Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Linkaround

Plants vs. Zynga: The CEO of PopCap, Dave Roberts, recently took some time to smack around Zynga. Activity for the afternoon: compare/contrast the comments of Roberts (a man whose company makes actual games) with those of noted Force For Evil Mark Pincus. Remember to show your work.

It's the Catan App ... But Bigger: Catan HD is in the app store. This version for iPad appears to to spread out the screen a bit and allow users to move information boxes around. I say "appears" because I don't have an iPad, although I am willing to accept donations.

Incoming!: Be not afraid of the catapult in your mailbox. Due to a production error, the coveted catapult token for the Be Not Afraid expansion for Small World was left out of the package. Days of Wonder is fixing the error and adding 5 leader tokens in the leftover space on the punchboards. I'm already playing with this expansion, and I like it a lot.

SimTV?: IGN is reporting on a proposal for a TV show from Will Wright. The working title is The Creation Project, and the documents describe the creation of a TV showed derived from audience suggestions via online and mobile phone messages. Not only does that sound like a spectacularly bad idea for a show, but the participation of Will Wright raises the horrible prospect that Simlish might be involved at some point. Wright is one of the true geniuses of game design, but the entire The Sims line just a canker.

Taliban Removed From Medal of Honor, Military Ban Holds: EA announced that the opposing force in Medal of Honor will be called "Opposing Force," not the Taliban. This is a classy move on their part, but it doesn't change the fact that the game takes place in an current theater of war, which remains a sticking point for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's commander. For this reason, the ban on on-base sales will remain in place. In any case, the game will probably be very popular among servicemen, many of whom are huge fans of military shooters.

Life Imitates Fallout: Kotaku has discovered that, mere miles from my home in South Jersey, the Army is testing wrist-mounted displays. As they note, these are essentially PIPBoys: "The organic light emitting diode display is mounted on thin, flexible metal foil, which in turn is mounted on a wrist-wrapping housing to create a fully functional display and communication device."

Enough With the Damn Zombies Already!: Now Red Dead Redemption, a truly excellent game, is adding a zombie mode. Look, folks: it's done already. The zombie thing is over. Let them die peacefully, and if they won't, then shoot 'em in the head. That's a sure way to kill 'em. If you don't, get yourself a club or a torch. Beat 'em or burn 'em, they go up pretty easy.

Twitterstream Digest: Board game news, courtesy of Seize Your Turn.

Chess: News from around the world.


Anonymous said...

I got hooked on the Sims through my parents' copy of the Wii version of Sims Castaway, which is actually not a bad game. (Unfortunately, the Mac/PC version is quite different and not nearly as good.) I collected most of the Sims 2 and some of the Sims 3 expansion packs before finally decided that I needed to erase them from my computer and throw the game disks into a box of things to be given away. For me at least, it was mindless, escapist, time-wasting, depressing ... and very, very addictive.

Given your opinion of Farmville et al, I was curious what you thought of the Sims.

Thomas L. McDonald said...

I loved SimCity and some other entries in the series, but I just never understood the appeal of The Sims. I did a piece for the Register (which is behind a firewall) and this one for Maximum PC (which isn't).

Anonymous said...

It's a digital dollhouse. So if you're drawn to either playing with dolls (I'm not) or building/landscaping/decorating their environment (I am), there's an appeal. Also, the time-management aspect is appealing in an OCD sort of way.

(Did the Register just recently go behind a firewall? We might have to fork out actual money for a subscription. A lot of people that I like to read write for them.)

Thomas L. McDonald said...

I can see that. The Sims did always skew more towards a female audience: it was one of the things that made it such a huge seller. 65% of the audience for The Sims 3 is female, while only about 1/3rd of the audience for all gaming combined is female. (Although those numbers have been steadily rising.)

Certain stories have always been behind the firewall at the Register.

Kevin E. Schlabach said...

Thanks for the link love on the Twitterstream!

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