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22 Feb

Some of the highlights include the death - or not - of single-player AAA games, the clicker game paperclip-pocalypse, and some crazy specific fighting game terms.This week, besides helping boot up registration for GDC 2018, I've mainly been listening to'372 Pages We'll Never Get Back', a new podcast from Rifftrax's Conor Lastowka and (former Mystery Science Theater host) Michael J. It reads along with - and deconstructs - Ernie Cline's Ready Player One, one of the most popular novels of the past few years, soon a Spielberg-directed movie, and an enraptured paean to video games and '80s pop culture.The podcast is largely an entertaining takedown of Cline's obsessions and prose.Cline's wording is hilariously functional, in the same way that Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code)'s words largely exist as ornamentation around an insanely propulsive plot.But why you gotta drag The Iron Giant into this, huh? - Simon, curator.] "Certain studios come to mind when we talk about difficult video games: From Software, Firaxis Games, and now Studio MDHR, the creative minds behind the recently released Cuphead. R has the best goddamn shotgun in the history of gaming.Their title is a gorgeous, brutal platformer, with run n' gun aspects that challenge even the most skilled players, demanding precise timing and vigilant patience." Gaming's greatest shotgun, and the FPS that made Monolith what it is today "F. This is a hotly competed category, including strong entrants from the likes of Doom and Half-Life - and I'm sure you'll all point to a dozen more once my words run dry." The Organizations That Could Do Something About Loot Boxes Don't Care "The heated conversation around loot boxes is unlikely to die down anytime soon, and one question raised is whether loot boxes represent a form of gambling.And yes, I admit, I enjoyed Ready Player One when it came out - in a tremendously guilty way.But it's fascinating to see the massive backlash over the book/movie trailer storming the Internet.

[SIMON' S NOTE: A good point, but let's not forget that a number of the top-grossing smartphone games are _literally slot machines_, and not regulated, which seems like a far more blatant angle.]" Studying Dustforce's Animation "This new series of videos studies the animation of video games.

Hotter - but still v.smart - takes on Visceral's closing, followed by...]" Does Visceral's closure prove AAA single-player games are dying?

"Gamasutra staffers were engaging in similar conversations, and we decided to hash it all out in an email thread.

MINI-DISCLOSURE: Simon is one of the organizers of GDC and Gamasutra & an advisor to indie publisher No More Robots, so you may sometimes see links from those entities in his picks.

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