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Mar 19 // Anthony Burch

Why you need to be excited about SpyParty

There has never been a videogame like SpyParty. Most videogames deal in the epic, the explosive, and the impersonal. SpyParty deals in subtlety, misdirection, and observation. Many multiplayer games ask the player to expend t...
Mar 18 // Anthony Burch

Counterpoint: God of War III is too long, boring

Thought our discussion of God of War III ended with our official review? Think again: our "Counterpoint" series allows editors to share drastically different opinions on games we've already reviewed. It's rare that anyone com...
Mar 18 // Anthony Burch

Demo impressions: Splinter Cell: Conviction

Splinter Cell: Conviction is my most anticipated game of 2010. I've always loved ste alth games in theory, but even the genre's best entries like Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory fall too heavily on one side o...
Mar 17 // Anthony Burch

Saira is on sale for $8.99, Metroidvania fans rejoice

If you like Metroidvanias, you'll love Saira. If you hate Metroidvanias, you'll love that Saira doesn't actually feel like a Metroidvania. You'll love Saira if you have a pulse, basically. And $8.99 to spare. And Steam. I bri...
Mar 17 // Anthony Burch

Hands-on with Silent Skies, by Spyeart

Each year, Gamma entrants are asked to make games under certain constraints. This year, all Gamma4 entries must be controlled with a single button. I plan to write up my impressions of all six Gamma4 games. Michael Todd's Sil...
Mar 17 // Anthony Burch

A mindbending hands-on with Poto & Cabenga

Each year, Gamma entrants are asked to make games under certain constraints. This year, all Gamma4 entries must be controlled with a single button. I plan to write up my impressions of all six Gamma4 games. Not to be confuse...
Mar 16 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: 4Fourths, by Mikengreg

Each year, Gamma entrants are asked to make games under certain constraints. This year, all Gamma4 entries must be controlled with a single button. I plan to write up my impressions of all six Gamma4 games. I'm going to try t...
Mar 16 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Faraway, by Steph Thirion

Each year, Gamma entrants are asked to make games under certain constraints. This year, all Gamma4 entries must be controlled with a single button. I plan to write up my impressions of all six Gamma4 games. If you own an iPho...
Mar 16 // Anthony Burch

Podtoid 142: 15 Minutes to Midnight

I'd be lying if I said this week's Podtoid wasn't a little on the calm side, but our two loudest cast members are missing, and Leray and I were tired from our respective trips back from GDC. Such is life. Either way, the Podtoid crew discussed Brenda Brathwaite's Train, Portal 2, and our least favorite videogame bosses. And other stuff. Listen to the podcast here.
Mar 16 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Civilization V's revamped combat hands-off

I'm a big "fan" of the Civilization series. I can't use the word "fan" without massive quotation marks because while I absolutely love playing it and can fall prey to that wonderful "just one more turn" addiction that plagues...
Mar 13 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: B.U.T.T.O.N., by Copenhagen Game Collective

Each year, Gamma entrants are asked to make games under certain constraints. This year, all Gamma4 entries must be controlled with a single button. I plan to write up my impressions of all six Gamma4 games. "Think of a color,...
Mar 13 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: the Holocaust board game

I'd read about Brenda Brathwaite's Train before but, in honesty, I'd never bought any of the hype. A board game about trains with a twist ending that reveals you're actually sending your pieces to Auschwitz? Please. You're te...
Mar 12 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: a second opinion on Mafia II

As a huge fan of the first Mafia game, I was more than a little jealous when Brad Nicholson got a chance to play Mafia II earlier this week. I played through the same demo as Brad Friday afternoon, and I have to say: I came away with a much different impression of Mafia II. Hit the jump for my thoughts.
Mar 12 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: GDC Microtalks

Organized by Naughty Dog co-lead designer Richard Lemarchand, "GDC Microtalks 2010: Ten Speakers, 200 Slides, Limitless Ideas) accomplished pretty much what it said on the tin. Ten different game designers from drastically di...
Mar 12 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Schell: we're heading toward Brave New World

At this morning's GDC Microtalks, Jesse Schell elaborated on the basic premise behind his DICE talk concerning the impending "Gamepocalypse," as Schell calls it. Schell finished his DICE talk in March by trying to put a posit...
Mar 12 // Anthony Burch

Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin: Heavy Rain

I'm at GDC and currently tired beyond description, but I thought you might wanna know that the newest episode of Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin' is up. It's on Heavy Rain, and you can watch it here. Hope you like it.
Mar 12 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: are Achievements harmful?

Could rewarding players for playing your game make them appreciate the game less, and play worse? Chris Hecker doesn't know for sure, but his talk, "Achievements Considered Harmful?," explored the possibility. I've tried my best to summarize the talk below, but I can't say I've done it justice -- Hecker gave the headiest and most fast-paced talk I've yet heard at GDC 2010. Hit the jump for that.
Mar 11 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Hands-on with Bit.Trip Runner

Lawsuits aside, I'm a huge fan of the Bit.Trip series. I may wish nothing but destruction on Gaijin Games, but hell if they don't make some fantastic stuff. Bit.Trip Runner, Gaijin's newest game, was playable on the GDC expo ...
Mar 11 // Anthony Burch

Uncharted 2: 'moving away from QTE's was the way to go'

When not conveying Naughty Dog's production process in intricate detail, Uncharted 2 co-lead designer Richard Lemarchand also talked about the team's larger design goals during his postmortem today. At least one of those goal...
Mar 11 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: GAMMA 4, by cactus

Each year, Gamma entrants are asked to make games under certain constraints. This year, all Gamma4 entries must be controlled with a single button. I'm going to write up my impressions of all six Gamma4 games. Yeah, that's wh...
Mar 11 // Anthony Burch

Uncharted 2 designer concedes story lags in final act

During "Among Friends," Richard Lemarchand's Uncharted 2 postmortem at GDC 10, the co-lead designer admitted that the macro-design of the story and gameplay beats early on in production resulted in a mechanically exciting, bu...
Mar 11 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Molyneux on Fable III

It's easy to be snarky about Peter Molyneux, but the man can (on occasion) give a pretty entertaining presentation. Thursday morning, Molyneux gave a talk entitled "Complex Challenges of Intuitive Design," and we were there t...
Mar 11 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: the Indie Game Maker Rant

The final IGS talk I attended Wednesday, the Indie Game Maker Rant consisted of about a dozen extremely brief presentations by the likes of Adam Saltsman (Canabalt), Jonatan Soderstrom (aka Cactus), Anna Anthropy (aka A...
Mar 10 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Savvy Indie Solutions to Design Problems

Aquaria, Canabalt, and Monaco. Two games you should have already played, and one you'll likely wish to play when it comes out. Even if you don't recognize the names Alec Holowka, Adam Saltsman, or Andy Schatz, one can't deny ...
Mar 10 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Control Inspiration

Daniel Benmergui made Today I Die. Messhof made all this stuff. When these indies talk about game design, you can probably bet they've got something interesting to say. Both designers organized an IGS talk entitled, "Control Inspiration" which, according to the official proposal, is about "their design processes, and why Jesus didn't tap." Hit the jump for my summary of the talk.  
Mar 09 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Dan Tabar's tracksuit

That's Dan Tabar, one of the guys behind Cortex Command. You could talk about day one of the Indie Games Summit as a momentous day where a potentially revolutionary new way of funding games was explained, and where indies cem...
Mar 09 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Theme is Not Meaning

Soren Johnson spent five years working on the Civilization series for Firaxis, eventually landing the job of lead designer for Civilization IV. He also did work on Spore, amongst many other things. He also gave the keynote ad...
Mar 09 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Abusing Your Players Just for Fun

Jonatan Soderstrom, aka "cactus," stole the show at last year's Independent Games Summit with his surreal, multimedia presentation entitled "The Four-Hour Game Design." (Also: if you don't know who cactus is, I'd suggest you ...
Mar 09 // Anthony Burch

GDC 10: Indies and Publishers: a System that Never Worked

The 2010 Independent Games Summit opened today with a talk by Ron Carmel, one half of the 2DBoy team that created World of Goo. Entitled, "Indies and Publishers: Fixing a System that Never Worked," Carmel's talk promised to elaborate on the details of the recently-announced Indie Fund, as well as the publishing environment than spawned it. Hit the jump for my summary of the talk.
Mar 08 // Anthony Burch

If this list can't make you scared of MMO's, nothing can

If you've ever wished to feel a real sense of existential, tech-driven terror, this has been a great month for you. At DICE 2010, Jesse Schell envisioned a world where all of our daily activities might be tied into an endless...

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