I’m more excited for Skate 3 than ever. Graded challenges, landing feedback, and hardcore mode are longstanding features of the Tony Hawk games. Jason Lee was in the last good one (Project 8), too. They should fit well.
I think InstantAction and OnLive are too different to make any fair comparisons. OnLive render the game remotely and stream the video, whereas InstantAction streams the game itself and processes locally. GameTap is probably a fairer comparison in that regard as many of their games can be played when only partially downloaded. That functionality coupled with the 20 minute demos make InstantAction sound more like a 21st century shareware service.
I’ve already written about Portal 2 and the build-up to this formal announcement, but there’s one thing I didn’t know then: Portal 2 has co-op. Besides that, I’m considering the creative marketing campaign as the PC version announcement; this press release and Game Informer cover are for Xbox 360 players.
I’ve been trying to write some thoughts about Infinity Ward’s decapitation, but the sensationalist tone of the enthusiast press has distracted me. West and Zampella were kidnapped? Snuffed out? Those are the logical conclusions to why two people were escorted from their workplace? Activision may have released 9 Hero games last year, and Bobby Kotick probably wears socks weaved from baby hair, but they aren’t an organized crime syndicate. Is the extra traffic really worth exploiting a developing story?
My apathy may be due to my preoccupation with Valve this week. I usually think about Valve and Steam a lot anyway, and not always good thoughts. Sometimes I envision a future where Valve goes public and starts making Actiavellian decisions, such as developing Counter-Strike 2 as an Xbox 360 lead, charging $10 for the Engineer update, or releasing Half-Life 2: Episode 3 as three separate games. All of these belong to a future I don’t want to live in. Continue »
Does game design work best when it’s analogous to film making, or to music composition? Neither, and I don’t think it’s important to make the distinction. Games shouldn’t imitate a specific art form, they should express the qualities of them all. Because they can. Video games are the culmination of art as technology, and technology as art. They’re amazing. We shouldn’t limit such a medium by trying to make sense of it in the context of less capable mediums.
EA/DICE restricting dedicated server files to certain “partners” is leaving me conflicted about wanting Bad Company 2. They’re keeping dedicated servers on a leash, just out of reach of total freedom. But whether I like it or not, the market is changing, and we players seem incapable of shifting it in our favor. If EA’s restriction really is just to maintain statistic and rank integrity, and to sell maps (which seems benign in comparison to Activision’s or Ubisoft’s), I can be okay with it. Or I could, if it weren’t for EA’s history of shutting down online games.
But I’m probably overreacting. EA appears to deactivate games based on how many people still play. There’d be greater cause for concern if Battlefield 1942, despite its persisting popularity, had its master servers taken offline in light of a sequel being released. Besides, the Bad Company 2 beta was a heck of a lot of fun, and we haven’t had a successful non-Call of Duty, non-Valve shooter on PC in a long time. I’ll probably give in to temptation and buy it.
In January I posted a series of suggestions for how Valve could improve Steam. Since they’ve just announced and launched a beta version of the most significant update Steam has had since its 2003 launch, I’m comparing what I proposed before with what they’ve actually changed or added. I’ll omit the items which don’t apply.
My suggestion: Allow users to create and name groups in the My Games and Friends lists.
What they did: Half of this suggestion was implemented; we can now create and add games to “categories” in our games library. It works like a tag system on a blog in that games can belong to multiple categories.
Follow-up: Allow users to filter by “installed” and “uninstalled” regardless of which category they’re viewing. Also add an extra context menu item with a sub-menu where users can add games to existing categories.
Jul. 15th 2009: “Remedy has a deep heritage in PC gaming and would love to see a PC version available to its PC followers, ultimately however this decision lies with our publisher.”
Feb. 12th 2010: “Some games are more suited for the intimacy of the PC, and others are best played from the couch in front of a larger TV screen. We ultimately realised that the most compelling way to experience “Alan Wake” was on the Xbox 360 platform, so we focused on making it an Xbox 360 exclusive.”
What a heap of bovine excrement. By what logic is it not preferable to have a more “intimate” experience with the game Remedy is billing as a “psychological action thriller”?
I’m not sure that the first Bioshock had color blind accommodation, but it definitely had gamepad support and (after a patch) proper widescreen scaling. How and why do you remove such functionality in a sequel built on the same technology?
I’ve liked and used SteelSeries mice and mousepads for the last few years because of their quality and customer service; now their chief marketing officer is publicly decrying one of the most effective marketing terms in his industry? SteelSeries, be my Valentine.