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Tokyo Game Show, 34th Golden Joystick Awards, Youtubers charged with promoting FIFA gambling to minors, for-profit controversy, Digital Homicide attempts to sue Steam users, decade long quest to remake Metroid 2, Valve steps up VAC bans, designers answer questions about their games and talk about them while playing, complaints that make you want to buy a game, why successful Chinese games don't receive the same acclaim in the west, original roguelike developers discuss their games and the price of fame, the slow motion tragedy of Rimworld, the Overwatch world that fans built, Final Fantasy games, why Abzu might be the most important game for kids, and more.




AJSA Youtube's This Week In Gaming


Gaming News


34th Golden Joystick Awards



Welcome to the Golden Joystick Awards, AKA the Oscars of the video gaming world. Vote here and you’ll help decide which 2015-16 favourites win a coveted award. Best of luck – and happy voting!


Every PS4 Pro Game That Is and Isn't Getting an Upgrade Patch



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.


Game Developer Sues 100 Anonymous Steam Users For $18 Million



Valve has now removed all of Digital Homicide’s games from Steam. “Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers,” the company said in a statement to Kotaku.

Digital Homicide responds to Steam game removal after attempting to sue customers by preparing to sue Valve


The studio had all 18 of its games removed from the digital storefront on Friday night after issuing Valve a subpoena this week for customer details in order to pursue legal action against 100 users for "harassment and criminal impersonation".


Blizzard now lets you pay to change your Battle.net name as often as you want



Your “Battletag,” simply put, is your name on Battle.net. Not your Real ID, which is a separate ,”optional layer of identity” that enables additional features between online friends who choose to share their real names, but just a convenient handle or alias—a “nick,” as we used to call them on IRC. Battletags don't have to be unique (Blizzard tacks a number onto the end of each to differentiate them), and, aside from the limits imposed by Blizzard's naming policy, you can make it whatever you want.


Gravity Rush 2 Official Trailer - TGS 2016


A Combination of Beauty and Frustration: PS4-Exclusive The Last Guardian


Justin got to play PS4-exclusive The Last Guardian and lets us know what to expect from this mysterious Fumito Uedo title.

Beast your eyes on 18 minutes of The Last Guardian gameplay


Civilization 6 trailer introduces Greece and leader Pericles


Watch Dogs 2 trailer introduces the villain, and he's a real Douche


There seems to be some confusion about how exactly the name of the Watch Dogs 2 villain revealed in this Tokyo Game Show trailer is properly spelled. One thing is clear, however. He's a real douche.


Quote is a strange, lovely action-RPG about destroying knowledge


The game world of Quote is an unusual place. It's enraptured by Bliss, the god of ignorance, who has wiped out all knowledge and wisdom in order to protect the people from themselves. But someone is trying to undo this great achievement—to restore the learning that has been lost. As Novella, her priestess, your task is to ensure that effort fails. Aided by your flying sidekick Tatters, you must burn books, trap and devour authors, and bludgeon the thoughts from the heads of blasphemers.


For Honor Gameplay: A Full Match


Battlefield 1 Gets Critical Horse Nerf


Battlefield 1 will see some changes now that its extended beta period is over. The most important? Horses will no longer be galloping death machines.


56 minutes of Sniper Elite 4 gameplay plus developer commentary

Sniper Elite 4: Target Fuhrer gameplay trailer


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Story Trailer


South Park: The Fractured But Whole delayed to early 2017



South Park: The Fractured But Whole has been delayed to the first quarter of 2017. It had been due out this December.


Divinity: Original Sin 2 improves on the original



I admit I waste a stupid amount of time struggling with my personal demons, although fortunately they tend to be fairly benign manifestations of self-doubt. But it's also why I was drawn to Lohse, one of the four playable lead characters with origin stories in the Early Access version of classically-styled RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Divinity Original Sin II with Dodger, Crendor, and Sam


Jesse and his friends sit down for a few hours to play the newest Divinity Original Sin and manage to get caught up in all sorts of wacky adventures.


Paladins open beta launch trailer reminds us a lot of Overwatch



The developer behind Smite, Hi-Rez Studios, has addressed the allegations that its hero shooter Paladins: Champions of the Realm, which recently went into open beta, is copying aspects of Blizzard’s Overwatch.


Final Fantasy XV - Tokyo Game Show 2016 Trailer

How Final Fantasy XV's Heroine Changed Since Last Year


Another Final Fantasy XV Tie-In Game Is Coming To Mobile


Square Enix announced a new mobile game called King’s Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon at Tokyo Game Show 2016. It’ll be part of the Final Fantasy XV Universe, and is actually one of the games played by the characters in that world similar to Justice Monsters Five, that “mobile pinball thing” that came out for iOS and Android last month.


Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age Official Trailer - TGS 2016


World of Final Fantasy Official Trailer - TGS 2016


Sega’s new Valkyria game is very different


When I fired up the TGS demo, a Sega rep asked me a potentially ominous question: "Do you know how to play musou [aka Dynasty Warriors] games?" Sort of. I’ve mastered the button-mashing component of those games, and can get by. Combat in Valkyria: Azure Revolution is primarily performed with just one button (circle on a DualShock 4 controller) though there’s more to it than that, thanks to magic spells, side arms and various battlefield conditions.


22 minutes of Raiders of the Broken Planet gameplay


We take a look at the next game from the creators of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. It's called Raiders of the Broken Planet and Eurogamer's Tom Phillips thinks it might be worth keeping an eye on.


Birthdays the Beginning confirmed for Europe



Birthdays the Beginning, the new game from the creator of Harvest Moon, is coming to Europe.


Diablo 2 HD teaser site appears, but Blizzard says it's not official



An ominous-looking website has appeared at diablo2hd.com, warning one and all that “Evil Has Survived,” and counting down to something.


Hitman’s 360° Bangkok trailer has exploding phones, coconut concussions


Someone Is Making A Game Where You Can Romance Overwatch Characters



If Overwatch fan culture is anything to go by, there’s only one thing people want to see Overwatch characters do more than fight: date. That’s where fan games come in. But with lawyers hiding in bushes and trees, waiting to spring their DMCA traps, making video game characters kiss ain’t easy.


How Nioh Evolved from a JRPG to an Action Game



Historical fantasy game Nioh was announced in 2004--back when Koei Tecmo was still just Koei, and back before the PlayStation 3 even launched. In development with Omega Force, Nioh starred a white-haired, Caucasian samurai battling his way across a fantastical version of Japan packed with demons. The game was initially slated to launch in 2006 with the PS3, but missed its due date and slipped into silence, with no word coming again until 2009.


Great Ace Attorney 2 takes the courtroom drama back to 19th century Japan


The original Nintendo 3DS game was never confirmed for release in North America.


[SSFF] PAX West 2016 - 6 Indie Games You Need to Know About


Grace and Derek went hard at PAX West 2016, getting the hot scoop from a ton of great indie devs! So many games, so little time!! Here are six games you may have missed at PAX West.

~Table of Contents~

0:30 - Flinthook

2:02 - MetaArcade

5:08 - Super Soul Bros

5:17 - Super Rad Ray Gun

11:37 - Severed

15:20 - Runbow Pocket and Pirate Pop Plus

20:47 - Earthlight


FIFA’s New “The Journey” Mode Might, Against the Odds, Actually Be Amazing



Every time I saw FIFA 17's "The Journey" mode up until now, in which the player takes control of Premier League rookie Alex Hunter and works towards transforming him from off-the-bench support player to a first on the team sheet, private jets everywhere, paramours at his feet global superstar, I chuckled.


Get ready for Gears of War 4 with the official launch trailer

Gears of War 4’s campaign will have split-screen co-op on PC


At a preview event last week, Gears of War 4 developer The Coalition revealed that the game’s campaign would have local split-screen co-op on PC.

Gears of War 4's Campaign Mixes Guns and Gore with Storytelling and Atmosphere


Freshman Gears developer The Coalition has spent 2016 revealing more and more about its first crack at the franchise, Gears of War 4. Back in April, we got our first real taste of the competitive multiplayer just prior to the public beta. A few weeks ago, we went hands-on with the updated Horde Mode 3.0 and came away feeling plenty optimistic. Now, piggy-backing on the much shorter segment shown at this year's E3, The Coalition has kicked open the door to its two-player cooperative story campaign, letting us play through a two-hour chunk of the game's earliest portion.

Gears of War 4: Hands On Impression of Escalation

11 minutes of Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Gameplay (Arms Race)

Buy an Nvidia GTX 1070 or 1080, get Gears of War 4 free


Gears of War 4 represents Microsoft’s biggest push yet in its Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, which is designed to bring the Xbox world closer to PC gaming on Windows. People who are interested in both can get a free downloadable Windows 10 copy of Gears 4 with purchases of certain Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics cards, Nvidia announced today.

Rez Infinite: Area X reveal trailer (PS4/PSVR)


Killzone Dev Talks About Leaving Franchise Behind for "Radically Different" Horizon



Some may have been surprised when Killzone developer Guerrilla Games announced PS4 action-RPG Horizon: Zero Dawn, a wildly different-looking game in a new genre than the shooter series. Now, the studio's manager has spoken about saying goodbye to Killzone and hello to Zero Dawn.


Multiplayer survival game Osiris: New Dawn may be Steam’s next breakout hit



The premise for Osiris: New Dawn as a product sounds improbable, if not impossible. A multiplayer adventure survival game — complete with crafting and base building — coupled with an action-packed first-person shooting experience. If the team at Fenix Fire can pull it off, it has every chance of being the next smash hit on Windows PC.


Atlus Accidentally Left Unlocalized Dialogue In SMTIV: Apocalypse Because The QA Team Was 'Too Good'


Atlus PR maestro John Hardin explains on the company website that the two lines, which occur during an endgame battle, are only triggered by very specific conditions.


Check Out the Persona 5 Steelbook Case's New Design



Atlus today revealed the new design for the steelbook launch edition of Persona 5 in North America.


Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom launches December, behind-the-scenes dev diary


Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom will launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in December, publisher Focus Home Interactive announced. The game was previously set for a general fall release.


Watch the first Metal Gear Survive gameplay


As you can see in the following footage, this four-player co-op spin-off looks a lot like Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. The graphics and setting appear almost identical, only now there's co-op and zombies.

Hideo Kojima Denies Involvement With New Metal Gear Game


“It has nothing to do [with me],” Kojima replied. “I know absolutely nothing about it. That’s because it’s totally unrelated to me, right? Um, how should I put this? Well, for me, Metal [Gear] is espionage with political fiction. Right? So, because of that, there’s no reason that zombies would show up. This is how I see it, you know?”

Yeah, Phantom Pain definitely didn't have any zombies or scenes that treated infected like zombies.





Death Stranding is due for release in 2018, Hideo Kojima told a huge crowd of fans during an on-stage Q&A session at Tokyo Game Show 2016 on Sunday.


Steam's Latest Hit: An Intense Spaceship Roguelike Called Everspace


I warped into a new sector. I was immediately wowed by the pink and orange starscape ahead of me. It was like a cotton-candy sunset that spanned further than my puny ape brain could comprehend. Then ten ships converged on me, and I exploded.


Earth Defense Force 5 Reveal Trailer (TGS 2016)


Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization Official The Encounter Trailer - TGS 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization details Blacksmith and Town of Beginning


Bandai Namco has shared new information and screenshots of Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization and confirmed the Tokyo Game Show 2016-announced Season Pass for release in the west.


New Danganronpa V3 reveals cast artwork, Children of Monokuma, Japanese box art, more



Spike Chunsoft has updated the official teaser website for New Danganronpa V3: Everyone’s New Semester of Killing, providing official cast artwork, a look at the game’s five “Children of Monokuma,” its Japanese box art, and more.


This is the final Naruto: Ultimate Ninja game



"We’ve been developing the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series for 15 years since the first one," a Bandai Namco representative told Polygon in a presentation at Tokyo Game Show this week. "In total, the series has sold 15 million copies. Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 has sold two million worldwide. This one is going to be the last one in the series, so we’ve poured all our efforts into it."


4-player co-op comes to Battlezone on PlayStation VR


Berserk hack-and-slasher gets release date, name change and a new trailer


Berserk, the Dynasty Warriors-esque game adaptation of the bleak comic series, will release on February 21, according to an announcement at Tokyo Game Show. Oh, and it's no longer called "Berserk", but instead "Berserk and the Band of the Hawk".


Virginia trailer introduces its FBI leads


Metro: Last Light studio 4A Games is teasing something new


Last we heard, Metro: Last Light studio 4A Games confirmed that it was working on a new Metro game, and had also spoken about a story-driven “sandbox-style experience," although it was unclear whether they were one and the same. Either way, there hasn't been much new info about it (or them) since, but that may be about to change.


Resident Evil 7 spawns a new trailer and two ghastly new screenshots


The video is interesting, if only because it confirms there will be more colours than "brown" and "browner" in the game. Those pleasant looking dining zombies belong to the Baker family.

Resident Evil is getting an adorable mobile remake


Dean Hall of DayZ fame is making a big new multiplayer game


Dean Hall's New Zealand studio RocketWerkz is working on a brand new triple-A game. We don't know what it's called but we do know where the money is coming from: Chinese online gaming behemoth Tencent.


Dawn of War 3 elite hero Jonah Orion detailed



"Jonah Orion, Chief Librarian of the Blood Ravens, is a psyker of tremendous renown," publisher Sega tells us via email. "First seen in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising


Monster Hunter Stories Trailer


'Orwell' Is a Video Game About Surviellance That Misses the Details



The cold open of the demo of Orwell presents us with a little park named Freedom Plaza. We later learn that it has been the site of intense political protests in previous weeks, but for now it is a docile space where people eat lunch and mill around in the shadow of a monument to their being free. The scene rocks with an explosion, people flee, and now I'm sitting and learning that I have been "randomly selected" from millions of applicants from around the world to operate the Orwell system.




In Aragami, you are the monster lurking in the shadows and the darkness is your weapon.





The campfire story has been resurrected in videogames recently. A rush of independent games have taken their own spin on the sit-around-and-talker, and the idea of making a game out of a fable is currently being tested by upcoming games like Forest of Sleep. The recently-announced game Djur expands this area of thinking, and aims to combine the quiet calm of fantasy worlds with sci-fi, and explore the meaning of myth and humanity through folk tales.


Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star expansion goes live next week, so here's a trailer


As solid plans go, “Let's raid the Death Star” is not what I'd call top-of-the-list stuff. I also have to question the wisdom of putting a mean-spirited Trandoshan bounty hunter in charge of cleaning up the mess. But in spite of all that, I have to admit that the new Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star gameplay trailer looks pretty sweet.


Hearts of Iron 4 drops first major patch



Improvements via HoI 4’s first major patch, though, are mostly incremental, focusing on the likes of balancing and tweaks to the AI and user interface. As Paradox is wont to do, player suggestions have been taken into consideration. Peace conference changes come courrtesy of Steam user Neutrino.


A new Overwatch patch is now live



Blizzard's latest update to Overwatch isn't a huge one, but it does make a couple of notable changes: The number of Plays of the Game featuring Mercy's Resurrection ability has gone down, for one, and the payload speed on the Eichenwalde map has gone up.


BioShock Collection update will address performance issues, introduce 21:9 support



Owners of BioShock and its sequel were granted a free update to the remastered versions last week, but it hasn't been smooth sailing since. Users have identified a lack of graphics options in the new versions of the games, and playing with a mouse in BioShock has proven a pain for many.


Elite: Dangerous is dropping Win32 and DirectX 10 support



The clock is ticking down on Elite: Dangerous pilots plying the space lanes in antiquated ships—by which I mean old PCs. David Braben, the CEO of developer Frontier Developments, said in a recent forum post that the studio is thinking about dropping support for DirectX 10 and 32-bit versions of Windows, but then clarified that the question isn't one of "if," but of "when."


Star Citizen's first-person shooting changes coming along nicely


Much is made of the spaceships in Star Citizen, or of the planetary landings, but there's a fair chunk of the game that will play out on foot - shooting included. But currently the game has an odd quirk, or problem depending on how you look at it: head bobbing. The camera is attached the model's eyes and so bobs around an awful lot. But that's going to change.


Failbetter co-founder Alexis Kennedy on indie storytelling and guest writing for BioWare



I spoke with Kennedy about his latest direction, what makes for good videogame writing, and how adaptable and transferable different writing styles are to different videogame genres.


Sony's Shuhei Yoshida on No Man's Sky



Shuhei Yoshida, the popular president of Sony's Worldwide Studios, has said he understands why some fans were critical of controversial space survival sim No Man's Sky - and blamed Hello Games' pre-release PR strategy for building up unrealistic expectations.

The blame should probably go with Sony. They are the large experienced publisher that decided to show off a game made by 15 people so much, hype it up without getting involved in the PR campaign, and some problems are likely there fault when it comes to muiltplatform releases and having them create a disk version of the game.


Job losses at Sony London as first VR project wraps up



Sony has confirmed to GamesIndustry.Biz that there will be job losses at its London Studio as the team's first VR projects draw to a close.





It’s the tale of an extremely difficult, user-unfriendly game reaching untold heights of success. It’s the story of a company that has remained committed to listening to and interacting with its fans even as it at has grown exponentially. More than anything, it’s the story of two best friends who liked playing video games and decided one day to make their own.


Thousands Of Cheaters Reportedly Banned From Counter-Strike



For the past 24 hours, reports have been coming in from all over the Counter-Strike-o-sphere that a new ban wave hit cheaters hard. Data-mining site SteamDB puts the number at 11,435 (and counting) bans administered by the VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) system today. That’s a significant spike—the largest in more than a year.


Former Disney Infinity devs form studio for mixed reality games



Former members of Avalanche Software, which created and developed the recently mothballed Disney Infinity toys-to-life series, have found work in a new studio dedicated to mixed-reality gaming.


Two YouTubers charged with promoting FIFA game gambling site to minors



The UK Gambling Commission has charged two Essex-based YouTubers, Craig “NepentheZ” Douglas and Dylan Rigby, with promoting an online gambling site based around FIFA’s in-game coins to minors.

Curt Schilling and others aim to exit 38 Studios lawsuit by paying $2.5M settlement



38 Studios founder Curt Schilling and three other former 38 Studios executives have agreed to pay a $2.5 million settlement to the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. in order to get out of the long-running lawsuit brought against 38 Studios stakeholders by the state of Rhode Island.


Poland's getting a limited edition Geralt Witcher stamp



Poland is getting a limited edition run of The Witcher stamps featuring grizzled mutant hunk Geralt of Rivia.


Why Successful Games in China Rarely Obtain the Equivalent Success in the West



China is now the largest game market in the world. The massive market gives birth to a lot of successful locally developed games and generates substantial revenue domestically. However, up to now, I have not yet seen any successful game originally operated in China has become wildly successful in the West.


Twitch competitor DingIt accused of traffic fraud



Livestreaming broadcast website DingIt.tv has been accused of purchasing a large share of its traffic with advertisements meant to “hijack” a browser. A “significant portion” of DingIt’s visits are through paid advertisements, esports site Slingshot uncovered. This is not a problem on its own, though an Internet security expert suggests it’s slightly more nefarious.


Gorgeous New GTA V Mod Is The Work of One Person


Grand Theft Auto V, already one of the prettiest, most immersive sandbox games to-date, now has a mod that turns everything up to 11.

Stunning New GTA V Mod Beset With Claim That Some Of Its Code Was Stolen


A few days ago, we covered GTA 5 Redux. It is an intense overhaul mod that rebuilds Los Santos with new textures and effects. It is the work of modder Josh Romito but now the makers of another mod are claiming it uses stolen files and code.


Mod Turns RimWorld Into A Lovecraftian Nightmare



In Steam sci-fi colony-building hit RimWorld, sanity is precious. Colonists have to deal with a lot of shit—from deceased loved ones to rampaging space turkeys—and they sometimes snap. H.P. Lovecraft also knows a thing or two about driving people to madness.


Esports News


First Evo Japan tournament set for January 2018



The first official Evo Championship Series tournament for Japan will take place January 2018, organizers announced at Tokyo Game Show.


Last Man Standing In Counter-Strike Somehow Wins The Game



Virtus.pro went on to win the entire tournament, but before they could do that, Filip “NEO” Kubski had to help get his team through the semi-finals against Team Dignitas.

Crowd Shouts, Throws Things At Counter-Strike Tournament


However, during the finals, some people in the crowd began holding up signs to Virtus.pro reading “THEY ARE B” and “THEY ARE A,” potentially revealing important information about what Cloud 9 was or wasn’t up to.


The LCS isn’t profitable because Riot doesn’t want it to be profitable



Merrill and Beck have stated this before, and it’s a fact that likely won’t change moving forward. And the way that they say it paints the pair as generous benefactors to esports—charitable givers who gracefully throw away money so that League fans can enjoy the best esports league in the world.

This portrayal of the pair, and indeed of Riot Games, is ultimately flawed. The real truth is actually rather simple—Riot’s league, the LCS, isn’t profitable, because it’s not designed to make a profit. In fact, the LCS can’t be profitable without creating significant problems for Riot Games.


Capcom updates on Capcom Cup 2016’s crowdfunded prize pool



Capcom is using at least 30 percent of its DLC revenue toward the Capcom Cup 2016 prize pool; 50 percent of the profits are used for the tournament’s production. That means 80 percent of the DLC revenue goes towards Capcom Pro Tour related initiatives. In a Q&A, Capcom also mentioned that a portion of its “sponsorship, ad revenue, and merchandise sales” also contributes to the Capcom Pro Tour and Capcom Cup prize pool as well.


Crowdfunding News


Not finding any video games that look interesting or that are likely to succeed so here are some good looking board and tabletop projects.


Siege of the Citadel - 2nd Edition Techno Fantasy Boardgame


The miniatures boardgame set in the Mutant Chronicles Universe, designed by Richard Borg with Eric M Lang & Kevin Wilson




A roleplaying game about claiming what is rightfully yours.

From the creator of The Burning Wheel, Luke Crane.


Trudvang Chronicles


Award winning table top RPG for the first time in english!


Other content I found interesting this week


It’s Remembered for Its Action, But ‘Resident Evil 4’ Was a Superbly Scripted Video Game



Resident Evil games typically open with a dark night and ominous soundtrack. RE4, by contrast, begins with a relaxed Leon Kennedy, driving a sunny woodland road, backed by Spanish guitar. Immediately, the energy is up. When the game begins proper, and Leon – wearing fingerless gloves and holding his pistol like James Bond – gets on the radio with his Secret Service handler Hunnigan, the mood begins to settle. You are not some lone survivor, stumbling into a zombie outbreak by mistake. You're a professional, on a mission, with agency support. Your inventory screen is a sleek attaché case. Your gun has a laser sight – there are even some crows perched in front of you, just begging you to test your aim. You are equipped, primed and ready to be an action hero.


Defective Products: Postal, Hatred, and For-Profit Controversy



Thompson has been living in the minds of idiots for so long that they have adopted his rhetoric and tactics. Some even recognise Thompson himself as an ally.


The Designer Of RimWorld Is Here To Answer Your Questions



Tynan Sylvester is the designer of RimWorld, one of Steam’s biggest hits. He also wrote a book on game design and previously worked at Irrational Games, where he helped make BioShock Infinite. Now he’s here to answer all of your questions.


Better Than Black and White: One Man’s Decade-Long Quest to Remake 'Metroid II'



Milton Guasti never planned for his free fan-made game to become the de facto next chapter in Nintendo's Metroid story. In fact, although he'd played video games since the late 1980s, a special set of circumstances forestalled Guasti from becoming a Metroid fan until years after the franchise's most popular entry had come and gone.


Blanket Fort Chats: Game Making With Philip Jones



“Blanket Fort Chats” is a semi-regular column featuring women and nonbinary game makers talking about the craft of making games. In this week’s post, we feature Philip Jones, a nonbinary games professional best known as the editor of the queer cyberpunk adventure 2064: Read Only Memories and the expo hall director for the LGBTQIA+ games convention GaymerX.


How we mixed Tinder and politics to make a premium hit on mobile


I woke up last week with the news that Reigns, our little "swipe to build a dynasty" game, managed to creep up into the Golden Hall of iOS: the Top 100 Grossing Games in the U.S., alongside behemoths such as Minecraft, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Hearthstone, Candy Crush variations and all those angry men showing their teeth (Game of War, Clash of Clans ...). I’m told it hit more than $1 million in sales in less than a week.


Playing Through BioShock 2: Minerva's Den With Its Creators - IGN First


We sat down with Steve and Karla from Fullbright to play through a chunk of one of the best stories in the BioShock universe.


There’s Always a Man: BioShock’s Jordan Thomas Discusses the Acclaimed Trilogy



Of that, perhaps nobody is more acutely aware than Jordan Thomas. Originally a level designer on the first BioShock, Thomas was later promoted to creative director on BioShock 2. After that, he returned to Infinite as an advisor, and the BioShock Wiki lists him as a senior writer on the third game.

Alongside Dishonored's Kain Shin and two fellow BioShock alumni, Stephen Alexander and Michael Kelly, Thomas, in 2013, founded an independent studio named Question. Now, with the launch of BioShock: The Collection, featuring remasters of all three games, Thomas considers how working on the transformative game series, specifically, changed him.


Inside the Making of 'BioShock' Series With Creator Ken Levine



The man who was once everywhere hasn't been seen much since. But with the release this week of BioShock: The Collection, a package of the three BioShock games remastered for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, Levine agreed to talk to Glixel about his best-known games. We met at his new studio, south of Boston.





To celebrate its one year anniversary, Undertale's creator has opened up about how its success affected him, as well as releasing tracks that never made it into the final game.



September 15th marks a full year since the arrival of Undertale, Toby Fox’s 16 bit-style role-playing game for PC. Its auspicious reception, which even delivered the game into the Pope’s hands, seems now more than ever to have been a flashpoint in current debates as to what constitutes excellence in videogames. Standing apart from the colossal world-building efforts that typically crowd year-end lists, Undertale offered something else: an epic-in-miniature, the latest entry in a tradition that might also include the animated shorts of David OReilly, Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896), and Chopin’s preludes, which served as the inspiration for Jake Elliott’s short game Ruins (2011).


The unnameable essence: What makes a game Lovecraftian?



H.P. Lovecraft’s ongoing influence in popular culture is something of a mystery. Even leaving the issue of his politics aside, the type of cosmic horror he is best known for had been well represented before he joined the ranks with his later work (Robert Chambers published The King In Yellow in 1895 when Howard Phillips was just a toddler), and his belabored, description-heavy prose is sure to strain the patience of anyone but the most devout fan. Yet there are still lyrics being written, films produced, and novels conceived that perpetuate the themes we have come to regard as his own—of formless horrors lurking at the edge of sanity and the plight of a humanity plunging into an abyss of meaninglessness and despair.


The space that isn't



A lot of games - perhaps 'most games', certainly most AAA games - are set in virtual space. It's tempting to intuit virtual space as a sort of alternate dimension. It's not. There's no there there. It's like a book narrating how you turned left, turned right, opened the door, or a high-speed DM in a good tabletop RPG saying to you 'at the end of the corridor is the Fane of Tribbles'. It's just done with pictures instead of words. Nothing is present at all until you ask the software 'what's here?'


The Imaginary Racism of Bioshock Infinite



How Bioshock Infinite misses the mark with its commentary on 19th-century racism in general -- but gets its commentary on religious racism right.

And approach it we must, because we’re now in an election where the spoof nativist propaganda from BioShock Infinite has become actual propaganda -- and that’s far more disturbing than any multi-dimensional plot twist.





The Commodore 64 game Moondust (1983) is best remembered as a software programming experiment that helped launch the career of its creator, Jaron Lanier—an eccentric polymath who many now consider one of the earliest and foremost pioneers of virtual reality. But it might be better acknowledged as the progenitor of the modern music game.


Rogue Creator Says We Need A Better Word For Permadeath



“You’re going to the event called... ‘roguelike?’” the security guard asked.

“Yes,” said the bespectacled nerd in a black Dungeons & Dragons t-shirt, standing next to me at the sleek Eventbrite offices in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. The full name of the daylong conference we were attending was “Roguelike Celebration,” but the guard had gotten close enough.

“So you gotta like rogues?” joked the guard.


The complaints that make you want to buy a game



Recore is the latest game to receive middling reviews that sound wonderful to me.

"When it’s working, Recore is a game that feels evocative of a different era of action games," our review stated. "But in its final half, Comcept and Armature let collect-a-thon structure and a poorly realized open world drag the whole thing back down to earth."

There is some criticism in there, but otherwise that sentence made me perk up my ears.

Another editor on Twitter referred to Recore by saying it "feels like a gimmicky '90s combo action game." He didn’t mean it as a compliment. But I’m kind of in the mood for a gimmicky ‘90s combo action game?




In May of 2016, a tumblr user called radtone posted a picture they had drawn of Overwatch’s D.Va in chibi style, an aesthetic favoured by anime fans born from the Japanese word meaning  “short or small person”. In June 2nd, radtone followed up with a small comic depicting D.Va as the tiny ravenous progeny of Soldier 76. Aggressively cute, this new interpretation of the character started to gain traction elsewhere on Tumblr, with artists giving her a Dorito and Dew addiction and a git gud ‘hardcore’ attitude. The result was a ferality both adorable and, for anyone who lives on the internet, very familiar.

‘Gremlin D.Va’ is just one of many archetypal reimaginings in the headcanon of Blizzard’s shooter. Across fan sites and conventions the Overwatch lore has been remixed beyond Blizzard’s narrative in an ever evolving track of gender bending, romantic partnerships, unexpected familial relationships and alternate timelines. Beyond the game itself, anything is possible in the Overwatch universe.


What Cons Are Like When You're a Famous Cosplayer



If you've been to a convention like Fan Expo or Comic-Con, you've probably noticed that a big part of fandom is cosplaying: dressing up in the likeness of your favorite characters from video games or anime. For many, it's a casual hobby, but for people like Andy Rae, it's an activity that has taken on a major role in her life.


In Praise of Prague (and other small worlds) | Game Maker's Toolkit


In previous episodes of Game Maker's Toolkit, I've talked about the need for games with smaller open worlds, and the joy of exploring without hand-holding. Here's why Deus Ex: Mankind Divided deserves credit for delivering both.


A Closer Look At The Best Mission In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided


Adam Jensen has a lot of work to do in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Side quests and smaller stories are where the game really shines. “The Harvester” questline has all the things required for a great experience. We take a closer look in this video.


The Slow Motion Tragedy of Rimworld



There have been plenty of games about things going wrong, of course. The infamous Dwarf Fortress, perhaps Rimworld’s most direct inspiration, features a cast of remarkably petulant dwarves cooped up under a mountain and generally results in a horrifying cascade of events precipitated by, say, somebody tripping over a cat. Where Rimworld really shines in the “things going wrong” genre is in its entire presentation. The designers have a fantastic eye for hiding the statistics and systems that could be confusing or uninteresting while exposing the numbers that really count. As such, you’ll often find yourself in situations where you’ll understand most of the reasons why your colony is on fire, but still be mystified why, rather than helping, two out of your three colonists are stargazing.


In Praise of the Bitch



I should point out that Anora has a small but robust fan base, of course, some of whom are quite hortatory in their praise of the politicking queen. But the hatred remains overpowering, especially in light of the fandom given to the anti-heroics of Teyrn Loghain, Queen Anora’s father, who truly was a tyrant. Anora betrays your character as part of a larger chess game she’s playing to unseat her murderous father, and ultimately provides you with the support you need to win over the nobility in that effort. She just wants her title of Queen to be more than ceremonial. But why is this ambition, in a game that bleeds with it from all sides, held as so unseemly in Anora?


The Rise and Fall of Competitive ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’



Modern Warfare was an explosive title packed with bluster about the sheer scale of 21st century warfare, but its gameplay felt tight and its action tense – more like a close-contested paintball match than a roaring open battlefield. This feeling, combined with strong UK representation in the ranks of professional Call of Duty 1 and 2 players, lead to a competitive scene springing to life almost immediately.


Why Abzu Might Be the Most Important Game for Kids in Years - Writing on Games


In this episode of Writing on Games, I examine a game which I felt didn't get enough attention at launch - Giant Squid's 'Abzu'.

After playing games with my four-year-old nephew for a long time, I found that even supposedly 'kid-friendly' games like Minecraft caused him frustration due to their surprising mechanical complexity. I wondered why there weren't any games that could do the same thing the writing in Pixar's films manages to achieve, for example - provide kids with an experience perhaps different but equally as valid as the experience of their adult counterparts.

As it turns out, Abzu fills that gap very nicely - not only is it a non-combat focused, somewhat educational experience for children, the game has relatively simple controls which reward even imprecise movement with beautiful fluid animations. As such, for me, the game was a break from mechanically intense games - for him, it was the first experience he'd had with a game in which he felt truly in control.


Dark Souls 3


Star Wars: Battlefront 3 "Training Mission" gameplay appears on YouTube


Nearly 15 minutes of gameplay footage from the canceled Star Wars: Battlefront 3 has turned up online, courtesy of YouTuber FuZaH.


Marvel's Cancelled Ghost Rider PlayStation Game - Unseen64


This video details a cancelled Ghost Rider game by Neversoft, Crystal Dynamics, and Marvel from 1996. The game used a tweaked version of the engine used for Skeleton Warriors, and was planned to release exclusively on the original PlayStation. Support for the game was dropped when its publisher, Crystal Dynamics, decided to pull out of its publishing deals and focus on developing games in-house. There were also concerns surrounding the game's genre, as Crystal Dynamics believed sidescrolling games were falling out of fashion.


Manifold Garden: Level Design in Impossible Geometry


This 2016 GDC session from independent developer William Chyr focuses on the challenge of designing levels with impossible geometry for his game Manifold Garden.





Defining a genre is a troubled process the moment a discussion of its elements begin. Those nebulous divisions that separate detective and gothic fiction, science fiction and horror, adventure and fantasy; all seem built on shaky foundations as tropes and archetypes bleed into each other. More often than not, studying the progression and evolution of genres begins with the understanding that such genres are seldom fixed, codified strictures.


How the Blue Skies of ‘Forza Horizon 3’ Got Me Thinking About ‘OutRun 2’ and Gaming Preservation



Besides, sticking to the rules means focusing on the road—and that's a crime when the skies in this game are something else. They're all genuine, captured by Playground using an expensive HDR camera rig, shots taken practically every second of every day across a whole Australian summertime. And at their bluest, their widest, their most enveloping, there's only one thought that scorches into my mind: man, I'd really like to play OutRun 2 right now. And thank goodness I still can.


In Defence of Playing Bad Video Games



I could have played any number of different video games last week, but I chose to spend my hours with the decidedly mediocre ReCore, a garbled mess of wasted potential (the details of which are elaborated on here). There's just enough to enjoy and appreciate about it to keep me coming back, but there's a larger reason I'm hoping to see it through to the end: it's instructive to play a bad video game.


Great job! You're fired!



Weekly recap: The gaming industry routinely asks too much of developers and then thinks too little about throwing them aside


Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games


Overwatch Player Uses Actual Turntable To Control Lucio


Video games have a long and sordid history of using various objects as controllers: guns, peripherals shaped like penises, and hell, even fruit. So it’s only natural that some of the weirder ones be put to more sensible use.


Watch This Outstanding Battlefield 1 Glitch Compilation Video


Battlefield games have glitches like any other, but the recent Battlefield 1 alpha and beta tests provided even more opportunities for things to go awry.


Voice of Tidus Responds to FFX Laugh Remix (James Arnold Taylor)


Everyone keeps wanting to know what I think of the remixing of the Entire FFX sound track to include the Tidus Laugh... Here's my response.


And again, Phantom Pain did have "zombies" in it.

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