The Sunday newspapers | Rock Paper shotgun

Sundays are to buy a Werther’s Original from your local gas station. Before you indulge yourself, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game-related stuff).

Over at Arstechnica, Kyle Orland wrote about Wordle, IP law, and what happens when a popular game is cloned. That idea of Wordle is not very legally protected, which means that it is inevitable that the clones will keep coming. The law shrugs its shoulders in this case.

In other words, it’s extremely difficult to copyright an abstract game mechanic like “guessing five-letter words and giving hints based on correct letters.” A game developer can apply for a patent on an original game idea, a legal process that has previously been used to stifle video game clones. But getting a patent is a long and arduous process that can fall apart if there is “known art” that precedes the idea (or if the mechanic can be considered legally “obvious”).

Over at Load-bearing Tomato, Chris ‘chhopsky’ Pollock replied why items-as-NFTs do not allow transfer of assets between games. A game developer takes us through why it’s basically incredibly difficult to transfer a skin or an object between two different games. This article is really nicely structured and relatively easy to follow as someone who knows nothing about game developer.

Game engines can not even agree on which way up, let alone a myriad of other things. You can not just ‘export’ and ‘import’, let alone make it happen automatically without knowing the intricate details of how the asset was created and what specific tasks need to be performed to make it work in your game. These assets are not just a model and textures – they all contain some sort of code that basically binds them to the game they were created in. Even moving objects or cosmetics between two games made in Unreal Engine is an extreme manual process , because they all depend on things in the code base that are not found in other games.

For The Guardian, Simon Parkin wrote about the problems with Roblox, the video game empire built on child labor. Undoubtedly inspired by People Make Games’ initial study of Roblox and their follow-up deep dives.

For many of its young users, Roblox is their first experience of the many challenges of leading a team on any creative project where egos and commitment are tested. With so many projects made by young teams with no previous experience of how to collaborate, little supervision and often unrealistic expectations, stories of projects that have gone bad are as prevalent as stories of miraculous success. Roblox offers an accelerator program – a 12-week course run three times a year – to educate its users. But these tools are focused on how to make better games, not on the interpersonal challenges required to manage a successful creative team. So while the early success Anna experienced in Roblox is unusual, stories of exploitation on the platform are many.

For Gamesradar, Hirun Cryer spoke with four veteran match designers about how to make a memorable match system. Some great insights into the “tricks” they use to keep engaging the fight and their various approaches to tutorializing hacking and slashing.

For Taura, however, it’s about creating a “comfortable” experience in which players can “raise their hearts.” The gameplay veteran points to small tricks that intertwine and in a way that the player might even be able to recognize and anticipate. It can be something as simple as the game’s background music that automatically transitions to a battle track when battles begin to fly, or a battle system that “lets you capture the enemy yourself without using a locking system.” In addition, Taura buys into Glover’s method of setting a hard limit on the amount of enemy attacks that the player throws, and Itsuno’s belief in limiting off-screen attacks from enemies that the player cannot see.

Finally, take a look at the cell phone museum and remember with me. I remember tumbling over a classmate’s Sony Ericsson that had a small joystick.

Music this week is Lights Out, Words Gone by Bombay Bicycle Club. Here are the YouTube link and the Spotify link. A happy one.

That’s me guys, until next time!

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