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    This Week In Gaming 4-3-18


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    Ben Lindbergh covers the development and staying power of StarCraft for its 20th anniversary, interviews with Yoko Taro, Brendan Sinclair on why developers need a better advocate than the IGDA, Teachers and Parents Share Stories From Inside the 'Fortnite' Phenomenon, Merritt K interviews Robert Yang about challenging game industry attitudes towards sex, CodexEntry on Devil May Cry 3's Brilliant Storytelling, Dragon Quest 11 confirmed for PC, Mutant Year Zero and Jurassic World Evolution gameplay, Duncan Fyfe talks to people behind West of Loathing and Laura Bow The Dagger of Amon Ra, GDC Vault releases videos of developer talks, Noah Caldwell-Gervais revisits Dying Light, Twitch streamer Ninja on rising popularity and instilling good morals in the kids that watch him, Ninja uses racial slur while improvising song lyrics causing Twitch to clarify guidelines, Twitch layoffs, Why EA Sports Started Taking Accessibility Seriously, April Fools content, 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)

     

    XCOM meets stealthy RPG in the seriously cool Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

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    Former Hitman designers have gotten back together to build an exciting RPG around an XCOM core.

    Check Out Over 30 Minutes of 'Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden'

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    It's a tactics game from former 'Hitman' and 'Payday' devs where you play a talking duck

     

    Dragon Quest 11 confirmed for PC, release date set

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    Following its Japanese debut last summer, Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age will arrive in North America and Europe on September 4, 2018. Available for PC via Steam, the localised version promises a host of new features—such as a dash function, new difficulty settings a Camera Mode.

     

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker brings the tabletop RPG to PC this summer

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    While third edition Dungeons & Dragons has a storied history in videogames ranging from the Temple of Elemental Evil to Neverwinter Nights, the ruleset’s successor has yet to get a full conversion to a digital role-playing game. That’s about to change with Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and developers Owlcat Games have provided an updated look at the game.

    Paizo Brings The Kittens

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    As you all know, we really want Pathfinder: Kingmaker to feel like the real thing. We want our game to be as faithful to the source material as possible. We could just give you our interpretation of how adventuring in the Stolen Lands should feel. But how much cooler would it be, if we asked the good folks at Paizo to lend a hand, to contribute and to write for our game?

    So that's exactly what we did! Paizo's own Creative Director James L. Sutter and Organized Play Lead Developer John Compton teamed up with our authors to work on Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Here is what they have to say about their experience:

     

    BattleTech - Mercenary Campaign Overview (SPOILER-LIGHT)

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    cKnoor, Mitch, and Kiva look at the mechanics behind managing your own Mercenary Company in BATTLETECH

    CohhCarnage has been streaming the game for the past few days and you can watch his past videos if you wanted to see more gameplay or story.

     

    31 minutes of The Banner Saga 3 Gameplay

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    Join Chris as he walks you through this new gameplay for The Banner Saga 3. Expect spoilers from the first two games, obviously!

     

    What is Jurassic World Evolution?

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    What is Jurassic World Evolution and how does it play? Here's a straightforward explanation for anyone who's been wondering.

    This video is based on a visit to Universal Studios, California. Frontier Developments paid for flights and accommodation.

    Jurassic World Evolution - First Official Gameplay Demo

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    We’re proud to present to you our first “Let’s Play” gameplay video for the upcoming PC, Xbox One, and PS4 game, Jurassic World Evolution! Recorded in LA during our first hands-on event for a selection of content creators and press, and with a commentary from Senior Community Manager Edward Lewis, Executive Producer Rich Newbold and Lead Designer Andy Fletcher, we hope you’ll enjoy this look into the rich game play of Jurassic World Evolution, coming June 12, 2018!

     

    Bloodstained: Voicing The Game - Part 1

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    Behold the first of THREE videos that will give you an intimate look at the English cast of the game and their amazing talents!

     

    New Guacamelee 2 trailer says it's coming 'soon-ish,' and the original is 90 percent off

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    You can get Guacamalee's Gold Edition for $1.50 through April 13.

     

    The Sinking City is like L.A. Noire written by H.P. Lovecraft

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    Interrogating fish-people and chasing leads in the soaked streets of Oakmont.

     

    Chasm, the procedurally generated RPG platformer, launches mid-year

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    It was Kickstarter-funded back in 2013.

     

    Travis Strikes Again sounds more promising than it looks

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    No More Heroes’ Nintendo Switch debut needs to do more to impress

     

    Star Citizen Alpha 3.1 adds character customization, new ships, and more

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    The latest build of the Star Citizen alpha is live now, and it’s a sizeable update that brings a character customizer, new ships and vehicles, and Service Beacons to the game, inching the massive project that much closer to "released" status.

     

    Not Tonight is a 'politically-charged satirical game' set in an alternate post-Brexit Britain

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    "Will you join the resistance... or keep your head down and hope that one day this will all be a distant memory?"

     

    Watch the fantastic trailer for musical puzzle game Kine

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    Kine is an upcoming 3D puzzle game about three robot musicians looking for their big break. Its announcement trailer is chock-full of jazz, graphic novel-like art, and cleverly synchronized movement, putting it right up my alley.

     

    Brave a flooded world in your little plane in Above

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    Waterworld with biplanes.

     

    Tunche is a permadeath brawler begging to be played with friends

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    It's kind of like a kick-ass version of Dora the Explorer.

     

    VANDALS (Official Teaser 2018)

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    Vandals is a turn-based graffiti game. You sneak around cities like Tokyo and Paris while avoiding cops, dogs, and other authorities who hate it when walls look cool.

     

    Booze makes you a better wizard in The Bard's Tale 4's great RPG combat

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    The Bard's Tale 4 plays like no other dungeon crawler I've ever touched, blending bits of classic Bard's Tale and Japanese tactics RPGs into something new. It's not full of ideas that will shock you, but its approach to a genre that's now nearly 40 years old still feels mildly heretical. Most classic RPGs either don't care where your party is standing in combat or are best played with fairly codified formations (brawlers in the front, softies in the back). But constantly repositioning is the most crucial element of any encounter in Bard's Tale 4, and moving costs an action point just like an attack.

     

    Runbow Developers Announce Double-Cross For Switch And PC

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    The developers behind party-platformer Runbow has announced Double-Cross, a grapple-and-throw platformer for Switch and PC.

     

    Squish levels until they work in playdough puzzle-platformer Semblance

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    Semblance is a puzzle platformer where your character and the world it inhabits is nearly entirely deformable. Squish, squash and deform your character and the world to solve puzzles in Semblance's soft, bouncy world. An infestation of hard material has started to spread throughout the land. Squish, squash, mold and deform yourself and the environment to solve challenging puzzles, squeeze through tight spots and restore your delicate world back to life!

     

    Minit is a 60-second adventure you’ll want to play for hours

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    Gone in 60 seconds

     

    Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will release later this year

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    THQ Nordic have announced a remastered version of Red Faction: Guerrilla is coming to PC, and console, later this year.

     

    Superb stealth game Mark of the Ninja is getting remastered

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    Mark of the Ninja: Remastered will freshen up one of our all-time favorite stealth games later this year, developer Klei Entertainment announced.

     

    Aragami: Nightfall introduces new characters, powers, and 'complex scenarios'

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    The supernatural stealth expansion is coming soon.

     

    Call of Duty: WW2’s War Machine DLC launches next month on PC - here's a new trailer

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    The next DLC package for Call of Duty: WWII is on the way, bringing another set of new maps and missions for the shooter. The War Machine includes three new multiplayer maps, another Zombies chapter, and a new War Mode mission which adds aerial dogfights.

     

    Ghost Recon Wildlands Year 2 begins next week

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    The second year of Ghost Recon Wildlands content will include four themed 'Special Operations.'

     

    Assassin’s Creed Origins’ official cheat panel will let you tweak 75 parameters on PC

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    Assassin’s Creed Origins has been a terrific revival for a series seeing diminishing returns, and continued support from Ubisoft means there’s been plenty of reason to keep revisiting ancient Egypt. But an upcoming PC-exclusive feature is one of the most interesting yet, letting you change everything from movement speed to damage values.

     

    Costume Pack Launch!

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    These fabulous outfits aren’t just for show - they also provide Shantae with three brand new arcade-style play modes! Bounce off walls, throw stars, and teleport with the Ninja Costume; beat the life-draining heat by collecting sunscreen in the Beach Costume; and lay down the law with your pellet blaster and block- shifting ability using the Mighty Switch Force-inspired Officer Costume. Indulge your passion for fashion while testing your mettle with this chic and challenging DLC!

     

    Murder, wine and life-sucking pearls make Summerset another captivating Elder Scrolls Online expansion

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    Come for the Daedric monstrosities, stay for a tour of wine country.

     

    Fans Are Upset Over New Trade Rules In 'CS:GO'

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    In an effort to cut down on "unintended uses" of trading items, a new week-long cooldown period is being implemented for all trades made in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) , Valve recently announced.

     

    Six Months After Release, Shadow Of War Removes Microtransactions

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    Middle Earth: Shadow of War, a game whose loot box system helped spark 2017's backlash against the practice, is removing all forms of real-money purchases later this year.

     

    Chrono Trigger PC Will Get Patched To Add The Original Graphics

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    In February, publisher Square Enix surprised everyone with the release of Chrono Trigger on PC, leading to a rollercoaster of emotions as fans first grew elated to have new access to a classic game, then disappointed when they saw what it looked like. Today, the publisher says it’s hoping to change that.

     

    Overwatch Uprising returns in April, likely adding a Blackwatch mission with McCree and Genji

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    Something is happening in Overwatch on April 10. The official account just tweeted that date along with a video mentioning the Overwatch Mission Archives and King’s Row Uprising. The easy guess is that last year’s Uprising event will return in a little less than two weeks, but there seems to be quite a bit more to the story than that.

    Blizzard teases big changes coming to the Overwatch Uprising event

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    The old Uprising Brawl is returning, but Blizzard is digging into the Overwatch archives for even more.

    Jeff Kaplan has “hundreds of hours” in PUBG, but don’t expect Overwatch Battle Royale

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    Recent stats have suggested that a third of PC gamers are currently playing a battle royale, and Jeff “from the Overwatch team” Kaplan is no exception. Papa Jeff has played “hundreds of hours” of PUBG, but don’t expect Blizzard’s FPS to jump on the bandwagon any time soon.

    Blizzard Is Trying To Teach Computers To Spot Overwatch Jerks

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    Despite arriving too late to prevent what some might call a full-blown crisis, Overwatch’s anti-toxicity efforts seem to be bearing fruit. The next step in the battle, says game director Jeff Kaplan, might be having computers, not humans, find the bad actors.

     

    PUBG’s new map makes the game faster and more technical than ever

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    Last night the latest map for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dropped on a new, invite-only test server. It’s smaller by far than either of the two maps already released for the game, but it sacrifices nothing. In fact, it’s a dense playground that will appeal to hardcore players and skilled teams alike.

    PUBG's New Map Is The Most Fun I've Had Since Launch

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    This week, a limited amount of players can test the latest map in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, codenamed “Savage.” This map is significantly smaller than the game’s other two maps. The resulting action provides a breath of fresh air, kicking Battlegrounds’ usually deliberate pacing into something much more frantic.

     

    No Man's Sky NEXT is due Summer 2018

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    In the wake of its fairly sophisticated Atlas Rises update, Chris returned to No Man's Sky and found a better game that still lacked magic and mystery.

     

    Call of Juarez Gunslinger delisted from Steam

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    There’s no indication as to why, but Call of Juarez Gunslinger and Call of Juarez: The Cartel have disappeared from Steam.

     

    Three injured, one dead in shooting at YouTube headquarters

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    In a press conference, San Bruno chief of police Ed Barberini said that there was one victim found on the premises with an apparent gunshot wound, while two additional victims were found off-site. These three victims were reportedly transported to nearby hospitals, according to San Bruno police.

     

    Layoffs hit Twitch as company readjusts some departments

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    A statement from a Twitch representative said that certain teams were readjusted as the company focused on prioritizing areas that were most significant to the community. The full statement can be read below

    Twitch Isn't For Esports, It's For Streamers

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    Though the layoffs were spread throughout the company, perpetual Twitter agitator, noted rumor-monger, and esports evangelist Rod “Slasher” Breslau pointed out that many of those affected either were working in or had worked in the world of competitive gaming. This led him and others to wonder if the layoffs marked a change in attitude on behalf of Twitch towards one of the company’s biggest constituencies, esports fans.

     

    Valve gets rid of the Steam Machine section

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    Remember Steam Machines? Valve seems to be trying to forget its bid to get everyone playing games on expensive little boxes from Alienware, Asus and the like, as it’s removed the Steam Machines section from Steam. It’s been a while since anyone really talked about the living room PCs, but this looks like the final nail in the coffin.

     

    Eugen Systems striking devs going to labour court

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    Employees initiating proceedings against Steel Division: Normandy 44 studio after six weeks with no progress in negotiations

     

    Windows chief Terry Myerson is leaving Microsoft as it reorganizes

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    Microsoft is undergoing a major reshuffling effort as its head of Windows gets ready to leave the company.

     

    As Speedrunning Flourishes, Some Look Beyond Games Done Quick

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    In January 2010, an event called Awesome Games Done Quick broadcast some of the best speedrunners in gaming from organizer Mike Uyama’s basement, raising about $10,000 for charity in the process. Since then, the art of speedrunning - finishing a game as quickly as possible, usually by following a strict ruleset - has proliferated in kind, largely thanks to the ever-increasing audience of AGDQ and its sister event Summer Games Done Quick.

     

    Oh Great, A Current Affair Has Discovered Fortnite

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    Fortnite might not have been the first battle royale game to get large, but it's quickly becoming one of those games that becomes part of the mainstream conversation around games. Unfortunately, that sometimes means exposure of the wrong kind. Enter stage right: A Current Affair.

     

    Court rejects Lindsay Lohan's appeal in GTA V likeness lawsuit

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    New York's Court of Appeals issued a ruling today on actress Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit against Take-Two alleging her likeness was appropriated without permission in Grand Theft Auto V, and that ruling is: "dismissed."

     

    Here's what modders are planning for Vermintide 2

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    The original Vermintide had a thriving mod scene. With official support coming soon, what are they cooking up for the sequel?

     

    The best Stardew Valley mods

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    Stardew Valley’s mod scene has been thriving on PC despite it having no official Steam Workshop support. Dedicated modders have been working to alter just about everything available in the game, from adding game-breaking cheats like god mode, to visual overhauls that turn Stardew Valley into a pixelated fairytale.

     

    Rise of Mordor, a Lord of the Rings conversion mod for Total War: Attila, hits first public alpha

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    A fully-fledged campaign is in the works.

     

    The best Far Cry Arcade maps so far

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    Far Cry 5's map editing tools have already borne some exciting, creative, and challenging scenarios.

     

    Esports News

     

    The Weekend In Esports: Headin' On Up To NorCal

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    The fighting game community takes a big pit stop this week in the land of Lady Bird.

     

    Dragon Ball FighterZ is on its way to being the big game of Evo 2018

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    Arc System Works’ 3v3 fighter will bring back some of that Marvel magic

     

    The Overwatch League Stage Playoffs Are Letting The Top Seed Pick Their Opponent

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    The Overwatch League’s stage playoffs are expanding again, this time adding another team to the mix and removing the first-round bye for the top-seeded team in the league.

     

    Dragon Ball FighterZ's Best Player Does It With Defense

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    Goichi “Go1" Kishida has been dominating the Dragon Ball FighterZ scene since the game came out with a devastating lineup of Adult Gohan, Cell, and Vegeta. His success isn’t really in dealing punches and kicks, though: it’s that it’s almost impossible to land blows on him.

     

    Persona 4 Arena Player Wins Tournament In The Flashiest Way Possible

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    Over the weekend, Anime Ascension hosted several anime-styled fighting game tournaments. Although Persona 4 Arena Ultimax was was relegated to side tournament status in favor of newer games, its ending was one of the most exciting moments of the entire event.

     

    A Japanese Virtua Fighter Tournament Returned From Hiatus, And It Was Rad

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    Amid all the pro circuits and premiers for games like Street Fighter and Tekken, you might have forgotten about another classic: Virtua Fighter. Last night in Japan, 510 entrants gathered in Tokyo to play some Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown and y’all, it was pretty rad.

     

    Sadokist faces backlash for racial slur and inappropriate behavior on stream

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    Shortly after he said the slur, Sadokist was asked about his opinion on a community member called "Don Haci," and his answer was surprising. "That guy could go fucking die, and I would literally celebrate it," Sadokist said. He also told Don Haci to commit suicide in a horrific manner.

    Thread on Fighting Game Esports Community

     

    Overwatch League's Eqo Faces Punishment After Making Slant-Eye Gesture On Stream

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    Josh “Eqo” Corona of the Philadelphia Fusion is in hot water with his team and maybe the Overwatch League after making a slant-eye gesture about Korean players during an Overwatch stream last weekend.

     

    Why aren’t more black kids going pro in esports?

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    The answer may lie in the foundations of esports — the actual video games many of us played growing up. PC games, such as Dota, League of Legends, StarCraft and Counter-Strike, grew into their own ecosystems. Over time, spectators gathered, communities grew and funding started to flow. But for console games such as Call of Duty, Super Smash Bros., Halo and Street Fighter, the communities grew but the same funding and opportunities didn’t materialize. As esports matures, one thing has become crystal clear: The PC/console divide has inadvertently become a racial divide, with white and Asian players featured most heavily on the PC side and African-American and Latino players on the other.

     

    New York's Overwatch League Team Finally Came Home To Meet Its Fans

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    The New York Excelsior, owned by New York Mets CEO Jeff Wilpon, had never been to New York before. (Every OWL team plays and lives in Los Angeles.) The NYXL—whose players are all Korean—is New York’s newest sports team in branding only, but they’re winners, and as a front-running New Yorker, how could you not love them?

     

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

     

    Videos of GDC Talks

    #1ReasonToBe

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    #1ReasonToBe features speakers from emergent territories around the world discussing game development in their country in their own, personal way. Through 8-minute presentations, they will each share their #1ReasonToBe in the game industry, and tell the audience their stories of game development, community, culture and opportunities in their home country. With speakers from all over the world, #1ReasonToBe will show you just how much more globe there actually is in the industry's global medium.

    A How-To Guide for Muslim Representation in Video Games

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    Negative portrayal of matters related to Islam and Muslims is a phenomenon across all media that Muslims face day-in day-out. Muslim portrayals are more often than not inaccurate, sensationalist and negative. What can the industry do change this reality? In this session, Osama Dorias (Game Designer at Warner Brothers / Coordinator of the Video Game Programs at Dawson College / Co-Founder of the Montreal Independent Games Festival) will draw on his life experience, research, and over a decade of industry experience, to explain the importance of positive Muslim representation, to debunk common misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, and to empower attendees with a list of actionable items that they can apply to aid Muslims in their struggle for positive and fair representation in video games.

    'Primal Rage II' from Heartbreak to Resurrection: The Journey After Cancellation

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    Game cancellations are devastating, both personally and professionally. How do you deal with it, move on, and will anyone ever see your work again? Game designer Chris Tang talks about a rare comeback story. Despite the popularity of the Atari Games franchise, arcade fighting game 'Primal Rage II' was cancelled in 1997, doomed to be forgotten. Or was it? First as a prototype arcade unit and more recently in emulated form, the game was resurrected through twists of fate and heroic fan efforts, allowing the masses to finally enjoy the 20-year old "game that never was". This unique and heartfelt postmortem chronicles the development, challenges, untimely demise, personal consequences, and eventual comeback for what Engadget called "2017's hottest new fighting game".

    Fair Play Alliance Keynote (Presented by Fair Play Alliance)

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    This session is an overview of behavior online today, why addressing antisocial and disruptive behavior in games matters, and how developers can work together to support lasting change. It will also provide an introduction to the Fair Play Alliance, a cross-industry initiative spanning over 30 gaming companies, whose mission is to foster fair play in online games, raise awareness, and share research and best practices in player behavior.

    Mental Health and Making It: Succeeding Through the Struggles

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    Mental health challenges are common. Really common. In fact, it is estimated that one-in-four people in the US will receive a mental health diagnosis in their lifetime. Many who are currently struggling fear that their futures and careers will be negatively affected by their mental health challenges. Join this panel of successful industry professionals who continue to grow their careers while living with mental health struggles. Listen to their stories, their struggles and, most importantly, how they overcome their challenges to continue with their careers in the industry they love. Moderated by Raffael Boccamazzo ("Dr. B") clinical director of Take This, Inc.

    'Dream Daddy': How Game Grumps Created Player Inclusivity and You Can Too

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    'Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator', was this summer's most successful Dad Dating Simulator. It was also critically praised for providing players with inclusive representation that is not often found in video games. In this session, 'Dream Daddy' game director Tyler Hutchison will discuss the initial goals of the game, and how it managed to become something that made a whole lot of people very happy. This talk will examine how certain options were included and look at the choices and development hours that were required to include them. With a little love and potentially a small investment of time you too could make your game inclusive and give players more representation in their character choices.

    Queens of the Phone Age: The Narrative Design of 'Reigns: Her Majesty'

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    In the sequel to popular mobile kingdom management swipe-em-up 'Reigns', the team wanted to push past "Yass Queen" and "go girl!". Writer Leigh Alexander shares her narrative design process around the tricky political tightrope of women's power, especially when it has to be both violent and funny.

    15 Years of 'Ratchet & Clank': A Lombax Story

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    Why do some franchises endure while others fade away? Long-time creative director Brian Allgeier and series writer TJ Fixman share their stories on the evolution of the 'Ratchet & Clank' franchise, which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary. Discover how Insomniac Games dealt with the hurdles of reinventing the franchise for the PS3 and beyond, and how 'Ratchet & Clank' became one of the few lasting platformers today. You'll learn about the series' beginnings, from Insomniac's original concept art to early brainstorming discussions. From there Brian and TJ will do a deep-dive into the evolution of the IP across design, story, and aesthetic. Find out how a charming platformer transformed into a sprawling universe complete with heart, humor, compelling mythology, and of course, Insomniac's unique arsenal of fantastical weaponry. A few butt jokes and double-entendres will also be thrown in for good measure.

    Good Game Design is like a Magic Trick

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    "Tell me about some brilliant mechanics in games that are hidden from the player to get across a certain feeling." This is the question Jennifer Scheurle posed on Twitter that opened up a can of worms among the games community, as thousands of likes and replies flooded into her feed. It was a question waiting to be asked with many well-established developers sharing their secret techniques. In this talk, Jennifer will give context to these techniques that game developers have used for decades, and celebrate them with a detailed collection and how-to of those techniques from the best games and designers all over the world.

    A Fun Time in Which Some No-Good Game Developers May or May Not Discuss How We Made NieR:Automata

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    In this 2018 GDC talk, PlatinumGames' YOKO TARO, & game designer Takahisa Taura try to talk about the development of NieR:Automata, using their near-dead brains. It seems that they are thinking about taking a look back on the development of 'NieR:Automata', and how they came together to create one of the most perverse experiences in video game history. From the captivating imaginings of YOKO TARO to the satisfying action-packed battles of PlatinumGames Inc., they discuss their design process and how they worked to bring the world of 'NieR:Automata' to life is what they are saying they will do, but they may end up changing their minds and talking about what they have eaten in the US in detail for one full hour instead.

     

    2018 Animation Exchange Recorded Talks

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    Well that came and went fast! What a complete honor and joy it was to spend 10+ hours with some of the most passionate and dedicated animators I know. I am continually humbled and inspired by their work. I hope you were able to catch some of the stream live, to take part in the chat and fun. But regardless, we have the entire Animation Exchange ready to be seen again and again, with each talk broken out into its own video, so that you can enjoy it in all of its glory!

     

    Everything you missed from GDC 2018

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    GDC is over and, as always, more happened over that one week than any single person can keep track of. That's why we've put together this handy roundup of all the best biggest news and developments.

     

    The Past, the Present, and the Absent: Reflections on GDC 2018

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    In his talk, Cranford mentioned that people had sometimes approached him over the years and told him that The Bard’s Tale had really impacted their lives. This didn’t surprise me at all, of course. They were extraordinary games for their time, taking the barebones foundation of the early Wizardry games and bringing it to life. Cranford said that he wanted his talk to convey to attendees his philosophy for how to create games that might change people’s lives. I was intrigued. But by the time he was done speaking, I felt that his ideas about this were narrow, and belonged back in 1985 alongside his innovative masterpiece.

     

    Make Believe Gaming Nostalgia

     

    Nier: Automata's Director: 'I Might Be Broken In Some Way'

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    “The explanation I give often is, when you find out that the person writing pornographic novels is an older gentleman, you kind of lose that excitement,” Yoko told me, sipping on a Diet Pepsi between sentences. (Although he styles his name as Yoko Taro in English, “Yoko” is actually the director’s surname.) “I think it’s the same in game development, where some people might lose that kind of expectation or excitement toward a game if they find out who’s actually behind it. So I try to eliminate that disappointment factor as much as possible. That being said, if I was as handsome as Taura-san”—a reference to Platinum designer Takahisa Taura, who was sitting next to us—“I’d probably be all over the place, with my face on everything. And I probably could’ve dated a lot of girls, just like Taura-san does.”

    Writing when drunk and turning in your script months late: A Nier: Automata interview

    Quote

    One year after the game’s release, we meet with the director and senior game designer

     

    The Renegade Game Designer Who Aims to Challenge the Industry’s Attitudes Toward Sex

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    The renegade in question is Robert Yang, a 29-year-old game developer from Orange County, who’s lived in New York since 2012. Yang’s work is interesting because it’s both beautiful and complex as well as frequently at the center of the industry’s confused and tortured relationship with sex. (It’s much, much, much more comfortable with violence; after all, the quintessential modern video game is a first-person shooter.)

     

    The Life of a Ninja: Drake, 'Fortnite' and Good Morals

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    "We're literally molding and shaping the minds of these kids. … There are these massive people on YouTube and Twitch that are not doing anything with the responsibility they have," says Ninja. "We need to be instilling good morals in these kids. It's a calling."

    Ninja Faces Backlash After Appearing to Use N-Word During 'Fortnite' Stream

    Quote

    In a clip from a recent Twitch stream, Ninja is heard attempting to rap the opening lines to Logic's Bobby Tarantino II cut "44 More." As a refresher, here's how these lines go in the actual song:

    Twitch explains how suspensions over conduct are handled after Ninja incident

    Quote

    Blevins was rapping along to “44 More,” a popular song by Logic, but even that proved to be an uneasy answer for people. “44 More” doesn’t include the word Blevins used. He explained, “I wasn’t even trying to say the word—I fumbled lyrics and got tongue tied in the worst possible way.”

     

    Teachers and Parents Share Stories From Inside the 'Fortnite' Phenomenon

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    From prom invitations to confused girlfriends to shy kids becoming the center of attention, you don't understand how obsessed kids are with 'Fortnite.'

     

    Developers need a better advocate

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    The IGDA is supposed to be looking out for developers' interests, but it doesn't have the resources or the leverage to do it effectively

     

    Why EA Sports Started Taking Accessibility Seriously

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    Quote

    Much of this change has been driven internally by Karen Stevens, a rendering engineer turned accessibility lead—the first time EA created such a position in the company.

     

    How a videogame composer designed the Tangledeep RPG

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    Quote

    Zircon made his name with OverClocked Remix and the Final Fantasy VI tribute album Balance and Ruin. Now he's made his own dungeon crawler.

     

    Wolfenstein II and Violence in Games: An Interview with Creative Director

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    Heading into GDC this year, a debate almost as old as videogames themselves was once again dragged into the spotlight: do videogames cause violence in real life? In the aftermath of the recent shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that claimed the lives of 17 students, fingers have been pointing wildly in all directions in search of a cause, reigniting the discussion around the potential social harm of consuming violent entertainment. What are our responsibilities as creators? If we choose to use violence as a narrative device, does it serve a purpose? Must it serve a purpose? How do we negotiate the reality of our impact? These are questions we must ask as society continues to deal with the implications of mass media. With this in mind, I approached the creative director of the Wolfenstein series Jens Matthies to talk about violence in videogames—including the recent appearance of Wolfenstein II on Not-My-President Trump’s shit list. Here’s what he had to say.

    Dissecting Wolfenstein 2's Craziest Scenes With the Game's Creative Director

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    Jens Matthies takes an axe to Wolfenstein 2's biggest moments.

     

    Good Game Well Played: The Story of the Staying Power of ‘StarCraft’

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    Quote

    On one bleary day among many during the development of StarCraft, Blizzard VP of research and development Patrick Wyatt, who ranked third in the company’s hierarchy, walked into the office of StarCraft lead designer James Phinney. “I came to ask him for some design clarification on something, and he’s like, ‘Hang on a second,’” Wyatt says. “He leans over, and he vomits in a trash can because he’s been working so hard. And then he’s like, ‘OK, what was your question?’ So yeah, it was pretty physically taxing.”

    Bill Roper Recalls How StarCraft's Launch Ruined His Birthday 20 Years Ago

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    The 20th anniversary of StarCraft's original release is tomorrow. It went gold on March 27, 1998, which means that in a sense it shares a birthday with its executive producer Bill Roper.

    Behind the Scenes of StarCraft's Earliest Days

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    StarCraft lead Bob Fitch looks back on the days of "orcs in space," Reaver Drops, and competition with Total Annihilation.

     

    Art Design Deep Dive: Giving back colors to cryptic worlds in Dead Cells

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    Quote

    So, let’s get to it. We laid the foundations of the artistic direction of Dead Cells on three pillars: a saturated color palette, Celtic architecture and the theme of alchemy.

     

    [DAI Spoilers] Dragon Age Things from HavenCon 2018

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    Quote

    I just got back from HavenCon in Austin this weekend which is an LGBTQ+ geek and gamer convention. Patrick Weekes (current DA lead writer and former lead writer for the ME trilogy), Karin Weekes (lead editor of Bioware), and David Gaider (the former lead writer for Dragon Age) were there. I had the opportunity to attend several panels with them, meet them in person, and thank them for their games that have basically saved my life.

    Here are some interesting points from their talks and personal discussions with them that I can remember.

    Dragon Age taught Bioware lesbians are more popular than rogues

    Quote

    Roughly 19% of Dragon Age players pursued a lesbian romance with Leliana, while only 16% of players played rogues at all. That’s a stat Bioware like to bring up when anyone “whines about fan-pandering” with same-sex romances. They wouldn’t take away rogues, so why would they take away an even more popular feature?

     

    Selected Stories from the Days of Laura Bow

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    As we at Campo Santo work on In the Valley of Gods, I thought it’d be appropriate to pay a kind of homage to the last great Egyptology mystery adventure game by asking the key members of The Dagger of Amon Ra’s development team to share a few untold stories from the making of that game, 26 years ago. Below, you’ll find memories from Bruce Balfour, the game’s director, designer, writer, producer and supporting voice actor, Leslie Balfour (née Wilson), lead voice actress, and Josh Mandel, writer and voice actor.

     

    Behind West of Loathing, with Zack Johnson

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    Quote

    “You’re going to have to drop this woe-is-me, outsider nobody act,” Zack Johnson remembers hearing from Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman. Johnson, a game designer and artist, is the founder of Asymmetric, which developed the early 2000s multiplayer browser hit Kingdom of Loathing, and its recent standalone spinoff West of Loathing, which is one of the best games of the last year.

     

    Deck Nine Talks Deleted Scenes And Queer Characters In Life Is Strange Prequel

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    Quote

    Deck Nine took on an ambitious project when it signed on to create a prequel to Dontnod's Life is Strange, bringing Chloe and her relationship with Rachel Amber to the forefront. What resulted was a beautiful tale of friendship, love, and grief. It fleshed out Chloe to bring a more human side to her polarizing personality, portrayed how her relationship with Rachel was a defining moment in her life, and offered a new perspective to Arcadia Bay.

     

    How Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice was made as an 'indie triple-A' game on a tight budget

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    Quote

    There was a shopping trip to Ikea along the way.

     

    Real Guns, Virtual Guns, And Me

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    Being an American means spending every day under a shroud of gun-inflicted cultural trauma. Being an American who plays video games often means spending one’s downtime in a virtual space where people gleefully shoot one another without a second thought. There is a natural tension between those two experiences, a tension millions of us reconcile every day. Most of the time we don’t even think about it. Being a human being—American, gamer, or otherwise—means spending every day navigating the tensions between all sorts of conflicting systems and ideologies. Even the most tenuous balancing acts can become unconscious.

     

    Why is Rogue Legacy's follow-up considered a 'pretty massive failure?'

    Quote

    An interview on Full Metal Furies' reception and where they went wrong

     

    Where the Water Tastes Like Wine Postmortem

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    Joking aside — that’s dismal. And terrifying. At the end of the day it’s astounding that a game that got this much attention from the press, that won awards, that had an all-star cast of writers and performers, that had a bizarre celebrity guest appearance(!) failed this hard. It scares me.

     

    Game Dev Tycoon reminds its creators that success is fickle, and failure is always on the table

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    Meta-game still goes strong after five years of winks and nods at indie development

     

    The best and worst in-game books and codexes

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    Read any good games lately?

     

    Critical Compilation DARK SOULS

    Quote

    It is said there exists, somewhere in the world, a Dark Souls bible. The primeval design document for From Software’s opaque opus. It may be kept in rotting cell, or a locked chest. It may be stashed in the cavernous hollow of a primeval tree, grown damp with dew and thick with moss. It may not exist at all. Another pendant. A prank by Souls puckish auteur, Hidetaka Miyazaki.

     

    'MLB The Show 18' Dreams of Escape from Politics, And Damn, It's Tempting

    Quote

    One of my favorite baseball movies of all time, For Love of the Game, basically takes place inside a pitcher’s head during a long game of baseball. He’s playing what might be a meaningless game at the end of a great career that’s dying with a whimper, and in between pitches and in between innings he’s just thinking about how the hell is life led to this point, and whether there’s anything to look forward to after he hangs up his cleats. There’s a lot of melodrama in the picture, but it also the rare sports movie that really interrogates meaning: Most of the time there is no “Big Game”, no championship, no ring. Yet sometimes it still feels like the whole world collapses down to a single moment in a single game, for no good reason other than the feeling that this time matters more than all the others. A million rituals and repetitive actions suddenly stop being routine because, for whatever reason, they now have real stakes.

     

    'ActRaiser’ Was More Than an SNES Classic, It Was a Leap of Faith

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    Quote

    A one-of-a-kind 16-bit adventure led a push toward meaningful topics in the Nintendo era.

     

    The Silent Protagonist of 'Far Cry 5' Sucks

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    Quote

    Far Cry 5 asks players to work with a paradox: The only people to care about and get to know in this game are the people you’re there to kill. The game doesn’t do anything with this, and it doesn’t even seem to recognize that paradox.

    The history of violence buried deep in Far Cry 5's landscape

    Quote

    Over the past few months leading up to the games release, there's been a strange sense that Far Cry 5's choice of a US setting means that the now venerable series is 'coming home'. It's something I've seen echoed in the coverage of the game, which is especially strange considering that the series was created in Germany, and originally set in Micronesia, and now sits in the hands of Ubisoft Montreal - the Canadian arm of a French company. How is it that a series defined by a surprisingly diverse set of landscapes, inspired by everything from the South pacific to Nepal could be 'coming home' to the wide-spaces and small-towns of Montana?

    Far Cry 5's Religious Radio Station Reveals A Different Side Of The Game

    Quote

    The game is full of religious cult music that you can hear while traveling through its fictional Montana county called Hope. Each of its songs has a pop version you can hear on the radio and a choral version sung in the cult’s churches. The songs were written by Beasts of the Southern Wild composer Dan Romer. In an interview with NPR, he explained that the hymns serve the purposes of the game’s cult, The Project at Eden’s Gate, are meant for “brainwashing and recruitment purposes. And so I was trying to write songs that would make you want to join this cult.”

     

    Farlands - Valiant Hearts - Emotional Arcs Through Level Design

    Quote

    Let's dissect how Valiant Hearts through level design makes players relate to how a character goes past his breaking point.

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

     

    Devil May Cry 3's Brilliant Storytelling // Codex Entry

    Quote

    Alright Capcom, final offer: My TWO first born children and a box of thin mints for DMC5.
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/codexentry

     

    Iconoclasts (Spoilers)

    Quote

    Iconoclasts is a pretty neat game about shootin' things and solvin' puzzles and explorin' stuff. It's also a game about how roles and identities are built for you by society and how trying to conform or push back against those roles and identities can lead to suffering. Also: There are some really awesome boss fights.

    Oh, and if you want to play some of the earlier prototype works (or Chalk) I'd recommend checking out Sandberg's website at www.konjak.org

    This episode was made possible by generous support through Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/errantsignal

     

    Revisiting Dying Light

    Quote

    This is an in-depth critique of the open-world zombie survival game Dying Light. It takes a particular look at how Dying Light tells its story with mechanical engagement and numerical progression much better than it does its story. It also looks at DLC for the game, including comparing Dying Light's massive expansion The Following to the original campaign.

    https://www.patreon.com/noahcaldwellgervais

     

    The Art of Losing: Into the Breach and Roguelike Design - The Game Design Extracts Episode 2.5

    Quote

    Is the strategy RPG genre really compatible with roguelike elements like procedural generation and permadeath? This video looks at how both Into the Breach and FTL use roguelike elements, with vastly different results.

     

    Yooka-Laylee and Nostalgia | PostMesmeric

    Quote

    The 2010s' return of the 3D collect-a-thon is now upon us, but the first one out the gate was definitely a controversial one. Time to see how Yooka-Laylee chases nostalgia and see if going back to the past is worth the long, rough journey.

     

    Reexamining Final Fantasy XV - Better for its Imperfections

    Quote

    Royal Edition code provided by publisher. Potential spoilers.

    Patreon: http://patreon.com/writingongames

    I take a look at the Royal Edition of Final Fantasy XV, examining why many of the changes made potentially detract from what made the launch version, with all it's imperfections, so special for me.

     

    How Koji Kondo Writes Creepy Music

    Quote

    I take a look at some old Zelda Dungeon music to find out how series composer Koji Kondo kept us unsettled.

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

     

    Break Points - Balancing the Math with the User Experience - Extra Credits

    Quote

    Why does a small, incremental increase in a stat sometimes feel like an overpowered boost? How can we use break points to improve the player's experience?

     

    How Dragon Quest Spawned an Urban Myth

    Quote

    The series so huge it caused the Japanese government to pass a law about it - or did it?

     

    Check Out This Youtube Series Touring Real Life Locations In The Yakuza Series

    Quote

    Yakuza takes place in a fictionalized version of Tokyo, but it's heavily based on real-life locations. This series from Youtuber TheElecPlay92 shows off those real-world locations and compares them to their Yakuza counterparts.

     

    Cancelled Prey 2 Footage

     

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

     

    Far Cry 5 – Objective Review

     

    April Fools Things

     

    Introducing Mega Man: Date My Robot Master

    Quote

    It is the year 20XX. The world breathes a collective sigh of relief now that Mega Man has once again put an end to Dr. Wily’s plans for world domination. But then... a mysterious new transfer robot joins the ranks of Robot University! Learn to navigate robot society and get to know eight different Robot Masters from classic Mega Man adventures in this unique visual novel set in the Mega Man universe! Placed in the metal shoes of a new student assembled by Dr. Light himself, it’s up to you to learn about the secrets of the university, and maybe, if you’re lucky, find love along the way.

     

    Vermintide 2

    That shouldn't be a joke, that should be in the options menu.

     

    League of Legends

     

    Why [#REFVIDEOGAME] Works / GAMESD

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    [DESCRIPTION1]: In this video, I take a look at #VIDEOGAME and explain why it's a perfect example of #ESSAYREF

    Created in Video Essay Pro v1.04

     

    A Literary Analysis of Google Chrome's T-Rex Runner

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    MY Top 5 TWERKS in VIDEO GAMES! - NORMOGATARI!

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    MY TOP 5 TWERKS IN VIDEO GAMES. DON'T GET TOO TURNED ON.

     

    PATH OF EXILE: ROYALE OFFICIAL TRAILER

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    For more information visit pathofexile.com/royale

     

    New App - FINAL FANTASY XIV Online GO

    Quote

    FINAL FANTASY XIV Online GO brings the thrilling experience of gathering to wherever you are, transforming your location into a literal hub of gathering nodes.

     

    Remedy Evolves

    Quote

    Sam has a message for everyone about the future of Remedy.

     

    SMITE - God Reveal - Fenrir, The Next God

    Quote

    Subscribe to SMITE on YouTube to unlock Nu Wa, and the YouTube subscriber-exclusive Water Dancer skin, for FREE!:

     

    STOP GPU ABUSE! #GPURESCUE

     

    Stronghold on Console - Gameplay Reveal

    Quote

    Today we announce that our favourite 3D castle game Stronghold 2 will be making its way to the SEGA Dreamcast on April 1st 2019! A fully realised demake of the original title, Stronghold 2 for Dreamcast will run at a crisp 640x480 retaining all the game’s original features and online play. In today’s gameplay reveal franchise stalwart Maxwell Chuggerton runs us through this exciting new announcement, confirming that the original castle sim will soon join a rich and variety heritage of console games. Already up and running, powered by the platform’s rare Windows CE operating system, Stronghold 2 for Dreamcast is the first of Firefly’s castle building games to arrive on console.

     

    PAYDAY: The Animated Series

    Quote

    PAYDAY: The Animated Series is out now on VHS and Betamax!

    Finally kids and adults alike around the globe can start their criminal career as professional heisters!

    Join Dallas, Wolf, Chains and Hoxton as they go on radical adventures and have a supertastic time every saturday morning!

     

    Announcing… Shovel Knight 64!?!?!

    Quote

    After years of hints, vague promises, elusive replies, and just simply wishing it was a thing already, we here at Yacht Club Games can finally really reveal that development on the much-requested Shovel Knight 64 is happily underway!



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