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  • This Week In Gaming 12-3-2019


    RagnarRox on why Disco Elysium is a role-playing dream come true, Yacht Club Games recounts how the development of Shovel Knight turned into making five games over the course of six additional years, C o n q u e s t o f D r e a d discusses concepts of decolonization and how they affect video and tabletop games, Writing on Games critiques the campaign of Modern Warfare, Quantic Dream ordered to pay former employee over failed security obligations, multiple developers warn about working with Dangen Entertainment, Persona 5 Royal gets a release date, Peter Tieryas interviews the composer of Ghost Trick, Riot pays 10 million in gender discrimination suit, Archipel and Matt Leone interview key developers and businessmen about how the original PlayStation changed video games, Harold Goldberg interviews Hideo Kojima to discuss how his childhood influences his games and wanting to help his audience find connection and relief, 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)


    10 lovely-looking indie games to look out for in 2020


    Great new ideas on show at Day of the Devs


    To the Moon 3: Impostor Factory announced for PC


    Freebird Games has announced Impostor Factory, the third entry in its To the Moon series following the original game and sequel Finding Paradise. It will launch for PC via Steam at the end of 2020.


    Crusader Kings 3 will finally add knights, making warfare much more interesting


    Over its nearly eight-year run, Crusader Kings II expanded to include many aspects of medieval life and politics that weren’t included in the original game. However, even as its political and strategic complexity grew, it was always missing one crucial element of the Middle Ages: Knights. That’s changing in Crusader Kings III, which is rebuilding the series’ combat system to be more interesting and – hopefully – chivalrous.


    Let's Play Phoenix Point - Part 1 - Tactical Tutorial


    With Phoenix Point less than a week away from release, we kick-off our playthrough by working through the tactical tutorial. This video contains cutscenes and narration from the early game, which is not spoiler-heavy. Future videos are likely to contain more story elements.

    Let's Play Phoenix Point - Part 2 - Geoscape Tutorial


    With Phoenix Point less than a week away from release, we kick-off our playthrough by working through the tutorial. This time around we cover the strategic Geoscape tutorial. This video contains cutscenes and narration from the early game, which is not spoiler-heavy. Future videos are likely to contain more story elements.


    One of the most underrated Metroidvanias on Steam is getting a sequel


    Released in 2015, Castle in the Darkness wasn't the most talked about Metroidvania of that year (thanks, Ori and the Blind Forest and Axiom Verge) but I can confirm that it was very good, especially if the sprawling Wonder Boy games were your bag. So it's great news that it's getting an unlikely sequel.


    Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York release gets delayed by one week


    Today, developer Draw Distance confirmed the release will be postponed for another week. Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York will be released digitally on December 11 for PC. The game will hit PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in the first quarter of 2020.


    Life Is Strange 2's final episode is out today


    The fifth and final episode of Life Is Strange 2 is out today. The choice-based narrative game has revolved around brothers Sean and Daniel as they run from their home in Seattle after a tragic run-in with police. Over the course of the season they’ve slowly made their way south attempting to flee to Mexico.


    Firewatch team’s next game ‘on hold’ as it works on other Valve projects



    Campo Santo team is working on Half-Life: Alyx, Dota Underlords, and other projects for now


    Enhanced and Expanded ‘Persona 5 Royal’ Arrives on March 31, 2020


    This updated take on Persona 5 includes a new character, the ability to gift items to both men and women, an enhanced cell phone conversation system, more story, and more. It’s unclear if Royal will be able to address the criticisms leveled at the game’s ugly mishandling of queer characters, or if Atlus will allow people to stream the game without enormous and burdensome restrictions. The Japanese version was released in October.


    Starship Troopers gets a survival RTS in 2020


    Between the bug-busting violence, sci-fi theatrics, and rampant militarism, Starship Troopers seems like the perfect fit for games, but the series’ history in digital adaptation has been spotty. Starship Troopers: Terran Command aims to change that – with a little help from the formula that’s helped to make strategy games like Conan Unconquered and They Are Billions such successes.


    Mike Pondsmith: "If you want to get somebody to see your point of view, don't preach"



    The veteran designer on adapting to new technology, bringing Cyberpunk 2077 to 2020, and using games to tackle political and social themes


    Q&A: Blizzard Answers Our Biggest Overwatch 2 Questions



    New details on gameplay tweaks, the sequel's approach to storytelling, new character designs, and more.


    Earthbreakers is a new FPS from Command and Conquer developers


    Petroglyph Games, the studio that formed from the ashes of Westwood Studios after EA closed it down, have revealed a new project, Earthbreakers, and it’s a spiritual successor of sorts to Command and Conquer: Renegade.


    The memes of medieval monks inspired the artwork for this comedic turn-based strategy


    Throw down the gauntlet and command your inky army in Inkulinati.


    Snikch confirmed for Total War: Warhammer 2 Shadow and Blade DLC pack – here’s everything it adds


    Total War: Warhammer 2 developer Creative Assembly recently teased new DLC for the strategy game, and now we know exactly what’s coming. Death Master Snikch is indeed on the way, along with another new lord and two new playable factions.

    The Shadow & The Blade - TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER 2 DLC Reveal


    Revealing all the lords, characters and units in the new Shadow and the Blade DLC for Total War: Warhammer 2 which releases on December 12th, 2019.

    NEW SKAVEN UNITS + REPANSE! Close-Up & Stats Guide | Shadow & The Blade DLC - Total War: Warhammer 2


    A look at the new ratmen DLC units from The Shadow & The Blade DLC + New Bretonnian Lord & Hero. Remember this is pre-release so, stats/prices and other things may change!


    Square Enix shares more info about Kingdom Hearts 3's Re:Mind DLC (but there's still no release date)


    Square Enix has finally released more details about the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3's Re:Mind DLC, including news that a new trailer for the DLC will release next month.


    Ghost Recon Breakpoint is getting a new loot system next year



    It’s fair to say that Ghost Recon Breakpoint has had a rough go of it since launch, and even publisher Ubisoft seems to agree. The company held a two-week player survey earlier this month, and has now pledged to address players’ most commonly-held concerns – and one of the big ones is Breakpoint’s Destiny-esque tiered loot system.


    Euro Truck Simulator 2 DLC trailer is a hypnotic ride through Eastern Europe


    Road to the Black Sea comes out on December 5.


    Rainbow Six Siege adds two new operators in today's Shifting Tides update


    Watch a new bolt-action sniper rifle shoot through walls and Operators alike as Operation Shifting Tides comes to Rainbow Six Siege. In addition to her rifle, the Attacker, Kali, brings a versatile underbarrel explosive charge to help destroy enemy gadgets, while Wamai gives the Defenders extra cover by deploying grenade-grabbing magnetic devices. Learn the ins and outs of the new gadgets, and spot the big changes to the Theme Park map in the latest rework.


    YouTube lightens up about videogame violence



    YouTube’s ever-changing content and advertising guidelines have taken creators on numerous rides over the past several years, but the latest changes sound like they’ll offer a bit more freedom to folks who focus on violent titles. Starting today, YouTube’s community guidelines will treat videogame violence the same as other scripted violence – though there have been no changes to the existing, separate guidelines for what’s ‘advertiser-friendly.’


    Quantic Dream has been condemned by French Court over still ongoing cases of employees harassments & toxic working conditions


    The famous French video game company was sentenced to the labor courts for letting an employee broadcast shocking images staging leaders and employees. This is a new round in the bitter battle between the company and its former IT manager.


    Quantic Dream ordered to pay former employee over failed 'security obligations'


    As reported by Mediapart (via Try aGame and ResetEra), Quantic Dream has taken a partial loss in one action filed by a former IT manager over offensive images described by a judge as "homophobic, misogynistic, racist or deeply vulgar," that were created by other employees and shared among members of the studio. As a result, the studio has been ordered to pay the ex-employee €5000 ($5504) in compensation, as well as €2000 ($2201) in in legal costs.


    Riot Games will pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination suit



    Riot Games agreed to pay out at least $10 million to women who worked at the company in the last five years as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit over alleged gender discrimination, according to court documents filed Monday.


    Dangen Entertainment Warning



    I am writing these posts in the public interest, to warn people of my experiences with Dangen Entertainment and their CEO Ben Judd. It is my opinion that Dangen Entertainment and Ben Judd are predators that prey on indie game developers and young women, and I cannot in good conscience allow them to continue without leaving some public warning and evidence of their actions.



    ForZe defeat Tricked, win DreamHack Open Winter CS:GO


    ForZe have been crowned the new champions of DreamHack Open Winter after the Russian CS:GO team took down Tricked 2-1 today in Jönköping, Sweden.

    CS:GO player caught openly cheating by a streamer at DreamHack


    Cheating in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been a major problem for a while, and if anyone needs more evidence, this clip from a livestream broadcast from DreamHack Winter ought to make the case. A young player was spotted using CS:GO hacks at the event and making no effort to conceal the fact.


    A Tekken Legend's Visit To Pakistan Is Met With Both Cheers And Drama



    Over the last year, Pakistan’s fighting game community has risen from relative obscurity to a place of prominence thanks to a handful of its players winning major Tekken 7 tournaments on the world stage. The country has garnered so much attention, in fact, that South Korean veteran Jae-Min “Knee” Bae traveled there last week to train for the Tekken World Tour finals this weekend. What should have been a simple opportunity for these players to learn from one another, however, became a mini controversy when two of the country’s best avoided playing the South Korean visitor altogether.


    The Kid From Nowhere Who Won it All... and Gave the Money Away


    The Dominican Republic earned their way to the top of the Street Fighter world. They overcame barriers, borders and gods and earned the rest of the world’s respect.


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


    A Profound Waste of Time: Issue 2


    A Profound Waste of Time is a unique videogame culture magazine that pairs the reflections and ideas of some of the best writers and developers in the industry with specially-commissioned illustrations from leading image-makers. Rather than focussing on news and reviews, we take a more timeless approach, examining the influences, processes and broader conversations behind the medium.

    The first issue of APWOT was published in 2018 to wide critical acclaim and now we are delighted to return with our second instalment: a beautifully-produced, 180+ page volume featuring the very best in videogame culture writing.


    Former Fire Emblem ROM Hack Becomes Brand New Video Game


    Once upon a time, there was a ROM hack for Fire Emblem called Midnight Sun. It was cancelled in 2017, but is now back, having spent the intervening years transforming itself into a standalone, original video game.

    Path of the Midnight Sun | A dark fantasy jRPG-VN


    In a world filled with demons and political schemes, your choices influence the story & gameplay!


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


    A Video Game Auteur’s Quest for Connection



    “I thought, I’ll tell her once I’ve become a little successful,” he says. “I didn’t want her to worry.” But she died during the game’s gestation. “The ghosts in the game — maybe my parents are one of them, seeing me in this world,” he adds. “I wanted to have that kind of metaphor, that within you, you’re connected to the people that passed away.” Kojima admits to regrets about not telling his mother about the game. He appears shaken as he says it.


    How Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Went From Minor DLC to a Collection Built to Last



    Yacht Club Games recounts the evolution of Shovel Knight's ambitious collection.

    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 1: The Plan


    In the first part of this Shovel Knight deep dive, Yacht Club Games explains the planning process behind Specter of Torment.

    The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 2: Froggy Foreshadowing


    Yacht Club Games explains the art of spacing, enemy placement, and more as it delves still further into the making of Specter of Torment.


    ACID GAMES Talks: Unlearning - Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hive Mind (Troy)



    Hello, this is my talk, it’s called: UNLEARNING, Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Hive Mind.

    Ghost Trick Has One Of The Catchiest OSTs On The DS



    The whole concept behind Ghost Trick is making ghostly possessions a game mechanic. That meant every object in an area was either a potential tool to be manipulated or a method of transit. Interesting characters, witty dialogue, and vibrant visuals made it an instant classic for me. But the thing that’s stuck with me most is the soundtrack. I still listen to it all the time, whether it’s when I’m writing, working out, doing chores, or just chilling. So I was pretty excited to get the chance to speak with the game’s composer, Masakazu Sugimori.

    Working for major studios


    ‘Death Stranding’ imagines the eco-horror of our future dystopia



    Hideo Kojima’s latest video game is a mindful hiking simulator set in a post-disaster America.


    ONCE AGAIN (november review)



    The blurb on THE NINJA WARRIORS ONCE AGAIN Amazon page is “Significantly enhanced remake of one of the best Japanese side-scrolling beat-me-up games of all time!” This bit of hyperbole could be mistaken for a selling point, or, it could be the absolute truth.


    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Turns Trauma and Fear into Cheap Tricks



    No one thought that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would be an educational experience, and it didn’t seem that Infinity Ward made any claim that it would be. But it is clearly designed to send a message, to present a specific feeling. As I delved further into the single-player story campaign, my frustration grew deeper as I experienced these same tricks repeatedly.


    Disco Elysium offers a dark mirror to my mid-life crisis



    Martainaise, the broken-down home of Disco Elysium’s broken-down police story, is an excoriating light shone not just upon its broken-down policeman, but also upon me, and my failure to be the person I thought I was. It is my mid-life crisis writ in grey rainfall, my dread realisation that death is coming and I’m not who I ever meant to be.

    “Dick Mullen and the Miracle Plot,” by Chris Breault


    In Disco Elysium, lieutenant Kim Katsuragi is both your partner and your guide. Elysium’s protagonist, Harry Du Bois, is a ruinously drunk detective whose latest binge has obliterated his memory; he leans on Kim, a steady 20-year veteran of the force, to explain the game’s central murder case and the world to him.


    Disco Elysium is a Role-Playing Dream Come True


    Following it's many years of development, I had hoped Studio ZA/UM's Disco Elysium would turn out to be a decent RPG that stands out by omitting a traditional combat system -- but when it came out it ended up being one of the absolute best roleplaying games I've ever played on a computer. In this video, I'm talking about how this game managed to be the first video game that gave me the feeling of playing a tabletop campaign with an actual DM. And many other shenanigans.

    Help the channel out (Support me on Patreon): https://www.patreon.com/RagnarRoxShow


    The Trouble with the Video Game Industry | Philosophy Tube



    DECOLONISING GAMES - Conquest of Dread


    Kia ora e hoa, this time I'm gonna introduce you to a couple of concepts we often talk about in discussions of "Decolonisation", what they are, how they sometimes overlap and how they affect everything from videogames like The Witcher 3, Skyrim and Greedfall, all the way through to tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons. While we are focusing on games this time, hopefully after watching you'll be able to see how these same ideas can apply to movies, books and even places like museums!



    Critiquing the Campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)


    Review copy provided by publisher. Contains spoilers for Modern Warfare (2019) and Call of Duty 4. Brief discussion of torture.

    There's something comforting about the release of a new Call of Duty game; a title with unmatched production values to distract from its utterly mindless gameplay. With their campaign in this year's Modern Warfare, however, Infinity Ward wanted to do something more—putting us more face-to-face with the consequences of this action romp than they perhaps ever have, in order to critique the systems of conflict. Let's talk about how what we got might be the complete opposite, and how if Call of Duty really wants to go down this route in future, this vision arguably lies in its fundamental technical framework rather than any trite story moment.

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


    Control taught me to love the ugliest architecture


    The team behind Control, Remedy's latest game, used Brutalist architecture as the inspiration for the concrete monstrosity where the game takes place. But what is Brutalism?


    How Link's Awakening Rearranges a Soundtrack


    After being blown away by the Link's Awakening remake and its approach to rearranging the original Gameboy soundtrack, I decided to see if I could analyze the new soundtrack to glean some insight into arranging for a group that you don't often hear in video game soundtracks: wind sextet. After analyzing the game's wind sextet arrangement of its title theme, I tried to 'steal' the ideas present in the arrangement in order to create a wind sextet arrangement of the original Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow title screen of my own. After much trial and error I ended up with something that I'm pretty proud of, and this video is meant to take you through the process of how I got there.

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


    What happens when you try to recycle a video game?


    We take a look at what happens when you try to recycle a video game, plastic box and all.

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


    Super Paper Mario - A Flat Game with a Deep Story | The Completionist


    Super Paper Mario was a deviation of the Paper Mario RPG formula. When announced it was going that direction, it worried a lot of fans. Turning the game into a blended platformer with some RPG elements lead to a very creative Mario game. Navigating the 2D and 3D axis of the game is a lot of fun and has plenty of new opportunities to hide secrets. And the plot of this game actually gets a bit dark. Luigi, your own brother, gets brainwashed and because a villain known as Mr. L. Plenty more to discuss in my Super Paper Mario review!

    NEW and exclusive content when you support Our Patreon: https://Patreon.com/TheCompletionist


    Elite Dangerous Review


    Elite Dangerous is a space sim about living in a futuristic Milky Way galaxy completely to scale. Now that's cosmic horror. The review also touches on Horizons and Beyond.

    Support the channel at: https://www.patreon.com/mandaloregaming


    How Riven Makes The Player Feel Isolated - Riven Retrospective


    Riven is one of the most immersive and memorable point-and-click adventure games out there. Let’s talk about it!

    PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/HoodoHoodlum


    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare... 12 Years Later


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


    How the PlayStation changed video games forever


    We sat down with four key former developers and businessmen from Sony to reflect on the original PlayStation, its creation and launch, and how the video game industry has changed over the past 25 years.

    Staying up all night and riding in a car trunk: The early days of Tekken


    When Namco made the first few Tekken games, everything seemed to come together last minute


    A Hidden Masterpiece! - The History of Beyond Good and Evil


    Please consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/GVMERS

    The mid-2000s were a formative period for Ubisoft. New studios joined its repertoire and bolstered its stature as an international brand. Old studios came into their own with classic series that would define the generation. And series that would come to be classics in the next generation were slowly being cultivated for their future stardom.


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