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This week in the news; company contacts Kotaku to try to get them to sell Star Trek Online and Neverwinter for the tidy sum of $120, congresswoman who sponsored a bill against swatting gets swatted, SXSW voting starts, The Witcher 3 invites you to dance, The Beyond Good & Evil creator tells Tim Schafer a story about one of his developer and talks about the sequel, the president of Bungie steps down, Counterstrike player uses fake hacks to get 1000s of cheaters banned, new FFXV gameplay, Kojima talks about what he learned on his world tour, Cliff Bleszinski talks about the cost of FPS campaigns and his new game, Halo 5 airs on ESPN for X Games and not all athletes are happy about it, The Witness sells well despite pirating, Greg Kasavin talks about his move from critic to developer, a look at making games more accessible for people who have problems with their vision, Keiji Inafune looks back on five years of Comcept, a look at Graffiti and architecture in games, and more.




Wii U Sales Surpass 12m as Nintendo Profits Climb


FPS campaigns often cost "75% of the budget" and his Halo 5 Airing on ESPN Helps "Legitimize" Competitive Gaming, 343 Boss Says




ESPN airing the competition might help to legitimize it in the eyes of non gamers but not all athletes are happy about it.




Because it's only worth congratulatory trinkets if your risk of injury is more blatantly obvious.


$250,000 NBA 2K16 Competitive Tournament Announced




2K sports announces a tournament with a prize pool of $250,000 for the Xbox One and PS4.


In Other Articles I Enjoyed This Week


Fallout 4 funnels you into violence, The Witcher 3 invites you to dance




I didn't expect to hear the cries of an announcer yelling animatedly about a race while I was wandering around Bethesda's fictional Boston wasteland in Fallout 4, especially when his excitement came through bad speakers from a decaying racetrack. I approached the location, enjoying his announcements of strange names.Looking through my sniper scope, I watched as various robots "ran" the track, although many, to be more accurate, floated.

The crowd was cheering while sitting on the bleachers watching the spectacle. Perhaps, I thought, some had gambled their life savings yearning for a dream that would never become reality. I had some spare caps and decided I wanted to bet, too. The scene ignited my imagination.

Only, I had forgotten: This is Fallout 4.

The default for a situation in Fallout 4 is to kill everyone. There was to be no engagement with this lovingly crafted setup, and no interaction with the audience or the managers that wasn't in the language of bullets and death. Instead, my mere arrival resulted in the announcer summoning the audience to attack me. The scenario in my head remained there; the game was more interested in violence than world-building.

Not only is the article a great look at The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 but, a lot of the comments are also great. Polygon impresses me as being one of the only outlets where actual conversations and intelligent posts can happen in their comment section, obviously it isn't always true but far more often than other sites where I don't even understand why they continue to allow comments (Gamespot).


Guest Column: Lifers, Vol 1.




In the first of Giant Bomb's new Guest Column feature Greg Kasavin talks about his move from critic (formerly Gamespot) to developer (Bastion and Transistor).



I left GameSpot nine years ago, almost to the day, to pursue a lifelong dream I had to work on games, to make them. It was a big change, the first of several more. My career changes put my family life and finances in some amount of jeopardy. It was very selfish in a way. Knowing that full well I still went through with it at every turn. I only wanted to turn back once in a while. My wife Jenna must have known what it meant to me as she put up with it.

My first job in game development was as a producer on the Command & Conquer games at Electronic Arts. The short story is one day, a friend and former GameSpot colleague named Amer Ajami (who'd been working at EA for some time) let me know his team had a producer opening. Being aware of my interests in development and having come from a similar editorial background, Amer wondered if maybe I was interested, and I'm sure I told him yes with little hesitation. I loved my job at GameSpot, but as I was getting close to age 30 yet feeling no closer to even having tried development, I was getting very restless. I could always come crawling back to writing about games, I thought.


Keiji Inafune looks back on five years of Comcept




"When an artist starts out, they’ll actually tell you that eventually you’ll hit this wall that you can’t ever get over," he says. "For me, that kind of stuck in my head."

Inafune says that idea motivated him to work his way out of being "just an artist," so he dabbled in game design and production before becoming the producer in charge of the Mega Man franchise, and eventually overseeing all game development teams at Capcom.


Encumbrance: Gaming's Weight Problem - The Point



Danny O'Dwyer talks about encumbrance in gaming on his series The Point.






If you’re of a certain age and inclination, a significant chunk of your young life during the 80s was spent deep within the dark, questionable-smelling caves of electric lights and beeps known as video arcades. At least mine was. Shooters in particular captivated me; those strange offspring of Space Invaders that thrust a lone fighter ship deep into space to mindlessly destroy vile alien races while avoiding hundreds of enemy ships, missiles and laser beams on the screen at once. Gradius, R-Type, Sidearms, and countless more ate my quarters like candy, but one in particular has stood out in my memory for almost 30 years: Darius.


Good Job With The Graffiti, The Division





I’ve been playing the closed beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division, an upcoming fantasy RPG about patrolling Manhattan and murdering Black Friday “rioters.” The game’s version of New York City isn’t the most convincing I’ve ever seen, but the graffiti is solid.

I’ve complained about bad video game graffiti in the past, so I like to highlight good graffiti when I see it. In my book, bad graffiti is the stuff that seems explicitly informed by the plot of the game. When Ubisoft’s artists were coming up with wall decorations for The Division, they could’ve gone with the usual post-disaster stuff like, “Where is our food?” and “Down with the government!” and “Anarchy in NYC!”

Rather than doing that, they went with the sorts of chaotic scrawls that we’d probably actually see should something like The Division’s city-clearing bioweapon attack come to pass. Hell, parts of Manhattan already look like this.


How To Talk About Games (If You're Blind)


One of the many other problems I find in playing games is text being the size of an ant. It’s an issue that baffles me especially with the prevalence of 60-inch TVs these days. You’d think that, by now, minuscule details such as menu text would be well-considered across all games. But take Forza Motorsport 5 (2013) as example. The text size varies quite a bit, with major heading text being fairly large and in all caps, and then the message boxes using a very small typeface. These types of oversights are frustrating discoveries every time I start a new game. Another example is the mini-map in Grand Theft Auto V (2013) which, for people with a significant visual impairment, can be very hard to see. It’s small as it is, then it has even smaller indicators that aren’t always clear, and then the final kick in the pants is not having the option to enlarge the icons or move the map to an easier-to-see location.


Here Comes Another Horror Game Contender For the P.T. Throne



The Kickstarter can be found here.


A thread about this was created here


Brutalist Architecture in Games




Brutalism is a brilliant yet simple aesthetic and architectural style for games by design. Often criticized as being crude, threatening, and lacking decoration or flair, it fits within both the aesthetics of video game art, and within the context of level design and play. There has been recently a revival of the Brutalist movement within the game space in the form of Kairo, NaissanceE, a small mini-game found within Assassin’s Creed: Revelations known as Desmond’s Journey, among others.  What makes these games stand out is the atmosphere and sense of wonder they project onto the player, and it is their Brutalist architecture that evokes this feeling. Brutalism works as both an aesthetic decision for games and as a functional one due to its raw, no nonsense construction. Its threatening forms confront the player and add a sense of challenge and accomplishment to level design that few other architectural styles can match.

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I'm looking at all this and I'm like "why have I never read these?". Loving the information here

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