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    This Week In Gaming 1-14-20


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    Joshua Rivera's goodbye article to Kotaku touches on game journalism and the consequences of ignoring the culture and industry around video games, Blake Hester tells the story of why all the money in the world couldn’t make the Kinect happen, Forest Lassman reports on the way companies use credits to punish or reward developers, RagnarRox explains how folklore brings horror to life in Fatal Frame, Dan Root begins series on the five fundamentals of game animation, new Resdient Evil 3 and DOOM Eternal trailers, Disco Elysium's developer ZA/UM talks to Gamespot about how they made their mechanics work and what inspired them, Control's developers react to a 49 minute speedrun of their game, Nic Reuben on what makes The Witcher's Geralt the perfect hero for the gig economy, FFVII and Marvel's Avengers delayed, Sony skipping E3 again, 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)

     

    Magic: Legends reveals Diablo-like gameplay in first footage

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    Magic: Legends, one of several Magic: The Gathering games announced at The Game Awards in December, has produced its first gameplay trailer.

     

    Trials of Mana ‘Charlotte and Kevin’ character spotlight trailer

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    Here is an overview of the two characters and how they are linked, via Square Enix:

     

    Warhammer Underworlds: Online is a faithful recreation of Games Workshop's best competitive tabletop game

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    In the depths of a doomed city, warbands go to war for treasure and glory.

     

    Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV opening movie

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    The company also released the Japanese verison of the latest developer diary, which is titled, “Lineage of XI, Evolution of XIV, Part One.”

     

    Langrisser I & II ‘Langrisser II’ story trailer

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    And here is an overview of the remake collection, via NIS America:

     

    Serve Demons, Humans, and Elves Drinks in Coffee Talk on January 30, 2020

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    Coffee Talk, a visual novel with coffee shop management elements that shares some gameplay similarities with Va-11 Hall-A, has a release date.

     

    Marvel’s Avengers delayed

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    Marvel’s Avengers is the second Square Enix-published game to be delayed today. Developer Crystal Dynamics announced that the superhero action game is now due out September 4 worldwide, a nearly four-months delay.

     

    Final Fantasy VII Remake Delayed Until April 2020

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    There’s some disheartening news for people who were counting on playing Final Fantasy VII Remake in March 2020. Square Enix has just delayed the game. Instead, its new release date is April 10, 2020.

     

    RESIDENT EVIL 3 REMAKE Nemesis Trailer (2020) HD

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    RESIDENT EVIL 3 REMAKE Nemesis Trailer (2020) HD

     

    Doom Eternal - Official Story Gameplay Trailer 2

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    The Doom Slayer is back and still ready to rip and tear their way through the latest gameplay trailer for Doom Eternal featuring new weapons and abilities along with a look at some of the characters from the story.

     

    The Creators of Shantae Reveal Exclusive New Switch Game

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    WayForward, the creators of the cult hit Shantae franchise, have pulled back the curtain on their latest title, an upcoming exclusive for the Nintendo Switch.

     

    Pokemon Sword & Shield Getting More Old Pokemon, Free Updates On The Way

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    Sword and Shield's Pokedex is about to get a little bigger. During today's Pokemon Direct presentation, The Pokemon Company revealed that additional Pokemon are coming to the Switch Pokemon games with the arrival of two new expansions, Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. These Pokemon include both brand-new creatures and over 200 older ones that previously didn't make the cut into the Galar Pokedex, and even if you don't plan on buying the DLC, you'll still be able to get those Pokemon into your game with a little extra work.

     

    Wargroove's free co-op DLC arrives in February

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    The pixely dog warrior tactics game Wargroove is getting a free DLC next month centered around a new co-op focused campaign. The Double Trouble DLC is dropping on February 6th. Just in time, I suppose, for the day that co-op life partners celebrate together. Double Trouble also adds new commanders, units, and arcade missions.

     

    Future of Three Kingdoms - Total War: THREE KINGDOMS: Mandate of Heaven

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    In our first Behind the Design, Mandate of Heaven DLC design director Attila and senior designer Simon talk through the design philosophy of the new Mandate of Heaven DLC.

    Siege & Deployable Spotlight - Total War: THREE KINGDOMS: Mandate of Heaven

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    In this Siege & Deployable Spotlight, we join Jordan and Qnosi as they dicuss some of the changes added to battles including new Siege Equipment, Battle Deployables and other new battle features all coming for free in the next TotalWarThreeKingdoms Patch!

     

    You can no longer buy Grand Theft Auto IV on Steam

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    As of today, you can no longer purchase Grand Theft Auto IV on Steam. Rockstar’s immigrant story is still listed on the store, but there’s no longer an option to purchase it. This affects both the original game and the Complete Edition, though the standalone DLC collection Episodes from Liberty City is still available at its usual price.

     

    All proceeds ever made from Modern Warfare’s Outback DLC now go to Australian wildfire relief

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    While wildfires continue to spread across Australia, a number of businesses have started promotions to benefit funds for relief efforts in the country. Now, Activision has joined in. The publisher says it will donate all proceeds from the Outback pack in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to provide aid to those affected by the ongoing fires.

     

    Steam to start selling soundtracks independently of games

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    The virtual hills are alive with the sound of music, thanks to Steam wresting soundtracks from the videogames they were yoked to. As of today, developers can sell soundtracks independently rather than as DLC, which means you won’t need to buy or download the games themselves. Videogames are defunct now. Let us all escape into the superior medium of sound.

     

    Epic Store to give away another 50 free games

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    Epic has announced it is extending its free games promotion for the whole of 2020. The promotion, which has run since the publisher opened the Epic Games Store in 2018, means Epic gives away a PC game for free every week.

     

    Sony skipping E3 again as it gears up to launch the PlayStation 5

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    Sony is skipping E3 again, just months before it plans to launch its upcoming PlayStation 5 console during the 2020 holiday season. This is the second year in a row Sony is skipping one of the largest video game conferences in the world. E3, short for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is a long-running annual event held every June in Los Angeles, and it has traditionally been where both Microsoft and Sony have revealed new details about upcoming software and hardware.

     

    How An Overwatch Skin Left Some Of D.Va's Biggest Fans Feeling Betrayed

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    On social media, Korean women expressed similar disappointment and anger towards the skin, talking about how it mirrored the uncomfortableness of Korean school uniforms, or that she was fulfilling a “tsundere class president” anime trope for men.

     

    Sony's Jim Ryan: PlayStation 5's 'bigger differences' have yet to be announced

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    PlayStation boss also suggests there will be no months-long delay for Japanese launch

     

    AGDQ 2020 raises another record-breaking sum for cancer research

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    Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 has wrapped up, and once again the event has broken its own fundraising records. This year’s AGDQ raised more than $3.1 million USD (about £2.37 million) for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a US-based non-profit dedicated to the prevention and early detection of cancer.

     

    Esports

     

    Nintendo's President Explains Its Reluctance To Fund Smash Bros. Tournament Prizes

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    During a recent interview with Japanese business journal Nikkei, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked a variety of questions concerning the publisher’s future, one of which concerned Nintendo’s support for Super Smash Bros. competitions, in particular its reluctance to support Smash tournaments with prize money.

     

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

     

    Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous “should feel like the tabletop”

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    The first edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game was released in August 2009, and grew out of Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5. More rules-dense and content-rich than D&D’s current, more accessible fifth edition, 3.5 was a very different game, but popular with the hardcore crowd. Thus, Pathfinder had a ready-made audience when it launched, and has been one of the best-selling pen-and-paper RPGs of the last decade.

     

    Rubi: The Wayward Mira

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    A 2D action platformer game teeming with lush pixels, featuring ability-based progression paired with RPG elements. For PC and Switch!

     

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

     

    Pa'lante, Kotaku

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    There is no real incentive for the world to pay attention to video games. You can completely check out of the gaming world, pay it no mind, and get by just fine—no one will balk at you for not knowing Final Fantasy the way they would if you’d never heard of Game of Thrones.

    In my opinion, this is bullshit. That does not make it untrue. But there are consequences for ignoring video games—the culture and the industry around video games are often a petri dish of people and technology colliding in miniature. There are people out there who are clueless about streamers, YouTube, or the online culture wars. A project of my career is suggesting that, had they paid a little more attention to games, perhaps they would know more about culture.

    Goodbye From Josh and Gita

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    Today, Joshua Rivera and Gita Jackson are both leaving Kotaku. They sat down to talk about what they love about this place, as well as the state of games journalism and its diversity, worker solidarity and herbs.

     

    A Big Union Wants to Make Videogame Workers' Lives More Sane

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    The Communications Workers of America is targeting workers at gaming companies, who work 80-hour weeks during “crunch” times.

     

    Video games and disability: Looking back at a challenging decade

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    Diversity and inclusion have become huge gaming discussions in the past decade, and with good reason. More people are playing, talking about, and making games than ever before, and everyone has strong feelings about what they’re playing, or if they’re able to play at all. And, of course, those discussions comes with their own backlash.

     

    All the money in the world couldn’t make Kinect happen

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    For a moment a decade ago, the game industry looked like a very different place

     

    Episodic Games Were the Future, and the Future Was Dead on Arrival

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    Games like 'Hitman' and 'Life is Strange' showed the magic of a shared, episodic experience. They also showed its fragility.

     

    How Game Companies Use Credits To Reward, Or Punish, Developers

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    It takes a team to make a video game. Unfortunately, given the state of video game staff credits, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to know who was actually on that team.

     

    Apocalypse Now, And Again, And Again

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    Fear of a nuclear apocalypse has been reflected in popular media for decades, from ’80s era movies with Cold War themes (Red Dawn, War Games, Rocky IV), all the way to the media of the present day, including modern video games. I’ve played several contemporary games that deal with what happens after the end of civilization. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, which came out in 2019, depicts an America that’s on its fleeting last legs, placing you in the shoes of post-apocalyptic delivery man Sam Porter Bridges who embarks on a last ditch effort to save the country. In 2018’s Frostpunk, you’re tasked with creating a sustainable city in a frigid environment after climate change has made most of the planet unlivable. Even the first Fallout game from way back in 1997 used a world-ending nuclear war as its backdrop.

     

    The making of Disco Elysium: How ZA/UM created one of the most original RPGs of the decade

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    ZA/UM. As a studio name, it's awfully bold and affected. A little awkward and intractable, too; it doesn't look right when not in all-caps. But for co-founder Robert Kurvitz, "It just looks hella cool, that slash there. It looks like the technical name of something that definitely exists and weighs eight tonnes." And then there's its Russian meaning, which is 'from the mind' or 'for the mind'. "Just calling something that, it looks cultural. Like it's not laughable."

     

    Shadows of Chernobyl: tracing the inspiration of Escape from Tarkov

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    'Zone games' like Escape from Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown harken back to a legendary Russian film director

     

    Digital Demonology: The Historical Origins of Gaming’s Infernal Obsession

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    Much of Christian demon lore has its roots in Jewish and Middle Eastern myth and folklore, and thus reaches back many hundreds if not thousands of years. While demons or demon-like entities play a major part in the myths of cultures all over the world, no other demonic tradition has managed to entrench itself as firmly in pop culture as that of the Judeo-Christian variety. Video games, too, have relied on this demon lore to imbue the darker aspects of their worlds with a sense of authenticity and a distant, archaic past.

     

    My Games, My Music, and My Internalized Racism

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    Along with being the only girl at the time in a Catholic immigrant household, I wasn’t allowed to ever leave the house without my mom, so I spent a lot of time watching TV when I wasn’t gaming, and let very dangerous views on people of color become my own views because mid-2000’s television really was something else. Additionally, Latinos are known for being anti-black, and are vocal about it, but of course I’m not speaking for all Latinos. I had to be around that constantly with a conservative mother that dealt with some internalized issues, with her just as conservative friends that also dealt with similar problems. So that, combined with arguably just as harmful representation in gaming, took a toll on little Monti.

     

    Geralt is the perfect hero for the soul crushing instability of our hellworld’s gig economy

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    Deep in the thicket of a cursed, gloomy marshland, bubbles rise to the surface of a fetid pool, while a fawn scavenges for something green amongst the dying undergrowth. Without warning, the silence is broken by two thrashing shapes emerging from the water. A Kikimore – a vicious, spider-like mutation – and a sword-twirling Witcher – human, or…almost. A desperate fight ensues, during which the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, is almost impaled, gored, and drowned. Eventually, Geralt emerges victorious, if exhausted. A hard day’s work, by anyone’s standards.

    Now, he just has to find someone to pay him for it.

     

    playthis Death Stranding

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    As I began to fell in love with Hideo Kojima’s games — as they got more simulation-focused, as their controls got better, as their systems became more readily apparent, the things I value in games — the long-time fans seemed to be falling out of love. All the people who’d told me how brilliant the games were for talking about memes or government information control or who loved things like the Psycho Mantis controller port switch and The End’s boss fight (where changing the PS2’s clock to a time after his death from aging would kill him) soured; they were upset that the games didn’t seem to be dense story experiences that made them feel smart and had memorable gimmicks. I was falling in love because the games were getting smart in other ways.

    Then along came Death Stranding.

     

    Fallen Men

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    In Ursula Leguin’s Earthsea books, about a distant archipelago settled by wizards and dragons, one of its principal characters, the wizard Ged, comes to lose his powers. This is a deeply traumatic event, one from which Ged must rebuild, not only in terms of his health but his sense of self, wrapped up as it is in his ability to do magic and to be made more powerful by it. As the witch Moss describes it: “His power’s himself, see . . . When his power goes, he’s gone. Empty.”

     

    When in Hell, We Do Shots At the Bar

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    Before too long, even though in the game I was drinking, After Party was representing me in a way most media intentionally chooses not to. I stopped really caring about the game’s overarching story. Which isn’t to say it’s bad – on the contrary it’s very funny, intelligently written and does some amazing things with its setting – but before too long I started playing Afterparty like an AA meeting, picking it up for an hour at a time and just listening to people. Afterparty seems to understand that, even in Hell, we’re all humans.

     

    Control Developers React to 49 Minute Speedrun

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    Watch as Remedy Entertainment's Adam Persson (Level Designer for Control) and Sean Donnelly (Lead Gameplay Programmer for Control) give their thoughts on speedrunner Bryonato's incredible run of Control, offering unique insight on what was or was not intended to be used or manipulated in the game.

     

    My Favorite Game Animation of 2019

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    Support New Frame Plus on Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/newframeplus

     

    The Five Fundamentals of Game Animation: An Introduction

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    The 12 Principles of animation are the foundation for good animation, but video games have their own set of fundamentals separate from linear film and TV animation. Let's look at them!

    Please consider supporting the channel through Patreon to help improve the quality of research, editing, footage capture, animation and overall production of each episode: www.patreon.com/DanRoot

     

    The Untold Story Behind the Design of Transistor - Documentary

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    We uncover the original design concepts for Transistor and show how the team at Supergiant Games worked to avoid the sophomore slump.

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

     

    The Aesthetics of Play | Why We Play Games, and the Search for Truth and Beauty In Game Design

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    In this Video, we examine The Aesthetics of Play, that is, the question of Why we Play Games.Play is an impulse that exists across every culture, and expresses itself in different forms, but we don't have a consensus as to why. In this video, we survey the many different conceptions of the aesthetic of play, from the mechanics dynamics aesthetics framework, to Jesper Juuls art of failure, and on to Frank Lantzs ideas about Metacognition, to see if we can identify a unifying purpose.

    To build an understanding of this idea, this video surveys the history of games, play, art and aesthetics to illustrate how culturally contingent the very question of the aesthetic of play is. However, this does not mean there aren't unifying themes across space and time, that speak to a higher purpose for play, perhaps one that interrogates the very ideas of truth and beauty.

    Support on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/gameoveranalyser

     

    Fatal Frame or (How Folklore Brings Horror to Life) | Monsters of the Week

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    Fatal Frame, especially the original trilogy, is a series of masterfully crafted, groundbreaking Japanese survival horror titles. In this video, we're uncovering how the original Fatal Frame pushed the still fresh genre into a completely new direction with its unique blend of folklore, J-Horror and a gameplay-design that goes hand in hand with the game's message; and turns the players into active participants in Japan's folklore.

    Bonus Video: Exorcising my Patrons in Himuro Mansion

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    Patrons... They're Everywhere! Thank you all so much for watching, subscribing, staying with me, supporting me and being overall a peachy person. https://www.patreon.com/RagnarRoxShow

     

    The Feature That Almost Sank Disco Elysium | Audio Logs

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    In this week's episode of Audio Logs, Disco Elysium's lead designer and writer Robert Kurvitz discusses the hardships ZA/UM underwent to make sure that the game's Thought Cabinet mechanic worked, and talks about the game's unlikely inspiration.

     

    The Secret of Success? | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#8)

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

    The road to success is an often-discussed topic, especially among younger developers who start out and want to reach it. So let's talk about it.



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