Misc

Misc
The Escapist Year-by-Year

The Escapist Staff | 12 Jul 2012 21:00
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Publisher sales reps inform Wal-Mart buyers of games in development; the games' subjects, titles, artwork and packaging are vetted and sometimes vetoed by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart tells a top-end publisher it won't carry a certain game, the publisher kills that game. In short, every triple-A game sold at retail in North America is managed start to finish, top to bottom, with the publisher's gaze fixed squarely on Wal-Mart, and no other.
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Happily, there is a simple tool at the center of all game design, whose exploration requires no team or cost, and from which any game designer can learn by its consideration: rules. Furthermore, I believe that the creation and selection of game rules is an art form in and of itself. By this, I mean that the rules of a game can give an artistic statement independent of its other components. Just as a poem doesn't need pictures and a painting doesn't need music, a game needs nothing else apart from its rules to succeed as a work of art. It can certainly benefit from other elements but it doesn't need them.
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'Truth in Videogame Rating Act' Bill Sponsored
Congressman Cliff Stearns has introduced HR 5912, also known as the "Truth in Video Game Rating Act" to place more pressure on the ESRB to give accurate game ratings and determine their effectiveness. The Act includes terms which would make rating games without playing them to completion unlawful. This would be a radical change from the current ESRB system which relies heavily on developer disclosure rather than hands-on experience. Neglecting to disclose all content in a game or rating a game lower than it should be would also become illegal.
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Ritual's Future in Question as Employees Jump Ship
With key members leaving the company, questions have begun to surface about the status of the next Sin Episode and Ritual as a whole. The first episode was released on Valve's Steam service May 10th, 2006. Ritual has stated in the past that they want to release new episodes every six months, but there has been no information or marketing for the next game seven months after the first has shipped. In August, Ritual released the SDK for the first episode, but the promised multiplayer patch has yet to make an appearance.
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