• "I see Valve Software today holding the same position in the overall media landscape that Marvel Comics occupied in the early-mid 1960s. In both cases, we have two experienced studios, neither the mainstream-recognized giants of their fields, who made an unusual decision: they chose to spend the creative capital gained from prior commercial success to quietly revolutionize their respective medium's dominant genres, rather than take the safer path of grinding out more derivative sameness."
  • Ben Zeigler's notes on Bunge's Jaime Griesemer's talk at GDC, all about balancing. Sample quotation: "It can be tricky to balance, because designers can misinterpret competence (getting good at a weapon) with the weapon being balanced. We CANNOT use our intuition at this stage because it will lie to us. Changes will have to be done in larger batches, and we need to avoid bias effects." Really, the whole thing is jampacked with interesting stuff (not all of which I agree with, but most of it is very good indeed).
  • On Shadow of the Colossus: "When the game is up, the player-character suffers a terrible price for destroying these strange, animate monuments. It is one of the few videogames in which the protagonist dies – horribly and permanently – when the game is over. It is a game where destroying the evil lair might well have been the wrong thing to do. And yet it is _all_ you can do. Such is the inexorable, linear fate of the videogame avatar." Rossignol hits up BLDGBLOG, and (as if you couldn't have guessed), it's good.
  • "Guru Meditation also reminds us of the long history of experimentation with physical controllers in the mainstream consumer videogame market, even when both that market and its critics would have us believe that physical interfaces are as new as DDR or Nintendo Wii." A game for Atari 2600 + Joyboard, and also available as an iPhone port; make the yogi fly by sitting perfectly still, and perfectly upright. Written in assembler, and everything.
  • "The problem is, it doesn’t have a smug website with fancy branding, so you probably overlooked it the first time. Go back and take another look." Worth knowing about, even if it's a long while since I've need continuous builds.