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Blogged Out: 'Build It In Time'

In his latest 'Blogged Out' column, veteran UK writer Jim Rossignol takes a look at the world of game developer blogging, particularly focusing on Australian brains, time, names and buildings.
Welcome to 'Blogged Out', the news report that looks at the world of developer blogging and the conversations being had with the community at large. This week: What’s wrong with time-managed Second Life archi-blogging? Art Countdown This week I’ve been enjoying nosing my info-snout through the brain compost of Australian gaming academic Christian McCrea. One of his recent posts dives into blogging and games commentary with an wide-ranging overview of “What’s Wrong With The Games Industry” type topics. It’s a subject that I’m partial to pontificating about at length myself, as regular readers might well have detected, so it’s fun to read McCrea saying things like: “Now, not everyone cares about the depiction of race in games; I cannot say that my monocle is in any particular danger of popping when a game about a terrorist-devouring massacre-prone ninja voiced by Micheal Ironside ends up being culturally infantile. What I resent is having the surprise that the bar is lower than I thought. Every time a commercial game has one of these moments, add one year to the “When Games Are Art Countdown”. For every Katamari or similarly brilliant accident, take away a year. Every time you buy a game with dumb dialogue, racist or sexist characterization or foul writing, you are forbidden from asking the art question for more one year.” How does Capcom’s Okami factor into this equation? I give it twice the art value of Katamari, actually. Disagree? Whoa there, heretic! TimeLords Elsewhere on the net, there are some more practical ruminations, such as Jamie Fristrom’s discussions on time management. Don’t have enough time to play games? Read the man’s advice, and the comments too. (Also get yourself a Tardis – work’s for me.) Furthermore, there’s some interesting trivia on the ever-factual Japanmanship blog. This blog is particularly interesting: the reports and observations of a dev named JC Barnett, who has moved to Japan to work full time. Lost In Translation meets Blogspot, with a hint of game geek. One post particularly captured my interest, explaining as it does the various Japanese game company names. Namco for example: “From Nakamura Manufacturing, who created coin-operated machines to Namco. How’s that for shortening a name?” Archi-Blogging Finally this week, I wanted to share this Second Life-linked blog, which acts as a supplement to an in-game virtual book. This guide by Figments & Co aims to show off the best architectural builds within Second Life and has some direct teleport links to take you straight to them. The author explains a bit about how his project came about: “The builds range from tiny (a beach shack in Deimos) to sim-wide designs. I have also tried to include a few seminal creations that influenced the landscape of SL and which still exist today. Each page lists the build's sim name and, when relevant, coordinates.” I’m a sucker for unusual buildings, and Second Life provides the perfect realm for fantasy architecture. If nothing else, the Linden’s project should be a module on contemporary architecture courses. [Jim Rossignol is a freelance journalist based in the UK – his game journalism has appeared in PC Gamer UK, Edge and The London Times.]

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