No Time To Play

Weekly Links #38

by on Sep.28, 2014, under News

Hello, everyone! For the past week, I’ve been playing a little Risk variant called Compact Conflict. It’s made in HTML5 and clocks in at under 13K minified! You can easily lose because of a little bad luck at the start, but it’s so fast and compelling I can’t be angry with it. Most remarkable is the AI (with three difficulty levels!) crammed into that tight space. I have much to learn…


In the way of game development talk, Gamasutra is running a postmortem titled Creating Epic Scale Games on an Indie Budget. It’s a topic we care about here at No Time To Play, and the article gives some interesting answers. I can’t help but notice that the game in question is a 2D work in the vein of Star Control, rather than the glorious 3D-fests chock-full of FX most people think of when they hear “epic”. Do you suppose that has anything to do with the subject matter? You know my opinion.

Speaking of epic, Polygon gives us a history of videogames based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. I was a bit miffed that they skipped over the seminal 1983 text adventure from Melbourne House, but you can read about that over at the Digital Antiquarian. Besides, the Polygon feature is clearly focusing on more recent efforts and the quagmire of copyright issues that besieged them. It’s all quite enlightening. For example I had no idea that the EA Spouse scandal happened during the development of a LOTR game.

In other news, just to show that new ideas usually aren’t, here’s a write-up about an open-world game from the 8-bit era. Not just that, but a first-person shooter (with wireframe graphics) having multiple vehicles you could pilot in addition to just walking around. Sounds familiar?

Never mind. For another throwback to the 8-bit era, The Register writes about a hand-made, one-of-a-kind ZX Spectrum clone in a mobile form factor. And yes, it seems to be the real deal, not some emulator running on a Raspberry PI. Beautiful work indeed.

Last but not least, indie game store recently announced the Procedural Game Jam 2014. I’m not normally into that kind of event, but the subject matter is very tempting. I’ll think about it until November. Hopefully I can come up with something more original than a roguelike. After all, I already have a couple of those up on, with more to come.

And… sadly I can’t end on a happy note. Among all the clickbait stuff, Cracked gives us a retrospective of the #gamergate scandal (so far). And frankly I’m fed up with it myself, but I can’t shut up. Not yet. How can anyone have a wife or girlfriend and not be outraged by what happened? And no, don’t you dare tell me I can’t change anything. I can make YOU uncomfortable, and that’s what motivates people to make the world better: having an itch and needing to scratch it.

Don’t be silent. Don’t be placid. Don’t be a sheep.

Creative Commons License
Weekly Links #38 by Felix Pleșoianu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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7 Comments for this entry

  • Nightwrath

    Gamergate! Yes! My favorite scandal nobody heard about. (I mean anyone OUTSIDE the small community of indie american game devs)

    Let’s talk about gamers: if you ask them – most of the gamers have no idea what you are talking about. ‘What scandal? Zoey who?’

    You may ask yourself why – it is actually very easy: most gamers just play games and don’t read forums/dev articles/twitter stats etc. There is a very small segment of people who are obsessed with this and actually contribute on forums and such.

    Even I found out about this from a very obscure forum entry in the off-topic section of a wow-fan site. Classy, eh? And this happened because of the censorship surrounding the events.

    And no, you cannot make people very uncomfortable – don’t forget we live in a world where we can see ‘live’ beheading, so it is pretty hard to top that.

    And no, living in the ‘first world’ does not keep you safe from human brutality. You can still get robbed, raped and killed (not always in that particular order) just for going on the wrong side of the neighbourhood in good old Atlanta.

    Yes, ‘humanity is doomed’, the sky is blue, we are in schedule. But not because of Gamergate.

  • Felix

    Yep… I guess all of Twitter and Tumblr being ablaze with talk of #gamergate is an obscure corner of the Internet overinflating a minor issue. It’s so “censored” you can’t avoid the topic if you look in the right places. Such as, you know, any social media service that doesn’t filter, er, “curate” your newsfeed.

    Yep… there’s war in Syria, so what if your house is burning? Big deal, that’s a first world problem. Don’t freak out, let’s evaluate the situation calmly. So what if the firemen are late? It can happen to anyone.

    Yep… humanity is doomed… as long as we shut up, keep our heads down and pretend problems are minor or nonexistent. Enjoy.

  • Nightwrath

    People are always using Twitter for the wrong reasons, anyway. I really dislike argumenting that has only a limited length.

    Also – your ‘house’ has been ‘burning’ long before we were born, I don’t think anyone put an end to that ‘fire’ 🙂
    (talking about ‘fire’ I recommend you to see this movie: Mississippi Burning (1988) )

  • Felix

    Also – your ‘house’ has been ‘burning’ long before we were born, I don’t think anyone put an end to that ‘fire’

    By that logic, blacks shouldn’t have fought for equal rights and women shouldn’t have fought for voting rights, since things had been in a certain way for centuries. And oh, by the way, we shouldn’t have bothered overthrowing Communist either. None of the students who were on the streets in December 1989 had been born in 1947 either.

    “Things have always been this way” is how terrible practices are perpetuated. Someone, at some point, has to put an end to them. That’s how it works.

    Stay cooped up in the house if you’re afraid. But don’t mock those who are out on the streets fighting for your rights.

  • Nightwrath

    But there is the problem, my white friend: ‘those who are out on the streets’ are fighting for your/our rights, those on Twitter are just bitching about it on the internet. Where are the mighty social warriors marching in the street?
    That is why I am not convinced by the tumblr crowd – they are sitting comfortably at home and complaining about things on the web. Just like old ladies 🙂

    That is not what those people from the ‘Arab Spring’ were doing. In their case Twitter was just a tool besides the actual manifestations. Another example: Moldovia 2009, the ‘unknown’ revolution. Or another ‘twitter’ revolution – they were risking their lives going to manifest against communists (people were raped and died). And that happened ‘over the river’, you know.

    Short story – you want to change something? You actually have to ‘do’ stuff, not just bitch about it on the internet. Doing stuff could be something simple like going as a volunteer to shelters for beaten women. Or raising funds for it. There are many ways to fight this.

  • Felix

    If complaining about things online has no effect, why do people protest it so much? Why does it bother them? Why does it bother YOU? Why don’t you just ignore me? Pretend I’m not saying anything.

    No, seriously. Try that for a change.

  • Nightwrath

    Because people like to bitch over the internet and because mostly it has no other consequences 🙂

    Also, I cannot ignore these posts because arguing with you keeps me away from those boring tasks at work 😀

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