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Seven Basic Tools

When I was a kid, I used to watch MacGyver all the time. In a very real way, he was my hero - a guy who could make anything from anything and who did so for the betterment (and wonderment) of everyone. As a kid, I really wanted to be that guy. I mean, I didn't want to be an obviously Canadian would-be spy, but I wanted to be a builder - a guy who could make what was needed when it was needed using only the razor sharp talent of his mind. Read more»

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Keith Vaz Moves in Parliament for UK Ban on Rape Game

Keith Vaz Moves in Parliament for UK Ban on Rape Game -

Making good on a vow to bring up Japanese PC title RapeLay in Parliament, British Labour MP Keith Vaz has issued a call for the game to be banned in the U.K., reports the Evening Standard:

Mr Vaz, who campaigns against violent computer games, called on the Government to ban [RapeLay] from sale to UK players over the internet.

In a Commons motion, he said he was "appalled that a video game that simulates rape has been readily available for sale on the internet".

He welcomed the decision by Amazon to withdraw the game.

As GamePolitics reported earlier this month, Vaz was one the first to speak out against RapeLay.

[Game Politics]

The moral of the story being, apparently, that one should never attempt to resell one's pornography on Amazon's market. Look folks, it's not like this "game" is being put on shelves at Walmart or something -- it was, literally, one dude trying to sell a game he'd clearly imported directly from Japan. Why manufacture a crisis here? One guy has poor taste and there's a nation out there that made a video game that satisfies that taste. Is this less true in books? Or movies? Or plays? Seems to me we've had examples of the sort of thing this game covers in every medium but television and radio, so I don't get it -- what makes this one worse?

Seriously, what is the crisis here?

"Oh dear! There seems to be a tempest in my teapot!"

- Snipehunter Read more»

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So many glass ceilings you can't see the sky

I've been kind of bitchy lately. So much so that I really didn't want to post anything because I knew how negative it would sound, if I did. I'm not going to talk about why I'm bitchy, but instead I'm gonna talk about something that occurred to me, because of it:

There's a lot of general crankiness and other assorted poison in the industry, right now. It expresses itself as a sort of general ennui, as if there's nothing surprising out there anymore.

I'm not the only cranky game dev out there, right now. In fact, some folks proudly claim their cynicism on their own blogs; a shtick to attract readers. That makes me think that maybe their audience (gamers and other devs) are bitchy and cynical, too.

This industry, no scratch that, this scene has lost its soul. Read more»

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In the conservatory...

Printing press from 1811, photographed in Muni...

Image via Wikipedia

A thought occured to me recently that I figured I'd share realtively quickly: Efforts to conserve games for posterity will, by the very nature of the technology behind them, ignore MMOs. Read more»

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Of watches and chronometers...

Watch movement

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I love my job. I know it's something I say a lot which, considering that I can't talk a lot about what I do, might seem a little circumspect, but it's true -- I really do love my job. By trade, I'm a game designer. I design the systems, mechanics, lore, levels, enemies and worlds of the games I work on. This time around, however (much like my time on Auto Assault) my focus is primarily on content. I'm a lore master, at the coarsest end of the granularity scale, but that's not really what I do...

You see, all of that lore, all of those stories, they have to work for the game -- they have to enable or support the game play of the world I'm a part of making. Even little choices, like what each geographical area of a world will look like, is a game play choice -- the concerns of game play supersede any aesthetic concern one might have. In other words, I am not a writer or an artist. Nor am I just a "quest designer" or some sort of glorified implementer. No, the truth is, I'm actually more like a watch maker.

My tools range from the course -- the broad strokes of the words I use to weave a history to bring a world to the fictional point where our game play fits the context -- to the fine: To the tiny gears, springs and levers that make the smallest critter behave believable or the townsfolk of a world comment on their day as they go through it.

This all sounds like an ego trip, I'm sure, and I suppose in a way it is, but I'm mentioning all of this for a reason. Give me a chance to explain, and then you can tell me I'm vain. Smiling Read more»

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