The J for Janky Game of the Year Spectacular, 2011 edition — Part 3: Numbers 5-1

You can find part 1, the honorable mentions, here and part 2, numbers 10 through 6, here

5. Bulletstorm — People Can Fly

Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm doesn’t tell a great story. It doesn’t have charming visuals or music. It doesn’t explore challenging themes.

Bulletstorm does, however, make shooting fun again.

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Diablo 3 is Probably Coming to Consoles, but why is Blizzard so Quiet About it?

Diablo 3

There was a bit of a Twitter kerfuffle yesterday after Diablo 3 lead designer Josh Mosqueira all but confirmed the development of a console version of the anticipated title at a Gamescom press conference.

According to a Eurogamer report, Mosqueira said Blizzard “is very, very serious about bringing the Diablo 3 experience to the console” and is “trying to build the best console team.”

This falls in line with job listings for a Diablo-related console project posted late last year, as well as the more direct “senior software engineer, console — Playstation 3 Specialist” within the Diablo 3 team posted in June.

It seems pretty safe to assume that some sort of consolized Diablo is in development, but why make it so obvious without issuing some sort of official statement? And why does it seem to be gearing up so late in the game?

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The History of Valve Releases, A Timeline

This is something I painstakingly wrote up for a Valve opinion piece I worked on. It was originally in that column but it was way too long so I decided to pull it out and publish here for anyone who was interested.

Half-Life

  • 1998: Valve’s seminal debut is released
  • 1999: The first Half-Life expansion, Opposing Force, developed mostly by Gearbox Software is released.
  • 2000: Deathmatch Classic (now more commonly known as Half-Life: Deathmatch) is patched into the game. It is almost an exact remake of deathmatch from Quake, by id Software, but of course in Valve’s GoldSrc engine (which was in itself a heavily modified Quake engine).
  • 2001: Blue Shift, the final Half-Life expansion, is released, again mostly developed by Gearbox.
  • 2004: Half-Life 2 is released after many delays and very public set-backs.(Eurogamer)
  • 2006: HL2 Episode 1 is released.
  • 2007: HL2 Episode 2 is released as part of The Orange Box.

Now to be fair, I think this undersells Half-Life 2 and its subsequent episodes a bit. The three HL2 titles are an incredible accomplishment. It is technically part of an existing fiction and property, but almost everything about the HL2 games are wholly original, from the engine to the setting.

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The Valve Model — Is it Good for the Industry?

Pretty much everyone loves Valve.

How could you not? Its brought us some of the greatest games ever made, created the standard platform for PC digital distribution and community and is one of the few large development houses exploring the intricacies of the video game medium and business.

Yet, something bothers me about Valve. When looking at its release history (and counting DOTA 2), we see that although Valve has developed close to eight franchises in the 13 years since the release of Half-Life, its debut. The number of properties that were fully conceived in-house is only…well one: the Half-Life series. Oh oh and Ricochet. Don’t forget Ricochet.

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