I considered yesterday some of the implications of the rising costs of game development, and today I’ve got an article to show you that stands as a convergence point for CHUD’s fascinations: movies, games, television, and John Saxon. This article from Japanmanship (via GameSetWatch) proposes a game development business model that emulates the current Hollywood studio model in order to spread the investment costs and, potentially, maximize returns for any individual member of the cooperation. It’s got diagrams and everything. I’m sure John Saxon would nod sagaciously if he were to read it.
Introversion Software have confirmed to WorthPlaying that they are working on a multiplayer version of their critical hit Darwinia. The original featured a complex world of Tron-like creatures, mild puzzle elements, and a break from the traditional "fire and forget" combat of most real-time strategy games. Multiwinia, as the new project is titled, will focus on that last element, allowing "massive armies" to be formed. "It’s going to get pretty messy, requiring a whole new set of tactical skills from the gamer," said John Knottenbelt, lead designer on the project. It’s important to note that Multiwinia is not Introversion’s heavily-veiled new project, code-named Subversion.
I remain a fan of adventure games of all stripes, especially the traditional, despite the gameplay criticisms they receive from pretty much everyone south of the Arctic. I got so much fun out of Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon even on my Xbox, and I still think I like Dreamfall. So, I’m going to stand in the face of adversity and piss into the wind: IndyGamer has compiled a list of the top 20 adventure games of 2006. These are all independent games, s you might expect, and the roughly 50% of them that I have played have all been very rewarding. Lots of freeware, lots of shareware, lots of love.
Continuing their relentless push into the mindspace, Microsoft have unveiled a new site for casual gamers, featuring a library of more than 400 games to start off with. Rather than being a rival to PopCap or other similar casual game downloads, the site stands as more of an information repository, linking to the games that have been released on their various platforms, and, of course, making it easy for you to obtain those games.
In other Microsoft news, an interview with Xbox honcho Peter Moore at Game Informer hints that there may be some new features in store for the 360. Worth noting is Moore’s admiration of Nintendo’s recent strategy with the Wii, specifically that the console has "[brought] back fun—if you will—to the gaming platforms." Moore’s comments could lead some to speculate that Microsoft is going to try and shoehorn motion sensing capabilities into the 360, but all Moore actually says on the matter is that they have "a few tricks up our sleeve as well to be able to do that [bring fun back]."
LucasArts claims to own the trademark on the verb "dig," which apparently puts them in contention with Kevin Rose’s social site ranking Digg.com. A trademark dispute has been filed by LucasArts, citing their (lovely) adventure game The Dig. I’m kind of baffled by this whole thing, since "Digg" qualifies for trademark treatment, given its distinguishing feature of not being a word in the English language. Maybe LucasArts is planning a sequel to The Dig? And instead of putting a "2" after the title, they just watned to double the terminal letter? Oh, it’s brilliant!
I really don’t have any commentary on this article from GamePolitics yet, because I’m currently too busy hammering a tent spike through the temples of my sleeping enemies and giggling.