Modern Malaise: Tone Deaf Developers

Money. Greed. Lootboxes. If we kept going, we might break all seven seals. And yet, some game developers seem positively hell-bent on unleashing absolute havoc on the industry. Greed is, undoubtedly, one of the most insidious of human faculties. When we have enough, we simply want more. And then, once we’ve placed our grubby mitts on it, we find that even that wasn’t enough. It’s an oversimplification, sure, but it’s incredibly indicative of the state of the biggest players in the industry at the time being. Looking back over the last couple of years, the biggest stories that came out […]

Humour in Video Games: Unexplored Potential

What are the challenges of creating humour in video games? What type of humour works well? We caught up with four game developers to discuss comedy. Humour has been a part of video games since its inception. Unintentional humour is possibly the most common form; odd glitches, cheesy dialogue or bad looking graphics amuses players. On the other hand, there are also elements of intentional humour found in most titles, even in dark games either for tension relief or to contrast the serious tone. The Hitman series is a perfect example of this with silly assassination methods and costumes, just […]

Traversing the Void: A Conversation With Moshe Linke

Fugue in Void is the latest creation of game artist and designer Moshe Linke. A six-month long project, it builds off of his previous work, much of which he designates as “experimental” and “alternative”. Fugue is foremost a powerful, sensory experience — something Moshe recommends you play using headphones and with the curtains drawn. Anything to intensify the trip. It’s also excellent world-building — a crafted journey that just wants you to wander through its environments and drown in its atmosphere. Moshe’s passion for building these kinds of exploration games can be traced back to NaissanceE, a first-person game where […]

At Gamers’ Beck and Call: What Do Developers Owe The Gaming Community?

Unprecedented communication between gaming community and developers has created a consumer base that expects recognition. Yet this is not a model that applies to other industries. What makes gamers different? The loot crate debate that is currently gripping the gaming industry is showing no signs of abating. The most-downvoted Reddit comment of all-time – from DICE studios, in an attempt to justify their pay-to-win model for Star Wars: Battlefront II – has produced a flurry of immediate consequences. Battlefront II has yet to reintroduce item crates, and Belgium is currently reviewing the micro-transaction system out of fear that it resembles gambling. […]

Early Access: Empty Promises?

Early Access is a great idea for developers and gamers alike, but is it working in practice? In 2013, Valve launched the Early Access program through the immensely popular digital distribution platform Steam. The idea was to create opportunities for developers to fund their existing projects and invite players to test and shape the game as part of the development process. It was by many regarded as a win-win, giving developers money at the same time as players could experience new games quicker. For indie developers, Early Access is the substitute for publishers and the relationship between the studio and […]

Far Cry’s Red Wilderness: From Island to Frontier

Now a flagship Ubisoft title, the Far Cry series has often been criticised for becoming overly formulaic. The games have recently settled into a groove of fight-the-power resistance: equip yourself with increasingly dangerous weaponry in an extensive fight to clear a map of icons and reclaim foreign land. Despite this shared quality, moving between the five main games in the Far Cry series inflicts a kind of whiplash. Narratively and tonally each Far Cry is distinct, and sometimes even at odds. The games shift wildly, from the camp to the deathly serious, as different developers have attempted to pin-down a […]