Thursday, March 6, 2014

Conversation on Conversation, a Love Letter

I play games for a lot of reasons but one of the main things that really gets me about videogames is the conversations. Not the ones in games, although I have an appreciation for those too, but the ones that people have about videogames. Videogames get to be new and novel in a way that some other mediums can't anymore because of how well distributed and appreciated they are. This isn't to knock film, literature, or theater, all things that I love, but instead I mean to say that they've been around so long the don't always have the "newness" that videogames can have.

A few weeks ago I was sitting on the subway and I overheard a conversation that made me smile. A group of middle-aged people all looking in at one iPhone while their friend played Threes. It's not entirely accurate to call it a "childlike fascination" but it was a smile inducing conversation that was full of joy. They wanted to know so much about the game, which I think their friend had only recently acquired, they wanted to get the game and then talk about the game.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Reboots need to do more than surface level assessment


The new Thief game isn't particularly fantastic. In fact, it seems to have a learned very little from it's predecessors other than "thieves steal things" and "supernatural stuff happens". I can see how that might be useful in a sales pitch but when making game, it's pretty important to learn the right lessons from your processors and competitors.

I'm a big defender of IPs, I was a huge fan of Command and Conquer back in the day and I know what can happen when someone buys up an IP and then wrecks it. But an IP, canon, or series cannot stay the same forever. New processors, controllers, sensibilities, and technological advances force games to get better, innovate, or die. So what even are the right lessons to look for?