Weekly Links #327



Hello, everyone! The scandal I mentioned last time escalated over the course of another week, until it culminated in a high-profile resignation from an equally high-profile game company. Let's see how much it helps.

In other news, beta-reading of the upcoming book has been moving forward after some delays, and it should be done with time to spare, ahead of the site's 10th anniversary on the 11th of August. And speaking of the website, I also started work on replacement software for this very blog, that will allow me to preserve the permakinks and my workflow once the switch happens. That in turn means the switch can happen much sooner, say over winter break.

Reinventing the wheel is usually a bad idea. It's still better to craft your own when the other choice is hobbling forever more due to a poor fit.

That makes for a short editorial, so let me fill this space with a remark: lately, some online publications I peruse have their game section padded out with news about movies instead. On one hand it's a sign that games are now mainstream, period, and that's great. Still, do I detect a degree of ennui in the press? Are you running out of things to write about a medium that still won't grow up? Maybe look at the indie scene instead. It's a different world.

In the way of news, this week we have advice on communication in game design, business blunders, and a critique of a critique of a cult classic. Details under the cut.

Right from the start of the week, we had a long-ish writeup on prototype feedback, with advice that's useful for testers and game developers alike. Not much to say there, but then...

...On Wednesday came the news that Kongregate shuts off game submissions, for obvious reasons. And that alone would be poignant given last week's cover story, except the very next day we learned of surprise layoffs at the same company. Which I guess shouldn't be a surprise, though given the timing it's ugly. But how in the world do you blame the ongoing health crisis for the woes of an internet company that does everything online by definition?! Your business should be booming right now! You know, from all the people stuck at home with not much to do.

This Friday the Digital Antiquarian writes about cult classic Under a Killing Moon, a game I'd heard of before but only in vague terms. And it deserves to be better known. I won't comment on the game's improbable history; I've got more to say about the critic quoted towards the end, who sounds like one of those people who get all cranky at the rest of us because we dare to have fun.

But if you're going to do that, at least try to be right. That guy wasn't. Japanese cinema, for example, mixes comedy and drama all the time. Without missing a beat, I might add. And it's seldom, if ever, noticeable because guess what: such is life. Shakespeare got it. Who are we to take ourselves so seriously? Because we seem to do that a lot when it comes to art. Not so much with genuinely serious issues.

Speaking of which: dear Jimmy, I love you. Please be more careful when you write about politics. Maybe don't turn a literal matter of life and death into yet another case of "he said, she said". This isn't a game.

A relatively full week then, which hasn't happened in a while. Enjoy, and see you next Sunday!


Tags: business, platforms, meta, adventure, writing