Gus Mastrapa remembers the older guys who helped him make the right mistakes growing up.
There’s no conversation more boring than the one that hashes out what’s wrong with massively multiplayer online games. Everybody has an opinion, based mostly on having played one or two or a shit-ton. I tend to take these game design critiques with a dump truck of salt. Gamers only know what they want. And often that desire is what makes the game fun. Designers, on the other hand, I am terribly interested in how they think they can save the MMO. Back in 2007, I went to a conference for independent MMO designers. I was somewhat amazed to meet a
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After a somewhat misspent youth experimenting with drugs, my biggest disappointment was that I didn’t see a pink elephant. Or blurry demon. Or a talking hot dog. The time I tried acid was mellow: I felt like I was in a sound bubble moving through the Florida night. And, truth be told, I was inside a pick up truck with Aphex Twin on the stereo. The best thing I can come up with was the time we were in an after-hours club by our house, high on ecstasy. It was well into the morning, so we kept our trip rolling
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have real things to worry about) you know that the venerable game maker Nintendo has been having trouble making money lately. Now, I’m not a financial analyst. And I’m not really an expert on the Japanese game development or hardware business either. In fact, I’m not even that huge of a Nintendo fan any more. I kinda don’t like those Super Mario Galaxy games. BUT! I did beat Super Mario Brothers 3 back in the day (and I have a column due) so I’m pretty sure that makes me qualified to opine
If I was a bat – like a real live, nocturnal, flying mammal who navigates the sky with the help of sonar – I’d have real problems with the way my species was portrayed in videogames. I mean, movies already give bats a bad name. You’d think all bats do is fly noisily out of caves, like a cloud of vermin sending the womenfolk into a tizzy. Never mind the vital ecological contributions of plant pollination and seed dispersal that bats do every day with nary a “thank you.”
I can’t quite remember when I started following Paul Alexander on Twitter - probably some time during the early development of République, the newly launched stealth game by Camouflaj, the independent studio formed by Metal Gear vet Ryan Payton. I probably pressed follow and forgot, but over the last year or so, I’ve found myself to be somewhat simpatico, for lack of a better word, with the young designer. So when Alexander queried me about an interview (wait, is that how it’s supposed to work?) I didn’t think twice. I knew he’d be somebody I enjoyed talking to about games, art and ambitions. I hope you enjoy reading our chat and are inspired to
Last week, the Los Angeles Times informed me that I am weird. This, I already knew, but it is nice to see the confirmation in print. It turns out that only 1% of married couples with children of a certain age include a stay-at-home dad. Since this March (more or less), I have been one of that particular one percent. I wrote a little bit about what it’s like to be my particular flavor of new parent before. It involved much moaning and wailing about finding time to play videogames. I can report that a couple of months on, things