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    This Week In Gaming 3-12-19


    Michael Saba discusses the counterculture of Doom and how the people who make games are treated, Reid McCarter writes about consumption and the reductive discourse surrounding games like Anthem when the focus is on mechanics and amount of content rather than if what there is to do is worthwhile in the first place, Scott Strichart discusses taking localization in games to the next level with Yakuza Judgment, previews of Days Gone and Sekiro, Jessica Roy tells how SimCity inspired a generation of city planners, The Game Overanalyser examines the design philosophies of famous developers, Noclip speaks with the developers of Mortal Kombat, Phoenix Point gets year exclusivity to Epic store and year of free DLC to backers, Valve lays off VR focused employees and ends contract with Artifact creator Richard Garfield, 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)


    “We insist that they are not zombies” – we talk to Bend Studios about PS4 zombie game, Days Gone



    “When we started, we were like… 50 people on the team, and to do a triple-A title, story-driven, in an open world, that was a bit ambitious of us,” Roth tells me. But Sony was confident in the developer after the success of PS Vita launch title Uncharted: Golden Abyss – its second-most recent title, which was followed by Vita card-game curio Uncharted: Fight for Fortune – and eventually the team was able to expand.

    I’ve changed my mind about Days Gone


    Zombie survival game is much improved since dismal 2016 showing

    Days Gone Is "Going To Surprise A Lot Of People"


    In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Ben Hanson and Jeff Marchiafava talk to Jeff Cork about his time playing Sony Bend's PlayStation 4 exclusive Days Gone.


    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gameplay | 19 minutes of stealth and swordplay


    Our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice gameplay video is a full 19 minutes of FromSoftware's upcoming samurai epic. Building on the success of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sekiro is a brutal and violent adventure that demands skill, dedication, and patience.

    In this video you can see two areas from the game, and fights with samurai, warrior monks, and even ogres. You'll also get to see the resurrection mechanic in action, which literally allows you to die twice.

    9 Details You Need to Know Before Playing Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Sekiro Shadows Die Twice Gameplay


    We've played the first few hours of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and it's safe to say we're now even more excited for the game's release date in a few weeks time. We learned some new details during our time with the game too, so we're here to clue you in before you get your hands on it. Here are 9 details you should know about Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice | Launch Trailer | PS4


    Take revenge by any means necessary. Become the "One-armed Wolf" and rise from every fall when Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releases on 22.3.2019. Winner of "Best of gamescom" and "Best Action Game" at gamescom 2018, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the next adventure from developer FromSoftware, creators of Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series

    'Sekiro' Makes Me Feel Unstoppable (Even When I'm Dying)


    Soulslikes were never supposed to be for me. A year after I took my first steps into Yharnam, I still, to this very day, can’t get over the fact that I was never supposed to like these games, let alone be good at them. I was not that type of gamer, whatever that means. I had already assumed that door was locked without bothering to try and open it. But after my… emotional journey through Bloodborne last year, I realized that these games had been for me all along.


    Judgment - Features Trailer: English | PS4


    Judgment launches in the West on June 25, 2019!

    Judgment Launches June 25, How the Yakuza Spinoff Reinvents Localization


    Featuring multiple English subtitle tracks depending on which language you're listening in, the team behind Judgment is pushing localization to the next level.


    Cyberpunk 2077 development 'is far from over'


    A new 'Creating Cyberpunk' video suggests that we might be waiting for longer than we think.


    To The Moon Developer Freebird Games’ Next Title Is Imposter Factory


    To The Moon and Finding Paradise developer Kan Gao from Freebird Games recently announced their next game, titled Imposter Factory.


    Total War: THREE KINGDOMS - Dong Zhuo Let's Play


    It's finally time to take a look at the tyrant Dong Zhuo himself.

    Sun Jian Start Position Spotlight - Total War: THREE KINGDOMS


    It’s time for another Start Position Spotlight, and this time we’re taking a look at Sun Jian, the Tiger of Jiangdong.


    Shenmue 3 has a new combat-heavy trailer


    There is a new Shenmue III trailer out, this one focusing on protagonist Ryo meeting a martial arts master who takes him through a training montage of sorts, all in preparation for a dose of kung fu combat with some ruffians who have pillaged a peaceful village.


    The Sinking City delayed to June 27


    Publisher Bigben and developer Frogwares have delayed The Sinking City from its previously planned March 21 release date to June 27.


    94 Rapid-Fire Questions About Control


    Control's game director Mikael Kasurinnen sits down with Game Informer's Leo Vader for almost a hundred poorly lit questions about the upcoming sci-fi shooter from Remedy Entertainment.

    Every Supernatural Ability In Remedy's Control


    In our latest exclusive feature, Control's game director Mikael Kasurinen sits down with Game Informer for a beat by beat breakdown of every ability the protagonist Jesse Faden will learn throughout the game.


    Halo: The Master Chief Collection Is Coming To PC, Adds Halo: Reach


    Halo: The Master Chief Collection will soon include Halo: Reach and be available on the Windows store and Steam, Microsoft announced today during its Inside Xbox livestream.

    343 Wants People To Stop Sending Them Pizza


    Earlier today, the Master Chief Collection got announced for PC, finally bringing a number of heavily-requested titles from the series to the PC. A few days ago, a user on Reddit was so excited about the possibility of the Halo collection on PC, they offered to buy the first responding 343 employee a pizza. Community director at 343 Brian Jarrard, going by the user name ske7ch343, replied with a tease in response asking for pizza. It was a cute thing that no one took all that seriously and no one would have been offended if a pizza didn't get bought.


    Rage 2 trailer shows how weapons and combos turn you into a superhero


    Bethesda has released a new trailer for Rage 2, showing how various weapons and hi-tech nanotrite abilities turn you into a superhero.


    Ready or Not [Gameplay || Preorder Trailer]


    Watch the New Ready Or Not Gameplay + Pre Order Trailer, which explores the features and themes that create VOID'S 'Ready or Not'


    Someday You’ll Return



    Someday You’ll Return is being developed by CBE Software, a two-man indie studio consisting of Lukas Medek and Jan Kavan. They founded the company in 2006, after failing to secure funding for an ambitious sci-fi project, and it was meant to focus on small projects, including the paranormal comedy Ghost in the Sheet, J.U.L.I.A., J.U.L.I.A.: Untold, Vampires: Guide Them to Safety!, Serena and, most recently in 2014, J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars.

    Jan was kind enough to take the time to discuss the development of Someday You’ll Return with Unwinnable.


    How Chaosbane streamlines Warhammer and Diablo for a modern audience



    Diablo wasn’t the first action-RPG. The genre stretches back into the early ‘80s, after all, and it’s clearly a very different beast from the MMO shooters that parade themselves under the same banner today. But Blizzard’s iconic 1996 release did help galvanise the template for a very particular kind of action-orientated roleplaying game.


    Nanotale is an RPG in which you kill enemies by typing, out later this year


    The developers of typing game/RPG hybrid Epistory have announced that the sequel, called Nanotale, will be out on PC in the second half of this year.


    The Case of the Invisible Wizard is a forthcoming frog detective adventure


    A sequel to last year's Haunted Island.


    Mortal Kombat 11 - Official Cassie Cage Reveal Trailer


    She’s got quite the legacy to uphold.


    Phoenix Point Epic Games Store Announcement


    Phoenix Point – the upcoming humans vs. aliens tactics game from Snapshot Games and original X-Com brain Julian Gollop – will be making its debut exclusive to Epic’s rapidly growing store. This is one of the few deals which seem to have worked out well for potential players, too. Epic’s backing has allowed Snapshot to confirm a full year of paid DLC, all of which will be free for those who backed the game’s Kickstarter or otherwise pre-ordered it up until now. The game may be available elsewhere after that first year, but for now the planned Steam and GOG launches are off the cards. Below, an explanation video from Gollop himself.


    Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is an old-school shooter from Quake scene vets


    Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is a new, old-school shooter built on the Quake engine.


    Tactical Breach Wizards defenestrates by the book in new footage


    Tactical Breach Wizards has come a long way since its early days as an in-joke turned prototype from Gunpoint dev Tom Francis and pals. Now it looks like a clever little tactical puzzler in the vein of Into The Breach, only instead of giant robots pushing aliens into volcanoes, it’s modern-day wizards pushing criminals out windows. There’s still a lot of work to be done on the game, with some great early art direction hiding many development sins, but today’s eleven minutes of new footage are absolutely worth a look. Check out how a Witch Cop upholds Witch Law in the video below.


    One Piece World Seeker - Opening Cinematic Trailer | PS4


    Get a deeper look at One Piece World Seeker with this Opening Cutscene! One Piece World Seeker comes to PlayStation 4 on 3/15/2019!


    Original Diablo, Warcraft to be made available digitally for the first time


    Another version comes with a compatibility update to work with Windows 10. It features support for high-resolution displays and comes with plenty of bug fixes.


    Devil May Cry 5 Looks to Be Getting a New Playable Character in the Bloody Palace Update



    Might be part of a planned update due in April.


    Ni no Kuni II’s New Trailer Shows What Awaits In The Tale Of A Timeless Tome DLC


    Bandai Namco released a new trailer for Ni no Kuni II’s next DLC, The Tale of a Timeless Tome, where Evan and friends will face “Nightmares,” encounter a legendary spell book, and enter the Solosseum Slog arena.


    Battlefield 5 battle royale: Everything we know about Firestorm


    Battlefield 5's battle royale mode is "royale, done the Battlefield way."


    Over 355,000 Apex Legends cheaters have been banned



    It's all thanks to Easy-Anti-Cheat.


    Steam's 'Popular Upcoming Releases' Section Is Easy To Manipulate



    On a platform as crowded as Steam, every ounce of visibility counts. For many developers, the “popular upcoming” section is the most reliable way to get precious front-page real estate before release. Some people, however, have figured out how to game it.

    Rape Day prompts call for UK government review


    British MP questions how Valve is "able to get away with this kind of stupidity"

    Valve Lays Off Parts of VR Team, Denies Change in Direction


    Video game publisher and distributor Valve has laid off some of the staffers working on its VR initiatives, the company confirmed Thursday. However, a spokesperson said that this doesn’t mean Valve is exiting VR, sending Variety the following statement:

    Screw Steam (The Jimquisition)


    Steam seems incapable of helping itself. Off the back of yet another deeply unpleasant game controversy, and with Epic Games snapping its heels, Steam needs to change but remains staunchly averse to the idea.

    The association between Steam and utter trash has gotten so bad that politicians are starting to take notice. Meanwhile, Epic offers a generous revenue split, actual curation, and a dramatically reduced risk of appearing next to school shooting games.

    It's a deal I can't blame anyone for taking. Screw Steam.


    Tim Sweeney: Storefront battle will be won with developer support



    Though Epic Games has promised a number of consumer features for its store that users might recognize from other storefronts such as Steam, it seems that ultimately the company doesn't consider those features to be the tipping point for how it might gain dominance over its competitors.


    Vivendi sells remaining Ubisoft shares, closing book on hostile takeover



    Media conglomerate Vivendi has played the villain in a number of video game industry stories over the past decade. Most recently, the company and its largest shareholder, Vincent Bolloré took aim at Ubisoft, waging a years-long war for control of the Assassin’s Creed publisher.


    Teenagers Say EA Brushed Off Reports Of Sexual Harassment By Sims Influencer



    Last week, a Sims streamer and YouTuber in EA’s Game Changer program was accused by several people in the community of sexually harassing minors online. Although he stepped down as a Game Changer on March 5, people in the Sims community are still left wondering why this wasn’t addressed months ago, because some of the people who say they were victimized by him say that they reported his actions to The Sims’s development team in December of last year.


    Concern for Artifact as Magic: the Gathering creator leaves Valve amid layoffs



    Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: the Gathering and designer of struggling digital collectible card game Artifact has left Valve.


    Lawsuits over Fortnite’s dance emotes hit a legal snag



    A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has sent several lawsuits over Fortnite’s use of popular dance moves as in-game emotes back to the drawing board. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro, hip hop artist 2 Milly, and other creatives whose signature dances appear in Fortnite have temporarily dropped their suits against Epic in order to comply with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling.


    EA will skip E3 press conference this year



    Star Wars, Battlefield and Anthem publisher EA has said it will not hold an E3 press conference this year.


    PlayStation | Balance for Better - Celebrating International Women's Day 2019


    Every year, International Women’s Day recognizes the diverse achievements of women around the world, and PlayStation is proud to join in this celebration once again.


    RIP Susan Cantplayit


    Susan of OneOddGamerGirl/SusanCantPlayIt was a leading light in the world of accessibility and video games, but I thought of her primarily as a fun person to shoot the breeze with on Twitter.


    The Influencer is dead. Long live the influencer


    For instance, in the 12 months of 2016, the top 10 influencers covered around 300 different games and this reduced to only 28 different games by 2018. This is a clear indication that influencers are focusing on what drives the most views and/or the relationships they are forging with major publishers, with half of those 28 selected games being AAA console titles.


    Esports News


    Konami building esports centre in downtown Tokyo



    12-storey building will open doors this November, will offers classes to help grow Japan's esports scene


    Tekken World Tour Announces Drastic Improvements For 2019



    It feels like only yesterday that the fighting game community watched surprise South Korean competitor Hyeon-ho “Rangchu” Jeong crowned global Tekken 7 champion in Amsterdam. It wasn’t, obviously, but it was only three months ago, and the folks behind the Tekken World Tour already have new details to share about what competitors can expect from the circuit in 2019, the full breadth of which were announced this afternoon. Those details include a way bigger prize pool, more love for grassroots tournaments, and a big first for the World Tour event schedule: the inclusion of an African event in the lineup.


    At Katowice, 20-year-old Serral took a shot at becoming the greatest StarCraft 2 pro of all time



    The 20-year-old Finn has won almost every StarCraft premiere tournament there is. Katowice is the only one that eludes him.


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


    Space Haven


    A spaceship colony sim placing you in charge of a ragtag civilian crew in search of a new Earth, designed by and for fans of RimWorld.

    Space Haven - Alpha Preview


    A Rimworld and ONI-esque spaceship game? Heck yeah!


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


    “Consuming the World,” by Reid McCarter



    “When games are discussed in purely mechanical terms, as these kinds of games inevitably are, any evaluation of what they actually achieve (or fail to achieve) on other fronts is always going to feel besides-the-point or navel-gazey. The accepted approach is to say that Anthem does not have “enough to do,” foregoing a look at whether what there is “to do” is worthwhile.”




    Critical Distance is proud to present this Critical Compilation of Ubisoft’s Assassin Creed II, curated by Gilles Roy. A history scholar with game design training at Montreal’s INIS, Gilles is also co-editor at Play the Past. You can follow him on Twitter @gillesroy.


    Building a better world through games


    Riot's Soha El-Sabaawi, Microsoft's Gabi Michel, Tru Luv's Brie Code, and Ubisoft's Kaitlin Tremblay discuss challenges and strategies for making the industry and the world beyond it a better place


    From video game to day job: How ‘SimCity’ inspired a generation of city planners



    "I used to draw maps of cities for fun. I had no idea it was an actual career," said Nicole Payne, now a program official for the National Assn. of City Transportation Officials in New York City. When she was 10, a librarian saw her drawings and told her there was a video game she should try.


    Insisting The Division 2 is apolitical while marketing it with overtly political messages is some grade-A bullshit



    Let’s forget the fact that you play as a sleeper agent who goes around killing looters in a quarantined city for a moment and look at the core message of The Division.


    Why you should almost always localize your games



    It's hard to feel validated and respected as an artist or creator on the internet. One common (and unhealthy) barometer of "success" is to measure how many people play your game or look at your work -- did you find an audience and are you reaching that audience? I argue that localizing your project into other languages will help you find your audience. It might not be an audience you necessarily understand or communicate directly to, but for example, a large Russian or Chinese fan base might help offset the hurt of being ignored in English-speaking media, and so on.


    Dev Zine


    Hennig: "Things are clearly not working the way they used to"



    Uncharted creative director says mass layoffs a red flag that AAA development must change, shift to outsourcing "feels inevitable"


    How Failbetter Games devised Sunless Skies' facets progression system



    When the team at Failbetter Games decided to make a sequel to their survival roleplaying game, Sunless Sea, there were a few areas they highlighted for improvement. One being progression.


    The eyes have it: Creating believable digital humans



    Cubic Motion CTO Steve Caulkin discusses the key aspects of animation that bring characters to life


    It's Okay To Stop Playing



    Many players, even after all these problems and setbacks, keep playing even if the game is making them unhappy, angry or disappointed. Folks, it’s time to stop playing. It’s okay to take a break.


    How sci-fi game worlds take on capitalist promises of success



    Since 1984’s Elite, and in sci-fi before it, space has promised careers of freedom. Work for yourself, work only when you want to, make your own adventures. For better and for ill, space is sci-fi’s wild west, a lawless frontier to explore and find independence. Our actual future isn’t as glamorous, even if those frontier promises are the same ones made by the gig economy. Endless startups, sites and apps have promised our generation that we’ll never need to work a job we don’t want to. We’re all gonna be renaissance people working freelance — driving people around, writing editorials, getting our illustrations in magazines, and making music for wealthy patrons.


    How God of War's World Serpent Got Its Voice



    We recently talked to God of War's director and sound designers about how the memorable World Serpent's voice was created.


    This dress for ‘female gamers’ isn’t going over well



    Media critic Nico Deyo noted that while the intention behind the dress was probably “good-hearted,” the message was an issue. “The biggest problem, though, was the indication that this dress was to respect women and to make up for the harassment we suffer, which is just bonkers,” Deyo told the Daily Dot. “A dress is not going to make anyone be less harassed.”


    How a chummy 'blitz spirit' keeps Metro Exodus from falling apart



    Metro Exodus works poorly as a morality tale, a thriller, a horror, or an epic hero’s journey. Played as a lyrical ballad, however, a Soviet drinking song belted out around an oil drum camp fire, complete with bad jokes, questionable embellishments and drunken operatic flourishes, it starts to make sense. It is a profoundly odd game, I found, though not in the same ways as its predecessors. It relinquishes the series’ supernatural elements in favour of a campy uncanniness, a blasé chuckle in the face of desolation, and a childlike optimism at finding a slightly shinier variety of shithole at the outskirts of a doomed world.


    Beat It



    The Brooklyn streets of Pixel Crow’s Beat Cop are charming and colorful. The pixelated citizens of the 69th precinct (har-har/ugh/nice) park illegally in order to run a quick errand to the drugstore then pull away from the curb just as Jack Kelly, my cop avatar, is about to write them a ticket. There are alleyways with burning trash barrels, shady dealings and people taking shortcuts to wherever they’re going. A two-bit preacher proselytizes on the neighborhood’s church steps. A day in the life of my beat cop is convincingly filled with all the small movements of a city of hustlers. It’s a shame this evocative atmosphere is pretty much where my praise for the game ends.


    Exploring Falmouth and the naval history behind Return of the Obra Dinn



    Waves lap gently against the struts of the pier as seagulls wheel, dive, and caw overhead. Halyards on anchored sailboats gently clink in time with the movements of the water. A gentle rumble emanates from the engines of the docked Merchant Navy vessels, underscoring the whole scene.


    The weird world of bootleg Pokémon games on PC



    We played five unofficial Pokémon games on PC so you don't have to.


    Elite’s Distant Worlds 2 expedition: Building a starbase in the center of the Milky Way



    Eight weeks in, the fleet is unified in its purpose


    Designing Mortal Kombat Fatalities with Ed Boon


    We sat down with Ed Boon at a preview event for Mortal Kombat 11, to talk about the process the studio uses to conceptualize and design the various fatalities in each Mortal Kombat game.

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

    The Design Behind the Constant Reinvention of Mortal Kombat


    We talk to the developers behind Mortal Kombat, about the difficult process of iterating on a twenty-five year old franchise, and the work done to design a fighting game for different types of players.


    DOOM Eternal, Counterculture, and How We Talk About Labor


    Doom Eternal looks like a fun game, but is it really giving the series' legacy its proper due? And what does the name say about how we treat the people who make the games we love?

    This is a story about labor, art, and how counterculture gets absorbed into the mainstream. Thank you to everyone who supports this channel -- you're gonna love what I've got coming up.


    The New Queer Tropes In Video Games Series Is Tired, But Sadly, Still Relevant


    For their part, Petit’s videos are a solid enough survey of queer representation in games. I didn’t love her level of focus on Dream Daddy as the most prominent example of queer representation done right—as a femme, I’m a little skeptical of any cis-gay-men-first approach to queer representation, and Kotaku’s Riley MacLeod and Gita Jackson have discussed some of the game’s issues previously. But then, that’s exactly Petit’s point: Queer gamers have been starved of quality queer content for so long that we have to resort to head canon and often feel the need to whip up a complimentary frenzy if something is even half done well.


    The Design Philosophy of Famous Game Designers | Sid Meier, Will Wright, Miyamoto and Kojima


    In this this Video, I Examine the Design Philosophy of Various Game Designers , and attempt to draw comparisons between their various perspectives. Although People as varied as Will Wright and Miyamoto may seem worlds apart, there are commonalities in the perspectives of game designers that suggests a united vision for the future of game design.


    Metro 2033 & Last Light... Years Later


    0:00:00 - Introduction
    0:04:42 - Development #1
    0:10:21 - Metro 2033
    0:25:27 - Development #2
    0:30:15 - Metro Last Light
    0:47:25 - DLC
    0:59:20 - Conclusion
    1:01:15 - Note/Q&A
    Written, Voiced, and Edited by Lucas Raycevick Support the Channel at: https://www.patreon.com/raycevick


    Why People Love Shadow of the Collosus so Much


    I still can't get over how good the music from this game is.

    Support the channel on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/superbunnyhop


    Here's how Breath of the Wild looks on PC without cel-shading


    Wii U emulator Cemu was able to run The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild shortly after the game's release, but just being able to run something isn't enough for modders. Now it's playable at 60 frames-per-second with a variety of graphical tweaks. A new version of Cemu just released, 1.15.3b, and so Arkh Longstride made the video above to show off what it's capable of with a variety of mods.


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