Game artist: caught clipping

A game artist goofup A game artist has a hard life. You spend years – nay, a lifetime – honing your skills and craft. You sketch incessantly, driven by your passion for visual expression. You paint, you sculpt, you design, you draft. After your traditional art training, you pick up the digital tools of creation. […]

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Game design innovation… in today’s market?

I guess a few game designers were paying attention The game design plaint that I most routinely dispense is doubtlessly one you’re familiar with. Game design is a dying craft. Publishers have forgotten what makes great games. Sequels are the spawn of Satan. But maybe I was wrong. A few fresh game design ideas are […]

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The videogame writing smackdown of the month

The videogame writing quandry Videogame writing often gets overlooked in the modern videogame development process. There’s no hiding from the raw facts. From EGM’s review of Alone in the Dark for Xbox 360: AITD wants to emulate the presentation of serial television, but neither the writing nor the “performances” compare to even TV’s least-essential shows. […]

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JJ Abrams’ Lost Thoughts on Creativity

JJ Abrams’ Lost Thoughts, get it? Ha ha… sorry. Anyhow, a friend recently turned me on to TED.com, a site where you can view talks from the cognoscenti from all sorts of incredible fields and backgrounds. On TED, I recently found this entertaining and thoughtful lecture by JJ Abrams, the creative guy behind Lost, Cloverfield, […]

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Gears of War 2 gets a new smoke grenade

Gears of War fans, rejoice. The gameplay for those previously useless smoke grenades is getting a facelift. In the first Gears of War, the smoke grenades were as useful as they would be in a Quake 3 deathmatch. There’s really nothing tactical about GoW; it’s a pure twitch game with zero stealth. And I’m not […]

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ACL “Sound and the Jury” contest horrors

ACL’s “Sound and the Jury” contest has started, and in a pretty marginal way. The winner gets a slot at the ACL music festival – huge prestige. It could be a launching pad to great things for the right band. A band with talent. Too bad the bands who are currently winning are spectacularly weak. […]

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Game visuals in Gears of War 2, and RIP CGW

Two quick notes for you game-hungry readers… First if you’ve seen the screenshots for Gears of War 2, you might want to compare them with the screenshots for Gears of War 1. You’ll notice that: a) GoW 2 is gorgeous.  Haze, smoke, particles. Details recede into the background. Textures are richer and more plentiful. AND… […]

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Best videogame monster

Best videogame monster: now accepting your nominations The best videogame monster. Now that’s a competitive category. Like best movie villain, except a heck of a lot more likely to make your palms sweat. Even if you’re a novice videogamer, you’ve probably seen your share of incredible videogame monsters. Some examples that spring to my mind: […]

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What happened to M. Night Shyamalan?

What the heck happened, M. Night Shyamalan? I just saw the ad for the new M. Night movie. It’s designed to look like some kind of andromeda strain movie. “There appears to be an event happening,” a man intones. This, according to our statistics, is the blandest, most uninformative, passive-voice piece of advertising ever recorded […]

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Gameplay Cliches

Gameplay cliches get a lot of chatter, but when the game is successful and has a core experience that people enjoy, no one says a word. Case in point: Gears of War. Mine carts. Ammo boxes that are strewn around abundantly. Crates that contain ammo boxes. Also strewn around at every juncture. Lava levels. Gears […]

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