Comparing Localizations of Final Fantasy VI

Over at Legends of Localization, there is an amazing article (potentially series of articles) discussing localization by comparing, line for line, multiple translations of the same game (in this case, Final Fantasy VI). It uses the official SNES translation, the GBA translation, one of the more popular fan translations, and if you just tossed the original Japanese into Google Translate.

Well worth the time to read if you’ve ever been curious about the localization and translation process.

Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough

The latest from the creator of Too Many Cooks takes a look at games and streamer culture. (Fair warning: gore, sex, depression are all present.)

Different games like WizardSlots can have different requirements for game mastery, and still have both fall under the aegis of a casual or casual-friendly game. A more distinct delineation is to establish the play intensity of the game: examine the amount of investment in game mastery that is necessary to continue to move forward in the game. If there is little room for players who haven’t invested as many resources into mastery of the game (e.g. they didn’t spend hours playing the same zone or area, learning all its quirks and best solutions to the challenges it poses), then that game will only be attractive to players with a high investment threshold, i.e. it isn’t a casual game, no matter how simple the interface is, no matter how complex the game mechanics are.

Mixed feelings. Some of it misses the mark, but other parts punch above their weight. But hey, keep those likes and subscribes coming.

Nintendo Labo

Nintendo’s been doing a lot right with their latest console (the Switch). It’s got a pretty compelling use case, and has become the go-to console for some really fantastic gaming experiences (looking at you, Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey). It also looks like they’ve managed to win over and embrace indie developers, as indicated by a steady stream of titles. I think one of the things they’re getting right (aside from building some amazing games themselves) is an appreciation for play and whimsy, as evidenced by their latest addition to the system: the Labo. Go watch the trailer:

I love pretty much everything about this idea.

Link: The Oral History of Halo

Vice has managed to put together an astounding oral history of the making of Halo, a seminal and iconic first person shooter that helped cement the success of the Xbox and (one of) the first to really master first person shooter controls on a console.

I’ve been a big fan of Bungie since the days of playing Marathon, and I’m excited to do with their next project, Destiny 2.

Toxic Communities: Behavior vs People

Toxic Behavior in League of Legends: A nice summary of some of the research coming out of Riot Games about toxic behavior in gaming communities, over at Nelson’s Weblog. You should really go read it (and watch the talk it’s based on), but the quick takeaway is: most toxic behavior comes from people who are usually upstanding community members but end up having a “bad day.” As Andy Baio points out, the solution for toxicity in your community isn’t (always) banning, but rather having moderators and community managers available to intervene and check in on users when toxic behavior first starts manifesting. (This mirrors my own observations doing community management work — the people acting out are rarely bad people, and the more you can treat them like humans having a bad day, the more you can smooth out toxic behavior before it becomes overwhelming.)