Tag: game dev

New Boot Goofin’, Wizards Cast Lawsuit, and A Lot of Games

Palladium and Bungie Collaboration

Destiny guardians are no stranger to making sure they look their best, or most absurd, in-game. So the more fashionable guardians may be excited to learn that Palladium, the shoe company, are collaborating with Bungie to create boots inspired by The Witch Queen. These boots come in tan and black, made of canvas, and have some Destiny 2 flair.

Wizards of the Coast Casts Lawsuit

Wizards of the Coast, the current publisher of the popular Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game, has filed a lawsuit to prevent the release of Star Frontiers: New Genesis, a space opera in a tabletop roleplaying game format, being developed under TSR LLC.

TSR LLC is the latest company to claim the name of TSR Inc., the original publishers for Dungeons & Dragons in 1973. TSR LLC is attempting to revive the original Star Frontiers.

However, with an online leak, Star Frontiers: New Genesis has been facing a significant amount of backlash due to racist and transphobic content, including a ‘negro’ subrace with a maximum intelligence rating of 9.

Wizards of the Coast writes that “it would be irreparably harmed by the publication and distribution of the game using its trademarks because consumers may mistakenly associate Wizards with the reprehensible content of the game, damaging its reputation and goodwill, and undermining its efforts to foster a culture that embraces diversity.

Northeastern University Bomb

A staff member of Northeastern University has suffered injuries to his hands when he opened a package that was detonated.

Investigation is still ongoing, with motive being at the forefront of concerns. It’s been reported that the package contained a note that criticised Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, and the relationship between virtual reality developers and academic institutions.

This note was contained in a hard plastic container, and detonated when the latches were released and the lid was lifted.

Thankfully, the staff member was not seriously injured.

 

State of Play, Nintendo Direct, and More

Sony, Nintendo, and Ubisoft have made many announcements for upcoming projects and games during Tokyo Game Show, one of the big three gaming conferences.

Sony announced Tekken 8, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition, Demeo, a dungeon crawler, Like a Dragon: Ishin, a Yakuza spin-off, Pacific Drive, a driving survival game, and a new loyalty program called PlayStation Stars.

Nintendo brought The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Fire Emblem: Engage, Pikmin 4, and some old favourites will be coming to the Nintendo Switch Online via the Expansion Pack membership subscription, such as Mario Party 1/2/3, Pokemon Stadium, and GoldenEye 007.

Ubisoft follows up with Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, Skull and Bones, a pirate simulator, Rider’s Republic for BMX, skateboarding, and snowboarding fans, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Heartland, and Rainbow Six Mobile, with a partnership announced with Netflix.

And now for some upcoming games!

September 16

  • The Dark Prophecy – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Hidden Through Time: Definitive Edition – PS4, Switch
  • Various Daylife – PS4

September 18

  • Fortnite Season 4 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

September 19

  • Return to Monkey Island – PC, Switch

September 20

  • Construction Simulator – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker – PS5, XSX
  • Soulstice – PC, PS5, XSX

September 22

  • The DioField Chronicle – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Gundam Evolution – PC
  • Potion Permit – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Serial Cleaners – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Session: Skate Sim – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Slime Rancher 2 – PC, XSX
  • Train Life: A Railway Simulator – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO

When Robots Attack, Roblox Piracy, and More

Chess Robot Breaks Bones

As it turns out, robots don’t like it when you try to rush through a chess game. During a chess tournament in Moscow, a seven year old boy who is among the top 30 chess players in Moscow under the age of nine, faced off against a chess robot. Playing chess against AI is hardly anything new, with Deep Blue being the first computer to win a match against a reigning chess champion in 1997.

However, in this case the AI reacted in response to the boy moving a piece earlier than he should’ve, and as a consequence grabbed the boy’s index finger and squeezed it firmly. People rushed to help, but not before his finger was broken.

However, the young player did return to the tournament the next day, and his parents are now considering filing a lawsuit.

Russia’s Making Their Own Games

Following the invasion of Ukraine, several companies have stopped trading with Russia, and many sanctions have been placed, leaving the country without video games. Nintendo has announced suspending all exports to Russia, as well as Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, and more.

As a result, Russia is now turning to making games internally, with Rostec planning on creating its own game engine. This project is being looked at cautiously by the government as this would be the first Russian game engine.

Minecraft Says No NFTs

Mojang has taken a firm stance against blockchain technology and Non-Fungible Tokens, preventing third-party operators from creating Minecraft NFTs.

The company has stated that the use of NFTs violates the spirit of the Minecraft usage guidelines, although the guidelines do permit server owners to charge for access. Mojang has clarified the difference between money and tokens, stating that “we have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. NFTs can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft”.

However, they haven’t closed the door entirely on NFTs, explaining that Mojang is open to the possibilities of blockchain technology in the future.

Roblox Fighting for Innocent Gamers

Christopher Boomer, a developer behind Roblox games such as Weight Lifting Simulator 2 and Muscle Legends, recently obtained a DMCA subpoena in order to compel Roblox to identify alleged pirates. Boomer’s games have been viewed over two billion times, and according to Boomer’s legal team, fellow Roblox developers have copied Boomer’s games.

As a result, Boomer filed for a DMCA subpoena to unmask the alleged pirates. Roblox objects however, explaining that 10 days is too short of a time to produce the requested information, and has called the request unreasonable as Boomer is attempting to obtain information on a potential 460 thousand players, along with the alleged pirates.

Roblox objects to the request to unmask anonymous speakers without the provision of notice to the speakers so that they may directly address any potential concerns, First Amendment or otherwise,” states Roblox.

Roblox objects to this request as overbroad because it seeks a wide swath of user information that Petitioner has not established is relevant to any alleged copyright infringement, and thus the information requested does not qualify as discoverable subject matter.”

And now for some upcoming games!

July 28

  • Autonauts vs Piratebots (PC)
  • Bear and Breakfast (PC)
  • Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions (Switch)
  • Sweet Transit (PC)

July 29

  • Avenging Spirit (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Digimon Survive (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Madison (Switch)
  • Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town (PS4)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Switch)

August 1

  • The Gallery (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 2

  • Frogun (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 3

  • South of the Circle (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 4

  • Hard West 2 (PC)
  • Turbo Golf Racing (PC, XSX, XBO)

Branding, New Studios, and a lot of Strays

Get Diablo 4 Beta Access by branding yourself with Blizzard’s IP

To celebrate Diablo’s 25th anniversary, Blizzard is running a Diablo Hell’s Ink tattoo takeover
event from July 16 to September 10, spanning 8 cities in 4 different countries, including
Australia. Diablo fans can queue for the chance to get a free flash tattoo and with it, access to
the Diablo 4 beta and a free digital copy of the game upon it’s release. The takeover is coming
to Melbourne’s Oculus Tattoo studio on September 3rd and Sydney’s Little Tokyo Tattoo studio
on September 10th so if you’re in the area and love Diablo, maybe swing on by to get yourself
some free ink and access to Diablo 4.

A new game studio approaches!

Jerry Hook, former Head of Design for Halo Infinite who 2 months ago left 343 Industries, has
announced the creation of a new games studio, Jar of Sparks. Along with several other big
names in the industry (Paul Crocker, Greg Stone and Steve Dyck) and with the backing of
NetEase (a chinese tech company) the studio is currently hiring across all fields of game
development. Jerry Hook made clear in an interview with IGN that the plan is not to jump
straight into huge AAA titles but to focus on making quality games at a mid-sized budget and
forming a strong team and a dedicated following to build from.

A Purr-fect way to spend some money

The recently released feline focused game Stray (which reached over 60 000 concurrent
players on steam within 24 hours of it’s release) has collaborated with Travel Cat to create a
merch line of travel accessories for that special kitty cat in your life. The collection consists of a
harness and leash set that is a replica of the one worn by in the game and a cat backpack, a cat
carrier that you carry on your back. In addition to this there is a virtual launch party scheduled
for Friday at 10am Australian eastern standard time where in addition to live gameplay there will
be a backpack and harness training hangout on zoom so you can learn how to safely take your
cat on your very own adventures.

Upcoming game releases

July 21st: Bright Memory: Infinite (PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X), Coromon (Switch Port),
Hell Pie (PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch), Severed Steel (Switch).

July 22nd: Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch), Live A Live
(Switch Port), Severed Steel (Xbox)

July 26: Immortality (PC, Xbox Series X), MultiVersus (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Support for Ukraine, Steam Deck, Pokemon and Gaming Bytes

Developers react to Russia’s war with Ukraine.
In the last week, as Russia invaded Ukraine, several studios, developers, and publishers from around the world have voiced their support for Ukraine and its plight.
International developers such as CD Projekt Red have tweeted

“We cannot remain indifferent in the face of such injustice and we ask everybody to join in and help in any way you can. Together we can make a huge difference.”

State of Play Games and Amanita Design have also joined in donating their earnings to the cause. In some cases, this support has resulted in backlashes from the gaming community. After 11 bit studios declared they would be donating profits from sales of This War of Mine to the Ukrainian Red Cross, they were review bombed by players from China and Russia, and Space Engineers received similar treatment after announcing their support for Ukraine.
Closer to Ukraine, indie developer Crytivo’s CEO Alex Koshelkov announced all profits from February and March, and 1 million Polish zloty, will be donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross, as well as support for Ukrainian employees while they search for safety. CEO of tiny build also voiced their support for their Ukrainian employees, tweeting “Nobody gets left behind.” Wargaming, developers of World of Tanks, supported their over 550 Ukrainian developers by assisting them to find alternative housing, early salary, and making sure relocation and evacuation efforts are paid for. They also donated a million USD to the Ukrainian Red Cross, and when their creative director posted support for the invasion of Ukraine on social media, they quickly acted “letting him go[sic]” the next day.
With Ukraine calling for support from developers, other companies such as EA Sport and The Chinese Room, developers of Little Orpheus, have joined with others in their support of Ukraine.

Steam Deck
In lighter news, with the limited release of the Steam Deck in the U.S., Gabe Newell, president of Valve Corp, has been spotted hand-delivering signed Steam Decks in Seattle. The Steam Deck released on the 25th of February along with the free game Aperture Desk Job to celebrate the console’s capabilities. Critiques on battery life and gaming power are rife, and some users are already reporting stick drift. Furthermore, while Destiny 2 can run on Linux, Bungie has issued a statement that those who hack Destiny 2 to work on the console will be met with game bans.
However, Gabe Newell has already talked about the future with Steam Deck 2 on the horizon as a possible VR running machine.

Ducks, Kittens and Apple Crocs Coming to Pokémon.
After the announcement earlier this week of a Pokémon Direct, fans were already getting their hopes up for a Gen 9 Pokémon game. And they were not disappointed. Right at the end of the Direct, they announced Pokémon Scarlet and Violet along with the three starters; an attention seeking grass cat called Sprigatito, a relaxed fire type crocodile named Fuecoco, and Quaxly, an earnest new water duck. Both the names and the release video have lead Pokémon fans to speculate that the Gen 9 region will be inspired by Spain, and the game will follow the open world style that has become so popular with the recent release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Now for some quick Gaming Bytes:
● American and British Sign Language support coming to Forza Horizon 5 on March 1st.
● In the 25th annual D.I.C.E. awards show local Brisbane developer Witch Beam won the award for Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game for Unpacking.
● Activision has ended a near 20 year tradition of annual releases of Call of Duty by delaying the next edition in the franchise until 2023.
● Nintendo may have joined the acquisition wars after acquiring long term partner SRD, after working with them for almost 40 years.
● Tokyo Game Show 2022 has revealed the theme of this year will be “Nothing Stops Gaming!!!” and will be a physical event taking place at Makuhari Messe from September 15 to 18.

And finally, some upcoming game releases.
On March 4, Gran Turismo 7 is coming to PlayStation. 80’s synth, arcade platformer, Gunborg: Dark Matter comes to PC, PlayStation, Xbox One and Switch. The upgraded Music Racer: Ultimate comes to next gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles. 2014’s Quest For Infamy gets a console release, releasing on PlayStation, Xbox and Switch. And finally, tactical RPG Triangle Strategy comes to Switch.
And March 10, real time space strategy Distant Worlds 2 comes to PC, and lastly, Submerged sequel Submerged: Hidden Depths, is a relaxing exploration game set in a ruined, water filled world and comes to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.