Games Journalism 2021 - Coming to you live!

Let’s start the new year with something interesting and relatively light. No sex scandal, developer meltdown, or magazine firing everyone. Here’s how a Valve developer made the booze in Half-Life: Alyx look so cool:

I have missed her eyebrows. Is that weird? Great shaders examples!

That was a great video! Thanks.

This article about the early days of Xbox is pretty great. I love the bit where Ballmer made them approach Nintendo about being bought out and that just turning into getting laughed at for an hour.

Xbox 20 Year Anniversary: How an American Video Game Empire Was Born - Bloomberg

I don’t care one cent about any console but clicked thru solely on the basis of the comment about Nintendo laughing at Microsoft for one hour. That thread delivered!

Between that and the guys needing towels to wipe the spit off their faces after getting yelled at by Bill Gates when he found out the Xbox wouldn’t be running Windows - yeah, the article had the goods!

Also, I had no idea Ballmer was such a basketball fiend. I guess it’s less surprising now that he ended up buying an NBA team.

I fear for Ballmer’s life every time the camera cuts to him at a Clips game. Man is intense.

Wait, fuck.

I just realized a Supreme Muckity Muck from Microsoft bought the Los Angeles Clippers.

I only met him personally once, and that was by accident - but my main memory of the man is from company meetings when he would carry a bottle of honey to drink from because he screamed so loudly and so constantly that his voice was just always on the edge giving out. Intense doesn’t quite cover it.

That is amazing.

I love this exchange

THOMPSON: …“We want Rick Thompson to lead it.” I turned bright red and said, “I’m not big enough for this job.” The next day, Ballmer showed up in my office with a baseball bat in his hand, literally, and told me that this is what I was going to do.

BALLMER I don’t remember that, but it’s possible. I’m sure I was playing with the baseball bat. People used to think I meant it as a threat, but some Microsoft customer had given it to me, and I’m a hyperactive dude, so it was something I was always sort of nicking around with. In defense of my reputation, I have ADHD, but I am not mean.

Happily, my only encounters with SteveB when he was at MS were at the Pro Club (the giant gym everyone at MS used to have a membership at). He’s a big dude, but not for any lack of working out. Heard some fun stories, though – you definitely needed to have all bases covered and then some before meeting with him.

Stopped by RPS today, and my initial take of their website redesign is it sucks. Pretty obvious their parent company told them to get in line.

Whereas before I’d pop in now and again and scroll thru the latest now I’m greeted by a page where I don’t instinctively have any idea what’s new and what’s not.

Like most things I’m sure I can adjust, but then there’s also the distinct possibility, in fact entirely more likely, that’ll just stop going there.

Looks like you just need to link to the /latest page to see what used to be the home page.

Here’s hoping they keep that alive, not a fan of this becoming Rock, Paper, Eurogamer.

May have been reported elsewhere, but Tim Stone, previously of The Flare Path, has his own blog now.

I did not know that. But now that I think of it, I haven’t noticed any Flare Paths in a while.

Maybe it’s finally time to remove RPS from my routine after considering it for years.

It was the only reason I kept going to RPS at some point.

But then I changed careers, had training in India for 2 months, and had a cross country move so stopped even reading that a few years back. And I just kinda forgot it existed.

Thanks for that link!

Oh my god that RPS redesign is awful. I have actually never, and I’m pretty sure that’s literally true, seen a redesign that wasn’t just worse than the site it replaced.