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Animators discuss Mass Effect and the animation process, Brian Fargo to retire after Wasteland 3, learning to play Overwatch one handed, a look at modern FMV games, Outlast 2 unbanned in Australia, Holly Green writes about the effects of travel bans and passports on a game developer, Final Fantasy IX's exceptional moment, how NieR Automata uses gameplay to tell its story, GOG Galxy exits beta, Mark Brown talks about Breath of the Wild's soundtrack and about the often overlooked women who composed music famous videos games, GameStop closing stores, the legal battle between Sony and two early emulators, Jim Sterling writes about how popular Youtubers believe they have surpassed the media in importance while not understanding why they are talked about, Robert Purchese meets The Witcher author, and more.

 

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

 

GOG Galaxy exits beta, adding universal cloud saves, screenshot capturing, new chat, more

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CD Projekt Red’s game client, GOG Galaxy, has finally left beta, adding in a bunch of new features to improve quality of life for its users.

 

YouTube Restricted Mode Explained

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Dan Olson and Crystal discuss the current Youtube Restricted mode controversy. An excerpt from Dante's Inferno - eXtreme Poetry livestream

 

Take an extended look at customisation and PvP in crunchy punch ‘em up Absolver

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It actually looks super promising, and I can’t wait to beat you all up. Have a watch of the new gameplay footage above.

 

PAX East Report: Games from around the world

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While the US and Japan remain game development heavyweights, the proliferation of distribution methods and design tools is making it not only easier for indies in these countries to break into the market, but for folks right around the globe to do so. Here are three of the most intriguing non-American/non-Japanese games I saw at PAX East.

 

Three Indie Games Are Vying To Out-Smash Smash Bros.

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18 years after Super Smash Bros’ initial release, a slew of indie games are challenging its dominance of the platform fighting genre.

 

'80 Days' Developer Inkle Digs for Buried Space-Treasure in 'Heaven's Vault'

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Boldly going to the graveyards of vanished alien civilizations in search of understanding... and maybe tenure.

 

Steel Division: Normandy 44 - Gameplay reveal

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Join us as we reveal more than ever before about the upcoming game, Steel Division: Normandy 44.

Developed by Eugen Systems and published by Paradox Interactive

GAMEPLAY #2 – THREE-PHASE GAMEPLAY

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Steel Division: Normandy 44 introduces the Three-Phase gameplay, an inventive combat system created specifically for our new Tactical RTS. Each battle is divided into three distinct stages, with their pros & cons according to the situation and the division you play. The intent being to reflect the build-up process of a huge and unpredictable WW2 military engagement, where one smart commander can turn the tables at any time.

With the Three-Phase gameplay, the outcome of a game remains pending up to the end, and you will require every unit at your disposal to win. But no need to rush everything from the very beginning of the battle. According to your play style and the division you have chosen, you can harass the enemy in the early game, gather your forces for a crushing counter-attack later or opt for the many other possible strategies. Every game is a new story. It depends on your mindset. In Steel Division: Normandy 44, no division is unbeatable. They all have their own gameplay.

 

Outlast 2 Edited, Will Come Out in Australia After All

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If both of these statements are factual Outlast II it would appear Outlast II may have been edited for its worldwide release. The game is yet to appear in either the ESRB or PEGI ratings databases.

 

Total War: Warhammer 2 may be revealed next week, and everything else Creative Assembly are doing

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Creative Assembly have been busy lately, taking their celebrated Total War franchise into new waters with mobile and free-to-play, but it's been the success of Total War: Warhammer that looks set to cast the biggest shadow over its future. Based on their own announcements and our own interviews with CA, here's everything we know about what one of the UK's biggest developers are up to.

 

Watch The Church in the Darkness gameplay

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The Church in the Darkness is a stealth-puzzle game in which I infiltrate a 1970s cult camp in order to rescue my nephew. You can take a look at the Paranoid Productions game in the Polygon video above.

 

Warhammer Fantasy Battle going hack ‘n’ slashy

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A hack ‘n’ slash adaptation of Warhammer Fantasy Battle is in development at Eko Software, the French studio known for their How to Survive action-RPGs.

 

Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition announced for iOS, Android, PC and Mac

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Updates curated by lead designer Chris Avellone.

 

Summoning and Polymorph are now in Divinity: Original Sin 2 Early Access

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They look great!

 

‘Ruiner’ Might Be the ‘Hotline Miami’ Successor Your Bloodlust’s Been After

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Reikon is a new name in indie dev, but with staffers from ‘The Witcher 3’ and ‘Dying Light,’ no wonder their debut game looks great.

 

Build your army through friendship or fear with Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord’s quest system

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In the latest developer blog for Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord, TaleWorlds Entertainment discussed the changes to the army recruitment system since the original Mount and Blade, as well as the importance of questing for the sequel. In order to raise a fearsome host of warriors, you’ll need to forge strong relationships. This is where the new quest system comes in.

 

Atlus Announces Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey For Nintendo 3DS

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The 2009 Nintendo DS game Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is getting a revamped version for the 3DS.

 

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire sets sail for frontiers beyond mere tradition

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Feargus Urquhart and Josh Sawyer discuss direction and expectation in Obsidian's RPG follow-up.

 

Prey – Weapon and Power Combos

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You might mankind’s last hope aboard Talos I, but you’ve got a mighty arsenal to face down the Typhon threat. Armed with your wits, weapons and a host of incredible powers, it’s up to you to stop the alien invasion and save all of humanity. Piece of cake. With 24 human upgrades and 20 unique alien powers to choose from (plus all of their upgrades), no two Morgans will be the same, and no two players will have the same experiences in Prey.

 

Wonder Boy 3 remake adds something new: Wonder Girl

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The Dragon’s Trap arrives in April

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Revives an Overlooked Classic

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As time progresses, archiving and preserving classic videogames has become a Herculean task. Staggered international releases, localization issues and copyright disputes are some of the many obstacles developers face when attempting to revive or restore games of a bygone era.

 

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series debuts on April 18

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Telltale’s latest movie tie-in series kicks off next month with the first episode of their take on Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

Syberia 3 - "Story" - official trailer - ESRB version

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Discover the 2nd trailer of Syberia 3 !

 

The next Valkyria game comes to PlayStation and Xbox in June

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Sega dates Valkyria Revolution

 

Meet Uncharted: The Lost Legacy's New Lead Developers

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In this exclusive Game Informer video, Naughty Dog's president Evan Wells and The Last of Us Part II's director Neil Druckmann talk about the history of game development within the studio and the importance of relying on your team. The video also serves as a formal introduction for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy's creative director Shaun Escayg and game director Kurt Margenau, as they talk about their working relationship and the parallels between their story and Chloe and Nadine's.

 

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII ‘Fame and Strategy Expansion Pack’ announced, Xbox One version coming west

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Koei Tecmo has announced the “Fame and Strategy Expansion Pack” for Romance of the Three Kingdoms, an extensive content expansion for Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII set in second century China. It will launch on April 25 in North America and Europe for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

 

Be suitably entertained when gladiator manager Domina launches April 4

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It’s usually the job of the player to be fighting in the arena, going up against bloodthirsty gladiators or the occasional lion. Well Domina flips the script, putting players in charge of a new gladiator school and tasking them to make it one of the greatest in Rome.

 

Watch 14 minutes of the new Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 'Challenge Mode'

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The trailer also showcases the new, open-world-style Side Ops.

 

The Occupation looks an interesting first-person reporter

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The makers of Ether One have announced The Occupation [official site], a fascinating-sounding new first-person investigate-o-adventure game. Set in the wake of a terrorist attack in ’80s Britain, it’ll send a reporter to investigate an impending oppressive government act, poking into the story as events unfold in four hours of real time. Quite how it all works is a little unclear for now but I’m digging the idea especially for that real-time aspect.

 

Radiant Historia Remake Gets Its First Trailer

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Here’s our first look at Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology in action, complete with refreshed character art, anime cinematic, and a slew of ultra-vibrant looking little sprites.

 

Blizzard reveals StarCraft: Remastered, set for release this summer

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4K graphics, new audio, full Battle.net support—plus the original StarCraft and Brood War expansion are going free.

'StarCraft: Remastered' Doesn't Fix The Broken Perfection of 'Brood War'

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Bad pathfinding, a ridiculous engine, user-unfriendly controls, all preserved to update the greatest competitive RTS in history.

 

1980s-set police adventure Beat Cop out next week

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After being delayed from late last year.

 

Tokyo 42 showcases gorgeous neon open world at the PC Gamer Weekender

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Tokyo 42 takes to the studio at the PC Gamer Weekender, powered by Omen by HP.

 

Rumor: Call of Duty is headed back to World War II, according to supposed leak

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We can't confirm if these images are real, so for now, we're pretty skeptical.

 

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition prematurely ejects launch trailer

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Gearbox are so excited about releasing Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition [official site], the (slightly) prettied-up and expanded re-release of People Can Fly’s 2011 fun trickshot FPS, that they’ve shoved the launch trailer out two weeks early.

 

Destiny 2 reveal font lines up with leak pointing at September 8 release date

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Bungie have lifted the lid on Destiny 2 with a little Twitter tease.

 

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom launch date announced, so let's listen to some music

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Shiness will be out in April, with what promises to be some very nice music.

 

Sir, You Are Being Hunted devs to launch sci-fi shooter The Signal From Tölva on April 10

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The Signal From Tölva, a sci-fi open-world shooter by the people who gave us Sir, You Are Being Hunted, is due for release on April 10 - that’s just two weeks’ time. To celebrate, developers Bad Robot have dropped a new trailer.

 

Injustice 2 Official Shattered Alliances: Part 3 Trailer

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"The House of El isn't ruled by fear."

 

Ex-Lionhead devs’ Kynseed brings new life to the farm

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If you’ve played Stardew Valley and wished that poo played a bigger part in life down on the farm, Kynseed [itch.io page] might just have you covered. The developers of this sandbox adventure spent “over 10,000 years (give or take 9,975 years)” working on the Fable series and they want to bring some of the same eccentricities and charm to their new indie project. The eventual goal, it seems, is to build a world that simulates the finer details of passing seasons, ageing, NPC routines and monster poo.

 

First screenshots of Warhammer Quest 2

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Warhammer Quest 2 launches on iOS and Android devices autumn 2017.

 

The next Civilization 6 leader will be Alexander the Great of Macedonia

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The next Civ 6 leader has been announced by Firaxis Games. Alexander the Great and his countrymen the Macedonians will be coming to the game via the Spring 2017 update. Persia's Cyrus the Great was announced as part of the upcoming update recently, and Alexander to Great, along with his new civilization, will be joining him.

Civilization 6 gets long-awaited warmonger penalty tweak

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Civilization 6 is a game I very much enjoyed, but most players agree the warmonger penalty was too harsh.

 

Overwatch's Anti-Abuse System Is Getting An Overhaul

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In competitive games, a handful of bad eggs can stink up the whole basket. Even Overwatch, a shooter designed with teamwork and a degree of positivity in mind, can’t dunk them directly into the trash fast enough. Blizzard’s solution? Better tools.

 

Blade & Soul reveals Secrets of the Stratus expansion, release date set

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It took NCSoft's Blade & Soul three and a half years to reach western shores following a mid-2012 launch in Korea. When it arrived, our own MMO aficionado Steven was left underwhelmed, suggesting its "excellent PvP is buried beneath a mountain of tired MMO tropes that are sometimes frustrating and rarely innovative."

 

Torment Patch 1.0.2 Release Notes

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Today we have our first post-release patch for Torment: Tides of Numenera. This update focuses primarily on bug fixes and other tweaks and improvements. Those of you experiencing a number of issues, particularly with combat freezes, should find many of those problems reduced or eliminated entirely.

In a future update, we will be releasing additional game content free for all Torment players: a new companion, Oom, and the Voluminous Codex, an expanded encyclopedia covering game world information, lore, and characters. Design and writing is in progress on those, and we'll have more information to share in the coming weeks.And now, here's the release notes...

 

Titanfall 2 free DLC lands March 30, while a single-player mission also goes gratis

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To tempt more people to buy their excellent FPS, Respawn are releasing Titanfall 2’s addictive training Gauntlet tutorial, along with a single-player mission, for free. This will land along with a complimentary content update on March 30.

 

Dishonored 2 gets third patch of technical fixes - now Jindosh won't make fun of you after death

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Dishonored 2 is a great game, but its performance on PC at launch was sadly inconsistent, with a number of players reporting significant technical issues. A third major patch has now been applied to the game, squashing more of those pesky bugs.

 

Here are the major Mass Effect: Andromeda issues BioWare are working on fixes for

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It’s been well documented over the past week or so how Mass Effect: Andromeda suffers from bugs. It’s always the way when games get larger - as the scope increases, so do the issues.

 

Ubisoft Makes More Of Watch Dogs 2’s Remaining DLC Free

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In another sign that something wasn’t quite right with the roll-out of last November’s Watch Dogs 2, the game’s publisher said today that it is moving some of the planned paid content from the game’s season pass to a free update. For paying customers, Ubisoft is replacing it with other stuff.

 

Final Fantasy XV Now Has An Alternative Chapter 13

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If you are one of the many people who hated Final Fantasy XV’s thirteenth chapter, you will be pleased to hear that you can now skip it entirely, thanks to a new route that’s full of beefy Gladiolus shots and even political humor (see above).

Final Fantasy 15’s sweetest boy becomes a man in next DLC

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Final Fantasy 15’s first stand-alone episode is out now, and it includes a teaser for the next new piece of downloadable content. “Episode Prompto” will focus on the tiniest, most selfie-loving member of Prince Noctis’ pack

 

Rocket League Dev Speaks Out Against Real-Money Betting Announcement

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Earlier today, Unikrn, a platform that lets you bet real money on competitive gaming matches, announced that Psyonix's Rocket League was joining its lineup in Australia.

Rocket League boss addresses poor server performance, matchmaking issues on PC

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Dave Hagewood: "'Community First' has long been part of our mission statement here at Psyonix".

 

League of Legends design director defends plans for more diversity

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On his blog, Street told the gamer in question that his concerns of liberal proselytization would be founded if a game “loses its way and starts focusing too much on social messages at the expense of gameplay.”

"On the other hand,” Street said, “I don’t think your worry is legit, meaning I don’t think it’s fair or probably healthy, if you want to somehow wall yourself off (in a game or anywhere) from the diversity that the world offers."

 

Playtonic removes controversial YouTuber JonTron from Yooka-Laylee

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UK developer Playtonic has removed the controversial YouTuber JonTron from its upcoming title Yooka-Laylee.

Unsurprisingly, their forum has quite a few people with HItler avatars acting like they had planned to buy the game for the last few days.

 

inXile boss Brian Fargo plans to retire after Wasteland 3 ships

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The industry veteran, who founded influential game company Interplay in 1983, said he wanted to relax after a lengthy career making successful games.

 

Nintendo chases more than profit with 'Super Mario Run'

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"Super Mario Run" was greeted with much fanfare after its surprise announcement last year at an Apple event. The game enjoyed a strong start in the App Store, topping download charts in several countries. Yet it was less of a moneymaker for Nintendo than might have been expected, due to the pay-once-and-play model. Revenue from the game "did not meet our expectations," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said.The Android release is expected to sharply expand the user base

Nintendo seals victory in 3DS tech lawsuit

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Nintendo's long-running legal battle against Tomita Technologies, which alleges the Japanese console maker had used its patented 3D display tech without permission, has been laid to rest for good.

 

Blizzard says cheerio to Battle.net branding

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Blizzard has decided to do away with the name Battle.net and simply call the platform Blizzard. It was a bit old fashioned.

WoW account services are about to get more expensive in the UK and EU, and players are pissed

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Services widely regarded as too expensive are becoming even more so on one side of the Atlantic.

 

Containing Bits, random emotes and chat badges, Twitch lift the lid on Twitch Crates

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Shown off briefly as part of their Twitch Commerce announcement, Twitch has revealed more about the special Twitch Crates which will be coming as part of its general shop update. Appearing whenever you buy a game or an item worth more than $4.99, these digital loot boxes can contain all sorts of goodies for avid stream watchers.

 

The Pewdiepie Fiasco, One Month Later

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In the past, Kjellberg has alleged that the media, Kotaku included, only pays attention to his gaffes rather than his good deeds, such as charity work. (Not true.) With the recent blitz of negative coverage, Kjellberg feels that many outlets are painting him as a Nazi sympathizer/enabler, a characterization that, in his mind, doesn’t ring true. As far as Kjellberg is concerned, the media is so eager to paint him as the bad guy, they can get basic facts about him wrong. When that happens, Kjellberg plays it off for laughs on Twitter and on YouTube for an audience that is ready to denounce traditional media as a whole.

“Yes, it’s frustrating to be misrepresented especially concerning serious issues, but it can also be fun to just joke about,” Kjellberg said. “If there’s a ‘pewdiepie vs the media’ now, the way I see it is just for laughs.”

 

GameStop took a beating in holiday sales, and will close 150 stores in 2017

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Earnings report blames big boxes, underwhelming AAA titles

 

Stalker: Lost Alpha Developer's Cut gets launch date three years after major leak

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"We admit that the release version wasn't as stable as we wanted it."

 

The ethics of emulation: how creators, the community, and the law view console emulators

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We talk to emulator devs and an IP lawyer about the ethics of emulators like Cemu, and how they can be proven legal in court.

 

Esports News

 

Meet Michael 'Imaqtpie' Santana, the World's Best 'League of Legends' Streamer

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The former competitor opens up about his life, his loves, and his passion for 'League'

 

One Of Street Fighter V's Best Young Rivalries Has Been Heating Up This Month

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Two young Street Fighter V competitors got into a pretty good three-match rivalry across two events over the last couple of weeks, showing flashes of personal and regional pride.

 

Counter-Strike Tournament Organizer Changes Rules For Benefit Of Banned Cheaters

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Valve’s anti-cheating software, known as VAC, monitors public Counter-Strike matches for evidence of cheating, like aim assist or changing value modifiers. Traditionally, any pros found cheating have been barred from competing in tournaments, but one organizer has decided to let them back in.

 

The Weekend In Esports: The Halo 5 World Championship Finals And More

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Below you’ll find where and when you can catch all the weekend’s biggest events in competitive gaming. Let us know what you’ll be watching in the comments or if you think there’s something we might have missed.

 

Newcomer Shocked After Taking Down Smash Bros. Legend

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This what it feels like when somehow you beat the best Smash 4 player in the world with a miraculous, last minute combo.

 

Underdog Knocks Hearthstone World Champ Out Of Tournament

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The 2017 Hearthstone Winter Championship is underway, and 16 players are competing for $250,000 and one of four guaranteed spots at this year’s World Championships. One Cinderella story may not only earn a ticket to the ball, but he took out a champ on his way there.

 

Protoss Prodigy Stats Wins Global StarCraft League Finals

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Last night was a fond walk down memory lane for any StarCraft fan. Between the announcement of StarCraft Remastered and the showmatches between old Brood War favorites like Lee Jae Dong and Lee “Flash” Young Ho, anticipation kept building for the night’s climactic battle for the Global StarCraft II League finals.

 

Fans Are Ripping The Halo World Championship For Its Shabby Venue

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Competitive Halo’s biggest event of the year is going on right now but some fans are arguing about the venue and how many people are in attendance. The tournament has a prize pool of $1,000,000, but pictures on the ground tell the story of a more deflated event.

OpTic’s CEO Speaks Out About the Scope of the Halo World Championship 2017

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How do you diplomatically talk about a failure in expectations? A difficult question for anyone to answer but Hector “HECZWE” Rodriguez—owner and CEO of OpTic Gaming—attempts to do so in a vlog about the Halo World Championship, except at no point is the actual stage shown in that vlog. The event, organised by ESL and taking place at the ESL studios in Burbank, California, has led to fans and Rodriguez taking to Twitter in disbelief at the small scope compared to 2016’s event.

 

For Honor tournament organisers ban the game's most overpowered hero

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Fighting games fans have a history of banning overpowered characters from tournaments. Akuma in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo was a no-go. Meta Knight has long been frowned upon at Super Smash Bros. Brawl gatherings. Now, add the Peacekeeper from For Honor to that list.

 

This Overwatch play is amazing and serves as a valuable lesson

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This play is illustrative of one of the most common frustrations of any Overwatch player. Your teammates, consumed by bloodlust reinforced by the focus on KDR in other multiplayer shooters, have completely neglected the entire objective of the game.

 

Crowdfunding News

 

All Walls Must Fall: A Tech-Noir Tactics Game

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All Walls Must Fall is a Tech-Noir Tactics game in Berlin 2089 where the Cold War never ended. Closed Alpha (Win/Mac/Linux) May 2017

All Walls Must Fall is a gorgeous 'tech-noir' tactics game that imagines the Cold War never ended

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Inbetweengames is a group of Berlin-based ex-Yager devs whose debut project is All Walls Must Fall—a super-stylish "tech-noir" tactics game set in the year 2089 in a world where the Berlin Wall still stands and the Cold War never ended. Mixing time travel, futuristic dystopia, stealth and backs-to-the-wall rhythm-inspired combat, the game echoes everything from X-Com to Syndicate, Superhot to Braid, Crypt of the Necrodancer to any number of old-school isometric DOS games. It's early days yet, but it looks pretty fantastic.

 

Celebrating 10,000 Funded Games Projects

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The day after Kickstarter launched in 2009, Eric Berlin launched Kickstarter’s very first Games project, offering to make nine interconnected crossword puzzles. "I'd love to see this work, if only to prove that puzzlemakers can connect directly with an audience that loves great puzzles," he wrote. He found his proof — in the form of 163 backers.

Since then, Games creators and backers have connected over and over again. In fact, we just topped a nice round milestone: 10,000 Games projects have been successfully funded on Kickstarter.

 

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

 

ROUND TABLE – MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA

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With so much attention being paid in the last week to the animation issues seen in the previews leading up to Bioware’s next big release, Mass Effect: Andromeda, we thought it would be interesting to get a few experienced animators together to discuss the challenges animators face when dealing with these types of projects. Also, a special thanks to Daniel Floyd for moderating this round table for us. So, let’s get to the introductions!

Former Mass Effect animator speaks out on Mass Effect: Andromeda’s visuals

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Says it’s clear the team ran out of time to do a mountain of work

 

How I Learned to Play Overwatch One-Handed

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At a recent roller derby training session, I got in a fight… with the floor. The floor won. I’d snapped off the ends of my left arm bones like a broken Kit-Kat. My first thought as I looked down at my new chicane of a wrist? Not “Fucking ow!”, but rather: “How the hell am I going to play Overwatch?”

 

YouTubers Say The Darndest Things

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Basically, YouTubers need to face the reality that with the fame and fortune they worked so hard for comes caveats. Once you start influencing millions of minds, of course people are going to notice when you do something that crosses a line. PewDiePie, JonTron, and those defending them seem taken aback, horrified even, that the likes of the Wall Street Journal would bother with them, that they’re being focused on instead of “real issues” without realizing they are the issue now.

They’re the next generation of celebrity, and guess what, celebrities get talked about.

Celebrities get talked about a lot.

“Sometimes people are gonna say things you don’t like,” explained Boogie in his video. “People are gonna have ideas and opinions that you don’t enjoy.”

This is true and it works both ways. One opinion and idea that several big YouTubers don’t enjoy right now is that YouTubers are relevant enough to make headlines and become international controversies. One opinion and idea that several big YouTubers don’t enjoy right now is that, no, you can’t share your racist beliefs and expect nobody to argue back.

 

How Trump's Travel Ban Impacts the Games Industry

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Tiara points out that many publishers and developers, while well-meaning in their attempts to compensate or fight the ban, offer impractical solutions or overlook simple logistics, reinforcing the inequalities they sought to address in the first place. “The creators of Zombies Run recently put out a call for writers and said they’d accept applications from anywhere in the world since it’s a remote position,” she says. “However, they required this person to be available for a team meeting in Tel Aviv. This immediately disqualifies anyone with a Muslim-country passport since those passports tend to have ‘not valid for travel into Israel,’ a requirement that’s been around for decades.“

A huge chunk of the world gets disqualified over factors they can’t control, and this game company didn’t take the effort to think about how their supposed attempts at diversity actually backfired. If they’re already fucking up this way, how do you expect them to respond to the travel ban? Preemptively ban people from applying for jobs there? Closing down offices elsewhere? Only taking in super local people? Options that are actually legal and viable get thrown by the wayside.”

 

The Game Beat Weekly: Game reviewers face their own "crunch time"

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"Eating a big steak dinner is great. Being forced to eat 30 steak dinners in the span of a week approaches torture."

This is the best analogy I've heard for describing the "hardship" of reviewing an epic-length game on a tight embargo deadline (I think Ben Kuchera was the one to first mention this great saying to me, and it's definitely stuck).

 

An Account of Uncommon Darkness: 'Lone Survivor' on Its Fifth Anniversary

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Jasper Byrne’s survival horror remains a singular descent into discomfort. We speak to the solo developer.

 

Meeting Andrzej Sapkowski, the writer who created The Witcher

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"It is a lie," says Sapkowski. "Poor cobblers make good shoes, they don't kill monsters. Soldiers and knights? They are idiots generally. And priests want only the money and f***ing adolescents. So who's killing monsters? Professionals. You don't call poor cobblers' apprentices: you call for professionals. So then I invented the professional."

 

Hajime Tabata Reflects on the Transformation of Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV

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INTERVIEW | The trials of transforming Versus XIII, preparing a global launch, and making Prompto popular.

 

'Fallout: New Vegas' Writer Chris Avellone: "Fantasy is Not My Happy Place"

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Credited with some of the best-written games ever, he's branching out into new genres, and the wild west of VR

 

David Jaffe Hates Cutscenes, Loves 'Hearthstone' and Says 'Drawn to Death' is His Most Honest Work Yet

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As he prepares to launch his first game in five years, the outspoken veteran talks inspiration, 'Zelda' and the lack of emotion in 'God of War'

 

Dancing With an Elder God at the End of 'Quake'

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How one puzzling boss fight ended poorly for a young space marine, and how more games should aspire to true hopelessness.

 

Nier: Automata's Most Human Character Is An Alien Machine

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Nier: Automata is a game that explores the meaning and consequence of being human, despite not featuring a single actual human in its primary narrative. In a world populated by machines, one mechanical being, village leader Pascal, strides closest to humanity, and pays a steep price.

 

Can Learning To Make Video Games Help Rehabilitate Jailed Kids?

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“What they teach you in juvenile halls or in youth offender facilities is not about education,” researcher Dana Ruggiero told me during a recent phone interview. “It’s not about making better choices. It’s literally just a rhetoric, and then they put you back into the same system you came out of.” She started Project Tech, a program focused on teaching game design to young people in prison, to help break that cycle.

 

Check out the handwritten game design doc for Asteroids

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Ever wondered what a game design doc from the '70s looks like? Well wonder no more, because we've got our mitts on the original handwritten game plan for classic arcade shooter, Asteroids.

 

How an RPG Designer Went from 'D&D' to the Bold World of 'Numenera'

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Monte Cook's fear of boredom led to some of the best written games ever

 

One Player's Six-Year Quest to Wear an Iconic 'Dark Souls' Helmet

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Dragon Slayer Ornstein is nothing without his flowing plume, and that really rankled one 'Dark Souls' fan. They set out to fix it.

 

What It's Like to Curate an Indie Gaming Event

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It’s a testing world, individualism necessarily tempered by accessibility. We speak to three organizers about their efforts to have us playing differently.

 

Former Sega America CEO Tom Kalinske on Sonic’s missteps and future

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From the dark days to being hopeful

 

Half-Life 2 maps leak online, but are they legit?

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We’ve got the files, here’s what we found inside

 

More Than Fuzzy Nostalgia, FMV Games Still Matter Today

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‘Her Story’ did wonders for reviving a seemingly dead gaming genre—and since then, many more developers have been having fun with real actors.

 

FINAL FANTASY IX’S FAMOUS “NO CLOUD, NO SQUALL” QUOTE

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With that cleared up, I hunted down the Japanese equivalent. Here are the two lines side-by-side, with some of the surrounding text for context.

 

The Unifying, Monstrous Hopefulness of 'Inside'

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Finding resistance via empathy instead of otherness.

 

'IT Crowd' and 'Father Ted' Creator Graham Linehan Loves 'Dark Souls' and 'Rainbow Six Siege'

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The Irish writer and director reveals why you won't see any 'Zelda' jokes in his TV shows

 

Why Some Zelda Speedruns Use German And Others Use Japanese

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There’s a reason Breath of the Wild played in German. It’s just a heck of a lot faster. Speedruns use different languages and versions to cut down on time. Here’s how that works for The Legend of Zelda.

 

Inside the Resilient ‘Team Fortress 2’ Community on the PlayStation 3

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To say that PS3 players got a raw deal is one hell of an understatement. But they've managed, and made friends along the way.

 

Some Of The Witcher 3's Character Animations Are Still Blowing People Away

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CD Projekt Red’s RPG masterpiece came out nearly two years ago, but damn does it still hold up. And recently, a handful of people’s favorite character animations from the game have been making the rounds.

 

Crafting the complex, chaotic ecosystem of Rain World

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Rain World is a game about surviving inside a “chaotic, roiling, alive ecosystem.” You play as a versatile creature known as a slugcat, which exists in the middle of a food chain, both predator and prey.

Its survival loop demands that you set out from your safe spot, find and eat enough food so you can return to hibernation without starving to death, while also avoiding the animals that want to eat you.

 

Flashback: 'Justice League Task Force', Blizzard's Only Bad Game

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The awful 'Justice League' game that ultimately led to the creation of 'Diablo'

 

The Hunt For Gaming's First Easter Egg

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A former Microsoft executive is spending his free time uncovering gaming history.

 

Every Time Nier Automata Ends, It Gets Better

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Nier Automata is a game that gains meaning through repetition. The ending to the game changes following multiple playthroughs. Players see events from new perspectives and learn new information that recontextualizes past actions. It’s given us a lot to think about. Mike and Heather dissect the story in this discussion.

 

How Zelda and Horizon fix open worlds in very different ways

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It's an outrageous thought, that a thirty year-old Nintendo franchise and a newcomer from the people who made Killzone would be two of the most important open world games of 2017. But they are, and perhaps that alone illustrates how much rot had set into the genre.

 

Bonus: The music of Breath of the Wild | Downloadable Comment

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This is a bonus video, outside the usual realm of Game Maker's Toolkit. Here, I'm talking about the strengths of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's soundtrack.

 

From Shady to Legal: How 2 Emulators Battled Sony - Bleem! & VGS | Gaming Historian

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Back in 1999, two emulators were released commercially that let gamers play Playstation games on their computer: The Connectix Virtual Game Station and Bleem! Sony sued both companies, and their legal battle set a precedent for the legality of emulation. Learn the history behind it all!

 

Politics in Games - All Media is Political - Extra Credits

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We can't remove politics from games. They express our perspectives and understanding of the world, just like movies, books, or any other art form. We can agree or disagree with the stances they express, but all media is political.

 

Why NieR: Automata Could Only Work as a Game (Spoiler Analysis) - Writing on Games

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SPOILER WARNING - this video discusses the ending to NieR: Automata, so go play it before watching this. Trust me, it's really good.

Most games nowadays fail to realise the potential of the medium to tell stories through interaction. Whilst they may not necessarily benefit from being a movie, a book or TV show, you could envision their stories being told that way. Yoko Taro's recent release NieR:Automata, however, utilises every aspect of games to such an extent that its incredibly powerful story could not be told through another medium. In this episode of Writing on Games, I attempt to break down why that is by analysing the story in detail, ending spoilers and all.

 

Night in the Woods (Spoilers!)

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Night in the Woods is basically Ghost World meets Richard Scarry. Or maybe it's Clerks meets a Southern Gothic ghost story set in the rust belt. Or maybe it's Catcher in the Rye, but with a Sharkle.

Whatever the case, Night in the Woods is a pretty dense work, thematically, despite wearing its intentions on its sleeve. It wants to tell a relatable coming of age story, and it wants to tell the story of Possum Springs. But it does so in a way that has a lot of meat to dig into by relating the two. I kind of try to do that here, but the more I think about it the more there's stuff I didn't cover. Hm.

 

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Bonus Session

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The creators of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild discuss their favorite characters, locations, and shrines, and then share a special message to all viewers.

 

You're Not Alone! Final Fantasy IX's exceptional moment | Game Score Fanfare

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An analysis You're Not Alone, one of Nobuo Uematsu's most famous tracks, and a fantastic scene from Final Fantasy IX. I look at how You're Not Alone is so different to the rest of the soundtrack, why it subverts expectation to create surprise, and its relation to Final Fantasy IX in the greater context of the Final Fantasy series. I also compare it to and share my thoughts on Florence and the Machine's cover of Stand By Me, which was used as the theme music to Final Fantasy XV.

Game Score Fanfare is a show that celebrates music in video games. I want to explore and share the unique ways that games use music to instil emotion into pixels and code, tell stories through sound, and create unforgettable moments. I'll be shining a light on the games and people who have taken the medium of video game music seriously and pushed its limits to create one of the most diverse genres of music that we have.

 

Rocket Launcher.

 

Mass Effect: Andromeda: When Science-Fiction Fails - Reboot

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Mike and Jake delve into the history of science-fiction storytelling, and highlight how the new Mass Effect squanders its potential.

Mass Effect: Andromeda’s aliens are a missed opportunity

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PC Gamer writers discuss Andromeda's issues with aliens and exploration.

 

Inside Adult Swim Games' Crusade For More Weird Games

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In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show, Ben Hanson interviews lead producer Chris Johnston and vice president Jeff Olsen from Adult Swim Games about the business and art of publishing bizarre games like Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove, Kingsway, and Rain World.

 

Why "Everything" On PS4 Might Make You Rethink Your Existence

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In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show, Javy Gwaltney and Ben Hanson share their impressions of playing David O'Reilly's new game on PlayStation 4 (confusingly) called Everything. The game is bold, a little confusing, and worth a look.

 

Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games

 

Defeated League Of Legends Player Rams Head Through Computer Monitor

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Goodness. After losing a match, a League of Legends player in the Chinese city of Lanzhou, one player apparently got angry and slammed his head through the computer screen.

 

Too many people like this

 

Worst Pitch Thread

 

This Guy Is Putting Cooking Mama's Recipes to the Test

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The Cooking Mama series presents the eponymous Mama as a culinary master (and a crafting master, and a camping master, and a babysitting master among other things). But with all those conspicuous jump-cuts in her process as the game moves from one minigame to the next it's always been easy to doubt her actual prowess. Now YouTube creator (and engineer) GameTim is putting Mama's methods to the test, and while the results are seldom perfect it turns out there's still some value in Mama's repertoire.

 

Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

 

How Breath of the Wild Fixes Zelda's Item Problem

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The Legend of Zelda is one of my favourite series, but despite the amazing heights it reaches, it's always had a problem of items being far too specific and rigid. Let's take a look at just how Breath of the Wild fixes that problem, and how it makes interactions in this huge world feel so much more natural.

 

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