Busy working on midterms still. I finished my Daniel Petric newgame Unreal mod today, which was absolute hell because everybody has a tutorial for Unreal Ed 3 now instead of 2k4 (all we had at the lab). Starting on my Semantic 360 Achievements widget for Leopard tonight; that’s due on Monday, so I hope I find some way to access Microsoft’s databases while logged into my Live account… instead of having to fake the database in mySQL. Also, I’m going to crack open Processing to do a text-adventure prototype to compliment my article on Fable II and urban dynamics. In other news, Googling “simon ferrari” now lists my blog before mentioning any of my esteemed name-brothers the Simon Ferraris of Italy, New Zealand, and Bournemouth
Here’s a comment I wrote on Brainy Gamer, the only game writing I get to do today:
“About Half Life 2: the great thing about this game’s cutscenes is that they are ludically-motivated. You have to sit and watch the action, because Gordon can’t move (locked in the teleporter, pinned by a Hunter, etc). This is not “minimally important;” usually we get cutscenes before boss fights and in between stages, or just because a level was boring and needed some spice. Cutscenes aren’t going to go away, no matter how many awesome papers Jesper Juul writes… so we might as well recognize and develop the good ones.
I’d also like to suggest that the common feeling among us experienced gamer theorists that retro games were better because they presented a pure ludic experience is nothing but nostalgia and short-sightedness. The retro framework is great because hardware limitations lead to particular innovations. We see this in film history, for instance, in the Impressionist, Expressionist, and Soviet Montage films; however, this doesn’t mean that this is the only innovation possible.
Artificially constraining computing power to distill the essence of games-that-compute is not the answer. At least, it’s not the only one.”