Extra Life

Extra Life

"I found some interesting similarities between all these games. They are, by genre and platform, very different games. The traits most commonly assigned to videogames - genre, platform, marketing clout - vary widely within the list, so clearly the answer cannot be found within conventional boundaries. God of War was a very recent console-based big-budget, high-tech, hyper-violent, heavily-marketed hit. Championship Manager is a strategic soccer simulation series in which the player acts as club manager. There's virtually nothing in the way of graphics or sound, and the games are not well-known in the U.S. - quite the opposite of God of War.
"So what, then, is the commonality making these games similarly great? These games are all missing a chunk of the story!"
Rowan Kaiser examines the concept of missing middle narrative, and why sometimes designing a game with less makes for a more compelling experience.

Extra Life

"Where mods add costumes, levels and alternate scenarios, art mods often strip things away to bare essentials or even less, or reassemble the game engine around an artistic statement or idea. The varieties of art mods are as varied as the games that influence them. Art mods are sometimes hacked, sometimes simple plug-in extensions and sometimes real-world add-ons to a computer game that permanently change the way you look at them."
Christian McCrea tours the burgeoning art mod scene.

Extra Life

"Not all authors, however, escape without real harm. ... Two French users demanded that Gello localize WaterBoy, a mod that helped mages summon and distribute water for raids. He refused to spend so much time translating again and asked that they mod it themselves. 'Then the flame emails began,' Gello recounted. 'When I stood by my position (probably not in the nicest terms), they continued in earnest. I got an email with an attachment I thought was safe and apparently it wasn't.' The modern computer nightmare had come true for Gello. 'I basically abandoned the email address, formatted my pc, ditched the mod and didn't look back.'"
Greg Tito explores the dangers of modding for WoW.

Extra Life

"Vespers is one of the best games I've ever played, text-based or no.
"But I should have expected that. The IF Comp, an annual contest to see who can write the best text-based game, offers a vast treasury of interactive fiction, and many of the entries over the past 13 years are truly fantastic. Some, like Vespers, are lit-geek works of art, putting the bulk of commercial games to shame."

Extra Life

"'A lot of my time ... was spent self-teaching,' he says, 'reading tutorials and building things from scratch. Because I began to develop better techniques for doing things and my art improved, I couldn't help but go back and overhaul what I had done previously, a habit that eventually attributed to the delays.'
"And by delays, Long means 'years.' Four of them, to be precise. Over that time the game has gone through several iterations and acquired something of a cult following, with over 9,000 registered users at the mod's official web forum and over 25,000 downloads of the game's demo, representing tens of thousands of fans all clamoring, like the undead at the door, to know when they can get their hands on the product of Nguyen's brains. If Nguyen has anything to say about it, they won't be waiting for long."