One of the spring's big gaming conferences takes place this week. Slashdot has an article about Raph Koster's keynote comments. The former Privateer Online lead always has an interesting take on game design philosophy.
The console manufacturers are currently recommending 8 hours of gameplay rather than 40. Because people get it already! The brain is trying to optimise the chunks away. Fun is the process of encountering bumps along the way. A new pattern to master. New data thrown into the mix. This is what levels in a shooter should do. They should teach you different data per level. I'm giving you a hammer and I'm going to show you every variety of nail under the sun. This is a "possibility space" and a game is iterating through the possible combinations. The problem is, computers suck at this. This is why, until the advent of the computer, you played games with other people. This is why with the internet space, we’re rushing back to it, to that social play. Other people offer a much more interesting challenge than an algorithm. People introduce a really interesting array of problems into the question.
The GDC seems to be a nonstop schedule of keynote addresses. There'll probably be more interesting ones later in the week. The most recent has EA's John Batter discussing their plan to dig into the mobile phone market very aggressively.
Homeworld Mod Deploys Black Lance
It's a big week for the Homeworld Remastered Mod! Their long-awaited Black Lance upgrade has now been released. Fans can grab it at either the Steam Workshop or ModDB, but users with a current copy will get the update automatically. (2018-03-21)
New WC Toolbox Expands WC2 Campaign Support
The WC Toolbox has gotten smarter with another new update. Version 4.2. (2018-03-20)
Kilrathi Fleet Gets Large Scale LLOD Upgrades
A couple of monster models have made their way into the Last Line of Defense project. Using some newly discovered information, Deathsnake has scaled up his fearsome Rigakh cruiser. Fairly credible stats imply it's even larger than the Confederation class dreadnought! (2018-03-19)
Black Lance Transport Certified For Covert Cargo
After leading the charge with a pair of exotic Black Lance designs earlier this year, DefianceIndustries has circled back around and completed the Evansville class transport that we see in Wing Commander 4. It has a fairly sleek profile for a transport as well as oversized engines, which form a pretty effective combo. There's no better way to sneak clandestine cargo to out-of-the-way places! (2018-03-18)
Happy St. Patrick's Day From The Green Salthi
Confederation hull plating is well known for its green texture, and terran soldiers even occasionally sport a green tinted outfit, but it's a far less common color on the Kilrathi (aside from the kats that actually have green skin). We know the common brown color of Kilrathi ships comes from the hue of their local durasteel, but there's one major exception to this: the green Salthi - or Jalthi, rather. The Secret Missions for the Super Nintendo had to squeeze to fit everything on the cartridge, and one noteworthy cut was the elimination of the six-shooter Jalthi model. (2018-03-17)