All in Features

Valve Removing Paid Mods Is Everything Wrong With Gamer Entitlement

Last week Valve unrolled a feature that would allow people to sell Skyrim mods on the Steam workshop. It wasn’t a mandatory requirement all mods be paid or listed on the marketplace, but there was now a legal infrastructure to allow modders to be paid for their work. A few hours ago Valve announced they would be removing this feature and issuing refunds to anyone who had purchased a mod.

I'm Not A Gamer

As I’m writing this GamerGate is entering its 8th month of ongoing terror and intimidation across social media. It’s been a horrendous period in games, destroying people’s lives, driving people out and away from the games industry, permanently scarring the reputation of games in the public eye, causing universities to cut funding for games programs, and showing no signs of stopping anytime soon as its advocates continue to find new, even more horrific methods to try and drive out their adversaries.

Indie Impressions: Titan Souls (Prototype Demo)

I'm not sure exactly why or when it started, but I've become completely obsessed with Titan Souls and its imminent release. Despite having watched little gameplay, only knowing basic details on how it works, and having yet to read through an actual preview of the game, there's just been something about it that I can't describe which makes me feel it's going to be something special. After sitting down with the current demo build I can only say that whatever excitement I previously had is now monumentally higher, making the game almost certainly my most anticipated release this year so far.

An Ode to Pixel Art

Close your eyes and think of what the word “game” first brings to mind. For myself and I imagine a lot of people born before 1995, that image was something 8 or 16-bit. Maybe Mario, of MegaMan, or one of the early Final Fantasy games. In my eyes, pixel art is the defacto aesthetic of games. It’s where they began and an art style they created, yet beginning around the release of the Playstation, there’s been a trend in games to abandon the style in favor of attempting as high a level of realism as possible with a game’s graphics. Only in recent years has the style been revisited, mostly by indie developers, and yet the response I so often see toward it is not one of appreciation but accusations of developers being “lazy”, “incompetent”, or “unimaginative”.

Indie Impressions: Cadence (Kickstarter Demo)

Cadence is still a fair ways off, but already it's showing a ton of potential. Even if the editor doesn't pan out like I hope, the puzzles alone are such an ingenious mix of musical experimentation and systemic efficiency (I swear it's cooler than that sounds) that at the very least it will end up as one of the better puzzle games I've played in years, and certainly among the best sounding.

Are long games hurting the medium?

I’m not exactly sure where the mindset originated (though if I had to guess I’d say with young people without a large income), but for a large segment of the gaming community a game’s length is often viewed as one of the deciding factors in whether they decide to purchase/play it. It seems absurd to me, as after all nobody says they only read books that are over 1000 pages or albums with more than 20 tracks, but for whatever reason games are uniquely singled out as being required to provide dozens and dozens of hours of content, or else be written off as a poor value or even somehow degrading games as a whole with their meager offering.