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    This Week In Gaming 1-21-20


    Jacob Geller on the uneasy feelings that FMV animations can cause through their uncanny inconsistent portrayal of humanity and the games that use this to good effect, CD Projekt admits they are back to crunch time during five month Cyberpunk delay and Doom Eternal developers have been crunching over the last year, Khee Hoon Chan details some of the history of gaming in China and the struggles that developers go through to keep their studios afloat, Andrew King speaks with the players that have stuck with live service games after the rest of the internet has written them off, Malindy Hetfeld on Fire Emblem Three Houses' subversion of absentee parent tropes, Dad builds custom controller so daughter can play Breath of the Wild, respectful Esports stare-down actually just a controller issue, Dying Light 2 delayed, 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)


    Cyberpunk 2077 Developers Will Be Crunching, CD Projekt RED Tells Investors



    Last year, with concerns raising about the hours being worked by developers, CD Projekt RED told Kotaku that the Polish studio had implemented a "non-obligatory crunch policy" so employees wouldn't have to work extra hours if they weren't comfortable doing so. Co-founder Marcin Iwiński jumped on Kotaku Splitscreen after E3 2019, making multiple public promises to minimise as much pressure on their developers as possible.

    Video Game Delays Cause More Crunch


    This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, even after the studio’s promises to Kotaku last year that it would do its best to mitigate overtime. Ambitious video games like Cyberpunk 2077—with a massive open world and hundreds of branching storylines—don’t get made without extra hours. At least CD Projekt Red pays for overtime (thanks to Polish labor laws), which distinguishes it from most of its North American counterparts. If you’re on an annual salary instead of getting paid hourly, all you can hope for is some extra time off after the game ships and maybe, if you’re lucky enough to work on Fortnite, a generous bonus.


    'World of Horror' brings MS Paint terror to Steam on February 20th


    World of Horror, the "unsettling cosmic horror retro RPG" created by a dentist using MS Paint arrives on Steam Early Access February 20th. A full launch date for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Steam for PC and Mac OS X will be announced in late 2020, says publisher Ysbryd Games.


    Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions Brings Dramatic Anime Soccer To PC And Consoles


    Yōichi Takahashi’s Captain Tsubasa manga and anime have been transforming the sport of association football into a cinematic spectacle since 1981. Now we’re finally getting a proper video game adaptation of the series, courtesy of Bandai Namco’s Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Switch.


    Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON Releasing for PS4 Worldwide in 2020


    Following the earlier announcement in Japan, Bandai Namco announced Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Maxiboost ON is coming worldwide for PS4 in 2020.


    Doom Eternal is like Evil Dead 2 made on an Avengers-sized budget


    After all of the acclaim, it’s hard to recall that Doom (2016) had been in development hell (lol) for years before finding its footing, and reemerged nearly a decade after being announced as “Doom 4.” And when it was finally released, it was done so comparably quietly, as if its launch was a sigh of relief rather than a celebratory scream.

    “We were crunching pretty hard most of last year” – Marty Stratton unapologetic over Doom Eternal’s delay


    “We were crunching pretty hard most of last year. It goes in phases,” Stratton explained.

    'Doom' Will Never Be Eternal Without Mods


    ‘Doom Eternal’ developers said that the game is ‘too complicated’ to launch with mod support.


    Techland announces Dying Light 2 launch will be delayed


    Dying Light 2 will be delayed past its planned spring 2020 release.


    Player Killing created a "toxic environment" in Amazon MMO New World


    The developer of Amazon MMO New World has fundamentally changed the way player versus player works in the game after it struggled to find a solution for Player Killing.


    Trails of Cold Steel 3 Will Bring Rean and the Gang Back to the PC Soon


    If you're itching to go back to Erebonia but don't want to take the journey on a PlayStation 4, then NIS America has good news for you: in addition to a previously announced Nintendo Switch port, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 will be released for the PC in Spring 2020.


    Kingpin Reloaded features remastered graphics, same old F-bombs


    The updated game, with overhauled graphics and new quest and conversation systems, is coming later this year.


    Iron Man VR will miss its February release, now set for May


    Iron Man VR will miss its February 28 release date.


    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s next fighter is Fire Emblem’s Byleth


    The lineup of fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate continues to grow. Today, in a lengthy video presentation, Smash director Masahiro Sakurai revealed that Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses will be the next character added to the Nintendo Switch game.


    Fire Emblem: Three Houses gets a secret fourth house in DLC


    According to Nintendo’s YouTube description, players will be able to meet and recruit four new students from the Ashen Wolves, who will then return to the game’s main story to complete the main quest. Based on the description it sounds like this won’t be a full campaign, but rather a detour from the three main campaigns in Three Houses.





    Nearly one year after the announcement of their previous expansion, Overhype Studios just announced Battle Brothers: Blazing Deserts. The DLC aims at expanding the game's world considerably while adding several major and minor features to gameplay. Overhype Studios is promising that this will be the game's biggest expansion to date.


    Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana update includes major enhancements and 'experimental' co-op mode



    The update, courtesy of Peter 'Durante' Thoman, makes improvements to graphics, performance, stability, and more.


    Here’s why there will only be six new ops in Rainbow Six Siege this year



    The comments here echo those Ubisoft made when the lead developers of Rainbow Six Siege shifted. At the time, Athanassoff said “if you look at player experience, we need to stop thinking about exclusive features and start implementing inclusive features instead. What I mean is that we need to deliver content that will impact every player and the whole community.”

    Ubisoft is suing Rainbow Six Siege DDoS organisers


    Ubisoft has filed a lawsuit against a group of people who it says operated a DDoS attack website they used against Rainbow Six Siege’s online services. The suit alleges that this group, known as SNG.ONE, provided DDoS services to subscribers that allowed them to interrupt and cancel matches, and in doing so interfered with the normal operation of Siege.


    Shenmue 3 will let you play as two new characters in its first DLC next week


    Koch Media have announced the very first DLC for Shenmue 3, Battle Rally, will be released on Tuesday 21st January. By the looks of things it’s inviting players to take part in a race (on foot I think?), and you’ll even be able to play as different characters for the first time. Sorry Ryo.


    Mobius Final Fantasy players devastated by server shutdown



    Square Enix will shut down Mobius Final Fantasy’s global servers on June 30, the mobile game’s operations team announced on Jan. 15. Players received notice this morning that the game’s “Warrior of Despair” story will conclude with the server shutdown in June.


    Exclusive: Ubisoft revamps editorial team to make its games more unique



    Ubisoft will announce plans to restructure the influential creative team which steers the direction of all its games, following a difficult year for the publisher, VGC understands.


    Fortnite Dances


    Joe Biden calls Silicon Valley game developers “little creeps” who make games that “teach you how to kill”



    “Like video games,” offers the New York Times interviewer. Biden has previously called for certain legal restrictions to be imposed on violent games, suggesting in 2013 that there is no legal objective to imposing a tax on violent media. He has also stated that while no definitive proof exists linking violent games and media with acts of real violence, the public shouldn’t be afraid of “facts” which may come from research on the matter.




    Respectful Fighting Game Staredown Was Actually Just A Controller Issue



    As Event Hubs report, this match last night between Guzman and SpaceDetectiveKH ends up stopping a few seconds in for what was assumed by all to be an intense staredown


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


    My Work Is Not Yet Done


    My Work Is Not Yet Done is a pilgrimage simulator following the final days of the inquisitor Avery, the last remaining survivor of the Empire’s doomed excursionary efforts into the remote and unaccountable Reach. Tasked with tracking down the source of an inscrutable signal, she must navigate, survey and survive an eerie, ever-shifting landscape reclaimed by nature — and perhaps something stranger.


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


    The Closing Walls Around China’s Independent Game Developers



    How would you spend an entire week’s budget? Kevin, a game designer and an industry veteran from China, told me he saw a young man burn through 40 RMB—an amount that would have lasted him a week—on a game in an internet cafe back in 1995. Kevin1 spotted him in the early morning, his head and arms sprawled across the table after he’d exhausted himself from an overnight gaming session. “The boss told me that the guy sleeping over there, he just stayed up all night to play a game,” he said. “When I ask the boss what game he was playing, the boss tells me—and I’ll remember this my whole life—that it was Go. He spent the whole of his money to play Go on PC for over eight hours.”


    The Stages Of A Live Game: How Communities Gravitate To Struggling Games And Find Fun



    The last few years have seen big live games create dramatic stories, both through their own tribulations and the experiences of the players who love them.


    We Keep Having The Same Video Game Arguments And It's Driving Me Bonkers



    I’ve worked on games—I’m extremely sympathetic to the fact that developers require time to add new features. It’s true! But after years of the same excuses for the same foreseeable issues, it is obvious that these conversations are not all happening in good faith. Projects can and do get caught up in feature creep. Understanding your scope is important; no one begrudges developers for making sure they’re not working themselves to the bone. (Except, perhaps, if you’ve not added every Pokémon to your game.) However, Tarkov’s developers muddy the waters when they cite “lore reasons” preventing them from doing more. They create the lore! They can break it if they want.


    The top 7 reasons women quit game development



    “I can’t do this anymore,” she said. “They all want to work at my old studio. The one that I’m still going to therapy for years later. I can’t in good conscience help them enter that meat grinder.”


    Storytelling Authority in Today's Political Climate: An Interview with Life Is Strange Series Co-Director Michel Koch



    From graphics that let you see the pores on the faces of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s characters to sprawling stories delivered through additional content that can see the light of day years after a game’s release, videogames have radically changed in the last decade. One of the biggest and most positive developments over the course of the last 10 years has been the much more inclusive array of stories. But exclusively white developers still represented 61% of the industry’s workforce in the International Game Developers Association’s 2017 Developer Satisfaction Survey, with men representing 74%. So while stories are becoming more diverse, the teams creating those stories aren’t diversifying at the same speed—and it’s important to have more marginalized people telling their stories.


    What Does It Really Mean to Be an Indie Game?



    With 'Handmade Pixels' one of gaming's most popular academics tries to figure out the logic behind a messy, contested label.


    Dad Builds Custom Xbox Adaptive Controller So Daughter Can Play Zelda: Breath Of The Wild


    Xbox’s Adaptive Controller has done some amazing things as far as accessibility in video games goes, but the setup isn’t hard-wired to only work on a Microsoft console. It can, with a little work, also run on the Nintendo Switch, and in doing so bring an enormous smile to a little girl’s face.


    Yoko Taro on Final Fantasy XIV: ‘I may end up having to burn down the servers’



    Nier: Automata’s director discusses his latest collaboration


    Always There for You: How Fire Emblem: Three Houses Subverts Absentee Parent Tropes



    In media centering on young protagonists, parents are usually either an afterthought or fully absent. The assumption is that to be without parents is liberating, but Fire Emblem: Three Houses shows that separating from your parents and finding your own moral compass is a longer process, made especially difficult if a young person is meant to mature early and behave responsibly.


    End of an Era: Why I’m Quitting Battlefield V



    I’m no slouch when it comes to FPS games, but I don’t necessarily like to play for kills. I play for the experience, and out of any mainstream multiplayer FPS series, Battlefield has always been about the experience. It’s been about hiding behind cover with my friends as shells explode nearby and bullets whiz over our heads. It’s about moving in as a squad, knowing we have one another’s backs. It’s about letting loose a torrent of suppressive fire with guns that feel like they’re going to buck right out of our hands.


    The Radical Politics of 'Disco Elysium' Make For a Potentially Complicated Legacy



    A spoiler-filled conversation about 'Disco Elysium' gets us thinking about the future of games—and the world.


    An Uncanny Reality


    pity poor flesh and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this fine specimen of hypermagical ultraomnipotence.

    Support me: https://www.patreon.com/JacobGeller


    Statistically Speaking : Metacritic's "Best Games of All Time"


    I paid someone to datamine the 100 highest-rated games on Metacritic, and then made a bunch of wild observations:

    1:11 Do scores matter?
    02:07 What does the average-looking best game ever look like?
    07:32 How have reviewers' preferences changed over time?

    Support the channel on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/superbunnyhop


    Good Game Design - Outer Wilds: Self-Made Adventure


    I finally took the time to dive into the indie masterpiece Outer Wilds, and its open-ended design led to some truly memorable moments unlike anything else I've ever experienced. Let's talk about how they pulled it off.



    You Can't Save The Galaxy In A Day


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

    Outer Wilds is my favorite game of 2019 (maybe...ever?), and it helped me learn an important lesson: you can't save the galaxy in a day. And that is okay...


    Why Don't Mystery Games Need Mechanics?


    Mystery stories, detective fiction, whodunnits- they're all a part of a nebulous genre of narratives that involves deducing clues and figuring out abstract puzzles before it's too late. We've got great examples in literature, cinema and even TV, but where are all the great mystery videogames?

    Well - they're actually already here! 2019 was a bumper crop of mystery-focused video games, but what did they do differently that made them stand out from the unremarkable sleuthing games we had already? Put on your deerstalker, grab a magnifying glass and join The Architect as they try to figure out the answer once and for all

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


    The Two Types of Random | Game Maker's Toolkit


    From critical hits to random encounters, and from loot boxes to procedural generation, video games are stuffed to bursting with randomness. In this episode, I look at the way randomness is used in games - and why some forms are more contentious than others.

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


    Concept Brief | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#9)


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

    In this first video in the series about documentation, we'll talk about some principles to adhere to when structuring your concept brief.


    The Game Industry's Performative Concern For Children (The Jimquisition)



    The game industry hates to take responsibility for its own nonsense, and as regulators around the world hold it accountable for in-game gambling, publishers are scrabbling for a scapegoat.


    How Gears 5 Turned A Helper Into A Hero | Audio Logs


    Gears 5's unlikeliest hero isn't Kait Diaz, or even Marcus Fenix, but the little bot that could: JACK. From his origins as a glorified door opener to a character with Pixar-esque complexity, The Coalition's Rod Fergusson discusses how the team embraced inclusive design practices to make JACK not only playable, but a core part of Gears.


    Designing DOOM Eternal with Hugo Martin - Noclip Podcast #22


    Become a PATRON to unlock more videos https://www.patreon.com/noclip

    Danny sits down with Hugo Martin (Game Director, DOOM Eternal) to discuss how id Software tore apart the DOOM 2016 rulebook and attempted to make a faster, more challenging demons slaying romp.


    Things I missed from previous weeks





    “Can I play Fortnite yet?” asked Gediminas, my wife’s cousin’s youngest son, on the first day of his week-long stay in my house. “No,” I replied, “it’s still updating. You can play after dinner, once the Xbox is ready.” Gedas shuffled uncomfortably on the spot and then picked up the Switch. My Switch. Docked next to the TV, begging to be played. I should have seen it coming: kids can smell games better than a shark does blood.


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