GameDev News for 25 March 2021

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The stress of ongoing world events must be really getting to me this time. Can't remember another 7DRL edition where not a single game caught my eye. And there aren't many news either, so let me tell you about a couple things I did:

  • First, as... not announced last time (oops), Tomb of the Snake has reached its third release, with rather more changes than expected, if nothing radical. Glad I did this anyway. And people loved it, for all the game is faulty and limited. Moral of the story: passion projects are often worth it, more than you might expect.
  • Second, I picked up the Nim programming language again, for the first time since my brief look almost four years ago. If only I knew then what I do now. But hey, it's not too late. I already ported a non-game project to it, and looking at others, so, expect news soon.

Speaking of which, let's see the actual news:

  • Last Thursday I learned about a classic interactive fiction piece like no other: His Majesty's Ship "Impetuous". It's one of those that make one think about paths not taken, and what we're missing because of our choices. An ironic thing to say in context, come to think of it. How much more did we fail to try in the intervening four decades? I'm tempted to crack open Twine and find out, taking advantage of infinitely more powerful text processing in modern programming languages like Javascript.
  • And then the next day there was another classic game retrospective. A legendary one, even: System Shock. Only this time the historian's account doesn't make me want to go and play it. On the contrary. This is a game that sounds pretentious, overwrought and tiring: the opposite of what I want from the medium. By the way, there is in fact a System Shock (fan) novel: Free Radical, by Shamus Young. And it's well worth a read. As for most people failing to notice the game is more than a shooter? There's a reason why in recent years I find myself, often enough, quoting one of my own literary characters: "a brick to the face is subtle".

On this rather sad note, take care, and see you in April.


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Tags: meta, roguelike, classic, interactive fiction, shooter