Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About soupface

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    Dry elbow expert

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    Reading, Programming
  1. Arkane Studios bought by ZeniMax

    I dunno about the "boo." When ZeniMax bought id it was kinda strange, since they were once among the most successful and technically accomplished developers as well as independent. It did seem like backtracking, out of character, but it wasn't bad news. I don't think id had to give up much beyond some of the attitude that it earned (and has been carrying since) the mid-90's. Arkane has done some cool stuff, and I'm eager to see what Smith and Colantonio have been up to, but they've never been as big (in production or sales) or as independent (in attitude and notability) as id. I mean, Colantonio himself has said that "I don't think [independence] was in our DNA… It's not fun to be independent—really, this is called more a 'dependent developer,' if you ask me." So congratulations to Arkane. I wouldn't hold anything against them for becoming a part of ZeniMax. I hope this really is an opportunity for them to work on the deep and ambitious games they seem most interested in making.
  2. Julian Gollop's 3DS game

    I don't care to speculate and can't add much to this beyond saying, yeah, I'm eager to see what Gollop is talking about.
  3. Yeah, you're right. That's what I get for pausing the 'cast type a forum reply, instead of listening through to the end. This might be true, though we could think that, as the market for games (in general) grows, so will the market for single-player games. Single-player may no longer be the biggest kind of game, but I mean, more people—by far—have bought and played BioShock than Origin's System Shock. (Though we can argue about just how different they are in play and philosophy and depth and whatever, I'd like to think we can agree that they're similarly dense, rich, book-like single-player games.) So while single-player games don't make the most money, they're still making more money than they have before. There are also more people making games, and more ways of making and selling them, than ever before. Small companies may not ever be able to fund games with bleeding-edge graphics or hire Hollywood-level actors for VO, yeah, but they can still make high-quality games. Further, they're not nearly as inflexible as larger production houses and can't always compete with them in the same market (ie. AAA multiplatform games), and so are likelier to find success by creating new and exciting stuff and addressing smaller markets (ie. book-like single-player). Lastly, I don't think that dense, single-player games (thankfully, a vague enough category that I can say whatever I want about it) are nearly as specialized and inaccessible as flight sims, and so won't retreat from store shelves (or whatever) as quickly or completely. Thinking of it this way, single-player games don't seem so doomed. There are more people paying for and playing dense, single-player games now than ever, and it's likely that single-player games will attract, admittedly, smaller but more flexible and creative developers in the future. Take, for example, point-and-click adventure games: they blossomed for a time (the LucasArts Golden Age: Loom through Grim Fandango), went away for a while, but as the technology became more accessible to players and creators (and consequently more people started playing games and more people made games), they've become viable once more. Sure, they're no longer AAA-level flagship titles, and they've changed somewhat (eg. King's Quest to Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People), but they're back, and look, sound, and play well.
  4. Man, when Steve said "I tend to play games more like the way you read a book," it made me realize that That's how I enjoy games most: careful, individual, cover-to-cover playthroughs, Book-like reading is changing because technology isn't as isolated and isolating as it was, say, fifteen years ago, Reading books, to carry on the analogy, is something that is not nearly as accessible nor as popular as watching a film or hanging out with friends, two analogies to gaming that are, given recent games, more apt. I mean, people read more books before other forms of entertainment or intellectual activity—cheap printed magazines and etc., radio, television—were available. Likewise, the proportion of intense single-player book-style games made and played was greater before wide-spread internet access, Facebook, etc. The reason the kinds of games being made nowadays are less book-like is the same reason early computer games had a lot of nerdy themes (eg. Star Trek and D&D) but have now expanded (eg. Diner Dash and Viva Piñata): as the technology became easier to access by non-nerds, so did the sorts of games change. As technology and accessibility change, so does the content. Which doesn't mean that those kinds of games will go away. As Chris and Jake suggest, it's not like books disappeared once People magazine started selling or Gilligan's Island premiered. So while there'll be some "degree of change" (eg. novels becoming more and more focused on small niches or flight sims and old-school Japanese design sensibilities falling off), it's not like dense single-player games will disappear completely. (This seems especially likely if all this long-tail theorizing holds true.) But it is like reading books: it'll fall off because the alternatives of TV and movies, Facebook and casual games, are easier to get into and more popular. You can still go out and find heavy, single-player games (eg. BioShock, Dragon Age) as you can find books (eg. Pynchon's Against the Day). It's just that more people would rather watch American Idol while playing FarmVille on their laptop. Edit: Added examples, made it even longer and less likely to be read.
  5. Bit.Trip series

    The Bit.Trip games are excellent and, really, one of the few games that makes me get any use out of my Wii. They're stylish, they're challenging, and they're relatively cheap. Runner looks to be a bit different from the previous games. It's eschewed the pretty abstraction of the first two for the metaphor of a running dude. It's something along the lines of . I'm curious to feel how it plays.
  6. Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

    Alright. Thanks for the help.
  7. Dragon Rising is on sale on Steam and am wondering whether it's worth the time. Anyone played it?
  8. Red Dead Redemption

    Red Dead Redemption looks to be good, though full of that Rockstar 'tude stuff. One facial scar? Okay, fine. Three? Dudes, okay. He's rough-and-tough. I get it. I'm eager to see the game itself. As far as setting, tone, audio/visual production, it all looks good—but so did Gun.
  9. I've enjoyed all your previous 'casts, but forty-five is particularly good, solid. Its ratio of criticism to humour is nice, the topics fresh (enough) and interesting (and the opinions expressed—of The Shivah, BioWare's "new shit," &c.—very much like my own). Well done; thanks for sharing.
  10. I agree with ya, toblix. I makes sense to have these things in the episode threads, even if they come in later posts instead of the ones that start the threads. Just because Idle Thumbs is good and free doesn't mean I can't find fault with it! Ship up or, uh, forums… shame on, uh—won't trick me again!
  11. Uh, I can't find photos of The Amusing Educational Telequiz in the ep. 34 update. They may be missing, I may be blind and lazy.
  12. I agree with n0wak and JamesM about Tetris DS, though I still play a lot of it. It tricked me into thinking I'm pretty good at Tetris generally, until I was ravaged by NES Tetris (in public, no less). (Must I be beaten down by every damn game I enjoyed as a kid?) I liked hearing what you guys (Remo, Rodkin, Breckon) had to say about adventure games and role-playing games. It reminded me of what John Harris said about Quest for Glory, of the differences between designing worlds (Origin) and experiences (LucasArts).
  13. Zeno Clash

    I really liked Zeno Clash (wrote about it too), but it wasn't all that different on my second play through. The Challenge (Battle Tower) mode isn't all that either—but, yeah, the game looks and feels great.