Posts by Soren Johnson

How Social Networks Reinvent Game Design

How Social Networks Reinvent Game Design

Anyone who attended the 2010 Game Developers Conference a few months back will remember it as a hard one to forget because the whole expo seemed to be obsessed with one thing, which I summed up in this tweet. Or, as Sirlin puts it here: “Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook.” Off the top of my head, here are the highlights and lowlights of this fixation: The long-running Casual Games and...

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Why Metacritic.com Matters

Why Metacritic.com Matters

Over the last few years, Metacritic has become a popular whipping boy within the games industry. A recent example would be Adam Sessler’s bit at GDC’s journalist rant session. At the risk of beginning to sound like a reactionary contrarian, I feel a case needs to be made for Metacritic. Unlike my argument for used games (or, rather, for thinking critically about what we are trying to sell consumers for $60), I feel much less conflicted in this case, so let me...

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Defending Used Games

Defending Used Games

Every couple months, a video game industry veteran comes forward and decries used games sales as a huge issue that is ruining the industry. I certainly agree with many of the arguments – the less money developers get from sales of their games, the harder it is for them to take risks further down the road, let alone stay in business. Nonetheless, a few words should be said in defense of used games. GameStop IS part of the games industry An odd thing about the...

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What Cloud Computing Means to Game Design

What Cloud Computing Means to Game Design

One of the biggest stories to dominate game industry headlines as of late is the emergence of OnLive. Think of it as a cloud-based gaming platform which purportedly allows any PC or Mac (including bare-bones ones) with a fast network connection to play any game by running all the code – including the graphics rendering – on a remote server instead of on the local machine. In many ways, this service is a return to the “dumb terminal” model of the ’70s...

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