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There are a lot of words being written about the new consoles this week but when I spoke to Warren Spector a few days ago, he was clear about where his future lies: “I think all the interesting stuff is happening on PC now… Assuming I make more games, which I intend to do, PC and Mac are going to be my targets.”
It’s good to hear. We spoke at the Bradford Animation Festival and covered a wide range of topics, from his theories of design and pioneering role in PC gaming to thoughts on the current state of the industry. In this first part of our conversation, there’s insight into how Spector see his own legacy and the work of his former colleagues, and how frustrations with Thief’s difficulty inspired the player empowerment of Deus Ex.>
Path of Shadows is an upcoming non-commercial student project in which the player character can teleport between shadows. As seen in the prototype video below, it resembles an over-the-shoulder Mark of the Ninja, with a protagonist who is wearing a magical glyph version of Isaac Clarke’s RIG read-out. Limiting the teleportation ability to shadowy areas suggests prescribed paths through levels, a puzzler’s approach to stealth. As is often the case, the sneaky protagonist feels compelled to creep through temples, silently murdering guards. A goddess instructs, “do not bother remembering anything”, which sounds exactly like the sort of thing that somebody would say if they’d killed you and taken command of your soul in the recent past so they could make you smash up a rival deity’s temple.
This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.>
Games move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss them. The pretties this week come courtesy not of a particular game, nor indeed me, but of the Dead End Thrills Flickr group, a caravan of some 500+ ‘players’ who spend more time stopping games and looking around than they do actually playing. The times we live in.
With some 11,000 images in there, I wasn’t sure how best to approach this. (Drunk, obviously, but how badly?) I’ve gone for the easy option: a round-up of games and/or users that stood out over the last few weeks. What you’ll often find is that wrangling games into ‘screenshot mode’ has knock-on benefits for any PC gamer, so let’s see if that holds true. (more…)