Let’s Play Sony – A Strange And Unlikely Case.

An amusingly apropos subheader sometimes, if you take out the apostrophe...

An amusingly apropos subheader sometimes, if you take out the apostrophe…

It’s amazing what slips by when you’re not looking in the right place. Sony, last October, apparently filed to try and trademark the somewhat broad and generic term “Let’s Play.” They haven’t got it yet, but it’s quite clearly referring to the practice of Let’s Playing, as the service it is trademarking is:

“Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks”

A bit generic sounding even here. Anyways, since it was only discovered yesterday, by members of the NeoGAF forums, and it requires clarification before June on the part of Sony before its finalised, it’s merely something quixotic we can point to and say… “Huh!” Here’s at least a couple of reasons why.

It’s Rather Broad

As the definition stands, it can cover a multitude of commerical services and goods, including… Game trailers. Those are streamed electronically, and consist of, funnily enough, audio/visual material of video games. This is, at a guess, at least part of the reason why a clarification has been requested.

It’s Already In Use By Several Commercial Entities

This, potentially, is the real killer. The biggest competitor for the title, as far as I understand it, would be RoosterTeeth productions, who use the channel name as a specific brand (In fact, there was much amusement among the Something Awful Let’s Play community when the channel was grabbed before anyone thought of it), and, as far as I understand things, they would then have prior rights of usage. There is also the fact that many Let’s Players are commercial, and directly identify their service as “Let’s Play” already, even if we were not to take into account that RoosterTeeth specifically use it as a brand for their content. Not to mention… Er… Something Awful’s own “The Let’s Play Archive” (Where you can find at least one Let’s Play by yours truly. 😛 )

It’s A Common Phrase

While this might be less of a problem than you might think, the term Let’s Play has already entered common usage, and, as such, this might be a difficult one to enforce. None of these are insurmountable obstacles, but they are, nonetheless, obstacles, at least one of which has presumably hit Sony when they tried to trademark the term back in October.

But Why Do It?

Well, for all the talk of a sinister reason, this one’s actually somewhat hard to enforce. Not just due to the common and prior usage, but also because you can be providing a similar service without calling it “Let’s Play.” That’s even assuming it goes through. More commonly speculated is that it may be related to the streaming service they’re planning to roll out.

Either way, much virtual headshaking, and no real best wishes in the trademarking process there. After all, it is a silly trademark.

2015: “Dark Cloud Risin'”, 2016: “Don’t Give Up”

So, 2015. What a year, eh? Let’s go over the fuckups, the foibles, and some of the nice points, shall we? Because it does highlight some things that need to change.

The Year Of Shoddy Releases

2015 has seen an increase in big budget releases that can best be described as “Rushed”, “Shoddy”, and, in some cases, “Laughable.” Arkham Knight’s release was, let’s face it, a trainwreck, and even after release, it was… Disappointing, to say the least. It says a lot that I had an entire article ready to say why I wasn’t going to review Arkham Knight even if it was properly fixed when WB said it would be, and… Well, that didn’t really prove necessary, because the sexist writing, shitty foreshadowing (I won’t say who the Knight is, but it’s really easy to guess), increased grind for the sake of padding (Hi, Inexplicably Jigsaw-Like Riddler!) and bugs (some of which, by all reports, persist to this day, much like Arkham Origins). Asssassin’s Creed: Unity has become almost memeworthy with how badly it ran on release, HoMM VII had its fair share of problems, Netcode problems abounded in games like Driveclub and CoD: Advanced Whatever The Hell The Word Machine Came Up With Today, and, overall, it’s been more notable when a AAA game has been relatively free of flaws (Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within… Note I said relatively.)

Of course, if it was just the bugs, I’d be okay. But unlike many of us, who have rightfully consigned Battlefield: Hardline to the deepest parts of the Styx, I remember how, on release, the game’s design disincentivised nonlethal play, and made a bunch of castings that could, in any sane universe, be called something like “Ever So Slightly Racist.” The Current Big Three (For they do seem to flux over the years) of EA, Ubisoft, and Warner Brothers… Are not doing so well. I highly suspect, although I cannot confirm, that refund requests have been the highest in recent memory as a result of these many and varied fuckups.

It wouldn’t entirely be fair to say it’s all them, though. I’ve seen the graphical glitches of Sunset, and the inconsistent writing. I’ve seen Hidden Object Puzzle Adventures not only not improve, but actually get worse. 17 flowers and 12 gems over three screens, Mystery of A Lost Planet? Some of which are extremely pixel hunty, or right next to the sodding UI? Or perhaps Contract With The Devil, whose conflict between writing and aesthetic, and lack of colorblindness support, led to a five minute long rant on twitter? Budget does not excuse poor puzzle design. It doesn’t excuse a lack of such a basic accessibility feature as colorblindness support (Although it helps not to pick two extremely similar colours for your “Make all the colours not touch each other” puzzle.) It definitely doesn’t excuse the fact that of the HOPAs I’ve seen this year, I can count on one hand the ones where somebody isn’t damselled, and, much like Princess Peach in Mario 1, disappears for the majority of the game, leaving the player not a single fuck to give. And, of course, there’s the actual shovelware. I’m not going to name names, but there’s been an absolute slew of… Well, tat. It’s by no means limited to AAAs and AAs, although that’s where it’s most visible.

You can stop pretending everything is fine, games industry. It’s really not, it’s just that up till relatively recently, there hasn’t been as much scrutiny. Speaking of scrutiny…

Rise (And Fall… And Rise… And Fall) Of The Internet Shitlords

If games existed in a vacuum, some strange, objective reality where only the games themselves were there, judging each other, this probably wouldn’t have been a topic. But no, human beings, overall, have also somehow managed to become shittier. Except, once again, it wasn’t so much the fact that humans actually have gotten shittier, more that it’s gotten, like the games industry, to the point where it’s obvious. You’d think I was referring to Hashtag Fucking Gooble Grump (Pretty much every person involved with the games industry knows what I’m referring to, although I know most folks outside that circle neither know nor give two shits unless it affects them directly), but no… 2015 seemed to be the year where abusers and assholes, atheismugs and fanatics of various stripes have crawled out of the woodwork. Or rather, once again, people are finally noticing that this shittiness exists.

The DWP Disability Living Allowance Suicide Statistics. A veritable cornucopia of ill-justified police shootings. The continuance of “The War on Terror”, despite the fact it’s pretty much established we’re making more people terrorists by doing so. I could go on, and on, and on, and on about the shittiness, the broken-ness… But let’s talk celebrity for a second. Let’s talk Star Citizen. Let’s talk Early Access.

Star Citizen is, no bones about it, a dangerously ambitious game. It’s a risky investment, but it’s quite clearly making progress. Am I saying it’s going to succeed? Honestly, I have no fucking idea. I am not a game designer. But due to the level of investment people have put into the game’s development, and due to the fact that the transparency in the devblogs and broadcasts and the like show what a fustercluck the development of a big game is (And make no mistake, it’s not uncommon for big teams to get fusterclucky by their very nature), there’s a largely invisible Sonic Vs Mario type PR holy war, between the “Development is so slow, it has to be a scam!” crowd and the “This game is going to be the last word in video games, STFU!” crowd.

Naturally, prominent faces have arisen everywhere for all of these issues. None of them will be named. Few of them deserve to be named, because quite a few of them are the same as the extremists that have made 2015 such a depressing shithole for every other poor sod out there. Funnily enough, a litmus test of whether they’re worth listening to is the proportion and volume of such seemingly normal words and phrases as “Censorship”, “Free Speech”, and “But do you have PROOF?”

Net result: An internet ad world filled with misery and stupidity, with the usual cultural and fiscal inertia making governments and companies slow to react.

There’s A Light… Over At The Frankenstein Place…

Of course, there have been some awesome things happening. Undertale was pretty cool, subverting RPG tropes somewhat (Mainly in the story, and that not attacking is the way to the best ending.) More games are including women and PoC protagonists, diversifying. LGBT games are on the rise, further expanding the area that games can reach (Such as Read Only Memories, one of the few games I can think of this year that bothered to ask for your pronouns), and people are getting that game design is a holistic thing, at least in part because game making is, itself, becoming more accessible. People are starting to make moves on internet harassment, and shitlordery. Sites are beginning to realise what a pain in the arse ‘pretty numbers’ are becoming, and actual discussions of games industry ethics, employment practices, how the recession is affecting things (Make no mistake, we are still in a recession, and many EU countries are handling it… Er… In a similar way to the way they handled it last time (To no effect)), and accessibility issues.

There is light. But it needs to grow. So all the folks who are actually trying to make progress, to make games more accessible and interesting and talk about things that need talking about? Keep it up!

The folks who seem to think “Because it ‘worked’ before, it’s still working now, why won’t everybody realise this, shut up, and live in our perfect world?” Guess what. It didn’t really work before. It’s not actually working now, not even giving the appearance of working properly.

But let’s imagine, for a moment, this glorious future we could build. Games would actually be… GASP… Be more accessible than they are without being “dumbed down”! They could be cheaper, because they’re more tightly focused! And, because they’re reaching more people, and because less people are asking for refunds, and because they’re cheaper, more people would buy games, and talk about games. And in this bright future, they wouldn’t have to fear being dogpiled, or devalued because they’re the “wrong” shape or skin tone, or not following outdated binary gender preconceptions. And because they’re not afraid, the games could talk about more things too! And the people making games wouldn’t have to fear kneejerk reactions from their fans! Edutainment would be a proper thing again, but this time, with games that aren’t afraid to tackle subjects from different viewpoints! Oh, how glorious it would be, to have games that explore sexuality over the centuries, how it’s shifted and changed from culture to culture, from decade to decade. Or games about utopias! It’s a common (mis-)conception that a utopia, by its nature, is boring to write.

But think about this for a second… If it weren’t for the ending of Antichamber, the entire game would have been positivity, and encouraging you to beat its obstacles in a friendly manner, and telling you “Hey, at your own pace, my friend, it’s all good here!” Isn’t that… A utopia, of sorts? It’s certainly not a standard one, but hey, what’s standard in games? One of the first art games was about an alien bee-thing that did different things to flowers depending on where you touched them, and it had a score counter. The first “multi-media experience” was a C64 spinning-“plates”-and-dodging-things game narrated by Jon Pertwee, and with music by Ian Dury. Games could experiment. We could… Talk about them. With more people. And at least some of them, preferably a lot of them, would have interesting things to say that were cohesively designed, so even the “fun” games… We could learn from. And maybe… In discussing things… We’d find new ideas. Ideas like a good form of government, or using games to test the feasibility of colonising a new world… Games that weren’t just games, but humanity reaching out, with their collective minds, and saying:

Hey… Those stars aren’t actually that far away. And now that we’ve had a proper look at things? This world ain’t so bad after all, now that we’ve looked after ourselves properly. Let’s have a nice… Relaxing… Stretch… And enjoy everything

In a truly ideal world, I would be out of a job, because we’d all be talking, comfortable and self aware and unafraid to explore other spaces. But I’m 100% okay with that, because my golden handshake would be… Participating in that world. And, okay, this is the 80s child in me, but it also has to have personal jetpacks of some description. If only to throw a jaunty two finger salute at Tomorrow’s World. See! We got them! Eventually!

08×10: The Octo-Ber Octo-Jam 2015

It’s not often I feel compelled to cover a game jam, although their importance as a communal activity can’t be underestimated… But when you have a game jam that also involves the history of computing and games, it’s hard not to sit up and take notice. Such is the case with the Octo-Jam, which officially finished its second year with the roundup, posted just a few days ago online.

Ah, the 70s... A time of some *really bad special effects*

Ah, the 70s… A time of some *really bad special effects*

Now, because I know a few readers are new to the concepts of gaming and game design in general, let’s go through some things before we carry on. A game jam is a time limited programming event, where amateurs and professionals alike create a game within a limited time frame (In the case of the Octo-Jam, this was the month of October), and there’s always a theme, or a quirk involved. Sometimes, this theme involves languages and limitations we haven’t really had to work with for a decade or two, and such is the case with the Octo-Jam.

Why? Because it involves making a game for a dead language: CHIP-8. CHIP-8 was around near the dawn of computing (The mid-70s, to be exact), and had, for all practical intents and purposes, less than 3584 bytes of memory (512 bytes was taken up by the interpreter). There’s more information both on the wikipedia page, and Octo-Jam’s own page, but essentially, it was used on two kinds of 8 bit computer (the COSMAC VIP, and the TELMAC 1800), a few graphic calculators, and that’s… About it. If it wasn’t for computer and videogame historians, enthusiasts, and, of course, the creators of the Octo-Jam (Everdraed, JonTerp, and InternetJanitor), it would probably have faded into true obscurity.

But the Octo-Jam, in its second year, not only had quite a few entries, all doing interesting things with the CHIP-8, SUPER-CHIP-8, and the new XO-CHIP instruction sets (All using the Octo assembler) … But some of them were tested on an actual COSMAC VIP by computer historian Douglas Crawford. And all but two of the 8 programs he tested worked well.

I'm not... *sniff*... Crying a little from nostalgia... *Snuffle*... Honest!

Douglas Crawford with the COSMAC VIP, and the Octo-Jam demo loader. Greenscreen and all.

The entries can be viewed at the official Something Awful Game Jams webpage, but here are my own personal favourites.

OctoPeg

It plays very smoothly, and is just as challenging as the original. No powerups, though.

It plays very smoothly, and is just as challenging as the original. No powerups, though.

Demakes, the practice of making a game in a system much older than it was originally designed for, are fascinating things, and OctoPeg (a demake of Popcap’s Peggle) is no exception. You know, while watching it, that the older system is being pushed to its limit, and the design documentation is an excellent look into how much thought was required to make this work at anywhere near the level Peggle on modern systems would. To my mind, this is the most technically accomplished entry in the Octo-Ber Jam II.

You can find the post mortem on the game page here, and, if you’re interested in programming and design limitations, it’s a fascinating read.

Alien Hunter/HORS

Wait, whu- I... I'm sure this can be fixed. It's *got* to be able to be fixed... Doesn't it?

Wait, whu- I… I’m sure this can be fixed. It’s *got* to be able to be fixed… Doesn’t it?

These two games, both by the same creator, only show the cleverness once you get into the source code. At first, you play Alien Hunter, think it’s a bugged game (And it is), and shrug as you play its compatriot, which only differs in that it uses different sprites, and that it works.

Then you look at the source code, and you discover that Alien Hunter is a Creepypasta. It tells the tale of a programmer who is finding some increasingly buggy code, and it ends in tears.

The two games are exactly the same size, but one works, and the other doesn’t, because it uses the code to create junk instructions that make the game rapidly unplayable in different and interesting ways… Only some of which are mentioned in the code.

Eaty The Alien

Eaty Walk House...

Eaty Walk House…

ET for the Atari 2600 is an infamous game, and I shall most likely be giving InternetJanitor some fake side-eye for a while for providing a demake of this game. However, I can’t fault either his coding skill or showmanship, because not only does he provide a well made demake of that awful, awful game, he provides an amusing false history in which a company is approached by Spielberg for a game based on his hit movie, finds it wanting, and they attempt to sell it anyway, removing as much copyright infringement as they can…

You’d think this wasn’t a compelling story, but, as any video game historian knows, bootlegging has sometimes been the entire basis of games companies in the past. It’s also to his credit that, really? It plays well… Probably better than the original Atari 2600 offering. And I have to laugh at the reference to Eaty’s “Magic Neck” in the (fake) manual page. A well crafted pastiche.

OctoVore

This is one of the easier mazes. And it has variable difficulty levels.

This is one of the easier mazes. And it has variable difficulty levels.

Sometimes, all you need is an interesting variation on a previous idea, and OctoVore, by pangasaurus rex, is definitely that. Remember Snake? Sure you do… Many of you probably still play some variation of it when you need something simple and fun.

OctoVore is fun, but it’s less than simple, because you’re keeping an eye on two “snakes”, and they’re both connected to a hungry, hungry octopus. Levels are fixed, but get complicated pretty quickly, with asymmetrical mazes, less food on one side than another (leading you to keep your other arm safely occupied while the first grabs the rest), and, while the levels are pregenerated, there’s enough here to keep you going for a while. Beautiful.

Well, except for the control scheme, which is evil incarnate: 2QWE for one arm, SZXC for the other. Look at your keyboard, and tell me you can do this without being an octopus.

…Okay, I exaggerate. A little.

T8nks

This wouldn't look out of place on a C64... Which is fitting, because the XO CHIP allows 64KB, not just 4.

This wouldn’t look out of place on a C64… But the XO Chip allows such graphical wizardry.

T8nks is, like many of the XO games, not technically able to run on the original system (as the XO is an extended instruction set, and very much a modern creation), but it is interesting. Tanks, Scorched Earth, Gorillas… Some variation of this game has been on most 8 bit systems, and T8nks has a little fun. Randomly chosen special weapon pickups each level, a “Trick Shot” system, in which banking from the bottom or side of the screen will earn you extra points, and wind, adding a challenge factor that’s always enjoyable in such games.

All of the games are playable on the AwfulJam site, with links to the source code, and occasional post mortem, and you can watch the roundup on YouTube here (Complete with some 70s glitz to start things off, and some 70s hardware, as demonstrated by Doug Crawford, to end it with a bang)

I am promised by the jam’s founders that the jam will not only continue, but have some more potentially interesting wrinkles and changes for next Octo-Ber. I’m definitely looking forward to it!

On Fandom, Early Access, and Backseat Developers

There is a great confusion surrounding Early Access games these days. It’s not entirely undeserved, as the field is relatively new, and Mistakes Have Been Made. Some games have come out too early. Some came in too early. And some never really made it out. But not all the confusion is “Should I buy this thing?” or “Will I burn out on it before it’s released?”

Part of it is the role of the person paying the money. This one is a common one, and it is technically our fault, as an industry, that the problem exists. The other fault, of course, lies with entitlement, and a misunderstanding that refuses to go away: By paying for a Kickstarter, or an Early Access, or a Patreon, you are not a shareholder. You are paying for the product it produces, in the belief that it will work. I’ve done so with Formula Fusion, because I know the developers have a pedigree with Future Racing games, and I know they can produce another good one. I did not back it because I thought it would be another Wipeout game.

And yet… People are already asking “What kind of Wipeout physics they’d like to see in Formula Fusion.” Seems like an innocent question, doesn’t it? But there’s an assumption there, and a dangerous one at that.

Not Wipeout. I can understand some confusion. But it's not.

Not Wipeout. I can understand some confusion. But it’s not.

Formula Fusion is not Wipeout. It’s not in the game plan, although features inspired by previous games they’ve worked on (Which, hey, happen to be Wipeout) are part of this plan. What makes this even more insidious is that people are assuming based on an alpha build. Specifically, version 0.0.4, the first public build. Thankfully, cooler heads have pointed out these facts, and the fact that accessibility for new players is a far more important concern than the wishes of us old horses, but it’s a common trend I’m starting to get sick of.

I may sound like I’m over-reacting, but this is by no means the first time I’ve seen talk similar to this. Starbound is an excellent example. See, Starbound starts you with… Some very simple kit. It’s got a slow-ish start, taking something like 4 hours to get off the first planet, and into the wider plot. But one of the most common complaints I saw, throughout the Early Access of the game, was the Caveman Tier complaint. Why do we gots to start so slow, Chucklefish? Why do we gots to make our tools, Chucklefish? Why can’t we just be exploring, murdering stuff and building massive bases, Chucklefish? Wouldn’t it be better if, wouldn’t it be better if, wouldn’t it be better if

Burn Down Cavema- Oh, Wait, I got past it. Never mind.

Burn Down Cavema- Oh, Wait, I got past it. Never mind.

If. If. If. I can understand disappointment when a game isn’t quite to expectations, or when expectations are misled due to some poor sod on the Marketing end (Journo, copywriter, or PR rep) who’s been told something that later turns out not to be the case. Dungeons, for example, was considered by many to be a spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper. Problem is, “Spiritual Successor” does not mean “Sequel”. Hell, often times, sequels are different beasties. Going back to Wipeout, Wipeout Fusion is a very different beast to Wipeout 3, itself different in important respects to Wipeout, the original. But this is precisely why so many journos, myself included, say things like “DON’T PREORDER!” Because expectations without critical thought can lead to talk like “Ugh, Burn Starbound Caveman Tier”, and other backseat developer talk.

Sometimes, I’m with you, because advertising can be misleading, and the games industry has a nasty habit of “sexing up” their footage before they’ve actually sexed up the game (As Breach, a game where even the UI dropped in quality between E3 and release showed, it’s not limited to AAA heartbreakers like Aliens: Colonial Marines). But this kind of backwards looking backseat commentary isn’t productive. Mighty No. 9 is a prime example of how unproductive this entitled viewpoint can get. A community manager jokes about wanting Beck, the protagonist of Mighty No. 9 to be a lady, and suddenly, death threats are flying over the internet, because how dare anyone suggest that Mighty No. 9 stray from the Megaman vision! Assumptions. Mighty No. 9 looks and plays a bit like Megaman, and has the lead designer from Megaman. But y’know what else plays like a Megaman game? A.R.E.S. Shovel Knight. The (Sigh) Angry Video Game Nerd game. And I don’t hear angry players complaining about the differences in The Vision with any of those. I certainly haven’t heard of death threats being sent.

This is not Dungeon Keeper. It is a "Spiritual Successor". There's a difference.

This is not Dungeon Keeper. It is a “Spiritual Successor”. There’s a difference.

In the case of Formula Fusion, the Kickstarter video goes on for about half an hour as to what they want to do, and, unsurprisingly, it’s not “Another Wipeout”. Wipeout is mentioned, a lot (Which may lead the inattentive to think things), but it’s in the case of “We liked this idea which didn’t work last time (Fusion’s upgrade system)” or “We wanted to present a more dystopian world than [the Wipeout Series]”

Sometimes, your beefs with a game are based, not on whether it’s like that thing you liked, but whether it works, and I’m down with that too. I’ve got an article lined up as to design mistakes that Quantum Rush Champions makes, and not a one of them is “Ugh, it isn’t Wipeout”. Wipeout is a comparison point for difficulty, but the design decisions themselves are unique to QRC, and they are not good. I am definitely not alone in thinking them bad either. Whether something is a common complaint is something I like to check when writing an article or a review, but I also check whether it’s an opinion thing, or actually has an effect. In the case of, for example, weapon pickups having small hitboxes, that’s definitely a problem. That the viewpoint in QRC is not exactly like a Wipeout game is definitely not among my gripes with QRC.

So, hopefully, at this point, you’ve been reading and nodding, thoughtful. I’m going to summarise now, so as to make sure we’re all clear on this. You are not the developers. You are not shareholders. Your input is valued, but if you do not like the product, unless it’s to do with crashes, bugs, and things that definitely don’t do the game justice, that is on you. Please don’t backseat develop, it’s somewhat rude, and is not going to help your enjoyment of the game. Please think before assuming a game is going to be like a game before itYou’ll be less disappointed and clearer headed for it.

An Interesting Idea: ISBNs for Games.

Much of the time, conversations with fellow members of the games industry (writers, developers… Doesn’t matter) are either shop talk or just shooting the breeze. But sometimes, things get interesting. Segue achieved for this comment, by MAIA developer Simon Roth:

“While we are on the subject, we genuinely need the equivalent of an ISBN for games.”

Most of you will at least have noticed that books have a 13 digit number on the bottom, or seen ISBN on a book’s Amazon page, but not realised how powerful those thirteen digits can be. Each edition of a book has a different ISBN. Want to find the specific edition with that typo or cover or introduction you liked, or want to compare editions? The ISBN has you covered. And I could immediately see at least part of why it’s important.

There are several different versions, for example, of roguelikes, and some of them are drastically different, such as Nethack. There are many games with exactly the same name as other games out there (While this is less often true with AAA titles, there are definitely examples, such as Powerdrome, which has an older version… And a PS2 reboot), and, to make matters worse, some games almost completely fall under the radar (For example, when choosing titles for the side videos of my current Let’s Play, which are to do with Future Racing games, I completely missed quite a few titles, including… “Future Racer”. It wasn’t very good, but it was embarassing to have missed something so obvious, because so few places refer to it.)

It would be of great use to do this, not just for gamers, who can pass around a… Let’s call it an ISGN (Because that’s the easiest acronym) instead of trying to find a reference to a game that’s only mentioned in rare places. It would be useful to archivists, and game academics, who could then have an easier time referring to the specific game when using academic notation such as the Harvard Method. It has a lot of uses… And it’s already a thing that isn’t restricted to books, with music and magazines also having their own identifiers.

…But obviously, it’s not a thing that can spring up overnight. So all I’m going to do here is leave this article, just proposing the idea (And giving fair credit to the person who originated it), and let game devs who read this to talk it over. I’ll be happy to put discussion on the subject in article form, via the usual contacts, and if enough of the games industry likes the idea, keep people posted on the progress.

But for now, it’s just an interesting and useful idea.