Back from Seattle and 343 Industries


343 Industries is an amazing place and we got to sit down with a bunch of people who made Halo 4. The studio layout is really cool and everyone there is dedicated to making the best games possible. We also [REDACTED][REDACTED], and [REDACTED]. Then we [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. Closely followed up with [REDACTED] [REDACTED].

All in all it was a hectic few days but well worth it because [REDACTED], [REDACTED][REDACTED]!!!!

Conversations About Games Episode 6 – Halo 4!

This episode is all about Halo 4! My launch night shenanigans, including my now pending trip to visit 343 Industries! (yes you read that right). Then you have my thoughts on the game, gameplay of me and my friends Matt and Andrew playing Spartan Ops and much, much more. It is all there. All Halo. All the time!

If you have any questions and suggestions please feel free to put them in the comments below.

Halo 4 Limited Edition Unboxing

My unboxing of the Limited Edition of Halo 4!

Limited Edition Contents:

  •  Three War Games Map Packs
  •  Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Special Edition
  •  Early access to specialisations
  •  Unique in-game skins and emblem
  •  Cryotube avatar prop
  •  Spartan Armour avatar costume
  •  UNSC Briefing Packet: Welcome Notice, Armour Schematic, Mission Brief Pouch, Combat Deck Score Sheet, Secret Letter

If you have any questions and suggestions please feel free to put them in the comments below.

Link Storm

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What’s that? You like links? WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO???

Introducing your new PlayStation Store

The PlayStation Store over on the PS3 has received a major facelift and despite some early teething problem sluggishness it is actually half decent and well…modern! There have been a lot of changes and tweaks along with a host of new functionality added to the digital store. Luckily the PlayStation Blog has all the details to avoid any major confusion.

Aesthetics of Play – Extra Credits

This week’s extra credits is well worth checking out if your a game designer or interested in game design theory. It basically lays out why we are applying genres to games incorrectly and what can be done to change it for the better. You should also check out the MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research paper that forms the basis of the episode. It is very illuminating reading.

Why Quick-Time Events Work 

Game Informer’s Kimberley Wallace argues why Quick-Time Events are a good thing and I’m inclined to agree with her. The reason why they get such a bad rap is because so many developers miss use them or oversaturate their games with them. They are a great narrative/mechanics tool when used correctly.

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Link Storm

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Here’s some interesting/topical gaming related links for your viewing and reading pleasure!


As us Europeans look on at our American cousins yet again getting to play this week’s new releases a few days earlier than us because of reasons and stuff. #nooceans has appeared on twitter for us all to voice our collective frustration about the retail market dictating when we can buy the games we want. If you cannot tell I am on the side of global releasing for games because it just makes sense!

Ibb & Obb

This great looking PSN game has come to my attention this week. It looks like it is going to be a great co-op game where playing co-operatively actually means something.

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Weekly Link Storm

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The links are going to be a bit thin on the ground this week and next. Also incase you didn’t notice this week’s Link Storm is late! This is all because I’m travelling up and down the UK yet again.

Here’s your reading and entertainment for the past week:

A typical day at Toro’s home

After wonder just who/what the hell Toro Inoue was when he was announced as one of the latest additions to the upcoming PlayStation All-Starts Battle Royale. I did a bit of digging and came across this hypnotic gameplay footage of one of the free downloadable games featuring him on the Japanese PlayStation Network. It left me wondering two things: 

  1. Is Toro in PS All-Stars to push him as a mascot for Sony around the world or to just entice Japanese gamers?
  2. Why have Sony never released these free Toro games in the US and EU? It feels like a missed opportunity.

Is Paul McCartney Writing Music for Halo’s Original Studio?

Apart from showing Kotaku’s headline naming process for the click baiting that it is (they should have just put: Is Paul McCartney Writing Music for Bungie’s next game? or something like that). It is an interesting prospect. With Paul McCartney involved just what exactly are Bungie working on?

Sony acquires Gaikai for $380m

Perhaps one of the biggest news stories of last week. It had everyone dreaming of cloud next gen PlayStations and Sony paving the way for the future. The move by Sony to buy Gaikai is a smart one as it is a nice way to add to the current and next iteration of the PSN if they use it for that and in theory it future proofs a lot of their output as a media producer. This can be used for more than just games all those Sony movies, tv shows, music, etc. can benefit from Gaikai’s technology.

Interview: Anita Sarkeesian, games, and Tropes vs. Women

Another week and another part of the ongoing Tropes Vs Women in Video Games craziness. This interesting interview with Sarkeesian lays out a lot of the basics on what she will be covering in the upcoming series of videos.

EU court rejects EULAs, says digital games can be resold

While this will have little to no impact in the short term the longterm effects of this ruling will be interesting to see play out. As publishers try and worm their way out of and around the right to resell your digital products. Also how they will try to hide it from the average US gamers once the systems have been implemented over here in the EU.

Free university lectures

Tumblr blog Live Long And Proper posted this wonderful link to a database of free university lectures across a very broad range of subjects. I’m always on the lookout for new things to learn so this is a godsend. I’m planning on loosing many hours going through a lot of what is on offer.

Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC

I am not going to pretend to fully understand the ramifications of finding the Higgs boson. I understand the basics and that is enough for me. It is a very big deal though and you should be excited for the scientist types in your life. They’re currently partying like it is 1999.

The Hero’s Journey (Part 1)

The Extra Credits guys are taking a look at the hero’s journey in this multi-part series on it. It is used extensively in a large number of games to varying degrees of success. It is a powerful tool to use as a starting point for a game, so watch, learn and then look into it on your own. It is one of those rabbit hole type deals that just keeps turning up stuff.


I came across Codecademy as a throwaway link in a LifeHacker post. Hot damn is this a good way to learn the basics of programming! I’m planning on sitting down and working my way through some of it in the next few weeks.

Halo 4 E3 2012 Multiplayer Wrap Up

I’m getting more and more excited for Halo 4 with each new video and tease 343 release. It is shaping up to be a solid game that takes the Halo franchise forwards while still keeping very true to the core idea and principles of the Bungie games.