Our WIP Games Writing/Gaming Community Is... →
After a long wait, we’ve finally gotten enough together to present to you Tidal, GGW’s official community. We intend to make it a resource for aspiring games writers and otherwise just a chillin’ place. Sounds good, right? It’s a forum now, but it will expand and change with your input. I hope you’ll check it out. We even brought in AWESOMEoutof10’s rad...
Brendan Caldwell Goes to EVE Fanfest 2013 In... →
This is very good stuff. I say stuff as it’s not quite anything. It is, effectively, an overly long lead-in for an interview. And yet it’s fascinating, exploring the real world of EVE. So long as he retains his good name and benevolent reputation, Chribba has discovered a secret currency. One more valuable than ISK, more valuable than Really Big Ships. More valuable, even, than...
Jenn Frank takes Nintendo to task over its stance... →
Today’s hot topic has been Nintendo slapping ads on top of Youtube content featuring Nintendo games. Jenn Frank has the best, most comprehensive take on the situation (including background on fair use), that’s definitely worth reading. [Let’s Plays] provide commentary and critique and, of course, yelling and cursing and giggling. In no way does the content of a Let’s Play...
A Eulogy to Sean Smith →
Who is Sean Smith? Stephen Totilo’s thoughtful and thorough eulogy to Sean Smith answers this question, highlighting Smith’s role as a husband and friend first, mostly through showcasing the man’s love of Eve. It’s a beautifully written piece about life and not death.
Robert Rath Hates Magic →
“Games use magic less as a cosmological system to be manipulated and more as an excuse for attacks and stat boosts. Modern gaming is full of magic, but the act itself is basically meaningless.” Such an argument is an interesting one, which Rath asserts through examples of “magic” humans have evoked in the past…and no, humans haven’t been shooting fireballs from...
The Road to Kentucky Route Zero →
Charlie Hall, writing for Polygon, interviews the guys behind Kentucky Route Zero, telling their story through the mundane and the surreal; it’s magic realism at its finest, a discussion in the article itself. [T]hey dropped platforming altogether. They didn’t want to force the player through a process of trial and error, to make them backtrack from a locked door when instead they...
Harmoknight is playing the wrong tune? →
Joystiq has one of our favourite Harmoknight reviews because of how simply it explains the premise. It also draws the right comparisons (Runner 2) and treats the release both on its own merits and on the merits of being a GameFreak game. Plus, it’s Harmoknight, and it’s a game worth discussing, if for no other reason to see an eShop release from Nintendo. That’s refreshing after...
Changing the game may mean losing your job →
Andrew Groen, StarCraft journalist extraordinaire (among other things), writes about the fear and trepidations professional StarCraft II players possess about its expansion, Heart of the Swarm. Groen explains it as such: For e-sports players, it can be something analogous to what Tiger Woods would have to deal with if the PGA suddenly decided that all the fairways on their golf courses were too...
The Mushroom Tyranny →
We’ve seen loads of articles about Mario potentially being a bad guy of his world, but Jason Rice’s humorous take on the matter is that Mario has been had. So who’s the big bad, then? None other than Princess Peach. Hmm.
On my first “run” through Depression Quest, I struggled. I struggled in the way...– A poignant passage from Unwinnable’s analysis of Depression Quest by Michael Rousseau. Read: How Michael gets there.
Shameless Self Promotion: Curiousity →
Every now and then I actually write about videogames and not just about writing about videogames. Still with me? Good. Because I’m still with Curiosity—What’s Inside the Cube. This one’s a personal story, and I’m glad my friends at BeefJack spruced it up and helped improve it immeasurably. So, why am I still playing that app? Routine. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable →
Here’s a compare-and-contrast type thing about Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable that’s so much more and chock full of good interpretations of both games. Do go read it; if you must have a sample, take this: “Interactivity” is an overloaded term in games writing, but here its use seems to reflect a difference not in what actions you can take but in the feedback you get from those...
Nothing is static →
So, how about that SimCity review fiasco, eh? Alex Navarro has one of the best reads on that nightmare: At a point, it feels like we’re coddling these products. I am constantly appreciative of that fluid nature of games, the one that lets improvements and changes find their way into the products long after release, but I’m also of the belief that a game’s launch should be...
On Dark Souls' Tutorial →
Much has been said about Dark Souls, but I enjoyed this read on its opening stage. At times I’d argue the limitations of the game—the challenges faced—come from it not being inherently modern (probably a good thing). Tutorials today are hand-holdy affairs of mind-numbing scale like no other. Dark Souls’ eschews this: If you’re of the ilk that prefers a large spotlight...
Depression Quest and Steam Greenlight →
Depression Quest is a game about Depression. Tyler Humphrey has collated some of the, erm, interesting responses to the game on Greenlight in this post, challenging some, but highlighting once again just what the perception of mental illness is (as well as gamer entitlement in defining what games are). That’s a bit frightening, really. I’m not one to share negativity, so I share this...
EA's John Riccitiello Leaves →
By far our favourite take on the not-necessarily loved man comes from GamaSutra’s Kris Graft. He takes a fair approach in dealing with Riccitielo’s time at EA: We’ve seen what has happened to Star Wars: The Old Republic. By the time it released in 2011, the industry had changed so drastically that what seemed like a sure-fire win in the mid-2000s turned out to be the biggest...
The Goodies Part 3: Good Games Writing's Best of...
Welcome to our special awards highlighting the best of games and games writing from the last year. This is the third installment. Let’s get right to it. When we made categories to describe the best writing in the biz, we wanted to feature, as you’ve seen already, a variety of content. News is under appreciated, though, as it’s the basic content many publications rely on. With...
WiiWare's Last Hurrah: Retro City Rampage now... →
I’m throwing this out there as someone that enjoyed Retro City Rampage and realizes there is basically no benefit to it releasing on WiiWare at this point. That store has long since been forgotten, so it’s basically a developer making good on promises. Much respect. Retro City Rampage is on sale for 1000 Wii Points now.
Far Cry 3's Citra Is Straight From the Freakshow →
Here’s a spoiler filled post on Far Cry 3, and boy is it good. I’ll let this paragraph speak for the piece: This ending, theoretically, vindicated the extravagances of the rest of the game - reversing the power dynamic and proving that Citra and the Rakyat are in reality powerful and capable, rather than the noble savages Jason perceived. Except it doesn’t do that. In fact, it...
A Beginner's Guide to Graphics Settings →
The obstacle that is tinkering has largely kept me to the sidelines of the superior gaming race that is PC gaming. I’m leery of getting swept up in the minutiae and constant tweaking necessary to ensure games run their best: I just want to play. Fortunately, I understood this guide well. It’s a great primer for anyone out to maximize the look of PC gaming but who doesn’t have...
Games Jobs and Game Writing Jobs
Yesterday, the amount of people looking for jobs in the games industry swelled as IGN and EA layed off staff. We’ve gathered up a bunch of jobs and opportunities across various related fields below. We’ll update with more details and jobs as they become available. Gaming Staff Positions: Senior Editor, USGamer. Details can be found here:...
Good Games Writer of the Year Nominees
We’ve been sharing some of our award winners with you the past two days, but not the entire slate of nominees (or, in some cases, even the runners-up). That trend will continue this week, but for our two big awards, we want to honour each and every nominee. We also want to hear your thoughts on the nominees…it won’t affect OUR winner, but it’s valuable all the same. For...
The Goodies Part 2: Good Games Writing's Best of...
Welcome to our special awards highlighting the best of games and games writing from the last year. This is the second installment. We’ve got lots of ground to cover each night this week, so let’s get to it. Publications come in many shapes and sizes. Well, they would if magazines weren’t relatively standard and those were tangible things we could measure online. Huh. For us, major...
A Brief Tribute To Harmonix →
I never got too into the plastic instrument craze, so I was a little shocked to hear that Harmonix would be ending its DLC support for Rock Band soon; I was sure it was done ages ago. It’s an impressive degree of support, and one worth appreciating. Peter Skerritt does just that: Looking back, I’ve been playing Harmonix games for more than 11 years. Their games have fused music,...
Two Looks at Final Fantasy
A couple of different perspectives on Final Fantasy. First up is a spriting tutorial illustrating points through Final Fantasy’s art. The author makes notes about using colour over black lines, sectioning off the sprite, size, and more. The second is one player’s first time playing one of the most revered games out there…Final Fantasy VII. But Final Fantasy VII also makes an...
SimCity vs. The Suburban Sprawl →
This might be one of those things that’s only interesting to me because of my public administration background, but everyone can relate to traffic, right? Norman Chan applies some city planning principles in SimCity to see just what the result may be. It’s an interesting article due to its real world connections, though it may not necessarily mesh with what we’d expect. Or does...
The Goodies Part 1: Good Games Writing's Best of...
Welcome to our special awards highlighting the best of games and games writing from the last year. We’ve got lots of ground to cover each night this week, so let’s get to it. HERE. WE. GO. List articles can take any number of forms, though they’re typically a numbered list. Some are countdowns of the best (best what?), some retell history (though typically not...
The WSJ Reports On a 23 Year (And Counting) Game... →
How long has your longest game of tag gone on? I’m guessing it’s nowhere near the 23 year mark, which sees several grown men fly around the country, hide in trunks, and break into their friends’ homes just to avoid being ‘it’. For one month of the year, the game is on, and it’s glorious. And it sets up a great joke somewhere….”a business-man,...
A dissection of a Hero Academy match →
This is pretty incredible: Some Hero Academy players got together and dissect a match of the game, turn by turn. It’s a very jargon filled analysis, but if you’re among the initiated, this is a great way to chew some strategy over.
A Pitts Polygon Double Feature
Russ Pitts, writing for Polygon, has written two of the most interesting reads we’ve, erm, read, in the past while. In the first, Pitts spends time with the folks at Bungie before their big Destiny reveal, presenting an intimate look at how the studio operates: The Bungie production floor is the inner sanctum. It is, as one developer calls it, the hive mind. We’re asked to leave our...
Some Kickstarter Tips From Someone Who's Been... →
James Mathe writes loads on how to make a successful Kickstarter and what to expect (including 3-6% cancellation). It’s a long-but-easy-to-digest read chock full of tips coming from someone that’s had seven successful campaigns. One caveat: This is about board games, not videogames, but many of his tips are applicable with slight modification.
Confession in The Walking Dead →
Here’s a short but powerful article about the power of confession in The Walking Dead…Tate Steinlage argues that the truth will set you, and Lee, free.
Shooters: How Video Games Fund Arms Manufacturers →
I think this is a hugely important article given the cross-examination being given to videogames currently: Licensed images of guns appear in games with the hope of selling more guns. “It is hard to qualify to what extent rifle sales have increased as a result of being in games,” says Ralph Vaughn, the man who negotiates deals with game developers for Barrett. “But video games...
Here’s an interesting article examining What’s In A Name?—my one big complaint being that it’s not clear at first that’s what it is—told through Lana Polansky’s personal stories about sexuality. [T]he self-questioning the game forced me to do was a totally personal, individual experience. It’s the kind of thing a game can set up the potential for, but...
Football: Reviewed →
Condra here, and wow! Permit me a moment to calm myself, as this post from Tim Rogers on Kotaku just may be my favorite article yet since I started with GGW. You may have noticed that “football as RPG” rhetoric has become increasingly popular in recent months, hot off the heels of Jason Schreier’s post comparing the sport to JRPGs, and a recent Penny Arcade comic that drew...
The Simultaneous Wonder and Folly of the Press... →
This is aimed at professional PR folks, but I think there’s valuable info in here for anyone that may jump into PR or indie developers putting their own PR package together. Tips include: Cut the crap, know your audience, get to the point, using quotes, pertinent information, and having a soul (okay, personality). Sound useful?
Nintendo merges console, handheld teams →
In case you missed the news from a couple weeks back, Nintendo recently merged its hardware divisions into one super-division, presumably called SkyNet. Chris Kohler thinks it’s a smart move, and one with implications that go beyond the short and medium terms: The very nature of the devices that people use to play games in the home and outside it are changing, becoming more similar in...
Here’s an interesting feature coming out of The Guardian about newsgames. What in the world are those, you ask? Well, they’re games that take topical events and present them in game form…kind of like AP Primers It’s an interesting notion, and one that’s explored here, along with the curious case of Apple prohibiting a game about Syria from entering the App Store. ...
On the Verge of Rapture →
How many things have been said about BioShock by now? I’m sure we’ve all lost count, but here’s Rob Haines writing about it for Unwinnable, with a twist: I want to flee the rising tide, the forces of nature working to reclaim the territory claimed by human audacity. I want to explore the ruins of Andrew Ryan’s magnum opus, destroyed by the indiscretions of its populace. But...
The Empathy Game →
Carolyn Petit writes about games that put you in the shoes of others, relaying her experiences best she can as they pertain. Her stories add life to the games mentioned—I Get This Call Every Day, Dys4ia, and Cart Life—and really allow players to empathize. Having not played any of the listed games myself, I can’t say whether or not they are as empathy inducing as Petit suggests....
Pokemon X and Y may have Norse roots →
Okay, this is neat. Laura Hill posits that Pokemon X and Y’s legendaries are based on Norse Mythology, especially as it concerns to the tree of life, whose name I won’t reproduce here because it hurts my head. (You’ve all heard it in Thor!) It seems to me Laura is on to something. Jump on over to her post to see her argument, and why she thinks she knows what the inevitable...
PAR dives into Huntsman: The Orphanage's creator's... →
“This game is a personal experiment to see how we can get those creepy feelings without using violence.” Okay, that sounds interesting, right? The latter half of the article is about the game itself, and will surely be of interest. It seems Huntsman: The Orphanage is something of a response to the same old thing. But man, Dene Waring’s personal story is fascinating. I’ve...
The Enslavement of Josef - A Machinarium... →
Here’s a rather in depth look at Machinarium and its world. There are what may be considered spoilers if you still haven’t played it, so be warned. Anyways, there’s commentary on genre, storytelling, and motivations. Deep: A sadder notion might be that Josef simply has no choice – he’s a robot, after all. Automatons don’t need a story to frame or contextualize their actions,...
On fandom and toxic environments →
BioWare writing-type David Gaider has had some interesting responses on his blog, but here’s a great one as spotted by KS8. “It’s possible to like something overall and yet dislike parts of it intensely, or to be disappointed overall in something you were hoping to like, and in either case to have a positive discussion regarding what you’ve disliked.” “Best to take a breath, smile and...
The deleted scenes of Deus Ex →
Insights into how games are made come often enough, but looking at what didn’t appear is something of a treat. Here we have details on the revered Deus Ex, the changes made, and the omissions. “Warren once commented that in the beginning he envisioned the game as X-Files but he somehow ended up with James Bond,” reflects lead writer Sheldon Pacotti, looking back on how the game...
Building Better eSports: Hard to Watch →
Rob Zacny wants more people to watch eSports, but notes there are some obstacles standing in the way of you, the viewer, enjoying the scene. When you compare these leagues to major sports leagues, it’s clear there are improvements to be made.
The Game Savers: How A Tiny Company Gives... →
Given how much I love The Last Story, you’d think I’d know a thing or two about the guys and gals that brought the game over to these shores when Nintendo would not. I did not, but thankfully, Jason Schreier has the story from the XSEED offices: But while the bigger guys—giant game publishers like EA and Activision—duke it out over who can sell the most millions, Xseed is happy to...
clairehosking: But there’s another point I want to make, because the logic that suggests “Sex is fun, fun is trivial, certain bodies are more sex than others, therefore certain bodies are more trivial than others.”, comes from the same place as that attitude towards media: “Play is fun, fun is trivial, certain media forms are more about play than others, therefore certain media forms are more...
What We Missed 2012: Mothers
I love you, mom. Here are two posts that reiterate that. No other introduction is worthy. Read: My Mother, Commander Shepard by Daniel Starkey on Gameranx. Read: Allow Natural Death by Jenn Frank on Unwinnable. As we go into the New Year and make resolutions, these articles serve as a good reminder as to what the true meaning of the season is: Live for yoursellf and your family and friends. ...