Normally when mainstream media covers anything even remotely involving games, the coverage is laughably bad. The Wall Street Journal’s review of Borderlands 2 was so bad, and by bad I mean either out of touch or just plain inaccurate, that instead of just laughing at it or perhaps even face palming, those who read it were actually mad at those involved in its creation. That’s why I was surprised when I sat down and read The New York Times’ article about the creation and unfortunate collapse of Curt Schilling’s now infamous 38 Studios. So far it’s the best and most complete piece of coverage I’ve read concerning the studio’s collapse, which isn’t a surprise as TNYT is, in my opinion, a much better publication than TWSJ, at least when it comes to stuff like this. Obviously each writer and publication differs, but maybe instead of just naively judging reviews and coverage based on where it comes from it would be better to pass judgment on a case by case basis. My days of making fun of mainstream video game journalism are most likely over… possibly.
I’m not even sure if the full story of Studio 38’s collapse could have been reported on in such detail by many game journalists as it involves knowledge of politics and economics almost more than it does knowledge of games. The gist is simple; Rhode Island was wooed by the big time sports star as he promised to create, not just a game, but a technology Mecca for Rhode Island with a focus on making games. In hindsight this was rather foolish, but as the article says “Ideas that seem plausible in our darkest moments often seem plainly flawed in hindsight.” Rhode Island was in dire straits, choosing to gamble on an insane bet which didn’t payoff. It’s a great read albeit a long one, but I recommend it for anyone interested in understanding exactly how the studio’s collapse almost became a collapse for the entire state.
Anyone who has played games in the last, say, forever knows that really good quality water effects are hard to come by. Normally and with few exceptions it’s just some mesh that responds in no way like real water when touched, but perhaps that all about to change. The video above is an example of what the people over at Physx spend their time doing; making things in game look and behave as they do in the real world. It’s still not ready to be thrown into games just yet as they do admit it is “computational[ly] expensive,” but the first step in any important technology is to get it working then make it efficient. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see things like this begin appearing in games.
A brain transplant in 13 seconds you say? It sounds like someone is linking another Surgeon Simulator 2013 video. It wouldn’t be that impressive if the game wasn’t so difficult, I mean I can barely get the hand to move correctly. These are slowly becoming my favorite time trials, more so than any racing game as they are equal parts difficult and ridiculous. I’m really looking forward to seeing what other kinds of operations these guys can cook-up.
Speaking of racing games, if more of them were like the video above I would probably be more psyched to play them. Ok well maybe this is a bit much, even for me, but still it’s great to see that people are still coming up for uses for a game released in 2010. I wish actual racing games had this type of customization, I mean Just Cause 2 isn’t a racing game and yet here’s the proof that it can be with a little imagination. I know I’ve said this before, but when will all developers realize that in-game customization means more longevity for a title?
Last and certainly not least is an update from the world of the next Xbox, which according to Major Nelson will be revealed on May 21st, roughly a month from now. I doubt very much that it can live up to the anticipation (I mean really what can these days), but I hope that it won’t be as much of a flop as the PS4 event. Perhaps they learned what to do and what not to do after Sony’s humdrum event, but what’s even more important is if they’re listening to what people are asking for. Will used games be available? What about online services and pricing? They have a long way to go to impress me, but at least in a month we can all stop the speculation. Check out Vincent’s post about it here.