NationStates 2

Max Barry, author of the brilliant satire Jennifer Government and creator of the game NationStates have announced that NationStates 2 is nearing release;

With NS2, the design from day one has been all about longer-term gameplay. While the core principles of NationStates haven’t changed — micromanagement is still a dirty word, diplomacy is the focus, and customization rules — NS2 greatly expands your nation’s ability to affect its world. It’s all about giving you top-level control and letting you take your nation wherever the hell you want.”

I have been playing NationStates for some time now, but the beauty of it is the minimal amount of effort you need to put into it so I’m not sure I will continue. Still, it’s a pretty cool thing.

Posted on Apr 21/08 by Saint and filed under General game development, Meta-blog | No Comments »

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VGNG settled


So the VGNG voting has now officially ended and Farbs’ ROM CHECK FAIL emerged as the winner. Congratulations!

The fallout of the votes didn’t offer many surprises, though I thought some games deserved more votes than they got – although I guess you can expect some noise in the lower end when there are so few voters.

Posted on Apr 10/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture, General game development, Reflections | No Comments »

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You Have to Burn the Rope


You Have to Burn the Rope is the anti-game to IWBTG and the other ultra-hard, deceiving games out there. Is it a brilliant critique on how gameplay gets more and more streamlined? is it a lame attempt to rip off Portal’s ending? is it a great game, or even a game at all? … well, most people seem to like it so it’s certainly something.

As Dominic White put it on TIGSource; “I don’t know about ‘games as art’, but I’m certainly behind the concept of ‘games as joke’.

Posted on Apr 06/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture | No Comments »

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“The Greenhouse is a new distribution platform operated by Greenhouse Interactive, dedicated to supporting independent game development worldwide. We help indie developers get their games into the hands of gamers, and that gives gamers easy access to new and innovative games that they might otherwise have missed.”

Penny Arcade and Hothead Games have started this portal in order to sell their game, and in the future “…to use it as a way of promoting great independent games that might otherwise slide under the radar”. Of course, there are similar services all over the web but since Penny Arcade is quite big the situation automatically gets very different. Not to say that it’ll automatically be great for everyone, chances are only a very select few games that the PA guys deem worthy will end up on greenhouse. Maybe the altruistic thing is just a front and they’ll hog the revenues as much as any other publisher, or maybe I’m being overly optimistic about the impact it might have. One more distribution channel is better than no more distribution channel, though, and as they put it my default policy is “cautious optimism”.

Posted on Apr 03/08 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture, General game development | No Comments »