Games Journalism 2018: We're taking it back!


Downer article about a studio I really like, Telltale.


I feel like that title could be about almost any major developer.


As someone who’s worked in technology and development I think of the times I could have sidestepped into the video game industry and I’m just so glad I resisted. I realize not every company is like this, but there does just seem to be this pervading acceptance by developers that you’re just going to work crazy hours for little compensation and at the end, quite possibly be laid off. I am much happier being on the demand curve.


Recently, this story came up, which is a nice pairing with the Telltale article.


Holy crap, that was 14 years ago?


I believe the proper phrasing would be “14 Maddens ago.”


Or 35 developer years.


That was a truly insightful peek into how they (used to) work. People were always wondering how TTG had figured out the logistics of episodic games, but it apparently really came at a price.


Yeah, I started in the game industry before moving over to the broader tech space. Looking back, I’m glad I got laid off when I did.


Good god, yes.

I have no desire whatsoever to work on games any more. Bleh.


But what about gamification?




Bwahaha! I guess that whole thing died quietly in a corner. Which is for the best.


You mean you guys don’t play Ribbon Hero every time you fire up Office?


I am betting this study will be used in one way or another in games journalism in the next month or so.

Place your bets on the spin!
“1% of all communities initiate 74% of all conflicts on Reddit.”


Really cool article about Stardew Valley and its creator.


There’s been some push to unionize around GDC this week so I imagine this was timed to coincide with that.

Telltale is somewhat unique in the speed and scale at which they grew. It often felt like the management at Telltale were treating their sudden success like a gold rush.


An interesting peek into Valve’s behind-the-scenes tech that might expand to other games.

To bring VACnet to life, a server farm had to be built that could handle CS:GO’s millions of players, loads of data, and grow as CS:GO grew. Right now there are about 600,000 5v5 CS:GO matches per day, and to evaluate all players in those matches Valve needed about four minutes of computation, amounting to 2.4 million minutes of CPU effort per day. You need about 1,700 CPUs to do that daily work.

So Valve bought 1,700 CPUs. And 1,700 more, “so we’ll have room to expand,” McDonald says, hinting at Valve’s intention to bring VACnet to other games. Conservatively, Valve had to have spent at least a few million dollars on that hardware: 64 server blades with 54 CPU cores each and 128GB of RAM per blade. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated $120M CS:GO brought in off of game copy sales alone in 2017, but it probably represents one of the beefiest anti-cheating farms built for a single game.


Ninja, (Tyler Blevins) the streamer that has been blowing up Twitch records with his Fortnight streams, dropped the n-bomb during some musical ad-libbing. (The rap song “44 More” does not actually have the n-word in it.) The slip kicked off the normal debates. Why are so many popular streamers terrible? Can a white guy say “nigga” without it being racist? Even in a rap? Why is Fortnite the new hotness?


See, if he were singing along to death metal nobody would have understood him. It’s his own fault, really.