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    This Week In Gaming 10-16-18


    Video Game Story Time's video on The Story of Yacht Club Games and a Kickstarter That Was Too Successful, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser says some developers worked over 100 hour work weeks on Red Dead Redemption 2, Patrick Klepek talks about the need for reporters to hold companies accountable in order to facilitate positive change in the industry, PSN allowing name changes, Adam Millard on The Challenge Run Formula, Jon Bailes on how the design and choices in Life Is Strange mirror real world beliefs that we are responsible for things out of our control, David Milner's feature on the making of Hollow Knight, Sega credits strong localization for sales jump, Heather Alexandra on how SWERY65's new title The Missing gets queer love stories right, Daryl Talks Games covers How Speedrunners Make It Look Easy, Mark Brown continues his Designing For Disability video series with an episode focused on motor disabilities, 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)


    How the West Was Digitized The making of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2



    You can’t simply stroll into the Manhattan offices of Rockstar Games. If you make it past the downstairs lobby and up the elevator, a thick metal door blocks your way. After you’re buzzed inside, you’ll need to wear a laminated visitor’s pass to get beyond reception. It’s quiet, save for a mix of Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” and the sounds of a video game cowboy riding a horse on a nearby TV. Signs warn you not to post anything about your visit on social media. Even in the bathroom, a placard jabs, “Lift the Seat Before You Leak: Offenders Will Be Sacrificed.” Outside it, a worker bee looks at me suspiciously and escorts me back to reception. “You’re not supposed to be out here without someone watching you,” he says.


    Dan Houser said that the team has been "working 100-hour weeks" several times in 2018, later adding that compared to previous Rockstar projects, "This was the hardest."

    The Industry Won't Change If Reporters Let The Powerful Off the Hook


    On the same day Sega announced it had successfully and significantly shrunk overtime hours, eliminating employees pulling 80 overtime hours per month by 80-90%, there was this quote in this awfully flowery profile of Rockstar Games at Vulture in anticipation of Red Dead Redemption 2’s release this month, in which the studio brags about 100-hour work weeks

    Developers Share Their Crunch Stories in the Wake of Today's Red Dead Redemption 2 Story


    In light of today's news from Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser that employees at Rockstar crunched 100-hour weeks to work on the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2, members and developers in the games industry started sharing stories of their own experiences with crunch to help contextualize the experience.


    Amanita Design's next game is a sidescrolling platformer called Creaks


    The studio that brought you Samorost and Chuchel is trying something different.


    A new Control dev diary reveals a surprise addition to the cast


    The new supernatural shooter is like a Remedy reunion.


    Battlefield 5 War Stories Trailer is a Reminder That Shooters Can Still Have Single-Player Campaigns


    We've known since the Battlefield 5 announcement that one of the stories would focus on a young resistance fighter in Norway, but we now have a look at some of the other stories that will be told in Battlefield 5. We have glimpses of French soldiers fighting in North Africa, a story set in some kind of jail cell, and other stories that are harder to pinpoint exactly.


    Just Cause 4 story trailer teases the torment and triumphs of Rico Rodriguez


    We predicted last month that Just Cause 4 "will have a story that goes beyond 'and then a bridge blew up'," a noteworthy point because the Just Cause series is known mainly as a non-stop explode-o-rama. As Phil put it a few years ago, explosions "are its raison d'être; its sine qua non; it's essence; it's purpose."


    Metro Exodus wants you to feel liberated from all those trips through the tunnels



    It’s deathly quiet in the forest. Then the silence gives way to a man shouting for help. He’s tied to a post and trying to fend off a ravenous wolf. A single crossbow bolt takes the feral creature out. The shirtless man pleads for my help to free him, cussing as he explains his predicament. I choose to cut him loose. “I owe you my life,” he says. “I’ll never forget this, I swear.”


    Oh Hey, Star Citizen Is Still Out There


    Star Citizen has been in development since 2012. It’s still not out yet, of course, not in the traditional sense, but this trailer for the game’s big singleplayer campaign Squadron 42 has just been released, and if nothing else there sure are a lot of Hollywood faces in it.

    Star Citizen Con 2018 - Angry Interview


    AngryJoe gets an update on Star Citizen at this years CitizenCon and asks some of the pressing questions regarding ship sales, insurance and development from this long awaited fan funded space sim!

    Star Citizen’s latest promise rakes in almost a million dollars


    The most successful crowdfunding project of all time now stands at $195 million


    New Gameplay Today – Starlink: Battle For Atlas


    Matt Miller takes Kyle, Cork, and Leo on a journey through space on the Switch version of Ubisoft's entry in the toys-to-life genre. We show off a few of the ships and how you can mod them on the fly (lmao) to change up the gameplay.


    New Gameplay Today – The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories


    Reeves joins Cork and Leo to break all of some poor girl's limbs off and talk about how much he likes doing it because he's a weird pervert.

    The Missing, by Swery - an encounter at TGS 2018


    An encounter we made at Tokyo Game Show 2018 with Hidetaka "SWERY" Suehiro, where he told us more about The Missing, his first game with White Owls, made in collaboration with Arc System Works.


    Project Warlock is badass ’90s FPS by a developer who barely remembers the ’90s


    The ’90s brought about enduring phenomenons such as the Spice Girls, Jurassic Park and being disappointed in Star Wars – but it also gave birth to the FPS, which quickly became the hottest gaming genre on the planet. There’s a new retro-style FPS out next week that harks back to the simpler era of the ’90s, with one interesting point – it’s from a developer who barely even saw the ’90s.


    Resident Evil 2 Remake Devs On Staying True To The Classic


    At Tokyo Game Show 2018 we talked to Resident Evil 2 Remake's producers about the legacy of the classic, and their approach to reimagining it for the modern day.


    Exclusive: Four Corpse Party Games Are Coming To PC Soon



    It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from the Corpse Party series, but Xseed is bringing it back in force. The company is re-introducing some entries on PC that were previously exclusive to Sony’s portable systems and mobile, Book of Shadows and Blood Drive. On top of that, Sweet Sachiko’s Hysteric Birthday Bash and Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient are being added to the list of games North American players can get their hands on.


    The Nukes of 'Fallout 76' Are Where Power Fantasies Hit a Breaking Point



    Unless there's a fundamental restructuring of how we understand, build and consume AAA games, the ability to nuke your friends is a terrible idea.

    Fallout 76 Is a Strangely Lonely Multiplayer Game


    Fallout 76 brings along the quietness of its single-player predecessors, for better and worse.

    Bethesda reveals full Fallout 76 map


    Ahead of the Fallout 76 beta, which is due to start later this month, Bethesda has revealed the game's full, massive map, which it claims will be four times the size of Fallout 4's.


    LSL - Wet Dreams Don't Dry Making Of #01


    Part 1 of the three-part Making Of series brings you even closer to the new Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Don't Dry. Learn more about the developer CrazyBunch, features and challenges in the development of the game.

    Leisure Suit Larry will be on Steam from 07.11.2018 for PC and Mac.


    Death Mark English gameplay trailer


    Aksys Games has released an English gameplay trailer for Death Mark, its upcoming horror adventure game from Demon Gaze developer Experience.


    EA confirm remasters of classic Command & Conquer games won't have microtransactions



    It's EA we're talking about here, so you can see why somebody asked.


    Get a First Look at "Ghost Mode," Hitman 2's Competitive Multiplayer Mode


    Ghost Mode in HITMAN 2, gives players the chance to simultaneously hunt targets while in the same location and can see a “ghost” version of their rival gamer to track progress against their own, but they exist in separate realities unaffected by the actions of their adversary. In Ghost Mode, the player who can outsmart, outplay and outkill their opponent by eliminating five targets first, will declare victory.

    Hitman 2’s Ghost mode feels unlike anything the series has ever done


    For Hitman 2, Io Interactive is introducing a brand new 1v1 multiplayer mode called Ghost. Unlike the co-op Sniper Assassin, however, Ghost mode is a competitive game type that pits two deadly killers against each other in a race to reach five kills.

    “There will be more maps” for Hitman 2 Sniper Assassin


    Remember Sniper Assassin, the fun online co-op mode that was made available to pre-order customers for Hitman 2? Well, it won’t be limited to a simple pre-order bonus with a single map, as Hitman 2 will launch with an expanded version of Sniper Assassin as “a game mode in itself” – and there will be more maps for it too.


    Stories Untold dev reveals sci-fi thriller Observation, due in 2019


    No Code, the studio behind 2017 sleeper hit Stories Untold, has announced its next game. Observation is a contemporary sci-fi thriller that lets players control a sentient space station AI. It's due next year, and its announcement trailer features above.


    Why Isn't Media Molecule's Dreams Out Yet?


    In this exclusive Game Informer interview, Ben Hanson speaks with Dreams' creative director Mark Healey and Media Molecule's studio director Siobhan Reddy about the game's long road to release and how the game that we first saw teased during the reveal of the PlayStation 4 in 2013 has evolved throughout the years. To see more exclusive Dreams content, check out our hub - https://www.gameinformer.com/dreams


    11-11: Memories Retold will launch with DLC to support the War Child UK charity


    Bandai Namco has announced that a day-one DLC will launch alongside the upcoming First World War adventure 11-11: Memories Retold when it launches days before the centennial of the November 11, 1918 armistice that brought an end to the Great War. A portion of the proceeds from the DLC will be donated to War Child UK, a charity relief organization that helps children and teenagers living in conflict zones today.


    Darksiders III will get a Horde mode as DLC


    THQ Nordic has announced the first two DLC expansions for Darksiders III, which will be titled The Crucible and Keepers of the Void. Keepers of the Void will add a new puzzle-filled Legend of Zelda-style dungeon to the game, and The Crucible seems to add a single-player Horde mode against endless waves of enemies.

    Darksiders 3 feels under-featured and underwhelming after a few hours of play


    Darksiders 3 feels like a throwback to the first game. Back then we played as War, a thundering brick of angry flesh who enjoyed pummeling enemies with a big hammer. The new hero, Fury, has a hammer too, though she tends to lash her insectoid foes to bits with a whip in sharp, satisfying combos. Both characters love to press forward and break everything in their path, but after a couple of hours with a playable preview build, Fury’s adventure feels like a bit of a retrograde step after the rich, colourful world of Darksiders 2.


    Pax Nova takes on multiple layers of future 4X strategy soon


    The sheer audacity of Greywolf’s Pax Nova is impressive – not content with tackling Civilization-scale 4X strategy as shown above, it stretches out to spacefaring scale as well. Just announced and looking like a hybrid of several major 4X strategy games smushed into a shared hex-and-turn-based format, Pax Nova enters early access “soon” and is to be published by Iceberg Interactive. You can check out its teasingly brief debut trailer below.


    Return of the Obra Dinn, from the maker of Papers, Please, comes out next week


    Get ready to solve a bizarre nautical mystery in the early 19th century.


    Senran Kagura game delayed on PS4 after Sony requests removal of Intimacy Mode


    Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal is an anime-styled video game about high school girl ninjas whose clothes are torn off. It carries a PEGI 16 rating in Europe "for erotic activity and the use of sexual expletive". The Intimacy Mode in question lets players spray down and grope the girls. It is, essentially, a molesting underage girls mode.


    Ubisoft details Assassin's Creed 3 remaster improvements



    But so far, you'll need to buy the Odyssey season pass to get access to it.


    The next Cities: Skylines expansion puts the focus on Industries


    Mind your business in Industries for Cities: Skylines!


    Cultist Simulator's first DLC, The Dancer, pirouettes into stores



    Much as I love Cultist Simulator‘s atmosphere, I’ve yet to come close to completing it, my character ground down by the mundanity of maintaining mortal flesh. Today’s DLC, The Dancer, might yet give me a chance at victory – or something close to it. Introducing a new career path as a cabaret dancer, those who pursue the art of dance may find it ties more into the world of the unseen than expected. Or players might just earn the lusty eye of a lord or lady – a free update also introduces romances and rivalries, adding more twists to Weather Factory’s card-based eldritch life-sim.


    Here’s the Vampire Coast unit roster in Total War: Warhammer 2, featuring giant crabs



    Following last week’s announcement that the salt-flavoured undead of the Vampire Coast would be Total War: Warhammer II’s next DLC faction, developer Creative Assembly has revealed their Legendary Lords and, now, their army roster. We’ve gathered all the details below.


    Crusader Kings 2 expansion Holy Fury makes religion even messier on November 13th


    As if holy wars weren’t bad enough, Paradox are making them more complicated than ever before in their expansion, Holy Fury, for historical political life-sim Crusader Kings 2. Announced back in May, the expansion now has a release date – November 13th, just one month away. Leaders can become saints, successions are to become thornier, and pagans can forge their own custom path instead of bowing to one of the other trendier religions. This one’s going to be bigger than past expansions, and include random world generation too. Below, a new story trailer.


    Vale Greg Stafford (1948 - 2018)



    The shock and grief the Chaosium family felt at the news of the passing of our beloved and revered company founder, Greg Stafford, cannot be measured. Greg died yesterday in his sweat lodge at his home in Arcata, CA. Mercifully, his passing was painless and quick. He died as he lived, on a spiritual quest of enlightenment.

    As one of the greatest game designers of all time; winner of too many awards to count; and a friend, mentor, guide, and inspiration to generations of gamers, “the Grand Shaman of Gaming” influenced the universe of tabletop gaming beyond measure.

    In video games he was one of the designers of King of Dragon Pass which took place in a world he created.


    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died



    Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, has died as a result of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was 65.


    John Carmack and ZeniMax have ended their legal dispute



    The legal battle between id Software co-founder John Carmack and current id Software owner ZeniMax has ended, though a related dispute between ZeniMax and Oculus rages on.


    PSN Name Changes Are Officially Coming



    Last week, we told you that game developers were preparing for PlayStation Network name changes to arrive. Now, the news is official, with Sony announcing this morning that users will be able to change their old PSN IDs starting in early 2019.


    Runescape Developer Cuts Ties With Twitch Streamers After Allegations Of Sexual Harassment, Violence



    RuneFest, a convention run by the creators of RuneScape, is supposed to be an annual celebration of the fantasy MMO that came out in 2001 and has stayed improbably relevant in 2018 due to updates, iterations and an active streaming community.

    This year, some attendees raised concerns about one streamer in particular, Ali “Gross Gore” Larsen, who attended the convention. During the event last weekend and in the days since, multiple people have said that Larsen engaged in sexual harassment and — in one case — physical violence.


    White Supremacists Still Have a Safe Space Online



    Discord is a hub for 150 million gamers—as well as some of the worst people on the web.

    Discord launches its built-in store and Nitro games subscription


    Another day, another place to buy and launch your games from, although Discord does has the advantage of already being on a huge number of PCs. The gaming-centric multi-chat service just launched its integrated game store, albeit in beta. A few temporary exclusives aside (Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption and Bad North seem noteworthy), it seems largely what you’d expect from a modern games storefront. Still, the upgraded Nitro subscription service – now including access to a library of games – might be worth a look for gaming on the cheap.


    Fan Translator Says The World Ends With You's Italian Text Looks A Lot Like His Work



    After learning that The World Ends With You was going to have an official Italian translation, the person who made a well known Italian fan translation tuned into a stream to check out how they handled the translation problems he struggled with. While watching, he started to notice that it looked familiar. Much of it looked identical to his own work.


    Valve investigated by Brazilian government over game which incites violence against election candidates



    "On tense days with an election extremely polarised in progress, a game developer has created a game that promises controversy," the document continues. "In the animation, the player places himself in the skin of the PSL to the Presidency of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, and earn points by killing militants, gays, feminists and members of landless movements."


    West Virginia officially embraces the inevitable flood of Fallout 76 tourists



    The governor and the state's tourism office have partnered with Bethesda to sell stuff to visiting Fallout fans.


    Sega credits strong localizations for jump in worldwide game sales



    "No matter if a game is popular in Japan, it is unlikely to win over fans around the world if the localization is insufficient.”

    Sega reports 'long overtime' hours cut by 80%


    Sega's latest financial report claims "long overtime hours" (which the company defines as working more than 80 extra hours in a month) have been reduced 80 to 90 percent since establishing the anti-overtime initiative back in 2013.


    Star Wars: KOTOR Fan Remake Shutting Down After Cease And Desist From Lucasfilm



    Back in 2016, an ambitious group of fans began work on an Unreal Engine 4 “reboot” of role-playing, light-sabering classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic called Apeiron. The project has made impressive progress since then, but it emitted a tragic Wilhelm scream this week when Lucasfilm lawyers zapped it out of existence.


    Future Paradox games will be easier to mod thanks to engine upgrade



    "Half of our team is going to be building tools, going forward.”


    Esports News


    Without Developer Support, Marvel vs. Capcom Players Organize Grassroots Pro Tour



    Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite may be gone—or, at least, not on the Capcom Pro Tour—but it certainly hasn’t been forgotten by the diehard competitive community. Marvel players have done what the game’s developer did not: they’ve set up a series of connected events known as The Fate of Two Worlds in an effort to give the scene a framework for their competitive endeavors. It’s not an official branded Pro Tour, but it’s the next best thing.


    Meet SonicFox, The Queer Furry Who’s Destroying Everyone Else At Fighting Games


    Dominique “SonicFox” McLean competed in his first Mortal Kombat tournament in 2011 at age 13. Back then, his opponents didn’t know what they were up against. But SonicFox knew his own truth: he was queer, he was a furry, and he rocked at fighting games.

    Seven years later, the four-time Evo champion has shown the rest of the world his truth, too.


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


    Bushiden - A Futuristic, Ninja Action Platformer


    Explore for cybernetic upgrades until you are powerful enough to defeat the diabolic Gaoh and his cybergenetic army once and for all!


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


    The Making Of Hollow Knight



    “I was spying on Hollow Knight’s Discord to watch the community’s real-time reactions, and when I saw someone type in, ‘Reggie said the words Hollow Knight, I can’t believe it!’ I burst out laughing. It was a good feeling.”


    A Long And Hopefully Interesting Conversation About Microtransactions



    First, Kirk and I briefly talk about our love for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a big, beautiful game with excellent writing, top-notch combat, and chaotic systems on top of chaotic systems. Then we bring on Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo for some in-depth microtransactions talk (21:43). Stephen explains how the microtransactions in Odyssey actually work, Kirk elaborates on his ongoing theory of how in-game purchases poison the well because of a fundamental friction between game design and commerce, then we ask all sorts of related questions. Why do $60 games have microtransactions? What is it about ‘commerce design’ and its intersection with game design that can make us feel so ripped off? And what does this all mean for the future of gaming?





    That’s how science goes on ClimateFortnite, a channel full of climate scientists who discuss issues of global warming while playing Fortnite on Twitch, hoping the platform’s massive reach will get their message in front of more eyeballs. And according to Henri Drake, the graduate student in climate science at MIT who was talking about methane in the video I watched, it specifically gets climate change in front of the young audience who will have to deal with its effects of the actions (or inaction) humans take right now.


    The Riot Grrrl spirit comes to video games



    As both a child of the 90s and someone who has spent the last decade in games journalism, it's hard not to see a parallel between the Riot Grrrl of yesterday and the games and tech industry of today. Both punk and nerd kingdoms represent a counter to the tastes, views and expectations of the mainstream - a place where outcasts can find an alternative home and commune with those who share their interests. However, as women and other minority figures of the punk community came to realize, here too they were sidelined.


    Atari: Game Over Featuring an Interview with Andrew Reinhard



    E.T.: The Extraterrestrial is thought by many to be so terrible, so toxic, that it almost smothered the videogame industry in its crib. It is often described as one of the “worst games ever made” and it tanked the career of developer Howard Scott Warshaw, who is (unfairly) remembered more for this colossal failure than he is for smash successes like Yar’s Revenge and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was so terrible that, much like a disloyal capo in a mob movie, it was taken out to the desert and buried and forgotten . . . or at least, that is how the urban legend went. Is there really a mass grave of Atari cartridges hidden somewhere in New Mexico? What would it take to find out? Atari: Game Over (Penn, 2014) documents the search for the missing games and attempts to unearth lessons that the modern videogame industry would be wise to heed.

    Andrew Reinhard is one of the archaeologists featured in the film and his new book, Archaeogaming: An Introduction to Archaeology in and of Video Games, was published in June of 2018. He was gracious enough to sit down for an interview and discuss the dig, the film and his work as an explorer of games history.


    Neon and corporate dystopias: why does cyberpunk refuse to move on?



    The future has looked the same for almost four decades. A skyline of densely packed skyscrapers, corporate logos lighting the night sky, proclaiming ownership over the city below. At street level, a haze of neon shines down from the cluster of signs above and shimmers at your feet in the rain that runs down the filthy streets. Here, the have-nots, excluded from the safe, luxurious enclaves enjoyed by the super-rich, are preyed upon by hustlers dealing in illegal tech and street gangs composed of green-haired, leather-clad technopunks, decked out with cyborg enhancements and high on synthetic drugs.


    Clowns, Houdini, and a vanishing teenager – the Borderlands developer isn’t your regular video game studio



    I ask Pitchford if he thinks that reputation reflects badly on his company, and whether releasing Duke Nukem Forever was a misstep in managing its public image. He believes this doesn’t matter in the grand scheme. People like me – and you, reading this – soak up every bit of news from around the video game industry, but the majority of the game buying public don’t know who Pitchford is, and they don’t care about the history of Gearbox. “Fortnite has 160 million users – that seems like an astronomical number, but there are 7 billion people in the world,” Pitchford says.

    “If you think about the number of people who have ever written a post about Fortnite in any form on social media, it’s probably in the tens of thousands, which is a fraction of a fraction of the user base. Statistically, 4% of us are sociopaths. If 4% are sociopaths, there are over 5 or 6 million sociopaths playing Fortnite, and some percentage of those are the kinds of people that, for some reason, think it’s worthwhile to post on the internet. It’s a tiny percentage, so you’ve got to be careful when you give value to the kinds of people that post things.”


    Tomb Raider’s grisly death animations are outdated


    The theme is writing checks that the design can’t cash, creating an incongruous mix between gameplay and narrative. And those grisly death scenes — followed by an immediate return to the action from just 10 seconds previous — are the most jarring reminder of all that Tomb Raider is trying to be way more hardcore than it really is.


    Assassin's Creed Odyssey's Cultist System Is One Of The Game's Best Features



    Assassin’s Creed Odyssey balloons the further you get into it, adding layers of complex systems from nation-conquest battles to mercenary bounties. These help give a sense of how fragile and war-torn Greece has become in the game’s storyline. But a later system is more devious, and an important addition to the franchise as a whole. The ability to hunt down various cultists and conspirators around the world finally helps players feel like a genuine assassin.

    History in Color


    Traces of color used to be scrupulously removed from newly discovered Greek statues, but their Egyptian equivalents were spruced up. These approaches were both seen as restorative. While this double standard has been disappearing, the public remains unaware that both Greek and Egyptian sculptors painted their products. Videogame developers are under the same illusion. In other words, they put paint on Egyptian statues, but keep Greek ones white. Assassin’s Creed: Origins provides a pretty good example of this.


    Don't forget about Bayek when you're kissing Kassandra's feet



    There are a lot of dads in video games, and their number only grows. A rising tide of stubbled, emotionally-reserved dadflesh, heralding a new age of “serious storytelling” in games. Assassin’s Creed Origins stands out from this paternal wave by showcasing a different kind of videogame dad. Egyptian proto-sheriff Bayek, who displays as much tenderness as he does the ability to stab things really, really well.


    Strange Flesh Is Like Streets Of Rage With Much More Sex



    The game is described, simply, as “a sexy, gay, adult beat ‘em up game” and none of that is lies. You play the bartender—the aforementioned beefcake who’s packing a serious amount of downstairs meat—as you go on a journey to rescue Joe, your latest patron at the Strange Flesh bar, from his own depressing lifestyle.


    Life is Strange 2 works to deconstruct the series‘ power fantasy



    If there is one gripe I had with Life is Strange, then it is that it did too little, too late to hold Max accountable for the harm she caused in using her powers.


    Choice, Guilt and Life Is Strange



    Life Is Strange effectively operates the same logic. Like this globalised 21st century capitalism, it places us in a world whose systems and rules we don’t fully comprehend. It continuously saddles us with ambiguous dilemmas that may or may not be significant. It claims to give us access to the insight and agency necessary to make wise decisions. It uses the concept of agency and free choice to make us responsible for problematic results. And, underneath it all, it ensures that the decisions which plague our conscience actually rarely matter.


    The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes



    In 1989, Trip Hawkins reluctantly decided to shift Electronic Arts’s strategic focus from home computers to videogame consoles, thereby to “reach millions of customers.” That decision was reaching fruition by 1992. For the first time that year, EA’s console games outsold those they published for personal computers. The whole image of the company was changing, leaving behind the last vestiges of the high-toned “software artists” era of old in favor of something less intellectual and more visceral — something aimed at the mass market rather than a quirky elite.


    The Missing Gets Queer Love Stories Right



    Last night, I finished The Missing. My initial impression of the game was that it’s a sweet but extremely bloody puzzle-platformer, peppered with queer overtones. As I pressed forward, I found a game that was transgressive and shockingly frank in talking about LGTBQA+ issues. It’s been on my mind all morning.





    Cuts. More specifically, jump cuts. Crime caper 30 Flights of Loving implemented them to great effect, and in a style familiar to how they’re used in cinema. Its cuts quickly articulated a passage of time, chopping the narrative into confusing non-sequential vignettes. One minute your character would be in a warehouse at sunset, the next, an airport having breakfast. Everything in between was inconsequential, and as a consequence you never saw it. But was that tomorrow’s breakfast…or yesterday’s? You never really knew. Paratopic is a first-person horror game. It has jump cuts too, and along with moving the story on at a good clip, its are also used in inventive, unsettling, and sometimes darkly comedic ways.


    Capitalist present, collective future: Labor in Night in the Woods and Tacoma



    Major spoilers for Tacoma and minor spoilers for Night in the Woods follow in Jacob Geller’s look at the employee’s sometimes unenviable lot – both inside and outside of videogames.




    Happy Halloween month! Detention is a game you may have already heard of - it's been covered pretty extensively on YouTube in the past - but it's definitely not a title you'll want to overlook if you're into spoopy games that also have a little more going on under the hood than giving you the creeps.

    This episode was made possible by generous support through Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/errantsignal


    Disaster: Day of Crisis | Back From the Dead



    A full Shenmue remake was in the works before Sega cancelled it for the HD re-releases


    Shenmue 1 & 2 got an HD re-release earlier this year, and while we thought it was a strong port, it turns out we almost had something a whole lot better.


    Making Games Better for Players with Motor Disabilities | Designing for Disability


    Video games are for everyone. But disabled people can be left out if developers don’t consider their needs. In this series of videos, I’ll be sharing guidelines and best practices for making games more accessible to a wide range of disabilities. This time, I’m looking at design choices and menu options that will affect those who have motor, mobility, or physical disabilities.

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


    Out of Bounds Discoveries | Resident Evil Games - Boundary Break


    Lets take the camera absolutely anywhere we want to learn more about Resident Evil Remake, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil DS, Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, and Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles!

    I dont plug my patreon in the videos because I want to keep the content pure and timeless. However currently I am accepting for support in the early months as i recently quit my day job to push this series as far as it can go. If you visit the patreon page, there is a video that explains my whole story. https://www.patreon.com/BoundaryBreak


    How to Animate Mega Man 11


    Mega Man 11 has proven Capcom can knock it out of the park. Let's have a look at how you can animate your own Mega Man 11.


    Shovel Knight's Secret Mode- The Challenge Run Formula


    Shovel Knight was cool, but The Architect never really liked it as much as everyone else seemed to. That was until a brand new way to play was uncovered, and The Architect finally saw what the fuss was about.

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    Shovel Knight: The Story of Yacht Club Games and a Kickstarter That Was Too Successful


    The tale of Shovel Knight, then, is a story of hard work in the face of a seemingly insurmountable challenge. A team of dedicated games industry veterans wanted to strike out on their own and make something special and original, and they sacrificed greatly in order to make it happen.


    How Speedrunners Make It Look Easy | Psych of Play


    What do elite pianists, world record speedrunners, and Tiger Woods all have in common? Performing their craft is completely second nature to them. Zoning out and allowing muscle memory to take over helps them make incredible performances look easy. In this episode of Psych of Play, featuring interviews from Mario Odyssey speedrunner Nicroeda and Celeste runner Msushi, we'll take a deeper look at the psychological phenomena known as automaticity.


    Hellblade: Senua's Psychosis | Mental Health Feature


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    Ashraf Ismail of Assassin's Creed - The AIAS Game Maker's Notebook


    Ashraf Ismail (Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin's Creed Origins) sits down with Ted to talk about building large scale game systems, respecting cultures and history, the challenges of quest creation, and why it's important that games are worth their price.

    Ismail is a game director at Ubisoft. He is best known for his work on Assassin's Creed Origins and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.


    Failing to Fail: The Spiderweb Software Way


    In this GDC 2018 talk, Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel presents a retrospective on his company's history and how they've managed to stay in the game-making business since 1994.


    The Making of Fallout Shelter - Noclip Documentary


    Noclip goes behind the scenes at Bethesda Game Studios to tell the unlikely story behind the development of the most played game they've ever released; Fallout Shelter.

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


    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks


    Whither the Software Artist? (or, How Trip Hawkins Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Consoles)



    One of the stories that gamers most love to tell each other is that of Electronic Arts’s fall from grace. If you’re sufficiently interested in gaming history to be reading this blog, you almost certainly know the story in the broad strokes: how Trip Hawkins founded EA in 1982 as a haven for “software artists” doing cutting-edge work; how he put said artists front and center in rock-star-like poses in a series of iconic advertisements, the most famous of which asked whether a computer could make you cry; how he wrote on the back of every stylish EA “album cover” not about EA as a company but as “a collection of electronic artists who share a common goal to fulfill the potential of personal computing”; and how all the idealism somehow dissipated to give us the EA of today, a shambling behemoth that crushes more clever competitors under its sheer weight as it churns out sequel after sequel, retread after retread. The exact point where EA became the personification of everything retrograde and corporate in gaming varies with the teller; perhaps the closest thing to a popular consensus is the rise of John Madden Football and EA Sports in the early 1990s, when the last vestiges of software artistry in the company’s advertisements were replaced by jocks shouting, “It’s in the game!” Regardless of the specifics, though, everyone agrees that It All Went Horribly Wrong at some point. The story of EA has become gamers’ version of a Biblical tragedy: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

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