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This Week In Gaming 9-13-16

3 posts in this topic

PS4 Pro revealed, more PAX interviews and gameplay, Fallout 4 and Skyrim will not get mods on the Playstation, Overwatch's high-bandwidth update releases for PC, historical accuracy and highlighting lesser known troops and campaigns in Battlefield 1, how a frame is rendered in the new Doom, Bloodstained delayed until 2018, a look at Endless Space 2 and Civilization VI, Danny O'Dwyer visits New York to explore his favorite areas from video games in the final episode of The Point and starts a Patreon for crowdfunded video game documentaries, Bioware hires Sunless Sea writer to work on unannounced game, popular Youtuber is arrested, Swery talks about becoming a Buddhist Monk, graphic novel covering the story of Tetris, why you should not skip the side missions in Mankind Divided, an interview with Myst creator Rand Miller, XSEED and Marvelous Europe plan to bring more niche Japanese games to Steam, and more.




AJSA Commander Jayson's Rage has started a video news series on the AJSA Youtube where he will be covering some of the news mentioned here, his videos will be featured with these updates from now on. Here is his first episode


Gaming News


PS4 Pro: The Ultimate FAQ



PlayStation is introducing a new choice for console gamers with PS4 Pro, a powerful addition to the PS4 family. It’s designed to offer heightened gaming experiences, whether via your existing HDTV or a new 4K TV.

Why PS4 Pro Doesn't Have a 4K Blu-Ray Player


One of the big surprises about Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro is that it does not include a 4K Blu-ray player. Sony helped champion the Blu-ray effort with the PlayStation 3 and many scratched their heads when Sony confirmed the new system won't have the latest evolution of the technology.

All the PS4 Pro Games Getting Upgrades


Sony showed off a bunch of games that take advantage of the new PS4 Pro at its recent livestreamed event in New York. The PS4 Pro can enable games to display at 4K resolution, utilize extra graphical effects, and run at smoother frame rates. Additionally, games can benefit whether they're played on 4K or 1080p displays.

PlayStation boss on PS4 Pro: our approach isn't reactive this time around


The head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House has claimed there is not enough consumer interest in 4K UHD discs to support the format on the new PlayStation 4 Pro.

Why developers love HDR more than anything else in the PS4 Pro


Standing in the darkened backstage area turned PS4 Pro arcade of the PlayStation Theater earlier this week, I quietly watched Shuhei Yoshida listen to a Naughty Dog developer talk excitedly about a television screen half-filled with powdery white clouds.

With all of the discussion of 4K resolution, quadrupled graphics power and tweaked CPUs, the thing that seemed to most entrance the game developers gathered in New York City for Sony’s official unveiling of the PS4 Pro wasn’t smoother frame rates or more pixels. Every developer I talked to seemed ecstatic at the idea that they would be able to finally show gamers the nuance of colors and spread of light and shadows their games have always really had, but could never use.

Your original PS4 now supports HDR, but no games currently make use of it


Today, Sony updated the PlayStation 4 so that it supports the High Dynamic Range (HDR) colour capabilities of some UHD, or 4K, TVs.

PlayStation Vita isn't dead, in Japan anyway


Sony hasn't said much about PlayStation Vita in the West for some time, but this morning's Tokyo Games Show conference showed the little handheld is alive and kicking in Japan.

Final Fantasy 15 is getting its own PlayStation 4 slim hardware


So far, the Final Fantasy 15-branded slimmer PS4 is confirmed only for Japan.

PlayStation 4 Pro: Hands-On First Impressions


Microsoft announces military green 1TB Xbox One S Battlefield 1 console


Microsoft will release a "military green"-coloured 1TB size Xbox One S for the launch of Battlefield 1.

Report: Xbox Live faster, more reliable than PlayStation Network


Where speed is concerned, Xbox Live has PlayStation Network beat. That's according to a study conducted earlier this summer, whose findings comprise a report by analytics firm IHS Markit. Microsoft shared the results today, accompanied by a possible new tagline for Xbox Live: "the fastest, most reliable gaming network."


Devs react: Valve's Steam key crackdown


Earlier today Valve broke the news that Steam reviews left by anyone using a key will no longer count towards a game's overall or recent score.

Surprising effect of Steam's latest review system change


As I played with the "purchased" / "activated key" setting, I discovered that people who have bought my game consider it positive and those who got the keys via bundles are "mixed", almost bordering the negative. My games were featured in three different bundles, so number of owners via bundle is actually greater than owners who bought the game on Steam. Because of this, the "activated key" owners are a significant factor.


Watch 'Mass Effect: Andromeda' running on the PS4 Pro

Mass Effect: Andromeda's Male and Female Characters Both Exist In-Game, Are Family


The Mass Effect series has always allowed players to choose between male and female characters, but in Mass Effect: Andromeda both versions of the protagonist, Ryder, will exist in the universe and are actually related.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Is 30 FPS on PS4 and PS4 Pro


Andromeda will run at 30 FPS across both PlayStation 4 and the new PlayStation 4 Pro.


Horizon Zero Dawn - PS4 Pro Gameplay Reveal


PS4 Pro Gameplay Trailer - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare





Resident Evil 7 looks really gross. But, judging by the amount of work going into it, that may be the best compliment it can be given. 


CIVILIZATION VI - Devs Show Off Religion

Civilization 6 welcomes Norway’s Harald Hardrada in latest trailer


AJ's Endless Space 2 Developer Preview


I LOVE 4x Space Games, keep an eye on this one! Early access starts sometime this month!

Endless Space 2 gameplay - the first 40 turns as the Sophons


Seraph release date set, dual pistols at the ready


New Prey trailer explains the retro-future style of the Talos 1 station


One of the more interesting things about Prey is that it's set in a world in which US President John Kennedy was not assassinated. He lived, he served out his presidency, and the world evolved in a very different direction because of it. We got our first taste of that alt-history setting at QuakeCon, and now Bethesda has revealed a little bit more about how Talos 1, the orbital station on which Prey takes place, ultimately came to be.


Earth Defense Force 5 for PS4 announcement leaked



The official Tokyo Game Show 2016 Android app has leaked the announcement of Earth Defense Force 5 for PlayStation 4.





Fourth-person puzzle game Pavilion will be released in two parts, the first of which comes to Windows, Mac, and Linux on September 22 through Steam and the Humble Store. The game will debut, however, on the NVIDIA Shield on September 15.


The Last Guardian gets (the last) delay



The Last Guardian, the long-anticipated, long-delayed PlayStation 4 exclusive, is getting one last delay as developers work to rid the title of bugs in the final stages of development, Sony announced this morning.


Torment: Tides of Numenera - Legacy & Meaning Trailer


The world of Numenera is an incredible place. We've produced this trailer to give you an introduction to the Ninth World setting and the Tides!


Into the Black is a VR survival game with echoes of Firewatch



Into the Black is a VR game being developed by the UK's National Film and Television School that sets players off as a spirit guide sent to help a red fox and a grizzly bear escape the wildfires of Yellowstone National Park. It will be narrated by actor Nigel Barber, whose film credits include Spectre and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and will debut in a demo that will be be playable at the EGX 2016 show, which runs from September 22-26 in Birmingham, England.


7 Things To Know About Mafia



After a recent lengthy hands-on demo with the opening hours of Mafia III and a tour detailing the city’s criminal past, here is everything you need to know about New Bordeaux before you dive in.

MAFIA 3 LIVE - 2 Hours of New Gameplay! Full Map! Walkthrough of Free Roam, Customization & More!

Mafia 3: Take Down "Handsome" Harry - Full Mission


WWE 2K17 - Who's Next Gameplay Trailer


The Stanley Parable’s designer lied to Rick and Morty’s creator — and now they’re making a game together


Last month, Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland announced that he was partnering with Epic Games veteran Tanya Watson to launch a games studio focused on high-quality VR experiences. Today, Squanchtendo (yes, that’s their actual name) announces their first project: a game called Accounting, which Roiland is designing in collaboration with The Stanley Parable designer William Pugh.


Squanchtendo interview - Talent from Rick & Morty and Epic Games on their wacky VR dreams


16 Disgustingly Awesome Kills in Sniper Elite 4


Nier: Automata gets a new trailer, release date for Tokyo Game Show


Nier: Automata, the next iteration in Square Enix's bizarre action-role-playing game series, finally has a release date for Japan.

Osiris: New Dawn gameplay - marooned on an arid alien planet


LET IT DIE: Dev Diary #1


Resident Evil 2 Fan Remake Dev Working on New Survival Horror Game


Resident Evil 2 was undergoing a fan remake before Capcom officially announced the development of its own. That project was then abandoned, and now the fan remake developer is creating a new game with the help of former Capcom designer Satoshi Nakai, who worked on Resident Evil 0 and Code Veronica.


Now there's a Titanfall card battler


Warcraft has one. Runescape has one. Elder Scrolls. The Witcher. Even Plants vs. Zombies.


Miyamoto Proves His Point, Eats a Hamburger While Playing Super Mario Run


During the Super Mario Run reveal last week, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto emphasized the fact that you could play the game with only one hand. Since Mario runs on his own in the game, you can use your non-playing hand to do any number of things, like eat a hamburger, Miyamoto said on stage.


Space Hulk: Deathwing teases co-op details, new screens



Space Hulk: Deathwing—Games Workshop’s incoming tactical FPS set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe—has been in development for quite some time. Announced in 2013, we were teased slivers of the idea via cinematics in 2014 and 2015, before being treated to a nice big slice of in-game footage in April this year. When it lands, it’ll come packing single-player, however publisher Focus Home has now detailed the game’s five co-op classes, and has teased a batch of related screenshots ahead of its November release.





One of the big games coming out this week is Event[0]—available for Windows and Mac on September 14th. It’s a sci-fi game set in an alternate retrofuture reality in which humanity built a starship in 1985 and has since embraced artificial intelligence even more than we have now.


Kojima's Death Stranding is an action game in an open world



Hideo Kojima has revealed a few vague details about his upcoming Death Stranding, at the ongoing Tokyo Game Show.


Dead Rising 4 Cinematic – “Black Friday”


Assassin's Creed Ezio Trilogy Pack Confirmed for PS4 and Xbox One, Watch First Trailer


The rumors were right. Ubisoft today officially announced Assassin's Creed The Ezio Collection.


Cloud Imperium Games denies Squadron 42 delay report



Squadron 42, the single-player portion of Star Citizen, doesn't have a hard release date, but it was expected to be ready sometime this year. There's even a little “2016” over the “Answer the Call” logo on the Squadron 42 web page. However, that came into question when German site Gamestar reported that, in an interview at PAX West, Cloud Imperium Games boss Chris Roberts said the game probably wouldn't be out until mid-to-late 2017.


Hyper Light Drifter won’t be coming to Vita and Wii U


A number of roadblocks led to dropping the ports, Preston said. Those include the toll developing them has had on his health — he’s dealt with a heart condition since birth — as well as the specific difficulties in bringing Hyper Light Drifter to Wii U and Vita.




Milan-based studio Santa Ragione has revealed its game Wheels of Aurelia will be out in full this month on September 20th for PC. It’ll cost $9.99. That price includes the game’s full soundtrack, comprising four songs written, composed, and performed in the style of Italian 70s music. The game is also coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 5th.


For Honor Alpha Test's Game Modes and Characters Detailed



Ubisoft has detailed the contents of the For Honor alpha test, which will take place from September 15 to September 18 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


AKIBA'S BEAT - Yamato Character Trailer


Bandai Namco celebrates 15th anniversary of Gundam Vs. with new PlayStation 4 game

One day I hope for a less cheap and generic game based on a Gundam series.


Dishonored 2 interview - Harvey Smith on man-sized vents and giving their silent protagonist a voice

Dishonored 2 trailer features story, stabbing, The Outsider


This Kingdom Hearts trailer is baffling, but it has nice music and a release date


Despite having played and enjoyed a bunch of games in the Kingdom Hearts series, I couldn't begin to tell you what's happening in the latest trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. That doesn't mean it isn't worth a watch, though!


Koei Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden, Toukiden and Atelier cross over in Musou Stars



Publisher Koei Tecmo is working on a new entry in its Musou series of beat 'em up action games


Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Gamescom gameplay with Tobi and Ondra


Tobi and Ondřej are introducing the new Gamescom Weapons vs. Armor build of Kingdom Come: Deliverance to our community. See the different ways to solve quests and learn about new weapons and the exciting stealth mechanics. They are also answering questions about the game and are discussing actual topics. Let's take a look!


BattleTech Interview - the mech strategy game we’ve all been waiting for

BattleTech gameplay - 30 minutes of the super pre-alpha demo

This is the same demo I posted a few weeks ago, although it does play out differently.


Secret Legend gameplay and interview - a gorgeous game inspired by Zelda


Thimbleweed Park interview - steaming stamps and bailing on the pillow factory


Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour interview - a look at the improved visuals


Duelyst interview - Keith Lee and Eric Lang talk Denizens of Shimzar and what’s next


Sonic Mania interview - Sega lets independent developers take the reigns


The Elder Scrolls: Legends interview with Pete Hines of Bethesda


Diluvion interview - open ocean sub exploration and FTL crew management


20XX Interview - why Mighty No. 9 made people flock to 20XX


The Church in the Darkness interview - infiltrating a 1970s religious cult

The Church in the Darkness gameplay - exploring a 1970s religious cult campsite


Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Delayed


12 Minutes of Cyber Wang - Official Shadow Warrior 2 Gameplay


Fallout 4 and Skyrim aren’t getting mods on PS4



Bethesda Game Studios has given up on its fight to implement mods on the PlayStation 4 version of Fallout 4, the developer announced on its website. It’s not just Fallout 4 that is going mod-free on PS4, though; The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition will also ship without previously promised mod support on the console.


Rocket League officially goes off the rails, adds random power-ups


Rocket League patch 1.22 has been released, adding the usual assortment of new cosmetic items, not to mention a completely bonkers new mode, and more. The new mode has been promised for while, called Rumble.


Overwatch 'high-bandwidth' update is live for PC, here's what it does


Blizzard's solution to Arena balance in Hearthstone: remove the cards that suck



Hearthstone’s Arena mode can often feel like the unloved sibling to Ranked play, getting all the hand-me-down design decisions made for Standard and never getting to ride in the front seat of the car on the way to school. But today, Blizzard announced plans to address growing complaints over the state of Arena balance by removing certain cards from showing up in the draft altogether.


Battlefleet Gothic: Armada brings the Tau Empire to open beta tomorrow



The Tau Empire is coming to Battlefleet Gothic: Armada—tomorrow, in fact, although only in beta. The Tau fleet will be free for everyone who either preordered the game or purchased it during the first two months of release (prior to June 21, in other words) but the beta will be open to everyone who wants to give it a go, regardless of when or how they bought it.


Shovel Knight's Specter Knight campaign out Spring 2017


Shovel Knight might be finished, but it's not finished finished, on account of the extra campaigns promised in Yacht Club's Kickstarter.


Big Rainbow Six Siege Patch Adjusts Operators, Provides New Gadgets



Following the addition of new Operators in a recent update, another patch is now on the way for Rainbow Six Siege that reworks many of the existing ones and makes some other substantial changes.


Facepunch don't know how to fix Rust's broken XP system so they're getting rid of it



Rust’s had a long, long development and it’s still working out some of its most significant features. How to handle player progression is one. In the past they’ve used blueprints to give you design options, and now they use an experience system to give you levels and provide a path. Sadly, that isn’t working either, and they’ve confirmed they’ll be moving away from it - they’re just not sure what to.


The Sims 4 gets metropolitan with City Living expansion



The Sims 4: City Living is the next expansion for the life-and-death simulator, and it’s launching Nov. 1. This time, the characters are given a task arguably bigger than household fires: surviving the big city.


GOG offer refunds on year-old game, Armello, because DLC is only for the Steam version



GOG have opened up refunds for anyone who owns fluffy animal strategy game Armello on the digital distribution platform. This follows a recent wave of controversy linked to the developer's decision to abandon the GOG version and only update the Steam edition.


Around 100 people are now working on Overwatch



Have you ever wondered how many people are actually working on Overwatch right now? Battle.net user Lackofname did, and so they asked—and game director Jeff Kaplan answered. Boy, did he answer.


Sunless Sea writer signs up for BioWare project



Alexis Kennedy, lead writer of the excellent role-player Sunless Sea, has signed up to work with BioWare on a certain unannounced project.

"In terms of working with BioWare - Dragon Age: the Last Court was as close as I'd ever get. I'm an indie to the lobes of my liver and BioWare don't hire freelance writers. So when they made an exception and offered me the gig, I could neither stand still nor stop swearing."


Deadly Premonition director Swery becomes a Buddhist Monk. What does this mean for his games?



Now, 20 years after that, after battling a host of health problems and difficult situations across the last year, Swery has become a licensed Buddhist master of one of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. In this interview, we find out how that happened, and what it means for the influential game creator.


Interplay Sells Off Descent, Kingpin, Earthworm Jim Etc



Don’t call it a comeback. Don’t call it, like, three comebacks. Interplay, once renowned as a house of PC ideas, has failed to get back off the ground across various attempts at resurrection, and it seems matters have gone no better for whoever is currently wearing the well-worn skinsuit. ‘Interplay’ has just announced a firesale of various intellectual properties. Which means that the likes of Descent, Freespace, Kingpin, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, MDK, Sacrifice and Earthworm bally Jim are now looking for new homes.


No fan left behind



Niche publishers XSEED and Marvelous Europe hope to bring in new audiences without running afoul of their existing fanbases

Gamers perusing the Steam new releases section last month may have noticed a title that seemed somewhat out of place. XSEED released Little King's Story on the platform in early August, even though Steam maybe isn't the first place one would look for an HD port of a deceptively cute 2009 Wii game that could at best be considered a sleeper hit.

But XSEED CEO Ken Berry told GamesIndustry.biz it was a natural decision for his company, the North American subsidiary of Japanese publisher Marvelous and a growing presence on PC that has been ramping up its catalog of Steam offerings in the past year.


Obsidian devs recreate Star Wars Mos Eisley spaceport in Unreal Engine 4


Unreal Engine 4 recreations are nothing new, however the Star Wars Mos Eisley spaceport project—which comes courtesy of a group of Obsidian developers—is pretty impressive.


Blizzard's Chris Metzen Retires



Blizzard’s lord of lore (and sunglasses), Chris Metzen, is retiring from video games.


WoW’s lead designer and some of Blizzard’s biggest names start new studio with Riot Games funding



In case you were wondering what Rob Pardo was up to, Bonfire Studios is it. After leaving Blizzard in 2014 for pastures new, he spent a couple of years generally enjoying life as one of the industry’s biggest names. Looks like he’s bored of that now, as his new project has been officially announced. Funded by a combination of Riot Games and a Californian venture capital firm, Bonfire comprises not only Pardo but other big names as well. Making the team are former head of cinematics at Blizzard Nick Carpenter, the ex-CEO of Nexon America Min Kim, Diablo III’s game director from 2011 to 2016 Josh Mosqueira and another 16-year Blizzard vet in the ex-director of Battle.net engineering Matthew Versluys.


Riot Games Korea begins testing a new system to fight toxicity in League of Legends



According to an Inven post translated by Slingshot, Riot Games Korea just began testing a new system intended to fight toxicity within League of Legends. The new system will add “previously undetected verbal abuse and thinly veiled vulgar language.” In short, more forms of abuses will be detected. At the same time, Riot Korea has promised penalties to be handed faster, with “the majority taking place within two hours.”


AIAS chief Martin Rae is stepping down to work in VR



As DICE Europe gets underway this week, Academy of Interactive Arts and Science president Martin Rae has told VentureBeat that he’s leaving his job to join a virtual reality streaming company in Seattle.


YouTuber Arrested For Allegedly Intending To Have Sexual Relations With Minor



Federal investigators arrested popular YouTuber Starlit “JinBop” Zhao last month for allegedly engaging in sexually predatory behavior toward a 15-year-old female fan of his channel. The news of Zhao’s arrest first spread over the weekend through a YouTube news channel, and he remains in custody today. Zhao’s YouTube channel, popular among young teens, features him playing a variety of games including Minecraft and Inside.


Taming SOMA’s monsters with the Wuss Mode mod



I spent a lot of my time cowering in dark corners, which isn’t the best way to appreciate a game’s story or environments. I’ve always wanted to return to SOMA, just to revisit that world, but the stress of having to sneak around the monsters again really put me off. Then I discovered a mod created by Daniel Childers called Wuss Mode, which tweaks their AI so they never attack you. They’re still there, and they still make your screen freak out, but you can dance around in front of them and they don’t care.


Esports News


Focus Wins Over Flair In This Morning’s StarCraft II Tournament



“ByuN” Hyun Woo took home just under $35,000 after winning the GSL (Global StarCraft League) Season 2 finals earlier today in South Korea. You can watch him almost completely dominate his hot-shot opponent, Kim “sOs” Yoo Jin, across five separate matches below.


MSI to hold international Overwatch tournament this year



Competitive Overwatch continues to grow. Computer hardware company MSI has announced the Overwatch Master’s Gaming Arena 2016 Championship—and it’s got a $75,000 prize pool to be distribute to four top Overwatch teams from America, Europe, and Asia. Teams have the chance to qualify online during two-day regional qualifiers.


DreamHack Austin to return in 2017, two other U.S. dates to be revealed



The organization was founded in Sweden in 1994, and holds multiple events each year.


Racial slurs mar Call of Duty World Championships



OpTic has yet to make a statement on the event—though, to be fair, this incident is simply the latest in a long history of racism in esports and gaming in general. Other incidents, this year alone, have seen public harassment targeting Brazilian League of Legends player Franklin “Aoshi” Coutinho and American Hearthstone player Terrence “TerrenceM” Miller.


Na'Vi dumps its successful Hearthstone team



Can we now say the competitive Hearthstone scene is in crisis? If not, it must be close to it. Earlier today Na'Vi announced that it has parted ways with its entire Hearthstone roster, which comprised current world champion Sebastian "Ostkaka" Engwall, recent Insomnia Truesilver Championship III finalist Sebastian "Xixo" Bentert, Jung Soo "Surrender" Kim, and Frederik "Hoej" Nielsen. The players will remain with Na'Vi until the end of September, during which time they will be assisted with finding new teams. “Our main task is to help them find good and stable organizations," said esports director Eugene "HarisPilton" Zolotarev.


Smash Player Wins Tournament, Is Awarded Bag Of Rice


Kamemushi, who came in second place at EVO 2016’s tournament for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Smash 4 for short), swept through the 25th Umebura tournament in Tokyo yesterday thanks to his lightning speed and brutal combos.

His prize?

One pair of headphones and a 66 pound bag of rice.


Small Fries: How one player banned from a lifetime of CS:GO is trying to make things right


Now, Schlosser wants to make things right with everybody—with Valve, with the community, and most importantly, with his fans. He wants to use his story as a weapon against further match fixing, and to educate other players on the damage it can cause to careers. He may never be able to play professionally again, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help others avoid sharing his fate.


Rumor: FIFA Interactive World Cup to add “Club World Cup” featuring top football clubs with esports teams



All that may soon change, however, as a recent substantive rumor has sprung up stating that FIFA Interactive World Cup will be adding an additional form of qualifying, aimed directly at top football clubs around the world.


The ‘Sensible Soccer’ World Cup Is an eSport Event Like No Other


On a yearly basis, a passionate selection of individuals come together to partake in the Sensible Soccer World Cup, or Sensible Days as it's affectionately known. The event is held in a different location each year, and competitors pay their money to travel across Europe for the privilege of taking part. Once they arrive, any delusions of grandeur are quickly abolished. This isn't your typical eSports tournament.


Crowdfunding News


Dual Universe :: Civilization Building Sci-Fi MMORPG


One universe, shared by everyone at the same time. Emergent gameplay. Fully editable voxel world, with player-made ships & constructs.


Dawn of the Devs


Help the most popular game developers save the World of Gaming in this 2D puzzle-platformer!

Sums up my thoughts


Rad Rodgers - The return of the 90's era Apogee platformer!


Bringing back the 90's-era PC platformer with a game inspired by classics like Commander Keen, Conker, Ruff'n'Tumble & Jazz Jackrabbit.





This is Abi, a new story-focused puzzle game from Grant&Bert Studios. It resembles WALL-E (2008) in its story, which similarly follows a pair of robots wandering around the remnants of Earth after human beings’ mass exodus. You play as two droids that used to serve humans as helpers before their disappearance.


Other content I found interesting this week


Shigeki Toyama and Namco Arcade Machines



This interview with Namco designer Shigeki Toyama first appeared in vol. 0 of STG Gameside (2011). It begins with an account of Toyama’s early history at Namco designing robotics, before turning to his work on some of Namco’s impressive taikan arcade games from the 90s, including Galaxian3, Prop Cycle, and Point Blank.


6 historical details you might have missed in the Battlefield 1 beta



DICE promises that Battlefield 1 will show players a new side of World War I -- a dynamic, global conflict that goes far beyond the trenches of France.  Last week we got our first hands-on experience of that vision with the game’s open beta, transporting us to a sand-swept desert reminiscent of Lawrence of Arabia. The gameplay speaks for itself, but there’s much more going on under the surface. DICE used small details and design decisions to weave an astonishing amount of historical detail into the Sinai Desert map.

During the war, people in Europe regarded Middle Eastern operations as an expensive and unimportant sideshow -- but they were wrong. World War I was a globalized conflict, where an engagement in an Egyptian backwater could have a cascading effect on the battlefields of France. And what happened in the Sinai, Palestine, and Mesopotamia would end up shaping the 20th century Middle East.


DOOM (2016) - Graphics Study



The new DOOM is a perfect addition to the franchise, using the new id Tech 6 engine where ex-Crytek Tiago Sousa now assumes the role of lead renderer programmer after John Carmack’s departure.Historically id Software is known for open-sourcing their engines after a few years, which often leads to nice remakes and breakdowns. Whether this will stand true with id Tech 6 remains to be seen but we don’t necessarily need the source code to appreciate the nice graphics techniques implemented in the engine.


The extraordinary Tetris story is a parable about genius and deception



If you're looking for a story that perfectly captures the founding of the video game business, you could do a lot worse than Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown.

This likable graphic novel covers the story of Tetris' development and its rise to global phenomenon. But it also tells the tale of a fast-growing business that, in the rush for profits, was all too ready to trample its best talents underfoot.


The Tomorrow Children: A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma



If you judge a game by the questions it makes you ask when you're playing - and I appreciate that nobody actually judges a game like this - then The Tomorrow Children is quite something. "Why do I need a house?" That was an early question. "How do I get money?" "Why do I need money?" Somebody (and, sadly, I think that somebody was me) was having a strange kind of awakening.

And it has not always been an easy kind of awakening. I have learned things about myself playing The Tomorrow Children, and none of these things have been good. Just yesterday I was wandering around the town that so much of your time in The Tomorrow Children is spent building up and improving. I was proud of what had been achieved - mostly, granted, by other people - but that pride clearly had limits. And it turns out that those limits were other people. Around noon, monsters from the Void that surrounds the town suddenly decided to attack. My house, which I had just painted, looked like it might shortly be catching on fire. Fellow comrades (a tautology?) scattered towards turrets and other defensive stations. I, however, looked at the oncoming beasts, figured everyone else could just about hold them off, and exited back to the start screen and went to get a Pop-Tart. What can I say? Diagnosis Murder was about to start.


Farewell Danny O'Dwyer - The Lobby


Its Danny O'Dwyer's last week at GameSpot and last episode as host of The Lobby. His importance in shaping GameSpot can't be stated enough. We'll miss you Danny.

Noclip Patreon Trailer - Crowdfunded Video Game Documentaries


Imagine a gaming channel that specialized in high-quality video game docs. Finely crafted features about the biggest upcoming games. Heart-felt interviews with the people behind your favorite childhood classics. And compelling gaming stories you'd never heard of before. This is Noclip. Gaming Docs funded by gamers. Join the team, and help us make gaming docs that we can all be proud of.

Here is a link to his new Patreon. Very happy to see it doing so well.

Meet Kotaku's New Staff Writer, Heather Alexandra



On the 22nd of August, Kotaku welcomed Heather Alexandra to our ranks. On Kotaku, Heather’s been producing thoughtful, critical videos about abstract concepts in games for a few months, but now, we’re proud to have her full-time as a staff writer. Hooray!

Cecilia: What kind of effect are you hoping to have on Kotaku readers?

Heather: Writing should improve the writer, the writing and the reader. It’s about making sure people think. You want people to walk away from a piece that they didn’t have before. They can laugh at it, be mad at it—as long as they’ve left with something they didn’t have before. I want to bridge the perceived gap between writers and readers. There isn’t much of a gap when you get down to it.


The Sega Dreamcast Changed My Life



If there is one thing I believe the Dreamcast managed better than any other console, it was offering bright and living worlds. The Dreamcast had an energy, a pulsing heart that I’ve found nowhere else. Yu Suzuki’s ambitious Shenmue dutifully recreated the streets of 1986's Dobuita, giving NPCs schedules and habits. The bright anti-establishment frenzy of Jet Set Radio popularized cel-shaded graphics, sweeping players away in a jazz fusion lighting bolt of colors and sounds. Sonic the Hedgehog came to life in Sonic Adventure, shooting through loops and bouncing on springs in proper 3-D.

The Rise And Fall Of The Dreamcast


In celebration of the 15th anniversary of Dreamcast's North American launch, we're featuring this classic Gamasutra article about Sega's gone-but-not-forgotten console.

[In this ten-year Dreamcast retrospective, Gamasutra looks back at Sega's last effort in the console market through interviews with former president of Sega of America Bernie Stolar, former Sega of America COO Peter Moore, former SOA Vice President of Communications Charles Bellfield, and former vice president of Electronic Arts, Bing Gordon.]


Baldur's Gate: Durlag's Tower - #3: Dungeon Master's Guide - Design Club


Learn how game designers make dungeons by looking at one of the greatest teaching examples in gaming history: Durlag's Tower from Baldur's Gate.


SQUASH & STRETCH: The Animation of Jak & Daxter - Extra Frames


Jak & Daxter managed to create the feel of an old cartoon despite being a 3D game running on PlayStation 2 hardware. They used the animation principle of Squash & Stretch to convey their characters' vibrant personalities through motion and pure animated appeal.


Notes from an indie cross-platform launch


We designed a cross-platform game for Desktop and Mobile called Crashlands. While making the game we had to tackle bevy of questions related to the Cross-Platform Problem. Do we launch on all platforms simultaneously? How do we choose price points on each platform? How can we make an engaging game that controls beautifully on Mobile while being deep enough for Desktop? Will sales on Mobile cannibalize our sales on Desktop?

What we wanted to do was launch Crashlands on all storefronts at the same time, but we didn’t know if that was a good idea. And so we turned to the experts to see what they thought. We read industry blogs, talked to publishers, and scoured the GDC vault for examples of people pursuing a simultaneous cross-platform launch strategy. In meetings with potential publishers we were bluntly told “No one does that.”



How Blind Players Made a Text-Only RPG More Accessible



Materia Magica, a MUD with a 20-year history, is undertaking a project as ambitious as it is surprisingly straightforward: It wants to make this most visual of genres accessible to the visually impaired. The effort came about due to the dogged efforts of a player who is blind, Lilah (an in-game name; she wishes to remain anonymous), and a receptive community of players headed by the game's staff. She and a sighted partner, a coder by trade, used text readers to level the Materia Magica playing field.


The Story Behind Hue's Brilliant Soundtrack


Two years ago, Alkis Livathinos had no idea he’d eventually be working on a small puzzle game called Hue. The game’s creators, Henry Hoffman and Dan da Rocha, who had already begun working on the project, didn’t know either.


Phoenix Enduring: How the ‘Law and Order’ of Gaming Has Lasted for 15 Years



Considering the enduring popularity of police procedurals and legal dramas in popular culture, the formula behind Capcom's Ace Attorney might read like a sure-fire money-maker – a game where you play as a rookie defence attorney named Phoenix Wright who shields his obviously-innocent clients from the wrath of increasingly-aggressive prosecutors by pointing out the holes in the State's case, inevitably producing the real culprit just in the nick of time. Or, in other words: you might not have played these games, but you've definitely flipped past this show in one of your 2am post-bar hazes.


One Man's Maddening Quest To Walk Across An Entire No Man's Sky Planet


The planets in No Man’s Sky are supposed to be, well, planet-sized. Most players will only see a small percentage of any locale, if that, before boredom sets in and another planet is explored. One man, however, decided to undertake a pilgrimage that tested the limits of his sanity, if not the limits of the planet generation itself.


Exploring The Real Liberty City - The Point


In the final episode of The Point Danny visits New York and spends 12 hours visiting his favorite locations in Liberty City.


How Trans Players Find Support from the Gaming Community


Transgender people don't always feel at home within their biological families, or even in their own bodies. But for many, games—and the communities that play them—have proven to be an unexpected wellspring of social support. Whether through online play, real-life meetups, or livestreaming, trans people who game are connecting in greater numbers than ever before—and as they connect with one another, they come to better understand themselves.


PAX West Panel - Heroes, Villains, and You: Player Choice in Game Design


RPG designers have to make a grapple check between meaningful player choice and storytelling - everyone wants to provide complete power to the player to shape the world, but developers also want to tell interesting stories using the characters and plots they have created. Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive, the team behind Pillars of Eternity and Tyranny, will explain how player choice fits into game design to strike the balance between player agency and guided story telling.


Myst creator Rand Miller on his favorite puzzle that everybody hates



In 1993, struggling game developers Rand and Robyn Miller released their most ambitious project to date. Lushly drawn, and designed to take full advantage of the then-nascent CD-ROM, Myst was a far cry from the brothers’ previous work on whimsical children’s games like The Manhole or Cosmic Osmo. Instead, Myst was quiet, thoughtful, and packed full of devious puzzles, grounded in any number of inexplicable and mysterious machines.

Twenty-three years later, Myst is one of the best-selling computer games of all time, spawning multiple sequels, dozens upon dozens of imitators, and more than its fair share of sleepless nights and frustrated cries of puzzle-thwarted shame. Developer Cyan recently released a spiritual successor, Obduction, introducing a whole new generation of players to the pleasures of tinkering with convoluted control panels and toying with alien devices. We had a chance to talk with Rand Miller a week before the game’s release, to discuss the perils of Kickstarter, the puzzle Myst fans are wrong to hate, and the time Disney almost hired him to make a real-world version of Myst Island in an isolated Florida locale.


No Man's Sky In Close Critique [Deep Spoilers]


This is a video critique of No Man's Sky, a procedurally generated science-fiction adventure title. It talks about how difficult it is to cram a whole universe into six gigabytes, and how well the game works mechanically and artistically.


Folding Ideas Goes to PAX West 2016 and Comes Home With an Existential Hangover


A rundown of my thoughts on my time at PAX West 2016


The Adorable Robots of ‘ReCore’ are the Stars of an Otherwise Average Video Game



Around the halfway mark of ReCore – assuming you're generally sticking to the story and not wandering the dunes and caves of Far Eden in search of bonus blueprints, audio logs or other treasure-like scrap (or, indeed, scrap-like treasure) – protagonist Joule finally encounters another human, Kai. The two of them have been eking out whatever existence they can on this New Earth In Waiting, a dust ball identified as a suitable future home world, albeit after some generous terraforming.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Narrative Review - DON'T SKIP THE SIDE MISSIONS, DAMNIT (Writing on Games)


Deus Ex is a series that has always prided itself on big, branching narrative paths that deal with significant societal issues. In this episode of Writing on Games (consider it a narrative review rather than a review of the gameplay systems), I examine why the main story of Mankind Divided just doesn't work on any level. With that in mind though, I also discuss why the side missions almost perfectly remedy the issues I have with the main quest.


Futurism, Realism, Racism: Deus Ex & the Quest For Credible Science Fiction



The focus here on futurism and realism comes from science fiction itself. Sci-fi narratives, especially those set in the near future, often take themes relevant to the present day and extrapolate them through changes in science, technology, society, and culture. George Orwell’s 1984 is a fitting example here where the author’s grounded predictions regarding technology, government oppression, and personal liberties anticipated the modern surveillance state. The merging of futurism and realism is reflected in the origins of the Deus Ex series as well. The original Deus Ex (2000) drew inspiration from a range of contemporary technological, social, philosophical, and historical events, ideas, and values. For instance, the plot of the game revolves around the democratizing potential of the internet; your adversaries consist of those who stand to lose power and influence in the information age and the lengths such people are willing to go to retain that power.


Ross's Game Dungeon: Deus Ex - Human Revolution


Steam's Latest Hit Is A Great Mix Of FTL And XCOM


Halcyon 6 is a sumptuous video game stew. It’s got hints of XCOM, FTL, 4X space games, and JRPGs, plus gobs of humor and personality. I’ve taken to calling it 4XCOM for short. I’ve only played for a couple hours, but this feels like the sort of game that will keep me hooked for weeks.


Guest Column: On the Overwatch Matchmaker as a Trolley Problem



Guest contributor Bruno Dias considers Overwatch's matchmaker as a microcosm of the algorithmic decision-making that permeates our day-to-day lives.

And then, we had Elo. Invented in the mid-20th century as a way of rating Chess players, Elo is a simple statistical model that can be calculated by hand. The key assumption is that if you play against a higher rated player and win, your rating should go up because your “true” rating is probably higher, while the other player’s rating should go down, since they are probably overrated. This sounds sensible, but it’s based on the assumption that the winning player performed at a higher level than the losing player. That’s true of Chess, but doesn’t translate to most digital games that have hidden information, variance, asymmetry, and nonlinear player skill.


Meet the first person to reach level 1000 in Overwatch


A level 1000 player portrait is silver edged with three stars underneath, yet is far from being the last attainable level. But consider that achievement for a moment: level 1000. I am level 66 and have played for more than 55 hours, and I think that's a lot. Heck, I'm impressed when I see someone with a bronze-edged player portrait and one or two stars underneath. But they're only in the level ranges 200-300; Tazzerk is on a whole other level.


Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games


For those who remember the Ace Attorney localization (here is an article on the games localization process)

Guy Tries To Play Battlefield 1 With Voice Commands, Gets Absolutely Wrecked


PLAY DATE! - Mega64


FORGET THE RELEASE DATE! Introducing the REAL date you can actually play your video game- the PLAY DATE!


【MAD】Titanfall - Anime Style 「Opening」


Career change after realizing how little effort it takes to make money by pandering to the lowest common denominator

Amusing before as a self-own but also a good example of why I don't source or share anything anything from Gameranx after seeing he's lying about people and taking Twitter quotes from them after they have blocked him.


Overwatch Player Never Touches The Ground In The Game's New Level


I’ve featured one dedicated Overwatch wall-rider before, but this person has turned it into an art form.


A Ridiculous Recap Of Deus Ex Human Revolution

The recap that Mankind Divided should have used.

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This is Abi, a new story-focused puzzle game from Grant&Bert Studios. It resembles WALL-E (2008) in its story, which similarly follows a pair of robots wandering around the remnants of Earth after human beings’ mass exodus. You play as two droids that used to serve humans as helpers before their disappearance.


I'd be interested in learning more about this "Abi" game, but looking it up is impossible :/

I loved Wall-E as a kid

Edit: Ah, wait never mind, I looked up the studio and found their Youtube channel.

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idk I'm not too excited about the ps4 pro but the Project Scorpio better be good.

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