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How To Make a Good Gaming Sequel 150

Kantor48 writes "In today's world of unimproved gaming sequels and saturated franchises, Arthur Kabrick looks at the best and worst sequels in recent history, and compares the changes they've made to the formulae of their franchises. By doing this, he comes up with a list of lessons that any game developer creating a sequel should follow, if at all possible, to ensure that the new game is a step up, rather than a step sideways or, as in some cases, a step down. The criteria include ensuring the game does not spend too much time in development, updating technology, and trying not to change the development team, as well as being wary of changing the basic formula so much that fans of the franchise are alienated."

Treading the Fuzzy Line Between Game Cloning and Theft 235

eldavojohn writes "Ars analyzes some knockoffs and near-knockoffs in the gaming world that led to problems with the original developers. Jenova Chen, creator of Flower and flOw, discusses how he feels about the clones made of his games. Chen reveals his true feelings about the takedown of Aquatica (a flOw knockoff): 'What bothers me the most is that because of my own overreaction, I might have created a lot of inconvenience to the creator of Aquatica and interrupted his game-making. He is clearly talented, and certainly a fan of flOw. I hope he can continue creating video games, but with his own design.' The article also notes the apparent similarities between Zynga's Cafe World and Playfish's Restaurant City (the two most popular Facebook games). Is that cloning or theft? Should clones be welcomed or abhorred?"

Comment Obligatory 99 bottles of beers example (Score 1) 831

package main

import (

const bottlecount int = 99

func bots(b int) string {
        if b > 1 {
                return fmt.Sprintf("%d bottles", b)
        if b == 1 {
                return "1 bottle"
        return "No more bottles"

func main() {
        for i := bottlecount; i > 0; i-- {
                b := bots(i);
                os.Stdout.WriteString(b + " of beer on the wall, ");
                os.Stdout.WriteString(b + " of beer.\n");
                os.Stdout.WriteString("Take one down and pass it around, ");
                os.Stdout.WriteString(bots(i - 1) + " of beer on the wall.\n\n");
        os.Stdout.WriteString("No bottles of beer on the wall, no bottles of beer.\n");
        os.Stdout.WriteString("Go to the store and buy some more, ");
        os.Stdout.WriteString(bots(bottlecount) + " of beer on the wall.\n");

Submission + - URL shortener goes community-owned/FOSS (

Death Metal writes: "1. We will renounce all ownership interest in the domain name and donate it to the community. We will work out the legalities of this over the coming weeks, but it will ensure no one is ever able to hijack URLs in the future. They will always exist, period. Everyone can use with confidence.

2. We will release the source code used to implement for anyone to use, help develop, or privately extend as they like. We will release it under the MIT open-source license. It is our sincere hope that every URL shortener becomes as good or better than, or can learn from our architecture and feature set."


Submission + - Seven Strange Things (That Science Can't Explain) (

Fluffeh writes: "What's seven cool things that no-one seems to be able to really explain, yet at the same time are either witnessed by scores of people or have been observed in a scientific manner? What do you get when you combine humor in writing with creepy things that are going on around us?

What would you do if you were walking along a tropical river at night and it suddenly began burping up egg-sized balls of red light? It happens every year in October along the Mekong river (the same one featured in classic Vietnam movies like Rambo II and the flashbacks from Rambo III). The phenomenon is known as the Naga Fireballs, and experts agree that it is "just weird as shit."
What happens is this: starting under water, tens to thousands of glowing red lights are seen rising out from the bottom of the river, then lifting hundreds of feet into the sky before disappearing.

Read the rest of the article to find out."

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