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The origin story of Creative Assembly, the anchoring effect on review scores and game sales, Assassin's Creed Origin to add educational mode with tours and information about Egypt from historians and Egyptologists, layoffs at Volition, Mark Brown examines how fan made AM2R and Metroid Returns alter the tone and feel of Metroid 2, Prey and being the unreliable narrator of your own story, Youtube forces joining creator program for the ability to share links on Patreon, Battlefront 2 (original) multiplayer restored for GOG and Steam, Nioh Compete Edition will soon release on PC, why Dragon Age breaking with canon leads to richer lore, Noclip posts the first part of their documentary on The Witcher and CD Projekt, Nintendo Creators Program no longer allows streaming and Nintendo shutting down eshop for Wii and Wii U, Atlus fails to take down PS3 emulator Patreon, Wii Shop going to be closing for Wii and WiiU, 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)

 

YouTube’s policy on Patreon, external links will hit new creators hardest

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A YouTube representative confirmed to Polygon that links to Patreon and other external websites — merchandise shops, websites or crowdfunding platforms — aren’t being removed entirely, but changes are being made. To help combat inappropriate and abusive content, YouTube is asking all of its creators to join the YouTube Partners Program in an attempt to better protect the content on its site.

 

Nintendo Creators Program Will No Longer Let YouTubers Live-Stream

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Nintendo has a longstanding poor reputation with the YouTube community, and the latest change to their Nintendo Creators Program may harm that relationship even more.

Nintendo Has Announced the End of the Wii Shop Channel

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Though there were plenty of teething issues with it—who could forget that tiny file size limit?—the Wii Shop Channel marked a milestone moment for Nintendo, as the company made its first notable foray into digital game distribution. Considering the age of the Wii, and the fact that all other online services for the console have been disabled, it was only a matter of time before Nintendo would announce the end of the Wii Shop Channel, and now that day has finally come.

 

Sony Announces An Updated PlayStation VR Headset

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The newly updated PlayStation VR headset features a revamped design with some welcomed changes like integrated stereo headphone cables and an updated processor.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2

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New Red Dead Redemption II Trailer Confirms Prequel Setting

I Hated the First 'Red Dead Redemption 2' Trailer... Then I Re-Watched It

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When I set out to write about the latest 'RDR 2' trailer, I didn't expect to do a deep dive into Rockstar's marketing history.

 

Six Indie Games You Need To Know From PAX West '17 [SSFF]

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So many games, so little time! But here's a look at our favorite Indies of PAX West 2017

Interviewed in this video
• 0:55 Jon Perry and Paul Hubans of UFO 50 https://50games.fun
• 5:19 Jason Canam of Way of the Passive Fist http://wayofthepassivefist.com
• 8:41 Aurelien Regard of AWAY: Journey to the Unexpected http://www.away-the-game.com
• 11:39 Megan Fox of Spartan Fist http://spartanfist.com
• 14:53 Arden Ripley of Date or Die https://www.dateordiegame.com
• 18:45 Andy Hull of Dunk Lords https://www.storyfort.com
• 21:33 we also played the Secret of Mana remake

 

6 Awesome Things We Did in the Wolfenstein 2 New Orleans Demo

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New Wolfenstein 2 gameplay! We played Wolfenstein 2's New Orleans demo, and were impressed by how many new gadgets and guns we had to play with! Here are 6 awesome things we did in the New Orleans demo, including walking on stilts, exploding a man with just our bare hands, and squeezing ourselves into very tight spots...

 

Assassin's Creed Origins - Sand Cinematic Trailer

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Take a look at this cinematic trailer for Assassin's Creed Origins.

Assassin’s Creed Origins zero-combat mode coming next year

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Learning addition offers lectures and tours of ancient Egypt

 

Nioh: Complete Edition coming to PC, release date set

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Alongside all three DLC packs.

 

Latest Star Citizen video shows off detailed animation system

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I can't stop watching Star Citizen's 'Around the Verse' videos, which chronicle the development of this incredibly ambitious game. The latest looks at the animation system, and how players and NPCs will interact with usable objects in the game world.

 

Advance Wars Lives On In Spirit With Tiny Metal Impressions | TGS 2017

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Japanese developers Area 35 are bringing back the unique style of turn-based strategy found in Advance Wars with a new game coming to Switch, PS4 and PC.

 

Call of Duty: WWII devs: 'This is the year that we're going to give it our best shot to win the hearts and minds of the PC community'

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WWII's developers talk about removing autoaim on PC, and iterating on balance and map design through beta feedback.

SMGs already nerfed in the Call of Duty: WWII open beta, more changes coming

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To be fair, they needed it.

Hackers have already infiltrated the Call of Duty: WWII open beta

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The Call of Duty: WWII PC multiplayer beta only launched three days ago but the hackers have already invaded. There's multiple videos doing the rounds of cheaters having their way with other players, the first of which I saw on this Reddit post, where user JarekBloodDragon shared a clip of an obvious aimbot.

 

Watch Us Stomp Around As A T. Rex In Exclusive Super Mario Odyssey Gameplay

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Super Mario Odyssey hits later this month, and we recently did a deep dive on three kingdoms, plus a video showing off our time in two of those areas. Now, we're back with an exclusive hands-on video of Cascade Kingdom.

 

Shenmue 3 now has facial expressions

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For better or worse

 

The Evil Within 2's Father Theodore flaunts horrifying flame-throwing henchmen

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My brief playthrough of The Evil Within 2 at Gamescom was familiar but frightening. And while I didn't see much of its mysterious bosses, James got shown a little more during a hands-on last week. We've not seen much of mysterious priest Father Theodore before now, but the henchmen featured in the following trailer look pretty darn terrifying.

 

Let's Play Scorn Without Vomiting

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On the surface, Scorn gameplay looks excellent. The offical Scorn trailer paints a picture of a gruesome nightmare world full of bizarre, twisted monstrosities, hideous architecture and weapons that make you feel so uncomfortable you almost do a sick in your mouth.

 

Creepy prison horror Inmates is out in two days - here’s the launch trailer

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What’s worse than being in prison? Being in one of those weird dream prisons where everything’s just a bit messed up, clearly. Such is your fate in Inmates, which blends the border between reality and nightmare as you wander, and attempt to escape, a rotten prison facility.

 

Star Wars Battlefront 2 story scene reveals the Emperor's final command

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Burn them all!

The Battlefront 2 open beta begins Friday - here are the start times

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EA have launched a new look at this week’s Battlefront II beta, confirming last month’s leaked info.

How Star Wars Battlefront 2 Has Improved On The Battlefront Formula

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Dave answers Oscar's questions about what he played in the DICE offices. Here are our first impressions after some early hands on with the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta.

Darth Maul Arcade Mode Gameplay - Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Beta

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We got early hands on with the Star Wars: Battlefront II Beta at DICE's office. In the Arcade mode of Star Wars: Battlefront II, we played as the Sith Darth Maul, cutting up Clone Troopers and force choking the life out of our enemies.

 

Aftercharge, the 3v3 asynchronous FPS, will hold an 'open alpha' next weekend

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A team of three invincible guards tries to stop a team of three invisible attackers.

 

Monolith Explains Changes To Tolkien's Lore In Shadow Of War

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In this exclusive video discussion, Game Informer's previews editor Matt Miller sat down with VP of creative Michael de Plater and narrative designer Tony Elias to discuss building Middle-earth: Shadow of War's story and why they chose to add and tweak some details to Tolkien's vision of Middle-earth.

 

Chucklefish on Wargroove's ambitious branching narratives and mod support

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There's a lot of potential here, if everything goes to plan.

 

Unsung Story developer announces PS4, Switch and Xbox One versions

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Some backer rewards are changing too

 

Co-op crawler Freaky Awesome gloops out in Oct

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As RPS’ slime and blisters correspondent I am duty bound to report that the dungeon crawler Freaky Awesome has vomited up a release date – October 18.

 

The developer tells us more about Spellbound (working title), its next long-term project.

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The developer tells us more about Spellbound (working title), its next long-term project.

 

Atelier Lydie & Suelle is coming to PC early 2018

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Gust’s Atelier series – a console-centric series I’ve had some positive experience with – is a recent arrival on the PC, first turning up this February with the release of Atelier Sophie.

 

Gran Turismo Sport time-limited demo coming Oct. 9

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You have four days of free racing

 

Verdant Skies is a farming sim where you play as a space scientist

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Water your crops by day, conduct experiments by night.

 

Code Vein teases more demon-slaying Souls-like in-game footage

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Three trailers for the price of one.

 

Blazing Chrome polishes running and gunning to a mirror shine

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Blazing Chrome does not look like the run-and-gun games you played in arcades when you were younger. It looks like how you remember those games looking, and it has flair of its own to boot.

 

Star Control: Origins is delayed, but a public beta is coming

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Salve the pain with some new screenshots.

 

The story behind Space Channel 5 VR

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Last year we learned Sega’s classic rhythm franchise was coming back. Here’s the latest.

 

The developers of SOMA have two new games in production

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Frictional Games, who you’ll know as the purveyors of some of the finest horror games around, have just offered a big developer update discussing the success of SOMA and where they’re going as a studio. Among the most pertinent details? They have two new games in the making.

 

Swery’s cat RPG The Good Life will also have dogs

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Good boys coming to The Good Life

 

Pyre's 'True Nightwing' update adds complimentary ironman-style mode

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Despite not hitting the highs of Bastion and/or Transistor, Pyre is a gorgeous and quirky RPG-meets-sports game. In reply to the "wonderful response and feedback from players around the world", developer Supergiant has launched a new mode free-of-charge.

 

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 multiplayer restored, now with Steam/GOG crossplay

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Disney brings multiplayer support back to another classic Star Wars game.

People are struggling to play Star Wars: Battlefront 2 classic's restored multiplayer

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2's multiplayer restoration hasn't gone entirely smoothly.

 

Dead Rising 4 to add photography challenges and other fan-requested features

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In his review last year, Leif praised Dead Rising 4 for recapturing the playful side of series despite being "too easy" overall. Capcom Vancouver is now adding a glut of complimentary player-requested features in a bid to change that.

 

Final Fantasy 15’s new story content kills a big fan theory

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Final Fantasy 15’s version 1.6 update went live last Friday, and with it came several new cutscenes to fill out the game’s story. Alongside bug fixes and new items (and fish to catch!), Square Enix tweaked the 12th chapter, finally squashing a long-held fan theory in the process.

 

Overwatch’s Halloween Terror event returns next week

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Overwatch’s annual Halloween event will kick off next Tuesday, Oct. 10, Blizzard announced, and will run until Nov. 2. A teaser attached to an accompanying tweet doesn’t reveal much, but it’s enough to get us excited about the return of Dr. Junkenstein, among other new event exclusives — like holiday-themed skins.

Overwatch patch 1.16: instant ultimates, a clearer UI, and a slower Tracer

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Overwatch's latest version, 1.16, is now taking shape on the PTR. We'll gather every update into this handy post so you can track the next patch as it forms. The big news in 1.16 so far is a major change to the way ultimates are cast, alongside some helpful readability tweaks to the UI - do read on for full details.

 

Dawn of War 3 ditches its in-game currency

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Relic announced this week that the Skull currency has been removed from Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War III. The currency had been tied to unlocking Elites, strong units that gain power over the course of matches in single- and multiplayer, as well as doctrines, which serve as upgrades for various units.

 

Interview: Absolver's slap, code of honor, and future updates

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Talking to Pierre de Margerie, creative lead at Sloclap, about their online martial arts and bowing simulator.

 

Europa Universalis IV expands on the Middle East with Cradle of Civilization DLC

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You’ll soon be getting far more options in the Middle East of Paradox’s Europa Universalis IV, as the new Cradle of Civilization expansion will expand on governments and trade policies in the region while adding new features like Islamic schools and army professionalism.

 

Horde Mode Coming to 'Fortnite' This Week

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With it comes new weapons and playable heroes

 

One of Elite: Dangerous’ mysterious aliens is dead, and Harry Potter is to blame

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Elite’s most notorious player makes history again

 

Cuphead players on Windows are running into a nasty save bug

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This is not the kind of game you want to lose your save on

 

In August, Overwatch had more players and Hearthstone made more money than ever before

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It’s the end of the month, which means it’s time for another round of stats. SuperData research, who focus on digital markets, have announced that Overwatch’s monthly active user count for August - i.e. how many people logged on and played a game - was higher than ever before.

Jeff Kaplan opens up about how 'scary and intimidating' the Overwatch community can be

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Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan's latest blog post is a revealing read. In it, he details the difficulties his team face when communicating with players on the game's forum pages, which include being "personally attacked and threatened" by fans.

Battle.net is getting Appear Offline and Discord-like groups soon

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It looks as though Blizzard are planning to introduce IRC/Discord-like groups to Battle.net, as well as - finally - an Appear Offline option. The boss of community site MMO Champion has posted a number of code strings, apparently datamined from Battle.net, describing several new functions.

 

Hawken is being closed and removed from Steam in January

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Developer Reloaded Games wants to "refocus" its development efforts.

 

Big Layoffs Hit Agents of Mayhem Developer Volition

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Volition, the studio behind Agents of Mayhem, laid off over 30 people this week including general manager Dan Cermak, three sources tell Kotaku. The studio previously had around 200 employees.

 

PUBG hit with stream of negative reviews following Chinese in-game ads

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Almost 10,000 negative reviews hit the PUBG Steam page in the last day.

 

Atlus tries, fails to take down Patreon for PS3 emulator via DMCA

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The company appears to have been only partially successful; in a statement posted today on Reddit, a representative of the RPCS3 dev team claims that on Saturday Patreon (but not the dev team) received notice that Atlus had filed a DMCA takedown against the RPCS3 Patreon page.

 

Former Square Enix Employee Arrested For Allegedly Stocking Up Game Consoles For Resale

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Koji Takada made his name at Square Enix as a sales manager, with his name in the credits for games like Dragon Quest IX. Earlier last month, he was arrested for allegedly improperly ordering game consoles for resale, a violation of Japanese trust law.

 

Ubisoft Milan: "I see a really brilliant future in front of us"

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After years as a support studio, the Mario + Rabbids team is now feeling "the trust" of Ubisoft and getting 10x more job applications

 

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds gets its own company, PUBG Corp

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Bluehole has spun its battle royale team into a subsidiary.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds devs explain why Asian servers have had so many issues

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The official Twitter account for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds makes occasional posts about coming updates and features for the wildly popular battle royale game, but most of the past few weeks have seen daily posts about server issues and how the team is working to address them. So yes, they know that PUBG’s infrastructure has been troublesome.

 

The PC's Best Anti-Piracy Technology Appears to be Defeated

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With 'Total War: Warhammer II' cracked in less than 24 hours, it calls into question why publishers would continue to use Denuvo.

 

Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Andrew House steps down, John Kodera appointed president and CEO

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Executive management transition at Sony Interactive Entertainment.

 

Waking up to localization

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Supporting a variety of languages at launch made a huge difference for Figment, says Bedtime Digital CEO Klaus Pedersen

 

Final Fantasy XIV: Closing in on peak WoW

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At 10m players and counting, director Naoki Yoshida tells us how a generous free trial and a TV-style structure has driven the MMO to an all-new high

 

Turtle Rock's VR push: "It really is the future of computing"

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Left 4 Dead studio will continue traditional development but envisions always having a team dedicated to VR, says GM Steve Goldstein

 

Obituary: Metal Gear Solid and Fallout voice actor Barry Dennen

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Dennen lent his talents to a number of high-profile games over the years

 

The best Divinity: Original Sin 2 mods

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The modding community has just gotten started, but there are already some useful tweaks and add-ons.

 

Esports News

 

The Weekend In Esports: Smash Bros. Lights Up The Utah Jazz's Arena

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This weekend League takes a break ahead of the Worlds 2017 group stage. While things are mostly quiet across Dota, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike as well, big tournaments in Smash Bros. and Street Fighter are here to fill the void.

 

We didn't expect to see Shaq and J.Lo talking about competitive Overwatch today

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NRG esports today announced the roster for its San Francisco Bay Area-based Overwatch League team. What we weren't expecting, however, was to see Jennifer Lopez and Shaquille O'Neal making the announcement.

OPINION: Overwatch League’s Lack of Globalization Will Be Its Downfall

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Last month, Blizzard Entertainment finalized the Season 1 plans for the upcoming Overwatch League, including all twelve participating teams. The League is one of the most-hyped that I’ve ever seen in esports, and Blizzard has made some ridiculous promises along the way. Now finalized, ActiBlizz CEO Bobby Kotick is going so far as to say that “we have the very best team owners in esports!” Put bluntly, there’s one major problem that is holding the league back from realizing all that potential—and will continue to prevent it from finding success unless Blizzard can find a solution.

 

This Is How You Manage A Retreat In StarCraft II

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These are Banelings, creepy, crawly little Zergling suicide bombers, and you probably want to be careful when chasing them, especially in a pro level StarCraft match.

 

RuneScape’s PvP tournament went badly wrong

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RuneScape remains one of the most enduringly popular MMORPGs around, but the finals of its most recent PvP tournament ended with the winner and several others disqualified, accusations of staff favouritism, allegations of targeted DDoS attacks, and a $20,000 prize pot with nobody to go to.

 

CS:GO team shaken up after player sends death threat

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It’s worth noting that Giuseppe has not apologized for his tweet or stepped back from the threat at all at time of writing. While the tweet was deleted shortly after, later reports suggested that Giuseppe had to be restrained after trying to search the hotel for Mehta himself. Mehta also tweeted that he was afraid to attend the event’s after party following Giuseppe’s alleged threat.

 

Saving 'Super Smash': Why Nintendo's Fighting Game Scene Struggles

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"The most difficult thing is that since we don’t have that kind of first-party support from Nintendo, we have to make do on our own"

 

Time Is Running Out For The Super Smash Bros. Scene's Favorite Game Controller

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In the 16 years since Super Smash Brothers: Melee came out, it has gotten harder and harder for Smash tournaments and pro players to keep using the controller for which it was originally made. GameCube controllers are getting old. The best ones are are hard to find and expensive to maintain. And some players complain that they cause hand pain.

 

Esports fans follow a lot more than one game each

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The esports market is no longer the next hot place for brands to advertise - it's the current hot place, as evidenced by dozens of stories from the last year of corporate money flooding the scene. So a new report by Nielsen - the authority on US television ratings - on the viewing habits of esports fans almost feels a little late. Still, you don't have to be an advertiser looking to engage millennials to find its insights interesting.

 

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

 

Flynn: Son of Crimson | Fast paced 2D action platformer

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Using the ancient gift of Crimson, take on the role of Flynn to halt the Scourge on the land. A beautifully crafted pixel adventure.

 

Bannermen - Single/Multiplayer RTS with Dynamic Environments

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With innovative gameplay and dynamic environments in medieval setting, we aim to refresh the classical RTS genre with Bannermen.

 

Terrain of Magical Expertise RPG - A Game about a Game!

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Inspired by the hit webseries, TOME is a 2D Turn-Based RPG, where you play as a White-Hat Hacker and fight alongside new friends!

 

Hell Let Loose

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Hell Let Loose is a platoon-based realistic multiplayer first-person shooting game for PC set during the Second World War.

 

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

 

The untold origin story of Creative Assembly

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A school gym in England, mid-'90s, and two local rugby players await orders. One is small and wide and called Adrian, and one is tall and weighs about 20 stone. He's Big Dave. Adrian has been getting flattened by Big Dave all day but he keeps getting back up. It's the rugby training in him: you bloody well get back up if you're knocked down. But this instinct is starting to annoy the people he's in the school gym for, the people making the sports game. They're trying to motion-capture for a rugby game and would rather Adrian lay still. They should be careful what they wish for.

 

One Man’s Journey From Welfare to World’s Hottest Video Game

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Three years ago, Brendan Greene was on welfare in his hometown of Kildare, Ireland, getting an earful from social workers about how he should stop wasting time developing free computer games.

 

SNES Classic interviews revisit the creation of 21 great games

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Revist the creation of Star Fox, Super Mario Kart and Super Metroid

 

Gaming's Toxicity Problem Can't Be Solved With DMCAs or Valve Charts

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"It's hard for a developer not to feel under siege in this climate"

 

The story behind the design of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

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Gamasutra staffers recently had the pleasure of talking to Harvey Smith of Arkane Studios while livestreaming Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the well-received standalone followup to Dishonored 2. Smith's comments about the design of various features in the new game, and in the franchise more generally, were fascinating. So fascinating that we decided to transcribe portions of the stream.

 

Behind the addictive psychology and seductive art of loot boxes

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Loot boxes' ubiquity might be fairly new, but they've been around rather longer than you might think. Economic sociologist Vili Lehdonvirta has suggested that they appeared in their modern form first in the Chinese free-to-play MMO ZT Online in around 2006 or 2007. A Chinese newspaper described how for a yuan you would buy a key: "When the key is applied to the chest, the screen will display a glittering chest opening. All kinds of materials and equipment spin inside the chest like the drums on a slot machine as the wheel of light spins." Yep, sounds like a loot box.

 

A Video Game Writer Explains How Technology Can Make Stories Better (Or Worse)

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Every writer knows that the best work comes from writing, rewriting, and rewriting again until you’ve gotten so sick of your story that you can’t imagine looking at it anymore. But for video games, sometimes that’s not possible, as discussed on today’s Kotaku Splitscreen with special guest Tom Bissell.

 

The Quest To Make A Better Video Game Controller

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Next time you play a video game, look down at the controller in your hand. Is it comfortable? Does it work well with the game you’re playing? Are your fingers all being used efficiently? If you could change one thing, what would it be?

 

Brad McQuaid: "I want to make worlds, not games"

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The EverQuest designer on why he will only ever work on MMOs - and why the genre isn't dead yet

 

Classic Postmortem: No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in HARM's Way

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In honor of the 15th anniversary of the release of the campy shooter No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.’S Way, we present this classic postmortem, which first appeared in the January 2003 issue of Game Developer magazine.

 

What Video Game Levels Look Like Before They're Finished

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Ever wanted a glimpse at what games like Uncharted 4 and Titanfall look like before they’re finished?

 

Breath of the Wild's Biggest Design Secret: Lots Of Triangles

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Running through the Hyrule of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you come across breathtaking sights one after the other: Massive fortresses, dizzyingly high towers, vast open plains. But according to the open-world game’s designers, the two most salient features of Hyrule were triangles and rectangles.

 

It Took 10 Years, But We Finally Have a Good 'Battlestar Galactica' Game

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It's got the great look, style, and tactics of the show. The only thing missing is the heart.

 

When the Void Stares Back: Prey, Post-Humanism and Mental Illness

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Prey is a videogame about a person trapped in a reality that keeps changing on them, struggling to overcome a series of constantly shifting truths, while learning that absolutely anything in their world could be out to destroy them. A coffee cup may turn into a tentacled burst of violence in the form of unfathomable shade. Allies and family members will turn into villains and your greatest fears will be all that you can depend upon to remain consistent. The hero’s own voice may be crafting a narrative to be used against them, via events and recordings that they don’t remember or maybe never made in the first place. While trapped in this location, surrounded by infinite void on all sides, the main character must either reject the horrific mistakes of their past as outright lies or accept their sins, making amends or choosing to lean into the power and freedom of their new role as the villain.

This is also how it feels to be bipolar. I know that now, because I was diagnosed while I was playing the game.

 

This Game About Domestic Abuse Helped Me Understand My Own Trauma

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'Another Lost Phone' looks long and hard at what we think of as "acceptable" behavior. CW for domestic abuse.

 

An Eye for the Eyeless

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Enter Billie Lurk, the protagonist of Death of the Outsider. As stated in my friend’s piece Billie feels like part of the fabric of this world, not a figure from on-high dropped below their station. Her history feels important, real and understandable. She exists with motivations, grudges, regrets and fears, she isn’t a young empress coming to terms with the lives of the common folk and she isn’t an old royal enforcer questioning herself. She is simply a street kid turned killer because she never had much of a choice to begin with, though dulled with time and battered by regrets and mistakes within her burns a sense of the youthful rage and energy that drove her to her profession to begin with. She was a nobody, a kid off the street with every reason to loathe the world that put her there, granted against all odds the means to redress the balance.

 

“BioShock Infinite: Whose Fantasy?” by Yussef Cole

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Bioshock Infinite’s floating city of Columbia is a fantasy. It’s a fantasy not only because it’s a picturesque turn-of-the century cluster of islands floating effortlessly through the clouds, but also because it presents an idyllic and carefree society -one whose white citizens are supported off the labor and oppression of its poor and non-white ones, most of whom are black. Like America’s founding myth of the City Upon A Hill or the South’s pernicious Lost Cause narrative, fantasies of the kind represented by Columbia are often constructed to justify systems that benefit one group of people over another. Columbia’s fictional ideology exaggerates the white supremacist tenets of the above myths, but in setting them in opposition to violent, unsympathetic strawmen, the game’s creators, Irrational Games and writer and director Ken Levine, build a fantasy of their own.

“Burning the City on the Hill,” by Astrid B

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Each of our articles on Bioshock Infinite, and virtually any piece of writing you pick up on the game, acknowledges the visual impact of Columbia. The pearlescent city in the sky is an indelible, engrossing setting, rich with the kind of calibrated, blunt-force set design Irrational perfected with the previous Bioshock games. Each space communicates what it is, who lives there, and what it means with the immediate clarity of a diorama.

 

Why Dragon Age's readiness to break with canon makes its lore much richer

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At school, we are often told that history is the story of humanity, a grand chronicle of events leading us to where we are now. Our minds place narrative over complex situations in an attempt to grasp a sense of order. This view of history has fed into how game worlds have been built. The ever pervasive concept of a static ‘lore’ being a tome of knowledge that can be accessed and referenced, adding context and depth to a world. And in games we love a rich lore. A big chunky block of information we can wrap around and lose ourselves in.

 

Episode 112: Mark Brown on Game Maker's Toolkit and Teaching Players Game Design

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On this week's episode, the host of Game Maker's Toolkit as well as a writer seen on Edge, Wired, Eurogamer, VideoGamer, and Pocket Gamer, Mark Brown, joins host Josiah Renaudin to discuss smart, analytical YouTube gaming videos. Mark details the research that goes into his projects, how an understanding of game design can lessen the toxicity of the community, what developers have to say about his videos, the risks of turning to Patreon, and the biggest lessons learned from creating this style of content. Video GamesYouTubeWritingPodcastGame DesignIndie Games

 

The Witcher Mini Series - Noclip Documentary Trailer

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Introducing our six-part mini-series on the history and design of The Witcher franchise. Featuring interviews with over a dozen CD Projekt veterans, we explore the creation of the games from several unique perspectives including level design, quest design, localization, adaptation, living world design and more.

The Story of CD Projekt - Monday, October 2nd
Remembering The Witcher 1 & 2 - Wednesday, October 4th
Creating the World of The Witcher 3 - Friday, October 6th
The Quests of Wild Hunt - Monday, October 9nd
Found in Translation - Wednesday, October 11th
The Devil's in the Details - Friday, October 13th

Our work is 100% crowdfunded. Consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/dannyodwyer

The Story of CD Projekt - Witcher Documentary

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In the opening episode of our six-part series on The Witcher, we talk to Marcin Iwiński about life in socialist Poland, the business of games distribution and the founding of CD Projekt.

 

Live-Translating Final Fantasy VII's Wall Market

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Tim Rogers and Jason Schreier take a look at Final Fantasy VII's Wall Market, with Tim Rogers providing a live translation. Join us!

Found In Translation: Final Fantasy VII, Part Five

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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 five of my video series comparing the two versions of the game.

 

The Anchoring Effect - Why Review Scores Matter - Extra Credits

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The first data we see affects our opinion about everything afterwards - so a good review score makes us like the game more, and an apparent sale makes us more eager to buy a game with a higher price point. This anchoring effect is even built into game design itself.

 

How AM2R and Samus Returns remade Metroid 2 | Game Maker's Toolkit

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Game Boy classic Metroid 2 has been completely remade by two different teams. So how did AM2R and Samus Return update the gameplay of this retro title, and how did they capture that original game’s tone?

 

Sonic Mania - The Fans' Footprint | PostMesmeric

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Sonic Mania is one of the best Sonic games in ages, driven by a dreamteam of Sonic fangame veterans. But how can fans deliver such a polished experience? Is the future of Sonic in the hands of the fans?

 

A History of Cancelled Metal Gear Solid Games & Concepts

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Please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GVMERS

 

Japan's Weird SNES Game: Holy Umbrella - Region Locked Feat. Greg

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This time on Region Locked, we take a look at a weird Super Nintendo (SNES) game that remained an exclusive in Japan, never releasing in America: Holy Umbrella. Through our analysis of the game and its gameplay, we hope you learn some fun facts about Holy Umbrella and have the making of it explained here on the Did You Know Gaming channel.

Good game

 

History Respawned: Nioh

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John welcomes Michael Dylan Foster of University of California, Davis to discuss Japanese folklore in Team Ninja’s Nioh. We talk about yokai in a Japanese context and how the game is the latest in a long line of Japanese reinterpretations of long-standing ideas.

 

CRITIQUE: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - brand new heroes, same old game

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An in-depth review, commentary, and analysis of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy for PS4. Includes full story spoilers.

 

Resident Evil 4: What are ya buyin? - The Completionist Review

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Resident Evil 4 changed the pace of Resident Evil games from zombie survival horror to action-based genre. And honestly it was quite refreshing and revolutionary for the Resident Evil franchise.

 

Can Games Handle Multiple Perspectives?

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Support me on Patreon: www.patreon.com/CageyVideos
Twitter: www.twitter.com/cagey_videos

 

Cuphead's Producer Explains The Game's Long Development History

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In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, StudioMDHR's producer and artist Marija Moldenhauer talks about the long process of bringing Cuphead to life and why the game will always be a console exclusive for the Xbox One.

 

Watch Q-Games' Dylan Cuthbert share stories of coding Star Fox

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Veteran game dev Dylan Cuthbert appeared today in the latest episode of Double Fine's ongoing "Devs Play" series of design-focused Let's Plays videos to share game dev trivia about the making of the 1993 Super Nintendo game Star Fox.

 

Why physically hitting Sonic 3D Blast unlocks a secret menu

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Yes, we mean actually hitting it

 

Applying 3D Level Design Skills to the 2D World of Hyper Light Drifter

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In this 2017 GDC talk, independent level designer Lisa Brown explores how level design skills transfer between different formats, comparing her work on 3D titles Insomniac Games to her work on the 2D game Hyper Light Drifter

 

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

 

All Casuals Should Be Forced Back In Time (Commentocracy)

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Save states? In MY Fire Emblem? The Duke won't be having any of that.

Here's something that was spread across multiple Miiverse posts, because it was important to say.

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