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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Talkback Challenge #3: What Made You A Gamer? #NBI2015

I like this question because it offers an opportunity to dig back into my personal history and try to figure out where my first exposures to gaming came from. Perhaps unsurprisingly my first exposure to gaming came from family. The first video game I can remember playing was Joust with my cousin on his NES. I want to say that it was at that moment that my love for gaming crystallized, but truthfully I was so young that my memory of it is foggy. The next memory I can conjure up was getting bootleg copies of Warcraft 2 and Doom from my father's co-workers.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

[WoW] Botter tears fuel my LOLZ

A day or so ago Blizzard announced on Battle.net that it was issuing a huge wave of bans for the usage of bots. Unlike previous waves this one was accompanied by a lot more visible rumbling from the playerbase than I could recall from previous ban waves. Historically news about these waves has had an undertone that the majority of the banned were offshore gold-farmers rather than the "ordinary" player. This time the wave was accompanied by a myriad of reports of Mythic raiding guilds losing half their roster, streamers getting cut off during their stream, and known personalities finding their accounts banned for 6 months.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do I support unfinished games? TalkBack Challenge #2 #NBI2015

Early Access and Kickstarter – Do you support unfinished games?

I don't think it was intended but this question somewhat frames the issue on its own. I hate to use the favorite phrase of attorneys but I suppose that part of me is showing through, "It depends."

I am eager to support the developer of a game I am enjoying in its current state and the developer has big plans for (that they are reasonably likely to achieve). However, there's no way to know whether the latter is true, or whether I will enjoy said game going into its Kickstarter.

Monday, May 11, 2015

[Splatoon] Let things be different

Over the past few weeks Nintendo's newest IP Splatoon has been in the news because it's been hosting what are basically Open Betas. Splatoon is an FPS in which squid-people shoot ink at each other in team fortress-esque objective based team game. Now if having "Nintendo" and "FPS" in the same thought confuses you...well you're probably reacting the right way. That said Splatoon has all the hallmarks of a Nintendo game; a cute, cartoon aesthetic with minimal if any sexualization, approachable gameplay, a less-violent approach (ink and squirt guns instead of bullets), and an overall goal of being friendlier, less toxic.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Elemint's Draenor Safari #NBI2015Safari

Inspired by Murf's NBI screenshot safari challenge (and completely ignoring the rules thereof 'cause I ain't part of your system! Disqualify thi-[CENSORED]) I ended up packing up my Print Screen key and heading out into the wilds of Draenor. Aided by Aviana's Feather I went on a whirlwind safari in hopes of getting a few shots to capture the beauty of Blizzard's latest continent. As anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I am incredibly critical of Blizzard, but at the same time there's a certain nostalgic fondness for them in my heart, and if they are good at one thing it's making gorgeous landscapes. Keeping in mind that I am just a fan, not a photographer so please bear with my novice (read: terrible) skills. So without further ado, lets go on a trip.... (I think it goes without saying that these are for the Landscape theme)

Friday, April 24, 2015

What bad implementation looks like

If Valve has done one thing very well with it's Steam platform games, it was finding ways to bring players into the creative process and ride the coat-tails of their ingenuity into wealth. For a few years now Team Fortress 2 and DotA 2 players have been able to create items for those games, submit them to the workshop, and potentially get approval from Valve. If they got approval they could even get money every time another player purchased that item. For a game company it's basically printing money; you earn goodwill with your fans by letting them contribute and giving them a cut, and you get art assets for your game without having to hire as many artists. Plus the community will tell you which ones they want.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Data Mining and the death of surprise

A few years ago some enterprising players realized that they could glean information on upcoming MMO content by datamining the game. Posting this information on popular websites offered information-hungry players new insights into what the next patch had in store. Yet, at the same time every single MMO developer in the universe let loose a collective groan.