Advice to Writers?

This is a response to a fairly strong calling out of games writing the other day on bitmob. I like it. I’m sharing here.

The original post is here.
A follow-up post is here.

Gamerly Musings

This is an incredibly sad thing to read: an aspiring writer is forced to reconsider their passion as a career. Though perhaps what is more sad is how often it happens without any blog post to mark the occasion. Having questioned the viability of writing as a career choice more times than I can count over the past 2 years (heck, I think just yesterday was the last time I did so), I feel for him. And considering the caliber of the average “help for aspiring writers” advice being offered, I feel for him even more.

This is difficult, because I want more than anything to respond to his piece, but I fear that any attempt to do so will be seen as arrogant, condescending, mean-spirited, and just downright rude. But he raises some interesting issues that I would at the very least like to provide a second perspective to. I have…

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Top 10 iOS Games from Last Year

I wrote this up for GamesBeat early on in my time with them as a freelance writer. I had fun putting it together, and learning how to write to a more “Top Ten” crowd than ever before. Here is part of it, and be sure to link through for the whole thing.


What makes a great mobile game? Eye popping visuals? Solid gameplay and controls? Ease of entry, pick up and play features? Are casual games the best suited for Apple’s disruptive gaming device? What about core gaming, is it yet possible on these magical devices? What about social games, shooters, platformers?

The answer: Yes. All of these make great games, and the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad will play them.

Apple’s iOS devices and operating system have proven to be a popular and disruptive force in gaming. Games of all stripe compete in the same marketplace; there are games for just about every type of gamer – and non-gamer – out there. From simple to complex, intuitive to intelligent, iOS games are the next big thing to happen in the gaming world. Since there are more than 100,000 titles to choose from, we thought it might be fun to take a moment here to look at our picks for the top ten iOS games from 2011.

READ THE WHOLE POST TO SEE MY 10 PICKS

Been A While

Right?

Last post I wrote here was from GDC 2010. I’ve been to two more GDCs since then. I’m writing for payment now (woohoo!) and loving the hell out of every minute. I’d like to start using this space, ordinary swords, again, to start showcasing my gaming and tech writing, as well as write a bit about stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else.

So, welcome back!

Here’s a review I wrote up for VentureBeat’s lastest push, GamesBeat. It was my first review for their site.

Infinity Blade II

Infinity Blade II is debuting today, and the mobile game reminds us of the attractions of iterative game development. The risk is low, the potential for gain is high. While an innovative game can change the course of development in its own right and become the fastest selling game in iOS history, a well done sequel can polish what the first game got right to a high gleam, and add just the right amount of extras and enrichment to become something even sweeter. We’ve seen it with a series like Games of War, another Epic Games property, and now we can see it again with Infinity Blade II, my pick for the most console-like experience on the iOS platform to date.

Infinity Blade II (Epic Games & Chair Entertainment) is out for the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S [update: Chair informs me the game is also compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPod
Touch 3 (16GB+) and iPod Touch 4].

There’s something primal about the way combat happens in this game. It would seem as though, on paper at least, that swiping and tapping on a glass screen wouldn’t feel so damn, well, tactile. Infinity Blade, the first game, gave us all a sense of place and a sense of impact with stabbing, blocking, dodging and slashing our way through the same path of evil warrior beasts and humanoids again and again, only to die at the hands of the God King at the end of each hard-fought road. Death became us, though, as we were reborn after each successive death at the hands of our arch-nemesis, and we again picked up the heavy mantle of hero, trudging ever onward to our doom.

READ THE FULL REVIEW

I’m In Trouble Now

Seriously – I went to GDC expecting to enjoy it and have fun connecting with people I’ve been working with since August of 2008. I didn’t expect to get addicted while I was there.

I met folks from real media outlets. Paste Magazine, LA Times, Edge Magazine, etc. all had representatives at GDC and I got to meet them and talk with them and find out how brilliant they all actually really are.

Aside from the hero-worship I got to engage in with the above folks, I got to meet many of my favorite games bloggers: Michael Abbot and his crew are a stunningly diverse group of amazingly smart folks who think and write about games.

I got to chat with folks from other websites like GrE and TPG, only bigger. Chris from Pocket Gamer, Jeff from 148Apps, and other like-minded entrepeneurs generously treated me like one of their own and it felt good. The number of times someone said “OH! I’ve heard of Games Are Evil. EXCELLENT domain name!” was much greater than I even could have hoped for.

So, obviously, I’m high. High as hell on this games writing, critical thinking, sweet spot of games and journalism. Yeah, some of the bigger bloggers are young, attractive, and wear skinny jeans with aplomb, but I think us older dudes have as much to contribute to the field.

I want to work in this industry. Not as a full time starving freelancer, but as a guy who can contract for work in some way across all these sites and outlets. Actually make some money from this passion. Learn from the best to help my own outlets grow in size and stature. Build relationships and connections with other like minded folks to further ALL of our goals and dreams.

Big thoughts, I know. But then again, I’m high.