This is a sketch I just drew. A sketch from a scene in the world of our upcoming game Donut Get!

I’m working on some updates to Chris’ Rush Hour — here and there. Mostly jazzing it up with some supplementary artwork, just starting to tweak some level design.

Been playing a lot of PS3. Just got one in January. Gran Turismo 5 is my shit. Metal Gear Solid 4 has got a grip of me. Demon’s Souls scares the shit out of me. I’m flashing back with 3d Dot Game Heroes. And my girlfriends been rolling shit up in Katamari Forever.

It’s good to be playing more games. Good to have another perspective of gaming, from the PSX perspective.

If all I knew about games were what I had read, I would believe them to be the revolutionary, new zenith of human culture; a marriage of man’s greatest accomplishments in art and science. The problem is I’ve played them too.

Most recently I played Jason Rohrer’s new Inside a Star-Filled Sky. Rohrer’s been a key figure in the ‘games as art’ discussion since it first gained momentum and I’ve admired his aims. I enjoyed Inside a Star-Filled Sky too. I have my complaints, but that’s no shocker. What should come as a surprise is how few criticisms target the pseudo-intellectual banter that surrounds Rohrer’s work and projects like his.

The games industry, including and especially the so-called indie game movement, appears to be suffering from what I call ‘premature congratulation.’ Games without the depth of a poorly written soap opera are regularly applauded for their artistry while patronizing speeches are given by industry moguls patting themselves on the back for the snail’s pace of the art form’s maturation. Universities had no trouble constructing game academia overnight by cutting it down to meaningless abstractions and inventing predictions on the future of gaming despite their disconnection from actual game development. In this market, talk is real cheap.
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Fun does not belong in a discussion of games. Fun is useless. Stop talking about it.

I catch a lot of “game development tips from the pros” and am shocked by how many of them have the balls to say “make your game fun!” You can cite countless podcasts, articles and books for these quotes, “The bottom line is, a game should be fun!” You can tell they’re smirking like it’s so obvious and easy. “Just make it fun,” they say as if begging for an elbow in the teeth. I just pray that one day that elbow will be mine.

Need an example? No problem, because this rant was inspired by a recording of 57 flash game developers giving tips: http://www.flashmindmeld.com/. Don’t let my complaints lead you to believe that there are not numerous helpful tips throughout the mp3.

In the context of video games, fun is an ill defined term used simply to mean “good.” “Good” as oppose to “bad,” “+” as opposed to “-“, no more informative than a single bit of data. On a scale of 0 to 1, this game is a 1. Stop using it and learn some damn adjectives.

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