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Charlie Hall on The year of BattleTech, Writing On Games on going back to Metal Gear Solid 5, why indie devs sign with publishers, Jason Schreier on Bungie and communication, Vidme shutting down on the 15th, how a JRPG ended up being re-translated after release, how the Game Awards come together and how it has changed, Gaming Historian on SEGA's three biggest mistakes, changes coming to YT advertising and comments, new Darkest Dungeons DLC announced, Mega Man 11 announced, The Making of Tex Murphy, when persecution complexes cause gamers to become corporate cheerleaders, Noclip on The Hillbillies of Grand Theft Auto Online, how first party games return investments compared to third part titles, what Assassin's Creed Origins gets right about Egypt, how Ubisoft changed multiplayer games, the enduring appeal of Musou games, GOTYs and people of the year, 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)


An Evolving Game Award Show for an Evolving Industry



Judges now vote on incomplete games, titles from previous years

How Video Games' Biggest Award Show Comes Together


Veteran game journalist Geoff Keighley joins Kotaku Splitscreen this week to talk about what it’s like to produce The Game Awards, how he decides which trailer to debut, and the hilarious request he got from the people who make Doritos.

Bad Reporting Leads To Widespread False Rumor About The Game Awards


This morning, I woke up to a string of headlines declaring that journalist Geoff Keighley had teased a major announcement at this week’s Game Awards. OK, I thought, clicking one of the articles, only to find out that he had done it during an interview with... me. Wait, what?

Guillermo Del Toro confirmed for the Game Awards


The Game Awards has confirmed that Guillermo Del Toro will be live at Thursday's award show as a presenter.

Metro Exodus will be shown at The Game Awards, and a Portal “thing” is rumored


The Game Awards are just a few days away, and we’re starting to hear more official announcements about what to expect, plus some tantalizing rumors.


The year of BattleTech


Four feature stories from three studios about one franchise’s epic year ahead

In part one, we traveled to an abandoned mall in Vancouver, British Columbia to lay hands on the first playable demo of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. It’s the first single-player, first-person action game to be published in the BattleTech universe in 15 years. You’ll hear from the team about their design goals, and watch the first 10 minutes of gameplay footage released to the public. Check it out below.

BattleTech’s turn-based PC game wants to be the next Firefly


In part two, you’ll hear the latest on BattleTech, the third-person tactical strategy game from Harebrained Schemes. After a $2.8 million Kickstarter and a publishing deal with Paradox Interactive, the team of designers opened up about what they’ve learned from the community and how they plan to evoke the kind of ensemble storytelling that made Firefly a cult classic.

The BattleTech timeline


In part three, we talked to the BattleTech loremasters and cobbled together the definitive guide to the early history of that universe. It includes more than a millennium’s worth of alternate human history, filled with brilliant innovations and bloody civil wars. And it’s all been helpfully annotated with brand new art from illustrator Daniel Warren Johnson, as well as images culled from the archives at Catalyst Game Labs.

The birth of BattleTech


Finally, in part four, we tracked down and interviewed some of the principle creatives involved in the birth of the BattleTech universe. Our feature includes interviews with co-creators Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock, as well as the tabletop game’s current lead designer, Randall Bills.

Mechwarrior 5 devs challenged by claimant who may not even own copyright


Since March 2017, MechWarrior 5 developers Piranha Games have been facing a lawsuit from Harmony Gold. They’re not the only ones: in the same month, Harebrained Schemes were also targeted by Harmony Gold for their turn-based BattleTech videogame. Mech designs in both games are being accused of infringing on Harmony Gold’s supposedly exclusive licensing rights to anime film Super Dimension Fortress Macross.


Find out more about Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's faction, the Vlandians



In a recent Steam community update, Taleworlds has revealed the lore behind Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's faction, the Vlandians. The detailed post also includes a behind-the-scene peek at how the team designed the faction's backstory, and their accompanying weapons.


Ashly Burch and Hannah Telle return as Chloe and Max in Life is Strange’s “Farewell” episode


The SAG-AFTRA voice actor’s strike officially came to a close earlier this month, following a tentative agreement put together in September. One of the most visible effects of the strike was in Life is Strange: Before the Storm, a prequel story that was forced to recast Ashly Burch’s role as Chloe. But Burch will be returning to the role in Before the Storm’s bonus episode, alongside Hannah Telle as Max.


Shin Megami Tensei V coming west


Atlus has announced plans to release Shin Megami Tensei V for Switch in the west.


Abandon Ship delayed, dev let's play shows off impressive new in-game footage


Abandon Ship gave its first ever public demonstration at the PC Gamer Weekender 2017, and has spent the last several months teasing its horrid sea monsters, brutal weather system, and picture frame map structure among other things.


Hello Neighbor releases this week, so here's a new trailer



It's a creepy stealth game about stalking your weird neighbour.



A time-traveling merchant has 21 days to solve a mysterious death in a strange city



We chat to developers Alpixel about A Place For the Unwilling, their game about a city on the brink of destruction.


So far, Wild West Online is more mild than wild



But I did kill a guy with a bear trap while he was on horseback.


Desperately trying to get Ubisoft to talk about Far Cry 5's controversial US setting



Far Cry 5 is the first game in Ubisoft's franchise to be set in the US. After more than a decade, the series which has defined itself by inviting players to explore various weird and wonderful locales will next look inwards.

How Far Cry 5 became more political than Ubisoft intended


“We started building this game three years ago,” reflects Far Cry 5 director Dan Hay, “we could have never imagined, and to be honest I wouldn't have wanted to... that in some ways, it's echoing out in the real world.”


Into The Breach: a diary of doom



With apologies about continued teasing you with something you can’t have quite yet, I wanted to follow-up our recent chat about the stressful wonders of FTL follow-up Into The Breach with an after-action report. This takes you through how the game actually works, and demonstrates the kinds of decisions, sacrifices and face-palming involved in every moment of it.

From the FTL Devs Comes: INTO THE BREACH (w/ Russ and Plante)


Wondering what the guys behind FTL have been up to since then? They've been working on a badass game called Into the Breach! It blends Fire Emblem with FTL with Advance Wars in a lovely, strategic stew. Join Russ Frushtick and Chris Plante!


Gorogoa, the beautiful hand-drawn puzzle game, will (finally) be out next week


It was originally expected to be out in 2014.


How Reigns and its forthcoming sequel make their 'Tinderocracy' work



I have drowned. I have been tortured and fed to dogs, turned into a martyr by the church, and also deposed by the church so they can create a heaven on earth. My head has been placed on a spear (or possibly a pike, which I believe is what you call a spear once a head is on it). I have been poisoned by my brother-in-law James, hanged, stabbed by a skeleton, and eaten by rats.

It is not always good to be king.


Attack on Titan 2 release date set


Mark the occasion with a typically creepy giant-slaying trailer.


No Yakuza: Kiwami 2 localization announcement planned for PlayStation Experience 2017



But 2018 will be a great year for Yakuza, localization producers tease.


The Opening Cinematic For Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Pits Light Against Dark


Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, the upcoming PlayStation 4 version of the arcade Final Fantasy fighter, has an opening cutscene that is more than happy to reinforce the game's themes of heroes vs. villains.


Zwei!! for PC coming west as Zwei: The Arges Adventure this winter


Following Zwei II Plus, the original Zwei is on the way.


EA UFC 3's Beta Has Brutal Striking, But Falls Apart On The Ground



Playing as UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, I walk down Conor McGregor and chop away at his resolve (and face) with a blender of punches and elbows. He tries to move off the fence, but ends up walking right into a cracking blow. He’s practically out on his feet. Then I knock him unconscious with... a kick to the leg. 00:00 00:00


Check out fast-paced dungeon crawler Wizard of Legend in this new trailer


Contingent99 has released a new trailer for its debut project, Wizard of Legend.


Anamorphine launches January 16



Anamorphine, the surreal adventure game announced in October, will launch for PlayStation 4 and PC on January 16, 2018 for $19.99, developer Artifact 5 announced.


Co-op thriller A Way Out should be detailed next week, but don’t expect to play it until 2019



EA made a splash at E3 earlier this year with the reveal of A Way Out, a story-driven co-op thriller about a pair of convicts trying to survive after escaping prison. It stood in stark contrast to most of EA’s focus on service games, and the studio behind the game has a pretty impressive pedigree. Thanks to a leaked EA email, we may be hearing more about it very soon.


New Past Cure trailer reveals astral projection, time manipulation, and stealth kills


Now with added MMA fighter mo-cap.


Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time might not be the 2D brawler the anime deserves



Dragon's Crown notwithstanding, 2D brawlers don’t tend to dabble in witchcraft very often. Here comes Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time, then, hoping to offer something other than the genre’s usual gritty urban standoffs. It has its cast of trainee witches throwing both fists and spells in their quest to break out of a mysterious temporal loop.


Capcom Is Making Another True Mega Man Game, 'Mega Man 11'


And all Mega Man X games are coming to modern consoles and PC.

Mega Man X Games Coming To PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC


All eight Mega Man X games are coming to current-gen platforms, Capcom said today on a stream celebrating the 30th anniversary of Mega Man. The publisher later added that all of the games will be coming to Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC in the summer of 2018.

Four difficulty Settings and No Female Robot Masters: 11 Things We Know About Mega Man 11


What took so long for Capcom's little robot to spring back into the battlefield? The January edition of Game Informer has answers about Mega Man 11's development process—and the events leading up to the project getting green-lit. Some of the revelations are available on Game Informer's site (the staff got to go hands-on with the game), and others were gleaned from the issue itself and posted on Protodude's Rockman Corner.


Children of Morta: 6 Minutes of This Diablo-Meets-Pixel-Art RPG - IGN First


Check out a lightly narrated chunk of two-player co-op-enabled gameplay from Children of Morta, an action-RPG with a pixel-art twist.


Unusual JRPG Koruldia Heritage is the latest pick for Square Enix's indie incubator


Coming from three-person studio Korugen, Koruldia Heritage is an unusual little take on old-school JRPG tropes that might well be worth a deeper investigation, promising non-linear progression, sequence-breaking as a standard feature, and an option to resolve combat peacefully that might not always be the best option.


Rebellion Is Remaking Battlezone II: Combat Commander


Hot on the heels of 2016's Battlezone 98 Redux and this year’s Battlezone VR, Rebellion announces Battlezone Combat Commander, a remastered version of 1999's Battlezone II, due out next year on PC. That’s three Battlezone games in three years. Way to work that license, Rebellion.


Blazing Legion: Ignition’s mech action looks ace


In the new trailer for Blazing Legion: Ignition, an upcoming first-person shooter with mechs stomping around on the ground and whizzing through the air, the action is so fast and colourful that YouTube’s video compression runs all the jet trails and bullet blasts into a big ol’ smear.


Legendary Gary is an odd RPG from the programmer of What Remains of Edith Finch


Gary is a mess. Help fix him.


Bold RTS Riot: Civil Unrest explores the politics and humanity behind real-world protests



Five years ago, Leonard Menchiari - formerly an editor and cinematographer at Valve - found himself facing a line of heavily armoured police. The encounter took place at the NO-TAV riots in Val Susa, Italy, where Menchiari stood alongside fellow environmentalists and other upset locals to protest against the construction of a high-speed railway line in the area. As the standoff became more aggressive, the casually dressed gathering clashed with the riot police who responded with tear gas and water cannons.


Railway Empire details its sophisticated AI system


"Can you outperform the AI?"


Eight minutes of Gal Gun 2 gameplay


First live gameplay of the shooter sequel.


Omega Labyrinth Z coming west in spring 2018


D3 Publisher's dungeon-crawling rogue-like RPG.


10 Minutes of The Adventure Pals Gameplay


Take a first look at The Adventure Pals' Pirate Cove level played co-op. This gameplay has been lightly edited.


Rainbow Six Siege devs show how they’re bringing more personality to new operators


Operation White Noise is in the midst of its rollout to players, bringing three new operators and a new map to the tactical shooting action of Rainbow Six Siege. In a new video documentary, the developers at Ubisoft explain exactly what went into bringing it all to life.

Reddit AMA confirms a new shield operator, Tachanka rework are coming to Rainbow Six Siege


Rainbow Six Siege’s developers hosted a Reddit AMA earlier today, with game director Leroy Athanassoff and game designer Jean-Baptiste Halle on hand to answer the community’s questions about operator design.

Ubisoft plan to deal with dropshotting in Rainbow Six Siege


Dropshotting is pretty common technique across fast-paced online shooters, where you encounter an enemy, go prone to disorient them and limit your own hitbox, then fire to take them down. It’s especially common in the Call of Duty franchise, but the tactic has seen use in pretty much every game that can support it, including Rainbow Six Siege.


Players Worry Paladins' New Card System Inches Closer To Pay-To-Win



A new update to go live on Paladins’ public test server is already drawing a lot of criticism from some of the hero-based shooter’s most dedicated players. In addition to the normal gameplay tweaks, the OB64 patch introduces a new system for how players can use cards to customize their favorite characters and make them more powerful.


PUBG's desert map gameplay will debut at The Game Awards


On December 7 you'll finally get to see the battle royale shooter's next battleground.

PUBG's desert map has a sawed-off shotgun with incendiary shells (maybe)


PUBG's new desert map is getting an exclusive weapon.

PUBG 'will never add anything that affects gameplay', but will consider new cosmetic items


A tutorial-like training mode is in the works, too.


EA Boosts Star Wars Battlefront II's Multiplayer Rewards



Star Wars Battlefront II has received negative feedback ever since it was confirmed that its loot crates provided in-game advantages. Since then, the game has disabled the ability to purchase crates with real money. Now, players will also receive more in-game rewards.


Alien DLC Crash Lands In Darkest Dungeon



Darkest Dungeon, a depression + anxiety simulation platform, is getting some new DLC next year called The Colour Of Madness.


Korea are all about science and hills in Civilization 6: Rise and Fall


As predicted, Civilization developers Firaxis have begun their drip feed of the new cultures coming to Civ VI in its recently announced expansion, Rise and Fall.


Assassin’s Creed Origins getting ‘nightmare’ difficulty, horde mode and ... chocobos?



Ubisoft will release new content for Assassin’s Creed Origins in December, including a new difficulty level and a new Horde mode-style quest. Also, it looks like chocobos from Final Fantasy are coming to the game?


Overwatch Gets Separate Currency For League Skins


The moment Blizzard announced team-specific Overwatch skins as part of its effort to make the game more watchable, it was pretty much inevitable that they’d become available to the game’s skin-starved general populace as well. You won’t be unlocking them the normal way, though.


Destiny 2’s December plans include Masterwork weapons and an economic overhaul



It’s been a tumultuous time for Destiny 2 lately, what with the XP scaling fracas, free trial launch and more. On top of all of that, the first piece of DLC for it – Curse of Osiris – is due for release on December 5th. As the FPS-with-MMO-gubbins officially moves into its second ‘season’ of content and updates, Bungie decided to skip out on a pre-launch livestream to promote the Curse of Osiris expansion in favour of sharing a lengthy roadmap blog post, detailing their plans for the next few weeks.


Rain World's difficulty-changing update is now in open beta on Steam



The update adds two new difficulty levels, multiplayer modes, and some more surprises.


A new Fortnite update adds weapons, smoke grenades, and two more leaderboards



Mutant Storms are back, too.

Fortnite devs are tinkering with the look of Battle Royale


New character models are a far cry from Pixar-friendly


Square-Enix Promises 2018 Will Be A Big Year For Final Fantasy Fans


Square-Enix brand manager Shinji Hashimoto, whom you might best remember as the man who laughed really loudly on stage after unveiling Final Fantasy VII's PC port on PlayStation 4, has assured Final Fantasy fans that 2018 is going to be a big year for the series.

Final Fantasy XV Gets Character Swapping


It’s the one-year anniversary of Final Fantasy XV’s launch, which means it’s nearly time for Square Enix to finish the game. Today, the studio announced plans to let you play it all as one of Noctis’s pals.


Star Control's future is in question as Ghosts of the Precursors devs clash with Stardock



Stardock have responded to a blog post from Ghosts of the Precursors developers regarding the legal rights to the Star Control franchise and its various component parts.


Take-Two president on loot boxes: 'We don't view [them] as gambling'



Karl Slatoff said that game makers can't 'force' consumers to do anything.


Warframe dev: Industry must get better at "giving players a choice and a voice"



Microtransactions aren't inherently bad, and they can work with AAA-type experiences says Meridith Braun, VP, Publishing, Digital Extremes


The Moment Madden NFL Killed NFL 2K Forever



Industry veteran Mike Mika recalls the moment EA obtained exclusive rights to the NFL license, and the fallout that followed.



"It's the game designer's job to evoke different sides of humanity"



"A big point is that we believe games are a form of entertainment media that should appeal to different audiences, through different emotions. The only way to expand the game industry and the audience in it is to design games through different emotions that appeal to more people. We are not short of the action/adventures, thrillers, horror games and other big AAA titles in the industry. The games with shades of violence have been done, and done very well. For us to make a violent game, it does not add anything or help the industry, and so we want to push for new emotions that haven't been done before. We want to design for games that carry positive behaviors that highlight other spectrums of human nature and make those games interesting and appealing to more people."


Former Valve writer Chet Faliszek joins Bossa Studios to direct co-op action game


Chat Faliszek's new project will use AI to "push the boundaries of emergent narratives."


From Software: ‘We have no intention of ending the Armored Core series in its current state’



The Armored Core series, which saw its latest release in 2013 with Armored Core: Verdict Day for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, will continue, developer From Software’s Yasunori Ogura has confirmed. Though we will have to wait a little longer to find out exactly what is next for the franchise.


Introducing In-Extension purchases, now in limited preview



Last month at Developer Day at TwitchCon, we announced our plans to help you, the developer community, build your business on Twitch. Just as we’ve brought powerful monetization tools to creators, we’re now doing the same for you.


YouTube exploring a ‘new approach to advertising’ in wake of disturbing content



Comment sections will also change


Vidme to shutter its site due to costs and tough competition



However, the playing field for online services can be cut-throat and it seems that one relatively new platform for user-created content will be bowing out just shy of completing its fourth year of operation. Vidme, launched in January 2014, will be taking its video site and apps offline on December 15th at midday Pacific Time, less than two weeks from the time of writing.

This closure isn't a surprise if you've been following the site, their business model, their layout, or the kind of creators that were attracted to the site. The above thread partly showing some of those things and predicting that their next step would be closure back in August. I shared the below video back in June, it covers problems with the site, the challenges with creating a site like this in the first place, and the relationship between creators and platform owners.


G2A's dispute with indie devs doesn't look like it's ending any time soon



Game key reseller G2A came under fire earlier this year for allegedly selling fraudulent keys on its service, but efforts to clean up its public image since then haven't exactly gone according to plan.




Series sales reach nearly 9 million units.


Two former Gazillion employees claim they’re each owed $5,000 in unpaid benefits



Anonymous former employees have revealed some detail on Gazillion's final days in a new report.


FTC sternly warns CS:GO gambling fraudsters not to do it again



That'll show 'em.


Detroit: Become Human under fire for controversial domestic abuse scene


Children's campaigners and a UK Member of Parliament have criticised upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive Detroit: Become Human for its controversial domestic abuse scene.

Have to appeal to their 60+ voter demographic.


It's 2017, Here's A New Game Boy Game


Tangram Games have released a new title for the Game Boy called Tobu Tobu Girl. You can download it and play it on your PC via an emulator or, if you’d prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, you can buy a boxed copy that includes a copy on cartridge.


PS3 Emulation Makes Huge Strides, Can Now Play Uncharted


The team behind RPCS3, an emulator designed to let you play PS3 games on a PC, have made a ton of progress since we last checked in on the project, with the program now able to run—if not perfectly play—some of the biggest and best games on the PS3.


Kickstarter Update #45 - Top of the Mods!


We showcase some of the greatest mods for Divinity: Original Sin 2 and talk about what the heck we've been doing these last three months. Also if you have a moment, do vote for the Game Awards 2017: http://thegameawards.com/awards/


Mod Turns Mirror's Edge Into A Multiplayer Racing Game


The original Mirror’s Edge is still so good, but the solo experience can only give you so much after all these years. So why not try something new, like online multiplayer racing?


Esports News


The Weekend In Esports: Gears Of War Pro Circuit And DreamHack Winter



In addition to the MLG Dallas Open and ELEAGUE Cup, DreamHack Winter 2017 is underway in Sweden with tournaments ranging from Smash Bros. Melee to H1Z1. Below you’ll find where and when you can catch all the weekend’s biggest events in competitive gaming. Let us know what you’ll be watching in the comments or if you think there’s something we might have missed.


Smash Pro Narrowly Wins After Missed Ledge Grab



Two masters of their own character met last night in the 2GG Championship, as the clash between the best Sonic and best Link came down to the last second and a single hit’s worth of damage.

Smash Player Proposes To Girlfriend Before Championship Match


Congrats to Chris “WaDi” Boston and Cinnpie. Boston would go on to beat Tweek in a 3-2 set and steal our hearts in the process.

The Smash 4 Championship Final Was Extremely Satisfying


The fight between Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez and Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios in the 2GG Championship final was some of the highest-level Smash 4 I’ve ever seen, with incredibly clean play and perceptive reads and adaptions. This weekend’s 2GG Championship was created to be a capstone tournament for the Super Smash Bros. For Wii U scene. It was a fitting end to have two of its biggest titans clash in the grand finals.

The Newest Smash Teen Is Dominating With Luigi


The Super Smash Bros. For Wii U scene is dominated by a few familiar names like ZeRo, MkLeo, and Salem. Not on that list: Matt “Elegant” Fitzpatrick. But after this weekend’s 2GG Championship, where he made a run from the last chance qualifiers to the very top, Elegant might be one to keep an eye on.


Team Secret Is In The Driver's Seat Of The Dota Pro Circuit



The Dota 2 pro circuit is starting to shake out, and over the course of the year thus far, one team has stood out in particular. With a huge win in Sweden today, Team Secret is cementing its place as the team to beat going into 2018.


How Ubisoft are taking Rainbow Six Siege esports to a global audience



“The thing that is sad for me, is that we could have done this in a huge venue with 5,000 people,” Bertrand Chaverot, managing director for Ubisoft Brazil, reflects. In the wake of the Rainbow Six Pro League Season 3 Finals in São Paulo his claim seems more than plausible; the muggy, 1,000 seat venue was pulsating. Two years in, Rainbow Six Siege and its Pro League are on an upward trajectory that is getting steeper and steeper with each new season.


The esports industry has a problem with who it is choosing to represent it



In 2014, Thorin was fired from his job at ESL - working at the IEM World Championships in Poland - for a rant against Polish people. He followed it up with saying those in Africa are left “in the dirt” whenever the “developed world” leaves the continent. The ESL’s official statement on the matter reads: “ESL does not stand by or tolerate acts of racism, xenophobia, or other forms of discrimination and does not wish to be associated or employ those who make any such comments.” Despite this, the organisation later hired him for their ESL One series of events. Shields joked about the incident in his acceptance speech at the Esports Industry Awards. (When we reached out to the ESL regarding this article, they told us that they were declining to comment.)


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


How a Major JRPG Wound Up Getting Totally Re-Written Months After Release



Some games get patches. Other games, like 'Ys VIII,' have scripts thrown out after fans rip it to pieces—and the publisher agrees with them.


Communication Is Hard



Over the past few weeks the Destiny 2 community has been in an uproar, fuming over the game’s unsatisfying endgame, the bungled XP system, and an upcoming expansion pack (Curse of Osiris, out Tuesday) that seems light on content. It’s reminiscent of the early days of vanilla Destiny, and it’s all exacerbated by Bungie’s poor communication, both internally and externally. For three years now, the rapidly expanding studio has had a tendency to be as secretive as possible, only detailing future plans in response to widespread criticism. Bungie rarely opens up about its development issues and likes sticking to careful marketing dripfeeds, with high-level staff sometimes holding onto key information for long periods of time before sharing it with the rest of the office.


The games industry has an inferiority complex, and it's holding us back



How far the industry has come regarding this remains an unanswered question, but it would be a fairly safe bet to say "not very far." With the perceived decline of narrative-focused single player experiences, you could argue that it's less relevant in the AAA space than it has ever been, that a story is just set dressing in the 100-hour RPG or the infinite potential of an online shooter.


Why do indie developers sign with publishers?



We spoke to indie game makers and publishers about what they get out of working together.


When gamers become weird persecution complex having corporate cheerleaders




Greg Heffernan, aka Cosmo D, is a professional jazz musician-turned-game designer.


Game Design Deep Dive: The Spinning Plates approach of Bomber Crew



Jon (The other half of Runner Duck) and I met in 2011 while working at Relentless Software. A few years later, we found ourselves working on F2P mobile puzzle games, which we felt was an uninspiring experience, and far from what had originally attracted us to making video games as kids. So we built a prototype of Bomber Crew in our free time and sent out a simple 30-second pitch video and a brief email to every publisher we could find. Soon after that we signed with Curve and made the jump to being indie developers!


What I talk about when I talk about Narrative Design



Rather than talk about about the structures of tragedy and heroism, I would like to focus on the foundation first: why do we tell stories, and what does it mean when we make them interactive?


Dream Daddy co-creator opens up about the challenges of creating in public



"You can't 'solve' a 15-year-old on the internet hating you. It's just not a thing you can do."


Developers share their most memorable dirty coding tricks



Gamasutra decided to revisit the topic. We’ve gathered unusual solutions to unusual problems from across the industry. Those who submitted may not all be proud of these “fixes,” but perhaps they should be. They got the game out the door, they didn’t break anything, and more importantly, nobody noticed. At least… not until now.


How SteamWorld bucked 'the easy route' and became a series without a genre



The making of a steampunk universe.


The “microtransaction” of buying a console



My point is that a First Party Game can never be compared with Third Party Games in terms of how they handle monetisation. A First Party Game can return on its investment through console sales, or through the cut the platform takes from games sales on that console. A Third Party title will have to make its money through the game and any sales related to it.


Meet the 19-Year-Old Who Spent Over £10,000 on Microtransactions



At the height of the controversy surrounding microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II, a Reddit user who goes by the name Kensgold posted an open letter to publisher EA and other developers in the video game industry. “I am 19 and addicted to gambling,” he wrote. Kensgold wasn’t talking about roulette tables or online poker. He was talking about spending over £10,000 on in-game purchases over the last several years.


Ubisoft don't get enough credit for how they've changed multiplayer games



Before ‘service games’ really took off we had tacked-on multiplayer modes in games that didn’t need them. During that time - from the mid-noughties to only a couple of year ago - Ubisoft was king. A year before BioShock 2 gave us a godawful multiplayer mode in a series that never needed it, three years before Spec Ops: The Line released with an online mode even its developers hated, Ubisoft proved that these extra online modes could, in fact, be great. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s multiplayer mode is still one of the most inventive and fun online experiences around. It is distinct, it does things that no other multiplayer game does, and it stays true to the series’ original pitch of a game about assassinations via social stealth.


Why 'SteamWorld Dig 2' Sold 10 Times More on Switch Vs. Steam



As it turns out, it helps to be first. And good.


This War of Mine


What Games Get So Wrong About Egypt, 'Assassin's Creed Origins' Gets Right



It's not perfect, but when so many games exoticize the culture, the latest Assassin's Creed gives it some life.


How 'LA Noire' Rewards You For Being a Bad Cop



Team Bondi's detective game condemns authority by making you feel useless.


“Not Like Other Girls” and Other Lies: Magical Diary’s Exploration of Romance Writing



Hanako Games (founded in 2003) was one of the oldest indie developers to take elements of this style, usually incorporating them with “raising game” (focusing on the development of the player character’s stats), RPG, or adventure game elements. They developed their first dating sim in 2008 with Summer Session and ventured into the otome game model with 2010’s Date Warp. The team continued to develop and experiment within their chosen genre, and 2011 saw the release of Magical Diary, one of the company’s most narratively thoughtful if visually unremarkable games.





Omega Force development team and publisher Koei released Sangokumusou ("Three Kingdoms Unrivalled") in Japan, a one-on-one fighting game that in its later Western launch would receive the name Dynasty Warriors. Featuring stylized re-imaginings of characters and settings from the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history, the game featured heavily weapon-oriented combat. It was a fairly technical game, reliant on parries and precise timing; while well received at launch, it was far from a trend-setter.


Majora's Mask and the Magic of Player Revisionism



That month, a freak storm on the last day of school before spring break had suddenly dumped 8 inches of snow on my tiny hometown in less than three hours. It doesn’t snow much in Western Washington, and when it does, it doesn’t last long. The city was ill equipped to plow everyone out in a timely fashion, so I was stuck indoors for two weeks, with several bags of Cadbury mini-eggs, a copy of Majora’s Mask, and the entire walkthrough printed off of GameFAQs from the school library, all 200 doublesided pages. I told the librarian it was for English class.


Torment: Tides of Numenera's Opening Accomplishes So Much With Just Words



I’ve never been so enthralled by the opening of a game that focused almost entirely on a mostly blank screen.


What Remains of Edith Finch Does Dreams Right



What Remains Of Edith Finch is a game about exploring an abandoned house, placing players in a curious world where everything has a deeper meaning. This already mysterious world goes a step further in including several dream and fantasy sequences, which capture the feelings of real-life dreams and help players feel what the characters are feeling.


Wolfenstein 2’s true heroes are its moms



Number 10 on Polygon’s Game of the Year list

The Peaceful, Human Dreams Behind the Nazi-Slaying Fantasy of 'Wolfenstein'


A seemingly generic shooter protagonist harbors surprising dreams.

The Most Shocking Scene in 'The New Colossus' Shouldn't Work, But It Does


When a character referenced, but not shown, in the original game makes an appearance, everything stops.


Cyberpunk Rarely Imagines That Its Dystopian Futures Might End



'Observer' offers a grim view of the future, but fails to see it break.


Haque is a cute, glitchy, roguey-likey little thing



I knew that Haque (presumably pronounced the same as Hack) was a game I had to dig deeper into when, after slaying a manticore for the first time (described in-game as ‘Big angry kitties with venomous scorpion tails’ and also ‘They are just the best’), the tutorial narrator popped up to grumble about what the fell beasts had done to his vegetable garden.


GOTY 2017: #9 Everything



Everything is 2017’s most accessible game


The 30 Best Videogames of 2017



Some year, huh?


People of the Year 2017: Ninja Theory



Ninja Theory is to be commended for its handling of mental illness and for showing how indies can still approach AAA development

People of the Year 2017: Ubisoft Milan and Paris



Davide Soliani in a rollercoaster year for the team behind Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle


The Warhammer License (Again) - Did Games Workshop's Gamble Work? - Extra Credits


Games Workshop started handing out bits of the Warhammer License like candy - but did it work? We think so! They used the great detail of the Warhammer Universe to distribute risk and create tiers of investment in games with varying quality levels, resulting in a test bed for small studios and a template for working with big ones.


The Hillbillies of Grand Theft Auto Online - Noclip


We travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to talk to a crew of die-hard Grand Theft Auto Online players about the friendships they forged on the mean streets of Los Santos.

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


The Making of Tex Murphy - Full Documentary (Official)


From humble beginnings in amateur film, to a multi award-winning video game franchise, this documentary explores the history of one of the world's longest-running and influential Adventure Game icons: Tex Murphy.

This video was initially part of the Kickstarter campaign for 'Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure'. For more information on the Tex Murphy adventure series, visit: http://bigfinishgames.com


Cool Ghosts: Episode 1


Games are weird. Let's roll with that.


Going Back to MGSV: The Phantom Pain (Part 1: Gameplay)


This video contains potential spoilers for every game in the Metal Gear Solid series. Also, this is all just my opinion, obviously.

0:00 - Context
4:49 - Beginnings
9:40 - A Strong Introduction
17:26 - One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back
23:01 - To Make Matters Worse
26:46 - The Not-so-open World
33:00 - The Unexpected Positives
40:06 - Conclusion: Phantom Problems

I replayed Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain so you don't have to. Having reviewed the game back in 2015 and heaped praise upon it, I grew increasingly dissatisfied with those videos as time went on, given how similar the circumstances under which I played it were to those journalists attending the Konami "boot camp" review event. So I put close to another 100 hours into the game over a period of a few months in order to fairly analyse the game, sans hype. The results were... interesting.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/writingongames


Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Spoilers)


This episode somehow got away from me and became one of the longest I've ever done. Yikes!

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a new videogame about shooting Nazis. It's also got some other stuff on it's mind. Also it's got a cat's head on the body of a monkey, so that's cool.

This episode was made possible by generous support through Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/errantsignal


Resident Evil 2 Design | Road to the Rocket Launcher


In-depth look at the level design of Resident Evil 2. Strap in!



5 Amazing Levels from 2017 | Game Maker's Toolkit


2017 saw an abundance of great levels, chapters, maps, areas, and sequences. Let's recap the year, by looking at the best stages from the past 12 months.

Use the time codes to skip past spoilers:

01:12 - Dishonored: Death of the Outsider - The Bank Job
04:44 - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - The Western Ghats
08:16 - Super Mario Odyssey - New Donk City
11:55 - What Remains of Edith Finch - Lewis Finch
14:12 - Call of Duty: WWII - Liberation


SEGA's 3 Biggest Mistakes | Gaming Historian


Sega saw a meteoric rise in the video game market share during the early 90's. By 2001, they were no longer making hardware. How can you fall so hard, so fast? Let's take a look at Sega's 3 Biggest Mistakes!

Support the show on Patreon ► https://goo.gl/pQaU9N


The Battlefield 4 Comeback | Fixing a Disaster?


In the year 2017, Battlefield 4 is still eating into Battlefield 1 and its player base. How did Battlefield 4 go from falling flat on its face and being an epic EA mess to becoming one of the best multiplayer games available? How has it impacted Battlefield 1 and what changed to allow all this to happen? In this review of Battlefield 4 massive comeback we are going to work through all of that, from EA at their best to their worst. The team at DICE managed to turn everything around in ways that are completely unheard of, let's find out how.


How Janina Gavankar Became Battlefront 2's Main Anti-Hero - Up At Noon Live!


Would you believe Iden Versio was a NeoGAF lurker?


The Rise Of The Platform Fighter - Developer Roundtable


In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Ben Hanson speaks with Brawlout's Bogdan Iliesiu, Icons: Combat Arena's Jason Rice, Brawlhalla's Matt Woomer, and Rivals of Aether's Dan Fornaceabout the evolution of the platform fighting game sub-genre and why the games should be seen as more than just a "Super Smash Bros.-Clone".


toco toco - Yoshiro Kimura, Game Creator


Yoshiro Kimura is a game creator now turned indie, known for his work on moon, Chulip, Rule of Rose and more recently Dandy Dungeon and Million Onion Hotel. In this episode, Kimura will tell us about his career, a lifelong journey marked by many twists, companies and travels overseas.

We will follow him to some of his favorite places in the city, including Mikado, a retro game center that still showcases many games from Kimura’s childhood.


The 2017 Experimental Gameplay Workshop


In this 2017 GDC workshop, Matt Boch, Jonas Bohatsch, Josef Wiesner, Pauline Marliere, Hamish Todd, John Polson, Isaac Cohen, Josh Lee, Jenn Sandercock, Steven Smith, Mark Laframboise, Tim Garbos, Robin Hunicke, Kasson Crooker, Anita Tung, Bastien Gorissen, Aaron Weingarten, Tobiah Zarlez, Ian Thomson, Guillaume Cerdeira, AP Thomson, Bennett Foddy, Angelo Yazar and Daniel Benmergui showcase a selection of surprising and intriguing prototypes made by innovation-minded game developers from all over the world. By demonstrating games that defy conventions and traditions in search for of new genres and ideas, this session aims to ignite the imagination of all game makers.


Innovation on Demand: Paradox Interactive's Strategic Initiatives Division


In this 2017 GDC talk, Paradox Interactive's Doru Apreotesei presents a primer on The Paradox Strategic Initiatives Division, a division of the company designed to encourage and enable grassroots innovation and act as a "hub" for the development of new ideas in every area of the company's business.


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


Streamer goes viral after broadcasting UFC pay-per-view while pretending to play UFC video game


An ingenious streamer broadcast a real-life UFC pay-per-view event while pretending to play the latest UFC video game - and got away with it.

The illegal UFC 3 streamer has been issued a temporary Twitch ban


AJ Lester has been issued a Twitch ban for illegally broadcasting a UFC match.


Things I Missed From Previous Weeks





TODAY VIDEOGAMES ARE a multibillion-dollar industry, as much a part of popular culture as movies or music. But in 1983 the console gaming industry looked like it was headed for a kill screen. Atari, Intellivision, and ColecoVision had run the market into the ground, and home computers were poised to be the next thing to monopolize eyeballs. Videogame cartridges were either in bargain bins or destined for a hole in the New Mexico desert. It was bleak.

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