Oct 142011

Carmack makes the trollface: In response to the debacle that was Rage‘s PC release, John Carmack explained how “driver issues beyond id’s control” were to blame. Specifically, id had been using its own private drivers, highly modified in ways that broke other games, to develop Rage. It seems to me that if your development process relies on self-modded drivers that are unsafe for other programs, then the fault for these drivers not being widely installed is entirely yours. Carmack then went on to say that the PC is no longer the major platform for games, in order to enrage his disaffected PC audience even further. Kudos to Gamasutra commenter Bart Stewart for quickly digging up this Eurogamer article where id’s Tom Willits talked about how PC’s are so, so awesome back before id totally screwed up the launch of their biggest game in years. Well, whatever, massively botching a PC launch is the ZeniMax way, after all.

Do not read science articles on The Escapist: This article on the “Kraken” presentation at GSA is at least only stupid in the same way that major news outlets are (read Brian Switek’s “kraken” report at Wired Science instead). This goddamn article on the “yeti” broke the camel’s back and I stopped reading the feed. You’d be better off with “science” reporting from the Weekly World News. Games journalists, please stick to being bad at reporting news about games. You don’t need to be terrible at reporting other kinds of news to prove your incompetence.

Consider the panic button pressed: After all that hullabaloo, Netflix decided not to spin off their DVD-by-mail business into some other company with a horrible name. This is corporate flailing in its purest form, in which one bad (if necessary) decision cascades into a series of even worse decisions until the entire managerial team looks like a bunch of gibbering idiots.

I read these posts and so should you:

This interview about the creative intent of Rage by Brandon Sheffield. I actually read this when it first came out, but Bill Abner made an interesting point about the comments, so I link it now. Games journalists, this is what you should be doing. Sheffield stays polite, but the way the id representatives fail to rise to even this modest challenge is incredibly revealing.

“Unraveling Yarns” continues to justify the existence of Joystick Division. This week, Rich Shivener has a fascinating essay comparing Another World to silent film.

Justin Keverne makes an interesting point about the shifting nature of games that integrate their multi-player and single-player aspects. How will the difficulty and experience of the Souls games, for instance, change when their servers are inevitably deactivated?

Justin also continues his in-depth examination of the design in Thief II‘s “Life of the Party” level.

Jonathan McCalmont productively compares Adam Jensen to Uncle Tom.

Now Playing:

Dark Souls – Got through the upper level of Undead Burg and only died about 10 times. Then climbed up into the Undead Parish and instantly got gored to death by a giant boar. Aaah, that’s the feeling.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep – Because you can’t really pause Dark Souls I’ve been playing this during sporting events that don’t require my full attention, like the second half of Alabama football games. It’s a good game to play while there’s something on TV, because loading screens are frequent and very long-lived. This is just one of the many ways in which this game is not very good. Given how lackluster the handheld offerings have been, I’m beginning to dread Kingdom Hearts III.

Sideway: New York – Preliminary analysis is “meh”.

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