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This Week In Gaming 9-5-17

1 post in this topic



PAX West, how Night Trap and a mall Santa helped lead to the creation of Petz, the oral history of Tony Hawk's Underground, Obsidian turned down making a Game of Thrones game, Warhammer Vermintide 2 announced, Extra Credits on how accessibility in games helps everyone, the importance of acting in Observer and Hellblade, developers talk about hidden design tricks, PAX Rumble V, Nintendo reveals upcoming Switch games including a new No More Heroes, why the Middle East will provide the next big opportunity for games, 10th anniversary of The Witcher, undead racial skill allows them to play dead in Original Sin 2, designing tutorials, Errant Signal continues his Summer of 0451 series with Tacoma, SWERY's new game is crowdfunding on Fig, the last days of Black Isle Studios, the creation of video game cities, and more.


Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC, game updates, company and developer news, country news, mods)


The Best Indie Games Of PAX West 2017



Through the years, the Penny Arcade Expo (or PAX) has become synonymous with fantastic games from some of the most talented independent developers in the industry. Seattle's PAX West is no different. Each year, from Nintendo's Nindies event, to Microsoft's ID@Xbox open house, to the Indie Megabooth on the showfloor, PAX West gives players an amazing opportunity to see the next big indie hits before everyone else. The Game Informer crew is on the ground at PAX West 2017 checking out as many indie titles as we can over the course of the show. These are the best indie titles we encountered while at the show. Check back over the course of the weekend, as we'll be updating this list with new entries each day.

Donut destruction, dung beetle pinball, and long-lost NES games: our PAX 10 picks


One of the highlights of the annual PAX West convention is the PAX 10, where ten stellar indies games are given a platform to help elevate awareness of their greatness. Through some combination of brilliant presentation, clever mechanics, and flat-out fun gameplay, these picks all offer experiences you won't find in the standard AAA title. While the official lineup from PAX West 2017 is undoubtedly solid, we thought it'd be fun to do our own PAX 10 list, highlighting the very best games we played on the show floor that can't come soon enough. Keep an eye on these ones - you won't want to miss them.


25 Nintendo Switch Indie Game Trailers From Today's Livestream


Below you'll find short descriptions and the videos for the games. You can also find out more about the next No More Heroes, Super Meat Boy and Kentucky Route Zero in the breakouts we wrote.


Steamworld Dig 2 release date unearthed


Colourful shovel-em-up SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt is getting a sequel, didn’t you know (you did) and the release date is now September 21, we’ve been told.


Warhammer: Vermintide 2 announced, full reveal due in October


Vermintide, the fine Left 4 Dead meets Warhammer co-op rat-bashing game, is getting a sequel. A new Steam page has a few slim details: "Equipped with a variety of melee and ranged weapons, you and your team are all that stands between utter defeat and victory—and if you fall so will the Empire."


Kentucky Route Zero Act 5 due in early 2018


The fifth and final chapter of Cardboard Computer's narrative adventure is confirmed.


Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Captain Mode - Khuzait vs Empire


In this video we see Khuzait vs Empire in our new game mode: Captain Mode. Captain Mode puts players in command of their own detachment of troops in multiplayer battles of up to 5 vs 5.

Planning goes a long way in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's multiplayer Captain Mode


Fail to prepare and, seriously, prepare to fail.


Total War: Warhammer 2's Skaven race are like "science nerds who have gone off the reservation"


Since their origins on the tabletop, the rodent-like Skaven have been reimagined.

Total War: WARHAMMER 2 - Introducing... Hell Pit Abomination


The vilest product of Clan Moulder’s experimental laboratories, the Hell Pit Abomination is a nightmare made real.


Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus teaser stars a Nazi superhero called Blitzmensch


Apparently it's Frau Engel's favorite show.

Each of Wolfenstein 2's three DLCs will focus on a particular playstyle


The DLC for Wolfenstein 2 will offer different perspectives on the game’s central narrative. There are currently three planned DLCs, all of which will centre around a different central playstyle, while offering more of the game’s alternative future.

What "unfiltered creative expression" means for Wolfenstein 2's depiction of Nazism


“We take what we’re doing extremely seriously, which is interesting in a game like this that’s incredibly over-the-top,” MachineGames’ creative director Jens Matthies tells us. “We love that kind of fusion between things that are decidedly not real and things that are incredibly real. We think that breaking point between those values is extremely interesting to explore. We don’t censor ourselves in that process, but that doesn’t mean we’re casual about it. We think a lot about it and we think what is right for the game, but once we’ve done that, people can have their opinions about it and that’s fine. That’s not really up to us. All we can control is what the game is.”


FIFA 18’s story mode goes heavy on the special guest stars


NBA Live’s cover star gets two bites at the EA Sports apple

FIFA 18 career mode has cutscenes and a conversation wheel


FIFA's story mode, The Journey, already has Frostbite-powered cutscenes where you make decisions using a conversation wheel. Well, now they're in Career Mode.


Stardew Valley publisher teases its 'magic school' RPG with a new image


Aside from its Advance Wars-inspired game, Chucklefish is working on a game it calls "Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter."


Kickstarter Update #43 - Spooky, Scary Skeletons!


The wait is finally over! We're very excited to show you the Undead race, origin story and a few of their skills. We also have an unboxing of our Collector’s Edition at the end so stick around!

Undead racial skill allows them to play dead, GOTY confirmed.


Phantom Brigade brings 'an XCOM style campaign' to giant robot strategy


A slick UI, mod support, a simple nemesis system, and destructible environments might bring big robot tactics back to the mainstream.


Torture, brainwash, or kill enemy agents in this XCOM-style Cold War game


But watch out, because the same could happen to your agents in Phantom Doctrine.


Warner Bros donating Shadow of War DLC revenue to family of late producer


Ultimately, it appears that some of the money earned from the commemorative DLC will be kept by Warner Bros. Interactive. Those who live outside of the US, or in the US states mentioned above, may prefer to donate money to Forgey's family through their YouCaring.com page.

Official Shadow of War Dark Tribe Trailer


There is no hiding, no safety, no escape. Surrender to the Dark tribe.

Warner Bros. insists it won't profit from the Shadow of War Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC


Warner Bros. has insisted it will not make money from the sale of Shadow of War's Forthog Orc-Slayer DLC after the company was accused of profiting from the death of a Monolith developer.


Ys VIII Makes Players Appreciate Everyone’s Strengths



In Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, Adol finds himself trapped on what seems to be a deserted island. After he and Dogi are hired to work on a ship in exchange for passage, a sea monster launches an assault during the voyage. A ragtag group finds themselves on an island known for being cursed and inescapable, Seiren. Given this being an Ys game in a long and storied series, and Adol’s reputation, people may not be too worried. But what also helps is how well the game sets up these multiple characters and their roles.


Wargroove is an Advance Wars-inspired tactics game from Chucklefish


We talk campaign editing and online multiplayer at PAX West 2017.


Pathologic remake is now called Pathologic 2 and has a very strange trailer


The "new" Pathologic has been renamed to avoid confusion with the remastered version.


17 minutes of Code Vein gameplay


IGN has posted 17 minutes of gameplay from Code Vein as part of its “IGN First” coverage for September.


Finally, It’s A New Metroid



I got the new Metroid on Tuesday but waited two days to start it. I’d waited a long time for this, and I wanted the moment to be perfect.


In Moonlighter, you're part adventurer, part shopkeeper


Loot the local dungeons, and then price and sell your haul at your small-time fantasy store.


Monster Hunter: World Devs Show Off The Game’s Multiplayer


Capcom has shared a brand-new video of Monster Hunter: World gameplay from this year’s Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.


Neo-retro game collection UFO 50 was born from friendship, says Spelunky creator


"It's been a pure joy to work on," says Derek Yu.


Demon Gaze II ‘Welcome to Asteria’ trailer


NIS America releases short new trailer.


KO Mech’s Cute, Pinball-Like Little Mecha Packs Major Punching Power


KO Mech’s tiny protagonist may not look like much compared to the colossal mecha coming after it, but a few well-aimed power punches will send enemies flying all over the arenas, setting off chain reactions of explosions and destruction that will teach them not to mess with it.


It's Left 4 Dead, but you're badass space miner dwarves


We talk to Deep Rock Galactic's game director about one of the best games we've seen at PAX West 2017.


The Amazing Eternals’ is a deck-building hero shooter that oozes character


Digital Extremes is jumping into a hyper-competitive genre with a unique twist.


Steel Assault Its Demonstrates Robot-Smashing Action With A Video Of Its First Frantic Stage


Steel Assault intends to pull no punches, throwing players into hand-to-hand combat against laser-blasting machines in the streets of a ruined Washington right from the start, following that with some wild, action-packed moments throughout.


Ruiner interview: Devolver's top-down action game set in a gritty futuristic Bangkok


Evan talks to Devolver about Ruiner, the top-down isometric action game, at PAX West 2017.


Folding @ PAX Interview: Children of Morta


Dan @ PAX talks with Jakobsen Beck, narrative designer at Dead Mage Studios about the upcoming title Children of Morta.


Rend is a fantasy survival hybrid from former World of Warcraft developers


Steven talks to Jeremy Wood of Frostkeep studios about fantasy survival game Rend at PAX West 2017.


Action RPG Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr blasts into early access


Full release due early next year


Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption makes you weaker every time you beat a boss


It's a 'reverse RPG' boss fighter where you take debuffs instead of getting stronger. Steven talks all about it with Iain Garner at PAX West 2017.


Ooblets interview: another contestant for the cutest PC game


At PAX West this weekend, Evan talked to Double Fine's Greg Rice about Ooblets, the "RPG, town sim, farming sim wrapped up in a cute package."


Around 90% of Gearbox staff working on new Borderlands – Pitchford



Waiting for confirmation of Borderlands 3 from Gearbox Software? It exists in all but name, according to boss Randy Pitchford.


Sea of Thieves will launch with an optional 540p mode and 15fps lock



"If you're enjoying the game, why should we as developers knock you for that."


RAID: World War II - A Message From Control


It is time to do your part!


Eve: Valkyrie - Warzone trailer breaks down all the ships in its nimble assault class


Ahead of the launch of Eve: Valkyrie - Warzone, the non-VR version of the CCP's space dogfighter, the studio is producing a series of guide videos to walk us through each of the different classes of ship. The first of these is about the assault class, which was formerly known as the fighter class.


American McGee is working on an Alice 3 proposal



Pester EA if you want it to live.


The Evil Within 2 - Gruesome, Giggling Guardian Gameplay Trailer


Sebastian smartly sprints away.

6 reasons to look forward to The Evil Within 2, even if you hated the first


At this years Gamescom 2017, Ian Higton was able to spend an hour with the The Evil Within 2 chapter 2 and The Evil Within chapter 3 and he was pleasantly surprised by how much he enjoyed it considering The Evil Within was pretty rough around the edges. So maybe like Ian you were thinking about avoiding The Evil Within 2 gameplay, or maybe you’re a huge fan of the first who can’t wait for more, either way here’s 6 reasons why you should be looking forward to The Evil Within 2, even if you hated the first.


Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time latest trailer


Diana Cavendish seemingly teased as playable.


Ni No Kuni 2's RTS skirmishes let you conquer territory with adorable air strikes



Hands-on with the RPG's surprise real-time strategy mode.


Runner 3 Official PAX West 2017 Trailer


Commander Video's next adventure has been pushed back to 2018.


Children of Zodiarcs recalls Final Fantasy Tactics, but with cards and dice


Steven talks with Jason Kim about what sets Children of Zodiarcs apart.


Why Dishonored: Death of the Outsider needed new writers, according to Harvey Smith



Following the release of Prey - Arkane Studios’ System Shock-inspired sci-fi RPG - Arkane’s founder, Raphael Colantonio, announced that he was leaving the company. Dishonored 2’s co-creative director, Harvey Smith, also moved from the Dishonored studio at Lyon and travelled back to the US to oversee the Austin branch. At this point, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider was around halfway into development, but Smith was forced to take a more hands-off approach for the second half.

Dishonored 2's Death of the Outsider could have focused on Daud but was considered 'the easy road'


"We weren't sure at first, but Billie became more interesting as we worked on Dishonored 2."


Pokken Tournament DX: Decidueye Gameplay - PAX 2017


Check out gameplay from DX exclusive, Decidueye, as well as the once arcade exclusive Groagunk, Empoleon, Darkrai, and Scizor on Nintendo Switch.


High Hell kicking many doors in later this year


There’s something in the air: flying doors kicked clean off their hinges. Ground Shatter announced “co-op buddy cop shooter” Rico in June, showing off kicked doors aplenty, and today Devolver Digital announced High Hell in a shower of splintering doors.


Humankind's last city grows from nothing in first Frostpunk gameplay trailer


This is the first gameplay trailer for Frostpunk, the new city-builder by This War of Mine developer 11 bit Studios.


Upcoming Horror Game Looks Cool, Makes Me Wanna Ralph


You’ve heard of side-scrollers, but what about depth-scrollers? DARQ, an upcoming psychological horror game, allows you to bend physics in order to solve puzzles.


25 Minutes of BioMutant Gameplay - PAX 2017


Get an extended look at the beginning quests in THQ Nordic's upcoming open world action game, BioMutant.


Funcom want to make another Conan game, but they won't start it until 2018



Funcom will be making another game with the Conan IP, but not until after they’ve finished development on Conan Exiles.


Make a song and dance about Figment on 22 September


Musical action game Figment wowed Adam when he tried it in April with its hand-drawn art and bosses that perform entire song and dance numbers. Now we know it’ll be chiming onto our screens very soon: 22 September, to be exact.


The origins of Quake Champions' jumping styles



From Unreal to Challenge ProMode Arena, here's where all of Quake Champion's moves came from.


The jetpack FPS is back (again) with Midair


Evan chats to Chris Matthews about the airborne competitive shooter.


Pretty point-and-click 29 out later this month


29 tries to capture the emotional rollercoaster that is the last days of university: you’re glad exams are over but, gulp, you actually have to start being an adult.


EXO IMAGO announces debut title Parted Ways



EXO IMAGO today announced the development of its debut title Parted Ways, a psychological horror adventure game for PC and consoles, will begin in 2018. Created by writer/director Robert Brookes, Parted Ways is a narrative-driven game that throws players into the role of a custom-made protagonist returning to their hometown following the mysterious disappearance of an old friend.


Secret of Mana Remake's Demo Is Low-Frills Fun



Much like the game’s Mad Mallard, a soldier helmet-wearing waterfowl who lays exploding eggs, the upcoming remake of Secret of Mana is an odd duck.


Pikuniku is a colourful dystopian puzzler


The excellently-named Pikuniku might just be the most colourful dystopian adventure ever.


5 Minutes of Exception Gameplay - PAX 2017


Check out the upcoming side scroller beat em up containing a dash of Housemarque inspiration.


10 Minutes of Fire Emblem Warriors Gameplay - PAX West 2017


Here's some new gameplay from the next "Warriors" game featuring your favorite heroes from Fire Emblem.


15 Creepy Minutes of Hello Neighbor Gameplay - PAX 2017


Prepare to shiver in this new gameplay showcasing Hello Neighbor's horror-survival mix.


The steampunk dungeon crawler Vaporum will be out in September


It's like Legend of Grimrock, only clad in brass and rivets.


Sonic Forces release date set



In the wake of Mania, Forces eyes a November launch.


Tingle Trailer Pre Alpha


Early footage full of placeholder, bless this mess buckaroos ❤️


Keita Takahashi’s Wattam re-revealed for consoles and PC


Annapurna Interactive picks up publishing from Sony.


Get Your Hands on Frank's Big Package This December


Have you been desperate to get your clammy paws on Dead Rising 4 but find yourself frustrated, impotent even, because it's not out on Playstation 4? Well buddy, get ready for some sweet relief. Dead Rising 4: Frank's Big Package will ram its way onto store shelves in early December.


The Destiny 2 datamining has begun - click here for massive story spoilers



It had to happen at some point, and that point is now: dataminers have dug into the Destiny 2 PC beta game files and found a ton of voice lines that give away key details about the storyline and forthcoming features. Some cover how the new Trials PvP mode will work, whereas others are story spoilers of varying severity - we've marked each section clearly below, so you can avoid the ones you don't want to read. Scroll carefully.

What does it take to run Destiny 2 at 1080p60?


The Destiny 2 beta finally arrived on PC this week, delivering a vast upgrade in terms of customisation over the console builds. Adjustable quality settings, unlocked frame-rate and field of view along with HDR support take pride of place in a package that seemingly does everything it can to capture the heart of the PC gaming enthusiast. It also gives us some idea of just how optimal the core code is, how well it scales across different hardware - and perhaps provides some insight into whether the upclocked CPUs in PS4 Pro and Xbox One X might be able to handle 60fps gameplay.

'Destiny 2' Sends Players on a Quest Through a Tolkienesque Haunted Forest


Veterans of 'Halo 3: ODST' may find similarities in 'Destiny 2'

Some Destiny 2 microtransaction loot gives you a gameplay advantage


Thanks to Destiny 2's regional midnight console launch, and the fact that servers are now live and can thus be used by anyone with an early physical copy, dozens of streams are already broadcasting gameplay. Watching one, we spotted that the microstransactions store is selling items that directly affect gameplay.

The early verdict on Destiny 2's campaign mode


It's billed as substantially bigger than the original, but can Bungie deliver enough reasons to keep players coming back? I flew to Seattle to find out.


13 Minutes of Nine Parchments Gameplay - PAX 2017


Check out some new gameplay of the isometric beat 'em up action game running on Xbox One.


Dino Dini’s Kick Off Revival slides onto PC this month



Top-down old school footy sim Dino Dini’s Kick Off Revival shoots onto PC later this month. It’s a modern take on Kick Off, the series that first arrived on Amiga and the Atari ST in 1989 and became something of a cult classic.


Dawn of War III gets Steam Workshop support and better modding in its latest patch



Dawn of War III is improving its modding tools, allowing its users freedom to have an impact on even more of the game. The changes were made as part of the game’s August patch.


The Division's free 'Resistance' update will expand the map and add two new modes


The 1.8 update is coming this fall.


Rainbow Six Siege new operators: Polish, Hong Kong, and South Korean soldiers for 2017


Rainbow Six Siege’s new operators are great at helping mix up the game. Each new season introduces new operators that alter the meta and introduce exciting new tactics. There are currently 30 operators, and the upcoming Blood Orchid update will increase this to 33, meaning there’s certainly a soldier for every type of player.

Following “passionate” fan feedback, Rainbow Six Siege’s Theme Park will be Ranked after all


Ubisoft are bringing Theme Park to the Ranked playlist in Rainbow Six Siege season 3.


Eve Online’s Lifeblood expansion is all about moon mining and space pirates


Part space MMO and part corporate espionage simulator, Eve Online has served through the years as a pretty stunning example of what a fully-fledged digital economy can look like. The latest expansion is titled Lifeblood, and it’s all about new ways to mine moons and improve your resource gathering workflow. And, if that wasn’t exciting enough, there are pirates.


Cliff Bleszinski teases a LawBreakers roadmap



More maps, classes and modes on the way.


Shovel Knight’s final expansion features its own card game


Announced during Nintendo’s indie showcase earlier today, Yacht Club Games have revealed more about the final campaign coming to Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. Centred around the gaudy King Knight and titled King of Cards, it explains how the gilded goon joined the Order of No Quarter.


Guild Wars 2 shows off rideable velociraptors and giant bunnies


Guild Wars 2 just celebrated its fifth anniversary, and the game has shown no signs of slowing down. Yet up until now the game hasn’t offered some seemingly essential MMO accoutrements, like rideable dinosaurs. Thankfully the upcoming Path of Fire expansion is set to correct that egregious error, and the team at ArenaNet have put together a new developer diary showcasing their approach to mounts.


Rising Storm 2: Vietnam - now with added Aussie and Kiwi accents


At today's Tripwire PAX West panel, Antimatter Games have revealed that the next Rising Storm 2: Vietnam update will feature our friends from Down Under.


Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition adds bears to murderball


Another eight teams join the deadly sport of Blood Bowl 2 today with the launch of its first expansion.


Resident Evil 7’s final two DLC packs are coming in December, along with a Gold Edition


Capcom have announced Resident Evil 7 Gold Edition for release on December 12, which will bundle the spooky horror sequel with all its DLC, including two new pieces of content. The base game, Banned Footage Vol. 1, Banned Footage Vol. 2, Not a Hero, and the newly-titled End of Zoe story content will all be a part of the package.


Battlefield 1's In The Name of the Tsar DLC gets an exact release date


Battlefield 1's In the Name of the Tsar DLC finally has precise release dates: September 5 for premium pass owners, and September 19 for everyone else.

DICE are making major changes to Battlefield 1's shotguns and SMGs


DICE are making their biggest set of changes yet to Battlefield 1’s weapons balance in a new patch. The tweaks will affect the damage and accuracy of a variety of guns across several classes.


Steel Division: Normandy 44 gets its first paid DLC in September, and free content throughout 2017



Paradox have detailed the first paid bit of DLC for Steel Division: Normandy 44, and announced their plans to support the game with free content throughout the rest of the year. The Second Wave DLC will feature new units, new divisions, and a new ace when it releases on September 21.


PC Game Adding Option To Disable Popular YouTuber Characters After Players Complain



Shortly after the release of Steam prison break hit The Escapists 2, players flooded the forums with questions. “Who are these people with weird names and funny colored hair,” they wanted to know, “and why can’t I make them go away?”


PUBG producer: AFK farming is something 'we will definitely be addressing'



We spoke to Battlegrounds producer Chang-Han Kim about how Bluehole plans to deal with idlers.

Australian PUBG players won't be getting first-person mode anytime soon


Oceania won’t be getting first-person PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds servers for quite a while yet. A post in the continental Discord server for the survival game says that the number of people playing in the area is simply too small to warrant adding the new game mode.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has sold over 10 million copies


Another milestone bites the dust.


Alexstrasza and Hanzo are (probably) coming to Heroes of the Storm



Blizzard may have inadvertently let slip the next residents of Heroes of the Storm's Nexus: Overwatch's divisive archer Hanzo, and World of Warcraft's noble Red Dragon queen, Alexstrasza.


Overwatch director dunks on toxic player, promises changes to reporting system



Complaints about the current system's lack of effectiveness arose after Jeff Kaplan killed a guy in the forums.


Sega: 'The Sonic Mania offline play bug has now been patched'


Sonic Mania on Steam no longer requires an internet connection to play.


In a display of excellent taste, Obsidian’s CEO still wants to make Alpha Protocol 2



This underrated gem gets a little more love once again. Praise be!


Steam's Haphazard Sex Games Policies Hit Another Game



Strangers in a Strange Land is a point-and-click adventure game starring Billy, a college student on vacation with his step family. It’s also about watching people bone and catching peep shows when you can. These scintillating and voyeuristic themes have the game caught in the middle of the latest tussle over porn games on Steam.


Bethesda's Creation Club is forcing players to auto-download unpurchased mod files



Bethesda’s Creation Club has had a bumpy start, and now players are complaining that the beta is forcing players to stealth-download files for every mod available on Creation Club without permission.


Hajime Tabata urges players "to be as controlled as possible" with FFXV's nude mods



Tabata has issued a warning to the would-be creators of Final Fantasy XV's nude mods, suggesting that their efforts could affect the future of modding in the series.


Celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Witcher


Time flies when you’re in great company. Join Geralt of Rivia as he reminisces about the 10 years it’s been since you’ve first joined him on his adventures in The Witcher series of games.

The Witcher 10th Anniversary Panel - PAX West 2017


Join Danny O'Dwyer and a host of CD Projekt developers are they celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Witcher game series. Recorded live at PAX West 2017.


2K Is Temporarily Pulling XCOM From The App Store, Removing Sid Meier's Pirates For Good



“Nothing lasts forever,” my mother told me when I was a child. “Not even 2K’s library of games—a few of which are pretty solid—on the App Store.


Twitch Extensions will bring new 'interactive experiences' to streams



Game-specific overlays will enhance the viewer experience for Overwatch, Hearthstone, League of Legends, and more.




Games Done Quick raised nearly $250,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief



GDQ efforts to help those affected by tropical storm Harvey have resulted in a total of $227,876.53 being raised for the Houston Food Bank.


Games For Change expands its student game dev contest to L.A.



A new partnership with the Annenberg Foundation in Los Angeles will help Games For Change include L.A. in its upcoming student game dev challenge, which aims to inspire kids to make games about real-world issues.


GameStop on Forced Bundling, SNES Classic, Xbox One X Scarcity



Pre-orders for the Super NES Classic system, a diminutive remake of the original 1990 Super NES, sold out "within minutes" on GameStop's website nationwide last week, the company's senior director of merchandising tells Glixel.


You can now play the impressive fan remake of Tomb Raider 2


The team behind a fan remake of Tomb Raider 2 has released a playable demo.


Wolfendoom: Blade of Agony is a brilliant mashup of modern ideas and old-school shooting



A mod that showcases the power and flexibility of GZDoom.


Fallout: Project Brazil becomes Fallout: New California


Crumbs, four years since we last posted about wildly ambitious Fallout: New Vegas prequel mod Project Brazil and it’s still not finished. It is a mighty big project, adding a fully-voiced new campaign in a new wasteland. But hold strong! “We are beginning our final approach to releasing this gargantuan mod,” developers Radian-Helix Media said today, repeating that they expect to launch it later this year. They also revealed that it’ll actually be named Fallout: New California.


Esports News


The Weekend In Esports: League Summer Finals And More



It’s Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer, which means it’s also time for the League summer season to draw to a close.


PlayerUnknown wants to take “baby steps” towards making PUBG an esport



With PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity, people are naturally asking about its future as an esport. Despite having a tournament at this year’s Gamescom, and bringing in huge audiences on Twitch, creative director Brendan Greene is in no rush to turn PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds into an esport.

What PUBG learned from the Gamescom Invitational tournament


Bluehole is considering different styles of presentation for the next major PUBG tourney.


North American League Team Overcomes Deficit And Water Spillage To Win Finals



A new record has been set for North American League of Legends.


Pro League Of Legends Team Says It's Losing More Than $1.1 Million A Year



European esports organization H2K issued a letter yesterday to the League of Legends community, saying it will not continue to participate in the European League Championship Series unless Riot Games creates a better financial structure for teams.


League Pro Goes The Entire European Summer Final Without Dying A Single Time


Sometimes it’s enough just to not die. Survive, and the rest might follow. That was certainly the case for G2 Esports’ Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen at today’s European League of Legends Summer Final.


The 11-Year-Old Who’s Dominating Competitive Pokémon



Pokémon may be marketed toward younger fans, but the most well-known competitors are adults. This year, however, the most impressive performance belongs to Nicholas Kan, an 11-year-old from Australia who makes Ash Ketchum look bad.


Chaos Theory Launches as First Professional Singapore Esports Team



The first fully-professional esports organisation based out of Singapore, Chaos Theory, was officially announced over the weekend.


Boise State University to Introduce Esports Varsity Program



Boise State has become the latest major United States university to make esports an official university program.


If esports come to the Olympics, don’t expect to see ‘violent’ titles



President more interested in video games of the sports already being played


Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)




”The Good Life” is a Debt Repayment Life Simulation RPG by SWERY the creator of “Deadly Premonition”.


Scorn Part 1 of 2 : Dasein


An atmospheric first-person horror adventure game.




CULTIST SIMULATOR: a game of apocalypse and yearning from Alexis Kennedy, creator of FALLEN LONDON and creative director of SUNLESS SEA


Lifeless Moon


From the creators of Lifeless Planet, a new cinematic adventure inspired by classic science fiction.


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


From Busted Teeth to Broken TVs: The Oral History of Tony Hawk's Underground



The road to creating Tony Hawk's Underground in under a year was a wild one. We talked to the rebellious developers who made it.


Game Developers Explain Some Of Their Favorite Ways To Trick The Player


Games lie to us all the time. Recently, some developers took to Twitter to share a few of their ones, revealing design tricks used in games ranging from Surgeon Simulator to Bioshock.


Urban Design and the Creation of Videogame Cities



This talk article, which I’ve tried to fill with as much useful information as possible, is an attempt to provide game designers and world builders with a spectrum of tools, ideas, and ways of thinking that will improve their game cities and interactive urban environments.

An attempt to help things move even further from the simplistic banality of ancient Police Quest-esque cities.


Obsidian turned down Game of Thrones because it "feels more like an RTS"



RPG devs Obsidian Entertainment were approached by EA Partners to make a videogame based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books - better known these days as Game of Thrones, after the first book in the series and the TV sensation based upon it. Trouble is, they were approached in 2005, before the show's success, and they said 'no'.


Daughter on Life Is Strange and Changing Your Ways



Life is Strange’s prequel story, Life is Strange: Before the Storm is finally upon us. Instead of assuming the role of our initial time-travelling protagonist, we’re taking a long hard look at Chloe and who she was before Max came back to Arcadia Bay. Max has moved away, Chloe’s father is gone and all she has left is her mother’s shitty boyfriend to fill the gaps in her heart. That is until she meets the mysterious girl from the first Life is Strange, Rachel Amber.


Steve Gaynor on 'Tacoma,' 'Sleep No More' and What it All Means



"Through changing the game world, you are changing your consciousness of what it contains and what it means."


Game Design Deep Dive: Making Spartaga, a VR twin-stick shooter



We just launched our debut title Spartaga. This article focuses on some of the design thought that went behind translating twin stick shooters and bullet hells to VR. First though, lets give some background.


Gaming in the Middle East is poised for a breakout



Lara Noujaim, director of publishing at Game Cooks, explains why the Middle East will provide the next big opportunity for games


Game Tutorials

Also good advice anytime you see anything written by Ian


John Romero, John Carmack, and American Mcgee deny Tim Willits' Quake comments



John Romero, John Carmack, and American McGee have issued contradictory statements to Tim Willits' anecdote on the creation of multiplayer maps.


Last Day of June Is Beautiful, Touching And Emotionally Draining



In a premise born from UK rock musician Steven Wilson’s song and video for “Drive Home,” Last Day of June’s narrative is built around a tragedy. In the first moments of the Italian indie studio Ovosonico’s interactive puzzle game, a couple share a quiet moment by a lake. It’s a picturesque scene draped in gorgeous orange and purple hues. Carl, the game’s protagonist, leaves his wife June’s side to fetch her a blanket from their car. It’s chilly as June’s shivering puppet-like body indicates. Autumn is in the air, and the oncoming storm signals that their peaceful lives are about to be disrupted.


Preparing for the end of The Tomorrow Children, a game about helping others that couldn’t help itself



It’s always a strange event when an online world dies. People come together, make friends, form relationships and build a life of sorts in a game, sometimes over years. Then, in an instant, it’s gone. No gentle exit or release, just a brutal server error and a black screen. Everything ceases to exists. The moment PlayStation Home shut down is a particularly brutal example:


Pyre's Composer On The Challenges Of Creating His Most Diverse Game Soundtrack Yet



Bastion and Transistor are complicated games with emotional depth. Supergiant Games’ latest, Pyre, follows its predecessors—this time with a focus on existential questions of freedom, religion and dogs with mustaches. Accompanying the games are equally as complex and gorgeously arranged music by composer Darren Korb.


Steel-clad conquistadores on horseback: A case study of selective authenticity and the Spanish Empire in computer games.



America, the new DLC for the Spanish Empire:

The term empire is extremely popular. It might make people think romantically about the rise and fall of Ancient Rome, nostalgically remember the British rule over the Seas, or stand in awe before the image of legions of stormtroopers crushing the rebel resistance in the name of the Galactic Empire. Although historians and political scientists may disagree with the ambiguous use by mass media of this controversial concept, no one can question its popularity in pop culture products. Videogames, especially those inspired in the past, excel in the indiscriminate use of the word. From the seminal Age of Empires (Ensemble Studios, 1996) to the not so popular Empire: Total War (The Creative Assembly, 2009), developers have used this broadly interpreted historical category to tell interactive tales about marvellous discoveries, epic conquests and mighty rule.


Is Squall Really Dead? Final Fantasy Producer Addresses The Series' Biggest Fan Theories



Was Aeris ever going to come back to life? Are Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VII set in the same world? Is Gogo actually Daryl? Thanks to Yoshinori Kitase, we now have the answers to all of these questions. And they’re mostly “No.”


Obsidian on Tyranny’s expansion & writing believable evil



Most games that put you into the shoes of the bad guys are about reveling in evil, gleefully causing havoc and destruction like a toddler who’s got into the stationary box. Obsidian’s RPG Tyranny is different.


Turbulent development of Destiny, Witcher 3, Uncharted 4 and more revealed in new book



A new book has revealed the turbulent development of some of the biggest games in recent times.


A Look at Graphics: Other Dimensions



It's a standard feature of adventure stories to show a wide range of settings over the course of a tale. Dark forests, scorching deserts, snowy mountains, gloomy castles – it's perfectly common to jump from one to the next as the hero's journey advances. Sometimes, though, the story requires that the hero travels not just to a new area, as it were, but another reality, a separate dimension, or perhaps an altered perception of a place. Communicating this transition through visuals requires a different approach than showing the change between suburbs, climates or biomes, and the techniques used can vary depending on exactly what this change is, and what the writer is trying to communicate.


What Made This Fan Translate an Obscure 1998 'Twin Peaks'-Inspired PS1 Game



Long before 'Deadly Premonition' or 'Alan Wake,' 'Mizzurna Falls' cribbed from David Lynch's television classic.


Songbringer is a speedrunning-friendly and fun sci-fi Zelda-alike



Every six-letter word is a new dungeon.


Here's How Ubisoft Convinced Nintendo To Let Mario Use Guns



So much about Kingdom Battle is surprising, but the thing that I still can’t get over is that in this game, Mario shoots his enemies with a gun. This is Nintendo’s mascot we’re talking about, and the game wasn’t developed internally. How the hell did anyone get Miyamoto to sign off on that?


Nintendo Releases Original Star Fox 2 Design Docs



Last week, Nintendo quietly uploaded the digital manual for Star Fox 2, which will be included on this month’s SNES Classic hardware. But what’s really interesting is that said manual included a whole batch of concept art and game design documents for the canceled Super FX Chip shooter.


Getting to the Bottom of Tracer's Derrière



I knew there had to be more to this butt, so I've spent the past year digging up information, infiltrating shadowy organisations, making pacts with the bum gods, and finally I present the inside scoop on why Tracer's butt is so remarkable from every angle.


Why the Switch is Nintendo's truest Family Computer



I'm 200 miles from home, holidaying in a part of Devon with no phone signal, barely any roads of sensible passing width, and two moaning, groaning children in tow. It's hammering it down outside, ponds forming on driveways - the very epitome of a British summer's day. The DVD collection available is a lot of seen-its. My Neighbor Totoro fills a pocket of the day, alleviating some of the boredom. But man, it's grim out there. No sandcastles at the beach today, kids.


Facing the Darkness Within: The Importance of Acting in Observer and Hellblade



Two games in recent weeks demonstrate, in very different ways, just how important a strong leading performance can be; in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, it’s the raw, fierce and vulnerable performance of Melina Juergens as Senua that exposes the character’s inner emotional world to the player, compassionately inviting us to share in the experience of her journey. Meanwhile, the cyberpunk horror game Observer is sunk by Rutger Hauer’s tremendously disinterested performance; it’s not a good game even aside from Hauer’s work, but his non-acting keeps us at arm’s length, preventing any of the game’s efforts to make us feel a connection to its tale of emotional pain and psychological horror from taking hold.


"People don't talk about mental health because of the stigma, out of fear for their careers"



At Devcom last week, Raw Fury's Callum Underwood discussed his ambition to "normalise" mental health issues in the games industry


'Absolver' Is a New Approach to Fighting Games in a Genre Desperate For It



With its weird world and customizable combos, this open-world adventure is a fighting game for players who don't like fighting games.


The Last Days of Black Isle Studios



Feargus Urquhart remembers the moment that he knew that it was time to leave Black Isle Studios—the team he had founded a little more than five years before it was under Interplay.


The Virtual Life –Trying To Survive A Little Red Lie



Little Red Lie is the latest release from Will O'Neill, who created Actual Sunlight, a narrative-driven experience that dealt with themes of suicide and isolation. Little Red Lie, which follows two characters as they navigate the mundane yet terrifying labyrinth of daily life in Toronto, is in much the same vein as Actual Sunlight but focuses on the weight that modern economics has on a person's mental and emotional state, relationships, and humanity. I played through Little Red Lie and found myself disheartened by the story and its bleak world, but captivated by the strength of its storytelling and brutal, unflinching gaze into despair.

I talked with O'Neill about his creative process, philosophies, and the merit of games as political art.


Just How Important Are Female Protagonists?



The majority of female gamers (56.8%) rated the availability of female protagonists as being “extremely important”—this was more than 3 times higher than the number of male gamers who selected this response option. The most commonly selected response among male gamers was that female protagonists are “somewhat important”. Overall, 75% of female gamers rated female protagonists as “very” or “extremely” important.


Zack Wasn't Actually Aeris's Boyfriend In The Japanese Version Of Final Fantasy VII


I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VII in Japanese and English at the same time, and I’m noticing a lot of neat little differences. This is part three of a video series in which I present those differences for your appreciation.


Tacoma (Spoilers)


This time I took a look at Tacoma, the latest Fullbright release.


What Makes a Good Detective Game? | Game Maker's Toolkit


Note! This video contains puzzle spoilers for Life is Strange, The Shivah, and Discworld Noir.

Detective video games promise to turn us into Sherlock Holmes - but why do so many of them bungle the execution? In this video I mine ancient DOS games, forgotten mobile apps, quirky indie titles, and games that aren’t even about solving crimes, for good murder mystery mechanics.


Petz wouldn’t exist without Night Trap


I wasn’t allowed to have a tamagotchi as a kid. This was a bitter blow, but that fad blew over and I got something even better: Catz 2.


The History of Assassin's Creed


It's the 10th Anniversary of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series this year along with the return after a year break. Jean-Luc takes a look back at the whole franchise from the very first Assassin's Creed to Assassin's Creed: Origins.


Good and Evil in the Persona 5 Soundtrack [Patron Request]


In one of my most esoteric videos yet, I talk about the idea of darkness and brightness in music and why you should use borrowed chords.


Accessibility - The Curb Cut Effect - Extra Credits


Don't wait until the last minute to add accessible design to your game. Incorporate accessibility early on, to benefit ALL players--not just the physically disabled.


Games as Lit. 101 - Best Final Fantasy Battle Themes


Just for fun, I rank all the main battle themes from the main Final Fantasy series, least to greatest!


Animating Dauntless: Slaying AAA Animation on the Indie Scale


In this GDC 2017 session, Phoenix Labs' Simon Unger explains the animation best practices they've learned so far to create AAA-grade animation on an indie budget.


Save Yourself: Game History is in Your Hands


In this 2017 talk, game historian Laine Nooney demystifies how historians turn everyday artifacts and documents into compelling narratives, share behind-the-scenes stories and images from her own hunt for game history, and empower industry professionals with the knowledge to begin their own practice of self-preservation.


Designing System Driven Dialogue in Mafia III


In this 2017 GDC talk, Hangar 13's Remy Boicherot dives into "Sit Downs," the semi-interactive cinematics with high-tension procedural dialogue sequences putting the player into tough choice situations in Mafia III.


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


PAX West 2017: PAX RUMBLE V - The V Stands For Very Bad Video Game Wrestling (09/03/2017)

"That guy sucks, a lot."


A video game attorney answers our important video game law questions


Ryan Morrison, also known as the video game attorney, gets a lightning round of legal questioning. Order in the court!

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