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I’m Alex Wiltshire

I am the author of books including Minecraft Blockopedia, Making Videogames and Home Computers, and work at Mojang on storytelling for Minecraft. A former editor of Edge magazine, I’ve written about videogames and design for publications including Rock Paper Shotgun, PC Gamer and Disegno. I’m also a sporadic member of The Crate & Crowbar podcast.

The product was terrible, but the game was solid. The rough edges were actually charming. The community was young and welcoming. It was fresh. It was fun.

Importantly, it kept evolving and improving every few weeks. Issues were fixed quickly. Improvements and features were added frequently. There was an incredible velocity of evolution happening before our eyes, at just the right time for just the right audience.

de_dust designer Dave Johnston on Counter-Strike’s 25th birthday.

!! Mind you, Minecraft is 15.

June 20, 2024 ・ #

I realize many Brits are sort of mortified by their own country (as many readily admitted to me), and I get it (hey, I’m technically American), but most (all?) first-world countries today are well-beyond the lily-white. I don’t know what I’m doing. The world burns and I try not to throw out the walking babies with all the frustrating, seemingly-intractable political bathwater. This is special stuff: the rights-of-way, the walking culture, the barren fells, the pentimento walking history of England. No, it ain’t perfect, but if you find yourself in a position to traipse along the dun tones of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, I say go for it.

› Craig Mod

June 18, 2024 ・ #

Today I played the excellent Warhammer 40,000 squad skirmish game Kill Team for the first time in forever. Naturally, my Khorne Legionaries lost against my son’s Ork Commandos, but they did so very bloodily by taking out all but two of his 10 operatives (skulls, throne, etc) and my plasma gunner scored the game’s first kill with a roll of four sixes.

1 in 1296

Setting up the team made me revisit BattleScribe as I tried to shortcut creating a legal team, and that led me right back to my old Kill Team CSS for BattleScribe, which I made years ago to make nice-looking army and team rosters. And I ended up updating it to the style of the latest edition, with revised fonts and some other tweaks. You just have to.

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I’ve been GMing Warhammer Fantasy Role Play for my games group. It’s a venerable tabletop RPG similar to Dungeons & Dragons but grittier, weirder, funnier and has more of a focus on role-play. Though set in the Germanic realm of the Reikland, it feels awfully British. Social class informs many interactions; there are 60+ jobs that act as its character classes, from rat catcher and grave digger to flagellant and huffer to charlatan and bawd; there’s a whole skill devoted to consuming alcohol.

We’re playing the legendary scenario A Rough Night at the Three Feathers (originally written in 1987), in which the players go to the pub and a lot of complicated scheduled-by-the-minute stuff happens around them. So far, Marsh has been robbed for every penny and Oli failed to catch the thief. Jim poisoned a surprised scholar and then he and Oli nursed him back to health. And Dan listened to a couple rutting in their room. I’m really looking forward to concluding the night on Monday.

June 13, 2024 ・ #

The PC Engine Duo’s casing is marked out by those delightful ridged sides and zig-zag in the line that connects the on button to the CD opening button. (Wikipedia)

Way back, probably in 2003 or 2004, when I worked on the design magazine Icon, I interviewed Shin and Tomoko Azumi, leading designers of stools, chairs and homeware. I don’t remember much about it, beyond liking their elegant and minimal but expressive work and the ride along the North London Line to get to their home and studio. So when I stumbled on the article after restoring it to this website, along with a bunch of other ancient posts that had been locked away in a Wordpress backup, I noticed something that I’d entirely forgotten:

After their BA courses, Tomoko worked at architectural practices and Shin worked in the electronic giant NEC’s personal computer department where he designed the casing for the PC Engine Duo, the first CD-rom based videogame console.

Designed the PC Engine Duo?!

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Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is an extraordinary looking game

June 8, 2024 ・ #
May 18, 2024


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May 10, 2024

I struggle with the idea of taking black and white photographs, and yet I love them.

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April 16, 2024

I’ve long since unshackled my web browsing from social media and instead use RSS feeds to keep up with the haps. I love RSS (here’s mine) because it sprinkles in front of me the things I’m interested in and it’s independent of social media. I own my feed.

I treasure the independent web and want to see it flourish, so, as a minuscule effort to support the things I enjoy reading, here’s a selection of my subscriptions.

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I made an Apple Shortcut that texts a random one of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cool Writing Ideas from the Commonplace Book to my wife and son every day. I think they will definitely love getting these daily for eternity.

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