There’s this scene in Star Trek: Voyager, where the character Neelix realizes that his era of usefulness has come to an end. He was guiding the crew through a section of space, but eventually they reached the edge of his knowledge. Going ahead, he didn’t know any more than they did. (The fact that he was an annoying idiot regardless of his navigational knowledge was not discussed.) I think I have reached the same point.
Up until Half-Life 2, and even as recently as Fallout 3, I would have technological insights on the games that I played. I could spot walls that had been placed, not for the sake of the gameplay, but to cull unwanted details from the scene and give the computer a break. I could identify and explain visual glitches, artifacts, misaligned textures, and other problems. My years of 3D modeling and coding gave me an unusual perspective on what games were showing us. But my knowledge has stagnated in the last five years while the industry has charged forward, and I have almost no understanding of today’s engines and how they do what they do. For me, the Cry Engine 3 is now indistinguishable from magic.
Fixing Match 3
For one of the most popular casual games in existence, Match 3 is actually really broken. Until one developer fixed it.
Blistering Stupidity of Fallout 3
Yeah, this game is a classic. But the story is idiotic, incoherent, thematically confused, and patronizing.
Best. Plot Twist. Ever.
Few people remember BioWare's Jade Empire, but it had a unique setting and a really well-executed plot twist.
Video Compression Gone Wrong
How does image compression work, and why does it create those ugly spots all over some videos and not others?
Mass Effect Retrospective
A novel-sized analysis of the Mass Effect series that explains where it all went wrong. Spoiler: It was long before the ending.