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This week in gaming; upgraded PS4 rumored to be revealed next month, Patrick Klepek leaves Kotaku to join Vice, Civilization VI developers stream the game, reactionaries outraged at game criticism cause more people to rethink writing about games, Nintendo Power archive released on the internet and is removed by Nintendo, fan remake of Metroid 2 arrives in time to celebrate Metroid's anniversary and to almost immediately receive a take down notice from Nintendo, Rami Ismail talks about day one patches, Final Fantasy XV gets a season pass, first look at the new Battletech game by HarebrainedSchemes, Sonic's lack of identity and how he wasn't designed to be timeless, new Gears of War trailer reveals new faction, and more.

 

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Gaming News

 

Farewell, Kotaku

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I’ve been lucky enough to work at some truly memorable places over the years, but my time at the last two stops, Giant Bomb and Kotaku, have been the most gratifying yet. In various forms, from reporting to podcasts, I’ve done my best work because I’ve been surrounded by people who pushed me to do better.

Nice to see Austin is getting some good people with him.

 

Microsoft Confirms 2 TB Xbox One S Launch Model Is a Limited-Time Version

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The version of the Xbox One S you can currently find in stores will only be available for a limited time, so you should act fast if that's the one you want.

 

Report: Sony to Reveal Upgraded PlayStation 4 in September

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Sony will reveal the first details on an upgraded PlayStation 4 at a September 7 event in New York, French gaming website Gameblog reported today. VICE Gaming can confirm that it's heard the same information from multiple sources familiar with the planned rollout for the new machine. These sources chose to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly about Sony's plans.

 

CIVILIZATION VI - Devs Play as Brazil

Sid Meier's Civilization VI - Official First Look: Brazil

Scythia is Civilization 6's first brand new civ, and I’m terrified of them

Hidden Agendas and Improved AI in Civilization 6

5 Changes Civilization VI Makes to the Franchise

How Civilization 6 Aims to Leave Its Own Legacy

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Senior gameplay designer Anton Strenger is no stranger to the Civ series--he worked on Gods and Kings and Brave New World, the Civ V expansions widely acknowledged to have improved the game tenfold. Now, with his first numbered entry in the Civilization franchise on the horizon, we sit down to talk with the series veteran.

 

Early ‘BattleTech’ Footage Reminds Me Why I Love Mechs

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Last year, Harebrained Schemes raised over $2.7M on Kickstarter to fund the creation of a new, tactical BattleTech game. Today, the studio released the first gameplay footage for the game—and now the rest of my day will be spent thinking about giant robots.

Very happy to see that this is looking well.

 

Watch ten minutes of Rare’s Sea of Thieves in motion

 

Battlefield 1 Gameplay Series: Weapons

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From shotguns to bayonets and gas grenades, find out about the Weapons of Battlefield 1.

 

Latest Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare trailer introduces the Captains

 

Dishonored 2 had a QuakeCon demo, here's what was in it

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Dishonored 2 was shown off at this week's QuakeCon, along with Doom: Unto the Evil, Prey and Quake Champions, but unlike those games, publisher Bethesda hasn't released the video footage onto the internet. It has, however, offered a detailed write-up of what was in the Dishonored 2 demo, which I guess will do in a pinch?

 

The Demons of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

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The story of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is one of human pawns being shuffled across a chessboard by the higher deities. One lone Hunter, the game’s protagonist, meets an early demise and through a pact with a lesser god, is brought back to life in exchange for his pledge of servitude. From there, the protagonist allies with other Hunters in the ruins of post-apocalyptic Tokyo beginning a plot that crosses over with the events of the original Shin Megami Tensei IV.

 

"Augs Lives Matter" banner in new Deus Ex concept art draws criticism

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It's possible that Mankind Divided will contribute meaningfully to the conversation about entrenched racism and the real-world violence it drives, but history tells us that's far from a given. On the one hand, gamers have fought a long-running battle for their medium to be taken seriously, and from that perspective difficult subject matter shouldn't be off limits. However, if developers treat raw, real life issues ham-fistedly, they should expect the same criticism that films and books receive.

Given the art director doesn't seem to or is pretending to not even understanding how art works based on his responses to the above tweet, former employees were on reddit saying anyone who critiques the game is stupid, the game director has said they remain as neutral as possible to the worlds politics and factions (which makes their marketing really odd as Deus Ex usually would morally grey questions about transhumanism, control, killing, etc not if apartheid/racism stand in is maybe a good thing), and their marketer/brand director is saying this to a Bioware employee asking him about it

they are making me doubt that they have the ability to create a meaningful story. I've actually never seen so many people from an AAA studio respond so childishly to people questioning marketing choices as I have with this game, the game better review well, I'd hate to see how they react to people taking any issue with the finished product (probably something like the Suicide Squad actors saying that people who don't like the film aren't real people).

Augs Lives Matter (Jim Sterling's Article)

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This is the trap Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has inevitably fallen into. It attempts to allegorically explore the themes of systemic abuse, racism, prejudice, as well as ableism, and its use of terms like “apartheid” and references to Black Lives Matter make its societal and historical inspiration very clear, but it’s marketing and presentation so far has had all the grace and elegance of a screaming goat shitting all over your mum’s best carpet.

A big problem with what Mankind Divided’s shown so far is that it is, simply put, lazy. Intellectually, philosophically, creatively lazy.

This whole thing makes me anticipate Mafia III a lot more, a game confirmed to explore racist themes that, for once, doesn’t replace black people with fucking elves.

Other thoughts were given from multiple Bioware, Microsoft, Fallout/Far Cry developers, Paizo, and people who have written for Gamespot, IGN, Vice, Polygon, Giant Bomb, etc talking about marketing, poorly co-opting real world messages when you don't have confidence to create your own setting. Most who talked about it got/are getting outraged, troll, or racist responses. Always weird to see people who clearly don't care about video games spend so much on gaming sites or harassing critics and developers for large corporations, if the developers can't intelligently stand behind their own work no reason for random people giving them money to have a tantrum over it.

Sad to see, I was looking forward to more intelligent commentary, but if you aren't being paid well it isn't healthy for most people to deal with gaming communities and reactionaries so it's understandable.

 

Salt and Sanctuary dev pleads people calm down over delayed Vita port 

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"In my nine years of professional indie game development, I've seen attitudes go from 95 per cent supportive / five per cent meh to 50 per cent supportive / 50 per cent angry, impatient, and downright hurtful. Not only does it really turn a good mood sour fast, but I just hate to see the industry becoming such a toxic place," Silva lamented.

 

Divinity Original Sin: Update #25: Character Creation, Stats & Larian On Tour!

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Here's Swen to explain why August is going to be so important to us, and why (we think) it will make you very, very happy.

Look forward to seeing more of this.

 

Prey reboot will be a metroidvania adventure

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One of the most revealing details is the structure of the game, which sounds like it will have more in common with Samus Aran's adventures than those of the original linear Prey.

Prey Dev Explains Why It's Named After an Unrelated Series

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The upcoming Prey has nothing to do with the existing Prey game or its canceled sequel, its developer has made clear. This of course begs the question: Why use the name at all?

 

BioShock Remaster Trailer Shows How Much Better First Game Looks

 

Metroid Prime: Federation Force story trailer

 

Watch Berserk’s combat in full swing

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You may have spotted Berserk—the dark fantasy manga series that’s said to have inspired the likes of Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma—is getting a game adaptation this year. Arriving in the west at some point this Autumn/Fall, we’ve so far been treated to the smallest of glimpses regarding how protagonist Guts will tear up the battlefield.

 

Torment Tides of Numenera Announces Techland Partnership

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This isn't the only component to our partnership, however. In addition to helping with the PC version of the game, we are pleased to announce that Techland is also lending its backing to bring Torment: Tides of Numenera to Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

 

MIYAMORI WILL BE A FOXY LOVE LETTER TO JAPANESE FOLKLORE

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Japanese folklore is a pretty common inspiration when it comes to storytelling in videogames. From Clover Studio’s Ōkami (2006) to ZUN’s iconic Touhou Project, Japan’s mythological spirits and creatures provide a familiar backdrop for Japanese game makers to tell their own, new stories to their audience through the cultural legacy of Japan’s mythology.

 

TOOTH & TAIL BRINGS OUT THE ANIMALS OF HISTORICAL WARFARE

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Pocketwatch Games, the studio that brought us bungling co-op heist game Monaco (2013), is back with Tooth & Tail, an arcade-style strategy game based on the Russian Revolution. While still deep in the development stages with Tooth & Tail, the studio does have a video that shows how matches are able to play out in under 20 minutes (pretty quick for a strategy game). The trailer is truly a teaser of what is to come, with a few shots of a battle between mice carrying contrasting colored flags and tearing down the castles of their enemies.

 

The Fall part 2: Unbound -- Teaser

The first one was really good, looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

 

Quake Champions debuts gameplay footage

Id Software doesn’t know yet if Quake Champions will be free-to-play

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At QuakeCon yesterday, Bethesda revealed new gameplay footage for Prey and Dishonored 2 to a packed house in Dallas—both exciting, especially because we want to turn into a coffee mug—but for FPS fans Quake Champions was the highlight of the show. While it sounds like there’s lots more development to be done on the game—even the business model is still up in the air—id Software head Tim Willits is in a very good mood.

 

Gears of War 4 gameplay trailer introduces the Deebees

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IGN has posted a new Gears of War 4 gameplay video showcasing eight minutes of campaign footage, complete with new weapons, Old Man Marcus, and a new enemy faction called the Deebees.

 

StarCraft HD is reported to be in the works

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A story published by Korea's iNews24 and helpfully translated by Kotaku says Blizzard will reveal an HD update of the great sci-fi RTS StarCraft in September.

 

Valkyria: Azure Revolution Battle Demo Ver. 2.0 news coming in late August

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Sega will share more information on the Valkyria: Azure Revolution “Battle Demo Ver. 2.0” towards the end of August, an update on the game’s official blog reveals.

 

Hitman heads to Bangkok for Episode 4

Hitman could get two more seasons

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As Agent 47 gears up for his fourth episodic outing—this time to the Thai capital of Bangkok—it seems IO Interactive and Square Enix’s sporadic stealth-meets-murder sim has another two seasons planned, once this one’s done and dusted.

 

Persona 5 launches February 14 in Europe

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Persona 5 will launch physically and digitally for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 in Europe on February 14, publisher Deep Silver announced.

 

XCOM 2 delayed three weeks on console

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XCOM 2 was set to hit PS4 and Xbox One on 9th September, but it's just been delayed until 30th September.

 

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension coming west in October

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Koei Tecmo is bringing Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension to PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam in North America on October 25 and Europe on October 28, the company announced.

 

Black Desert Online players protest 'pay-to-win' changes with in-game picket signs

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Following recent changes that allow players to sell premium items on the in-game marketplace, Black Desert Online players are protesting—and not just on the forums or subreddit, but all over the game's major cities too. This started in response to a forum post made earlier today by one of BDO's community managers detailing how items that could only be obtained through spending real money—like special costumes and pets—would soon be sellable to other players for in-game currency. And judging by the looks of things, players are not happy about it.

 

Final Fantasy 15's DLC plans involve a season pass

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Final Fantasy 15 is getting a DLC season pass, according to a listing that appeared on the PlayStation Store today. One has not been formally announced yet by Square Enix.

 

Yes, Battleborn flopped, but 2K vows to stick with it

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Gearbox's hero shooter Battleborn flopped upon its May launch. Its low player numbers on the likes of Steam made that perfectly clear.

But now the boss of publisher 2K has promised to stick with the game in a bid to grow its audience.

 

Overwatch has over 15m players worldwide

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Overwatch has accumulated 15m players globally since its launch on 24th May.

 

Make Like A Tree And Warp: Stellaris Plantoids DLC Out

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Paradox today released the first bit of paid DLC for Stellaris [official site], adding a Plantoid species type to their space strategy game. It’s only a collection of cosmetic doodahs but they are pretty ones – check out the gorgeous new portaits. Aren’t those great? I’m not being funny, right, but I am enjoying imagining how they would feel to the touch. Meanwhile, Paradox have also returned from their summer holidays to work on the next major free update, nicknamed ‘Heinlein’, and they’ve started teasing features such as a new Federation victory condition.

 

Rocket League's Rumble Mode Brings The Goofy Power-Ups Next Month

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Giving players the ability to kick away other cars with giant boots or disrupt their driving ability are too silly for standard competitive Rocket League play, That’s serious business. Next month’s newly-announced Rumble mode looks to be anything but.

 

Doom's First DLC Releases Early, Check Out the Trailer

 

Armello - Usurpers Teaser Trailer

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Armello's first major DLC available August 30 on PS4, Xbox One & Steam.

 

Hearthstone lead designer explains why new Priest card is so bad

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Some players "actually like winning with bad cards", Ben Brode explains.

 

Activision details Marvel Ultimate Alliance fixes, offers free DLC

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"Both the standalone and bundled versions of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 feature all of its original DLC,” reads a statement from Activision. “We are still working on making the DLC for the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance available in the coming weeks as a free update for everyone who has purchased the title on these platforms alone or as part of the bundle.

"We're focused on identifying and fixing the issues that have been occurring. Thank you for your continued patience as we address these issues."

 

What's Next After 10 Years Of Platinum Games

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It’s been ten years. Platinum Games was founded on August 1, 2006. Since then, the Osaka-based game company has churned out a slew of memorable titles. In a recent interview with Kotaku, Platinum Games co-founder Atsushi Inaba spoke about his past and the studio’s future.

Part of that I'm most interested in is

Platinum Games' co-founder Asushi Inaba teases PC port of Vanquish

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"Is there any possibility that Vanquish will get a PC version? It would be a good idea to release Vanquish on PC." asked the question from Kotaku, which Inaba then replied with “(smiling) Hrm. I wonder... If you stop recording, I can talk about that. (laughs)".

Been saying for years that Vanquish needs to come to the PC.

 

Valve now prevents game trading for players caught cheating on Steam

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Valve’s stepped up its punishment for players who are caught cheating on VAC-protected servers, or are banned by developers through Steam’s ban system.

 

The Creator of Seaman Needs Cash, So He’s Making More Games

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Yoot Saito ISN’T mincing words about why he’s getting back into games: sweet, sweet stacks of cash.

 

‘No Man’s Sky’ Designer Sean Murray on New Gaming Horizons and Never Giving Up

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Seeing the game boxed feels weird. We weren't originally going to physical retail, but even back then, before we conformed a boxed version, places like Tesco would have No Man's Sky available for pre-order—and that used to scare the life out of me.

No Man's Sky dev apologises for erroneous YouTube takedowns

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The problem was that it also issued strikes against videos that only discussed the game, even if they didn't show any leaked footage or reveal any information attained from the unofficial release.

The version of No Man’s Sky you’ll (hopefully) never play

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Because I’m about to discuss the game that exists in a polished enough state to pass Sony’s certification process, but not fun enough to be released as No Man’s Sky. Let’s discuss what actually exists on those discs, and why we’re so happy the patch is extensive.

 

More XCOM 2 Enemies Modded In By Long War Studios

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The gang behind revered XCOM mod Long War have released yet another mod for XCOM 2 [official site], bringing loads of new enemies and enemy variants. Fancy facing a snakelady sharpshooter, an overwatch-happy Advent Sentry, or a honking great Hive Queen? They’d love to have a crack at you. Head on over to the Steam Workshop to grab the Long War Alien Pack.

 

Brilliant Fan Remake Of Metroid II Arrives Just In Time

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Metroid II: The Return Of Samus was released in 1991 for the Game Boy. Project AM2R, some six years in the making, takes that Game Boy game and makes it look, sound and play so much prettier. The fan project got its first full release today, to coincide with the series’ 30th.

In time to get an obvious take down notice from Nintendo

Enderal, the Skyrim total conversion, is coming next week

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We first laid eyes upon Enderal: The Shards of Order, a total conversion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, all the way back in early 2013.

 

Esports News

 

Riot’s new documentary shows the human side of esports

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If the mainstream could see how spirited and significant and popular esports are, the logic often goes, there’d at least be a sense of public understanding toward the phenomenon, even if it’s not necessarily a public acceptance.

 

EA’s Peter Moore wants to transform esports jocks into mainstream stars

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Electronic Arts wants to be a part of the esports market. It just doesn’t like calling it that.

 

Blizzard announces the Overwatch World Cup

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Blizzard Entertainment is holding its very own Overwatch tournament—and the developer is asking for fan help in choosing which players will compete. Soon, players who’ve proven themselves in-game will be selected for a chance to be voted onto a team; each region will have a mixture of professional gamers, community personalities, and local players at the top of the ranks to choose from.

 

League of Legends OPL grand final hits Brisbane this weekend

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The League of Legends Oceanic Pro League finals will take place in Brisbane this Saturday, with The Chiefs and Legacy to go head-to-head at the Courier-Mail Piazza at 5:30pm.

 

Dota 2 is losing a major tournament, but that’s not a bad thing

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On August 1st, 2016, unspecified representatives of Valve Software confessed to a crowd of players, managers, and associated staff at The International 2016 (TI6) that a grievous error had been made via the facilitation, over the previous twelve months, of TOO MUCH competitive Dota 2.

 

Crowdfunding News

 

Diabotical by The GD Studio

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A fast-paced multiplayer Arena FPS set in a colourful robot universe developed by former Quake and esport professionals.

Diabotical is Quake for a new generation of competitive gamers

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The GD Studio wants to bring classic, Quake-style arena shooters back to the world of esports, and they need your help to do it. On Sunday, the Stockholm-based developer launched its Kickstarter for Diabotical, an FPS billed as “a spiritual successor to Quake,” which it hopes to release on Steam about a year from now. At the head of the project is James “2GD” Harding, who began his career in esports as a professional Quake 3 and 4 player before moving on to World of Warcraft and later, at ESL and Twitch, working as a commentator and content creator.

 

Close Your - Life one blink at a time

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Close Your is the first game to use your webcam to track your blinking, telling a story of a life literally flashing before your eyes.

 

Shadow of the Colossus comparisons are “flattering but terrifying,” says Prey for the Gods devs

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Last week, with ten days left on the clock, the Shadow of the Colossus-inspired Prey for the Gods reached its Kickstarter goal. Given the scope of the project, $300,000 was a relatively small ask (at the time of writing the total now sits at $365,118 with two and half days to go), however No Matter Studios understands the pressure and expectation of creating a game in the style of a game so fondly recalled.

 

Other content I found interesting this week

 

Nintendo takes down Nintendo Power collection from Internet Archive after noticing it

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More than 100 issues of the beloved, defunct Nintendo Power magazine have gone back into the vault after a brief period of availability on the Internet Archive. Archivist Jason Scott uploaded the collection back in February, but it amassed widespread popularity last week, when Nintendo fans happened upon its wealth of nostalgic treasures.

 

Over 2000 Amiga games are now playable for free in your browser

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After having brought us almost 2,400 MS-DOS games last year, and more than 1,000 from the Windows 3.1 era back in February, The Internet Archive has expanded its collection once again, adding over 2,000 classic Amiga games to the convenience of our browsers.

 

'Decorative' danger explained in two tweets

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A tweet by game designer and producer Ben Pitt went viral when he showed the difference between how a game presents certain kinds of dangers, and how those dangers actually manifest through mechanics.

That video is why I really don't like the new Tomb Raider games (never liked the old ones either though).

 

Patch the Process

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I want to talk about Day 1 patches, but I don’t want to talk about No Man’s Sky. Since this is ‘controversial’ at the moment, I want to emphasize that I am not affiliated with No Man’s Sky. I’m not attacking nor defending No Man’s Sky. I’m not speaking on their behalf, nor do I have any insight into their process. I’m just going to use No Man’s Sky as an hypothetical example, but this could apply to pretty much every single game that’s available today, whether it’s digital or physical. You also need to realize a lot of what I’m about to discuss cannot be discussed by a developer during the development process for various reasons, including legal contracts we have to sign to be allowed to release a game. This is also the reason I have to be vague about the details, and each of my statements is not about any specific console manufacturer or platform holder but sort of about all of them and none of them at once. Most of these things have been mentioned before in public discourse in some form or another, and I have to emphasize the examples aren’t from any one specific console manufacturer either, and might be hypothetical, modified or altered to avoid mentioning things too specifically. This is pretty much the most transparent I can be while staying without breaking NDA’s I’ve signed to be allowed to publish on all major console platforms.

The Center of All Things

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Games communicate something from the creator to the player, and as such, carry intent. While I can’t statistically prove it, I’ve come to believe intent is what separates a good from a bad game. Intent creates a direction, an impulse to a design. It doesn’t necessarily start at the idea’s inception – very often a game comes from messing around and experimenting, but at some point an intent must form. When an intent is decided upon, a game can form around that.

 

Positive link between video games and academic performance, study suggests

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Children who play online video games tend to do better in academic science, maths and reading tests, according to an analysis of data from over 12,000 high school students in Australia.

 

Routers Are the Pros Who Make Speedrunning Possible

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Speedrunners play games fast. They beat 70-hour games in three or four minutes, exploit glitches to create shortcuts, and skip content that you or I might call "critical" in the name of efficiency. It takes a lot of work to play games this quickly. Despite how easy they make it look at events like Summer Games Done Quick, the art of optimizing play demands countless hours of study, and only the most dedicated students rise to the elite class.

Among these select few, though, there exists a small cadre of experts whose vital role is all too often overlooked: the routers.

 

Before 'No Man's Sky' There Was 'Noctis'

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After traveling several miles over the plains, I scramble forward and head through the forest. The leaves are a magnificent shade of violet, the ground is covered with a blanket of familiar green grass, and small birds fly overhead. There are bizarre creatures, with silhouettes that evoke earth creatures such as frogs and birds, but which are decidedly alien in origin. As I exit the thicket, there is a nearby mountain over a few more hills, and since I've already come so far, I scale it.

WHAT CAN ARCHITECTS LEARN FROM NO MAN’S SKY?

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If procedural generation can allow the small team at Hello Games to make what should be the biggest videogame ever in terms of experiential space, what other implications could it have on other design fields? Architecture as a discipline has struggled to manage and understand virtual design. As a result, architectural pedagogy has been undergoing a massive paradigm shift for what has seemed to be the last 40 years. Even now, in 2016, if you attend graduate school at a more traditional East Coast university your introductory studios will revolve around analog architecture, forcing students to sketch and draft by hand. Attend graduate school at a more contemporary university and you can make it through three years of school without ever putting graphite to paper. While computer-aided design software has been around for decades, programs like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Rhino did not drastically change the nature of architectural design but rather sped it up, made it more efficient, more precise.

The archaeologists who are using No Man's Sky as a dry-run for exploring actual space

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These scholars are trying to create a system of ethics for-- someday-- exploring real space ruins.

 

It's Not Easy Being Blue

 

Towards an Art History for Videogames

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If videogames can be said to possess an “official history,” it is predicated primarily on the advancement of technology, the shifting of markets, and the consolidation of multinational corporations. This is a history which prioritizes technological advancement, from computer gaming’s rise as the product of quiet dissent among the engineers of military computers at MIT (Spacewar!, created by MIT engineers in 1962, is often regarded as the first iconic computer game),1 to the clinking of arcade machines and the ensuing success of the home console, which allowed publishers to cut out the middleman and sell their products directly to consumers. The changes that followed—developments like Jerry Lawson’s brilliant removable cartridges, which allowed games to be sold separately and individually from the consoles that ran them (prior to this, games were hard-coded into consoles and cabinets), and the less-brilliant Bit Wars, marked by petty marketing and consumer battles over the relative processing power of competing consoles—are understood through the lens of tech-progressivism.

 

'The Fall' Is One of Gaming's Most Overlooked Sci-Fi Stories

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As a relatively new medium, we often hold video game storytelling to a lower standard. Developers are still figuring out how to tell stories with interactivity. Every so often, however, there's a game that defies expectations and is just a damn good story. The Fall, a sci-fi adventure almost nobody played when it was released back in 2014, is one of those games.

 

How Games Do Health | Game Maker's Toolkit

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You get shot. The screen goes black and white. You hide behind a block of concrete until your bullet wounds are magically healed. It’s the default way of handling health in modern action games - but is it the best?

 

‘Abzû’ Is the Stress-Free Video Game Our Frantic Lives Need Right Now

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It's not uncommon, with the world going to shit on a daily basis, to turn to entertainment for temporary escapism – at least amongst those of us who can afford televisions, stereos, evenings at the cinema, computers, games consoles and the like. Exploring virtual worlds through video games has long been a way to blow off steam, to find a centre, to remove oneself for just an hour or two from the pressures of the everyday. It might be that's with a gun, or twelve; it might be entirely non-violent, or brain teasing, or every bit as epic of scale as the most bankrolled Hollywood blockbuster. Abzû is none of these things, really, but it's absolutely the game of 2016 that most generously welcomes refugees from the real world.

Abzu Is A Rare Game That Helps Players Feel Connected To Nature

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Video games, like most of the technology we use in our everyday lives, often distance us from the natural world. If there are animals in games, we are usually supposed to hunt and kill them (Tomb Raider, Far Cry) or ride around on them. Rarely are we supposed to just watch them, be with them, marvel at them. Abzu, by contrast – a game about ocean exploration that I played and finished in one four-hour stretch on Friday – is a game about being in nature.

 

Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games

 

YouTuber replaces every Dark Souls 3 texture with Nic Cage and Shrek

 

Fan video recreates Firewatch scenes in real locations

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Inspired by the game, I made an edit of some footage I took at a fire watchtower in Montana. I was really inspired after playing the game Firewatch, and I hope you enjoy! The music is from the original soundtrack of Firewatch by Chris Remo.

 

Old MGS2 Preview

John Romero's Mom
Dark Souls Created All Game Mechanics
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Lol yeah I've noticed so many people say 'like dark souls' in games that make me go. uhh.. errr. uhh... how? Frankly the only trait a game would have that I would use dark souls as the definitive example of is a game where the combat is real time but also slow and technical/tactical. One where you are punished if ou don't approach every encounter with a level of caution that says you cannot attack, cast a spell, use an item, etc unless the enemy makes an opening...not a game where you can just run up to an enemy and izuna drop them without pausing for even a second.

 

Even dark souls feels like that once you get a gear/level above that of where an area is balanced, partially because 'mistakes' wont hurt as bad, partially because you can kill enemies quickly and still have stamina to 'get out' of any additional dangers. 

'Rouge-like' is another thing that games are being referred to as with less and less criterea. As a person who likes the 'true' (for lack of a better word) modern roguelikes such as Sword of the stars: the pit, Tales of Maj'eyal, Doom Roguelike, Elona, etc, I find myself being disappointed more and more often as people say roguelike for games that are so incredibly NOT roguelike. A fair (imo) comparison would be saying Fallout 3 has some 'turn based strategy' because you can activate VATS mode for 3 shots or whatever. ugh.

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