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This Week In Gaming 3-5-19

1 post in this topic



Catherine DeSpira on the physical impressions left on Pac-Man cabinets and how they tell the story of how the game was really played, Christine Brownell discusses surviving a game industry layoff while Katie Chironis explains why making games for a living is to be in constant fear of losing your job, RagnarRox video on Eastshade explores the value of rejecting design conventions to focus on your game's emotional message, Stop Skeletons From Fighting looks at game translations and localizations, Kyle Thompson looks at the ideology of the Front Mission series, Elizabeth Ballou on the The Rise And Fall Of The Frag Dolls, Lilly covers how Metal Gear Rising deals with the theme of justice and what is learned through Raiden's rivalry with Jetstream Sam, Noclip tells the story of the struggles faced by the developers of Astroneer, Activision Blizzard tells investors cut jobs could negatively impact business, 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)


WARSAW Unites an RPG, Tactics, and Strong Emotions in Announcement Trailer


Announced today, WARSAW is a tactical RPG set in 1944 as a group of people tries to oust the Nazis from their homeland of Poland. You and your team will fight in the city, utilize skills, manage equipment, use positioning to your advantage, and scavenge for supplies and new people to help you fight.


Barotrauma is part Subnautica, part FTL, and all Gong Show


16 people try not to die in this 2D multiplayer sub simulator on an alien world.


Star Renegades is a 'tactical strategy rogue-lite RPG' about a rebellion that won't quit


Halycon 6: Starbase Commander studio Massive Damage is working on "a tactical strategy rogue-lite RPG" called Star Renegades. The intergalactic, inter-generational tale follows a rag-tag rebellion doing battle against an evil galactic empire: The empire is overwhelmingly powerful, but the rebels just won't quit.


Johnny Cage returns in Mortal Kombat 11, looks different


In a reveal trailer, which you can watch below via IGN, this Cage looks a lot different from the Mortal Kombat 10 version. Many classic characters in Mortal Kombat 11 have seen drastic changes to their looks, but Cage’s could be the biggest.


Tamashii is an aggressively unsettling horror platformer


Horror is a genre I appreciate, but seldom gets under my skin the way it does for others. Tamashii, despite being a relatively simple-looking puzzle platformer, jangles my nerves like a dozen spiders crawling across my face. Released today and developed by Vikintor, I’ve had my eye on this one for a while after seeing some early footage on Twitter. The game has detailed, twisted sprites combined with some aggressive VHS-like and glitch effects that just makes my skin crawl, even if at its heart, it’s not too unusual as a game. Take a peek at the launch trailer below.


Yakuza Spinoff Judgment Gets Firm Western Release Date


Repent, repent, for Judgment Day descends upon us this summer. Earlier today, Sega announced a June 25 release date for the localized version of its PlayStation 4 action game, Judgment.


Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield - Official Reveal Trailer


The next generation of Pokemon has finally been revealed, with Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield! Introducing the new starters, Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shielf are releasing worldwide on Nintendo Switch later this year.


Star Citizen’s sign language emotes revolutionise disabled


Being the highest-funded videogame in Kickstarter history, Star Citizen has a lot of pressure on it. Developer Cloud Imperium Games has already been struck with controversy several times due to failing to meet deadlines and having lawsuits filed against it. It’s been a rocky development, then. But one area that Star Citizen can be praised for is its accessibility features, to the extent that it now supports American Sign Language (ASL) – making it one of only a few videogames that do.


KOTOR 2 designer Chris Avellone has been working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order


As the lead designer on Knights of the Old Republic 2, Avellone helped shape what is probably still the most nuanced depiction of the Force in any Star Wars anything, as we wrote about here. If Avellone's involvement means similar things for Fallen Order, it's a promising sign.


Epic Games store nabs Shakedown: Hawaii as a timed PC exclusive


The next game from the developer of Retro City Rampage makes its PC debut first on the Epic Games store.


Exclusive Division 2 Interviews with Julian Gerighty and Chad Chatterton


We head to Washington DC to check out more of The Division 2 and get exclusive interviews with Creative Director Julian Gerighty and Lead Environmental Artist Chat Chatterton to talk about how they brought Washington DC to life in the Division 2.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2: Official Launch Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]


We are the last line of defense. We are the people making a stand to take back D.C. We are The Division, and history will remember us. Available March 15, 2019. Pre-order Gold or Ultimate Edition for 3-days early access.


The Sinking City - Gameplay Trailer


Get a look at the ways players will be able to uncover mysteries and solve crimes in this latest trailer for the upcoming horror game.


Obsidian's CEO On Microsoft And The Outer Worlds' Future


In this exclusive Game Informer interview, Obsidian Entertainment's CEO Feargus Urquhart talks about why they decided to let Microsoft purchase them, the studio's "three-ish" current development teams, and what Microsoft means for the future of The Outer Worlds as a franchise.

Answering The Outer Worlds' Lingering Questions


In this exclusive Game Informer interview, we Skype in The Outer Worlds' co-directors Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky from Obsidian Entertainment to answer more than 70 questions from the community about the upcoming RPG's story, gameplay, and much more.


Zheng Jiang Start Position Spotlight - Total War: THREE KINGDOMS


Wheels and Tom take a look at one of the hardest factions to play as in Total War: Three Kingdoms, Zheng Jiang. Watch to find out what makes it such a difficult campaign.

Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - Ma Teng Live Let's Play PART 1


Wheels and Tom are back to shift the focus west as they play through the campaign of famed warlord Ma Teng. After enduring a long war with Dong Zhou and his heir, Ma Teng has taken the child emperor under his control and the Han Empire swears vassalage to him. Where will Wheels' campaign take them next?


Recompile digitises the Metroidvania genre next year


Still screenshots don’t do upcoming 3D metroidvania Recompile much justice. You might get a feel for the scale of the Tron-like virtual world developers Phigames have built, but it can’t convey the mad, wibbly glitch effects that fade as the world reassembles itself, Bastion-style. It’s hard to even get a handle on what its protagonist looks like in stills – a humanoid form made from searing hot-looking particles that are lost and restored as they move. So, it’s probably best you look at the debut trailer below, because it’s rather pretty, although sadly not due until next year.


Curious Expedition 2 announced for consoles and PC; Curious Expedition coming to consoles in 2019


Publisher Thunderful and developer Maschinen-Mensch have announced Curious Expedition 2 for PC and consoles. It will launch first in Early Access on Steam later in 2019, followed by a full release in 2020.


Zanki Zero Shows Off Clione, Charge Attacks, And Dozens Of Deaths In New Trailer


Spike Chunsoft released a new trailer for Zanki Zero: Last Beginning that looks over the main gameplay features, such as real-time combat, Clione, building up Garage Island, and lots of extending after death.


Devil May Cry 5 Final Trailer


Spoiler warnings ahead for the final Devil May Cry 5 trailer. The game will be out on March 8 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.


Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince | Announcement trailer


Amadeus, Pontius, and Zoya return in Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince, a 2.5D adventure full of danger, magic, and dynamic, physics-based puzzles. The fourth entry in the beloved Trine series will release this autumn.


Watch survival RPG Outward's 'ritualistic' spellcasting in action


Magic is impressive, but you'll have to work at it.


MLB The Show 19 - New Improvements And Updates Feature


MLB The Show 19 revamps a lot of systems from its predecessor. With smarter AI, further steps towards realistic stats, and excellent tension in search of that perfect crack of the bat, we take a quick look into some of the changes you can look forward to.


Lord Drakkon Is Coming To Conquer Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid


nWay has released a trailer for series villain Lord Drakkon, who has come to conquer Earth and take over the Grid.


GTFO gets a spring release target, new gameplay


GTFO, the co-op shooter from ex-Payday developers 10 Chambers, is slowly approaching release.


God’s Trigger is basically co-op Hotline Miami, and it’s out next month


God’s Trigger, the hyper-stylised top-down shooter from One More Level, officially has a release date.


No objections – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy hits PC in April


I like to think that the adventures of Phoenix Wright in the Ace Attorney series made a splash worldwide because of the way they blended the lengthy narratives of Japanese visual novels with the more traditionally game-like puzzle solving of an old-school adventure game. With that in mind, it’s appropriate that Mr. Wright is finally making his case on the home of the point-and-click adventure, and now we know exactly when.


Vermintide 2’s Winds of Magic expansion unleashes the Beastmen this summer



Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is getting a major add-on later this year in the form of Winds of Magic. It’ll be the first full-sized expansion for the game, following earlier DLC and free updates, and it’ll bring a new faction with the Beastmen, as well as a new level cap, higher difficulty, and plenty of new weapons. It’ll also bring a new game mode which has you confronting the titular Winds of Magic.


Anthem Players Say The Game Is Shutting Down And Even Sometimes Bricking Their PS4s



It’s been a rough launch for BioWare’s new loot shooter, and some PlayStation 4 players are now finding that the game occasionally shuts off their system as well.

EA asks for help to diagnose Anthem's alarming PS4 crashes


If you've played Anthem on PlayStation 4 and experienced its hard crash issue, EA would like you to get in touch.


Two Point Hospital’s Pebberley Island DLC takes you on a quest for immortality


In case you hadn’t had your fill of walking lightbulbs and knockoff Freddy Mercurys, it’s time to check back in to Two Point Hospital. The management sim’s second DLC package, Pebberley Island, will release later this month.


Grim Dawn: Forgotten Gods trailer showcases a scorched desert game world


The Forgotten Gods expansion will finally arrive in March.


Lawsuit says Fortnite’s Llamas are ‘predatory’



There’s Fortnite-flavored blood in the water, and so now a law firm is suing Epic Games on the basis that it makes minors want to buy things. A firm has filed a class action lawsuit against Epic in U.S. district court in California.


Overkill's The Walking Dead removed from Steam



Update: Starbreeze is trying to resolve the issue and release the rest of Season 2.


Activision Blizzard: 800 job cuts could “negatively impact” our business



Activision Blizzard has warned investors that plans to cut hundreds of jobs across its global business may damage the company.


THQ Nordic CEO apologizes for company’s 8chan event



Last week, THQ Nordic’s public relations team chose the website 8chan to host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) question-and-answer session for the studio, an ill-advised decision given the site’s association with child pornography, racism, and hate and harassment campaigns. Backlash was swift and widespread, prompting THQ Nordic PR and marketing manager Philipp Brock, who devised the AMA, to apologize.

THQ Nordic's 'Apology' Over 8chan Incident Isn't Worthy of Forgiveness


THQ Nordic is trying to skate away with a few hundreds words that give the illusion of progress and acknowledgement of last week’s “events” without actively engaging with the specifics. What did this “internal investigation” suggest? What’s going to change next time? What do the United Nations SDGs and Global Reporting Initiative's standards—the former a “blueprint” towards an equitable society with an emphasis on respecting the planet, the latter a way for businesses and government to better assessing their impact on the wider world, including climate change—have to do with THQ Nordic’s 8chan misstep? It’s throwing out terms like “diversity” as a shield from criticism. Instead, explain how you plan to regain trust.

The Industry Refuses To Hold Itself Accountable And THQ Nordic Proves It


Over the past week, I have received a number of DMs and emails from developers who work for THQ Nordic or their parent company also named THQ Nordic. They range from embarrassed to shocked at the lack of a proper response. One email relayed a story about a conversation with their Human Resources representative in a non-official capacity over lunch as they discussed the issue. The HR representative remarked that they did not receive any official guidance about it, but that they expect the whole thing to blow over. They’re right, it did, and that should speak poorly of the industry as a whole.

The Social Shitshow Cycle (The Jimquisition)


THQ Nordic held an AMA this week. THQ Nordic apologized for the AMA about an hour later. If you've not heard why, prepare yourself for a wild ride!

This isn't the first apology a game publisher has had to make for social engagement gone horribly wrong. Why does it keep happening? Well, that "social" word may have something to do with it.

Whether companies are employing edgelords, believe all publicity is good, or just plain dumb, we're going to have a very late-2010s discussion about it.



Night in the Woods creators form worker cooperative The Glory Society


Scott Benson and Bethany Hockenberry join Wren Farren for new studio with "no bosses needed"


Framed developer opens new studio, MayDay


The New Zealand-based studio is headed by Boggs, who serves as director and CEO, and Earthlight developer Emre Can Deniz, who serves as studio director and COO.


Dear Villagers: "We're trying to find the best indie games that could be AA"



Head of publishing Guillaume Jamet talks us through the ambition behind Playdius' rebrand


Esports News


Under Night In-Birth’s Evo invite is a long time coming



The folks behind the Evolution Championship Series, often regarded as the most important fighting game tournament of the calendar year, revealed the 2019 lineup during a live broadcast last week. Evo 2019 will feature a largely safe collection of returning titles and expected newcomers, but one game, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], was quite a surprise. But saying its first appearance at Evo came out of nowhere would be disingenuous. Under Night In-Birth’s invitation to Evo 2019 is the result of years of dedication from its core playerbase, and a sign the community had proven that they deserved to be part of the influential tournament series.


Astralis continues to dominate with an IEM Katowice CS:GO win, but serious competition is on the rise



There’s no space to move inside the Spodek. Fans from around the world have flocked here to witness Counter-Strike: Global Offensive history. The passion for Valve’s competitive shooter runs so high that many are willing to stand in the walkways and sit behind the stage – anything to get a glimpse of the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice winners.


Not to Be Underestimated: The Rise of Esports in the Middle East



Growing up in Egypt during the early 2000s, I was an avid FIFA fan. My only reward for the hours I dedicated to the game was when my friends and I gathered to arrange our own competitions and form our own prize pool, or when a local PlayStation cafe held a tournament. There were little to no actual prizes, and yet dozens of kids like me used to show up.


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


Finding a New Path: How I Survived a Game Industry Layoff



At the point when the layoff occurred, I (and many others) had been working overtime for months (10–12 hour days, 6 days a week). My personal life had taken a backseat to the grueling pre-launch schedule that got WoW out the door. This is what we were asked to do, and I did it willingly, without hesitation. A few months later, I found myself jobless. I was loyal to a company that in the end felt no loyalty to me in return.


Making games for a living means being in constant fear of losing your job



Letting go of the fear was a mistake I won’t make again


The Rise And Fall Of The Frag Dolls, A Group That Blazed Trails For Women In Gaming



From its inception in 2004 to its dissolution in 2015, the Frag Dolls caused contentious debate. Did the women it employed have real talent, or were they glorified booth babes? Was an all-women team necessary, or did it set women gamers back?

According to Wilson and her fellow Frag Dolls, the answer is simple: The Frag Dolls gave a diverse set of women confidence and career opportunities in a time when few other organizations took those chances. The team enjoyed crushing expectations about how women were supposed to look and act while gaming, and Wilson took pleasure in subverting the ideal of a youthful, flat-stomached gamer girl. “I felt really empowered because I felt like I was breaking stereotypes,” Wilson said. “I had just as much value as a huge pregnant lady to the team and to Ubisoft.”


Full crunch, no crunch, self-crunch: One developer's career and going solo



Developer Seth Rosen reflects on his experiences of crunch working on BioShock Infinite, Don't Starve Together and Mafia III


What It's Like To Write About Race And Video Games



I write about a lot of things on Kotaku, including, sometimes, race. I’ve written about the lack of black female characters in Overwatch. I’ve written about how much I liked the box art for Far Cry New Dawn, which features two black women. Most recently, I wrote about how refreshing it was to see black women in Apex Legends. Each of these articles discussed race in a way that felt pretty cut and dried. I pointed out facts: Overwatch, a game that prides itself on its diverse cast, does not have any black female playable characters. Far Cry New Dawn has two black women on the box, and there aren’t very many black female characters in video games. As is part of my job, I temper these facts with my own opinions: I think the presence of more video game characters who are women of color is good. In my article about Apex, I wrote, “Just seeing those characters, and knowing those small lore details about them, does actually make a difference to me. It makes me want to explore more of the game and its systems, spend more time in the world, and figure out how to be even better at it.” These should not be controversial statements—I’m simply stating something I appreciate, something that’s relevant to me—and yet some readers responded as if I’d suggested that all gamers should amputate their pinky toes.


Supergiant's Greg Kasavin on Hades, Epic Games Store, and the Beauty of Democratized Game Development



One of the biggest surprises of The Game Awards last year came from beloved indie studio Supergiant Games, which unveiled its follow-up to 2017's Pyre: a roguelike dungeon crawler called Hades. At first, the new project was greeted with apprehension when the words "early access" dropped next to it, but through steady patches and monthly content drops, the early access game has developed a strong following.


The devil within: Hideaki Itsuno on 25 years at Capcom



The man behind Dragon's Dogma, Darkstalkers, Rival Schools and so much more looks back on his career.


Smash Bros. Creator Masahiro Sakurai Works Too Damn Hard



Sakurai’s days consist of meetings, hammering out projects and not only overseeing development but being very hands on. He’s the guy who enters, edits and checks the various parameters in the Smash Bros. games. “If I were to hand over the work to someone else, it would be a full-time, multi-person designated workload,” Sakurai previously explained. So he ends up doing all these tasks as well as his own workload. There’s a reason for that, Sakurai says. “It’s faster and more accurate to do it myself than to tell someone else over and over again what to do.”

All this has come with a physical toll.


Closing the gender gap in the tech industry



Hadi Partovi: Well, many of the efforts to get women into computer science, I think, start late. And, if you start-- by the time somebody is 18 or 19, they have so many more predeveloped stereotypes and inhibitions and-- and other passions that they've, at this time, developed. As he says, college or even high school is way too late, because of what's known as "the middle school cliff," a very well-documented decline in girls' interest in science, technology, engineering and math - the so-called "STEM" subjects.


How the Front Mission Series Anticipated, Then Fell Behind, a Dark Future



Ahead of the release of 'Left Alive' on Tuesday, here's a mostly-complete history of the famed mecha series.


And Besides, This Isn’t My Sword



While MGS4 was a far more sombre game, dealing with Snake at the end of his life fighting a war he had no choice but to fight, Revengeance is (as the incredible subtitle implies) near-infamously bombastic in the same way that many of PlatinumGames’ other developed titles are. This switch in tone works extremely well in its favor – while MGS4 used Snake to question the legitimacy of heroic war narratives, Revengeance is focused heavily on the question of violence itself in a video-game context.


'Kingdom Hearts III' Has Great Storytelling, No Matter How Silly the Tale



The series may get ragged on for bombastic lore, but the third game ends in a satisfying way.


The inspirations for The Witcher 3’s monsters: a bestiary



The bestiary tells us everything about these creatures – what they’re weak to, what category of monsters they fall under. However, there are lots of things it doesn’t mention. Sure, everyone knows the difference between a werewolf and a wyvern, but where did erynias come from? Is there more to nekkers than meets the eye? And what about benevolent Conjunction creatures like Johnny the godling? As it turns out, almost all of these monsters are at least partially based off real mythological beings – and the ones with names we don’t immediately recognize are sometimes even more intriguing than their infamous counterparts.


History Respawned: Far Cry 2


Bob talks with Dr. Charlie Thomas about Far Cry 2. Topics include postcolonial African warfare, Cold War ideologies in postcolonial struggles, the importance of the environment in African combat, and the role of displaced populations in Africa.

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


Eastshade: The Value of Rejecting Conventions


Support this channel: https://www.patreon.com/RagnarRoxShow

The peaceful open world exploration game Eastshade shows how much the deliberate rejection of genre conventions, especially when it comes to combat and violence, and open world design, can add to the intended emotional experience of a game.


The Brutal Joy of Ganondorf


And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout, But there is no joy in Hyrule—mighty Ganon has struck out.


Why Synergies are the Secret to Slay the Spire’s Fun | Game Maker’s Toolkit


I have been obsessed with a card battling roguelike called Slay the Spire. And a big reason for that is how the game uses synergies. What are they, and why are they so cool? Let’s find out.

Support Game Maker's Toolkit on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/GameMakersToolkit


An Examination of Resident Evil 2's Mr. X


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

When Mr. X was introduced about halfway through my first playthrough of the recently released remake of Resident Evil 2, I quickly came to view him as one of the most menacing villains I'd come across in a game. When viewed from a distance however, you can't be blamed for thinking his systems make him more... goofy than anything else. So what purpose does Mr. X ultimately serve if he isn't much of a mechanical threat in and of himself? Let's find out!


The Untold Story Behind Astroneer's Difficult Development


Noclip rides a shuttle to Seattle to tell the story of a group of dear friends who left their jobs in AAA to create the space game of their dreams. The story explores the struggles they encountered and the strangers that came on board to help them finish the journey. [This story deals with issues of loss and grief that some viewers may find difficult.]

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


The History of Metro: Last Light


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

Developing Metro 2033 had been challenging for 4A Games. After splintering from GSC Game World in 2005, the Ukrainian studio had spent the better half of the decade building everything in their first title from the ground up, from the engine that powered its world, to the design philosophy that informed its gameplay. And while the game had managed to exceed expectations when it finally released, it also carried with it a stigma of being undercooked, on account of its many bugs, and occasionally infuriating enemy AI.


Capcom: How the West was Worse [SSFF]


Support us on Patreon!http://bit.ly/SSFFpatreon


Plants vs Zombies: The Story of George Fan


You asked for it, so here it: by popular demand, the origin of Plants vs Zombies.

Honestly, we never expected to do a PvZ video. But we asked you guys to suggest the topic for our next video, and you overwhelmingly voted in favour of covering George Fan's indie darling turned Pop Cap casual tower defense title.


The Origins Of Command & Conquer With Louis Castle


In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Ben Hanson interviews the co-founder of Westwood Studios Louis Castle about the origins of the Command & Conquer, the entire RTS genre, and working with Steven Spielberg at EA.


Breath of the Wild Review


Some very minor spoilers for the other 3D Zelda games as well. You might want to pause to read some of the text that appears at points but if this is your first time watching I recommend just letting the video continue to play.


toco toco - Devil May Cry 5, Resident Evil 2 Remake Directors special


GUESTS Hideaki Itsuno, Kazunori Kadoi, Yasuhiro Anpo - Game Directors


Things I Missed From Previous Weeks





Human beings leave physical impressions upon the things they love and use just as much as their do upon the lives of people and the planet they live upon. For every action, there’s a reaction. For every pressure, there’s an affect on mass and volume. And in the impressions left by that combination, particularly if you’re lucky enough to see the sides of a rare, unrestored vintage Pac-Man cabinet, lies the never before told story of how we really played the game.


Pode and The Zeigarnik Effect | Psych of Play


My wife is not big into video games, but I can always convince her to play a few levels of Pode with me. Pode’s puzzles are challenging, its story charming, and its visuals stunning. But all that aside, there is something about it that really relaxes you and, if you’re like my wife, may help your OCD. So on this episode of Psych of Play, were doing to look into the main mechanic of Pode and how it gives you a clever way to avoid something called the Zeigarnik effect.


The story behind Dead Cells - Motion Twin | Levels


With no boss, equal pay and equal say, this fiercely independent studio are doing things differently. But when huge success comes so unexpectedly, how will this team of eight reach new heights without losing touch of what makes them so awesome? This is Motion Twin!


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