Feminist Frequency have a breakdown of the female representation in the games showcased at E3 2015: 7 exclusively female protagonists, 24 exclusively male, and 35 where you could choose. Which sounds like progress.
Also interesting is their analysis of how many games depend on violence & combat for their gameplay. Out of 76 games, only 18 were trying something different - and 8 of those were sports/driving.
Watching someone get on stage and boast how their game is all about “delivering full guns up combat control” (whatever that is) during the Sony press conference highlights just how reliant on guns games are.
Something like Unravel might be just the antidote - getting “a glimpse of what’s possible when games approach human experience through a lens of empathy rather than one of violence.”
Andy Baio celebrates The Internet Archive, and in particular the ever growing software emulation library:
The Internet Archive is a chaotic, beautiful mess. It’s not well-organized, and its tools for browsing and searching the wealth of material on there are still rudimentary, but getting better.
But this software emulation project feels, to me, like the kind of thing Google would have tried in 2003. Big, bold, technically challenging, and for the greater good.
This effort is the perfect articulation of what makes the Internet Archive great — with repercussions for the future we won’t fully appreciate for years.
Don’t miss the 2300 strong MS-DOS game library. Prince of Persia! Castle Wolfenstein!
Steven Frank recalls mastering Dragon’s Lair:
Everyone who has seen Dragon’s Lair before has seen the beginning of the game. Dirk runs across the drawbridge, Dirk dodges the falling blocks, he swings across the fire ropes, and he drops on the falling disc platform. Far fewer have seen the scenes in the middle of the game. Fewer still have ever seen how it ends.
I remember it well. So much money, so little reward. Pleased to hear of someone who beat the confounded thing, even if it meant buying a cabinet to do so.
Another nice rumination on gaming, linked from the Gamification preso below.
Excellent presentation on the folly of adding game-like elements to apps, sites, etc. without considering why games are fun in the first place:
It is an invariable principle of all play, that whoever plays, plays freely. Whoever must play, cannot play.
Resilience scaling has been modified for linear returns, as opposed to increasing returns. Under the new formula, going from 30 resilience to 40 resilience gives players the same increase to survivability as going from 0 to 10. Resilience now scales in the same way armor and magic resistances do. A player with 32.5% damage reduction from resilience in 4.0.6 should see their damage reduction unchanged in 4.1. Those with less than 32.5% will gain slightly. Those with more will lose some damage reduction, increasingly so as their resilience climbs.
Everything that is wrong about MMOs in a single patch note.
Valve, a 250 person “tremendously profitable” company:
Newell says that, per employee, Valve is more profitable than Google and Apple.
Kotaku on the potential for ‘archival’ sports gaming:
The simple inclusion of a roster of great players or a few famous settings is a waste of the opportunity. Video games can be a custodian of sports history just as much as literature or film.
How game developers use MAME, despite publishers believing it is the root of all evil:
When we looked closer into this we discovered that the “port” team had actually written an emulator for that console (based on MAME btw) and simply used it to run a hacked version of the original ROM image which they’d downloaded from a warez site.