No Time To Play

Archive for August, 2014

Weekly Links #33

by on Aug.26, 2014, under News, Opinion

I’m forcing myself to write this newsletter tonight so I don’t delay it any more than it already is. A while ago I was noticing how when I have a lot of links it’s hard to write a lot about any of them, and last week seems intent on proving that. On the plus side, pretty much everything I have this time directly pertains to game development. So let me see…

The big story of last week was of course — yet again — how the glut of indie games, bundles, sales and so that marks the market these days is “killing the industry”. You know, just like it did last time. And the time before that. Always the voice of reason, The Rampant Coyote points out we’ve always had boom and bust cycles. Less charitably, Retro Remakes dismantles the complaints in an epic rant. And to be frank, I found said complaints simply incoherent. As for this argument about prices… Um, dude. Economics 101. You don’t decide the value of whatever you’re selling, the buyer does. If they think it’s not worth the price you’re asking, they won’t pay it, period. Or if they do, but they can’t afford paying that much for a game at the time. (And if you think $10 is always affordable for someone in a developed country, you don’t know how most people live. Sorry.) Would you rather prefer to make a little money, or none at all? Because the buyer sure doesn’t care how much you have invested. And they have many, many other options for entertainment.
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Weekly Links #32

by on Aug.19, 2014, under News, Opinion

I have a short week again, due to a dearth of news and not much to comment about those I do have. But then I figured out an angle for the first link of the week, and it all rolled out from there.

The Speccy Jam is, as the name suggests, a game jam where developers gather to make games that look as much as possible as if they were made for the eponymous 8-bit microcomputer. Interestingly, the games don’t have to be genuine Spectrum software — which reminded me of a friend who, seeing Spectral Dungeons and Escape From Cnossus, thought they were just excellent imitations rather than the real thing running on emulation. And you know, I can see the appeal of adopting the graphical style while doing away with some of the more annoying limitations. But then the purist in me starts yelling, “but it’s so easy to make genuine Speccy games!” And it fills me with doubt.


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Weekly Links #31

by on Aug.11, 2014, under Gamedev, News

I’ve no idea when my browser started supporting WebGL. It wasn’t last time I checked, but when was that? Possibly months ago… before the last OS upgrade. Oh well, that must be it.

Anyway, since it’s now working, I again tried playing with Three.js a little. Even without accelerated drivers, Mesa is a lot faster than a rendering engine in pure Javascript, and WebGL allows for some neat tricks such as fog and proper lighting. Not that it helps much.

You can use the good old WASD keys to move around. I was going for a Sentinel vibe, but failed, and cheap tricks couldn’t fill the gap. (Amusingly, using the software renderer comes closer to what I had in mind.) To top it all, I worked just as much on figuring out Three.js as I had previously on setting up various 2.5D engines from scratch. And at least this one had style.

Oh well, on to the real news.
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Weekly Links #30

by on Aug.05, 2014, under News

I don’t even know where to start. Paradoxically, it’s because of too few links this time, rather than too many. How do you tie together thematically a handful of completely different topics?

Oh well. Two weeks ago I was writing about Kickstarter projects that fail after being funded. Well, here’s a postmortem of one that succeeded. As it turns out, that takes a lot more than just enthusiasm. And money is never as much as it appears.

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