The E3 event horizon

An overhead map of the South Hall of the E3 Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center

E3 has it’s own gravity-well, an “event” horizon (no pun intended) that pulls in game-development, and mangles development, PR and marketing schedules in its fierce, distorting grip.

Hastily cobbled together demonstrations, unrepresentative footage and more, all of which contrive to steal as much as a full quarter’s development time away from actually working on making genuine progress on the game. Perhaps the worst place to get news about games is E3 and the E3 floor. Better, more reliable, news and media mostly happen after E3 is done.

Even the trailers get tainted by E3’s peculiar distortions and gravitic homogeneity.

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Will Wright’s HiveMind tied up in “atrocity” and “genocide” legal battle

Jawad Ansari (left) and Will Wright holding a hammer (right)

Just to be clear, before we move on, there are two Hive Minds. There’s “HiveMind”, which is the idea of developers harvesting your mobile and social data extensively to create a game that is specifically targeted at an individual user, and there’s “Hive Mind”, the actual company formed to exploit that idea commercially.

Now the former HiveMind (the idea) seems to be now tied up indefinitely with litigation involving the ex-CEO of the latter Hive Mind (the company).

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38 Studios employees claim Governor torpedoed company deals, lined own pockets

A partial cover image of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, flanked by the logos of 38 Studios, and Big Huge Games.

Laid-off employees, whom you would think would have little reason to back their former employer, 38 Studios/Big Huge Games, are instead speaking out against Rhode Island Governor, claiming that governor Chafee spread misinformation that sabotaged the business’ funding sources, and even suggesting that he may have lined his own pockets, while using the high-profile games-developer as a political pawn in his re-election campaign.

Strong stuff. Read all about it at Gamasutra.

StarForge early alpha demo 0.1 [updated]

An image from the Starforge demo, showing a small valley filled with trees and surrounded by high rocks. One tree has been cut down.

Starforge is – so far as we know at this time – an entirely procedurally-generated first/third-person sci-fi survival/construction game. Yes, alright, I’m going to say “Minecraft in space”, though that’s a very loose sort of description.

This release (whose announcement was enough to take down the Web-servers for the game) shows off a little of this indie title in its earliest playable form.

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The many faces of X-Com

Images showing the different visual and gameplay stylings of eight different X-Com game titles.

The XCOM (or X-Com, if you prefer) series has gone through significant changes. Like the Alien(s) movies, it transforms genres practically every time it goes around.

Strangely, the much-delayed-and-maybe-possibly-doomed upcoming shooter edition may have more in common with the series’ roots than you think.

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DayZ updates (week 12, 2012)

DayZ development keeps powering along with significant updates and fixes since the 1.5.8/ updates last week, and more promised for an upcoming release.

One of the things I particularly like is the addition of female survivors, although, now that I come to think about it, I’m not sure if I’ve seen any female zombies at all.

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GAME store closes. Staff decorate with Rage Faces

Our local GAME store shut its doors for the last time today. This photo was taken about an hour ago, as disconsolate staff inside were shuffling about and slowly putting things in cartons.

As you see, staff decorated the front window of the store with Rage Faces. The “Troll Face” Rage Face for Commander Shepard on the Mass Effect 3 display stand, and the “Forever Alone” Rage Face plastered all over the store windows.