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    This Week In Gaming 1-28-20


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    Daryl Talks Games on the way music is connected to your long term memories, People Make Games interviews Hearthstone player Blitzchung, Caroyln Petit on the uncomfortable relevance of replaying Kentucky Route Zero while looking for work, Grace discusses A Plague Tale and the way that games tend to imagine similar apocalypses due to an inability to imagine a better or changing world, Kenneth Shepard talks with indie developers about what it is like showing games at PAX and what the goal is, Nintendo doesn’t have to refund digital preorders, Luke Winkie on the way that large studios now just admit to crunch now that they can't hide it, Kirk McKeand speaks to voice actors on the dangers of vocal strain, Andrew Kuhar speaks with Kentucky Route Zero developers about finishing their game after seven years, Noclip gets a look at the new enemies in Doom Eternal, 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)

     

    Nioh 2: New Story Trailer and Post-Launch DLC Revealed

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    Team Ninja reveals the backstory to its upcoming action epic as well as a trio of DLC storylines that will introduce new characters and weapons.

     

    The tactics game based on The Dark Crystal comes out next month

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    Seems like an odd combo. Also, it is very cute.

     

    Crusader Kings 3 is taking the grand strategy series deeper into RPG territory

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    The sequel explores what it means to be a ruler.

     

    Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions Gameplay Details for Special Skills, Moves, More

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    The recently announced PS4, Switch, and PC game Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions got a bunch of new gameplay details with info on special skills, dribbles, V-Zone, and more.

     

    Torchlight Frontiers Is Now Torchlight 3, No Longer F2P

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    What was once a free-to-play offshoot of the beloved Torchlight franchise is now its next major installment. According to an announcement trailer released today (and embedded below), Torchlight Frontiers is now Torchlight 3, which is the “spiritual successor” to Torchlight and Torchlight 2, according to series creator Max Schaefer. Gone are Frontiers‘ free-to-play elements and online requirements, replaced instead by a conventional price tag and the ability to play online or offline.

     

    Patapon 2 Remastered - Official Announcement Trailer

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    Patapon 2 Remastered, the rhythm-based 2D platform/action game, is headed to PlayStation 4 on January 30, 2020.

     

    Ballistic Craft is a bullet hell where you design the crazy weapons

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    “A bullet hell of your own making” indeed.

     

    Lost Words gets a new trailer at the New York Video Game Awards

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    Last night, the most recent trailer for upcoming indie platformer Lost Words: Beyond The Page debuted at the New York Video Game Awards 2020.

     

    Designing DOOM Eternal's New & Classic Demons

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    Hugo Martin (Game Director) breaks down the design and redesign of DOOM Eternal's new and classic demons.

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

     

    Prison Princess Trailer Shows How to Bust Out of Jail

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    NekoMiko creator Qureate is working on a new escape game called Prison Princess for Switch. Check out a new trailer that shows how you’ll find a way to bust out of jail in the Princess Escape ADV.

     

    Persona 5 Royal Phantom Thieves Trailer and DLC Details Break in to Break Out

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    We’ve seen quite a bit of the new character before, but now a Persona 5 Royal Phantom Thieves trailer has appeared to provide even more insight into what she’s capable of. It has appeared alongside a few screenshots and pricing details for four Persona 5 Royal DLC bundles.

     

    Everything You Need to Know About Battlefield V's 'Into the Jungle' Update

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    In an announcement video this morning, Battlefield publisher EA revealed the first Tides of War update of 2020 will feature a return to the Pacific Theater. Out Thursday, February 6, “Chapter 6: Into the Jungle” will add a new map, two new gadgets (including the once-promised lunge mine), and three new elite fighters to the popular WWII shooter. The chapter will run for several weeks, after which you’ll still be able to play on the map, but you’ll lose any chance unlock rewards through your Chapter Rank (more on that in a bit).

     

    Disco Elysium update brings Hardcore mode, widescreen support to the game

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    Alongside the new mode, the game is now available to play on Steam with widescreen support.

     

    Gorgeous Tactical RPG Duelyst Is Shutting Down Next Month

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    Duelyst’s servers will go offline on February 27 the game’s developers announced yesterday on Steam, bringing the ingenious tactical RPG card game hybrid’s nearly four year run to an end.

     

    Tencent bids to acquire 100% of Funcom

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    Proposed deal would value the Norwegian studio at around $148 million

     

    YOUTUBE MODERATORS ARE BEING FORCED TO SIGN A STATEMENT ACKNOWLEDGING THE JOB CAN GIVE THEM PTSD

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    Accenture comes clean with its workforce — as part of an apparent legal defense

     

    Nintendo doesn’t have to refund digital preorders, according to European court

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    Nintendo fans in Europe got some bad news this week. A new court ruling sided with Nintendo’s ongoing practice to not let users cancel digital preorders

     

    Frame Fatales, the all-women speedrunning event, returns in February

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    The week-long Frost Fatales speedrunning showcase is raising money for The Malala Fund.

     

    “Illegal gambling games” should not mean videogames, according to Washington state bill

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    A pair of bipartisan bills introduced in the Washington state legislature aim to protect game developers from class action lawsuits. The bills, introduced in the state’s Senate and House of Representatives, each amend the definition of “illegal gambling games” in existing state law to specifically exclude most videogames.

     

    The Mass Effect trilogy remaster everyone wants is already here - thanks to modders

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    "Stand by for clearance Normandy," bellows Captain David Anderson as the iconic ship approaches Citadel Dock 422. Shortly thereafter the wonder of the galaxy's epicentre hits you like a sledgehammer, its empyrean skyline a majestic marvel among the cosmos. However, there exists a monumental issue that has plagued this cutscene for over a decade: it has aged like a fine wine, if only said wine had its cork removed long before it was shelved.

     

    Esports

     

    Overwatch League, Call Of Duty League, And Hearthstone Esports Will Air On YouTube, Not Twitch

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    With Overwatch League season three set to kick off in just over two weeks, it was becoming a little conspicuous that we still didn’t know where it was going to air. Now we do: With its two-year Twitch deal now expired, Overwatch League is moving to YouTube. It will be joined by Activision’s new Call of Duty League as well as Hearthstone esports.

     

    China’s League of Legends Pro League delayed indefinitely due to coronavirus outbreak

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    China’s League of Legends Pro League competition has been delayed indefinitely due to the recent coronavirus outbreak.

     

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

     

    “My throat was bleeding” – the dangers of vocal strain in video game VO

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    Cissy Jones is leaving the studio after recording monster sounds for a video game and she’s supposed to be on her way to record a commercial. Unfortunately, she can’t make it, on account of the fact her throat is bleeding. Literally bleeding. She’s never done another creature role in a video game since.

     

    Big studios can't hide crunch anymore, so they just admit to it

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    The game industry's long hours used to be an open secret, but two major developers have a new tactic: transparency.

     

    How the creators of Kentucky Route Zero ended their seven-year saga

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    Cardboard Computer opens up about completing its five-act saga, cultivating a positive outlook on indie game development, and life after Kentucky Route Zero

     

    The Warcraft 3 Reforged Interview: Blizzard on Keeping the Remake "Pure"

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    Instead of a more extensive overhaul, Warcraft 3: Reforged is about creating a remake that can exist alongside the original.

     

    Balancing Act: How Developers Make Games "Fair"

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    Demystifying the most talked-about, least understood aspect of game design.

     

    The Rise of the Information Game

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    It’s rare to witness the birth of a new genre in games. Reinventions and resurgences are common—true originality, less so. Yet over the past five years, we’ve seen a fascinating new type of game emerge, to both mainstream and critical success, across a spectrum of titles that seem to defy easy classification. Exemplars like Return of the Obra Dinn, Outer Wilds, Heaven’s Vault, and Her Story may differ in setting, theme, and even some aspects of gameplay, but anyone who’s played them will recognize a common thread. Still, how do you link together a time-hopping insurance assessor, an alien explorer, an archaeologist and her robot, and a nameless investigator? Last year, game designer Tom Francis did just that when he coined a new term: information games.

     

    What it’s Like Showing an Indie Game at PAX

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    Taking the financial leap to bring your game to an event like PAX South means something different to everyone. From the outside looking in, a booth on a showfloor is a playable advertisement for a game in hopes of convincing everyone who stops by to purchase the game when it comes out. But in actuality, for independent developers a presence at a convention is a stepping stone for something bigger than increased sales, as I learned from speaking to various developers who traveled to San Antonio, Texas last week to show off their games to the PAX South attendees.

     

    GDC Survey

     

    Exhumed: The Art of MMO Necromancy

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    Countless times through the ages, hundreds of thousands (if not more) fans and players of a multitude of MMOs have congregated in streets, fields, and other such spaces across their worlds; banded together in solitude against the breaking of the light as their preferred online space/game is forever shut down. After a night of dancing emotes, tearful goodbyes, exchanges of contact info, finally, the servers are turned off, and all goes black. Months and years of memories shared amongst friends, old and new, are lost to the ether of time.

     

    How modders and veterans created Squad, a military sim like no other

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    Teamwork is a hard thing to pull off in a competitive military FPS. In Battlefield, a friend with an ammo bag or medic kit is nice to have around, but ultimately unnecessary when lives are brief and you can simply start fresh with a respawn. In Rainbow Six Siege, teamwork means providing intel with surveillance cameras or synergising your gadget with another. In Call of Duty, it means... well, not a whole lot. This is by design—coordination in shooters ranges from a nice bonus in a game ultimately decided by individual skill, to a compelling but highly gamified act that lays out clear combos between player abilities.

     

    Hard Times: Revisiting Acts I-IV of Kentucky Route Zero While Desperately Looking for Work

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    When Cardboard Computer announced that the fifth and final act of their magical realist adventure game Kentucky Route Zero was finally coming out on January 28th, I decided to replay the first four acts one more time in preparation. I’ve always found that KR0 rewards repeat playthroughs, as I routinely pick up on things I hadn’t before, or come to better appreciate the way that minor details mentioned in passing early on gradually develop into major components of the story. But something else made my time with Kentucky Route Zero feel more pressing and immediate this time around: my own precarious employment situation.

     

    Wrath Is A Retro Shooter Done Right

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    Wrath is another retro shooter, a type of game we are getting more and more of these days. But unlike something like Dusk, which is built in Unity, Wrath is instead being developed in the original Quake Engine. I love Dusk, but Wrath using an old engine lends it a certain feeling. From the way it moves to the way it looks, it feels more like a genuine old school shooter.

     

    Temtem is the best Pokémon game in years

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    Tempting tempeh! Tempura templars! Temerarious temperatures! It is unclear at present whether Temtem is a contraction of anything, and what exactly it means if it is, but this Pokélike is the brand new catch ‘em up from Spanish studio CremaGames.

     

    How Mass Effect 2 Made Garrus More Than Just Another Squadmate, And Created an Iconic Character in the Process

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    "There's no Shepard without Vakarian." Those words ring loud and true to anyone who's played through the original Mass Effect trilogy. It's an earned declaration; for years at this point, Garrus had been one, possibly the only, mainstay of Commander Shepard's journeys through the Milky Way galaxy.

     

    GAME OF THE DECADE

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    I realize all of this maybe makes me sound like a violence driven lunatic. That’s why METAL GEAR RISING is getting a late-January award for VIDEOGAME OF THE DECADE. Embark on a fun adventure to understand the human body from the inside out. Learn about yourself – are you a physician or a back alley surgeon? Watch someone else play and learn about them, in this art game about vivisection.

     

    What is an Apocalypse? A Plague Tale: Innocence and the Failures of Prestige Game Storytelling

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    It is an understatement to say that games have an interest in apocalypses. There are innumerable reasons why, from budget (it’s a lot easier to populate your world with ghosts than people) to influence (zombies and Stalkers populate games for a reason). However, games are both a product of capitalism’s narratives and its self propulsion. To simplify, apocalypses are often a product of our inability to create and imagine a better world. This is why even the most thoughtful games of this kind still strike me as conservative. The Last of Us depicts an apocalypse as the end of history. All communities will eventually decay. Even if they don’t, they must fight off invasion from all sides. The collapse of society brings out who we really are and it is monstrous. The end of western civilization is the end of everything.

     

    Stardew Valley Tries to Have a Better Conversation About Disability, But Does It?

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    When Stardew Valley recently released its major 1.4 update, termed the “everything update” by developer Eric Barone, including a new map, additional endgame content, and thirty-five new hats for your farmer and their horse, it was a small unassuming patch note under the heading ‘Other Changes’ that caught my eye: “Adjusted a dialogue option in Penny’s 2-heart event to be more considerate of George’s perspective.” While it doesn’t provide much context, I knew exactly which scene it referred to — it had always been a particularly sour note for me in the otherwise idyllic escapist fantasy that is the adorable farming sim Stardew Valley.

     

    “You want STARS? I’ll give you STARS!”

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    I have played a lot of Resident Evil since the series’ debut in 1996: Some I adore, some I quite like, and there’s one I can’t even bear playing long enough to finish it the once (and no, it’s not 6). This third entry has always sat somewhere in the middle for me, never doing anything so wrong I can point to it as a particular issue, but never really grabbing me the way its closest cousin Code: Veronica – rage-inducing moth hall and all – does with its memorable boss battles, fantastic soundtrack, and the unabashedly hammy introduction of Super Wesker. I found the streets in Jill’s solo outing confusing, the random item layout and “live selection” system made forward planning difficult, and as heart-stopping as being chased by Nemesis is in the moment there was never any doubt that Jill would eventually get the better of Umbrella’s latest hideous experiment.

     

    Frostpunk: The Last Autumn shows compassion matters in climate crises

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    As the icy apocalypse looms in Frostpunk's latest DLC, empathy is not a luxury to discard, but is more important than ever

     

    Cooly Skunk: how a lost Super NES game was miraculously recovered via satellite download

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    Cooly Skunk, Punky Skunk - this long forgotten platforming mascot character went by a couple of different names during his short life in late 90s gaming - but as of last week, he's suddenly become a lot more interesting. Originally released on the original PlayStation, it turns out that the same game was initially developed for the Super Famicon. More specifically, it was developed, completed, but never physically released and seemingly lost - until the combination of a freak discovery combined with the efforts of the game preservation community brought this title back from oblivion.

     

    Games Should Leave You Wanting More

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    Support the Channel at: https://www.patreon.com/raycevick

     

    Meeting Blitzchung, the Hearthstone pro banned for his politics

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    We travelled to Hong Kong to meet Blitzchung, the Hearthstone player banned by Blizzard last year.

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

     

    King's QUESTROSPECTIVE - How Roberta Williams Designed A Game Changer

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    Today I am defending the CLASSIC computer game King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown, and Roberta Williams's quest-tionable design choices!

    Consider Supporting me on Patreon: http://patreon.com/pushinguproses

     

    Fundamentals of Game Animation Feel

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    This time we're looking at the fundamental of FEEL, arguably the more important fundamental of the five.

    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

     

    How Music Encodes Your Memories

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    Music is a profoundly powerful thing. At the right time, a melody from a game or a movie can stir up memories of the past, even in those with severe memory disabilities like Alzheimer’s Disease. Today on Psych of Play, we’re going to dive into how memories are encoded into long term memory, and how music is deeply entwined to those connections in your long term memory.

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

     

    Examining CD Projekt Red's Overlooked Witcher Game

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

    The Witcher is arguably the most popular it's ever been, going from obscure PC-only RPG back in 2007 to one of the biggest franchises in entertainment right now—it's certifiably mainstream. And yet, its developer CD Projekt Red released Thronebreaker—what they described as a thirty-hour, narrative-heavy single player RPG set in The Witcher universe—during the height of series popularity (also Cyberpunk 2077 might be one of the most hotly anticipated titles of all time), and it still failed to meet sales expectations. Over a year after its release and with the Netflix series just released, I thought it might be fun to finally give Thronebreaker the chance it deserves and see if it lives up to the lofty claims of its developers. The results are... complicated.

     

    Why Art Games are Important | How Avant-Garde Games have Changed Game Design

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    This video traces the History of Art Games in our medium, and how they have been instrumental in changing game design. Often referred to as avant-garde games, art games like the marriage, passage, the graveyard and the path have often been dismissed when they first released, but now with the benefit of history, we get a sense of how influential they have been in transforming our assumptions about designing games.

    To build this case, we examine the specifics of how these games have influenced more mainstream titles, as well as use the work of brian schrank, who''s work on avant-garde games has been instrumental in defining and identifying the avant-garde in games. What we find, is that not only do art games show a continuity between art history and games, they have fundamentally shifted how we think about our medium, challenging the assumption we hold as inviolable convention, and have inspired all of our creative sensibilities, perhaps without us even noticing

     

    It's OK If Your Idea Is Not New | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#10)

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

    Creating something new is always a very important topic for pretty much every game developer out there. And we tend to get pretty, let's say, sad when we don't create something new. But it's not 'new' that should be the focus.

     

    Shovel Knight's Epic Development - Noclip Podcast #23

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    We talk to Yacht Club Games' David D'Angelo about the six-year, five-game development of Shovel Knight. From Kickstarter to Treasure Trove and everything in between.

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

     



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