The Sunday Papers | Rock Paper Shotgun

Sundays are for hoping the plumber has ordered that new sink part in. My sink is ‘non-standard’ apparently. “Why can’t I just be normal?!” I scream in silent longing. Armitage Shanks would never. Before I look forward to no longer having to wash up my pasta bowl in the same place I brush my teeth, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related things!)

For Aftermath, Luke Plunkett spoke to ‘Albert’, an anonymous industry vet, about the struggles of making a demo for a big showcase or event – despite sometimes knowing it’s “100% Grade A Bullshit”.

Actually, now that I think about it, I was at a studio (if not directly involved) in a trailer that was 100% Grade A bullshit. Essentially our publisher really, really wanted stuff to show and despite the fact that our next project wasn’t even in the pitch phase, let alone production, we had an external team create a trailer to build hype. It was completely divorced from anything we hoped to do, and it was so early in development that it couldn’t help but be misleading or tie our hands. That one sucked. It thankfully didn’t eat up a ton of our resources and time, but it was still demoralizing because we had little to do with it and we all knew it was going to be promises that we couldn’t necessarily deliver on.

For Unwinnable, Jay Castello wrote about “Supergiant’s Scrappier, Better Underworld.” That being the landscapes and characters of my favourite Supergiant game, Pyre.

But unlike the spaces of the Hades games, the Downside is not an infinite labyrinth of rooms, filled only with enemies (and the occasional Charon store). The Downside is a world. Escaping it is a journey that takes the Nightwings through a variety of jewel-toned, hazily lit environments, each with their own moods. It necessitates the wagon, a home base that feels simultaneously comforting and crowded. And it gives all the characters a sense of grounding, a place in the world that lends them important narrative weight.

For The Guardian, Keith Stuart chatted to the enthusiasts creating a replica of the PDP-10 mainframe computer – the same series on which prehistoric game SpaceWar! was designed.

The attention to detail is wild. The lights on the front aren’t just for show. As in the original machine they indicate the instructions being carried out, a smattering of CPU signals, the memory contents. Vermeulen refers to it as watching the heartbeat of the computer. This element was taken very seriously. “Two people spent months on one particular problem,” says Vermeulen. “As you know, LEDs flick on and off, but incandescent lamps kind of glow. So there was a whole study to make the LEDs simulate the glow of the original lamps. And then we found out that different lamps from different years had a different glow time. Measurements were done, math was applied, but we added lamp glow. More CPU time is spent on simulating that than on simulating the original CPU!”

House Of The Dragon is back! The first season was great! I can understand if you’re twice shy by this point, but I think you should give it a shot. You could just absorb it all by proxy through Glidus’s excellent recap videos, though.

Orientalism: Desert Level Music vs Actual Middle-Eastern Music’ is a video Brendy recommended after a chat about Metal Slug Tactics.

Ed sent me this. While you wait for Shadow Of The Erdtree, why not play FromSoft Word? ‘The Dark Souls of word processors. One typo, and it’s game over.’ I’m so mildly amused by it that I don’t even mind such flagrant simplification of FromSoft’s design ethos. In this seven hour long video essay I will…

Music this week is Previous Industries by Open Mike Eagle, Video Dave and STILL RIFT. I once had an illuminating conversation with Open Mike outside a show about linguistic determinism and the work of Robert Anton Wilson. Ziggy Starfish is still the vibiest song ever written about social anxiety. Thanks, Michael Eagle, and thank you readers. Have a great weekend!

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