January Jollies…

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January was not a busy month; I accepted a new job early on, meaning most of my time was then spent running out remaining assignments prior to the new start. I also collected outstanding interviews for Unlimited Hyperbole‘s next season. Squeezing production in on weekends will cause delays, but Harriet and I are keen to keep the show alive – particularly since this season features several heroes of mine who are too cool to ignore.

Even though I’m not taking on anymore commissions or journalistic work at the moment, it’s likely some of my work will continue to trickle out for the next month or two. I have unpublished pieces still waiting with Custom PC and Gamasutra, for example. I’ll try to cover those as they come out, but in the mean time here’s what I did in January…

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The Angry Best…

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Anyone who knows me even a little can probably anticipate that I don’t have a great opinion of games journalism. There’s a lot of good stuff and I certainly don’t want to detract from that, but by and large the output is terrible. Even the best writers consistently prioritise style over substance, while there’s only very few who have the understanding of ludological principles that might give the work any real import. We are shockingly bad at our jobs, all of us. Something needs to be done.

But that’s a discussion for another time. Friends have advised against publishing my grand and angry Anti-Games Manifesto and that’s undoubtedly where this moaning would lead.

In July though I decided I should do something, so I started collecting a list of the best journalism I’d read this year – some of it gaming, but most of it not. I thought it would be interesting to compare them later even if not all of it was necessarily written this year. Over time it grew to include more than just conventional journalism and eventually it morphed into just a ‘Things I Like’ list, rather than a template for the future. You’ll find the full list below regardless.

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Unlimited Hyperbole #11

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Update: Unlimited Hyperbole is no longer available. There are two episodes preserved by the Thief community on Youtube which are linked in the episode index, however other episodes have since been lost to time.

As Season Three of Unlimited Hyperbole is focused on matters of character in videogames, talking to a writer such as James Swallow only makes sense; in addition to being a New York Times bestseller James has also worked on games such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Killzone 2 and Fable: The Journey.

In this first episode for Season Three James talks about the process of writing for a game, how Eidos Montreal built a convincing cast for Deus Ex: Human Revolution and how writers are able to contribute to far more than just the character dialogue.

Unlimited Hyperbole is a short, weekly podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each with a topic that’s used as a prompt when interviewing special guests. This season we’re talking about “Matters of Character” – and to find out more about the production of this episode, read after the jump.

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Unlimited Hyperbole #2

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Update: Unlimited Hyperbole is no longer available. There are two episodes preserved by the Thief community on Youtube which are linked in the episode index, however other episodes have since been lost to time.

This week Unlimited Hyperbole explores the  topic of “My Favourite Game” from a new angle as Gaming Daily Editor Craig Lager talks about Morrowind, Skyrim and the long process of admitting you’ve got a new favourite after years of being dedicated to a single title.

Along the way Craig talks about how the Elder Scrolls series has changed over time, why he refused to review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and how he intensively curates his experience of the world using mods such as Frostfall. What’s Craig’s favourite experience from within Skyrim and why is he oddly embarrassed to have such a new game as his favourite? Listen to Episode Two of Unlimited Hyperbole to find out!

Unlimited Hyperbole is a weekly podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each of which has a topic that’s used as a prompt when interviewing special guests. This season we’re talking about “My Favourite Game” – but for more information about the podcast itself, read after the jump.

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Unlimited Hyperbole #1…

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Update: Unlimited Hyperbole is no longer available. There are two episodes preserved by the Thief community on Youtube which are linked in the episode index, however other episodes have since been lost to time.

Unlimited Hyperbole is a new, tiny podcast I’ve made. It’s about games and the stories we tell about them. I’ll be releasing a new episode every Monday, each with a special guest. I’ll be talking to them about a topic decided for a season of five episodes. This season: “My Favourite Game”.

In this first episode Dan Pinchbeck, Creative Director of TheChineseRoom and designer on Dear Esther, talks about his favourite game: STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl.

Why did the game make Dan re-evaluate his PhD on narrative in computer games? How did the tortured development process create a better game than if work had gone smoothly? Listen in to find out, or subscribe using the buttons above.

For more information on Unlimited Hyperbole and the idea behind it, continue after the jump…

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