Fallout 4 Comparison: Bunker Hill In Real Life v. In-Game

A few months ago, I took a new job that had my family and I relocate from Balitmore to Boston. Getting settled into the new gig, and getting settled into the new home routine have both contributed to my lack of time to wrtie, here.

We arrived just in time for the notorious Boston winter. We also arrived just in time for the release of Fallout 4, which takes place in a fictionalized version of Boston some 250 years in the future. The apartment we're renting is only a few hundred feet from the historic Bunker Hill Monument, which in-game, has become a refuge for traders retired from travling the wasteland of the post-apocolyptic Commonwealth.

This morning, the sun was out and I had a little time to take some pictures of Bunker Hill for a comparison with its in-game representation.

Fixing Forza 5

Dan Greenwalt, Creative Director on Forza Motorsport 5:

Well, it's hard to say with the XP boost, because that was an experiment just seeing whether people are interested are not. It's not meant to be something that you're meant to do. Right now we're looking at whether people are using it or not. If they're not using it, we'll remove it, if they are using it we won't remove it. The work's already done to put it in, and we're experimenting - we didn't expect people were going to take it as a statement. That's something... I understand how people took it. Most of us were just surprised that people were up in arms. I'm not blaming people, and I want to be clear on that. I'm just saying that wasn't our intention going in, and so it was surprising to us.

It's interesting, to me, to read this article. By and large, I see FM5 as a huge success and a blast to play. I understand the design decisions Turn 10 has made, and I think it works. I've used to XP Boost, myself, as a quick way to gain levels. I understand that adding a way to use real-world currency to purchase cars makes the game more fun to people who don't want to spend hours and hours grinding out wins to earn enough credits for one car.

Maybe it's a function of growing up. I don't have the time to invest in games that I had ten or fifteen years ago, and when I do play games, I really want to get the most out of my time, so I see the value in how Turn 10 designed the systems. I'm certainly not a "hardcore" gamer, so I might not be in the demographic that feels hurt by this.

Obviously, I'm a fan of the game. There's a lot to love. But, maybe nothing more than the ablity Turn 10 has to iterate and experiment with a game that's in production. It's wonderful.

Born Slippy: the Making of Star Fox

Damien McFerran's 20-year retrospective on the making of StarFox. This quote from Jez San, about working with Shigeru Miyamoto, jumped out at me:

"It was amazing to see the way he worked," says San. "He didn't design games up front, like western game designers would do. He had ideas and liked to play, refine and evolve. He especially liked to iterate - he did a lot of trial and error. It really felt like he would be flying by the seat of his pants much the time. It was occasionally frustrating, because you couldn't schedule the project in advance. You couldn't know how much effort or man-hours were required for any specific feature or element because he didn't really plan in any great detail. He seemed to do everything by what feels right, which means it has to be pretty much fully built before he could evaluate how much fun it was - and then he'd tell you to change this or change that, and so on."

I doubt that anyone who has ever played a Miyamoto game would be surprised that he relentlessly iterates.