No Time To Play

Tag: web

Weekly Links #118

by on May.01, 2016, under Gamedev, News

Hello, everyone! It’s Easter for me today, and a beautiful spring day to boot, so I’ve been taking it easy. Doesn’t hurt that City of Dead Leaves is almost ready for the first round of testing, and I have another article coming soon too (already posted on Tumblr, if you’re in a hurry). And while on the topic of interactive fiction, here’s Emily Short interviewing someone from the world of literary hypertext. A somewhat dry, academic discussion as you may imagine, but still good for expanding horizons.

In more relatable news, my friend Kris, whose game I plugged a couple of weeks ago, is back with a good write-up about game design issues in WildStar. He makes excellent points, too. Developers of MMOs in particular, but of other game genres as well, feel obliged to create sprawling worlds, then find it very difficult to fill them with meaningful content. While the toy villages in Runes of Magic feel colorful and bubbling with life. As for the ridiculous situation where every single player in a MMO is “the chosen one”, what can you expect? We’ve barely figured out how to tell good interactive stories to audiences of one, or at most a small party. And not everyone has gotten the memo on that, either.

(Meanwhile, EVE Online continues to generate headlines in the real world every couple of years or so. Go figure.)

And for the worldbuilders out there, if you ever had trouble giving characters from different parts of the setting distinctive names and speech patterns, here’s a highly useful checklist. That’s definitely a weak point of mine, though I’m trying, so it’s most welcome.

Last but not least, just Friday came the news that indie game host and review site Jay Is Games will no longer update. And while I wasn’t a regular reader (or even an infrequent reader), the name means something in the gaming world. So long, then, and thanks for all the fish.

For what it’s worth, No Time To Play keeps going. See you next week.

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When technology is using us

by on May.17, 2014, under Off-topic

You know, lately I’ve been thinking about all this crap that’s going on. Net Neutrality going bye-bye in the US — and make no mistake, that will affect the entire Internet. Mozilla, the last bastion of the open web, putting DRM in Firefox. The Heartbleed debacle. It’s a worrying trend, and partly it’s all because we, the people who actually use computers to do meaningful stuff, have made ourselves powerless. We’ve made ourselves dependent on corporate interests for most of our computing needs.

How? By demanding more and more of our computers, until out hardware and software needs could no longer be met by anyone but the richest of corporations. How many desktop CPU manufacturers are left in the world? Two: Intel and AMD. How many GPU manufacturers? Also two: ATI and nVidia. And ATI has been bought by AMD years ago.

There used to be at least a handful of each.
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Three years of No Time To Play

by on Aug.11, 2013, under News

three-year-cake
It’s our third anniversary, and things have changed in the past year.

Oh, I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom. Life has ups and downs. We’ll be better again. But I can’t help but notice how in the past few months we’ve dropped below the one post per week average. Lack of time and energy will do that. At least there hasn’t been a month without some sort of update — I’ve seen websites go utterly abandoned, and it’s sad. Especially when life continues elsewhere, and you can at least keep taking part in the conversations.

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New Ramus website

by on Jan.31, 2012, under Gamedev, News

As promised last time, I got around to setting up a new website for Ramus. Right now, it contains the exact same information as the original web page, except this time it has room to grow. And because it’s a wiki, you can suggest additions directly inline! See you there, and thanks.

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How (not) to close down

by on Dec.03, 2011, under News, Opinion

Circuit City

Two gaming publications have just announced that they’re closing down. That in itself is no big deal, except perhaps for the timing. What is interesting is the different ways it was handled.

On the one hand we have the GamePro magazine issuing a press release a mere week in advance (which promptly drew the ire of Internet archivist Jason Scott). On the other hand, we have GameSetWatch explaining their reasons in a very personal manner, and explicitly promising to keep the website online.
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