Wow, we really are edging up on the holiday season, aren't we? Along the way, we've got a bumper set of GameSetLinks to unspool this week, starting out with Chuck Jordan discussing how you tell the player what to do in adventure games - always a bit of a problem, to be honest.

But there's plenty of other good material here, include a silly game publishing brand-skewering from 1UP, a neat analysis of the design complexities of Beatmania, a chat to the inventor of the Speak & Spell, and other eruditions from varied RSS feeds of interest.

Take it away:

Spectre Collie » Blog Archive » Feedback’s a bitch
Telltale's Chuck Jordan discusses Manveer Heir's Design 101 article on Strong Bad for WiiWare, since Jordan helped create the game: 'His main observation is dead-on accurate. Adventure games suck at giving feedback to the player.'

g-mixer . mark cooke . blog: Japanese Saint's Row 2 Commercial
Grasshopper's Cooke points out a truly odd SR2 Japanese commercial: 'I'm not sure what market this advertising appeals to, though I enjoyed it.'

Top 5 Silly Names for Game Brands from
How come there isn't a website trying to do timely game news pastiches, like a more direct Onion-y version of this fun Sharky pastiche on the execrably named Surge? Poochie FTW! Games Without Frontiers: Why We Need More Torture in Videogames
Clive Thompson: 'I'd like to see games that had more torture — and better torture — in them. In this alarming chapter of American history, they might wind up fueling the best public debate yet.'

Welcome to Special Round: The home version of IIDX 15 is completely absurd
A really interesting game design analysis of Konami's Beatmania and its super-high difficulty levels - I haven't seen it explained as well as this before.

Vintage Computing and Gaming | Archive » VC&G Interview: 30 Years Later, Richard Wiggins Talks Speak & Spell Development
Benj Edwards: 'Thirty years ago last June, Texas Instruments introduced Speak & Spell at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago' - and he managed to find and interview its creator for his always excellent VintageComputing blog.

Game recommendation: 5th Cell's 'Lock's Quest' for DS
5th Cell are helping to judge IGF Mobile, too, and I just checked out this 'Rampart vs. Tower Defense' title, which is one of the unsung DS games of late 2008.

Xemu's Long-Winded Game Industry Ramblings :: Bittersweet
Ensemble's Rob Fermier links to Crispy Gamer's Ensemble coda posts, which are excellent, also sighing: 'In the end I actually spent more time working on games that eventually got killed for MS political reasons than actual shipped products (though punctuated with helping get our other games out the door)'