September 8, 2007 4:04 PM | Simon Carless
A pleasant weekend watching DVDs of Torchwood and QI from my home La-Z-Boy planet can also be punctuated by writing up some of the interesting, bizarre, and obscuro game links that I've taken note of for GameSetWatch this week - and here's the inevitable result:
- You guys probably know Tosho Iwai from his video game work on Sim Tunes and Electroplankton, and now Music Thing has lots of videos/impressions from the UK launch of Yamaha's Iwai-designed Tenori-On instrument, a spectacular touch-based standalone music machine (early version pictured) which is a tad expensive (UKP600!), but definitely drooled over - lots of awesome videos within.
- Australian game biz blog Sumea has posted video from the recent Australian festival Free Play, which included a keynote from Braid creator Jon Blow and some interesting other lectures including 'The Indie MBA', "...a comprehensive and practical overview of the business of running an indie shop", and reminiscent (in a good way!) of a similarly named session we ran at IGS this year.
- John Andersen continues to sling me random good Asian links, and he points to a Korea Times article about NCSoft's Zero-G flight at Austin this week, which includes some hilarious Richard Garriott gossip - claiming NCSoft will pay to fly Garriott into space, quoting a 'source' as saying: "Garriott is rumored to be on board for a 2008 shot to the space station. It is to be announced in early October along with his new game, `Tabula Rasa.' He can then play his new game from outer space." While I guess Garriott could go eventually, a $30 million promotion for the game? Guessing not.
- Rock Paper Shotgun continues to be, in a deliriously rambling way, the best new blog out there, and John Walker has an interesting post about free-to-play, pay for items PC title Drift City, explaining that "...is a game from the madly named ijji (which is an awful lot of fun to say out loud, and also free). It’s a driving MMO-alike, very much like Test Drive Unlimited, except with cel-shaded graphics, and it runs via your browser." They also have an interesting post on a Birmingham, UK LAN center that looks, well, swish.
- Textfiles.com's Jason Scott, whom, rumor has it, may be writing for GSW soon, has posted with the news that The Last Starfighter Musical is returning to play in New York City from September 28th through to October 7th. He explains: "I've already written, to great length, in my previous weblog entry about how the musical was for me personally and how the scenes flowed in a musical format; trust me, it's everything you could imagine it'd be like."
- Mopping up old links, I ran into Game-Science co-founder Jonnyram's link to the Assembly 07 demo competition winners on YouTube - and it's a lot easier to see the awesome real-time rendering effects this way - even if it misses the real-time point. (Here's the second-place winner, for completeness' sake.) A lot of European game developers' technical prowess is down to historical events like this, so it's great to see that the scene didn't die after game fidelity got just as good as demo-scene technical fidelity.
- Clickable Culture has correctly raised questions about this already, but LivePlanet's 'Virtual Worlds Prods' is not only a bit misguided, it's absolutely lunatic - check out this story, ' Couple Found Dead in Hellfire Peninsula', from Azeroth World News. It's all done 'straight' as in-world reporting with dubious, borderline news value - for example: "The bodies of a man and a woman were found early yesterday morning just off the path from Honor Hold to Hellfire Citadel, deaths that investigators have labeled as suspicious." Is this trying to be Onion-y, or...? Head hurts!
- Gotta love Tim Schafer's chutzpah: after news of his next game allegedly leaked, he decided to announce Double Fine's triumphant follow-on to Psychonauts, explaining: "In this all new, action based IP, you play the part of a barbaric hero in an epic fantasy world, fighting his way from Rock and Roll Hell to Rock and Roll Heaven." And the resulting free, uhh, web game is, uhh, Epic Saga - Extreme Fighter. Has this put people off the scent of DF's next real game? Not really, but it's a lot of fun.