I spoke to several of the two dozen or so people who worked on the original Age of Empires about how it was made. I asked them to reflect on the series' triumphs, successes, failures, and legacy. This is a compressed retelling of their many stories, focusing on the early days—the building of the foundations that are so central to both the Age story and each of the Age games—but spanning the full breadth of the series' life.
Every aspect of the original Core Design Tomb Raider series (and by extension the franchise's success post-Core) comes back to the grid that lies beneath it — the majority of the puzzles; the platforming; the cavernous chambers and ruins and outdoor areas that provide a sense of isolation, of solitude and discovery; and Lara Croft's iconic acrobatic movement style.
And yet it never would have happened if not for one pragmatic choice made by a programmer early in the game's development.
This is the st...
On the Nascondino World Championship, a yearly hide and seek tournament that attracts teams from all around the globe. I talked to Alan Jones, the co-captain of the Australian team, the Nascondingos, and Giorgio Moratti, one of the organisers of the competition, about how it works, what it's like, why it exists, and where it's headed next.