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This Week In Gaming 10-11-16

1 post in this topic

Bethesda revives mod support for PS4 titles, FFXV PC port would take over a year, using a human skull to create sounds for Inside, Psychonauts 2 shows prototype gameplay, court dismisses class action lawsuit against Valve, Mass Effect Andromeda release may have accidentally been revealed, a look at Japanese gaming restaurants, launch delays for multiple games, conversation with Tetris world record holder, VR games and products, what developers get out of conventions, the birth of Japanese RPGs, Amy Hennig says AAA game dev lifestyle is unwinnable, and more.




AJSA Youtube's This Week In Gaming


Angry Army Weekly | Gaming News from Oct 02 - Oct 08


Gaming News


Civilization VI - First Look: Russia

5 things I wish I knew before playing Civilization 6


Going from Civ 4 to Civ 5 was probably the biggest step out of the comfy, immortal dictator shoes Sid Meier’s flagship series had ever taken, but Civ 5 to Civ 6 is an even more significant transformation. So whether you’re totally new to this world domination thing or a veteran of weathering Gandhi’s aggressive nuclear policy—along with battling the rest of Civ 6’s leaders—it’s wise to seek some understanding of the basics. There are some tricky concepts to come to terms with a couple layers under what Sean Bean will tell you in the tech pop-ups. And it’s Sean Bean, so you never know when he might get impaled or immolated, leaving us to navigate the winds of time on our own.


Torment: Tides of Numenera - World of Numenera Trailer

Updated Our Journal (59): Polish & Interface Improvements, Looking Forward


Eric here. We're in the home stretch on Torment, and in the last few months we've been working hard to refine and improve the game. My main role has been to work with our artists and engineers to make our user experience as good as it can be. We are in that magical time when a game goes from being something simply playable but rough, to being truly enjoyable, and that's a wonderfully creative period where iteration abounds and we have the time and energy to really identify all those little things that add up to make a great game.


Beyond Good and Evil 2 is happening, original game free on PC next week


If the concept artwork teased by series mastermind Michel Ancel last week didn't sway you, it now seems work on Beyond Good and Evil's long-awaited sequel is all but underway. 


Dishonored 2 - Daring Escapes Trailer


Watch as both Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano showcase a few of the seemingly limitless creative combinations of their supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets to escape from the Royal Conservatory.


Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star – Trailer #2





Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. In publisher Kitfox Games’s upcoming The Shrouded Isle, those sacrifices are lives. It’s a cult village management game to be released in February 2017 by design lead Jongwoo Kim, writer Tanya Short, and artist Erica Lahaie.


Battlefield 1's Spectator Mode to come with new video editing tools


You won't just spectate in Battlefield 1's Spectator mode; you'll basically chronicle the skirmish as a sort of war correspondent, compositing scenes, changing the depth-of-field or field-of-view, enabling a free camera, or adding visual filters to make everything look all arty and noir.

Battlefield 1 Campaign - "Avanti Savoia" Teaser Trailer

All Battlefield 1 rental servers will be operated by EA


Battlefield 1 will support private and public server rental, but unlike in the past, EA will not rely on third-party companies to provide them.


Rise Of The Tomb Raider - First PlayStation VR Details


Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Official Expert Missions Gameplay Trailer


Gravity Rush 2 bounced to January



Gravity Rush 2, the PlayStation 4 sequel to the cult favorite, physics-based PlayStation Vita platformer, will launch on Jan. 20, 2017. That’s six weeks later than planned; the game was set for a Dec. 4 release.


Dark Horse may have accidentally revealed when Mass Effect: Andromeda will come out



There's nothing strange about this, but the description of the book on Amazon may have revealed more than the publisher intended.


Psychonauts 2 prototype gameplay sees Raz return to Whispering Rock


The video opens with Double Fine boss Tim Schafer announcing that the Fig crowdfunding platform has been approved by the SEC, meaning that it can finally collect the investment money (as opposed to the conventional reward backer money) that had been promised during the campaign. It's also still possible to invest in the game if you haven't already at fig.co/psy2.


Tales of Berseria finally dated for the west



Bandai Namco has finally given us a firm release date for Tales of Berseria, which was released this past August in Japan.


Reviving Mafia Part 3: Racial Tension and Political Strife


In the third and final part of our Reviving Mafia series, Hangar 13 discusses the decision to set the game in 1968 and how the protagonist sets Mafia III apart from other open-world games. 2K provided travel to New Orleans for b-roll.

New Mafia 3 PC Patch Adds 60 FPS and Unlimited FPS Options


The Mafia III PC patch that adds new frame rate options


Hiveswap is coming in January, so here's a trailer


It's been a long and winding journey for Hiveswap, the point-and-click adventure game "based on and loosely related to Homestuck canon." It started as a Kickstarter for the Homestuck Adventure Game in 2012, changed developers, direction, and title in 2014, and in early 2015 was given a release window for the first of its planned four episodes of the spring of that year. 


Shadow Warrior 2 Is Bloody Good At Co-Op



Yesterday I started my review of Shadow Warrior 2. I went in wanting to play through the campaign in single-player. So I completed a couple missions, blasting enemies left and right before deciding that it wouldn't be a bad idea to play along with a friend.


Star Citizen Single Player Campaign Delayed Into 2017



During tonight's Citizencon livestream, Cloud Imperium Games announced that Squadron 42, Star Citizen's single player campaign, will not meet its 2016 release date.

Star Citizen impresses at CitizenCon with big new procedural planets video


Another corker of a Star Citizen gameplay video just aired at the annual CitizenCon bash, and this one has a sort of Mako vehicle, sort of sand people and a sort of giant worm!


Final Fantasy XV would take over a year to port to PC, says co-director Hajime Tabata



Is Final Fantasy XV coming to PC? It's a question we've all been asking since the RPG was revealed back in the Dark Ages, but now we finally have our answer. Well, we actually don't, but if it did come to PC it would take Square Enix over a year to port.


Endless Space 2: Early Access - Vodyani's Vision Official Cinematic


Tekken 7 adds Miguel to its roster


Spanish fighter Miguel Caballero Rojo will return in Tekken 7, Bandai Namco announced today.


Turok 2 Is Coming Back



Night Dive Studios, specialists in re-releasing classic PC games for more modern hardware, have announced today that they’ll soon be bringing Turok 2 (first released in 1998) back from the dead.


Cuphead now shooting for mid-2017 release



Cuphead developer Studio MDHR now plans to release its stylish cartoony platformer sometime in the middle of next year, according to an update posted to its website.




“The way they punish them is by making them learn stuff that literally means nothing and is just making their lives harder,” Shenzhen I/O creator Zach Barth said. “I think of [Shenzhen I/O] in that way.” But, like, in a good way.


Democracy 3 dev teases first Production Line pre-alpha footage


Last week, Positech Games' Cliff Harris announced Production Line—a complex isometric car manufacturing sim that echoes the likes of Car Tycoon and Factorio.


Metro 2033 dev's next game is an Oculus Touch title called ARKTIKA.1


Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light developer 4A Games will release a new title called ARKTIKA.1 for Oculus Touch, head of content Jason Rubin announced today during Oculus Connect.


Syberia 3 has been delayed into 2017



Microids announced the point-and-click adventure Syberia 3 in 2012, saying that it would be out sometime in 2014, or maybe 2015. That eventually became 2016—December 1, to be specific—but today the studio said that date isn't going to work out either.


Titanfall 2 trailer reveals EA's "vision" for its single-player campaign


The original Titanfall was almost entirely a multiplayer affair, so it's really interesting to see Electronic Arts putting so much focus on the campaign in Titanfall 2. The latest trailer lays out EA's "vision" for single-player gameplay from the perspective of both Pilot and Titan, each of which brings unique and complementary capabilities to the field of battle.


Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night teams up with Payday publisher, demos new test footage


Koji Igarashi and ArtPlay Inc. have agreed a publishing deal for their successfully crowdfunded Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.


Prey trailer features female Morgan


Remember the Prey trailer that surfaced at QuakeCon earlier this year—you know, the one that sort of echoed Alien: Isolation and System Shock 2, and also demonstrated the value of turning into a coffee cup? Well, Bethesda has re-released it, this time with the female variation of protagonist Morgan Yu in charge.  


The First 13 Minutes of Ocean Descent VR


The First 13 Minutes of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood


The First 17 Minutes of London Heist VR


Jeff Minter is re-imagining urban legend Polybius for PlayStation VR


Jeff Minter, the man behind Space Giraffe, TxK and GoatUp, is re-imaging the classic arcade game Polybius (you know the one) as a PlayStation VR exclusive.


Superhot VR is a whole new game, built for the Oculus Touch



Superhot VR will be ready for the launch of the Touch controllers on Dec. 6, and it already feels like one of the best games on the platform. That sort of quality didn’t come easily.


Evolve Dev's New Game Wants You to Face Your Fears in VR



Oculus announced multiple games for the Oculus Rift at its Connect 3 press conference, but it also talked about some experiences coming to Gear VR. Two of these come from Evolve developer Turtle Rock Studios and release this month.


See a goblin puke into a drinking fountain in the new Styx: Shards of Darkness trailer


Styx: Shards of Darkness, the stealth game about a goblin who steals things and murders people, was announced last fall and intended to be out later this year—probably not too far from now, actually. Thanks to a move from Unreal 3 to Unreal 4, however, it won't actually make it to release until early in 2017.


Becoming the Batman - Batman: Arkham VR Gameplay | PlayStation VR


Time to delete your games: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition requires 130 gb install



Call of Duty fansite Charlie Intel has grabbed some pre-release box art from the French release of Infinite Warfare and noted the install size. For any purchases of the Legacy Edition, you're going to need at least 1/5th of the original PS4's hard drive space available.


Endless Legend's Tempest DLC comes crashing down next week


Historically, the sea has played rather a big part in Earth's territorial squabbling, so it's nice to see that naval warfare will arrive in fantasy 4X Endless Legend next week. That's the aptly named Tempest expansion that Joe Donnelly already told you about, but that we now have a date and price for. October 14 is the date, and $12.99 / £9,99 / €12,99 is the price. You can preorder it from tomorrow for 25% off, and if you're wondering what's included, well, developer Amplitude has you covered there too.


Underrail expansion Expedition announced



You'll be able to hop into Expedition from Underrail's midpoint onwards, and once you've taken the plunge you can explore "over 100" new areas, make friends/deadly enemies with a few new factions, and collect/shoot/enhance your character with additional loot, monsters and skills respectively. You'll also be able to improve them past level 25, which is nice.


Ashes of the Singularity expansion adds two new campaigns and a strategic zoom option



Stardock's RTS Ashes of the Singularity is an impressive technical accomplishment, but it fell a bit short as a single-player experience because of "drab" maps and a brief, "forgettable" campaign. That's something the studio aims to address with the game's first standalone expansion, entitled Escalation, that's set to come out in November.


Two heroes, six maps and a new game mode are in development for Overwatch


Big changes are coming to Overwatch. The current PTR already has some hefty tweaks, with Widowmaker's scope speed increased, Junkrat buffed and an improved spectator mode added - letting viewers hotkey cameras and easily jump around the map - but there's even more on the horizon.

Rumor: Overwatch’s Sombra and Halloween event details leak


Our first look at Overwatch’s next character may be here a little earlier than Blizzard planned — that is, if the supposed leak of the hacker known as Sombra isn’t part of the developer’s ongoing alternate reality game.

Here are all of Overwatch's new Halloween Terror skins


Overwatch's second major event, Halloween Terror, just went live and with it comes a plethora of goodies. As was leaked earlier this week, it will bring along a new brawl that acts as Overwatch's first PvE mode, which you can read more on here. But more importantly, it's also adding new loot boxes full of halloween themed swag.

Overwatch Fans Hacked Actual People In An Attempt To Find Sombra


The hunt for info on Overwatch’s next hero, a stealthy hacker named Sombra, has brought over 7,000 fans into Blizzard’s alternate reality game (ARG). But some bystanders have become unwilling participants in the ARG as well, as players hungry for Overwatch’s hacker have partaken in some hacking of their own.


Replays are finally coming to League of Legends



One of the most long-awaited features in League of Legends is finally arriving. Replays, something the community has asked for for years and years, will be added to the client next season, Riot announced in a post Thursday.


Total War Warhammer releasing something soon?


Stellaris' Leviathans story pack release date and price set


As promised back in August, Stellaris' Heinlein 1.3 patch arrives later this month with Paradox today revealing October 20 as launch day. It'll land at the same time as the 4X-meets-grand strategy game's first story pack, Leviathans—which is priced at $9.99 or the "local equivalent".


Payday 2 adds customisable safe houses, free to try this week


On Friday, Payday 2 launched Hoxton's Housewarming Party—a community event that promises players free stuff via ten daily updates. During this time, the base game is also free to try (until October 16), and is also privy to a 75 percent discount, alongside its DLC.


Titanfall 2's first free map is Angel City



There will, of course, be maps added to Titanfall 2 after release, and the good news is they'll all be free, as announced by developer Respawn back in June.


Rocket League Shakes Up Its Competitive Ranking System



Rocket League developer Psyonix announced that it has applied a hotfix to the car-soccer game today. This update makes adjustments to the way it handles the competitive tiers, lowering skill thresholds and giving each mode its own standards for rising through the ranks.


Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer sets up the story for next expansion


When Star Wars: The Old Republic's latest expansion Knights of the Eternal Throne was revealed this summer, details were thin on the ground. We now know that players will assume the role of the Outlander, a veteran of the Great Galactic War, who'll face off against the unscrupulous Emperor Valkorion and Empress Vaylin in a bid to conquer the Eternal Throne.


Heroes of the Storm is getting its own weekly brawl mode


Heroes of the Storm is about to become the latest Blizzard game to offer a "weekly brawl" mode, thanks to the new mode that's set to go live later this month. Like Hearthstone's Tavern Brawls and Overwatch's Weekly Brawls, Heroes Brawls will confront players with new, sometimes bizarre restrictions and rulesets that will change on a weekly basis.


Green Man Gaming expands further into console game sales with Sony deal



Online storefront Green Man Gaming is continuing to expand its stock beyond PC games, confirming this week that it has cut a deal with Sony US to sell download codes for select PlayStation 4 games.


Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Star Wars: Battlefront, more coming to the EA Access and Origin Vault



EA Access members on Xbox One and Origin Access members will have three rather popular games added to The Vault later this year.


Oculus, Epic make deal to give Unreal Engine devs a royalties break



Oculus is incentivizing game developers to bring their Unreal Engine 4-powered virtual reality games to the proprietary Oculus Store via a new deal with UE4-maker Epic Games.

Facebook begins to claim the Oculus brand


Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion in cash and stock, but the branding of the two companies has always been kept separate. Until Oculus Connect 3.

Oculus spotlights diversity, not Palmer Luckey, at Oculus Connect keynote


Last month, it was reported Luckey financed a pro-Trump “shitposting” group coordinated via a controversial pro-Donald Trump subreddit. That group, called Nimble America, counts one-time Twitter harasser and right-wing extremist Milo Yiannopoulos as a "silent partner."

“Palmer decided not to attend OC3 because he didn’t want to be a distraction,” Nate Mitchell, Luckey’s cofounder and VP of product at Oculus told us shortly after the keynote. “Palmer absolutely decided that he was not going to be here.”

How many Rifts has Oculus sold?


I spoke with Nate Mitchell, Oculus’ VP of product, and asked when the company could begin to be more transparent about sales numbers and the size of the market.

'We are coasting on novelty': Carmack advises VR devs to build better mobile VR apps


Today Oculus CTO John Carmack shared his thoughts on the state of VR development in his closing keynote at the company’s Connect dev conference.

This is what Oculus' new wireless prototype Rift is like


In his keynote at Oculus Connect on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg told the audience that he had no new hardware to show—but he also said that Oculus was putting its strength toward making a truly mobile Rift experience, and it turned out there was some very early hardware at the show aimed at that very goal. Today I got to try it on. new Santa Cruz Rift prototype.

Which game would an Oculus exec want to ‘steal’ from PlayStation VR?


“I went to the PlayStation offices to try PlayStation VR and I was blown away ... I don’t remember the name of the game but you may be able to tell me ... it reminded me of Rez, but it wasn’t Rez, and I was on this track ...”

Oculus Touch price and release date confirmed


It's been announced at the Oculus Connect conference that the Oculus Touch will be out in the US on December 6

Oculus removes VR support for Galaxy Note 7 over fears of explosions


Oculus is removing Gear VR support for all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices, Facebook announced through emails and on the Oculus website today.


State regulator orders Valve to halt CS:GO skin gambling through Steam



The Washington State Gambling Commission is demanding that Valve halt the transfer of CS:GO skins through the Steam API, which it says contravenes state gambling laws. In a press release posted by the Esports Betting Report, the regulatory agency gave Valve until October 14 to "explain how it is in full compliance with Washington's gambling laws," and warned that failure to do so could lead to civil or criminal action being brought against it.

Court dismisses class action lawsuit against Valve over CS:GO gambling


U.S. District Judge John C Coughenour has this week granted the defendants' motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed against Valve and others over alleged illegal gambling on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skins.

Valve brings sprays back to Counter-Strike — and monetizes them


A new update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive brings back sprays and graffiti to Valve’s first-person shooter, but not in the way that many longtime Counter-Strike players will remember. Counter-Strike: GO’s version of sprays are consumable items that players can earn from leveling up, or they can be purchased as loot boxes or individual sprays from the Steam Market.

Skin gambling sites are relaunching as Valve’s WSGC deadline looms—and Steam servers are at risk of seizure


Last week, Valve was ordered to shut down all gambling-related weapon skin transfers by the Washington State Gambling Commission. In response, Valve has seemingly done nothing—but in an unprecedented move, many previously-shuttered gambling sites, including CSGO2x and Society, are coming back to life.


Xbox Head Phil Spencer Talks Scorpio, PS4 Pro, 4K Resolution, and More



Phil Spencer has been at Microsoft for 28 years, currently leading the global creative and engineering teams at Xbox. He's overseen the launch of the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and now he is guiding the company's launch of its new, upgraded Xbox One console, codenamed Scorpio.


With Sony's support, Bethesda revives mods for Fallout 4 and Skyrim on PS4



Less than a month after shelving plans to support user-created mods in the PlayStation 4 versions of Fallout 4 and its upcoming Skyrim Special Edition, Bethesda appears to have reversed course.


Feds Charge Alleged PoodleCorp And Lizard Squad DDoS Attackers


Two members of hacking groups Lizard Squad and PoodleCorp were charged yesterday with “conspiring to cause damage to protected computers,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said in a statement. Both hacking groups have taken credit for temporarily bringing down online gaming services Xbox Live, PSN, Battle.net and more.


Adorable Starcrafts mod turns space war into cartoonish playground, out tomorrow


For all its wonder and spectacle, the interminable darkness of interstellar battle can be a wee bit uninspiring at times. Carbot Animations' Starcrafts Mod—a Starcraft 2 graphics overhaul—wants to change this by adding a splash of colour and a pinch of child-friendly animations to the military sci-fi RTS with the hope of livening the setting up a bit.


Twitch Is Playing An Unreleased Pokémon Hack That Took Eight Years To Make


Not only is Twitch Plays Pokémon still going in 2016, this time around it’s working its way through a very cool game that nobody else can play yet.


Esports News


The Weekend In Esports: More Worlds 2016 and Rocket League Mayhem



There’s a ton going on in pro gaming this weekend, starting with the concluding matches of Worlds 2016's first phase, followed by major tournaments across the fighting game community stretching from Dearborn Michigan to southern Malaysia.

There’s also still plenty going on in the world of competitive Counter-Strike and Rocket League in both Europe and the Americas. Here’s where you can find it all.


The Hypest Moments From The Weekend's Big Smash Tournament



Smash tournaments aren’t all about the game. A lot of the Smash hype, especially in the 15-year-old Melee scene, comes from the personalities players bring to the game. At last last weekend’s The Big House 6 tourney in Michigan, personality was there in droves.

We clipped some of the hypest moments from the tournament below.


New tournament series heading to the Las Vegas strip



Competitive gaming platform FACEIT and media company Ultimate Media Ventures have announced the upcoming monthly tournament coming to the Las Vegas strip, called Battle on the Strip. The tournament series will run from October through December this year, with one tournament each month from a rotating series of games. Finals will be held monthly at the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino’s The Foundry.


Esports league airs in French TV thanks to multi-year deal between ESL and Canal+



ESL France and Vivendi-owned French cable TV channel Canal+ reached a multi-year agreement to develop and broadcast national and international esports events. Additionally, ESL and Vivendi want to create “the first official national French esports league,” whose competitions will be aired on Canal+.


How League of Legends teams become fan darlings



There’s a point that comes up again and again: fans are the true lifeblood of League of Legends. When the servers were struggling under League’s enormous popularity in Riot’s infancy, it was fans who footed the bill by happily buying RP to dress up their favourite champions and expand their rosters. When teams were talking about the struggle of an economic crunch, it was noted that top players could escape the trap via streaming and fan support. Teams put plenty of hours into their social media to reach out to the fans and keep them engaged with the brand and their players. Reddit AMAs? For the fans. The shoutouts at the end of post-game interviews are for the fans as well.


Dota 2 Player Accuses Former Team Of Mishandling Prize Money



Earlier today, Jack ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao published a nearly 7,500 word blog post accusing leadership within Team Secret of being, well, secretive about how it handled prize money, sponsorship deals, and a whole host of other financial matters. His remarks were archived here after the traffic they originally generated crashed his blog.


9000 Fans Mourn Pro Gamer In Live Twitch Funeral



Around 9000 fans of Phillip “Phizzurp” Klemenov, a professional Call of Duty player and streamer killed in a car accident last week, have gathered on Twitch to watch his funeral live and pay their respects.


Crowdfunding News


Wasteland 3


From the creators of Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera comes Wasteland 3! Following the critically acclaimed releases of 2014's Wasteland 2 and 2015's Wasteland 2: Director's Cut, fans have been clamoring for a direct sequel. Now we can bring it to you, with your help!

I ended up getting $5 off for supporting previous projects (if you have you probably have an email that will allow you to get $5 off), the discount, free bonus game offered in the first two days (both ones I was interested in), and getting early $25 tier got me a pretty good deal.

Wasteland 3 Represents a Huge Win For Fig


inXile’s Brian Fargo seeks $2.75 million, and sees Fig as hope for the future of crowdfunding. In a Sept. 28, 2016 Polygon article, Fargo cited Kickstarter’s overall loss of momentum for the switch. It’s Fig’s equity funding option that Fargo sees as a means of jump-starting the crowdfunding space, especially with larger $1,000 and up tiers. The idea seems to be that infusing crowdsourcing with more of a business-focus will eliminate the trend of one-time backing.

Wasteland 3 Funded in Just 3 Days; Talking Car Among Its New Stretch Goals


Wasteland 3 has reached its crowdfunding goal, raising over $2.75 million in just over three days.




A sequel to the award-winning, genre breaking, asymmetric strategy cult classic. Win against the odds in AI War 2.




A next generation adventure role playing video game connecting smart action figures, trading cards, & comics in ways never seen before.


Bringing back the Isometric Mech Shooter with ANTRAXX


Re-live the SNES Battletech era with a next generation online mech shooter inspired by the likes of Front Mission and Metal Slug.


Other content I found interesting this week


Smashing It, Small Time: Inside a Local Competitive Video Gaming Scene



Released way back in November 2001, Super Smash Bros. Melee is a fascinating example of longevity in competitive gaming. Lacking any online features, Nintendo's fighting game has survived through the efforts of devoted communities spread across the globe. Its continued popularity is testament to the passion of this fanbase – one that operates both on a small, local scale and a wider, web-connected network of players and supporters.

One such regional scene can be found in Southampton, on the southern English coast. I paid these enthusiasts a visit to see what it takes to keep a competitive community alive for a game that's several console generations out of date.


Max Payne - Identity From Adversity


Remedy's classic PC shooter Max Payne is one of my personal favourites but not for its rather simple gameplay. In this little change of pace I take a look at why the original game stands out so well tonally and how its successors failed recapture the magic.


Virtual Real Talk (The Jimquisition)


Virtual reality has its cards on the table now. After waiting and seeing exactly how it would all pan out, it's time to deliver a verdict.

The verdict being that virtual reality is a bit toss, if I'm being honest.


A Critique of Two Homefronts


This is a video critique and review of the linear shooter Homefront and its open-world sequel Homefront: The Revolution. It looks at how each game imitates a Red Dawn scenario with very different mechanical approaches. There are spoilers for both games.


A Closer Look at The Witcher 3's Most Outrageous Quest


The Witcher 3 is an astounding RPG full of countless quests. It ranges from sweeping epic battles to smaller, more intimate tales. I started playing the “Hearts of Stone” DLC recently and experienced a quest so wonderful, I had to take a deeper dive.


Why Blighttown Really Matters (Dark Souls) - Writing on Games


In this episode of Writing on Games, I revisit perhaps my favourite game ever (Dark Souls) for the first time in months. I know a lot of you subscribed based on my previous Dark Souls videos, but since there are a billion people talking about how the game is 'harsh but fair', I didn't want to make another video on it until I had something resembling a unique angle on it. So I decided to defend an area most people hate...

On this playthrough of the game, I realised that Blighttown, an area despised by many, actually became one of my favourite areas in the game, despite the dread I still felt going through it. The way it toys with the verticality of the level design and how this plays into the way the game rewards the player make Blighttown genuinely oppressive in a way no area up to that point can be. The way it turns the world itself into your enemy is quintessentially Dark Souls, and I love it for that.


Mafia 3 confronts players with the horror of racism, but I’m not sure it will last



Even being the same old thing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Where I get worried, however, is when that same old thing is paired with the more intense and interesting themes that Mafia 3 is trying to juggle.

#GLG25: Diversity in Mafia III pi1 #GamingLooksGood


After a few hours with Mafia III, Shareef explains how it handles the racial issues in 1960s America in a respectable way.


Guest Column: Teaching My Nonna to Read Through Games



Guest columnist Gino Grieco teaches his grandmother how to game, and in the process, learns about language barriers beyond English comprehension.


When Good Games Make Bad Decisions About How to End



Everything was going great on Sunday evening. My wife was having dinner with friends, my newborn was sleeping soundly, and I was sprinting toward the end of Quantum Break, the latest game from Max Payne and Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment. It's a flawed game but an enjoyable one. Yet everything ground to a halt during the game's final boss, an infuriating sequence that left an awful taste in my mouth.


TwitchCon diversity panel deluged with racist chat



Moderator and streamer Ryoga Vee showed the audience a screen demonstrating some of the racist abuse he has faced as a person of color streaming on Twitch. He added that most of the usernames that had attacked are "still active." He showed one follower request whose username was a racist slur aimed directly at him. "The lengths that they will go to get under our skin are limitless," he said.

Twitch Chat Racism Changed Hearthstone Pro Terrence Miller's Career


Last weekend, Miller took the stage as one member of a TwitchCon diversity panel that also included streamers RyogaVee, DeejayKnight, and ChinnyXo. The whole thing was livestreamed. It wasn’t long before shit hit the fan: the panel was meant to be a place to confront these issues in a constructive way, but hecklers were still able to break through and spam chat with racist comments. Again. Many comments were deleted by moderators after they appeared, but that only stemmed the tide. It did not stop it.

“I looked over at the chat during the diversity panel,” Miller told me during an interview a couple days later. “It was pretty close to what happened at Dreamhack Austin. It’s like, this is what we’re talking about. It’s happening right now as we’re doing this.”


The Early Days of id Software


In this 2016 GDC Europe talk, id Software co-founder and Doom co-creator John Romero discusses the company's early days and the programming principles that gave birth to games like Doom and Quake.


Mafia 3's composer talks the blues, Star Wars 1313 and mariachi bands in Monkey Island



"There was this one time where Dominic Robilliard, who was the project lead on Star Wars 1313, said: ‘I’ve got this outdoor restaurant here, and I would love it if you did a Star Wars take on Massive Attack for what the customers are listening to’," the ex-LucasArts turned freelance composer Jesse Harlin tells me. "And so I made it and it turned out really well."

While the name may not be immediately familiar, Harlin is responsible for the venerable scores behind Star Wars: Republic Commando, Battlefront 2, and The Old Republic. The ill-fated Star Wars 1313—which was intended to be a grittier, more mature slant on the fantastical galaxy far, far away—was axed in the aftermath of LucasArts' closure in 2013.


In Conversation with the King of Game Boy ‘Tetris’



Uli Horner spreads the cream and jam onto his scone, sliced almost too perfectly in half, with the utmost precision. The layers are even, with nary the smallest square millimetre of the scone left untouched by the accompaniments. He takes a sip from a glass of classic Coke, a bite, and lets his modesty unfurl with an endearing sincerity.


1982-1987 - The Birth of Japanese RPGs, re-told in 15 Games



Computer RPG History is poorly kept in the West.

The stories told rarely goes beyond "Richard Garriott made Akalabeth – and there was much rejoice". And that's with everyone speaking English, developers still being around, many books on the subject, and impressive efforts like emulators, the Internet Archive and Cyber1.

In Japan is way, way worst.

Few care about ancient Japanese PC games, emulation is difficult, the language barrier is overwhelming, trusty sources rare and companies have little interest in the crude titles of their youth.

As such, the origins of JRPGs are told as "Enix made Dragon Quest – and there was much rejoice desu." 


Review: Japanese Gaming Restaurants


Stupid stories about four bizarre, nostalgic and ritzy Japanese gaming eateries. In no particular order, other than what paragraphs smoothly flowed into the next. I'm not picking favorites on grounds as sacred as these.


Narratives That Can Only Exist As Video Games



On the whole, video games are not good at delivering traditional narratives. They usually have far smaller word-to-minute ratios compared to film or prose which can spread a story thin, they’re usually forced to centre around action setpieces which limit where narrative can go and force its pacing to suffer, and character motivations usually remain limited to revenge due to the nature of combat as core mechanics. As a result narratives in games tend to be long, drawn out and comparatively weak.

Still, there are a few select narratives in video games that stand above the crowd, that take advantage of their interactive nature, and do things that would definitely have less impact if attempted by a book or movie.


Darkest Dungeon Ruins Its Endgame



I love Darkest Dungeon, which is why I decided never to finish it.

It’s the only reasonable response to a game whose gruesome charm fades so drastically overtime. Its cruel world and Lovecraftian savagery rival games like Sunless Sea and Don’t Starve, but stay too long and you’ll eventually see its grizzly nightmare transformed into a middle-manager’s daydream.


Traveling Through The 'Wasteland:' Broken 'Dreams,' The 'Fallout' And A Triumphant Return



Speaking of game worlds, Wasteland was one of the first games that featured permanent changes to the world as a result of actions taken by the player. This may not seem like a big deal now, but when Wasteland was released game worlds were typically reset between play sessions because most home computers didn’t have hard drives to store data.


AAA game dev lifestyle is 'unwinnable,' says veteran game designer Amy Hennig



Amy Hennig knows more about triple-A development than most, having steered the Uncharted ship for so long as the series' creative director and head writer, before leaving for pastures new prior to the release of Uncharted 4.

After stepping away from Naughty Dog, Hennig joined up with Visceral Games to serve as creative director on the studio's top secret Star Wars project. But despite having made a name for herself in the realm of triple-A game dev, Hennig isn't exactly smitten with the "unwinnable" lifestyle it imposes on developers.


FIFA 17 Accidentally Used A Real Guy's Twitter Handle, And He's Pissed Off


FIFA 17 is praised for being true-to-life in every regard—so true-to-life that, hell, developer EA even included a real guy’s name and Twitter handle.


Come Back: Dear Esther's devs and walking simulators 9 years on



As I sipped my scotch and played through The Chinese Room’s Dear Esther: Landmark Edition, I had to reflect on where we’ve been since 2007 and those halcyon days when Esther was still a Half Life 2 mod. Playing through this definitive release, available for the first time on XBox One and PS4, it’s hard not to reflect on the whole burgeoning genre of “walking simulators” and what they learned from this pathbreaking epistle of a game.

Clearly it was on the minds of the developers as well.


Letters to My Nephews #2 - Learning to Learn - Extra Credits


Dave and Max: Games can teach us about ourselves and games can teach us about the world.  Sometimes it's important to see not only how games can help us understand ourselves but how our play prepares us to take on the challenges we'll we know we'll be forced to face.  I hope this episode helps you step into these challenges without fear and helps arm you with the knowledge of how well prepared you really are.


What Do Game Developers Actually Get Out of Game Conventions?



Conventions can be intense: the press of people, the overwhelming smell of body odour, the overpriced, undercooked food. But they can also be an excellent way to make and meet friends. They're a strange mixture of competition and community. We caught up with some of the game developers attending Birmingham's EGX in September 2016 to find out what they actually think of the whole experience.


Audio Design Deep Dive: Using a human skull to create the sounds of Inside



Early on, as we were working on Inside, I had the idea of working with a human skull because I think it's very interesting how the sound of your own voice sounds very different in your own head.


Music Game Plan: Tactics for the Video Game Composer (Part One)



Interactive music is always a hot topic in the game audio community, and newcomers to game music composition can easily become confused by the structure and process of creating non-linear music for games.  To address this issue, I produced four videos that introduce aspiring video game composers to some of the most popular tactics and procedures commonly used by game audio experts in the structuring of musical interactivity for games.  Over the next four articles, I'll be sharing these videos with you, and I'll also be including some supplemental information and accompanying musical examples for easy reference.  Hopefully these videos can answer some of the top questions about interactive music composition.  Music interactivity can be awesome, but it can also seem very abstract and mysterious when we're first learning about it. Let's work together to make the process feel a bit more concrete and understandable!


Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games


Starter Pokémon's 'Feminine' Evolution Is Bothering Some Fans



Poor Popplio can’t catch a break. First people hated Sun and Moon’s water starter because it was considered ugly. Yesterday, Game Freak revealed Popplio’s evolution, Brionne, leading some fans to feel like they have even more reason to dislike the evolution line.

Pokemon, the most manly of products marketed towards children.


If GTA V (And Trevor Phillips) Were Real


Overwatch Player Dunks On People Telling Him Not To Play A Character


Jokester videogamedunkey has recorded a bunch of instances where jerks explicitly told him not to play a character, only to have Dunkey pick that exact character just to make a point. And guess what? He kicked ass anyway, as you can see in this hilarious montage. (Just so you know, lots of explicit language in this video.)

Mafia 3 quality control


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