Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

United Front Games, best known for their atmospheric Hong Kong city brawler Sleeping Dogs (2012), is rumoured to be closing down.

The weight of this rumour is not slight, and deserves all the extra attention we can bring to it – true or not, at this point in time we don’t yet know for sure – because, once again, the string of events that led us here reads like yet another example of Konami-like profound executive failure.


But, to start from a beginning. According to United Front producer Dan Sochan, Sleeping Dogs – which never quite lived down its reputation as a True Crime game – actually started out as the original game Black Lotus, which was then subsequently bought and slated by Activision to be the next part of their True Crime game series as True Crime: Hong Kong. After the publisher lost faith in the game’s market prospects, with Activision’s Eric Hirshberg noting in 2011 that “The finished product was not going to be at the top of that genre,”1 it was ultimately poached (sans the True Crime moniker) from Activision by Square Enix, who would then release the game as Sleeping Dogs in 2012.2 (more…)

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A Post About a Blog: Edmund McMillen

Alert, alert! @EdmundMcMillenn has recently opened up a new Tumblr dev blog for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

That ends the newsworthy portion of this post; certainly, the opening of the Tumblr is major news to any and all Isaac buffs (like myself! I am your Golden God!), as McMillen has promised a weekly stream of teasers from the forthcoming Nicalis remake: videos, gifs, screenshots, information, and music. Diptera Sonata, below, won me over very quickly:

The main thing that I’d like to draw attention to, however, is McMillen’s personal Tumblr, which is now largely a domain for nigh-daily Q&A for fans. McMillen’s answers are astonishingly open, honest, and gripping, and recommended reading for anyone interested in the making of art and video games.

I’ll let one of the entries do the talking:

i do enjoy answering questions that might help people, i know i could have used some advice when i was younger so i usually answer those. i think its important when being in the public eye to put as much as you can out there so people get a better idea of you as a whole person, instead of the caricature  the press/internets paint you out to be1

Here are some more past examples of the kind of answers that you can expect from McMillen. (more…)

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Being Saved in Actual Sunlight

Actual Sunlight 02One of last year’s remarkable critical success stories, Actual Sunlight, is being currently remade into 3D by developer Will O’Neill. The game is testing waters on Steam Greenlight, and a demonstrative beta build of the new 3D version can be downloaded on the developer’s website.

The game is a “short interactive story about love, depression and the corporation”:

The game puts you in the role of Evan Winter, a young professional in Toronto, as he moves through three distinct periods of his life. The story is linear, unavoidable and (hopefully) thought-provoking. You experience his perceptions, fall under the consequences of his decisions, and meet everyone who didn’t change him.1

Inspired by the game’s resurgence in 3D, I would very much like to go back in time (it’s not like we get second chances very often!), to point out just one interesting feature in the original game – a feature that’s completely transparent, and ordinary, and yet crucially shaped my experience with the game.

The game engenders feelings, responses, and thoughts on so many different levels that there already exists a wealth of criticism (see, for instance, Chris Priestman’s and John Walker’s). So. I shall try to be to the point.


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Why APB Reloaded’s Blood Money Event Works

Over the past few years, APB Reloaded developers have intermittently run different types of events: Some have equipped players with new weapons, or customization options, while others have also netted players with concrete rewards in the GamersFirst game shop currency, or “G1C.”

APB Reloaded

The latest such event, “Blood Money,” run in anticipation of their new content patch, simply asks players to kill other players in exchange for rewards:

Alright boys and girls, listen up and listen good, there’s a BOUNTY on! Someone out in San Paro needs a whole lot of corpses and needs ‘em fast, and well, they figure you’d make a mighty fine supplier. You can bag yourself up to 100 kills per day at 1 G1C a pop for 7 days. We know most of you cold-hearted killers’d already be doing this anyway so this is basically just like free money, but hey, whoever it is needs this killing done doesn’t seem to mind.1

Sounds right about normal, right? Wrong. The current event, running from the 20th to 26th, is markedly different from those that came before it, and is deserving of some commentary.


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