Articles of Interest

Fun presentation about innovation and games. A part of it reminded me of my favorite PC game, Planescape Torment, which came about when the designer, Chris Avellone, asked himself what typical RPG conventions could be turned on their head? (I.e. if the meta-goal of an RPG is generally “don’t die,” what about making a game in which your ultimate goal is suicide?)

Via Soren, one of the geekiest (and best) political comics that I have ever laid eyes on! :-)

Henry interviewed Ethan and I about Changing the Game (see parts 1 & 2). Normally I don’t post links to my interviews here, but this one is really worth checking out. Henry has a knack for asking very thoughtful questions.

Yet another story about the creation of Portal. I like this one because it highlights a factor that, it’s clear, really contributed to making Portal what it was… serious resource constraints! The environment, GlaDOS… all a function of insufficient time and manpower needed to blow the game out “more fully.” Constraints can be good.

MIT CMS is putting on its 3rd annual Futures of Entertainment Conference this Friday, 11/21 and Saturday 11/22. Speakers include Kim Moses, exec producer of The Ghost Whisperer; Alex McDowell, production designer for Watchmen; Gregg Hale, producer of The Blair Wtich Project; Yochai Benkler, author of The Wealth of Networks; Anita Elberse, HBS professor and author of “Should You Invest in the Long Tail?” and many more. If you’re in Boston or can make the trip there, it’s totally worth it.

Tectoy has announced the Zeebo, a gaming console that will launch in Brazil in the second half of 2009. It will connect, for free, to a 3G network via which all content is downloaded and purchased. It will sell for the equivalent of US$258, which sounds completely insane until you realize that the Wii apparently sells for over US$500 in Brazil thanks to import taxes and whatnot.

Soren writes a thoughtful post about used (retail) and new (digital) game sales. Unfortunately, as he briefly mentions, the problem no publisher has solved is how to drop price on digital games without damaging retail relationships. Tough one, that.

A rather original and interesting looking XNA game. Watch the video to the end; it’s a bit slow in places, but worth it.

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