Going to Gamescom

gamescom

International Hobo Ltd will be at Europe’s biggest games industry event, Gamescom. We’re available for meetings on Wednesday 23rd and the morning of Thursday 24th of August.

We’re particular interested in meeting with:

  • Publishers looking for pre-dev game design support or audit
  • Publishers or Developers needing narrative or dialogue services
  • Anyone we already know, or who would like to meet us!

Get in touch through the usual channels (contact link in the sidebar here, if all else fails).

Look forward to seeing you in Cologne!

Cross-posted from ihobo.com.


Silk Anniversary

Birthday-cakeToday, Only a Game is twelve years old. Hasn’t the time flown by! I would love to have produced something special for the event, but alas I have been swamped with my professional commitments and am way behind on my blogging.

Coming up soon (hopefully!), more virtuous discourse in the Republic of Bloggers, the final part of Babich and Bateman, completing what begin in The Last of the Continental Philosophers and Living with Machines, and of course, the build up and launch for my latest book, The Virtuous Cyborg.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my blogging over the last duodecimal 10 years, and to everyone who gets drawn into my strange thought processes over the next binary 1100 years!

Want to send me a present? Comments and blog-letters are always appreciated!


Pokémon GO Update: The Highs, the Lows

Over at ihobo today, yet more Pokémon GO reporting, this time looking at how the player community is adjusting to the update after a week.

Why so much on this game? Well, partly because this update is a big deal for Niantic and I want to chip in some professional perspective on it. Mainly because it’s a rare case of something having happened in the games industry that I’m actually interested in, so it’s a good opportunity to rebuild my blogging momentum. I have other blog pieces in production at the moment, but I’m struggling to get the time to work on them. Conversely, cranking out a thousand words on the game I’m playing with my kids is relatively easy win for me... it keeps me blogging, at that’s valuable to me in and of itself.


Interview for Pop Philosophy

PPh logo

Delighted to report that the Russian website Pop Philosophy has an interview with me, in both Russian and English, talking about games, philosophy, Discordians, and cyber-squirrels. Here’s an extract:

There are those who suggest we are living in a golden age of videogames, and if you look at the volume of titles today there is certainly a huge amount out there. But for me, really interesting or engaging titles are few and far between. On the one hand, the upper end of the market, AAA console games, feels constricted by the size of the audience they need to court. It is amazing what is being made now, but we’re deeply into iterating upon the existing player practices. If you wanted to find original concepts, AAA would be the wrong place to look. But then I look at what the indie community delivers and, unsurprisingly, they are making the games they want to play, which are mostly just iterating on the existing player practices too but with less budget and so more rough edges. There’s greater emphasis on puzzles, some ugly violence in the corners, a lot of half-executed retro sensibilities…it’s not lacking inventiveness so much as it has no aesthetic ambition. It’s too safe. It mostly bores me.

Check it out over at the PPh website!


Cyberamicable Game Design

FriendsIs it possible to design videogames to encourage friendships? This is a question about whether cyberamicable games are a possibility, and it’s one that

Earlier this year, Dan Cook published a long report from his November 2016 Project Horseshoe visit, entitled Game Design Patterns for Building Friendships. This is precisely a discussion about what I have been calling cybervirtue, in the context of games, and I want to suggest that games that are designed to encourage friendship would be cyberamicable, since we call ‘amicable’ a person who gets on well with others, or who forms friendships easily.

Here’s an extract from Dan’s piece:

Games that lack the tools for disclosing personal info between two people will never facilitate deep relationships. They may never even facilitate shallow relationships since players see that there will never be a long term future for any relationship they form in the game. However, disclosure is a highly risky action and teams will often try to cut it from their designs. Sharing information before a relationship is strong enough can result in broken or antagonistic relationships.

There’s a ton of useful and thought-provoking ideas here, and it’s well worth a look for anyone working in the space of multiplayer games. Check it out!

Cross-posted from ihobo.com.