The Best Video Game Music of 2012: "You press a button, and the beat drops. Forward you fly, straight into the perilous unknown, beats pushing against your eardrums as you push back against the controller. Tempo and harmony swim together, and you lose yourself in the rhythm of play.
2012 has been a fine year for video game music. The finest in recent memory, I'd argue. We've seen soundtracks of every shape, size and tonal color, compositional collections complementing games that have incorporated harmony and discord in ingenious, exciting ways.
Granted, my affinity for this year's music is at least in part because it was the year I started running Kotaku Melodic, and so my awareness of all things musical and video gamey has been at an all-time high."
Eugene Jarvis still believes in the arcade video game - Chicago Tribune: "Jarvis was born and raised in Silicon Valley. Which is a bit like writing: “Oprah Winfrey was born and raised in a Chicago TV studio.” The person matches the birthplace with eerie perfection. Then again, Jarvis, who is responsible for a remarkable number of gaming innovations and an absurdly long list of successful titles stretching four decades, is something of a video game Zelig, a game developer with a Forrest Gump-like ability to have witnessed (or had a hand in) a number of pivotal moments in the history of the medium.
Scrolling games, for instance. Jarvis pioneered scrolling. (Which is like being the first guy to say, “Hey, what would happen if we added pages to this stone tablet?”) Also, dual joysticks — he created dual joysticks.
As a teenager he attended the meetings of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club, which included Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. After college, he was hired by Atari, where founder Nolan Bushnell was pushing innovations (and Jobs was designing a new “Pong” game named “Breakout”). During the pinball era, Jarvis' successes included Atari's “Superman” and Williams Electronics' “Firepower” and “High Speed.” During the early '80s he designed “Defender,” “Stargate,” and “Robotron”; during the late '80s and '90s, he made “Narc,” “Smash TV,” and the “Cruis'n USA” franchise. More recently, he's the guy behind the “Fast and Furious” driving games, the publisher of “Big Buck Hunter” and the developer who recognized, as Hollywood did decades earlier when faced with the threat of television, the physical size of the medium would be key to its survival: Raw Thrills' machines, the industry standard, are loud and gigantic. . . ."
Video games in 2012: year in review - Telegraph: " . . . But the true creative success stories were digitally distributed games. Free from the pressures of big business boxed sales, downloadable games are able to provide more diverse pleasures at lower prices. The result is an audience more willing to take a punt on riskier concepts, and developers more willing to provide them. Two were revelatory. Thatgamecompany’s Journey was a staggeringly beautiful rumination on faith and companionship, as you played a robe-swaddled traveller on a pilgrimage across shifting sands, occasionally accompanied by strangers playing the game at the same time. Telltale’s The Walking Dead, meanwhile, provided a masterclass in interactive storytelling, exploring the human condition while casting you as a paternal protector. Every decision you made had real weight behind it, as you became the de facto leader of a ragtag bunch of wonderfully characterised survivors. Elsewhere, the startling emergence of crowd-funding on websites such as Kickstarter may see a major shift in how games are published, and the burgeoning independent scene on both PC and smartphone devices continued to impress. A lower barrier to entry for prospective developers and the ease of distributing games over the internet has paved the way for the second coming of the “bedroom coder”, creating a wildly diverse library of games that may not have the production values of their big-budget cousins, but are full of promise and fresh ideas. It is this kind of enthusiasm and inventiveness that deserted many of the blockbuster games this year. 2013 will mark the arrival of new technology that may decide the future of this young medium. . . ."
No, Let's Talk About Video Game Violence: "Adam Lanza was a gamer. This fact has been reported, re-reported, and rehashed to the extent that it's now part of the killer's capsule bio: Young. White. Male. Asperger's. Loner. Gamer. This was predictable — not just that this young, withdrawn man played games, as so many do, or that they were violent, as so many are, but also that this detail would capture people's attention; that the media would repeat it in an insinuating way, and that it would make the public uneasy. My son plays those games. My son loves those games. I play those games. . . . We can let ourselves feel guilty as we play these games, and talk about why that might be. We can allow ourselves to wonder what it means that members of Seal Team Six were disciplined by the Navy for divulging classified information in a video game consultation. We can freely ask if these games have any causal force when it comes to violence, or if they're just a reflection of the culture of a country that's been at war for a solid decade. We can feel free to acknowledge that the thought of truly violent and insane people playing and enjoying games about killing makes the stomach churn, in the same way we might be discomforted to find out a killer enjoyed beloved but violent movies. We can stop obsessing over the media blaming the games industry — it hasn't had real consequences in this country before, and it's doubtful that it will anytime soon — and take a moment to consider what's it's become, and what it should be. . . . .
Game promotion and marketing--choose your platform carefully--
Game developer slams Microsoft after hit game pulls in a pittance | News | TechRadar: ". . . . Rubicon criticised Microsoft for not featuring the game prominently on its store because it hadn't been launched for Intel-based Windows 8 machines too. The post, which has now been deleted, read: "Apple regularly promote our apps. Android regularly promote our apps. Even RIM (Blackberry) regularly promote our apps... Microsoft on the other hand clearly do not value us at all." "If other developers get this treatment, that store is going to look mighty bleak for a long time to come. Please take this as a warning. "I know I sound bitter and twisted and there's a reason for that – I actually am. We have wasted a lot of time, resources and money on supporting this platform and all that happened was we got spat on.". . ."
The End is Nigh: The Ten Best Post-Apocalyptic Video Games Forbes Video games have been tackling the subject for years now, and there have been a host of titles dealing with what happens in a post-apocalyptic world. Short answer: A lot of mutant shooting. Long answer: Well, you'll have to read on. Check out the ten ... Forbes
Best portable video games of 2012 New York Daily News The iPad isn't going anywhere. And neither are its games. It's no wonder Sony's excellent PS Vita had such a hard time carving a niche this year, despite splendid hardware, and no wonder the first console of the next generation – the Nintendo Wii U ... New York Daily News
Washington Post: Video games don't kill people, people kill people Daily Caller There is no statistical correlation between video games and violent crime, a Washington Post article argued in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. “Video game consumption, based on international data, does not seem to correlate at all with an increase ... Daily
Insanity--UK Tax Relief for Video Games - GameDev.net
“Up to 4 points may be awarded in respect of the contribution of the video game to the promotion […] of British ... Of course developer can always just pay the full tax as usual, but for the government to test their scruples and tease them with tax ..." Revealed: The UK video games cultural test | Game Development | News by Develop: "Government details developer eligibility for tax relief
The UK government has unveiled details of the cultural test for video games tax relief in its draft legislation released today.
To pass the tests, provided below, a game must be awarded at least 16 points to be eligible for tax breaks.
Developers will be awarded with four points for instance if at least 75 per cent of the game is set in the UK or another EEA state, and three points if only 66 per cent is set in such locations.
Other tests includes how many characters depicted in the title are from the UK or another EEA state, if the game depicts a British story or one which relates to an EEA state, and whether the title helps promote, develop and enhance British culture.
One potential point of controversy however could stem from points available for British staff in specific positions. For example, one point could be awarded if the project leader "is a qualifying person". This also applies to the positions of scriptwriters, composers, artists, programmers, designers and the head of department. . . ."
Tim Schafer talks Ümloud! with Game Guy Barry White News10.net Tim Schafer talks Ümloud! with Game Guy Barry White Iconic video game developer Tim Scahfer sits down with Game Guy Barry White to talk about last week's Ümloud! charity event. tim schafer game guys entertainment KXTV 02:11 ...
2012 a banner year for Canadian video games CanadianBusiness.com Developer: Queasy Games (Toronto). It's hard to believe that just two guys could make a PlayStation Vita game that's better than those pumped up by giantdevelopment teams, but that's what Jonathan Mak and Shaw-Han Liem did. Sure, they had some help ... CanadianBusiness.com
Disney Buys South Korean Game Developer Studio Ex (Report ... By Patrick Brzeski The new acquisition is Disney's latest grab in an ongoing drive into the lucrative Asian gaming sector.... AWARDS · VIDEO · NEWS · 3D · SMPTE · CES 2012 · E3 EXPO · SXSW · SIGGRAPH · WOMEN IN ENTERTAINMENT · LES MISERABLES · VIDEO: AGENTS ROUNDTABLE · POWER AUTHORS ... The Walt Disney Company has acquired South Korean game developer Studio Ex, All Things D reported today. The South Korean startup focuses on multiplayer, free-to-play online and ... Tech
Hotline Miami pirated at 'extraordinary levels' - GameSpot.com: "2D top-down action game Hotline Miami has been overwhelmed by piracy, publisher Devolver Digital has told Eurogamer. The company also revealed sales statistics to the site, confirming the game has sold 130,000 copies since launch in late October. "It has been torrented to such a staggering level, and given the file size of it, I mean, you can't really be surprised, right?," project manager Graeme Struthers said. "You could pass this thing around on the world's smallest memory stick. So it has been torrented to extraordinary levels.". . . "
Gamasutra - Features - What Do Investors Look for in a Game Developer?: "All games have title risk. I can't tell you that your game is going to be a hit before it is launched. Frankly, I don't think that you can either. I'm glad that you are excited about your game. You have to be, or you would not be an entrepreneur. But there are plenty of games that flop, and each of those flops was built by a developer who truly believed in that game. The only truth lies in what users think and do when they play a game.
As Unity, Adobe Flash, HTML5, and other tools increasingly get better, it is getting cheaper and easier to build a quality game and launch it in beta. I like to see real data from real users to see if people are playing a game, and returning. In the long term, aggregate time spent playing a game is the best predictor for monetization, so I like to see your early users getting addicted, and coming back again and again.
OMGPOP had many flops before finally hitting on Draw Something. In contrast, the first two games from Supercell, Clash of Clans and Hay Day, both look to be hits. But it is hard to predict in advance. . . ."
25 top-rated Facebook games from 2012: "Games can be both a welcome and an annoying diversion on Facebook, the world's most popular online social network. This year, Facebook crossed a big milestone – reaching 1 billion active users. Game companies such as "FarmVille" creator Zynga Inc. and Rovio Entertainment Ltd. of "Angry Birds" fame seek to tap into that vast base of users to gain more players for their games.
This week, Facebook Inc. issued a list of the 25 top-rated games that launched on Facebook in 2012. The company says the rankings are based on user ratings and engagement with the games. It's the same methodology that Facebook uses to rank apps in its App Center.
Some of the games are played on Facebook's website, while others are only on Apple Inc.'s iOS or Google Inc.'s Android devices using Facebook's app.
Here's the list:
1. "SongPop" (by FreshPlanet, on Facebook.com, iOS and Android)
2. "Dragon City" (by Social Point, on Facebook.com)
3. "Bike Race" (by Top Free Games, on iOS) . . . "
The virtue of patience: how game design has rediscovered waiting | Technology | guardian.co.uk: "For a while there, games were constantly hurrying us through the experience; now, finally, a new generation is letting us breath and think again . . . The balance between freedom and urgency is a vital one in game design – it is so hard to get right. But I love to wait and to think. I loved the the Surface level in GoldenEye, when you got to creep through the snow, slowly edging toward the guards. I spent many days playing the now largely forgotten real-time strategy title Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines, plotting precise strikes on patrolling German troops and then hiding the bodies. It has been fun to discover that feedback loop of surreptitious violence in Dishonored: stalk, strike, stash. It is satisfying because it encompasses two vital gaming mechanics: killing and tidying. I hope we're on the verge of a new era of game design, in which narrative isn't about corridors of action, and in which players truly contribute to the story as agents of change. Time's winged chariot has hurried us long enough; in the next generation, with processors big enough to generate worlds filled with procedural enemies and dynamic events, we should be given time and space to find our own rhythms of play. If you take the time to build a beautiful and elaborate domain filled with clever enemies, the player must be given the chance to drink it all in. Patience is a virtue in life and in game design."
What Do Investors Look for in a Game Developer? Gamasutra By The Numbers: The Influence of Board Game Design . Watch Your Game ... Lightspeed Venture Partners venture capitalist Jeremy Liew explains exactly what he other VCs look for in a game developer. Lightspeed has invested in Kixeye, Playdom, Serious ...
What Are The Worldwide Events For Indie Game Developers? Forbes Afterwards, they do the award show afterwards showing off that year's best games coupled with thevideo game awards show for AAA games where the pioneers of this industry speak such as Waren Spector, Cliff Blizinski, and so on. IGF Website Entry – If ...
Governments Handing Out Corporate Tax Subsidies for Video Games Town Hall The government shouldn't be subsidizing video game development at all - it's a multibillion-dollar industry that has shown consistent growth. The British gaming industry has possibly fallen on hard times. Team17 was a powerhouse game developer in the ...
Total War developer gets Warhammer video game license Ars Technica There are no details yet on what specific direction The Creative Assembly is planning to take with itsvideo game adaptation of the tabletop wargaming franchise, but Studio Director Tim Heaton promised to "[do] the Warhammer universe justice in a way ...
5 tips for buying (great) video games for young players NBCNews.com Video game boxes come with ratings designed specifically to help parents know which titles are appropriate for which ages. Games that are most appropriate for the youngest players will be marked with an "EC" for early childhood and "E" for "everyone.
MoMA Curator Finds Hidden Design Gems in Video Games Wall Street Journal (blog) So, we've had the smaller video game developers that have been really happy and have given us the code, and instead other companies that will not. So, the second best is to have as good an emulation as possible. And if we cannot have the emulation ... Wall Street Journal (blog)
The 5 trends that defined the game industry in 2012 Gamasutra Crowdstar has halted development of social network games to focus on mobile. ... And there's Zynga, whose $210 million purchase of Draw Something developer OMGPOP this year showed just how much the leading Facebook developer thought mobile games were ...
Exclusive: Bally Technologies eyes online gaming co 3G - sources
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Slot-machine maker Bally Technologies is exploring a bid for online pokergame developer 3G Studios, in what would be the latest deal to combine online gambling and casino gaming on social media, said two sources with knowledge ...
Adobe adds game developer tools to its Creative Cloud
By Mike Thompson
Adobe today announced it's providing a major update to its Creative Cloud service: the inclusion of itsGame Developer Tools. For the time being, the free membership to the cloud will include Adobe Scout, the pofiling tool that was previously ...
Inside Social Games
The Avant-Game - Game Developer Magazine
This time though, I'm talking about diversity in the games, not the developers. We' ve only ... It's a lesson in how, with the right framing, designers can use simple, ... gdmag.com/blog/2012/11/the-avant-game.php
A Gambling Parlor on Your Smartphone - Businessweek: " A poker game could come with such options as letting players buy a round of virtual drinks for the table, he says. “We can build an experience around the games, with great casual twists that casino makers don’t understand,” he says.
Griffin says casino games are only the beginning for social game developers. At a recent hackathon, designers showed titles that included raising a horse in a fashion similar to FarmVille-type games, and then paying to enter a race against other players’ horses. “Real money resets everything and creates a level playing field,” Griffin says. “This is not an incremental change. This is really a tectonic shift.”"
Zynga shares slide after privileged status with Facebook ends Northumberland Today The corporate logo of Zynga Inc, the social network game development company, is shown at its headquarters in San Francisco in this April 26, 2012 file photo. Game provider Zynga Inc slashed its 2012 outlook and quarterly results badly missed Wall ...
Sunday Sidebar: Meet Daniel Jacobsen and David Baumgart from Gaslamp ... Video Game Writers We had some contractors as well, a business development guy, a sound guy, a web guy, a couple of others. As far as the making of the game, though, with the exception of the sound, it was David, myself and Nicholas (Vining, Lead Programmer). We grew... Video Game Writers
Wii U review
It was the Wii that, for many, catapulted video games to the heart of the living room. Its motion-control revolution appealing to those who had never played a video gamebefore with an easy to understand concept: swing the remote, and your character on ...
What will a video games industry run by Apple look like?
Australian Macworld (blog)
“Upon approval of the game concept and successful evaluation of the developer, thegame creators work closely with the Arcade team on everything from game design and testing to ratings, localisation and certification. Notice the casual air that Canessa...
Australian Macworld (blog)
Video Games Embrace the Permanence of Death
However, if you know that your character can be reborn after even the nastiest and most gruesome of demises — if there's no sense of danger or loss — what does that do to a video game's potential for drama, storytelling, and emotional effect ...
LA Game Space Aims to Explore the True Potential of Games
G4 TV (blog)
It's a video game space," he explained. "I think mainstream studios and developerswill play just as big a role as the indie developers." And though he doesn't want it to turn into yet another glorified launch party venue, he said that triple-A ...
G4 TV (blog)
LA Game Space Helps Video Games Grow Up
More than helping fledgling developers get into the industry it wants to create a hot bed of creativity that redefines what a video game is — something more cultural, engaging, socially aware, something more grown up maybe? This kind of rhetoric was ...
Skrillex releasing video game
Hitmaker SKRILLEX is set to launch his own video game. The electronic dance music superstar teamed up with developer Jason Oda to create Skrillex Quest, which is set to the 24 year old's music and requires players to fight off a technology virus or ...
Meet Loot Crate, a New Hollywood Startup That Sends You Video Game Swag
LA Weekly (blog)
Meet Loot Crate, a Hollywood-based startup that's a subscription service for boxes of tech and video game-themed stuff. ... L.A. has an amazing collection of advisors, entrepreneurs [and] developers, [who are] important to our specific marketing. As ...
LA Weekly (blog)
Battlefront III Died Just Inches From the Finish Line
But a recent interview by gamesTM with Steve Ellis, co-founder of the game's developer Free Radical Design, gives the story of Battlefront III an even more tragic twist. Along with revealing a few... Earlier this year a lengthy gameplay video was ...
Why Video Games Want to Look Like Movies—Not Real Life
Working on their latest, Crysis 3, they incorporate lens flares -- a visual phenomenon we only experience in movies and photos -- and bring movement to every detail of the world in the game. "The whole thing needs to feel very alive," one developer ...
Video game firms iEntertainment, Great Outdoors merge
WRAL Tech Wire
Cary, N.C. — Cary-based iEntertainment, a developer of video games such as WarBirds and other combat simulation titles, is merging with Great Outdoors, LLC. As part of the merger ... He also has been involved in development of numerous outdoors games.
3 Lessons In Game Design, From A Cutting-Edge Developer
You probably haven't heard of the Vienna-based indie game studio Broken Rules. But with just five full-time staff (and three part-timers), it's managed to become one of a handful of exclusive developers to have a launch title on Nintendo's Wii U. A ...
A Gambling Parlor on Your Smartphone
With interest in social games showing signs of waning—the number of video game players in the U.S. declined by 5 percent in the last year, according to researcher NPD Group—Zynga and other developers don't want to wait. Betable, funded by ... Paul ...
The Epic Perfection of Halo 4 [REVIEW]
When the game veers away from being a first-person shooter—as it does when you hop into a vehicle like a battle mech—it's a seamless transition., and best of all, none of these missions feel tacked on, even a potentially risky foray into flight ...
Museum of Modern Art Adding Video Game Collection in 2013
In addition to deciding which games to display, the Museum also had the difficult task of figuring how best to encapsulate the experience of each video game either through interactivity, a brief demo, or a guided tour (created by the developer). Games ...
Charles Huang: Big-Screen Gaming From a Phone
As the PlayStation (SNE), Wii, and Xbox (MSFT) lose market share to smartphones and tablets,video game developers face problems, too. Playing ... Although that flopped, too, they kept the name and moved into game-hardware development. The Huang ...
Blizzard Developer Talks StarCraft II and eSports
The game publisher and developer brought the best StarCraft II gamers in the world together to award a true global champion. That honor went to PartinG. Blizzard also used the event to give attendees a look at the much-anticipated expansion, Heart of ...
Humble THQ Bundle released amid the companies financial troubles
The Humble THQ Bundle still follows the normal Humble Bundle outline: you can give money to thedeveloper, charities, the Humble Bundle staff, or a mixture of the three. The games themselves are well worth a few dollars, but they can all be had (save ...
Red Storm Sponsors Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Tournament
... Creative Director for the Carolina Games Summit. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a third-person video game published by Ubisoft and jointly developed by Ubisoft Paris, Red Storm Entertainment, and Ubisoft Bucharest. ... "Red Storm is ...
Jenn Savedge: Cheesy video game teaches young girls how to be socialites
Luray Page Free Press
A new video game called Upper East Side Makeover wants to teach your little girls how to be backstabbing socialites. According to the video game website, Upper East Side Makeover is aimed at girls ages 8-15 who must complete tasks including exfoliation ...
Luray Page Free Press
10 Unintentionally Creepy Video Game Characters
When a video game is being made, design is crucial, to ensure that on a basic aesthetic level, agame is going to appeal to the target audience and seem appropriate. For various reasons, the following characters just didn't suit their purposes; the ...
2013 Is 10th Aniversery of NASCARs Greatest Video Game!
Beyond the Flag
NR2003 was released by Papyrus Design Group and is a racing game released for the PC only. What makes the game so great are nurmurous things. For startrers the games physics are absalutly stunning. When a car flips it barrell rolls EXACTLY like race ...