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    This Week In Gaming 10-15-19


    Game Workers Unite co-founder Emma Kinema's presentation on the state of the industry and reasons behind the effort to unionize it, Reid McCarter researched the Warsaw Uprising to tell how the recently released game Warsaw captured the events brutality and complexity, Keith Stuart speaks with CD Projekt designers about the challenges behind the writing and location designs of The Witcher 3, Like Stories of Old considers the unfulfilled potential of Minecraft by discussing how different your interactions with the environment could be if it was created with different assumptions in mind, Kimberly Koenig covers how a gaming library helped a small neglected neighborhood in Portugal find a new identity, Martin Robinson interviews Hiroshi Kawaguchi to learn tales from inside Sega AM2's top-secret studio, promising games from PAX Australia, Skeleton on the state of emulation and the importance of having the games be accessible to everyone, 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)


    Promising indie games we saw at PAX Australia 2019


    PAX Australia just hit Melbourne over the weekend, bringing with it a flock of Untitled Goose Cosplayers and long lines for the VR freeplay area, as well as a PAX Rising section devoted to indie games that's bigger than it's ever been before. Indie games have begun spreading out of their dedicated section as well, with the NEXT Exhibit (returning for its second year) highlighting underrepresented creators, and indies popping up in the tabletop and console areas as well. There were too many for us to tell you about all of them, but here are 10 of our favorites.

    The highlight of PAX Aus was Unpacking, which is a game about unpacking


    Everything in its right place.


    Dragon Age Writer Reveals A New Game, And It Is Completely Different



    BioWare veteran David Gaider, who left the esteemed role-playing game studio in 2016 after almost two decades with the company, has announced his next big project. Gaider has started a new team, Summerfall Studios, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and their first game is probably not what you would expect. The new game is called Chorus. It is part musical, part illustrated adventure game, and part character-driven narrative. Summerfall is looking to fund the game on the crowdfunding/equity platform Fig, with a projected release in Q1 2021.


    How dare Disco Elysium tell me I am boring??


    Disco Elysium is a very dense RPG, where you play an amnesiac alcoholic detective trying to solve a) a murder and B) his identity. As part of the latter quest, the game takes note of your words and actions, and uses them to build an outline of your personality traits. Then it suggests a “copotype” that you roughly adhere to. Until quite recently it suggested I was a “Boring Cop”. I was, as you can imagine, livid at this.


    Official fan-made 7th Guest sequel The 13th Doll finally ready for release this Halloween


    The 13th Doll, developer Attic Door Productions officially licensed follow-up to cult classic spooky CD-ROM adventure The 7th Guest, is, after a rather long delay, finally ready for release, and will be making its way to PC this Halloween.


    RAN: Lost Islands Brings Its Multiplayer Warfare Onto Steam In Late 2019


    Back in March this year, RAN: Lost Islands was announced as an online multiplayer combat game set in the 16th century, and is part of the China Hero Project that has PlayStation providing some funding and technical support for the creation of games in China. However, the game is set to release on PC via Steam first.


    Granblue Fantasy Versus Reveals Zeta And Vaseraga As Playable Fighters, Here’s A New Trailer


    Following the earlier trailer, Arc System Works released another trailer for Granblue Fantasy Versus and this time it revealed two playable characters with Zeta and Vaseraga.


    Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia Introduces The Themes Of Four Of Its Six Factions


    Over the course of the past week, Happinet has been releasing videos introducing four of the six factions you can join and help conquer the world with in Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia.


    The Wanderer: Frankeinstein’s Creature shuffles into stores on Halloween


    Yes, Frankenstein is the doctor, but it’s nice that The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature is a little more neutral than calling his creation a monster. If you’re retelling Mary Shelley’s classic story, it’s probably best to get off on the right foot, instead of insulting your protagonist right out of the gate. And besides, anything that fits into these gorgeous landscapes so well surely can’t be a monster.


    Murder By Numbers is Phoenix Wright in leg-warmers from the designer of Hatoful Boyfriend


    Your boss has been murdered. But he did just fire you, so maybe he had it coming? Unfortunately, that kinda mess puts you in the prime suspect spotlight, and it’s time to clear your name. All sounds rather dark, doesn’t it? But Murder By Numbers has no time for all that doom and gloom. Mediatonic’s next game is a puzzling pop-styled detective novel with some fabulous 90s flair and seriously impressive genre credentials.


    The Ninja Saviors: Return Of The Warriors Will Cut Its Way Into North America On October 15, 2019


    The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors is finally on its way to the Americas. On October 15, 2019, the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 remake of The Ninja Warriors will make its debut. It will cost $19.99 for a digital copy. However, a physical release will also be available.


    Unity of Command 2 will be out in November, beta signups are open


    The closed beta is expected to start in a couple of weeks, and will require some serious commitment from testers.


    How MediEvil Remake Captures Original's Intended Vision



    It’s been twenty-one years since the original MediEvil spooked players. Developer Other Ocean Emeryville is hoping to once again ensnare players’ imaginations. But, has the game stood the test of time? We recently talked with Mike Mika, chief creative officer, and Jeff Nachbaur, producer, about their upcoming game. If their passion is any indication, gamers have a treat in store this Halloween. The MediEvil Remake is not content with igniting mere nostalgia. Instead, Developer Other Ocean Emeryville has set out to create the fiendish vision the original was always intended to be, but couldn’t because of hardware limitation. Here are the reasons they might just succeed:


    Visiting Game Freak For Pokémon Sword And Shield


    Game Informer's Ben Hanson and Brian Shea show off their trip to Tokyo to visit Game Freak and learn all about Pokémon Sword And Shield on the Nintendo Switch. They show off new, unaired clips from the rapid-fire interview, a full town in the game, and the creation of a league card.


    Divinity: Fallen Heroes development put on hold indefinitely


    The post explains that after reviewing the development schedule, Larian realised Fallen Heroes would require “far greater development time and resources than are available now”. With Larian busy with Baldur’s Gate 3, and Logic Artists with the next Expeditions game (and a new IP), a decision was made to pause development.


    Cotton Reboot Flies Through Classic Cute ‘Em Up Stages With A Spring 2020 Release Window


    Earlier this week, Beep released a new trailer for Cotton Reboot, which shows off the X68000 classic mode, new Arrange mode, and more. The trailer confirms a Spring 2020 release date.


    Yakuza: Like a Dragon Has Kasuga Taking Tests To Improve “Human Power”



    Sega released more information today on Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s stat system, known as “Human Power”. By leveling up these stats, Kasuga Ichiban will be able to meet different requirements needed to switch job classes


    Upcoming Museum Sim Lets Players Combine Artifacts To Tell Cool Stories


    McBride-Charpentier used the example of a collection of space-related objects that he plans to put in Mondo Museum. Players could combine models of the solar system with artifacts from ancient Egypt to show how Egyptians understood astronomy. There will even be a combo system to reward players that combine different objects across history.


    You can fly to your house in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, alpha starting this month



    Players can soon strap-in and take flight as alpha testing for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will be open twice between now and the end of November. Sign-ups for the first-round will end next week, with confirmation arriving October 17 before gameplay starts October 24. The dates for the November session are still to be determined.


    Lovecraftian horror and Mars exploration game Moons of Madness hits PC October 22


    Moons of Madness, the Lovecraftian horror and Mars exploration game, has a release date.


    Crimsonland devs going zapping again with Tesla Force


    Shmup shpecialists 10tons have announced a new top-down shoot ’em up, Tesla Force: United Scientists Army. It’s a follow-up to 2018’s Tesla Vs Lovecraft, pitting Tesla, Lovecraft, Curie, and Shelley against yet more spooky hordes in a “rogue-lite” way with procedurally-generated levels. I know, I know, it’s not 2012 anymore, but 10tons know their shmup shtuff. They’re also behind Crimsonland, Jydge, and other zappers that are quite zim-zam. Here, have a peek at Tesla Force in the announcement trailer.


    More Dramatic Readings Of Video Game Patch Notes, Please


    We’ve all been there: Your favorite game drops a big update, and you’re desperate to find out what’s changed. Then you slam face-first into the wall of text that is the patch notes, and your enthusiasm deflates like a punctured whoopee cushion. Reading is a lot of work. What if someone could just read the patch notes for you?


    Only Fortnite could pull off a total blackout


    Usually, when you hear that a game is down, it’s never for a good reason. Maybe the game’s servers are overloaded, or these’s some critical bug that isn’t allowing players to get back into the action. But today, Fortnite went offline on purpose. As of this writing, millions of people are queued up on YouTube and Twitch to watch absolutely nothing happen.

    370,000 people are watching Fortnite do nothing on Twitch


    Fortnite is offline right now, as Epic build anticipation for whatever’s coming to that battle royale next. Leaks have provided good reason to believe it’ll be called Fortnite Chapter 2, but regardless of what form the game takes as it comes back, the event has been tremendously successful. It’s set massive records on Twitch, and a substantial chunk of those viewers are sticking around even as the game remains unplayable.


    The Division 2 brings The Last Castle crashing down in today's story update


    The Division 2‘s street-fashion soldiers have packed their bags, loaded their rifles, and titled their baseball caps backwards for their most dangerous mission yet. While that elusive second raid might still be a while off, Title Update 6 arrives today, dropping seasoned street cleaners into the heart of The Pentagon for some high tech murder in The Division 2: Episode 2.


    Wargroove gets a new story campaign with co-op as free DLC



    The devs behind the Advance Wars-inspired strategy game Wargroove have been teasing a major free update for the past few weeks, and now we know exactly what shape it’ll take. The Double Trouble DLC is coming soon as a free addition for all existing owners of the game, adding a load of new features including a full new story campaign.


    New Paradox Game Steals Halo Artwork, Gets Pulled


    It’s here we note that while Paradox—as the creators of the Stellaris IP—are publishing Stellaris: Galaxy Command, they’re not developing it inhouse. Instead, that job went to Hong Kong studio Gamebear, whose previous title Nova Empire...looks a lot like Stellaris: Galaxy Command, even down to the main menu icons.


    Saints Row 2 for PC is finally being fixed



    You've needed mods to run it, but Volition is close to sorting that out.


    Steam's 'Remote Play Together' will introduce online support for all local multiplayer games



    It'll work automatically with all relevant games in a forthcoming beta.


    Twitch Explains How Another Shooting Got Livestreamed On Its Site



    Today, an armed gunman in Halle, Germany attacked people outside of a synagogue on Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, killing two and injuring at least two others in the process. He livestreamed his attack on Twitch, during which he referred to himself as “Anon” (likely referencing 4chan or 8chan) and espoused far-right talking points. Now, the livestream platform has released a statement explaining how such an egregious violation slipped through its net.


    Twitch Streamer Says She Was Banned For 'Suggestive' Attire After Brigade From Racist Trolls



    As a busty woman who is quite aware that clothing looks different on my body than it does on women with smaller breasts, situations like these are frustrating. Barring a breast reduction, there’s nothing I can do to make my body look “appropriate” according to these types of standards. It’s not a new issue, either. When I was a teenager, school dress codes and even my parents would prevent me from wearing clothing that I saw my peers wearing all the time, because when I wore it, it was suddenly perceived as obscene. I’m not talking about tube tops or halter tops; I’m talking about button-up shirts, fitted T-shirts, and even some sleeveless shirts that were off-limits to me because they read as more sexual on my body. Even as an adult, I wear almost exclusively men’s T-shirts to deemphasize my bust.


    Report: 50 workers laid off at Bendy and the Ink Machine developer Kindly Beast



    Lending more credence to the reports are some recent Glassdoor reviews (posted on October 12) that lambast studio management and CEO Mike Mood for a lack of direction, "nebulous" company policies, and in the case of Mood specifically, openly abusive behavior.


    Another round of layoffs hit Planetside 2 developer Daybreak Studios



    After several employees of Daybreak Studios took to Twitter to announce the layoffs, Daybreak has confirmed the news.


    Blizzard's Hong Kong Missteps Prove Video Games Aren't Neutral



    Blizzard’s esports leagues have, in the past, tried to appear neutral by laying out policies for players that require them not to say anything that could be construed as controversial. The Hearthstone pro player rulebook stipulates that no player is permitted to do anything that “brings him or her into public disrepute, scandal or ridicule, or shocks or offends the community”. This week’s incident has been a reminder that people who play games do, in fact, have real lives that are impacted by real-world political events. But Blizzard is not alone in quieting down this type of political expression. The company’s decision to suspend Chung and rescind his prize money is the latest in a long line of capitulations made by American corporations that care more about profit than anything else.

    Popular Hearthstone Caster Quits In Protest Of Blizzard’s Hong Kong Punishment


    Kibler, 39, is a widely-respected Magic: The Gathering player who, in 2010, was inducted into Magic’s Hall of Fame. Over the last couple years, Kibler amassed a 500,000-person following on Twitch streaming Blizzard’s Hearthstone, which he casts in an official capacity for Blizzard.

    A coach in Blizzard's Overwatch League was told to delete a tweet condemning the company for censoring an esports competitor from Hong Kong


    A coach for a Dallas-based esports team in Activision Blizzard's Overwatch League was reportedly ordered to delete a tweet that criticized Blizzard's punishment of a gamer supporting protesters in Hong Kong, the latest jolt to the league as it tries to navigate a contentious political issue.



    I want to take a few minutes to talk to all of you about the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament this past weekend. On Monday, we made the decision to take action against a player named blitzchung and two shoutcasters after the player shared his views on what’s happening in Hong Kong on our official broadcast channel.

    Blizzard's statement on Blitzchung's ban digs them deeper


    Here are some relevant facts on that. Games officially require approval to be published in China, and without that market Blizzard would make less money. Activision Blizzard are profit-focused enough that they laid off 800 people after posting a record year in 2018.

    Hearthstone Streamers Respond In Aftermath Of Controversial Blitzchung Ruling


    In the days since Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai received a one-year suspension from the Hearthstone esports scene following his support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong in the middle of a stream, the community has become a hotbed for politically charged discussion. The scene’s subreddit—where a large portion of community news is shared and broken—is filled to bursting with pro-blitzchung and anti-Blizzard sentiments. One of the moderators, citing dissatisfaction with Blizzard’s response to the blitzchung incident, has stepped down from his role. Since then, the blitzchung ruling has become the Hearthstone community’s elephant in the room, with silence on the matter becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. Now, after a period of soul-searching, responses have begun to flood in from some of the most visible members in the scene.

    Protests Are Coming To BlizzCon In The Wake Of Blizzard's Hong Kong Fiasco


    Multiple groups are in the process of organizing protests set to take place outside BlizzCon, the annual convention held by game developer Blizzard, in response to its suspension of a Hearthstone player for expressing support for Hong Kong during a live event. Today, digital rights non-profit organization Fight For The Future launched a website and Discord to kick off its organizing efforts, and a “ProtestBlizzCon” subreddit is gaining serious steam as well.

    Suspended Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung responds to Blizzard's statement


    "First of all," he wrote, "I'm grateful for Blizzard reconsidering their position about my ban. Earlier this week, I told media that I knew I might have penalty or consequence for my act, because I understand that my act could take the conversation away from the purpose of the event. In the future, I will be more careful on that and express my opinions or show my support to Hong Kong on my personal platforms"

    Blizzard Cancels Overwatch Launch Event At The Nintendo World Store In New York City


    On Wednesday, Blizzard was supposed to be holding a big launch event for the Switch version of Overwatch at the Nintendo World Store in New York City. That event has now been cancelled by Blizzard.


    Riot doesn’t want League of Legends broadcasters discussing ‘sensitive topics’ on the air


    On Friday, Riot Games said that League of Legends broadcasters should “refrain” from discussing “sensitive topics” on the air, following a controversial move from Blizzard to ban a Hearthstone player who voiced support for the Hong Kong protesters over the weekend.


    Legendary Japanese Arcade Anata no Warehouse Is Closing


    Located in Kawasaki, the arcade Anata no Warehouse (“Your Warehouse”) was designed to look like Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City. The multistory arcade is one of the most unusual in Japan. Make that, was.


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


    The Gaming Library That Helped a Neglected Neighborhood Find a New Identity



    It’s uncertain whether people would venture to a gaming museum in the heart of Marvila, halfway between social housing and hipster hotspots. No one knows if this will address the district’s greater needs or be a stepping stone on the path to gentrification. And if it does pan out, there’s still lots of red tape between Silva and success. To someone else it might be a moonshot, but the librarian’s boundless energy and unshakable faith are what brought them here.





    Paratopic is a game literally about the horror of being poor,” Doc Burford, writer and designer of the IGF-winning title, tells me over the phone. “I was trying to juggle freelance writing while making the game, and I ended up going to the hospital and being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White [syndrome, a heart condition].” Chronic health, piecemeal social welfare, and financial precariousness produced cascading struggles for Burford whose story, if not exactly typical, shows the circumstances people can wind up in when determinedly pursuing what they love: making video games.


    Tales from inside Sega AM2's top-secret studio



    "We've recently introduced a policy of archiving everything," says Kawaguchi as we talk in one of the meeting rooms high up in the new office block - this particular room named and themed after Sega's Saturn. "With the old stuff, though, there were no proper rules."

    And so amidst the chaos of the move, Kawaguchi kept unearthing new surprises. Cassette tapes that captured live recordings of the S.S.T band, Sega's own in-house supergroup; ultra-rare Naomi cartridges; floppy disks that contain back-ups for the SG-1000 games such as Girl's Garden and Champion Soccer where Kawaguchi first cut his teeth. He even rediscovered the handwritten score to the original Space Harrier - a small piece of indispensable video game history.


    The writing of The Witcher 3


    "I actually checked how many times I edited the dialogue in that scene," he recalls during our interview at Spanish sci-fi festival Celsius232. "I think it was over 120. Sometimes these were minor edits, changing one sentence, but sometimes it was rewriting the whole thing. We did a lot of that: writing something, playing it, tweaking it, scrapping everything then re-doing it. It is just inherent to the process. There are so many moving parts when you're working on a video game, it's unavoidable." It turns out, constructing the narrative behind Witcher 3 - one of the most ambitious and enormous open-world games ever made - was not easy.


    Indie Developer And Her Boyfriend Talk About Making A Game About Their Relationship



    Nina Freeman’s calling card as a developer is allowing a player to enter into her life. Some of her games, like Cibele, which is about a relationship that takes place over an MMO, have been semi-autobiographical. Now, Freeman and her real-life partner, Jake Jefferies, have turned their relationship into an intimate video game called We Met In May. Kotaku spoke with both of them about what that process was like.


    'BARF!': Designing River City Girls' approachable, challenging brawling



    To get a better sense of how a project like this comes together, Gamasutra recently corresponded with WayForward's Adam Tierney about the game's design and development.





    Emulation serves to make a point of what the history of videogames looks like. Giant companies that make millions be damned, Emulation allows more than a share of the working poor access to classic videogames. This is a point more important than anything true about archival history. Knowing that these games are safe somewhere is one thing. Everyone having access is much more important.


    “Pour Your Heart Into It”: How Indies Bring New Perspectives to Visual Novels



    Visual novels have seen a meteoric rise in recent years thanks to the efforts of independent studios.


    How Hypnospace Outlaw's 1990s internet was made



    Hypnospace Outlaw is a game about surfing a fictional 1999 internet, a web of GeoCities-like pages made by a community of weirdo artists, rock stars, scammers, edgy teens, pastors, hackers and spiritualists. It’s funny, bizarre, poignant, and sometimes dumb, just like the early internet that it spoofs.


    The Tension Of Playing Overwatch During A Blizzard Controversy



    Yesterday, like I do every day, I wrapped up my workday, closed my Chrome tabs and, without pausing, hit the Windows button on my keyboard. In the search bar, I typed “Over-” and hit enter. My eyes found the big, blue “Play” button on the game launcher. Overwatch’s familiar orchestral music swelled and, in an oblivious four clicks, I was queued up for a game. I won that game, and the next, and it felt good, like it always does, to win.


    Games Don’t Cause Violence—But They Might Help Breed the Online Hate That Does



    Internet toxicity doesn’t begin or end with gaming, but it’s foolish to ignore the connection.


    Anomalous Architecture



    While most of them are the same as what you’ll find in Europe and America, some of the laws and bylaws in Japan are a bit strange. Taxes for example used to be assessed based on frontage, so properties tended to be long and narrow. They became small and square when taxes started being assessed based on surface area. This was about the time when people began to build upwards rather than outwards, too. The system of taxation has created a couple of quirks, but the construction codes have also produced plenty of peculiarities. There’s a code about the maximum amount of sunlight that a building can block. There’s another one about the minimum distance that a structure can stand separated from overhead power lines. There’s even a code that basically bans party walls. These laws and bylaws have all made their mark on Japanese architecture.


    The real buildings that inspired Control's Oldest House



    What follows is a close analysis of several areas of the game, alongside ten real buildings and architects that have in some way been used as reference or influenced Control’s environments.


    How Warsaw Captures the Brutality—and Complexity—of the Historical Uprising that Inspired It



    The game’s basic message—like the chilling effect of Wajda’s Kanał—is, in the end, universal, even as it focuses on the specifics of Warsaw, Poland, in the last months of 1944. It shows the Uprising not as a glorious, bloodless undertaking but as a horrifying event that the world should mark as one of the darkest chapters of our history. Warsaw is the latest contribution to a nation’s ongoing efforts to process its history, delayed for decades and erupting in recent years as an ongoing battle between competing visions for the country’s future. But it’s also a monument to the many struggles Poland has faced, in the 20th century and before, to continue existing at all.


    “Making the Right Choices in The Man of Medan,” by Reid McCarter



    The Man of Medan, first entry in a staggered-release horror game anthology called The Dark Pictures, is, nominally, a game about making tough choices. Created by Supermassive Games, the studio behind 2015’s gleefully camp Until Dawn, it follows in the stilted footsteps of modern adventure games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us by prioritizing contextual decision-making and branching conversations over the genre’s traditional reliance on wandering back and forth across maps solving maddeningly obtuse puzzles. In this style of design, the player may make a decision to have their character be rude or polite to someone and the game, like a grudge-holding friend, will note that choice and remember it later as an influence on future interactions; a dramatic scene may force a split-second choice over which cast member to save from imminent death and continue rolling with one character gone, shifting its dynamics to accommodate and guilting the player for their decision.


    Ask Not For Whom The Goose Honks



    Were I pressed to describe what UGG sets out to do, I would say that it presents an experience with all the catharsis of screaming at an underpaid cashier at Starbucks for half an hour with none of the social consequences. Now, I’m not one to judge either the game or those that enjoy it considering how normalized violence of all forms is in interactive media, however I do believe it’s important to approach it from a critical perspective so that we can engage with it in a way that doesn’t internalize the more problematic elements at play (as is important with any game where socially and morally unacceptable acts are framed as core mechanics).

    I Did Not Expect Untitled Goose Game To Trouble My Conscience


    It was his last rose. I was waddling around the nice man’s garden in Untitled Goose Game and passed by this meager rose garden, with just one rose pushing above the soil. Maybe he was growing it for his wife. It wasn’t even on my to-do list; I impulsively waddled over, plucked it, shuttled it over to a dirt hill in the far corner and dropped it there. The man panicked. He ran over to grab it and stuffed it back in the dirt.

    Untitled Goose Game and the Inconvenient Natural World


    Untitled Goose Game, in which you play a mischievous goose causing trouble in an otherwise quiet English village, depicts an entirely different relationship. The village is a small world and much of the fun of the game is poking at its different elements to see how they move together. Place a villager’s object in a store so they have to buy it back. Hide in a box in front of the pub, so a worker mistakenly takes you back to the storage area. The game’s final area is a lovingly recreated miniature version of the village. All this serves to connect each part of the village to each other part. Judging by the game’s ending, the goose is a constant nuisance, almost as integral a part of the village as any of its official members. Though it causes harm, that harm is never permanent. It just a part of the ebb and flow of life in the town. The end credits show each villager blissfully going about their business, temporarily without interruption. Between the villagers and the goose, there is a strange kind of harmony.


    ‘The Witcher 3’ and the Unknowable Fear of Woodlands



    Yet, the woods scared me and still do scare me. There was always a slight uneasiness underneath the bucolic charm of the tree canopy and flowing creek. What has happened here that no one will ever know? Am I really alone out here? Why do I feel like I’m being watched? My mind was always filled with questions such as these, and ever since my days spent in those woods I’ve sought out media that captures the beautiful-yet-uneasy nature of forests and woodlands. The piece of media that emulated this feeling the best, as it turns out, is The Witcher 3.


    The Transitory Space of Smoking Shelters in Judgment



    In Japan, where Judgment is set, smoke shelters, public ashtrays on sidewalks and in train stations, and even vending machines are a common sight. Here in rainy England, smoking shelters are mostly seen in places like hospitals or outside of a few shopping malls. In England, as well as the rest of Europe, Australia and North America, there are mandatory smoking bans in public areas, and even in restaurants and bars. In Japan, this isn’t the case. Of course, consumption of tobacco has dwindled in these past few years, but it’s clear to see how RGG has implemented this, and really? Seeing them in internet cafes, outside batting centers and other various places in Judgment was a nice, if somewhat sad reminder of a time where that smoking shelter was a place of comfort — even if it ultimately ended up being a false one.


    The Unfulfilled Potential of Minecraft – Assuming a Different Perspective


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

    Video essay that uses frame analysis to examine the player's relation to Minecraft’s virtual environment, and to explore how the game design would be different if that relation were changed.


    Why You Keep Playing Brutally Tough Games | Psych of Play


    Everyone loves a good challenge, but some folks are willing to go above and beyond their normal level of patience to beat games with extreme levels of difficulty. Celeste, Sekiro, Cuphead among others are games designed to push players to their limits. And when those limits are hit, a choice is presented. Persevere? Or Quit? For those that persevere, something special happens cognitively, and that’s what we’re here to discuss on this episode of Psych of Play.


    Harry Brewis, Hbomberguy - XOXO Festival (2019)


    Since 2014, Harry Brewis aka “Hbomberguy” built a base of over 450k YouTube subscribers with his wry video essays skewering the alt-right, Gamergate, and conspiracy theorists. In January, his Donkey Kong 64 charity stream went viral with cameos by AOC, Chelsea Manning and others, raising over $350,000 for Mermaids, a UK charity supporting gender-diverse and transgender children and young people.


    Emma Kinema, Game Workers Unite - XOXO Festival (2019)


    Inspired by her own experiences in the game industry, game developer turned labor organizer Emma Kinema is co-founder of Game Workers Unite, an international grassroots organization dedicated to unifying game workers in an industry known for endless crunch and mass layoffs.


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


    Fallout 76 Players Stage Their Own Murder Mystery Night



    Clue has seen its fair share of reinterpretations over the years. There have been countless licensed versions of the board game and even a film adaptation starring Tim Curry and Madeline Kahn. Something I never expected to see, however, was a version of the game staged inside of Fallout 76. But that’s exactly what I discovered when I stumbled across a fun community stream on Mixer, organized by FalloutFrosty and BeardedIAm.


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