Extra Extra Gamer News in 2024 AD

Yeah I actually love graphically messy games like Cruelty Squad, somehow that game is less overwhelming for me to look at than than Metaphor ??

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Kinda think Bioware really should have just led with this instead of that trailer for a hero shooter that they aren’t making:

And EA should really hire some people who know how to market Dragon Age for the first time in 15 years

The combat looks like a mix of Dragon Age II and Inquisition, which I’m completely on board with, and my gosh does this game look positively gorgeous

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I didn’t know that it was a Dragon Age trailer while it was playing – my initial off-the-cuff knee-jerk reaction was “oh dear, it’s an Overwatch-ified fantasy nonsense”. Seeing the Dragon Age title card did not change my mind in that regard in the slightest.

I was already disinclined to care about that game, but that trailer un-sold me as hard as anything possibly could.

Maybe I’m just the old man, yelling at the cloud – but I have zero interest in the ongoing flanderisation of video games as presented by this sort of trailer offering an Overwatch-Valorant whimsical romp through meaningless nothingness.

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I kinda feel for BioWare in this regard! My partner is a gigantic BioWare nerd (self proclaimed) and she was telling me that almost all the posts she was seeing about it were either complaining that it didn’t look enough like DAI (now a 10 year old game), or that it wasn’t stylized enough. So I think they were in a real damned for anything situation. I think the look of it is what I’d expect from a contemporary, fantasy set, North American developed big budget game. And the ensemble cast of characters and their designs don’t (to me at least) deviate all that much from DAI, a game with character designs that almost certainly had some effect on those of Overwatch.

She, BTW is extremely excited about this game! I’m in no way a fan but I always enjoy how much she enjoys DA stuff. As for me, I was just excited that there were griffins in the trailer!

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fandom chickens coming home to roost for ol bioware lmao

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After the gameplay reveal I am also unambiguously excited. It’s kinda too early to say for sure, but I’ve definitely got a bit of that “Bioware is back” feeling bubbling up inside. I can’t wait to finally get back to both one of my favorite development studios and one of my favorite game universes

That largely seems to be the vibe in the community now, too: while the reveal trailer was divisive in its tone, this gameplay one seems to have allayed a lot of concerns folks had a couple days ago. You’re still going to have the folks pining for the days of Origins combat, but even as an Origins-liker I long ago accepted that those days aren’t coming back for the series (my favorite is Dragon Age II, anyway, lol)

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Oh no, are the companions supposed to be that weak? They do such little damage and it’s mostly off screen. Maybe it’s just because they chose archers and wanted to focus on the melee combat, but this does not feel party driven to me. For a game named after the team, I’m surprised your teammates have such a minimal role in the combat. This is what made me uninterested in stuff like Dragon’s Dogma. I don’t want a party of “pawns” I want a party of peers! I know every action game does this to some degree, but it feels more noticeable to me.

The animations and the assets look nice and but I’m still neutral on how the character designs. It is funny to think back to Dragon Age Origins leaning into the serious grimdark fantasy at a time when that atmosphere felt overplayed. Now the tone has shifted where this game feels a little too cute for its own good at a time where that atmosphere feels overplayed. Ironically it feels like the perfect time for someone to reject the Overwatch formula, and make a dark edgy fantasy game where all your choices are unethical in some way.

I don’t know if I’m ready to say Bioware is back, but having a new Dragon Age, a new Mass Effect, and a KotOR remake is nice even if it’s very safe. I hope this encourages them to try something new again. An all new setting would freshen things up a bit.

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For better or worse, Dragon Age and Mass Effect haven’t especially been party-driven outside of Dragon Age: Origins, which was much closer to its Baldur’s Gate inspirations. One thing that’s missing from this early section is actually being able to control your party members the way you could in Mass Effect (which largely seems to be what this combat is based on). That is, you’ll be able to instruct them to use particular abilities via the radial pause menu, with attacks having synergies and combos together (similar to the shatter combos in Dragon Age: Inquisition or the various biotics combos in Mass Effect games)

I don’t know that it’s going to be particularly edgy, but I do expect this one to be a fair bit darker than Inquisition was, given that the Blight is once again going to be a focus (which hasn’t really been true since Origins)

I think this may actually be possible, at least for whatever game they do after the next Mass Effect (assuming they survive that long, which I’m still not sure they will). This game seems likely to conclude the in-universe Dragon Age and the 5-game story that was outlined behind the scenes starting with the first game, so it would be a decent opportunity for a new Bioware IP

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Some of my IRL gamer bros were into this. Not my cup of tea, but I thought it was funny. Immediately seemed like a reimagining of James Pond.

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Wild speculation incoming: Hollow Knight Silksong seems to be stuck in, let’s not say development hell, more like development purgatory. For reference it was 2 years ago today that it was featured in that Microsoft showcase of some kind and the Xbox official Twitter account brazenly claimed that the game would be out within 12 months…

I assume that you don’t get let on the official Xbox Twitter account if you would say something like that without having a good enough reason to say it, so, I feel like it’s reasonable to assume Team Cherry did have every intention of releasing Silksong somewhere between June 12th, 2022, and June 12th, 2023. Surely they at least had to pinky swear they were at least half confident in making a certain release window, hence XBox’s social media bluster.

So here’s the speculation: I wonder if it is because they have been re-building it in a different engine than Unity, because of the whole Unity fiasco from September of last year.

Not sure if that timeline makes sense, though. I assume, like Necrosoft, Team Cherry was made aware of the impending nature of the changes ahead of when it went nuclear in September. However, it seems unlikely that Unity had informed developers with too much lead time that they were going to make their engine financially unviable for a lot of them… in that Wired piece Brandon certainly didn’t make it sound like there was actually much of a conversation between developers and Unity lol. It don’t take 8-12 months to hit people with a “we’ve heard your questions and concerns and are taking them to heart :-]” after throwing them all in the circular filing cabinet. However, it’s also not too much of a stretch to imagine that Team Cherry needed more development time than those 12 months–surely unbindingly if still based on solid information at the time–stated by the Xbox official Twitter for reasons unrelated to Unity’s chicanery, and whatever caused them to not release within that window just dovetailed into choosing to pivot away from Unity, or at least investigate how feasible it would be.

I’ve double checked, a marketing guy for Team Cherry tweeted in May of 2023 that Silksong would be delayed further:

Very little insinuation about it potentially being about Unity, mostly seemed to insinuate the delay was due to the scope of the game. But, you know, he’s a marketing guy, of course he’s going to spin a delay announcement into sounding positive, even if it’s less “the game is becoming literally too freaking epic and for the win” and more “the game is huge and they’ve decided to put it into a new engine at the 11th hour so that’s gonna take a while.”

I myself would not know just how long it would take a game in an advanced stage of development, not to mention with a pre-established style and gamefeel which may or may not be because of features and quirks of the engine itself, to get ported to a new engine. I figure that sort of thing isn’t entirely unprecedented, but, it seems to feature not uncommonly in a lot of stories about games that had arduous developments and then also equally arduous launches.

Regardless of the feasibility, Hollow Knight is a pretty high profile game that was made in Unity, but, do they have any actual past-a-point-of-no-return obligation to the Unity before the game has an official release? Forgive me if I’m misremembering anything you’ve said on the subject @exodus, but I seem to remember Brandon saying something along the lines of how if it was feasible for Necrosoft to do so, you all wouldn’t just discontinue using Unity in the future, you all would also put Demonschool into a different engine altogether and sidestep the issue of releasing a game on an engine supplied by a company that might just spontaneously decide to try and bankrupt your studio retroactively regardless of how successful your game was altogether. But, I assume (using the word assume here very intentionally) for a studio like Necrosoft that would require a Hyperbolic Time Chamber kind of situation to be feasible. Making assumption after assumption here but perhaps Team Cherry has the kind of resources at their disposal to make that kind of dramatic last minute leap.

I also don’t have a good sense of how much of all of the changes were walked back or not. So, perhaps Team Cherry is still in that danger zone where the game’s and studio’s financials combined with the game’s profile and reasonable projections of sales mean someone at Team Cherry believes strongly that sticking with Unity represents more of a risk than divesting from it, even if the worst of the changes were walked back.

Anyway this speculation is totally meaningless as it doesn’t matter why the game is delayed at all lol. However, especially after Silksong “won” some kind of “most anticipated” “award” at a Unity “awards thing,” it would be pretty funny if they just scrubbed all mentions of Unity off of the game’s promotional stuff and credits and released the game in some other engine. Or, it’d also be fuckin’ cool if they went pretty public about doing so, echoing Necrosoft’s principled stance on how divesting from Unity makes only makes practical sense given Unity’s history of somehow allowing their executives to attempt to shoot all of them in the foot.

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The main Unity fees that angered everyone are the runtime fees. These are only applicable to games made in new versions of the engine so Unity 6 (aka 6000) and forward.

This version of the engine only recently released last month and is currently in preview mode. Silksong is likely being made in one of the versions named after years (2017-2023).

For these versions of Unity you have to pay a monthly fee ($185usd) to ship to consoles, technically this only needs to be paid while making builds for consoles. Pretty sure Team Cherry would have no problem paying that. They could probably organise for the console owners to pay it for them.

Changing game engine is a major task, especially when you’ve already developed the majority of the game. It would mean recreating levels, objects, controllers, tools, shaders and a lot more.

I could easily see them changing engines for the next game but I doubt it is cause for the current delay. I think the team has enough capital that they can endlessly refine, polish and add to the game.

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Well, I think you quite sufficiently brought my conspiratorial thinking back down to earth!

I certainly wasn’t concerned about Silksong, even if the delay was something like that. I’m sure once it comes out it will be glorious.

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Might be worth keeping an eye on this. Sounds like it could be something cool

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happy 10th anniversary to this literal gamer news

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The guy who wrote this is a senior writer at Wired now. Good for him honestly

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I’m the guy playing the “Nintendo Splatoon”.

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If you’re looking for something to tide you over while waiting for team cherry, check out the demo of Constance. It’s kind of like Hollow Knight with some splatoon/dust force inspiration.

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if I wanted to start with the skate series for the first time, should I start with 1, 2, or 3? which one lets me customize my Vans Shoes the most

Which one can you get for the least amount of money? They are all fun. They are iterative meaning you won’t necessarily miss anything if you jump to the end. But that series is so similar that if say skate. 2 falls into your lap, then just play that one.

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