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This Week In Gaming 10-2-18

1 post in this topic



Gameumentary's documentary on Larian Studios, Brendan Sinclair on why 2018 will go down as the Year of the Bad Employer, Ludocriticism's video on how Prey weaves together the ludonarrative in a way that hasn't been done in the genre before and the issue with some of the criticism of the game, Gaijillionaire's video on the history of the box art for Mega Man/Rock Man games around the world, Marcos Gonsalez writes about what compelled him to romance an alien and the limits of Bioware's romances and how the vertically of the Arkham games create a Batman experience that also acts as an analogy for hierarchical power, Sony to allow cross-play for select third party content, US tariffs expected to lead to a large increase in PC component prices, Randy Pitchford was robbed of millions by his own assistant, People Make Games and GVMERS look at the history of Red Dead, Dan Root on how to animate an explosion, 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)


HITMAN 2 - Official Colombia Gameplay Trailer


Take an in-depth look at the dark and dangerous jungle environment coming to HITMAN 2.

Hitman 2 - How to Hitman (Tools of the Trade) Trailer


Get a look at the tools of the trade in the upcoming game, releasing on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.


Total War: Three Kingdoms arrives in March, Early Adopter bonus now available


Creative Assembly has announced that Total War: Three Kingdoms will be released for Windows on March 7, 2019. A Mac and Linux version will be available shortly after and is made by Feral Interactive. This Total War title is the first in the series to explore the history of Ancient China.


New Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay trailer shows off heists and other ‘nefarious activities’


Get a look at the new Dead Eye system and first-person view


Streets of Rage 4 won’t rely on its past to knock you out in the present



The new beat 'em up isn't built to be your object of nostalgia - it'll be braver than that


The bestest games of EGX



Matt: After four days of hosting panels, interviewing developers, streaming games on camera and poking at as many as we could on the show floor, Team RPS has returned from the hallowed halls of EGX. Now that we’ve nestled back into our treehouse nooks, it’s time to talk about the best things wot we saw.


The Division 2 adds new weapon types, promises more interesting exotics



The rarest weapons will be more than just gold AK-47s this time around


Disco Elysium became properly good when I found my shoes



A good writer should know when to deliver an old cliché or familiar idiom, and when to hold them back. They can give the reader a sense of comfort, a lifeline to cling to in a sea of unfamiliar or complex verbiage, or be the anchor that drags them down into boredom.


Soulcalibur 6 Geralt Campaign Gameplay


We played the entirety of Geralt's cameo campaign in Soulcalibur VI (spoiler warning). Come see the White Wolf in action in the latest of the long-running fighting series


Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Hands-On With CD Projekt Red


We take an early look at Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales with its lead writer.

Thronebreaker is a true Witcher RPG and a surprisingly sharp card puzzler


Rich in dialogue and decisions and clever card-based puzzles, with a vastly deepened version of Gwent at its center.

The full Thronebreaker interview: How CDPR is expanding on The Witcher’s legacy


Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales releases next month, but what does a Witcher game look like without Geralt at the helm?


Valve renames Artifact card accused of being racist


Crack the Whip now Coordinated Assault.

How will Artifact change the card game scene?


Magic: the Gathering transformed card games. Now Artifact has a chance to do it again.


X4: Foundations blasting off in November


Egosoft’s long-running space sandbox sim series will return with X4: Foundations on November 30th, the developers announced today. X4 is meant to be a return to the values of the core series–and a return to being good–after 2013’s disappointing X: Rebirth. It’ll once again turn players loose in a big sandbox galaxy to fly any ship, build space stations, establish a financial empire, grow a fleet, rob, shoot, and all that, while NPC characters and empires do the same with their own objectives. That’s the plan, and you can see a little of the reality in a new video below.


Modern strategy monster Daisenryaku Perfect 4.0 stealthily deploys in English


Yes, those are hexes you see, stuffed with modern military hardware and dense with stats – the bread and butter of the grognard-pleasing Daisenryaku Perfect 4.0, sneakily launched last night. The latest in Systemsoft’s very long-running series of straight-laced strategy games and the first in English for a while. While complex, the Daisenryaku series isn’t quite as gritty as some strategic sims and is notable for its accessible (and often console-friendly) UI. Plus, there’s Advance Wars-styled combat animations, which are always fun. Below, a bombastic Japanese trailer.


Devolver Digital's Weedcraft Inc. is a tycoon game about growing marijuana


Devolver Digital has announced Weedcraft Inc., a new tycoon game about on growing, breeding, selling, and distributing marijuana in America.


Tech Support: Error Unknown is a game about corporations, call centers, and conspiracies


Your job is to help people, but there might be more interesting things to do.


Call of Cthulhu - Uncut Gameplay Stream (without commentary)


Watch the first hour of gameplay footage of Call of Cthulhu, ahead of its release on October 30th on PS4, Xbox One and PC.


Project Judge Takes Up To 35 Hours For Its Main Story Only, 80 Hours For All Side Cases Included



Project Judge producer Kazuki Hosokawa talked about game volume of Project Judge, including his best estimate on how many hours it would take to do only the main story and how many with Side Cases.

Project Judge Director Talks About How The Project Started, Inspirations, And More


Project Judge executive director Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Kazuki Hosokawa recently sat down for an interview with 4Gamer, where they discussed wanting to make something different after years of Yakuza games, what inspired the “legal suspense” gameplay, and what other gameplay elements can be looked forward to.


New games: Cattle Call is the chance to become a Hollywood super-agent


Balancing egos, ambition, and the resources to get it done – no, this isn’t Europa Universalis IV. This is Cattle Call: Hollywood Talent Manager, a forthcoming game where you take the role of a talent agent and try to make your way through the treacherous labyrinth that is the big-budget movie industry.


Limit Theory cancelled, six years after Kickstarter



Sandbox space sim Limit Theory has been cancelled, six years after a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, because main developer Josh Parnell is simply exhausted from working on it for so long. He’s spent, he says: emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. “Not in my darkest nightmares did I expect this day to ever come, but circumstances have reached a point that even my endless optimism can no longer rectify,” Parnell said on Friday. He plans to release the source code for folks to poke around but makes clear “it’s not a working game.” The dream dies.


Last Year: The Nightmare


Last Year: The Nightmare is a recently announced multiplayer horror game for PC, putting five players as survivors and a sixth as a murderer. The group of teenagers that comprise the survivors wake up to find themselves in a mirror version of their sleepy home town, which itself contains a supernatural force taking the form of psychotic murderers to hunt them down. You can check out the reveal trailer for the game below.


Hellbound - Gameplay Reveal Trailer


Check out gameplay in this upcoming demonic first-person shooter inspired by '90s classics.


Sources: leaked Harry Potter game is real, not developed by Rocksteady


This morning, footage claiming to be of an under-wraps Harry Potter project appeared online. The video looked professionally made, and now sources with knowledge of the project have confirmed to Eurogamer that the project is indeed real and currently in development.


XCOM 2’s free Tactical Legacy Pack adds new story missions and custom skirmishes


XCOM 2 will draw on over two decades worth of series legacy for its next major add-on. The Tactical Legacy Pack adds new missions, new maps, and new gear drawing on everything from the original game to the most recent parts of the Firaxis reboot. The DLC launches next week, and will be free to owners of XCOM 2’s War of the Chosen expansion for the next two months.


Absolver’s free expansion Downfall is available now


Launch trailer unveils new fighting styles and procedural levels.


Wildstar is shutting down on November 28, Carbine plans special events to see it off



NCsoft pulled the plug on the sci-fi MMO, and the studio that makes it, earlier this month.


The future of GOG: mod support, Steam rivalry and problematic tweets



Almost 10 years ago to the day, CD Projekt launched the online digital game store Good Old Games. The operation and scope was small - a handful of people salvaging iconic old PC games for modern operating systems - but the prices, customer service and DRM-free message were right, and slowly the service grew. And grew, and grew. And today things are different.


Sony finally allows Fortnite cross-platform play



In a "major policy change," PS4 users will be able to play with others on Xbox One, Switch for "select third-party content"


Ubisoft's Creative Head Talks The Future Of Assassin's Creed And Splinter Cell



A 30-year veteran of Ubisoft, chief creative officer Serge Hascoet has his fingerprints on every game the French publisher releases. His editorial staff is currently on a strong run, overseeing the successful reboots of core brands like Assassin’s Creed, Rainbow Six, and Ghost Recon. We spoke with Hascoet about the evolution interactive entertainment.


CD Project Red rejects Witcher author's request for $16.1m in additional royalties



“Mr Andrzej Sapkowski expects payment beyond what had been contractually agreed”


Wealthy Frisco couple say personal assistant lived lavish lifestyle with their money. Now police can't find him



He took trips to California, Cancun, London and Italy. Two years ago, he chartered a private jet to take him and some friends to Florida. He also donated tens of thousands of dollars to charity.

And he couldn't afford any of it.


Vivendi will sell all Ubisoft shares by March 2019



Vivendi will have sold all of its shares in Ubisoft by March 5, 2019.


PC component manufacturers expect “significant” price increases due to US trade tariffs



Wide-ranging tariffs imposed on Chinese imports by the US government went into effect on September 24, and PC component manufacturers have now spoken up on how these tariffs will affect their prices going forward. EVGA, NZXT, SilverStone, and Alphacool are all planning on implementing price increases – some potentially up to 25% to match tariffs.


Esports News


The Street Fighter V Rivals With Dramatic Handshakes


While post-match handshakes have become commonplace in the fighting game community, they rarely come laden with dense layers of history. Japanese competitors Naoki “Nemo” Nemoto and Hiromiki “Itabashi Zangief” Kumada have turned these brief moments of sportsmanship into yet another opportunity for showcasing their deepening rivalry. The two had a very tense post-match handshake this past weekend at TOPANGA League 7, and that handshake has a big backstory.


Nate Nanzer: "The train has left the station" on esports opportunities



Overwatch League commissioner reflects on its inaugural year, the relationship between esports and traditional sports, and the League's role in diversity leadership


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


2018 will go down as the Year of the Bad Employer



Given the industry's long and storied history of inhumane working practices, I have no doubt that this list of terrible employers in 2018 is incomplete, and previous years have likely been just as rife with neglect, exploitation, abuse, and malice. The difference is that in 2018, we are talking about it. One common thread throughout all the sad stories above is that in each case, developers spoke out, in many cases publicly. In previous years, this didn't really happen. Developers might advise friends and colleagues about particularly good or bad places to work, but they very rarely aired a company's dirty laundry, and almost never with a name attached.


There are too many video games. What now?



As the games industry gets more and more crowded, we look at what small teams are doing to stand out


"It's not enough to point at Bayonetta or FemShep and say 'job done'"



NFTS student Daisy Fernandez discusses female representation in games and the barriers for women seeking a career in development


Pokémon veteran Junichi Masuda reflects on the series’ early days



Junichi Masuda shares some of his favorite memories from making Red and Blue


It's time we stopped encouraging indies



The Fall director John Warner rethinks the ethics of guiding aspiring developers without acknowledging some harsh realities





We need to change the way we talk about videogame studios. But even more than that, we need to change the way we talk about them when they close.


Gazillion and Marvel Heroes Layoffs




Overwatch's changing heroes reflect the spiritual battle at the game's heart



Character design is essential to Overwatch's evolving appeal.


How Owlcat Games re-rolled tabletop into a video game



Studio head Oleg Shpilchevsky and narrative designer Chris Avellone discuss the challenges of creating Pathfinder: Kingmaker from the pen-and-paper RPG franchise


Interior Mapping: rendering real rooms without geometry


The recently released game Marvel's Spider-Man has interiors behind windows in many buildings. This looks great and it seems to be done using a rendering trick: the geometry for the interiors isn't actually there and is generated using a shader. I haven't seen any official statement by Insomniac regarding how they made this, but based on how it looks it seems very likely that they implemented interior mapping: a technique I came up with in 2007 as part of my thesis research. I've never written about this on my blog before so I figure this a good moment to explain the fun little shader trick I came up with.

Spider-Man’s Text Message Scene Is Perfect


There are a lot of good cutscenes in the PS4’s new Spider-Man game. My favorite one was all about a text message conversation.


Shadows Of The Empire – Remembering Star Wars’ Most Audacious Video Game Adaptation



In 1996, right before the special editions of the original Star Wars trilogy released in theaters, and three years before The Phantom Menace, one Star Wars story tried to make an impact without the aid of an accompanying film. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was LucasArts’ attempt to tell the story between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi across multiple types of media, and one of its pillars was a video game. Shadows of the Empire marked a direct collaboration between Star Wars and Nintendo, helped launch the N64, and suffered as a result of its undeniable hubris. Despite all this, the game is one of the earliest examples of a 3D, third-person action game, and it holds a special place in the hearts of young-at-the-time Star Wars fans.


All Too Human



In the final installment of the franchise, there is a photo on my nightstand. It is of Tali unhelmeted, the photo presumably taken on her home world, Rannoch, or somewhere with an unthreatening atmosphere. The features of her face are humanoid. They are, in fact, the aspirational norm of (white) Human womanhood: small nose; long, wavy hair; finely sculpted lips slightly open; a symmetrical face; a wayward gazing into the horizon. The only indications which mark her as nonhuman is the skin tinted a light purple and the eyes a milky white with no iris. Otherwise, without the helmet, Tali is the norm — being the norm itself. Do the modelers and animators know what they have done? I pursued Tali because she was the most alien of all —


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: The Kotaku Review


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is huge. Each new boundary is broken down the moment you reach it, the game world spilling out and expanding further and further than you can possibly imagine. It is big in the same way the Great Pyramids or Empire State Building are big, the result of untold amounts of labor and artistry distilled into something remarkable yet intimidating. It’s not a sandbox. It is a world, with all of the beauty, anxiety, and inconsistency that entails.





Gotham is sprawling. It feels expansive. It feels like a world in and of itself. As a New York City-dweller for the past ten years, I no longer feel that sense of awe for urbanity. The mouth open on the first days living in a city. The rush of riding across the Brooklyn Bridge in a yellow cab, or an impromptu photo session in some Chinatown back alley. The aliveness when looking down from one of the tallest high-rises on Wall Street. The grandeur at night of all the lights, the thickness of the air, the starless sky. My sensibility has adjusted, absorbed even, the scale of the city. It feels all too ordinary.





Life Is Strange 2 Humanizes Latinx People in Ways No Other Game Has Done Before



The first season of Life is Strange changed my life because it helped me come to terms with my sexuality after years of denial; it’s the reason why I came out to my mother. And while only one episode is out, this season of Life is Strange is already shaping up to be an equally emotionally resonant experience.

Life is Strange 2 is an intimate portrait of the Trump era


Dontnod emphasizes the racial politics at play in Sean and Daniel’s situation, and how they mirror the traumas and challenges of the real world. The struggles that come with their identity are hurdles we rarely see in video games — because most video games star white men who don’t face these problems.


Dragon Quest II, Part 1



When discussing video games from a historical perspective, it’s both easy and tempting to envision previous aesthetic styles as merely a prelude to what we know today. Although there’s value to be had in making these connections, it’s important be aware of one’s self and be careful as they approach these matters. Left to its own devices, this kind of historical determinism can not only be nihilistic, but also inaccurately represent the very eras it wishes to discuss. These games didn’t need some later historical trend to give them essence. They defined themselves through themselves, always exploring the subject matter/perspectives that interested them and growing along paths of their own choosing. Indeed, the idea of history as the march toward some singular end breaks down when one accounts for the variety of schools of thought present at any given time. To describe historical games as anything less is to deny them the autonomy they exercised and overlook the connections between contemporary styles.


The Harmful Misconceptions Behind We Happy Few



Back when I thought We Happy Few’s was just a 1984 or Brave New World ripoff, I thought its concept was charming. There’s something lovely about weaving together the hysteric whimsy of ‘60s Mod culture in Britain, a country going mad in its fashion and design to avoid looking at the world falling all around it, with a tale of masked emotions, drug abuse, and dystopia.


Deep Sky Derelicts is a deck-building strategic game for those scared of such things



I’m really not one for deck building games. I think it’s primarily a matter of constantly feeling like I’m doing something wrong, always certain I should have a better selection of cards, that if I’d made a different choice I’d be having another experience… it’s an anxiety-inducing way to play anything. So clearly I was unsure starting Deep Sky Derelicts, despite liking the sound of the premise. But woohoo, this is deck building for me!


“The Boss’s Head,” by Chris Breault



In 1974, Paul Schrader’s Film Comment essay “Yakuza-Eiga: A Primer” introduced yakuza movies to Western audiences with no small amount of ceremony. The yakuza film was nothing like an American gangster picture, he wrote. It was ritual: the same “twenty or so” scenes of gambling, deathbed confession, pinky-chopping, and tattoo-baring staged almost identically in hundreds of films. It looked cheap, but inherited from its jidaigeki (period piece) predecessors a thematic richness. Each film’s mythically static setpieces illustrated a high-flown conflict between the hero’s duty to the organization (giri) and his humanity (ninjo).


Divinity: Original Sin Documentary | Gameumentary


Explore the very beginnings of Larian Studios and the Divinity franchise in our feature-length documentary. Discover the struggles the studio faced on their journey to becoming an independent studio, and how each game in the Divinity franchise laid the foundation for what would become, Original Sin.

Support future docs and Gameumentary content on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/gameumentary


Why Games Lie to You- The Fallacy of Fairness


Support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/ArchitectofGames

You are being lied to. Tricked. Deceived and Bamboozled. Surely that’s a bad thing, right? Well not always, video games are constantly tricking you, but keeping you in the dark is integral to the workings of not just the best games but nearly all of them.


Critical Values: In Defense of Prey and Those Who Made It | REVIEW/CRITIQUE


This essay is a discussion on a paradigm shift needed in order to get rid of some of the most hurtful things in how we talk about video games. It is done through a thorough review, critique, and defense of the 2017 game Prey by Arkane Studios. As an evolution of the immersive sim genre over the past few years, Prey manages to weave together the ludonarrative in a way that's been apparently difficult for the genre before. An assumption that games should be ludologically gratifying, however, has turned the critical reception of the game into less than it has any right to be.

Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ludocriticism


The Red Dead game we almost ended up with


Ahead of the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, we take a look back at where the series actually began, before even Rockstar Games was involved.

Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/PeopleMakeGames


The History of Red Dead - Revolver


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

The first episode in our multipart history series about the Red Dead franchise.

When it comes to Western video games, it’s hard to think of a title more iconic than Red Dead Redemption. While the genre has been around since time immemorial, with players able to brave the American frontier as early as the 1970s with The Oregon Trail, Rockstar San Diego’s romantic, yet unashamedly human open-world game resonated more strongly with players than anything that had been released before...


Good Game Design - The Messenger: Defying Expectations


The Messenger looks like a simple 8-bit homage, but it has SO much more going on under the surface. Let's talk about why it's one of the most unique games in years.


Onimusha: Warlords | Forgotten Gems


To support my channel, consider joining my Patreon! http://ragnarrox.com/patreon/

Today, we're talking about Onimusha: Warlords (Capcom, 2001) - a unique mix of survival horror and action adventure that marries the Resident Evil Formula with Japanese Shinto mythology.


Bring Back Burnout!



CRITIQUE: Mass Effect - A textbook example of great storytelling


An in-depth analysis of the first Mass Effect game. Videos on Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 will be coming in the next couple of months.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/CDavis_Games


Lucah: Born of a Dream


Lucah: Born of a Dream is a video game! A video game I talked about for 10 minutes!

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


A Thorough Look at Neverwinter Nights


This is a video critique and retrospective of all 14 official campaigns released for Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, between 2002 and 2009. It looks at how each module and game tries to stand out from the others, and how they all uniquely tie back into the legacy of the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop experience. There are TOTAL SPOILERS for all the campaigns, but they're there to provide context and definition for those who don't wish to spend the hundreds of hours it takes to make this journey themselves.

If you enjoyed this video and want to contribute to the production of others like it, please consider supporting me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/noahcaldwellgervais


A Review of Transference


Support the show on Patreon - http://patreon.com/writingongames

In which I discuss Transference, the recently released collaboration between Ubisoft and film production company Spectrevision; a game whose sparse and surprisingly meta marketing involving some real star power had me wondering what the product even was, while the game itself proved unfortunately inoffensive.


Deus Ex - The Mission you are Supposed to Fail


I’ve been doing this for about a year, so as a retrospective, I decided to re-master my first upload and apply everything I have learned.


Final Fantasy VI Analysis Series PART 1: Development of Melodic Ideas


In this new, 3-part series on the music of Final Fantasy VI, I take a look at how long time series composer Nobuo Uematsu writes music on a note-by-note level. I like breaking down music to as fundamental level as I can to see if there are any patterns or strategies that I can take for my own writing, so hopefully you guys find that interesting too!

PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory


How to Animate an Explosion


Explosions are in so many video games, but how are they animated? Let's have a look, and see if we can use it as inspiration to animate our own!


The Story of The Mario Cram School (Nintendo's Golden Triangle Part 2/3)


Here's part two of our trilogy on Nintendo's Golden Triangle. This video is a look at the Mario Cram School, which paved the way for New Super Mario Bros U and New Super Mario Bros 2


The History of No-Clipping − Codex


A brief history of the "noclip" cheat code, from its humble origins to its current interpretation.

Codex is a video series that demonstrates the effects of cheat codes in classic video games, while discussing their origin, and their impact on the culture of gaming.

If you'd like to support the development of these videos, consider becoming a patron! https://www.patreon.com/codexshow


The History Of Mega Man & Rock Man Box Art From 1 to 11 - Gaijillionaire's Club GTV


In this episode, let’s celebrate the release of MegaMan 11 by looking back at the good the bad and the ugly of MegaMan box art of years gone by!


When Nike Sued Sega | Gaming Historian


In 2002, Sega was promoting their newest release, NBA 2K2. But things came to a screeching halt when Nike sued them for copyright infringement. Learn all about this little-known case between Nike and Sega!

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


Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry


Valkyria Chronicles 4 | Europan History in 5 Minutes


Valkyria Chronicles 4 is now available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Steam!


Things I Missed From Previous Weeks





Donut County’s main conceit is simple: players maneuver a hole that expands in size as it gradually devours every object in sight until the level is fully cleared. The player-character BK, a raccoon employee of a doughnut shop obsessively glued to their tablet, controls the terrorizing hole through a dastardly app. Mira, BK’s human coworker, eventually connects BK to a shady legion of raccoon interlopers who seek to seize power of the city with their tech. Throughout the game, displaced residents angrily confront BK, who responds by condescending to them, treating their homes and possessions as trash (he is a raccoon after all). The game is thus about culpability—who is at fault here, and who is ultimately responsible for reversing the disastrous effects of gentrification that has displaced residents 999 feet below Donut County? Many shrewd writers such as Emily Short and Laura Hudson have already examined how Donut County thematizes gentrification, and developer Ben Esposito outright acknowledges that the game is “about erasure” and contends that its story is “interconnected with capitalism and the way cities are run.”

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