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Legolas_Katarn

This Week In Gaming 4-18-17

2 posts in this topic

How Klik and Play and Jack Thompson helped lead to the development of Spelunky, Xbox to allow refunds, Peter Moore bids farewell to game industry, the bright life of the MSX, more Yakuza on its way, an interview with Amy Hennig, the inspiring annihilation of Horizon Zero Dawn, the early life of Jeri Ellsworth and her work with Valve and AR, Ben McCurry and Jim Sterling highlight new information on Brash Games, Tencent's game platform to support international users as a competitor to Steam, the indie developer with a six year old boss, Battlefront 2 reveal, the PC origins of JRPGs, Legend of Grimrock developers next game, CRPG book project updated, alcoholic cats in Dwarf Fortress, the story of the DOS Mega Man games, Extra Credits talks about games using real world player information, and more.

 

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

 

EA's Peter Moore bids a heartfelt farewell to the game industry

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Today was his last day, so he wrote a letter and made a video.

 

It Looks Like Refunds Are Coming to Xbox One

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Steam and Origin may have lead the way with allowing consumers to refund digital game purchases, but Microsoft looks to be following in their footsteps. Users on the Xbox subreddit report Microsoft's announced this policy as part of their Xbox Live preview program, presumably to be rolled out wider later. Any game may be refunded in the first 14 days, with less than two hours played.

 

Steam has a massive new competitor

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Tencent is refreshing its games platform for a global audience

 

Twitch to get $10 and $25 monthly channel subscription tiers, says leaked partner email

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According to a leaked email that supposedly went out to Twitch partners, the popular streaming platform is about to roll out a beta for two new subscriber payment tiers: $9.99 a month and $24.99 a month.

 

Frozen Synapse 2 at the PC Gamer Weekender

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Ian Hardingham on what's new and what's improved at the PC Gamer Weekender, powered by Omen by HP.

 

Sega’s ‘extreme’ HD remake of Yakuza comes to PS4 in August

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Yakuza Kiwami is a PlayStation 4 exclusive

 

Star Wars Battlefront 2 release date confirmed, watch first trailer here

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 is coming to PC on November 17th 2017, the game's official website confirms. A reveal trailer (above) was also shown at Star Wars Celebration and showed off the single-player mode and a handful of classic characters.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 first look: everything we know

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Single-player, robot sidekicks and new planets.

What’s new in Star Wars Battlefront 2’s multiplayer

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DICE overhauls Battlefront’s heroes, space combat and more

Star Wars Battlefront 2’s campaign is penned by Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams

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Spec Ops: The Line was pretty good, right? An average third-person shooter elevated by its story: a videogame riff on Joseph Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness. Set in Dubai, the game was a refreshing change from the usual gung-ho shooters, with a decidedly anti-military take on armed conflict. Well, Star Wars Battlefront 2’s single-player story is being co-written by its lead writer, Walt Williams.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 season pass remarks cause a stir

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EA walks back developer claim that the game won’t have one

Q&A: 'Star Wars Battlefront 2' Story with EA and Lucasfilm

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Game director Mark Thompson and Lucasfilm Story Group's Steve Blank on Iden's redemption, writing in the post 'Jedi' era, and what canon means today

 

People behind Battlefront's X-Wing VR mission making "something awesome" for the sequel

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Criterion Games, who made a virtual reality mission for Star Wars: Battlefront, are among the studios attached to the sequel, and are working on "something awesome" for the forthcoming sci-fi action game.

 

Star Citizen developer update shows off huge new capital ship

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The latest Star Citizen dev journal covers a lot of ground, from updates to fatigue animations to spacesuit punctures and new audio and lighting systems. The star of the show appears at 12:20 as the episode spotlights the Javelin, a huge three-deck UEE Destroyer.

 

The Escapists 2 unveils wild west-themed map in new in-game footag

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Team 17 and Mouldy Toof's The Escapists 2 was revealed towards the end of last year, when it promised improved visuals over its forerunner and a host of new features—including  multiplayer. Its latest trailer shows off new prison Rattlesnake Springs in motion and offers a glimpse at what we can expect when the sequel comes to PC later this year.

 

Meet the indie developer whose boss is his 6-year old daughter

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Christopher Obritsch is a father, an ex-graphic designer and an indie game developer. He's also a self-confessed, present day Ghouls 'N Ghosts devotee—an affinity that, despite the legions of similar and not so similar games that've came and went since, was formed almost 30 years ago.

 

Legend of Grimrock vets announce Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest

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It's an old-school exploration-RPG with plenty of combat.

 

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 - Official Dangerous Trailer

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Get Dangerous With This New Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Trailer!

 

Making it in Unreal: conveying the creeping horror of Lovecraft in Conarium

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If the leader of your academic expedition is called Dr Faust, you should know it’s probably not going to end well. It certainly doesn’t in Conarium, a first-person horror game inspired by HP Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.

 

Body-swapping roguelike MidBoss possesses Steam on May 23

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Currently playable via itch.io and in Steam closed beta, the body-swapping roguelike MidBoss is coming to Steam on May 23. Casting players as a lowly imp sick of their lot as the weakest monster in the dungeon, MidBoss has players hopping between bodies on the way to becoming the final boss.

 

Endless Space 2 properly launching on May 19th

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“I’m not planning to go back until the Early Access period is done,” our Adam said after playing the initial release of Endless Space 2 [official site]. It’s not that Amplitude’s 4X space strategy sequel was bad, more he’d much rather wait then get to know the full, complete game.

 

Battalion 1944 is a classic shooter, “not a World War Two game”: hands-on and interview

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Battalion 1944 was announced on Kickstarter early last year, inspired by multiplayer shooters of the period after Quake III: Arena, but before COD 4: Modern Warfare. The pitch clearly struck a chord, as it went on to raise more than triple its £100,000 funding goal. The game was playable for the first time at EGX Rezzed last week, so I took the chance to ventilate a few Nazis and chat to developers Bulkhead Interactive.

 

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition to debut on Steam later this week

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The updated release features enhanced graphics, DLC, and all the Steam trimmings.

 

Immersive space sim HEVN has players acting as both space mechanic and cosmic detective

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In a new trailer for their story-driven space sim HEVN, developer Miga have shown a typical problem players will have to solve while exploring a dilapidated mining base on the planetoid Naic. Mixing elements of survival games with narrative heavy experiences like System Shock, HEVN has players balancing their survival, with solving the mystery of this abandoned mining operation.

 

Watch the Guardians of the Galaxy fight Thanos in the Telltale episode one trailer

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The series gets underway with 'Tangled Up in Blue.'

 

Quake Champions: 4 Minutes of Brutal Gameplay at 1080p 60fps

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Witness four minutes of Slash champion gameplay in Quake Champions!

 

Project Cars 2 demonstration at the PC Gamer Weekender

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Project Cars 2 demoed on the PC Gamer stage at the PC Gamer Weekender, powered by Omen by HP.

 

58 Minutes of New Prey Gameplay - Let's Play Prey

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New Prey gameplay! Join Aoife Wilson and Johnny Chiodini as they continue their playthrough of Prey. In this video, they acquire a psychoscope and fancy new alien powers. What's the weirdest thing they can mimic? Do aliens poop? Did Crispin Boyer have it coming? All these questions and more are answered within, so let's play Prey!

The Alien Sounds of ‘Prey’ Are Absolutely Terrifying

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Arkane’s sci-fi reboot is very capable of shitting its player up, mainly because of its unsettling acoustics.

Prey is a game about defying the gamer's expectations - here are five ways it does it

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Considering it’s coming from the same developer as Dishonored, it comes as no surprise that Prey is full of inventive toys to play with. Like Corvo, protagonist Morgan Yu has a tiny selection of conventional weaponry, bolstered by a much wider array of interesting tools and powers. From psychic energy bolts to grenades that turn enemies into crafting materials, there are dozens of fantastic items aboard the Talos-1 space station, and I’m going to shine a spotlight on a few of the best ones I’ve seen so far.

 

Injustice 2 - Scarecrow Trailer

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Dr. Crane loves using fear as a treatment for his foes.

Injustice 2 - Official Poison Ivy Gameplay Trailer

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Dr. Pamela Isley was once an innovative, radical botanical biochemist with a singular goal: make the world safe for plant life to flourish!

 

The Next Professor Layton Is Coming to America This July

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Following yesterday evening’s news that the next game in the Professor Layton series will hit Japan on July 20, publisher Level-5 has now revealed that the new game starring the professor’s daughter will be available worldwide that very day—on iOS and Android, but not Nintendo 3DS.

 

Splatoon 2 launches in July with a new horde mode and more

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The release date comes from the company’s most recent Nintendo Direct presentation. Alongside the date announcement, Nintendo showed off some new gameplay from the multiplayer shooter.

 

Dark Rose Valkyrie launches June 6 in North America, June 9 in Europe

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Dark Rose Valkyrie will launch physically and digitally for PlayStation 4 on June 6 in North America and June 9 in Europe, publisher Idea Factory International announced.

 

Dawn of War 3 trailer meets the voice actors

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Whenever a Warhammer 40,000 game is announced British voice actors can expect a windfall. The latest Dawn of War 3 vid proves that to be the case as it goes into Relic's recording booths to meet the voice actors behind the game's major characters.

 

Shadow of War: Making the City of Minas Ithil - IGN First

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You've watched the brief teaser, now go behind the scenes with Monolith Productions to see new gameplay, features, and the creation of the massive city.

 

A New Project From BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment - Teaser Trailer

Bandai Namco announces Code Vein, a new action RPG from the God Eater team

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The latest issue of Weekly Famitsu reveals Code Vein, a new “dungeon exploration-type, hard action RPG” from Bandai Namco developed by the team behind God Eater. It is due out in 2018 for unannounced platform(s).

 

The Surge - An Early Look at the Sci-Fi Souls-Like - IGN Plays Live

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Jon Ryan and Mitchell take a look at the beta of The Surge, a Sci-Fi action/RPG made by Deck 13 Interactive, the developers of Lords of the Fallen. The stream starts at 1pm PT.

 

Two new maps, two Live Fire arenas, and a new Titan are coming to Titanfall 2 free

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Respawn are still plugging away on the best shooter of 2016, releasing new content for free at a steady pace. They’ve just announced what will be coming over the next couple of months, both in the form of new content and game updates.

 

Ashes of the Singularity’s Inception DLC is out now, adding four maps and a ‘split-scenario’

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Stardock have just released their latest DLC pack for Ashes of the Singularity, titled Inception. This expansion adds four new maps for single-player skirmishes and multiplayer, alongside a new ‘split-scenario’, where players can choose between either the PHC of the Substrate to experience the story.

 

Fight the CEO of Square Enix in the upcoming Nier: Automata DLC

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The chief of Platinum Games is up for a fight, too.

 

Genji is coming to Heroes of the Storm

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As is an Overwatch-themed map, set in Shimada Castle.

 

First major Battlegrounds patch will add motorbikes with sidecars and a ton of fixes

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There's also a new SMG, the return of the crossbow, and a test server being added.

 

Arma 3’s Jets DLC releases on May 16, along with a free aircraft carrier for all

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Bohemia Interactive have announced the release date for Arma 3’s Jets DLC, which is touching down mid-May. At the same time, players will be getting access to the CVN-83 "USS Freedom" Aircraft Carrier, whether they buy the DLC or not.

 

Cities: Skylines – Mass Transit disembarking May 18th

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I don’t really ‘get’ driving cars in cities. Having always lived places where I can get everywhere I need by foot, bus, train, or bike, I am bamboozled by city-building games nudging me to build intersections resembling Celtic knots.

 

Derailed: The Final Station’s Only Traitor DLC adds cars

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The Final Station [official site] is a game about a train choo-chooing through a post-apocalyptic world, gathering survivors along the way. Split into two sections – on-train management and off-train exploration and baddy-biffing – it’s a side-scrolling survival action game that our Graham found just about pleasant enough. Tomorrow sees the release of a DLC pack called The Only Traitor, which ditches the train in favour of a car. How much that’ll actually change the systems, I don’t know, but it all looks quite familiar.

 

CS:GO to Launch in China with Severe Anti-Cheating Penalties

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China’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive players will finally be able to compete on their own servers! Yesterday, Valve announced that a legitimate, localised version of the game will launch April 18 in open beta, with its own extremely strict anti-cheating rule set.

 

Pharah's German voice actress replaced in Overwatch update, finds out when fans tell her

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The actress who supplies the German voice work for Overwatch’s Pharah has had her work replaced in the game's latest patch, version 1.10, seemingly without her knowledge.

Overwatch's Skill Rating System Is Busted For Healers

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In the world of video games, healing isn’t a glamorous gig. It’s hard enough to get people to do it when everybody’s on equal footing. And when they’re not? Well, then you’ve got a problem on your gnarled, pock-marked, and thoroughly un-healed hands.

 

NINTENDO DISCONTINUES THE NES CLASSIC EDITION

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After terrible supply issues, Nintendo’s plug and play NES gets a shorter than expected run at retailers.

Nintendo Also Discontinues The Mini Famicom For Japan, But Only Temporarily

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Just as Nintendo has decided to end NES Classic production, it’s doing the same in Japan for the miniature Famicom. Yet, the decision does not sound permanent.

NES Classic’s Ebay Price Triples, Surprising No One

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Yesterday, Nintendo announced they were discontinuing production of the NES Classic within North America. With demand high, I was curious to see how things were playing out on eBay. Turns out, it’s a lot like when Michael Jackson died.

Nintendo Switch becomes fastest-selling system in Nintendo history

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NPD reports that 906,000 units were sold in March, and Zelda broke records as well

 

The Modders Who Decided to Overhaul the AI in 'Civilization V'

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It's one thing to modify part of a game, but a core component? That's something else.

 

The best Civilization 6 mods

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Mute the colors, add a production queue, and play a game on the earth.

 

The 15 year quest to mod the mainland into The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

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Tamriel Rebuilt began long ago but the vision to create the entire Morrowind province remains.

 

Skyrim and Fallout Fans Are Making Killer Mods On PS4 Despite Limitations

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The joy of watching Thomas the Tank Engine careen across the sky might never grace Sony consoles, but even so, mod creators on the PS4 are still finding ways to make some pretty cool shit, as you’ll see in this video.

 

Esports News

 

The Weekend In Esports: Bow Down Before Whispy Woods

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CEO Dreamland is the first event of its kind dedicated to brawl-style fighters and will give top talent across games like Melee and Smash 4 (Wii U) a chance to hone their skills and prepare before one of the premier fighting game tournaments of the year: CEO 2017. But that’s not all that’s going on. 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.

 

Blizzard's Dean of Collegiate Esports Talks 'Overwatch' and What's Next for Pro Gaming

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Adam Rosen and his twin brother Tyler are on the front lines of the battle to bring esports to the masses on campus

 

Inside UC Irvine's Push to Become the ‘Duke Basketball’ of Collegiate Esports

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At the California college, Mark Deppe is building a pro gaming model for campuses nationwide

 

College Esports Programs Are Growing, But Can They Field a Winning Team?

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The rise of collegiate esports is a sign of the ongoing "normalization" of pro gaming

 

Fighting Game Pro Has A Habit Of Taking Off His Shirt And Losing

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Eliver “KillerKai” Ling keeps taking off his shirt during fighting game tournaments.

 

Tekken 7 Competitor Trash Talks His Way To Tournament Victory

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Trash talking is a time-honored tradition in the fighting game community, and few are better at it than Bronson Tran. Known as “the mouth of NorCal,” this veteran has been a threat at Tekken events for over a decade, and made his return to competitive play this past weekend at the fifteenth installment of the NorCal Regionals fighting game tournament series. Due to his personality, Bronson alone was given an additional opportunity to express himself on stream by providing commentary for his own Tekken 7 matches.

 

Allied Esports’ Esports Arena Announces Las Vegas Plans, New Venue Opens 2018

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Allied Esports have a number of subsidiary brands around the world with Esports Arena as their North American operation. Esports Arena started in 2015 with their dedicated esports venue in Orange County, CA and have another Californian venue set to open in Oakland this year. Now, Allied Esports has announced that Esports Arena will be opening a dedicated venue in a space at MGM Resorts’ Luxor Hotel and Casino—host to the Dreamhack Masters in February.

 

The Esports Integrity Coalition Expands, Solidifies Global Presence

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The Esports Integrity Coalition has announced the addition of five new members that will reinforce it as a global organization working towards building standards and preventing corruption. The coalition is spearheaded by Ian Smith, an experienced sports lawyer now working as the esports integrity commissioner.

 

The Asian Games Are Adding Esports, in Partnership with Chinese E-Commerce Company Alibaba

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The Olympic Council of Asia, in a partnership with Alibaba—a Chinese e-commerce giant—will be adding esports events to the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia and Hangzhou, China, respectively. The partnership will also see the inclusion of esports at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan—an event that also includes chess.

 

Crowdfunding News

 

The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater documentary is rolling forward, despite missing funding goal

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We reported on the Tony Hawk game documentary, Pretending I'm a Superman, when its crowdfunding campaign launched last month. Well, now it's over, and it's come up short of its funding goal. However, if you were hoping to see the documentary one day, then you're in luck. The team has released a statement, saying that production will continue.

 

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

 

From hacker to Valve and back again

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Flame-throwing race car driver, circuit board hacker, computer store chain founder, toy maker, game tweaker, car builder: Before co-founding her own augmented reality headset company, Jeri Ellsworth was a technology chameleon, finding niches in electronics and mechanics, mastering them and helping redefine how they worked.

 

Why Brash Games Should Apologize

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Paul Ryan is irredeemable. Brash Games is irredeemable. Its practices are Draconian as far as games media goes and have no place in any professional environment, even if their writers are volunteers. Nothing excuses any of this. Due to how they’ve treated their staff, I’d like to tell Paul Ryan precisely what it is I want from him.

Exposure (The Jimquisition)

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Every game blog wants to make a name for itself, but that desire can sometimes be fulfilled in a most undesirable way. I mean, look what happened to Brash Games!

It doesn't pay its writers, it revokes author credits when people leave, and its owner has over a decade of duplicitous, shady shit to answer for.

A number of us pooled our resources and drew on many anonymous sources to blow this publication wide open and oh dear is there some grimy shit pooling in its guts.

 

Horizon: Zero Dawn and the beauty of annihilation

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Horizon is inspiring because it doesn’t boast about humanity being worth saving, it doesn’t put hope on a pedestal. Instead it deals with reality, it says mortality is coming and we’ve fucked up. There’s nothing worth saving except the time we have now and the future is dark and barren — that, to me, is inspiring.

A Spoiler-Packed Chat About Horizon Zero Dawn's Excellent Story

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Three Kotaku staffers have finished the new PlayStation 4 game Horizon Zero Dawn, so it feels like time to talk it all. Join me, Kirk, and Patricia for some SPOILERY talk about Aloy’s wild robot adventures.

 

“He's an arrogant motherf****r” - Metro 2033 writer hits out at The Witcher novel scribe

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"I think that he's totally wrong, and that he's an arrogant motherf****r," says Glukhovsky in response to comments made by Sapkowski. "Without the gaming franchise, the Witcher series would never get this crazy international readership that it has.

 

Night in the Woods is the Working Class Fiction I’ve Been Waiting For

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What happens to a city after the boom, when unions, mines and factories are replaced by retail, fast food and Walmart? What happens to people when the bedrock principle of their parents—work hard and you’ll be able to provide for your family—is ripped from their fingers a little more each year?

Night in the Woods attempts to answer these questions, and in so many ways it’s everything I’ve been waiting for.

 

Storytelling in 'Stellaris' Leaves Too Much to the Imagination

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Breathing life into these mechanics requires a willingness to join the game in its often halting efforts at storytelling, and it dawns on me that maybe this is the thing above all others that has repelled me about so many space strategy games. There are people for whom this kind of universe becomes real because they want it to be. Sitting next to Austin as he played Stellaris and we prepared for a stream, I realized that for games like Stellaris to really succeed as fiction, they need their players to approach them almost as tabletop RPGs. The game is simply a robo-GM, setting a scenario before a player who controls an avatar that amounts to little more than generic description around a pile of stats and modifiers… and transform them via the imagination into vibrant fictional world.

 

The bright life of the MSX, Japan's underdog PC

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How an 80s standard supported by Microsoft and Sony became Japan's most successful PC outside its home territory.

 

The RPG Scrollbars: The CRPG Book Project

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Since the invention of the RPG, there have been many, many RPGs. Maybe too many to count. At least six! Let’s see. Ultima VII. Al-Qadim: The Genie’s Curse. The Magic Candle III. Faery Tale Adventure II: Halls of the Dead. Two or three more, probably, and that’s if you don’t count Quest For Glory. But who has time to play them all?

 

The forgotten origins of JRPGs on the PC

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While the golden age of JRPGs was on the console, their genesis started on the PC.

 

Meet The Devs Who Made Indie Games on the Original Playstation

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We speak to three developers who started on Sony’s PlayStation dev kit—Net Yaroze—and what it meant to share their expertise and experiences online.

 

Why Video Games Have So Many Endings and So Few Conclusions

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Big games need to get better at letting us say goodbye.

 

How Sega moved Sonic from 2D to 3D

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An excerpt from the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog art book

 

The story of the bizarre Mega Man DOS games

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How one man made an official, Capcom-licensed Mega Man game by himself.

 

The Los Angeles Indie Video Game Stores That Refuse to Die

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"Mom and pop" game stores are relics and reliquaries for history: both for video games, and for LA itself.

 

Phantasy Star Online will never die: how the nicest fans in gaming keep a 16-year-old MMO alive

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Inside a community driven by more than nostalgia: a true love for a groundbreaking game and the people who play it.

 

The surprising explosion of RPG Maker on Steam

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How RPG Maker grew from a hobbyist tool into an engine powering hundreds of Steam games a year.

 

How Steam brought shmups out of arcades and into a new PC renaissance

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How Steam and passionate fans pulled shoot-em-ups out of exile in Japanese arcades and back into the limelight.

 

Video Games and Brexit: Why the Nation Behind 'GTA' and 'Batman' Feels Lost Without Europe

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Smith has no such qualms, having already worked for a multitude of prominent games businesses across the UK – from Microsoft and Sony PlayStation to Dirt and F1 makers Codemasters. He’s open about his prediction Brexit will trigger a "slow decline in the economy over the next 30 years". But he's also realistic. The fall in the value of the UK currency since the Brexit vote has, he admits, made the British games scene even more attractive than it already was for non-European publishers and financiers – they get more for their money. That means big names from across the US may now be even more inclined to invest in British studios than they have in the past, building on an already strong relationship: GTA may stem from Rockstar in Scotland, but it's published by the New York based Take Two Interactive.

 

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But it does mean that the game deliberately pushes away its own history, distancing itself from its parser IF predecessors. Which is something of a shame, because Stories Untold can’t fully escape the shadow of what came before it. To understand how, it’s helpful to look at those predecessors; to put Stories Untold in the exact IF context that it seems to resist.

 

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It’s time to get back to what it does best

 

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M. Joshua found respite in how Torment: Tides of Numenera incentivizes self-destructive play.

Your creator didn’t love you. He tossed you out like an afterthought—then left you to try to make sense of a very strange and dangerous world by yourself. This is what it means to play as the Last Castoff in Torment: Tides of Numenera. Unlike many RPGs, you’re not a chosen one hand-selected by the gods, but instead discarded by your “daddy” (The Changing God) and told that you’re just one of his countless bastard children.

 

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First, there were snakes on a plane. Then, we had sharks in tornadoes. Now, there is a darker and more prevalent combination of pests and unlikely places they exist: cockroaches in your PS4.

 

Color in Video Games: How to Choose a Palette

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Color is one of the most powerful tools you have when you’re designing a game. Colors can be engaging, helping to direct your players to whatever you think is most important. It can also be used to give subtle clues about the characters and their world. When used properly, color sets the tone of a game, tells you where you are, and where you need to go.

 

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Robert Yang Wants To Make VR 'Obscenely Gay'

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Tim Schafer Talks Shyness, Comebacks and Being Asked Not to Touch George Lucas

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The role playing game Horizon Zero Dawn created by the Dutch company Guerrilla Games is extremely successful: Horizon Zero Dawn has already sold more than 2.6 million copies, giving the gaming community a whole new world to explore, discuss and analyse. How did Guerrilla Games create Horizon Zero Dawn? And what is so attractive in this virtual world? Find out in Horizon Zero Dawn - The making of the game.

 

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In Defense of Dark Souls 2

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In this video we explore Dark Souls 2 and its differences from the previous games in design and execution and the ways, on inspection, it actually proves to be better.

We also watch, in real time, as all my subscribers melt away and a dunce's hat descends from the heavens directly onto my balding head, and I start to go mad from the realisation that I'm still not sure whether to spell it Defense or Defence and words lose all meaning.

 

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Part One - That Was Your Spoiler Warning 3:35
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Game Design Deep Dive: VR cockpit audio in Gunjack 2: End of Shift

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Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies

 

Giant Bomb Editor Gets Taco Bell Wedding

 

The Next Level

 

What Videogames Can Learn From The Demon That Destroyed Seattle

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As you’re no doubt aware, last week the grounds beneath Seattle trembled and cracked, and from the smoking fissures rose a demon of unimaginable form and intent. The destruction it wrought will never be undone, and we live now, as a collective people, in constant fear. The economy hasn’t so much collapsed as disappeared, and global government exists now only as a memory of a concept. Most world leaders have not been sighted since the beast sank back down into the Hell we can now guarantee, beyond all doubt, exists.

Of the millions of questions we must now answer, one stands out above all others: what can videogame developers learn from all this?

 

Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

 

Yoko Taro: Weird feelings for weird people

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These objectives underline how, even though his descent into gradually more atrocious acts of violence is scripted, it’s something that I advance. I’m the one ushering this awful boy through the narrative and, personally speaking, that doesn’t feel great. On this, Yoko Taro commented: “any game that centers on slaughtering hundreds in war shouldn’t deserve a happy ending.” As an extension, I think it’s safe to say he also means “any player that plays such a game shouldn’t deserve a happy experience.”

 

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Sad. I saw that alex jones thing but thought it was gonna be about Sewer Shark. On a personal note, Sewer shark was a game that took me a LONG time to beat because...well I thought it was a stupid ass game, but as the years went by, I just couldn't bear to look at my game library, and see that one game that I still didn't beat. So I tied myself down and beat that mutha@%#@%.

 

I'm going to reply, most likely for no reason at all cuz does anyone even read replies in these threads? To the dark souls 2 defense video (why did you link a video an hour long.. sigh).

Before I begin however, I just want to point out that I've been a souls fan since Demon's souls, and unlike many long time fans, I was NOT disappointed by dark souls 2. I think it's a fine game, and a 'worthy' sequel... I don't know if I'd say it's better though. I'm going to sound like one of those 'hurr dark souls 1 is better' folks, but it's just I feel this video is just not true in its observations  much like people were who hated on dark souls 2.

 

1: Healing thing.

I actually think Bloodborne has the worst healing mechanic, not the best, because that whole tantalizing risk that can kill you thing... It is in fact part of the appeal. Just because you never got the hang of the mechanic means it's bad. While it isn't objectively good on its own either, it's clearly a souls staple at that point, so I can safely say bloodborne's change was 'bad' for souls fans in that regard. That said, I don't think lifegems 'ruin' dark souls 2. I don't even think they HURT dark souls 2... Thing is, lifegems are an option, you don't HAVE to use it, and if you DONT use it, you WONT shoot yourself in the foot really because there ARE still estus flasks. yes they potentially make the game easier, but not using them doesn't make it unfair or devoid of some core mechanic either... I fyou hate them, don't effing use them. I don't... So yeah, I think dark souls 2 is actually the best game in the series for healing mechanics, because estus flasks capture the souls feel, but lifegems are there as kiddie-wheels for those that need them too. Not to mention they're really good for learning a boss you aren't familiar with. It can be a tedious process to run back for 3 minutes to a boss that killed you in 10 seconds because you just don't know their tells yet and can't heal safely cuz again you don't know them yet.  Lifegems act as a good way to mitigate that IF YOU WANT IT. My policy in games is that options are always good unless they are balanced to you NEEDING specific ones, and DS2 is not IMO.

 

2: "Dudes in armor bosses are the best"

I disagree...Not to say I'm right, he's wrong. But that's a preference thing that lots of souls people clearly didn't prefer. Their criticism isn't any less valid. That said however I think one of the reasons why dudes in armor bosses are less exciting for many players is that they are generally more prone to being cheesed by the circle strafing hit them in the back pattern. I know I certainly feel like I spin to win bosses in DS2 more often than the other games.

Also, regarding souls being about fighting enemies on equal footing. I really disagree. Before I played demon's souls, and I was looking to buy it at the game store, I completely forgot the name, and the way I described it to the game store guy was 'A 3rd person melee combat game where you're like just an ordinary soldier guy, not some hero, fighting stuff heroes normally would, making you feel really vulnerable and stuff'... I think that observation was pretty spot on, I think THAT is the soul of the souls series honestly. You are NOT on equal footing, you have to take every situation like an uphill battle, with great care.

That said I didn't know you could use one of the dragon kngihts to knock the other down... lawl. I really should watch some guide videos or something for these games, I've played them enough on my own 'blind' at this point.

 

3: Interconnected world design isn't good

 I'm sorry, but this just sounds like straight up sophistry. There are a gajillion games out there that lack interconnectedness, and have world design that just doesn't make any kind of possible sense. One of the things that made dark souls special was this very feature. So even if you think there are pros and cons and isn't a case of 'better or worse', the fact is Dark souls 1 delivered somethign that is rarely given, and dark souls 2 took it back...This is one area about dark souls I make no excuses for, dark souls 1 deserves praise for this over 2, no question. 

b: Linearity. yeah, this is semantics, and choosing an order isn't 'bad design' if you still have to do them. Look at megaman, people LOVE that you can pick what order even though you do HAVE to do them all. I wont say this is better though, just that saying 'it's bad design', is bull.

 

4: Levels are designed to be more open with multiple ways to  solve them. I'm not gonna argue this, because it's been awhile since I played both games and I haven't measured this. however I do recall thinking that dark souls 2 seemed to feature more 'narrow ledges with pits of doom that are harder than the actual enemies themselves' which was a personal gripe for me. Oh yeah, the whole die to a boss run back, fight all the enemies that respawn all over again is boring thing. No. Attrition is a valid form of entertainment for some people. Yes its a preference thing, but it's not a bad thing. Legolas, you yourself linked an article regarding dungeon design and attrition (though for Etrian Odyssey I believe) that I praised IIRC  (maybe I didn't praise it on the forums, but I certainly did in my head).

 

5: eh, No comment, this just just a personal playstyle preference. I was triggered when he thought only one starting class having a shield was 'GENIUS GAME DESIGN' though... Why is it everyone thinks they're some kind of guru for game design whenever they talk about incredibly subjective or minor details. It's silly. Also, I thought DS2 had a 'good' shield right in majula down that spinning staircase thing. So uhh. yeah.

 

6: Story thing, I don't play Dark souls for story, but I can agree to this. Except t he whole 'good story has been replaced with efficient story'... I uhh. wouldn't call either 'good'. honestly, it makes my head spin whenever talking heads online call games with stories that can be effectively shown in a 20-30 minute short video good or great, and games like trails in the sky/cold steel are still relatively niche and unmentioned in such commentary. ARGH. It's like calling Superman Issue #1 a great story on its own because it's being compared to what you tell kids about little red riding hood, when A Song of Fire and Ice is around the corner.

7: Not much comment here either. I have a love hate relationship with scholar though. I enjoyed the changes because they were fresh and interesting, and yeah, it felt like a rom hack. But I think it was kind of a slap in the face to consumers who bought the base game and the dlc and find out they have to rebuy them all as a package again to get those changes. blargh. It's part of the reason why I STILL don't have dark souls 3, because I don't want to be burned by the same tactic again. 

 

 

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