Just saw something awesome on Game Set Watch: A cool Flickr album loaded with vintage shots of arcades from 1979-1989. Definitely worth checking out; hopefully we'll be able to use some of this in our forthcoming Gameplay Forever movie. See it all below, and if you have some of your own photos of the era, be sure to upload them to the Flickr group.
Get ready for several hours of great video viewing at GDC Vault. The big feature for most of us will be the postmortems, which include Doom with John Romero and Tom Hall, Maniac Mansion with Ron Gilbert, Pac-Man with Toru Iwatani, and much, much more. There's even Raid on Bungeling Bay with Will Wright, Elite with David Braben, and Populous with Peter Molyneux! I suspect you'll want to head over there immediately and start watching these, so get to it. Let us know which ones are your favorites.
Over the past few weeks, I've been toying with an idea that sounds downright preposterous at first. I pose it as a Twilight Zone-esque "What if?" scenario: What if games haven't really "advanced" at all, but only changed, similar to how clothing fashions change over time? Let's explore some alternatives to the technological determinism so ubiquitous in our field.
I'm a forty-something person who plays quite a lot of video games. I'm of an age when common consensus dictates that I should be doing something like playing Golf instead; but I don't - even though I'd like to take that particular pastime up (watch this space). I'm also of the age that means I was at a very impressionable age when video games first appeared on the scene.
There's a great history piece up at Gamasutra on the history of the Dreamcast. It has lots of quotations from interviews with key people and is well worth checking out. It's always fascinating to think of "what might have been" if certain decisions had gone the other way.
Play.tm has a huge History of Resident Evil up. It's a lengthy read, but I suspect survival horror fans will want to check it out. Here's a snippet:
If Alone in the Dark is credited with inventing the modern survival horror genre, then it was Resident Evil that refined it and turned into something that truly appealed to almost every gamer.
Of course, if you want to learn more about Alone in the Dark and its relation to the Resident Evil series--it's chapter 1 of Vintage Games! :)
There's a potential project that's a bit too early for Matt and me to talk about in detail that I thought would be worthwhile to seek everyone's help with, since many of you were so helpful with the Vintage Games book. Who do you think are the most fascinating people in videogame history? There are some obvious ones, like Ralph Baer, Richard Garriott, Roberta Williams, Bill Budge, Chuck Peddle, etc., and I've already come up with a list of roughly 23, but it really needs to be fleshed out (and Matt still needs to take a crack at adding to it). The goal is to get as many names as possible. The only criteria is that they must be living, live in North America or be readily available via e-mail (or Skype) if elsewhere, and probably speak English reasonably well. They might have helped create a great computer or videogame console or some component thereof, they might be great programmers, they might be great tools or middleware developers, etc. Any fascinating person in our industry's history. Who do you want to read about? Let us know as soon as you can as it would be a huge help. There's no reason to share the current list, as it would be helpful to validate some of the names I/we've already come up with independently. Thanks everyone!
I have exciting news for fans of computer role-playing games and readers of my book on the topic, Dungeons & Desktops. Rusty Rutherford, creator of PEDIT5, the first CRPG we know about, has contacted me via email to tell his story. I've printed it below for all to enjoy, and I'd sure like to get some discussion going here about this all-important first for the computer games industry. I encourage you to read the "dark ages" chapter before reading the below, unless you're already familiar with PLATO and that era of computing.
Well, I've decided to leap forward a bit and start working on the Pong chapter. While many people seem to think Pong is more fun to historians than gamers, I did see its draw demonstrated recently in Chicago during a videogame exhibit.