For a lot of PC gaming’s history, modders have played an instrumental role, collectively building the foundations for many of its cathedrals, such as Counter-Strike, PUBG and League of Legends, as well as the details, from hats to resolution fixes. Modding was the throbbing engine that gave PC gaming its vibrant and dynamic soul. But something’s changed. Modding isn’t the only way hobbyist game makers can express their ideas any more. Cheap and free game engines make it much more straightforward to build games from scratch, and the likes of itch.io and Steam give new developers a place to sell them. What’s more, big modern games are so much more complex and harder to mod than ever before, and they’re usually given constant updates, including new features which would once have been the province of mods.And yet at the same time, today modders have greater support than ever. With the rise of Patreon and programmes that give official commercial support … [Read more...] about The precarious business of living off modding
Real time business intelligence
Netflix has always done well out of being perceived as the cheeky young upstart, the brave disruptor of a stale status quo. A service that lives or dies by how well it can drive and maintain subscriptions, Netflix has a long history of delivering cool, unexpected events designed to prove just how dynamic, fresh, exciting, and in-tune with the modern media enthusiast it really is, compared to the slow, unswerving old-guard. There was the early championing of much-loved, but decidedly dead, culty shows, whose audiences had long felt neglected by their original owners. The resurrection of Arrested Development made Netflix an instant hero, regardless of the eventual quality of season 4. As did the service's at-the-time unprecedented move of securing day-and-date, ‘live’ broadcast of the final season of Breaking Bad for long-deprived, spoiler-fearing UK audiences, in step with the show’s US airdates. And then there were the many, many revivals of nostalgia … [Read more...] about Cloverfield, Annihilation, and Mute: Do Netflix’s big name movies make it a real Hollywood rival, or is it all just expensive smoke and mirrors?
The recently crowdfunded Night in the Woods brings together the programming talents of Alec Holowka (Aquaria) and the artistic stylings of animator Scott Benson (Late Night Work Club). Gamasutra contributing editor Kris Ligman engages the duo on the game's visual style, contemporary tone, and striking the right note with an audience. Gamasutra: Were you surprised the Kickstarter was so successful? Alec Holowka: Admittedly I do have a bit of a fanbase from when I did Aquaria , which won at IGF, and other projects I've been involved in like TowerFall . Scott also has a fanbase from Late Night Work Club and other projects. But that was only part of it. There's definitely something about the project itself that caught people. Scott Benson: Part of it was definitely that both Alec and I have a track record. And we have a community around us which supports us and which we support as well, when they do projects. So it was not just fans, but people we connected with on some level, and … [Read more...] about Q&A: How Night in the Woods taps into a real sense of community
Nintendo’s E3 2014 Digital Event had several excellent qualities. Coherence, alas, was not one of them. The show started as strongly as any big Nintendo event has in years, with a Robot Chicken-animated Reggie Fils-Aime smartly addressing the internet’s anti-Nintendo cynicism with self-aware wit and fireballs. From that point on, we got an unbroken cavalcade of in-jokes and lunatic spectacle, each and every scene--from Bowser and Peach’s awkward back-stage doughnut altercation, to live-action Reggie’s pyrotechnic showdown with company President Satoru Iwata--precisely pitched as both a big hug to Nintendo’s core fanbase, and a self-effacing disarm to everyone else. As overtly goofy as the show’s early execution was, the underlying intent was calculated with immense intelligence and insight. Packed with references to all the right bits of Ninty heritage and fandom, right up to a sly, unspoken nod to Mario Kart 8’s recent Luigi death-stare, … [Read more...] about Why Nintendo’s REAL problem might be an internal rift
This week, we’re running a big list of what we — and a group of trusted friends — recently voted as the 500 best video games of all time. For the backstory, criteria, explanation of why Breath of the Wild isn’t on the list, etc., head to the beginning here: The 500 best games of all time. For numbers 400-301, scroll down. 400. Mirror's Edge (2008, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, others) Keep moving. That's the main objective of Mirror's Edge. Releasing alongside dozens of first-person shooters, Mirror's Edge stood for daring to be different. Putting an emphasis on using first-person parkour to outsmart enemies, rather than just shooting through them, Mirror's Edge was a flawed beauty stuck in the memory of those who just kept running through its clean, white city. 399. Braid (2008, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, others) In many ways, the modern indie explosion started with Braid. Unlike anything people had seen at the time, Braid and its time-bending puzzles … [Read more...] about The 500 best games of all time: 400-301