GameDev News for 5 December 2020



I almost didn't write this newsletter at all. Burnout is a terrible thing. My feeble attempt to work on a very simple game lately petered out after a few days, and there hasn't been much to do with the website either. Well apart from recovering an old unfinished essay about stories in games. Been doing a lot of that lately. Could be worse. And well, preservation is important.

Speaking of which: just after posting the previous newsletter, I came across this dive into Monkey Island's source code occasioned by the game's 30th anniversary. Not much to say about that except it's worth a read.

In unrelated news, I got pointed at an older article where asks, Is Blender Becoming An Industry Standard? Note how the predictable answer ("no, not yet") isn't due to any failings on Blender's part but to the difficulty of unseating the incumbents. Who else is not surprised.

Last but not least, The Digital Antiquarian continues the new series on videogame critique, this time with Colonization. Which was rightly called out over the years for the horribly racist and colonialist assumptions encoded in its design choices. Which doesn't make it any worse as a strategy game! It's still one of my all time favorites, gameplay-wise. That however doesn't excuse the way it engages with its subject matter... or should I say it doesn't? Read and judge for yourself.

(As an aside: note how ironic, in context, is Jimmy's casual statement that the principles of European 18th century music are somehow universal. Practitioners of Gregorian chant, never mind those of more distant traditions in space and time, might want a word.)

Before concluding, let me point out that the voting period for IFComp 2020 is now over, though winners are yet to be announced. Oh well, until next time, have fun and keep loving games.


Tags: graphics, preservation, critique