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Everything game development: news, lessons, discussion

Weekly Links #305

02 February 2020 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! I continue to be amazed at how well the game is progressing, even as I make a point of taking it easy. This week saw a host of improvements, from the new lo-fi graphics mode for slow computers, to item generation:

Screenshot from a 3D roguelike rendered with ASCII characters that partly blend into each other.

Monsters and combat also got in towards the end of the week, but took a wrong turn, and I had to walk back on Friday's work; oh well, it happens.

Even so, people continue to have nice words about the game, even in its very early state: someone (apparently unfamiliar with roguelikes) compared it to a text adventure; a friend thought it was so cool that love and hate are actual game mechanics. And every new screenshot turns heads. Thank you all!

As for the news, there's a feature on Warcraft III to discuss, and then some points to make about the industry's boneheaded nature. Details below the cut.


This week, Ars Technica has a feature on the making of Warcraft III, occasioned by the game's official remaster being out. Much of there that picked my interest, but mostly the way that game game birth to the stylized, colorful look of the latter MMO, largely due to technical constraints.

In the way of not so good writing, uhhh... since when does "true 3D", whatever that's supposed to mean, imply a physics system? Sure, for the longest time I also insisted that my own graphics engines are 2.5D, or pseudo-3D, but you know what? My work in progress makes it more and more obvious that the line is really thin, faint and blurry. Too many of the same techniques and constraints apply.

Look at it this way: do you ever think of Doom, the 1993 original, as pseudo-3D? No? Why not? It used a whole lot of shortcuts. You couldn't even look up or down! But it's not what matters, is it? Nobody had time for it, anyway.


Apart from that, we have a bunch of links with little to write about:

  • The same Warcraft III Reforged has an EULA that gives Blizzard ownership of any mods made for it. Way to kill your golden goose, folks! If it wasn't for DOTA, no-one would even remember Warcraft III anymore. You wouldn't have a game worth remastering in the first place. Congrats. Go sit in the corner with Nintendo.
  • From the same source, game developers support diversity more than ever before... except of course the vast majority are still straight white men. So effective, guys. Then again, that's the industry; if you want some truly diverse games, come to Itch and play some visual novels.
  • Speaking of which, people are again complaining about games being hard to market. The catch? That's on Steam. Um... didn't we tell you that their new algorithm was going to be a disaster? If you want players to find your games, maybe don't keep them exclusive to a platform that's actively sabotaging you in favor of a few big names. Try Itch. And talking to people. I.e. what we call "marketing" in the bullshit-free world.

Cheers, folks. Enjoy this Sunday, and see you next time.

Tags: roguelike, strategy, graphics, business

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