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    This Week In Gaming 3-10-20


    Cloth Map travels to Bosnia to learn about their game industry, Reid McCarter looks at how the failing economy and communities of Kentucky Route Zero mirror a real world housing crisis, Miguel Penabella on seven years of playing Kentucky Route Zero and finding a growing community over the course of the game's five acts, a new Amnesia game and Command & Conquer Remaster announced, Data West returns to the video game industry, Reggie Fils-Aimé joins Gamestop board of directors, large updates coming to Total War Warhammer 2 and Three Kingdoms, coronavirus affects on esports and companies, Mark Hill covers the BattleTech renaissance, Nic Reuben remembers Baldur's Gate 2's Athkatla and why it remains one of the best cities in video games, Brian David Gilbert attempts to learn the true origins of Kirby, 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)


    13 Ways Ori And The Will Of The Wisps Improves On The Original


    We’ve played three hours of Ori And The Will Of The Wisps gameplay and will talk you through the huge changes and new features we saw. From giant bears to grappling hooks to massive boss fights and chases… all this and more as we look at the 13 best Ori And The Will Of The Wisps features, all with shiny Ori And The Will Of The Wisps PC gameplay.

    Ori And The Will Of The Wisps Boss And Exploration Gameplay


    We explore the Kwolok's Hollow, solve some puzzles, and take on a boss in Ori And The Will Of The Wisps for Xbox One and PC.


    PS4 exclusive Ghost of Tsushima will be released on June 26th


    Sony has announced that Ghost of Tsushima, Sucker Punch’s action-adventure game set in feudal Japan, will be coming out in just a few months on June 26th.


    New Chivalry 2 gameplay & developer interview


    We talk to the developers of Chivalry 2 about how the followup to their beloved medieval combat game is making battles bigger and the tools for murdering more diverse and creative.


    Amnesia: Rebirth announced for PS4, PC


    “What is Amnesia: Rebirth?” creative director Thomas Grip said in a PlayStation Blog post. “A new protagonist, a new setting, a new story, but built on what we learned from the original game. No gimmicks. No inventing something completely new. This is Amnesia.”


    Final Fantasy 7 Remake Combat Breakdown: Every Character Explained! Final Fantasy 7 Remake Gameplay


    We've been spending a lot of time with the #FF7R demo, getting some practice in with the new, reimagined #FinalFantasy combat system. Coupled with the time we've had playing as both Tifa and Aerith in later portions of the game, it's given us the opportunity to really break down how battles will work, from the standard Shinra guards to bosses like the Scorpion Sentinel, Airbuster and Abzu. Final Fantasy 7 Remake new gameplay

    How Final Fantasy 7 Remake will expand on the original classic


    With the demo thrilling gamers all over the world, we speak to co-director Naoki Hamaguchi about the vision behind this long-awaited reimagining


    Resident Evil 3 – 1999 vs. 2020 Gameplay Comparison | PlayStation Underground


    Let's play the Resident Evil 3 remake (2020) and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999). Capcom producer Peter Fabiano joins the PlayStation crew for a dive into how the stunning remake recreates iconic moments, characters, and bio-weapons from the original PlayStation classic. The RE3 remake hits PS4 April 3.


    Cloudpunk will deliver packages and a story next month


    We’re less one neon-splashed tech dystopia this April but it looks like another is pulling in to fill its space. Cyberpunk 2077‘s original April date got pushed back but Cloudpunk will be raising the cyberpunk flag this spring instead. This story-led adventure puts you behind the wheel as new delivery driver Rania learning the ropes in the giant, vertical city of Nivalis. As a driver for the “semi-legal” delivery company Cloudpunk, Rania will meet all sorts of local future people. Ion Lands have released a new trailer today with a launch date side dish.


    It's official, Horizon: Zero Dawn is coming to PC this summer


    It’s been two months since rumours started flying about Horizon: Zero Dawn coming to PC, and now, out of absolutely nowhere, it’s been confirmed. Horizon is a (soon-to-be former) PlayStation exclusive where you get to hunt giant robot dinosaurs, and it’s making its way to PC this very summer.


    Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is coming June 5th


    The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection will deliver its overhauled versions of the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert (plus expansions) on June 5th, Electronic Arts announced today. Westwood’s cheery ‘n’ cheesy real-time strategy games from the 90s come with fancying-up including redrawn high-resolution artwork, support for mahoosive monitors, a revamped interface, remastered sound, and a new multiplayer backend. And yes, absolutely, they’ve touched up those wonderful FMV cutscenes. Have a peek at all this in the new trailer below.


    Tactical Breach Wizards is planning a beta for strategic spellcasters


    Macho cops in tactical gear are out and what’s in instead? Wizards in riot gear and traffic-cop neon. Yup. Flashlights and lighning bolts are better for taking out crime syndicates than flashbangs. Tactical Breach Wizards is a small-scale strategy game about breaking into rooms full of armed and mohawked baddies and incapacitating them with strategic spell work. Suspicious Developments are about to roll out keys to their first beta test, which you can sign up for now.


    Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions Also Has an Original Story Mode With Character Creation



    Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions will have an original story mode and its own character creation feature. Bandai Namco shared more details in this week’s issue of Jump magazine.


    Bleeding Edge has a dolphin who pilots a fishbowl crab mech via a Japanese AI


    Ninja Theory's Bleeding Edge is a bit out there when it comes to its hero characters. It's got a character who's part motorbike, a character who's got robot chicken legs, and a character who's consciousness is housed in a robot snake arm that's attached to their corpse.


    DOOM Eternal - Soundtrack Behind the Scenes


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

    To celebrate our nearly reaching 500k subs, we answer your questions about our work and gives updates on our most requested documentaries


    A new Worms game is coming this year


    Ah, Worms. Team 17’s turn-based strategy series that gets adorable little pink menaces firing everything from holy hand grenades that sing out ‘hallelujah!’ before detonating to explosive grannies at eachother, all to be the last invertebrate standing. It’s been around since 1995 – and it’s about to get another instalment.


    Call of Duty: Warzone confirmed as a standalone, free-to-play battle royale


    After weeks of not-so-subtle teases, Activision has officially announced Call of Duty: Warzone. The latest entry into the field of battle royale games is coming as both a free update to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and as a standalone, free-to-play release in its own right. Both versions of Warzone are set to launch on March 10.


    Total War: Three Kingdoms – A World Betrayed adds a new start date and more factions


    Total War: Three Kingdoms is getting a new chapter pack this month, letting you start the game from a new historical bookmark. Mandate of Heaven kicked things off a few years earlier, but A World Betrayed starts mid-campaign, after the Han Empire has already fallen apart and some major players are dead.


    “Extreme” Total War: Warhammer 2 changes coming in Proving Grounds test area


    Total War: Warhammer II looks set to receive some wild changes in the coming weeks, as developer Creative Assembly has announced a new test server-like space for the studio to trial new, experimental changes.


    Mortal Kombat 11 – Official Spawn Gameplay Trailer


    The wait is over! Spawn makes his Outworld debut in Mortal Kombat 11 beginning with Early Access on March 17. Full Release March 24!


    Anno 1800 reveals 2020 roadmap and DLC


    Anno 1800 has had a great deal of success through its first nine months – to the tune of 1 million players now – and it’s getting even more content as a result. Ubisoft has confirmed that the latest in the venerable series of strategy games will get another season of DLC and free updates for 2020, and the first of them are coming very soon.


    Phoenix Point's Blood And Titanium DLC asks if you'd swap heads with a robot


    Sometimes, when I’m bored, I panic over the fact we’re all basically meat tubes waiting to expire. Whether through harm or decay, our organic bodies will all fail eventually. Phoenix Point‘s new villains must’ve gotten the fear over all that because, gosh dang it, they’ve replaced their bodies with iron parts and are violently insisting everyone join them in a new cyborg future. Launching earlier this week, Phoenix Point’s Blood And Titanium DLC asks you to take on these tech zealots by giving them a taste of their own steely medicine.


    Everything New in The Division 2: Warlords of New York Expansion


    (Presented by The Division 2) It’s time to return to New York, agents. Here’s everything you need to know about the newest expansion to The Division 2.


    The Strong Museum and Kongregate partner to preserve Flash games



    The Strong Museum has partnered with web gaming portal and publisher Kongregate to start preserving Flash games.


    Microsoft asks employees to work from home over coronavirus fears



    UPDATE: Nintendo also encourages remote working for staff based in Washington and California

    Minecraft Festival is the latest event postponed due to coronavirus


    Though Minecraft Live will go ahead.

    Bungie activates remote work policy in response to COVID-19 outbreak


    Bungie employees around the globe are being asked to work remotely in order to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.


    Obituary: Arcade game designer and programmer Tim Skelly has passed away


    During the '70s and '80s Skelly designed a number of influential vector arcade titles for Cinematronics including Rip-Off, Star Hawk, Armor Attack, and Star Castle, all of which were eventually ported to the Vectrex home console.


    What’s Going On With GeForce Now



    Ever since it officially launched last month, game publishers have been abandoning Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming platform in droves. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, meanwhile, has defended the service, arguing it’s the most developer-friendly option out there right now.


    Reggie Fils-Aimé Joins GameStop Board of Directors to Help Save the Struggling Retailer



    Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has joined the GameStop board of directors, the retail company announced today. Fils-Aimé, along with two more new board members, was brought on to help guide the company back to profitability.


    Data West to Return to Video Game Industry with Digital Rereleases and Sequels



    In January this year, Data West announced that they were getting back into the video game industry. Back in the late ’80s to ’90s, Data West developed a multitude of rail shooters, shoot ’em ups, and visual novel adventure games, as well as action RPG Brave Prove. However, they left the industry in the late ’90s, and have focused on developing car navigation systems since then.


    E3 2020 problems continue as retail and production partner iam8bit resign as creative director


    Beleaguered industry event E3 2020 has just lost its key retail and production agency partner iam8bit as creative director.


    Twitch Streamer Suspended After Accidentally Firing Real Gun At His Monitor


    “I made my biggest mistake of my entire life last night, and it could ruin my life,” he said in the Twitter video. “I could have hurt somebody. I could have hurt myself. I could have hurt one of my animals. And that’s unforgivable... I’ve had that gun for two years, and all it takes is two seconds of stupid to ruin everything. To ruin somebody else, to ruin yourself. Don’t do what I did.”


    See console-exclusive Dante's Inferno running in the RPCS3 emulator


    At 60fps in 4K.







    AshleyAshley Kang was getting ready for another day covering the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) in late February. She had devoted her career to bringing content from Korean players and teams to an English-speaking audience, quitting her job as a software engineer and moving to Seoul so she could be on the ground where the action happens.

    She had regularly stayed up until 6AM editing videos for her Youtube channel while keeping up with the North American and European League of Legends leagues, putting in countless hours to earn more than 100 new subscribers a day. The momentum she had built wasn’t showing any signs of stopping — until she couldn’t go to work anymore.

    Hand Shakes, High-Fives Banned at ‘League of Legends’ Event, Due to Coronavirus


    Organizers are finding it increasingly hard to hold gatherings with lots of people, and weird compromises are being made.


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


    The Story of the PS2’s Backwards Compatibility From the Engineer Who Built It


    As the PlayStation 2 turns 20 in Japan on March 4, followed by Europe and North America later in the year, game outlets of all stripes will undoubtedly be trotting out lists and retrospectives commemorating one of the most culturally significant and successful consoles to ever be produced. Although much of that attention will likely be focused on the many unique and diverse games that helped make it such an ubiquitous force, it shouldn’t be forgotten that one of the system’s other key pillars that helped fuel its success was its backwards compatibility with the vast majority of the original PlayStation’s library. This feature, which had previously been confined in large part to Nintendo’s portables and some of Sega’s earlier systems, helped offer a sense of continuity between hardware generations that was rarely seen in the console space up until that point, giving the PS2’s starting lineup the sort of head start that the competition could only envy. It was a legacy that would persist through all of Sony’s subsequent systems in varying capacities until the PlayStation 4, when Jim Ryan famously quipped to Time “[Why] would anyone play this?” in dismissing consumer demand for such technology.

    Learning the lessons of the PlayStation 2 | Opinion


    Twenty years after it arrived in Japan, the most successful console of all time still has lessons that are relevant to the industry today


    The Artist Who Helped Create Crash, Spyro, and Jak and Daxter Has a Bone to Pick



    Charles Zembillas on his iconic designs and why he thinks Insomniac and Naughty Dog squandered a chance to become the next Disney.


    The BattleTech Renaissance



    More than a quarter-century after it first launched, the mech-powered universe is in the midst of a gaming revival.


    Killing Me Softly: The Insidious Beauty of Dying Game Worlds



    The post-apocalypse is a fantasy of rebirth. It’s no coincidence that Fallout’s recurring motif of eyes adjusting to the light, seeing a new world and a new destiny, mirror that idea exactly. Rebirth is an alluring concept, especially to us humans so burdened with responsibility: Post-apocalypses grant both a freedom and a new frontier in which to indulge it. Look at Metro: Exodus and you’ll see the vibrant, chaptered landscapes of the genre, whether rust-punk oil tankers beached in the desert, Chernobyl-esque lost cities, or lush, canopied forests. But post-apocalypses rarely concern themselves with how humanity got there in the first place; nuclear war, pandemic, technology, or zombies all provide a speedy “event” and a context via which the dead world is remade, but the actual process of dying is almost invariably skipped over. All the more striking, then, are the rare exceptions to the rule: the games that show us beautiful worlds which have not been reborn, but are instead dying before our very eyes.


    Dwelling in Fragments: Video Game Patches and Our Accelerated State of Being



    One report details inhumane work hours developing Fortnite where the frequency of patching is named as one of the culprit for overwork. An anonymous developer describes overwork as such: “At first, it was fine, because Fortnite was a big success and that felt good. We were solving problems that were new for Epic: how to run a big, global game as an online service. But now the workload is just endless.” Looking into the future while trying to hide the past is transparent in this retelling where one overlooks the past in favor of an ideal future fueled by ambition and optimism.


    Could the Decline of Violent Football Videogames Have Predicted the Future of Player Safety?



    Back when I was in middle school, my best friend and I would spend hours playing NFL Quarterback Club ‘96 on the Sega Genesis. I’d take my Green Bay Packers against his Denver Broncos (a match-up that achieved maximum tension when the two teams faced off in Super Bowl XXXII). For a further sign of the times that will show my age, we’d turn on the game’s Power Shuck mode, which turned tackles into a button-mashing contest (though we believed it actually enabled extra brutal skull-shaking tackles). This was before public pressure forced the NFL to care about head injuries, when back-breaking and neck-snapping hits were celebrated, rather than cause to recoil in horror.


    The most satisfying architecture in PC games



    If it’s not baroque, don’t fix it. Little architecture joke for you there, just to kick off a dry topic with a giggle. You see, appreciating architecture is for people in beige cardigans. Folks who subscribe to magazines printed on paper so thick you can still calculate the tree’s age. You know the type I mean. Spectacled couples with non-Ikea coffee tables. Thirty-year-olds. People like you! Here are 11 examples of very satisfying architecture in PC games.


    Leaving Home



    It’s tempting to say Kentucky Route Zero is a “game about economics,” but that sort of description feels too limited to capture the totality of its portrayal of how economic fallout works on a global, national, local, and finally personal scale. Money isn’t just money, after all. It’s freedom and power. Set in a magical realist version of Kentucky, Zero follows a cast of characters struggling to exist in a world that seems absolutely fine with leaving them to disappear into obsolescence. Its central characters are Conway, an aged recovering alcoholic out to deliver a truckload of antiques, and Shannon Márquez, a TV repair woman who specializes in old CRTs of the kind already out of date when the game’s first act released back in 2013. The pair pick up companions as they travel to Conway’s destination, including a boy named Ezra who lost track of his parents while sleeping in bus stations after their home was foreclosed and a pair of android musicians, Junebug and Johnny, whose joints loudly whizz and whir in noticeably low-tech fashion. Their travels are a rural odyssey where each new trial is an examination of life for those trying to survive our age. The cast moves through an underworld of abandoned mines haunted by exploited workers, a former neighbourhood turned into a bitter museum gallery where squatters occupy placarded examples of houses and tents, across the roads and underground river system of the eponymous Route Zero—a strange parallel world filled with castaways eking out new communities below the region’s surface—and, ultimately, back above ground to the failed utopia of the town where Conway’s “5 Dogwood Drive” delivery is destined to end up.



    Miguel Penabella finds community and catharsis in saying goodbye.


    Fire Emblem’s Manuela is a messy woman, and it’s inspirational



    An unkempt lush, or an idol? Depends on who you ask


    How Pokémon Is Tackling The Plastic Pollution Crisis



    Corsola especially is not pulling punches here. The original Corsola is a pink coral, and naturally is a Water type. Here? Deathly grey, and it’s a Ghost type, apparently having died from all of the plastic in our oceans. It’s even more graphic with evolution Cursola, a suitably cursed looking Pokémon. It’s basically Corsola’s corpse floating inside a discarded plastic bag. With the equivalent of a truckload of non-biodegradable materials being dumped into our oceans every minute, Corsola and Cursola are shining a light on a massive problem.


    Eliza Explores the Benefits and Imperfections of Therapy



    Eliza is about a mental wellness app and its developer’s attempt to reconcile the social impact of their creation. The app, which records what a patient says and forms a response based on key feedback like voice modulation, word choice and heart rate, is the work of Evelyn, who removed herself from the project after the death of a colleague. Disillusioned about the path of her life in the years that have followed, Evelyn is curious about whether Eliza ever amounted to anything, so she decides to go undercover as a proxy—the human face behind each Eliza session, a person who wears a headset issuing the prompts that comprise each conversation. The relationships she forms and the conclusions she then makes are up to the player, but ultimately, the game is about the dissonance created by removing human beings from an inherently human process. It’s about how the script of human connection mirrors the facade of a proxy, and how for some, an algorithm may be better than nothing at all.


    Baldur’s Gate 2’s Athkatla is still one the best RPG cities ever made



    Athkatla’s entrance gates, with their Byzantium Tourelles and crumbling sandy brickwork, are likely one of the last parts of the city you’ll see. You don’t enter Athkatla – the capital city of Amn and the setting for much of the first third of Baldur’s Gate 2 – through a gate, but in a cataclysm of magical energy that collapses a large section of the city’s shopping promenade.


    Dracula’s (portable) demon castleNHoocUP.jpg


    I dreamed of owning this from the instant I saw those giant rolling eyeballs buried in the pages of what I assume was an ancient issue of C&VG magazine – it had a sort of mysterious air to it, a dangerous horror-themed quest into unknown territory captured inside an unassuming grey slab. Unfortunately for me I never did get a chance to buy it back then or even at a later date – I don’t actually remember ever seeing it on shop shelves now I think about it – and over time the desire and the memory faded.


    Finding Workarounds: Bosnian Video Games & Development


    Despite many setbacks, Bosnian development studio Prime Time has learned to thrive in the aftermath of war.

    Support Cloth Map on Patreon! https://patreon.com/clothmap


    What Makes a Great Secret?


    Support me on Patreon!:https://www.patreon.com/ArchitectofGames

    Shh! Don't tell anyone, but video games have these things called secrets in them - and they're pretty cool! But what makes a good one?


    Game Animation Fundamentals Context


    In this penultimate episode in the Five Fundamentals series, we look at the importance of context in your game animations.

    Please consider supporting the channel through Patreon to help improve the quality of research, editing, footage capture, animation and overall production of each episode:


    Upgrade Systems Sure Are Weird, Huh?


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

    Upgrade systems are everywhere in games nowadays, and yet even when seemingly every other aspect of a game has been morphed into a storytelling device of some kind, I can only think of a few examples where the act of improving your character and the system driving it all are used to any great narrative effect. Let's take a look at a few examples and see if we can figure out why that might be.


    Explosive Barrels


    Next up: Big boxes.
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ahoy


    The best hands in games!


    We're celebrating the best hand animations in first-person videogames! Our favorite hands include Doom, Thief, Apex Legends, Escape from Tarkov, Battlefield 1, and many more.


    Nex Machina Developers React to 25 Minute Speedrun


    Ride along with Housemarque's Mikael Haveri and Nex Machina's game director Harry Krueger as they give their thoughts on AShinyBlackPhoenix's incredible speedrun through their game.


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


    Kirby | Unraveled


    Kirby is both incredibly simple and incredibly powerful. Brian David Gilbert doesn't believe that's possible. After months of research, he has unraveled the truth.


    Things I missed from previous weeks


    Iran video games timeline: from 1970 to 2019



    I’ve been doing a research project about Iran’s video games history focusing on how it began, and how it evolved. Through the course of my research I discovered that there were almost no articles in English on the subject, and of the few that exit, none are historical or research-based.

    That’s what inspired me to create this document, which should help shine some light on the history of video games in Iran. This is just a small subsection of the larger document I am preparing (in Persian). I thought it would be interesting to compare the history of games in Iran with the recent history of the country itself, pairing important events with events in the video game timeline.


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    Very accurate words about pollution once playing a game with cars I saw how many exhausts go and read about air pollution essay on the page here and realized that it is really worth talking about through games so that young people think about it and draw the right conclusions and act.

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