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Weekly Links #325

21 June 2020 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! Since last time, I moved more articles from the wiki to the Adventure & RPG section. There were quite a few I'd forgotten about. On a related note, I found a bunch of newsletters that are now out of order due to the way BashBlog handles timestamps. It should be easy to figure out the correct dates and put them back into place, but seriously? Dear programmers: the file is not the document. There's a reason why print books have a title page inside the covers, that mostly repeats the same information.

Still in the way of web design work: while waiting on my beta readers, I spent much of the week redoing the software that powers the link section. That allowed me to put some of them back in their proper place, chronologically speaking, and move those that predate said section into the archive. See above for why that's important. Also, some of the content on this site has moved a lot over time before I found the best place for each piece. Imagine if I hadn't been able to do that. Oh wait, that's exactly why getting the content out of WordPress back in 2017 was months of hard work. Even if WP does in fact let you go back and edit old posts.

And that's why I'll have to migrate my blog again at some point. Hopefully not for another 18 months though.

In the way of news, this week we have extensive commentary on the legacy of Doom, and good news from the D&D front when it comes to representation in games. Details under the cut. (It's been a while since I could write that.)


Most of the week was quiet on the news front. But then on Friday Jimmy Maher writes about the narratives of Doom. And do I have words about that:

  • Digital photography was also worse than film at first. Then it ate Kodak's lunch.
  • But yeah. As I wrote before, 3D graphics weren't in fact new. Much to the surprise of younger people when they hear it, 8-bit home computers already had 3D games. Limited, sure, but it was a thing. Doom wasn't pioneering, it was in the right place at the right time. Which is of course fine.
  • Amusingly, 27 years later every single beginner still makes the same mistake of thinking 3D graphics are easier. Then they end up making a game out of colorful cubes because even using 3rd-party models is difficult enough. Even when they're not animated. And no, 3D animation isn't after all any easier than 2D animation, either. Just listen to the people at Pixar or Blender talk about their work. Or for that matter consider how team sizes and development times continued to skyrocket even faster after the switch to 3D. While people still make graphical adventure games in the vein of Monkey Island by themselves, on a shoe-string budget. And earn awards with them.
  • I probably wrote this before, too, but people buy books they don't read all the time. It's been a thing since forever. We sometimes make fun of it, but I never saw anyone make a big deal out of it the way people do about Myst.
  • Got to look up this Alexander Antoniades fellow, he noticed the same problem I rant about all the time, and didn't even need the hindsight afforded by an extra quarter century.
  • Oh, do I need to remind people that Doom fit on a couple of floppies?
  • Uh, no. You just pointed out how untold millions played violent shooting games, yet only a very few perpetrated mass shootings, and those were almost exclusively in the United States, while these games are popular the world over. Just no. Enough with blaming anything except yourselves, Americans. Games don't need any other defense.

Last but not least is the news that D&D Creators Are Rethinking Race In Dungeons And Dragons (via Andrew Ducker). Not a moment too soon!

But that's all for the week, so have a great Sunday and see you next time.

Tags: meta, shooter, tabletop, rpg, representation

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