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Extra Credits: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic rewards. In this episode, Extra Credits tries to explain what keeps you playing through the tedious parts of games.

Consoleation: Nintendo's big gamble

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U) Screenshot

When Nintendo started rolling out its Direct events during E3 last year, I wondered then if this would be Nintendo's new direction. Then we got a Nintendo Direct event after E3 which announced many of the games that we would have seen at E3 in past years. It seemed to me that E3 was no longer as much of a priority for Nintendo as it once was, and I firmly believe that this latest move reinforces that line of thinking.

Only one of Infinite Endings

BioShock Infinite Screenshot

One of the problems with stories that use the concept of multiple universes is that the word "multiple" doesn't even begin to describe the scale of existence. Consider, for instance, the universes in which I just reached through the internet and handed you a cookie (hope you like pistachio sandies!). Now, in the context of known physical laws, this is an extremely unlikely event, so much so that if you were to try to write out the probability by putting down a 1 and writing zeroes in front of it, you could go the whole lifetime of our universe without ever reaching the decimal point.

Interview with Chris McQuinn, of DrinkBox Studios

Interview with Chris McQuinn, of DrinkBox Studios

Chris McQuinn talks of his studio's latest game in simple terms. "At a high level, Guacamelee is a platform brawler that's in a Metroidvania world. Oh, and also, it's Mexican themed. It's based in an imaginary land within Mexico. We borrow a lot of style, culture, and folklore references that we've put into the game. Have you played before? There's co-op…"

Extra Credits: Word Choice

Extra Credits adds to a previous discussion on exposition in games. GLaDOS fans will probably enjoy this episode... Professor Fitz Quadwrangle fans, not so much.

Extra Credits: More Than Exposition

Extra Credits talks about the "exposition dump." What is that, you ask? The "exposition dump" is one of the easiest ways with which a developer can tell a story, explain a game world or explain a game world's rules. Even lauded game designers like Hideo Kojima use this method to tell a story—and why not, if Metal Gear Solid's success is any indication, there are few repercussions for overusing it. Thankfully, there are examples of doing the opposite and being rewarded for it. The Half-Life series, Fallout 3 and Journey are examples of doing it right.

Consoleation: PlayStation Notwork

Sony PlayStation Store Image

Back in 2010, when Sony announced that it was moving its PlayStation Store updates to Tuesdays from Thursdays, it seemed like a good idea. While the company claimed that the move had nothing to do with getting ahead of the Wednesday updates that the Xbox Live Marketplace has, beating Microsoft to the punch wasn't a bad by-product. Getting releases before the Xbox 360 does can get impatient consumers to buy earlier on the PlayStation Store instead of waiting the 12-18 hours to get it on the 360.

Consoleation: Learn from Adam Orth's mistake

Adam Orth Tweets Image

What a day Adam Orth had. What was thought to be a relatively benign conversation on Twitter has blown up to a worldwide fiasco leaving Orth's employer, Microsoft, with a damaged public image and leaving Orth under siege by press and message board posters. More than 50 websites have linked Orth's comments about "always being online" to the persistent rumor that Microsoft's next platform will indeed require a constant internet connection to work.

Sparky's Games of PAX East 2013

Guacamelee Screenshot

I typically go to a lot of panels at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East, but this year relatively few of the offerings interested me (and some of the interesting ones were on simultaneously). So, I spent a lot of time on the show floor. The only major publisher I really visited was Ubisoft, where I learned that Might & Magic X will be coming this year and has a huge, wasteful UI. I spent most of the rest of my time in the Indie Megabooth and environs, both because this is a more efficient use of time and you're more likely to actually see the games and talk to somebody interesting there.

His name is Buck…

Far Cry 3 Screenshot

Buck is a peculiar hitman in Far Cry 3. Apparently employed by the game's big bad, Hoyt, Buck has an interest in men, and in ancient Chinese artifacts. As it happens, he presently "owns" one of protagonist Jason Brody's male friends, and will exchange him if Jason retrieves a ceremonial knife originating from the treasure ships of Zheng He. Since Jason needs the knife for another purpose, it is obvious from the beginning of the adventure that he will come away from Buck's tasks with both friend and knife. That's how these games work, and Far Cry 3 is relentlessly conventional in that respect.

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