For the last little while, I’ve been meaning to write something about Minecraft. About how the limitations breed creativity and how simple, approachable, and rock-solid systems (even though it is a rolling alpha) provide a supportive foundation for complex creation.
I’ve been thinking about The Sims 3 and Bioshock 2, and Dragon Age and other titles which I just haven’t picked up (and it doesn’t look like I am likely to). I know why that is. It’s the DLC/addons.
It actually isn’t as common as you might think that an MMOG makes it to five years. At GDC this year, six panelists from among the survivors got together and talked about their strategies for keeping old players and acquiring new ones.
And there’s sound advice in there for more industries and enterprises than just MMOGs.
From the very skilled – and I might even be inclined to suggest ‘artistic’ and ‘spectacular’ – Andrew Plotkin comes a sterling piece of short interactive fiction. It’s compact and lovely, and not too difficult.
That’s Dwarf Fortress, perhaps the deepest and most intricate sandbox simulation game I’ve seen, and I have been meaning to write it up for a long time.
It’s from the folks who did Penumbra, so I pre-ordered this without much in the way of hesitation.
The girl, Recette Lemongrass, lived on her own because her father had gone adventuring and not returned.
The fairy, Tear, worked for the Terme Finance company, and Recette’s father’s debts were about to come due.
Reasoning that getting the money back was better than taking Recette’s house and auctioning it at a loss, Tear helped Recette set up a small item shop on the main street of the town. Just the sort of thing to cater to locals, and the hordes of hopeful adventurers and treasure-seekers needing supplies.
Working off your debt retailing doesn’t sound very exciting, but Recette and Tear’s adventure is only just beginning.
Acclaim Enertainment was a notable video-game publisher from 1987 to 2004. After a history of lawsuits, talk of shady dealings and piracy, and criticism for tasteless and offensive advertising campaigns, Acclaim Entertainment finally was faced with falling sales, and mounting debts.
Games publishers have been making increasing amounts of noise about the used market for games. So, let’s look at another industry example.