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    This Week In Gaming 12-10-19


    Carolyn Petit on the perception of the role of a critic, the shifting of that role over time, working as a critic in a professional environment, and how reactions towards Death Stranding lead to thoughts of there being nothing more useful than individual perspectives outside the hive. In her final Kotaku article Cecilia D'Anastasio interviews former Razer employees who talk about the CEO threatening and berating staff, Reid McCarter covers how Death Stranding signals for hope in the most hopeless situation, Jeremy Peel looks at the work of four people that worked with Kojima and heavily influenced his work, many new game announcements including Resident Evil 3 remake, Summoning Salt explores the history of Castlevania speed runs, Aimee Hart on the bland protagonist of Fallen Order hiding the more interesting stories from the rest of the cast, Justin Reeve on Gotham's architecture in Arkham Knight, Yacht Club Games continues their Shovel Knight retrospective, 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)


    Resident Evil 3 Remake finally confirmed, and it includes Project Resistance


    Resident Evil 3‘s remake is one of the games industry’s worst kept secrets, and publisher Capcom has finally decided to officially confirm it during PlayStation’s State of Play stream. The Resi remake will come to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 3, 2020 – and it will contain all of Project Resistance as a separate 4-player co-op mode.


    Brenda Romero breaks down Empire of Sin's complex relationship system


    The main idea that sets Empire of Sin apart from other management sims is a deep and autonomous character interaction system. Throughout lengthy campaigns, you can recruit NPCs to help guard stash houses, fight alongside you, and carry out hits. These NPCs can suffer and benefit from a long list of passive and active effects throughout a run.


    Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous announced



    Wrath’s setting is actually based on the adventure module for the Pathfinder tabletop game of the same name, so “players of the original adventure path will encounter a lot of familiar faces and encounters, but [there] also will be new characters, twists, and stories,” said Mishulin.


    Former Payday dev's co-op alien shooter GTFO enters Steam early access next week


    GTFO, the new co-operative alien shooter from Payday lead designer Ulf Andersson, will be making its way to Steam early access next Monday, 9th December.


    MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries prepares for launch with a flashy new trailer


    2019 isn’t coming to a close without a new MechWarrior game out in the wild. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries hits the Epic Games store December 10, and developer Piranha Games has a new trailer out to remind you just how big these things really are.


    Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Trailers Introduce its Characters, Story, and Battles


    Nintendo and Atlus shared new trailers for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore to introduce its characters, story, and battles.


    Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle Comes to PS4 on February 18, 2020



    Ten years after their original debut, Bayonetta and Sam Gideon return once more in the Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle on PlayStation 4! We’re thrilled to finally bring the frantic action and unrelenting style of PlatinumGames’ flagship titles to life in 4K at 60fps on the PlayStation 4 Pro. This hard-hitting combo pack launches on February 18, 2020.


    Stronghold: Warlords isn’t just about RTS combat, it’s about managing a feudal castle


    The Stronghold series has always been about two things: Building big, impenetrable castles, and fielding armies to knock down your enemies’ castles. In a new video, Firefly Worlds demonstrates the improvements its making to the castle simulation side of Stronghold: Warlords, which moves the action to medieval Asia.


    Sisters Royale coming west for PS4, Switch on January 30, 2020


    Chorus Worldwide will release Alfa System-developed shoot ’em up Sisters Royale digitally for PlayStation 4 and Switch on January 30, 2020 in the west, the publisher announced. Pre-orders begin on December 19 via the Nintendo eShop and December 30 via the PlayStation Store. Xbox One and PC versions will be released at a later date.


    The Suicide of Rachel Foster is a Gone Home-meets-Firewatch mystery in an old hotel


    The Daedalic-published horror-thriller is coming early next year.


    Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection Trailer Looks at the Red Hero’s Abilities


    While a delay has meant we won’t see Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection until February 2020, Capcom hasn’t left anyone in the dark. The company has been putting out a steady stream of information, doing things like confirming minigames, to help people prepare. The latest is a new trailer looking at the Red Hero: Zero. It shows off all of his abilities.


    Sony's MLB The Show Franchise Headed To Non-PlayStation Platforms


    Baseball fans on non-Sony platforms like the Xbox One have had to watch while PlayStation fans got to enjoy the MLB the Show franchise over the years, but a new deal is bringing the famed series (developed by Sony's San Diego Studio) to new systems.


    Langrisser I & II ‘Langrisser I’ story trailer


    Langrisser I & II is due out for PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC via Steam on March 10, 2020 in North America and March 13 in Europe.


    Superliminal coming to PS4 in April 2020


    Forced perspective puzzle game Superliminal, which first launched for PC via the Epic Games Store on November 12, is coming to PlayStation 4 in April 2020, developer Pillow Castle Games announced.


    Paper Beast delayed to Q1 2020, gameplay trailer


    Pixel Reef has released a new gameplay trailer for Paper Beast, its upcoming PlayStation VR title from Another World and From Dust creator Eric Chahi, which confirms a delay to Q1 2020 from its previously planned late 2019 release window. It will be available for PlayStation VR when it launches, and PlayStation 4 non-VR at a later date.


    Marvel’s Avengers’ Creative Director on Making a Superhero Game for Everyone



    “Kamala is just so iconic—she’s probably the female Spider-Man, if you will,” Escayg said. “I’m really in love with that character. She sees through that lens and she’s excited about life. She’s passionate about the Avengers—that’s her greatest superpower. Sure, she’s a polymorph and she can stretch and punch, but it’s hope and hope in the Avengers that make her a hero.”


    Golf Story sequel Sports Story coming to Switch


    Sports Story from Sidebar Games will feature a new adventure with plenty of sports, dungeons, and mini-games.


    Bullet Girls Phantasia coming to PC in early 2020


    D3 Publisher and developer Shade will release third-person shooter Bullet Girls Phantasia for PC via Steam in early 2020, the publisher announced.


    Solve Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard next week


    A party has been ruined, the most heinous of crimes.


    Check out Adam Hunter in this new Streets of Rage 4 trailer


    Fan-favorite brawler Adam Hunter was shown off today in a new Streets of Rage 4 trailer.


    ‘Shack-and-slash’ dungeon crawler Boyfriend Dungeon adds Switch version


    “Shack-and-slash” dungeon crawler Boyfriend Dungeon is coming to Switch alongside its previously announced PC (Steam) version in 2020, developer Kitfox Games announced.


    Murder by Numbers - trailer Nintendo Switch


    SkateBIRD - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch


    A game about skateboarding birbs who try their best.


    For Axiom Verge's Creator, the Switch Was a "Natural Platform" For the Sequel


    Axiom Verge surprised even its creator when it garnered critical acclaim in 2015. An indie metroidvania in the age of indie metroidvanias, developer Thomas Happ took a refreshingly formulaic approach that captured the same sense of wonder and mystery as classic Metroid. With a welcome dash of H.R. Giger-inspired art and a creepy, pulsating soundtrack, Axiom Verge was a breakout.


    Babylon's Fall absolutely looks like a Platinum game


    After its moody and information-light announcement at E3 2018, I wasn’t sure what to make of Babylon’s Fall. I expect slick, stabby, and slightly silly action from PlatinumGames, the makers of Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Vanquish, and Nier: Automata. Yet here was this murky fantasy game being presented like Dark Souls? A new trailer today showed some of the game and oh mate, this absolutely is a Platinum action game.


    Watch new Ghost of Tsushima teaser, full trailer coming at The Game Awards


    Today’s trailer is actually only a teaser for the full thing coming at The Game Awards on Thursday, so it’s a bit anticlimactic.


    Danganronpa Creator Announces New Full-Motion Video Game


    The mind behind Dangarnonpa's killing games has announced a new project today, in a surprising new medium. Kazutaka Kodaka will work with Izanagi Games to develop Death Comes True, a game taking place in full-motion video, or FMV.


    Final Fantasy 7 Remake cover art confirms one-year exclusivity on PS4


    As many probably guessed, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is not a full PS4 exclusive.


    Predator: Hunting Grounds release date set for April 24 on PS4, PC


    A release date and addition information for Predator: Hunting Grounds was revealed during Sony’s latest State of Play episode.


    Phoenix Point has been delayed on Xbox Game Pass and the Microsoft Store



    "The fact is we dropped the ball," the announcement reads. "We were exceedingly busy getting the game itself ready, and being inexperienced with Game Pass and the Microsoft Store, we simply had not properly prepared the groundwork to get the game released on time on these platforms. Compared to other platforms we’re on these platforms require a number of prerequisites, from Microsoft certification to legal documentation review. While these are now mostly complete, they have given rise to a number of new delays."


    Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate Arrives West on PS4, Switch, and PC in 2020


    Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? – Infinite Combate is set in a fantasy realm where gods have limited their divine powers in search of excitement and to experience the hardships of the lower world. To interact with humans, each deity has founded a Familia, which are groups that adventurers can join to socialize and support each other before they set out into the dangerous labyrinth called Dungeon.


    Here’s why Age of Empires 4 doesn’t have environmental destruction – sort of


    The Age of Empires 4 trailer shown at X019 gave us our first real glimpse at the upcoming RTS game and some of the battle action we can expect to get our teeth into when the Age of Empires 4 release date arrives. It showed trebuchets bringing down fortifications, and creative director Adam Isgreen has now confirmed “man-made destruction visuals” like this will be a feature of the game – but destruction of the natural environment won’t be.


    The Survivalists is an island life follow-up to the Escapists, and it hits Steam next year


    If trying to bust out of prison has put too much stress on you in your sandbox games, Team17’s The Escapists is taking a picturesque turn toward island life in The Survivalists. But there’s still that whole problem of survival to deal with. The Survivalists was announced as part of Nintendo’s indie Switch showcase today, but it will hit Steam, too.


    Temtem, an online monster-catching RPG, releases January 21


    Seek adventure in the lovely Airborne Archipelago alongside your Temtem squad. Catch every Temtem, battle other tamers, customize your character, join a friend's adventure and explore the dynamic online world.


    Dead Cells' first paid DLC is The Bad Seed and it's due early next year


    Bad Seed is more accurately the work of Evil Empire - the splinter studio formed by ex-Motion Twin staff specifically to continue work on Dead Cells - and its headline feature takes the form of two new biomes, intended to offer headless adventurers new path choices in the early game, "ensuring that all players, no matter their level, will be able to enjoy it".


    Kingdom Hearts III DLC ‘ReMIND’ launches January 23, 2020 for PS4, February 25 for Xbox One


    Kingdom Hearts III downloadable content “ReMIND” will launch for PlayStation 4 on January 23, 2020 and Xbox One on February 25, Square Enix announced in an unlisted trailer posted by the official Kingdom Hearts YouTube account, which has since been removed.


    Watch 13 minutes of Borderlands 3's first expansion


    Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot is coming on December 19.


    Here are the next two DLC fighters coming to Tekken 7


    Bandai Namco has unveiled two new Tekken 7 fighters - Muay Thai champion Fahkumram and Ganryu.


    Elder Scrolls Legends development "on hold for the foreseeable future"



    Bethesda no longer making new content for fantasy card battler, but will continue support with monthly rewards and regular events


    The Curse of Outdated DRM Claims Another Victim, 'Tron: Evolution'



    If you bought 'Tron: Evolution' but haven't played it yet, the game is currently broken.


    Rune 2 developer Human Head being sued by publisher for abandoning game



    Rune 2 developer Human Head Studios is being sued by publisher Ragnarok after it abandoned the game one day after its release in order to join Bethesda.


    In Japan, a Dispute Filled With Accusations of Sexual Harassment and Bad Business Practices Boils Over


    Dangen Entertainment isn't as well-known as other names in gaming, but as an indie-centric publisher that helps bridge the gap between Japan and the West, chances are you've probably played something due to the result of its work. Through publishing, localization, and marketing services, Dangen's work has touched games such as Bloodstained, Momodora, CrossCode, and Iconoclasts.

    Dangen Entertainment Warning #2


    I’m sorry, because of my insufficient Japanese ability, I can only talk about this topic in such broken Japanese. However, I wanted to say something directly from my heart.


    Wargroove Developers Respond to Criticisms of Whitewashed Voice Cast


    Later on Friday, Kimlinh Tran, the casting director hired for Double Trouble and voice actor for Wargroove's Ragna, weighed in with a response of her own. In a lengthy thread on Twitter, Tran recounts the months-long casting process for Double Trouble and attests that the Chucklefish team wished "to cast the characters as authentically as possible." Even as they struggled to find actors who could do authentic Scottish accents (the developers' desired choice for Double Trouble's new bandit faction), Tran says she "directly contacted Scottish VA's, minorities too, to audition." Ultimately though, Tran is happy with the actors cast in Double Trouble's roles. She says she feels their process was flawed and that more steps could have been taken toward representative casting.


    Kalypso opens third internal studio to work on 'next-gen' Commandos title



    Kalypso Media has established a new in-house studio to work on the next entry in the Commandos series.


    Vaping Congressman Who Spent Campaign Funds On Steam Games Resigns



    Hunter was indicted last year on charges of “wire fraud, falsifying records, campaign finance violations and conspiracy” related to using campaign funds to pay for everything from family groceries to video games. He then proceeded to go on Fox News and blame nearly everything on his wife, who was also indicted.


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


    Razer CEO Berated And Threatened His Staff, Former Employees Say



    Ten people who worked for Razer shared stories of Tan yelling at employees or throwing objects. Some said they’d seen him publicly shame and threaten to fire employees on whims over the last 13 years. At Razer, former employees say, he instituted and celebrated a culture of fear, described by two as a “dictatorship.” Under Tan’s rule, Razer employees said they’d stay overnight at the company’s original offices in Carlsbad, California (they have since moved north to Irvine) to get work done, and that if they weren’t available at all hours to take phone calls or answer emails, they feared they would be fired. Many said they stuck around anyway, largely thanks to the hope of a massive payday once Razer eventually went public. Tan would often imply that all the long hours would lead to huge checks, they said.



    Today is my last day at Kotaku. I never once imagined that I could find a full-time reporting job like this—one where I could be myself, for better or worse, and live by and grow my values. What’s resurfacing in my mind as I pack up my things is my second day here: Editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo took me into a conference room to ask what I wanted to do at my cool new media job. We discussed covering MMORPGs, sexism in competitive games, Twitch, cybercrime. Stephen then turned to me and very seriously asked whether I regularly watch anime.


    The Shape of Videogames To Come



    We often use the term “games” without qualifier in this way to refer to multiple different forms of work at once. It is a point of pride for the videogame to belong to this lineage of “games.” To the AAA manager, it suggests a beautifully unbroken lineal ascent of more perfect communication of meaning through more precise refinement of technological advancement. To the scrabbling disenfranchised laborer of the modern itch.io mold, it suggests a heritage of appropriately scrappy communal participation in taking a suggestive desire through to a playable vibe. To the entrepreneurial indie auteur, it suggests a mystical creative effort through which participation in the electronic life’s work of their imagination is just a historical reappraisal away. It’s an inspirational feeling, this historicized legacy, across these different paths through an industry that sees no real room for feeling when there’s quarterly profits on the line. Everyone wants to believe it’s true. It makes “videogames” feel important, feel expressive, feel revolutionary, feel powerful, feel vital. And not just an important, expressive, revolutionary, powerful, vital form of artistic labor, but—the metrics insist—the most.


    Ruthless Individuality: Criticism’s Past, and Hopefully Its Future



    One reaction I saw right after the Death Stranding embargo was lifted was a tweet from someone responding to the fact that one of the old guard game sites had given the game a 6.8 while another gave it a 9. “What went wrong?” this person asked. The question suggested that, in their view, critics should have a clear sense of what the average player (or perhaps gamer is a better word here) likes, and therefore, there shouldn’t be such deviation in scores and conclusions. There are clear metrics by which games should be evaluated, and everyone whose job it is to review games should therefore know the difference, objectively, between great games and lackluster ones. But there is no “average” player. There are no objective metrics. And we shouldn’t let players maintain the comforting, self-aggrandizing notion that they represent a group with objective attitudes, to whom games should naturally cater.


    Four genius Kojima Productions staff who aren’t Hideo Kojima



    But it’s important to remember that Kojima doesn’t make his games alone. That when he talks about starting up Kojima Productions as an independent with just a laptop, a piece of string and a packet of Polos, he’s missing out the contribution of many loyal and long-serving collaborators who keep his work consistent and recognisable. That when somebody like legendary producer Kenichiro Imaizumi exits Kojima Productions, the hole they leave behind is like a voidout.


    The cult of Hideo Kojima



    It goes without saying the Death Stranding world tour is, of course, a clever marketing gimmick, one that banks heavily on Kojima's enigma to drum up more interest in the game. Some people I spoke to attended the event out of sheer curiosity, divulging that they would have done something else that day if the venue was too packed. But the concept of making social connections - or "strands", to borrow a word from the Death Stranding lexicon - by meeting with fans and players all over the world would have sounded like complete hogwash, if not for Kojima's sincerity. When the Q&A session concluded, the host announced that everyone in attendance - all 500 people in the hall - would be invited to a one-on-one photo-taking session with him. The news was received with explosive cheers. And to be fair to Kojima, that was probably a rather exhausting undertaking.


    Big Weird: Control (The Game), Death Stranding (The Game), and Control (The Concept)



    With 2019 coming to a close, we’re about to see a lot of people (myself included) attempt to wrap up both the year and the decade with some kind of defining thoughts on all the games we’ve seen. While it’s tempting to focus on the status quo as it stands in 2019, I’d instead like to focus on two games within AAA space that have been widely described as “weird”: Control and Death Stranding. Weird games are not hard to find, but weird games with a high budget are few and far between, and it’s these games that have the most power to challenge the status quo of the mainstream and redirect the course of the medium.


    The modders who spent 15 years fixing Knights of the Old Republic 2



    Released on December 6, 2004, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords (KOTOR2) was the first game from the then newly formed Obsidian Entertainment. At that time, the new studio was a shoestring operation with just seven veteran developers who had made the move from the recently shuttered Black Isle Studios, all holed up in CEO Feargus Urquhart’s attic. But publisher LucasArts, wanting to capitalize on the success of the original KOTOR from the year before, reportedly gave that threadbare new team just 14 to 16 months to create a sequel.


    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 3: Our Favorite Secrets and More



    Yacht Club shares their favorite secret areas; the art of positioning health pickups, and more.

    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 4: The Subtle Art of Backgrounds


    In the penultimate entry, Yacht Club Games talks about the small but important details that can make the difference in a level.

    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 5: Fin


    Yacht Club Games concludes their deep dive into Specter of Torment's design!


    How character creators help us explore gender identity and expression



    When it released in 1997, Ultima Online was revolutionary. The size of its world, the scope of its ambition, and the freedom it gave players were all unparalleled. Not to mention the range of character customization options: even on our grainy monitor, I delighted in flipping back and forth, studying the tiny differences between facial presets. I could color my own outfit. I could choose to be a woman. And there were ten unique hairstyles. Ten! The depth of choice was mind-bending. Growing up young, queer, and uneasy with my identity, diving into Ultima’s character creator felt like a revelation.


    Always on Edge: my life with Jason Brookes



    In the autumn of 1995, I interviewed for a writing position on Edge magazine. I had no experience in publishing; I'd spent a year since leaving university writing manuals and design documents for the developer Big Red Software, but I was desperate to be a journalist. Although I hadn't read Edge that much, everyone I worked with treated it like a holy text. It felt like a long shot. Then Jason Brookes turned up late for my interview, was friendly but distracted throughout, and at the end set me a writing task before disappearing completely. I assumed I had failed. Over a month later however, he called me and offered me a job. This was my first inkling that Jason had his own way of working.


    Everybody's Gone: Dan Pinchbeck on Rebuilding The Chinese Room



    He made his name with experimental games like Dear Esther. Now he wants to build “the Naughty Dog of the U.K.”


    Keeping History Alive



    In 2008, a fire ravaged through a backlot in Universal City, California. Thousands of irreplaceable master recordings were destroyed in the blaze, the scale of which we’re only learning about today. According to The New York Times, recordings from the 1940s through the 2000s were affected, including artists as diverse as The Who, Tom Petty, The Damned, Buddy Holly, Primus, and more. That part of music history – including countless unreleased and unheard tracks – has now been scattered to the winds.


    No Blood for Imulsion: Gears of War and the Military-Industrial Complex



    Gears of War’s original creative director, Cliff Bleszinski, has stated multiple times that the series is a specific metaphor for the Gulf War (or the First Iraq War) and a criticism of the Bush administration and the military-industrial complex in general. Released in 2006, Gears of War came out at a time when the Second Iraq War was at the top of everyone’s mind and the United States’ involvement in the Middle East was under intense scrutiny. Gears of War isn’t exactly a neat one-to-one parallel to either war; in fact, it’s a messy hodgepodge of different global conflicts. But, in the end, there are enough connections drawn, and so thoroughly, that the series’ commentary seems even more prescient now, 13 years later.







    Gotham’s Multiple Masks



    The most notable aspect of the architecture in Arkham Knight would have to be its lack of consistency. The buildings in Gotham belong to a remarkably broad range of different styles. With its glowering gargoyles, the Clock Tower for example is clearly Gothic. Wayne Tower is definitely Art Deco. LexCorp Tower has all the hallmarks of Modernism. In other words, the architecture in Arkham Knight is quite eclectic. There’s a bit more meaning to this than meets the eye.


    Jedi Fallen Order’s interesting female relationships are hidden behind a bland protagonist



    Anyway, that really felt like ‘Star Wars‘ to me at the time, even outside of redemption, Death Stars and lightsabers. Yet, in spite of it all, there was that one little niggle: where were the other girls, didn’t Leia have any of them to talk to? It was a niggle that has since grown into full-blown annoyance with age, and it’s one that raised almost instantly when hearing about that infamous interview Game Informer had with Respawn.


    Why Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete Remains One of the Best JRPGs Ever



    Twenty years ago, a cute little Japanese RPG became a beacon of hope in Final Fantasy VII's long shadow.


    Tea and Warfare



    For the once seemingly-infinite British Empire, World War I, in spite of victory, was a low moment for its internal narrative, a blow to its aristocracy’s ability to point to God and crown as a good enough rallying cry for its soldiers. Though Britain had fought plenty of wars before, deadly advances in technology and blundering confidence on the part of its generals and rulers (“donkeys” leading “lions,” as the officer class was commonly described) meant that World War I brought a brutal reality not just to the commoner classes, who were quite familiar with it, but to those who led them, who had encouraged joining the war and were responsible for its horrendous outcomes. For the first time, the wealthy and influential, the effective nobility of modern England, had to reckon with the ugliness of war on an unheard of scale, as well as the longstanding scars that this ugliness could leave on a society’s self-image long after the war itself was done and over with.


    Life is Strange 2 is the most important game of 2019



    It’s a game that’s not afraid of showing the darker side of America, from religion to immigration and even the impact of different drug laws across state boundaries. It’s an experience we need, holding up a broken mirror to our world and our place in it, reflecting how our choices now shape our planet for future generations. It’s about being dealt a shit hand and trying to prove everyone wrong, even at your own expense. It’s about sacrifice and brotherly bonds. It’s about us, humans, no matter where our parents are from.


    My Favorite Witcher 3 Quest Has No Fighting, Just Drunken Shenanigans



    There’s a quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that best shows why the world Geralt of Rivia inhabits is so easy to get lost in. It’s not an epic battle against a Griffin, or a cursed fetus. It’s not even a naked Witcher in a hot tub. There’s actually no fighting at all in ‘No Place Like Home,’ a quest that takes place right before the game’s final act kicks off.


    Not Quite Human: Frostpunk, Papers, Please, and the Dehumanization of Totalitarianism



    By letting us participate, games offer a unique opportunity to learn about oppressive regimes.


    Death Stranding Finds Hope in Despair



    In a world filled with nightmares, Death Stranding still manages to show us a path forward.

    Death Stranding’s Hero Is Just A Side Character


    Death Stranding purports to be a game about a man named Sam reconnecting cities across America. He’s hooking them into a thing called the chiral network, which allows them to print structures, but he’s also putting them in contact with those other cities, their people, and their history. As director and writer Hideo Kojima said before launch, “it's about making people think about the meaning of connection.” That’s Sam’s story. The mechanics work metaphorically with the broader plot to deliver a product that connects geologic timescales up with the intimate finitude of a few human lives. It is powerful, and when it works it works well, but what I was struck by in the game had very little to do with Sam’s story and its connection to the potential flourishing or annihilation of all life on the planet.

    Instead, I found that Sam seemed more like a side character in the lives of all of the other people we meet along the way.


    Blips: Minesweeper Roguelikes, Soccer Coaching, and Ecological Disaster!


    Here are a bunch of little vignettes, most of which involve hex-based spheres in some way!


    The Most Innovative Game of 2019 | Game Maker's Toolkit


    Every year, I celebrate one game that went above and beyond in terms of innovation, invention, and imagination. From Her Story to Snake Pass to Return of the Obra Dinn, these games have stunned us with their unique ideas and excellent execution. This year, the award goes to...

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


    Other Places: One Day in Valentine (Red Dead Redemption 2)


    Other Places is a series of short films celebrating beautiful videogame worlds.




    Next up: Barrels.
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ahoy


    Establishing Vision | So You Wanna Be A Game Designer? (#4)


    When starting out to develop a game, it is very important to set up a structured creative direction during pre-production. One of the most needed elements is a strong vision, which we're going to discuss in this video.

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


    The History of Castlevania World Records



    The Environmental Impact of Digital Games // HeavyEyed


    Welcome back to the Ethics of Buying Games, a show about how games can affect us and the world around us! This time we're talking about the environmental impact of digital distribution.

    patreon// https://www.patreon.com/heavyeyed


    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice cut content gives context to that moment with Anayama


    Modder Lance McDonald, whose name should be familiar to FromSoftware fans thanks to his storied history in uncovering cut content, features and stories in the Japanese studio’s games, has returned with a fresh look at Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.


    I Hate The Word 'Consumer' (The Jimquisition)


    I don't like the word "consumer."

    Words have power, and even when two words mean the same thing, the history and implications attached can have a subtle effect on how we process them.

    In today's video, I explain some of the baggage carried by the word "consumer," and why I've phased out my own usage of the word in favor of others when describing the game-buying public. While some may consider this to be splitting hairs, I had a lot of fun explaining my stance in today's video, and I hope you find it interesting!



    How Mind Control Saved Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee | War Stories | Ars Technica


    When Lorne Lanning first conceived of what would become Oddworld, he wasn't necessarily setting out to make video games. What he needed to do was tell a story. On this episode of War Stories, we hear from the co-founder of Oddworld Inhabitants and learn all the ups and downs of Abe's journey to the screen over the past 22 years, including what comes next for the franchise in Oddworld: Soulstorm.


    The History of Quake with Tim Willits


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

    Tim Willits breaks down the history of the Quake franchise.


    Into the Breach with Justin Ma - The AIAS Game Maker's Notebook


    At D.I.C.E. 2019, Robin Hunicke chats with Justin Ma (FTL: Faster Than Light, Into the Breach) about following up on a successful game, development hurdles, finding strength in uncertainty, and discovering success by creating the games they want to play.


    Things I missed from previous weeks





    An oral history of Sony’s big gaming play, and how it changed the world


    Paradox Interactive is Not Immune to Propaganda: Leftist Politics in Grand Strategy



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