There is no such thing as “the game industry.” I see a lot of people talking about how “the game industry” has done this or that. People writing screeds about “the game industry” making X billions of dollars, while failing to pay its voice actors enough. Or how “The game industry” is getting high off microtransactions. Anyone who uses neither voice actors nor microtransactions will immediately understand my frustration. Put simply, there’s not one single “game industry.” There’s not even a single governing body that can represent all of us. It feels as though there are at least two “game industries,” nowadays. There's the triple-A world of big budgets, big releases, and large studios, and then there's, well, everybody else. Indies, outsourcing studios, smaller and mid-sized developers, hobbyists. They don't play by the same rules as the big studios, because their circumstances are very different. … [Read more...] about Why there’s no such thing as ‘the game industry’
Five s industrial
“What’s a slut if not someone who’s a nerd about sex?”Ladykiller in a Bind I’ve long tried to answer, in broad and abstract terms, a rather pressing question: “how do you fuck in games?” At last, I have a concrete example to point to, one that is a masterclass of writing and design. Christine Love has shown her skill with erotic language in past games--steamy letters and log entries in Analogue: A Hate Story and Hate Plus are evidence enough of this--but sex was more incidental to the larger stories there. In her latest game, Ladykiller in a Bind, whose full title helpfully serves as the game’s comical premise, sex is front and center, particularly the much-derided but little understood sexually subculture of BDSM. Central to the game’s advertising has been an iconic image of the protagonist--named The Beast, by default--nakedly in the thrall and ropework of the elegantly dressed Beauty. Their relationship, while optional in … [Read more...] about I’d Ship It: Ladykiller in a Bind ‘s use of BDSM
Reinstall Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting PC gaming days gone by. Today Chris kicks an Orc into a thing, then kicks an Orc off a thing, and so on, in Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. As you amble around Fez’s opening village, with its blue skies, gently swaying pixel grass and fluttering butterflies, it’s hard to believe the creation of this place involved so much stress and turmoil. Severe delays, loss of funding, legal disputes, multiple redesigns and other problems plagued the game’s development—as shown in the fantastic 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie. But you don’t feel any of that when you play it. The atmosphere is serene, the pace is gentle, and it’s just a nice place to exist in. Fez released on Xbox 360 in 2012 amid a lot of noise about its troubled development, the divisive opinions of outspoken designer Phil Fish, and whether it lived up to the hype or not. So it’s nice to return to Fez now the … [Read more...] about Five years on, Fez is a stunning puzzle platformer with one of the best soundtracks in games
Four days from today, Nintendo's latest console will go on sale. A little over four years since the launch of Wii U, a little over four months since Nintendo announced Switch, and to many, the system seems like a breath of fresh air — a game console Transformer full of potential with a steady stream of software to back it up. To some, though, the system seems incomplete. From early reports of controllers that don't properly sync to a limited launch lineup, a lack of non-game apps like Netflix, a missing Virtual Console library and lingering questions about the online service, there's a simplicity to Switch's launch that recalls the '90s — Zelda is Mario 64, and if you don't want that or a few other games, you might not need the system right away. In time, Nintendo will address those issues. Yet more than most consoles, Switch remains a bit of a mystery at launch. Are motion controls going to be a big part of it? What type of player will Switch developers cater to? And will … [Read more...] about What the game industry thinks of Nintendo’s Switch
The game industry of 2022 is big, messy and hard to find. Those who define it might be children. They could be solo developers on just enough funding to scrimp by for the next project. They could be retirees, artists or marginalized children in a war-torn country. They may create works of genius that go undiscovered until long after their death. Following up on Polygon’s recent fifth anniversary, we decided to ask a range of experts in the game industry the same question: What will things look like five years from now? While some cited practical predictions, like the rise of virtual reality, most centered around the structures that enable games to be made in the first place. And while many people see things improving, several also sounded warning bells about what the industry may be like and who may be in charge of it. The future isn’t necessarily what you think While many developers imagine a future where the game industry is overrun with new and exciting technology, many … [Read more...] about What will the game industry look like in five years?