The Word of Notch has a post about Bill S.978, which is currently being considered by the U.S. Senate: "to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for other purposes." The bill: "Makes unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Illegal streaming of copyrighted content is defined in the bill as an offense that 'consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works' and has a total economic value, either to the copyright holder or the infringer, of at least $2,500." This is opposed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but has the support of AFTRA, SAG, MPAA, RIAA, and other copyright-lovers. As Notch notes, this has raised concerns that it could criminalize the simple act of uploading a gameplay video, and while it's hard to imagine such fair use scenarios becoming illegal, he offers the straightforward way Mojang would handle it should such a law come to pass:
If the bill passes, I suspect many game companies (including us) will add a special clause to the TOS specifically to allow posting videos of their games. A huge part of why Minecraft has grown so fast is the YouTube community.
Designing Guild Wars 2 - Part 1 and Part 2 on IncGamers both talk with ArenaNet's Eric Flannum about Guild Wars 2, the upcoming MMORPG sequel. Topics include how different the sequel will be from the first Guild Wars, post-release content, supporting a top-notch MMORPG without subscription fees, XP and loot sharing, increased focus on co-op gaming, marketing, and more. The two-part interview is accompanied by this article offering a behind-the-scenes look at the ArenaNet's development studio.
The Paradox Interactive Forums offer downloads of a new patch for Hearts of Iron III: For the Motherland, to update the expanded World War II strategy sequel to version 3.03. The patch should be available automatically from within the game as well as at individual digital distributors, and there is also a manual patch, which is mirrored on The Patches Scrolls. The change log follows. Continue here to read the full story.
The OOTP Developments Forums now offer a new version 12.1.11 patch for Out of the Park Baseball 12. There is a new full installer and an incremental patch for the Windows edition, and new full installers for the Linux and OS X editions. The Windows patch is mirrored on The Patches Scrolls, and the change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.
UX Booth - Learning from Fable III’s UX Mistakes. Thanks PC Games Forever. Perhaps the clearest example of poor user experience design in Fable III is its menu system, or rather lack of one. In most RPGs, pressing pause brings up a menu where you can view a map, inventory, statistics, and other information. Pause menus allow you to quickly perform common actions and take stock of your situation, before returning to the main game.
In Fable III, a different metaphor replaces the menu that you’d expect to find. Pausing the game transports your character to a room called the Sanctuary, where an affable butler, voiced by John Cleese, guides you around. Instead of having a traditional menu, you direct your hero around this and its adjacent rooms, interacting with various items to access the information you need.
Well, yesterday was our first grilling mishap of the season, though I am not to blame, so my record remains so far unblemished. The chicken thigh fillets I was going to cook turned out to be startlingly rancid. These were actually vacuum sealed in plastic, which seems like it would help prevent such a mishap, but when I cut open the package it immediately filled the kitchen with the most horrifying odor. I didn't actually think you could generate that much stench from a one pound package of chicken meat, but it was a pretty close call that we were able to dispose of this without anyone actually upchucking.