Darth Vader is here from downtown, here from Emperor and Tarkin, on a mission of mercy…
After a few days playing Godus on my iPad, I thought “Man, I wish there was a normal, not free-to-play version of this.” I also had these thoughts at various points:
- “Oh man, it’s another Tapped Out-style Skinner Box game!”
- “Please let there be a way to build a church soon, so that a pastor can automatically collect all this belief for me”
- “Wait! My people like trees? Why did you teach me that destroying them was a way to earn belief?”
- “This game is beautiful…and I’m only going to see a tiny part of it.”
- “Hey! I’m supposed to be playing god, but I’m being manipulated to keep performing tasks and follow arbitrary rules to benefit an unseen game designer.”
Yesterday, after trying unsuccessfully to get a farmer to work on an abandoned field, I checked the web for some info and discovered…there is a normal, not free-to-play version of Godus! The PC and Mac versions are available on Steam! WTF?!
But after a quick scan of the support forums, it seems that the $20US, non-iOS version still makes you wait in real-time for things to happen. So, like the free-to-play version, your majority of your time engaging with the game is spent not engaging with it. Don’t most god games give you a way to speed up time at will?
One of my pet peeves is going to see a movie in 2D and seeing loads of shots that were clearly designed for 3D projection…and which totally fail to work in 2D. Why not create alternate versions of the shots for the majority of viewers who will see the film in 2D? It always pulls me right out of the film. I’m looking at you Oz the Great and Powerful.
It sounds like the PC/Mac version of Godus was similarly built as a free-to-play game and plays as such, even if you paid $20US for it.
I blame Peter Molyneux.
I wanted a whole game of just that dog!
And I did…for one week. I just deleted Godus from my iPad. Playing it, I constantly felt like I was fending off a particularly aggressive homeless person demanding money every time you are on your way to work (or the store, or the park…).
It’s really too bad. As mentioned (twice), the game is beautiful, sculpting the world is fun, and most disappointingly, you can see a potentially meaningful game there, just under the surface. You can see the game as it may originally have been conceived. One that asks players to ask questions about the nature of wielding godlike power. About how you treat those you are responsible for. About providing trinkets and distraction for believers to keep them loyal. About harming the neighboring tribe to make it less attractive to “your” chosen people.
I want to play that game.
I’m sad that good, thoughtful game designers are being distracted from making good, thoughtful games, because they are chasing the quick money to be made making Skinner Box games.
FTL is a fantastic game that could easily have been wrecked by being shoehorned into a free-to-play model–not that there haven’t been moments when I’ve wished I could pay real money for some extra scrap!
While there have been a few bright spots in the free-to-play space, notably Hearthstone, which makes me very proud to work at Blizzard, it’s mostly junk that plays on the same psychological weaknesses that keep people sitting in front of slot machines for days on end. Candy Crush was fun…until it made me feel terrible.
And yes, I still want to play a version of Fable II in which the dog is the focus.
More time-lapse videos of people we paid to destroy our house…
The day before demolition began for our kitchen renovation, I dug out my iPhone 4, a long USB charging cable, a Gorillapod, and updated my copy of iTimeLapse. After a few tests, I set it up to capture the process of destroying and re-building our kitchen.
Watching me pack up the kitchen is not the most exciting start, but it gave me a chance to get comfortable with the set-up.
This was the main thing we wanted to capture, but the demo itself shook the shelf that the iPhone was on, introducing an unintentional pan to the shot.
For years, when Oscar season rolled around, one of my favorite rituals was listening to NPR Music Editor, Andy Trudeau, discuss the nominated scores in detail on Weekend Edition. I learned so much from these pieces, not just about motion picture scores, but about music. NPR hasn’t put together a page with links to all of Andy’s stories, so I collected all of them I could find on the NPR site. There are a few missing, but I was happy to find most of the ones I remember from the past decade.
Here are some additional stories by Andy Trudeau about film scores and composers:
You know that guy’s spaceship scale chart that everyone’s linking to this week? It’s causing me stress, and I can’t take it any more.
I just posted a comment on Smithsonian Magazine’s blog. it’s the sixth time this week that I’ve posted basically the same thing. I did the exact same thing about five years ago in response to *another* artists “original” idea to make a scale chart for spaceships. I figure I’ll be doing it again in a few years:
“While Mr. Loechel’s poster does a great job of putting everything together, I feel compelled to direct you to Jeff Russell’s Starship Dimensions site: http://www.merzo.net/
The Starship Dimensions site has been around since at least 2002, and over the years, many artists, like Mr. Loechel, have taken the information (and often the artwork) from Starship Dimensions and reconfigured it into works of their own. Unfortunately, it is almost always done without attribution.
I don’t know Jeff Russell, but I’ve been a fan of his site since a friend who worked with me at ILM pointed me to it”
I’m not asking for journalism, I’m just asking for people to say to themselves “Wow, that’s a great idea, I wonder if anyone else has thought to do that?” and then do the freaking Google search!