Sunday, August 31, 2008
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Left 4 Dead To Be Cut Scene Free

Left 4 Dead is very much a zombie apocalypse game — you’ll find no deeper meaning here, no Romero-esque political message.

Earn Gold Unlock Fable 2 Items with Web Games

Fable 2’s pub games was the first cross-over Xbox Live title that let you earn something for a retail game by playing. Sure it was glitched, but they’re fixing it, and it’s a very neat idea.

Fable 2 Hours From Gold, Molyneux Awaits Gamer Reactions

Fable 2 is days, if not hours from going gold, Lionhead Studio’s Sam Van Tilburgh told me today.

Problems at PAX - Hundreds Turned Away From Fallout

The Fallout 3 demo was schedule to run in the Main Theatre at 2:30 -the exact same time as the Harmonix: The Rockening panel ended. The demo would also run over the Warhammer Online demo by a good half hour, ending at 3:30.

Halo Wars Playable, But Not Here

The only sign of real-time strategy title Halo Wars at PAX comes during Graeme Devine’s presentation of the game during the show.

Microsoft Hasn't Forgotten About Live Anywhere, iPhone Either

Just ran into Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb over at the Microsoft booth in the PAX exhibit hall. After a bit of chatting I brought up the crash-prone iPhone Live app.

Challenges Versus 'Learn By Death' Frustrations

A few people have written on the ‘softer, kinder’ ethic found in games these days — more and more games seem to be offering less challenging/frustrating mechanics so that players can actually complete them. I think a lot of this discussion does centre around different play styles — after a long day of banging my head against the walls of the Ivory Tower, I don’t want to come home to bang my head against the gaming wall — so I always read these essays with a critical eye. But regardless of what I (or anyone) personally like to play, it does seem like the era of extraordinarily frustrating games has passed, at least for AAA titles:

Bionic Commando Comparisons

Show of hands, how many of you got Bionic Commando: Rearmed and then went out and found the ROM for the original Bionic Commando and played it? Tooling around on the Bionic Commando blog I found a link to two videos Gametrailers put up last week, splicing gameplay from both titles and highlighting some things you might have missed.

The Protagonist, the Player, and the Game Designer

How do a game’s designer, player, and protagonist interact? Mike Rubin takes a look at how three parts of a gaming experience interact — especially in terms of interactive fiction games, where many designers plan for responses that don’t correlate with how the protagonist should act, but how players make them act. The fact that designers do figure out responses to problems that aren’t necessarily part of their ‘vision’ is a double edged sword:

A Taste of PAX Bit Boxing

A pretty huge crowd formed around this trio of chip musicians ensconced in front of the doors to the Washington State Convention Centre. I would have taken a longer video, but Dancing Man wouldn’t get out of my shot.

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