No Time To Play
newsletter archive

Weekly Links #38

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.