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3 posts in this topic

This week in the news; A lot of things are shut down and cancelled, a PC version of FFXV could contain additional content, famed speedrunner deletes her Twitch account, former Rockstar North head sues company, Gears of War 4 release date and trailer, a new Fear Effect, how The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker plays with the burden of the past, the past and future of the cyberpunk genre, environmental storytelling and corpse placement, Incursion added to The Division, the difficulty of Hyper Light Drifter and Dark Souls 3, Fractured Space developer analyze their free weekend, the story of Quantum Break, and more.




Final Fantasy XV PC version being considered, could contain cut content



Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata has said he is 'quite positive' about a PC version of the upcoming JRPG, and that it would not be a simple port of the console version.


Gears of War 4 launches Oct. 11


Gears of War 4 is coming to Xbox One Oct. 11, Microsoft and developer The Coalition announced today. Previously, the game had an estimated "fall 2016" release date.

Cliff has responded positively to the new trailer



A thread about this was created here


Don't Starve Together leaves Early Access on April 21



Don't Starve's multiplayer-focused spin-off Don't Starve Together is currently in Early Access. That's a sentence I will no longer be able to utter truthfully on April 21—as Klei has announced that's when DST will release for real.


The Banner Saga 2 gets a launch trailer ahead of April 19 release


Titanfall 2 Teaser Trailer – PS4, Xbox One and PC

A thread about this was created here


Suda 51's PS4-exclusive brawler Let it Die is coming this year


Vita-only Severed gets a launch date: April 26


Umbrella Corps releasing June 21



As suspected, Umbrella Corps is delayed everywhere, but now we have a firm release date to share: June 21 is the day things get messy in the West.


Square Enix announces Valkyrie Anatomia: The Origin



A platform was not announced. Although, given its imminent release and use of the word “distribution” in its release window, it is likely a smartphone title.


Telltale to publish open-world survival game 7 Days to Die on consoles


Total War: WARHAMMER - The Empire vs Chaos Warriors Let's Play


Free DLC for Total War: Warhammer detailed


If you still harbour rage at the relegation of Total War: Warhammer's Chaos faction to a pre-order bonus or paid DLC, take heart: free extras are on the way too. You might call it a peace offering.


Rare Gaming Items Up for Auction to Support Shadow of Mordor Producer Who Passed Away



"Mike was so touched by everyone's support during his fight. His family wants to thank everyone for their kind words and support during this difficult time."

In addition to Shadow of Mordor, Forgey worked on the first two Gears of War games, Fable, and Conker.


Overwatch adds competitive play and penalties for people who quit early



New Play Mode: Competitive Play

Earned some battlefield experience and ready to step up your game? Prepare to prove yourself in Competitive Play! Designed for those seeking a more serious challenge, Competitive Play is our new game mode in which players can compete and “rank up” through a series divisions and tiers in monthly seasons.

To join a Competitive Play game, select “Play” from the main menu and then select “Competitive Play.” You can queue up for Competitive Play games solo or in a group (of any size), and the system will do its best to match you against other players who’ve also queued solo or against players in similarly sized groups.

Please note that you must be at least level 25 in order queue for Competitive Play.


The Division Cheaters Warned of Permanent Bans



The Division's April update next week will introduce a new player-reporting system that will allow users to alert Ubisoft to problematic behavior, including cheating. Now, Ubisoft has outlined the measures it will take against offending players, potentially including permanent bans from the third-person shooter.

The Division 1.1 update rolls out soon, so here's a trailer for the Incursion


The Eldar wreak havoc in new Battlefleet Gothic: Armada trailer

This is the last of the main fleets but for people who buy the game early to get into the beta or people who buy it within two months after release there are two more fleets that will be added to the game.


Two New Classes Coming To Black Desert Online Next Week



And now the moment I’ve all been waiting for, Korean blade warriors Musa and Maehwa arrive in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Black Desert Online later this month, demonstrating two slightly different ways to mix short bows and swords.



Killing Floor 2 gets Versus multiplayer in Revenge of the Zeds update


I played some of this when it first released, the new mode is buggy but fun and there new adaptable difficulty for the regular game just seems to have unbalanced the boss from what I could see after playing four or five games. The two new guns are enjoyable to use.


Ark: Survival Evolved Xbox One Patch Improves Frame Rate, Adds New Dinos


Anyone Who Pirates Quantum Break Is In For A Surprise



Looks like the new time-bending shooter has a moral code: an eye for an eye.


Uncharted 4 Has "Strongest" Opening in Naughty Dog's History, Dev Says



The opening to Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is going to blow you away, according communications director Arne Meyer. In a recent interview, Meyer said the action game's opening sequence may even surpass The Last of Us', which fans may recall was particularly powerful and moving.


Players watch streams of the games they like, then buy them



New research from market research firm The NPD Group suggests that players are deeply influenced on what games to buy by watching those games online -- and they gravitate toward the games they already like.


Quebec indies form cooperative -- with 75 studios so far


"La Guilde," as the group nicknames itself, aims to promote a stronger independent video game development community in Quebec -- aiming to make existing studios more sustainable while supporting smaller studios in their growth, responding "in a durable way to the real needs of the independent developers of our province." The group operates as a cooperative.


Baldur's Gate studio responds to harassment over trans character



In the statement, Trent Oster, CEO of the Canadian developer, hit out at critics of the game who have harassed and insulted members of his staff, including writer Amber Scott.

Good to see a studio quickly standing by the people they work with, unlike Nintendo. In the statement he also mentioned the need to fix bugs and multiplayer issues, and said that they would now be giving the transgender character an even larger role in the game with a future update, which should make the very few people who actually thought that the inclusion was a token one happy while upsetting the people who were clearly pretending that was the reason they were upset (like below) or the ones who were blatantly just against having transgender characters in games.


Their announcement has upset science fiction writer Vox Day, a white supremacist and someone who talks about why giving women the right to vote was a mistake, so, good for Beamdog. Multiple Bioware employees (not including the one who just left Bioware to work for Beamdog) and the director and communication manager for D&D (as well as the creator of the setting Ed Greenwood) have also defended Beamdog, so the people saying that Bioware would never have written something like this and who don't know anything about D&D and don't think transgender characters should be in the setting, probably wrong. Even Cliff Bleszinski chimed in with the obvious.



Continuing from what she wrote on the subject last week, Katherine Cross wrote, Opinion: So you want to write a trans character.


Matters of taste are rather like those of the heart: one wants what she wants. It’s an irrational, unfalsifiable thing. I cannot persuade those who think Amber Scott’s writing is terrible to think otherwise, but I hope I have at least demonstrated that her writing on trans and gender-non-conforming people in fantasy worlds is both far deeper and more thoughtful than some have given her credit for this week. That work deserves recognition and, perhaps above all, emulation.


Famed speedrunner Narcissa Wright deletes Twitch account, citing abuse



Wright — who rose to fame prior to gender transition — specialized in speedrunning classic games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Castlevania 64 and Super Monkey Ball. Due to a hand injury, she recently moved over to standard streaming and personal vlogging.

She posted on Twitter that she had closed her streaming page, even though it is her main source of income. According to SocialBlade, she had more than 163,000 followers with more than 28 million total views.

"I've been so unhappy on the internet and it sucks because I feel like the internet is my home," she wrote on Twitter. "I feel like I can't be myself without getting shit on constantly. I feel like I have to constantly apologize for being myself."

Back in January I linked to an interview with her, One of the World's Best Speedrunners Can't Speedrun Anymore.


IGDA calls out Nintendo for how it handled harassed employee's termination



"While Nintendo's official statement on the matter of Alison Rapp's firing strives to distance the company from anything related to the orchestrated online campaign of harassment and defamation that was raging against her, their timing in dealing with the issue is dubious at best," Edwards said to VentureBeat of Nintendo's response.

"Unfortunately, the company seems oblivious to the consequences of their actions, not realizing the perceived victory it handed to the online hate groups who are now pursuing the dismissal of other women game developers by derision and defamation to their companies."


Nintendo kills 3D Zelda tribute



Writing on zelda30tribute.com, creators Scott Lininger and Mike Magee said, "Nintendo asked us to remove this site for copyright infringement. I guess Zelda30Tribute was a little too pixel perfect. We're sad about that, but we get it. We started this project because we love Nintendo and the joy they have given us throughout the years. From the start of development, we knew this result could potentially happen. Nintendo has every right to protect their IP. No complaints from us, we had a blast working on this tribute and made some friends along the way."


New Mario Maker Guidelines Still Don't Explain Why Levels Get Deleted



Nintendo has been deleting Mario Maker courses for months without explanation, and the community is tired. The company updated its Mario Maker support page today with new guidelines, but it doesn’t have many answers.


Shut-Down Metal Gear Solid Fan Remake Reborn as Virtual Museum


Lots of Solid Snake fans got sad when the folks making the Shadow Moses HD re-make of Metal Gear Solid suddenly announced that they were stopping development last month. It turns out that all of that work isn’t just evaporating into thin air. You’ll be able to walk around the environments of what could have been.


Blizzard Shuts Down Pirate WoW Server That Doesn't Use Expansion Packs



Some World of Warcraft players long for the original game, so instead of settling for the expansion-laden world of Azeroth we know today, they join an unauthorized pirate server like Nostalrius. However, they won't be able to do that much longer as it appears that the developer, Blizzard, has ordered the aforementioned servers to be shut down.


Nosgoth cancelled; beta servers to shut down next month



The game entered open beta in January 2015 but will not make it to a final release, with the beta due to be taken offline for good on May 31, 2016. Square says that the game failed to find an audience large enough to "sustain ongoing operations".


A thread about this was created here


Bit.Trip developer Choice Provisions shuts down San Francisco branch



"Over the past few years, the game industry has changed so dramatically that a mid-sized studio operating as we have for the past several years, just simply can't continue in the same way," said Roush and Neuse. "The decision was incredibly difficult, and we did everything we could to maintain the company as it had been, but unfortunately, having two studios was just not sustainable in the long term."

Nice logo


Fable Legends may not be dead after all



Lionhead was unexpectedly closed down last month, and that meant the end of, among other things, the free-to-play action-RPG Fable Legends. But now it seems that the game may not be quite as dead and buried as it first appeared: MCV says that three sources at Lionhead have told it that staff members are being asked if they would like to continue working on the game as an independent studio.


Dark Souls 3 PC Crashes Causing Headaches for Players



In a 103-page Steam thread titled "Put your crashes in here," players explain that the game crashes at the first bonfire. Some are also reporting that the game crashes during character creation, thus blocking them from even starting the game itself.


Senator Al Franken takes on Oculus over VR data mining



With all of the groundbreaking aspects of virtual reality come a slew of new privacy concerns. Oculus, for example, says in its privacy policy it will track information about your location, physical movements, and how you're using the Oculus Rift headset. Most of that is pretty standard hat for any technology product today, though the notion of tracking your movements is something unique to VR. Still, it was only a matter of time until Senator Al Franken, a consumer advocate who has made a point of pushing back against invasive privacy policies like Uber's, weighed in.


Oculus Rift customers face shipping delays, HTC Vive makes optimistic promises



Oculus Rift customers were told to wait for a shipping update on 12th April to find out when their headsets would arrive, so they now know. But most are now looking at an arrival date significantly - months - later than their original given forecast.


No Man’s Sky Soundtrack Details And Taster Track



The soundtrack will be released separately as No Man’s Sky: Music for an Infinite Universe on June 17th, just before the game’s release on June 24. Primarily instrumental UK band 65daysofstatic provide the sounds, and going on first track Supermoon, below, they’re going for Godspeed You Black Emperor Does 70s Sci-Fi Does Disco kinda thing. I rather like it.


Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter redesigns Holmes and Watson


Romancing SaGa 2 coming stateside for first time ever



The Super Nintendo-era role-playing game Romancing SaGa 2 is coming stateside, according to the game's official Twitter. An English-language version of the game is currently in development on iOS and Android.


Mod Makes XCOM 2 More Like Fire Emblem



Squad members build up cohesion points by doing things like healing each other and killing aliens who are flanking the beautiful, perfect (and possibly psychic) objects of their affection. There are a bunch of variables, and squad members can even lose trust if Bad Shit Goes Down.

There are also penalties if Really Bad Shit Goes Down. For instance, if a squad member dies, and another squad member knew them well, there’s a chance they’ll gain Shaken status as a result. The closer they were, the higher the chance. Makes sense. I’d be shaken too if I had to watch my best friend get gunned down or squeezed to death by a giant snake or pulped by a Faceless or... well, you get the idea.

So they have actually improved on the death system that Fire Emblem hasn't bothered doing anything with in 26 years.


Codemasters Acquires Recently Shut Down Driveclub Studio



Codemasters, the British publisher and developer behind the F1 and Dirt racing series, among a long list of other games, is joining forces with DriveClub’s recently shut down developer, Evolution Studios.


Former Rockstar North head sues company for $150M in unpaid royalties



Leslie Benzies, former president of Rockstar North and one of the lead producers on the Grand Theft Auto games, is suing Take-Two Interactive for $150 million in unpaid royalties, alleging that the company tried to force him out after he took a sabbatical.


Papers, Please developer releases free demo for next game



It may have fallen off our radars for a while, but the Return of the Obra Dinn—the next project from Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope—has, well, returned, in the form of a new work-in-progress demo that's available to play now.


In esports news


ESL One Cologne is the next $1 million Valve Major



ESL One Cologne 2016 will be the next $1 million CS:GO tournament, starting July 8. In February, Valve announced it would be putting $1 million into the prize pool for every major.


MechWarrior Online World Championship sign-ups are now live



Piranha Games has announced that sign-ups for the $100,000 MechWarrrior Online World Championship are now being taken. Regional qualifiers are set to begin in May, followed by regional finals in the fall, and then the Big Show, which will take place on December 3 in Vancouver, at the first-ever “Mech Con.”


Heroes of the Dorm Made Me an Esports Fan



I love the Blizzard game Heroes of the Storm. But despite its growing popularity as an esport, I’d never cared much about the competitive scene. That all changed when I spotted my wife’s alma mater among the college teams on the bracket for Blizzard’s second annual “Heroes of the Dorm” tournament. I suddenly found myself tuning into broadcasts and cheering on my adopted team. I learned about popular strategies and costly mistakes. I watched scrappy underdogs win against all odds, while big favorites fell apart. I forged a love for insightful commentary, risky gameplay, and college rivalries. I became a fan.


Perfect World apologises for Shanghai Major mess



Despite the high-level Dota on display, the Shanghai Major is remembered as the hottest mess—volcanic, even. Chris detailed what went wrong in a post worthy of its own leather-bound tome, but the highlights include starving talent, a manager trapped in a lift, a missing keyboard and the audience being ordered to vacate the premises. The drama peaked with the sacking of the event's production company.


In crowdfunding news


Arcadian Atlas - Tactical RPG Inspired by Classics


A thread about this was created here


Fear Effect Sedna


French studio Sushee worked with Square Enix's The Collective two years ago on adventure game Goetia. After the publisher signalled it was open to pitches for new games set in its back catalogue of dormant franchises, it worked on a Fear Effect prototype heavily influenced by Shadowrun Returns. Square Enix liked the pitch and gave the thumbs up to a Kickstarter for Fear Effect Sedna, which is set to launch Tuesday, 12th April.

A thread about this was created here.




A thread about this was created here


Consortium: The Tower

After a failed Kickstarter they have launched a new campaign on Fig which is looking to be more successful for them.


A thread about this was created here


Steamforged Games announces Dark Souls board game


"Steamforged Games is proud to announce we will be working with Bandai Namco Entertainment, developing an exciting board game for the Dark Souls universe. As Dark Souls fans, we could not be more excited to be given the honour of developing a board game that embraces everything that makes Dark Souls the deep, compelling game experience that it is.

"The Dark Souls board game will be launched on Kickstarter during April 2016."


Other content I found interesting this week


Why the Villain of ‘Quantum Break’ Is Its Real Hero



We're no strangers to the concept of the sympathetic villain in video games. Mass Effect's Illusive Man was a cold, calculating bastard who would stop at nothing to put humanity on top of the galactic food chain. But, despite that, I wouldn't consider him evil. He took no pleasure in the awful acts that his Cerberus organisation had to enact – he believed that he had no choice, that fate had forced his hand.

Likewise, if we look over to Rocksteady's Arkham games, and the wider Batman mythos at large, we find a multitude of villains who aren't that way just for the sake of it – like Mr Freeze, who just wants to save his dying wife. These characters remain villains though, because while they believe their actions to be following the only path left open to them, the heroes of the stories ultimately show that there is a better way. Remedy's new Quantum Break has once again highlighted that the antagonist of any given piece of fiction need not be A Bad Guy, because, basically, I agree with its villain, Paul Serene. Ergo, I'd have rather played as the villain in Quantum Break.


Want to write a better game? Try watching some TV



Remedy Entertainment's Sam Lake believes we’re experiencing a golden age of television, one that affords developers who take the time to study it some useful lessons on how to craft meaningful characters and narratives within the constraints of a video game.

“TV is a constant source of inspiration as we design our stories and the pacing of our games,” the longtime Remedy writer told me at Gamescom earlier this year. “Alan Wake had its episodic pacing, and we just feel that’s perfect for game design.”

Not entirely sure about this as the reception to the game has been pretty mixed, with a lot of people not liking the story or TV episodes mixed in even if they enjoyed the gameplay.


Guest Column: A Garden of Bodies



Guest Contributor Bruno Dias explores the long, intertwining history of environmental storytelling and corpses in video games.

The phrase "environmental storytelling" seems to have entered the games discourse so quietly we were never really given a solid definition of it. It has been treated as a matter of "I know it when I see it;" and we see it scrawled on walls, placed in scattered objects, and designed into the literal “environment” itself. We just “know” when those things are used to convey narrative and define the world. But we could propose a stricter working definition:

Environmental storytelling is corpses posed for effect.


The Three Modes of Male Sexuality in Videogames



If games are to be interrogated for the sexualized depictions of characters, it is important to take in more to “sexualization” than simply their physical features, but the way that they move within the game and their interactions with other characters.

A big part of the reason why there appears to be less attention given to creating believable and fantasizable male characters in games is a facet of being a part of a patriarchal society. Mattie Brice brings up in her piece “On Men’s Sexualization in Video Games” that even in games that portray a nude male body, overwhelmingly this is played for humor—as even the concept of a sexualized male body would be a joke if put in a game.


What cyberpunk was and what it will be



The most immediate feature of the cyberpunk city is its physiognomy. It wears its character on its flesh, from the looming conspiratorial towers to its shadowy depths. All that trickles down here is corruption and contaminated rain. The lower we descend in games like Project Eden (2001) and the unreleased Star Wars 1313, the more dangerous it becomes. The higher we ascend, the more nefarious it becomes. Cyberpunk is, in lighting, setting, plot and characterization, a direct descendant of noir. Escaping the Nazis, Fritz Lang and fellow German émigrés brought expressionism to the U.S. Their tales of underworlds and overlords, bathed in chiaroscuro light, found a home in the lichtarchitektur of the American seaboards—illuminated buildings which sought to make use of their night-time appearance. The imported world of secrets and plots took hold in an age of political demagogues, entrepreneurial gangsters and robber barons. It was a moralist’s universe of shifting identities and ulterior motives, where none can be trusted bar the flawed or fallen anti-hero. The reason it was perpetually night-time in film noir was not just a case of melodramatic pathetic fallacy. Cyberpunk was partly a reaction against the bright yet somehow inhuman perfection of utopian planned cities like Niemeyer’s Brasília and Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh. At the time, before the pessimism turned passé, it was a novelty to suggest that the future would be dark, squalid and malfunctioning.


Straying from the Virtual Path: What Video Games are Teaching Us About the Psychology of Navigation



I got a PlayStation 2, and the comforting linearity of Crash Bandicoot was replaced with the comparably bustling hub world of Jak and Daxter. Suddenly, it was perfectly possible for me to get hopelessly lost from the comfort of my own sofa. Thanks, video games.

Of course, I always knew that not everyone struggled in the same way. So incredulous were my friends when I referred to Fallout 3's Vault 101 as "a maze", for instance, that it became something of an in-joke among our group. It was funny, and I played up to it, but I was still left wondering why I'd found it so challenging while others had seemingly breezed past without difficulty.

The idea of getting lost in virtual worlds may seem like an odd one to some, but video games have long been of interest to psychologists studying navigation.





One writer's travelogue from aboard the third annual Indie Train Jam


"Do you," he asked, as gently as he could, "have any skills?"

It wasn't the first time I'd mentioned to him that I was new to making games, but perhaps it hadn't quite sunk in until now.

"Well," I said, "I'm a writer."

"I see."Another pause. Robin seemed to take a deep breath."Well," he said, "you're going to learn an awful lot, then."




‘Final Fantasy XV’ Sends an Important Message About Toxic Masculinity



This portrayal of healthy masculinity and intimate friendships between men is, in part, due to cultural influences. It is something that is more commonly seen in Japan than in the West, where there is a bigger presence of machismo and a far more rigid idea of what classifies as ‘masculine.’ We have even previously seen something similar in the series through Final Fantasy X in which the game’s protagonist, Tidus, is allowed to openly complain, cry, and be terrified while still helping Yuna save the day. This happening in a JRPG isn’t an overly new thing; however, this is one of the few times where a JRPG gets this much widespread attention in the West.

With all of the attention being given to this game, it could possibly influence mainstream Western games to at least consider portraying these types of roles and relationships among men more often. Perhaps in the future, there will be some change in an industry that overwhelmingly defines manhood as shooting big guns and being stoic.

The party's apparent ways of interacting with each other is really the only reason I am interested in the game.


Uncharted 4's Technical Art Culture


Technical Art of Uncharted 4 is a reflection on the lessons learned during creation of technology that powers the current gen Art Pipeline of Naughty Dog. In this 2016 talk from Naughty Dog's Andrew Maximov, learn how they created our interactive foliage animation technology, cloth, hair and fur simulation, custom automated level of detail technology that allowed us to seamlessly render levels the size of our E3 demo, runtime softbody vehicle deformation, automated runtime object population solutions, tool analytics and more. All written almost exclusively within the Art Department.


Stories We Tell



In other words, Wind Waker knows that you know how this goes. Nintendo is often criticized for exploiting players’ nostalgia, and while there’s some truth to that criticism, Wind Waker plays with the burden of the franchise’s past in surprising and interesting ways. Clay Routledge, a professor at North Dakota State University who studies the psychology of nostalgia, told Eurogamer that games can often trigger stronger feelings of nostalgia than movies or music or books: “I believe there is good reason to suspect that gaming-related nostalgia is made all the more potent because the experience of gaming is so immersive” (Damien McFerran, “Crippled by Nostalgia: The Fraud of Retro Gaming”, Eurogamer, 9 December 2012).


Star Ocean 5's Producer on Localization Challenges and the Future of Console JRPGs



Because a lot of those type of games and IPs are becoming more mobile, they become more casual. I feel that the Japanese as developers are losing the technology and techniques and skill sets to be able to create those [less casual] kind of games. We do need to start learning from Western games and the technologies they use. Just as Final Fantasy XV is taking on a new challenge to create that kind of game, I feel Square Enix is moving towards taking on more of that kind of challenge. I personally need to take on that challenge with the Star Ocean series, as well.

I feel sad that there aren't that many Japanese games coming to the West anymore. I'm very surprised how much the American culture has changed since the last time I personally oversaw a game release in America, in the West. I really need to learn even more, moving forward.

Short and not all that interesting really. The usual about the Japanese market becoming more casual and Japanese devs not being able to keep up with the new technology to make things that aren't casual, obvious reasons for localization changes. He did get asked about making a new Valkyria Profile though


I really want to. I really like Valkyrie Profile too. It's just that it's a bit difficult to do because a lot of the players like Valkyrie Profile 1 the most. The difference between players for the first game and its sequels is so different that it's difficult to think about what makes the series good.

I like the first more.





The main character is a grunt usually referred to as Ryu in an underground future-fantasy dystopia, whose best friend Bosch is swiftly revealed to be a sociopathic power-monger. Bosch can’t handle the competition after Ryu is possessed by a dragon spirit (another of the few links to the Breath of Fire series), blessed with incredible in-game power but cursed to die if that power is overused, as the constantly rising D-Counter reminds you. Ryu finds a young woman named Nina, genetically engineered as a living air filter who is doomed by this polluted underworld, who he vows to lead above ground. Society has crumbled, the environment is all but consumed, and Ryu is told constantly that he is without value and destined to flounder. This isn’t an empty narrative scare; Dragon Quarter really does want Ryu to fail. The player comes to understand this all too well due to the game only having one save slot, and only the occasional opportunity to save in that slot. While harsh, this restriction is an important part of the intended game experience. There is a kind of mid-game restart system that lets some stats and items be carried over into a new run. Doing so gives you a bit of an edge, and also unlocks extra cutscenes to further flesh out a compellingly honed narrative built on stylized cel-shaded visuals and tautly composed music. The sound design also respects and elegantly utilizes silence, all to reinforce the theme of karmic reincarnation. All this is to say that Dragon Quarter wants you to restart its journey halfway through. And so you are set-up to die and be reborn, it is practically required in this game. How you manage this inevitable collapse makes Dragon Quarter the Kobayashi Maru of JRPGs.


Devs Answer: What are the best comments left in your code?



Watch Mega Man producer Keiji Inafune make a Mario Maker stage


An Examination of Leitmotifs and Their Use to Shape Narrative in UNDERTALE - Part 1 of 2



UNDERTALE is an indie role-playing game that released earlier this year in September, and has quickly become one of my favorite games of all time. The soundtrack is easily one of my favorite works of music, ever. If you haven't played UNDERTALE yet, I highly urge you to do so. In fact, if you haven't played or finished all of the game, this article will make very little sense and will contain many spoilers, so there's not much reason to keep reading. Turn back now.

For those of you who have played the game, there's not much else to be said. You know what's up. Let's take a closer look at one of the best video game soundtracks of all time.


Why Does Diversity Make You Angry?



Not only is this person so convinced that his experience as a member of the dominant culture is the ONLY experience that he’s willing to bet on it, but he’s comparing any claims to the contrary to some bizarrely obscure propaganda campaign I’ve never heard about from WW2.


Why Dark Souls 3 should have an easy mode and the problem with 'playing to win'



Playing to 'win' is the shadowed, all-encompassing crux that has often been used by critics such as the late Roger Ebert to deny the medium of any semblance of artistic or academic significance. It can also partly lay claim to the idea that everyone will 'grow out' of video games during adulthood, like they are irrelevant, childish ephemera which are unworthy of any thought or analysis beyond 'did you win?'

I don't think the, make it easier, argument is thought all the way through sometimes, not that wanting an easier difficulty is an inherently bad idea or sentiment (the raging gatekeeping fanboys in the comment section might disagree). Doing something like putting in an invincibility mode in the new Star Fox is easy and doesn't alter the actual gameplay, having a story mode setting to not have to worry about combat in something like Pillars of Eternity/Baldurs Gate/Dragon Age makes sense (and Pillars and the new BG expansion do), but making Dark Souls easy would involve looking into what makes it hard for individual people, would it be the bosses, the regular enemies, showing you boss patterns so you don't have to die multiple times and run back to figure them out, falling or being knocked off of cliffs, traps, not playing a character type that seems to be working well for them, etc. An easy Dark Souls mode would likely involve rebuilding areas of the map or repositioning enemies in ways that people who only wanted an easier time in one particular area wouldn't have wanted and could be a much more difficult and time consuming undertaking than adding an easy mode to most games. It's not a bad idea but it's not as simple as just making the enemy do less damage like it is in many games. If the developer believed they had a good way of doing it I'd be all for it.


How Hyper Light Drifter balances difficulty with fairness



How do you design a game where you deliberately reveal as little information to the player as possible, while still building a space where they understand how to progress and survive in combat?

Many developers dream of creating such a game. The popularity of Dark Souls suggests that players want to explore mysterious settings and endure punishing combat encounters in the name of a more challenging experience. But all too often “mysterious worlds” and “difficult combat encounters” can leave players flummoxed and dispirited.


PinPoint - Star Wars Battlefront & A Crisis Of Identity

Not the best audio, and he's a bit difficult to understand, but a good short point about how the Galactic Empire is supposed to work.


Quick-save – impacts on playing styles and difficulty



Quick-save has skewed my sense of difficulty and, surprisingly, made my playing styles more monotonous.


Fractured Space - Analysing our Free Weekend



At the end of January we had run a Free Weekend on Steam. Following that weekend I had pulled together various stats and analytics on how the Free Weekend went down – how many new players joined us? How long were these New Players sticking around for? Which ships were people unlocking? How were these ships performing in the hands of players in-game? How many players were quitting out of games and when?


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On phone. Reply messy and such.


If valkyrie profile goes mobile, im gonna midlife crisis. Id rather no game be made at all... Not because I scoff mobile gamers or want to burn them. But because release it mobile all but kills any hope I have of a new one ever being made even further.... Outside of mobile I mean which I have no interest in.


Tons of transgender stuff... Honestly I dont know why oodles of it are being forced by the media. Im not talking about a trans person in a game. Im talking about the need for every game media outlet to bark out any drama they find about said trans in game instead of talking about a larger range of gaming news... In addition that one example given of some user accused of being transphobic and not complaining the imimentation was a weak shoehorn. I dont see it. I see him being a disrespectful fuck to sterling, but nothing to trans. Oh and did some guy say entertainment IS FOR POLITICS and im stupid if I think otherwise? I forget the words... But I disagree. These people simply use entertainment to push their politics. But that doesnt mean that their "use" of entertainment is the only correct one. 


As for dark souls 3 options including easy mode. Im someone who is never opposed to having more options in games. However I think adding an easy mode to dark souls may be a mistake from a sales standpoint.


I dont think dark souls is as hard as people make it out to be, but because people make it out to be the most crushingly difficult thing ever, it makes players feel proud and brag about progress, and gives them the drive to push themselves to suceed. And people rarely push themselves in games anymore, which is a rewarding experience in of itself many modern gamers have conditioned themselves to think is bad balance or a bad game. So they are forced to enjoy the feeling of overcoming challenge... If it had easy, these players who never experienced or appreciated challenge would play easy, lack that new feeling, and think the game is less than it is.

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