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text 2017-08-18 05:31
The Rise of Games and High Performance Computing for Modeling and Simulation - Evaluate, and Review Standing Committee on Technology Insight--Gauge,Committee on Modeling Simulation and Gam,Committee on Modeling Simulation and Gam,National Research Council

Typical DoD/Military stuff. Pretty accurate though.

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text 2017-08-15 18:18
Yet another book via ILL
Jane Jensen: Gabriel Knight, Adventure Games, Hidden Objects (Influential Video Game Designers) - Jennifer deWinter,Carly A. Kocurek,Anastasia Salter

I normally try not to submit more than a couple interlibrary loan requests, but I've been breaking that personal rule a lot lately and now everything seems to be coming in at once. I have three ILL books checked out at the moment, with another two or three that could come in at any time.

 

It's iffy whether I'll manage to read and finish this. I'm not really that good with nonfiction, except in audio form. Still, I thought it might be interesting to read about Jane Jensen, who I know primarily as the creator of the Gabriel Knight adventure games.

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url 2017-08-02 14:54
Choice of Games is looking for people interested in writing interactive romance

I'm not a writer and have no idea how good or bad their pay is in comparison to other options - this just caught my eye. I figured I'd post in case anyone was interested or knows someone who might be interested. As far as I know, their stuff is less visual novel and more text-based "choose your own adventure." I own one of their works, Choice of Robots, but haven't tried it yet.

 

ETA - And, oh hey, there's at least one author I recognize in their lineup. Sorcery Is for Saps was written by Hilari Bell and Anna-Maria Crum. I haven't read any of Bell's works, but I own Fall of a Kingdom, the first book in her Farsala trilogy. Dang, now I wish Choice of Games had an "Author Browse" feature.

 

And another one: Max Gladstone wrote Deathless: The City's Thirst and Choice of the Deathless.

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review 2017-07-31 15:18
Chess Shenanigans: "Mortal Games - The Turbulent Genius of Garry Kasparov" by Fred Waitzkin
Mortal Games: The Turbulent Genius of Garry Kasparov - Fred Waitzkin

The K-K sequence of matches is unrivalled in competitive sport. In Portugal at the time there was much information regarding this match, but I remember following it on the weeklies chess programms with expert commentary on the chess as well as insights into all the backstage shenanigans. The introduction, playing Prokofiev's Dance of the Nights to the backdrop of snowy Red Square was unmissable and a brilliant entré to the great chess battles that followed. After the resumption in 1985, the climax came with game 16 when Kasparov paralyzed Karpov on move 16. I just had to look it up to freshen my memory. Karpov couldn't move a piece without provoking disaster to his position. Perhaps the most brilliant display of Kasparov's genius and unlikely that any grand-master has ever achieved such a dominant position in a chess championship match before or since.

 

The rating system in international chess (Elo, designed by Arpad Elö) is incapable of comparing playing strength between players from different time periods. It is designed to facilitate a comparing of a closed group of players. More so up until the seventies there was no rating-system in place. You also have to take into account that the rules have significantly changed over time, specifically time-limits. 

 

If you're into chess, read on.

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review 2017-07-30 20:18
The Comic Book Story of Video Games
The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution - Jonathan Hennessey,Jack Mcgowan

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Fairly interesting, although to be honest, in spite of the early chapters being educative in their own ways, I would’ve preferred to see the focus more on the actual video games (and industry) themselves, rather than also on the electricity/industrial revolution parts. The art style, too, was not always consistent, and sometimes too stiff.

On the other hand, I appreciated the inclusion of actual video games characters in panels, as watchers or part of the ‘narrative’; just trying to remember or find out who they were, was in itself another, different dive into history. (Well, maybe it wouldn’t work that well on someone who knows less about such games, but for me, it worked.)

I also liked how the book included some of the backstage workings behind the whole video games industry; they were plenty of things I didn’t know, for instance Sony and its Playstation, I had no idea there had been a deal in the plans with Nintendo for CD games, and that it completely fell through. (I’m not feeling younger, though. Being reminded that this PSX I got in 1998—and I made it a point to get a US model, too, since the European one didn’t run the games I wanted—was even a few years older than that... well...)

Conclusion: An informative and colourful read. I do wish it had spent just a little less time on the really early years, where ‘games’ per se weren’t so much concerned (to be fair, I already know a lot about computer history in general).

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