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Murder by death: How to kill bad ideas before they kill you

Posted by Michael Warshaw June 24, 2013 10:58 AM

By Tom Lin, co-founder and creative director of Demiurge Studios, Cambridge

If you've been working in the video game industry, chances are you've heard this before: "Hey! I've got a great idea for a game."

Ideas! You've got 'em. Your co-workers have 'em. Heck, even the guy at that party last weekend had 'em. The problem is, most of your ideas probably aren’t very good; at least, not yet. Actually, they may never be good. How do you know when to stop chasing a bad idea, and just kill the thing?

Here at Demiurge, we've had to learn the hard way how to put down ideas, and we’ve developed an approach to making that kill-or-keep decision.

From a full-blown game pitch to teeny opinions on how a character jumps, it’s natural to want to protect your idea. It came from your head, and it's a unique shard of your gaming intuition/experience. A precious, precious baby of an idea. Right?

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The Playstation War: Conflict minerals in video games

Posted by Michael Warshaw June 17, 2013 10:57 AM

By Barbara A. Jones, Esq., Greenberg Traurig LLP

conflict minerals.jpg

Associated Press

In this May 17, 2012, file photo, a Congolese government army soldier displays a mortar round after his unit returned from fighting against rebel forces.


What are video games made of?

The games themselves are software; electronic pulses and magnetic charges. But the consoles they’re played on, like a lot of other electronic equipment, are composed of plastic, metal, and often, minerals like tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold, or 3TGs.

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Kids, these days! They phone it in (when they play video games)

Posted by Michael Warshaw June 11, 2013 10:08 AM

By Trevor Stricker, founder, Disco Pixel, Kendall Square

Schoolboy me had an orange plastic clamshell that opened up to reveal two screens of Donkey Kong. If you were good, you could jump from the girders on the bottom screen to reach the top screen, and jump on more girders.

A Nintendo Game & Watch had a single, lonesome game on it. So we'd trade. You might get to borrow Mario Bros. (with its calculator screen that displayed just a few positions of Mario, there was nothing super about it). Or you might get stuck babysitting an unused Snoopy Tennis. "Multi-player" basically meant watching another kid play your game to see if he could get further.

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The fate of video game consoles in the world of the killer app

Posted by Michael Warshaw June 7, 2013 11:32 AM

By Michael Brown, content marketing manager, uTest

There are not many businesses that have been disrupted more often than the hit-seeking video game industry, where success always seems to be fleeting. Consider that at some point in the last 30 years, Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Xbox have each held the console crown, only to be deposed by another.

We’re now witnessing another displacement, except that it doesn’t apply to any particular console gaming system, but rather all of them. This time, the usurper is the mobile games industry, and it may bring down console for good. Or maybe not.

Minyanville writer Andre Mouton recently took a closer look at the challenges that mobile poses to video game developers. Citing a 21 percent decline in console sales last year, he speculated that mobile apps might be part of the reason why, but acknowledged that there’s no real proof that is true.

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About this blog

MassDiGI 8-24 287w872.jpgThe State of Play, organized by MassDiGI, features stories by digital and video game developers and business insiders. Follow along @mass_digi.

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