The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry. "It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
Hyperkin's Retron 5 hardware plays real cartridges using original controllers from a variety of 8-bit and 16-bit consoles (including the NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy Advance), converts the output to HDMI for moderns TVs, and includes all the advanced options you usually only find in software emulators. It's winning over even the most skeptical retro gamers.
Could Mario Kart 8 be the Bullet Bill that propels Nintendo's Wii U from its slump? Outstanding reviews, a free game with purchase, plus the Luigi stare of death meme, helped make MK8 the best-selling game in June and boosted Wii U sales tremendously. An arcade version - featuring Fusion Carts - is forthcoming.
Hop over to MetaTalk and share your Nintendo Network ID. [more inside]
Hop over to MetaTalk and share your Nintendo Network ID. [more inside]
To be fair, I did watch someone play most of the game. Many of those moments repeatedly. And if I wasn’t in the room, the plaintive “Nooooo” that would echo from the living area told me that I’d be able to see whatever it was in another ten minutes. And probably again another twenty after that. And another twenty after that.Kristin Bezio reviews Dark Souls through her husband's gameplay
Before the release of Tribes 2, IGN interviewed the band Motley Crue about the theme song that they'd been contracted to do: "Then this new game came up, Tribes 2, and it was very up Motley Crue's alley. It was high-energy, very intense. We actually wrote music specifically for the game, as well as taking a few tracks off of the new album, and we're extremely excited about it. Now they're actually going to digitize us and put us in the game." The deal appeared to fall through, and the song was lost to time. However copies still exist on the Internet.
"Brandon Sheffield, Gamasutra editor and director of Necrosoft Games, took to Vine last night to show the world what exactly happens when 13 Sonic & Knuckles cartridges are plugged into one another in a Human Centipede-esque disaster." (Warning: 30 Vine videos playing in one browser window.)
"Galaga" is an excerpt from Michael Kimball's book of the same name about the classic arcade game of the same name. Kimball is also the author of the heartbreaking novel Us and the experimental non-fiction Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard), his selected favorites from which are 45, 46, 51, 52, 54, 66, 70, 75, 86, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 112, 114, 118, 128, 129, 131, 133, 160, 165, 167, 171, 192, 195, 199, 209, 216, 221, 225 and 240. Postcards 54, 75, 98, 114, and 225 feature non-human subjects. 131 is Tao Lin, and 128 is Kimball himself. [Via.]
A Tale of Internet Spaceships - A crowd funded documentary on the video game, Eve Online. Filmed at the annual CCP FanFest, a look at the unique world of spaceships, spreadsheets, diplomacy, community, and inevitable betrayal.
Five Genre-Defining Video Games Forgotten by History (SLYT, 53min.)
"How to play Street Fighter: a fighting game primer for everyone" explains the dynamics of how 2D fighting games work and why.
Back in March, the AV Club premiered a new feature called Iconography, which is an illustrated column by Nick Wanserski examining "pop culture's most fascinating objects". Though the updates have been very sporadic since then, here are the first three entries for your enjoyment: The golden idol from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", The spinning top from "Inception", and Link's floppy hat from "The Legend of Zelda".
"The twist here is that this is not an actual fighting game, it’s a Whac-a-mole title, one of those games where little heads pop up and you have to use a hammer to hit them back into the ground. The whole machine is Street Fighter II themed, the moles are Bison (Vega) characters and the on-screen characters play out a fight based on your performance."
Yo ho, matey! Ever get to sorting through Doom mods and think "Wow, that's a lot of techbases and hell castles. I'd really prefer something a bit more Monkey Island-esque"? If so (and even if not), you'll want to check out Pirate Doom, which dresses up Doom monsters as pirates (down the Imps' fancy hats) and sends the player through 18 levels of pirate-demon action! Rock Paper Shotgun has a quick writeup, Doomed has a review of an older version, and here's a video of level 2, "Melee Island", to give a good idea of what you're in for. [more inside]
Waterson and Mattherson, the only two US east coast servers for the MMOFPS Planetside 2, are merging this month. On hearing the news, players from each server began talking smack, smack that quickly escalated to a call for a Server Smash, a 240 vs 240 campaign lasting 2 hours on one of the Planetside continents, to decide the surviving server name. [more inside]
On the first day of [the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo], the game’s producers, Kana Ryan and Chris Trottier, watched in disbelief as two of the female Sims attending the virtual wedding leaned in and began to passionately kiss. They had, during the live simulation, fallen in love. Moreover, they had chosen this moment to express their affection, in front of a live audience of assorted press.
For fans of Team Fortress 2, Valve inside jokes, wacky skits about corpses, animated shorts and bread-based warfare, presenting: TF2 - Expiration Date.
"The concept is a staple of the global culture of fantasy novels and video games, many of which feature a blue bar of magical energy called 'mana.' "But how did this happen? How did a concept from Pago Pago become part of global gaming culture? How did an Austronesian spiritual force come on board the Exodar, and become part of the life of my draenei shaman?" A lengthy look at the history of "mana," from Pacific Islanders to RPGs and trading card games.
Anita Sarkeesian has released the third video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. It's an exhaustive (and exhausting) look at how women have been used as background decorations in video games for the last three decades. [previously]
Ubisoft dropped plans to have playable female assassins in the multiplayer mode of the upcoming game Assassin's Creed: Unity.
The studio "had to" cut female assassins from the co-op mode, Amancio explained in response to a question from Polygon's Ben Kuchera, because keeping them in would have doubled the cost of pretty much everything: "it's double the animations, double the voices, all that stuff, double the visual assets—especially because we have customizable assassins."Once again from Ubisoft, Far Cry 4 will not have playable female characters in multiplayer either:
"...I can guarantee you that in the future, moving forward, this sort of stuff will go away. As we get better technology and we plan for it in advance and we don't have a history on one rig and all this sort of stuff. We had very strong voices on the team pushing for that and I really wanted to do it, we just couldn't squeeze it in in time. But on the other hand we managed to get more of the other story characters to be women... We did our best. It's frustrating for us as it is for everybody else, so it's not a big switch that you can just pull and get it done."Animator Jonathan Cooper, who is currently with Naughty Dog and has previously worked on the Mass Effect series (whose main character could be either male or female, and whose final installment with multiplayer also featured female playable characters for multiple species including human) has another perspective on how the extra work could be planned for and handled. Twitter, with the hashtag in the post title, has its own perspective. [more inside]
Terry Cavanagh's indie hit VVVVVV was an instant success, melding a Commodore 64 look and feel to a difficult but forgiving platformer whose only controls are move left, move right, and reverse gravity. The second edition of the game expanded from Windows and OSX to Linux, and added a level editor which could be used to make and export custom maps. Today, Cavanagh has announced VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition, which contains only the level editor and the ability to play custom levels, and which can now be downloaded for free for Windows, OSX, and Linux.
A year ago, Microsoft was crucified in the press for the PR fiasco of the Xbox One, with rival Sony winning thunderous applause for its PS4 by simply maintaining the status quo. But after doing a
360 180 on its hated policies, Redmond is attempting to close the gap with the most valuable package deal since The Orange Box.
A remarkable feat of engineering, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will feature on a single disc the complete HD-remastered campaigns of Halos 1-4 alongside Ridley Scott's Nightfall, the Halo 5 beta, and the holy grail of Xbox gaming: every last one of the series' 100+ multiplayer maps in a single unified matchmaking system incorporating the original engines, gameplay mechanics, and idiosyncrasies of each.
Ten years after Halo 2 (and four years after MS shut the taps), IGN suspects a plan by 343 to rekindle (and data-mine) Bungie's magic for an uncertain Halo 5, while Eurogamer welcomes the return of what it calls online FPS's peak. [More reaction: NeoGAF - Ars Technica - Reddit]
Bungie, meanwhile, stood with Sony to showcase its upcoming Destiny, the vaunted space epic that will beta this summer before facing its revamped forerunners later this year. More E3 coverage: Microsoft (5min) - Sony (5min) - Nintendo (airing noon EST) - SW: Battlefront - AC: Unity - MGS5: The Phantom Pain - Evolve - No Man's Sky - The Order: 1886 - Sunset Overdrive - Grim Fandango - Bloodborne - Arkham Knight - Scalebound - Mortal Kombat X - The Division - LittleBigPlanet 3 - Inside - Uncharted 4 - Crackdown
ShuffleComp is an in-progress Interactive Fiction competition where all the games are based on a song chosen partially by the intfiction boards and partially by the game's author. While the voting/judging is ongoing, all the games submitted for the competition have been released and are playable now!
Bartek Hlawka & co. present "Another World", a short film based on Éric Chahi's cinematic platform game of the same title (also known as Out Of This World in North America and Outer World in Japan). [more inside]
Team Service Announcements is a series of short skits demonstrating basic principles of Team Fortress 2 tactics and strategy.
Indie gaming started out as games written with passion for people who embraced and loved them. Now too much of it is about churning out giant mounds of decent but undifferentiated product to be bought for pennies by people who don't give a crap either way.Veteran indie game developer Jeff Vogel says the indie game bubble is popping.
It's not sustainable.
Starting up fan localization projects feels much like amassing the cast of your typical role-playing game: a group of random strangers rally around a common cause before embarking on their journey together. In was in this way that Mandelin and Erbrecht found each other — stumbling to create something beautiful and meaningful, and realizing they could make that beautiful and meaningful thing better by working together. — For Polygon, Alexa Ray Corriea dives into the underground world of fan-translated games.
A Short History of Game Panics: [Boing Boing] "Do you know where you child is? Watch out: they might be in an arcade! Jesse Walker of Reason Magazine on video gaming's juciest moral panics." [Previously] [Previously] [Previously]
Revisit the glory days of coin-op goodness with the Flickr pool Growing Up In Arcades: 1979-1989. (A nice companion to Horace Rumpole's previous post from last year.)
Tabletop Simulator is a, well, simulator for tabletop gaming. The trailer shows a number of applications: classics like chess and chinese checkers, RPG campaigns, and games using a standard deck of playing cards. And if you're looking for something with less structure you can set up domino chains. The game supports net-play with friends (video has a bit of cursing), with the option of flipping the table if the game isn't going your way. [more inside]
The world of video game music has blossomed in recent years, enough to support live concert tours and bestselling albums. But while most such work is licensed or contracted out to third-party composers, a rare breed make their living at a single company, imbuing entire franchises with their unique sound. And apart from Nintendo's venerable Koji Kondo, there is perhaps no dedicated gaming composer more renowned than Martin O'Donnell. From humble beginnings writing the jingle for Flintstones Vitamins, O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori joined developer Bungie in 1997, penning music for Myth, Oni, and most notably the Halo trilogy -- an iconic blend of sweeping orchestral bombast, haunting choirs, and electronic ambience that became one of the most acclaimed and successful gaming soundtracks of all time. O'Donnell also helmed Bungie's audio department, managing voice actors, sound effects, and an innovative dynamic music engine, and was most recently working with Paul McCartney on the score for the upcoming Destiny. So it came as a surprise today when it was announced MartyTheElder was being terminated without cause (flabbergasted reaction: HBO/DBO - NeoGAF - Reddit). With O'Donnell following Joseph Staten, Frank O'Connor, Marcus Lehto, and other Bungie veterans out the door, what might this mean for the company and its decade-long plan for Destiny? [more inside]
"Naturally, the record for the largest and most costly single engagement in EVE history was expected to stand for some time. It didn’t."
Jared Rosen offers a postmortem of GAME_JAM, a failed reality show about game development produced by Maker Studios and sponsored by Pepsi. Contestants Adriel Wallick, Robin Arnott, and Zoe Quinn also offer their perspectives.
Six games that really get suicide. A very interesting look and insight into six video games with a pronounced realistic theme of depression and suicide.
Pete Holmes, who was previously highlighted here for his "Ex-Men" sketches, has decided that the one-on-one-interview-with-pop-culture-characters format really works for him, and so we now have "Street Fighter Red Tape" with Ryu, Vega and Chun-Li. [more inside]
Crates in video games. (previously) Trains in video games. Birds in video games. Wall art in video games. Luchadores in video games. Foliage in video games. (previously) Logic in video games. Easter eggs (secret content) in video games. Normal eggs (and other food) in video games. Toilets in video games. Improved women's armor in video games (slightly NSFW). (previously) Bears in video games. Mickey Mouse in video games. Love in video games.
The generic war game has come under fire from many sides, prompting more thoughtful games, such as the recent Spec Ops: The Line (previously) and others. However, short of post-apocalyptic zombie-type games, no one has thought to make a game about the civilians - survivors living in the cities that other people battle over. Until now.
In This War of Mine, the focus is shifted away from military operations portrayed in most games. Instead, it is a dark survival game where players control a group of civilians trying to stay alive in a besieged city. During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, offering players time to craft, trade, upgrade their shelter, feed and cure their people. At night they must scavenge nearby areas in search for food, medicines, weapons and other useful items. This War of Mine was inspired by real-life events and delivers a message. "This can happen in your city, in your country."
Shamus Young examines the idea of "story collapse" (the moment where a story reaches a critical point of ridiculousness and causes you to question every other aspect of it) by deconstructing the Thieves Guild quest-line in Skyrim: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. Entertaining reading for writers, designers and gamers alike.
Game of the Year. Some words and a comic on success, depression, insecurities and validations by the writer of The Stanley Parable
The first issue of the new EVE Online comic book from Dark Horse comics is now available for free download (free registration required). What's particularly interesting about the "EVE: True Stories" comic series is that the stories are retellings of actual player-driven game events. The first story to be adapted is the downfall of the Band of Brothers alliance, which we talked about previously.
"Well, I did it. This is THE lowest possible score you can finish [Super Mario Bros.] with (without continuing)." via
This past week the digital game distribution service Steam unveiled a new beta feature: user contributed tags for games. Unsurprisingly, the feature was quickly abused, leading to Steam introducing means to moderate tag usage. The plus side to all of this is that you can now play a game where you match Steam tags to the games they describe! Steam Tags: The Game
Archive.org is known for archiving a great number of things, broadly classified in terms of the web, written and printed text, studio audio and live music, and video. The most recent addition comes in various realms of software, as outlined by Jason Scott (MeFi's own jscott). But the newest addition is notable because it brings old software back through online emulation - behold, the Historical Software collection, from productivity software like VisiCalc (1979), WordStar (1981 Osborne 1 version), and The Print Shop (1984, NYT review) to vintage games including Eastern Front 1941 (1981), The Hobbit (1982), and Karateka (1984). If you're interested in the way this all works, you can read more on the Archive.org blog.