May 9, 2021

The Sunday Papers | Rock Paper Shotgun

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Sundays are for gorging on a massive roast dinner slathered in gravy. Before you raise a knife and fork, let’s read this week’s best writing about games.

For Eurogamer, Robert Purchase said farewell to Jeff from the Overwatch team. Funnily enough, Overwatch was a game that helped me get my foot in the door in the games industry, and even if I’ve moved on, it’ll always hold a special place in my heart (excuse the soppiness there). I think Bertie’s done a wonderful job of capturing what made Jeff special, which was being a colourful, humble presence in a Blizzard that grew – and continues to grow – greyer, and more corporate.

Jeffrey Kaplan brought humbleness and approachability to Blizzard. So much so I find it weird even writing his name that way. Because he’s not Jeffrey Kaplan is he? He’s Jeff from the Overwatch team, and he always will be. It was the humble identifier he used every time a development diary video began, as if he had to explain to us who he was: he, the face of one of the world’s most popular games. And as big as the game got, it continued. It was like he almost didn’t believe he was famous.

Felipe Pepe wrote a brief history of Chinese RPGs before Genshin Impact. My knowledge of all this is woeful, and this is an excellent, snappy education on the matter.

Last year’s Genshin Impact was a landmark, not only as a single-player RPG that managed to bridge the mobile, console and PC markets, but also for its localization and marketing efforts. The biggest international Chinese release ever, it successfully went from “Chinese Breath of the Wild clone”, as the international press initially reported it, into a global phenomena that made more than 1 billion dollars in less than 6 months.

Over on BuzzFeed News, Katie Notopoulos asked the question, “Why Am I Sp Bad At Typign?

Wrona isn’t just a fast typist — he thinks a lot about the nature of typing. In an email to me about his typing technique, he mentioned theories of typing from a 1936 book about typing psychology. He does not do traditional touch typing; he has his own method. “I did not learn to type from anyone in a class and I think that is in part why I am faster because the way people are taught to type in typing classes is wrong,” he told me over email.

For Gamasutra, Winifred Phillips examined the craft of video game music composition.

When I’m working, I think about instrumentation first – understanding the instruments to maximize their expressiveness. That is a big part of my research. I go on YouTube and watch really expressive and talented virtuoso performances to understand the sense of expressiveness that each instrument can bring to a musical composition.

Music this week is Porter Robinson’s Unfold from his recently released album Nurture. A sweeping, cinematic treat this one.

Over on Kotaku, I enjoyed this story about a dude who trained like One-Punch Man and got buff.

That’s me. Have a solid Sunday everyone!

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