Games Journalism and Money…

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For the Unlimited Hyperbole Christmas Special I invited you to tell me what you’d change about the games industry – but there was one response I didn’t include. It asked me what I think of the way games journalists are paid and I promised just to reply to it later.

This is a topic that’s close to my heart, so prepare for the answer to be quite aggressive…

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Non-Gaming Work: Laundrapp

I wouldn’t normally share non-games or non-project things on here, but having spent the last three months hard at work with this company I naturally want to do everything I can to support it. It’s Laundrapp, the only laundry and dry cleaning app with London-wide service. It also works in Edinburgh!

Dry cleaning obviously isn’t as immediately entertaining as explosions or experience points, but it’s a great service and I’ve really enjoyed working on it. The team is fantastic, the app is well-designed and there are a lot of people who’ve worked on games in the past, so I don’t feel like an idiot when people ask me what I did at the weekend and I say ‘Dishonored, again’.

Also, as a special for gamers, you can use the code ‘THREEPWOOD’ to get £10 off your first order. Yay!

Literal Secret Project…

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Are you a developer who hid something in a game that nobody ever picked up on? Are you a player who found one? I’d like to hear from you.

This is for an upcoming talk I’m hoping to give, exploring hidden stories that exist in front of us. They can be tiny jokes (like the metal detector in SiN: Episodes that quotes Robin Hood), whole features (like the time lock in Thief 2’s bank which actually opens after eight in-game hours) or personal references that only you’d get.

Whatever it is you’ve hidden – or found! – , if nobody else knows about it, I’d love it if you could email me. Or tweet me. Or comment.

The Deleted Scenes of Origin Systems…

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My excavation of the Dolph Briscoe Archive and Warren Spector’s personal effects continues and, as usual, Eurogamer is publishing the results. This time it’s a collection of rejected pitches and unmade games which Spector’s group was working on at Origin Systems, of Wing Commander and Ultima fame.

“There were lots of game ideas that came out of my group at Origin,” offers Spector. “Arthurian Legends, Transland, PassTimes, Operator…They never went anywhere… [but] we were all coming up with ideas left and right.”

This was one of the quickest Deleted Scenes articles to pull together, because there were so few identifiable people I could chase down. Only one pitch had a name on it and two decades have faded the details for all the Origin staff I could raise. I spoke to everyone from Creative Directors to Tech Support, but the fogginess was sadly pervasive.

The Unlimited Hyperbole Christmas Special

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[ download this episode ]

This Christmas I’ve bought Unlimited Hyperbole back for a special episode, during which I threw the microphone into the crowd and asked you, the listeners, to send in submissions telling me the answer to one question.

If you could change one thing about your involvement with games, what would it be?

I was astonished by the responses which came back and I’ve presented them all here as straightforwardly as I can, with as little droning and editing from me as possible. Settle in for a longer, rougher and more optimistic episode of Unlimited Hyperbole than ever before, with submissions from the following delightful people and a download mirror provided by Split Screen

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Gaming’s Lost Art of Dreaming…

This is apropos of nothing and the camera stability is a bit shaky, but Mike Cook‘s recent Videobrains talk on the lost art of dreaming and imagination really struck a chord with me. I’d definitely recommend watching if you’ve got time.

Mike is obviously someone I’ve worked with a lot in the past. I genuinely think he’s an endless source of inspiration in the games industry and I’ll be touching on the why of that in the upcoming Unlimited Hyperbole Christmas Special.