the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

How to Lose Gamers and Alienate People

The whole Hasbro vs Scrabulous affair and lawsuit is pretty stupid. Hasbro’s citing of copyright infringement — there is none, game rules are not copyrightable — in what is, essentially, a possible trademark case comes across as nothing more than strong arming. They were caught flat-footed and couldn’t compete so they sicced their lawyers at them. But I don’t want to rant about that part of the story. What is fascinating is everything that happened after they managed to take…

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European Civilization

What I saw from the Civilization Revolutions demo, I liked. Firaxis managed to simplify the entire world building experience for a console without losing the features that made Civilization what it was. The demo sucked me in as much as any full game on the PC ever did. I was sold but, unfortunately, knowing I was leaving the XBox 360 behind I knew I couldn’t get it. There was, however, the scaled-back-but-still-Civ DS version. This was perfect. All the Civilization…

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Game Reviewers Are Lazy?

In a complete show of arm waving attention-seeking, the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences President called game reviewers “lazy.” He does make some good points calling for more criticism, which I’ll agree with, but the bulk of his quotes seem delusional to me. He proclaims a challenge to the industry. How can you review a game, how can you give a comment about a game like Grand Theft Auto IV, that has 40-plus hours or more of gameplay, if…

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iPod Touch in London

On Thursday it was cold and rainy in London so, for the first time since my arrival, I took a day “off”. I was not wandering the streets nor riding the underground nor hitting a gallery nor adding to the blisters on my left foot. Instead, I stayed indoors reading, listening to British radio–it’s very British–and manually added the artworks to all the albums in my iTunes library. This is a tedious process. I’m up to artists starting with the…

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Last Weekend In Toronto

Well, that was it. Last weekend (not this current weekend) was the last weekend I spent living in Toronto. That weekend was also Gay Pride in Toronto and, as was the case last year, I was right in the middle of things. My apartment was in the centre of it all with my front door clogged with revelers, my street closed to traffic and my living room windows giving me a decent view of one of the main concert stages.…

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Touch Three

The iPhone is the Match Three device of the future: Chain 3 Trism. Gamesetwatch: Interview: The Next Big Puzzle Game Wave? iPhone + Accelerometer! Binary Square‘s “Spinblox” Yeah, match three has been done to death but the first two games, especially Trism, do interesting things with the touch interface (the last few are pretty blatant rip-offs and/or ports; I honestly can’t tell.) More importantly, this is what happens when you let small developers — not just companies — openly and…

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Extraordinary Meeples and Ticket to Ride

One of my favourite magazines, Print, has, of all things, an article about German boardgames: Extraordinary Meeples. It follows the rote approach that most similar mainstream articles take — can you believe that some people are still playing boardgames and they aren’t made by Hasbro? Settlers of Catan is one — but it does touch upon the thematic and visual design of these games. Not really surprising since it’s in an issue focused around European design, but it’s a welcome…

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Harmonic 313’s Word Problems

Harmonic 313‘s EP1 is an interesting, if brief, excursion into bleepy, old school “Detroit techno.” The record makes heavy use of retro Speak N Spell samples, which is probably one of the most sampled toys ever. That little reference to the toy game isn’t restricted to the music though, it’s there through the packaging and website. All the track names are obscured behind a simple color coded substitution cipher. The website plays with this and makes a simple little interactive…

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Inside ‘Puzzle Farter’

It speaks volumes that, in the last month, the only games I have touched are Grand Theft Auto IV and Puzzle Farter. Hell, Puzzle Farter is the only game that I’ve finished since Rez HD in March. Of course, I’ve had other priorities. The developer of Puzzle Farter is also a member of a secret cabal internet community that I’m in and it was there that the alpha and final builds were posted. I linked to it, giving a fellow…

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One Quote That Summarizes The Majority of The Mainstream Videogame Industry

And it comes by way of The Telegraph: We are working on a fix for this and your breasts should be back to normal soon. Funcom, in reference to a patch that reduced the size of the gigantic breasts on the female character models in Age of Conan.

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Quatchi’s Shootout Shutout

One of the things that has kept me super busy over the last month has just launched: Quatchi’s Shootout Shutout. A small flash game for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics’ “Meet the Mascots” page. I’ve liked the Meomi designed characters ever since they were revealed last winter, so it was a joy and privilege to be able to work with them. The game was produced by zinc Roe Design, who recently launched their own weblog. All Flash coding by me. PS.…

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Games to Discard

The arrival of June marks my last month of living in Toronto before my extended escape to Europe. The month will be full of decisions regarding what I do with all my stuff. I have to choose what to sell, what to store, what to lend and what to discard. One of the goals of this process is to detach myself of as many material possessions as I can; I’ve certainly accumulated my share of crap over the years. Amongst…

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Judgy Gaming

Here’s a Metafilter thread about how WiiFit is calling kids “fat.” I am of no opinion on the matter. I can not speak for the balance board’s accuracy–I do not have one–and I can not comment on the emotional trauma a kid would experience when a videogame calls him or her fat, no matter whether the kid is or isn’t fat. All I know is that if I were to get a balance board I would expect it to call…

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