead in the games industry by starting as a games tester. But instead of being recognized for your talent or creativity, you go through a glorified hazing ritual that tests your ability to deal with a lot of organizational BS and getting fired every Christmas. That can be difficult if you’re hampered by things like a love of life and a human soul.

This might sound like I’m bitter about my experience of being a games tester. Far from it. I learned a few things. Working a boring, repetitive, high pressure job can motivate you to find a better one. Giant, faceless corporations aren’t exactly as malevolent or even as competent as they seem. I hope any future job I take will be awarded to me based on my skills and education, not on my ability to take mental punishment.

The Friday Files: June 5, 2009

E3 was just last week, and it looks like the big three consoles all came out with their A game this year. Let’s get to it.

If you own a Nintendo Wii, do yourself a favor and download the Nintendo Channel from the Wii Shop Channel. It streams all of the Nintendo trailers through your game system. There was nothing like seeing the new Metroid for the first time on a big screen TV.

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There was no new Zelda to be had at the Nintendo Keynote, but Joystiq came across this wonderful production poster that Shigeru Miyamoto unveiled at the Developer Roundtable.

Some people might say the new Castlevania Trailer looks a little bit like God of War. But let me ask you, is God of War narrated by Patrick Stewart? No, I didn’t think so.

And now for something you’re not going to find at E3. Japanese automakers decided to have a throw-down to design the automobiles of 2050. Here’s what they came up with. Check the rest of them out at Pink Tentacle.

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The Friday Files: May 29, 2009 Edition

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Sure, we like to complain about how complicated technology is, but even the most basic amenities that we take for granted today had a learning curve back in their day. Apparently this sign adorned some hotel rooms in the 1870s. A printable version can be found here. Found via BoingBoing Gadgets.

Blood of Bahamut truly displays the elegance of hardware and software pushed to the limit. Honestly, who cares about HD graphics when you can make a DS do this? Via GameTrailers

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There is nothing cooler than t-shirts with subtle geek references. A passing glance at one of these Metal Gear T-shirts leads the mundane observer to consider them a product of a rock band or an insipid fashion label. Closer inspection reveals that they are trophies of all the hours you logged trying to get past Sniper Wolf.Via BoingBoing OffWorld

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The more minor characters of the Star Wars Saga get their due with this funky ABC design set. Via Topless Robot

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Proof that Volks doesn’t just make those creepy dolls you find hanging around anime conventions. Via Neko Magic