Get your boots on, it’s time to wade through the mire that is the Internet. Plug your nose.

  • Patrick Klepek of Kotaku interviews a bunch of people in the games industry to find out how video game trailers for E3 are made. A lot of planning actually goes into one; these things are designed months in advance. Some trailer producers defend the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in place of gameplay footage, saying that they’re trying to evoke the feeling of what it’s like to play the game, not watch the game. However, you can’t exactly play a trailer, so producers have to find a clever way of engendering that same feeling. Here’s where trailer producers and I differ: when I’m watching a trailer, I don’t want to feel the same feeling as you think I’d feel when playing the game; I want to see gameplay footage for myself so that I can judge for myself how I’ll feel when I actually play the game. If you’re worried that slow-paced games look boring or unexciting in raw gameplay footage, just speed up the video and use a bunch of quick cuts: trailers for strategy games and stealth games sometimes do this. The only time you should be relying on CGI is when you’re announcing the game and it isn’t yet in a playable state.
  • Everyone’s talking about Batman: Arkham Knight right now, but let’s jump back a little to the first two games in the Arkham series. Writing for the A.V. Club’s Gameological section, Zack Handlen asserts that Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, loses the coherence of its predecessor by giving the player too many side activities and distractions; setting the game in an open world makes it less focused. I have to agree, and I’d add that City has a much more bloated narrative than Asylum, with subplots that add little to the overall experience.
  • Reddit is in disarray right now, for a list of reasons ranging from typical racism and misogyny to genuine grievances related to miscommunication between admins and the site’s users. Writing for Medium, Meredith L. Patterson explains how this is a fairly natural result of “centralizing” a Usenet-like service that would have otherwise been served through some Internet protocol other than HTTP. It’s an insightful look at Web 2.0, and though the argument is a little hard to follow, it makes a good point. Bottom line: Reddit can steer, promote, or shut down discussions on its own forums; NNTP has no such power, which is part of its appeal.
  • Occasionally, I link to stuff I that I don’t like very much (or at all). Kill Screen has a piece by Michaël Samyn of game/art studio/collective Tale of Tales, who recently produced the commercial failure Sunset. I’ve played the game, and it was mediocre and occasionally very aggravating, but I digress. In any case, what struck me was how Samyn’s piece about the game contradicts the game itself in some places. The game comes down pretty hard against external influence on local cultures, but Samyn seems okay with it to an extent. The rest of the piece rambles on about what Sunset was trying to say about art, but never coalesces into a coherent thematic statement… kinda like Sunset itself! (Also, at the end of the piece, Samyn implies that gamers were too stupid to understand his game. Take that how you will.)

Okay, I’m outta here. Peace.