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Showing posts from July, 2011

on process

"Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity. When I was CTO of a web design firm, I noticed in staff meetings that we only ever talked about process when we were avoiding talking about people. "We need a process to ensure that the client does not get half-finished design sketches" is code for "Greg fucked up." The problem, of course, is that much of this process nevertheless gets put in place, meaning that an organization slowly forms around avoiding the dumbest behaviors of its mediocre employees, resulting in layers of gunk that keep its best employees from doing interesting work, because they too have to sign The Form Designed to Keep You From Doing The Stupid Thing That One Guy Did Three Years Ago."
- Clay Shirky

on the worth of retaining staff

Sure, there are tons of young people out there who want to work in gaming, but trotting that argument out whenever people complain about working conditions is not just cynical and nasty - it also shows a pretty tenuous grip on reality. Yes, you could continually burn out your staff and replace them with fresh, naive graduates. Yes, in the process you'd conveniently replace people asking for higher wages with people happy to work for a pittance. Unfortunately, you'd also be replacing people who know what the hell they're doing and have the experience and understanding to turn out high quality work in a way that fits into the development processes around them, with people who have to be trained up from scratch - and who's going to do that, if everyone worth their salt is already burned out and gone off to work in an industry that doesn't treat them like pack mules?

praise for our Undisputed game (and the UFC Trainer) from “the nightmare”

But this isn't the first time Sanchez has taken a UFC video game and used it for all it's worth, as the submission specialist whose last two brawls were voted "Fight of the Night" actually uses THQ's "UFC Undisputed" franchise to help him visualize his fights before heading out into the octagon for real. "When the first UFC game came out ("UFC Undisputed"), I never even dreamed being in such a realistic game," he says. "The game is so realistic looking that I do my late night training by getting on my PlayStation 3 and fighting my opponent 20 times in the game. That way I'm able to see myself knocking him out over and over again. It's a visualization tool for me where you're seeing it, you're feeling it and you can already have that knockout in your mind. As long as you go in and do the work and train, when you get in and fight, you've already seen what can happen, so it's more realistic that it will happe…

a good review for the only tower defense game i've ever liked

Trenched! It’s a Good Time: Trouble Thinking: “The past three games before Trenched took place in a turn of the century world of stacking dolls, a suburban neighborhood on Halloween, and a heavy metal album cover. I wish more developers would try some new things with setting. I can understand being conservative with gameplay, it’s hard to QA and a big gamble. But I refuse to believe it’s that big a risk to set games someplace other than Fantasy War, Future War, or Modern War.”