As it turns out, I’m only about an hour down the road from Cipher Prime Studios. They’re the studios responsible for such inventive music-based puzzle games as Auditorium. I was fortunate enough this week to get a demo of their brand new game, Splice, which was released today on Steam. My impressions after the jump!
We don’t usually cover games industry news at Tap-Repeatedly, because most visitors likely visit other sites to get that stuff. So I’m guessing most of you know about former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and his newly-failed game developer 38 Studios, which collapsed in May in one of the most spectacularly your-leadership-deserved-it-and-I-still-haven’t-heard-that-leadership-say-boo-about-what-it-did-to-its-people implosions since Hellgate London’s Flagship Studios folded. Thus I give you my commentary on that, in the form of this month’s Culture Clash column for the International Game Developers Association.
I say some pretty nasty things about people in this one. I’m at my best when I’m being nasty so hopefully you’ll enjoy it, and ponder in silence how gently you should all treat me, lest I say nasty things about you!
I know I’m writing you out of the blue. I just saw you were going through some shit right now, and, I just wanted to send you a note.
Gamers are good at making design choices seem like the end of the world. Very rarely is it, really. Though in one instance over these last six months, one game has brought to the market (though not the video game market) a design choice that is the end of a world as we know it. Over and over again.
I speak, of course, about Risk Legacy, the latest in a long string of Risk variants that Hasbro’s put out over the years. Most of these variants have been licensing affairs with a different map and some special rules to fit the property: Lord of the Rings Risk, Halo Risk, and so on. Legacy is not. Legacy is a game in which every game played will have lasting effects on every future game played with that Legacy set. It’s a board game with some unmistakable borrowings from video games, where persistent progress is pretty normal, but also some really ambitious – some would even say audacious – features that mean that the game is going to change. Whether you like it or not.
Risk Legacy is controversial because it has consequences.
I have no news, previews, or other soundbytes for Tap today, since I’m not at That Noisy Convention. I am returning instead with a short contemplation about my weekend at Origins in Columbus. My first day at the convention turned out to be slightly unsavory (in retrospect). So here, I’ll concentrate only on the last day.
The wheels of justice continue to turn (sort of) this week, with the conclusion of two big wrangles that games industry watchers have been, ah, watching.
The biggest news is the settlement between goliath publisher Activision/Blizzard and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, both of whom were abruptly fired in March of 2010. West and Zampella sued, claiming A/B owed them monstrous royalties for Modern Warfare 2. Activision/Blizzard countersued, claiming that West and Zampella were stupid-heads, and the whole sordid affair dragged on for a while.
Hello all, we seem to be having some kind of problem with the system that tests to see if you’re human when you post to the forums and comments. Either many of you have recently stopped being human or the technology has failed us (maybe it’s jealous that it’s not human, I don’t know). In any case, legions of eager Tap-Repeatedly interns are burrowing through miles of code even now to find and eliminate the problem. If you continue to have issues, please PM Steerpike or send him an email. Thanks!
UPDATE: the problem may or may not be fixed. Please stay tuned.
The Log is late again. But can you really stay mad at a face like that?
I have too many delightful gaming memories to ever choose a favorite, but I can point at one and say it’s definitely among the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had. What I have in mind today is the weekend I spent with two of my closest friends, sprawled on a sofa, playing co-op Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 in splitscreen.
Understand, we had no idea how to play the game. We had no instructions and had never played online or in the campaign. GRAW2 is the most unforgiving kind of tactical shooter, and even simple moves like reloading took a while to figure out. But for some reason we stuck with it, and over the course of about 40 largely-straight hours, we completed the entire co-op campaign. We stopped to catch some sleep around 4:30 a.m. each day, and all my dreams were viewed through a sniper’s scope.
Whatever you thought about Batman: Arkham City, it’s pretty hard to deny that it’s a damn fine game with a damn fine world to live in. I mean, Gotham is not exactly a new thing, but there’s a Right Way to do Gotham and a Wrong Way, and developer Rocksteady’s pretty much been nothing but Right Way so far.
So I jumped on the new DLC pack Harley Quinn’s Revenge as quickly as I could. Unlike most of the game’s previous DLC, which consisted of challenge maps, alternate costumes, and new playable characters like Nightwing, Revenge is a chunk of proper gameplay, an all-new 2-hourish installment in the Arkham story. It’s an epilogue to Arkham City‘s kind of shocking and definitely controversial final moments. So I’m gonna say it now: spoilers for Arkham City inside.