No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #17

You know, for having spent half of the past week out of town, I've got more links than I hoped. Thank Ceiling Cat for wireless Internet and Android tablets.

I'll start with this playthrough of a game from the recent Ludum Dare. Disclaimer: the developers are friends of mine. It's one of them playing -- I found the game just too hard for me.

In other news, Gamasutra (re)publishes a history of Basic, including some details I wasn't aware of, on the 50th anniversary of the venerable programming language. Having started out with BASIC on a Spectrum, I can testify on the language's unique educational value, and modern variants aren't half bad. So, happy birthday, BASIC!

(Incidentally, I've been thinking about the old practice of publishing Basic games in magazines, and how we should encourage people who play Javascript games on websites to peek at the source code and experiment with it. But even JS games are generally too big and complex for that nowadays -- my own being an exception I'm proud of. Where are the Zen masters of game development?)

Also from the same source we have an opinion piece titled The Seven Deadly Sins of Adventure Games -- a controversial opinion as you'll see in the comments. But I find myself agreeing with many of those points. Games trying to be movies is a recurring topic here at No Time To Play. Lack of internal logic is a problem in all forms of fiction, and I'd much rather take an obviously linear game like Photopia instead of one with fake choices that are ultimately meaningless. And since I mentioned a text adventure, I'll point out that pretty much every authoring guide out there will tell you to make it clear from the descriptions whether a closer look is warranted... or not. As for the commenter who pointed out that every single interaction in an adventure game must be manually crafted, that's something I ranted about myself in the past.

Last but not least, since I wrote about simple/Basic/text games above, Aaron Reed alerts us of a text based game by Notch that gave me a lot to think, both about game UIs and life itself.

Hey look, it's a text game by @notch, creator of Minecraft! It's like Candy Box done by Ingmar Bergman. #elit

— Aaron A. Reed (@aaronareed) April 29, 2014

And that's pretty much it this time. Have fun!