Speaking of big happenings in crowdsourcing, Schell Games’s Puzzle Clubhouse, an ambitious experiment in, well, most every way, really, has launched its first game. You should go play it. (Yes, those links go to the same place.)
We’re fans of the Steam platform here on Tap. Yesterday saw the launch of its new system for submitting and discovering indie games: Greenlight. Being a fan of both indies, and of Steam itself, I figured I’d check it out. Here, generally, is how it works: developers submit a game to Greenlight, including sample screenshots, promo videos, and whatever else they have handy. Then the community votes on which games they’d like to see end up on Steam.
So far, great idea, but there are a few problems that I can see…
So I’m one half of a fledgling podcasting team (the other half being Kristine Chester of Fanboy Comics) that makes up the Worlds That Never Were Podcast, and we talk about cool stuff and engage topics in games, comics, and movies. We’re both former English majors, so, you know. Sometimes we get rhetorical.
In our latest episode, we were super pleased to welcome Tap’s own Steerpike on for a chat about some games that everyone should play. Take a listen!
Yes, Fall of Cybertron is a licensed third-person action game, but it is an example of what such titles should be. This is a game that knows its subject matter but doesn’t let that restrict it: a game that keeps even its most ambitious promises and delivers an extremely satisfying experience, whether or not you have any particular affection for its IP. When you get down to it, that’s more than can be said for most games out there.
Captain’s Log, Supplemental
My mission to revisit the history of Star Trek games continues. With the first two decades of games dealt with (and a little more than that for console gaming), I set course for the last years of the 20th century, a time controlled by MicroProse and Interplay, but in the looming shadow of Activision. Can I allow myself to hope to find a great Trek game in that long-gone era?
Last week I posted about a crowdfunding project. This week, I’m posting about another. And let me tell you, it is completely – completely – different.
The headline says it all. For a small investment, you can help German director Uwe Boll make another Dungeon Siege movie. The official title of the film, should it get off the ground, will be The Last Job: In the Name of the King 3.
I know that it will come as a shock to regular Tappers that I’m kind of a huge Star Trek fan. Understandably, then, I’ve been keeping a wary eye on the upcoming Digital Extremes-developed Star Trek, which got a new trailer earlier this week and bridges the gap (or at least part of the gap) between 2009’s Star Trek reboot and next year’s sequel.
There have been Star Trek video games since basically as long as there were video games, but that legacy is checkered at best. Trek is notorious for having its name on bad games, and unlike some other shaky franchises, like Star Wars, there aren’t that many really outstanding ones to offset the disasters.
Revisiting this sordid history is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it (obviously). Set phasers to…ugh, nevermind, I can’t muster a phaser setting joke.
I don’t really play Halo. I mean, I have played Halo. We have the Halo 3 commemorative Xbox 360. So you could say that I enjoy Halo. But I don’t actively play Halo. I am not what you would call a “Halo person.”
But a friend – a member of my current D&D group – started passing around Fails of the Weak to us one day, and… I got pretty hooked.
Sometimes here on Tap we occasionally link to Kickstarter or other crowdfunding projects. We don’t always cover them all (I haven’t even covered the ones I’ve funded!) because there’s so many, but today I am linking to one in particular. Why? Because I tried the demo on iPad at GDC, it’s clever, it’s clay, and I’d like to see it happen!
Now here’s a funny thing: this article has absolutely nothing to do with what I’d originally planned. But this is a situation where the story changes in telling, rather than an editor telling you to change the story. In a nutshell, this month’s Culture Clash column for the International Game Developers Association was meant to talk about the portrayal of sexual violence in literary media, using the two movies I mention below as a basis.
But the piece just wasn’t working. I have strong opinions on the subject but despite knowing a great many words, my strong opinions weren’t coming out the way I wanted them to. So I took a walk, and as so often happens, a completely different concept with the same building blocks popped into my head. That’s what you see here. I hope it’s more than just another article about the debate over “fun,” or at least another way of framing it, but I leave that to your judgment. Enjoy!