Letters to the Editor

Can’t Get it Out of My Head


In response to “Free Fall” from The Escapist Forum: Good to see Armadillo Run getting more exposure – this is probably the most fun I’ve had with a game for the last five years. A perfect example of less is more in game design.

Oh and reading your discussion of Croquet is a great example of another feature I liked about the game: you don’t have to produce mechanically ingenious solutions. You can also sidestep the “intended” solutions with a bit of lateral thinking in many cases. [SPOILER WARNING] Instead of trying to build a better mallet, use a cheap, rubbishy mallet and build a support to stop the anvil from falling so quickly. Croquet? No. A win? Yes!

– Dom Camus

In response to “Free Fall” from The Escapist Forum: Armadillo Run is definitely a great game. I wish I could say the same about the article.

I can’t help but wonder how in 5 pages of text, neither the developer nor the writer saw fit to point out that AR is a much-improved revisit/remake of the quite popular and famous Bridge Builder , which amongst other things won the audience award at IGF2003. It’s had several sequels, including the 100% free, minimal “Bridge Building Game” from the original author.

While AR certainly made vast improvements to both the interface/useability, range of building materials, aesthetic, etc. the article seems to suggest that the game idea itself is original, when it’s quite simply not. BB features all of the basic mechanics found in AR, the similarities are far too striking to be accidental, and frankly it saddens me when such a great, literate magazine fails to do at least a cursory amount of research before heralding a game as a great innovation. A great game it may be, but it is a game whose greatness lies it its refinement, improvement, and advancement of a concept introduced by others. The choice of introductory quote was much more apt than perhaps intended.

Not to mention, both games owe a debt to the various “The Incredible Machine” games, as a previous poster mentioned.

If you were writing an article introducing Duke Nukem 3D, it would be irresponsible if you failed to mention Wolfenstein or Doom, wouldn’t it? And yet this is exactly what you’ve done by omitting any reference to TIM or BB, respectively.

– raigan

In response to “Chaos” from The Escapist Forum: Chaos was like a secret lover. You thought you were the only one, then years later you discovered – to your shock – that there were others! My love affair with Chaos reflects Kieron’s, except in my case it involved my entire family. It is the only computer game I’ve ever played that had three generations sitting down in front of the TV screen playing together, and which gave every one of them the occasional, gratifying victory. Chaos was an ideal party game, because everyone would win at least once, but only the best would win most often.

Even today I can sit skeptical non-gamers down in front of the PC monitor (or the original Spectrum, if I feel like trying to get the cassette tape to work!) and entirely beguile them with this masterpiece of game design.

– krayzkrok

In response to “Chaos” from The Escapist Forum: Hey. It’s fun to see Chaos getting some recognition. I discovered this game pretty late and I’ve only played it on an emulator. At a glance it looks pretty weird by today’s standards, but I managed to get really into it and I was amazed about just how deep the gameplay is.

I’m a graduated game programmer and I used Chaos as basis for my finals project, which was a game I developed by myself called “Chaos Reborn”. I took what was basically Chaos, and added my own ideas into the mix.

It’s just a silly student project. The graphics are pretty crappy and I didn’t have time to implement some of the more fun aspects of Chaos like mounting creatures or the blob, but I like to think it’s a really fun casual game you can play in short bursts.
This game gave me a nomination for best game idea at the Swedish Game Awards ’05, which honestly was kind of embarassing concidering it wasn’t really my idea to begin with.

– Scarabus1

In response to “Jumpgate” from The Escapist Daily: Hello,

I was reading your coverage of the EVE Developer Misconduct story and I wanted to comment briefly on some of your coverage. First off, I’d like to say that it is refreshing to see an article that approaches this topic from a true journalistic perspective. Many sites, including Slashdot, have simply repeated sensationalist opinions on the events that have transpired. Joe Blancato did an outstanding job of approaching the topic from an unbiased position.

I do, however, think that his sources may have provided him with a perception of the event that is not complete. I’ve been playing EVE for the last 4 years (since its release) and I’ve been a member of both GoonSwarm (I know Remedial and have met him) and Band of Brothers.

There is a lot of resentment between these two organizations. I would suggest contacting either Sir Molle or Blacklight (both executives within Band of Brothers) to get their side of the story, because many of GoonSwarm’s accusations imply that they knowingly abused game mechanics (a bannable offense). I think an interview with one of them would provide the balance that a situation like this calls for.

Regardless, your coverage has been far above average.


Justin Appler

Hi Justin,
Thank you for the compliments. I just wanted to let you know we did in fact contact BoB for their input, but they responded: “CCP’s official announcement can be found on the Eve Online forums. We have no interest in expanding on that.”

I’ve updated the main article, as well as the interview with Remedial to reflect the new info.



In response to “Dichotomy of Anonymity” from The Escapist Daily: Personally, I have had a tough time listening to what people say about gamers. My most frustrating moment came a few months ago, watching the Video Game Awards on Spike. I have never seen something so off the point. Did spike really believe that gamers would like watching a parade of hot celebrities making fun of gamers, calling them “15 year old virgins” over and over again? Was I supposed to be happy to see a beautiful woman bash my interests, during a program that was designed for my viewing pleasure no less?

I take comedy with good humor most of the time. If its not video games that I’m thinking about during my free time, its stand up comedy. There is a line, however. Self-effacing humor is funny when it is SELF-effacing.

You have here a situation where gamers are being generalized as sexually under-developed and under-experienced children. So then, why am I attracted to female gamers? Well, it’s nice when you meet someone that won’t bash something you love doing. It’s nice when you have a relationship with someone that doesn’t belittle your interests. A lot of non-gamer women, and even casual game-playing males, find devotion and love of gaming to be ‘silly’. I just want to be with someone that won’t ridicule something I find so much joy in doing.
– Blaxton

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