Video Games

You Can Bid for Atari’s Long-Lost ‘E.T.’ Game

Posted In Living in Tech
Atari ET Game
In the early 1980s, Atari made what seemed like a slam-dunk bet: a game based on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, one of the most beloved (and highest-grossing) films of all time. The company was so sure it had a hit in the making, in fact, that it manufactured millions of E.T. game cartridges, which flooded store shelves just in time for holiday shopping in December 1982. Click here to find game-development jobs. The game sold well at the outset, but it… continue…

Play 900 Vintage Arcade Games in Your Browser

Posted In Living in Tech
Internet Archive
The Internet Archive, a nonprofit that means to build a comprehensive “Internet library,” hosts a variety of data, from texts and audio to software and archived Web pages. Just as a brick-and-mortar library serves as a depository for rare books deserving of preservation, the Internet Archive wants to keep a record of the Internet that will educate students and historians. Click here to find game-development jobs. If any of those students and historians enjoy playing old-school arcade games from thirty… continue…

For Game Developers, It’s About the Labor of Love

Goat Simulator
More people are playing video games than ever before—so many that we now have debates over who counts as a “gamer.” Is someone with a smartphone and an addiction to Candy Crush or Angry Birds a gamer, or should that title be reserved for those who play the more immersive and complex games generally available only on PCs and consoles? The best answer to this question might be, “Who cares?” For most purposes, there’s no need to differentiate between types… continue…

Will Microsoft Wreck ‘Minecraft’ by Acquiring It?

Posted In Living in Tech
Minecraft
Microsoft is reportedly in discussions to purchase the studio behind the popular game Minecraft for $2 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal (which drew its information from an anonymous source). Markus Persson, who goes by the online handle Notch, wasn’t expecting to set the video-gaming world on fire when he released the Minecraft beta in 2010. The game was a side-project, something he cobbled together in his free time. Once the game became a hit, he quickly grew ambivalent… continue…

Women Gain in Video Game Jobs, Just Not Tech Roles

Women Creating Art for Games
The proportion of women working in game development is growing, though they’re more likely to occupy design-related roles than engineering jobs, according to the Orlando Sentinel. In part, the issue lies in the number of women who apply for the more technical positions: They’re far outnumbered by men. “The resumes are almost always predominantly male,” said Andrew Tosh, president of GameSim Technologies in Orlando. The Orlando area is home to a number of game-development companies, including EA Sports. Click here… continue…

Adult Women Outnumber Teenage Boys Among Gamers

Assassin's Creed
More adult women play video games than boys 18 or younger, according to a new study by the Entertainment Software Association (PDF). That might come as a surprise to casual followers of the video-game industry, which relies on games seemingly tailor-made for teenage boys to fuel its burgeoning bottom line. Not only do women constitute 48 percent of everybody tapping away at a game controller, but the number of female gamers aged 50 and over jumped 32 percent between 2012… continue…

Valve Is the Favorite Employer Among Game Developers

Half-Life
Game developers would rather work for Valve than run their own studio, according to a survey by the International Game Developers Association. There’s good reason the company behind Half-Life and the game platform Steam is so popular, says GameSpot. Among other things, it has an informal hierarchy (people “don’t have bosses”), an open vacation policy and strongly encourages collaboration. Valve’s also a private company, meaning it doesn’t face the same kind of investor pressure that companies like Electronic Arts do.… continue…

How Game Developers Turn Kickstarter Failure Into Success

Telepath Tactics
When you ask random strangers on the Internet to give you money, there are no guarantees. That’s true in almost any scenario, including when video game developers use Kickstarter to crowdfund the creation of a game. While 3,900 or so games have been funded on Kickstarter, more than 7,200 game projects failed to hit their goal. Within those two numbers are some people who fall into both categories: developers who failed to get funding on their first try, but re-launched… continue…

How Much Would It Cost to Start My Own Gaming Studio?

aquatic creature
Many a game developer has contemplated opening his or her own studio. But how much would such a project actually cost? In a new op-ed on Polygon, Nine Dots Studio founder Guillaume Boucher-Vidal suggested that the costs—in terms of money, lost opportunities, and emotion—are enormous. “In three years, I personally went from having $20,000 in savings to $35,000 in debt,” he wrote. “After two unsuccessful Kickstarter campaigns, I was on the verge of bankruptcy before signing a deal with Bandai… continue…

The Best of E3

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 2.06.06 PM
This week’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) saw the major game studios and console builders unveil their upcoming titles. None of the presentations were subtle, to put it mildly: Mainstream developers seem more determined than ever to pour years of work and tens of millions of dollars into games in which things explode, explode, and, just for variety, explode some more. If you squinted against the glare of all those pyrotechnics, however, you could see a few games attempting innovative stuff—whether… continue…