Weekly Links #279



Hello, everyone! As of this Wednesday, the No Time To Play domain name is secure for another year, with some help from site co-founder Nightwrath and our friend Shoby. That means I can stop pestering you for a while.

On the minus side, my work-in-progress game has stalled. Again. I seem to suffer from burnout. Been blogging and working on my personal website instead. Reading a book. Stuff like that. Could tell you about my plans, because there's a lot of them as usual, but frankly? There are too many people selling dreams as it is.

Speaking of which: last time I mentioned joining a new social network on the rise known as Matrix. Nobody reacted. (Nobody replies to these blog posts anymore as a general rule.) In the mean time, one of two curated server lists has gone down, and the other doesn't list the one that accepted me. And we need to know about each other somehow. If a queer-friendly community of techies sounds like your speed, come over to matrix.spider.ink lost-angles.im. Or if you prefer something more mainstream, feneas.org should be a good place, knowing who runs it.

In the mean time, let's see some news, because this week we have a few for a change: a retrospective of a classic text adventure, a generous grant extended to a major player in the field of computer graphics, and some comments on the state of tech industry journalism. Details below the cut.

On Sunday, Hardcore Gaming 101 covered the three Marvel games made by Adventure International back in the 1980s. I played the Spiderman one (on the Spectrum), and couldn't figure out anything. Maybe a manual would have helped? But there was no getting official versions in Romania, especially 8 years after publication. It was still possible to see a lot of the game and have fun with the weirdness. A lesson game designers have largely forgotten nowadays, and its absence is noticeable.

On Monday, the Blender Foundation announced getting a million-dollar grant from Epic. Which is an eye-watering amount, yet just 1% of what Epic has set aside for this program of theirs. And all I can think of is, why aren't we seeing this sort of investment from, ya know, the governments we pay taxes to? Oh wait, governments still think we're in 1890. Software? What's that? Some sort of new sorcery we have to outlaw?

And that's how you know the future lies elsewhere. Hopefully not at the mercy of corporations.

In shorter news, multiple outlets are reporting that one of Blizzard's cofounders is "leaving the company". Alone, PCGamer explains the man is retiring after 28 years in the business. Which is, you know, perfectly normal and good. Are people beginning to forget that retirement is a thing? Otherwise, everyone's fawning over Stadia, Google's new bid to make games into an expensive rental. Everyone but players, of course. But who cares. When corporations decide some new tech must become reality, they'll just force it onto an unwilling market, and damn the consequences. Oh, there will be a few noisy adopters, who will be paraded in front of everyone else before their enthusiasm inevitably dwindles. Like it happened with VR. Ever noticed how hardly anyone is talking about it anymore, making games for it and so on? Sure, everyone knows someone who owns a kit. But that's worth a lot less than some people think.

Not much this week then, but it's something. Enjoy the Sunday, and see you!


Tags: meta, social media, interactive fiction, graphics, business