Weekly Links #289



Hello, everyone! Thanks to a generous donation by my friend WereWolf, the hosting costs for No Time To Play are covered until next summer. So I can stop pestering you for a while. Any extra funds received will still be appreciated, of course.

In other news, due to recent developments I'm finally in a position to offer 64-bit Linux builds for my games. Currently, Escape From Cnossus HD is available in the new edition, both on No Time To Play and on Itch. Where, it turns out, I had never uploaded the latest builds from this summer. Oh well, better late than never.

On the minus side, I'll be less able to support the 32-bit editions going forward, especially for Windows. No reason to take them down, of course, you'll just be on your own with them. Oh, and I took the game entirely off Game Jolt, along with most of my titles from this year. They're just not moving. I'm not sure what to even offer the kind of people who go there to play.

Oh, I do have new games planned, and improvements to existing games, and articles to write... so much to do, so little energy. Should be more able to work on them in October, but how fast is another question entirely. Especially as I'm forced to make some changes in my workflow, and the kinds of things I can work on. Will let you know.

Anyway, for news this week we have changes coming to the event known as PROCJAM, words about the future of Ren'Py, and some philosophical considerations about Doom 2. Details under the cut.

The week starts with a surprise announcement: PROCJAM founder Mike Cook will step down as organizer after this year's edition. Not because something bad happened, or just because it's getting to be a lot of work for one person. He simply thinks more people working together (especially marginalized people, he underscores) could make it better. And that's humility the likes of which we seldom get to see nowadays. An AI researcher with impressive accomplishments, on a tireless journey to educate the public, he somehow found the time and energy to also establish this event, that's done much to make generative software more popular and less mysterious, for creators and audiences alike. Which he's now going to set free.

Well, the least I can do is help spread the word. Pass it on, will you?

Fast forward to Saturday, when we learn (via Twitter) that last month Renpytom gave a presentation at Animefest 2019 about the future of Ren'Py, and a summary of what he said (article in French). Wish I could say it surprises me to learn that Ren'Py is set to move towards the web and 3D. You know, like pretty much everything else. At least there's also a promise not to break what it can already do, and Ren'Py has a good track record in this regard. So there's that.

Also via Twitter we get another French language paper on the Christian theology of Doom 2's level design. I mostly just nodded in agreement until the end, which I simply have to translate for you:

[...] the difference in treatment between Doom 2 and its 21st century sequels, that offer a much more classic and rational vision of Hell, with lakes of fire, bricks and wrought iron fences, illustrates a virtue of old 3D engines. By freeing the designers, through their technical limitations, from the imperative of verisimilitude, by allowing them to create pure abstractions without them risking to look absurd in the eyes of players, they offer a way to create "conceptual places", geometries whose shape and exploration carry meaning. The 2016 Doom shows us its vision of Hell, as well as a movie would. Doom 2 makes us feel its own, like only a videogame can.

Which neatly brings together two arguments I've made repeatedly over the years. Do you suppose typical game developers are going to get a clue one of these days?

With this question in mind, I'll let you enjoy the Sunday, and see you next time.


Tags: community, tools, classics, shooter, game design, philosophy