December 19th, 2009

This could be what saves mods from being marginalized into extinction. Bringing mods to the fore of a digital distribution platform could be what gives mods which don’t get attention from press or developers (which is most of them) a chance at being played.

Never have I wanted to be a Korean citizen so hard.

Considering Carmack’s talk of not wanting to compete against their publisher’s own games — BRINK, in this instance — I’m lead to think we won’t be playing Rage until at least 2011.

Enjoy the first 30 minutes of Indigo Prophecy — with commentary. I’ve played through these opening scenes many times, but I never get over them.


November 12th, 2009

Resolve.Modern Warfare 2 is out. I’ve shared my criticisms of the game and its creators in my news posts, but I have other thoughts and perspectives that I have yet to share.

The Price

Console games have been $60 for four years now, but that’s only because the platforms are controlled by two companies who agreed on standards. Although the PC platform has no such governing entities, most of this year’s major releases have adhered to the normal $50 price for standard editions (including Prototype, an Activision game), and some games have been even cheaper. Burnout Paradise, Bionic Commando, Street Fighter IV, and Red Faction Guerrilla launched at $40 on PC. With the market being stable and skewing toward cheaper games, $60 for the standard edition of a game is uncalled for, except by greed.

The Multiplayer

I admit that PC gaming could stand to be simpler and more accessible, but we shouldn’t let Activision’s PR blow the issue out of proportion: it isn’t that hard to find and join a server in a server browser. Regardless, there is no technical reason to choose one over the other, and this is a point that I think many people have failed to acknowledge: matchmaking and dedicated servers can co-exist. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 3, Left 4 Dead, and World in Conflict are examples of this. Infinity Ward and Activision’s motivator isn’t accessibility, it’s money. The closed ecosystem will not only enable them to sell maps to PC players, but it could also allow them to sell dedicated servers to players directly — such a move would be anti-competitive toward the third-party dedicated hosting services. They haven’t done this yet, of course, but it’s the next logical step in their mission to monetize multiplayer. It’s what their numerous decisions against PC culture have led me to fear.

The Scene

I haven’t seen the scene, and unless some of the things I discussed above change, I will probably never play it, but I have observed and considered the criticisms of others. I’m fine with this scene existing. It has a right to. Video games are products of collaboration, but they’re also products of creative expression; they are art. There’s good art, bad art, and art that we just don’t care for, but art deserves to exist and shouldn’t be stifled, and from this is where my issue with it stems. As I understand it, before the scene begins, players are asked if they want to skip it. I don’t know why this choice exists — whether it’s pressure from Activision, a compromise with the ESRB, or simply Infinity Ward being courteous — but this choice indicates uncertainty on someone’s part. If they’re including the scene, I would rather they commit.

Were I to play it, I’m sure I would enjoy Modern Warfare 2 , but I can’t endorse Infinity Ward and Activision’s decisions with my money. I wish I could be playing Modern Warfare 2 rather than writing this post, but, such as it is, here I am.

August 1st, 2009

It’s justice, and it wants to eat your brains.

Ah, so it’s “BRINK.” I’ve been saying it wrong. There’s a lot of technical language in this interview with Splash Damage’s Technical Director Arnout van Meer. In summary: BRINK is building upon the Quake Wars tech; these revisions should, among other things, allow BRINK to take advantage of multi-core processors on PC. Finally, there’s talk about things that Splash Damage isn’t doing, such as moving from OpenGL to DirectX 11.

“… it says on the box: ‘No Hispanics’.”

March 3rd, 2009

Way back in April of 2008 I made a post talking about some of the games I was most looking forward to in 2008. Later, in November, I made another post reflecting on that list, what I’d actually gotten to play, and what I my impressions. Right now is that time of year just before games start getting announced en masse; GDC is just a few weeks away, and E3 has been moved to June this year, up from July last year. There are some PC games that we’ve known about for a while now which will probably be coming out this year, so I think I’m ready to share my list for 2009 right now.
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