Woe Is Gaming! Wildman Kickstarter


I’ve wanted to comment on Chris Taylor’s Wildman Kickstarter ever since it first appeared.  The sale of Gas Powered Games and the suffering of Wildman was fun to watch for the same reason I cheered the bankruptcy of THQ: they didn’t know what the hell they were doing and needed a wake-up call.  I’m beyond tired of game developers operating in a vacuum, making ridiculous assumptions about “what gamers want” and creating their own narrow-minded formulas for success.

In a way, Kickstarter is a much-needed dose of reality in the game industry, and I wish every major game had to survive some kind of crowd funding test before it could enter production.  We might have been spared derivative garbage like Homefront and Saints Row, since they would’ve relied on actual interest rather than cynical multimillion dollar ad campaigns revolving around dildos.  Think of how many billions are wasted in marketing instead of being spent on development — it’s impossible to sympathize.  Gas Powered Games is privately owned, of course, but that also means Chris Taylor alone is to blame for its underwhelming pitch.  Get out of the vacuum, sir.  We live in the Internet age, where millions of passionate players struggle to be heard by the industry, and although it may not seem coherent or constructive, Kickstarter encourages you to start small, listen carefully, and build on success… if you can humble yourself.

The Wildman pitch video was a raw, unblinking look into the hubris of a developer’s mind, telling us practically nothing but asking for over a million dollars in return.  That’s how they think.  And now he tries to say Kickstarter is the real problem.

Really?  Is that why Star Citizen has raised nearly $8 million using the exact same model?


This is part of the Woe is Gaming! series, which analyzes events and topics in order to heighten the discussion of the business, design, and culture of the gaming phenomenon

Podcast #8: It’s Not Over Yet!

What the heck, we’re back!  And it wouldn’t be fair to keep y’all in the dark, so here you go!  In this podcast I simply explain what happened with the site, and what I’ve got in the works right now.  It’s a straightforward update for those who want to fill in the blanks and know what to look forward to!

Click here to listen to Podcast #8: It’s Not Over Yet! (mp3 file, 15:08 long)

The Phantom Pain’s Phantom Appeal

It’s what you DON’T see that makes it fascinating.  Negative space.  The words “METAL GEAR SOLID V” literally cut out of the title, instead of being shown front and center.  It’s brilliant, intriguing, and (hopefully) reflects a deeper theme within the game — of letting our imaginations go wild, for better or worse.

Is The Phantom Pain really Metal Gear Solid 5?  Or is that what we’re supposed to trick ourselves into thinking?

The Phantom Pain

Remember when Kojima talked about a “taboo” project that could potentially force him to leave the industry — the project which was eventually revealed to be the “devil” project?

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Part V (MGS2: A Complete Breakdown)


[Updated Nov 1/2012: GameTrailers today declared that Metal Gear Solid 2‘s ending was the third worst in game history!  A special note has been added to the end of the article.]

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Why I love “Intrusion 2”

(Click the image to read the full article, or click here)

Chances are you’ve never heard of Intrusion 2, despite the fact that it is secretly a gaming demigod.  Created by Aleksey Abramenko (and only Aleksey Abramenko!) it somehow manages to be breathtakingly beautiful, perfectly playable, and gratuitously gratifying, while never sinking into pretentiousness.  In a world of $20 million development budgets and brand identity raping, we look to “indie” games for the unique, unfettered visions of true artists who are free to do whatever they want.  But the sad truth is, the indie scene is so desperate to “go viral” that they’ve sold their souls too, resorting to imitation and pandering in the hopes pleasing the Almighty Aggregate.  Even great games seem infected by that bland cultural and self awareness that the Internet has forced artists to account for.

Intrusion 2 somehow stands apart from all of that, and it is masterful.

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Why I Hate “The Last of Us” (Now With More Hate!)


[NOTE: Full review is on its way. This was a reaction to the initial E3 trailer and hype.]


[Added a second part.]

You’ve probably heard of The Last of Us by now, which means you’ve probably shrugged and said yeah, cool I guess.  It’s the gory post-apocalyptic PS3 exclusive developed by Naughty Dog, makers of the Uncharted series.  It’s already won a bunch of awards, including “Best of Show”, “Best Original Game”, “Best Console Game”, and “Best Action/Adventure Game” at this year’s E3.  There’s no doubt that it will be a highly polished, carefully crafted, and feature unparalleled voice acting and CINEMATIC CINEMATIC CINEMATIC.

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