Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights


Top 10 Electron Dance Articles of 2014


Electron Dance is going to sleep for a couple of weeks! Read on to discover the top ten articles this year on Electron Dance. That's right, I've finally written a fucking top ten list. EPIC.

Read More »


Links: Christmas Toast Anecdotes in HD

  • Are emotive anecdotes doing as much harm as good?
  • Are you one of those Christmas people?
  • Have you read that deeply-researched piece on the Deus Ex sequels that never happened?
  • What are the ethics of free-to-play design?
  • What does David Simon really think about The Wire being released in HD format?
  • How do you make toast?
  • Why do recent GTAs seem more unpleasant than earlier editions?

Find your seven click escapes below.

Read More »

Filed under: Link Drag No Comments

Siteseeing: Clones, Simulations and Male Escorts

It’s been awhile since the last link roundup. This week, Link Drag is called Siteseeing.

  • When is a clone not a clone?
  • What does Slingo reveal about casual game design?
  • Why are professional computer simulations becoming more like games?
  • How do you run a store like itch.io?
  • What’s wrong with game journalism?
  • What does the male escort market tell us about sexuality?
  • Why am I watching this anime music video oh my god jesus god?

Find the links below.

Read More »

Filed under: Link Drag 6 Comments

Links: The Dying Creative World

This week, Link Drag is called Links. Who knows what it will be called next week.

  • Is Simon Pegg crying out for the sweet release of death?
  • What can we learn from an interview with Dirac prize winner David Deutsch in 1992 about the educational aspects of videogames?
  • What happened to couch co-op?
  • An honest postmortem of Kickstarter?
  • How difficult is it making a horror game?
  • Are TED talks lying to you?
  • How will the reimagined Pathologic relate to the original?

Find the links below.

Read More »

Filed under: Link Drag 5 Comments

The Gamer Uprising

Mine is the last voice you will ever hear. Don't be alarmed.

Mine is the last voice you will ever hear. Do not be alarmed.

Instead of the planned link roundup, here is a special edition dedicated solely to #gamergate.    

Read More »

Filed under: Link Drag 4 Comments

Read Out: Your Pants Look Like A Horse

This week, Link Drag is called Read Out. Who knows what it will be called next week.

  • Is Raph Koster responsible for getting a horse to eat your insides?
  • How much are indie dev customers really worth?
  • Oh, really, what could possibly go wrong with a story involving "F2P game" and "two-year-old"?
  • How has Ingress taken over Laura Michet's life? Can we get her back?
  • Why not choose your own adventure?
  • What's Actual Sunlight all about then?
  • Why does The Act of Killing stand out against other documentaries about mass murder?

Find the links below.

Read More »

Filed under: Link Drag 11 Comments

This Link Drag is a Content Parasite

I know, there was no post this week. Don't look so shocked. Here are some links instead. This week:

  • What's a good plan for indie marketing?
  • What are the seven questions you should ask every Kickstarter?
  • Why is it time to stop calling games 'indie'?
  • Should we tune down the hype for No Man's Sky?
  • What happened with Julian Assange's autobiography?
  • Who creates content?
  • If you had to file form W-8BEN-E for UK limited companies, would you just file it with the trash?

Please find your seven click escapes below.

Read More »

Filed under: Link Drag 12 Comments

This Link Drag is in the Sycamore Trees

This week:

  • How does Miasmata-a-like The Forest play?
  • How is it possible to play a game against your late father?
  • Why are governments interested in algorithmic regulation?
  • Why did Laura Michet stop writing on the internet (for a while)?
  • Can the NHS stop making mistakes by making mistakes?
  • How much fraud is there in crowdfunding?
  • If the big indie shakeout really is coming, how can you better your odds of survival?

Please find your seven click escapes below.

Read More »

Filed under: Link Drag 10 Comments

This Link Drag is a Hipster

Here Be Links

“Pricing: the key to not destroying everyone’s career” - Steven Bonner

If you’re young and a recent graduate, it’s pretty likely that you might still live at home and don’t really have a good grasp of what it takes to pay bills and probably don’t have too many regular outgoings that need to be met, so there’s a temptation to accept any offer of work without negotiating so you can get a foot in the door, build a client list, gain credibility and whatever else you think might push you to the top. This is probably ok for a while and most of us did it at some point, but sooner or later you will become frustrated when you can’t seem to raise your prices while your friends are out living it up, or worse, you’ll believe that this is what all illustrators should be getting paid and accept it.

“Emergent gameplay vs whatever the other kind is” - Andrew Plotkin

The work of solving these puzzles -- the play experience -- is of experimentation, discovery, and then synthesis of the results in a way which was not immediately obvious. That's creative thought. Dismissing this as "square key in square hole" is ignoring the point.

“Indie Advice: why you probably shouldn’t make a multiplayer game” - Dan Marshall

I don’t want to be completely negative, I just think as indies we need to be aware that the numbers TitanFall sells in order to be a constantly-playable online game eclipses anything we could possibly hope to achieve. It’s a case of being very very boringly realistic.

LONG “A Tale of Two Hipsters” - Dale Beran

The same thing is happening in Baltimore, where I currently live, and probably in many other cities all over the world. About ten or fifteen years ago, my generation moved into a crumbling warehouse district in another blighted area of Baltimore City. The DIY artist warehouse district is now labelled “The Arts & Entertainment District”, housing prices are on the rise and everywhere there are signs advertising “elegant urban living” and “artists luxury lofts” to people who are obviously not artists but rather middle class professionals.

“The Deleted Scenes of Outcast and Outcast 2...” - Joe Martin

For the team, Infogrames’ self-sabotage immediately impacted plans for the future. A previously announced Dreamcast version was cancelled and, while Infogrames’ claimed it was due to porting difficulties; the reality was that poor sales had crushed publisher confidence.

FAV LONG “Dude, Where's My Game - The Truth and Lies of Delays and Cancellations” - Odious Repeater

The Dead End (or DE for short) is one of the biggest issues plaguing game development to this day. For various bad reasons, it’s also one of the least understood and least discussed problems. One reason is that there are different types of Dead End that need to be avoided in different ways, by different members of the development staff.

“Pop Goes The Weasel” - Rob Fearon

It’s never really the end of a golden age. It’s just progress and as we progress, new people come along and get their chance to shine. It’s not harder, it’s not tougher. The market does not fill with videogames and we are not all doomed. It’s different. Because it has to be or we stagnate and if we stagnate, what’s the fucking point? You don’t get to keep the crown forever, no-one does. Move over, old man.

Filed under: Link Drag No Comments

This Link Drag is Free to Read

Here Be Links

OLD “RPS Exclusive: Gabe Newell Interview” - John Walker

The worst days [for game development] were the cartridge days for the NES. It was a huge risk – you had all this money tied up in silicon in a warehouse somewhere, and so you’d be conservative in the decisions you felt you could make, very conservative in the IPs you signed, your art direction would not change, and so on. Now it’s the opposite extreme: we can put something up on Steam, deliver it to people all around the world, make changes. We can take more interesting risks.

“Selling candy to babies” - Rich Stanton

“The F2P space for kids is unfortunately a highly predatory one,” says Jeffery. “There are a lot of developers doing things they must know and feel are not the right things to do. It is predatory, and it is lucrative. We make six apps a year. Companies like TabTale make 200. It’s a machine, a freemium converting machine.”

LONG “Games By Design: AI War: First Four Years Postmortem (And By Extension Arcen History)” - Chris Park

That AI War can gross more than a million dollars (and growing) while serving that sort of niche -- and have players happy about the prices they've paid, and not grumbling about it as they do with certain $80+ titles that I can think of -- is quite something. It shows that there is a lot more life in the "small spaces" that the big AAA publishers are ignoring. And it's something that I think should be a hopeful sign to players who love various "dead" genres. Most "dead" genres could provide this level of developer income and this level of player happiness for the right game sold the right way, I'm convinced.

“Positional Balance” - Matt Pavlovich

Positional balance is a relatively new notion in game design, and it seeks to lessen the possibility of a runaway leader and keep players engaged through the duration of a game, even ones nominally at the “back of the pack.” The primary concerns of positional balance are addressing the runaway leader problem and implementing catch-up mechanics.

“Repeating History: N++ And The Case For Conservative Game Design” - Michael Thomsen

“It’s actually pretty shocking how lucky we are to live here,” Burns said. “From attending our first GDC when N was in the Independent Games Festival, to securing the loan to make N+, to help with financing N++, we would be in a vastly different position today were it not for government support of small businesses. Without this support, we probably could have still made the games, however we would have had to cede control of them — as well as the majority of the royalties — to a publisher.”

“How Long Does It Take to Make an Indie Game?” - Joseph Mirabello

Also, looking back, here’s a tidbit I learned about myself during prototyping: feeling overwhelmed leads to demotivation. Demotivation leads to stagnation/distraction/facebook. Working mostly in solitude makes this worse: the sense of a shared investment that comes from teamwork is replaced with an echo-chamber of doubt. Devising strategies to combat self doubt, therefore, became a crucial part of development (maybe that’s worth a blog of its own someday).

VID “Music Object, Substance, Organism” - David Kanaga

Liquid is of special interest being at the edge of chaos, as it were. It is between stillness and chaos. More or less viscous. Besides, we are inside of music. It is not in front of us, like a picture, going away if we turn around or close our eyes. No, music is like a bath. We have to dry off after to get away from it.

Filed under: Link Drag No Comments