Game talkThe Top 20 PC Games of January

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Feb 292008

IGN: The Top 20 Best Selling PC Games of January
US, February 28, 2008

1. World Of Warcraft – online MMO that is ruling the world
2. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – online shooter
3. World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest – oh look, another WoW SKU
4. World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade – and another…
5. The Sims 2 Deluxe – casual, and old
6. Diner Dash – casual, and old
7. 15000 Games – bargain bin filler
8. The Sim City 4 Deluxe – casual, and beyond old
9. The Sims 2 Teen Style Stuff – expansion to casual old stuff
10. Crysis – online shooter charting, but not actually selling much
11. The Sims 2 Bon Voyage – oh look, more
12. Half Life 2: Episode 2 The Orange Box – Steam, where is thy sting?
13. Battlefield 2 – online shooter, again! BTW, did you see their web-embedding announcement?
14. Warcraft III Battle Chest – Eeep. I need something stronger than “ancient.”
15. Pirates Of The Burning Sea – yep, another MMO. Not making enough of a dent though. 🙁
16. Rock Tour Tycoon – casual, and I bet you never heard of this game anyway
17. Sim City 5: Societies – gasp! A new game!
18. The Sims 2 Seasons – another expansion…
19. Age Of Empires III – this game came out in September of 2005.
20. Age Of Empires III: Asian Dynasties – …but the expansion is only from late ’07

Why post this?

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Game talkPC, Flash, and bits on a disc

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Feb 272008

At the Luminaries Lunch, I made the comment that PC gaming at retail is in dire straits. This is not a particularly controversial comment in the industry — everybody at the table agreed, though Chris Taylor went further, saying  “PC gaming as we know it is dead.” Sales for PC titles at retail are not very good, and have been trending downwards for a long time. The saving grace is WoW, and other MMORPGs — but even WoW is moving towards forms of digital distribution. I also made the comment that Flash seemed to me to be the next console.

Of course, this led to a massive pile of commentary and articles on the web, including many many negative comments in the discussion threads, which I will attempt to answer here:

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Game talkGDC2008: yet more

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Feb 252008

That Luminaries Transcript is, well, a transcript of the Luminaries Lunch I referenced previously. There’s a few misattributions I spotted here and there — I am guessing that Dave and I sound similar on tape (?) but it seems like most all of it is there. Edit: another one is up at GameDaily. Edit edit: part 2 of GameDaily’s transcript is up. And now part 3.

There’s also a liveblog of the Metaplace “antemortem” up at Watercooler Games. I think folks expected less of a postmortem talk with less technical details and more of a show-off sort of thing, but hey, a postmortem is what we said we’d do. 🙂

An interesting overview of the vibe of the show can be found at Videogaming247.

Game talkGDC08: Luminaries Luncheon

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Feb 212008

Today I took part in a great off-site luncheon at GDC, organized by David Perry. Besides Dave, there was Chris Taylor, Neil Young, Phil Harrison, and Peter Molyneux there, as well as a whole bunch of journalists. And the topic — well, it was free conversation pretty much, with minimal prompting from the moderator, Gary Whitta. And wow, a great conversation. 🙂

There’s some coverage out already:

Edit: more!

Edit: even more:

Game talkGDC2008: Game Studies Download 3.0

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Feb 202008

Mia Consalvo, Ohio University
Ian Bogost, Georgia Tech, also runs Persuasive Games
Jane McGonigal, researcher at Institute for the Future, and makes ARGs

3rd Annual Game Studies Download

We will fill your brains with the ten most interesting research findings of the year. The main question is what do we know about games and game players in 2008 that we didn’t know in 2007.

Game researchers are very smart people who care a lot about games, the people who play them, and the future of the medium.

Targeted expertise in HCI, economics, architecture, and more…

Looked at 100s of articles and studies, then did a rapid fire top ten list with ten ideas and ten practical takeaways, You can downlaod the slides at

#10: The best content understands exactly how the player likes to play and then makes it slightly harder.
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Game talkGDC2008: Master Metrics

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Feb 202008

Master Metrics:
The Science Behind the Art of Game Design

Dan Arey and Chris Swain, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Our purpose in putting this together — we are game designers, and this is directed at you as game designers. We got a survey from different folks in the industry about measurement-based design techniques, how they are used to create better play experuiences. They mostly involve analytics and measuring player behavior.

Method: talked to a lot of people we know, wanted to cover a lot of design aspects. Not intended to be a Best Of list, and if you have metrics-based techniques to share, let us know!

Important: these are tools to assist the creative process. period. We do not think you can or should put a formula on game design.
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Game talkGDC08: Worlds in Motion keynote coverage

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Feb 182008

Virtual Worlds News has a liveblog of “High Windows”, my keynote talk at the Worlds in Motion Summit this morning here at GDC. I was, uh, philosophical. 😉

There is also a Gamasutra article which seems to manage to capture an almost entirely different set of quotes.

I also see a few blog reactions.

As usual, I will try to get the slides posted later today.

Edit: more blog reactions. Brenda Brathwaite. Prokofy, based on the liveblog.

Edit 2: 3d on the Web Cheap. Jeff McNab. e-Clippings. And Massively’s coverage comes the closest, I think, to capturing the tone and narrative of what I said; lots of folks are reading this as being about Darfur, when it in fact is more about expanding our horizons — which is more the virtual horizons, and not just social activism.