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    This Week In Gaming 4-10-18


    PAX East games and panels, Cloth Map on Cuba's Underground Gaming Network, Soren Johnson on challenging the norms of 4X games, The Story Of Two Games That Took Forever To Make, gameplay and impressions of the upcoming Spider-Man game, Charlie Hall plays Assassins Creed Origins with the experts at Chicago’s Field Museum, former Bioware boss talks about working with EA and clarifies rumors about Andromeda, GVMERS on The Rise and Fall of Crysis, On the Path towards Unionising the Games Industry, the making of Divinity Original Sin 2 and how Larian Studios previously had almost went bankrupt, Edwin Evans-Thirlwell covers how Far Cry's villains are sick of Far Cry while Reid McCarter writes about the only fully formed and compelling argument that Far Cry 5 makes, Joe launches Kickstarter for Street Fighter The Miniatures Game, 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 cover a lot of games here on IGN, but amid all the noise it can be difficult for some of the most quietly creative games to be heard. Here are 11 upcoming games you didn’t know about, but should absolutely be on your radar.

    The Best Indie Games Of PAX East 2018


    PAX East has slowly grown in to one of the biggest shows one of the biggest gaming shows in the industry, rivaling even its progenitor PAX West in terms of attendance and notoriety. This gives indie developers the opportunity to come to the public-facing show and let players get direct hands-on with titles and even receive feedback on their games.

    Five Cool Indie Games To Keep On Your Radar


    Last weekend at PAX East, I scoured the show floor for indie game demos great and small. I previously played Omensight, Spearhead Games’ time travel murder mystery, and chatted with the developer last Friday. Here are five more games I can’t wait to play in their entirety.


    Exclusive Impressions Of Spider-Man's Gameplay


    In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Leo Vader, Kyle Hilliard, and Andrew Reiner share new, exclusive impressions of their time playing Insomniac's upcoming Spider-Man game for the PlayStation 4.

    Exclusive Hands-On Impressions Of Spider-Man


    Since its announcement in 2016, Insomniac has been quiet about Spider-Man. We’ve seen a few trailers, a few screens, and at E3 2017 we got to see some extended gameplay on Sony’s press-conference stage – but it didn’t venture too far into Spider-Man’s version of New York and focused mostly on story and combat. For our May issue of the magazine, Insomniac let us into its studio to talk with the team extensively about the game, but more importantly, they let us play it. We went hands-on with the opening, got into some fights, and did the thing I wanted to do more than anything else: web-swing through the open city.

    114 Rapid-Fire Questions About Spider-Man


    Now that Insomniac's take on Spider-Man has had its release date announced, there are only around a hundred questions on the subject left to be answered. I joined the game's Creative Director, Bryan Intihar for a quick chat to tie up these loose ends. We go into playable characters, villains, side missions, and whether I'll ever find that special someone. Enjoy the full video below.


    28 minutes of Tropico 6 Gameplay - How does it compare to Tropico 5?


    Chris has a bunch of Tropico 6 gameplay to show you, following a demo at this year's GDC. What's new since Tropico 5? Let's take a look.


    BattleTech - Mech Bay


    Take command of your own mercenary outfit of `Mechs and the MechWarriors that pilot them, struggling to stay afloat as you find yourself drawn into a brutal interstellar civil war.

    Upgrade your starfaring base of operations, negotiate mercenary contracts with feudal lords, repair and maintain your stable of aging BattleMechs, and execute devastating combat tactics to defeat your enemies on the battlefield.

    ^ Design lead on creating the economy of the game.


    9 Things You Didn't Know About Jurassic World Evolution - Jurassic World Evolution Gameplay


    After playing the opening chunk of Jurassic World Evolution and speaking to its developers and writers from Frontier Developments, we feel pretty excited to get our hands on the full game later this year. We also feel like we've got a pretty good idea of how certain elements of the game are going to shake out. So, here are 9 Things we think you should know about Jurassic World Evolution.


    A tribe becomes a town in 6 minutes of Frostpunk gameplay


    A hardy band of survivors becomes a bustling, if desperate, coal-fueled town in this montage of Frostpunk gameplay courtesy of developers 11 bit.


    Wargroove to release in the second half of this year



    Charming turn-based tactic title Wargroove is due for release in the second half of this year, according to developers Chucklefish.


    What is the Ninja Gaiden Inspired Messenger? - IGN Access


    At Pax East 2018, The Messenger was bringing in the crowds but what is it? We spoke with the developer to find out more about the Ninja Gaiden Inspired indie game.


    Navigating ancient tombs and a strained friendship In the Valley of Gods



    Campo Santo—the studio behind the contemplative forest experience Firewatch—is swapping tinder-dry trees and Wyoming fire lookout towers for ancient Egyptian tombs and early cinematography in its next game, In the Valley of Gods. Its announcement trailer offered a glimpse of a first-person adventure set deep in the Egyptian desert of the ’20s. You and a partner scramble through stunning ruined spaces before setting up a shot for your beautifully animated film camera.


    Solve the case or go crazy trying in isometric RPG Disco Elysium



    This gritty cop story takes a deep dive on narrative.


    What's New with Guacamelee! 2 - IGN Access


    Guacamelee! 2 is was a big hit at Pax East. So we talked with the developer about what's new to expect for the sequel. Hint: More chickens.


    7th Guest fan-sequel The 13th Doll headed for Halloween


    Fans of FMV adventure cheese have a treat due this Halloween: The 13th Doll is a sequel to the 7th Guest series, officially licensed but developed by a crew of fans who grew up playing the originals.


    Apocalypse Cow is a 2D action game that plays like a blood-drunk cartoon


    Its main villain is a cybernetic cow and its protagonist is a young girl with hair like blue taffy, yet Apocalypse Cow bills itself as a "cinematic" game. I can't say I got that impression when I played a bit of it at GDC, but I do agree with developer Monsters on one thing: it's a fun little 2D action game.


    'Violence is your last resort' in stealth roguelike Basingstoke


    Bring your heaviest kebab.


    The Piano is a horror game about mental illness in post-war Paris


    Mistaken Visions have announced their inaugural title The Piano will release exclusively on Steam next month.


    Spyro the Dragon remastered trilogy coming to PS4, Xbox One


    After the commercial success of Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, Activision is bringing back another classic PlayStation-era character: Spyro the Dragon.


    Cultist Simulator launch trailer reveals a slightly delayed release date


    Get ready to 'Penetrate the House.'


    Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 & 2 Launch July 24 In The West For PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC


    Fresh off the Japanese announcement of Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 & 2, Capcom announced that it will release in the West a couple days earlier.


    Interview: Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes’ Suda 51 at PAX East 2018



    Suda 51 on voice acting, physical release, and more.


    Wattam and Donut County: The Two Cutest Games at PAX East 2018


    We got a chance to play this pair of Annapurna games, and we loved every second.


    DUE PROCESS | Reveal Trailer


    Due Process is a tactical FPS about planning and teamwork that rewards communication with teammates, allows players to draw a "playbook" directly onto the map during the planning phases, and presents a novel situation each play session thanks to a bounty of procedurally generated, hand-curated maps.


    Etrian Odyssey X announced for 3DS


    Atlus has announced Etrian Odyssey X (Cross) for 3DS. The 3D dungeon RPG will launch on August 2 in Japan for 6,480 yen.


    Being a hero ain't cheap in shopkeeping action RPG Moonlighter



    Moonlighter is so good that in the time between now and when it comes out—early 2018 if publisher 11 Bit Studios is correct, and god I hope they are—I guarantee I'll play a game vaguely similar to it just to tide me over. It's part top-down, 2D action roguelike and part shopkeeping sim. For the most part you're either exploring a dungeon or selling things you found while exploring a dungeon, so that tide-me-over game will probably be Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, which also serves as a useful comparison.


    25 New Minutes of Below Gameplay (4K 60fps) - PAX East 2018


    We go hands on with the most recent build of Below running at 4K 60FPS on an Xbox One X.


    System Shock Kickstarter update details a return to the 'original vision'



    The update also includes new screens and a sample of updated music.


    Ooblets developer update reveals four new characters and a 'level unlock tree'


    The latest devblog is a bit late, but it looks like the team has been busy with other things.


    Divinity: Original Sin 2 coming to PS4, Xbox One


    Bandai Namco and Larian Studios bring the RPG to consoles


    Try the demo for Renaine, a 2D platformer 'about overcoming failure'



    Levels change every time you die, but that dragon isn't going anywhere.


    Wormhole Wars is 'Halo plus Portal,' and the most disorienting competitive FPS I've ever played


    Watch 19 minutes of portal-hopping deathmatch.


    Adorable Animals Star In A Time-Travel Murder Mystery



    On paper, Omensight sounds like a long list of elements that don’t seem to fit together. But it works.


    Vampyr Story Trailer


    Dr. Jonathan Reid, who's also newly turned as a vampire, discovers an underworld of ungodly creatures in 1918 London.


    Outer Wilds


    Outer Wilds' initial impression is rather mundane and even a little disappointing when you first sit down with it. The pitch for the game, space exploration governed and oppressed by time ticking down to a universal restart every few minutes, feels almost wasted at the outset. I played the demo at PAX East, however, and came away feeling far more intrigued by the game than its initial moments disguised.


    Totem Teller is like an interactive storybook with intentional glitches



    Explore a gorgeous world, and put it back together as you go.


    LawBreakers studio’s next game is an ’80s-infused, battle royale game show


    Radical Heights is a colorful, cheesy take on battle royale


    Phoenix Point “is doing $100,000 a month on pre-orders”



    Developer says its XCOM rival is doing big numbers, but remains cautious over the state of the market


    Mount & Blade 2’s upgradeable castles build on historical architecture



    TaleWorlds have another set of details to share on Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, this time on the game’s castles and fortresses. That includes both their approach to historical accuracy and how the castles will function in gameplay terms.


    Double Kick Heroes is a rhythm game on the highway to hell


    An inventive idea doesn't quite save this heavy metal rhythm shooter from the genre's oldest problem.


    Retro platformer Timespinner looks ambitious and authentic


    In a recent Steam update, Lee said Timespinner is "getting closed to being finished," but he still doesn't have "a good idea of when the final release will be."


    Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn release date trailer introduces Shaq Fei Hung and Yen-Lo Wang


    The reboot of the famously bad 1994 brawler will be out in June.


    Watch the first trailer for The Endless Mission, the new game from the makers of Never Alone


    The Endless Mission is a multi-genre game about making games.


    Final Fantasy XV gets an alternate ending with new DLC episodes in 2019



    Final Fantasy XV launched on PC a month ago, including a host of new features and all the DLC in order to make it the definitive version of the game. Now that moniker gets a bit more complicated, as Square Enix have detailed the next year of extra episodes for the game, including a new, alternate ending to the game.


    [NEW SEASONAL MISSION] Retribution | Overwatch


    Overwatch archive declassification complete.

    Travel eight years into the past and join Blackwatch as they seek to capture a high-ranking member of the Talon organization. Fight in the streets of Venice as Genji, Moira, McCree, or Reyes (later known as Reaper) to complete the mission and unlock pieces of the past with over 100 items from last year and 60 new ones—including highlight intros, emotes, sprays, and more.

    These archives are yours to explore starting April 10.

    Overwatch’s new Rialto PvP map won’t launch until after Retribution


    Overwatch’s Retribution event launches later today, unleashing players on Rialto, a new map set in Venice. Though the event is PvE, a PvP version of Rialto is in the works, but will not launch until after Retribution finishes.


    Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher teases a team-up with Ghost Recon Wildlands


    It looks like the Ghost Recon Wildlands gang will soon be teaming up with a familiar face—or, more precisely, a familiar voice. Ubisoft dropped a teaser today for "The Call," a special operation that will see Sam "Splinter Cell" Fisher headed off to Bolivia to do what he does.


    Rainbow Six Siege Implementing New Ways To Combat Toxcity



    Rainbow Six Siege has come a long way since it debuted back in 2015, but like many multiplayer games, it can be a conduit for jerks who make the experience worse for everyone. Thankfully, Ubisoft has announced it's cracking down.


    Apple's clones crackdown leads to App Store shrinking



    Number of new iOS releases drops for the first time since marketplace launched in 2008


    Some PUBG Clones Are Actually Being Sued



    App stores are currently overrun with battle royale games that I will generously say are heavily inspired by PUBG and Fortnite. It’s a wild west out there, but amidst all the copy-catting, two games plucked from the masses are being taken to court by PUBG Corp., the company running PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.


    Resident Evil 7 is now Capcom’s fifth best-selling game ever, with 5.1 million sold



    Capcom have announced a major new sales milestone for RE7.


    Key claim dismissed in ex-GTA producer’s $150 million lawsuit against Take-Two



    A lawsuit between Take-Two Interactive and a former Rockstar producer has been ongoing for years now, with Leslie Benzies seeking $150 million in royalties from the publishers. But now the New York Supreme Court has dismissed one of the core complaints in Benzies’ case.


    Summer Games Done Quick lineup leaves Super Mario Odyssey outside main event



    The organizers of Summer Games Done Quick have announced the lineup of games and speedrunners (but not yet the schedule and times) for Summer Games Done Quick 2018, which is taking place a little more than two months from now.


    Trade marks: How much do you really need to protect?



    As the Star Control legal battle extends to alien race names, Harbottle & Lewis' Kostya Lobov offers advice on striking a balance


    Ubisoft opening Winnipeg studio



    Far Cry 5 producer Darryl Long named managing director of new co-development studio focused on tools and tech for publisher's AAA open-world brands


    MidBoss names Cade Peterson interim CEO



    Veteran of Jump, Sony takes over 2064: Read Only Memories studio as founder Matt Conn leaves amid controversy

    GaymerX cuts all ties to MidBoss


    In wake of allegations against co-founder Matt Conn, LGBTQ convention changes leadership, names new executive director


    Brandon Boyer dismissed from Juegos Rancheros



    Austin indie game organization removes co-founder and former IGF chair from board of directors over conduct concerns


    Obituary: Monkey Island artist and animator Martin 'Bucky' Cameron


    Cameron was one of the original members of LucasArt's famed Monkey Island team, and was the artist and animator responsible for breathing life into iconic characters like Voodoo Lady and Meathook.


    Legendary Tokyo Game Shop Closes



    On April 8, legendary video game retailer Games Maya closed, bringing to a close a 35-year history. Some of the biggest names in Japanese gaming paid their respects.

    Three Video Game Bars Shut Down In Japan Over Copyright Claims


    This week, three Osaka video game bars announced that they were closing. The reason, it seems, was copyright violation.


    69% of large UK games firms have bigger gender pay gap than national average



    GamesIndustry.biz has calculated that the mean hourly rate for women across all large UK businesses is 14.47% lower than men's. Among the 13 games firms we found in the database so far, nine showed a greater disparity in pay.

    Rockstar Discusses Gender Pay Gap at Rockstar North Studio


    "Like much of the interactive entertainment industry, there is gender disparity in our workforce, particularly at senior levels where our team has been with us for many years," it says in a statement. "We are proactively working to decrease this disparity and we look forward to seeing representation of our female colleagues continue to grow in all roles and at all levels as we actively recruit, train and encourage women to pursue career opportunities at Rockstar North and within our industry.”

    Gender pay gaps: Here's how we fix them


    Amiqus' Liz Prince believes this week's revelations should compel the industry to address how it recruits, retains and promotes women

    Exploring the pay gap: What does the data really say about the industry's gender imbalance?


    Full analysis reveals important questions about female representation across all industry levels


    Korean Companies Fined $950,000 Over Loot Boxes



    Three game companies—including online giants Nexon—have been fined almost one million dollars by Korea’s Fair Trade Commission over deceptive loot box practices.


    How a game is seeking to change the minds of politicians



    Metcalf believes games will play a greater role in political discourse, as politicians begin to understand their power, and as a new generation of game-savvy leaders come to power.


    Esports News


    The Blood Bowl 2 World Cup is open to everyone with a hefty prize pool



    A $30,000 prize pool with $10,000 in cash might interest you.


    Mineski Becomes First Southeast Asian Dota Team To Win A Major



    In a 3-2 victory over LGD Gaming, Mineski won the 2018 Dota 2 Asia Championships. It marks the first major win for a Southeast Asian team, a hard-won title for a few veterans, and a sign that the Dota landscape is not as set in stone as some might think.


    Fnatic Sweeps European League Of Legends Spring Finals



    The 2018 League Championship series spring split comes to a close today. In Europe, the grand finals hosted Fnatic and G2. It was the former who put on a convincing display, cruising to a 3-0 win and putting on one of the better showings of any League of Legends finals in recent memory.


    Doublelift's Team Liquid Wins Major League Of Legends Title Just A Week After His Brother Was Arrested For Murdering Their Mother



    Three different teams with Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng on them have now won major North American League of Legends titles. The third, Team Liquid, instantly became the most memorable last night with a 3-0 sweep over 100 Thieves. Just a week after his brother was arrested and charged with murdering their mother, Doublelift opted to travel to Miami and compete in the North American Spring Split.


    Tecmo Super Bowl’s ‘JoeyGats’ three-peats as world champion



    Survives a defensive thriller in winner-takes-all finale


    Tekken Player Jumps For Joy After Closing Out The Upset



    Tekken 7 pro Choi “Saint” Jin Woo is one of the top players in the game. He took second at both Evo 2017 and last year’s Tekken World Tour finals. So when fellow pro Tanukana eliminated him from Beast Arena in Hong Kong this morning, you can imagine how exciting that must have felt.


    Every NBA 2K League draft pick will make more than a G League player



    I have zero understanding of esports or its popularity, but the NBA is taking it very seriously.


    Geguri's Overwatch League Debut Was A Beautiful Moment



    Sometimes, I don’t know how to find within myself or trust in my capacity to be phenomenal because I do not regularly see it in the world. We are evidence-based creatures. We look for examples. Geguri’s official debut, for me and CrackerJess, was just that. Lots of women play Overwatch at a high level; Geguri, as the most notable, raised the ceiling.


    Overwatch League Player Suspended After Being Accused Of Sexually Preying On Teen



    Overwatch League team Boston Uprising has suspended star player Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez, 21, following allegations that he pursued a romantic and potentially sexual relationship with someone he believed to be a 14- or 15-year-old girl.


    Overwatch Star Has Advice For Mercy Players: "Be Selfish"



    Ark was training to be a nurse before he dropped out to be a “support” player for the New York Excelsior, the Overwatch League’s top team. When he first got hooked on Overwatch, he never dreamed of going pro. “I wasn’t that good actually,” he told me at NYXL’s meet-and-greet in a New York brewery on Monday. “As time went on, I tried really hard. That’s why I’m here now.”

    Overwatch League Star Says He Missed Games With "Stress And Panic Disorder"


    The New York Excelsior’s Kim “Pine” Do-hyeon was the star of the Overwatch League season’s first quarter, but conspicuously absent since. After the Excelsior won the second-stage title, Pine said that his absence from the team was because depression, stress, and a panic disorder stopped him from practicing.

    Overwatch Pro Says He Wishes His Dramatic Reprimanding Hadn't Been Filmed


    After a hot-and-cold season with Overwatch League team the LA Valiant, DPS player Brady “Agilities” Girardi found himself in a rainy In-N-Out burger parking lot with team CEO Noah Whinston. And a camera person.


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


    Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game


    Street Fighter®™: The Miniatures Game is an exciting new high quality pre-painted miniatures game!

    WE FUNDED in 1 Day! Street Fighters: TMG is COMING!


    Now we can unlock some sweet sweet stretch goals to be included! Please tell everyone you know, the deal will only get better, lets unlock all 12 additional characters and battle decks and pack this thing full!!!


    Myst 25th Anniversary Collection


    A limited-time, limited-run opportunity to get an exclusively packaged collection of all of the Myst games - only through Kickstarter.


    Oddworld: Abe's Origins - Book & Game Collection


    Explore, play and celebrate the origins of one gaming's most iconic characters.


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


    On the Path towards Unionising the Games Industry



    The latest Game Developers’ Conference, the largest and most significant international industry event of the year, happened two weeks ago, as developers from all over the world made their way to San Francisco. While the event hosted plenty of interesting talks, panels and roundtables, one stood out among the rest.


    Playing Assassin’s Creed Origins with the experts at Chicago’s Field Museum



    Visiting ancient Egypt with an expert mummy conservator


    A call for video game neorealism



    In video games, we understand realism as meaning photorealism: a hyper-real commercial aesthetic that's cynically detached from politics, emotion, and reality. Photorealism is also about escalating the video game value system, where high production AAA games are generally seen as more "immersive" and well-crafted than something that's less photorealistic. These are supposedly the videogamiest video games.

    But outside of video game aesthetics, realism means much more.


    On mouse clicks and paperclips: the dark, frustrating pleasures of tedium games



    The success of Universal Paperclips as a viral browser game is a surprise, but not because it isn't completely consuming. According to Wired, it was a qualified viral hit with around 450,000 players at launch, most of whom completed the game in its entirety. What's surprising about the success of Universal Paperclips is that, at least on paper, it's pretty much as tedious as games gets. Universal Paperclips is a clicker game, occasionally known as non-games - a genre where game mechanics are boiled down to their most basic components, clicking or tapping to fulfill arbitrary goals. Like Cow Clicker, an iOS app by Lantz' friend and colleague Ian Bogost, Universal paperclips exists in a kind of limbo between games-as-entertainment and Skinner box experiments.


    The Problems With Illegible Text In Video Games And Some Solutions To Fix Them



    Joe Humfrey, art and code director at game development studio Inkle, believes that the primary goal in designing text for video games is “making sure every word is effortless to read.” It turns out that making sure players can read and understand on-screen text is a more complicated task than you might think.


    Indie game publishers are the new indie rock labels



    A new wave of boutique publishers is helping indies create better games


    Steam in 2017


    How Steam Direct, PUBG and the rise of China affected the biggest PC gaming marketplace in 2017.


    The making of Divinity: Original Sin 2



    With Divinity: Original Sin, developer Larian Studios created its most successful game in its two-decade history, netting a plethora of accolades and comparisons to genre titans like Ultima V2. Not content, the studio rolled out an overhauled Enhanced Edition, all the while working on a fresh prototype. That would become Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian's newest and biggest success story.

    How Larian Studios skirted bankruptcy before making Divinity: Original Sin


    Larian Studios is, for now, the Divinity: Original Sin studio. Its last two games, both Kickstarted and publisher-free, are the biggest successes the studio has ever seen. The Belgian developer didn’t go from obscurity to success, however, and it has been designing notable RPGs and strategy games, within and without the Divinity universe, for over two decades.


    EA's Patrick Söderlund on Battlefront II and indie titles: 'Making games was easier 20 years ago'



    “It actually is important to me. When I started my own company, we had the same passion and conviction that I know a lot of smaller developers have today,” he says. “We had an idea for a game that we believed should be made, one that we were building because we wanted to play it ourselves and there was nothing out there like it. That became the foundation of our business. It took me years and years, struggling with budgets, recognition and being seen. I’ve been through it all. And I can also say that when I did it 20 years ago, I think it was actually easier than it is today. Today’s developers are in a very different, more difficult world. I figured I could help – that we should help, as a company. I believe that we should be able to afford to support the development community.”


    The Story Of Two Games That Took Forever To Make



    Earlier this week, Chasm, the years-in-development action-adventure platformer inspired by games like Super Castlevania IV, finally got a release window of summer 2018. Below got similar news last month when its developers announced that the long-awaited roguelike would be out before the end of the year. It’s been a long road for both games, but one their designers say was worth taking.


    Ex Bioware Boss Says EA Is Excellent at Giving Creative Freedom and Didn’t Impose Frostbite Engine



    Flynn had been there for over seventeen years. His credits include Baldur’s Gate II, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins. Then he became the Bioware boss and oversaw the production and development of Dragon Age II, Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda.


    Helping players relate to the heroine of Night in the Woods



    We've gathered some of those key observations, as well some insight into the value (and risks) of improv game design and the potential of narrative design on the Nintendo Switch, into a condensed read for you below.


    Talking localization with Yakuza localization producers Scott Strichart and Sam Mullen



    When the chance arose to speak with the localization team behind the series, I couldn’t pass that up. I had always wondered about how one gets started doing localization or what the process might be for selecting which features get cut. With Yakuza 6 releasing soon, it felt like the best opportunity to have a chat with Scott Strichart and Sam Mullen (producers over at Atlus that handle Sega’s Japanese content). While I wasn’t able to directly talk to them, I did put together a couple of questions that hopefully answers how the localization process isn’t as straightforward as you might think.


    Soren Johnson on challenging the norms of 4X games



    “Sid [Meier] didn’t know he was inventing a genre back in ’91 – if he had he might have been a lot more careful. He was just making it up as he went along.”


    Meet the Mental Health Support Groups Trying to Help 'EVE Online' Players



    From military veterans to Space Popes, these folks are making 'EVE Online's' vast space a little more welcoming.


    Game Critics Need to Review Games Holistically



    It’s clear that a sense of holistic criticism—that is to say, a criticism founded in the game viewed as a complete text, not a collection of systems with a story on top—is necessary to properly judge the game. The hard-and-fast differentiation between the appeal of a game’s narrative and mechanical experiences in reviews is one that game audiences have been taught to expect from a press that traditionally draws a lineage from a merging of an enthusiast press and a tech press. Game criticism often comes from the angle of reviewing a product, and not so much about what the combined effects of a game’s experience say about the game or its intended message.


    How Deus Ex: Mankind Divided nails the personal side of prejudice



    I say all of this at the start of an article for a site about videogames, reluctantly, because it may explain why I see incredible nuance in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Despite being the game to use the infamous marketing campaign of 'mechanical apartheid', in practice, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided treats human prejudice with a sense of the personal typically understood only by those who have lived it.


    'Paratopic' Turned My Nightmares into a PS1-Era Horror Game



    'Paratopic' is an indie horror game that looks like it came out on a corrupted (or maybe possessed) Playstation 1.


    “Far Cry 5 Militarizes Faith in America,” by Reid McCarter



    Everyone, from the patriots of the US Army to the patriots of the militias to the patriot that is the cult-killing, order-restoring Deputy, has blended into a single, malevolent sickness that the game makes clear is distinctly American in character.

    Far Cry 5 Doesn't Understand The Country Life


    As I play Far Cry 5, I struggle to recapture that feeling. And it’s strange, given the game’s setting. I’m from the West Coast, I grew up in a small wooded farmland not unlike Montana, and you’d think I’d be enthralled that one of my favorite series set its latest game so close to home. But despite their attempts with this installment to move away from some of its stale shooter conventions, it all feels the same. What makes Far Cry special has been repeated, but not improved upon. And in the case of rural American culture, it seems like such a missed opportunity.


    Far Cry's villains are sick of Far Cry



    The definition of insanity.


    Real Talk: Metal Gear Survive is Great Fun



    Poor old Metal Gear Survive. The first post-Kojima entry in the Metal Gear series was always on something of a hiding to nothing but, even then, this got an absolute kicking from both critics and players. Whatever else there is to be said about Kojima's run on Metal Gear, there's no denying he and his team produced consistently high-quality games that were unlike anything else - and of course, Kojima's drive to embed himself within the games means that, over time, he had begun to seem inseparable from it.


    Prey (2006)



    Prey is an IP that got bought and re-invented and is something very personal and exciting for me this year, but the original game, from 2006, remains one of the most fascinating cultural artifacts I have ever encountered. And re-evaluating it now requires me to re-evaluate where I was a decade ago.


    Cuba's Underground Gaming Network


    Cuba has joined the global network, but high prices have driven Havana's citizens to construct their own.

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


    What Celeste Borrows from Mario - Nitro Rad


    Celeste is a fantastic game, but not all of its ideas are original. However, what it DOES with these old ideas, is VERY original. Here's what Celeste borrows from Mario games, and does even better.



    The Rise and Fall of Crysis


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


    This Video Explains Why 'Far Cry 2' Is Great Without Saying A Word


    It’s fair to say that my love for Far Cry 2 is well recorded. I take every chance I can to revisit it in streams, write about it in articles, and even delve into it more deeply in conference talks. Which is why, when people ask me why I fell in love with Far Cry 2, it’s easy to answer: It felt like it came from another world.


    What Makes Ratchet: Deadlocked Sick



    You Can't Put Gameplay On The Box



    The Story Of The GameShark - Gaming's Most Famous Cheating Device!


    The GameShark is arguably the most popular video game cheat device of all time in North America, but getting to the top of the mountain wasn't easy. From Gameshark's U.K. origins dating back to the Action Replay & Commodore 64, its numerous failures against the Game Genie, knock offs, and innovative products like the Sharkwire, whihc could take your Nintendo 64 online. This is the story of the GameShark.

    If you'd like to support the show you can do so at https://www.patreon.com/WrestlingWithGaming


    How to keep players engaged (without being evil) | Game Maker's Toolkit


    Why do some games keep us rapt and entertained until the closing credits, while others fizzle out and end up on our pile of shame? Let’s look at some key ways developers can keep players interested (without being evil about it)

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


    Warframe's Rebb Ford on Community Management - Extended Interviews


    In this extended cut of our interview with Digital Extremes' Rebb Ford, we talk about Warframe's long journey and the ways the community team collected and implemented player feedback.

    Our work is crowdfunded. Consider supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/noclip


    Evidence-Based Mental Health for Game Devs #CheckPointSeries


    We're here to tackle mental health issues, using the power of video games. Proudly Kickstarted and presented by Way Down Deep, The CheckPoint Series is here to improve wellbeing, boost resilience, and teach how games can be used for good!

    We need your support: https://checkpoint.org.au/donate/


    Impractical Research - How Academia Can Make Better Games - Extra Credits


    Academic research in games should be challenging our need for commonly accepted principles like Skinner boxes or certain narrative structures. Historically it tends to be focused on finding only certain types of quantifiable data, which can be distracting from the medium's overall progress.


    PAX East Panel - Ashes of Creation (1 hour Dev Panel)


    We had a packed theater at PAX east, and discussed some of the game development, our philosophies and took some QnA from the audience. Enjoy!

    PAX East 2018 - Survive! Tips from the Pros on Staying Indie


    Starting your own indie studio is hard. Sustaining it is even more difficult! Hear from Gwen Frey (Bioshock Infinite, The Flame in the Flood), Rami Ismail (Nuclear Throne, LUFTRAUSERS), Alex Schwartz (Job Simulator, Rick & Morty VR), Ichiro Lambe (Tick Tock Bang Bang, Elegy for a Dead World) and Mike Futter (Author, GameDev Business Handbook) share advice on keeping a team, learning from mistakes (so you don’t have to make them), and sustaining a studio to make games for years to come.

    Making Art for Games

    AngryJoeShow Live! PAX East 2018



    Nuke Possum Springs: A Night in the Woods Design Postmortem


    In this 2018 GDC talk, Night in the Woods co-creator Scott Benson presents a discussion of the ups, downs, design philosophies, and decisions that went into making 'Night in the Woods'. Experience True stories, real places, outsider perspectives, and cartoon animal people.


    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks


    Battletech arcades were decades ahead of their time, holding global 3D matches before we'd even played a SNES - here's their story


    We speak to the world's biggest collector, who owns 7 of the last 12 functioning machines

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