Tag: Game Industry

Cyberpunked

 

How does a game publisher lose over a billion dollars of value in a week? How does one of the industry’s most popular companies become its whipping boy overnight? Why might a product receive rave reviews at launch and disastrously critical reviews only a few days later? And what does it suggest about the industry at large?

Even to someone very familiar with the video games industry, the past week has been surprising and mystifying, but let me try to untangle the mystery based on public knowledge so far.

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From PC Gamer:  According to SuperData, there’s now a bigger audience for gaming video than the combined audiences of HBO, Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu. For reference, Netflix’s subscriber count is somewhere near 100 million, while Hulu maintains about 12 million. For better or for worse, PewDiePie alone has over 54 million YouTube subscribers. [….] Preview […]

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I haven’t been following development of Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Sensua’s Sacrifice for PC and PS4. But this developer diary (common in game marketing) offers a brief and interesting glimpse into how various elements of a triple-A video game are produced. You can see how a combination of game engines and film making techniques have facilitated […]

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Hey, fellow Catholics! How about some good news for a change?  Pope Francis has said and done a lot of things lately that have us tying ourselves in knots to explain. But this one I’m pretty sure His Holiness got exactly right. Father Robert Barron, founder of the best-selling theology series Word on Fire, has […]

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We have discussed sandbox learning. We have discussed the use of scripted narratives in video games. Now, I will describe the process of emergent storytelling — or, perhaps more accurately, story-finding.  This last design strategy attempts to mix the centrality of a player’s own decisions and creativity in sandbox games with the dramatic focus and […]

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What Video Games Can Teach Us About Narrative

 

Earlier this week, I addressed the potential for popular fiction to be compelling without being exclusively fun. Yesterday, I introduced the sandbox model of games, which offers opportunities for learning without direct instruction. Today, I will discuss instruction and persuasion through traditional storytelling and its translation into interactive environments.

The potential of traditional storytelling to offer insights or arguments doesn’t need to be explained. We are all familiar with the occasional power of novels and movies to make us consider, reflect, imagine, or feel. But it’s worth noting that not all linear fiction is focused on plot. Some stories are driven by events. Others are driven by characters. Even static settings can be major themes by themselves, which is why so many fans of The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, or the Aubrey-Maturin series dig into lore and history in addition to enjoying those narratives. Sometimes, we are challenged to unravel puzzles and to anticipate the next plot twist. Other times, we passively enjoy witnessing the interplay between a group of delightful companions, without any expectation of final resolution.

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Eric Wallace of podcasting fame directed my attention to an article by Ian Bogost over at The Atlantic. I seem to remember reading Bogost’s articles before or debating design issues with him on Star Wars: Galaxies developer Raph Koster’s blog.  Skipping past all the liberal victim mongering, the focus of Bogost’s essay is how to […]

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Are you a modeler, programmer, or photographer near New York City? I don’t know enough about this project or its managers to recommend it. But let’s just say this is a darn cool idea.  Project OpenHattan is an initiative with a specific goal to create an accurate and complete virtual Manhattan. [….] We want to recreate every building, street, sidewalk and park as an exact top-quality textured 3D model. All of it made specifically to be used […]

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This article by Gita Jackson is the most interesting editorial concerning video game design that I have read in a long time.  [….] Firstly, 60 frames per second is the acceptable industry standard for games, regardless of whether or not this is achievable on a consistent basis for most PCs and consoles. Secondly, and more important […]

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