Archive for February, 2009

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BoRT Feb’09 [Paranoid Android]

February 24, 2009

scannerI have long considered the idea of contributing to CorvusE’s “Blogs of the Round Table” over at Man Bytes Blog. But time and ambivalence have reserved my position to an onlooker more often than a participator. Therefore it is almost poetic that my first entry for BoRT not only comes late in the month but also branches off from Travis Megill’s January BoRT entry over at The Autumnal City. In it, he proposes the idea of designing a game from a literary source: Philip K. Dick’s cyber-punk, science fiction novel A Scanner Darkly. Read the rest of this entry ?

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A lot of something out of nothing

February 23, 2009

noby-pressThere has been little or no discussion of Katamari Damacy designer, Keita Takahashi’s PSN game Noby Noby Boy. Of the few articles I’ve found, reviewers have noted its eccentric charm, simplistic design, and lack there of on any sense of traditional conceptions of what makes a game. There is no goal; no objective; no threat. What instead has occurred is that many people have settled on the notion that Noby Noby Boy is basically a toy. Reviewers have either decided that it is a fun little demo that requires a short period of your time to get the gist of what the game is all about and then put it down forever or that the game provokes a sense of play that many gamers had in their childhood when picking up a videogame for the first time. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Cracks in the business design

February 19, 2009

themoviesAt the start of the week Slate Magazine’s N. Evan Van Zelfden posted an article called “What is killing the videogame business?” In it, he provides many interesting numbers on the massive growth of videogame sales the past year adverse to the numbers of massive layoffs we have seen within the industry during this recession. He concludes that the fault lies on the major development houses transitioning their financial production models to the Hollywood business model. High production costs and low returns are the culprit. I have posted about this subject previously, but not with the same level of specificity and investigative research that Zelfden has done in his article. But he is missing an aspect of the Hollywood studio business model that is glaringly absent in his article. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Flower: a boutique of concerns

February 16, 2009

flower_headerBefore I begin on my diatribe on That Game Company’s Playstation Network game Flower, I must make it clear that I do believe it is a good game. I encourage everyone that has a Playstation 3 to download it and play through probably one of the most unique experiences you can have on a console this generation. Flower wonderfully utilizes the Sixaxis controls without being intrusive and its implementation takes into account the cumbersome motion controls making them almost feel invisible. But Flower is probably one of the most disappointing, frustrating, and infuriating games I have had the privilege of playing. Read the rest of this entry ?