‘Notes’ is a new fortnightly section for Game On that presents a short, curated collection of games and links that don’t fit elsewhere.
When I first decided that Ski Safari would be the featured game in this fortnight’s notes, I felt like I had uncovered something few others had seen. At that stage (the day of release), there were 55 players of the game globally, according to my iPhone’s GameCenter leaderboards.
Now, there are 105,645 players of Ski Safari, the game has been featured as game of the week on the App Store and has had glowing write-ups at a number of major outlets.
That doesn’t change the fact that Ski Safari is an outstanding little game, though. It is such a satisfying design, and even though it builds on a number of previous games it still feels fresh and original. The only reason you might not want to play it is my intimidatingly good high score of 976,810 points. It’s also an Australian game, published by the Brisbane-based Defiant Development (thanks to Nick in the comments who pointed out I’d neglected to mention this first time around).
On the back of last week’s roundup of articles focussing on the idea of the game designer as auteur, Simon Parkin did a very interesting interview for The Guardian with perhaps the most famous game designer in the world: Shigeru Miyamoto. It’s a fascinating read in two parts, with the first probably better than the second: part one and part two.
In not quite the same vein, The New Yorker did an interesting profile piece on the company behind Draw Something, OMGPOP, with a particular focus on their CEO, Dan Porter.
And finally, Hookshot Inc talks about the differences between the contemporary indie/amateur videogame scene and the world of those who created (essentially indie) games for the ZX Spectrum in the ’80s. The key difference? Today’s indies are much more connected. The Spectrum might be quite specific to the British history of videogame culture, but it’s still an interesting point to consider in the Australian context, too.