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Found 14 results

  1. 2017 is now behind us and I've put together a list of some of the best writing I saw throughout the year. Created with the goal of highlighting the work of some of the best writers and journalists in the industry and to share topics that can enhance understanding of the game industry, events of the previous year, and of the games themselves. Many of these have been shared in my weekly This Week In Gaming articles. These articles might focus on developer and game history, what working in the industry is like, what games make us think and feel, things that have effected the industry this year, the effects of games on people and culture, entertaining stories, lessons learned and connections established through games, and articles that can give you a greater understanding of game development. Links are included to author's social media account and it is worth following them and their work if you are interested in games and the industry. Previous Best Games Writing Articles 2016 History of the Industry, Developers, and Games Articles and interview that examine the life and work of developers and studios and the games and franchises that they created or worked on. "OK, so maybe I did kill Aerith. But if I hadn’t stopped you, in the second half of the game, you were planning to kill everyone off but the final three characters the player chooses!" Final Fantasy 7 An Oral History (By Matt Leone) "Bamberger stayed calm. Years of prep and planning, countless conversations with the marketing gurus at TBWA\Chiat\Day, packaging and posters and commercials and magazines branded with the game’s release date—everything he had worked for hinged on this moment. “How do you get a game to sell through a million units at the time we were trying to do it?” he asked me. “A lot of that is, you build your case slowly over time, like a drumbeat.” How Final Fantasy 7 Revolutionized Videogame Marketing and Helped Sony Tackle Nintendo (By David L. Craddock) Matt Leone gives us a look at the creation of Final Fantasy VII, told by those that worked on it, while David Craddock looks at how the game was marketed and the team behind it. "So, the sun was shining, with the lens flare, and Steve sort of stopped the demo right there and said: “Yeah, but you know, at Pixar, we can render dozens of suns.” Jason’s immediate reply to him was: “Yeah, but can you do it in real time?” There was this pregnant pause and Steve’s says: “Okay, you’re in.” And he picked up his Fudgsicle and walked back into his office, and that was it. So that’s how we got in, a little bit of chutzpah and an OpenGL tech demo running on what was soon to be the Mac." The Complete, Untold History of Halo (By Steve Haske and and edited by Mike Diver and Austin Walker) Steve Haske gives us the history of the Halo franchise, as told by the people that created it. "[What] I remember being a huge problem was [on] Episode One, like literally three days before we weren’t allowed to touch the project anymore, Pierre comes to me — I think Guardians of the Galaxy had just come out. There’s a moment in the first episode where your friend Loader Bot can explode, and it’s based on a player choice. Pierre comes to me and says, “I don’t think we should let Loader Bot die.” I’m just like, “Well, okay. We’re 36, 48 hours away from this thing going live, what are you talking about? That choice is there.” And he said, “I think we might be blowing up our Groot.” Tales from the Borderlands: The Oral History (By Duncan Fyfe) Duncan Fyfe tells the story of how Tales From the Borderlands came to be from his interviews with Telltale and Gearbox staff members. "We would send renderings of Superman, and we would get images back from Warner Bros. with his crotch area circled, 'Make this part bigger; make this part smaller.' This went on for months." Superman Returns: What went wrong (By Matt Paprocki) Matt Paprocki learns what the development of a failed Superman Returns game was like. "Mass Effect: Andromeda was in development for five years, but by most accounts, BioWare built the bulk of the game in less than 18 months. This is the story of what happened." The Story Behind Mass Effect: Andromeda's Troubled Five-Year Development (By Jason Schreier) Jason Schreier looks into the troubled development of Mass Effect Andromeda, the original ideas behind the game, cut elements, a team spread across the world, and how most of the game was made in 18 months despite the five year development. "While there are dozens of perspectives on whether or not EA’s decision to axe the studio was justified, many who worked at the studio say they couldn’t see this ending any other way. “Honestly, it was a mercy killing,” said one former Visceral employee. “It had nothing to do with whether it was gonna be single player. I don’t think it had anything to do with that. That game never could’ve been good and come out.” The Collapse Of Visceral's Ambitious Star Wars Game (By Jason Schreier) Schreier looks into the closing of Visceral studio by talking to former Visceral developers and looking at studio responses, industry trends, issues with Star Wars being owned by another company, Amy Hennig’s role in the company, embracing poor decisions to impress fans and executives, problems with adapting the game engine for a new genre, problems with studio size and division, the immense scope of the project seeming more like a fever dream to some, the history of Visceral's recent projects, and how their Star Wars game partly began life as an open world pirate game. If you liked his articles looking into studio and game development, Jason also released an excellent book this year looking into the development of 10 different games Blood, Sweat, and Pixels. "Infocom believed that what Meretzky had created was more than just a game – it was a piece of interactive literature. To stress the seriousness of its ambitions, they held a press conference for A Mind Forever Voyaging's release at the New York Public Library. Meretzky himself desperately wanted to see the game's pointed message spark some real controversy. "I was hoping I'd get dragged in front of a congressional committee," he says." Flashback: How 'A Mind Forever Voyaging' Took Aim at Right-Wing Politics (By Chris Baker) Chris Baker writes about the development of 80s text adventures, focusing on a classic 1985 game that offered social commentary at a time when games weren't thought to be capable of that, and on how the game inspired the writers of stories like Rogue One, Book of Eli, Telltale's The Walking Dead, and Her Story. "Big Bang Bar's creation is a story of pinball's near death, of one man's attempt to become a piece of pinball history, of bankruptcy, of obsession, of short-lived redemption and personal disaster." When pigs flew: The strange history of Capcom's Big Bang Bar (By Brian Crecente) Brian Crecente writes about the history of Capcom with pinball machines and attempts to find a long lost table and the man behind its creation. "So, when it came to games that weren’t Ultima Origin had had to content themselves with projects one notch down from the top tier — projects which, whether because they weren’t flashy enough or were just too nichey, weren’t of huge interest to the bigger publishers. Those brought in enough revenue to justify their existence but not much more, and thus Robert Garriott continued to bet the company every two years on his brother’s latest Ultima. It was a nerve-wracking way to live. And then, in 1990, all that changed practically overnight. This article and the one that follows will tell the story of how the house that Ultima built found itself with an even bigger franchise on its hands." From Squadron to Wingleader and From Wingleader to Wing Commander (By Jimmy Maher) Jimmy Maher looks at some of the history of Origin Systems, the hiring and early work of Chris Roberts, and the people and ideas behind the creation of the game that would rival Ultima, Wing Commander. "At one point he said: 'I hope you appreciate that this is the last time any of you will be able to work on games in this way. The industry is changing.'" Death or Glory: How 1997 Changed Video Games Forever (By Keith Stuart) Keith Stuart looks at the way the game industry changed in 1997, the games that were released, the changes made by companies and developers, and losing old habits and freedoms in order to embrace the future. "There was a lot of internal criticism about deducting so much life gauge with one attack. SNK management said this design had to be changed, but I thought it was very interesting to have players fight under the risk and fear of fighting with weapons and feel the destructive force of the sword, so I ignored them and kept it in the game." The making of Samurai Shodown (By James Mielke) James Mielke interviews three of the developers of Samurai Shodown and talks about how the game came to be and the ideas behind it. "They didn't know it at the time, but the members of Naughty Dog in that room — Kurosaki, Rafei and co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin — were looking at the system that would host the team's next game: Crash Bandicoot. They were seeing the console their company would eventually create the unofficial mascot for — the console they would develop Naughty Dog's first smash hit for. It was Kurosaki and Rafei's second day with the company." Crash Bandicoot: An oral history (By Blake Hester) Blake Hester speaks to creators of Crash Bandicoot, a game that helped redefine platformers and that helped to turn Naughty Dog into the studio they are today. "My mandate to re-envision and redesign The Oregon Trail was almost overwhelming at first—the possibilities were endless, yet I had to get it absolutely right on the first release. For 13 years, from 1971 to 1984, the OREGON game had remained essentially unchanged. A few small details had been tweaked along the way, but never had the product been completely re-imagined and redesigned. Never had the underlying models been changed—the structures, algorithms, and assumptions upon which the game is based. For the very first time, we were going to throw out everything—including all of the existing software programming, which dated back to 1971—and start completely from scratch." I Designed The Oregon Trail, You Have Died of Dysentery (By R. Philip Bouchard) R. Philip Bouchard on the history of The Oregon Trail, the original text 1971 version, and changes that were made and that weren't able to be included in the newer version that would be designed for a home market instead of a school market. "Sadly, it's here the story takes a darker turn and we come to the crux of why Whittaker's achievements have gone unsung for so long. "There were issues with my name, because my christened name is Jane," he explains. "I was asked to use a male name on titles, because at the time if you were doing a macho shooting game it was thought that a female name would downgrade the brand. My dad came up with the idea of using Andrew - I think he got as far as A in a book of names and got bored. So most of my games went out as Andrew Whittaker to avoid advertising these gender issues to the outside world." Threats, fake names and philanthropy: The untold story of Jane Whittaker (By James Batchelor) James Batchelor tells the history of developer Jane Whittaker, who moved to America to work with Atari at 16, and why he was told to use a fake name for most of his career as he worked on a large number of popular and influential games. "I remember when I left [the company, right before Underground was released], I sent [Joel an] email and was like, "Hey, Joel. Can we have a chat?" He said, "Yeah, come to the office." So I went to the office and I walked in. He had both feet on the table. He had a revolver in his hand and he spun the barrel, like flicked it in, pointed the gun at me and then said, "So you're quitting, huh?" …I had this speech worked out in my head, but how do you get over that?" From Busted Teeth to Broken TVs: The Oral History of Tony Hawk's Underground (By Blake Hester) Blake Hester talks to the development team behind Tony Hawk's Underground covering topics that include the ideas behind the game's creation, the culture of the studio, working with pro skateboarders, Activision forgoing their normal greenlight process, and how they did it in under a year. Writing On Games Articles on the games themselves, effects they had on the industry, the stories they tell, how gameplay is used, deeper meanings of titles, etc. "The point is, the moment is scripted in such a way that you can’t get past the officer, and the only way to progress is to hit him. But players don’t spend time to figure out what to do next, they just do it. Because the level made players go past their breaking point just like the whole situation made Emile go past breaking point." How Valiant Hearts drives you to the breaking point (By Stanislav Costiuc) Stanislav Costiuc writes about one of the most memorable levels and moments in Valiant Hearts and how the mechanics put you in the mindset of the protagonist. "The true evil in Night in the Woods is both rampant capitalism itself and the hate that is so easily fueled when people become disenfranchised as infrastructures collapse and jobs dry up. And Night in the Woods is so fiercely, justifiably angry at these things." What Lies Beneath: On the Love and Anger of Night in the Woods (By Carolyn Petit) "Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods poignantly and sympathetically captures the human scale of the widening millennial vs baby boomer gap. Setting aside stats and diatribes, it explores the messy, awkward nature of a paradigm shift that lives under the same roof, shares the same blood, and harbors the same deep familial love and frustration for one another." The Human Cost of the Millennial Generation Gap in Night in the Woods (By Jess Joho) "Because its too soft to say I disagree with the notion that the last acts of NitW are out of place: the truth is I think the supernaturalism of the game is as crucial as any moment in the narrative. It cements the message of the game by prefacing the structurally crucial epilogue with this severe moment of politically charged unreality, a moment that ultimately leads the reader to conclude with Mae that as long as nothing is real or rational or fair, the best we can manage is to hang on to individual moments of social connectivity." The Monster at the End of Capitalism (By Trevor Strunk) I've probably read more articles on Night in the Woods than on any other game this year, some of the best pieces I've seen have been Carolyn Petit's on the fierce and justifiable anger of the game, Jess Joho's on the generational themes of Night in the Woods, and Trevor Strunk's on the supernatural elements that appeared in the late game and why they work. "NieR, and its strange mom Drakengard, are series that accomplish this a lot: affect physical feeling in some way. Their mastermind is a masked man named Yoko Taro who loves beer and who wants Square-Enix to hire him. Mainly, he wants to surprise us players with our own feelings by reminding us they’re still in there, somewhere." Yoko Taro: Weird feelings for weird people (By Ruben Ferdinand) Ruben Ferdinand looks at the characters and themes of Yoko Taro's games and how the main thing we learn from them are the roles of violence and silence. "As S.R. Holiwell explains in A Maze of Muderscapes, Metroid II is ultimately a game about genocide. It’s a singular minded push into the territory of an indigenous species to wipe out a lifeform that has been designated a threat to the galaxy, despite their inability to escape their native planet. Everything about the game contributes to that: the hostile, painful soundscapes, the restrictive corridors, and the counter that makes a permanent space on your HUD, counting down the number of Metroids left alive on the planet. AM2R retains none of that, replacing every aspect with elements that imitate the blueprint of Super Metroid." Picture in a Frame (By Amr Al-Aaser) Amr Al-Aaser on how we talk about games, how we frame and describe them in ways that can cause us to fail to understand what an individual game says and does on its own terms. Amr uses the recent fan remake of Metroid 2 as an example for how the game completely changed the tone and narrative of the original, if you are interested in the topic of tonal changes that AM2R and Metroid Returns made to Metroid 2, Mark Brown did a video looking at all three games. "That’s where the extraordinary Nier: Automata comes in. This is a game that, in its own way, takes a long, hard look at the same forces of hatred, prejudice and fear that Geralt speaks about in The Witcher 3, and grimly acknowledges how tragically destructive they are. And then, in the end, when everything seems to be lost and it appears as if ignorance, fear, and hatred have all but devoured every last glimmer of hope and life and love, the game does something truly extraordinary." Contained in Our Moments: Ignorance and Love in Nier: Automata and The Witcher 3 (By Carolyn Petit) Carolyn Petit on the expressions of emotion in The Witcher 3 and Nier Automata and Nier's more hopeful tone compared to Geralt's world weary cynicism in combating violence and ignorance. "Horizon is inspiring because it doesn’t boast about humanity being worth saving, it doesn’t put hope on a pedestal. Instead it deals with reality, it says mortality is coming and we’ve fucked up." Horizon: Zero Dawn and the beauty of annihilation (By Tauriq Moosa) Tauriq Moosa on how Horizon Zero Dawn was inspiring to him and how, in dealing with reality, it makes him want to be a better person. "But she definitely helps, and I’m glad she’s here, because if Breath of the Wild fills me with hope and excitement for the worlds that action-adventure games may create in years to come, then Horizon Zero Dawn makes me a little more optimistic about who might populate those worlds, and the heroes who may rise to save them." Children of the Earth: The Limits of Link and the Promise of Aloy (By Carolyn Petit) Carolyn Petit looks at what games in the future can learn from the world of Breath of the Wild and the characters of Horizon Zero Dawn. "Quadrilateral Cowboy is built on relationships that are recognizable, that can be mapped to real life, even though the setting is in many ways fantastical. It's based on an idea of closeness not as a sudden thing or as an object of extreme drama, but as a slowly germinating process in which people's lives and spaces blur into one another. And in portraying friendship so effectively, it highlights how rare those relationships are in game narratives." 'Quadrilateral Cowboy' Points to a Different Kind of Intimacy in Games (By Bruno Dias) Bruno Dias writes about game's struggle with intimacy and how Quadrilateral Cowboy's story is built on recognizable relationships. "While the situations are often overblown and bizarre, there's something at their core that still feels grounded in the era's reality: furors over hot new game releases and technology, youthful rebellion against boring corporate life, and the excitement that celebrities and media would create." 'Yakuza 0' is A Postcard from Another Time (By Heidi Kemps) Heidi Kemps explores how Yakuza 0 acts as a postcard from 1980s Japan. "That’s the thing with fictional violence—it’s never actually representative of real violence, but instead serves as a dramatic and thematic tool to convey a feeling or idea. This plays a large part into what makes the recent video game Yakuza 0 so compelling—it takes the traditional violence of crime fiction and repurposes that into this wider idea of constructive resistance." The Transformative Violence of Yakuza 0 (By Patrick Larose) Patrick Larose on the framing of violence in Yakuza 0 and how it can be channeled into a reconstructive force. "This is how these games convey the purpose of taverns as interstitial spaces between the mundane and fantastic. In the Torment games, bars mean finding reflection and escapism amidst confusing worlds so vastly different than our own, yet with characters so strikingly resonant when given the chance to unwind. Speaking with characters, learning about their pasts and their cultures, what this place means to them, is valued alongside the protagonists’ player guided self-discovery." Hold my Beer — Why the Torment Games Have the Best Video Game Bars (By Dakota Joyce) Dakota Joyce on how simple taverns end up having some of the more interesting moments in two games with the most fantastical settings. "Especially in these dark days, the warmth and humanity of Sareh’s depiction is a much needed point of light. As a protagonist-like figure, she neatly expresses a theme endemic to all of Tacoma: that even in a grim, dystopian future, there is always hope to be found in the way people manage to simply survive." Opinion: In praise of Tacoma's character Sareh Hasmadi (By Katherine Cross) Katherine Cross on the portrayal and humanity of Tacoma's character Sareh Hasmadi. "If a game about Egypt's history, released in 2017, is to say anything about its setting, taking aim at the abuses of power that have oppressed its population for millennia seems more than appropriate." How Assassin's Creed Origins Captures the Politics, Colonialism, and Betrayal of the Real Ancient Egypt (By Reid McCarter) Reid McCarter on how, by diving into the past, Origin shows insight on the history of Egypt and the modern world. "The men are forced to deal with the bodies that society would typically let them ignore, watching them break down around them." Wolfenstein 2 and Mending Broken Things (By Brendan Keogh) Brendan Keogh on how Wolfenstein is about the fragility of two types of bodies that underpin Western values, what it takes for them to fall apart, and giving form to emotions that capture the current atmosphere. "Whatever we may spend our time doing, who doesn’t want to do that? And when it comes to a medium like video games, where developers are crafting interactive future visions that can sell to millions, which creators don’t have a touch of the obsessive about them?" Gore as Art in The Evil Within 2 (By Richard Stanton) Richard Stanton on The Evil Within 2 antagonists Stefano Valentini. "It’s an odd, ill-fitting note in a game that filled me with a strange sort of grief, because it is the moment I could feel a culture’s connection to the recent past growing weaker and fainter. The grim, driven men of this story have a coldly distant, heroic quality to them that belongs more to myth than history. It reminded me that my grandfathers with all their flaws and frailties are both gone, and so is my grandmother with her shoebox full of small, fading Victory Mail letters, a War Department telegram, and photos of her one trip outside the United States, to a military cemetery in France." Watching History Fade Away in 'Call of Duty: WWII' (By Rob Zacny) Rob Zacny on the fading memory of WWII and the portrayal of the war in Call of Duty WWII and other media that have helped us replace the truth of the past with myth. Game Design Articles that focus on game design and the ideas and process behind them "Game designers work with and for the human mind; we have to consider human experience, perception and our mindset when we are at play. Whenever you choose to play, you likely want the game to feel internally consistent enough that you can buy into the experience. You're able to go along for the ride if the game feels like it makes sense." Games aren’t always fair, the magic lies in making you think they are (By Jennifer Scheurle) Jennifer Scheurle's article on her twitter thread where she asked developers to talk about game mechanics that are hidden from players, reading this can help you understand the kinds of things developers have to do and think about in order to create an enjoyable game. "For Robert Yang, a game designer and professor at NYU Game Center, this prioritization is a natural outcome of the unchecked biases that lie behind the 3D technology that powers modern gaming. "When 3D artists test their new skin shaders, they often use a 3D head scan of a white guy named Lee Perry-Smith," he notes. "What does it mean if we're all judging the quality of our skin shader solutions by seeing who can make the best rendered white guy?" Black Skin Is Still A Radical Concept in Video Games (By Yussef Cole and Tanya DePass) Yussef Cole And Tanya DePass on how the technology behind film and games were never created with darker skin tones in mind. "That’s where glitches come in. The competitive community has always had a strained relationship with them, preferring to rely on skill instead of exploit a mistake. But they’re often the best way to push a game to its limits. Sometimes, these discoveries even have the potential to make the game more balanced." Finding Beauty in the Weirdest Fighting Game Glitches (By Ian Walker) Ian Walker writes about fighting game glitches, how some ended up helping to balance games, how they lead to popular mechanics, and how they have impacted the course of the entire genre. "If you work on [a] game that includes a little bit of yourself — in [the] form of an Easter egg — you treat it more personally, and you care more. It becomes your game, not only a game that you happen to be working on," says Katarzyna Tarnacka, a concept artist at Polish developer Techland. "And I think a similar thing applies to the players. When I find Easter eggs in other games, then those games become special. It's a real human touch that I can sense." The costs of developing Easter eggs (By Blake Hester) Blake Hester looks at the work that goes into adding easter eggs in games and the situations that can lead to their creation. "I have a firmly-held belief that to honor a medium, and for it to grow, you have to do what it does that no other media can do. When I look at what games can do that other media can't, I instantly go right to the immersive sim. That sort of real-time you are there, nothing stands between you and belief that you're in an alternate world, that is something that I guess LARPing gets a little close to, and D&D gets pretty darn close to, but we're the first mainstream medium that can actually do that. And the immersive sim is the perfect way to do it." Working In the Game Industry Articles focused on what it is like to work in the game industry or in fields connected to the game industry. "Along with my friend and photographer, Levi Ryman, I spent a month between February and March of this year in my Ford Escape traveling 9,000 miles across the United States and back, visiting families, communities and developers in an effort to create a scrapbook of sorts, full of stories and profiles showing what it's like for developers across the United States to create games. What I learned is that, just as no two people are the same, no two games are made the same way. Everyone we visited had a different story about how their location and the people around them has influenced the way they work and the games they put out." A month on the road: My indie developer road trip (By Blake Hester) Blake Hester spent a month traveling around the United States to learn the stories of developers and how their lives and games are influenced by where they live. "I wrote one of the first stories about Blizzard Entertainment, when they were known as Chaos Studios. They sold their company for a very small amount of money these days, $7 million or something, to Davidson and Associates, but went on to be very successful. The president of Blizzard recently said to me, “Thank you for 25 years of good coverage.” It’s this guy, Mike Morhaime. I covered Brian Fargo of Interplay, and still cover him today. He’s about to retire. I’m not quite ready to do that." A life in game journalism (By Dean Takahashi) Dean Takahashi writes about his life and experiences as a game journalist and the events that got him to where he is today. "There can be a conflict when talking about what it’s like to be a woman in the industry, and how to balance being honest with how bad it can be, but also wanting to be encouraging. Most of the women I spoke to had their eyes firmly forward, looking toward the future." Women in Video Game Development in 2017: A Snapshot (By Lucy O'Brien) Lucy O'Brien interviewed 55 developers about the moments that influenced their career paths, educational institutions and the way games are marketed turning people away from development or not informing them about the kind of careers available, social stigmas and workplace conduct that prevent people from joining the industry or that causes veterans to leave it, and communities that help support and offer new opportunists. "A living legend was talking about what a great job that Soliani did, and in response, his eyes welled up with tears. He stood up, waved awkwardly, and tried not to completely break down in front of the theater of people." This E3 Was All About Men Crying Onstage, And That Is Wonderful (By Cameron Kunzelman) Cameron Kunzelman covers how game development can be an emotional experience and how that was shown at this year's E3. "Jason Brassard, owner of Trade N Games in Fenton, Mo., gives the same five-to-10-year timeframe. "I don't think this industry, in retail, is left in 10 years," he says. "… No, not in the least bit. I mean, there will be some collectibles, but paying two employees who work full time and paying a few thousand in rent, nah. No way. Not a chance." What it costs to run an independent video game store (By Matt Leone) Matt Leone looks at the costs of running independent game stores by talking to people who have done it through the 80s to modern times and talks to them about adapting to changing times, store policies and how they did and do business, and the future of retail gaming stores. "It's not farfetched to suggest that the implementation of the ACA in 2010 played a large role in the 'boom' of independent game studios." Game Developers Speak Up in the Face of Obamacare Repeal and More Stories of How Obamacare Has Affected Game Developers (By Joseph Knoop) Joseph Knoop talks to developers about the negative effects the ACA repeal can have on the industry, getting stories from those that needed to be hospitalized, hearing about the ways the repeal can end the careers of women, and how developers can be prevented from leaving larger studios to pursue their own passion projects. "As an independent video game developer, The Chinese Room lives by the seat of its pants. It is the same for so many across the video game world. If money's not coming in, you can't pay the bills. That's why developers often spend as much time pitching projects as they do building games. If there's nothing coming next, it could be hard to keep the lights on - possibly impossible." The doors close on The Chinese Room - for now (By Wesley Yin-Poole) Wesley Yin-Poole on the closure of the studio The Chinese Room and the struggles faced by independent developers. "I did a public talk a couple weeks ago to a room full of all ages kids, and afterwards, a kid came up to me and was talking about stuff. And I shit you not, this kid (somewhere between 13-16 I'd guess) starts talking about how bad devs are because of a youtuber he watches. He nailed all the points, "bad engines", "being greedy", you name it. I was appalled. I did my best to tell him that all those things people freak out about are normal and have justifications. I hope I got through a bit. But I expect he went back to consuming toxic culture via youtube personalities, and one day he'll probably harass a dev over nonsense." Game Designer Says Developers Would Be More Candid If Gamer Culture Wasn't So Toxic (Twitter thread by Charles Randall and write up by ‏Jason Schreier) Charles Randall‏ writes a thread on Twitter about what keeps developers from being more candid about the way games are made. "In that same vein, if I didn’t want to be banned from Steam, I shouldn’t have made You Must be 18 or Older to Enter. The logic follows. If the game had monsters, or violence, or death, or used other traditional horror aspects over childhood curiosity, it probably wouldn’t have been banned from Steam." The Fun is Over, We Have to Get Serious about Games (By James Cox) James Cox talks about the need to stop treating certain subjects in games as jokes, his game being wrongly classified as porn and removed from Steam, and the cycle created by distribution platforms, streamers, and Youtubers that influence gaming culture and makes developing or even having the language to talk about new and unique experiences difficult. Life and Games Articles on the meaning that games can have for people, connections they help create, and why they matter. "I grinned, and halfway through my amusement I suddenly realised that while my mother could read up on the games news, there was another language that my mother did not speak: the language of games. For all her enthusiasm and knowledge of the medium, she had never once held a controller, or booted up a video game. We had been talking about games, the business, the people, and the stories and moments that impacted me for almost a decade, and my mother had nodded along understanding everything but the heart of it: the games themselves." Mom, 'Final Fantasy' and the Language of Gaming (Rami Ismail) Rami Ismail on teaching the language of gaming and a year spent gaming with his mom. "With his beloved science fiction novels to the right of the desk and a view of the garden stretching from behind his computer screen, Stephen would become enveloped first in The Flame In The Flood and then in Firewatch. At the age of 63, Stephen, recently retired, rekindled a passion that had been with him since the early '80s." The 63-Year-Old Retiree Who Broke A Game Looking for The End of the World (By Lewis Gordon) Lewis Gordon writes about how The Flame In the Flood and Firewatch helped a man rekindle an old passion. "It’s hard to say exactly how many women feel burdened by the responsibilities of motherhood, but from anecdotal experience I’d say it’s not uncommon. And yet we don’t feel comfortable expressing it, as if somehow, by admitting our infallibility, we’re no longer capable at all. Life is messy, yet nothing short of perfection is enough. To be a mother is to agonize over every decision, to accuse yourself of selfishness for having basic needs. Every second spent on anything other than your child comes with an extra side of shame. “If only I’d been more attentive” becomes the answer to every perceived failure. It always seems as though the second you look away, that’s when everything will go wrong. For Karen, it did." How I Finally Found A Mom I Can Identify With—In A Videogame (By Holly Green) Holly Green writes about motherhood and finding a mother she can identify with in the game Through the Woods. "Everyone I talked to for this story had one thing in common: games. Sometimes video games, sometimes tabletop games. But what bound them together was a sense of being thrust into the shadows of society, forced to hide themselves, and finding solace, hope, and even careers in games. While they waited for the world to change, they embraced games." Undocumented Immigrants Describe Life Under DACA, and How Games Helped Them (By Patrick Klepek) Patrick Klepek talks to DACA immigrants about how games helped them and their desire to work in and their current contributions to the game industry. "History has a habit of repeating itself when people forget, you see, but are videogames the right place to remind us? They’re bigger than any other entertainment medium, after all, but often the medium with the least to say." Videogames’ portrayal of the Holocaust does a disservice to both players and victims (By Kirk McKeand) Kirk McKeand talks to Jewish game industry veterans on the portrayal of Nazis and the holocaust in video games, covering topics such as how pop culture influences the appearance of Nazis in media, the way games ignore certain topics, and the portrayal of similar topics in indie and lesser known titles. "The hero’s own voice may be crafting a narrative to be used against them, via events and recordings that they don’t remember or maybe never made in the first place. While trapped in this location, surrounded by infinite void on all sides, the main character must either reject the horrific mistakes of their past as outright lies or accept their sins, making amends or choosing to lean into the power and freedom of their new role as the villain. This is also how it feels to be bipolar. I know that now, because I was diagnosed while I was playing the game." When the Void Stares Back: Prey, Post-Humanism and Mental Illness (By Brock Wilbur) Brock Wilbur writes about playing as an unreliable narrator in Prey and the ability to be one in your own life. "In part, Neo Japan Games has become a mini-power plant. A generator which Robles has been running daily since re-opening the store 14 days after the storm makes it an oasis of sorts." In Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico, This Used Game Store Is A Welcome Escape (By Ethan Gach) Ethan Gach on how a used game store serves as a refuge as the population attempts to rebuild. Game Industry Abroad Articles covering the game industry of different countries, mostly focused on the ones that we don't often associate with video games, or covering how the industry is growing and effecting people and places worldwide. "Secret gaming networks entwine utility lines, broadcast from rooftops and piggy-back phone cables over highways. Speakeasy arcades can be found in many Havana neighborhoods, locked away behind closed doors. Blocked by two governments, U.S. video games — normally priced in the U.S. at more than a Cuban makes in a month — are as inexpensive as they are ubiquitous in Cuba’s thriving black market. And the people who play these games are just as passionate about making them, writing about them, competing in them. This is a new generation of Cubans; raised on illicit video gaming, born to love everything those games offer from the ability to create interactive, moving art, to gaming’s deep social roots and frenetic sense of play." Cuba: Where underground arcades, secret networks and piracy are a way of life (By Brian Crecente) Brian Crecente gives a detailed look at gaming culture in Cuba in a series of 12 articles covering piracy, esports, development, secret networks and arcades, and more. "And yet, innovation within China is not dead. Thanks to the recent success of digital marketplaces like Steam and itch.io which sit outside the Chinese government’s scrutiny, in combination with the increasing accessibility of game-making tools like Unity and RPG Maker, local developers are pushing back against the stereotypical depictions of China in video games. By telling personal, human stories, these developers want to show the world that Chinese culture is so much more than Kung Fu and red dragons." Why It's So Hard To Make Games In China (By Matt Sayer) Matt Sayer on the game industry of China and difficulty of developing games there. "Clearly, no one pays for content in Pakistan; everything is pirated," he says. "So I looked at the biggest spenders in the space, and one of the bigger spenders in Pakistani cricket is Pepsi. So I contacted the marketing company who handles their account." What it’s like making games in Pakistan (By Basim Usmani) Basim Usamani looks at the game industry of Pakistan and how a small team of developers turned there game into a financial success when most things are pirated. "According to Overwatch lore, D.va is a pro gamer who serves and inspires her country. In real life, D.va’s role is starting to mirror her in-game persona, as she becomes a symbol of hope for women in South Korea." D.va From Overwatch Has Become A Symbol of Hope In Real Life (By Nico Deyo) Nico Deyo talks about how Overwatch's pro Korean gamer D.Va is used as a symbol for female gamers in Korea. "In Seoul, where corporate-sponsored teams live in gaming houses and play in front of packed arenas, the top players are all men. The scandal swirling around Geguri felt like a tipping point. She was a unicorn, and people didn't believe she was real." Game: Interrupted (By Mina Kimes) Mina Kimes writes about the culture and esports scene of Korea and interviews a player that became a reluctant icon for other female gamers after her talent got her accused of cheating. “A huge chunk of the world gets disqualified over factors they can’t control, and this game company didn’t take the effort to think about how their supposed attempts at diversity actually backfired. If they’re already fucking up this way, how do you expect them to respond to the travel ban? Preemptively ban people from applying for jobs there? Closing down offices elsewhere? Only taking in super local people? Options that are actually legal and viable get thrown by the wayside.” How Trump's Travel Ban Impacts the Games Industry (By Holly Green and Creatrix Tiara) Holly Green writes about how immigration, passports, and travel bans have impacted the life of one developer. "The first obstacle to PC gaming's growth is a simple one: very few people own PCs in Japan. But there's much more to it than that. There's the challenge of using Steam in Japanese. There's the frequent need for a champion—sometimes a single person in a huge company—to boldly fight for a PC port. There's the long history of 'doujin' fan games in Japan and a struggling indie scene finally beginning to find its footing. There's a genetic predisposition to motion sickness that turns Japanese gamers away from first-person games. And there's 7-Eleven." How Japan learned to love PC gaming again (By Wes Fenlon) Wes Fenlon on how PC gaming has started to make a comeback in Japan. "July 2017 marked the first annual Tehran Game Convention. It felt like an event that had been refined over years. It was strikingly well organized, hosted 2300 attendees, and featured speakers from 14 countries covering a range of topics from scalable game servers (Ashkan Saeedi Mazdeh), to expanding existing universes (Rayna Anderson), to meaning and ethics in games (Wolfgang Walk), to applying game design techniques to understanding mental illness (David Baron). The games industry in Iran is well-established and sophisticated." Making Games in Tehran: A massive market, disconnected (By Brie Code) Brie Code attends the first game convention in Tehran and gives details about their growing game industry. Game Archiving “If it’s preserved, and if it’s accessible to the public, I hope writers, researchers, and historians will find those little gems, talk about it, and rewrite history,” he said. The history of games that’s commonly spread around—in the beginning, there was Space Invaders, which begat Pac-Man, which begat Mario—might be the history of the most successful products, but it’s not the history of the most influential art. “When you’re talking about art, you forget that it sold one million copies,” he says. “The history of video games that I’m reading every day on the internet everywhere is not the history I know. And is not the history as it was back in time.” Saving Japan's Games (By Chris Kohler) Chris Kohler writes about the Game Preservation Society, which is dedicated to the research and preservation of Japanese games. Chris covers why games and their associated materials is important to preserve, the history of the man who started the organization, how preservation is handled, the history of older computers, and the culture and laws of Japan that can make preservation efforts difficult. Localization "Released that May in North America, Vagrant Story was a significant step forward for English localization. A taut, lean story of dark medieval intrigue and magic, it was a game with a depth of language still uncommonly used to this day. I recently had the opportunity to interview localization editor Richard Amtower and famous translator Alexander O. Smith over email on their breakthrough early work in the field and to reflect on the rise of localization as a craft that truly mattered." "Make it Biblical:" How Vagrant Story Changed Game Localization (By John Learned) "One day in the late 1990s, Myria walked into the Irvine High School computer room and spotted a boy playing Final Fantasy V. There were two unusual things about this. The first was that Final Fantasy V had not actually come out in the United States. To play the 1992 Japanese game in English, you’d have to download a ROM, then install the unofficial fan translation patch that had recently begun circulating the internet. Myria knew about this patch because of the other unusual thing: she helped make it." How Three Kids With No Experience Beat Square And Translated Final Fantasy V Into English (By Jason Schreier) Jason Schreier tells the story of the kids that translated Final Fantasy V before Square and did a better job of it. He looks at how they got started, the influence of the translation, and at how the work was done. "Why do fans of JRPG giants assume Japanese writers can't write?" Persona 5: Phantoms of Translation and Persona 5's translation is a black mark on a brilliant game (By Connor Krammer) Connor Krammer created a website to explain some of the translations issues with Persona 5, give examples of a variety of problems, and to answer questions about localization and possible critiques of his observations. This was followed that up with a freelance article on Eurogamer where he talks about Persona 5 and localization. Krammer later wrote two threads on Twitter about some accusations and harassment that he had received after creating his site, which can be read here and here. Stories From Games Apart from the stories told by games there are the stories players create with them “Samantha Myth has shown me the dangers of trust, but also the power of friendship,” Tikktokk writes in a Reddit post updating everyone on the situation. “Long term friends can stab you in the back at any moment without reason or consequences. At the same time, those who have the opportunity to, but choose not, have proven [themselves] to be true friends who I hope to keep in contact with long after EVE Online shuts down.” How a scam in EVE Online turned into its greatest rescue mission Meet the most honest man in EVE Online How an EVE Online con artist tricked a ruthless pirate into giving him his priceless ship How one mistake turned EVE Online's deadliest hunters into corpses (By Steven Messner) Steven Messner has been keeping PCGamer readers updated with some of the stories from EVE Online over the last two years and these are some of the most entertaining ones from 2017. "I was there, embedded within an armada of more than 1,000 ships known as the Premonition Allied Coalition, or the PAC. They were there to defend a fictional character named Salomé, the invention of a science fiction author. Arrayed against them were the most deadly player-controlled fleets in the entire Milky Way galaxy." Elite: Dangerous' 3,000-player battle royale (By Charlie Hall) Charlie Hall covers the story of how Harry Potter's betrayal would influence the future of Elite Dangerous. "As Allison's corpse sank, so too did my chance at finding love." I was drugged, forced to sing, and accused of murder in one night on an Ark roleplaying server (By Steven Messner) Steven Messner sings, tries to find love, and causes a dinosaur stampede on an Ark roleplay server.
  2. Chris Kohler writes about the Game Preservation Society and their goal of saving Japanese games, Noclip's full documentary on The Witcher is available, Vic Hood looks into loot boxes and if they should be considered gambling, Kerbal Space Program newest game to be review bombed on Steam, IGN acquires Humble Bundle, AGDQ 2018 announces game lineup, what Final Fantasy IX teaches about war and a look at a book about the Final Fantasy most gamers have never played, Wolfenstein's tension system, lawsuits, Warhammer Vermintide 2 gameplay reveal, Japanese developers on TGS, Visceral Games shut down and people weigh in on what lead to this and the future of AAA linear single player focused releases, Games As Literature talks about Alan Wake, Brexit fears resurface at Westminster games panel, Civilization 6 update preview, Dragon Age Creative Director leaves Bioware, 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) Warhammer: Vermintide 2 brings a touch of Chaos to the Left 4 Dead formula Warhammer: Vermintide 2: release date, Chaos, career paths, gameplay, trailers - everything we know Here's how Weird West bounty hunting sim Hunt: Showdown works Call of Duty: WWII live-action trailer suggests you 'get your squad back together' Starborne is a massively multiplayer strategy game from former EVE Online devs Launch Trailer – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Wolfenstein 2's B.J. reloads faster when he's under pressure More than 3,000 Nazis die in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus 'Wolfenstein II' Stars Address Nazi Marketing Controversy Why 'Wolfenstein II' Marketing Has More Social Commentary Than the Game Assassin's Creed Origins Writer Explains His Job And How He Got It Assassin's Creed fans have translated Origin's ancient Egyptian adverts Interview with Maxime Durand on Assassin's Creed: Origins and Discovery Tour Mode Wargroove is a fiercely competitive Advance Wars successor One Of 2017's Best Games Is About Being A Mortician Life is Strange: Before the Storm's second episode is out next week DICE addresses Star Wars: Battlefront II loot box concerns Try the demo for Underhero, a 2D RPG starring a villain turned hero Darkness Approaches the Alola Region in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon! Latest Star Citizen video shows off future cockpit improvements Shin Megami Tensei: Synchronicity Prologue side-scroller for PC released as free download Bomber Crew looks like FTL but with World War II bombers Strategy veterans Petroglyph announce Forged Battalion, a customisable RTS A Case of Distrust Finds Modern Problems in the Roaring '20s Griftlands is a ‘pirate sandbox’, says Klei Past Cure, the game about a man tormented by mannequins, is coming in February Permadeath drives exploration in the meaty labyrinths of A Robot Named Fight Try and fail to keep your kids alive in this 'cooperative parenting simulator' Mutant Football League's 'More Gore' trailer reveals a Halloween kickoff Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 was co-written by Marvel’s Kurt Busiek 9 things to know about Total War: Warhammer Mortal Empires Civilization 6 is getting a religion reboot in the Fall 2017 update Civilization 6's Khmer people have elephants with ballistae strapped to their backs Civilization 6 is also adding Indonesia to the mix Endless Shadow Wars confirmed for first Shadow of War DLC Team Fortress 2 'Jungle Inferno' update will usher in new Mercenary Park map PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds's upcoming map is more dense and varied than you'd think Street Fighter V's Next DLC Character Is Zeku Get a closer look at Resident Evil 7 biohazard’s DLC South Park: The Fractured But Whole includes two expansions and the 'Danger Deck' Dead by Daylight adds Freddy Krueger to its roster of slashers See what you’ll see at sea in Battlefield 1’s Turning Tides This Month's EVE Expansion Makes Big Changes To 'Moon Goo' Everything you need to know about EVE Online's next expansion (and beyond) Charity speedrun marathon AGDQ 2018 announces its lineup, including many PC classics Discord launches Verified servers for game developers, publishers Kerbal Space Program Review Bombed Over Controversial Chinese Gender Translation Humble Bundle is Joining Forces with IGN! IGN Outlines How its Editorial Department Will Cover Humble Bundle Services How anime landed BattleTech and the MechWarrior games in legal trouble Daily Glixel: Blizzard is Suing an Obvious Chinese 'Overwatch' Clone Epic Is Suing Two Alleged Fortnite Cheaters Apple asked to remove Philippines drug war games from App Store CD Projekt Red responds to scathing Glassdoor reviews Former Naughty Dog Employee Says He Was Fired After Filing Sexual Harassment Complaint Are loot boxes gambling? European game rating body agrees with ESRB: Loot boxes aren't gambling Thinking outside the loot box The Origin of Loot Boxes and why They are a Form of Gambling Loot Boxes Are Designed To Exploit Us Loot Boxes Are More Proof that the Economics of Videogames Are Broken Government response to loot box concern is predictably non-committal Cuphead has sold more than one million copies How Activision Uses Matchmaking Tricks to Sell In-Game Items Overwatch breaks 35 million player mark ‘PUBG’ Is Banning Between 6,000 and 13,000 Cheaters Per Day It took just 24 hours to crack Shadow of War’s DRM Dragon Age creative director leaves BioWare Telltale: “We have yet to tackle a romantic comedy” Chinese firm buys 20% stake in Halo 4 co-developer Certain Affinity EA Shuts Down Visceral Games AN UPDATE ON THE VISCERAL STAR WARS PROJECT Today's Star Wars News Makes the Future of Single-Player Look Very Messy EA Sports update for blind gamers Swery wants you to stop asking about D4 Leaked assets partly responsible for Swery's crowdfunding failure Swery's The Good Life will head to Kickstarter to try again later this year Brexit fears resurface at Westminster games panel Eastern European developers seek growth through solidarity Esports News NBA: “Esports is a massive industry, and we think we have a place in it” Counter-Strike Players Banned Mid-Match For Cheating During Qualifiers Match-Fixing Bans Handed to Two Dota 2 Players, Following ESIC Investigation Starladder have banned third-party streams of their Dota 2 tournament Puerto Rican Overwatch Player Isn't Letting Hurricane Irma Derail His Career Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed) Selling Sunlight: a wandering merchant RPG Equity crowdfunding's early success asks tough questions of Kickstarter Content I found interesting this week (interviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) Saving Japan's Games Fullbright's Steve Gaynor on Tacoma and the changing state of indie Decoding Shenzhen: The Chinese city that makes the world's tech Final Fantasy V Explores One of The Greatest JRPGs Most Gamers Never Played Final Fantasy 9 teaches us about war and how times have changed What Made Dishonored 2's Time Travel Level So Good She Took Up His Sims Challenge, Now They're Married Rising game dev costs put squeeze on mid-tier studios What are Japanese devs saying about the recent Tokyo Game Show? The secret history of underdog game engine RPG Maker and how it got its bad reputation How Mortal Danger Permeated Every Inch of 'STALKER' Throwback RPGs like Divinity and Torment are rediscovering the power of prose The technical artists balancing polycounts and visual quality Artist Shows Off Canceled Pitch For Halo Wars 3 Found in Translation - Witcher Documentary Devil's in the Detail (Music, Combat, Gwent & More) - Witcher Documentary Games as Lit. 101 - Literary Analysis: Alan Wake Three Other Approaches to Turn Timers | GMTK Extra How to get Outside the Walls of DOOM - Boundary Break Prey: The Enemy Inside - Testing You Softly - Extra Credits Sonic CD Retrospective So I've Finally Played... Prey (2017) Studying Dustforce's Animation The Super Nintendo Mini Retrospective (1991 - 1993) Mark Hamill's 5 weirdest video game voice roles 1994 Nintendo Documentary Gives Us A Look At Miyamoto's Desk Remastering Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies We asked a professional game writer to write a movie script for PUBG The Cuphead Elitists Episode (Commentocracy) Things I Missed From Previous Week OPENED WORLD: THE NIGHT IS YOUNG How Video Games Satisfy Basic Human Needs
  3. How Klik and Play and Jack Thompson helped lead to the development of Spelunky, Xbox to allow refunds, Peter Moore bids farewell to game industry, the bright life of the MSX, more Yakuza on its way, an interview with Amy Hennig, the inspiring annihilation of Horizon Zero Dawn, the early life of Jeri Ellsworth and her work with Valve and AR, Ben McCurry and Jim Sterling highlight new information on Brash Games, Tencent's game platform to support international users as a competitor to Steam, the indie developer with a six year old boss, Battlefront 2 reveal, the PC origins of JRPGs, Legend of Grimrock developers next game, CRPG book project updated, alcoholic cats in Dwarf Fortress, the story of the DOS Mega Man games, Extra Credits talks about games using real world player information, and more. Gaming News (Announcements, release dates, previews, interviews, expansions, DLC, updates, company news, new tech, mods) EA's Peter Moore bids a heartfelt farewell to the game industry It Looks Like Refunds Are Coming to Xbox One Steam has a massive new competitor <br /> Twitch to get $10 and $25 monthly channel subscription tiers, says leaked partner email Frozen Synapse 2 at the PC Gamer Weekender Sega’s ‘extreme’ HD remake of Yakuza comes to PS4 in August Star Wars Battlefront 2 release date confirmed, watch first trailer here Star Wars Battlefront 2 first look: everything we know What’s new in Star Wars Battlefront 2’s multiplayer Star Wars Battlefront 2’s campaign is penned by Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams Star Wars Battlefront 2 season pass remarks cause a stir Q&A: 'Star Wars Battlefront 2' Story with EA and Lucasfilm People behind Battlefront's X-Wing VR mission making "something awesome" for the sequel Star Citizen developer update shows off huge new capital ship The Escapists 2 unveils wild west-themed map in new in-game footag Meet the indie developer whose boss is his 6-year old daughter Legend of Grimrock vets announce Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 - Official Dangerous Trailer Making it in Unreal: conveying the creeping horror of Lovecraft in Conarium Body-swapping roguelike MidBoss possesses Steam on May 23 Endless Space 2 properly launching on May 19th Battalion 1944 is a classic shooter, “not a World War Two game”: hands-on and interview Halo Wars: Definitive Edition to debut on Steam later this week Immersive space sim HEVN has players acting as both space mechanic and cosmic detective Watch the Guardians of the Galaxy fight Thanos in the Telltale episode one trailer Quake Champions: 4 Minutes of Brutal Gameplay at 1080p 60fps Project Cars 2 demonstration at the PC Gamer Weekender 58 Minutes of New Prey Gameplay - Let's Play Prey The Alien Sounds of ‘Prey’ Are Absolutely Terrifying Prey is a game about defying the gamer's expectations - here are five ways it does it Injustice 2 - Scarecrow Trailer Injustice 2 - Official Poison Ivy Gameplay Trailer The Next Professor Layton Is Coming to America This July Splatoon 2 launches in July with a new horde mode and more Dark Rose Valkyrie launches June 6 in North America, June 9 in Europe Dawn of War 3 trailer meets the voice actors Shadow of War: Making the City of Minas Ithil - IGN First A New Project From BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment - Teaser Trailer Bandai Namco announces Code Vein, a new action RPG from the God Eater team The Surge - An Early Look at the Sci-Fi Souls-Like - IGN Plays Live Two new maps, two Live Fire arenas, and a new Titan are coming to Titanfall 2 free Ashes of the Singularity’s Inception DLC is out now, adding four maps and a ‘split-scenario’ Fight the CEO of Square Enix in the upcoming Nier: Automata DLC Genji is coming to Heroes of the Storm First major Battlegrounds patch will add motorbikes with sidecars and a ton of fixes Arma 3’s Jets DLC releases on May 16, along with a free aircraft carrier for all Cities: Skylines – Mass Transit disembarking May 18th Derailed: The Final Station’s Only Traitor DLC adds cars CS:GO to Launch in China with Severe Anti-Cheating Penalties Pharah's German voice actress replaced in Overwatch update, finds out when fans tell her Overwatch's Skill Rating System Is Busted For Healers NINTENDO DISCONTINUES THE NES CLASSIC EDITION Nintendo Also Discontinues The Mini Famicom For Japan, But Only Temporarily NES Classic’s Ebay Price Triples, Surprising No One Nintendo Switch becomes fastest-selling system in Nintendo history The Modders Who Decided to Overhaul the AI in 'Civilization V' The best Civilization 6 mods The 15 year quest to mod the mainland into The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Skyrim and Fallout Fans Are Making Killer Mods On PS4 Despite Limitations Esports News The Weekend In Esports: Bow Down Before Whispy Woods Blizzard's Dean of Collegiate Esports Talks 'Overwatch' and What's Next for Pro Gaming Inside UC Irvine's Push to Become the ‘Duke Basketball’ of Collegiate Esports College Esports Programs Are Growing, But Can They Field a Winning Team? Fighting Game Pro Has A Habit Of Taking Off His Shirt And Losing Tekken 7 Competitor Trash Talks His Way To Tournament Victory Allied Esports’ Esports Arena Announces Las Vegas Plans, New Venue Opens 2018 The Esports Integrity Coalition Expands, Solidifies Global Presence The Asian Games Are Adding Esports, in Partnership with Chinese E-Commerce Company Alibaba Crowdfunding News The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater documentary is rolling forward, despite missing funding goal Content I found interesting this week (interviews, reviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, criticism, etc) From hacker to Valve and back again Why Brash Games Should Apologize Exposure (The Jimquisition) Horizon: Zero Dawn and the beauty of annihilation A Spoiler-Packed Chat About Horizon Zero Dawn's Excellent Story “He's an arrogant motherf****r” - Metro 2033 writer hits out at The Witcher novel scribe Night in the Woods is the Working Class Fiction I’ve Been Waiting For Storytelling in 'Stellaris' Leaves Too Much to the Imagination The bright life of the MSX, Japan's underdog PC The RPG Scrollbars: The CRPG Book Project The forgotten origins of JRPGs on the PC Meet The Devs Who Made Indie Games on the Original Playstation Why Video Games Have So Many Endings and So Few Conclusions How Sega moved Sonic from 2D to 3D The story of the bizarre Mega Man DOS games The Los Angeles Indie Video Game Stores That Refuse to Die Phantasy Star Online will never die: how the nicest fans in gaming keep a 16-year-old MMO alive The surprising explosion of RPG Maker on Steam How Steam brought shmups out of arcades and into a new PC renaissance Video Games and Brexit: Why the Nation Behind 'GTA' and 'Batman' Feels Lost Without Europe Guest Column: A Not-Quite Dead Past Dear BioWare: Stop making open-world games First 100% Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Speedrun Takes 49 Hours TORMENT TIDES OF NUMENERA: BASTARD SIMULATOR Console Repairmen Explain Why Cockroaches Love PS4s Color in Video Games: How to Choose a Palette 'Uncharted' Creator Amy Hennig on Finding Her Calling and Taking 'Star Wars' Somewhere New Robert Yang Wants To Make VR 'Obscenely Gay' Tim Schafer Talks Shyness, Comebacks and Being Asked Not to Touch George Lucas Watch Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann Interview Guerrilla's Hermen Hulst Horizon Zero Dawn – The making of the game (2017) Peter Molyneux on Black & White, Fable and that Darn Acorn (IGN Unfiltered #18, Episode 2) Terrible Sex Scenes in Video Games Donkey Kong ROM Hacks - snomaN Gaming How Ninja Theory's Canceled Co-op Game Led To Hellblade And A Bold Future Spelunky - Noclip Documentary In Defense of Dark Souls 2 Breath of the Wild - Not Enough Zelda We play Full Throttle Remastered with Tim Schafer Liminal Space - Incorporating Real Life into Games - Extra Credits The Saga of The Banner Saga Yooka-Laylee Is Nostalgia Gone Wrong Why Dwarf Fortress started killing cats - Here's A Thing Game Design Deep Dive: VR cockpit audio in Gunjack 2: End of Shift Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies Giant Bomb Editor Gets Taco Bell Wedding The Next Level What Videogames Can Learn From The Demon That Destroyed Seattle Things I Missed From Previous Weeks Yoko Taro: Weird feelings for weird people
  4. Inside the troubled development of Star Citizen, looking back on gaming without nostalgia, YouTube heroes explained, Civ VI devs show off combat and city building, Battle.net name change, crunch culture of Japan, Oculus founder helped to fund "shitposting meme magic" group, what 'optimization' really means in games, a look at Japanese arcades, SF V Update makes PCs vulnerable to malware, Nintendo taking final orders for the Wii U, postmortem on Sorcery! series, Paper Mario accidentally released early for some, 23 year old game being localized, the realities of being a game designer in a big studio, Asia's videogame subcultures, Valve tweaks review system and UI, stories of murder and theft from Ultima Online, and more. AJSA Youtube's This Week In Gaming Gaming News Nintendo NX to be released Christmas 2016? YouTube Heroes Explained If you don't want to sort through videos of people misunderstanding things, yelling, or freaking out about the thing that will cause the "death of Youtube" (this month), then the the above video is a good one that actually looks at the system and the ideas that were likely behind it. Jim Sterling also did a good video but it tends to repeat what he has already said about Youtube in a video I shared the last time Youtube was dying, and this talks a bit more into some of the systems behind it. Blizzard Is Killing The Name 'Battle.net' Valve slightly tweaks Steam's review system again Steam is getting a UI overhaul soon, according to new Steamworks post Inside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen The 24-Year Feud That Has Dogged Star Citizen Star Citizen's First-Person View Is Based On Birds Battlefield 1 unveils its maps and modes Battlefield 2142 Revive brings back EA's cult-classic online shooter New Battlefield 1 Single-Player Campaign Details Emerge Trajan takes charge of Rome in Civilization 6 Civilization 6 puts Gilgamesh in charge of Sumeria CIVILIZATION VI - Devs Show Off Combat and City Growth NetherRealm addresses concern around Injustice 2's new Gear System THINGS SEEN IN YAKUZA 6’S NEW TRAILER: CRYING BABIES, CAT CAFÉS, AND LOTS OF SUSHI Yakuza 0's Business Edition Revealed, PC Version Not in the Works Dawn of War 3 Eldar units and heroes detailed Obsidian’s Tyranny looks wonderful in new behind-the-scenes dev diary Tyranny - Spell Creation & Dungeon Crawl Princess Maker 2 Refine coming to PC via Steam in English on October 3 Dishonored 2 trailer shows Emily and Corvo’s creative kills “Players won’t understand Dishonored 2 till they play it twice” claims Harvey Smith Bit.Trip Runner 3 coming 2017 There’s yet another Wonder Boy game in the works Telltale’s Bloody ‘Batman’ Shows How the Studio’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Should Have Been UPCOMING GAME ABOUT A STUFFED RABBIT GOES TO A SURPRISINGLY DARK PLACE Being Lara Croft in VR Is Basically ‘Tomb Raider: Gone Home Edition’ 3on3 Freestyle Brings Street Basketball to PS4 in Q4 2016 Beyond Good & Evil Director Teasing Fans With New Artwork Sundered is an arty Metroidvania-style game coming next year A DADDY-DAUGHTER STEALTH GAME ABOUT ESCAPING A WAR-TORN CITY Version-exclusive Pokémon and New Features Revealed in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon! Top 5 Things We Learned in the For Honor Alpha EGX 2016: Torment: Tides of Numenera - Building reactive narrative in impossible worlds Titanfall 2 will bring back Attrition mode Titanfall 2 will have a one-on-one dueling mode Nintendo's Big Fall Wii U Game Briefly Went On Sale Two Weeks Early OH DAMN, A GAME INSPIRED BY ALBERT ROBIDA ILLUSTRATIONS IS ON THE WAY Failbetter Games announces Sunless Skies 7 Facts About Our Next Game SUNLESS SKIES PROMISES A GLORIOUSLY VICTORIAN SCI-FI TALE ASTRONEER WILL TAKE HUMANITY’S FIGHT AGAINST NATURE TO SPACE Planet Coaster will, of course, let you crash your rollercoasters Watch Dogs 2 - Welcome to DedSec Trailer 15 Minutes of Watch Dogs 2's High-Tech Gadgets Watch Dogs 2: A Full Mission of Failing Hacks and Firing Guns Watch Dogs 2 feels slick, enjoyable, but terribly hollow Yooka-Laylee Official Character Trailer Starring Shovel Knight Persona 5's Real-World Locations Endless Space 2 Hits Early Access Next Week Mafia 3 - Official 16 Minute Gameplay Demo Fifa 17: Iceland team in 'cash row' with game developers EA Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – System Rift DLC Launch Trailer Sunless Sea's Zubmariner expansion gets a launch trailer Watch five minutes of Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel gameplay Wolves Ate Us in Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel Overwatch Test Patch Adds Tons Of New Voice Lines Overwatch to buff Symmetra in November, says game director Blizzard reveals fix for Overwatch thumbstick acceleration control GTA 5's Biker DLC Arrives October 4, New Screenshots Released Capcom promises Street Fighter 5 rollback after "rootkit" discovered in the latest update Big changes are coming to The Division Breaking up with Batman Ubisoft aims to foster Canadian indie scene via dev contest series It’s like somebody always says, probably: If you can’t beat ‘em, convince them to join you. Oculus Rift Founder Palmer Luckey Funding Trump Shitposters Insomniac, other devs condemn Palmer Luckey's support of pro-Trump group Frictional's existential horror game Soma sells 450K, turns profit N64 Emulator Pops Up On Xbox One, Gets Removed Pokémon Uranium finally shuts down development, once and for all Esports News After Backlash, Riot Is Changing How Pros Are Paid Can Riot's latest initiative save the League of Legends pro scene? Heroes of the Storm takes inspiration from League of Legends in 2017 esports plans Bayonetta Player Humiliates Opponent In Japanese Smash Bros. Tournament A video of the full match can be found linked in the article. Smash Bros. Player Shuts Down Heckler, Goes On To Win Tournament Smash Bros. Player's Sexual Consent Guide Ignites Debate In Community Virtual reality gets going in esports—a lot faster than expected Team Dignitas and Apex are now owned by the Philadelphia 76ers Crowdfunding News Code: HARDCORE - The Coolest 2D Mecha Battle Game TINY METAL If Nintendo Won't Make A New Advance Wars, These Guys Will JAPAN CAN’T STOP DEPICTING WAR AS THE CUTEST THING ON THE PLANET Hypnospace Outlaw for PC/MAC/LINUX, by the creator of Dropsy NITE Team 4 - Military Hacking RPG Black Watchmen Devs Crowdfunding Hack ‘Em Up NITE Team 4 The Entire History of Kickstarter Projects, Broken Down by City Other content I found interesting this week Dark Side of the Sun Gambling dens and gamer monks: Asia's offbeat videogame subcultures THE DETERMINATION OF CHINA’S INDEPENDENT GAME SCENE THE NEGLECTED HISTORY OF VIDEOGAMES FOR THE BLIND The Creation of the ESRB - Gaming Historian How Worms studio head Debbie Bestwick went from retail to MBE - interview Postmortem: Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series by Inkle Looking Back On Gaming Without Nostalgia How Devolver Digital is redefining videogame publishing 5 stories of murder and theft that prove Ultima Online was one of the best MMOs ever Banned From Twitch, 'Bikini Streamer' Finds Success (And Haters) On YouTube The realities of being a game designer in a big studio like BioWare How level designers make us feel smart Steam's Digital Homicide Fiasco Is Valve's Fault The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons' dungeon design | Boss Keys Creating Time For Atmosphere - [game array] The Sound of Hyper Light Drifter A Geographer's Guide to Building Game Worlds The 10 Biggest F-ups From DrinkBox Studios History Respawned: L.A. Noire The Strange Melancholy of Sakura Maid What it’s like to manage a gaming community on fire Why Dating Games Were the Best Thing at 2016’s Tokyo Game Show Review: Japanese Arcades Indie Game Devs Move Studio To Tropical Island For Three Months How the New Video Game 'Virginia' Found a Voice Without Dialogue An INSIDE Joke (Inside Review) What 'optimization' really means in games How Virtual Reality Is Revolutionising Clinical Therapy and Treatment Rehabilitation Errant Signal - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Does Metroid Other M Still SUCK? Guest Column: What Fighting Game Is Right for Me? Talking to the Guy Who Transformed 'Doom' into 'No Man's Sky' Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games Millions Of Destiny Players Eager To Jump Back Into Whatever The Fuck Is Happening
  5. Hey everyone. I recently found out that the US version of Senran Kagura: Estival Versus will not contain the DLC characters from the Ikki Tousen series. This got me thinking about other times content had to be changed, removed, or even having the whole game not being released outside of Japan. There are multiple reasons why a Japanese game may not be export, such as costs of localizing, lack of audience, or lack of interest in putting in the extra work. However, what we are going to be talking about is licensing and copyright. For those who do not know, copyright works a bit different in Japan. I am not an expert on this stuff, but barring the aforementioned Senran Kagura, I can name two games from the top of my head whose music has been altered. Those two games are Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, and Bleach: Soul Resurrection. Another game affected would be JoJo: All Star Battle. My otakus out there who follow JoJo's Bizzare Adventure know about the massive amounts of musical references, and you should also know how that affects the names and subtitles also. Going slightly off topic, those who watch One Piece will also know of another instance of these issues affecting the international release. Are there any other times where this has happened? Please let me know.
  6. Hey fox here and I have relapsed. XD went 5 months with out dumping mass amounts of time on pso. but now i'm back and created a new team. Was wondering if anyone was interested in joining my team. Were operating out of ship 2. other than that i can say the team is mostly just a medium for English players to enjoy the game with. =)
  7. I want to know what you guys think of dragons dogma online an MMO version of what joe reviewed some time ago and i was wondering if joe was going to attempt some kind of info on this games development or when it is going to come to the states.
  8. Hey everyone, so I dunno if anyone else here know's but there's going to be a kinda sequel to dragon's dogma: Dragon's Dogma Online. I don't know a whole lot about it, and I haven't seen all the video's that exist yet (though there are only 2). Anyway, the game is said to be out later this year for both xbox one and ps4 and will be free to play on PC. Obviously this suggests and has been confirmed that the game with have a microtransaction system, which I'm sure puts off everyone here on the forum's reading this. However, before you cast your decision and say the game will suck (I'm not saying it won't or will but for reason's I'm about to mention), I need to mention the most important detail, and that is the game will only have a japanese release... But like that's going to stop me!... At least, I hope it won't. That kinda the main reason I'm posting this, I wanna know if this has been done before and what software I'll need in order to play a Japanese MMO, and thanks in advance to any who help with this matter. Now another point I'd like to bring up about the game is that apparently it have the pawn's as they were in the first gamne "AI Controlled," So theoretically playing this game may not be impossible. A simple google search of "Dragon's Dogma Online" should bring up the Basic info I found but I'm guessing I'll need to find some Japanese sites as well. (Just occurred to me I might actually be trying to do the impossible, so if this is the case please break it to me gently). Also, if this game is any good and is playable in the west by some method, New Guild?
  9. After Sunday 01/18/15, most of us enjoyed the last bit which was the Japanese offensive on Pearl Harbor. I thought, why not a whole air campaign with the axis vs allies. Just to take a break from the ground force campaign once in a while. It is also seen that the main bombers do not get to see combat in the ground force campaign and thought, this is where they could shine. This mode would be similar to that of the ground force campaign except with some differences. *Rules and Regulations: 1. Points are allocated based on BR and similar to that of how much each player costs which I believe is 2.5 per a player. 2. There is will be bases that are specific to that of each nation, aka pearl harbor and Berlin. (More of the bases and map things in below topics.) 3. In order for a team to win, they must blow up all 3 bases and or eliminate all players. However, when it is Japan vs America, both teams must destroy at least 2 of the four carriers, or when half of the airfield is blown up. ( for the pacific campaign this will need to be sorted.) 4. The game will start when all players have spawned in the on the runways. 5. Only 1/3 or 1/2 the team cannot be all fighters, unless a specific perk is given. This is to be decided. 6. Weather can be different, but must not be stormy. Night maps are allowed, but extreme weather where players are hiding in clouds is not allowed. (this will be discussed as this is a common problem especially without icons. However, because of radar, night maps are allowed, which will make for some interesting battles. More rules and regulations to come as this develops. *Maps, Planes, ETC for content: 1. Home Maps: America: Pearl Harbor/ Britain, Great Britain: Britain, Germany: Berlin, Russia: Moscow, Japan: Iwo Jima. 2. Planes exist for those only used during World War 2 and actually faced combat. In the Pacific campaign, if one of the nations has an airfield, they can use the non-naval warplanes. This still in work and it is understood that some bombers start in the air as they cannot take off of runways. This will be discussed. The list is as follows: America: Planes up to the B-24, P-51, and the Fau 1c. Anything after that is outside the boundaries. Japan: Anything up to the n1k/ Ki 84, and the G8n1. Anything after that is not accepted. Great Britain: Anything up to the Tempest Mkv, Lancaster Mk3, Mosquito, and the Spitfire Lf Mk9. Anything else after that is not accepted. (No griffons) Germany: Anything up to the Bf 109 K4, Fw190 D12, Me 410 B6/R3, and the Do 217 K4. Anything else after that is not accepted. The TA 152 is a prototype aircraft and can be used as a perk. See perks for more info. Russia: Anything up to the Yak 9u, The La 7, Yer 2, and the il-2M. Anything else after that is not accepted. I-185 is considered a prototype as it did not fly in the battlefield. Keep in mind these planes are to change as time goes on, but really seeing these High tier aircraft is unlikely due to point costs. *Perks: Perks allow the team to use different strategies allowing giving them a slight chance of winning. There will always be new perks added with new players coming up with ideas. Some will be crossed and almost similar to that of the Ground Forces Campaign. 1. Engineering : Can bring 1 vehicle/or plane that is either a premium or a prototype to the field (full cost +1 extra for prototype). 2. Cheap and Efficient: Fighters used the most during the war cost 1 less extra point. (-1 for aircraft that would used the most during the war) 3. Extra Wing man: This perk allows one extra fighter on the team. 4. Berlin Express: The cost of a bomber cost 1 less extra point. (-1 point for bombers) 5. Night Raid: One team is give allowed to set the map to night twice during the campaign. This should be used wisely as this can give the other team the advantage. (Set the time of day twice.) 6. Intelligence: The enemy team must reveal two different aircraft that they are using before each battle. 7. Oil loss: Only allowed one use, this can for one of the battles make the enemy planes cost 1 extra point ( 1 use, enemy team's planes cost +1 point.) 8. Caught by surprise: Only allowed one use, the enemy team gets the advantage of starting earlier than the enemy team. This forces the enemy team to scramble planes as fast as they can. (1 use, and early start for one team). More perks are to be developed and or more ideas can be presented as time goes on. *Finishing: As it can be seen the Britain, America, Russia vs Germany is quite simple. However the Pacific Campaign of Japans vs America is quite difficult. with spawning and Especially with carriers. That campaign might have to be set on the Eastern Front. Anyways, I hope this we can get this campaign mode started as it would make for some interesting battles, and make those excited for night combat in the air. If your a pilot as I am, I would be thrilled to play this and watch it develop. So please guys discuss about this mode and hope to see it implemented in training.
  10. You read right! Marvel in the next 2 weeks is going to publish a series of comics featuring Attack on Titan! I think this is a really cool idea and just adore the fact to see Spider-Man fighting some titans! I think Marvel will win (with heavy losses) because of their powers, Jean Grey, Thor and Ant-Man can make some massive hits! What do you guys think? The hype is on!
  11. Hey guys i'm AoiKami and i'm an otaku lol. anybody else here that would consider themself as an otaku?
  12. http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/03/15/pikachu-named-mascot-of-the-2014-world-cup?abthid=53248250b64a6e6f37000008 And England's mascot for the World Cup will most likely be TotalBiscuit.
  13. So I found this on the WarThunder Forums by MOBB and found it really helpful. Link: http://forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/134460-fighter-tree-analysis-by-nation/
  14. The next Assassin's Creed is probably coming soon, so let's talk about where the next game is going to be. I personally would like to see Assassin's Creed in Japan. Instead of the white hood nonsense, how about we wear something stealthy, like ninja stuff. Plus the ninjas had some kill weapons; like those eggs with broken glass (I think there was also some sort of sauce or powder, I'm not sure, let me know if there was.) and the ninja stars and all that. So I think Japan would be a nice place for the next game. So tell me what location you would like to see next in an Assassin's Creed game. ~PantherFangG