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    This Week In Gaming 10-8-19


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    PS5 information, Folding Ideas examines World of Warcraft classic and how RPGs/MMOs have changed over the years, Aron Garst interviews the Smash Community to learn how it became what it is today, Noah Caldwell-Gervais' analysis of the entire God of War series, Game Brain interviews former CoD devs about the making of CoD 4, Blizzard fires casters and rescinds Hong Kong Hearthstone player's prize money for a liberate Hong Kong comment, Jess Morrissette covers a character rarely thought of when it comes to influential milestones for female characters, Cian Maher explores Zelda's ties with Celtic mythology, Stephen Totilo interviews developers to learn why game launches are often such a mess, Leslee Sullivant on harassment faced at Riot and why she decided to stop working in games after trying to work at an indie studio, Ahoy looks into the history of the game's that were at different times considered the first video games, Red Dead 2 coming to PC, 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)

     

    Exclusive: A Deeper Look at the PlayStation 5

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    Now that the name is official, we've got more details about Sony's next-gen console—from the haptics-packed controller to UI improvements.

    Crossplay is now fully supported on PS4, and that's good for PC

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    In an interview with Wired, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan implied that crossplay and the PS Now streaming service, which just got a big push, would be part of Sony's strategy for the next generation.

     

    101 Rapid-Fire Questions About Pokémon Sword And Shield

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    In this exclusive Game Informer interview Pokémon Sword and Shield's director Shigeru Ohmori and producer Junichi Masuda answer questions about the mainline RPG series' debut on the Nintendo Switch.

     

    My Hero One's Justice 2 - 15 Minutes Of Offscreen Gameplay

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    We get to try out new hero Mirio in My Hero's One Justice 2 as well as some of our favorites including Bakugo, All Might and more.

     

    Disco Elysium's developers are in "a bloody battle" for the human mind

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    When visiting ZA/UM’s studio, I had to take my boots off. This is because their studio, where they are putting the final touches on open world RPG Disco Elysium, is also a flat in a townhouse in Hove, where several of them live. It has nice wooden floors, unbelievably high ceilings, and a big bay window cradling some workstations. There’s also a bookshelf full of many different tabletop RPG rules and expansions, and other tabletop games.

    Disco Elysium devs already have big ideas for a sequel

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    While the fascinating surreal detective RPG, Disco Elysium should come to a tidy conclusion when it launches this month, developer ZA/UM say that should they get the possibility to make a sequel… well, they have some ideas. Chief among these is the option for a pregnant woman as a second protagonist, which sounds potentially wild in a wordy RPG where your inner thoughts and physical body claim a presence far greater than numbers on a character sheet. Our Alice Bee chatted with with ZA/UM about that and more when she recently visited them, and has oh so much to tell us about that soon. For now, have a snippet of sequel chat.

    Disco Elysium lets you be Sherlock in flares

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    Behind this very 70s facial hair hides a keen mind.

     

    Broken Roads is a philosophical CRPG set in a post-disaster Australian outback

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    It's developed by a team of vets from CCP, Riot and Ubisoft, among others.

     

    Ms. Marvel Gets The Team Back Together In The Avengers Video Game

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    Revealed during the Marvel Games panel at New York Comic-Con, Kamala Khan is indeed the voice narrating the original trailer, and she’s much more than that as well. In the latest trailer for the game we see her confronting Bruce Banner and Tony Stark with evidence that could prove the tragic events from the game’s opening were a setup.

     

    Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to PC

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    Rockstar's cowboy adventure out November 5, but the Steam version won't arrive until December.

     

    Austin Wintory Is The Composer Behind John Wick Hex

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    Gamers know composer Austin Wintory for his acclaimed scores to titles like Journey (which was nominated for a Grammy) and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Next week, with the release of John Wick Hex, we'll hear even more of his work.

     

    Rumoured House of the Dead 1 & 2 remakes officially confirmed

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    Sega's classic light gun arcade shooters House of the Dead 1 & 2 are officially getting the remake treatment, although it doesn't look like they'll be releasing for a while.

     

    Resident Evil Project Resistance Closed Beta | GameSpot Live

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    The new Resident Evil co-op game, Project Resistance, has just entered closed beta. Jean-Luc and Ben hop in to see how the game is shaping up.

     

    Paradox’s post-apocalyptic Surviving Mars sequel will launch on the Epic Games store this year

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    Paradox Interactive has just announced the follow-up game to its 2018 Mars-based city builder sim Surviving Mars – Surviving the Aftermath. Details on exactly what this game will bring aren’t due to emerge until PDXCON later this month, but like its predecessor, it’ll be a “post-apocalyptic survival colony builder” – and it’s headed to Early Access later this year.

     

    Doom Eternal delayed to March 2020

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    It comes out the same day as Animal Crossing: New Horizons

     

    Charting the darker periods of history in Humankind

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    Amplitude's Jeff Spock on creating a historical strategy game that doesn't shy away from religion, slavery and colonisation

    "That's really the problem," Spock admits. "The whole idea of diversity and realism, how do you stop a player from being an ogre? And in most strategy games, that's how you build -- by actually exterminating everybody else. Morally, how do you justify that?

    "The nuance is in the hand of the player, I suppose, is maybe a way to look at it. And we want to do a nuanced game. We don't control the way it comes out the other end. Yeah, there's risk that is taken when you do that. You have to put it out there and see how the players react, how the press reacts, how Sega reacts. It's a lot easier if it's science fiction, or if it's fantasy, but now we have to face these questions, and you know, we have to face them like grown-ups. It's sometimes not fun."

    Introducing Humankind, the Sega-backed Civ killer from the Endless Legend devs

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    “The reason we created Amplitude was to make Humankind,” says studio head Romain de Waubert de Genlis. “It was a dream we had, to create a historical 4X game. We knew it was a big task. It’s the Everest of 4X, and you need to learn to climb other mountains first.”

     

    Ultima Online's lead designer is making a sandbox MMO at a new studio

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    Raph Koster teams up with veterans from Disney, Marvel and Sony Online Entertainment.

     

    Afterparty: The First 11 Minutes of This Outdrink-Satan-in-Hell Comedy

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    Check out the opening 11 minutes of Afterparty, the new comedy adventure from Oxenfree developer Night School Studio in which you have to try and outdrink Satan himself in order to try and escape the literal Hell you find yourself in. Afterparty will be released on October 29 for Xbox One (including through Xbox Game Pass), PC, and PlayStation 4. A Nintendo Switch version is also in development.

     

    There's a glimmer of hope in the gray and gloomy adventure game Mosaic

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    Stuck in a crowded yet lifeless metropolis, a lonely character seeks change and color.

     

    Mortal Kombat 11 - Official Terminator T-800 Gameplay Trailer

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    Get a look at Terminator T-800 in action in this gameplay trailer. Available for Early Access on Oct 8th, the iconic killing machine will have the likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger along with its classic armory.

     

    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Welcomes Resident Evil's Leon And Claire To The Hunt

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    Monster Hunter World is the gift that just keeps on giving. Yesterday, some details trickled out on what's ahead in the October 10 update, which includes a new volcanic area and the option to invite friends to your room. Today, Capcom upped the ante with a cool trailer to reveal that Leon and Claire, in their Resident Evil 2 form, are joining the hunt.

     

    Battlefield V's Operation Underground brings back Metro massacres

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    Oh god, Operation Metro is back. Battlefield V‘s newest map, Operation Underground hits the WW2 shooter today, bringing back Battlefield 3’s most infamous below-ground bloodbath. Grim-faced veterans will shudder at memories of Paris stalemates. A Sisyphean death march for on the offence, a point-and-click machine gun adventure for defenders. Fortunately, Dice have invested in public infrastructure this time around, and promise a more seamless trip on your commute to carnage.

     

    Frogwares Saves Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments for PC, But Loses Console Listings and Others in Publisher Dispute

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    Following a dispute with its publishing partner Focus Home Interactive, prolific Sherlock Holmes game developer Frogwares has announced that most of its back catalog has been removed from digital storefronts. On PC, the Steam listing for 2014's Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments was transferred from Focus to Frogwares, but the game has been removed from current and previous gen Xbox and PlayStation storefronts.

     

    Mario & Luigi RPG series developer AlphaDream files for bankruptcy

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    The company was first established in May 1991 as the interior and exterior finishing work company Mente Tomo and Ai, before changing its name to AlphaStar Soft in January 2001 (then AlphaDream in July that year) when it began work on video game planning and development.

    A Funeral for AlphaDream (Super Mario RPG, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga)

     

    Court dismisses lawsuit accusing the CEO behind the blockbuster 'Borderlands' video games of lewd behavior and mismanagement of funds

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    A lawsuit accusing Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford of taking an improper $12 million bonus and participating in lewd personal behavior was dismissed by a Dallas County court on October 2. Gearbox is responsible for one of this year's biggest video game releases, "Borderlands 3."

     

    Epic Games faces class action lawsuit in Canada over "Fortnite addiction"

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    "Human psychology and manipulation of the human brain has been the epicenter of Fortnite development process that has been specially designed to be highly addictive," reads the filing.

     

    NHS targets gaming addiction with new specialist clinic

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    "Compulsive gaming and social media and internet addiction is a problem that is not going to go away when they play such a key part in modern life," says mental health director

     

    'Unlawful and vicious': union organiser sacked by games company

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    A leading organiser of a new trade union branch set up to represent games sector workers has been sacked by an award-winning UK games company in what his union claims is an attempt to clamp down on the nascent movement.

    Union Busting at Ustwo games

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    Ustwo's HR department had previously attacked Austin's attempts to hold management to account and generate positive change at the company. In a meeting and subsequent email from October 2018, the HR department criticised the fact Austin spent time on “company feedback, diversity schemes and working practices” and the fact he “puts leadership... on the spot”.

     

    EA data breach could impact 1,600 FIFA 20 players

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    More than 1,600 FIFA 20 players may have been affected by a data breach during sign-ups for the EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series.

     

    Source: Departing ArenaNet President Was Working On Potential Guild Wars Sequel

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    In a heartfelt message on ArenaNet’s webpage this afternoon, its president Mike O’Brien announced that after 19 years, he was leaving the company he co-founded. He noted that he’d been working on a new project at ArenaNet, but was now going to start a new studio with some friends.

     

    John Kirby, Former Nintendo Lawyer And Kirby's Namesake, Dies At 79

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    This week, the man after whom Nintendo’s iconic pink blob Kirby was named passed away. John Kirby, who died on October 2 from a form of blood cancer, represented Nintendo in the company’s 1984 case about whether Donkey Kong violated Universal Studios’ copyright for King Kong. John Kirby helped Nintendo win that case, which is why Donkey Kong has kept its name and plot throughout its lifetime as a beloved Nintendo franchise. It’s also why Kirby was the name of a hero with a beloved franchise of his own.

     

    Esports News

     

    The Smash Bros. community: An oral history

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    An inside look at the formation of a persevering grassroots fighting game community

     

    Teen Dominates Smash Tournament Using 6 Different Fighters

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    Seventeen-year-old Smash Ultimate prodigy Sota “Zackray” Okada clutched out his first No. 1 placement at a U.S. Smash tournament using—count ’em—six separate Smash fighters.

     

    Hong Kong player Blitzchung calls for liberation of his country in post-game interview

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    An unexpected turn of events during the last weekend of Hearthstone Grandmasters' regular season. After finishing his match, Hong Kong player Ng "blitzchung" Wai Chung appeared on the official Taiwanese Hearthstone stream for his post-game interview wearing a gas mask. After lifting the mouthpiece, Blitzchung shouted, in Chinese: "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!"

    Blitzchung removed from Hearthstone Grandmasters for 'liberate Hong Kong' comments

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    Blizzard has ruled that Hearthstone pro Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai will been removed from Hearthstone Grandmasters, following the player's call for Hong Kong's freedom during a post-match interview. Additionally, Blizzard has stated that it will no longer work with the two casters who appeared in the now deleted broadcast.

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    The company's communities are in chaos and US senators are taking notice, following the suspension of a pro 'Hearthstone' player who declared support for Hong Kong's protest movement.

     

    Blizzard is in an Even Bigger Mess Than the NBA on China, and It Has No One to Blame But Itself

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    Blizzard's handling of the Hearthstone controversy is an international mess of its own making.

    Collegiate Hearthstone Championship match ends with call to 'free Hong Kong, boycott Blizz'

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    Following Blizzard's removal of Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai from the Hearthstone Grandmasters, the company is feeling the heat. Backlash is rife, and the Blizzard subreddit was temporarily closed today due to an onslaught of negative feedback. In the lead up to BlizzCon, it's looking like the backlash won't slow down.

     

    Looking back on the Shock’s legendary run through the Overwatch League

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    The San Francisco Shock got to the grand finals in Philadelphia through a mixture of resilient fighting spirit and consistent success. But it’s impossible to sum up their 4-0 victory against the Vancouver Titans with just highlights and a match score. That victory against their long-time rivals was just a bookend to cap off a much longer story. The process of rebuilding their roster was anything but simple and clean.

     

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

     

    EVERSPACE 2

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    An open-world space shooter with deep exploration, sophisticated RPG elements and an engaging sci-fi story; the sequel to EVERSPACE.

     

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

     

    “You seem suspiciously clever for a blonde.” Why I left my jobs in gaming

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    Let me preface everything by providing a few critical facts: In August of 2018, Kotaku, an online publication that focuses on the games industry, published a story about the culture of harassment at Riot Games. Colleagues braver than I put their names out there for the world to see, and the article bore their personal experiences. In the aftermath of the piece, more former Rioters publicly discussed sexism at the company, some sued, and current Rioters walked out in protest of the company’s forced-arbitration policy. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is also suing the company for refusing to hand over salary data about alleged pay disparities between men and women.

    All of which explains why, when I tell people I worked at Riot Games, they go, “Oh, wow.” When I tell them I worked there for six years, they tend to use words like “yikes” and “Jesus.”

     

    Jam Sesh: How a Popular Online Contest Sparks Design Innovation

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    The GMTK Game Jam has grown so big it actually took down itch.io.

     

    Playing Your Song: The Evolution of Dynamic Music in Games

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    For more than 25 years, developers and composers have been pushing tech forward to unify gameplay and soundtrack.

     

    Why Online Game Launches Are Often A Mess

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    Just after 4 pm ET on Tuesday, Destiny 2 players began to see a warning message. A red line stretched across the bottom of their screens, and the text below it stated: “Attention: contacting Destiny 2 servers.” Minutes later, huge numbers of players got booted from the massively-multiplayer online sci-fi shooter.

     

    Dontnod: "If we didn't talk about politics, that would be a political message"

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    "I don't want to spend three years of my life working on a project without trying to talk about subjects that are important to me," he tells me in an interview at PAX West. "I'm really happy our publisher allows us to talk about tough subjects. We could be afraid of representation or talking about those heavy subjects and important themes because the choices we make when talking about these subjects can be divisive. It shouldn't be, but it is."

     

    Crafting In Games Feels Less Like A Chore Now

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    For many players, video games are a chance to escape from work. You hop into a game, sliding into a fantasy role as a dragon slayer or superhero, setting aside the mundanities of day-to-day labor.But as I hop from monster hunting to military sneaking missions, I’ve found that my personal play time is filling up with different kinds of work. I love difficult boss fights and intense combat, but I relish the chance to roll up my sleeves and create something. Crafting systems, something I’ve largely ignored, have piqued my curiosity in massive multiplayer games like Final Fantasy XIV, and I’m spending hours gathering materials and making potions and gear.

     

    The story behind Liberty Island, Deus Ex's most iconic level

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    Since its release in the summer of 1999, Deus Ex has become one of the most beloved games on PC. Set in a bleak cyberpunk future, Ion Storm’s ambitious first-person RPG, which was directed by Warren Spector, features deep systems, sprawling levels, emergent play, and a thrilling, conspiracy-laden plot. But one afternoon in Austin, Texas, where the game was developed, designer Harvey Smith and other members of the team were convinced that the game they’d been working on for years was destined for failure.

     

    Report: Steam's 30% Cut Is Actually the Industry Standard

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    We reached out to nearly half a dozen sources within the games industry (as well as the game retailers directly) in order to get the actual numbers on what cuts most major retailers take. While many of these sources prefer to remain anonymous, they paint a picture that could be surprising to some players, one where Valve’s now infamous 30% cut isn’t actually out of the norm. In fact, it's pretty much the industry standard.

     

    The Legend of Zelda is teeming with Celtic mythology

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    And Epona's the key to all of it.

     

    THE POLITICS OF PASSIONATE PATTI

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    Passionate Patti disappeared from the Leisure Suit Larry series following her co-starring role in LSL5. Later installments saw Larry Laffer and, eventually, his nephew Larry Lovage resume their quests to “score babes” without a playable female counterpart. Nevertheless, when she debuted in 1989, there was literally no other character like Patti in mainstream video games, and I’m hard-pressed to think of many others like her in 2019.

     

    Betrayal at Krondor

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    During the 1960s and 1970s, a new type of game began to appear in increasing numbers on American tabletops: the experiential game. These differed from the purely abstract board and card games of yore in that they purported to simulate a virtual world of sorts which lived behind their surface systems. The paradigm shift this entailed was such that for many players these games ceased to be games at all in the zero-sum sense. When a group came together to play Squad Leader or Dungeons & Dragons, there hung over the plebeian kitchen or basement in which they played a shared vision of the beaches of Normandy or the dungeons of Greyhawk. The games became vehicles for exploring the vagaries of history or the limits of the imagination — vehicles, in other words, for living out shared stories.

     

    Realms of the Haunting

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    Let’s start with something home-grown for spooky month, a game from the same UK studio that brought us Amiga classics like Switchblade, Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, the basically perfect K240 (fight me), as well as the nineties mascot bandwagonner [shudder] Zool. The point of time we’re looking at today is either very late in 1996 or very early in 1997 depending on where you get your dates from: Resident Evil is not even a year old, an entirely new concept for most people, and really, really, good.

     

    A Thorough Look At God of War [Spoilers]

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    This is a video retrospective and critique of the seven major God of War games for Playstations 2-4. It looks at what made them so remarkable at the time, how much of that feeling still comes through, and how the 2018 reboot fits in with their legacy. TOTAL SPOILERS THROUGHOUT.

    If you enjoyed this video and want to contribute to the production of others like it, please consider donating through the crowdfunding website Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/noahcaldwellg...

     

    Clockwork Games and Time Loops | Game Maker's Toolkit

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    There’s a handful of games where time is taken very seriously. In this video, I look at the design, challenges, and opportunities of what we might call “clockwork games”.

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

     

    World of Warcraft Classic And What We Left Behind

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    I'm really excited to see where Classic goes down the road. The predictable outcome is that Classic rolls into Burning Crusade and Wrath with essentially the chaos of legacy servers that we see in EverQuest and many of the other surviving MMOs, but there's the tantalizing, though slim, possibility of an alternate development path, where Classic becomes a second attempt at history, basically WoW 2, but starting from where things were 13 years ago. I wouldn't even entirely mind if some of the hazier, less balanced sensibilities of Classic cropped back up in the future, if the pace of the game slowed a bit without necessarily just making things bad and inconvenient to get there.

    Written and performed by Dan Olson
    Crowdfunding: https://www.patreon.com/foldablehuman

     

    Making Mortal Monday | Retrohistories

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    Retrohistories is funded by generous supporters on Patreon. Rewards include names/avatars in the credits and behind-the-scenes updates. If you enjoyed this video and are interested in helping me tell more stories, go to https://www.patreon.com/retrohistories to learn more!

     

    Orion Burger (1996) | Forgotten Gems

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    To support my channel, consider joining my Patreon! http://ragnarrox.com/patreon/

    In this series, we're delving into video game oblivion. Titles that have, at some point, fallen into obscurity.

    Today, we're talking about Orion Burger (1996) - one of two adventure games released by the Canadian developer Sanctuary Woods, before they closed doors due to disappointing sales figures. Orion Burger is a love letter to classic cartoon shows and witty and cynical science fiction alla Douglas Adams, realized as a point and click adventure that doesn't need to hide from its contemporary Broken Swords and Day of the Tentacles.

     

    SQUASH & STRETCH - The 12 Principles of Animation in Games

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    Let's talk about the 12 Principles of Animation and how they apply to games! What is Squash & Stretch, and how are different games using it to make their animation look and feel better?

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

     

    The First Video Game

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    Video game explosions are actually a lie

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    Pat dives deep into the world of particle effects, examining how they're used to create elaborate illusions and help tell stories.

     

    Chernobyl Sniper: The Making of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s ‘All Ghillied Up’

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    I spent time with ex-Infinity Ward developers to discuss their work on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s signature level; All Ghillied Up.

    We spoke at length about the level’s stressful and unconventional development, key inspirations and immediate influence on the video game industry.

    The developers also wanted to acknowledge that designer Preston Glenn handled the geo for the level, and also had a significant role in All Ghillied Up's creation.

     

    Resident Evil 4 and the Real American Hero - Games, Etc.

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    Resident Evil 4's story has a little more going beyond the surface, so I'mma talk about that.

    My Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ZacFrazier

     

    How Celeste Takes a Little and Gets a Lot

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    Listening to the tune 'Resurrections' from Celeste, I was struck by the economy of ideas at play. Each part added to the music over the 9 minute runtime was somehow related to a previous idea connected to a following idea as well, like the music was a giant puzzle made of perfectly interlocking pieces. After analyzing the piece I boiled it down to 3 broad compositional ideas that informed each individual part throughout the tune, and that's what I'm gonna discuss in this video. Hope you like it!

    PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/8bitmusictheory



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