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    This Week In Gaming 9-17-19


    TGS gameplay and reveals, Jason Schreier reports on the exploitation of publisher Nicalis while Nathan Grayson learns the secret to the success of Supergiant Games, Kate Willaert covers the first narrative video game and the woman that wrote it, Patrick Klepek talks to Rod Fergusson about his career of salvaging trainwrecks, Cecilia D'Anastasio looks at the rise of GameStop and former ideas of online and offline identities through the lens of adolescent escapism, excerpts from David L. Craddock's book Arcade Perfect tell the story of the slog to port Double Dragon to the Genesis/Mega Drive and how Mortal Kombat's blood changed the industry, some idie devs claim Steam's new recommendation update had made things even worse for them while others see no difference, Gears 5 has poor sales but is the most successful launch for the series, Discord removing games from their Nitro Subscription program, 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)


    Resident Evil spin-off Project Resistance gets its first gameplay overview trailer


    When it was teased earlier this week, Capcom described its forthcoming Resident Evil spin-off, Project Resistance, as a "team-based survival horror". There was little else in the way of solid information save a cinematic trailer, but now a thorough gameplay overview has hit YouTube, and you can watch it above.

    Resident Evil Project Resistance makes being evil so much fun


    Playing as the cruel Mastermind is an intense and immensely satisfying experience

    Capcom producer addresses concerns about Resident Evil spin-off Project Resistance


    Capcom producer Matt Walker has responded to “a lot” of Resident Evil fans unhappy the company is trying something new with upcoming spin-off Project Resistance rather than focusing on the franchise’s established formula.


    New Gameplay Today – Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot


    Joe Juba and Ben Hanson join Cork and Leo to weigh in on new gameplay from a hotly anticipated take on a historic franchise.


    Empire Of Sin Gameplay And Impressions | Empire Of Sin Is XCOM meets The Untouchables


    Empire Of Sin puts you in the shoes of a selection of both real and fictionalised cheeky criminal mafia mobster pals and tasks you with building up your crime empire in intricate detail, and to retain control of that empire with tactical turn-based combat that is like XCOM meets The Untouchables. Alice Bell gives us her impressions with some Empire of Sin gameplay.


    Death Stranding: 49 Minutes of New Gameplay (Japanese VO) - TGS 2019


    Hideo Kojima shows off monsters, motorcycles and more in this gameplay commentary from TGS 2019.

    Hideo Kojima Answers Our Questions About Death Stranding


    The last week has been a busy one for Hideo Kojima. Even with Death Stranding in the final stretch approaching release, the legendary creator took the stage at Tokyo Game Show for two separate live presentations showing off his unique and difficult-to-explain project. While we learned a lot from watching those demonstrations, they also raised many questions about how Death Stranding works and what it tries to convey. What is the goal behind the asynchronous multiplayer? What do "likes" do? How has the game changed since its inception? To get the answers to these questions and more, we visited the Kojima Productions studio in Tokyo for an interview with Hideo Kojima himself.


    FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Tokyo Game Show 2019 Trailer (Closed Captions)


    The evil Shinra corporation rules the world with an iron fist and continues to spin its web of lies. Have the rebels, known as Avalanche, bitten off more than they can chew?

    Final Fantasy VII Remake Seems Popular At The Tokyo Game Show


    In what should surprise absolutely no one, Final Fantasy VII Remake is drawing long lines at the Tokyo Game Show. I think people in Japan might be excited about this game. Call it a hunch!


    Human Head's Viking action-RPG Rune 2 gets a release date


    Align with Thor, Hel, or Odin, and finally put a stop to Loki's nonsense this November.


    Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection introduces a clever twist on speedrunning with Z Chaser mode


    Teased during the initial announcement, Capcom has unveiled the details surrounding Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection's new "Z Chaser Mode." A clever twist on speedrunning, Z Chaser will allow you to verse a computer ghost in a split-screen battle to best your own times on different levels. It will even feature support for local versus and online scoreboards. This is bringing back memories me downloading ghosts in PGR2 to perfect my lap times.


    System Shock 3 Pre Alpha Gameplay Teaser 1080p


    Here is some new pre-alpha gameplay footage for System Shock 3!


    PS4, XB1, PC | TALES OF ARISE – TGS 2019 - A Fateful Encounter


    A man numb to pain, and woman whose very touch deals nothing but...pain. How will the story unfold between Alphen and Shionne?


    Nioh 2 - TGS 2019 Trailer | PS4


    Nioh 2 launches early 2020.

    Nioh 2 adds more complexity, also lets you pet a cat


    Team Ninja adds more of just about everything for its Nioh sequel


    Here are 20 more minutes of The Outer Worlds gameplay from TGS


    The Tokyo Games Show is underway this weekend, and there’s new footage on display from The Outer Worlds, Obsidian’s upcoming Wild West-flavored spacefaring RPG. The build is for the TGS audience, which means the UI is in Japanese, but it does give you a sense of some moment-to-moment gameplay and character dialogue thanks to the English voiceover.


    Why Yacht Club is Handing Shovel Knight Dig to Nitrome



    “We wanted another Shovel Knight game,” says Alec Faulkner of Yacht Club Games, “but we didn’t want to make it. We’re sick of making Shovel Knight games. And we’re still making one of our own!”


    Thinbloods and the Politics of Living Forever: An Interview with Bloodlines 2 Writer Cara Ellison



    The idea of Bloodlines is that humans themselves are worse than vampires. Humans themselves are destroying the world. For vampires, they want to live forever, but humans are destroying the world. Humans are creating climate change. The world is going to burn up at some point and vampires live forever; they're like, "Humans are not going to let us [live forever]." That's a big problem for vampires, is that they live forever. So, especially because Seattle is this big tech center and our game is centered on Seattle, it's going to be a big problem for vampires in particular because they live here.


    Book of Travels is a TMO: A tiny multiplayer online game


    How do you make an MMO on an indie studio's budget? Well, you don't. It'll never work. So instead Might and Delight, the studio behind Shelter and its sequel, are making what they call a TMO instead: A tiny multiplayer online game.


    Onion Games interview with Moon writer Yoshiro Kimura at TGS 2019



    After the first day of Tokyo Game Show 2019 came to an end, Gematsu met up with Moon writer Yoshiro Kimura to discuss the recently announced Switch port of the 1997-released PlayStation RPG, as well as his thoughts on role-playing games, sequels, and their plans for the future.


    Stalker-like Chernobylite hits early access next month


    The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is a real place where (almost) nobody lives, but it’s been packed to the gills with its own modern mythology and lore largely thanks to the secrecy that surrounded the nuclear plant disaster there in 1986. Videogames have visited the site many times, and we’re about to get a new chance to check it out in Chernobylite, a new game from The Farm 51 that wears its Stalker influences on its sleeve.


    Mondo Museum will help put together your dream exhibition next year


    Running a museum, I imagine, is probably quite hard work. Academia is a nightmare to deal with, VIP visitors and families want to be entertained. Ben Stiller’s chasing a tiny wax Owen Wilson all over the shop and the T-Rex skeleton has gotten loose, again. Developers Viewport Games reckon that sounds like an absolute riot, and have only gone and thrown together their own museum-builder. Scrap your plans to go to the galleries with your gran next year – we’re planning a trip to Mondo Museum.


    Undertale creator shares a development update on Deltarune, including new music


    It’s been close to a year since the first part of Deltarune launched, and while it was a tantalising glimpse of what to expect in the wake of Undertale, we still don’t know much more about what the full game will look like. Over the weekend, creator Toby Fox shared a few details on Deltarune’s development in celebration of Undertale’s fourth birthday.


    New GUILTY GEAR Sol and Ky Trailer - TGS2019


    Released for the first time in 1998, the 2D fighting game series GUILTY GEAR celebrated its 20th birthday in 2018.
    We know you have already seen the trailer of the long-awaited newcomer to the series.
    And we will reveal another one during the upcoming CEOtaku, which will take place on September 27-29th, 2019.


    Gungrave GORE Official Cinematic Trailer - TGS 2019


    Gungrave GORE is a true sequel of Gungrave O.D, a cult classic game that was released 15 years ago.


    Resi-inspired zombanger Daymare: 1998 is out now


    Daymare: 1998 is the zombie survival horror shooter from the team who started out with a fan remake of Resident Evil 2, before getting an awkward “could you not” from Capcom in 2015.


    The Division 2 Developers Promise Some Good Changes For October



    Ending a month-long hiatus, The Division 2’s otherwise weekly State of the Game stream returned today with promises of a wave of encouraging changes to the game’s loot, and a change in how content will be beta-tested, that should make the game’s season pass a less regrettable purchase.


    Total War: Three Kingdoms revising plans following Eight Princes DLC feedback



    How curious it was the first DLC following the mega-hit launch of Total War: Three Kingdoms (the fastest-selling of the series so far, they boast) skipped past the end of the Three Kingdoms era to tell a story of a follow-up civil war. Developers Creative Assembly now suggest that the Eight Princes DLC was perhaps a misstep, and say they’re bending their plans following player feedback. They also assure they are working on DLC that “adds significantly to the main campaign.”


    Thank God, Next Year's 'Control' DLC Will Apparently Involve [Redacted]


    The premise for 'Control' gives Remedy a chance to do almost everything, and they're really gonna go for it.


    The Small But Important Change 'Celeste' Made to Its Celebrated Assist Mode


    More than 100 new levels were added to Celeste this week, alongside a small bit of story, a poignant goodbye to Madeline and their attempt to scale a magic mountain. It also features a small but important tweak to the text introducing the game’s “Assist mode,” a way to alter Celeste’s finely tuned rules and mechanics, up to and including death. Among other changes, it now says Celeste was “intended” to be difficult. Before, it was “essential.” It’s an alteration that came because of a collaboration between Celeste’s developers and its fans, a way to bridge the gap between well-meaning creatives and players impacted by their choices.


    Discord’s Nitro Games library is being shut down due to lack of use



    Developers can still sell their games through Discord, however


    PewDiePie Has To Explain That His $50,000 Pledge To An Anti-Hate Group Is Legit



    In a video yesterday, Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg announced a generous $50,000 donation to the Anti-Defamation League, a 100-year-old advocacy organization founded to combat anti-Semitism. Kjellberg, who was celebrating his 100,000,000-follower touchstone on YouTube, explained in his video that “I feel like I’ve finally come to terms with the responsibility I have as a creator—about 100,000,000 subs too late, but you know.”

    PewDiePie pulls $50,000 pledge to Jewish anti-hate group after fan backlash


    Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is pulling his $50,000 pledge to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) after his initial announcement drew backlash from parts of his fan base.


    Nintendo files multimillion-dollar lawsuit against ROM website



    The company alleges the site, RomUniverse, is ‘built largely on brazen and mass scale infringement’


    Borderlands 3's Review Situation Sure Is Strange


    Borderlands 3 reviews hit the internet this morning, but only at a select few websites, thanks to a bizarre scenario that publisher 2K says is in place because of security concerns.


    Borderlands 3 has doubled Borderlands 2’s peak player count on PC


    Borderlands 3 is a six-month timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store, and since at this point Epic does not share sales figures or aggregate player data, it isn’t possible to independently verify Pitchford’s numbers. But if he’s right, that means in its first day in the wild, Borderlands 3 hit a peak of nearly 250,000 concurrent players on PC alone. Borderlands 2 hit an all-time peak player count of 124,678 back when it launched on Steam.


    Steam's Discovery update is making things worse for some indie developers


    Affected developers claim it still favours games that are already popular, but others haven't noticed any changes.

    Rockstar Has Its Own PC Games Launcher Now



    Rockstar Games has released a new digital launcher for its games on PC. The new launcher, creatively titled the Rockstar Games Launcher, is a way for players to buy and play Rockstar games. It’s very bare-bones at the moment, but it works. Mostly.


    Twitch Suspends Streamer After She Wears Chun-Li Cosplay



    “I actually bought one size up to ensure that the slit wasn’t too high,” said Quqco in an email to Kotaku. “The slit of this dress is cut lower than some runner shorts I own.”

    Twitch's Latest Crackdowns On 'Sexual' Content Are Leaving Streamers Baffled


    In addition to Quqco, several other notable streamers have received suspensions or warnings from Twitch about sexually suggestive content in the past few days. Late last week, IRL streamer Bridgett Devoue was given a three-day suspension for “sharing or engaging in sexually suggestive content or activities,” but Twitch did not elaborate any further. Over the weekend, Overwatch streamer Fareeha got hit with a warning (and a 90-day probationary period) after wearing a sports bra and baggy shorts at the gym. Also over the weekend, art streamer Saruei found herself on the wrong side of a warning for drawing “nudes,” despite the fact that her characters—while hentai-inspired and scantily clad—are clothed. Today, Twitch suspended her for three days.


    Gears 5 sales are bad – it is also the most successful launch in series history


    It’s 2019, and the standards for a game’s success are rapidly shifting. Gears 5 sales – at least in the UK – have been just a fraction of its predecessors, yet Microsoft is saying that this is “biggest launch week of any Xbox Game Studios title this generation.” Microsoft has run a whole bunch of heavy promotion for Xbox Game Pass leading into the new title’s release, and it looks like the subscription era is truly upon us.


    DCMS recommends UK Government regulates loot boxes under the Gambling Act



    The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has recommended the Government regulates loot boxes under the Gambling Act.


    Esports News


    Video Games Get One Step Closer To Being In The Olympics



    Although the Olympics are known more physical competitive pursuits like gymnastics and swimming, the organization has been inching closer and closer to the world of esports over the last few years. Its latest toe dip into the water comes in the form of a $500,000 gaming tournament hosted with Intel, held during the lead-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.


    Hearthstone pro caught playing Auto Chess during Grandmasters league match after making huge mistake



    Linh "Seiko" Nguyen threw a Hearthstone match because he was playing a qualifier for a $1,000,000 Auto Chess tournament at the same time.


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




    Use wits, combat and parkour to rebuild a divided world in this 2D action-adventure game.


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


    Inside The Ghosting, Racism, And Exploitation At Game Publisher Nicalis


    Ghosting stories like these are common when it comes to Nicalis, a game developer and publisher that has grown big in the independent scene thanks to smash hits like Cave Story and Binding of Isaac but also has cultivated a reputation for mistreating employees and outside developers. Nicalis, based in Orange County, California, employs a staff of around 20 and handles a number of ports, re-releases, and original games, usually developed with external partners. In recent years, fans have noticed some public scuffles between Nicalis and game developers, but the extent of Nicalis’s troubled history has not yet been revealed.

    The Secret To The Success Of Bastion, Pyre, And Hades: No Forced Crunch, Yes Forced Vacations



    It’s been ten years since Supergiant Games opened its doors. The team put all of their hopes into the studio’s debut game, Bastion, an action-RPG with a narrator. It succeeded with flying colors. Since then, the studio has released Transistor, Pyre, and Hades, every single one receiving critical acclaim and financial success. The team’s big secret? Everybody’s actually happy about working there.

    Why Super Meat Boy Forever Is Taking Forever


    Super Meat Boy designer Tommy Refenes knew that the name Forever was cursed territory in video games. Originally, he wanted to give the sequel to his pioneering tough-as-nails indie platformer a different title: Super Meat Boy ∞, pronounced “Super Meat Boy Infinity.” He decided, though, that it’d have been too confusing.





    Long before Carmen Sandiego or The Oregon Trail... …there was The Sumerian Game.

    Designed for grade schoolers in 1964, it was as innovative as it is forgotten.


    Confessions Of A Teenaged Strip-Mall GameStop Delinquent



    Like a drug store or a supermarket, GameStop has become more of a utility provider than something a teen might wrap their identity around. Games, too. Playing Fortnite doesn’t furnish a special identity so much as a communion with pop culture at large, eating a tasteless wafer with an image of Ninja pressed into it. The games industry generated $135 billion in 2019, and not purely off the backs of outcasts and idiosyncratics. In 2019, the fact that a person plays video games doesn’t say a lot about them. The escapist tendency is strong in most of us, no stronger in gamers than in those who compulsively use Instagram or comment on New York Times articles. We can’t pretend anymore that the places online we escape to are entirely separate from what we’re escaping from when escapism itself has become an industry optimized to distort these base desires.


    The Story Behind the Tireless Slog of Porting 'Double Dragon' to Genesis



    Back then, game companies basically dumped an arcade machine in your lap and said "good luck."


    Nearly 30 years ago, Mortal Kombat’s blood forever changed the video game industry



    Two engineers from Midway pulled their truck up to an arcade, threw open the shutter door, and rolled out a plain black cabinet. They wheeled it into the cool, dimly lit den of flashing screens and plugged it in near two of Capcom’s Street Fighter 2 machines. Then they waited.


    The Perpetual Tomorrow of Virtual Reality



    VR still hasn’t matched the reveries of science fiction. But for developers, hope springs eternal.


    'Gears 5' Director on His Career of Salvaging Game Development Trainwrecks



    A lengthy chat with Rod Fergusson about his long road in games, going from a fixer who helped ship 'Counter-Strike' for Xbox, 'Gears of War,' and 'BioShock Infinite,' to running a studio.


    Life is Strange 2 interview with Michel Koch: Family, religion, and race



    Life is Strange 2 has been a heavy story from Dontnod Entertainment, one that Shacknews was eager to speak to co-game director/art director Michel Koch about. We get raw about the past two episodes, the role of religion, forgiveness, and the touchy subject of race.

    Why are games journalists giving Kentucky Fried Chicken free advertising?


    I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator appeared earlier this week as an official, free KFC-themed dating simulator set to roll out Sept. 24. The game features a romanceable (and ridiculously attractive) Colonel Sanders, along with multiple endings, anime-style art, and a full-fledged story to enjoy. Oh, and it looks fun.


    Masahiro Sakurai's Arcade Days Taught Him To Be Mindful Of All Types Of Players



    In the arcades, when I was younger, there was a game called King of Fighters 95, and I thought I was pretty good. I had a 50-strong win streak on Street Fighter 2 around that time. So I was playing King of Fighters once – and the way arcades are set up in Japan, you can’t really see the person you’re playing against, because you’re on opposite sides of the cabinet. I was feeling pleased with myself because I was winning, and it turned out to be a total beginner with their partner, just trying to have fun, and I thought, ‘Oh no, I shouldn’t have beaten them so badly. Now they’re going to feel like they never want to play it again!’ It’s important to think about the beginner crowd.


    Most video games ask me to do everything, which makes doing nothing so fun



    Adam Robinson-Yu’s indie exploration game subverts my expectation of ‘winning’


    Control freak: Inside the narrative design of Remedy's least linear game



    In an effort to better understand the making of the game's critically-acclaimed narrative Gamasutra chatted with Brooke Maggs, a narrative designer at Remedy who has previously worked on The Gardens Between, Florence, and Paperbark, about her experience working to craft Control's eerie setting.


    It's Hard to Keep Returning to Video Game Apocalypses



    Postscript is Cameron Kunzelman's weekly column about endings, apocalypses, deaths, bosses, and all sorts of other finalities. There’s a part of the back story for Remedy’s Alan Wake that I’ve been entranced by since I first played the game.

    Decades before the plot of the game takes place, a writer named Thomas Zane discovers that he can use his writing talent to resurrect his dead wife. It goes awry. You can’t turn back the clock. It’s a deal with dark forces. You know the drill. In the horrible aftermath he realizes that he can use the same power to reverse everything, to unring a bell, and so he does. He writes himself and the horror he’s brought to the world through his necrography out of existence.

    This is the last regular Postscript column.


    20 years later, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is still a frightening prophecy



    Should the good guys always win?


    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the Cruel Realities of White Phosphorous



    Regardless of the rationale behind the variety of wars throughout history, there's one commonality they all share: they are all a tragedy. As a Marine, I tried my best to conduct myself as a humane, professional warrior. No matter who you fight for, your job is to kill the enemy. People were trying to kill me and I, in turn, was trying to kill them. But I also had no desire for anyone to suffer needlessly. I believe in the Laws of War. The battlefield is hellish enough with us already trying our hardest to kill one another. Adherence to the accepted international rules of combat prevent unnecessary suffering, provide guidelines for proportional responses, and define humane treatment of prisoners of war.


    A tale of revenge and murder in Rust



    We often publish uplifting articles on here about the positive impact of games. Whether that be a Skyrim-playing grandma immortalised in the next Elder Scrolls game, or a memorial to a modder's dog - games have an incredible power to heal and soothe. This story's about vengeance.


    Designing the Powerful Loneliness of The Long Dark


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

    We talk to Raphael van Lierop about designing the solitude of The Long Dark, how people have used the game to escape, and creating a world which challenges the player to make impossible decisions to survive.


    Insurgency Documentary - The Mod That Started it All | Gameumentary


    Escapist Magazine and Gameumentary are proud to present our first documentary series here on Escapist featuring the Insurgency franchise developed by New World Interactive.


    Greedfall: Colonial Bullsh*t? - Conquest of Dread


    Okay whanau, had to smash this one out super quick because I'm big mad about the made up videogame people!

    Because I smashed this one out so fast it doesn't really have all the bells and whistles that my videos normally do, it's more like my first video, just a relatively straight forward video essay/rant; so my apologies for that I just really needed to get it off my chest!

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


    The Animation of Hollow Knight


    At long last, I'm enjoying this beautiful game and making a video on it!

    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


    The World Design of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption | Boss Keys


    Metroid Prime 3 might be best known for its inventive pointer-based control scheme. But in this video, let's take a close look at its world(s) design to see what it can tell us about making Metroidvanias.


    Remembering The Bureau: XCOM Declassified / GAMESD


    In this video, I explore 2013's bygone XCOM period piece The Bureau.

    If you want to see your name here, consider supporting the GAMESD project for a dollar per video: https://www.patreon.com/hotcyder


    Suda 51's Blood+ | The Missing Link Between Killer7 & No More Heroes



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


    Larian Studios breaks into Valve for Divinity: Original Sin 2


    What happens when you use magic to bypass an ironclad security system that include the best creations that Valve games have to offer? Watch Swen as he attempts to pull off the greatest heist of all. Deep in the depths of the Valve Server Vaults. Our save files, adventure and treachery await...


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