Other stuff

The 50 best Skyrim mods

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I love my Skyrim Mods posts for PC Gamer. They’re some of the most popular articles ever on the site, and the second highest link in a google search for ‘Skyrim Mods’. Yes I know that makes it sound like I’ve turned into a marketing droid and am now proud of SEO, but what it really means is that I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility when writing them. There are going to be thousands of people who’ve never tried mods before who are looking to me for advice, to steer them to the good stuff and avoid the giant tit mods.

So when PC Gamer asked me to rewrite the top 25 article, I was so enthusiastic that I told them I could easily make it fifty. The result was pretty backbreaking, especially as an overheating PSU was making it hard to run Skyrim at the time. I tried out a lot of less than impressive mods to reach these 50, but it was worth it, and I got to engage in a bit of amateur screenshot camerawork along the way, which PCG put into a gallery post to tease people about the update.

Read the 50 best Skyrim mods at PC Gamer.

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Features, Professional

Card shark – A story about how Steam trading cards drove me insane

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When Steam trading cards were announced I treated them as a joke, a bunch of weird nonsense I didn’t want anything to do with. Then I realised people were paying money for these things, and I figured I could try and make a few bucks, enough to get a copy of Rogue Legacy at least. I rapidly degenerated into a parody of shitty capitalism, ranting on twitter about the miniscule amounts of money I was making. Thankfully PCG web editor Tom Senior was paying attention to my breakdown, and figured it would make a good article, and thus Card Shark was born.

As a bonus, I also wrote an article on how to make money from Steam trading cards without going as crazy as I did.

Update – I actually earned even more money after I wrote this. By the end of the Steam Sale my eventual takings were Rogue Legacy, Kerbal Space Program, Universe Sandbox, The Binding of Isaac (with Wrath of the Lamb DLC) and £1.10 left over.

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Project Zomboid update

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Earlier this month, I decided to take a trip to my native Birmingham for Rezzed, the PC and/or indie games show. I got to meet up with some people I’d only known over the internet, which was nice, but the main reason I was there was to spot some new indie games and get some interviews. One of those interviews was with Paul Ring, of Project Zomboid, who brought me up to date on how the seemingly cursed game was progressing, and what they had planned for the future.

Read my Project Zomboid update at PC Gamer.

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Rise of the Roguelikes

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Rise of the Roguelikes is a feature I wrote for Gamespy shortly before the site closed down. I investigated the recent success of Roguelikes on the PC indie scene, putting together interviews with Spelunky’s Derek Yu, Desktop Dungeon’s Rodain Joubert, FTL’s Justin Ma and Matthew Davis and the team behind Dungeons of Dredmor. It was an interesting experience and there were some great insightful comments from the developers. It was actually Derek Yu’s mention of the Berlin Interpretation that lead me to use it as a framework for talking about the modern Roguelike, and about gaming genres in general.

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Personal

Dungeons and Design part 2: I am everything wrong with gaming

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Recently some friends and I decided to try Dungeons and Dragons (fourth edition, Planescape setting) for the first time. As usual, no-one wanted to be the DM, so I volunteered, and I’m glad I did. Running these adventures has given me a lot of insight into game design and how to deal with players, including pointing out some things I really should have known already. So I’ve decided to write a little about each session, and the stark contrast between what I planned and what actually happened.
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Dungeons and Design part 1: Hawks can’t spot traps

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Recently some friends and I decided to try Dungeons and Dragons (fourth edition, Planescape setting) for the first time. As usual, no-one wanted to be the DM, so I volunteered, and I’m glad I did. Running these adventures has given me a lot of insight into game design and how to deal with players, including pointing out some things I really should have known already. So I’ve decided to write a little about each session, and the stark contrast between what I planned and what actually happened.
Continue reading

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