Massachusetts and the Gaming Industry

And now, for something completely different.

If you don’t care about the industry in MA, then feel free to skip right on to our other content, but if you are a game developer, designer, artist, producer, etc. or know someone who is, then I encourage you to take a minute to read up on why tax incentives are becoming such an important issue.

Last night, I attended the Massachusetts, Evolved event put on by the New England Games Special Interest Group of the MIT Enterprise Forum (NE Games SIG).  I want to talk about why I feel that it was such an important event, and what I feel needs to happen to continue moving this conversation forward.

As a bit of background, this conversation really got rolling when Curt Schilling and his gaming company, 38 Studios, up and left Massachusetts for greener pastures in Rhode Island- $75 million in loan guarantees greener, to be precise.  With the exodus of an estimated 200 high-tech jobs, MA legislators started to take notice.

There are two …

Read More

Stay Healthy, Eat Some Snow!

It’s currently 2 degrees out in Boston and looking around, all I can see are piles of snow that stretch up above my head.  I reach into the nearest mound of snow, grab a handful, and start gobbling down the sweet melty goodness.  Hey, look at that, my health bar went up!

Besides the flying construction workers, the single most realistic part of our game is that eating snow gives you health.  It’s an awesome, pseudo-easter egg that we discovered the other day during testing (you didn’t think we’d inject our game with realism on purpose, did you?!), and I’ll be damned if we aren’t leaving it in.  It just sounds right: “Eat the snow to gain health.” Of course you do!

Rock you like a… Avalanche

Snow only shows up in a few levels of SBS, but when it does, it instantly changes the game.  The core mechanic for environmental snow was taken from a weapon that we had in earlier builds – it was one of the block types that we showed off at PAX Prime 2010, …

Read More

5 Reasons Local Co-Op Rules

You hear a lot about online games and social games in our ever-increasingly connected world.  In fact, I think most of the games I’ve played recently have been online in some way.  So much so, in fact, that I’m sick of it.  I miss the good old days of playing in a room with a bunch of my friends, shouting at the TV.  Thus, for your pleasure, I’ve compiled a list of five reasons that local co-op rules.

1. Actually Seeing Other Humans

Did you know that by playing games together, there’s a psychological bond of trust created between people?  It’s true.  I heard it on the internet or something… maybe it was like a TED talk.  In all seriousness, though, actually getting face-time with your gaming buddies can be a challenge nowadays.  Very few games support local co-op, and many of those that do are, well, not good at it.  I like seeing my friends and playing games with them.  Plus, how else would I show off all my random cool video game themed t-shirts?

2. No Waiting for …

Read More