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Quick Links for Oct 2017 (I read a lot of gamesdev articles, so you don’t have too!)

October 23, 2017

Let’s get started with October’s quick links! (Before we do I should plug the new release of Ogre, which is ace and also our Cthulhu Christmas Cards, which have smashed 100%)

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As we move into Brexit turf, I suspect many devs are getting a bit worried about what changes might mean for such a global and EU facing industry. So it’s some good news that an Independent Body recommends more funding our UK games industry;

The newly published government commissioned review, The Independent Review of the Creative Industries has suggested that the UK Games fund should receive a further investment of £23.7 million, which is over five times its current level, and that this should be delivered over the next five years.

One of the great things about gaming is how we can share our passion. That connection can also become a problem too, for both players and people working in games… and it’s not a new thing too. So it’s interesting to read how major companies are (or are not) taking the issue on:

This is the crux; the problem is not technological, it’s philosophical. Valve clearly has a strong philosophy and political standpoint about how online services should work and about how the freedom of users (including users who haven’t actually bought a game but still want to give it a 1-star review and call its creator a variety of colourful names) should be balanced against the protection of creators’ livelihoods. … On the flip side of this coin, you’ve got Blizzard – a company which embraces technology with every bit as much fervour as Valve, but takes a very different approach to protecting its players and policing its community. Last week, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan laid things out very clearly – the team has absolutely refocused personnel and resources away from other features and content in order to address player toxicity in the Overwatch community.

(Also see video in here)

This is interesting: TIGA partners with ITN Productions on current affairs-style games industry programme The Next Level. Be interesting to see how that pans out.

Finally a more philosophical question: Should players get access to all a game’s content even if they don’t play though? It a good question and the balance points are there – reward for play vs access to content. Given I’m a bit more of a time-poor gamer than I was, I’m a fan of allowing both; give options to access the game easier for those that want it. I like the idea that there is no ‘easy’ mode but there is a ‘story’ mode for those who’s play is more towards that sort of thing. However unlocking it all just from the start? Don’t think that feel right personally.

Video games are one of the only means of expression where you have to pass some sort of test before seeing the rest of what the experience has to offer. No one asks you to solve a logic problem before reading the last page of a book, nor are there many art galleries that ask you a quiz about the paintings that you saw in the last room before you can get to the next one.

But a game asks you to get good enough at whatever challenges it offers before you can see the whole thing. You will be tested, and only those who have “earned” the higher levels through completing those tests will ever see them.

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