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    This Week In Gaming 7-2-19


    Jason Schreier reports on the human cost of Black Ops 4 and the treatment of game contractors and QA, Jacob Geller shares stories of discovery and inevitable death in Outer Wilds while Adam Millard talks about how Outer Wilds makes running out of time fun, Chris Bratt visits Versailles to learn how Blizzard's goal of laying off 134 employees was effected by unions, Jim Sterling examines how addiction is exploited by video games while covering company statements and personal testimonies, Super Bunnyhop on the inspirations behind The Sims and turning life into a game, Mount and Blade 2 starting closed multiplayer beta, Writing on Games' analysis of every level of Hitman 2 (2018), CD Projekt has multiple teams working on Cyberpunk, former Microsoft researcher John Hopson remembers the time he tried to ruin Halo 2, 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)


    A closed beta for Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord multiplayer is currently underway



    Excited to head into the land of Calradia and fight for glory on its civil-war torn battlefields? The sieges and victories of upcoming medieval RPG Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord are drawing ever nearer – its developer TaleWorlds Entertainment has just announced that the game has entered a multiplayer beta stage, with plans for an open beta later on.


    Night Call, the neo-noir taxi driver murder mystery, is coming in July


    There's a serial killer on the loose, and the cops are looking at you.


    Tenderfoot Tactics has intriguing turn-based combat and patronising gods


    If the gods are real, then they’re either impotent or pricks. I’m not proselytising: I’m describing the (open) world of Tenderfoot Tactics, a turn-based combat game where you’re a goblin sailing away from your island home of nasty fog because you got goaded into adventure by a possibly malevolent (but definitely patronising) spirit. Then you go about attacking people with abilities that don’t have miss chances, but do impact the battlefield in novel ways. Water runs down furrows, fire spreads, sight-obscuring grass grows. That sort of thing.


    Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a fun co-op shooter where you must prevent Hitler's return from hell



    Speaking to Kingsley during E3, he's frank about why Epic exclusivity made sense for Rebellion, even if it does seem at odds with some of his comments from that interview. First, I ask what he makes of Epic's exclusivity strategy. "They're great guys. Steam are great as well. And I think that Epic, from their perspective, they've got to fight against someone who's incredibly dominant in the market space. One of the ways they can do that is by offering something exclusive."

    "It makes sense from their perspective, and it upsets a few people. And maybe upsetting a few people isn't necessarily bad, because it gets you attention as well. And one of the challenges for us making games, and a challenge for any indie studio, anybody that doesn't have a huge amount of money to spend on marketing, is discovery. How do you get people to even know your great game exists? Before they can buy it, they've got to encounter it. If they encounter it, they [might] like it. If they haven't encountered it, they don't know whether they like it or not. So discovery is an interesting thing, and that's exactly the same for Epic. [They've got to] work super hard to build up that market share to get to the point where they're competitive. So I think they're being very smart in what they're doing."


    Age Of Wonders: Planetfall Gameplay | Complete Assembly Battle Walkthrough And Impressions


    In our new Age of Wonders: Planetfall gameplay we fight the Vanguard as the Assembly. It’s cyborgs versus soldiers as get to grips with Planetfall battles and have fun with drop spore pods and Xenoplague horrors. Please enjoy this Age of Wonders Planetfall impressions and battle walkthrough…


    It sounds like Tequila Works' new Stadia game Gylt will come to other platforms too


    Tequila Works' new game Gylt was announced by Google as a Stadia exclusive. It says it in the title of the announcement trailer, embedded below, and in the video's description. But what kind of exclusive is it?


    Forget XCOM, Empire of Sin is like gangster Total War



    Empire of Sin is rightfully getting some buzz. You've probably already heard this is the game Brenda Romero "always wanted to make", who's said she's been biding her time on the idea "for 20 years". The result of Brenda's long-standing love of mobster games, XCOM, and Civilization, Empire of Sin's drawn comparisons with some of publisher Paradox Interactive's biggest names, as well as those big hitters of the entire genre, too.


    Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield dev addresses backlash in impassioned message to fans



    The backlash to this news was as vociferous as it was immediate. In a prior interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu, Game Freak producer Junichi Masuda explained "it has become extremely difficult to make Pokémon with a new personality play an active part and to balance their compatibility".


    I spoke to a Midnight Ghost Hunt developer and now really want to be a fridge


    “I… I wonder who the bad guys are in this game.” That’s Samuel Malone, game director at Vaulted Sky Games, now deep in thought about the moral message behind his upcoming 4v4 prop hunt ’em up Midnight Ghost Hunt. It’s about ghosts who have to hide from their would-be-busters, possessing household furniture in an attempt to survive till midnight. I’ve just asked him if the ghosts have actually done anything wrong, and he is equivocating.


    ‘Mystery is important’ - Inside’s co-creator won’t tell us the secret of Somerville


    It’s set in England. That’s all I learn about gloomy sci-fi adventure game Somerville while talking to Dino Patti, producer at Jumpship. For all those hiding under rocks which are secretly giant spiders, Patti is the former co-chief of Playdead, the studio who made Limbo and Inside. The flagship games of the sad-boy-goes-right genre. Somerville is likely to have similarities to those quiet puzzle platformers, admits Patti. It will be lacking in overt voice acting, for example. But it will also play with perspective a little, he says, in that it won’t be viewed from a solely side-on viewpoint. Apart from that, he isn’t giving much else away. Even after a thorough grilling about the mysterious name.


    Daedalus: The Awakening Of Golden Jazz stakes out a demo before launch next week


    Detective adventure Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus – The Awakening of Golden Jazz (to use its headline-bloating full title) makes the leap to PC next week, but investigative sorts can sleuth around its free demo today. Prequel to Neilo’s long-running Jake Hunter series (known as Detective Saburo Jinguji in Japan), it’s a conversation-heavy point and click mystery. Released on consoles late last year, the PC version arrives on July 5th, but you can try a slice of it here on Steam right now. If you’re an aspiring Gumshoe fresh off the Phoenix Wright series, it’s worth a look.


    No Straight Roads is a Musical Action-Adventure Where You Don't Necessarily Need Good Rhythm


    Directed by the lead game designer of Final Fantasy 15, No Straight Roads is a music-driven action-adventure game inspired by all genres.


    New Gameplay Today – Psychonauts 2


    Elise and Kyle join Cork and Leo for an early look at Psychonauts 2 from Double Fine, which releases in 2020.


    Board game adaptation Gloomhaven enters early access on July 17th


    Gloomhaven, the board game with the intimidatingly large box, is headed to PC in just a few weeks. Kinda. The PC adaptation by Flaming Fowl Studios sounds like it’s going to be a very different beast to the tabletop edition. If early developer comments are to be believed, the version entering early access on July 17th will be a purely single player experience – a tactical rogue-like dungeon crawl with randomly generated dungeons. Still, they plan on adding multiplayer later, and it’s nice-looking too, with some neat comic-styled shading on its 3D models. See them in motion below.


    Obsidian explains how different endings work in The Outer Worlds





    Cyberpunk 2077 has three different playable prologues depending on your starting choice



    In our E3 chat with Paweł Sasko, the lead quest designer on Cyberpunk 2077, we learned about the arid Badlands surrounding Night City, where the game begins. Apparently, though, the Badlands are just one of three playable prologues players can choose between at the beginning of the game.

    CD Projekt Red has three Cyberpunk games in development, multiplayer in the works for 2077


    If hype for one Cyberpunk game already has your blood pressure through the roof, prepare for cardiac arrest: CD Projekt Red has three games set in its sci-fi universe currently in development.


    Astral Chain looks like another PlatinumGames cult classic in the making


    A pinch of Bayonetta, a little dash of Nier, some Arkham-style detective mode action and oodles of style – Nintendo and PlatinumGames’ latest collaboration has cult classic written all over it.


    Experience’s Spirit Hunter Visual Novel NG Heads West For PS4, PS Vita, Switch, PC In October 2019


    Experience’s follow up to the visual novel game Death Mark as part of the “Spirit Hunter” series in NG is coming Westward for PS4, PS Vita, Switch, and PC in October 2019.


    6 Things You Need to Know About Apex Legends Season 2: Battle Charge - Apex Legends Season 2 Trailer


    With Apex Legends Season 2 almost here, a bunch of new information and trailers leaked and were subsequently released by EA. Unfortunate for the publisher, but it did mean we got a ton of new information on the next evolution of the Battle Royale, and it involves lots of dragons, giant dinosaurs, L-Stars and electtric fences. Confused? You will be - until you watch this video on 6 Things You Need to Know About Apex Legends Season 2: Battle Charge, of course.


    Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr v2.0 overhauls the wonky action RPG


    Technically launched a few days ago, Neocore only just now released their official video breakdown of Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr‘s v2.0 overhaul patch. While Martyr (I will use its full title no more than twice) nailed that Warhammer 40k look and sound, it fell short as a hack n’ slash lootfest. This mega-patch rewires the game’s guts to something a little more Diablo-like, with faster, more responsive combat, mid-mission looting and equipment switching and 2-4 player co-op through the main story. See the video breakdown and the key changes below.


    The journey of Battalion 1944: “we’re humbled to get a second chance, but feel it’s one we deserve”


    It’s been more than three long years for Battalion 1944. Announced in a Kickstarter campaign in February 2016, its promise of an old-school competitive shooter inspired by those of the early 2000s, such as Counter-Strike and Call of Duty 2, struck a chord. It was fully funded, and earned a passionate, hardcore community, in just three days.


    Mutant Year Zero: Seed Of Evil Gameplay | New Character, Mutations And Story


    Mutant Year Zero: Seed of Evil is a story expansion for the ace tactical adventure game, continuing the take and adding a mutant moose, Big Khan, new mutations and new levels to explore. Let Matthew guide you through this new Mutant Year Zero: Seed of Evil gameplay...


    Slay The Spire's fourth character will be free



    A fourth playable character is coming to Slay The Spire for free, developers MegaCrit Games announced today. They’ve muttered before about the possibility of adding more dungeoneers, and confirmed it today while also blasting the first update since their delightful deck-building dungeon-crawler left early access in January. My favourite Spireslayer is the Defect, the character which Mega Crit added long after the first two – and which seemed to really benefit from them getting a better idea of the shape, flow, and possibilities of Spire. I am mighty keen to see what new cards and systems they’ll throw in now.


    Void Bastards Getting Free Challenge Modes, DLC Soon



    After a strong reception and successful launch, Void Bastards will soon have more ways for players to explore its cynical, roguelike take on space travel and prison systems.


    Rampant racism and toxicity are driving players away from Mordhau



    With plans for playable female characters and a choice of ethnicity on the horizon (you can only create white male characters at the moment), I expect the vitriol to get worse. The Mordhau team seem to expect that too, and say their current plan is to let players 'disable' these new options if they want. "That goes back to a similar situation as the chat filters," Geach says. "Whatever stance we take officially, some group of people are going to be upset with us. And so, ideally we’d put the power in the players’ hands, and give them the option to enable and disable different things.


    Triternion claimed on Twitter Tuesday that they never had plans to “add a toggle to hide other ethnicities.”


    EVE Online is in chaos after an unprecedented alien invasion



    All of EVE Online's player-run empires are scrambling to defend their territory from a full-scale siege.


    Some Of The Best Summer Games Done Quick Runs So Far



    Summer Games Done Quick is in full swing with speedrunners racing to complete games as fast as possible. The charity event always boasts exciting runs, and while there’s still plenty of time left, there are already plenty of highlights to help you get through a lazy Wednesday.

    GDQ proves that glitches can be a great part of games


    Games Done Quick, the marathon that raises millions of dollars for charity twice per year, and speedrunning more generally, owes its existence to glitches. Though runners show off their skill and dedication, almost all of them rely on the game behaving in unintended ways, doing things that people playing casually would never experience.

    The Best Speedruns From SGDQ 2019


    You have not truly lived until you’ve watched speedrunner MitchFlowerPower play through Grand Poo World 2, one of the most brilliant and devious takes on Super Mario World I’ve ever seen. Mitch’s genius platforming was just one highlight of this year’s excellent Summer Games Done Quick marathon.


    Valve on the summer sale Grand Prix: “it’s clear that we could’ve done better”


    The latest Steam summer sale is here, and it’s been a bit of a mess. The game discounts have all been fine, but the accompanying Grand Prix event has caused confusion for users and even worse problems for developers, as players have rushed to trim their wishlists of all but the priciest upcoming PC games.

    Valve Changes Steam Sale After Widespread Complaints From Developers And Players


    “No joke, day one I had 29k points somehow when I haven’t bought anything on Steam for a hot minute and have just been doing backlog games, but I got 29k points from Dead By Daylight achievements,” wrote one user on the Steam subreddit, attempting to understand what the heck is going on. “I had 29 nitro boosts or whatever, used 3 of them. Then I read that every $1 I spend would be 100 extra points for my boost cache, spent $126 on games expecting to see an increase of 12,600, nothing popped up within a few hours, thought maybe it’ll apply next day. Day 2 uhhhhhhhh 9 boost packs remaining and my point/cache limit is now 6099.... like I don’t even know how that happens. My cache is a fraction of what it was day one and about half of what I should have gotten from what I spent money on, plus seems like my nitro boost pack thingies just decided to delete most of themselves lol. I just really don’t even know what to do with this event anymore.”


    Epic's Founder Explains Why The Company Is Going So Hard On Exclusives



    After initially tweeting earlier this month (above) praising GOG Galaxy, Good Old Games’ attempt to build a launcher that worked across all major digital shopfronts on PC, Sweeney was met with a number of questions from fans, most of them wondering why he was so supportive of a rival store’s efforts.

    Tim Sweeney says it’s Valve’s fault that backers won’t get Shenmue 3 Steam keys


    In other words, Sweeney’s saying that Valve isn’t willing to distribute keys for games that are otherwise only available on other platforms. He adds that “Epic would be happy to fund partners paying 30% for Steam keys for backers if Valve were willing to provide Steam keys for a game that’s not actively in release on Steam.”


    Sony’s focus with PS5 will be on the ‘hard-core’ consumer and triple-A titles



    Sony says it’s designing PlayStation 5 to appeal to the “hard-core” gaming customer who prefers “graphics-heavy” games.


    Twitch's New Subscriber-Only Streams Might Violate Game Publishers' Terms Of Service



    Last week, Twitch announced a new feature that’s already proven divisive: subscriber-only streams. True to their name, they’re like regular streams, but only people who’ve subscribed (with real money) to a particular streamer are able to watch them. It’s an option that many streamers say they won’t be using, for fear of dividing their audiences. However, they may have another reason to steer clear: Some companies might not allow them.


    Rami Ismail joins Descenders developer in calling players to pirate their games rather than buy from G2A


    Fighting against stolen keys has been a long-running issue for smaller developers, many of which fall victim to bulk key purchases with stolen credit cards and other fraudulent means. This is how most of the keys being sold on sites like G2A manage to be much cheaper than your typical discount store, let alone official portals. The developers, on the other hand, see no return on these sales, and are left instead to deactivate stolen keys when they realise they’re part of a batch bought with stolen cards.


    Two Weeks After Suspending Dr. Disrespect For Livestreaming In Bathroom, Twitch Restores His Channel



    Dr. Disrespect didn’t seem to be taking his ban very seriously, as evidenced by his posting an E3 recap video described as, “Mishaps lead to Recaps,” poking fun at Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ new figurines (“Where do I find these? Next to My Little Pony or Barbie?”), and posting emotes of himself in a bathroom stall. Yesterday, Twitch reinstated his channel and, predictably, his fans are pumped. Dr. Disrespect has remained offline, but his chat is full of excited viewers anticipating his next stream.


    Popular YouTuber Etika Dies At 29



    Today, police confirmed the death of Desmond “Etika” Amofah, a well-known gaming YouTuber, after discovering him in Manhattan’s East River yesterday evening. Amofah’s body was found two days after police recovered his belongings on the Manhattan Bridge. Last week, he had published a video that appeared like a suicide note.


    Summer Games Done Quick 2019 Raised Over $3 Million Dollars In One Week, Setting A New Record



    Summer Games Done Quick 2019 has been a huge success and earlier this morning it was announced that the event had raised $3,003,889 for the charity Doctors Without Borders. This easily beat last year’s total of $2.1 million and is a new record for the popular SGDQ event.


    Sony, Microsoft, And Nintendo Come Out Against Trump’s Tariffs On Gaming Consoles



    As part of its ongoing trade war with China, the Trump administration has proposed $300 billion in tariffs, or taxes on foreign goods, on most consumer goods. This would include a 25 percent tariff on video game consoles. “For those purchases that do go forward despite tariffs, consumers would pay $840 million more than they otherwise would have,” the console manufacturers argue, citing a report by the Trade Partnership Worldwide economic group.


    South Korea’s Anti-Account Sharing Law Now in Effect



    "Boosting" now punishable by fine, suspended prison sentence.


    Devotion’s Chinese publisher has had its business license revoked



    Nonetheless, Garner tells us that the action against Indievent has shaken developers and publishers in the region. Even if the laws of mainland China don’t directly oversee companies like Winking, much of the funding for the Taiwanese game industry originates on the mainland, and that means a big avenue for the industry’s growth could be cut off if government pressure continues.


    This Witcher 3 mod reworks over 1,000 textures and 250 models


    The visuals of The Witcher 3 are glorious, even four years after it was released. However, have you ever wondered what Geralt of Rivia’s adventures in CD Projekt Red’s stunning Northern Kingdoms might look like with an HD reworking? If so, a mod will shortly release that looks sure to satisfy. One creator at Nexus Mods has released footage showcasing his upcoming HD ‘remaster’ of the Witcher 3 – and it’s well worth a look.


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


    The Human Cost Of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4



    One Friday afternoon a few weeks ago, the developers at Treyarch held a happy hour event to welcome the summer interns. There was pizza, beer, and jubilation for everyone at the studio behind Call of Duty: Black Ops 4—except the quality assurance testers, who had to leave shortly after they got there.


    Ex-Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime on why the studio bins 50% of its projects



    When former Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime left the company in April, he had worked at the studio he helped co-found for more than 28 years. Morhaime was at Blizzard before it was called Blizzard, when it was named Silicon & Synapse and when its employee count was three. He decided to leave to spend more time with his family, Morhaime told an audience at Gamelab conference in Barcelona today, attended for Eurogamer by Edwin Evans-Thirlwell. The talk was hosted by GamesBeat's Dean Takahashi, and Morhaime's wife and four-year-old daughter were in the front row.

    Crunch is "not sustainable" but Blizzard wouldn't be Blizzard without it, founder says


    Blizzard would not be where it currently is without periods of overwork or "crunch", the company's now-departed co-founder Mike Morhaime told Eurogamer at Gamelab this week. However, he feels that this way of working is "not sustainable" and that the industry as a whole is moving away from it.

    Is crunch being solved or just outsourced? | Opinion


    Attitudes have turned sharply against crunch, but efforts to improve working conditions often merely outsource the problems to less famous firms


    The subtle art of crisis management



    From epic crunch to 8chan AMAs, the games industry is never far from a scandal -- but PR professionals face many challenges when reacting to calamity


    Stop making me kill animals



    Like the gratuitousness of violence, my issue is not that I am disgusted or “merely” offended – whatever that means – but rather I’m tired and annoyed by the constant inclusion of animals as items, as gateways to better gear. Repeating the same tasks undermines enjoyment, so it’s baffling that a recurring method to progress in so many open world games focuses on the murder of animals merely going about their day.


    Preservationists Are Saving Video Game History, One Upload at a Time



    Games are key to understanding modern culture, but archiving them can be surprisingly challenging


    Celebrating the humanisation of queer women through humor in video games



    And I'll certainly remember not just these scenes, but these games overall in the time to come. As I search for places to go to with my best friend to celebrate our first Pride together, I'm left with few options, even in a place like Miami that's known for its vibrant queer culture. LGBT spaces are largely meant for cis gay men, and the few spaces for sapphics tend to be nightclubs and bars - where a certain level of confidence feels expected. And I'm not yet as confident as I'd like to be - as a young woman, as a queer lady, as a person.

    But it's largely due to engaging with media like these three games - games that authentically, humorously, and joyfully celebrate queer women as the complex human beings that we are - that I've been able to accomplish gaining a level of confidence in the last few years that I struggled with obtaining throughout my entire life.


    Underwater Video Games Ignore the Perilous State of Our Collapsing Oceans



    In games, the ocean is often beautiful, sometimes terrifying, but rarely threatened by environmental catastrophe as our own is.


    In praise of games that get New Game Plus right



    New Game plus (styled as "New Game+" or "NG+") typically allows players to begin a game all over again, retaining a significant amount of unlocks and potentially gaining new insight into a game’s world through added features. it allows developers to extend potential game time using existing content and the addition of this mode in the many forms it can take seems to be popular—so why aren’t more developers doing it?


    Street Fighter's Queer Stereotypes Kept Me In The Closet



    Bisexual characters are often presented as being oversexed, predatory, and out of control. There’s X-Men villain Mr. Sinister, the flamboyant scientist whose lust for power is only matched by his lust for most of the X-Men. There’s Sharon Stone’s character in the movie Basic Instinct, yet another manipulative and predatory bisexual. Those are far from the only two villainous bisexual characters in media: DC Comics has Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, and then there’s Dr. Frank N. Furter from Rocky Horror. Queer people have reclaimed these characters, but in the past they, along with Juri, taught me that swinging both ways would be seen as evil and scary.


    How Insomniac stole the heart of Spider-Man



    Marvel's Spider-Man is probably the finest licensed game adaptation of the past decade, its lead at once every inch the lycra-clad tumbler you might recall from comics and movies, and a creature only Insomniac could have created. In a panel at Gameslab today, game director Ryan Smith took attendees through the making of the game's traversal and combat systems, explaining how they contribute to the portrayal as much as its cutscenes and writing.


    The Changing Face Of Arcade Games In 2019



    By the late '90s, with Street Fighter II's saturation reaching an exhaustion point and Mortal Kombat's hoary violence no longer a unique draw, the arcade--that place of social gathering, low light, and the booming sounds of attract screens--began to wither. But like most nostalgic things, arcades have made a slow return as the millennium reached its teens. 1980's nostalgia took off. Gen X and millennials grew up, as did their disposable income. It took a decade--two even--but arcade games made their comeback. Looking at the rising collector's market for vintage machines and the likes of Wal-Mart embracing machines with their shelf space, it's almost like they never left.


    Sean Murray on No Man's Sky: "I thought we were making a niche game"



    Hello Games' founder on the difficulties of transforming a live game, and pushing past a divisive launch


    How FIFA's The Journey revolutionised EA's approach to diversity



    Senior designer Katie Scott devised a framework to assess FIFA's story mode that is now used in the creation of games across the company


    What does a truly accessible game look like? We asked the pros



    Lauded titles range from AAA behemoths like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Far Cry: New Dawn to indie darlings like Celeste, applauded for their strides in advancing both the quality and quantity of these options. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if the players personally relying on them had any notes for improvements. With that in mind, I asked gamers with disabilities if they were given the chance to design a game with their dream accessibility features, what would it look like?


    The Ultimate Fantasy of Dragon Age is Being Listened to by a Man



    The men I hang out with are permanently disappointed that I don’t fuck The Iron Bull in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

    It’s not that he’s not a fascinating character, or that he’s not sexy. He’s big and strong and funny and his arc is interesting. There’s a slew of interesting characters to kiss in a Dragon Age: Inquisition, but for me the appeal is not in simulating a relationship I’ve had before — that is, with someone fascinating. It’s grasping something I remain convinced I’ll never have: a relationship with a heterosexual man who listens to me and respects me.


    Games Are Better With Double Jumps



    Last night, after hours exploring Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, I unlocked the ability to double jump. It was such a simple thing—one jump, another jump—but I suddenly felt a rush of possibility hit me. That’s because of all the video game-y tricks, double jumps might just be the best.


    How We Happy Few explores the injustice of motherhood



    Arthur is nobly prepared to let bygones be bygones, however. Having acquired the means to escape Wellington Wells, he returns to Sally's apartment and offers to take her with him. She is receptive, but asks if it can wait till morning, glancing furtively towards the stairs - the implication being that she has another man to attend to. Arthur storms out in disgust, even as Sally protests that she has a secret to share. Hours later, the game switches back to Sally's perspective, and we discover what that secret was. Sally has a daughter, a squirming pink bundle of snot and tears named Gwen.


    Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story



    Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story is the world’s premier No Child Left Behind simulator.

    In the world of Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story, your students do not matter. Their potential as individuals does not matter. The good they could bring to the queendom, improving the lives of the people around them while defending their home from internal or external threats does not matter. They’re simply a means to an end. I wasn’t raising students to become worthwhile members of society, I was fattening up hogs for the slaughter. I came up with the most arbitrary reasons to reject students or graduate them early. I honestly can’t tell if this game transformed me into the antagonist from an Assassination Classroom-style anime or just an administrator from a normal public school in the U.S. I completely and utterly compromised my principles as an educator while playing this, all in the name of being able to purchase a few more fancy buildings and statues.

    But lord, doesn’t my campus look beautiful for it.


    The time I tried to ruin Halo 2



    A former Microsoft user researcher writes about how you can’t always trust the data in front of you

    His definition of ruin sounds like my greatly improve.


    How quality localisation makes the Yakuza series great



    Taking a closer look at an underappreciated art.


    Judgment Knows the Heart of a City Is Its People



    What appears at first to be a detective procedural reboot of Yakuza 6 with sleuthing systems and new minigames quickly gives way to a thoughtful and tender exploration of human intimacy and of a city and its people.


    The Homoeroticism of Contra and Altered Beast



    Obviously there’s a lot problematic with the narrow view of masculinity as seen through the lens of perfectly chiseled muscles, and such body image struggles continue in the gay community unabated. But by embracing the inherent homoeroticism of power fantasies like Contra and Altered Beast, gaymers are given a powerful tool towards understanding ourselves.


    Video Game History Is More Than Just Software and Hardware



    When we talk about game history, we’re most often talking about familiar things: the Big Crash of the 1980s, the console wars of the 1990s, and the various business strategies of Sony and Microsoft jockeying for position in the early mid 2000s. ROMchip, a new open access academic journal dedicated to the history of games, is trying to get us to think a little more broadly about what the history of games are and what they could be.


    The 134 people that Blizzard Entertainment is trying to make redundant


    We visit Versailles to get a glimpse at what can happen when the games industry unionises.

    Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/PeopleMakeGames


    Stories from the end of Outer Wild’s Universe


    Where are you? I don’t know. How can I? Which way is up? I’m falling. Good God, I’m falling.


    How the Heck Do We Talk About Outer Wilds?


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

    The Outer Wilds is a game that is difficult to talk about, because it's a game about discovering itself. Which means the more I talk about it, the more I take the game away from you. And that's a difficult position to be in when this game makes me want to talk about it *so badly!*


    How Outer Wilds Makes Running Out of Stuff Fun


    Man, Outer Wilds is great, but all the great exploration, compelling mysteries and space borne shenanigans can all be traced back to one thing: running out of stuff.


    Analysing Every Mission from Hitman 2


    This one has been a long time coming. After a bunch of people liked my last big Hitman video for some reason, I decided to do the daft thing again and examine every map in its 2018 sequel—Hitman 2—in terms of its level/mission design. It's a big one.

    TUTORIAL - 6:59
    MIAMI - 12:48
    SANTA FORTUNA - 17:54
    MUMBAI - 21:48
    SGAIL - 33:46

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


    How Has Mario's Run Changed?


    With Mario Maker 2 now released, I thought it'd be cool to look at how Mario's running animation has changed over the last 30 years.

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


    Which Dark Souls Has the Best Parry Animation? - New Frame Plus


    Let's analyze the parry and riposte animations in all three Dark Souls games and try to figure out which one was animated best.

    To request an episode topic, support New Frame Plus on Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/newframeplus


    The Addictive Cost Of Predatory Videogame Monetization (The Jimquisition)



    Aggressive monetization tactics have undoubtedly lowered the quality for many so-called "AAA" games. The shameless number of microtransactions and loot boxes have made them grinding and shallow "services" instead of complete videogames.


    Games as Lit. 101 - Tacoma and Story-Centric Gameplay


    "Walking simulators" aren't real games, right? Fullbright's Tacoma got the Game Professor thinking we may be able to understand their approach to narrative-based interaction with a game design framework after all.

    Enjoy the series? Support it on Patreon! http://www.patreon.com/gamesaslit101


    Blood (1997) | Full Interview with Nick Newhard


    This is the unabridged version of my interview about the making of Blood and Nightdive Studio's Remastered version "Blood: Fresh Supply" with the game's creator, lead designer and programmer Nick Newhard.


    The History of Dragon Age 2


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


    Turning Life Into a Game for The Sims


    Want to support the channel? Check out the Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/superbunnyhop


    "Accurate" E3 Demos



    Why Metro Exodus is 2019’s Most Immersive Open World Game | Game Maker's Toolkit


    2019 has already seen the release of four post apocalyptic open world games - but 4A's Metro Exodus is by far the most immersive. So what does that phrase actually mean, and what design decisions help create that feeling?

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


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