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  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. Jason Schreier reports on The Collapse Of Visceral's Ambitious Star Wars Game, Playstation Paris stream and game reveals, Puerto Rico-based developers talk about the aftermath of the storm, the history of Dragon's Lair, Kirk McKeand interviews the voice of B.J. Blazkowicz, how video games are destroying the people that make them, Cagey Videos on dealing with grief in Life Is Strange, interview with original Playstation boss, horror game recommendations, PC gamer shares report on what developers think about Steam, Battlefront 2 makes changes to loot box system, new content for Night in the Woods, Youtube updates demonetization algorithm, meeting the faces of Mortal Kombat, history of one of the first female game developers and contractors, Cameron Kunzelman and Austin Walker on how the orcs face a fate worse than death, Olympic committee takes steps to recognize esports, Surgeon Simulator developers next game to be cancelled if it doesn't get enough players during free trial period, 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) All the trailers from Sony’s Paris Games Week event Check the link to see the new trailers and game reveals for Guacamelee! 2, Spelunky 2, The Last of Us 2, etc. The most promising indies we saw at PAX Australia Naughty Dog Reveals The Last of Us Part II Cast Forgotton Anne is an indie game that looks like a Studio Ghibli movie Mousey RPG Ghost of a Tale will sneak out in March Star Citizen's new video roundup features promo ships, alien language & new engine tech Sledgehammer Wants to Make Zombies Scary in Call of Duty: WWII Call of Duty: WWII’s first DLC comes first to PlayStation 4 Shapeshifting puzzler Shift Quantum gets creative with black and white Hoarding solves and causes all your problems in Uurnog Uurnlimited Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet announced, coming in February Why Remakes, Like Shadow of the Colossus, Are Awesome Shadow of the Colossus remake has a nice perk on PS4 Pro: 60 fps David Cage on Detroit and its depiction of domestic violence Epic Star Cards and most Battlefront 2 weapons will no longer be loot box rewards The Witch And The Hundred Knight 2’s Latest Trailer Shows Split Allegiences The Red Strings Club is a cyberpunk tale of life, happiness, and psychological bartending World of Final Fantasy announced for PC, release date set Surviving Mars wants to inspire the next generation of astronauts Outcast: Second Contact is just three weeks away Development Update 9 Noir puzzle series Framed coming to Steam next year Indie competitive fighter Punch Planet slams into Early Access next month Harvest Moon: Light of Hope coming November 14 to Steam, ahead of consoles Kingdom Come: Deliverance shows off its 'realistic' combat in a new trailer Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds will launch on Xbox One in December Surgeon Simulator Devs Say They'll Cancel Next Game If It Doesn't Get Enough Players During Free Week Warframe developer 'hits the pause button' on its hero shooter, The Amazing Eternals The Colonists is a settlement building game with cute robots, coming to Early Access You'll need an internet connection to play Metal Gear Survive's single-player Gay Players Are Coming Out In A Major Sports Video Game Codemasters’ new arcade racer Onrush isn’t coming to PC Magic: The Gathering Arena stress testing starts in November, closed beta coming soon Zelda: Breath of The Wild’s Second Expansion Is Still On Track For This Year, Nintendo Says Rainbow Six Siege 'Mid-Season Reinforcements' update goes live tomorrow Absolver update adds prestige system which allows players to respec Middle-earth: Shadow of War details Expansion Pass and forthcoming DLC Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4 expansions will arrive side-by-side next month The Surge reveals A Walk in the Park DLC PUBG test servers bring long-awaited vaulting and climbing to the game Bungie reverses Destiny 2 bans handed out in error Bungie lays out plans for Destiny 2 improvements Night In The Woods: Weird Autumn expands on the original, teases new console release Injustice 2 summons Hellboy on Nov. 14 Metal Gear Solid 5 gets PS4 Pro upgrade patch today Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Denuvo tech reportedly adds 40% to CPU usage PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is leaving Early Access in December Watching Overwatch is about to get easier, and Mercy is about to get nerfed You can be banned for spamming voice lines in Overwatch Blizzard's failure to curb toxicity undermines Overwatch's inclusive message Blizzard are taking action against fake Hearthstone events EA Asks Fans To Stop Keeping Old Battlefield Games Alive Hellblade sales 'better than expected', will break even months ahead of schedule PS4 worldwide shipments top 67.5 million Sony's games division drives strong growth in profits Profits and revenue on the rise for Konami's video game branch EA takes a loss in Q2 as digital sales continue to outshine physical Nintendo: More Than 2M Copies of 'Super Mario Odyssey' Sold in 3 Days 'Super Mario Run' Hits 200M Downloads, But Nintendo Unhappy With Profit Reclaiming Assassin's Creed's lost identity What went wrong with Lawbreakers? Doubt cast on future of Amazon Game Studios' first major development CCP Games shuts down VR development, lays off nearly 100 employees The French On Ys VIII's Vita Box Is Literal Nonsense NPD: Loot box controversy having no impact on game sales Steam beta tests Curator changes You can’t share uncensor patches for adult games on Steam anymore Itch.io adds Patreon integration YouTube rolls out first update to fix major demonetization problems NeoGAF successor ResetEra is now live BAFTA announces Breakthrough Brits of 2017 The government finally responds to gambling in video games petition Stephen Toulouse passes away at 45 U.S. gov't stands by DMCA exemption for museums preserving online games Why do we even need a British Games Institute? Oil Lobbyists: Thunderbird Strike Video Game 'Promotes Ecoterrorism' Owning Our Resistances With Thunderbird Strike PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds could face ban in China "Hurricane Maria knocked us back into the Stone Age for a few days" Death’s Cold Embrace: Thief 2’s new fan-made campaign Brutal Doom to add night vision rocket launcher and revamp online multiplayer Esports News International Olympic Committee takes steps to recognise esports Four Chinese Overwatch World Cup Team Members Denied US Visas The Weekend In Esports: ESL One Hamburg, Canada Cup, And More The making of Frodan: Who needs RNG when you work this hard? Pro Gamer Loses Contract After He Livestreams Domestic Violence Incident Vasilii’s Suspension by Riot Games – How Does Traditional Sports Deal with Domestic Violence? Fighting Game Tournament Pool Goes To Shit After Loser Keeps Playing Under Friend's Name Russian Dota Team Finally Gets The Major They've Been Working Towards A Great Match From Korea's First All-Women Overwatch Tournament Faker Never Seemed To Doubt His Galio In Close Semifinals Match Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed) Jack and Casie Girls Make Games Presents: Find Me The weird and wonderful keyboards of Kickstarter Content I found interesting this week (interviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc) The Collapse Of Visceral's Ambitious Star Wars Game The original PlayStation boss Rediscovering History’s Lost First Female Video Game Designer The state of Steam: Read what PC devs really think Video Games Are Destroying the People Who Make Them Will the Nintendo Switch gold rush affect indie games on PC? Gardening with Geralt: understanding the Witcher 3's lore through its plant life How CD Projekt Red found the road that took them to The Witcher Tracing the fairy tales and myths behind The Witcher 3’s unsettling Crones Dev Q&A: A Mortician's Tale challenges how games depict death Get Over Here: Meeting the Faces of Mortal Kombat, 25 Years Later The voice of B.J. Blazkowicz on the "binary choice" of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein 2 What Happens When Wolfenstein Comes Back at the Same Time Nazis Do? Yes, B.J. Blazkowicz is Jewish The Opening Moments of 'Wolfenstein II' Absolutely Do Not Fuck Around There's More To Wolfenstein: The New Colossus' Opening Than Sheer Brutality Wolfenstein Needs to Humanize Its Nazis What Wolfenstein 2's Bloody Twist Has To Say About Its Protagonist’s Body The Orcs of 'Shadow of War' Face a Fate Worse Than Death When I Visited South Park As A Trans Woman, The Joke Was On Me Doki Doki Literature Club Makes The Case For Breaking The Fourth Wall Labor Politics Overshadow Otherwise Fantastic New Life is Strange Episode Something out of science-fiction: A short history of Dragon’s Lair The horrifying legacy of Yume Nikki, the homebrew game that became a phenomenon Apogee: Where Wolfenstein got its start How netcode works, and what makes 'good' netcode Games You Might Not Have Tried: Horror - Find New Games for Halloween - Extra Credits 10 great indie horror games The PUBG Pan wasn't meant to be bulletproof - Here's A Thing Wolfenstein 3D Console Ports | Punching Weight [SSFF] Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne... 14 Years Later The Evil Within 2: Critique, Commentary, and Story Explanation Metroid - Creating a Sense of Isolation, Fear & Foreboding 🎃🎮 Tenchu: Stealth Assassins | The Completionist Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Retrospective (& Knuckles) Stephen's Sausage Roll - The Best Puzzle Game I've Played Stories Untold Sequence Breaking Resident Evil 4 Has Bizarre Effects - Sequence Break Dealing with Grief - Life is Strange: Before the Storm Intel's Cancelled Skyrim Rival - Investigating Project Offset Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies Light and Shadows: Wolfenstein II Visual Glitches Fake Photoshop Jim Review Video Game Theatre Presents: "LOST?", Silent Hill 2 (2001) Things I Missed From Previous Weeks Secrets of the developer who sold half a million videogames you’ve never heard of on Steam Chrono Cross, environmentalism, and a world without humanity Chrono Trigger and Structural Perfection
  3. PAX East, Herald's journey into the heart of oppression and bold design choices, MS will not allow penis slider, how Quadrilateral Cowboy creates relationships between characters, developers on the past and future of the immersive sim genre, music of Bastion & Transistor, developing games in Pakistan, Breath of the Wild developers talk about implementing convention breaking mechanics, the fierce and justifiable anger of Night In the Woods, Hello Games to help fund indie studios, Oculus to fund VR devs, IGN Brazil editor resigns after plagiarizing a video, 12 Smash tournament organizers quit amid allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of funds, the creation of Monkey Island and Ron GIlbert talks about his career, Jim Sterling DDoS'd over Zelda review, Skylines DLC celebrates 3.5 million sales, Swedish politician who streams Hearthstone, and more. Gaming News (Announcements, release dates, previews, interviews, expansions, DLC, updates, company news, new tech, mods) Inside and Firewatch lead PC BAFTA nominations Steam review scores will no longer include unpaid games of any kind PS4 games will come to PC soon via PS Now Twitch Desktop App announced, open beta testing begins later this month Seven Cool Games From PAX East To Watch Out For The Coolest Games of PAX East System Shock remake is made for PC gamers first, says game director System Shock 3 signs up with Starbreeze Official Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ Gameplay Walkthrough Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War's Nemesis System Is About Friends As Well As Foes A Very Serious Conversation About Orc Romance In Shadow Of War Middle-Earth: Shadow of War builds on the best part of Shadow of Mordor: the stories Tale of Ronin is a Game Where You Face the Dishonour of Losing Your Master The retro-FPS Strafe has been delayed until May Exploring 3 of Mass Effect: Andromeda's Vast Worlds - IGN First Mass Effect: Andromeda launch trailer arrives a little early Mass Effect: Andromeda Multiplayer Hands-on Impressions - PAX East 2017 Mass Effect: Andromeda - Touring the Tempest and Meeting the Crew - IGN First I tried to ask the important question But I have not received an answer. Mass Effect Andromeda: Driving and Upgrading The Nomad - IGN First Mass Effect: Andromeda - Introducing Jaal Your Angara Teammate (4K) - IGN First Mass Effect: Andromeda character creation Mass Effect Andromeda: A Detailed Look at Eos Mass Effect Andromeda: Full PAX East Single Player Panel Mass Effect: Andromeda's 'recommended' system predicted to run 30 fps at 1080p Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer closely mirrors ME3's frantic wave battles Mass Effect: Andromeda contains over 1,200 speaking characters Five Hours In, Mass Effect: Andromeda Is Overwhelming Undead Cafe Game Necrobarista Was Made Out Of Frustration With The State Of Anime The Franz Kafka Videogame emerging in April A Musical Indie Game Starring A Teen With A Cosmic Guitar Sci-fi Show 'Orphan Black' Gets Puzzle Game Clone What Remains of Edith Finch comes out April 25 Fire Emblem 3DS Remake Features Some Major Changes Fire Emblem Echoes introduces two new characters, unit movement rewind system Story details, screens, and the cast have been revealed for Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy Shared Universes, New Stories, And The Future For Marvel In Games Steven Universe RPG Coming To Consoles This Summer The American Dream is a satire about gun culture Nex Machina is coming to Steam Metroidvania Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is getting a PS4 and Xbox One release PC’s Monster Hunter, Dauntless, gets a new gameplay trailer StarCraft Remastered rumored to be coming this summer Styx: Shards of Darkness' launch trailer makes time for a dig at Assassin's Creed Stage an ape escape with simian smash ‘em up Ape Out Mirage: Arcane Warfare - PAX East 2017 Gameplay New Friday the 13th trailer is like an '80s-style montage of brutal murder Starting as a survival game, Tequila Works discuss Rime's design process Yonder looks a bit Zelda, a bit Stardew Valley, all lovely 14 Minutes of Hob Gameplay - PAX East 2017 Full Throttle Remastered rides again in April Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy debut Crash Bandicoot 2 gameplay PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will hit Early Access on March 23, and here's the official trailer Panzer Corps 2 is in production using Unreal Engine 4, due out 2018 There’s a new Reservoir Dogs video game, and it actually looks cool Quake Champions demos debut Blood Covenant arena FTL and Borderlands crash together in this co-op VR game from the makers of Chronos Soulstorm is darker, more sinister and goes places other games haven't, says Oddworld Inhabitants Action MMO Tera Coming To Xbox One And PS4 Take down the Nazi war machine in co-op shooter Raid: World War 2 Quake Champions trailer reveals its first champ, the stealthy assassin Nyx The Banner Saga 3 Kickstarter is over, is funded with over double its $200,000 goal Rain World, the survival-platforming story of Slugcat, comes out this month Everything new in Stellaris: Utopia, one of Paradox's biggest game updates ever THE DIVISION CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY, FREE YEAR 2 CONTENT PLANS REVEALED Victor Vran: Fractured Worlds expansion is coming this spring, so here's a new trailer Cities: Skylines sells over 3.5 million copies, free Pearls from the East DLC planned in celebration Duelyst is getting its third expansion next week, here's a first look at six new cards Elite: Dangerous video teases an alien base and more terrifying-sounding ships Gears of War 4's developers have worked out why the Gnasher sometimes misses point blank Space Hulk: Deathwing’s road to recovery Ubisoft just banned thousands of For Honor AFK farmers New Torment Tides of Numenera Content - Updated Our Journal (66): Beyond the Beyond Battlefield 1's first expansion is a promising start Hands-On With Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Teaming Up With Monster Hunter XX Planet Coaster free spring update adds vandals, pickpockets, CCTV Rocket League hits 10.5 million sales, has no plans for sequel Halo Wars 2 gets a 9.9GB performance patch Penis slider will be removed from Conan Exiles on Xbox One Why No Man’s Sky’s creators are funding other game studios Oculus spending $500M+ on funding VR devs because 'we don't want this to take decades' Legal feud over Facebook-owned Oculus has another Dallas chapter Command & Conquer co-creator Louis Castle to head Amazon Game Studios Seattle NAUGHTY DOG CO-PRESIDENT CHRISTOPHE BALESTRA ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM STUDIO Unity to sponsor 50 developers affected by the Trump travel ban to attend Unite Europe Arma 3 celebrates four-year anniversary with machinima contest Blizzard Bans Top World Of Warcraft Players For Trading Dungeon Runs For Cash IGN Brazil Plagiarized Writing On Games Video and Resigns <br /> Popular YouTuber JonTron Has Some Batshit Crazy Thoughts on Immigration He'd Like to Share Let’s talk about that ‘bad review’ of Breath of the Wild Report: China halts licensing for South Korea-made games amid political turmoil Sony PlayStation is hosting a summer camp for young girls interested in game dev Morrowind fan remake Skywind teases majestic Silt Striders in new trailer The Modders Who Decided To Fix Skyrim's Bad Romance Fallout 4 mod lets you export and share your settlements with other players Civilization VI Is Already So Much Better Pokemon Red has been 'fully recreated' in Minecraft with 357,000 command blocks Esports News The Weekend In Esports: The World Cup Of Killer Instinct Returns Meet the Swedish Politician Who Streams 'Hearthstone' Washington D.C. sponsoring major esports team, and building esports arena 12 Smash Tournament Organizers Quit After Leader Accused Of Multiple Acts Of Sexual Harassment Indonesia Esports Media Company, RevivaLTV, Scores Funding INSIDE THE STREET FIGHTER FIGHT CLUB - IGN'S ESPORTS STORIES The Qualifiers For Dota 2's Kiev Major Have Been A Mess So Far American Dota 2 Team Moves To Southeast Asia For Qualifier, Loses Every Match Team Liquid Brings In League Star To Try And Avoid Relegation BlazBlue Player Makes 100% Sure He Won Before Celebrating Player Becomes First Woman To Win International Pokémon Tournament Street Fighter V Player Delivers Epic Pop-Off After Crushing Rival Collegiate StarLeague Reveals $100,000 North American Grand Finals Event to be Held in Toronto New Zealand High School Esports League Launches, Includes 50 Teams Another day, another Esports mismanagement scandal Smash Bros. Community Raises Over $23,000 For Sick Player's Hospital Bills Crowdfunding News Mordhau Spectrum Vega+ funding halted by Indiegogo, backers are demanding refunds Content I found interesting this week (interviews, reviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, criticism, etc) Herald journeys into the heart of injustice and oppression What it’s like making games in Pakistan A Day With Grammy Nominated Video Game Composer Austin Wintory Crafting the unique, genre-defying horror of Stories Untold For three years, the only copy of the Oregon Trail source code was printed on a stack of paper You Can Make A Game About Government Surveillance, But You Can’t Make People Care Elite Dangerous player uses Commander Creator and VR to stand next to his deceased brother once again What Lies Beneath: On the Love and Anger of Night in the Woods 'Rust Belt Gothic': lead writer Scott Benson unpacks the art that inspired Night in the Woods The Game Developers Who Are Also Witches The designers of Dishonored, Bioshock 2 and Deus Ex swap stories about making PC's most complex games Slouching toward relevant video games The Horizon Zero Dawn Real-World Road Trip Challenge Assembling Aloy: How 'Horizon Zero Dawn' Is Built Around Its Hero 'Horizon Zero Dawn' Is the Young Adult Novel I’ve Always Wanted to Play 'Stories Untold' Is an Expression of Anti-Nostalgia 'Quadrilateral Cowboy' Points to a Different Kind of Intimacy in Games The 'Destiny' Fans Who Helped a Dying Man Achieve His Dream Under the sea: The art of creating Subnautica’s flora A Game Jam About Watermelons All Started Because Of A Joke There's A Difficult Decision At The End Of Nier: Automata Yoko Taro on Why NieR: Automata Protagonist 2B Wears High Heels: “I Just Really Like Girls” Monkey Island (or, How Ron Gilbert Made an Adventure Game That Didn’t Suck) Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Is a Frightening Mess <br /> <br /> “Letters From the Wildlands” by Bullet Points 'Ghost Recon: Wildlands' Can Feel Like 'XCOM' in Real Time For Honor's Environmental Hazards Are a Game-Spoiling Mistake Learning Japanese board game culture from Yakuza 0 GDC Showed Me That 2017 Is the Year of Cuteness The tricky business of making modern adventure games An erratic journey to the moon in Space Engineers Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Is Full Of Amazing Little Details Tired game tropes that Zelda: Breath of the Wild made me love again Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the courage to assume you’re not stupid Zelda's Sword Breakage Is Some Bullshit Someone Has Found All 900 Korok Seeds In Zelda Why, Nearly a Year Later, 'Homefront: The Revolution' Is Still Getting Updated The end of Xbox Live Indie Games I Took Gamer Drugs For A Week And This Is What They Did To My Body Designer Interview: Getting Titanfall's controls just right 5 Reasons Why Overwatch’s Orisa Is Accidentally An Afrofuturist Icon Overwatch fan theory about Symmetra finally confirmed by Blizzard Dick Joke Frog Fractions 2: The Most Absurd Game Ever Made - Noclip Documentary Building a Supergiant Soundtrack (The music of Bastion & Transistor) | Game Score Fanfare De-Gamification - Flexibility to Play Your Way - Extra Credits Ron Gilbert: "From Maniac Mansion to Thimbleweed Park" | Talks at Google Nick Plays with Weird Controllers @ alt.ctrl.GDC VATS, What Are You Doing? | Field Notes for Play: Fallout 4 Edition Video: Designing Zelda: Breath of the Wild's unconventional mechanics The Legend of Zelda Game You've Never Played Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games Dan Ryckert at PAX Hail To the King Things I Missed From Previous Weeks Flashback: How 'A Mind Forever Voyaging' Took Aim at Right-Wing Politics Game Design Deep Dive: Decisions that matter in Orwell Balancing Metas // HeavyEyed The Gaming Symposium - Transistor
  4. Super Bunnyhop talks about NieR, designer's ideas on the industry and politics that lead to NieR and Drakengard, the stage play, and what lead to a sequel. Night in the Woods creator and Carolyn Petit on "Does this have to be a game", new Overwatch character, how game design has to improve at representing darker skin tones, Newgrounds foretold indie experimentalism, beta news for Quake/Battletech/LawBreakers, Train Jam capturing magic of travel and development, Frog Fractions documentary, another Uncharted is unlikely, Narcissa Wright out of retirement, talks and games from GDC, SSFF looks at the history of Marvel vs Capcom, how games end and the progress of progress, rise of the talking simulator, the wide open spaces of Breath of the Wild, how Cities Skylines modders turned a hobby into a career, and more. Gaming News (Announcements, release dates, previews, interviews, expansions, DLC, updates, company news, new tech, mods) Indie Devs Are Taking Over: The 10 Hottest Indie Games From GDC 2017 The 10 Best Games of GDC 2017 More GDC Games Steel Division: Normandy 44 is a realistic WW2 RTS coming this year 'A Mortician's Tale' Has Something to Say About Death Watch us play Prey with the developers from Arkane Ion, the space survival game by Dean Hall and Improbable, is dead Preside over court cases during the Reign of Terror in Polyslash’s We The Revolution RPG Codex Preview: No Truce with the Furies These new Agony trailers show demons behaving (very) badly Mass Effect: Andromeda's Exploration trailer highlights 'the heart' of the game The First 13 Minutes of Mass Effect Andromeda (4K 60fps) - IGN First Kumail Nanjiani as Jarun Tann Check out Mass Effect: Andromeda's 'Golden Worlds' in this new trailer Mass Effect: Andromeda won’t be getting a multiplayer betaMass Effect Andromeda: Exploration and Discovery Trailer Mass Effect: Andromeda features over 100 planets, but only ‘a handful’ can be explored Mass Effect Andromeda: How To Skip Multiplayer Missions And Still Get Rewarded Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer maps will be free Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds launches May 16 in North America, May 19 in Europe The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III introduces prologue, first characters Murder time! Danganronpa V3 PC release confirmed Persona 5 ‘Sizzle’ trailer Persona 5 - 15 Minutes of ENGLISH GAMEPLAY God Wars: Future Past delayed to June 20 in North America, June 16 in Europe NIDHOGG 2 OFFERS THE SAME FRANTIC FUN, WITH A BIZARRE NEW STYLE One of the best, weirdest visual novels is finally coming West Kalypso turns its attention to railroad sims with Railway Empire English Blue Reflection trophies surface Voodoo Vince Remastered is coming to the PC in April Channeling the 1970s in The Church in the Darkness The Battletech backer beta and launch target have been pushed back Styx: Shards of Darkness trailer shows off co-op kills Dawn of War 3 is a best-of mashup of Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 multiplayer hands-on: tough, complicated, spectacular Dawn of War 3 release date set, pre-orders detailed with trailer Dawn of War 3 Full Faction Overview Dawn of War 3 - 8 Minutes of Intense Multiplayer Action 'Tacoma' Makes Space Feel Personal Outlast 2 is coming in April 9 new things in Middle-earth: Shadow of War Slowly, quietly: Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 delayed again Premature Evaluation: For The King 2Dark trailer sneaks out ahead of next week's release Colourful Wii oddity de Blob coming to PC next month This Isn't An Operating System, It's An RPG LawBreakers smashes into closed beta this month On the spattered line: Quake Champions beta signups The First 23 Minutes Of Nier: Automata Nier Automata Lets Players Buy PSN Trophies With In-Game Money Zero Escape director teases next project System Shock remaster gets unsettling new gameplay trailer, switches to Unreal 4 engine Lucasfilm issues informal cease and desist order to fan-made Indiana Jones remake Riot Risks Stifling Creativity In League By Banning Players With Unconventional Strategies New Overwatch hero Orisa introduced Overwatch Team Will Roll Back Bastion’s Unpopular Buff Overwatch patch 1.9 notes - new tank hero Orisa, Bastion nerf, Zarya nerf, and more Orisa abilities list: here's what Overwatch's new tank can do Orisa skins: here are all the looks for Overwatch's newest hero Blizzard Talks About How They Came Up With Overwatch's New Hero, Orisa Overwatch Players Are Abusing Custom Games To Farm XP Battlefield 1’s They Shall Not Pass DLC detailed: 4 new maps, French army, Frontlines Ubisoft announce free PVP update for Ghost Recon Wildlands, alongside its season pass Ghost Recon Wildlands' portrayal of Bolivia prompts government complaint Naughty Dog: Another Uncharted After The Lost Legacy Is Unlikely No Man’s Sky’s next update is imminent, adds a planetary vehicle Leak suggests Ninja and Centurion are coming in For Honor's first DLC release Meet Heroes of the Storm's newest character, Probius Some YouTubers Are Overjoyed That Maker Studios Is Firing Them Feud between G2A and Tiny Build sparks up during GDC panel Wargaming CEO accepts blame, vows renewed focus on World of Tanks SEGA and Creative Assembly acquire Crytek Black Sea, forming Creative Assembly Sofia Riot awarded $10 million in Leaguesharp lawsuit settlement Riot Games accuses Arizona man of trafficking stolen League of Legends accounts Nintendo says the Switch outsold the Wii at launch Switch Owners Report Hardware Problems, Though It's Tough To Tell How Many Nintendo Flags YouTuber For Using Switch Sound Nintendo awarded $9.5M in case against flashcart distributor Fan-Made Mother 4 Is No Longer 'Mother 4' How two Cities: Skylines modders turned hobbyist work into life-changing careers Halo 5 Skee Ball Games Keep Getting Better How the Cemu emulator's devs got Zelda: Breath of the Wild running in just a few hours Esports News Dota 2's Kiev Major gets its first contenders The Weekend In Esports: Counter-Strike Pros Light Up Poland Astralis Maintain Dominant Streak With Win In Katowice StarCraft Pro Topples Number One Player To Win IEM Katowice Championships Dota 2 Teams, Tournament Organizer, And Production Staff Say They're Being Stiffed Pro Esports Team Analyst Caught Betting On His Own Team's Matches, Which Is Somehow Legal Piglet Takes Over Team Liquid Mid Role In Push To Reach League Playoffs Team Wins In League Series Despite Picking A Bug-Ridden Champion Stadium Concepts in Esports Crowdfunding News ANTEGODS Content I found interesting this week (interviews, reviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, criticism, etc) The Secret Shame of Steam Cheaters That Lasts Seven Years Horizon Zero Dawn Players Are Using Photo Mode To Take Some Killer Pictures 'Horizon Zero Dawn' Star Ashly Burch on Her Voice Acting Heroes and Playing Aloy Horizon Zero Dawn's Little Details Are Polished And Well-Styled When Miyamoto First Played Zelda: Breath of the Wild, He Wouldn't Stop Climbing Trees Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Gets Video Game Collectibles Right 'Breath of the Wild' Solves Zelda’s Wacky Pacing Problems Torment: Tides of Numenera is beautifully detailed The Genie Level In Aladdin Is Unadulterated Disney Magic Hey Video Games, What’s the Problem with Dicks? Frustration Can Improve Video Games, Designer Found For Hidden Folks Designer Adriaan de Jongh, Games Are About People Building thousands of tiny interactions into Hidden Folks Meet the World's Most-Watched 'Hearthstone' Streamer Octavian 'Kripparrian' Morosan Train Jam perfectly captures the magic of both traveling and game dev Two Minutes With 10 Train Jam Games at GDC 2017 The For Honor community is divided over what honor really means Speedrunners Compete To See Who Can Beat Samurai Pizza Cats And Other NES Games The Fastest Famous Speedrunner Narcissa Wright Is Back From Retirement, But Still Worried About Health There’s No Reason for 'No Russian' to Exist in ‘Modern Warfare 2’ Thief: tense narrative through level design and mechanics The Balance of Power: Progression and Equilibrium in Real-Time Strategy Games Hollow Knight's charming art sets the bar for hand drawn games How things end Why math is strangling videogame morality Nintendo Flashback: The Disastrous Power Glove How one man lost over 50 pounds playing a VR game Narrative Sorcery: Coherent Storytelling in an Open World Creating Interactive Film Scripts For 3D Adventures With Ink Snap to Character: Building Strong Player Attachment Through Narrative Designing System Driven Dialogue in Mafia III The Freedom Fallacy: Why A Precise Understanding of Player Autonomy Matters Systems Make Statements: Simulations and Intentional Design Breathing life into Seaman Tips for writing better marginalized characters Unreal’s updated VR editor is set to launch on April 17 Oregon Trail creator wants to see game reimagined from the Native American perspective Remembering the Identity Crisis of Licensed Video Games, Through the Lens of ‘Alien 3’ The awful thing that happens to you at the start of Resident Evil 7 was almost much, much worse Black Skin Is Still A Radical Concept in Video Games ‘Night in the Woods’ Is Soulful, Empathetic, and Too Real "Does this Have to be a game" Falling Upwards: Gravity Rush as guide for the complex intersections of women’s lives In Praise of the Impressive Impatience of ‘Nier: Automata’ As CRT Supplies Vanish the Classic Arcade Machine is Virtually Dead How Flash Games and Newgrounds Foretold Today’s Indie Experimentalism OUR FIRST EVER GDC! Battlefield 1's voice actors played catch with cinderblocks while recording their lines ‘Breath of the Wild’ is the Zelda Adventure I've Always Wanted How Torbjörn became the art inspiration for all of Overwatch Zelda on Switch runs more smoothly in portable mode 'Spelunky' Is Obsessed With Death The Invaluable Rise of the Talking Simulator Eleven Essential Books that will help shape your Game City Developing Crashlands while facing a terminal cancer diagnosis Sean Murray compares No Man's Sky development to a rocketship ‘being fired into the sun’ Writing Mafia 3: 'We had a lot of very uncomfortable conversations' Lessons learned by an 'art-house indie' who joined a F2P game studio How Prompto's AI-driven selfie system in Final Fantasy XV was built Warren Spector traces Deus Ex's development back to a game of D&D Mods are (not) blasphemy! | Field Notes for Play: Fallout 4 Edition History Respawned: This War of Mine [SSFF] Past Mortem | The History of Marvel vs Capcom Noclip Turns 6 Months Old! (A Postmortem & Request) Frog Fractions: Lesson 1 - Noclip Documentary Why Breath of the Wild's Empty Space is So Important - Writing on Games Games as Lit. 101 - Interactive Temptation The Shadow of Mordor you never knew existed alt.ctrl | Hands-On | GDC 2017 How the GTA Hot Coffee Scandal changed age ratings forever - Here's A Thing What You Missed From NieR Something in the Direction of Exhibition - Nier, Part 1 Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games Hearthstone Developer Records a Rap About Journey to Un'Goro Expansion Stardew Valley (IGF) - Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'? Ron Gilbert 'Horizon Zero Dawn' and 'The Witcher' Share Beautiful Twitter Moment There's no hookshot Things I Missed From Previous Weeks Why I love Peggle and hate Peggle: Blast