To the Editor: I love your web magazine. Just plain love it.
Though, like many of your readers, it seems, my mind is not set on your layout. On odd days, I just find it gorgeous, on even days gorgeous but cumbersome and slow to load (here, at least). Still, the answer already exist, and I'm surprised you're not advertising it much more: that little "text" link at the bottom of every article, which displays a printer-friendly version that's also quite comfortable to read "weblog-like."
But, there is still a little problem: Schematics are incrusted in the full-colored layout, and they don't make it into the "text" version (see "Death to the Games Industry, Part II", for example). That's (a little) bad. Do something about it, you will have a magazine pleasing to everyone!
To the Editor: Mr. Costikyan's piece is a valuable contribution to the game-developer zeitgeist; he makes strong, well-defended points. Kudos to you for publicizing his work.
That said, why not use The Escapist as a platform to bring more light to the underappreciated, community-based, under-marketed games he recommends? Even without a traditionally-inspired "reviews" section, you could run a weekly feature linking to reviews (or websites) for smaller games. I want to play more indie games, but I don't know where to find them. I'd like to have a reliable aggregator.
-Dan Davies Brackett
To the Editor: I guess I am one of the first "indie aesthetics" Greg Costikyan talks about in his second part of "Death to the Games Industry". I have not bought a game at a retail store in three months (last one was GTA SanAn) even though I consider myself a hardcore gamer and spend at least two hours a day on games. I even write game reviews for a small website (gamefreaks365.com). What do I play? Here is a list:
I have not had this much fun playing games since my family got the first PC back in 1998. I can only recommend people to join me. You probably did not notice but half of the games I mentioned are handheld games that I play on my PalmOS gaming PDA, the Zodiac from Tapwave (dead for 6 weeks now).
In the PalmOS scene I have seen how online distribution can go bad: Two huge ESD sites are controlling the market and taking away 50% of the money you spend on a game just for selling it online. Advertising costs extra! I just thought people should be warned before they wish for central market sites on the Internet. Everyone will stay a heartless capitalist with independent games, too.
To the Editor: It's quite refreshing that a "true" game development magazine exists. I've been feeling the same things towards the industry and I'm glad that your team of researchers and writers have the opportunity to openly discuss them.
I've been an independent game developer for around 2 1/2 years and currently on the very final stretch of releasing my company's first project, The Adventures of El Ballo for the Mac operating system. Our game hopefully demonstrates your discussion of developers choosing to push the "indie" label into the hands of the players. Yes, we are using AmbrosiaSW as our publisher, but even the film and book "independents" need a publisher to push their content to the media.