SURPRISE EARLY PODCAST!
In celebration of our collaboration with Netherworld for the Indie Dev Night we’re releasing this weeks podcast EARLY! So listen in as Maylee, Hazel, & Paul talk gaming news, this years not E3 announcements and Hazel does a special In Memoriam for the online phenomenon Blazeball.
So gather your salutes, gird your tear ducts, and open your ear holes.
Fire Up The BBQ!
Redfall, the co-op first person shooter that has you fighting off legions of vampires, has teamed up with Smokey Q, an Australian business that specialises in all things BBQ seasoning, to bring the ‘Bite Back Spice Rub’, a unique blend of spices and seasonings to celebrate the game’s release.
The spice rub is supposed to capture the taste of slain vampires, with ingredients such as charcoal powder for added smoke, paprika, and a touch of heat from chipotle. It is gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
The founder of Smokey Q, Paul Lange, described the challenge of making vampire ash sound delicious as exciting, so if you have a very specific craving, it may be worth checking out. In addition, all net proceeds will be going towards Cure Cancer’s blood cancer research. Very appropriate!
In more vampire news, Vampire Survivors, a game that is heavily influenced by the choices you make, has an animated show on the way! The studio will be teaming up with Story Kitchen, who has members that have worked on John Wick, and the Sonic movies.
The studio has said “… the most important thing in Vampire Survivors has always been the story, so we are very excited for this and we hope you are too! It’s still early days for the show, but I can already say that we will be involved so that we can ensure it doesn’t have any vampires (probably)… This won’t affect game development in any way.”
FIFA’s Iffy Body Scans
Sydney Leroux, an olympic gold medalist, and a member of the United States women’s national soccer team, isn’t thrilled with her character’s appearance in the newest FIFA release.
She’s not alone, in that many other footballers are criticising their characters’ appearance in FIFA ‘23.
“Please tell me I did not do an entire body scan for that…” Leroux tweeted, before looking back at FIFA ‘16 where her appearance was significantly more accurate. “They had the headband, the braid, the neck tattoo, the overly plucked brows… deflate my boobs a bit and put a different jersey on. I’ll keep the brows at this point.”
Introducing to the Court of Duty…
Rumor has it that Kevin Durant, NBA champion and a former MVP, will be slam-dunking into the operators lineup for Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare. The official Call of Duty twitter posted a little clip showing an operator parachuting down, mid-dunk, with ‘Easy Money Sniper’ spray painted on the side of a building in the image, notable for being Kevin Durant’s Instagram handle.
Nothing is confirmed yet, but internet sleuths have dissected the few details and the profile of the operator, and it would hardly be the first time an NBA crossover happened.
And now for some upcoming games!
- Jected – Rivals (PC)
- Mia and the Dragon Princess (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Propagation: Paradise Hotel (PC VR, Quest)
- Space Gladiators (PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Duru – About Mole Rats and Depression (PC)
- Hometopia (PC)
- These Doomed Isles: The First God (PC)
- Another Fisherman’s Tale (PC VR, PSVR 2, Quest 2)
- TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 3 (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)
That’s it this week in gaming news!
Electronic Arts has been in the headlines this week after announcing a new Lord of the Rings franchised game, The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-Earth. The game, developed by Capital games, is rumoured to be a Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes reskin, with all the free-to-play collections you would expect.
In more surprising news, EA and FIFA have parted ways announcing that after this year’s FIFA 23 “a new era” will begin next year with EA Sports FC series. Thanks to the over 300 licences EA had accumulated, EA insists things will not be changing much and fans can expect “the same… modes, leagues, tournaments, clubs and athletes”. In response, FIFA announced that the split will allow FIFA to launch new games developed with other studios and publishers and multiple “non-simulation” games to launch later this year. FIFA president Gianni Infantino insisted “…that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans… The FIFA name is the only global, original title.”
Microsoft Integrate Access
Microsoft this week released information regarding a whole new ecosystem of accessories, both for adaptation for accessible design and for Xbox cloud streaming. Coming later this year, Microsoft is set to release a series of adaptive controllers that allow for custom inputs and the ability to connect and design 3D-printed toppers and tails to completely customise the design suitable to an individual’s needs. But if one is not enough, the Microsoft Adaptive Hub allows four wireless connects to these adaptive buttons, and 3 more devices as needed. Allowing people with physical limitation empowerment in the digital age.
And talking of access, Microsoft has announced the evolution of their online gaming cloud… beginning with Fortnite. You can now to play Fortnite free on iOS, Android or PC with Windows if you have a Microsoft account. This “everywhere initiative” from Microsoft is planned to expand to your home tv as well, with a puck or dongle device similar to the Amazon stick or Roku puck, and will have access to a library of games through the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. However, should you already have a Samsung smart TV, Microsoft is currently working with them to create a native app. This initiative is set to be available within the next 12 months.
Speaking of Microsoft, Microsoft Excel integration is coming to Eve Online. Colloquially known as “spreadsheets in space” Eve Online is finally getting native integration with Eve and Microsoft creating the API’s to finally help manage the complex in-game economy. While the API is in its early phase of development, the number crunching fans of Eve Online let out literal cheers from the audience at the announcement.
Activision/Blizzard still making headlines.
In the wake of the multitude of accusations and lawsuits made against Activision Blizzard, the second fulltime leadership role has been filled to combat the “created culture of ‘constant sexual harassment’ and gender-based discrimination” within the company, and she comes from Disney. Jessica Martinez is credited with 14 years of experience at Disney and now takes on the roll of VP, Head of Culture with the responsibility of “growing and implementing our culture strategy” while leading the learning and development team and working closely with communications, events, and other leaders within Blizzard.
And she has her work cut out for her with Raven Software QA staff actively seeking support from other Activision Blizzard staff to aid in unionisation. Since Activision Blizzard higher ups chose not to voluntarily recognise the Game Workers Alliance earlier this year, staff of Raven Software have sought to be recognised by the government agency National Labor Relations Board. Internal emails reportedly show Activision Blizzard emailing staff with the graphic “Please vote no.” after a town hall meeting in April. The ballot is set to be counted over video conference on May 23.
And now for the new releases.
Tuesday May 10, turn-based strategy game Songs of Conquest from Coffee Stain Publishing is coming to PC. This War of Mine: Final Cut is also being released on Xbox Series S & X and PlayStation 5, and Brisbane’s own award-winning Unpacking is coming to PlayStation 4 & 5.
Wednesday May 11, Brigandine comes to PC, and the PC roguelite Source of Madness is releasing for PlayStation, Xbox, and the Switch
And on Thursday May 12, become a detective in the live-action mystery adventure game The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story coming to PC, PlayStation, and Switch. And to PC also on May 12, battle legends and gods in the isometric ARPG Achilles: Legends Untold. Or try Cantata and fight for your faction’s survival in this indie, pixel-art, turn based strategy game. And finally rock out with your cactus out in indie platformer Flippin Kaktus.
This week Paul takes over Zed Games. Together with Zahra they discuss the news and Firmware updates, then Zahra takes over the helm reviewing Black Skylands before Paul traps us with a review of Webbed.
First Oscar Win for Game Developers
Late last year Respawn Entertainment released Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a virtual reality first person shooter. To honour the theme of this game, the producers included a gallery mode directed by Anthony Giacchino featuring short films about the veterans of World War II. Included is Colette, the story of her family’s assistance to the French Resistance and her brother’s capture. This 25-minute short rose to fame after winning Best Short Film at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2020, and became the first film produced by a video game studio to win an Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards.
While not directly referenced by the award ceremony, Mr. Giacchino specifically thanked executive producer Peter Hirschmann the director of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond and everyone at Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment, especially Vince Zampella, the Head of Respawn Entertainment, Dusty Welch, Chief Operating Officer also at Respawn Entertainment, and Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer at Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios. The film was made in conjunction with Oculus and the team at Respawn Entertainment, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts.
Gaming Olympics coming in 2020… sort of.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) have announced the first Olympic Virtual Series to take place before the Tokyo 2020 Games, running from the 13th May to Jun 23. The series currently includes five different games, of which the physical games will be monitored by apps such as Zwift, an app for bike training, and an open format for rowing. For non-physical competitions, these will be run by their own platforms for the Series and include; Gran Turismo by Polyphony Digital, a car racing game available on PlayStation Consoles; Virtual Regatta, run by Virtual Regatta SAS, an app available on Android and iOS; and eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami Digital Entertainment’s highly customisable baseball simulator currently available on PS4 and Switch – and only in Japanese. The IOC’s announcement also made it clear that these events will be open to the public and in ways that will “maximise (sic) online mass participation and prioritise (sic) inclusivity and participation”.
Free to Play games on Xbox now Free to Play.
Microsoft announced on the 21st of April that from that day, all Free to Play games will now no longer require an Xbox Live Gold Subscription for access to online play. This includes Looking for Group options and party chats for those games. The exceptions to this are trials, pre-order demos, or early access for paid games. These will still require membership to Xbox Live Gold to access online multiplayer content. If you currently are subscribed to Xbox Live specifically for this purpose, Microsoft is offering a one-time option to immediately cancel and receive credit based on the remaining time.
Now for some game releases.
On April 30th, the exclusive horror roguelike shooter Returnal is coming to PS5 and New Pokemon Snap will be releasing to the Switch.
Then, for the May the 4th be with you, The Colonists, a cute and relaxing building game is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Switch, and Dark Nights with Poe and Munro, the episodic Full Motion Video, choose your own adventure game, is coming to PS4 and Xbox One.
In studio: Jody Macgregor, Lee, Candi Payne and Razor.
Jody and Razor review the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands – Zer0 Sum.
Candi talks about the critically acclaimed iOS title Framed.
Lee talks about perhaps the most epic RPG of 2014 – Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Aired 10 December 2014.
In studio: Razor, Lee and Sean Mccarthy
Our new intern Sean Mccarthy gives us a preview of Heroes of the Storm, the upcoming MOBA by Blizzard.
Lee reviews The Sims 4.
We discuss the surprise announcement of the New 3DS.
Aired 10 September 2014
Last week’s Titanfall beta generated a titanic amount of hype for the upcoming XB1/PC/360 game. Lee and Alanah suit up to provide their impressions.
Alanah swings into action to deliver previews of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) & Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (360/PS3/PC).
Plus: Lee cuts through 25 years of continuity to tell us how all of the Donkey Kongs are related.
In studio: Lee, Alanah & Razor
Aired 19 February 2014
It is said that a good leader does not simply lead. A good leader inspires. A good leader can take any ragtag assembly of layabouts and transform them into a steel python, ready to strike on command.
But we’re not commanding soldiers here. We’re commanding Battlefield 4 players. So forget all of that, and for the love of fuck put away that copy of The Art Of War.