Weekly Links #248: personal edition
Hello, everyone. This edition's subtitle may sound strange after the previous editorial. We're talking a different kind of personal though. As I was tweeting recently:
Oh look, the #game industry is having a weak autumn, and "experts" rush to predict a great #videogame crash. Again. In other news, social #games bring people together, productivity tools make you more productive, and water is wet.
The game industry is creatively bankrupt, and the #gaming press doubly so. The echoes in the echo chamber are fading. Just come out, folks.
Which reminds me once again how for many years now I've been more in love with the idea of games than actual games, as a friend so aptly put it. How else, when our craft rings hollow more often than not? We desperately need to stop thinking in terms of game design and start considering what our games have to say. Because we seem to have perfected the art of putting together highly polished pieces of busywork. And when exceptions to this rule steal the show, the makers of busywork complain bitterly.
Pro tip: seeing everything as a zero-sum game is a self-fulfilling prophecy. And change starts with you.
In the way of extended news, today we have:
So much for my new project. It’s looking… unfinished actually, which it kind of is. Even though 90% of it was written this spring, and sat on my HDD in that state for over half a year. As for what it is, imagine a rule system for RPGs presented like a tabletop game, but designed for computers first. Now you can make your own CRPG without having to design and test a custom system on top of everything else, because it’s already done. And unlike more famous generic systems, it works well for this purpose, as opposed to assuming a human GM at the helm. Hope this helps, and enjoy!
On Thursday, The Verge ran a substantial material on Itch.io, a digital marketplace that everyone's heard of by now but probably not in so much detail. Heck, there's a lot I didn't know, and I've been there since 2014 if memory serves. (Yikes!) Along the way, I took part in the first Procedural Generation Jam, a.k.a. Procjam, now a major annual event; gained minor fame as a retrogaming developer (and some as a toolmaker); last but not least I was granted the honor of a position as community moderator. Somehow, people still don't hate me after all the goof-ups. Must be all the work we've put into building a welcoming, inclusive community -- together.
And it matters, dammit. Go to the book or comic section on the site and you'll find a wealth of new works from marginalized groups. Games considered niche elsewhere are popular here. (Sometimes to the dismay of creators targeting a more mainstream audience.) And while discussion of sensitive topics sometimes gets heated on our Discord server, it's mostly been a place where we can open up about doubts, hardships... and successes.
A place to make friends. A place to call home. A place we all need.
Drop by sometime.
On that note, enjoy the coming week, and see you next time.