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Koji Igarashi talks about how he views himself in the industry, his characters, and why his 3D games were not successful. Ubisoft VP talks about not being able to make the same kind of games or take risks if Vivendi takes over, Warhammer Vermintide to get new DLC and big patch, Ubisoft to make VR titles cross platform, Majora's Mask short film, details on Mass Effect Andromeda's multiplayer, Rainbow Six Siege reveals season 2 pass, MMO economies and inflation, behind the scenes look at the best mission of Titanfall 2, Hitman now allows for offline play, and more.

 

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AJSA Youtube's Angry Army Weekly

 

Will be added on Wednesday, check back then or check our Youtube channel.

 

Gaming News (Announcements, release dates, previews, interviews, expansions, DLC, updates, company news, new tech, mods)

 

Experience life on the other side of the sword in Project Wight

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The Outsiders’ David Goldfarb on slaying familiar fantasy tropes.

 

Six Fun Activities To Pursue In Mass Effect Andromeda

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Mass Effect Andromeda features the series’ largest universe to date. Previous games let us take on small side quests and visit planets for specific missions, but Andromeda is raising the stakes with less linear planets and hub cities, opening them up for greater exploration and more to do than ever before. “If you look at the trilogy, you see all the hubs we created and the side content that came off the hubs,” says producer Mike Gamble. “That’s one place to put it, but imagine that side content in a place where you’re not limited to keeping your weapon holstered. There are so many different elements we can bring in by putting it on those planets with exploration areas. It makes the number and the type of side quests that we can do that much more interesting, whereas before if you’re on the hub you’re kind of limited to a fetch quest type of thing.”

Five Major Changes To Mass Effect’s Multiplayer (And One Big Question)

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The Mass Effect series is built on a single-player foundation, but Mass Effect 3 added a compelling cooperative multiplayer mode. That was a risky move for a story-driven RPG, but it paid off for BioWare, drawing in many players who normally stuck to the series’ solo campaign.

BioWare's New IP Is Story-Based, Not Being Announced Anytime Soon

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BioWare manager Aaryn Flynn has shared some new insight into the Mass Effect developer's mysterious new IP. Speaking to Game Informer, Flynn said the unannounced game is coming along well. He also stressed that you shouldn't expect the game to be announced soon.

22 Random Tidbits About Mass Effect Andromeda

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Our month of Mass Effect Andromeda coverage isn’t over yet, but we’re in the home stretch. We’ve covered a lot of ground on various topics, but during our time visiting BioWare and talking to the team, we learned some interesting information that doesn’t fit neatly into our bigger features.

Now we know four Mass Effect Andromeda squadmates

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For many, Mass Effect's appeal lies in its sci-fi shooting or saving the galaxy adventures. For me, it's really about your character's little group of space friends.

 

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Glaive Trailer

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Glaives are the elite warriors of the Ninth World, using weapons, armor, and martial arts to fight their enemies.

Choose the Glaive to become the shield and sword of your party.

 

New Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Prey Gameplay Will Be Shown at The Game Awards

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New gameplay footage from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be shown during The Game Awards on December 1, Nintendo has announced. The confirmation was provided by way of a Twitter post.

 

Space Hulk: Deathwing - Focus Developers Q & A Stream

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The Focus Developers joined me for a stream, they took questions from myself and stream chat about the game, hope you enjoy!

 

Sony Japan Releases First Nine Minutes of The Last Guardian

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Some have said The Last Guardian looks dated in graphial fidelity, but this trailer doesn't look half bad. The real beauty is in the physics and subtle details however. The creatures matted feathers, subtle injuries and movement/interaction with the boy are where the game seems to shine. He clamors and crawls through tight caverns, something a dragon in Skyrim couldn't even hope to do without clipping or terrible jittering.

 

MARE’S NEW TEASER SHOWS OFF ITS SUBTLE ENVIRONMENTAL LANGUAGE

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A cold wind blows around the stony ramparts of an old, crumbling fort. A young girl in a red dress lies on her belly, seemingly asleep in the grass, black hair fidgeting with the breeze. The electrical wires hanging between tall mechanical pylons also shake to the chorus of the grey gale. The new teaser for MARE, an upcoming “exploratory and sensory VR adventure” by Visiontrick Media, starts with several slow shots of its environments and characters. According to Rui Guerreiro the point is to introduce MARE as a game of subtle contrasts.

 

Stardew Valley Coming to Xbox One on December 14

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In Stardew Valley, you start with an overgrown plot of land, a few hand-me-down tools, and a small amount of money. What you use them for is up to you! Stardew Valley is a country-life role playing game in which you make a new life for yourself by living off the land and getting to know the local townspeople. There are many ways to find success… try your hand at farming, fishing, mining, foraging, fighting monsters, and raising animals.

 

Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained adds two new developers

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Ex-Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi is bringing on two additional development teams to help complete his next project, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, according to an update on the game’s Kickstarter.

 

Pathologic teases trailers and a demo for Kickbackers

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The remake/reimagining of Pathologic [official site] is being teased in some ongoing trailers this week, possibly to remind us that it still exists and is on target for an Autumn release next year.

 

Sources: Marvel vs. Capcom 4 coming in 2017

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Marvel and Capcom characters will duke it out in a new crossover fighting game coming to consoles next year. Multiple sources tell Polygon that Marvel vs. Capcom 4 is currently in development and slated for release sometime in 2017.

 

DEAD STATIC DRIVE TO BE A ROAD-TRIP HORROR IN VINTAGE AMERICANA STYLE

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Watching the R-rated horror classic The Evil Dead (1981) when you’re about seven years old leaves a lasting impression. Mike Blackney can vouch for this. He can trace his fascination with a distinctly American strain of horror “set in rural areas or suburbs” back to that seminal viewing. It carried him through the works of authors such as David Morrell, Joe R. Lansdale, and T.E.D. Klein, and now it’s what’s shaping his road-trip horror game Dead Static Drive.

 

In Snowflake’s Chance you are a weak rabbit in hell

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This news just vomited out of the RPS ticker-tape machine marked “side scrolling ultra hard platformer news only!” Snowflake’s Chance [official site] is a hand-drawn platformer about getting a bunny out of hell. You have 99 lives to escape this scratchily-drawn Stygian abyss as Snowflake the rabbit, and every time you die your evil counterpart becomes stronger.

 

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Development Diary 24: Hearing Voices

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In this episode we explore how we’ve created the voices that haunt Senua throughout her journey, working with experts in the field and those with first-hand knowledge of voice hearing to produce a truthful in-game experience.

 

Watch the guy next door get creepy in two new Hello Neighbor trailers

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Hello, neighbor! It's not just a friendly greeting, it's also the title of a creepy, spying-on-your-neighbor stealth game that was revealed to the world in September. Today, publisher tinyBuild announced that the second alpha build is now live, and also put out a pair of new videos: One a story trailer that provides a look at the game's introduction, and the other a brief snippet of gameplay demonstrating how to keep the unfriendly neighbor off your tail, at least for a little while.

 

Steam Workshop support comes to Saints Row 4

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More than three years after it came out, Saints Row 4 has been given Steam Workshop support, providing players the ability to create and install mods that add new weapons, clothing, and gameplay features, all from within the friendly confines of Steam. It was a bigger job than you might expect: Volition said there were "many challenges" to overcome, because the game actually wasn't designed to support modding at all.

 

Grim Dawn will add roguelike dungeon Port Valbury in free December update

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An Aetherial-themed dungeon filled with "new lore, bosses and monster infrequents".

 

Endless Space 2 rolls out first of three major pre-release updates

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New factions, marketplace and pillage system among extensive changes.

 

Ono: Support for Street Fighter 5 planned up to 2020; happy if they could release other fighters, but focused on solidifying eSports presence first

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Famitsu recently conducted an interview with Capcom producers Yoshinori Ono and Tomoaki Ayano to discuss the company's latest fighting title, Street Fighter 5. Last time, Ono mentioned that the announcement slated for Capcom Cup next week might not actually be Akuma.

 

Leaked Overwatch audio files point at an upcoming holiday event

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The Overwatch Xmas Theme is very festive indeed.

 

PC gamers get left behind in new PES 2017 update

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Konami has released a second free Data Pack for PES 2017, and while we get a few new things on PC, most of the additions are exclusive to consoles.

 

No Man's Sky developer finally breaks silence to announce base-building update

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Hello Games says "Foundation update" will pave the way other future features, and addresses its own lack of communication.

No Man's Sky Update Is Bringing Thousands Of Curious Players Back

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Before the big “Foundation” update that surprise-launched this weekend, No Man’s Sky wasn’t in a great place. On Steam, the game’s concurrent player count hovered mostly between 200 and 500. It wasn’t even within spitting distance of Steam’s top 100 most-played games.

 

Huge Hitman update makes unlocks work offline

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IO is today putting out a big update for the latest Hitman game that makes unlocks work offline.

 

Warhammer Vermintide getting Karak Azgaraz DLC and biggest patch yet

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Developer Fatshark also documented its biggest ever patch for the game. There's a three-posts-long changelog on the Vermintide forum. My favourite alteration: "Franz Lohner no longer whistles cheerfully. It is the End Times after all."

 

Total War: WARHAMMER - Realm of the Wood Elves - Campaign Let's Play

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Join us as we take you through the Wood Elves unique playstyle on the Grand Campaign in this Let's Play. Conquer any region, acquire Amber, upgrade the Oak of Ages and utilise new technologies, skills and units to defend your homeland.

Total War: Warhammer confirms Morghur and Harpies for Beastmen

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Probably the biggest news is that those who own the Beastmen DLC will be getting a new Legendary Lord (Morghur) for free, as well as the oft-requested Harpies.

 

Rainbow Six Siege Year 2 Season Pass Available Now, Details Revealed

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A new season pass is available for Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Siege, giving purchasers access to new wave of in-game content. The "Year 2 Pass" can be purchased on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store for £24.99 and £23.99 respectively.

 

Titanfall 2’s first free DLC drops Nov. 30

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Respawn’s first batch of downloadable content for Titanfall 2 arrives next week on Wednesday, Nov. 30, bringing with it a fan favorite map from the original Titanfall and a slew of new customizations for the game’s titans.

 

Planet Coaster update adds new blueprints, fixes bugs

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The first of many free updates for the theme park sim.

 

Obituary: Veteran game artist Stephen Hornback

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Hornback is best known for his work at Apogee Software (which later created the publishing label 3D Realms and went on to adopt it as its primary brand) on everything from Duke Nukem II to Rise of the Triad to Shadow Warrior. He also claimed responsibility for designing the original 3D Realms logo, which is still in use today.

 

Game industry veteran Mike Fischer appointed interim president of the AIAS

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The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), a not-for-profit outfit that concerns itself with the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts, has appointed Epic Games' former head of publishing Mike Fischer as its interim president.

 

"It's not going to be the same if Vivendi take over" says Ubisoft VP of live ops

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The thought I have is that I have been [here], with Ubisoft, for 20 years, and I know what made us so successful for 30 years, is being super independent, being very autonomous,” she explains. “[On] sales, well sometimes we take a lot of risk, you think about The Crew, that was a risk. People would look at that like, ‘maybe it’s not going to work, another racing game, what are you thinking?’ Child of Light, Valiant Hearts, all those kinds of titles.”

UBISOFT’S VR LINEUP TO SUPPORT CROSS-PLATFORM PLAY

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Ubisoft’s foray into virtual reality started with the release of the critically acclaimed Eagle Flight in which you take to the skies as an eagle flying over a version of Paris abandoned by humanity, but reclaimed by nature and wildlife. You can soar solo or team up and race against others, and now you’ll have even more friends and potential foes joining you. Starting tomorrow, November 29, Eagle Flight will support cross-platform play, allowing players on PSVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive to team up or play against each other.

 

Deep Silver: We released Homefront: The Revolution too early

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The publisher of Homefront: The Revolution, Deep Silver, has said that it should have waited to release the shooter.

 

Battlefield 2 Project Reality mod adds the Falklands War

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V1.4 adds reworked tanks and jets, and three new maps.

 

Esports News

 

The eSports Industry Awards Crowns Its Winners

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Last night the eSports Industry Awards, dedicated to showcasing “top class performance and innovation” from within the scene, held its first ceremony in London. The eSports Industry Awards were hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Julia Hardy and Channel Five’s Jason Bradbury, and were broadcasted live on Twitch.

 

The Weekend In Esports: Unleash The Gears Of War

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It’s almost as if the gods of competitive gaming knew we’d all be sitting around this weekend and so made sure it was jam packed with tournaments to check out. DreamHack Winter 2016 is of course going on over in Sweden at the moment, featuring competitions in almost every game under the sun. There’s also a big Heroes of the Storm event going on in Europe as well. But I want to start this weekend by highlighting the action going on in the world of competitive Gears of War 4.

 

Overwatch Expands Into Next Generations Esports’ Winter Premiere

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Next Generations Esports announced this week its Overwatch Winter Premiere tournament, open to all North American Overwatch teams. The online qualification will begin on December 10 and last four days. Each qualification day will seat eight teams into a group stage, followed by a live final event in January 2017 featuring the best four teams. A prize pool of $100,000 will be divided between the top eight teams.

 

Watch Smash Bros. Melee Players Compete For One Of The Biggest Cash Prizes In The Game's 15 Year History

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This is what it looks like when one incredible Melee player shows no mercy.

 

Plays Like This Are How You Go Undefeated In A Dota 2 Tournament

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Team Liquid just went undefeated on every map in the DreamLeauge Season 6 tournament hosted at DreamHack Winter 2016. People have been waiting for the talent on the team to coalesce into something very special, and we might be on the verge of finally seeing that happen.

 

Capcom removes Street Fighter V stage "Skies of Honor" from competitive play

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Capcom has announced that the Street Fighter V stage Skies of Honor will not be used in the upcoming Capcom Cup 2016 competition, or in the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour. The level is "too distracting" for pro play, Capcom said, but worse than that, according Brazilian Street Fighter pro Keoma, it was actually making some players physically sick.

 

UK Games Organization Lobbies for Industry Infrastructure

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United Kingdom games and interactive entertainment trade body Ukie has announced its representation of major stakeholders in UK esports, including Smite developer Hi-Rez Studios, ESL, Fnatic, and Gfinity, and FaceIT.

 

Second Political Foray to Acknowledge Esports as a Sport in Germany

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After Berlin’s Pirate Party filed a motion to acknowledge esports as a sport in Germany back in May this year, FDP’s regional faction in Hamburg now followed in their steps. Hamburg’s Free Democratic Party advertises its claim under the slogan “Sports has many facets – Esports is one of it!” A party spokesperson argued that hand-eye-coordination, reaction speed, game knowledge, spatial orientation, lateral thinking, tactical execution, and more are equally as important as among traditional athletes.

 

Crowdfunding News

 

Jupiter Hell - a modern turn-based sci-fi roguelike

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Jupiter Hell is a turn-based sci-fi roguelike/RPG with modern 3D graphics, by the creator of Doom, the Roguelike.

 

Re: Sharin no Kuni Project

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A classic, dystopian visual novel which has stirred countless hearts. Help us bring the official English localization to life!

 

Content I found interesting this week (interviews, reviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, criticism, etc)

 

DOOM Series - Teaser

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A small taste of our series covering the development of 2016's hit rebirth of the DOOM franchise. Coming December.

 

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Best Mission in ‘Titanfall 2’

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Respawn walks us through "Effects And Cause," a standout moment from the 'Titanfall 2' campaign, and how the idea came up several years ago.

 

Mini-documentary sheds light on Japan's Game Preservation Society

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"Our mission is to restore a number of games we consider important, but also to leave behind an archive for future research so that journalists, writers, researchers and historians can bring to light important works from the past."

 

'Castlevania' Producer Koji Igarashi: "I Honestly Don’t Feel That I’m a Big Deal At All"

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He's one of a handful of creatives who could rightly be described as a legend, but that's not how he sees himself as he works to finish his latest 2D extravaganza

 

Peter Molyneux talks to us about Lionhead's legacy, working with Xbox, and making Milo

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Peter Molyneux’s break came in 1989 with Populous, the original god game, before spending most of the 1990s with legendary British studio Bullfrog. He then went on to co-found Lionhead in 1997 and, over the next 16 years, oversaw the studio’s transition from an independent developer to a Microsoft first-party studio, with the development of Xbox gems like Fable and Fable II, and the fascinating-but-cancelled Project Milo for Kinect. Following Lionhead’s closure, OXM sat down with the industry legend to discuss the studio’s legacy.

 

Revisiting Cibele: Playing with the connections we create through tech

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As much as technology has been able to connect us, there are people who argue that technology divides us -- that technology is an enemy of personal intimacy.

Nina Freeman, lead designer on Star Maid Games' Cibele, released a little over a year ago, begs to differ.

 

Love, Loss, and Failing to Find an Escape in Games

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How one player tried—and failed—to recapture a happier time with ‘King’s Quest.’

 

Blood, Sweat, and Dialogue Trees: How Games Writing Has Evolved

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The creators of 'Gears of War 4,' 'Deus Ex,' and 'Gone Home' discuss the writing craft.

Games writing has gotten more sophisticated over the years, but certainly not easier

"Here's the interesting thing: every single person I know who crossed over from writing about video games to writing video games has had that belief rudely shattered in the first month of the job. It's way harder than you can imagine, it's way more stressful than you can imagine."

 

How the Lives of 'Final Fantasy XV' Fans Have Changed During their 10-Year Wait

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This latest Final Fantasy game has been a long time coming. In the meantime, fans have been living their lives, falling in love, and growing up.

 

Oxenfree, Memory, and Public History

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Oxenfree is not a game you’d immediately associate with history. The adventure game, released on various platforms in the first half of 2016, follows five teenagers as they visit an island for a party but soon become involved with a supernatural presence. Without giving too much away, the group discovers ghosts, time travel, and that the true story of Edwards Island is not at all what it seems. Although the plot itself is largely reminiscent of science fiction movies from the 1980s or more modern tributes like Stranger Things, the island and its background draws heavily on themes of historical memory and preservation.

 

FALLOUT 4 AND THE END OF HISTORY

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Fallout 4 wants to do a bit of everything, dabbling in crafting, town planning and perhaps most interestingly, political commentary. This can be found in the emails on long dormant business servers that exist to give motive to the corporate malfeasance that starts in the now abandoned laboratories and ends with the destruction of civilisation.

 

Ultimate General Is A Very Good Strategy Game

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Back in 2014 I played Ultimate General: Gettysburg, a short but innovative strategy game set during the Civil War’s most famous battle. Two years later and the same game is back, only now it’s a full singleplayer campaign experience.

 

Message of the new Moon Hunters expansion: it's OK to stop playing

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It’s an interesting design point about “replayability,” one of several holy grails for games like this. Is it possible to be too replayable? How do you signal to the player when a game’s material is exhausted before they become resentful of the experience? Short said she wanted this expansion to “add a satisfying place for players to know ‘ok I can stop playing, I had a good time, beat a final boss, etc’-- the only hitch with this tropey genre ending was that it slightly undermines the anti-violence message, but that was always present in the core gameplay.” Short feels that this new boss fight, which is integrated into the new graveyard system, will better communicate a strong endpoint for the game.

 

Why we need diverse games like 'Watch Dogs 2' more than ever

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We often hear about art as a vehicle for empathy. It's easy for us to connect with the subjects of photographs or novels (here's a great breakdown of how that applies to film). Video games, despite not being as well-respected as other artistic mediums, have the potential to be even more effective delivery mechanisms for empathy. You're not just passively sitting and watching a narrative, you're controlling a character as your avatar. That leads to a level of agency and connection that's very different from most other media. (And let's not get into the whole "can games be art?" thing. Any creative medium can be artistic; we're better off focusing on what each of them brings to the table.)

 

Doing Thanksgiving In The Sims 4 Is Like Herding Cats

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I’m not going home for Thanksgiving, and I’m too busy packing my apartment to celebrate with friends. This year, I decided to recognize the holiday in a different way: with my sims.

 

The Division’s New Survival Mode Is Intense

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The $15 “Survival” expansion to 2016’s second most-intense emotional rollercoaster, The Division, seems to be a very good addition to the game. Emphasis on “seems to be,” because I can only extend so much praise to a clever but brutal game mode that keeps killing me.

 

On the Level: The Prison Cell of ‘Metal Gear Solid’

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Our new column On the Level, by Ed Smith, examines how small moments in games can resonate throughout—and beyond—the games themselves, encapsulating all of their various qualities.

We focus on the pluses and minuses of a memorable scene from Hideo Kojima’s 1998 stealth classic.

 

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap's dungeon design | Boss Keys

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Boss Keys is an on-going research project to analyse the level design of the dungeons in The Legend of Zelda. This time, it's the turn of GBA game The Minish Cap.

Note: There's an error on the graph for the Fortress of Winds. There should be a barrier icon before the locked door and boss key section. Sorry! I'll fix it up when I release the graphs properly.

 

Mafia 3 (Spoilers)

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Mafia 3 is really enjoyable, even if its mechanics aren't as engaging as its characters. But its characters are *really* good. And its mechanics aren't bad, they're just passable. So I guess on the whole... *thumbs up*?

This episode took a lot of doin'. FRAPS started causing the game to halt for seconds at a time (resulting in useless footage) so I switched over to Bandicam. Unfortunately that meant that the footage was compressed, which makes sliding around in an editor looking for just the right clip to use super laggy. This was exacerbated by the game being 25 hours long and an open world that tells its story in somewhat sporadic chunks. So yeah, editing this thing was a bit of a beast. I hope you enjoy it! Happy Thanksgiving to those in the States!

 

Mafia III's NPCs can teach you a lot about history, so long as you don't murder them first

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Incidental and ambient NPC dialogue in Mafia III is actually pretty rich with history.

 

Nintendo - A Shit Distributor And Fuckheaded Toymaker (The Jimquisition)

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Nintendo's manufactured scarcity is a commonly known deal, and it's just getting beyond ludicrous.

The NES Classic is the latest farce, shipping to stores in pitiful numbers despite well-known demand.

Basically, Nintendo's a fucked up toymaker thinking everything it makes is a goddamn Hatchimal, whatever the hell THAT is!

 

MMO Economies - Hyperinflation, Reserve Currencies & You! - Extra Credits

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When players can generate their own money in infinite supply by killing monsters for in-game gold, MMO economies quickly get overrun by inflation. In the past we've talked about how designers can create gold sinks to solve this problem. Today we'll talk about other ways game designers approach it: by adapting the same tools used by economists in the real world.

 

Getting a retro look without pixel art

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In previous posts of King Lucas devblog I pointed out our main inspiration sources for game design were 8 bit games like Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Castle of illusion or Asterix, but I still haven’t talked about the graphics of the game so in this post I’m going to try to explain how we got that special look of King Lucas.

 

Google DeepMind could invent the next generation of AI by playing Starcraft 2

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While new content for the likes of Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and Diablo III drew appreciative roars from the Blizzard faithful, the news that Google’s DeepMind branch—which is dedicated to developing sophisticated Intelligence—would be teaming up with the makers of Starcraft 2 to further its research on AI elicited more of a murmur.

 

Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games

 

Majora's Mask - Terrible Fate

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A tribute to the legendary game, this short showcases Skull Kid’s dark origin story. Our take on how the Zelda Universe could be realized in film. A labor of love for all those involved, this is a gift to the fans.

 

When Video Games Get A Little Too Real

 
 
 
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Sometimes it’s worth unloading an entire Roadhog ultimate to make sure Mei is 100% dead.

 

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