Game Log Q3/2022

October 1, 2022

A tweet-based journal of what I’ve been playing…

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Ludomedia #85

August 8, 2022


Games media worth reading, watching or listening to.

Jesper Juul: The Meanings & Consequences of Rules & Algorithms

  • “I realized the other day that it’s been years since I had this experience of someone dismissing game rules as irrelevant or meaningless, and I think there is a reason: Our world is now so completely enmeshed in algorithms and in issues of algorithmic bias, that it’s now a given that rules, algorithms, and programming fundamentally matter.”

Lucas Pope: Cramming ‘Papers, Please’ Onto Phones

  • “I created Papers, Please in 2013 specifically for desktop computers with mouse control. Now, here, in 2022, desktop computers no longer exist and all computing is done via handheld mobile telephone. Time to update this dinosaur. These thousands of words and megabytes of images will cover some bits of porting the game from big desktop to little phone.”

Matti Vuorre et al.: Time spent playing video games is unlikely to impact well-being

  • “Conceptually replicating previous cross-sectional findings, our results suggested that intrinsic motivation positively and extrinsic motivation negatively affects well-being. […] Our findings, therefore, suggest that amount of play does not, on balance, undermine well-being. Instead, our results align with a perspective that the motivational experiences during play may influence well-being. Simply put, the subjective qualities of play may be more important than its quantity.”

Will Bedingfield: It’s Not Just Loot Boxes: Predatory Monetization Is Everywhere

  • “As Hon suggests, predatory monetization salts the earth of creativity. The games built on these systems exploit their players—they aren’t art, but propaganda, another way to turn play into work. And the history of loot boxes demonstrates that the most exploitative systems can become mainstream if they prove they can turn a serious profit.”

Zayne Black: How To Design A Videogame

  • “Many of you watching might be thinking: ‘Zayne, […] everybody knows this, this is useless!’ First of all, no they don’t. If they did, you wouldn’t get games that burry their genuinely very impressive mechanical gameplay loops under layer after layer of sludgy, tedious, ham-fisted storytelling, as if the cinematic presentation was the reason to buy it, for example. […] Figure out, what you want the game to be […] and then run every single decision through that filter of whether or not it helps you receive your game’s intention!”

Game Log Q2/2022

July 1, 2022

A tweet-based journal of what I’ve been playing…

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Ludomedia #84

June 13, 2022


Games media worth reading, watching or listening to.

Casey Muratori: What is the Blockchain Threat Model?

  • “As soon as [decentralized systems] try to build dispute resolution into them, you’re right back to a government and a court system, which we already have and has to involve humans making these decisions. […] Dispute resolution is absolutely critical in finance. If you don’t have it, it’s dead in the water. […] I can’t think of anything [hashed chains of blocks] defend against, where actually you couldn’t have just made a much simpler system and then have the dispute resolution that you already needed anyway.”

Eggplant: The Secret Lives of Games: Untangling Language with Knotwords

  • “Knotwords creators Jack Schlesinger and our own Zach Gage chat to us about their elegant new logic puzzle word game. We discuss “cracking” the game design they’d been chasing forever, and how they created the puzzle/word generator that makes it great.”

Josh Strife Hayes: The Immoral Design of Diablo Immortal

  • “It is indeed fun, but it is also insidiously developed from the ground up to funnel every player action toward the cash shop. […] I enjoy having to engage my brain to beat a game, but if you do that with Diablo Immortal you will ask yourself lots of questions, and the answer to every question is: the credit card. […] I cannot believe that decisions were made in Diablo Immortal with the players in mind. I believe they were made with the payers in mind.”

Keith Burgun: Diablo: Immortal and Aesthetic Gacha-ism

  • “The line between game design and marketing gets blurrier and blurrier and games increasingly become ads for themselves, a constant rolling advertisement that tells you to keep playing. Of course mobile F2P gacha games are the absolute peak level of this sort of stuff, but it bleeds out and infects everything else too, more and more, year after year.”

Kyle Kukshtel: Game Design Mimetics (Or, What Happened To Game Design?)

  • “If the role of mechanics design in a game is to best serve the content of the game, be legible to the player, and not introduce too much uncertainty into the middle of a production, the simplest answer to design is just “copy what already works”. “What already works” is a fundamentally conservative and nostalgic lens through which to view cultural production. Looking at “what already works” rejects an idea or potential of progress, and instead narrows the scope of possibility of a medium to only be capable or remediating the “greatest hits”.”

WikiArena: Wikipedia-Artikel im Wettstreit

April 6, 2022

Kurzer Hinweis: WikiArena gibt es seit Kurzem auf, spielbar im Browser oder als Download fĂĽr Windows, Linux, Mac und Android.

In dem “Trivia-Roguelike” treten zufällig ausgewählte Wikipedia-Artikel anhand ihrer Zeichenlänge und Besucherzahlen gegeneinander an. Die Aufgabe des Spielers: abschätzen, welcher Artikel “gewinnt”!

Erfreulicherweise konnte das Spiel auch schon den ein oder anderen Streamer ĂĽberzeugen, darunter etwa Northernlion oder BaerTaffy.

Frohes Raten!

Game Log Q1/2022

April 1, 2022

A tweet-based journal of what I’ve been playing…

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Ludomedia #83

January 27, 2022


Games media worth reading, watching or listening to.

Babbling Brook: The Unfortunate Truth about NFTs…

  • “Microtransactions and gacha mechanics are one thing, but attempting to turn your player base, including children, into a literal workforce that will need to grind endlessly, scam one another, and cheat to earn back their investment, is completely unacceptable behaviour. You are simply making a mockery of an industry that so many people hold dear.”

Christopher Natsuume: Let me explain Blockchain gaming and Play-to-Earn. // Using NFTs to own ingame objects: Also pretty much a scam.

  • “NFTs are a pure scam. Blockchain gaming is a pyramid scheme. And play-to-earn is not only a scam, it’s deeply immoral. […] At our brightest moments, games can be a wonderful, beautiful force for good. […] And what I’ve seen in the last two years is one of the most cynical, painful, destructive attacks on our industry that I have seen in decades of working in video games.”
  • “We produce more revenue than any other entertainment industry in the world. And so we presented this enormous target to the crypro bros. […] And so they’ve created this ridiculous fantasy story of NFTs and cryptocurrencies somehow adding some kind of value to any of this, for the basic reason that they want you to go out and buy cryptocurrency.”

Dan Olson: The Problem With NFTs

  • “If you pitch your game based on earning potential, you’re going to attract people seeking to industrialize your platform faster and in greater numbers than would otherwise play. This is exactly the parasitic situation that games for decades now have been actively minimizing, because it creates vicious negative externalities. If players can sell their in-game stuff, then it changes the way that they play the game. It changes the way that they optimize their playtime.”

Elizabeth M. Renieris: Amid the Hype over Web3, Informed Skepticism Is Critical

  • “If Web 2.0 was predicated on selling our data, Web3 will have us sell ourselves as it doubles down on extractivism, turning every interaction into a commercial transaction. Without a critical perspective, familiar harms will not only be replicated; they will be exacerbated. […] Criticism is the hard work of accepting the reality of what is, understanding how and why it came about, and addressing the deeper issues and forces involved. It is the opposite of the “building” ethos of continually punting to new tech or the next thing, as if on a blank slate of human nature and culture.”

Jürgen “tante” Geuter: The legacy of NFTs

  • “But getting these assets means you “earned”. As if you had another job. And while you probably never will be able to realize those gains, you can tell yourself and the people around you, that it totally makes sense to play more of the game you “invested” in. That you should play it even if it’s not fun. That you should spend more time on it. And potentially pay for another microtransaction. […] This is why so many people warn about NFTs and the Web3 stuff: The idea that everything should be a tradable asset is even more dangerous than the massive environmental cost of the whole blockchain space.”

Hirnschmelze gefällig? CIPHER-8 ist da.

January 7, 2022

Seit wenigen Tagen ist CIPHER-8 verfĂĽgbar, mein zweites “größeres” Projekt fĂĽr die Fantasy-Konsole PICO-8 nach Martial Cards!

CIPHER-8 is a brain-twisting game where you push numbers into a grid. Well, numbers or  all kinds of manipulatory tricks. Or bombs apparently. Anyways, after all it’s about making the total value of each column match its goal value. However, changing one column affects the others as well. Oh and by the way, bonus points if you manage to plan ahead a few turns to keep your cipher streak going in the process!

Indie-Spezialist Esty8nine stellte das Spiel bereits im Rahmen seines Twitch-Streams vor – und die Emotionen schlugen hohe Wellen! Einige EindrĂĽcke im Zusammenschnitt:

Game Log Q4/2021

January 2, 2022

A tweet-based journal of what I’ve been playing…

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Ludomedia #82

December 31, 2021


Games media worth reading, watching or listening to.

Derek Yu: One More Run: The Making of ‘Spelunky 2’

  • “I think spiky games are often thought of as punishing, but to me the difficiulty, while it’s an important part of the design ethos, is in service of the goal rather than the goal itself. The real goal, I think, is to put the player into a state of focus about the game and to really care about what they’re doing at any given moment. It’s to make them feel like the world existed before they arrived and that it will exist after they leave. To make it feel real.”

JĂĽrgen “tante” Geuter: The Third Web

  • “The promise of the Internet of giving people access to information and potentially the power of publication is supposed to be replaced with an unregulated casino that literally burns our planet to the ground. I can hardly come up with anything this despicable. Nobody is an island but the Web3 crowd wants to further individualize us, turn everything about our digital and ideally analog selves into objects for speculation with semi-automated trading of assets replacing politics. The full financialization and depoliticization of life with no regard for the ecological consequences. This is not a utopian vision. This is a declaration of war against a lot of the political and social progress of the last decades.”

Keith Burgun: “Handicaps”, “Balanced Difficulty” and the one-player perspective

  • “There is a sense in which all games could be looked at as “1 player games”. When we play a game, we are always only playing from a single player’s perspective. We perceive things from just one perspective (our own, not our opponent’s), and we make choices for just one player (ourselves). In the case of highly systemic, deep strategy games, I argue that we not only can look at games as though they were all “1 player” games, but that we should. By doing so, we can focus on making players have a balanced difficulty, but it can also lead us away from rules that lead to “griefing”.”

Paul Butler: “Play-to-earn” and Bullshit Jobs

  • “Any sufficiently complex game will come to realize, as Axie Infinity has, that immutable property rights are at odds with the ability to counter abuse. Games that maximize property rights (as Axie Infinity wisely hasn’t) are bound to be overrun with cheaters and bots, which in turn will just bring down the value of in-game assets anyway. Ultimately, in-game labour is just a re-branding of gameplay designed to be dull enough that rich players will pay to outsource it to poor players. In spite of being presented as the future of work by some venture capitalists, the incentives just don’t make sense.”

Sanny Syberfeldt: Random Challenges

  • “I think having decisions be context-dependent is absolutely crucial for strategy game design, because that means if I get to the same type of decision situation multiple times […] then it will not be the same alternative that is the correct one in every situation, because the context is important enough to change which option I choose.”