Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
I live in a village called Drayton St Leonard, one of three that make up a district I call Three Villages Country. Drayton St Leonard is tiny and has no shops and half a pub, but it’s okay because twenty minutes’ walk away is Stadhampton, a slightly larger village with a fantastic pub and a general store. The general store is open until 10PM every day and has almost anything you might need, though with slightly odd brands of such things and at fairly inflated prices. But somehow I prefer that – if I need to walk half an hour because I’ve run out of whiskey and beer I should have a somewhat less-than-perfect experience. It’s more enjoyable that way.
The general store is being sold. Who knows what will come of it, but it almost certainly won’t be the same. It’s leaving marks the end of an era – not just any era, but a pretty important one. The era that started when I was sixteen and lasted until I was twenty-five. The era of living in a village with my mother, near some friends. Really the first properly awake era of my life.
I’m moving out of Drayton St Leonard. This September I move in with friends to a house in the center of Oxford. I will still be working in DSL – a large room in my house is becoming Mode 7′s offices, and my esteemed colleague and I will be working there from midday to eight (at least) every weekday for a long time to come.
Determinance is done, and now I’m an adult. While I was making Determinance I was really a student. I lived like one, worked like one – my dissertation just happened to be really large, really complicated, and something I could sell at the end.
I’m not a student anymore. I’m in a gap-few months and when I start working at an office, one separate from where I live, I will be an adult all the way.
I’m ready. I stayed as a student for longer than most, and achieved more than most. It’s time for it to finish.
And Determinance is growing up with me. It’s maturing, and by the time the retail version is released in August it will be an adult too. Very similar, but more assured, more relaxed.
I still have a lot to say about what happened to me during Determinance’s long, long development. I hope I say it before it becomes too distant.
Thursday, May 17th, 2007
I’m expecting the beta content to be put into the normal version of Determinance some time next month – should be good.
I’m playing Tribes Vengence single player and I have a few things to say about it, but I’m probably going to try and finish it first.
A lot of our fans (and indeed my esteemed colleague) are really enjoying Black Shades, a protect-the-vip prototype game by the makers of Lugaru. it’s well worth checking out.
I try not to talk about things I don’t know anything about (really), but I would like to weigh in on the NBA suspensions debate. Having listened to a large amount of commentary on the issue, I believe that the NBA and the uber-wonderful David Stern (best commisioner of anything EVER – he makes tough choices and is always willing to be interviewed at length about them. He comes across as someone who care deeply about his league) made the right decision. Quite simply, they know that stopping fighting in the NBA is more important than one playoff series. Enough said.
Saturday, May 12th, 2007
Almost exactly ten years after its release, Jurassic Park: Trespasser has finally got the coverage it deserves in PC Gamer UK. Trespasser is pretty much a whipping-boy, despite having an almost peerless atmosphere. I have never played a game which made me feel as exquisitly lost and alone – but in a good way, feeling like I had all the time in the world to just explore a truly beautiful, strange environment.
About time someone noticed. You can still buy it on budget (and with this coverage it may come to Steam soon), and it’s an essential part of the gaming canon.
Friday, May 11th, 2007
Here’s a repost of Ian’s post about Hellgate London which previously broke the blog:
You’ve all probably seen now that Hellgate London has an optional subscription service, which aparently “allows you access to new development as it’s created”. This does mean you are paying $10 a month for… something completely undefined. Something which will most certainly be made available to people who didn’t pay for a smaller price at regular intervals. I really want to like Hellgate. It’s a first-person Diablo game with proper randomly-generated 3D levels. But the more I hear about it the more I get the impression that they just don’t know what game they’re making. They need to stop announcing things. Just stop. Finish the game and then announce about it.
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
The news hit yesterday that Ron Gilbert is working on Penny Arcade’s adventure game. I find Gilbert’s blog almost unbelievably whiney and annoying but dude’s obviously got talent in the field. This announcement surely elevates OTRSPOD from being a bit left-field to by far the premiere up-coming adventure game.
Back when the game was originally annoucned, I was supremely dubious for about two minutes and then I read what it was called (On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness) and realised that it would probably be pretty funny in a Penny Arcade kind of way. Gilbert’s reputation now rests on this title – I think he’ll make it good, but I do think it will be delayed while he does it.
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
I have it on good authority that PC Gamer UK will have a massive Fallout 3 exclusive next month, and it’s about damn time we got to hear about that game. As I’ve said in the past, I didn’t ever really play the Fallout games – I know they’re fantastic, I just never got around to it – so I’m looking forward to 3 with incalculable glee. Everything Bethesda do right is, of course, good, and then everything stupid/bad they do will cause such hatred among the community that it will amuse endlessly. And Bethesda are one of the few companies I am absolutely certain have the balls to do something new with Fallout 3.
Bethesda – best developer ever.
My talk went very well and thanks to all that asked. An MP3 of it will be available today if my esteemed colleague gets out of bed.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007
A Manga American Football game is coming to the Wii. Good lord. YES.
Tuesday, May 8th, 2007
I am doing a talk on Indie game development at Oxford Uni tomorrow (Wednesday 8th May). I imagine it would be quite a trek for most of you, but the location is Keble at 8.30. I will be trying to make the talk as punchy and non-boring as possible, and will be going to the pub afterwards, so drop by if you’re in the greater Oxfordshire area.
Monday, May 7th, 2007
It would appear that Faxmachinen is the victor, defeating Malakian in the final. Two bizarrely one-sided final matches have produced our very first tournament winner who will be receiving the much-revered prize of a copy of Bad Day LA…in Latvian.
Well done Fax and thanks to all who took part…more tournaments soon.
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
I am so glad E3 is gone. For three weeks every year it dominated the online press, full of idiot journalists desperately trying to pretend that it was a rock-n-roll event; desperately trying to make it sound like their jobs were cool. E3 was probably the most insulting thing to games, which is impressive given how much insult our chosen genre takes each and every day.
Stay dead E3, and may no-one mourn your passing.