Kerbal Space Program’s Customizers

 

“For the dedicated, playing Kerbal means recreating reality. Forget Steel Battalion and buying an elaborate control plank—Kerbal die-hards concoct their custom electronics for the sake of total authenticity. Some base their designs on actual NASA hardware. Others reach for cardboard frames to get started, looking for anything to improve their Kerbal sessions. Finding a better way to play, in this case, means whatever it takes.”

Read my full feature on Kerbal custom controllers at PC Gamer

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The Impact of EA Spouse on EA’s Internal Culture

“An example of the post-EA Spouse EA comes from the troubled development of Superman Returns, finishing in late 2006 as the lawsuits began to settle. “My recollection of the last nine months on Superman [Returns] were, I think they were asking us to do 60 hours a week. 12 hours a day, five days a week. … They would cater in dinner every evening and they had the stereotypical crunch culture. It’s stupid, right?,” says Nystrom.”

Read my full story on the internal impact of EA Spouse at Rolling Stone/Glixel

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How Madden 06 Pushed Tiburon to Their Limits

““E3 was the first ‘Oh my god, we’re totally fucked.’ Everyone’s expectation is that we’ll have a fully running game and it’ll be a brand new Madden and it will look just like that trailer did. We were stuck with one character standing in the middle of the stadium. That’s all we could get,” says Cummings.”

Read my full story on Madden 06 at Rolling Stone/Glixel

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Factor 5 and Lair

“You’re crunching to death. You’re working all of these hours and you’re missing your deadlines. And then in addition to that, you’re being told to add these things in the game. It’s really frustrating because you’re just like, ‘I can’t work anymore’ and it’s like, ‘Why are we adding things? Why not make things fun that we already have?’” says Dubrofsky.”

Read my full story on Lair’s development at Polygon

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NBA 2K18 Review

“There’s an authenticity in rotating courtside banners and between-play chatter by the announcers, changing as the year moves on with new sponsors cycling in. The insistence on using Virtual Currency (VC) for everything compounds the issue, though. NBA 2K18 wants you to drink Gatorade, but it’s also interested in getting you to spend more real money in the game.”

Read my full review of NBA 2K18 at Polygon

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NHL 18 Review

“EA’s NHL remains the best of the publisher’s sports franchises in terms of its simulation, even as its slow pace of growth becomes increasingly hard to ignore. FIFA’s authenticity fluctuates, Madden plays safe, and NBA Live comes and goes. NHL stays consistent. Frustrating as off-the-puck AI can be (players too frequently seem blind when the puck is loose), in motion, it’s hockey bliss. It’s also apparent that a lack of updates and changes year-over-year is beginning to stagnate things.”

Read my full review of NHL 18 at Polygon

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How Madden ’96 Changed Sports Games Forever

 

“Visual Concepts’ original plans for Madden ’96 included full TV-like production, using the added CD space to bolster Madden’s audiovisual components. Many of the video sequences starred John Madden and co-anchor Pat Summerall, performing pre- and postgame routines. According to Rubinelli, Madden remained deeply involved with the franchise, dissecting rule changes and pointing out mistakes in both offense and defense as the team went on. Madden and Summerall’s professionalism continued into the video interstitial scenes, directed and scripted by Rubinelli.

“I wrote scripts for them by watching probably 100 hours of them broadcasting. … John took one look at the scripts that I wrote and said, ‘This is terrible. I would never say these things. Who wrote this shit?’ … He said, ‘You give me an unlimited number of scenarios, and Pat and I will just freestyle. We’ll ad lib.’ I gave them every possible scenario and they didn’t miss a beat. It was color as only Madden can do.”

Read my full feature on Madden ’96 at Polygon

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