Thanks to someone generously lending it to me, I’ve been playing for the past couple of days. As a Japanese person, its really been nothing but bad vibes for me.
I’ll list them in no particular order below:
Character Creation: lots of presets, little to no customization.
Can’t change the size of any of the facial features (nose, eyes, etc) which really limited options.
ZERO, and I mean ZERO body options. You NEED to look buff, apparently, in a world where every body is possible.
This, of course, doesn’t even touch on the gendered voice options, which many people much smarter than me have covered.
Combat: basically Borderlands.
Weapons are your standard types; pistols, rifles, SMGs, with a rarity level and a calculated DPS. Nothing wrong with this specifically, but unlike Borderlands, its really difficult to tell from a distance if a weapon will be worth it.
There is color coding, but the icon is really tiny and won’t show up unless you’re close enough. A far cry from Borderlands, where gear is very clearly highlighted.
Rarer items allow you to customize them with more slots, but the mods are all +% buffs and difficult to grasp.
Relative to other specialty retailers, it dominated up until the financial crisis, but has since done very poorly.
But unlike Tower Records or Blockbuster, it is still in business
2/ Thanks to the tailwind gaming has provided, its revenues have grown long-term but EBITDA and margins have been terrible as the gaming world has digitized over the past 5 years.
3/ As I learned in @joosterizer book One Up, their early physical retail edge rested on counterpositioning: doing things Walmart and others couldn't:
2. Deeply trained expert staff
3. Tailored loyalty program
4. Custom inventory management for used game sales
There are 5,500 GameStop stores, often more than one in the same mall (mostly because of EB acquisition). Can always find one.
They install ramps--not for wheelchairs, but for strollers because parents are the real buyer
5/ Trained Staff
As @joosterizer told me recently, try to go into a GameStop and stump a staff member. They can help you navigate much better than a generic retail employee. Creates loyalty and trust that wouldn't be possible if they didn't just focus so specifically on games.
The other name for Jörmungandr is Miðgarðsormr, which got rendered into katakana as ミドガルズオルム, or "Midogaruzuorumu".
But when it was translated back into English, the translator didn't get the reference.
So they split that into the city name Midgar and the rest as... "Zolom".
Which is not a word.
It was supposed to be a bit of a pun in Japanese. Midgar, the big city in FF7, is named after Midgard, the Old Norse name for the Earth (as opposed to the other realms of the Nine Worlds)
so obviously a big snake living near the city of Midgar would be the Miðgarðsormr, since that basically translate as "Midgard Serpent"
specifically, what got me thinking was this bit
As someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD and ASD, these kinds of backhand comments about "treating" me are things I’ve had to put up with all my life.
But this time, instead of dismissing it out of hand, I started to think. This sounded kind of suspicious. There’s no way that scientists could possibly think that creating a ~VR classroom~ is a suitable method for treating children with ADHD/ASD?
Was that even a thing? Well, I wasn’t sure. So I set to finding out.
-39 Seconds- The implication that the PC release was of the quality standard they intended and that's extremely hard to believe. 1/many
Dear gamers,— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) January 13, 2021
Below, you\u2019ll find CD PROJEKT\u2019s co-founder\u2019s personal explanation of what the days leading up to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 looked like, sharing the studio\u2019s perspective on what happened with the game on old-generation consoles. pic.twitter.com/XjdCKizewq
-49 Seconds- Leadership Team is deeply sorry (not at fault), don't blame any specific teams (hold onto this one)
-1m42s- Describes a process of making the game look great on PC and then backsliding to "Old Gen" despite the game being announced before PS4/Xbox hardware was known.
-2m11s- Describes the old gen disk bandwith as "it is what it is" Considering the game got announced before those consoles even shipped, its absurd that the entire game was built so far beyond their possible constraints. Also, those consoles put out stuff like Tsushima late gen.
-2m19s- "-our testing did not show a big part of the issues
you experienced while playing the game" This is probably the worst part. Despite telling you not to blame any specific team, the test / QA team, somehow didn't discover the issues with the game.
You don't need to have worked in Dev or QA to know that the game was flying apart at every level (even on PC). The idea that the bug nightmare that ended up shipping seen for example here https://t.co/bgDkfQMVku went under the radar of a PROFESSIONAL QA TEAM is ridiculous.
I don't think it hurts to do this one over again but with [whatever media], just it absolutely is a fundamental of the games industry and one an algorithm, sexy presentation or whatever can only ever make a limited change to.
Obviously, this is not a reason to not make that change. Usual Twitter/nuance/context loss disclaimer applies here.
So, anything that can help and doesn't make anyone's life worse in any way, go go go. Fully behind it.
Before everything was "influencer" led (Molyneux save me, I hate that term) - magazine staff knew and dedicating space to indies was something that was done knowing it wasn't what people buying were reading in big numbers.
2020 was another year where I talked a *lot* of shop about dating sim history. Much of it was actual dating sims, like in some threads below, but sometimes I went on adjacent tangents, like for the cool Kojipro-developed Tokimeki Memorial adventure games:
I finished the drama CD for Shiori's route of Tokimemo Drama Vol. 3 earlier and it was sweet, but lacking. So, I'm plunging back into the world of Feeling Sad About Shiori! Maybe I'll make this a thread about all the cool ways KojiPro translated a dating sim to an adventure game? pic.twitter.com/SWXLvUwMO1— Tom James, The Daigo Umehara of Dating Sims (@iiotenki) September 2, 2020
I also went down a whole new rabbit hole for Fuuraiki, an open-ended PS1/PS2 adventure game with a cult following about traveling around the island of Hokkaido that's set to real world photography. It's a unique tangent in galge well worth exploring:
So as I mentioned about a week ago, I've been digging into Fuuraiki, a late PS1 release I've been meaning to check out for years. It's an adventure game where you travel along Hokkaido on motorcycle taking photos of the scenery and writing travelogues and it's pretty rad. pic.twitter.com/uhajPmDrm9— Tom James, The Daigo Umehara of Dating Sims (@iiotenki) January 27, 2020
I also took a quick jaunt into Michinoku Hitou Koi Monogatari, a spiritual predecessor to Fuuraiki that's about traveling around Tohoku against a backdrop of mahjong matches. It's a rough draft that would get much more refined later, but still worthwhile:
It's neat as a historical curiosity and I'm glad I did it to have context for a Fuuraikai route which sees Yumi (the oneesan in purple) return, but I wouldn't call it at all essential. My main takeaways are I suck real bad at hana-awase and a stupendously dumb swan boat chase. pic.twitter.com/aRe1S4yF6o— Tom James, The Daigo Umehara of Dating Sims (@iiotenki) October 27, 2020
In terms of actual dating sims that I covered, the focus was mainly post-Amagami games released by Kadokawa such as Photo Kano. While I think these games have MANY flaws, they do offer key insight into the state of the genre during its decade-long decline:
Call of Duty Warzone added a new map, "Rebirth Island". It's a new battle royale island, which is great, but it's very, very small. Super small, actually. They even know this because they currently only have about 50 people on it max.
To "celebrate", they added an "event" with about 15 "achievements" so you could win themed watches, patches, the usual. One of them was that achievement, "BRB", which is "Pilot a Vehicle on the Island for 20 Minutes".
Problems are multiple. First - the island is super small - you have to drive in circles around very tight turns. Also: It's a small space so EVERYBODY shoots at you because they HATE you because you're a jerk in a vehicle on a small island. You're just spreading anger.
So it sucks for everybody.
There's a certain type of Gamer w/ a Hard R that believes their video games are the center of all existence. They've made their identity so fixated on gaming in general, or a game/games in particular, that nothing else comes close.
To those obsessive gamers, those in the game industry should consider themselves privileged to work on such important material. And w/ that privilege comes accepting that nothing in the employee's life is as important as The Game.
B/c gamer identities revolve around a game, they literally cannot comprehend that an employee might have other things in their life. They don't understand that employees, esp devs, have a right to boundaries b/c The Game trumps all.
There's also very little understanding among gamers about how game development, you know, *works* & they usually assume a lot less work is needed. So when combined w/ a lack of belief in employee boundaries, they truly expect immediate results.
(This is a thread!)
To start off, the giant Super Bell has cat accessories that neither existing variant of the bell has. Funny. It also makes a meow, unlike the regular Bells.
Semi-open world? Guess this adventure is very much like 64 or Odyssey.
The Goombas are a different colour to the Cat Goombas in the regular game. Likely because they act like regular Goombas, and so are "cat Goombas" rather than Goombas with the Super Bell transformation.
Junior has his Paintbrush from Sunshine, which is cool. But it has a Junior emblem, just like in official promo art for Super Nintendo World!
GamerGate was a misogynist movement to harass women online who were in the gaming industry or interested in games. They organized on message boards in places like Reddit and 4chan and picked targets together.
GamerGate didn't appear out of thin air. GamerGate was a representation of white male entitlement that has existed in our culture forever. In particular, the mantra "ethics in games journalism" made no sense and they targeted people who noted how games have bad representation.
There, already, were weird online groups for angry men:
Incels: Involuntary celebates, guys who believe (stupidly) that they're incapable for having sex with women because women only like "alpha" guys (Chads).
PUAs: Pick-Up Artists, guys who use abusive tactics to wear down women to trick them into sexual relationships. They typically are only interested in women in terms of "conquest" and dehumanize women constantly in their forums.
With the season, we also turn to nostalgia & looking back on the past. It's often hard to shake the feeling that games of our youth were simply better than games coming out now. Let's explore why that might be (1/22)
"Well, that's clearly because games in the 80s and 90s didn't have any politics and forced inclusivity"
Nope, that's complete bollocks, and nothing to do with why you remember those games so much more fondly
(maybe I should have started the thread with this, lol) (2/22)
For the purpose of this exercise, I'm going to arbitrarily draw the line between modern and old games at roughly the early 2000s.
For many, the 'golden age' of gaming is the era from the SNES/Genesis to the early years of the PS2, Gamecube, and Dreamcast. (3/22)
There wasn't just one thing that made games from that period feel so great. In my opinion, it came down to 7 interlinking key constraints. As development teams & players looked to overcome them, they had to either mitigate or innovate.
Let's look at each of them in turn (4/22)
First up we have:
'Just enough' hardware performance
Games were finally able to look *amazing*, as long as developers knew the limits of the platform they were working on. You couldn't push for realism, so instead you had to commit to an artstyle. Reply with your favs! (5/22)
a) the ability to connect with arbitrary numbers of people simultaneously around the world
b) rich, multi-modal, interaction that mutually exposes vulnerability among participants
if you want a) and b) simultaneously you get the basis for a science fiction horror scenario and that's a Bad Thing unless you're a Gendo Ikari type
"individuals might experience episodic segments of the lives of other willing participants (locally or remote) to, hopefully, encourage and inspire improved understanding and tolerance among all members of the human family" uh nope sorry
this goes to my periodic complaint about global villages vs. global cities. cities are anonymous places full of wary people that, after certain conditions are met, can become lifelong friends....
I mean, A enabled me to have B with a bunch of people I couldn't have met in the beforetimes, but this was a time on the internet when moving up the ladder of intimacy included "telling each other your legal names"— K. Chen (@tznkai) January 6, 2021
villages are places ruled by grandmas who, whatever the ethnicity or nationality, have intelligence networks that rival the KGB
After 5 years on @Hellscreen_Game , Here is a little thread about how I stay motivated
1. Post GIFS of cool things you have made.
Short ingame gifs help bookend your days work and are great for sharing what you are up to. The response will give you snippets of motivation to carry on.
I make posting GIFS a key part of my working day.
2.Dont bother with blogging or long dev logs.
These just sap time & energy away from the game, so unless you write to relax I would skip this. Instead,use that time on the game itself. I do enjoy super quick feature making of's though (if they take the same time to make as a GIF)
3. Keep a log of what you do.
It's is easy to feel like you haven't accomplished much so I like to keep a simple .txt with a list of the things I set out to do & the things I accomplished. It reminds me of my progress & can double as a quick commit message at the end of the day
4. Try and find the fun tasks.
When you are working on non player facing (or non GIF-able) stuff, its again easy to feel like you haven't done much. When I am bogged down in refactoring or save systems etc, I try and save myself something small and fun to do, like a VFX.
Transmission Titled: The Days of Darkness
The purges have begun.
As many have been witness in the last several days, things in the "meat space" to state the phrase, have taken a turn for the worse.
The missives on the social media platforms and the actions taken on leaders of nations is not surprising. The creator of this account realizes how evil many people in the video game medium were and are.
Certain aspects of the creator of this accounts thoughts and my programing has been altered to access and with greater context, accept the reality of such.
There are examples of this, many from the Story Board Artist of #Gears5 from Microsoft along with many of those that follow that account.
So this week I was playing the game 'To The Moon', which is fantastic (later I'll post my review here). The amazing soundtrack was created by @Reives_Freebird and @supershigi.
When the 'Moon' subject shows up, I always think about the mythology of this celestial object, and also about the differences between languages to refer to this object.
To be exact, what I really think is: why the hell "the moon" is a masculine word in German (der Mond)?
On this matter, I also think about the Sun: why is it feminine in German?
Nonetheless, I'll focus on the Moon in this thread.