GameDev News for 25 September 2021



Hello, everyone! The big news today is that I finally got around to finishing Gamebooks & Goonies. That's the ruleset for Unwanted Hero, that I've been planning to write down since early summer and only got around to recently. So far there hasn't been any feedback, but people seem interested enough.

Also in the housekeeping department, after paying the last hosting bill my PayPal is now empty, so the next one will have to come out of my pocket. No worries, I have money, but it will be a sour note on which to end the eight-year run of this newsletter.

Speaking of sour notes, let me get some bad news out of the way. Earlier this month, Clive Sinclair died, and I'm sad to see how incomplete coverage is, even from the best source. He was a pioneer in many more fields, people.

In the way of more current issues, we have an opinion piece asking game companies (and others) to Please Stop Closing Forums And Moving People To Discord. Seriously, please. It's not the same thing at all, in fact it's much worse, and won't shift your moderation issues onto somebody else, as you seem to hope.

The rest of this newsletter is under the cut, with more material about retrogaming and history in general.

For one thing, there's a new retrogaming blog out there as of February this year, and I only found out about it a week ago, in an unlikely way. Also, I had no idea there were so many different versions of Space Invaders from Taito alone. And for more game history, we have:

  • A highly informative write-up about the history of blind-accessible games: first text-based, then audio, and into the mainstream, including an in-depth case study of the game that opened the floodgates.
  • That time in the mid-1990s when the ill-fated concept of bookware made a brief return during the CD-ROM era.
  • Last but not least, a write-up about the 2006 hit Dwarf Fortress, and the extraordinary narrative power of procedural generation.

And speaking of narrative, let me conclude with this piece on Narrative design myth-busting, because in the words of its author, it's not "just writing".

Enjoy, and see you in October. Thanks for reading.


Tags: meta, rpg, community, retrogaming, history