Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Feature: "How The Most Expensive Game Jam In History Crashed And Burned In A Single Day"

Written by Jared Rosen, "How The Most Expensive Game Jam In History Crashed And Burned In A Single Day" appeared on Indie Statik:
"He was also a huge liability, and everyone knew it. In the later stages of GAME_JAM’s development, once the decision was made to bring on a second production company, pre-production meetings quickly turned towards one recurring fear: that someone external would say something offensive, trip an emotional switch, turn the environment toxic – and the devs would walk. It was the single greatest worry of Umetani and Serrato, who seemed to understand the nature of the space and the sensitivity of everyone to all-too-common bouts of explosive sexism and misogyny throughout the industry. Matti and the members of the second team were a time bomb, but for some reason, no one did anything about it." Full article.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Editorial: "The Videogame That Finally Made Me Feel Like a Human Being"

Written by Laura Hudson, "The Videogame That Finally Made Me Feel Like a Human Being" appeared on Wired:
After all, “girly” wasn’t a neutral descriptor; it was an accusation and one that I was always presumed guilty of. If I wanted to be powerful, capable or respected, I couldn’t let anyone hang it on me. I needed armor. So I learned to dismiss and condescend to “girly” things, to avoid them, just the like guys around me. 
But rejecting female culture didn’t make me stronger, it made me weaker. It gave me fewer choices, and ultimately denied me my full humanity—just to claw a little bit higher in a system of stereotypes that told me I was less of a person simply because of the way I’d been born. Full article.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Feature: "Irrational Games, journalism, and airing dirty laundry"

Written by Leigh Alexander, "Irrational Games, journalism, and airing dirty laundry," appeared on Gamasutra:
Many game developers, he says, think they're the only ones feeling trapped at a studio that just isn't working well together, or that they're the only ones who "have to" crunch, even though they were promised they wouldn't "have to" crunch, because of some creative-guy type's pie-in-the-sky last-minute ideas. They think they're the only ones who've just been handed a time window from the corporate guys in which to sell or die. 
"Even the most seemingly well-run studios are actually just a collection of frustrated, dicked-around-with people," said someone I know, encouraging me not to give up on the dirty laundry. "A little blood in the water [puts] pressure on the management." Full article.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Feature: "Inside the Brief Life and Untimely Death of Flappy Bird"

Written by Ryan Rigney, "Inside the Brief Life and Untimely Death of Flappy Bird" appeared on Wired:
"Before long, though, the negative attention on Flappy Bird started to block out the positive comments. Flappy Bird‘s continued hold on the App Store’s number one spot brought increasingly vile online harassment, some of it racist in nature. There were also death threats. As hundreds of people continued to sending tweets to say they hated the game and hated Nguyen for making it, his self-assurance began turning into self-doubt: “And now, I am not sure it is good or not,” he wrote on Twitter. 
Slowly, even mundane comments began to wear him down. He apologized profusely to fans who complained about the slow pace of releasing a version of Flappy Bird for Windows phones. “I am really sorry I cannot keep my promise but I am trying really hard,” he wrote. “There are a lot of things happening to me right now." Full article.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Editorial: "EA's Dungeon Keeper is a real torture"

Written by Rob Fahey, "EA's Dungeon Keeper is a real torture" appeared on Gamasutra:
"Dungeon Keeper isn't a generous game. It's a grasping, unpleasant game - which is a shame, because with a more likeable, generous approach to its players, it wouldn't be a terrible game. It's certainly among the better of the Clash of Clans clones, a multitude of which fill the App Store with game mechanics and art styles shamelessly copied from Supercell's hit and absolutely zero effort at innovation. Dungeon Keeper - though I say it through gritted teeth, since the franchise abuse still rankles - has the guts of a decent mobile game that builds worthwhile variation onto the Clash of Clans formula. The problem is, you advance through that experience at a snail's pace, halted every few seconds by a glowing gem icon that invites you to spend expensive premium currency to speed up your progress. That premium currency itself arrives in an absolutely miserable trickle, rendering the notion of saving up to buy things into a sad joke." Full article.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Blog: "How to complain to a game developer"

Written by Rami Ismail, "How to complain to a game developer" appeared on Gamasutra:
"Games are absurdly complex creations, but nothing in a game is by chance. Even the way dice roll in a game is designed, tweaked and iterated upon. Someone spent days tweaking the walking speed in every game, or on the way text bubbles are animated. Sure, sometimes something is literally an oversight, and in that case, developers love to hear about it. Chances are if you just make known that you'd love to see something different in a game, you'll either get a confirmation that they're working on it, a question about why you want what you propose or a response as to why it is not and probably will not be the way you request." Full article.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

News: "Stealth marketing: Microsoft paying YouTubers for Xbox One mentions"

Written by Kyle Orland, "Stealth marketing: Microsoft paying YouTubers for Xbox One mentions" appeared on Ars Technica:
"These kinds of payments aren't inherently suspect in and of themselves. If the video makers disclosed that Microsoft was paying extra for these videos, and if they were allowed to say whatever they wanted in those videos, then the whole thing could be seen as merely an unorthodox way to increase exposure for the Xbox One on YouTube. 
That's not the case, however. According to a leaked copy of the full legal agreement behind the promotion, video creators "may not say anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its Games" and must keep the details of the promotional agreement confidential in order to qualify for payment. In other words, to get the money, video makers have to speak positively (or at least neutrally) about the Xbox One, and they can't say they're being paid to do so." Full article.