May 24, 2024
Sunday newspapers |  Rock Paper Shotgun

Sundays are for updating your drivers. Before you hit install, let’s read this week’s best writing on games (and things related to games).

On IGN, Rebekah Valentine wrote that Xbox’s Perfect Dark reboot was still years away. A detailed report on the new Perfect Dark and its troubled development, with the usual suspects of studio clashes and mismanagement. Towards the end of the piece, we also hear Xbox directly.

After several months of onboarding and discussion, Perfect Dark’s new co-development partner received the vertical slice that The Initiative had assembled with Certain Affinity. But according to people working at Crystal Dynamics at the time, what they received was a bit of a mess. While some sources attributed this to the chaotic relationship between Certain Affinity and The Initiative, as added stress, The Initiative had opted to upgrade to Unreal Engine 5 in the interim before Crystal Dynamics arrived, adding to the amount of work to be done. A former Crystal Dynamics employee described what was handed over to them as a building with no foundation. “Much, if not almost all, of the project ended up having to be completely reworked,” the source said. “They had already done three years of work on it, but we didn’t benefit from three years of work.”

Aamir Mehar wrote about Final Fantasy 6 containing a perfect desolation scene. How FF6’s most powerful moment is buried in a choice you weren’t aware of at the time. A risky idea, but one that works?

Much later, however, I was surprised to discover that this powerful moment may not even occur during your playthrough. It’s secretly changeable; the game doesn’t tell you specifically, but the type of fish you collect and give to Cid will determine whether he lives or dies. If Cid lives, the whole scene where Celes throws herself off the cliff never happens: Cid recovers from his illness and Celes leaves the island promising to come back for him. I find myself fascinated by the difference between the story between the scenario where Cid lives and the one in which he perishes; there is a greater sense of peace in the former and an eerie isolation in the latter.

For The Verge, Alex Heath explained why Instagram is taking on Twitter with Threads. Interestingly, Threads is hoping for hope in ActivityPub, the decentralized social media protocol that also powers Mastodon. Lots of promises, lots of “it’s going to take some work”, so we’ll see I guess.

In my experience, the one that I think resonates the most with creators is that you have to own your audience. If you ever decide to leave Threads, you should be able to bring your audience with you. I have talked about this idea in several different contexts. There are I think better ways to do this in the long run, but I think ActivityPub lets you take care of that. I think we could be a more compelling platform for creators, especially for new creators who are getting more savvy, if we’re a place where you don’t have to feel like you have to trust us forever or you can build an audience, and then you can take that audience with you somewhere else if you really have to at the end of the day.

On Vice, Francisco Garcia wrote about the man who erased his past before he was found dead. An article that dates back several years, but good ho. No heartbreaking revelations or solved mysteries, but that’s not the point. It’s a silent commentary on digging up a past that’s buried for a reason.

With Peter Bergmann, there are no loved ones that we know of, and only professionally concerned defenders are asking for answers. Instead of deep memory and grief, we wrested memories gleaned from a group of chance encounters. The taxi driver who remembers his courteous, soft-spoken passenger. The beach people, who couldn’t have known they were witnessing the last moments of the strange character. There are those who believe the original hunt was terminated too soon. That somewhere someone must remember or hold the key to their true identity. But despite continued interest – buoyed by a recent Irish Times podcast on the case – Ray Mulderrig told me no one has ever come up with anything really convincing.

This week’s music is Assumptions by Sam Gellaitry. Here is the Spotify link and the YouTube link. The amount of people I’ve seen doing house shuffles about it on various social media platforms – remarkable.

That’s all for this week friends, take care and see you next week!

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