This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Joe Köller on topics ranging from a development history of Fallout 4 to intellectual honesty in character design.
At Unwinnable, Riley MacLeod gives us a brief look at Naomi Clark's sensual card game Consentacle, while at The AV Club Jake Muncy writes about the expressive power of Nina Freeman's Cibele. And Simone de Rochefort talks about Assassin's Creed: Syndicate's portrayal of Evie Frye on the recently launched Remeshed.
On New Statesman, Phil Hartup criticizes developers' attempts to justify sexualized outfits for female characters via lore:
At some point a developer should just admit that, as unfashionable and hackneyed as it is, they want attractive female characters in a game because they want their game to have attractive female characters in it. This admission would not bring the end of civilisation, it would not cause frogs to rain from the sky; it would just be honest.
Instead, we see developers choose to cook up these asinine justifications within the game, because they’d rather shred what little internal logic their game had than admit that an attractive female character was put into the game because they wanted one there.
(Or as Cara Ellison put it: "I don't think that anyone should start giving 'reasons' for big titted tiny waisted hotties in games, just be like 'we wanted a boner.'" -ed)
With Fallout 4 nearly upon us, Gamasutra's Alex Wawro takes a look at the development history of the series. And speaking of history, here is David Craddock interviewing a ROM hacker known as infidelity about their craft.
More interviews you say? Latoya Peterson interviewed rather a lot of people to look at some of the reasons why women make games (video).
Meanwhile, Vic Bassey talks about the development of Shelter 2, and Samantha Kalman and Liz England discuss The Beginner's Guide.
Micheal Lutz writes about his problems with Undertale and how it communicates its philosophy to players. Spoilers aplenty in the full article.
my biggest criticism of Undertale is that for a good portion of it to make sense you have to do the thing the game expressly does not want you to do; the implied player of the best ending just accepts things on blind faith and never questions or investigates the metaphysics of it all.
Kate Cox has written an extensive post about music in Dragon Age: Inquisition and how it is used to emphasize story points.
And finally, Problem Machine looked at some of the issues with dialogue systems in a short post on talking simulators.
That's it for this week friends!
Thank you all so much for submitting interesting finds to us on Twitter or by email, it really makes our lives a lot easier and helps us make sure we don't forget anything important besides.
If you want to help us out even more, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Our curation effort depends entirely on your generous support.