Why is DRM still a thing?

We’re in the midst of a colossal market crash in the AAA video game industry.  We know it, the publishers know it and I damn well hope Electronic Arts knows it by now after being voted the worst company in the USA for the second consecutive year in a row.  High budget sequels to popular franchises and MMOs with a ridiculously high budget are quickly falling in favor of independent developer markets, downloadable games and even the casual gaming market in social networking sites and mobile phones.  Which is fine by me, since I’ve never been partial to a game investing millions into exaggerated bloom effects over actual innovation.  But if there’s something I hate more than hollow triple-A cashcow-ware and rhetorical questions for article titles, it’s DRM.

“Legitimately purchased you say? I’ll be the judge of that.”

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Dev Log #1: April 10th Update Preview

Hey there folks!

I haven’t posted any new articles in a little while as I’ve been busy with various projects. I found it’s a recurring flaw I have; I tend to start several different projects with enthusiasm at first, but then quickly lose interest when I think of a new project to pursue!  Regardless, development on Tales of Amn has been progressing steadily and we’re hoping to launch out of open beta some time during the summer.

Here’s a few screenshots of some of the new areas I’m working on for the next update:

“Boob Armor” and the Misogyny in Gaming

Video games have matured quickly over the past couple of decades. What once was a niche hobby with a small, core demographic of mostly male adult “geeks” and children has evolved into a world wide phenomenon that stretches across several platforms. Games now exist on consoles, computers, our mobile phones, even bathroom urinal stalls. Video games have caused controversy, have been the subject of behavioral research and have been attacked and defended for their right to stand as their own independent art form.

But for all the progress that has been made, why has one glaringly shameful aspect of video games not only endured over its evolution but thrived? Why is it that despite the accessibility it is still considered a “male-dominant” culture of perverted boob physics and one dimensional, overly-exposed sex objects that we pass off as female characters?

…because “LOL LOOK AT HER TITS THEY JIGGLE”.  That’s exactly what it still is, and it’s an issue we need to work together to overcome.

This is a real advert. Yeah… there you go.

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The Importance of Transparency in Game Development

Pictured above: Not Aliens: Colonial Marines, apparently.

It is a difficult environment to operate in as a game developer, I imagine.  Besides the unfettering weight of deadlines, budget restrains, publisher concerns and consumer expectations there is little wonder why the video game industry arguably has one of the fastest growing indie sectors of any entertainment form.  Like many media, a large part of the fanbase these companies build are fostered from a foundation of trust with their users.  Trust established from positive experiences with their products and continuous communication with fans.

Is it any wonder, then, that the poor reception for Aliens: Colonial Marines has only been amplified by the fact that we were outright deceived into pre-purchasing the game under the false assumption that we were shown gameplay footage?

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In Retrospect: Mass Effect had good endings, just not a good ending.

It’s an almost harrowing subject to gravitate towards in any video game discussion forum, and I feel like I’m performing a cardinal sin by even attempting to address the controversial ending to a beloved franchise.  But considering I seem to be performing cardinal sins left and right in university according to my parents, I figured this shouldn’t be too difficult of an issue to tackle.  It should go without saying that this article is going to contain spoilers.

So, Mass Effect.  Uh…

DON’T DO IT, YAZEN. DON’T DO IT.

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Sensible? How pretentious of you.

It feels like a lifetime ago since my 8th birthday, even though I know exactly how long it’s actually been (12 years).  Having grown bored of getting toys every year and slightly persuaded by my big brother’s adopted hobby, I opted for something different this time.  The now defunct Microprose’s gem MechCommander had been out for two years already, but with my outdated hardware and pitiful weekly allowance the opportunity to purchase new games only presented itself during celebratory occasions. This was the first year I would be getting a video game instead of the conventional type of gift for kids of my age; an RC toy car or another platoon of plastic troopers.

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Still one of the greatest RTT (real-time tactics) games.

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