I finished playing Psychonauts today, and it was a very good experience. Spot on humour, and while I didn’t have the impetus to collect everything, the game was in a word: fun. That is, except for the last few very difficult levels (if you’ve played it, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Great characters, and level design for the most part, and great dialogue too. The reason I played it was because of The Escapist’s gaming roundtable (which I obviously missed). (Read on for a bit more about it and some spoilers). Continue reading Psychonauts

Consolevania at the IA

I’ve been working on getting Consolevania on the Internet Archive, which I finished today. Now you can download all the episodes off the archive’s servers, located here. This is good, because I really enjoy Consolevania and it is a really worthwhile piece of videogame show history. Certainly anyone who can appreciate the (UK-orientated) humour, characters and sketches can also enjoy the reviews, which come thick and fast.

It even has gone onto the BBC with VideoGaiden, although the archive obviously cannot host any copies of those files, some people do mirror them. VideoGaiden is a little more toned down, and self-referential, but has higher production values (sets! costumes! graphics! a man going “Gaiden”!) and are really worth watching. They are doing another season, so I will avidly wait for the streaming video at the BBC site.

I am glad they allowed it to be preserved, and hopefully more people can enjoy the earlier episodes (the originals were not available via. HTTP, only bittorrent). It is almost an institution, certainly in Scotland, and certainly is popular enough on the internet – and more episodes are being made.

They also have done a Scottish Gaming Industry fluff piece, which is actually surprisingly in depth in places, and sums up some of the benefits and problems of being in the gaming industry in Scotland from people in the industry, along with some humorous moments, and much rushing around since they did it in the space of 3 days. Seeing it at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival screening was certainly worthwhile.

Helping the IGDA Game Preservation SIG

I decided to get involved more in the IGDA, since it is something worth putting my time in and will hopefully benefit everyone involved. After reading the Civilisation Gamasutra article, I was inspired to learn more about game preservation. Its a vital area of games in general, especially since console games become unplayable after a few years, and the time is coming when early 70’s games are going to die and be lost forever.

The IGDA’s Game Preservation SIG has not been publicly active on the IGDA site, so I helped clean up the wiki (now full of more useful links!) and will hopefully be able to contribute to the news too.

However, the most interesting part was asking about preservation on the mailing list. Worth getting involved in, there are many more dedicated people then I could count contributing once I asked some questions, and there is a lot more going on then I thought apparent. Recently, there was even a Library of Congress grant for a Illinois University Preserving Digital Worlds project!

A great SIG to get involved in, hopefully I’ll be able to contribute not just an active presence in updating the preservation’s pages, but myself get some interviews or game footage to archive, once I find some willing developers in the UK I can interview and make documentaries about!

Develop Conference Volunteer Work


I’m back from Brighton (windy, rainy, at least I was indoors a lot), and from the Develop Conference. I had a great time helping and I think all the volunteers enjoyed it (the free bar at the end of the night might have helped there 🙂 ). Read on for a quick summary of what I enjoyed and some pictures from my album, although I meant to take more, they give a feel at least for the conference, although with my camerawork you can’t see much. Read on for more… Continue reading Develop Conference Volunteer Work

Brighton Develop Conference and other UK game developer conferences

brighton develop conference logo
Develop 2007
The Develop Conference and Expo in Brighton is on next week, and I’ve volunteered to help. It should be an insightful view into the conferences put on by the industry, this one is pretty new (started Last Year since I can’t find any older information).

Expect some kind of insight of how it went and if my camera captured anything interesting (off-work of course, its a long event). I’ve done a few conference-like events for my SU before, and it should be good fun to do something I’m very much interested in, and will at least be a good holiday away from my precious computer for 5 days or so. If you’re interested, I found out about volunteering via. the IGDA forums.

On the subject of conferences, the amount of UK-based game developer conferences is not exactly high compared to the USA, as there are some that have come and gone. Some good ones still around as far as I can tell (having not visited them). Continue reading Brighton Develop Conference and other UK game developer conferences

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