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bigethan Blog

Like thinking about game design?

If you're interested in the design and thinking behind games I highly recommend Danc's Shared Items. He has a very nice perspective on game design, and the feed has great content collected from a wide spectrum of game blogs. His Lost Gardenblog is also good, but (obviously) is not as wide ranging as his shared items.

@username replies will now PM the user

Comments are a bit of a ghetto.

They are great most of the time, it's hard to have conversations when there are hundreds or thousands of comments. As a way to try and thread things, dropping a twitter-style @username to reply to something someone wrote is helpful but it is, at best, a stopgap measure.

I'm here to say that, thanks to a suggestion from Elk, things just got a little better.

Now whenever you comment on something, and mention someone with the @username technique, they will get a PM with the content of the message that you sent along with a link back to the page. It should make keeping track of your comment threads a little easier, and make it easier to converse in the comments. It's far from a perfect solution, but it should help a little.

Hate it? Like it? Couldn't care less? lemme know.

updated to attribute the idea to Elk, sorry 'bout that.

Giant RSS Improvements

I'm a huge RSS fan. And for years it's bugged me that GameSpot's RSS was practically unusable. There were some mediocre reasons for our RSS being ignored, but no really good ones. So earlier this year when I got a bug to fix one part of the RSS that was broken, I took that opportunity to overhaul the whole system :-)

And the new system is now live (and has been for a week or so).

Our rss page has the details, but I'll highlight the fun parts here.

1 - all of the feeds (except the review feed) are full content feeds. Read it all and see the images right in your reader (no videos in the feed yet)

2 - you can subscribe to a feed on a type of stuff (news, reviews, previews, screenshots, downloads, movies, etc), or get all the stuff for a specific game. If you want updates on Mass Effect 2, here's the feed of everything that comes through the site that references Mass Effect 2. You can find the feed for any game when you're on the homepage for a game right in the address bar.

3 - Not only can you specify the type of updates you want (eg: movies only), you can also specify platforms (eg: Wii movies only).

4 - Wherever there is a feed available it will show up in the address bar (or you can manually grab it from the rss page).

5 - Pro User tip: you can subscribe to multiple types by separating the various options with commas.

On top of the content changes, all of the user RSS has been updated as well (the blog feed, as well as the feed on the bottom right of your profile page). So now you can patch your GameSpot blog rss into Facebook, or wherever you want. It was Donkeljohn's request to fix the user RSS that started this whole project, so if you're happy about the RSS send him a shout :-)

If you have any suggestions / improvements / whatever, hit me up with a PM or drop a comment here. The new system is actually flexible, so it can handle all kinds of twists and turns - let me know what you want and I'll try and get it implemented.

#Do NOT EVER, EVER, EVER, CHANGE OR DELETE

So says the comment above a chunk of gamespot RSS code. I'm getting close to changing it as we rework our highly medicore RSS feeds.

I'm excited for the RSS improvements, but I think I'm more excited to change the forbidden...

Why no Wii Sports 2?

Because of these awesome reasons:

Furthermore, Iwata said simply following Wii Sports with more-of-the-same gameplay wouldn't be in line with Nintendo's goal to expand the gaming market. "Our mission is to surprise people in a good way, and this became very clear as we made Nintendo DS and Wii. You can't open up a new market of customers if you can't surprise them."

That is so right it hurts.

Stereogum!

Yes I'm late to the game on this, but the site is a great resource for music (with lots of fun MP3s to download).  I'd added the site to my RSS reader (reader.google.com), but it was the cover of Radiohead's 'Fitter Happier' that got me laughing so hard I had to post. If you're a Radiohead fan, it's a must listen.

http://www.stereogum.com/okx/

The other covers are totally hit and miss, but the site has quite a few gems hidden around (a Day-O remix by RJD2, some Cake rarities, other stuff to taste).  Anyhoo.

E3 is still E3

For people who talk about how E3 was all smaller and worse and whatever this year, I have one thing to say:

Tell it to our servers.

They l got the same ole contingency plan inducing E3 workout that they do every year. The poor bastards.

E3 is fun from a development side because of the massive stress testing that everything gets. But it sure was nice to come into work this morning and not have the fear in the back of my mind that something could explode at just the wrong time with thousands and thousands of people watching.

Ahhh, normalacy. It's nice sometimes.

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