The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for creating a solution to deal with fungal gnats. Let’s mix and pour as we read the week’s best writing about games and game-related things.

For The Guardian, Ellie Gibson wrote about a developer who earned over £250k from games made in just 30 minutes. Gibson chats with TJ Gardner who makes “Stroke” games, where you pet animals X number of times to earn trophies. I mean, if people are willing to pay money for an easy trophy, you can’t blame him exploiting a niche.

When you start the game, an image of the animal appears against a plain blue background. In the top left-hand corner of the screen are the words “Strokes 0”. You press X to stroke the animal. The animal flashes briefly. The number in the corner goes up by 1. After 25 strokes, you are rewarded with a bronze trophy. Keep going until you hit 2,000 strokes, and you will receive a platinum award.

Over on IGN, Rebekah Valentine speaks to devs about the huge layoffs hitting the industry right now. Developers explain why layoffs can’t just be attributed to companies getting a little too spendy during the pandemic.

Speaking to IGN, multiple former employees suggested the financial situation Epic found itself in stemmed from a pattern of irresponsible spending on initiatives that didn’t seem to have a clear strategy behind them, from a rash of acquisitions to Sweeney’s ongoing metaverse dreams. Then, when it came time to account for that spending to investors, the company seemed confused as to how it had gotten there in the first place and started encouraging individual employees to find ways to cut costs.

Jay Castello wrote about how Great Ace Attorney makes for an interesting critique of the criminal justice system, moreso than other games in the series. Castello does acknowledge it doesn’t stick the landing when it comes to empire, but says the game still “upends the sacred space of the courtroom”.

But Great Ace Attorney, the spinoff series localized in 2021 set in Meiji era Japan and Victorian London, manages to upend the sacred space of the courtroom. They’re still presented as this juxtaposition of the authoritative and the absurd, with rules on who can speak when highlighted directly next to a jury system that involves throwing fire around. But they’re also shown as spaces where justice fails.

Now this one requires a free sign-up, but a lot of good things do nowadays so I don’t mind. For 404 Media, Emmanuel Maiberg wrote about service jobs now requiring bizzare personality tests from an AI company. Maiberg applies for a job at Olive Garden and puts themselves through at least 80 baffling AI-generated image tests.

“Man I just want a dishwasher job,” was the title of one thread on Reddit in a community of food service workers. The post shared a screenshot for “assessment Instructions” for part of the hiring process at Olive Garden. The instructions tell the applicant to “go with your gut and answer honestly,” and that “there is not one right answer.” They then include an image of a blue, humanoid alien they introduce as Ash, “who will represent you in each image.”

Music this week is “more than words” by Hitsujibungaku. Here’s the YouTube link and Spotify link. I’m led to believe this gained popularity thanks to anime Jujutsu Kaisen. I’m yet to finish season one, but it seems pretty fun so far. Nothing extraordinary, but some very cool fights! I love cool fights!

Have a lovely weekend all!



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