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    This Week In Gaming 4-7-20


    HeavyEyed speaks to other creators about media history and the way that video games are reviewed, analyzed, and talked about. Jason Schreier reports that Gearbox employees are being denied bonuses after success of Borderlands 3, Florence Smith Nicholls on the importance of the National Videogame Museum curating diverse histories of games and how the COVID-19 pandemic has endangered their funding, RagnarRox looks at how From Software's Echo Night defined the developer's storytelling style, Heather Alexandra's Metal Gear retrospective continues with over 12,000 words on the anti Metal Gear game MGS2, PS5 controller revealed, Trevor Hultner deconstructs the idea of the Indiepocalypse as existing so the AAA industry can remain unchallenged, Japan's game rating board suspends operations, 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)


    E3 2021 dates revealed, but the 2020 'online experience' isn't going to happen



    The ESA said it is working to assist publishers with individual digital presentations instead.


    See the first images of DualSense, which will bring the sense of touch to PS5 gameplay



    We’ve reached an exciting milestone with PlayStation 5, as we’re starting to ship our new controller in its final design to developers who are implementing its unique features into their games. But first, we wanted everyone in the PlayStation community to get a first look at the DualSense™ wireless controller, and hear our vision for how the new controller will captivate more of your senses as you interact with the virtual worlds in PS5 games. The features of DualSense, along with PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech, will deliver a new feeling of immersion to players.


    Bafta games awards 2020: Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium dominate



    A good year for independent titles in the live-streamed ceremony hosted by Dara Ó Briain


    GDC 2020 games: the cool-looking projects we would have seen



    The Game Developers’ Conference is one of our favourite events of the year. While E3 and Gamescom also provide ample opportunities to meet game developers face-to-face, San Francisco’s spring meetup is a more relaxed affair. We still find ourselves darting from meeting to meeting, but can also attend talks where devs deliver post-mortems on our favourite games.


    Top 10 Indie Game Trailers You Should Watch this April 2020 - Part 1


    Get Indie Gaming’s top 10 best upcoming indie game trailers to watch in April 2020 (part 1) for PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC.


    IndieWatch: Top 10 "Don't Miss" Indie Games of April 2020



    The Last of Us II Delayed Indefinitely


    The much-anticipated post-apocalyptic adventure game The Last of Us II will be delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, publisher Sony said today.

    Major Game Delays Due to COVID-19 Have Only Just Begun


    Many entertainment sectors are at a standstill at the moment. Major films like Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, No Time to Die, and F9 have been delayed, in some cases indefinitely, because there are no movie theaters open. Movie and television production has shut down completely. Marvel Comics and DC Comics are currently in a holding pattern with their weekly releases because many direct market stores are closed. My previous assumption was that video games would be spared this harsh result because developers could work from home and digital releases would be enough.


    Mortal Shell is visually stunning Soulslike coming out later this year


    Mortal Shell is yet another game made in the long shadow of Dark Souls. It's an action-RPG with deep progression systems set in a dark fantasy world with a "deliberate" and unforgiving combat system. (If it sounds a little too familiar, stick with me.)


    Streets of Rage 4 Interview: Throwing Hands With Guard Crush, Lizardcube, and Dotemu



    Imagine being a longtime fan of something. Then, decades down the line, it’s suddenly your job to help make a new one. That’s a lethal combination of excitement and anxiety I’m not sure I could personally handle. But the crew behind Streets of Rage 4, a sequel to Sega’s classic console brawler trilogy, is tackling this task head-on. There could be a million questions I’d ask people involved with such an undertaking, but this time I’ll settle for a good handful. We got to shoot some questions to the team, which is really multiple teams, comprising work from Lizardcube, Dotemu, and of course Guard Crush Games. Specifically, we heard from Lizardcube Creative and Art Director Ben Fiquet, Guard Crush Games Lead Programmer Cyrille Lagarigue, and Dotemu Game Designer Jordi Asensio.


    Final Fantasy VII Remake - Final Trailer | PS4


    The return draws closer. FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE finally arrives on April 10, 2020. Are you ready for a legendary new beginning?

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake's Developers Tried to Avoid Playing Favorites With Tifa and Aerith


    Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi and Producer Yoshinori Kitase tell us about giving Tifa and Aerith equal time, how their vision for the remake evolved over time, and more.


    Saints Row 3 Remastered Coming To PS4, Xbox One, And PC


    Volition's remaster of the hyper-stylized open-world game is re-releasing with updated visuals and all content from the original.


    The studio behind 80 Days is making a 'strategic narrative' retelling of King Arthur's final battle


    Pendragon will challenge players to assemble a band of knights and heroes to fight at Arthur Pendragon's side.


    Mafia 2 and Mafia 3 Definitive Editions have been listed by ratings board


    Definitive editions of Mafia 2 and Mafia 3 have appeared on the website for the Taiwan Digital Game Rating Committee.


    10 Ways Gears Tactics Appeals To Gears Of War AND XCOM Fans


    Gears Tactics is basically Gears of War meets XCOM, but an amazing mix of the two: the brains of XCOM, the violent delights of Gears. In this new Gears Tactics gameplay (PC), Matthew explains why the game will please fans of both series, and why you should look out for Gears Tactics on April 28th.


    Dead Age 2 - Announcement Trailer


    Dead Age 2 is a unique combination of survival, management, Rogue-Like events, turn-based combat, classic role-playing game with tons of quests and a story in which your decisions directly effect plot progression!


    The public story “didn’t match how we saw it” – Valve explains why Campo Santo worked on Half-Life: Alyx



    Back in 2017, Firewatch developer Campo Santo unveiled an exciting trailer for In The Valley of Gods – a first-person adventure set in Egypt.


    SIGNALIS - Announcement Trailer


    SIGNALIS is a classic survival horror experience with a unique aesthetic, full of melancholic mystery. Investigate a dark secret, solve puzzles, fight off nightmarish creatures and navigate dystopian, surreal retrotech worlds.


    The Legend Of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV Announced For North America



    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is finally hitting our shores, and we got all the first details on what you can expect along with an announcement trailer (above) and screenshots.


    New Witchbrook screens showcase a dramatic new look



    The magic school RPG and life simulator goes isometric.


    Rogue Legacy 2 announced


    Cellar Door Games has announced Rogue Legacy 2.


    Fantasy turn-based tactics game Fort Triumph is leaving Early Access


    Fort Triumph is part XCOM, part Heroes of Might & M


    Darkest Dungeon is getting PvP DLC in May


    It's not an April Fools' joke—it's The Butcher's Circus.


    Death Stranding - Official Photo Mode Trailer


    Get a look at Death Stranding's Photo Mode in this trailer. The game is headed to PC on June 2, 2020, and is available now on PlayStation 4.


    Sources: Despite Huge Sales, Borderlands 3 Developers Are Getting Stiffed On Bonuses



    The video game Borderlands 3 was a big sales success when it launched last fall, according to its publisher, 2K, which described it as “a billion-dollar global brand.” That’s why it was shocking to employees at Gearbox, the developer of the game, when the studio’s CEO, Randy Pitchford, told them yesterday that they would not receive the significant royalty bonuses they expected.


    EXCLUSIVE: Cooking Mama Cookstar Switch eShop Controversy Explained



    One developer has spoken up about recent rumors regarding Cooking Mama: Cookstar and the real reason it was pulled from the Nintendo Switch eShop.


    Instead Of Closing, Video Game Retailer Provides Employees With Bullshit Coronavirus 'Safety' Tips



    Instead of providing stores with adequate sanitation supplies (or simply closing them outright) in response to the covid-19 pandemic, Game X Change corporate felt it best to send employees what amounted to a chain email full of bogus prevention tactics. Their advice includes gargling vinegar, drinking lots of water (to “neutralize” the virus in the stomach, you see), and utilizing sunlight to remove it from clothing, all of which are practices that have been thoroughly debunked by medical professionals.

    During Coronavirus, GameStop Chose Profits Over People. So I Quit.


    I spent the better part of a decade working for the company everyone loves to hate. At times, it brought me great joy. But eventually, enough was enough.


    Project Tempo is Amazon’s game streaming platform, early version coming this year – report



    According to a new report from The New York Times, Amazon is investing big into its games division in an effort to establish itself as a key player in the industry.


    Japan’s CERO Ratings ‘Suspended’ Until May Due to the Pandemic



    The Consumer Entertainment Supplier’s Association’s Computer Entertainment Rating Organization has been halted by the COVID-19 coronavirus. This is the nonprofit group responsible for assigning age ratings to games in Japan and is the equivalent of the ESRB. Due to the pandemic and Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike’s decision to ask people to shelter in place, operations are being suspended and there will be no CERO ratings assigned to games until further notice.


    This modder animated tons of furniture, food, and drinks in Stardew Valley



    I’m always here for a nice Stardew Valley mod, especially one that’s easy to slip into an existing save file without the pressure to start a brand new farm. Modder “Gervig91” has been hard at work on a suite of new mods that make a bunch of items in town just a bit more lively and sparkly. They’ve made animated versions of many of Stardew’s foods, furniture items, and enemy loot. Maybe I’ll actually keep my golden pumpkins just to show them off now.


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


    Why Games Have Always Obsessed Over Pandemic Authoritarianism



    When we talk about the end of the world in games, it’s mostly in the register of what it means for the player. I control some zombie-hating badass with a dead family who wrecks shit through the wasteland, or I’m a part of a crack team of revenant warriors resurrected from the corpse of the government to bend the world true again.


    The Joystick Is Mightier Than the Sword



    We need institutions like the NVM to provide space for critical, diverse histories of gaming. Critical histories that acknowledge the disproportionate access that middle-class white men have had to video games are crucial lest we repeat mythologies that cast industry success like pulling a sword from a stone—the purview of “chosen ones.” Respecting video games as an art form requires recognition that they have a history, which is why it was so disappointing to see the English Heritage leaflet’s attempt to jokingly skewer their cultural credibility. However, if we do acknowledge that games have a history, we can imagine that they can and will change, rather than just infantilizing them as a fast food medium of instant gratification.


    Thomas Malthus’s Video Game Industry Simulator 2020: Introduction



    The video game industry revels in its capitalist excesses. It openly and proudly admits to abusing its workforce. It has not-so-secretly been promoting bigotry in its audiences. Like the rest of the tech sector, it participates in wildly harmful resource extraction to build its hardware, but unlike the rest of the tech sector, video games aren’t even making many mouth noises in the direction of environmental sustainability (fucking 30 million tons of carbon emission reductions by 2030 my ass. Green nudges my ass). It fucking promotes gambling to kids. Publisher CEOs will make hundreds of millions of dollars a year and, as soon as their bonuses are locked in, fire hundreds from their workforce and close studios down. For no reason.


    The modders creating accessibility modes for notoriously difficult games



    Whether or not famously difficult games should have an optional easy mode has long been a point of contention. But many already do, albeit unofficially, thanks to modders taking things into their own hands.


    These Super Mario Maker Level Designers Have Elevated Trolling Into an Artform



    They’ve developed their own jargon and written 80-page guides, all to make you suffer in hilarious ways.


    Tangle Tower Developers on Their Journey From Flash Games to Working With Nintendo



    To that end, I wanted to ask Tom, programmer for Tangle Tower, and Adam, the creative director for the game, about their career path as SFB Games. Their start from Flash titles to collaborations with Nintendo and Apple demonstrates the value of hard work and inspiration from indie game studios—but also chance encounters with the right people at industry events. And with these gaming conventions and expos now at a pause, there isn’t a better time to look back at our PAX East chat, where we discussed the importance of these networking brushes for indie developers.


    Metal Gear Solid 2 Retrospective: Be Careful What You Wish For



    The initial technological threat in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is Metal Gear RAY. It is an “anti-Metal Gear,” a mech designed to destroy what came before. It is singularly focused on destroying the past, and so is Metal Gear Solid 2. This game is the anti-Metal Gear game. It is the great deconstruction that many fans consider the series’ greatest betrayal. Players wanted to be Solid Snake again, but instead, this game showed them how different they really were from Snake.


    How Persona 5 Changed My Heart STORIES How Persona 5 Changed My Heart



    It’s September 2017. A young man in his early 20s has just collected his degree from a post office irritatingly located an hour away from his home. One which he seldom wanted to leave for the past few days. The young man didn’t particularly enjoy his stay at university, having graduated in absentia after missing the email inviting him to the ceremony. At the same time, these pieces of paper and cardboard only served to remind him of some of his darkest times. A terrible sleeping pattern, failures to make any meaningful friendships, poor dietary habits, and a general contempt towards academia were the only things he could recall from this ill-fated stint.


    I Reunited with My Best Friend in Animal Crossing: New Horizons After 15 Years



    The new Animal Crossing gave me the chance to heal and realize how far I've come.

    Animal Crossing and Queer Agency


    When you’re queer, you most likely know the feeling of not feeling like you belong in a space, not having a space of your own. It’s because we’re outliers in a world that caters to the heteronormative. We often must carve out our own spaces and claim our own families, places we belong and people we belong with. Even as we’re intimately familiar with not belonging, we still yearn for it, which is why the prospect of Animal Crossing is so attractive to queer people: It lets us carve out a space for us to belong, and lets us bring who values us along for the ride.


    The World Spins



    The tone of Kentucky Route Zero changes completely the moment Junebug rides onto the scene. Characteristically, she's late. That penchant for showing up on her own schedule is one of the only concrete details we learn about Junebug. After her arrival in the third act, she's a driving presence in the action, helping to direct the cast while always standing, alongside her partner, Johnny, somewhat aloof from it.


    The New ‘Final Fantasy VII’ Is More than Just a Nostalgia Trip



    Cloud, Aerith, and Sephiroth return in a faithful adaptation whose questions about the limits of traditional politics have taken on a new urgency.

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a flawed, but fascinating, reimagining of a classic


    I can see what Final Fantasy 7 was meant to be when I replay the original, not despite the blocky character models and the awkwardly inserted pre-rendered interludes and backgrounds, but because of them. I’ve always seen beauty in the parts that fall short, the moments where you can sense the developers’ vision of what the game could be hitting the edges of what was possible at the time.

    Revisiting the ecological warnings of Final Fantasy 7 in 2020


    So this is why Barret was so worked up, huh?

    'Final Fantasy VII' Director on 'Twin Peaks,' Princess Di, and High-Res Star Destroyers


    Producer Yoshinori Kitase considers how times, technology, and culture evolved since he made 'FFVII' in 1997. We also ask him about 'Titanic.'


    How We Talk About Games // HeavyEyed


    patreon// https://www.patreon.com/heavyeyed

    Welcome back to The Language of Video Games! For episode 2, I wanted to try something a little bit different, and that, was ask a bunch of my friends for their experiences, thoughts and predictions of the way we talk about, and analyze games!


    How Difficult Games Can Help With Difficult Times


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

    During times of stress, I usually gravitate towards more traditionally "relaxing" games. With the current state of things, however, I find myself. perhaps paradoxically, pursuing difficulty and intensity in my games to a level I never normally do. Let's take a look at some of the psychological reasons this might be.


    The Witcher Critique - The Beginning of a Monster


    The first of three videos on The Witcher Series. This is focused on the first game but discusses all three of them, plus some comments on the books and TV series.



    How ECHO NIGHT Defined FROM SOFTWARE’s Iconic Storytelling Style


    Before FromSoftware entered their golden Age with their highly influential lineup of Action RPGs Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, they’ve been around for a while. In this video, we’re going to dig up a genuine black sheep of their early PS1 days, an experimental aberration of their otherwise more action-oriented lineup, Echo Night is an unabashedly Japanese take on the western adventure game. A chilling mystery/horror puzzler that displays many of the hallmarks that FromSoftware’s famously cryptic, asymmetric and shrouded-in-mystery type of storytelling, raw and uncut.

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


    Wolfenstein 3-D: Children of DOOM Episode 2


    We're doing another one of these things because we have a lot of years to cover between Catacomb 3-D and now. This time it's 1992, and Wolfenstein 3-D is trying to be a modern adaptation of a retro title but with modern sensibilities.  IT'S ALMOST LIKE TIME IS CYCLICAL

    Anyways, support the show on Patreon because I'm sure the imagery in this video will get it demonetized soon enough!  www.patreon.com/errantsignal


    Final Fantasy Is A Weird Series. // Codex Entry


    10 minutes of shifting through an unrestrained, 3 decade long tire fire and still didn't even find time to mention Gackt by name. The weirdness of Final Fantasy has truly come a long way.

    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/codexentry


    How Dreams (PS4) Can Inspire Empathy


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


    On Writing: Mental Illness in Video Games | a video essay


    It's only because of independent support through patreon that I can take the time to research, consult on, and write videos like this. Sponosrs just aren't appropriate. So if you're feeling kind, please do support me at https://www.patreon.com/hellofutureme


    Game Animation Fundamentals Elegance


    In this final episode in the Five Fundamentals series, we look at the importance of elegance in animation systems.


    How Does Doom: Eternal Compare to Previous Dooms? (Feat. Doom 64)


    This is a full spoiler critique and review of Doom: Eternal, a soft remake of Doom 2 with more guts and guns than the '90s title dreamt of. It looks at how Doom: Eternal fits in with the rest of the franchise and the games landscape at large. Also features a full review of Doom 64.



    The Making of Pyre - Documentary


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

    We explore the design of perhaps Supergiant Games' most unique game. The vibrant, sporty, mystical world of Pyre.


    The Rise and Fall of Thief


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

    Of all the video game genres, few are as taxing – or rewarding – as stealth games. Whether they involve sneaking past security cameras in a future dystopia, or hiding from bloodthirsty guards in the ancient past, stealth games are often slow and stressful affairs, lacking the pizzazz or immediate gratification that so many other experiences offer. But when everything comes together, and one squeezes through their quiet gauntlets without leaving a trace, the sense of satisfaction that they provide is unlike anything else.


    Edited by Legolas_Katarn

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