Read : Mobile is burning

“Mobile is burning, and free-to-play binds the hands of devs who want to help”

Not sorry for the mass quoting, this article is a critical read. Have all your friends read it too.

http://www.polygon.com/2014/5/9/5699058/free-to-play-mobile-candy-crush-the-room

The games industry is about selling amazing interactive experiences to people, and I don't know how any person who loves games could look at the mobile grossing charts and not despair.

From investment to publishing to developers to press, the mobile universe is hostile to the creative urge, the high standards and the hunt to find new gaming territory that is required to grow gaming as a meaningful cultural space on any platform.

...

We're living in a world where Netflix's content inspires hysteria in grown adults, so is mobile gaming really in the same league when 98 percent of its gamers spend more on pencil sharpeners than games made by our billion-dollar leaders?

...

"They only want monetised casual games" just can't be the whole truth. In fact given the extremely low penetration of these games it seems a kind of whistling in the dark, and its more likely we're making the weather then complaining when it rains. No audience will pay for boring me-too games, and those few that do are so tiny in number they can be chalked up to random chance as much as any design brilliance.

...

The fundamental communication power of mobile as a platform to push gaming remains entirely intact. But the logic of chasing mountainous profit is self-defeating.

...

The irony is that the very people who tell you your game won't sell are exactly the kind who will copy the shit out of it once it does. They don’t deal in dreams, imagination is not their forte. Are we really surprised that they cling to numbers?

The audience knows better than all of us and if our mobile public truly does signal "I care" through purchasing, I don't think its radical for the industry to start listening to the 98 percent of mobile gamers out there saying "I don’t care."

Read it twice.

http://www.polygon.com/2014/5/9/5699058/free-to-play-mobile-candy-crush-the-room

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Read : Indie Criticism

A talk from the Indiecade East from Feb 2014, a really great perspective about games.

All these voices in our head, all these ghosts, can lead a critic unwittingly towards self-censorship, or at the very least a kind of mealy-mouthed rhetoric. We get a steady stream of IMHOs and the nervous qualification of any declarative sentence. We see writers so self-conscious about perceived elitism or giving offense that they hesitate to judge anything at all.

...

The personal is so readily dismissed as the source of taste, of bias, something on the fringe, when it is in reality the essential, unstable core of the game experience. It gives the indie critic his insights into the game and reveals both the player’s and the game’s values.

http://tevisthompson.com/indie-criticism/

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Read : Thresholds

A great post on definitions, like "what is a game".

Some of the interesting parts for me :

I can see it in other things now too: architecture has long been moving away from a dichotomy of inside/outside, and it’s only broadened the vocabulary of space and made for better buildings, buildings that take advantage of the landscape as much as shelter from it. Without giving up on having colloquially understood definitions of inside & outside, we’ve embraced spaces that are various amounts of both, or neither.

Can you be outside and still inside architecture?

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If Halo is 10% cut scenes is it less of a game than chess? What about games that are 50% cutscenes?

And if games are defined by mechanics, how come games that are purely mechanics are called “casual”, while the majority of hardcore/canon/”true gamer”/cultural touchstone/AAA are the ones with large “non-game” elements and sections?

http://clairehosking.tumblr.com/post/83402600163/threshold

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Watch : Curating Video Game Culture

A talk for a series of microtalks at the 2014 Game Developers Conference titled "Curating Video Game Culture: The New Wave of Video Game Events."

https://vimeo.com/90027893

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Read : Threes, handcrafted

An in depth and important read about the game Threes.

Threemails

Talks about clones, rip-offs, and shows the emails, texts, and game design process from day one of this superb game.

Well worth the time, and hopefully a trend - so that mainstream people know about this process that isn't just copying ideas but original, hard earned design.

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Read: Russ Pitts, Don't engage

“Don't engage”

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Drifter now available on Steam

Drifter is now up on Steam Early Access.
The game we have been making is now available on Steam.

View a trailer on the store page, or click the full link for an embedded trailer.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/259450

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Play: Threes!

Play: is a pointed finger to specific games I enjoyed and think are worth playing, usually with reasoning why.

Play Threes!

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Play: Octodad

Play: is a pointed finger to specific games I enjoyed and think are worth playing, usually with reasoning why.

Play Octodad

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Play: Rymdkapsel

Play: is a pointed finger to specific games I enjoyed and think are worth playing, usually with reasoning why.

Play Rymdkapsel

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