Watercrown Productions

Archive for November, 2009

Digital Distribution – The Future of Gaming?

by on Nov.25, 2009, under Opinions

Today, we’re going to talk about a little thing called “DD”.

“Digital Distribution”, “Direct Download”, “Digital Download”…whatever you think the letters stand for, the concept as a whole stands for a massive, market-altering change, the kind of thing the more pretentious would label a “paradigm shift”.

For the unenlightened, DD refers to the growing trend towards distributing software (primarily games in this context) in downloadable format instead of (or in addition to) physical media. In practical terms, this means you can buy the latest game titles without going to the store, or play classic games without paying obscene prices on eBay. The same revolution that gave us iTunes and the RIAA headaches is now changing the face of mainstream gaming: Nintendo’s Wii and DSi, Microsoft’s XBox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 and PSP all have download services carrying new, classic and exclusive titles, and PC gamers have a variety of download services to choose from as well, including Steam, Direct2Drive and, for retrogaming goodness on the cheap, GOG.com.

However, there are those who view this digital gaming revolution as some kind of encroaching alien menace. To them, the switch from physical media to digital format is apparently some kind of harbinger of the gaming apocalypse. “These greedy corporate suits are trying to steal our money,” they say, “making us pay for something we don’t really own! If it doesn’t come on a disc, then I don’t want it!”

Unfortunately for them, there’s three things wrong with this argument.

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Can you Digg it?

by on Nov.19, 2009, under Watercrown Productions

I’ve added a new feature: now you can Digg my blog posts. Or so I hope. I’ve never really worked with Digg before, so I hope I’ve implemented it properly.

Anyway, give it a try and see if it works; we’ll find out together, won’t we?

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Let butterflies spread until the dawn…

by on Nov.16, 2009, under Reviews

I’m aware that this is the second PSP-related article I’ve done in a row. Also note that I’ve used normalized caps for the title. Don’t know what I was thinking in the past; hopefully I can break that habit.

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Do not PSP Go. Do not pay 250 dollars.

by on Nov.12, 2009, under Opinions

Do you believe in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics?

According to that theory, every outcome that could happen does happen, but in a parallel universe. Decided to turn left at that fateful intersection? There’s a parallel world where you turned right, and the world got invaded by aliens. There’s a world where you were born the other gender, one where you weren’t born at all, one where a charismatic figure with a magical eye made Ben Franklin turn traitor and helped establish the Britannian Empire…the possibilities, and therefore the multiverses, are endless. If you’ve ever watched Sliders, you’re familiar with the general idea: it’s also a prominent plot element in Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile, which you really should give a read if your brain is pliable enough to avoid snapping violently at the clever temporal loop the book also presents. (And DeceasedCrab would have you think that Choose Your Own Adventure books are only good for a MSTing.)

There’s also a parallel world where every captain of industry isn’t fundamentally a Luddite, where new technological advances are embraced instead of ruthlessly quashed by those who see them as a threat, and my parallel-world doppelganger looks forward to getting a PSP Go.

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Fully Armed and Operational!

by on Nov.10, 2009, under Watercrown Productions

The website has now been fully converted to use the new layout. For those of you who still have old bookmarks, those links now function as redirects to the new pages…where applicable, anyway. The pages for Sylvanian Families and Breath of Fire 2 are gone for good: the patches are all available on the sidebar to the right, and any links to those old pages now bring up the Sylvanian Families and Breath of Fire 2 blog categories instead.

Hyper Collider even has its own page now, separate from the Watercrown Productions Arcade, just in case I get any fun ideas in the future. Enjoy, one and all.

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The Triumphant Rebirth of Watercrown Productions!

by on Nov.10, 2009, under Watercrown Productions

Betcha didn’t see this one coming, did ya?

Awesome, ain’t it? Nothing like a fresh coat of paint to widen the gap between the new, improved 110mb.com-based Watercrown Productions and the old Google Pages look. I even wrote a program in Visual Basic to help me transfer all my old news updates – all of them – to the new, full-fledged Flatpress blog. Getting proper timestamps for them all was pretty much beyond hope, but at least the dates are correct.

(Actually, I lie. I folded all the updates from the Sylvanian Families and Breath of Fire 2 pages into the same set, meaning there were some redundant posts that had to get cut. The wittier posts won out.)

The site isn’t fully converted yet; all the other pages are still in the old style, but it’ll only be a matter of time before they’re all in my shiny new Deckay 3.0 theme. Also, this is still a free 110mb.com account (why do you think I went for Flatpress instead of WordPress in the first place?), so I still can’t upload my Murakumo OP video or the Doom: Repercussions of Evil recording. But then, you didn’t come for Murakumo or Doom, did you? That’s right…you came for the little stickman attacking the door! HAIYAAAAA!

Kidding, kidding. The incredible stuff-making engine of Watercrown Productions has been largely inactive as of late, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back to one of my many fabled projects in the near future. In the meantime, I’m planning to make this blog a bit more active: it’s certainly easier to post now. It’s like having a great big message board all to myself…

Comments! I can get comments again! I haven’t been able to get comments on my posts since the old Tripod DevBlog!

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Now, That’s How You Sell A Free MMO!

by on Nov.03, 2009, under Opinions

If you’ve been following my blog, you know precisely what I think of lame attempts to use sex to sell a product.

I think the perpetrators ought to be castrated with a chainsaw.

Which is to say, it was curiosity alone that led me to research Civony – I mean, Evony, purely because the ads were freakin’ everywhere and I was curious just what kind of game was apparently buried under all that cheesecake. Unsurprisingly, it appears that the gameplay is just as vapid and uninspired as the methods used to market the game. (And anyone who plays the game expecting it to have scantily-clad women like in the ads is going to be sorely disappointed. To be honest, I call that karmic retribution.)

Which is not to say that there aren’t any good free browser-based MMOs. A few years back, I had some fun with Urban Dead, a zombie apocalypse-themed game set in a ruined city. More recently, one of my favorite webcomics ran an ad for Spy Battle 2165, a text-based browser game where you play as a freelance covert operative in a sci-fi future.

The ad in question is only tangentially related to the game (not to mention the comic), but take a look. Heck, why stop at just the ad? Girl Genius is an epic (and hilarious) tale of mad science in an alternate universe where borderline supernatural geniuses called Sparks changed the course of history; it’s well worth spending a few hours on an archive binge.

So let this be a lesson to all you developers out there. If you want people to play your browser-based games, don’t slap some tired buzzwords onto some stock photo and call it a day. Instead, hijack yourself a webcomic artist!

Hey, it worked for Final Fantasy XI.

Oh, and if you decide you want to check out Spy Battle 2165 yourself, make sure you tell them Ryusui referred you. Or better yet, just click one of the links I’ve helpfully provided in this blog post!

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