costik's blog

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moshboy spent a year interviewing 50 indie developers, one a week. All the interviews are now up here.

Nov 4: Wu Tang Clan @ Babycastles (forsooth)

The party celebrates the alternative arcade's six-month run in Williamsburg. 8PM - 1AM | $15 | ALL-AGES @ BABYCASTLES HQ, 285 KENT AVE <<<< L TRAIN TO BEDFORD

Friday, November 4 At 285 KENT AVE ( BTWN S1st and S2nd)


\|| DJ Marty McSorley

8pm | ALL AGES | $15

Purchase advanced tickets HERE:

Join Babycastles Sunday at Occupy Wall Street (Zuccotti Park)

Babycastles is hosting the first of a series of bi-weekly gatherings this Sunday, October 15th, at Occupy Wall Street,
for anyone interested in meeting and joining the people involved in the Babycastles independent games culture project.

Indiecade Award Winners

13 Games Receive Top Honors
Polyton’s FEZ Wins Grand Jury Award
at 2011 IndieCade Awards Show
presented by LG Electronics

LOS ANGELES – Oct. 11, 2011 – Thirteen games, chosen by a panel of experts, received top honors at the 2011 IndieCade Conference Festival. FEZ, created by Polytron Corporation, was awarded the Grand Jury Award. IndieCade recognizes superior examples of story development, visual, technological, audio and all-around independent game titles as well as a creator who has greatly contributed to the independent gaming field.

Eleven of the winners, including the Grand Jury Award were announced at the Red Carpet awards show, sponsored by LG Electronics, on Thursday, Oct. 6. On Sunday night, Oct. 9, GameFly, a supporting sponsor, hosted the closing party where the Audience and Developer Choice Awards were announced.

"2011 was a great year for the indie gaming community, which continues to grow and change by leaps and bounds." said Stephanie Barish, CEO, IndieCade. "This year's submissions reflected the incredible diversity and innovation we have
seen growing over the four years of IndieCade. The nominees and winners represent the best aspects of independent games."

The game and developer winners this year are:

who killed videogames? (a ghost story)

who killed videogames (a ghost story) is quite a good read, and insightful about the dynamics of the free-to-play (FTP) model. As I'm working on FTP games at the moment, I also think it's a tad too pessimistic about them, but that's a matter of opinion.

Interview with Pedercini on The Phone Game Flap

It's up at Indiegames.

2011 Indiecade Finalists

The 2011 Indiecade Finalists have been announced.

Among games previously reviewed here are:

We'll try to get reviews of the other computer-playable games up here in future weeks. (Not all are, since some aren't in release, or are for platforms we don't cover, or are installation or physical games or the like.)

Apple Suppresses Dissent

Paolo Pedercini's game Phone Story, which deals with the issues of forced and sweatshop labor in the production of mobile phones, has been banned by Apple's app store on the spurious grounds that it "depicts violence toward children." Actually, it depicts the iniquitous effects of Apple's outsourcing practices and lack of corporate responsibility, and indeed, by banning the game, Apple merely makes that lack of responsibility clear.

The case for bailing out of the Apple ecosystem and adopting open platforms could not be starker. Junk your iPhone.

Pedercini is the brilliant creator of such landmark "games for change" as The McDonald's Game and Oiligarchy, and the equally brilliant art game, every day the same dream.

The Android version is still available; proceeds go to support Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior.

Learning from Wargaming

Matt Kirschenbaum has an excellent post on wargaming inspired in part by my piece in Tabletop: Analog Game Design and in part by attendance at Connections, a conference involving both professional military and hobbyist wargamers.

A snip:

    "So what can we learn from wargames? Where Costikyan sees realism and historical fidelity and validity in simulation, I see a contemporary player and design community (both hobbyist and professional) that values attention to process in the procedural or quantitative representation of complex, often literally contested phenomena. Where Costikyan sees a focus on outcomes, I see a focus on the in-game experience, and the after the fact analysis and discussion of what happened and why."

Tabletop: Analog Game Design

ETC Press, the publishing arm of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, has just released a book I co-edited with Drew Davidson, entitled Tabletop: Analog Game Design.

It's a diverse set of essays by game designers, both digital and tabletop, as well as by game studies academics. Some discuss tabletop game design, others analyze games they admire, and others talk about other things that impinge on tabletop games.

You can read it online, download it in plaintext, or buy either a physical or e-book version from the book's page at ETC Press.

Among the pieces I like best are Stone Librande talking about the games he designs every year as Christmas presents for his kids; Lew Pulsipher on the difficulties in designing three-player games; and John Sharp on Pandemic and why most serious games suck. Ian Schreiber, who sometimes posts here, has a piece on Settlers of Catan. Other contributors include Jim Dunnigan, Dave Parlett, Richard Garfield, Peter Olotka, John Kaufield, Chris Klug, Kevin Jacklin, Ira Fay, Brian Magerko, Simon Ferrari, Matthew Berland, Pat Harrigan, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Ray Mazza and Brenda Bakker Harger.

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