The TIGSource Commonplace Book Competition is in voting right now. It’s a competition where developers are asked to make games out of entries in H.P. Lovecraft’s scrapbook. I’ve gotten around to playing the games, and here’s a few I found interesting. If I didn’t mention a game, that doesn’t mean it’s not good; these are just the ones that jumped out at me.
Premier video game industry news site Gamasutra just released their top 5 indie games of the year. Number one is Daniel Benmergui’s wonderful “I Wish I Were the Moon,” which I’ve mentioned before. Number two is “Everybody Dies,” third-place winner in the 2008 Interactive Fiction Competition and a game I’ve yet to play. These two selections give me a great deal of hope for the future of interactive entertainment.
“The 99th” over at Play This Thing! posted a list of the top ten most important games in history. It includes such things as family, fiat money, and Passage. I’ve got issue with a lot of things about this list.
First, as with most top ten lists, there is an issue of definition. What is a game? The much-lauded Chris Crawford has claimed that a game must be made for money, must have a goal, and must allow you to attack your opponent, among other things. By this definition, The Sims, Tetris, and the original release of Cave Story are not games. Many other definitions of games include “fun,” “play,” or “artificial,” although mathematical game theorists would vehemently argue otherwise. Let’s see if we can come up with a definition in the spirit of The 99th’s list.
For the purposes of this post, a “game” is a goal-oriented activity with artificially-established rules that are shared among multiple participants, called “players.” Players need not play simultaneously or adversarially. By “historically important,” I choose to mean “most significantly contributed to and/or were most necessary for the existence of the sort of games I discuss on this site.” As an initial disclaimer: I am not a historian. Now, for my version of The 99th’s list.
The Independent Gaming Source recently finished the submission period for their Procedural Generation Competition. Contestants had about a month to begin and complete a game that created content on the fly, allowing players a different experience each time they played the game. Voting should start soon, but before then, I thought I’d highlight a few of the submissions (all free downloads or web games, of course). Click through to see a list of games I think you should check out, as well as a list of the awesomest game titles.