In 2012, as work on Mass Effect 3 came to a close, a small group of top BioWare employees huddled to talk about the next entry in their epic sci-fi franchise. Their goal, they decided, was to make a game about exploration—one that would dig into the untapped potential of the first three games. Instead of visiting just…
In the 15 years I worked at Toys “R” Us, I sometimes leaked information about video game sales and posted them on message boards. I even took games home early to try them and then post impressions, which was very much against the rules. I did this because I’ve always been excited about video games and because,…
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The attraction has a timeless appeal, and its greatest strength was its lack of storyline. But then, Disney added Jack Sparrow to the ride in 2006. Sparrow’s inclusion, and the intrusive manner in which it was done, detracts from…
One day in the late 1990s, Myria walked into the Irvine High School computer room and spotted a boy playing Final Fantasy V. There were two unusual things about this. The first was that Final Fantasy V had not actually come out in the United States. To play the 1992 Japanese game in English, you’d have to download a…
Charlie Brown is hesitant. Marcie is shy. Lucy is cruel. Schroeder is aloof. But Franklin is just…perfect.
There’s an old commercial for Westwood College that’s become something of a running joke in the video game world. Two young men sit at a couch, hammering away at PlayStation controllers. A woman walks in. “Hey guys, finish testing that game yet?” she asks. “I’ve got another one I need designed.”
In the first years of my career as a games writer, I got used to a certain reaction from my parents’ friends when they were told about what I was doing for a living. It was usually along the lines of “what a waste”. I imagined them shaking their heads as if they’d just been quietly informed that I was shooting heroin.…
The date is April 19, 2021. In my bizarre alternate dimension, it’s LeBron James’ first playoff game as a Philadelphia 76er.
In February of 2011, fresh off nine months of 80-hour work weeks, Jessica Chavez took a pair of scissors to her hair. She’d been working so hard on a video game—14 hours a day, six days a week—that she hadn’t even had a spare hour to go to the barber.
This is a story about Doom 3’s source code and how beautiful it is. Yes, beautiful. Allow me to explain.
Brigador took five years to create. It’s a mech game with a great retro-chic look, a standout soundtrack, and fully desctructible everything. The developers jokingly call it a “Kool-Aid Man simulator.” On Steam, it has a 94 percent positive rating. Despite all that, it flopped.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and for many games, that happens at E3. The annual mega show is nearly upon us, and developers are spending days and nights putting together flashy demos to convince us to open our wallets. What’s real? What’s fake? Maybe both? I asked some developers to find out.
For close to a decade, details about the multiplayer game that Blizzard called Project Titan have remained secret and elusive. Today we’d like to change that.
Face-to-face LAN parties—local game gatherings, usually PC-focused—just aren’t what they used to be in this modern, always connected age. Not even one of the biggest in the world can escape time. But the thousands of PC gamers who gather in Texas every summer are pushing off the inevitable as heroically as they can.
Last weekend, someone completed one of the most incredible Fallout 3 runs of all time. The rules for the permadeath playthrough were simple: One lifebar. No healing. No radiation treatments. No companions.
One day in March of last year, video game writer Andrew Dice wrote out a check for all of his company’s money. He stuck it in the doorframe at his business partner’s apartment in Portland, Oregon, then went back to his own place. (They live in the same complex.) He closed all the windows. Then, as he tells it, he laid…
In the West, Twitch is an internet superpower. In Japan, things couldn’t be more different. Mainstream success will be tough, but not impossible. Nothing is impossible.
In the summer of 2013, months before they were supposed to ship their next video game, the game developers at Bungie went into panic mode.
Before we even start talking, General Mittenz asks me if we can stand for the duration of the interview. “For me, right now, I’m having a massive anxiety attack,” he explains while fidgeting nervously. Standing and moving around helps. A little.
Bugs in Fallout: New Vegas might have eaten your save file. Maybe they took away a few hours of progress, or forced you to reset a couple of quests. Maybe game-crashing bugs pissed you off to the point where you wished you could get your $60 back. But they probably didn’t cost you a million dollars.