How I Work: Linx 7 and Accessories

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I bought a tablet recently. As time has passed and my job has changed I’ve found my device needs have also evolved and that I spend the majority of my time working on mobile devices even when a desktop PC is an available option. Hence, a tablet.

The exact model, size and spec of my tablet has led to a few questions, so for the sake of easy recommendations I’ve gone into detail on what I got and how it fares here.

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I’m Talking at Videobrains Again

Later this month I’m going to be speaking at Videobrains – the really fantastic and affordable regular games event in London where indie developers, journalists and academics have drinks and share their thoughts. It’s a really, really fun event, as illustrated by the above video of Mike Cook’s last talk there. 

I actually try to attend every single Videobrains event, but I haven’t spoken since the first one – where I revealed never-before-seen copies of the design document for Deus Ex 3. This time, I’m talking about the History and Evolution of Easter Eggs (because: Easter).

Tickets are £5 and it’s an independent event that’s really worth supporting, not least because I’ll be talking with the likes of Kate Gray, Tom Hatfield, Emma Sinclair, Christos Reid and Len Cheung. Also, I buy a drink for anyone who can say ‘Hyperbole’ correctly 3x in a row. Or I will until it gets ridiculous anyway.

Buy Videobrain Tickets (£5)

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.