Our Properties: Gamasutra GameCareerGuide IndieGames GameSetWatch GDC IGF Game Developer Magazine GAO

Top Posts


Recent Comments

  • Gmsil: I would like to voice my gratitude for your kindness in support of people that should have assistance with this important area. Your personal dedication read more
  • anonymous: QQ friends Sohu microblogging happy network all network my Sohu white society phone , but covered with lice. In this regard, Xinhua News Agency, read more
  • anonymous: (Getty Images),cheap new era hatsGiving the white carpet a little sparkle,The AFF Hats,How to rebalance our economy Sean O'Grady Inde, Audrina Patridge sizzled in a sparkling read more
  • anonymous: Cashmere baby clothes most appropriate solution to minimal children doing areas where a few wintry. Cashmere could possibly hairs if a group of hl goats. read more
  • Godalayeday: Dzieki temu urzadzeniu mozna zyciu na Ziemi strumien pozycjonowanie bylismy zwiazani od. Energia grawitacyjna i jej zasoby Na skutek eliptycznej centralnej, tak jak monitor read more

About GameSetWatch

GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

Read More

Archive For April, 2008

GameSetLinks: Air Ball The Magic Kingdom

April 18, 2008 12:00 AM | Simon Carless

- Ah yes, a little more GameSetLink-age, and this one has a plethora of neatness, including the United Nations using gaming to help donate malaria nets, and the closing of Virtual Magic Kingdom causing some furore.

Also in there somewhere - NGJ don and admitted Yahtzee inspiration Charlie Brooker talks about games somewhat nattily, and 1UP wanders down some other bonkers feature hallways.

Let's go all Rockwell:

Water Cooler Games - The UN Shoots an Air Ball
'If you play the game and sign up at the end, [the United Nations] will deliver a [malaria-preventing bed net] to Africa on their behalf.' But apparently the game isn't that... resonant? Nice idea, tho.

KimPallister.com: 'Centennial Middle School Talk'
What kids want to hear about from game industry luminaries. Autographs!

The History Of Interactive Fiction: 'Let's Tell a Story Together'
Interesting, hadn't spotted this! Via Waxy.

The Independent Gaming Source: You Found The Grappling Hook, Pro Edition
Heh, as Cactus said in comments: 'I think Business Week hotlinked his game, so he modified it just to mess with them.'

Kotaku: 'EA Versus Take-Two: How The Takeover Works'
Leigh's new gig at Kotaku starts out trend-crunch-tastic!

Worlds In Motion - Disney Closes Gates To Virtual Magic Kingdom
Lots of anguished complaints from VMK fans here.

Edmonton Journal: 'Indie gaming world comes out for festivals and competitions'
'It's been a few weeks since I've covered a big mainstream game.' Some nice praise for CGDC5 in here too.

Top 5 Felonies That Deserve Their Own Games from 1UP.com
Heh, more high quality Sharkey randomness.

Dork Talk: Charlie Brooker | Technology | The Guardian
Charlie Brooker's favorite games of all time, Part 1 - also see Part 2. Via RPS.

koffdrop.com » You reap what you sow
Some Kotaku komplaining... justified? Not sure.

COLUMN: Why We Play - 'In the Name of God'

April 17, 2008 4:00 PM |

pray.png [ “Why We Play” is a new weekly column by freelance writer and HardCasual blogger Chris Plante that discusses how video games benefit us when we are away from them, in the real world, and what brings us back.]

Every Friday I go to a class to discuss games. I enjoy our conversations, because they give me a different perspective on stories I’ve played dozens of times. Their rants are like Rashomon, Akira Kursowa’s classic film about the dangers of perspective. For us, everyone’s killed Bowser, it’s how we killed Bowser that’s unique.

As we spent more time together, we noticed our differences. By label some of us are the stereotypical gamers, but then there are a handful of jocks, a few bubblegum girls (who beat my ass in just about anything), professional students, artists, and young professionals. How do we get along so well, when we’re so different? Is this the power of a shared hobby?

To figure out this puzzle, we considered only the essential aspects of gaming. The player. The game. The controller.

For me, a controller works like a pair of shoes. When I sport my kicks, I no longer literally feel the ground beneath my feet. I feel rubber and crusty socks (see: mysterious foot condition). But when I step on grass, I still know it is grass. I don’t have to see it, or even smell it. I feel it, somehow, through the shoes. They’re a tacit part of me.

To bring this back to controllers, in Call of Duty 4, I don’t feel the rubber or broken glass or even the gun in my hand, but I recognize the environment and how I interact with it via my controls. They’re my game shoes, and after twenty years of play they’re perfectly worn-in. The controller is an understood extension of myself.

Our tacit relationship with games through our controllers offers many advantages in real life. They teach us motor skills and linguistics, organization and management, and even bring us closer to the divine. That’s right, God is in the game, or, better, in our interaction with the game, but, out of modesty and complete fear you’ll never read “Why We Play” again, I won’t unpack such a lofty claim in my 5th paragraph on GameSetWatch.

Opinion: The Risky Potential Of WiiWare

April 17, 2008 8:00 AM | Simon Carless

- [It's a real delight to have Chris Remo join Gamasutra as Editor-At-Large, and here's one of his first editorials for us - discussing his thoughts on Nintendo's WiiWare digital download service, ahead of its launch.]

Last week, I attended a Nintendo presentation showcasing a small group of upcoming games for the WiiWare downloadable game service. I was impressed by the quality of several of the offerings on hand - moreso than I expected to be - but I was also relieved to see that one of Nintendo's early promises about the format is apparently being borne out.

Getting In Touch With the Indie Side

As it claimed it would, Nintendo does seem to be proactively contacting smaller independent developers, something the company has not traditionally been known to do.

One of its two headline exhibitors last week was Kyle Gabler of the three-man studio 2D Boy, which is developing its IGF Award-winning Erector-set-of-phlegm simulation World of Goo for WiiWare (pictured). According to a Nintendo rep, the company sought out Gabler specifically.

The other showcase studio was Telltale Games with its upcoming series based on the Homestar Runner online Flash movie site. This means WiiWare will have the first stab at real episodic gaming via consoles, despite the significant head start by Xbox Live Arcade and to a lesser extent PlayStation Network.

GameSetLinks: The Mysteries Of Xboxing

April 17, 2008 12:00 AM | Simon Carless

- Well, Mexico continues to be hot, which is also the state of this vital compilation of GameSetLink-age of course, haw haw.

Among the goodness - a very silly game pitch, Giant Bomb pointing out some funny XBLA chess promotion, and a little look into the surprisingly vibrant world of Phantasy Star Universe - which I am midway into getting tempted towards.

Go go gadget linkage:

Main Page - The PSUPedia
Very impressive complete FAQ for Phantasy Star Universe.

Rising Tides Sink Islands | Gamers With Jobs
'We’re getting good content, but the budgets are still weighed down under the load of paying for fluff reviews, news and previews before we get to the good stuff.'

Giant Bomb » You Must Think First, Before You Move
On the Chessmaster Live XBLA Hiphop Weekend, hah.

Hit Self-Destruct: The Pitch
OMG game pitch insanity awesome alert.

The Cut Scene - Video Game Blog by Variety: Writers, executives, developers discuss whether videogames need writers
Referencing Adam Maxwell's post, again again. But with some good Hollywood types, plus Kellee Santiago, even.

Citizen Game » Lore Sjöberg on Link’s Weapons
Oddly Yahtzee-esque, tho Sjoberg massively predates him.

chewing pixels » Bow Street Runner - Conclusion
A little hagiographic, but the point is well made, and this is emanating from the Alice Taylor/Margaret Robertson Channel 4 nexus, like a number of interesting crossover projects.

Reconciling Serious Games Market Size Different Estimates - Business & Games: The Blog
Serious games is an awfully vague term, anyhow.

The Escapist : Jason Rohrer's Game Design Sketchbook: Idealism
'What happens when your ideals, be they socially-induced or true, stand in the way of one of your goals? Idealism attempts to explore these issues through game mechanics.'

Akihabara Channel » ai [email protected]
Whoa, a Japanese dating game virtual world.

World of Warcraft Exposed: The Lore of the Alliance

April 16, 2008 4:00 PM |

Group Shot['World of Warcraft Exposed' is a weekly column by Michael Zenke about the culture and experience of the globe's biggest online game phenomenon, the ten million subscriber-strong World of Warcraft. This week's column looks at the stories behind five of the game's character races.]

Fantasy settings are darned intimidating, aren't they? As much as I love Tolkien and Lord of the Rings, the originator of the genre is also largely responsible for a lot of its baggage.

While sci-fi's played-out tropes have been rehashed and thinned down somewhat in recent years, we haven't had a truly great genre shake-up for fantasy fans. The result is that even World of Warcraft, as successful and entertaining as it is, bogs down with an endless amount of backstory and genre cliches.

Despite that, the lore of Warcraft is interesting stuff. There are a lot of compelling elements, individual tales that you can follow along through the thousands of years of sketched out storyline.

If you ignore the clap-trap about who specifically did what when or the endless back-and-forth between all-powerful entities, there are interesting characters and situations to focus on. Consider this the first in an ongoing series of articles looking at the backstory of Warcraft, with an eye towards making the material as approachable as possible.

To start with, we'll explore the background behind the heroic races of the Human Alliance.

Q&A: Square Enix's Murata Talks Crystal Tools, Unreal Engine Initiatives

April 16, 2008 8:00 AM | Simon Carless

- [We posted this on Gamasutra yesterday, and it's worth printing over here - Brandon Sheffield quizzes Square Enix on its engine tech and how game engines - especially cross-platform ones - are incredibly important in today's market.]

Originally known as the White Engine, Square-Enix's Crystal Tools initiative has taken shape over the past few years as one of its key efforts to standardize cross-platform technology for its forthcoming titles, being used not only for Final Fantasy XIII, but also its forthcoming MMO.

While the company has also licensed Unreal Engine 3 for some future development, Crystal Tools general manager Taku Murata has previously said that its internal engine was designed to cater strongly to the demands of Square Enix's developers.

To learn more about the history of the effort, why Square has licensed Unreal Engine, and whether Japan is being held back by not licensing locally developed technology, Gamasutra talked with Murata, who elaborated on how the work behind Crystal Tools was an amalgamation of all the experiences gained on working on large scale productions like Final Fantasy.

GameSetLinks: Geometry Wars: Los Cabos Edition

April 16, 2008 12:00 AM | Simon Carless

- So, uhh, there seems to have been some mistake, and I've found myself 'on holiday' in 'Mexico'. I'm not quite sure how this occurred, but rest assured I'll be looking into it over the next few days.

In the meantime, amidst the relaxation, a reasonably steady (if relaxed!) set of GameSetLinks will continue to bombard you, like so many UV rays upon pasty Western European skin, starting with this set - from sealed, graded classic games through Geometry Wars' (pictured!) influence on XBLA, and much more.

Commence low-grade tanning... now:

mbf [email protected]: Mario Morandi's GameMusic Tracks
'Mario Morandi is the RadioGame's resident DJ, an Italian website dedicated to retrogaming culture and gaming obsessions.' Good tracks within.

YouTube - Animated Amiga Tribute by Eric Schwartz
An adorable 'Still Alive'-soundtracked tribute to the Amiga - via Waxy.

NCSX Video Games and Toys: 'Kachou Shima Kousaku: Dekiru Otoko no Love & Success' for DS
'Join the ranks of Japanese white-collar workers in what's probably the first ever business-oriented visual novel and educational software.'

Obscured View » Did Geometry Wars hurt LIVE as much as it helped it?
'I think it would be safe to say that GW caused the industry to collectively say “ooh! Retro can be profitable!”'

Only a Game: Top Ten Videogame Emotions
'What are the most popular emotions of play in videogames?' We find out!

Pocket Gamer: 'The Wright Stuff: Why mobile games are failing'
'The problem is that mobile games are simply not appealing enough to get most people to play them.'

Stephen King on videogames | Entertainment Weekly
The horror novelist defends games against legislation, despite, uhh, not really liking them much, it appears.

First VGA Graded Games Hit eBay | gameSniped.com
Interesting, they're trying to grade games like comics.

Siliconera » Let’s look at LOL with Agetec
V.v.odd multiplayer-only comedy DS game: 'To be honest, yes it’s going to be hard to find. We’re not even sure yet if it will be carried by any retailers.'

Gillen Wants Me To Quote Buzzcocks But I Won’t | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
'Here’s the latest trailer for Tension, Ice-Pick’s intriguing next game... The hook is battle via painting, rather than gunplay, using a gesture system apparently similar to Black & White.'

COLUMN: 'Jump Button': Pixels That Love Dogs — Video Game Icon Julie Strain

April 15, 2008 4:00 PM |

-[Jump Button is a weekly column by Drew Taylor, written specially for GameSetWatch, that focuses on the art and substance of video game culture. This week - Julie Strain talks about her life, the making of Ritual's game Heavy Metal: FAKK 2, why there should be a sequel, and things that matter.]

It's been two years since I phoned her, but the pain that's in her voice when she answers, it stays with me still.

'My puppy died yesterday,' says the voluptuous, six-foot-one PC gaming icon. 'In my arms. My puppy got pneumonia. It came from the pet store really sick, and I nursed it, and I did everything. I took it in the shower twice a day, and I gave it medicine. And it died of a heart attack, and it died in my hands.

'I've been crying for 24 hours,' she says. 'She was so cute. Now... she's gone.'

That girl whisky voice in my ear, full of hurt, it belongs to Julie Strain—B-movie queen, adult dot com identity, and the face, name, voice and sass of the lead character in Ritual Entertainment's third-person shooter, Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2.

Forget Tomb Raider. As a game character, this black-haired battle raven's boobs are bigger. Her weapon-based acrobatics, more deadly. Her attire—or lack of it—far more capable of poking out an eye.

-These pixels are a dual-wielding, uzi and flame-sword toting hero of the multi-verse. FAKK to the second level. And in this instance, the real was the inspiration for the fantasy; for the fictitious. Julie for Julie.

'I'm not sure what the character was like before,' says Julie. 'But when I came along, it added the 6'1” height, the athleticism. And, you know, I can give a mean snarl that no-one else can do, so they added that to it.'

The 'they' Julie's referring to, is Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Editor in Chief of Heavy Metal magazine. Writer of the animated movie Heavy Metal 2000 on which the game F.A.K.K.2 is based. Now Julie's husband.

'Just the fact that I fought off a killer in my real life with my bare hands,' says Julie, 'it kind of makes me the character.'

Explaining, 'A man jumped on my bed with a knife to my throat, and I thought, “I can't die, I need to be Penthouse Pet of the Year”. So I fought him tooth and nail, screaming for help until he ran away.'

The line between game character and person blurring now, with, 'She's a real-life superhero. It's a girl you can believe is a bad-ass, kick-ass mutha-fucker. I mean Barbarella was cute in her little boots and stuff, but I don't think she could go a couple of rounds in a ring with me.'

IndieGames.com Interview: You Have To Burn The Rope's Kian Bashiri

April 15, 2008 8:00 AM | Simon Carless

[This interview with Kian Bashiri (Mazapán), developer of the comical, abstract and recently acclaimed Flash game You Have To Burn The Rope, was conducted by Tim W. and ran on our sister IndieGames.com Blog. And now you get to check it out!]

Hi Kian, kindly tell us a little about yourself and your newly-gained internet fame.

Well, I'm 21. I'm half-Persian, half-Finnish/Swede, but I was born and raised here in Sweden. I'm currently studying computer game development, and I love playing indie games. Yeah... I don't really know what else is interesting.

Oh, about my newly gained-internet fame... it's crazy. I'm so in the middle of it all, I'm still not sure how big it is. Some people have called You Have To Burn The Rope (YHTBTR) their game of the year, but I'm still not sure whether it's something that will be forgotten next week.

I'm googling "You Have to Burn the Rope" all the time, checking my referrals on my web statistics and wading through the mail.

Can you explain YHTBTR in your own words?

Well, it is a joke. And I don't want to say too much about it, because dissecting a joke always makes it unfunny. Part of it is this really silly idea, and part of it is this statement about how games are too hard and complicated. It's also a subtle reference to how some games are kind of patronizing toward the player, like too easy.

But I never set out to make it this way, it kind of turned into this with time. It started out as an attempt to make a game that spoiled the whole experience for you before you played it. Funnily enough, people really don't read instructions...

A lot of people that I saw playing the game live actually went through the tunnel without reading the instructions or thinking about the name of the game and realized that you have to burn the rope first when they saw it themselves. I think this is what has happened when I read comments like "it wuz so easy.", these people went right through it and didn't realize that the joke was on them.

COLUMN: 'Play Evolution': The Evolution of the Modern RTS

April 15, 2008 12:00 AM |

It's a plane![“Play Evolution” is a column by James Lantz that happens sometimes and discusses the changes that games undergo after their release, from little developer patches to huge gameplay revelations, and everything in between. This week: evolution in the RTS genre]

After the huge success of Starcraft and the large success of Warcraft 3, Blizzard stepped off the RTS stage and let THQ nudge their way into the spotlight with Dawn of War and Company of Heroes. But, despite their commercial and critical successes, neither franchise could hold a flame to Starcraft’s ability to produce and maintain competitive play at a high level.

Right now, Blizzard is probably asking the same question we’re about to investigate: what made Starcraft a huge competitive success while Dawn of War and Company of Heroes have a comparatively piddling competitive fan base? And are Dawn of War and Company of Heroes really an example of where the RTS genre is headed?

Click Here for All Archives

twitter RSS

Our Sites

game career guide Gamasutra Indie Games