Updated: 4/7/03; 10:19:15 PM.
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Monday, March 10, 2003

A Specter is Haunting Gaming [Games * Design * Art * Culture].
Never mind the self-evident fact that the industry's real hits have always been innovative, always been out of left field--SimCity, Balance of Power, Command & Conquer, Deer Hunter, Roller Coaster Tycoon, The Sims. Licenses and sequels are perceived as less risky. No one ever got fired for greenlighting a Major League Baseball game, or something licensed from a Hollywood hit, or game IV in a series that's always sold. Pick wrong on an innovative title, and you're history.
This is a bleak look at the future of the games industry, bleak but dead-on. The shelves at software stores are filled with shovelware, and the number of games in a year worth actually buying (on the PC, anyway) are a bare handful. I found this depressing but essential reading, especially since one of my fond dreams is to eventually found a small games workshop that's sustainable and innovative. Happily, my day job is essentially to write a 3D-accelerated game engine, so I'm at least continuing to move in the right direction.  11:11:19 PM  (comments []  

"This is how the entertainment cartel plans to "compete" with hard disk video recorders: Prevent customers from doing what they want." [Dan Gillmor's eJournal]. Gaaah.

All I want is to be able to freaking watch things I have taped on my TiVo back on my laptop in the other room.  12:09:12 PM  (comments []  

Dan Gillmor points us to Perry Hoberman's "Infringement" art series. Don't miss.  12:07:52 PM  (comments []  

The Lord of the Rhymes [via work IRC]. Go gollum! Go gollum!  12:00:38 PM  (comments []  

Delays hit Halo game sequel [BBC News]. Sadly, it will be delayed until 2004. Good thing I have an incredible backlog of games to slog through still, including the original Halo.

Best quote from the article, even if it is a bit stale:

"Halo 2 is a lot like Halo, only it's Halo on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," said Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios when he announced the sequel in August 2002.
  11:22:07 AM  (comments []  

Freelancer obsession update:

I played the game quite a bit over the weekend, especially Saturday. You know how sometimes you play a game for so long that you become filled with nervous energy from all of the physical actions you're imagining doing, but aren't actually doing because your ass is in a chair? Yeah, that much.

I'm spending a disproportionate amount of time trying to understand why I like this game so much, since it has so many noticeable flaws. What it comes down to is that the core gameplay and the universe are so fun and richly detailed that it just brings into more contrast how a little more work (like more random missions) would have raised the whole experience to an even higher level. The basic fact that I have spent this much time on the game (probably > 20 hours by this point), and that I'm spending this much time thinking about why I like it lead to one inescapable conclusion: the game is a success, regardless of flaws.

Oh, and the single player missions continue to engage me. I will be sad when they are over.  11:14:25 AM  (comments []  

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Last update: 4/7/03; 10:19:15 PM.