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  1.  (10587.1)
    I'm starting to notice that I get far more bang for the buck from downloadable indie games than from AAA-titles... Just today I spent 3-4 hours glued on to Elder Sign, then played a couple of hours of Prototype before getting a total "meh" attack (blah blah virus blah blah angst blah blah evil corporation) and returning to battling the Old Ones on my iPad. When I look at the Mood Pieces feature in the blog, all of the games are indie stuff, and not intentionally. The games I'm actually now expecting are Telltale's Walking Dead that starts in three days, and the new Xcom game. Bioshock: Infinite... yeah, I'll check it out. Then again, I almost quit the first Bioshock midway because the gameplay started feeling like such a narrow, repeating pipeline.

    I'm wondering how much this is just getting tired of FPS / over the shoulder third person. It's hard to think of a story-based AAA-level console game that's something other than that.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     (10587.2)
    @Vornaskotti - You think it's depressing playing them, try making them for a living :(
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     (10587.3)
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     (10587.4)
    So... I've gone quite mad on XBOX Live Arcade. Since last Thursday, I have downloaded:

    From Dust
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
    Alan Wake Special Episodes "The Signal" and "The Writer"
    Alan Wake's American Nightmare
    I Am Alive

    It took an effort of monumental willpower to not snag Limbo while I was at it, though I imagine that day will come, as well.

    I need professional help.
  2.  (10587.5)
    Anchorbeard:

    Hah, that's a pretty damn good line-up - if you add Limbo to that ;)

    Flabyo:

    An important caveat: I'm stating a personal preference, not some false nostalgia "games are getting worse waaaah" shiate. Every year we can say it again: the gamers have never had things this good, and every year it's again true.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     (10587.6)
    I'm having a grand old time with all of them, except for some fucking reason it keeps telling me the disc is scratched or dirty when I play the Alan Wake downloadables. Which is odd for two reasons. 1) the disc is not, in fact, scratched or dirty, and 2) THE DATA ISN'T EVEN ON THE DISC. I JUST DOWNLOADED IT!

    Weird.
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      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2012
     (10587.7)
    Telltale's Walking Dead game hits this week. The first episode is only five bucks and is, I understand, written by Kirkman himself.
  3.  (10587.8)
    Trials Evolution is what's eating my brain at the moment. I want to play Fez, but being able to drop in for a quick attempt at beating a time, earning a gold/platinum, or just laughing at the absurdity of the extreme tracks keeps pulling me away.

    I've been almost exclusively download/indie for the last year. It's not like I want to walk away from traditional $60 retail gaming, but it's not offering me what I want. I want new, creative, and clever, and I'm just not seeing that at retail very much. The next game I'm buying retail is Lollipop Chainsaw, and that's in June. I also quite want Akai Katana (May 16) but at the moment it looks like Amazon is the only place to find it. So from March to June, that's a total of 2 retail games I'd buy, and I'm only leaving February out because I don't remember if I got anything or not.

    Which isn't to say I'm not swamped with stuff to play. In just the last two weeks I've bought 4 day-1 games- Botanicula, Trials Evolution, Fez, Pinball Arcade. I've also thrown money at Kickstarter projects Valdis Story, The Dead Linger, FTL, Wasteland 2, Doublefine Adventure, and The Banner Saga.

    I quite like going to the store, chatting with the sales people about what's new, bringing home a physical copy of the game, taking off the shrink wrap, and popping it in the system for the first time. I just haven't been given much reason to do that lately.
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012
     (10587.9)
    As I heard a whisper in the wind that @Sleestak mentioned the SCP Foundation game under development I thouht I'd add that it's is well worth checking out. The whole site is well worth checking out for lovers of the weird...
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012 edited
     (10587.10)
    I'm going to mainline a bunch of ZX Spectrum ROMS tonight in celebration of the 30th anniversay of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum .
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012
     (10587.11)
    I was always a Commodore 64 person growing up, but many friends had Spectrums and some of my earliest game coding experiments were done on those machines. That immediacy from power on to coding is the main thing we've lost since those days. Even the Amiga and ST lost that to a significant extent (although things like AMOS and STOS went some way to redressing the balance).

    This is partly what I'm hoping for with things like the Raspberry Pi. Something cheap and cheerful for kids to mess about with without the 'risk' of having them dicking around with their parents PC or iPad.
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012 edited
     (10587.12)
    ...and this is why I've been rahter happy to have a break from the game and tech journalism. Compared to the "gamer community", the Iron Sky fan and collaborator community was amazing: very little entitled whining and bitching, friendly, helpful, supportive and generally just wonderful. And this coming from someone who had cynically relegated most "geeky" communities to be nests of screeching weasels. There is hope.

    “Another Day, Another Death Threat” – Life as a Game Developer

    The problem is that the audience for gaming has gotten very narrow-minded, narcissistic and empathy-challenged in recent years. And it isn’t just us! The whole society is becoming increasingly defective in this same way–Geek Culture is simply in the vanguard and ahead of the curve, as we are in all other things."


    The Kotaku article

    http://kotaku.com/5904367/another-day-another-death-threat-from-gamers-to-the-people-who-make-video-games
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
     (10587.13)
    @Vornaskotti - Ay, linked that to my colleagues on twitter last night and got a large round of nods in agreement. I've not had any personal insults or death threats myself, I'm part of a team of over a hundred and none of us are really 'public' enough for that, but we certainly get plenty of 'your company sucks and I hope you all die in a fire' on our facebook page.

    It's part of the reason I'm getting quite disillusioned with what I do. I know that for every entitled moron spewing hate there are probably a hundred fans who like what we do but never say anything, but the vocal minority are now so much MORE vocal than they were ten years ago. And I find it really depresses me, to the point where I often wonder why I do this anymore given how little it seems to be appreciated.

    I'm not after validation, it would just be nice to read something that isn't 'I hope you all choke on your own boners' from time to time.
  4.  (10587.14)
    Flabyo:

    Frankly, that's one of the reasons why I got out of game and tech journalism for now, really (not the main reason by far, but definitely a factor). I haven't had death threats myself, but it's been made abundantly clear that I don't know shit about games, gaming, any kind of technological gadget, any piece of software, plus I'm taking money from AMD, Intel, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and probably the Illuminati. As you said, it's not about validation, it's just that there's a certain amount of times per week you'll want to be called a gay jew by some entitled clueless little shit, who decided to take a pause from his hentai wanking marathon. And boy, from all the subcultures I've been to or met, gamers are the worst in that entitled shitty whining by far.

    Working with the Iron Sky community was really therapy for me - my belief in and respect of fan communities really got restored during that couple of years.
    •  
      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
     (10587.15)
    It says a lot about the state of things that my reaction to all this is basically, "Yeah, gamers have always been entitled pricks, what else is new?"

    I feel really bad for the people at Bioware right now.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
     (10587.16)
    @DJ - true, it's not new. But in the 13 years I've been doing this, it's gotten an AWFUL lot worse.
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      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
     (10587.17)
    Yeah, I certainly wouldn't disagree there. I'm not in the industry, but I've gotten plenty of hatemail telling me I'm a fag and to die just for being good at video games. But it's like that thread on global news immediacy, nothing gets filtered out anymore. People have so many more ways to communicate, and nobody really cares to tell developers that they've really enjoyed their game because they expect that they'll enjoy the game when they sit down to play it. I've always had an easy time seeing it as more a darkly hilarious spectacle than taking anything to heart, but I can understand how it may wear on a person.
  5.  (10587.18)
    DJ Stawes:

    Yeah, "wear on" is a pretty good term. It's like being pecked to death by ducks. :P I got into game and tech journalism at 2000, when the direct feedback via net just started happening with a force in the media. And yeah, it got pretty damn bad especially for a beginner who didn't yet realize the importance of professional detachment. Then again, if some little shit starts doxing you or targeting stuff specifically at you, or your family, that's a whole different matter...
  6.  (10587.19)
    Ahhaha ow, this was the best video to start viewing with the loudspeakers at full blast and the work room door open to the student space :D

  7.  (10587.20)
    Also, re: gaming communities. In the end I have the vibe that we are over the hump of them consisting of screechy arsepandas. Gaming is not a niche hobby, and the ratio of entitled little shits to sensible people has been getting steadily better and better. Frankly, the fact that there are articles and arguments about it like the ones I linked to are a positive symptom of that. This is also still the hangover of the net revolution - after all, communication like this on a large scale is still about a decade old...