18th July 2018

Matthew Gault, writing for Motherboard:

Back in 2012, developer Roberts Space Industries (RSI) launched a Kickstarter asking for money to fund Star Citizen—an ambitious space game in the mold of Wing Commander. It’s 2018, and while parts of the game are playable in various forms, it’s far from achieving what it set out to accomplish. So far, it’s collected more than $200 million in funding from fans eager to play it.

Ken Lord was one of those fans, and an early backer of Star Citizen. He’s got a Golden Ticket, a mark on his account that singles him out as an early member of the community. In April of 2013, Lord pledged $4,496 to the project. Five years later, the game still isn’t out, and Lord wants his money back. RSI wouldn’t refund it, so Lord took the developer to small-claims court in California.

This is a major reason why I don’t partake in many Kickstarters, and I personally think games are the worst examples. Clearly I’m the minority though, as the original Kickstarter campaign received $2,134,374 from 34,397 backers.

That’s a lot of money for a game that began development in 2011, and still hasn’t been released yet. Sure, there’s an alpha available, but it’s been 7 years, and they originally planned to release in November 2014.

Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the entire story of Ken Lord’s legal case, because there are quite a few interesting twists and turns.

Read the full article on Motherboard.

26th March 2018

Straight from the Pokémon GO blog:

New objectives lead to exciting rewards and perhaps a Mythical encounter in the latest Pokémon GO update.

A somewhat of a surprising (at least to me) update for Pokémon GO has been announced. It’s based around research, and it will add a whole new layer to the game.

All Pokémon Masters will already know about Pokémon research, and how prevalent it is in the games and television shows. But if you don’t, then ask yourself what Professor Oak was up to.

The update will bring two types of research, Field Research and Special Research.

With Field Research being the more regular of the two activities, which will result in rewards, and occasionally a stamp. Which is essentially an achievement. After you collect seven of these, you will achieve a “Research Breakthrough”, which may lead to encounters with legendary Pokémon.

The Special Research is story-based, and will be completed via Professor Willow. This is what I’m more interested in. The current story looks like it’s based around Mew, and the and mysteries behind it. I’m guessing this will be spread out over time, and will maybe mean people will start playing more regularly.

I just hope this leads to the ability to catch Mew.

We’ll just have to see, when the update launches on the 30th March.

26th September 2016
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Back in March this year, Rich Stanton wrote a piece on the development of the classic game, Lemmings. How it came to be, and also what came after.

Somehow this ended up in my Pocket to-read collection, and I’ve only just got round to reading it. Lemmings was one of my favourite games when I was growing up, and I was so young when I was playing it, that I don’t even remember what platform I played it on!

Here’s a snippet:

Mike Dailly had seen tiny 5-pixel high sprites in games like , a popular Atari ST shooter where the player’s ship rescued little android slaves, and thought that somewhere between this and a 16×16 sprite would be a sweet spot – where the small size made the Walker look big by comparison, but the animations were still good enough to impart character. One lunchtime he made an image of little men being crushed by weights, and shot by a laser gun – everyone loved it, and Gary Timmons added a few more traps. While everyone was laughing, Russell Kay was the first to say ‘There’s a game in that!’

If you’re interested in video games, then I highly recommend it, and if not, then you should probably still give it a try.

Read the full post on ReadOnlyMemory.vg.