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This week in the news; Ubisoft seeks investors to prevent possible hostile takeover by Vivendi, Source Gaming Team translates an interview with Smash Bros creator, morality without karma points, developer's breakdown of why their game costs $20, Persona 5 info, a hardware autopsy of the Game Boy, state of games at Museum of Modern Art, PS4 3.5 update beta, Sega fan survey, Cyberpunk 2077 composer, Playstation TV discontinued, Battlefield 5 set in WWI, Life is Strange dev releases screenshots and info on their new game, Twitch gets chat replays, Aevee Bee talks about pacing and level design in JRPGs, Unsung Story Kickstarter considering offering refunds in some way, Danny O'Dwyer talks about how to get into games journalism, GaymerX panels, Frozenbyte's demo of their new game will influence the sale price, Riot standardizes penalties for pro players, Fallout 4's Creation Kit release, and more.

 

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Source Gaming Team Translates Interview With Sakurai

 

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The Source Gaming Team translated a recent interview with the Smash Bros creator where he talks about the games DLC characters and says that people should forget about console wars and enjoy the games themselves. The translation has three parts and they did a video discussing it that can also be found at the link above.

 

Ubisoft Is Afraid Of A Hostile Takeover

 

Ubisoft is seeking Canadian investors in an attempt to thwart the looming threat of a hostile takeover from Vivendi, the company that once owned Activision and is looking to re-enter the world of big video game publishing.

 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tours Ubisoft Montreal

 

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According to a report from Canada's Global News, Trudeau's visit was spurred by a desire to signal the government's interest in the tech sector, ahead of the next Canadian federal budget, which is reportedly set to include new innovation investments.

 

Ubisoft Disputes EA Trademark for "Ghost"

 

It looks like EA has withdrawn its trademark application for Ghosts.

 

The Division Won't Have Microtransactions, Ubisoft Says

 

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Twitch Gets Chat Replay Feature

 

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Recorded live streams will now display the chat, Twitch mods will be able to moderate the chat as though it were live and messages deleted will not show up.

 

Steam Dev Fights Price Complaints With Excellent Breakdown Of Why Game Costs $20

 

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We have spent 5 years making Brigador, if you include when we started building the engine.

 


5 years.

 

Much of that has been working full time, 6-7 days a week, 8+ hours a day. Even at a very conservative estimate that’s over 10,000 hours of work per person, and there are 4 of us. We did not do a kickstarter, we do not have a publisher. We have funded this entire project out of pocket.

 

Here is a list of things that also take about 5 years to do:

 

-get a PhD

-get married and have two children

-earn $72,000 at the US minimum wage (pre-tax)

-win the election and serve a term as President of the United States

-fight World War I

-develop from an embryo into a person who can speak in complete sentences

-fail to qualify for the Olympics, twice

-start drinking too much and gain 20lbs because of stress from starting a company and building a game for 5 years

-watch all 262 episodes of Two and a Half Men (we do not endorse doing this)

 

Brigador was made almost entirely from scratch, and when it ships will contain 2 hours of original music (small sample), over 100 different enemy units (spoilers), a story campaign, a free play mode, and a playable landmass of ~2 mi² (split between 20 maps) — roughly the size of downtown Chicago or the urban area in GTA III — hand detailed all the way down to street lamps, trash cans, stop signs, etc. I took some time to render out two of the maps in their entirety at game resolution so that you can look around for yourselves: (heads up, each image is ~10 mbs)

-St. Martim’s Commercial Spaceport

-The Sintra Necropolis (had to be slightly downscaled to fit on imgur)

 

For this we kindly ask that you pay $20.

 

As a reference point, here is a list of things that cost more than $20:

 

-a toilet plunger

-a trash can

-this single article of Calvin Klein men’s underwear

-a fruitcake no one will ever eat

-the Point Break remake Blu-ray

-a calendar

-this Nickelback poster

 

It’s bad enough there’s a Nickelback poster worth more than the game we’ve spent the last 5 years building, worse still to have people come along and announce that in fact our game is only worth about as much as this other more common Nickelback poster. I hope you can understand the frustration this inspires.

 

$20 a copy, once you factor in Valve’s take and taxes, gets cut down to about $10 a copy (we live in Illinois which has the highest state income tax rate in the US at 5%). Pretending we don’t have to pay contractors or have any other development related expenses, to pay ourselves minimum wage for the time we’ve put in requires selling 25,000 copies of Brigador. Factoring in contractors and any kind of reasonable living and that number jumps up to ~50,000 copies. While not unheard of, that’s already getting into long-shot territory, especially for a new company that has no pre-existing ties to games media or the backing of a publisher. And people’s reticence to pay what amounts to a pint of beer more for the game means adding another 33% or 16,000 copies to see the same results. That increase alone amounts to more units than many independent releases ever sell.

 

We’re not asking for pity or charity, nor are we saying you should buy a game just because people worked hard on it— it’s possible to struggle valiantly and still make poo. But quality, depth, innovation all require time, and projects of this scope demand full-time work. If Brigador is not worth $20 to you, that’s fine, by all means wait until it goes on sale. But understand that you’re making an already extremely difficult job that much harder. Brigador took so long to make because we wanted to take a risk on building something unique rather than just reskinning an existing game. We wrote an engine from scratch so that we could create fully destructible environments and still have good control over performance. Iterating on design, creating something even only partially new takes a tremendous amount of time, and if people are unwilling to pay a price commensurate with the labor involved in creating games like this then fewer people will take those risks, and many of the ones who do will get starved out the industry.

 

At the end of the day we all have to eat. So yeah, we think it’s worth $20. Hope that clears things up.

 

Probe Software founder Fergus McGovern passes away

 

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McGovern founded Probe Software (later re-named Probe Entertainment) in 1984. The studio was a huge British success story, and worked on world-famous games such as Mortal Kombat, OutRun and FIFA.

 

Widely-liked within the studio and in the development community as a whole, McGovern was also the source of several hidden cheats and Easter eggs in Probe's games - such as the famous 'Fergality' move in the Sega Genesis port of Mortal Kombat 2.

 

The stats on how YouTube affects game success

 

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Some stats on how Youtube effect the success and sales of video games.

 

Frozenbyte's new stealth game demo is also a pricing contest

 

Trine developer Frozenbyte revealed its next project, Shadwen, a few months ago, with a trailer, some screens, and a promise that it would take the stealth genre “back to its roots.” Today the studio announced the release of a “sneak peek demo,” and a pretty good reason to give it a try: The more that it's played over the next five days, the lower the price of the full game will be when it comes out.

 

There's a VR version of Superhot in the works

 

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In a recent Kickstarter update the team revealed that they are doing some work in VR.

 

Rainbow Six Siege Patch Notes Include New Anti-Cheating Measures and More

 

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The new Rainbow Six patch has some tweaks and bug fixes, but the primary goal is to help prevent cheating before the game's Pro League starts in March.

 

Gameplay Fixes

  • Operators are in T-Pose and do not display any texture. – FIXED
  • Hit registration: the player sometimes doesn't receive damage when shot at while in rappel and using a drone. – FIXED
  • Hit registration: Players sometime take no damage when shot in one of their feet. – FIXED
  • Hit registration: Defenders have a difficult time damaging a hostage carrier while he or she is in rappel. – FIXED
  • Weapons sometime appear through walls. – FIXED
  • The drone sometimes flies out of bounds when thrown. – FIXED
  • Sometimes drone falls off the maps. – FIXED
  • Gadgets placed on the ground cannot be put on top of barricade debris. – FIXED
  • The ADS animation sometimes gets corrupted when shield-wielding Operators aim. – FIXED
  • Thermite: sometimes, a reinforced trap door will not be destroyed by an Exothermic Charge. – FIXED
  • Buck: Pressing the gadget key while holding secondary weapon does not go out of Skeleton key mode. – FIXED
  • Glaz: pressing the gadget key while carrying secondary weapon does not switch scope ON and OFF. – FIXED
  • Sledge: hammer can be seen floating in the air during end of round camera. – FIXED

Level Design Fixes

  • Yacht - exploit: players are able to vault near the roof of the front end of the Yacht, inside the ceiling. – FIXED
  • Yacht: the Secure Area objective area doesn't cover the entire room of the cockpit, preventing the objective to be captured/defended when standing in a specific position. – FIXED
  • Yacht: Defenders cannot place barbed wire on any interior stairs of the map. – FIXED
  • Yacht: drones have no collision with a block of ice at East Glacier. – FIXED
  • Yacht: some red blocking walls not displayed during the Preparation Phase. – FIXED
  • Oregon - exploit: Attackers can shoot Defenders through a small gap (near Junkyard Spawn Point, EXT Dining Hall). – FIXED
  • Oregon: drones have difficulty navigating through the two ventilation shafts near the abandoned school bus. – FIXED
  • Chalet: an invisible collision will prevent characters from shooting at enemies hiding behind it on the 2F near the railing. -FIXED
  • House: players can fall through the map when rappelling near the River Docks area. – FIXED
  • House: pillows have no collision with the players' gadgets. – FIXED
  • Russian Café: the bottom layer of the destructible wall from the Pillar Dining Room cannot be vaulted after destroying the wall. – FIXED
  • Sometimes, there are lighting issues on maps. – FIXED

Spectator Mode Fixes

  • The score is not replicated correctly for the spectator during character selection screen. – FIXED
  • When spectating, the spectator remains with a white screen if the spectated target is killed while being flashed. – FIXED
  • Spectator sees player's drone from the wrong perspective. – FIXED
  • Indication of drone elevation in relation to player does not work correctly when in Spectator Mode – FIXED
  • Tactical view focuses on where the Operator dies and does not allow the camera to move freely until the spectator switches to another player’s perspective. – FIXED
  • Graphic corruptions can be seen when switching between players in first person view. – FIXED
  • Players' full usernames no longer displayed under their logo when focused on in Spectator Mode – FIXED
  • Controller does not vibrate after exiting from spectate mode and playing in any mode. – FIXED
  • PC: The spectator cannot open the Options menu using the F10 key. – FIXED

Miscellaneous Fixes

  • The countdown (15/10/5 seconds remaining) announcer voice over still happens after the defuser has been planted when the bomb is planted late in the round. – FIXED
  • PS4: PS4 players met feature from the friends tab in the play station dynamic menu has no functionality. – FIXED

Finally, Ubisoft said it had planned to introduce an "IP protection" feature with this new patch, but "it has proven to be more complicated tech-wise" than anticipated. The feature is still coming "as soon as possible" and when it arrives, it is likely to launch on PC first and come to console later.

 

Take a peek at 'Life is Strange' studio's next game, 'Vampyr'

 

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The developer of Life is Strange and Remember Me have released some screenshots, information, and a concept video for their next game, Vampyr. A post-war action-RPG about a vampire doctor in the middle of the Spanish flu pandemic. The game will be released on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

 

A thread about this was created here

 

Uncharted 4 open beta launching this week — in the UK

 

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An open beta for Uncharted 4's multiplayer will begin in the UK on March 4th.

 

Copper Dreams is a cyberpunk cRPG - here's the first trailer

 

 

After Setbacks, Dev Behind Final Fantasy Tactics Creator's New JRPG Considering Refunds

 

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In a recent Kickstarter update the developer said that they are considering offering refunds in some manner.


 

Daedalic announces Deponia Doomsday, coming next week

 

 

SOME THOUGHTS ON PC RHYTHM GAMING

 

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Harmonix talks about PC rhythm gaming.

 

Disgaea PC is now available on Steam, but performance is shaky

 

We took it for a quick spin, and it doesn't look great. Resolution can't be adjusted beyond selecting full-screen or windowed mode, and enabling v-sync locks the game at 30 FPS. Given that the movement speed of your character is dependent upon the framerate, that's potentially problematic. The screen below, which we captured in our gameplay session, isn't going to win any prizes either, but it is after all a port of a port of a PS2 game from 2003.

 

Beta for PlayStation 4’s 3.50 Update Starts Soon – Key Features Detailed

 

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Some new features include friend online notification, remote play, and appearing offline. ...How was notifications and appearing offline not already a thing?

 

BAFTA award-winning makers of Lumino City announce Inks

 

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As you hit the ball it will leave a trail of color behind, hitting objects will splash paint over an area like you are throwing paint on a canvas.

 

The Witcher 3 composer confirmed for Cyberpunk 2077

 

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Marcin Przybyłowicz will be composing music for Cyberpunk 2077.

 

Persona 5 director shares new tidbits in March 2016 issue of Persona

 

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Some information about the games setting and characters was revealed by director Katsura Hashino.

 

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Jumps To Xbox One Next Month

 

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The third game in the Shantae series will arrive on March 16th on the Xbox One, it will also be released for the PS4 later this year and the fourth game in the series should make it to both consoles (as well as the PC and Wii U) when it releases later this year.

 

Quantum Break is full of Alan Wake easter eggs

 

Take a look at the article and included video to see some of the times Quantum Break mentions Alan Wake.

 

 

Neverending Nightmares Creeps Its Way to the PS4 and Vita

 

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The game will have some improvements, including making it easier to see the branching story paths without having to play through sections again.

 

Mind Zero Dungeon Crawls to PC This March

 

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Former Vita exclusive will be releasing on the PC March 18th.

 

PSP's PlayStation Store Being Removed Soon, Here's When

 

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The Playstation store will be removed on the PSP on March 31st, you can still make purchases through the Playstation store website and can access your previous downloads.

 

PlayStation TV Discontinued in the US, Europe

 

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Shippments to the Americas and Europe were stopped in 2015, but will continue in Asia.

 

Gears of War Ultimate Edition PC Has Problems with AMD Hardware

 

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The Ultimate Edition of Gears of War has launched with some problems on the PC.

 

Kingdom Come may be held back on PC for simultaneous console release

 

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Warhorse may have to delay the PC version of the game, as their publisher and distributor may want the PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions of the game to all arrive at the same time.

 

A thread about this was created here

 

Possible Xbox One Hardware Upgrade in the Pipeline, Says Phil Spencer

 

Phil Spencer talks about plans for new hardware capabilities during a console generation.

 

Sega to Fans: "Help Us Make Our Games Better"

 

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Sega has created a survey to help them make their games better.

 

"Sega in the '90s was known for its brand, but after that, we've lost trust, and we're left with nothing but reputation," Sega games CEO Haruki Satomi said last summer. "We'd like to win back the trust and become a brand once again."

 

Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition Set for PC and Xbox One Release

 

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The remastered version of Ori and the Blind Forest will be released on March 11th on the Xbox One and PC.

 

Hard West's Scars of Freedom DLC augments the game with new limbs and organs

 

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Hard West won many fans with its paranormal take on the Wild West and its XCOM-like turn-based strategy gameplay. Scars of Freedom, its upcoming expansion from Warsaw, Poland-based developer CreativeForge Games, is still spooky — but the creepy atmosphere is less about demons than it is about Dr. Moreau-esque body modification. You can hear me and Griffin McElroy discuss Scars of Freedom in the video preview above, or read on for more details.

 

Xbox Tech Director on Windows 10 PC Gaming: "We Will Fix Vsync"

 

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Ybarra clarified that SLI and Crossfire are already enabled on Windows 10; it's just that individual games need to support it. On the subject of frame rate, Ybarra acknowledged Windows 10's shortcomings and vowed that a fix for Vsync specifically is in the works.

 

Rocket League Reaches 12 Million Players, As Dev Explains Sales Breakdown

 

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Across the PC, PS4, and Xbox One Rocket League has a player base of over 12 million players.

 

Trailer for Sunless Sea's Zubmariner DLC details the Zee floor

 

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The DLC doesn't have a date yet but the atmosphere looks good, the trailer can be seen at the link, and Sunless Sea can be bought for a low price in the current Humble Bundle.

 

New Shenmue 3 screenshots prove the game is still happening

 

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Some new screenshots of Shenmue III have been released, check the article to see the rest.

 

Halo 5's New Expansion Content Detailed

 

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New game modes and a new map are included.

 

Fire Emblem Fates Sells 300,000 Copies at Launch, Breaking Records

 

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Fire Emblem Fates sold over 300,000 copies during its first weekend of sales.

 

Battlefield 5 rumored to be set in World War One

 

Swiss retailer lists the new Battlefield as a WWI shooter.

 

A thread about this was created here

 

Far Cry Primal Day One Patch Adds "Expert Mode" and More

 

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Expert Mode Changes:

  • Players' health has been halved compared to Hard difficulty.
  • Reduced players aim assist.
  • AI shoots faster by 1/3
  • Enemies in combat are not shown on mini map by default (they appear only if they are tagged).
  • It takes the AI a longer time to "forget" you when you hide
  • The aim assist box is reduced for several weapon types (bow, club, spear)
  • The player damage is reduced
Other Fixes:

Stability & Performance

  • Optimization and stability have been improved
  • Improved lighting

Weapons & HUD

  • Improved reticle display

Wildlife & AI

  • Improved beast companion behavior
  • Fixed rare animation issues
  • Improved visual of the mammoth when it destroys objects
  • Improved animal fighting behavior when triggering a fight

Design & progression

  • Tweaked and balanced XP rewards
  • Tweaked the damage ratio of certain recipes
  • Improved overall balancing

Gameplay

  • Improved animations of weapons on fire
  • Fixed issues with lit weapons during cinematics at night
  • Improved player navigation and small collision issues
  • Improved camera transition and minor collision issues on cinematics

 

Fallout 4's Creation Kit planned for PC around April, consoles a month later

 

Todd Howard says that the creation kit for the PC should arrive around April, the Xbox One in May, and the PS4 in June.

 

In esports news

 

Building a sport: The design philosophy of League of Legends

 

 

Riot standardizes penalties for pro players, creates Pro Player Panel

 

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The most significant is that the company has now introduced a "penalty index" for pro players to abide by -- with standardized punishments for infractions across the board.

 

The second is that the company is formally adopting the LCS Pro Player Panel -- a forum for pro teams to nominate one representative to officially interface with Riot and give feedback to the company. Riot had launched it as a pilot program last year.

 

Policing Behavior in eSports and 'League of Legends'

 

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I’m all for getting ahead of the cultural curve and trying to establish eSports as a healthy community without needing to model it on football or any other sports culture for that matter. We have the unique opportunity in eSports to shape its player and fan culture before it has been written in stone. Regulations like these offer one possible direction, but I would love to see more positive encouragement for players and teams who exemplify strong role models. Many sports organizations recognize players for community building and philanthropy, and I would love to see more official support for this type of behavior.

 

Gabe Newell calls fired host of Dota 2 Shanghai Major an "ass"

 

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Fired Dota 2 Commentator On Why Valve Dropped Him

 

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Odd that Valve hired him in the first place, sounds like the kind of guy you wouldn't want to represent you if you were looking to make esports appear more respectable.

 

Valve Raises Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Tournament Prize Pools to $1 Million

 

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Counterstrike tournament gets a larger prize pool.

 

StarCraft II Pro Defends Perfectly Against Surprise Zerg All-In

 

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Check the article for the full video.

 

In crowdfunding news

 

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A thread about this was created here

 

Consortium: The Tower's rescue plan revealed

 

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They will be taking their campaign to Fig with a lower goal.

 

Fig, you'll recall, is the games-exclusive crowdfunding platform that launched last year with an advisory board that includes Tim Schafer, Brian Fargo, and Feargus Urquhart, that allows for both conventional backers and equity investors.

 

 

Other content I found interesting this week

 

Game Boy autopsy: What's inside Nintendo's classic handheld

 

 

From a newly launched Youtube channel focused on "retro, music, programming." Shows the GameBoy hardware and how programming was done on it and on RollerCoaster Tycoon. Some corrections were made in this short video.

 

Bad Hands in Firewatch

 

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It’s hard to express how upsetting this experience is. It’s a kind of “uncanny valley” except for normal human behaviour. Most videogame protagonists are psychopaths one way or another, and so when they do thoughtless bullshit you don’t really notice. But Firewatch is attempting to represent an actual human being with feelings, a voice, preoccupations, a life outside the game mechanics, etc. So when that person, who you’re trying to believe in, is such a dick with the objects around him, it’s a real killer to any sense of identification or being-in-the-world.

 

How To Break Into Games Journalism

 

 

Nobody Cares About It But It’s The Only Thing That Matters: Pacing And Level Design In JRPGs

 

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Level design seems to take a low priority in general for games crit and especially for RPGs; it isn’t the only thing to talk about, obviously, and the script often rightly takes priority in many writer’s minds. That being said, I am less forgiving that discussion of level design is almost always overshadowed by discussion of battle design! When we criticize RPGs, we nearly always talk about how good or bad the battle system is, because that is the part that isn’t the script, right? But maybe, just maybe, the interestingness of the turn-to-turn decisions of a JRPG may be directly proportional to the pacing of those encounters and it might actually be possible that you can design a fascinating system and then immediately grind it into dust by forcing a player to do the same thing nine billion times in a row. Or, to be more specific, because no JRPG doesn’t make you do the same thing nine billion times in a row: make the sequence of combat-to-combat variable and interesting such that the same encounters actually become meaningfully different from each other.

 

Game Maker's Toolkit - Morality in the Mechanics

 

 

Justin on the importance of FFVII’s Barrett to him

 

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It’s easy to dismiss Barret as nothing more than a swirling torrent of black stereotypes. He’s loud, swears a lot, he’s abrasive, he looks like Mr. T on steroids, at first glance Barret is nothing short of cringe-worthy. In fact, when we first meet Barret he’s hired Cloud to partake in eco terrorism. Not the cute “tee hee we’re putting graffiti on a wall” but actual “we’re going to bomb this reactor and kill everyone inside”. Worse still, after a successful mission, he’s unrepentant about the apparent loss of life and seems ready to start the next bombing. Barret is not a good guy. Sure, he rationalizes that he has to bomb these reactors to save the planet, but he’s still committing mass murder for his ideal like any typical JRPG villain. So why am I so drawn to this character? Why has Barret Wallace left such a lasting impact on me?

 

The State of Games at MoMA 4 Years Later (Part One) and (Part Two)

 

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In order to understand the state of videogame acquisitions at MoMA four years after their initial announcement and the resulting backlash, I spoke with two employees from the Architecture and Design department: Michelle Millar Fisher, curatorial assistant, and Paul Galloway, collections specialist. I asked about what it was like to be in the middle of a furious debate over the artistic merit of videogames, about MoMA’s somewhat nebulous (but evolving) stance on violent content, and what it means to be in a position of power when it comes to determining what MoMA will and won’t bring into the collection.

 

New Arrivals – Great Levels in Gaming

 

A video taking look at the first level of Dead Space. How it does a great job showing the game's systems and how EA's testers had trouble understanding the dismember mechanics.

 

GXTalks: GX3

 

GaymerX has been posting some of their panels over the last month, with the more recent two being

 

Creating Characters and Stories with Ethnic Dysphoria

Gaming and the Performance of Deviant Sexuality

 

Anyone interested can look at those or the other recent videos they have been posting in the last month to their channel with panels with people like Anthony Burch and Katherine Cross.

 

Wasteland

 

Jimmy Maher's writes about the history of Wasteland.

 

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We can mark the formal beginning of the Wasteland project to the day in December of 1985 when Brian Fargo, head of Interplay, flew out to Arizona with his employee Alan Pavlish to meet with Michael Stackpole. If all went well at the meeting, Pavlish was to join Stackpole and Ken St. Andre as the third member of the core trio who would guide the game to release. His role, however, would be very different from that of his two colleagues.

 

Jake Solomon explains the careful use of randomness in Xcom 2

 

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"As a developer, you have to accept the fact that when it comes to unpredictability, there’s going to be an uneven experience. If you shave off the lows, a lot of the time you’re shaving off the highs."

 

Solving XCOM’s Snowball Problem

 

Tom Francis talks about ways that the developer could have solved the games problems with snowballing difficulty (after about 20 missions where I didn't get shot at, I agree with his ideas, maybe we will see some mods implement things like this).

 

Nintendo vs. Video Game Rentals - Gaming Historian

 

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Mind zero on pc? Kind of a shame that it gets a pc release over dungeon travelers 2, demon gaze, or operation abyss (I know those aren't aksys games, and I know operation abyss is actually a remake of what was originally an older pc title). At least it's better than... I forget the name, the one that's out on 3ds and vita, where you make weird little chibi baby monsters with the girls.

 

In regards to JRPG 'level design'. I agree with the gist of that article mostly. I absolutely 100% agree where random encounters being important enough that the player feels threatened enough to feel like it's a risk to explore a certain depth, to go for the next treasure, find the next floor, etc. WAYYY too many RPG games don't have this issue at all. They are so damn easy where you don't have to worry about leaving the dungeon, you'll automatically find a cure/safe/save spot at milestones, and you can easily explore every nook and cranny leading up to that spot, oftentimes without ever having to use a single consumeable! Heck. I've even argued about why challenge is important to random encounters and whatnot, and I get bumbling fools arguing that random encounters should be effortless, and by making them harder it just needlessly slows the game down with 'bullet sponge' enemies and the like. I say bumbling fool not because they disagree, but because they use a copy-paste argument that doesn't apply to the situation I cite...Why even have enemy encounters at all (random or otherwise) if they are so effortless? goodness.

 

That said, I don't know if I would call tuning the nuances of adding an element of travel endurance to the game as level design...Not that I'm saying that's the incorrect term. I'm no guru about game design but I know a thing or two and sometimes the lead designer spends much time and effort tuning things like the encounter rate, the enemy statistics, the player statistics, gold rewards, etc...sometimes they just have a basic outline like "this dungeon will have fast glass cannon enemies with high #s, strong tough enemies that only come alone, and magic users who like to paralyze alot in pairs", and leave it up to a coder to pull the exact #s out of their ass...and ideally, they have an actual staffer who handles this sort of thing (which may be the level designer)...Actually, I've never seen the design process of a JRPG specifically, but my examples are more akin to other game types like RTS games (imagine I was talking about units instead).

But yeah, there are many people who feel that a JRPG should have mash your head on the keyboard and win style combat, because 'the story is all that's important'. I just wanna wring these people's necks. Did anyone enjoy RPGs for the story back in final fantasy one? in Wizardry 1? Ultima 1? Dragon warrior1? It's not limited to 1s either, but back then it was obvious the story was practically an after-thought over the combat providing the player with a challenge.

 

don't even get me started on phantasy star 2. The dungeons in that game...Clearing them made you feel like you effing cleared an actual dungeon and slayed a dragon as some joe rather than a hero by default. Each dungeon was an accomplishment greater than beating a game (back when beating a game made you brag to everyone else who would actually be like 'whoah! you beat Contra?! no way!"...

 

Blah, now I'm making this look like a tangent about being hardcore or hard vs easy...But that's not it. It's that being hard in combat adds an appreciation for managing your finances, understanding what consumeables you need, shopping wisely, considering if you should explore or retreat, valuing whatever treasure you find (like all of it, not just those rare must-get things in specific parts)... That's what an RPG was supposed to be about, not the story, if you want a story in a computer game, get into VNs...Just...well, I wish steam would have some of the better ones like baldr sky and mashiroiro symphony, blah.

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