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Nintendo Direct and Tokyo Game Show reveals, Tim Schafer on what the job can do to your personal life and what he wants his legacy to be, how games helped DACA immigrants, co-founder of Polygon Chris Plante returns to the site after three years and writes about why he loves games and game criticism, history of 2D Metroid, Max Payne 16 Years Later, making a horror game in the coldest city on Earth, Overwatch development slowed as they attempt to address rising toxicity, Harvey Smith interviewed about his past and development career, Fortnight devs accidentally allow cross-play between Xbox and PS4, Why Mario Made Him Cry, excerpts from David Craddock's new book Break Out How the Apple II Launched the PC Gaming Revolution, why a developer had to ban half of New Zealand, making of Fallout NV, and more.

 

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

 

Tokyo Game Show 2017 live stream schedule

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Follow every broadcast out of Japan's biggest games expo.

 

Watch PlayStation's TGS 2017 Press Conference Right Here

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Today in Tokyo, Sony is holding its annual pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference. What announcements will Sony make? What surprises will there be? Watch here and find out.

Everything Announced at Sony’s TGS Event Last Night

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There were no major announcements at Sony's Tokyo Game Show press conference last night, no last-minute reveals of Bloodborne 2 or a release date for Kingdom Hearts III. That said, there was some cool stuff, especially if you, like any reasonable person, are a fan of Konami's Zone of the Enders series. (No, it's not a sequel, but it's still pretty cool.)

Left Alive is a "survival action shooter" from Armored Core director Toshifumi Nabeshima, with character designs from Metal Gear Solid's Yoji Shinkawa. Importantly, it has mechs, and is coming to both PlayStation 4 and PC sometime in 2018. Ghost in the Shell: Arise and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 designer Yakayuki Yanase is working on the game's mech designs.

 

Nintendo Direct 9.13.2017

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Nintendo Direct featuring the latest on the Nintendo Switch console and games like Super Mario Odyssey as well as the freshest Nintendo 3DS Family of Systems updates and games like Pokémon Ultra Sun & Pokémon Ultra Moon. Stay tuned for some exciting surprises and updates!

Yes, Please Inject Nintendo Switch RPG Octopath Traveler Directly Into My Veins

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The team behind Bravely Default is making a Nintendo Switch exclusive called Octopath Traveler. It looks beautiful, and there’s a demo out tonight.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Direct 9.13.2017

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Take a closer look at Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with Azurda, a Titan! Explore Alrest, an endless ocean of clouds, where the last remnants of civilization live on the backs of colossal beasts. You can form powerful bonds with Blades, unique beings granting tremendous power to their users, called Drivers. Check out the surprises that await you in this Nintendo Direct!

Doom, Wolfenstein II and Honor of Kings boost Switch third-party line-up

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Bethesda shows its commitment, while Tencent is bringing China's most popular game to the platform as Arena of Valor

Octopath Traveler's Switch Demo Is A Blast Of JRPG Goodness

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Last week, Square Enix surprise-released a demo of the upcoming role-playing game Octopath Traveler, and you will be pleased to hear that it’s excellent. The best part? Nobody can complain that it’s not coming to Switch.

 

SteamWorld Dig 2 is coming to PC on September 22

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Only a day after the Switch.

 

Everything you need to know about Into the Breach, the next game from the developers of FTL

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Into the Breach might be small in scope, but it reimagines turn-based strategy in a big way.

 

Assassin's Creed Origins trailer introduces the Order of the Ancients

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Before there were Templars, there were these guys.

 

Total War: Warhammer 2 trailer reveals the New World's gorgeous battle maps

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With Total War: Warhammer 2 launching this month, Sega and Creative Assembly have put together another trailer, this time showing off the diverse locations you’ll be slaughtering your enemies in. Like the Old World, the New World isn’t a friendly place.

Lay eyes on the Lizardmen campaign in a new Total War: Warhammer 2 gameplay video

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Lord Mazdamundi shows off his management skills.

 

Bad internet and frozen eyelashes: making a horror game in the coldest city on Earth

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We talked to an indie dev working in the Sakha Republic in Siberia.

 

Folding @ PAX Interview: Frostpunk

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Dan @ PAX talks with Paweł Miechowski about Polish developer 11 Bit Studios' past game This War of Mine and their upcoming Frostpunk

 

Watch the first Call of Duty: WWII campaign trailer

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“It’s all been leading to this.

Call of Duty: WWII beta will be free for everyone later this month

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System requirements also announced.

 

Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier tries to evolve the Telltale format with multiplayer

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The recent Planet of the Apes films were excellent at demonstrating that every conflict has multiple sides. Stories focused on apes trying to create a space for themselves in a world once dominated by humans while the remaining humans try to hold onto the last bits of the planet they still control. Out of that dynamic comes Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier, a Telltale-style adventure game that splits your time between an ape colony and a human outpost embroiled in a conflict with one another.

 

Behind the beautifully grotesque art of Scorn

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Scorn is the kind of gross that you can’t look away from. It’s an FPS horror adventure that you might remember from a haunting trailer released nearly three years ago. A Kickstarter followed but never got off the ground. Now developer Ebb Software is back with a new, much more successful Kickstarter, thanks to a beefy gameplay video that sells Scorn's vision as part shooter, part Myst, but really fucked up.

 

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time details Diana, snow stage, Divine Dragon boss, more

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The latest on the upcoming video game.

 

Shadow is playable in Sonic Forces DLC

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A free add-on unlocks Episode Shadow

 

Gal Gun 2 announced for PS4, Switch

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Inti Creates has announced Gal Gun 2 for PlayStation 4 and Switch. It will launch worldwide this winter.

 

Exclusive Preview: Cuphead Composer Discusses Big Band Score and the Track "Floral Fury"

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It's been a long journey for Cuphead, the StudioMDHR game that pays tribute to the Fleischer Brothers's cartoons from the 1930s, but it'll finally be released for the Xbox One and PC on Sept. 29.

 

NO MORE NAZIS [New Gameplay Trailer] – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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The Nazis have taken over America.

They've turned Manhattan into a wasteland. They’ve walled off New Orleans and are systematically purging the city, burning people and homes to the ground. And they brazenly walk the streets of small-town USA – going where they want, taking what they want and behaving however they please.

But this is not BJ Blazkowicz’s America. The United States will never be broken – not with BJ on the job, rallying the Resistance and igniting a revolution. Watch the Resistance rise up to strike fear in the Nazis in the latest trailer for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will release on October 27, 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, and will release for Nintendo Switch in 2018!

 

Arika’s “Mysterious Fighting Game” TGS 2017 trailer

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First gameplay footage of Allen Snider.

 

Spintires: MudRunner rides out on Halloween

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MudRunner will pack a new sandbox map, a general fancying-up of graphics, new vehicles, a new Challenge mode, and other fancy bits.

 

Dragon Ball FighterZ Gets An Original Character Named Android 21

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Revealed in the latest issue of the Japanese magazine V-Jump, the new character was designed by series creator Akira Toriyama and will take part in the game’s alternate timeline story based around the gentle Mohawk giant we all know as Android 16.

21 Takeaways From Our Time With The Dragon Ball FighterZ Beta

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Dragon Ball FighterZ from developer Arc System Works was one of the biggest surprises to come out of E3, and recently, select fans finally got a chance to try it out with the game's beta. Here are 21 takeaways from our short time with the game.

 

Chaos;Child launches October 24 in North America, October 13 in Europe

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Discover a darker Japan.

 

Hyakki Castle looks like Legend of Grimrock, but with samurai and ninjas

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Japanese developer Asakusa Studios is bringing the dungeon crawler to Steam this winter.

 

Code Vein: 10 Minutes of Brutal Boss Fight Action - IGN First

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Check out the first look at a boss fight in Bandai Namco Studios' Dark Souls-inspired action RPG.

 

Space station sim enters a Stable Orbit next week

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I enjoyed the starry skies and floating tranquillity of space station sim Stable Orbit, even if my decisions led to the deaths of multiple astronauts.

 

Fight to become top god in Dominions 5

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The pretender gods are at it again, duking it out all across the world, trying to become top god by killing everyone else in the race.

 

Shadow of War interactive live-action trailer depicts the Nemesis System in motion

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After teasing its beastly Feral Tribe last week, Shadow of War's latest short puts you in the driving seat. The question is: do you feel like slaying or saving?

 

Horror game Darq shows mind-bending puzzles and terrifying mannequins

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You can’t wake up, but you won’t be able to sleep.

 

Everything is bigger in the new Dungeons 3 trailer

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From big dungeons to big dragons.

 

Klei announces Don't Starve: Hamlet single-player DLC, new Shipwrecked content, and more

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Hamlet is coming next year and will feature posh Pigmen.

 

For Honor's upcoming Tribute mode is 4v4 CTF with three flags

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Capturing an 'offering' will provide a team-wide buff, but the enemy can always take it away.

 

Ghost Recon Wildlands 'Ghost War' standalone beta is open to everyone next week

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You can try out the new Team Deathmatch mode even if you don't own the game.

 

The Thargoids will officially arrive in Elite Dangerous later this month

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A cool new cinematic demonstrates just how dangerous these guys really are.

 

Galactic Civilizations 3 update brings expansion improvements to the base game

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From the UI to galactic economies.

 

Hollow Knight will get its second expansion this Halloween

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The Grimm Troupe will bring a new quest, boss fights and more.

 

Warframe trailer brings new Plains of Eidolon gameplay

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There was a new devstream today, too.

 

Battleborn getting no more updates, 15 months after launch

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Servers still active, but other support quietly closes

 

Paragon's Monolith Visual Update will go live later this week

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The patch notes are out now.

 

Editing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds files is now a bannable offense after players bypass fog

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It’s a day in the year 2017 so something is going down in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds that’s making a whole bunch of people angry. The game recently introduced foggy weather, restricting sight across much of the map when it’s active. As you can imagine, the more elite players would rather be able to see whatever they like, and thus found ways to eliminate the fog through file settings. That’s now a bannable offense.

The New Fog Map in 'PUBG' Isn't Just Cosmetic, It Changes How You Play

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The 'Battle Royale' vibe gives way to a more cat-and-mouse experience.

 

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire drops launch trailer

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Ahead of Friday's release.

 

Grim Dawn expansion Ashes of Malmouth will be out in October

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The expansion will feature two full chapters, with new locations, masteries, abilities, and more.

 

Black Widow and Monster Hunter joining Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s DLC

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Along with Venom and Winter Solider

 

Ana, Junkrat, and a giant two-player robot are coming to Heroes of the Storm

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Two Overwatch heroes and an Overwatch map are slated for HotS.

 

Overwatch Development Has Been Slowed Due To Need To Address "Rising Tide Of Toxicity"

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Kaplan added that Blizzard doesn't plan to create "naughty pools" as some games do, where offending players aren't banned altogether but put in a pool with other jerks. "Our highest level philosophy is, 'If you are a bad person doing bad things in Overwatch, we don't want you in Overwatch," he said. "Overwatch should be an inclusive game space."

Blizzard has taken disciplinary action against 480,000 Overwatch accounts

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Jeff Kaplan's team devotes "a tremendous amount of time and resources to punishing people," and it's slowing progress of the game

Toxicity in Overwatch: Beyond assigning blame

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Phil Kaplan, the director of Overwatch, dedicates the new developer update video to gamer toxicity. In it he acknowledges that the studio must address the toxicity issue, but points a finger at the community, claiming that the "community needs to take a deep look inwards" and consider how they may better self-regulate. Kaplan appears frustrated as he explains that they are not releasing as many exciting new features as they would like, since they use much of their time to figure out how to regulate the toxicity. While many reported on Kaplan's video, some were more negative than others (e.g. this one, this one, this one, and also this one), claiming he was overly naive, and is now blaming the fanbase for something he should have seen coming.

Harassment experts: The latest ‘Overwatch’ developer update was an uninformed, incoherent mess

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Another issue with Kaplan’s video is the way he framed Overwatch’s reporting tools. Specifically, he characterized the harassment report function on consoles — which just came out in late August — as though it were some kind of extra, unexpected feature that needed to be added in response to unbelievably toxic players. (Reporting tools were part of the PC version since launch.)

 

Injustice 2 DLC character ‘Raiden’ trailer

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Plus the Black Lightning Premiere Skin.

 

A message from Bruce Straley

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It’s impossible to summarize 18 of the most influential years of my career in a blog post, but here we are — today, with the heaviest of hearts, I am announcing my departure from Naughty Dog.

 

Divinity: Original Sin 2 claims top spot on Steam despite a very unlucky launch day

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The long-awaited RPG has topped PUBG and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider.

 

Mike Morhaime founded Blizzard thanks to a $15,000 loan from his grandmother

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An interest-free loan from Grandma Mildred helped launch the now-massive game company.

Blizzard releases Shadow the Fox pet to raise money for disaster relief

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For every purchase made before December 31, every cent of the $10 adoption fee will be split evenly between American Red Cross Disaster Relief and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Fund.

 

The fight over Star Citizen’s production delay is getting dirty

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A fake Reddit post dominated the news cycle yesterday, fooling one outlet entirely

 

Bungie Explains How a Close Variant of a Hate Logo Shipped With 'Destiny 2'

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Which is not to say it couldn't been a mistake, but it's a less excusable one. Games have had a problem with right-wing radicalization for years, and part of operating a major franchise in this space is being up to speed with hate speech, the people wielding it, and who their targets are. It's unfortunate and, as Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan made clear, there are a lot of things developers would rather be focusing on. But developers with community teams and significant resources need to be proactive in this climate, not perpetually shocked, shocked that there are Nazis in this establishment.

 

Cliff Bleszinski thinks LawBreakers can still be a success

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But he admits mistakes were made.

'LawBreakers' Was a Throwback to an Era That Might Never Have Existed

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One of my last jobs as a freelancer was to go look at LawBreakers and see whether I thought Cliff Bleszinski could bring back the "good old days" of the multiplayer FPS. In what would wind up being one of my more prescient opening lines for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I asked who was going to give a damn about this game? Now, just over a year later, we have our answer: almost nobody.

 

Epic Accidentally Allows Xbox And PS4 Cross-Play In Fortnite, Disables It

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Oops, it looks like for a brief few hours PS4 and Xbox One cross-play was available in Fortnite. Now, Fortnite developer Epic Games says that feature was actually a bug, which the studio is referring to as a “configuration issue” that it says it has fixed.

 

Former Valve writer Chet Faliszek joins Worlds Adrift developer Bossa Studios

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The Portal and Left 4 Dead writer has signed up for a brand-new project.

 

Atari and Fig announce partnership to develop and publish two new games

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A reboot of one of Atari's "most beloved" IPs and a new IP.

 

Humble Bundle has raised more than $100 million for charity

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Not bad for some pay-what-you-want indie stuff.

Final Fantasy XIV players raise over $21k for hurricane victims

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The money was raised through a sponsored march.

 

YouTube has “no idea” why queer gaming videos are being barred from monetisation

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Amid the ongoing “adpocalypse” affecting many video content creators, YouTube has admitted it doesn’t know why videos referencing LGBTQIA+ topics are being barred from any sort of monetisation, which is seriously affecting some gaming YouTubers.

 

Artificial Intelligence Is Learning How To Develop Games

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An AI in Georgia can recreate a game just by watching it being played

 

Half-Life 2 Is Being Demade In Half-Life 1's Engine

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While most modders are intent on making 2004's Half-Life 2 look better, the guys behind Half-Life 2: Classic are doing the opposite: they want to make it look worse.

 

This infamous Metroid fangame has received massive updates, despite Nintendo's opposition

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One of 2016’s great gaming tragedies was the story of AM2R - Another Metroid 2 Remake - a fan project to rebuild the old and creaky Game Boy entry in the Metroid series to more modern spec. While the game did survive to release, and even received a v1.1 patch, Nintendo turned their great fiery eye towards the project and shut down any further development, and had almost all downloads stricken from the internet through DMCA takedown notices. Of course, we know it didn’t end there.

 

Final Fantasy 7's Tifa Lockhart invades Darkest Dungeon

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New class mod adds signature Dolphin Limit Break and more.

 

Zelda's most dedicated fan game developers built an engine anyone can use

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Nostalgia runs deep in videogames. Despite the huge technological leaps the industry has made in recent years, fans still cling to the 16-bit graphics and addictive midi rhythms of their favorite games from the 80s and 90s. Official remakes of games like Metroid and Final Fantasy resurface on a regular basis, but some folks feel the urge to take matters into their own hands. Some have even developed their own engines to recreate their favorite videogame memories.

 

Esports News

 

Study: Young Men In the U.S. Watch More Esports Than Regular Sports

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Esports are second only to movies in the 18 to 25 demographic

 

The Weekend In Esports: Counter-Strike Descends on Barclays

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In an otherwise quieter weekend, four elite CS:GO teams will be lighting up the Barclays Center for ESL One New York.

 

The First Japanese Evo Will Be A Bit Different

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Despite a long history spanning back to 1996, the Evolution Championship Series has never held an event outside the United States. That’s all going to change come January 2018, as the organization plans to host the inaugural Evo Japan in Tokyo, with a few notable changes that set it apart from the main tournament series.

 

Is this the most misplayed turn in competitive Hearthstone history?

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Player responsible for horrific misplay: "If anything, this got me seriously back into Hearthstone."

 

Official Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Tournament Will Give Six Players Special Powers

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Timed with the release of the game, Capcom has announced their first high-profile tournament series for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Unlike the currently Street Fighter-exclusive Capcom Cup, however, Battle for the Stones introduces some quirks to the traditional competitive environment in the hopes of making real-world decisions as crazy as what players can pull off in-game.

 

Allied Esports Opens New Esports Arena in Shenzhen

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Another new esports arena has opened under the Allied Esports banner.

 

INTERVIEW: Ian Smith, ESIC – “Match Fixing’s Impact on Esports Will Be a Loss of Major Sponsorship Deals, Audience, and Credibility”

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The Esports Integrity Coalition has taken on the task of regulating the esports industry through potentially crippling pitfalls. Formed in 2015, this non-profit members association assembled key stakeholders in the industry, including tournament organisers and betting boards, to address the threat of match manipulation and betting fraud.

 

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

 

My Time at Portia – An Enchanting Sandbox Simulation RPG

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An adventure inspired by Animal Crossing, Dark Cloud 2, Harvest Moon, and the works of Miyazaki.

 

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

 

Why I love video games

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A great video game critic is both an archaeologist and a tour guide.

"Why do you hate games?”

That’s the question I’ve received the most as a video game critic. Of course, no video game critic hates games. If not for a love of games, a bottomless, nagging, nonnegotiable sort of love, no one would become a professional video game critic — or any critic, for that matter. Plenty of other jobs pay better, consume less time and don’t include in the job description, “Must be comfortable eating shit from strangers on Twitter.”

 

Great Gaming Minds: Harvey Smith (Dishonored, Deus Ex)

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Harvey Smith (Deux Ex, Dishonored) has faced more than his fair share of demons but stealthily used his past to inform his future, creating magnificent gaming experiences and granting a glass-half-full point of view.

 

 

Undocumented Immigrants Describe Life Under DACA, and How Games Helped Them

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Everyone I talked to for this story had one thing in common: games. Sometimes video games, sometimes tabletop games. But what bound them together was a sense of being thrust into the shadows of society, forced to hide themselves, and finding solace, hope, and even careers in games. While they waited for the world to change, they embraced games.

 

Doublefine’s Tim Schafer: Does your dream job have to cost your personal life?

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“We were happy, and the work was so rewarding, it never occurred to us that we were being exploited,” said Schafer. “Ron came into the office at one point and said ‘We’re going to have to start working evenings and weekends!’ and we just said ‘OK!’ But at one point we did calculate how much we were being paid per hour and it came out at $3.50, and we were a little more depressed after that.”

 

How Richard Garriott got started in games

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An excerpt from a new book on the Apple II

The Making Of Carmen Sandiego

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Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? made learning about the countries of the world thrilling and fun when it was first released for the Apple II in 1985. In a new book called Break Out: How the Apple II Launched the PC Gaming Revolution, author David L. Craddock tells the story of how a small team at the game publisher Brøderbund brought Carmen to life, and how the genesis of the project was inspired by early text-based computer games like Colossal Cave Adventure.

 

The Making of Fallout New Vegas: How Obsidian's Cult Sequel Became a Beloved Classic

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From its beginnings at Black Isle to classic DLC like Lonesome Road, we dive into the history of one of the best RPGs ever.

 

Playing with politics: How real-world politics could improve your game

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It’s a strange contradiction, but science fiction is always at its best when it feels real.

Star Wars, Alien, and Blade Runner were startling and compelling in large part because they took place in properly lived-in worlds, where stuff got dirty and worn out. Far from the perfect gleaming chrome and glass of classic science fiction, these were places that felt so real you could almost smell them. Video games can create that same sense of place, creating a sense of authenticity in fascinating interactive ways.

 

Game Design Deep Dive: The asymmetric multiplayer of Rising Storm 2: Vietnam

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For those not initiated, the Red Orchestra series is generally known as a brutal and very challenging large-scale multiplayer FPS: 64-player battles lasting 30-40 minutes where one or two shots is enough to kill the player. The games are generally known for being hardcore, true to history and with sense of authenticity to the ‘horrors of war’. With Rising Storm 1, the hallmark of our addition to the series was a new approach of asymmetrical design for the two teams.

 

There is no 'heat of the moment' in video games

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Video games are something we do ostensibly for enjoyment in comfortable surroundings.

This is why it’s a hobby caricatured in the mainstream as a culture of disproportionate reaction, where no one can control their emotions, where its fans are provoked by trivial disappointments and they lash out with vulgarities calculated to shock and offend. All of that defined PewDiePie this weekend, and has on many days in his long reign as YouTube’s biggest and most financially successful star.

Gaming YouTube must get its house in order

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Here's the thing; for all that it's a cultural phenomenon with an enormous audience, gaming YouTube is an oddly fragile creature, one whose very existence rests on a number of factors that could change dramatically overnight. One of those factors is the willingness of most game companies to tacitly permit YouTubers to violate their copyrights, with creators and publishers turning a blind eye out of consideration of the promotional value of being featured on high-audience channels. A large volume of gaming YouTube content is in the form of "Let's Play" videos or some version of such; this is an interesting and often hugely entertaining sub-genre of gaming media that has become immensely popular, but whose legal status is not so much shaky as simply non-existent.

PewDiePie says he doesn't agree with Campo Santo's DMCA, almost has another "slip up"

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On the very same day as issuing this statement, PewDiePie had to cut himself off during a Battlegrounds stream after almost repeating the word that had landed him in so much hot water just last week, and just one day after issuing an apology for it. In the clip below, he sheepishly comments "Took one day for me to almost slip up".

Gaming Culture Has Always Been Racist – Y’all Just Didn’t Care

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A lot of people are asking me why I haven’t written about the racist slur employed by PewDiePie recently. I already did and so have many others.

The perpetual use of the n-word within gaming isn’t fueled by neo-Nazi ideology and didn’t emerge with the election of Donald Trump. You can’t blame Gamergate for this one either.

This is gaming culture. And I’ve been expressing this for more than a decade.

 

If Something Happens, There Will Probably Be A Review Bomb On Steam

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Every week, there’s a new headline about jerks who inundate Steam pages with angry reviews. Sometimes, the protests aren’t even about the game at all, but rather a larger controversy involving a developer or publisher. How did this become the now normal?

Steam plans review changes

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We've been planning some changes to User Reviews for a while now, and we thought it'd be useful to give you some insight into our thinking on review bombing, which is one of the problems we're tackling. Review bombing is where players post a large number of reviews in a very compressed time frame, aimed at lowering the Review Score of a game. At the same time, they upvote each other's reviews and downvote all the other reviews. To understand why we think this is a problem at all, we first need to talk a bit about the goals of User Reviews, and the associated Review Score.

 

Game Compression

 

How Two Developers Dealt With the Shitty, Racist Parts of Their Community

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'Overwatch' isn't the only game that's had to divert resources towards the worst behaviors of players. One game banned half of New Zealand.

 

“There will be hate you cannot control. In all honesty, it's defeating”

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"This is a community you're working with every single day. You become attached and invested in keeping it a safe and positive place but you do learn to grow a thick skin and divert the conversation away from the negative situation."

 

Why I deleted my Steam account

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Most of those threads in the Firewatch forum have since been consolidated, with the most exceptionally racist ones being deleted. But it wasn't Valve who handled the clean up, because Valve offloads moderation of game-specific forums to the developers. Just like translation of its store pages or curation of its catalog, Valve seems to like nothing more to offload the work on others. That approach might be fine for some functions, but the company cannot abdicate responsibility for the community and culture that has come from its own neglect.

 

Opinion: For indie devs, game design and marketing are the same thing

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In an interview Rebecca and I did with PC Gamer last year, I mentioned offhand that we used a “marketing first” approach to making Ooblets. Since that article ran, I’ve had a bunch of people who’ve been following the game’s development bring that phrase up to me, so I figured I’d write out what I meant by it in some more detail.

 

Why Video Games Cost So Much To Make

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Video game publishers are notoriously secretive about the budgets behind their games, but when a number does slip out, it can be shocking. Games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, which is tough to fathom—until you do the math.

 

This new book reverse engineers Diablo 2 to discover how it was so good

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If you’re the type to really dig your teeth into the crunchiest bits of RPG design, boy have I got news for you. A new book has just been released on the intricacies of Diablo 2, pulling it apart piece-by-piece and examining how all those bits came together to make an all-time classic.

 

20 Years Later, the Hardest Losses in 'Final Fantasy VII' Have Changed

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A game remembered for individual loss was most prescient about looming societal tragedies.

 

DOOM Is About Climate Change

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The UAC of DOOM is a harsh criticism of feel-good corporate culture, but also of the material actions of corporations on the environment. It’s the specific greed of the UAC, coupled with a relentless lack of care for the environments it colonizes and sucks dry, that causes the demon invasion of Mars. The parallels are hard to miss.

 

“The Troubled Rebirths of BioShock Infinite,” by Reid McCarter

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Infinite would be a powerful statement if it was capable of staying the course, focusing on this message rather than expanding its argument to provide, ironically, one of the most disconcertingly popular modes of thought plaguing modern America.

“BioShock Infinite’s Tragic Heaven,” by Ed Smith

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Fauvistically colourful and like deodorised by sunshine, Columbia seems to breathe in smiles and exhale hymns. It’s where burgers, fizzy drinks, and freshly-picked flowers cost something less than a dollar and a pitch-perfect barbershop quartet croons me for free with my absolute favourite The Beach Boys song. Wherever I look the city reminds me of something from the best times of my life. The streets are fretted with big, silvery coins and I imagine the whole place smells of lawn. It has its own chatoyancy and is an architectural miracle. Soaring above the clouds, hidden from whatever ails me back down on solid ground, Columbia feels like Heaven’s suburb; forgiveness, peace, and God’s love are in strolling distance.

 

L.A. Noire's Ending, Revisited

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I’ve been playing through L.A. Noire for the last month and a half on Kotaku’s Twitch channel. This weekend we finished the game. The conclusion is bittersweet but there was no other way for a tale of crime and corruption to end. Controversial in its day, L.A Noire’s ending is perfect when viewed in retrospect.

 

“HOLD ON TO THE CENTER”

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HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER, THE TAO TE CHING, AND THE PROCESS OF MASTERY

 

The Violent Path Feels Damn Good in 'Dishonored: Death of the Outsider'

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I've always played a stealthy, cautious assassin in these games. Now, I'm out for blood.

 

Death To The Author: killing creators in Dishonored, Portal and BioShock

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When we meet the creators of fictional worlds, we often want to kill them. Whether its Bioshock’s Andrew Ryan and his deadly Rapture, GlaDOS and the sadistic test chambers of Portal, or Kirin Jindosh and the Clockwork Mansion. The urge to destroy these builders is partly down to the nature of their constructions – deathtraps and mazes that make the architect a cruel overseer – but there is perhaps more to it than that. With spoilers for the above, Hazel Monforton investigates the role (and the death) of the author in a medium that invites the audience into the action.

 

Why don't we complete games?

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We talk a lot in terms of "beating" games, but most players will never actually get that far.

 

Academia: School Simulator is like Prison Architect but with kids

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Build a school, hire a staff, and educate youngsters in this Early Access sim highly reminiscent of Introversion's prison-builder.

 

Destiny 2 is Practically Impossible to Play if You're a Parent

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I had a baby nine months ago. As you might expect, this has significantly changed my relationship with video games, at least temporarily. It has made the Nintendo Switch my favourite console of all time, because I can play it both on the big screen on the occasional evening and in my hands during naptime/train journeys/stolen moments hiding in the bathroom whilst my partner deals with the baby. It has also drastically reduced the time available to me to play games — which, given that it is literally my job to know about games, is a smidge inconvenient.

 

The video game pacifists

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Video games are guilty of reflecting humanity's more violent nature at times - and it's easy to see why when our screens are filled with nameless marines and musclebound maniacs eager to destroy every living thing in their path. As in reality, the virtual worlds we inhabit contain a wide array of human expression, ranging from violent combat to peaceful cooperation. Some players are taking things a step further though, opting to lay down their computerised weapons and adopt a nonviolent, pacifist approach to their virtual endeavours.

 

Games like Hellblade are eroding the border between indie and triple-A

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Standardized technology and collaboration are blurring the line between indie and big-budget games, and Senua's eyes are the proof.

 

A Quick Tour Of One Of The Best Game Stores On Earth

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The Akihabara branch of Japanese games retailer Super Potato is one of the best game stores on the planet. If you’ve never been, you can do the next best thing and take a tour of it right now with our features editor Chris Kohler.

 

Destiny Team Watches Raid

 

Leonardo Da Sidci‏ talks abotu Patreon and creators he supports

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Quality content is becoming harder to make, especially in an age where technology and access to that technology is incredibly easy. Sites like YouTube favour content that fits their algorithm, focusing entirely on medium-length and quick to produce content. For creators that are looking to create work that has more substance, quality and effort put into it, this model is unsustainable.

Sites like Patreon have truly enabled creators to make a real living, not as lavish or luxurious as the top creators on YouTube perhaps, but enough that their rent, food, bills are paid for, allowing them to focus their career efforts on producing some of the best content that the internet has to offer.

 

Episode 110: Greg Kasavin on Pyre's Development, Reviews, and Supergiant Sequels

 

Why Mario Made Him Cry - Expert Mode (Ep. 1)

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Our new show puts you on the couch with Mario + Rabbids' game director. Learn about his inspiring, emotional journey working with Nintendo.

 

Final Fantasy VII's Nightlife District Wall Market Is A Lot Sexier In Japanese

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I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VII in Japanese and English at the same time, and I’m noticing a trillion tiny differences. This is part four of my video series comparing the two versions of the game.

 

Max Payne... 16 Years Later

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00:00 - Intro
02:33 - Pre-Production
07:41 - Gameplay
15:51 - Story
23:45 - Conclusion/Credits

Written, Voiced, and Edited by Lucas Raycevick
Support the Channel at: https://www.patreon.com/raycevick

 

Banjo V Mario: A Prescription for Platform Games

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In this essay, I take a look at two much beloved titles, compare and contrast them to another and their contemporaries, and make some points that developers can do to keep up their legacy.

 

Games as Lit. 101 Literary Analysis - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

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Let's revisit a classic platformer and look at how Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time tells an interactive coming of age story. This time with actual production values!

 

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's Best Level // HeavyEyed

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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare broke many conventions of the Military Shooter genre, among all the step ups from the previous games, one that stood out was the second mission of act II, "All Ghillied Up" I wanna talk about why it's so amazing.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Retrospective

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How does the iconic sequel one-up the original? Let's find out!

 

How To Keep Safe In the Land of Twitch

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ETA: I had the privilege of going to Twitch HQ to give a talk on safety & streaming for marginalized broadcasters. Here’s the VOD from the Twitch Office channel:

 

Yakuza's Villain Is One Of Gaming's Best

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Making a great villain is a challenge but Yakuza has one of the best around. Heather Alexandra takes a look in this critical video

 

18 things you didn't know about Fallout 1 & 2

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Based on a recent interview we had with members of the original team behind Fallout 1 & 2, here's a bunch of interesting stuff we learned about the iconic post-apocalyptic franchise.

 

The History of 2D Metroid

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2D Metroid is back. Samus Returns marks the first new 2D Metroid in 13 years. So let's celebrate by talking a look back at Metroid's history.

 

A Game Too Ambitious - Investigating Reich

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So, what is there to see in this dystopian world? What were the game’s stand-out features? And, most importantly, how could a game with such a large budget end up being cancelled?

Narrated by Steve Petitt
Written by Jake 'The Voice' Parr
Directed by Ailert Riemersma

 

So, You Want to Be a Game Professor?

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In this 2017 GDC talk, RIT professor Ian Schreiber gives an overview of the academic world, including career paths, requirements, and reasons to pursue becoming a game professor (and more reasons not to).

 

Porting a Real Life Castle into Your Game When You're Broke

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In this 2017 GDC session, indie developer Joseph Azzam explains how he was able to scan an entire castle into his game engine for a mere $70. Azzam explains the tools he used, the techniques he exploited and the challenges he overcame.

 

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

 

Video Game Theatre Presents: "CAN LOVE BLOOM ON THE BATTLEFIELD?" Metal Gear Solid (1998)

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Welcome to the second chaptre of Video Game Theatre, a weekly peregrination through gaming's most epochal and splendiferous tableaus. On today's installment, the Video Game Theatre Players hold a mirror to humanity and ponder one of life's greatest enigmas: Can love, truly, bloom on the battlefield? Perhaps the answer can only lie within this, the most powerful love scene in all the Metal Gears. Thank you.

 

Things I Missed From Previous Week

 

Miyamoto on World 1-1: How Nintendo made Mario's most iconic level

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Back at the start of July, Eurogamer had the chance to quiz both Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka about their history with Nintendo and the Mario franchise. This included an incredible walkthrough of World 1-1, arguably the most iconic video game level.

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