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    This Week In Gaming 7-23-19


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    Jeremy Blaustein tells the story of Metal Gear Solid's translation, Euan Brook on the moral grey of Fallout New Vegas and the world not existing solely for the player character's benefit, Yaz Minsky discusses the roots of and some of the more defining media of the cyberpunk genre and how and why art changes when it is no longer looked at through limited worldviews, excerpts from Bullet Point's new book of essays on Metal Gear, Aidan Moher looks at some of the authors that were inspired by JRPGs, Victoria Tran on why fashion consideration and options matter in games, Jacob Geller on the aesthetics of Mirrors Edge, Game Maker's Toolkit examines how talking can be made as fun as shooting your way through problems, Nathan Grayson talks to the Red Dead Online player that photographs strangers, 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)

     

    New Gameplay Today – Remnant: From The Ashes With Design Director John Pearl

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    Design director John Pearl joins Cork, Kyle and Leo to show off a few minutes of the new co-op shooter from Gunfire Games. Remnant: From the Ashes is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 20.

     

    Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare 4K Gunfight Gameplay

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    You asked, we listened. Captured in 4K on PlayStation 4 Pro, we’re excited to share raw gameplay of Gunfight, a new fast-paced, close quarters, 2v2 multiplayer mode coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

     

    Leaked Marvel’s Avengers gameplay shows off Thor’s moves

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    It was recently announced that upcoming Marvel’s The Avengers would be getting its first “public” airing – to a small crowd of San Diego Comic Con attendees. With no livestream of the event, many are undoubtedly still curious about what gameplay of Thor and the gang will look like, though it looks like we might now have an idea. Some people who got to see the footage appear to have filmed parts of it – and the clips are up on YouTube.

     

    Wicca is tower defense with witches and time travel and a tree that kills people

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    And it's from some of the people behind Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves.

     

    Everreach: Project Eden is an indie action-adventure with a strong Mass Effect vibe

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    Something's gone wrong on the Eden colony, and it's up to Nora Harwood to find out what.

     

    How Wolfenstein: Youngblood takes a lighter approach to killing Nazis

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    Wolfenstein: Youngblood carries on the tradition of shooting video game Nazis as the latest two-player co-op shooter game coming from developers Machine Games and Arkane Studios Lyon, with Bethesda publishing the title on July 26.

    Wolfenstein: Youngblood is coming to PC a day early

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    Wolfenstein: Youngblood, the tale of two sisters on a journey of self-discovery and Nazi-killing in Paris, was slated to come out on July 26. For some reason, though, it's actually going to arrive a day sooner on PC.

     

    New Gameplay Today – Gears 5's Multiplayer Technical Test

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    Kyle, Cork and Leo stop and pop their way through the Gears 5 Multiplayer Technical Test, live now through July 22 for Game Pass subscribers and those who've pre-ordered Gears 5. If you can't make it, a second one is scheduled between July 26-29. Gears 5 is coming to Xbox One and PC on September 10.

    Gears 5 features “the largest campaign ever made” for the franchise

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    Gears 5 is set to be The Coalition’s biggest game to date, with each element of the game larger and more fully-featured than any game that’s come before in the Gears franchise. The Coalition says its campaign, PvE, and competitive modes are all substantially bigger in Gears 5 than ever before.

    Gears 5 has an impressive suite of accessibility features

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    Players participating in Gears 5's multiplayer tech test this weekend have noticed the game is sporting an impressive suite of accessibility features. As showcased by Ablegamers program director and community specialist Craig Kaufman on Twitter, Gears 5's accessibility reach is extensive compared to most games.

     

    Oninaki Gameplay Impressions | Demon Weapons, Death Cults And A Free Demo

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    This is PS4 footage, but Oninaki PC is a thing - you can try the Oninaki steam demo today. It gives you the first 90 minutes of the Oninaki story and lets you continue that save file into the main game. You can also try out the new Battle Mode, which gives you more access to the Oninaki daemons (I keep wanting to type Oninaki demons, but will respect the terminology). Daemons/demons act as your weapons, possessing the hero and giving you access to their skills. You’ll also see the Oninaki skill tree and find out how you can learn more about our heroes by investing in their development.

    Oninaki Death And Inevitability

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    Tokyo RPG Factory was founded with the specific mission of making old school RPGs that are a bit more budget-conscious than Square Enix's usual fare. The studio's previous two games, I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear, didn't really light the world on fire but both titles still had their fans. After getting hands-on with their third game, I am not sure Oninaki is going to be any less divisive in terms of gameplay, the premise of the game is so interesting that some gameplay deficiencies might be forgiven.

     

    You're basically Arya Stark in this open-world action-platformer

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    As heroine Sam, you'll parkour and melee your way through the middle of an ancient conflict, a society divided by belief systems and their bronze and computer age technologies. One day you could be fighting knights in a torch-lit cavernous castle. The next you could be dodging a giant, chicken-like robot as it shoots electricity at your body. You'll have to be prepared for anything on the island-nation of Arcadia.

     

    Necrobarista, the game about coffee, ghosts, and Australia, will be slightly delayed

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    Necrobarista is a visual novel about serving coffee, meeting ghosts, and playing with knives in Australia. Jody, who is Australian and thus knows about these things, took a pre-release demo for a spin in late 2017 and came away impressed with its attention to detail in customers and backgrounds alike, which he said "makes Necrobarista feel like it's happening in a place with history."

     

    Super Robot Wars Is Headed To Steam With Super Robot Wars V And X, Also Releasing For Switch

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    The Super Robot Wars series is finally making its way to PC via Steam with the announcement of Super Robot Wars V and Super Robot Wars X, also headed to the Nintendo Switch.

     

    GreedFall - Webseries: Episode 1 | PS4

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    GreedFall: Explore a unique world with developers Spiders in revealing new webseries

     

    Wanderlust Travel Stories, a narrative game from former Witcher devs, releases in August

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    Each story about traveling the world puts you in the shoes of a different character.

     

    Cult-infiltrating game The Church in the Darkness will be out in August

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    The story and characters change with every playthrough, so investigation is paramount, unless you want to risk murdering innocent people for no better reason than convenience. It's been a few years since we last looked at it, but the launch day now looms: Developer Paranoid Productions announced today that it will be released on Steam on August 2.

     

    Star Citizen's latest update aims to bring law and order to the galaxy

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    Star Citizen's next milestone update has arrived, bringing the controversial space sim up to its alpha 3.6 release. Headline additions this time around include a complete law and order overhaul designed to make life a little tougher for those ne'er-do-wells among the stars.

     

    Before We Leave is a 'chill-out' interplanetary city building game

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    Before We Leave is a game about raising cities, rebuilding your world and reaching for the stars, and unlike some other games about building civilizations that might immediately leap to mind, it's mostly-non-violent: There are no weapons, no warfare, and no worries that Gandhi is going to nuke your ass into glass the moment you turn your back.

     

    Mordhau will get a ranked mode, new maps, and tools to deal with toxic players

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    Mordhau developer Triternion games has laid out a rough guide to what it’s focusing on for updates to their medieval combat game, and they have some big plans. In addition to two large new maps, the studio also plans on adding in a new 64-player mode, ranked play, and curbing player toxicity.

     

    Overwatch’s next hero is Sigma, a physicist with gravity-control abilities

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    Blizzard has lifted the veil on Overwatch hero 31 at last: his name is Sigma, and he’s an astrophysicist who’s had a very bad time experimenting with a balck hole. The developers have dropped the first official trailer, which runs down the character’s backstory and gives us a couple of hints about what Sigma’s abilities will look like.

    7 Minutes of Overwatch Sigma Gameplay

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    The new hero Sigma is available on the Overwatch PTR. Here's our first gameplay testing him out.

     

    Former StarCraft 2 Pro, Commentator Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson Dies At 33

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    Robinson was a former StarCraft 2 pro with Evil Geniuses, before later moving into a broader esports career as a commentator, host and streamer. He is being remembered as a prominent and beloved member of the game’s community.

     

    Fighting Game Community Mourns Death Of Prominent Louisiana Player

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    A weekend that was supposed to be full of fun and excitement took a decidedly tragic turn when it was announced that fighting game competitor Bryand “Krucial B” McIntosh, 34, passed away shortly after competing at Defend the North in New York City. McIntosh was a prominent member of the Louisiana fighting game community, and those that knew him have been grieving publicly since learning the news of his death.

     

    Internal Nintendo Memo Instructs Customer Service to Fix ‘Joy-Con Drift’ for Free

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    Nintendo’s got a problem on its hands. It’s called “Joy-Con Drift,” an issue where the analog sticks on the Switch’s detachable controllers, called Joy-Cons, begin moving things on the screen on their own. Following the huge response to a report by Kotaku, it’s become enough of an issue that Nintendo recently told customer service representatives the company will no longer charge customers seeking Joy-Con repairs, and refund those who’ve already paid, according to internal Nintendo documentation seen by VICE Games.

    Nintendo faces Switch Joy-Con drift class action lawsuit

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    US lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit against Nintendo after concerns around the issue of Joy-Con drift.

     

    Xbox One sales decline sharply, as Microsoft posts record quarter

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    Xbox One is nearing end-of-life, but Microsoft's big bet on ecosystem-over-console is working well.

     

    Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce steps down after 28 years

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    Time for a quick history lesson: Blizzard Entertainment – the incredibly successful studio behind Overwatch, Diablo, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft – was formed over 28 years ago, in February 1991. The studio was founded under the rather silly name of Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three University of California graduates: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham.

     

    UK Gambling Commission says (again) that loot boxes aren't gambling

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    Because loot box rewards can't be officially monetized, they're exempt from the classification.

     

    Brazilian Fans Were Feeling Abandoned by Nintendo, So They Decided to Host a Nintendo Direct of Their Own

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    Nintendo is an international company, but that doesn't mean all regions have the same access to Nintendo games. In Brazil especially, Nintendo fans have had trouble getting a hold of games, getting information in their native language, and promoting their local developers. So fans decided to make a Direct about it. An unofficial Brazilian Nintendo Direct, by and for Brazilian Nintendo fans.

     

    Esports News

     

    The Dota 2 International 2019 prize pool is now at $30 million

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    The teams competing in The International 2019 will be playing for the biggest purse in esports history. The prize pool for Dota 2’s biggest tournament is now worth more than $30 million USD (£24 million).

     

    Call Of Duty Pro’s Controller Stops Working In The Middle Of The Finals

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    Sometimes a controller breaks and it’s frustrating. Sometimes a controller breaks and you’re forced to remap buttons in the middle of a tense come-from-behind win at a major Call of Duty tournament with $200,000 on the line.

     

    Samurai Shodown Competitor Shows Off By Dropping His Character's Sword, Gets Wrecked

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    Samurai Shodown is a brutal fighting game, where matches often hinge on landing one good attack. That said, Samurai Shodown also gives players a few cheap ways to mercilessly style on an unsuspecting foe, one example of which blew up spectacularly in a competitor’s face during a major United Kingdom tournament last weekend.

     

    A League of Their Own: Women’s Esports in Southeast Asia

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    Outside of regions where esports is a recognized career, like South Korea, the field is still coming into its own. And while women face challenges entering the male-dominated world of competitive gaming no matter where they are, women in some parts of Southeast Asia have to deal with the specific struggles of taking on a still-novel career path.

     

    Upsets Ruled and Mountain Dew Game Fuel Flowed at the Call of Duty World League Finals

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    It felt wrong to complain about the heat in Miami this past weekend. Sure, it was probably the only time of the year when Miami offered a cool, refreshing alternative to the punishing temperatures that consumed the rest of America—somehow it was a good ten degrees cooler than Boston or New York or Detroit—but 88 degrees will still make you burn and sweat. It was a good weekend for frozen drinks, and an even better weekend for taking Lyft to the beach front bars that sold them.

     

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

     

    The bizarre, true story of Metal Gear Solid’s English translation

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    Before Twitter and its legions of armchair quarterbacks with the luxury of spending much more time reviewing translations than the original translators had in doing them, our main concern was an honest desire to make a fun and entertaining game for a local audience. To this day, I believe the best translators are writers, who take on what is an impossible task and do their best to satisfy several masters: the audience, the original author, and the marketplace.

     

    A critical companion to one of the most popular videogame series ever made

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    Violent. Funny. Weird. Sexy. Political. Historical. Gothic. Incomprehensible. Brilliant. Awful. Original. Lazy. The very best of games. The very worst of games. Metal Gear Solid is all of these things and more. For twenty years, it has incited as much as it has entertained—thrilled and inflamed in equal measure. It begs analysis while at the same time defying simple definitions. To make any sense of Metal Gear Solid would surely take an entire book.

     

    SPILLING OUT

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    Conventions, E3, press-releases. It’s all trying to get us to buy something. I’m lucky enough I can make a stance against something here: There are writers at less fortunate places. At the same time I’m drinking and writing about Castlevania, someone at Polygon is pulling their hair out. In spite of all of the stomping they can do about not crossing the Amazon.Com picket line, someone in a different wing of the company is posting fifteen updates an hour about Amazon Prime sales.

     

    How Japanese RPGs Inspired A New Generation Of Fantasy Authors

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    When I think back to my childhood and teenage years, when my literary tastes were being forged in the crucible of youthful emotion and impressionism, particular scenes come to life: Sam carrying Frodo up Mt. Doom. The Reaper chasing Wil Ohmsford through the Westland. Marle hugging Crono on top of Death Peak.

     

    How Girls Make Games Is Inspiring The Next Generation Of Game Developers

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    Girls Make Games, now in its sixth year, is once again holding its annual summer camp this month for girls ages eight to 17. The camp brings together girls across the country to learn how to design and program their own video games.

     

    Video Game Composers: How Music Enhances Virtual Presence (The Theory of Flow)

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    Hello there! I'm video game composer Winifred Phillips. At this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, I was pleased to give a presentation entitled How Music Enhances Virtual Presence (I've included the official description of my talk at the end of this article). The talk I delivered at GDC gave me the opportunity to pull a lot of ideas about virtual reality together and present a concentrated exploration of how music can increase a sensation of presence for VR gamers. It occurred to me that such a discussion might be interesting to share in this forum as well. So, with that in mind, I’m excited to begin a four-part article series based on my GDC 2019 presentation!

     

    Why are so many old games coming back? We asked developers why they chase nostalgia

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    Remember that thing you like from 10 years ago? It’s probably getting a sequel. Shenmue 3. Evil Genius 2. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2. The calendar of upcoming games is packed with throwbacks that will revisit the worlds we left behind over a decade ago. Oddworld: Soulstorm is heading back to the strange homeland of Abe the skinny green freedom farter. Mechwarrior 5 is booting up a bipedal destruct-o-bot that was powered down in the year 2000. If your favourite childhood game is not getting a sequel, it’s probably getting a glittering remake.

     

    Shigeru Miyamoto Opens Up in New Book about Missing Late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata

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    Iwata-san, a book published today in Japan by Hobonichi, includes a new interview with Mario creator Miyamoto on how he remembers Iwata, who passed away in 2015. A similar interview with Shigesato Itoi, the creator of Earthbound and founder of Hobonichi, is included as well.

     

    GARDENING GAMES ARE BLOSSOMING IN TURBULENT TIMES

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    In Rosa’s Garden, the recent iOS and Android game by Charlotte Madelon, soft shades of red, pink, and yellow fill the screen as roses emerge gracefully from the game’s digital earth. Delicate field recordings chime in the background — the rustle of wind and the chirruping of birds — while plink-plonk sound effects skitter as rose varieties are combined. Once two roses have been matched, the player taps on them and the screen erupts into a shower of pastel-colored petals. Planted into the ground, these seeds sprout more beautiful flowers, the cycle thus continued.

     

    The Treacherous Tales Of The Red Dead Online Player Who Takes Pictures Of Strangers

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    More than half a year after release, Red Dead Online is still mostly what you make of it. As players await fresh content, it’s hard for some not to seethe in envy when they catch a glimpse of, say, Grand Theft Auto Online’s glitzy new casino. One Red Dead player, however, is making his own fun by turning his Wild West wanderings into a photo safari. The twist? He’s photographing cow-men and women he’s never met and sending them surprise snapshots of their own journeys. Even when they murder him.

     

    Video Game Characters Are Terrible At Archery

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    Video game characters love their bows and arrows, but I hate to be the bearer of bad news—almost all of them are terrible at archery. As an archer myself, I’ve had to spend a lot of time teaching and observing the sport, so I thought it might be appropriate to explain why, in real life, some of your favorite arrow-shooting characters at best wouldn’t be able to shoot straight and at worst would severely injure themselves.

     

    How Sea of Solitude and Gris Utilize Color to Discuss Mental Health

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    As a young woman who struggles with depression and anxiety, it felt validating to play Sea of Solitude and Gris, two gorgeous videogames that tackle mental health through the eyes of women. While Sea of Solitude is grounded in metaphors and Gris revels in abstraction, both look at depression from multiple angles. One of the most fascinating is through the intersection of gameplay and art design—more specifically, how both play with color to emphasize their themes and communicate their messages.

     

    Bloodstained creator Koji Igarashi doesn't like the term 'spiritual successor'

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    The long-time Castlevania developer tells us that he never looked at his new project that way, and he explains why the Switch version was so challenging for ArtPlay.

     

    Sims Document

     

    NOT A HERO, JUST A POSTMAN

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    When you’re playing Fallout: New Vegas, it’s sometimes difficult to shake off the feeling that the entire game is poking fun at Fallout 3. One example is its emphasis on verisimilitude: Fallout 3 is sometimes criticised for the lack of resources found in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. How are these settlements surviving without any visible food or water sources, for instance? It’s a nitpick, but as the story is about saving Washington DC’s water supply it’s jarring that nobody seems that concerned about this important element of the plot. By comparison, New Vegas’s attention to minute detail borders on the absurd. Huge crop farms are dotted all over the map, long water pipelines travel from the Colorado River to the city, and electricity is produced by Hoover Dam. There are even outhouses on the outskirts of encampments, just in case you ever wondered about that.

    That’s not the only subtle dig at Fallout 3. The popular Brotherhood of Steel faction, depicted in Fallout 3 as heroic Arthurian knights (with a literal boy-king Arthur in their ranks) are mocked in New Vegas as being pretend “Knights of Yore”, and shown to be immobilized by their obsessive devotion to their knightly codex. One character jokes about Fallout 3’s use of a giant robot at the end, saying, “And if you had, you know, a huge killer robot at your command. Yeah, that would just clutter things up. And a lesser person might want that kind of overwhelming force on their side but, you know, where’s the challenge in that?” There’s a character remarkably similar to a prominent character from Fallout 3 who is found dead, allowing players to pilfer and wear his popular sheriff costume. And one teaser trailer for New Vegas features a robot from Fallout 3 being shot while crossing the Mojave Desert. You can even find its remains in-game, repair it and later upgrade it—carrying real-life parallels to Fallout alumni Obsidian Entertainment improving upon Bethesda’s work.

     

    Metal Gear Solid 2's Commentary On America On The Brink Resonates Just As Strong Today

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    An essay on Metal Gear Solid 2, from the new book collection of Metal Gear Solid essays called Okay, Hero.

    Breaking down Snake’s motivations in Metal Gear Solid

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    A new book excerpt digs into the history behind the original PlayStation blockbuster

     

    The Video Game Industry Can't Go On Like This

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    At about this time next year, we’ll have a pretty good idea of what the next generation of video games will look like. New consoles will likely be shown off, bold new streaming initiatives will begin to launch, and we’ll see all the wonderful kinds of games they will bring us. All these new things will come, and we’ll close the book on a generation that saw the industry that makes games come under greater scrutiny than ever before, as studios shuttered, developers burned out, and toxic work culture fostered environments hostile to marginalized people.

     

    Can We Make Talking as Much Fun as Shooting? | Game Maker's Toolkit

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    Certain RPGs make the tantalising promise that you can skip combat altogether, by talking your way past the bad guys. But how can we turn this into genuinely interesting gameplay?

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

     

    How Does Mirror’s Edge Still Look This Good?

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    Upon it, their imagination shaped new ideals. They returned to their homes, each one of them carrying in their soul the shadow of the white cloud, each of them permeated by the most subtle and slow-acting of poisons.

     

    We Need To Talk About Cyberpunk

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    We need to talk about cyberpunk (the genre, not the game) (okay the game a little bit too). Cybperpunk 2077 has been criticized for its handling of issues related to trans representation and disability, and this criticism made me want to look back at the retro cyberpunk the game is inspired by. We can find that the genre has a lot of negative baggage and regressive worldviews in its roots, and that modern cyberpunk creators have moved past with or engaged with these ideas in ways that other works have failed to.

    https://www.patreon.com/yazminsky

     

    History Respawned: Kerbal Space Program

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    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Bob talks with Dr. Roger Launius about Kerbal Space Program. Topics include the history of the Apollo Program, the Space Race, the Cold War, and Apollo 11. Please consider supporting us on Patreon! www.patreon.com/historyrespawned

     

    Engineering The Perfect Enemy

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    Enemies in video games are one of the most obvious sources of great design, from the humble goomba all the way up to the likes of Prey's mimics. So why is it so hard to explain why we like these enemies so much?

     

    The Exploitative Push For Social Networking In Games (The Jimquisition)

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    http://www.patreon.com/jimquisition

    The mainstream games industry is pushing harder and harder for social features to be an expected part of any major entertainment software release.

    According to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, social networking is just as important to games as it is to Facebook or Twitter. A bold claim, but one that's part of a concerted effort to normalize the push.

    Ultimately, however, it's a long con. "AAA" publishers want more social features because they make money, plain and simple. It's yet another way to rake in cash not just from whales, but from so-called "super whales" as well.

     

    How much Neon Genesis Evangelion is in Metal Gear Solid?

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

     

    The History of Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

    After releasing Dragon Age 2 in 2011, Bioware was quick to follow it up with a steady stream of downloadable content, supplying fans eager to make the most out of the sequel with new scenarios and challenges to overcome in the city of Kirkwall. Yet one piece of content that would never arrive was a full-on expansion to the base game, in the vein of Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening.

     

    How Dead Cells Cheated to Make the Game More Fun | War Stories | Ars Technica

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    Sébastien Bénard, lead designer at Motion Twin, goes behind the scenes of Dead Cells' development. Sébastien explains the challenges they came across and how they made the game feel so good to play.

     

    Things I Missed From Previous Weeks

     

    Fashion in Games: Why It Matters

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    Caring about clothes can seem like an oddly superficial thing to do sometimes - I get it. After all, great games can and do exist without runway looks. That’s fine, we don’t all need to be fashion designers. (Making games is hard enough.) But why not consider new possibilities in games? Why limit ourselves when games are one of the most exciting mediums out there?

     



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