No Time To Play
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Weekly links #9

Okay, now this was a slow week, but still the few links I have are worth it.

First, we have news of a man who decided to find the end of the world... in Minecraft. I'm not going to give you spoilers; suffice to say, it turned into an epic multi-year journey which spawned a 300+ episode (and growing) YouTube series. It kind of puts things in perspective with regard to Minecraft proper and procedural generation in general, not to mention the questions it raises about virtual worlds and the nature of computer games -- questions people are thankfully asking more and more these days. With a little luck, maybe this not-so-newfangled art form is going somewhere after all. I was beginning to despair.

Next, we have a recently rediscovered interview with Gary Gigax from all the way back in 1990, and it's a great read, especially the part about the public image of gaming. "The lies have given in to reality." Doesn't that sound like a lot of good things happening nowadays? No wonder Bible-thumpers are upset. And then there's all the talk of corporate woes, but at least back then they had the excuse of lacking an alternative.

Speaking of corporate woes, Gamasutra reports that last year's Tomb Raider reboot is registering record sales. Which is very significant because, you see, the previous CEO of Square Enix was fired over poor performance... of this very game. No kidding, Sherlock! All it took was a little patience? You mean there's something between instant success and utter failure? Oh noes, we might have to rethink our corporate mentality! The horror!

Seriously now, hire the man back. It's the only fair thing to do.

To end with some news that pertain to the actual craft of game development for a change, we have one of the fine people at Failbetter Games complaining that text in games is very limited. Gee, what a surprise... not! For years and years, every effort in advancing computer game technology has gone into pushing more and more polygons on the screen, to the exclusion of everything else, until people have started forgetting that 2D games might actually do fine with, you know, a 2D API. And now they wonder why text support in, say, OpenGL is so limited?

Well, I have a few keywords for your consideration: FreeType; Cairo; Canvas 2D. Go ahead, take a look. And stop sacrificing everything on the altar of 3D graphics.

But this is all for this week. Stay tuned.