Hello, everyone! As of this weekend, a demo level of Laser Sky can be played right here on No Time To Play, or else over on itch.io. It’s an early release, so no music or menu system yet, but you can see what the gameplay is like. Please leave feedback!
This week we also have not one, but two newspieces from Techdirt: one about a game developer connecting with pirates to turn them into paying customers, the other about DRM hurting paying customers. Again. And never mind that the game is already cracked and widely available for free (just search for it). This problem could have easily been noticed on time if developers had bothered to test on anything but their own high-end workstations.
Folks, once again. PCs from 7-8 years ago, with just 2 gigabytes of RAM and a single, slow CPU core are still very common. Optimize your software, or see your sales plummet. It’s a simple choice.
In more topical news, Polygon explains why the source code of classic games matters. I’ll add that it’s not just for the historical insights. But a lot of people who play games naturally want to make their own, and being able to study the classics is essential in any art. The difference is that in literature, or music, everything is out in the open by definition. Software, however, has source code. And without access to it, we all have to reinvent the wheel repeatedly. No wonder it never quite seems to end up round.
On a related note, here’s a write-up about voxels that echoes my old one, while being much longer and less technical. It’s worth a look, for the sake of comparison if nothing else. And as I’m nearing the end here, have this interview with the creators of Event, the new indie game everyone’s crazy about.
Last but not least, a reminder that the Interactive Fiction Competition 2016 just opened yesterday. So go play some games, and enjoy.
I never know how to open up these newsletters, so I’ll get right down to it: my new book is out! It took me five weeks (excluding the delays) to write, typeset and illustrate the whole thing, and even though we’re only talking 13500 words and 32 pages, it was exhausting. But now it’s out, and after publishing two books in one summer it’s time for some programming again. Speaking of which.
It’s been a month and a half since David Wheeler contacted me about further developing Jaiffa. He thinks it can be turned from a learning toy into a serious authoring system for interactive fiction, and his early work towards that goal is promising. (Check out the tutorial!) Should have covered this earlier, but Tales of Space and Magic was just starting to absorb all my attention. Well, better late than never.
In unrelated news, it turns out that Windows 10 will refuse to run games with some forms of DRM. And never mind how that will impact the honest people who bought the game, while pirates will have no problem — again. But as Jay Barnson points out, some of those games that won’t run anymore are Microsoft’s own! Securing their OS… or shooting themselves in the foot? You decide. And in the mean time you might be in the market for old games, which still sell despite being easy to pirate, proving once again that convenience beats all.
Until next time, sell smartly.
…But does anyone need to be saved? Good question, and to be honest I think lately the paying customers need more and more patience just to keep staying… legal. What? Shouldn’t “legal” be the word by default when it comes to any normal situation that regards the average citizen? I mean, it the eyes of the law we are all innocent until proved otherwise. We don’t ban knives because people could stab other people… and some countries do not ban weapon carrying… but let’s not go there. Usually it’s people who kill people, but some people like to think that “guns do kill people”. I could come up with examples of people who were killed using… a fork. Now, should we “ban” forks? Of course not, that would be insane.
So, everyone who possesses a fork is a potential… killer. Kind of far fetched, isn’t it? And let’s not forget the part with “innocent until…”
Well, apparently when it comes to software or video games… you are not as innocent as you though you might be. You have the potential to be one of the filthy creatures that is stealing some other people’s hard work.