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The Sunday Papers

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A plain white mug of black tea or coffee, next to a broadsheet paper on a table, in black and white. It's the header for Sunday Papers!
Image credit: RPS

Sundays are for almost pulling the trigger on a silent mechanical keyboard you definitely don't need. Let's read some of the week's best writing about games and game-related things.

For The Guardian, George Bass wrote about stealth games from a security guard's perspective. Unsuprisingly, there aren't huge parallels between Agent 47 chucking an explosive duck at an oil baron, and guarding a building in Liverpool. Nonetheless, it's interesting to hear what aspects of games he'd like to bring into his job, as well as what game he believes is most similar to his role. It's not what you'd expect.

As someone who’s armed with only a torch and a first aid kit, I have to approach fights more carefully than a bandana-wearing mercenary or a bombproof cyborg. A game based on my job might feel like those no-gear levels where you get captured and lose all your kit. Those instances are when stealth games cross over into security realism. Unless you’re doing door duty at an axe-throwing bar, the chances are you’re evenly matched against a single attacker. I enjoyed seeing that gameplay mechanic in 2017’s Echo, where you have to outfox a reflected version of yourself.

Again for The Guardian, Keith Stuart spoke to Doom's original devs for the game's 30th anniversary. I like how free development sounds, like Taylor saying "if you could deliver, then you could do whatever". They just did stuff that felt right and cool and injected some of their own personality into the game.

Cheats and secrets were also a part of this recipe. It was programmer Dave Taylor who ensured that there were plenty of ways – usually involving typable codes – to skip sections and earn power-ups. “We needed it for debugging,” he says. “When you’re running through a level over and over again trying to find some bug, you don’t want to actually play the game, you want to get to the bug – especially in my case, because the game made me so nauseous, I was well motivated to get those cheat codes in.” But it was also Taylor’s idea to leave them in for players to find, ensuring that key-press combinations such as IDKFA and IDDQD became legendary.

E3 is finally dead, so I think it's worth revisiting Kotaku's The Best Moments in E3 History, RIP edition by Luke Plunkett and Levi Winslow. No round-up is going to be absolutely definitive, but I think this one captures how silly and painfully awkward the show could be, while also recognising some blockbuster bits.

Gran Turismo boss Kazunouri Yamauchi takes to the stage and, in Japanese, tells the world all about the PSP version of his classic racing series. His translator, meanwhile, gives no fucks (and still does not, even to this day).

For IGN, Rebekah Valentine reached out to devs who didn't get a chance to say their piece at this year's Game Awards. We aren't fans of the Geoff Awards, so Valentine's article is a lovely mouthpiece for winners to actually express their thoughts without increasingly loud music swamping their voices.

It can be easy to dismiss the need for these moments, especially if you're primarily watching a show like The Game Awards for the trailers. Why do we need to hear another developer thank their team and their players, right? But the chance to stand in front of your audience and peers and accept the honor and recognition they are giving you can be a powerful, weighty moment, especially for small developers who don't often get a stage of that size. Hopefully The Game Awards is able to squeeze in a few more in future years.

Hey, over on itch they had a game jam all about slime. You should check it out.

Music this week is "Anytime Anywhere" by milet. Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. I first heard this as I watched the anime Frieren:Beyond Journey's End (you can find it on Crunchyroll).

I'm only a few episodes in, but Frieren's easily one of the best shows I've watched this year and, perhaps, one of my faves of all time. It's about a party of heroes who defeat a Demon King, with one of the party being an elf called Frieren who, being an elf, lives hundreds of years longer than her friends. I like how the setup isn't about fighting the Demon, but the generations that pass after the fact. And how her perspective on the passage of time changes as her circle passes on. It's wonderful.

Speaking of anime, I'm going to make a start on Pluto soon (YT trailer here), which I've heard is another absolute banger by an absolute legend of the scene.

In a bit.

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About the Author
Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Reviews Editor

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.