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This Week In Gaming 11-1-16

1 post in this topic

Bethesda will not send out early review copies anymore, Steam changes screenshot policy, Cuba's "first Indie game" wants to be more than that, the Story of Rocket League, a ten year journey to release a game, Kickstarted in the Butt, remembering fighting games’ fatalities arms race, looks at different horror games, the video game industry’s invisible workforce, EA accidentally blocks country from Origin, Brenda Romero reflects on 30 years as a developer, new info on Ni No Kuni 2, Waypoint launches with excellent three day stream, how Lara Croft lived and died in Derby, journalist reflects on why she plays games, Final Fantasy 15 will get co-op multiplayer, how one of the best Skyrim mods started with a punch to the face, and more.




AJSA Youtube's Angry Army Weekly


Gaming News


PSN Toolbar Available Today on PlayStation.com



Starting today, if you head to PlayStation.com and log in to your PSN account, you’ll see a new toolbar in the top right where you’ll be able to view Notifications, Messages, Friends, and your own mini-profile — all from your computer’s web browser. This makes it easier to stay connected when you’re away from your console.

Sony edges closer to 50m PS4 sales, PSVR "on track"


Sony's latest financials reveal a further 3.9m PlayStation 4 consoles were shipped between the start of July and end of September, taking the worldwide tally up to 47.4m PS4s shipped. PS4 passed the 40 million worldwide sales milestone in May.


Xbox’s Phil Spencer: VR will come to Project Scorpio when it doesn’t feel like “demos and experiments”



Sitting down with Phil Spencer last month in Sydney, the Head of Xbox discussed where virtual reality sits in his plan for both Xbox One and Windows PC gaming.


The final Wii U will roll off Nintendo's production line this week



Nintendo will end Wii U production this Friday, multiple sources have confirmed to Eurogamer.


Over 250 people picket EA amid voice actors' strike, union responds to management claims



After going on strike last Friday, over 250 people demonstrated outside EA's Playa Vista, California office yesterday in support of the US actors guild SAG-AFTRA's action against 11 videogame publishers.

Activision, EA and others launch site attacking voice actors union over strike


In response, the group representing companies like Activision, Disney, Warner Bros. Interactive, Take-Two Interactive and Electronic Arts has launched a website calling out the union for its lack of communication with actors about what the companies were willing to negotiate, and for forcing a strike.


EA Blocks Entire Country On Origin, Says They Plan To Fix It



Electronic Arts says they’re working to fix Origin in Myanmar in the wake of recent news that players could not access their EA PC games in the Southeast Asian country.


Bullshots begone - Steam developers must now use screenshots that "represent the game"



Bullshots are nothing new. They've been around since videogames have. However, some changes to the Steam storefront - possibly coupled with some recent controversies and claims of false advertising, particularly with No Man's Sky - mean Valve are stamping them out, at least on their service.

Steam Runs Out of Keys For A Game, Keeps Selling It Anyway


The Splinter Cell series for PC went on sale this weekend on Steam. Every game was discounted at 75% off, including Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the most recent game which Kirk Hamilton called in his review a sort of “greatest hits” collection borrowing the most successful parts from each previous game.


Nintendo Will Continue To Develop 3DS Software After Switch Launch



The Nintendo Switch is due to arrive in March and aims to unify the company's domestic and handheld interests. While the Wii U is already on life support with little in the way of new retail software to look forward to - outside of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, of course - the older 3DS continues to get new titles, and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima has insisted that will continue well into 2017.

Nintendo president doesn’t understand why the market reacted poorly to the Switch


Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima found himself confused after the reveal of the company’s next hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, shares in the company dropped.


Bethesda & Game Reviews


Earlier this year we released DOOM. We sent review copies to arrive the day before launch, which led to speculation about the quality of the game. Since then DOOM has emerged as a critical and commercial hit, and is now one of the highest-rated shooters of the past few years.

With the upcoming launches of Skyrim Special Edition and Dishonored 2, we will continue our policy of sending media review copies one day before release.

Some thoughts from people on Bethesda's policy.

Bethesda wants your money before the reviews hit

Our advice is the same as it has always been: Don’t pre-order. Don’t give them any money until you’re comfortable with the reviews, YouTube coverage or message board discussion of the game. Bethesda wants your money more than anything else, and this is the company’s way of minimizing risk. Vote accordingly.

On Publishers Controlling Game Reviews (The Jimquisition)


As Bethesda proudly announces it will no longer provide review copies until the day before a game launches, The Jimquisition decides to deliver some hefty side-eyeing.

This news came just as your very own Jim Sterling found out EA considers him a "wild card" who isn't to be trusted with high profile games like Battlefield 1.


Dishonored 2 gameplay with developer Arkane Studios!


We play Dishonored 2 with creative director Harvey Smith and lead designer Dinga Bakaba! Spoilers abound!

Dishonored 2 shines a spotlight on Corvo Attano in new video


A look at his powers and place in the game's world.


New teaser sets Mass Effect: Andromeda 600 years after the last game


Applications are now being taken for a new, intergalactic exploration program called the Andromeda Initiative. Orientation (a trailer) is set to begin on November 7, but you can get an idea of what it's all about—which, in case there's any question, would be BioWare's next Mass Effect game—by way of the new, brief, and thoroughly stirring trailer that promises great things for those bold enough to seize the moment.


Persona 5: Erika Harlacher Talks About Playing Ann Takamaki!


Night In the Woods Release Date


Enjoy 26 minutes of "Zombies in Spaceland" in new Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare video


Bring some quarters, because we're going to the Afterlife Arcade.


Ni no Kuni II has a kingdom creation system



We haven’t heard much about Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom since it was first announced for PlayStation 4 at PlayStation Experience 2015, but Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino confirmed at least one new tidbit during a recent interview with Vandal.net: it will have a kingdom creation system.


Point-and-click adventure The Little Acre will be out in November


The Little Acre is a hand-drawn point-and-click adventure about a man named Aidan and his daughter Lilly, who are searching for Aidan's father in 1950s Ireland. The quest takes a twist when Aidan is transported to a strange land filled with bizarre creatures, and goes really sideways when Lilly decides to take matters into her own hands to "help." We got our first look at it back in August, and today publisher Curve Digital announced that it will be out on November 22.


New Hitman Trailer Heads to Japan for Season Finale, November Release Schedule Detailed

'It was a good spot we ended up in. But it was messy getting there'


Hitmanᵀᴹ (which, for the sake of our sanity and yours, we'll just call Hitman from now on thank you very much) has just wrapped up its first season, and it's fair to say it's been a success. Since March this year, IO Interactive has delivered a succession of murderous playgrounds dense with the kind of devious detail that helped forge the studio's name back with the lauded Blood Money, and to my mind this reboot is at least the equal of that modern day classic. This new Hitman has frequently been outstanding.


Name Of Next Tomb Raider Leaks Because Guy Had It Open On Subway



Some advice for professional game developers and marketers: Don’t open up confidential information in public. Especially don’t do it a on a crowded subway.


New For Honor Trailer Shows Off "Top" Moments From Recent Alpha



Survival horror game Routine coming in March



Routine, the long-in-development survival horror game from Lunar Software, is set for release in March 2017, the studio announced today.



Super Robot Wars V launches February 23 in Japan, first full-length trailer


An English Asian release is also planned.


Valkyria: Azure Revolution new trailer, seven new characters and army branches detailed


Sega has released a new trailer, details, and screenshots of Valkyria: Azure Revolution, introducing seven new characters and the four branches of the army.




Acclaimed noir puzzle game Framed was touted for its ingenuity, taking elements of comic-book panel design and implementing them into its videogame format. Much of the story, then, existed outside of Framed‘s panels, allowing players to fill in the blanks. Lead designer Joshua Boggs attributes this idea to Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (1993): “The level of detail and investigation [McCloud] does in Understanding Comics was absolutely pivotal for Framed, and still is to this day.”


Wasteland 3's Brian Fargo on ditching Kickstarter: "I’m good at knowing what the winds of change are up to"



InXile and Wasteland 2 more or less wrote the script for game crowdfunding back in 2012 - following Double Fine Adventure’s lead with a pitch that played on nostalgia, replete with comedy sketches about clueless publishers. But even now, with two more Kickstarter wins behind them, the studio get the fear in the hours before setting a campaign live.


Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash will be released in western and Asian markets



News that should come as no surprise.


Halo Wars 2 Dev Hoping to Avoid "Pay-to-Win" Scenario With Microtransactions



As announced earlier this month, Halo Wars 2 will have a microtransaction system. You will collect packs for playing the game's campaign, multiplayer, and the newly announced blitz mode to create a deck.


Echoplex is a creepy puzzler that pits you against a stalking doppelganger


If The Stanley Parable, Portal and QUBE went minimalist...


Pokémon Sun and Moon Shows Us Red and Blue As Adults



Red and Blue, the original trainers from the first Pokémon games, are reappearing in Pokémon Sun and Moon. It’s been 20 years since we first saw them—how have they changed since then?

Pokémon Sun and Moon are Nintendo's biggest pre-orders ever


Pokémon Sun and Moon have become Nintendo's best pre-selling games of all time, the company announced Thursday. Although it did not disclose numbers, Nintendo referred to the pre-order figures as a "historic milestone."


Tyranny trailer reveals multi-structure player stronghold called Spires


Your base in Obsidian's new RPG is spread across multiple Spires located throughout the land.

Dev Diary #13 – Sirin


In our last developer update, we introduced you to the Spires of Terratus – your base in Tyranny. For this week’s update, we’re going to introduce you to the last of your potential Companions – Sirin, Archon of Song.


Zero Escape Bundle To Hit PS4, Vita, And Steam Next Year



Escape room puzzlers Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (999) and Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward will be offered in a two-pack for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita next spring, according to the PlayStation blog.


Berserk and the Band of the Hawk drops trio of combat trailers


Berserk and the Band of the Hawk—the game adaptation of the Berserk fantasy manga series said to have inspired the likes of Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma—has been relatively quiet since its reveal at E3 this year. Publisher Koei Tecmo has however now dropped three new English language trailers which better showcase the game's combat in practice.


Drone Racing in Watch Dogs 2


Let's watch as James takes on the Bayview Run and races around San Francisco using a drone.


Final Fantasy XV - Omen Trailer (North America)


“Omen,” a short CG movie by Digic Pictures, inspired by FINAL FANTASY XV.

Final Fantasy 15 is getting online multiplayer DLC


Final Fantasy 15 will receive an online, co-op multiplayer mode, Square Enix announced Thursday morning as part of its Paris Games Week press conference. Called Comrades, the paid add-on feature will give up to four players the chance to take on enemies as lead hero Prince Noctis and his three best friends.

Final Fantasy 15 turns the series' most adorable creatures into sacrificial objects


Final Fantasy 15 will indeed include the beloved Moogle, one of the series’ cuddliest mascots, after a legion of fans voted in favor of their last-minute inclusion. Square Enix revealed in the video above just how these characters will be implemented in the game, however, and it may just make those same fans reconsider their party lines.


Dead Rising 4 Halloween trailer showcases costumes, vehicles, crafting


Yes, you can dress up as a Christmas elf.


BlazBlue Isn't As Fun Without English Voices



BlazBlue: Central Fiction arrives in North America today, bringing fresh mechanics and a host of new fighters to Arc System Works’ unique fighting game series. What’s it’s not bringing, for the first time ever, is an English voice cast, and that’s very unfortunate.


Resident Evil 7 Gets Video Series Volumes 7 and 8 Detailing Items and Puzzles


Capcom posted volume 7 and 8 of short gameplay from Resident Evil 7, coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, Xbox One, and PC on January 24 in Europe and North America, and January 26 in Japan.


Steep, Ubisoft's extreme sports sandbox, gets a beta next month



Winter maniac sim still on track for December release.


Deck-Building Action-RPG Book Of Demons Gets Demo


A is for Azazel, any child could tell you. B is for Baal, C is for Caim, D is for… ah sorry, this isn’t The Big Book of Demons. Right! The regular-sized Book of Demons [official site] is a deck-building action-RPG with a papercraft style, and is currently on Steam Early Access. It’s still a while away from release but if you fancy a crack at duffing up monsters with the help of cards for special abilities and items, hey, it now has a demo.




DUSK is an intentional throwback. It’s a game that deliberately, lovingly evokes the running, gunning, and no-reload bullet-dispensing of ‘90s shooters like Quake (1996), Blood (1997), and DOOM (1993). As with most exercises in nostalgia, it’s also pretty off-putting at first. Why make another Quake when right this instant Quake is available to play, as good as it ever was? Why roll around in the past when the future is always so much more exciting?


Stellaris outlines future, targets 'galactic community' and 'space UN'



Since launch in May, Paradox's sci-fi 4X grand strategy has bore witness to a slew of enduring mods, updates, and official DLC—much like the rest of the developer's back catalogue. Off the back of its first story pack—and substantial Heinlein patch—the Swedish studio has now outlined where the game stands now, where it's going and what Paradox want.


Gears of War 4’s first DLC maps are returning favorites from Gears 3



Gears of War 4’s first post-release multiplayer add-ons will be two fan-favorite maps returning from Gears of War 3, developer The Coalition announced today.


Offworld Trading Company Gets New CEOs In DLC



When Elon Musk reaches Mars and founds the capital city of New PayPal, we’ll all be packing our bags*. But in the meantime the closest you can get to a corporate Martian future is Offworld Trading Company [official site], the RTS game that eschews tanks and troops for market manipulation and corporate espionage. Today that dark vision of the red planet is getting a big expansion in the form of The Patron and the Patriot DLC, which is bringing new game modes, stories and CEO characters.


Overwatch to improve reporting system in patch 1.5



With Blizzard set to focus on fairness regarding Overwatch's Competitive Play, it makes sense the developer plans to improve its in-game player reporting system moving forward as well. Expect changes from patch 1.5 onward.


Rumor: Overwatch's Sombra shows up on Blizzard website


More artwork for Sombra, the highly anticipated new Overwatch character, appeared on an official Blizzard site overnight, perhaps signaling a full reveal today or at least by BlizzCon this weekend.


Rainbow Six Siege's next update teased, and a brief snippet of footage leaks


Rainbow Six Siege still has one more DLC pack left in it, and Ubisoft looks like it's almost ready to talk about it. The official Rainbow Six account tweeted the above image yesterday, accompanied by Japanese text which roughly translates to "time, come Tareri" (thanks, Google Translate!).


Halo 5 Dev Teases New DLC, as Game Celebrates First Birthday



Halo 5: Guardians came out one year ago this week. Since then, Microsoft has delivered nine free updates to the game, containing 15 maps, six game modes, and so, so many Req items.


Hearts of Iron 4 first expansion announced


Billed as "the first step in a process that Paradox hopes will tell the story of every nation in the great conflict," Together For Victory marks the first expansion en route to WW2 simulator Hearts of Iron 4.


The first Gears of War 4 DLC multiplayer maps will be available for free next week


The first two Gears of War 4 DLC multiplayer maps are coming on November 8, or November 1 if you're a season pass holder. Both are likely to feel familiar to serious Gearheads. Microsoft said the maps, Checkout and Drydock, are "two of the most popular Gears of War Legacy Maps," each of which appeared previously (as slightly different versions) in Gears of War 3.


CS:GO griefers now face a permanent ban on their second offense



A few years ago, Valve rolled out a community-run tool for judging unwanted player behavior for the online FPS Counter-Strike: Global Offensive called Overwatch. Unrelated to the Blizzard FPS of the same name, Valve's Overwatch system gives select players the ability to watch replays of bad behavior reported by other players and impose penalties "proportional to" the offense: "Suspects who are convicted of griefing are given a moderate cooldown, whereas cheaters are removed from the game entirely," the CS:GO Overwatch FAQ explains. But the update released yesterday takes some of that discretion out of the hands of judges, and imposes significantly harsher penalties on repeat offenders.


World of Warships welcomes Steven Seagal


It wasn't so long ago that Wargaming's naval-themed free-to-play MMO World of Warships welcomed a sci-fi anime mode to its decks. A quick scroll through the comments on that story informs me this inclusion split opinion here among PCG's readership, however I'm fairly certain the latest cameo will be less divisive. Steven Seagal is now in World of Warships.


Turtle Rock leaves Evolve behind, won't have time to do F2P on console



Developer Turtle Rock has announced that after five-and-a-half years it will no longer work on 4v1 monster shooter Evolve. This means Turtle Rock won't be able to take Stage 2 of Evolve - ie. the free-to-play switcheroo - to consoles.


Deadly Premonition director Swery leaves Access Games


Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka Suehiro, better known as Swery, has left Japanese game studio Access Games.


Eve Online may have seized more than $620,000 of currency in gambling bans



When one of Eve Online’s famously big wars kicked off earlier this year it eventually drove one of the game’s most powerful factions, The Imperium, from the northern part of the map. What made the so-called World War Bee so interesting was that one side, composed almost entirely of players acting as mercenaries, was being funded by bankers from an in-game casino called I Want ISK.


Crypt of the Necrodancer's award-winning OST to be released on vinyl



In conversation with Andy earlier this year, Californian record label Ghost Ramp spoke of its desire to release videogame soundtracks alongside music from regular bands and producers.


Sega working with Valve to reinstate mods pulled from Steam without explanation



"Sega and Valve are working together with the affected modders to reinstate their work."


No Man's Sky Accounts Apparently Hacked, Send Bogus Apologies For The Game


Compromised accounts tied to No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games led to a series of faked official statements today calling the ambitious space exploration game “a mistake.”


Carmack hard drive contains proof of factual inaccuracies in Oculus lawsuit, expert says



Oculus VR representatives may have lied under oath and presented inaccurate expert reports as part of the company’s defense in a federal lawsuit filed by ZeniMax Media surrounding the creation of the Oculus Rift VR headset, according to court filings.


Financial Firm Lowers Sales Expectations Of Titanfall 2 From Nine Million To Six Million



Released just yesterday, Titanfall 2 has garnered a huge amount of positive reception, including fellow GI editor Javy Gwatlney's own glowing review. Unfortunately, those good vibes don't seem to have translated to impressive sales.


Kongregate is now publishing games on Steam



Around this time four years ago, Kongregate sidestepped its browser-based flash game heritage and ventured into the world of free-to-play downloads. The GameStop-owned web portal now has its sights set on Steam, where it plans to release indie games on PC—starting with once-mobile-now-desktop game Slashy Hero.


'Sonic CD' is Now Free with Ads, Even if You Bought the Game Previously



Sega has just updated Sonic CD [$2.99] to version 2.0, and they've made it free with ads. The problem is that the game now has ads even if you bought it before, and in version 2.0 you have to pay $1.99 to remove the ads.


86-year-old woman accused of pirating Metro 2033, told to pay $5,000



An 86-year-old woman in Canada received a demand for $5,000 in a notice from a collections company that accused her of illegally downloading a copy of Metro 2033.

Christine McMillan of Ontario was bewildered by the threat, and had never even seen Metro 2033 until CBC News showed it to her. The story highlights many criticisms of Canada's Copyright Modernization Act, introduced last year.


Civilization 6 mod adds giant Earth map



Those of you familiar with Civilization 5's modding scene will likely know of Gedemon's Yet (not) Another Earth Maps Pack which added planet Earth to the 4X 'em up in varying sizes. Those of you who aren't, know that its Giant Earth 180x96 map was blooming huge. And know that it's now coming to Civilization 6—alongside a new Ludicrous 230x115 map option.


Doom (4) for Doom 2.0 struts its demon-killing stuff in a new trailer


The recent release of the Brutal Doom 64 launch trailer reminded me of another very cool-looking Doom mod we heard about earlier this year, Doom (4) for Doom. As the title suggests, it brings the weapons of Bethesda's new Doom into the realm of the 1993 original, and the new trailer marking the upcoming release of the 2.0 version of the mod makes clear that it's come an awful long way since we first laid eyes on it.


Watch guys get turned to goo in the Brutal Doom 64 launch trailer


The blood-soaked Doom 64 mod is coming next week.


Esports News


IeSF president: “Our biggest goal is to make esports an official Olympic event”



In an interview with The Korea Times, Jun Byung-hun, president of the International e-Sports Federation (IeSF), explained his efforts to make esports Olympic.


Blizzard is making major changes for the 2017 Hearthstone Championship Tour



The HCT is going global all year long, but next year's finals won't be at BlizzCon.


Overwatch World Cup preview: 16 countries battle for the first ever global championship


The 2016 Overwatch World Cup starts this weekend, and the finals will be played at Blizzcon next week.


League of Legends World Championship prize pool passes $5 million



The League of Legends World Championship prize pool has passed $5.07 million, developer Riot Games announced today. Fans will be able to contribute through November 6, and it’s expected the prize pot will continue to rise as the grand finals in Los Angeles conclude.


Wings Gaming entered into Guinness World Records for The International 2016 win



After winning The International 2016, Chinese Dota 2 team Wings Gaming has been entered into Guinness World Records for winning the “largest single first prize in an esports tournament.” In August, the team took home more than $9 million in prize money after taking out Digital Chaos in the finals.


melty Esports Director: “When a rival can invest more than your annual revenue to buy a company, you can’t compete.”



Esports in France is in a real boom. This year has seen, to name only few events, the arrival of TV Network Canal+, the creation of a law for esports, and even PSG—the top French football team—entering esports. Yet, in this very active market, one already established team, melty eSport Club, just closed its doors.


Crowdfunding News


Kickstarted in the Butt: A Chuck Tingle Digital Adventure




We need your help to Prove Love Is Real and make a FREE Chuck Tingle Adventure Game for all True Buckaroos Who Kiss.



The Chuck Tingle adventure game is now looking to be “Kickstarted in the Butt.” If you’re not familiar with Chuck Tingle this will all come as quite a shock. He is perhaps the internet’s best supplier of smut, writing short erotica with titles like “My Ass Is Haunted By The Gay Unicorn Colonel” and “Pounded In The Butt By My Own Butt.” I promise you this is real (and I can also promise you that it is glorious).


Savior - Cuba's First Indie Game


Savior is a 2D platformer where the characters discover they are living inside a video game. Win/Mac



This is no surprise given that a lot of videogames are made by the United States and its allies. Since the Cold War and the rise of Castro, relations between Cuba and the capitalist countries have been hairy—in reality and in videogames, Cuba has been associated with mistrust, aggression, and the Red Scare. This is slowly, steadily changing, helped along by Barack Obama restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba’s president Raúl Castro on July 20th, 2015; the ties severed since 1961 restored once again even if in limited form due to the trade embargo.

Since then, Cuba’s economy has been able to breathe a littler easier, which has allowed for the growth of national trades and industries over the past year. One of those is Cuban videogames, which aren’t in a place to be called an “industry” yet, but they are spreading to the point that there’s now a team who claim to be making “the first Cuban indie game.”


Monster Prom [a crazy twist on dating sims!]


There are only 3 weeks left until prom! Go through all kinds of absurd and funny situations to seduce one of your monster classmates.

Monster Prom Majorly Spoofs Dating Sims And I Love It


Whether you’re a fan of dating sims or just downright hate them, you can probably agree that they can be cliched, overly saccharine, and often just poor representations of actual human behavior. In any case, you may get a laugh out of Beautiful Glitch’s Monster Prom [official site].




Survival Horror game set in Hell. Take a trip into madness in the most terrifying vision of hell in the history of gaming!


Other content I found interesting this week


72 Games in 72 Hours Livestream Schedule



In case you didn't hear, we're launching a website here at waypoint, and in order to do that properly, we're going to stream 72 games in 72 hours for your viewing pleasure. We'll have guests, we'll have surprises, and we'll have a whole lot of sleep-deprived humor for all to enjoy!

Austin Walker, Patrick Klepek, Danika Harrod, Danielle Riendeau, and others are launching the site Waypoint, formerly Vice's Gaming section. Their work is frequently posted here, as is some of Waypoint's content this week, and they did a great three day stream to celebrate the site launch. Played video games, got at least one first look at a game, talked about anime, played rollplaying games with roll20 staff, were joined by people from Marvel, Crunchyroll, Polygon, Twitch, Giant Bomb, Kotaku, musicians, etc. Some sections were put up on the site and you can find the Twitch stream here.


The Story of Rocket League (Part 1) - How To Build a Rocket


In part one of Noclip's look into the development of Rocket League, Danny learns how a mode in Unreal Tournament 2004 evolved into one of the most bizarre & compelling sports game of all time.


In part two of Noclip's look into the development of Rocket League, Danny talks to Psyonix about the decision to go with PlayStation Plus, the disastrous server problems at launch and what success has meant to the studio.


The Videogame Industry’s Invisible Workforce: Part 1 How A Conspiracy Of Silence Erased A Medium’s Humanity



As your cursory Googles can tell you, for the last few decades the totality of what gets written and thought about videogames has tended to be: “Are they any good? Who should you buy them for? When are they coming out?” As a result the games industry, media, and large portions of its audience have been complicit in blotting out and not thinking about an entire workforce, rendering it largely invisible.


Meet Kotaku's New Staff Writer, Gita Jackson



Last week, Kotaku recently added a new member to our staff: the wonderful Gita Jackson. Gita’s a prolific writer who has written for Giant Bomb, MTV, and worked her butt off as assistant editor of Paste Magazine’s comedy and games sections. I sat down to talk with her so you could get to know a bit more!


The Exhausting Ten-Year Journey to Release 'Owlboy'


When Owlboy is released on November 1, it will have been nearly ten years after development began on the gorgeous looking, Metroid-inspired action game. It wasn't supposed to take this long, of course. No one involved in making Owlboy expected to spend the better part of a decade on a single game, and when the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, it will mark the end of an unexpectedly long journey.


An Interview With A 'Boring' Gamer



Alex McCabe isn’t the kind of person who usually gets profiled on a video game website. He doesn’t make games, doesn’t play them competitively, and doesn’t make many videos about them. He hasn’t even found a wild new way to play Fallout or Super Mario 64. He did make himself a multi-colored PlayStation 2 when he was a kid. That’s pretty cool. But he’s just an ordinary guy who plays video games.


The Curious Appeal of Crunch



The reasons why developers work far too hard on their own games are more complex than you may think.


Why I Play



In the first years of my career as a games writer, I got used to a certain reaction from my parents’ friends when they were told about what I was doing for a living. It was usually along the lines of “what a waste”. I imagined them shaking their heads as if they’d just been quietly informed that I was shooting heroin. I was a smart kid, gregarious, academically inclined. Why would I devote myself to these violent, mindless things?

I sometimes wonder whether my passion for video games is mostly attributable to these people; whether my love for gaming was strengthened, or even forged, in the fires of their disapproval. Most of us nurture an inner contrarian, and especially when we’re teenagers: a time of life when I wholeheartedly embraced every cliche of rebellion you can imagine. This was also the time when I decided to pursue a career in the thing that was supposedly ruining my young mind.


20 years on, the Tomb Raider story told by the people who were there



In July 2010, Lara Croft Way opened in Derby. The name for part of a new ring road was chosen from a shortlist by public vote, with a whopping 89 per cent opting for the character devised by local studio Core Design. As the likes of the BBC reported at the grand opening, a councillor said Derby was "proud of its place in a vibrant creative industry" and that Lara Croft Way was "a fantastic way to celebrate that".

There wasn't much of a celebration at what was left of Core, though. In fact, developers who had worked on Tomb Raider over the years shook their heads when they found out Lara Croft Way had opened to the public. Core - or what was left of it - had closed down just a few months earlier, and no-one seemed to have realised.


Exploring the No Man's Sky modding scene



As the precipitous drop in the PC player count seems to indicate, I am not alone in feeling this way. However, thanks to the game’s small modding community, fixing nearly any problems the game has (on PC, at least) is now as easy as dropping a file into a folder. Low frame rates, texture and UI issues, and the irritating exosuit voice are just a few examples of problems that have been solved by the community. For me, and I believe for most people who perhaps didn’t find the experience they wanted in No Man’s Sky, these mods make the game far more enjoyable to play.





Adam Jensen is a serious man. He has no time to spare; a helicopter is waiting for him as we speak. So what does he think he’s doing, breaking into a bank in Prague, causing all sorts of mischief and mayhem, for no other reason than his own personal amusement?

Or, rather, my amusement. Infiltrating and unravelling the many security layers of that building, becoming the ghost in the puzzle-box machine, may be the most enjoyable experience I had while playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. And yet, this diversion also had a disruptive quality. I turned Adam Jensen against himself, and his bleak world of oppression and conspiracies. For a few hours, the body of that brooding cyber-soldier was hacked and usurped by a mischievous trickster spirit that delighted in turning this dystopian cyberpunk world into his personal playground.


Finish Him: Remembering Fighting Games’ Fatalities Arms Race



1992's Mortal Kombat delivered the perfect insult to the injury of video game defeat with the fatality. These gory finishing moves, pioneered by the infamous fighter, were the equivalent of blacktop trash-talk for guys that couldn't dunk, the smack chatter of White Men Can't Jump adapted into a new medium, heightening the drama of the arcade scene. Rival developers were left with two options to keep their own comparably styled projects competitive: make them good, or make them bloody. Guess which they chose.


The Literary Horror Of Eternal Darkness



Eternal Darkness is a 2002 GameCube game featuring an epically dark story that takes place over thousands of years. It’s a series of interconnected tales, almost like a collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, that weave together myth, occultism, and some of the dark chapters in religion. While most people associate the horrors of Eternal Darkness with the unnerving events that happen when your insanity meter dwindles, the most disturbing aspect of the game is the grand arc based on historical elements and the ensuing reign of terror that victimizes multiple generations of characters.


Oxenfree The Duality of Grief in Clarissa and Alex


I explore the duality of grief in Clarissa and Alex's characters in the 2016 game Oxenfree.


The Vanishing Secrets of Video Games



Growing up, I believed hidden spaces were inherently magical. My favorite stories were about closets that opened into other worlds, secret passages that wound through gothic castles, revolving bookcases that swung open at the twist of a candelabra. When I started playing video games in the late ’80s, they felt like magic too. Where all the surprises in books were inevitably laid bare by the final page, games had to be reconnoitered; they were happy to withhold secrets in the cavernous recesses of their code, to keep their rooms of treasure forever sealed to the unobservant.


Grandmother Who Plays Skyrim Has Made Over 300 Videos



Her 300th video highlights just how prolific the 80-year-old gamer has been when it comes to updating her YouTube channel. Her first Skyrim Let’s Play was uploaded on September 18, and since then she’s received a Silver Play button from YouTube — a button given out to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers.


One Of The Best Skyrim Mods Got Started With A Punch To The Face



The Forgotten City is a mod available today for the PC and Xbox One versions of Skyrim: Special Edition (and regular ol’ Skyrim). But it wouldn’t have ever been made if its creator, Nick Pearce, hadn’t been randomly punched in the face by a stranger.


The alien hunters of Elite: Dangerous


There are a group of Elite: Dangerous players who do not care for shooting other ships, mining for materials or trading precious resources. This group focuses on a more scientific pursuit: hunting aliens. Aliens that aren't even in the game yet.


Players Have Spent Years Trying To Get Peach To Save Herself In Paper Mario


Around 2013, speedrunners Bonecrusher and r0bd0g discovered that it was possible to use glitches to sequence break during the chapter 6 Princess Peach intermission of Paper Mario, making it possible for Peach to go through a door that is programmed to be locked. That door leads directly to Bowser’s castle, so the player can fly past the events of chapter six, directly into the events in chapter eight—the last chapter in the game.

This discovery became known as “Peach%,” and it would go on to open up a tantalizing question: would it be possible to beat the game as Princess Peach instead of Mario?

That is, would it be possible to save Peach...as Peach?


History Respawned: Mafia III


Bob is joined in spirit by Professor Leonard Moore, as he discusses history and Mafia III. Topics include New Orleans in the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement, Mark Essex, the Black Panther Party, and the Cold War.


A Deep Existential Calm: Thumper as Therapy



I discovered Thumper on Steam (also available on PS4) when my friend recommended it to me last week, figuring I’d be interested in the soundtrack more than the game itself. Thumper (Drool) is based around a simple premise: ‘classic rhythm-action, blistering speed, and brutal physicality’. You play as a space beetle careening down a track at breakneck speed, interacting with various neon-lit obstacles and using energy pulses to fight looming monsters that look to be directly from a Lovecraftian fever dream, all in time to a dark Industrial beat. This aesthetic combined with the extreme intensity of gameplay means most reviews of Thumper refer to it as a game that induces stress, anxiety, and even fear, with some reviews going so far as to describe their reaction to the game as a feeling of deep existential dread.

This is what I expected as I began my Thumper playthrough, braced for an intense stress response, but that dread and fear never arrived.





If I have learned anything from Mystic Messenger, it’s how astonishingly easy it is to get emotionally invested in a chat with a fictional character. Forget the Turing test, I discovered that I’m happy if my talking partner can pass a Turing quiz.


Late Night Ponderings: Five Nights at Freddy’s the Necessary Evil of Horror Games


Late Night Ponderings is a series of mini-editorials that covers a wide range of subjects. In this episode I discuss Five Nights at Freddy's and it's necessity to the horror genre.


How P.T. Got Under Our Collective Skin (Analysis/Retrospective) - Writing on Games


In this episode of Writing on Games, I discuss how P.T. perhaps invokes the Imagist tradition of clarity of expression through economy of language, and how it uses this to truly get under your skin - both in the game and, in typical Kojima fashion, in real life too.


The Nightmare War Of Battlefield 1 Multiplayer



Before last week, I hadn’t played a Battlefield game in over a decade. My return to competitive first-person shooters has been driven by Destiny and Overwatch, two bright, fantastical games where the characters are all superheroes. I was intrigued by BF1, so I downloaded it and started playing over the weekend. I was unprepared for what I was getting into.


Parasite Eve Had More In Common With Final Fantasy Than Horror Games



When Hironobu Sakaguchi first began planning Final Fantasy VII, he conceived of it as a detective mystery set in New York. FFVII would end up taking a different direction, becoming the JRPG classic millions of players are familiar with. But those discarded ideas were stored away and shortly afterwards combined with the wildly popular Parasite Eve film to become the PS1 game. Parasite Eve is actually a sequel to the movie of the same name, which was was loosely based on the book by Hideaki Sena. Both the book and film can quickly be summed up as Vertigo with mitochondria. The Parasite Eve game shows the aftermath of mitochondrial experiments that took place years ago and follows NYPD rookie, Aya Brea.


Clive Barker Games: Jericho vs. Undying


This is a video critique of Clive Barker's two major attempts to explore horror in the medium of video games. It talks about what makes each game Clive-Barkery in the first place and how both gaes do as shooters in their own right. Total spoilers for both games.


One Night, Ten Terrifying Titles: A Horror Gaming Marathon



Home alone this October 31st and fancy scaring yourself silly? Pick and mix a few of these games, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.


The Funny Brilliance Of Resident Evil 4 (The Jimquisition)


Let's look at why Resident Evil 4 was a classic, why its writing stood the test of time, and what it can tell us about REVII.


[SSFF] Clock Tower 3 (PS2) Review


Clock Tower 3 is a wild and charmingly unhinged horror game that sits with other cult gems like Illbleed and Monster Party. It not only stands apart from other Clock Tower games but also games in general, but I personally had a blast with it!


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Made Horror Personal



When I first heard the original Silent Hill was getting a “reimagining” from Climax Studios, I groaned, thinking it was an attempt at a cash grab. I initially didn’t bother playing Silent Hill: Shattered Memories because no Silent Hill had been up to the quality of the first three (and, to a lesser extent, the fourth one, which is an entity in itself). But when multiple Kotaku readers pointed out that the remake was actually pretty good, I decided to give it a shot. The reimagining caught me off guard, crafting a unique, powerfully terrifying experience.


I’m Making My First Video Game, and It’s Both Terrifying and Truly Lovely



Many games journalists end up leaving the profession for one reason or another, most of them a variation on, "Oh god, when will I ever have enough money to live again." But sometimes they're tied to things like dissatisfaction, a yearning for something more adventurous, or a desire to express our creativity in a way that doesn't always end with a number between six and ten.


Brenda Romero: A Lifetime in Games


In this GDC Europe 2016 talk, legendary game designer Brenda Romero reflects on her 30 years of working as a game designer to talk about what it means to be a girl, woman and mother in the games industry.


Matt Chat 356: Don Wilkins' Early Days


This week is the first of three segments with Don Wilkins, the CEO and founder of Maverick and developer of Stellar Tactics. In this part, we delve into Don's amazing history in the industry and his time at Sir-Tech.

Matt Chat 357: Don Wilkins on Wizardry Gold, Sierra, and More


Don Wilkins, developer of Stellar Tactics, is back with more game dev lore. We chat about Wizardry Gold, Aquaman, wearing the producer's hat, a mysterious Asian-themed Diablo clone, and much, much more.


Postmortem: Fatshark's Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide



When we first started Fatshark, a lot of talented developers were leaving the industry because of a lack of work-life balance, so we wanted to create a home for experienced developers looking for more normal hours.


What is Game Design? Three Perspectives originally featured in game hihyou magazine



Even in the world of games, one sees the word “design” used again and again. While it is easy to imagine the meaning of that word in the narrow sense of graphic design for characters and the like, in this article we’re going to take a deeper look at the question of “what is game design?” by asking three creators their views.


Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games


Member the Dovahkiin


Second Look At Nintendo Switch


Vince Zampella Tells Angry Fanboy Not To Buy Titanfall 2

A month ago I mentioned how the company actually had to make a statement after showing a PS4 disk upset the most easily offended gaming demographic, the angry corporate shill Youtuber and their fans. In the post they said that the PS4 disks were developed first so they couldn't show both console disks at once. A month later they still have not let this go apparently.


Battlefield Account Posts Dumbass Tweets, Deletes Them

I guess they were trying to beat Moore's, also deleted, tweet from last week about buying a Battlefield onesie with pockets for melee weapons and Doritos.

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