Tag: game development

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

No Steam, No Awards, No Friends

Indonesia Bans Steam

As Indonesia rolls out new content moderation laws, many online services have been affected, including Steam, PayPal, Epic Games, and even Yahoo.

Companies that are considered private electronic system providers have to register with the Indonesian government’s database to operate in the country. Any companies that failed to do so by 27th July have been banned.

Aside from making it challenging for those in Indonesia to access video games, the requirement is part of an overarching law that is intended to allow the Indonesian government to obtain data about users, and remove content that “disturbs public order”.

Microsoft, Google, Apple, TikTok, Netflix, Spotify, and many other service providers have successfully registered a licence, allowing them to continue to operate.

As of now, Valve is attempting to comply with the requirements, and PayPal has been temporarily unblocked.

Steam Bans Award Logos

The practice of putting award logos and review scores in key art on Steam is coming to an end. Valve is introducing new rules for store key art, or “store graphical assets”, prioritising cleaner images for the storefront.

Review scores, award names, and promotion of a different product are all banned starting from September 1st. If developers want to promote a major update, they can use “artwork overrides”, which slaps a separate layer over existing images.

Valve states that the move is prompted not only to reduce visual clutter, but also to avoid review scores that may be outdated, or even the sketchy practice of making up award names to make a game look a little fancier.

Diablo Immortal Player is Alone

Diablo Immortal has been having some bad press, but now the focus is on a player who has spent $142,000 AUD on the MMORPG, effectively locking him out of the game.

Diablo Immortal’s system allows players to invest financially in order to upgrade their character, a system often called ‘pay-to-win’, and it definitely works. Now this player’s barbarian is so overpowered that he has won hundreds of matches against other players, with very, very few losses. As a result, the game simply will not match him with another player, as there are simply none who could be fairly matched against him.

The player has contacted Blizzard hoping for a way to resolve this problem, however with an upcoming event called the Rite of Exile, he is unable to assist his clan, and with being stuck in matchmaking purgatory, he is unable to even qualify.

He isn’t exactly being met with sympathy, with some players saying that ‘he got what he paid for’.

And now for some upcoming games!

August 4

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

August 9

  • Thymesia (PC, PS5, XSX)
  • Two Point Campus (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 10

  • Lost In Play (PC, Switch)

August 11

  • Arcade Paradise (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Cult Of The Lamb (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

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)

Rainbows, GameStop, PS5s and Maybe A New Game?

Pride Month Is Here (For Non-Australians)

During pride month, to celebrate our queer communities and embrace it, there are a number of events, parades, and parties galore, and the gaming scene isn’t any different. The Queer Games Bundle makes another appearance in 2022 on itch.io where you can own 588 games for just $60, with all proceeds going directly to the creators of those games.

Tell Me Why is free on Xbox, Riot Games, Fall Guys, and Warframe are having events and added cosmetic items to show your pride and support, and many companies have made statements in support of the LGBTQIA+ communities. So don’t be surprised if your favourite games are looking a bit more vibrant this month.

GameStop Employees Have Stopped

Over the weekend the GameStop in the Gateway Mall in Lincoln, Nebraska was closed as overworked and understaffed employees walked out, putting out an explanation as to why:

“Attention GameStop patrons: we regret to inform you that we all quit, our district manager has no respect for us as employees or as human beings. We have been told by our distinct manager that we were supposed to have had this store achieving sales quotas and running perfectly 6 months ago. Which was 3 months before a lot of us even got hired. Unfortunately, despite the staffs’ best efforts, we are not god.”

The notice also pointed patrons towards other establishments for their gaming needs, stating:

“Spend your money at an establishment that respects it’s employees.”

New Kojima Horror Game

Allegedly early footage of a new Hideo Kojima horror game has been leaked, reportedly a title called Overdose. The footage supposedly shows Mama from Death Stranding wearing a blue dress, but the game doesn’t seem to be Death Stranding 2.

Hideo Kojima has expressed interest in making another horror game, stating that he has ideas that would “make you defecate in your pants”.

Kojima Productions had signed a deal with Microsoft for an Xbox-exclusive title, but there’s nothing solid to suggest it could be Overdose, assuming that Overdose is even a real game.

It Might Be Easier To Get A PS5 Soon

Sony has projected that it will sell up to 18 million sales this fiscal year, with that number based on Sony’s ‘current visibility into parts procurement’.

Last fiscal year Sony sold 11.5 million PS5 consoles, and the year before that was only 7.8 million consoles, so 18 million consoles is not a small number. It remains to be seen whether Sony can achieve that 60% jump in producing consoles and selling them.

And now for some upcoming games!

June 9

  • Green Hell VR (Steam VR)
  • Madshot (PC)
  • Postal: Brain Damaged (PC)
  • Pro Cycling Manager 2022 (PC)
  • Tour de France 2022 (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)

June 10

  • Mario Strikers: Battle League (Switch)
  • The Quarry (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)

June 14

  • Jurassic World Evolution 2: Dominion Biosyn Expansion (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)

June 16

  • Autonauts (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Overlord: Escape from Nazarick (PC, Switch)
  • Redout 2 (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Starship Troopers – Terran Command (PC)