Week in Gaming: Big news for big-name games, little guys still fighting a battle
This week we saw the release of the much-anticipated Mass Effect 3 and an announcement that 2013 will bring a new SimCity chapter. But it wasn't all about the heavy-hitters. Opposable Thumbs also brought you stories about indie developers fighting blatant rip-offs of their games, and "protestors" outside of GDC unhappy with the way games seem to nickle-and-dime the player instead of enticing them with better, more challenging games.
Mass Effect 3 review: a proper ending—but not a perfect one: Mass Effect 3 lives up to the high expectations set by the previous games in the series, wrapping up the sprawling story and offering a more action-packed experience, though the experience isn't without its problems.
Binding of Isaac creator: Nintendo rejection shows internal divisions over company's image: The Binding of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen tells Ars Technica that his discussions with Nintendo over a potential 3DS version of the game show a company with serious internal divisions over how to balance its family-friendly image with broader content.
Maxis announces new SimCity for 2013: Maxis will finally be creating a new entry in the popular SimCityfranchise in 2013, promising features such as full 3D graphics, internet-connected cities that can affect one another, and even "curvy roads"
Attacking the clones: indie game devs fight blatant rip-offs: Clones of games are causing trouble not only for developers, but for an unwary gaming public. A presentation at GDC explored ways of attacking the problem of cloned games.
"Protestors" call games industry a "temple of sin," demand repentance: A pair of "protesters" outside the Game Developers Conference helped draw attention to what they see as the sins of a game industry focused too much on monetizing players and too little on providing meaningful experiences.
Artificially intelligent vs. artificially human: creating better NPCs: At a Game Developers Conference presentation this week, two industry veterans laid out some ideas for making in-game characters more believably human, rather than rigidly, logically intelligent.
Epic touts console-quality graphics in browser-based Flash games with Unreal Engine: At a Game Developers Conference presentation, Epic Games President Mark Rein showed off the power of Epic's Unreal Engine 3 running inside a Flash-powered browser window, including a better-than-console version of Unreal Tournament 3.
Guffaws and awkward laughter: game devs react to Indie Game: The Movie: At a special Game Developers Conference showing, Indie Game: The Movie faced an audience full of game developers who seemed to relate deeply to the emotional stories being told on screen.