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This Week In Gaming 11-26-19

1 post in this topic



Folding Ideas covers the FTC's COPPA agreement with YouTube and how YouTube won't make the most of the tools at their disposal to comply with their agreement to instead take advantage of misinformation in order to use confused Youtubers and fans to plead against the case against them, hbomberguy on the genius of Pathologic and the value of negative experiences, Clayton Ashley speaks to Austin Wintory about the difficulty in composing the last song in Journey, Razbuten on how the varied solutions of Breath of the Wild helped a player new to gaming build confidence, Game Maker's Toolkit plays 50 of this years games to see if accessibility has improved, Nick Capozzoli on the artificial feeling of Call of Duty's "realism," Writing on Games' analysis of Death Stranding, Khee Hoon Chan on controlling what is canon for the lore of The Elder Scrolls, Shesez interviews five of the original creators of Donkey Kong Country for its 25th anniversary, 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)


Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length VR prequel out in March 2020


Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, Half-Life: Alyx is a new full-length game built from the ground up by Valve for virtual reality.

The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx -- Behind Closed Doors at Valve


Geoff Keighley goes inside Valve to announce his next project: The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx, a look inside the past decade at Valve Software.


MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries trailer finally gives us some smashing spreadsheets


There are less than three weeks left ’til Father Battlemech’s big steel arse comes down the chimney, kids. A mere two decades after Mechwarrior 4 left off, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries arrives next month. While there’s plenty of big robot fights to look forward to, developers Pirhana Games released a new trailer showing off what would-be space pirates will be doing all that smashing and crashing.


Phoenix Point lays out final bits of pre-launch polishing



With just over one week to go until Phoenix Point launches, the developers have explained what they’ve been polishing and tweaking since the last build for backers. It sounds good! Some changes reduce frustration, such as making Haven attacks less frequent so commanders have more time to explore, while others sound just plain desirable, like a “complete rework” of faction weapon stats. Phoenix Point has always seemed fascinating, as you might expect from X-Com co-creator Julian Gollop directing a new tactical worldwar about defending Earth from an ever-mutating menace, so I’m glad to look now and nod “Ah yes, almost here, just a bit of polish, that’s just lovely, good.”


Worldwide Langrisser I & II Release Will Appear In March 2020


The Langrisser I & II release dates have been revealed. People looking to play through the remakes of the two strategic-RPGs on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC will need to make time in March 2020. It will appear first in North America on March 10, 2020. Then, Europe will get it on March 13, 2020. Finally, Australians will get the collection on March 20, 2020.


Star Citizen devs add another feature: 40-player ‘Theaters of War’ battles


Star Citizen, which has been in development since 2012 and is still technically in an alpha state, has another mode of play coming: Theaters of War.


John Woo's Stranglehold dives onto GOG, in slow motion, surrounded by doves


Ah well. They can’t all be bangers. But like a lot of “fascinating, yet average” games, Stranglehold has its defenders. Beyond making a legit copy of Stranglehold easier to find, today’s rerelease also makes the 12-year-old game more compatible with modern systems, adding support for widescreen resolutions.


Darksiders Genesis gameplay footage and system requirements


The next game in the Darksiders series is a spin-off, a top-down co-op game starring Strife and War. Though Darksiders Genesis looks like act two of Diablo 3, it seems to play like classic Darksiders as you can see in the video of the first 16 minutes above courtesy of IGN. There's a lot of platforming between combats, plenty of shiny currency to pick up from dead enemies and smashed crates, and it all feels like a 1990s Image comic version of The Legend of Zelda.


11 Minutes Of Guilty Gear Strive High Level Gameplay


We've got 3 high level Guilty Gear -Strive- matches complete with some aggressive corner pressure in each match. These matches include the recently announced Chipp Zanuff, Potemkin, as well as May, Ky Kiske, Sol Badguy and Axl Low.


Granblue Fantasy: Versus - Official Gran Character Trailer


Learn more about Gran from the upcoming fighting game, headed to PlayStation 4 in 2020 (NA).


Inside The Open World Of Diablo IV


In the final video feature for our month of Blizzard coverage, Diablo IV Game Director Luis Barriga and Art Director John Mueller sit down with us to talk about their vision of the next step for Diablo, including why the darker Diablo II-ish tone felt right and how the open world works with the series' formula.


Phoenix Point - Phoenix Project Trailer


The world is under siege from a mutant alien menace. Civilization has retreated to scattered havens around the globe. Divided into rival factions, the remainder of humanity scrambles to hold out against an overwhelming threat. The Phoenix Project, dormant for years, springs back to life, uniting the best and brightest from around the world in a single goal: to give mankind a final chance to rise from the ashes.


Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer monetisation is still being explored



Cyberpunk 2077 will have multiplayer, but CD Projekt Red has been keeping the feature pretty close to its chest. In a recent investor call, however, president Adam Kiciński did briefly touch on the subject of monetisation, though without giving very much away.

Cyberpunk 2077 will have mocapped sex scenes


CD Projekt said during a recent community event in Warsaw that its upcoming RPG Cyberpunk 2077 won't be quite as long as The Witcher 3, but will make up for it with a greater degree of replayability. It also revealed a little bit more about the game's sex scenes, which are apparently being given plenty of attention to ensure that they, uh, satisfy everyone.

Cyberpunk 2077 will give you plenty of reasons for a second playthrough


Cyberpunk 2077 will give you plenty of reasons to give it a second playthrough or many even three.


Reworking the combat system in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2



When Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines first launched in 2004, it was lauded for the quality of writing found in both the main story and character dialogue. Critics called it a flawed masterpiece with one of the main flaws being how stiff, unresponsive, and nonsensical the combat was throughout the game.


Ikaruga PS4 and Switch physical edition announced



“Physical copies of Ikaruga for Nintendo Switch and PS4 are currently in active production,” Nicalis said in a tweet. “A release date will be announced when all the details are finalized.”


Dead Or Alive 6 Brings Back Rachel, And A New Collab With A Certain Dumbbell Anime


Today at DOA Festival 2019, Koei Tecmo announced Rachel as the next fighter to join Dead or Alive 6. Additionally, an outfit collaboration with the anime How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift was revealed, and more.


SOULCALIBUR VI - Season 2 Introduction Trailer - PS4/XB1/PC


New characters, moves, costume parts, battle systems, stages and more: here’s what awaits warriors in SOULCALIBUR VI’s Season 2, launching on 26 November with Hilde and Creation Parts Set C!


Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order - Official Curse of the Vampire DLC Trailer


The Marvel Knights--Punisher, Blade, Moon Knight, and Morbius--join the alliance. The playable characters are the first of 3 DLC packs included with the MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: The Black Order Expansion Pass, which also includes a new mode. The DLC pack is available now.


Jurassic World Evolution: Return To Jurassic Park



Two weeks ago, Frontier Developments revealed a new expansion to its 2018 dino-park simulator Jurassic World Evolution. The expansion, Return to Jurassic Park, is set to let players experiment with fixing the problems of the original dinosaur park from the hit '90s films. I traveled to Frontier Developments to get my hands on the expansion and learn just how ambitious of a project this is.


Code Vein Season Pass DLCs launch in early 2020



The three major downloadable contents included with the Code Vein Season Pass will launch in early 2020, Bandai Namco announced (2, 3).


What's Gone Wrong With the FTC's COPPA Agreement With YouTube


While voluntary content flagging is useful and a good measure, and some measure of automated detection is likely necessary, YouTube’s response has been deliberately broad, utilizing their status as a monopoly in online video to force creators to bear the burdens of compliance without providing them with the tools and data to do so in a meaningful, educated manner.

Crowdfunding: https://www.patreon.com/foldablehuman


What It's Like Building a Company for Marginalized Voices


It's been two years but he's finally back. Manveer Heir, who came on Waypoint Radio in 2017 to talk about his time working on Mass Effect: Andromeda, has returned to the podcast studio with Rashad Redic, an industry veteran whose worked on games such as Fallout 3 and Skyrim. Together they make up two thirds of Brass Lion, a new entertainment studio with goal to tell the stories of underrepresented and marginalized groups in their own voices, from their own perspective. Austin sat down to chat with them about their first game, Corner Wolves, their experiences in the industry, building a new startup, and the best hip-hop artists of all time. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.


Arkane veterans launch WolfEye: a small studio making big games



Raphael Colantonio and Julien Roby share their vision for a distributed team making titles focused on experience over technical prowess


Facebook acquires Beat Saber developer Beat Games



Beat Games to continue to operate as independent studio.


Visual Novel Sets Out To Buck Trends By Being Less Sexual, Gets Blocked By Steam Anyway


Crime Opera: The Butterfly Effect is an original English language visual novel (or OELVN, as the visual novel community calls them) about six children who—through various routes—find their way into their mafioso parents’ warped world. They wind up witnessing “murders, kidnappings, and a slew of other crimes,” some perpetrated by their own families. It is grim and traumatic stuff, in other words. The point, Bester told Kotaku in an email, was to set up a larger series in which the same characters age a decade in each entry, and what they experienced as kids comes back to haunt them.

Steam just deleted hundreds of games from the store


The Christmas period is a good time to give your house a bit of a deep clean in lieu of decorations and having guests over. Valve appears to be taking this sentiment to heart this year, as it’s begun a clear-out of Steam’s archives.

Valve Is Not Making Any More Steam Controllers


We are gathered here today to bid farewell to the Steam Controller, the little gamepad that could in some cases, but couldn’t in others, because it made people’s hands hurt. Its haptic pads are tickling the fingers of angels now.


Twitch Loophole Is Still Inflating Views



Saqib “Lirik” Zahid, who has 2.5 million followers on Twitch, is the last streamer to need a viewbot. Nevertheless, over the last couple of days, his fans and followers wondered whether he’d somehow succumbed—this week, his average 27,000 viewer count for November shot up to a huge 76,000 for no discernable reason.


Google Points Finger at Developers For Stadia Games Not Streaming at 4K



One of the big promises Google made for its Stadia streaming service was the chance to play games at their most technically powerful, with 4K resolutions and 60 frames-per-second being one of the company’s regular talking points. No need to pay for an expensive PC!


Teenager identifies over 14,000 CS:GO cheaters with homebrewed AI



Algorithms aren’t the answer to everything, but they can help you catch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive cheaters. A teenager going by “2Eggs” has apparently identified 14,000 of the buggers, knocking together an AI that can analyse reports of potential cheaters in a fraction of the time it would take a human. He’s called it HestiaNet, after the Greek goddess “of hearth and fire”. I’m happy enough for the over-performing bedroom AI to have a grandiose name, even though that number might have more to do with Valve’s own software than Eggs’es.


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


Divinity Original Sin the Board Game


Divinity Original Sin the Board Game is a cooperative, storytelling adventure game set in the Chronicle System.


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


The story of Eight Days, one of Sony’s canceled big bets



The developers gathered around the caskets, mourning the loss of two friends. People were “gutted,” one at the funeral recalls. Sure, the bodies were printed-out pictures — of video game characters, no less — but the sentiment remained. After two years of work, developers at Sony’s SCE London Studio had to say goodbye to Eight Days, an ambitious narrative action game Sony had just canceled.


Microsoft went all in on accessible design. This is what happened afterwards



The Xbox Adaptive Controller is one of the most telling products in how design as we know it is changing. It’s a boxy controller with two giant buttons and over a dozen ports for external peripherals, to allow people with disabilities the option to play Xbox in any manner they can.


The battle to control what's fact and fiction in The Elder Scrolls' lore



What constitutes canon is being reinterpreted by ardent fans.


How Assassin's Creed Brings History to Life—and to the Classroom



Recreating the past has led to unique challenges, as well as some unexpected benefits.


Fear of an Irradiated Planet



In November 2016, Greenpeace tweeted triumphantly about Vietnam’s decision to scrap its long-held plans for two nuclear power plants, the statement vaguely gesturing toward renewable sources. This naive display was greeted with hundreds of derisive responses, a barrage uncommon even on that unfriendliest of social media platforms. What the world’s premier environmental organization somehow failed to deduce—and what other Twitter users were so eager to point out—was that if one of Asia’s fastest growing economies couldn’t fulfill its energy needs via cheap, clean, and only potentially hazardous nuclear power, it would do so via expensive, polluting, and otherwise assuredly destructive coal-based methods. Which, of course, it did.


A Russian Crucible: Pathologic 2 and the Problem of Video Game Difficulty



How do you think about challenge and accessibility when the point is to punish the player?


How developers left violent combat behind to create kinder games



Combat in all of its different forms is the pillar of most games, one that we've come to take for granted. But with the years, whether that's due to hyper-realistic styles making the violence in games seem more gruesome than ever, or simply out of a need for more gentleness in an increasingly relentless world, the number of games that re-think combat or forego it altogether has risen. I've been speaking to the developers of several upcoming games to ask them why they've started to look for alternatives.


How did Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order get so unusual?



When Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order finally fell into our hands, nobody expected to play a lightsaber-Crash Bandicoot-Tomb Raider-style game, but here we are. Jedi: Fallen Order is an intriguing tincture of genres, borrowing from a number of influences.

But how did it get there? I thought it might be fun to try to reverse-engineer the fantasy of the game for you, as a game designer.


Fallout 3, The Outer Worlds, and the Megaton Problem



For better or worse, player choice in Western role-playing games is often the benchmark upon which they’re judged. As these games get more and more open, the expectation of more viable approaches to situations balloons further and further. But when you get right down to it, the big, showcase choices that these types of games give players still have a very binary nature. Fallout 3, landmark RPG though it is, also set the standard for how quests usually operate in its Megaton decision. What’s worse, the openness of these RPGs stands in stark contrast to how the rest of its gameplay invites many possible approaches. And it’s not gotten that much better with time.


How Modern Warfare smooths over the horrors of war



The new Call of Duty feels all the more artificial as it grasps for "realism."


“A Hallucinatory Plea,” by Maddi Chilton



A few hours into Disco Elysium, the protagonist, a police detective, and his partner Kim Kitsuragi cross a previously-inaccessible water lock and come across a crashed motor carriage, nose-down in an icy marsh and flooded with water. In it, he finds his own badge and coat. The detective asks Kim what happened; Kim gives a noncommittal reply. They sit on an abandoned swingset as the detective mulls over the possibilities, a task which (due to brain damage and general incompetence) takes several hours. After far too long, he puts two and two together: “I DROVE MY CAR INTO THE SEA?!?!?!”


Indivisible Sorta-Review



If what I just said makes sense to you, you should definitely try to play Indivisible. It is a game that is confusing, frustrating, messy, clearly a product of mismanagement and disorganization, and yet, since finishing it, I can’t stop thinking about it.


Pokemon Rivals Are Always Better When They’re Assholes



I feel bad for Hop: the enthusiastic, guileless rival character in Pokemon Sword & Shield. Whenever I meet him on my travels, I annihilate his team with ruthless efficiency — sometimes sending in my weaker Pokemon just to give them some experience against his under-leveled, underdeveloped team. He winces when I land a super effective hit, and as a man in his 30s wailing on this poor child, I’d much prefer to make him a nice sandwich, sit with him for a bit, and ask him to tell me about his favorite movie instead. That way the poor lad doesn’t start crying. Hop is a good kid; he is not a good rival.


'Jedi: Fallen Order' Is an Exploration Game That Discourages Exploration



All I want to do is see everything 'Fallen Order' has to offer, but it's not letting me.


Shenmue III Is a Masterpiece of the Mundane



There’s a beauty to Shenmue III that I hope will not go unremarked on. A visual poetry that is simultaneously ungainly and stirring. Walking through the impressionistic fields of soft yellow and pink flowers in Bailu, seeing children practicing martial arts, all under the watchful ancient gaze of tremendous mountain ranges. Each person’s face in Shenmue feels unique (even when it’s not), emotive and full of life (even when gasping like a turtle). The framerate stutters at times, NPCs pop in unexpectedly, but the world feels alive, despite the limitations of budget and technology. It is genuine, honest. Opening a dozen drawers in Shenmue III is clumsy, awkward, and tedious. It showcases the limitations of the textures used, the lack of fluidity—but each trigger of the opening and closing animation is evocative. The emotional honesty of rummaging through a large dresser, which, when was the last time you thought deeply about what rummaging through a dresser even feels like? Shenmue III wants you to sit with those feelings.


Space and Place(lessness) in NieR: Automata



Unlike in most games, PlatinumGames uses the absence of place to tell its story in NieR: Automata.


Pathologic is Genius, And Here's Why


Two hours? That sounds like a nightmare. Luckily, so is the game. And what an amazing nightmare it is.



Why Journey's last song was the hardest to compose


Composing Journey's soundtrack was a Journey in itself. *wink*


The Donkey Kong Country 25th Anniversary Interview Documentary


25 years ago from this upload date, Donkey Kong Country set itself upon the world. It became a legendary title and forever changed the history of the Donkey Kong series. To celebrate this occasion, Gregg Mayles, Steve Mayles, Kevin Bayliss, Chris Sutherland, and David Wise have come together to share their journey of the development and eventual release of the hit title.

I dont plug my patreon in the videos because I want to keep the content pure and timeless. However currently I am accepting for support. https://www.patreon.com/BoundaryBreak


What Breath Of The Wild Is Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games


This past year, my wife made the mistake of taking an interest in my hobby, and instead of just letting her play games for fun, I figured it'd be more interesting to chronicle her journey of figuring out how to play video games. So, this is a continuation of the first video on the subject and it examines what Breath of the Wild is like for someone who doesn't play games. Enjoy.

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


Designing Sounds For Sci-Fi Vehicles In Games



How Accessible Were This Year's Games? | Game Maker's Toolkit


One year on from my “Designing for Disability” series, let’s take a look at 50 of the year’s biggest games to see how the industry is tackling accessibility in 2019.

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


Keep Running Up That Hill: An Analysis of DEATH STRANDING (Spoilers)


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

Death Stranding (Hideo Kojima's first game post-Konami break up) is a game I have many complicated feelings about, both positive and negative. To try and make sense of them, let's talk about absurdist philosophy and noise music as we take a spoiler-heavy look at one of the most complex, deliberately exhausting games about walking ever made.


The Outer Worlds Critique | More like Fallout 1 than New Vegas


A spoiler-filled critique of Obsidian's new game The Outer Worlds. It's the game you'd get if Fallout 1 and Deus Ex had a baby...in space.

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


How Games Are Actually Designed | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#3)


I would say this is probably one of the most important video of this series. If you're only to watch only on my channel - this is the one. There were so many stories of game development complications, sometimes even failures, related to inefficient design processes, or not knowing how to approach making a game. And nobody is at fault, just not enough people teach about this. It is my hope to at least partially remedy the issue through this video.

Support Farlands on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/farlands


Noclip Podcast #16 - Sea of Solitude (Cornelia Geppert)


Cornelia (Connie) Geppert visits Noclip from Berlin to talk about the development of Sea of Solitude, having EA as a publishing partner, the creative changes she would make given a second chance and her passion for playing artful games.

Become a Patron and get early access to new episodes: https://www.patreon.com/noclip


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


How to tell apart all 596 Fire Emblem characters | Unraveled


Ever have trouble differentiating Fire Emblem characters? With a little help from Brian David Gilbert and an old form of Italian theatre, you'll never have that problem again.


Things I missed from previous weeks


World on Fire: The Oral History of Fallout and Fallout 2



Go post-nuclear in this excerpt from "Beneath a Starless Sky," the Shacknews Long Read that explores the making of Pillars of Eternity and the Infinity Engine RPGs.


A Spectre is Haunting Martinaise — Detective Fiction and Disco Elysium’s Disappointing Ending



Communists and fascists do not do battle in Disco Elysium. Why would they? Power lies within the hands of the moralists and the ultraliberals. Neither the communists nor the fascists are relevant enough to upset this balance of power. The neoliberal grip on the world is too strong, and the historical moment that allowed for the revolution has passed.

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