Tag: game development

Rolling Boxes


This week Maylee presses the buttons while Zahra and Peter delve deep in this weeks Gaming News and the difference between physical and digital. Zahra then takes it easy in visual masterpiece puzzle game Boxes: Lost Fragments, Maylee tries to love Roller Drama, and then team talks their recent TTRPG gaming and experiences.

Dream Divers


Come join Zahra, Cam, and Peter busting full of reviews and gaming chatter.
This week after Paul brings us our weekly gaming rumours/news, the team talk gaming self care for the Elden Ring Fans prepping for the DLC coming soon. Peter goes deep, blowing up friends and foes in a review of Helldivers 2. Zahra gets over and under the blanket in a review of Awake from Team Awake. The team then talks the upcoming Borderlands movie.

Discworld, Doom, and HELLOOOOOO JOHNNY

Remember The Game Discworld?

The point-and-click adventure game released in 1995, and adapted from the Discworld novels, might get a re-release within our lifetimes! But it could potentially be dependent on the King of England being pretty cool.

The simplified explanation: Discworld (the game) utilises a story written by Terry Prachett for the game, so developers could work with a cohesive plot. However, studios coming and going, and the IP changing hands over the years has made understanding who has IP rights a bit complicated.

Intellectual property rights suggests that King Charles might actually own 50% of the IP, with the other 50% reverting to the original creator.

Who knows what might happen if that’s really the case. Maybe he’s a fan…We still own the IP rights…no one has spoken to us about any re-release” says Rhianna Prachett.

She also previously clarified in 2012 that the company only has ‘rights to the characters’, and not the games themselves.

Yeah… Someone Played Doom On Soundwaves

Here’s what it sounds like:

The visuals of the game are represented in a spectrogram, while the inputs are a range of high frequency notes mapped to specific keys. Instead of a controller or keyboard you use a microphone.

Technically the game doesn’t run on an unintended device, it’s just displayed and played in a weird and unintended way. But if you have a spectrogram you can give it a try yourself as the creator has uploaded the source code, complete with instructions.

Texas Chain Saw Romance

One of the playable characters in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Johnny, has a fresh new look. Introducing Shirtless Johnny, and don’t you worry, he’s a free cosmetic for everyone. So open a bottle of wine, get comfortable, and then murder video game people. Happy Late Valentine’s!

News Nibbles!

Taco Bell held an E3 style event called Taco Bell’s 2024 Live Mas Event. Complete with hyping up chicken tenders, as well as live performances, all with that ‘gamer pizazz’. This isn’t really gaming related, but it was uncanny.

XBOX will be announcing their new business updates on February 16th at 6am for those of you in Queensland. The announcement will be through their official podcast, and will feature Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond, and Matt Booty.

 

And now for some upcoming games!

February 16

  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong – Nintendo Switch

February 20

  • Skull and Bones – PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
  • Nightingale – PC

February 21

  • Bandle Tale: A League of Legends story – PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Last Epoch – PC

February 22

  • Pacific Drive – PC, PS5
  • Sons of the Forest – PC

That’s it this week in gaming news!

Palworld Tops, Game Devs Down, and Some Game Bytes

This week in gaming news: Palworld tops the gaming charts and rumour mills, a dismal prediction for Game Devs in 2024, and some special gaming bytes.

For those living under a rock, this week has been dwarfed by the unexpected boom of Palworld into the gaming stratosphere. The monster collecting survival game Palworld, has not only beat out opening week records set by Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring and Hogwarts Legacy, selling over 7 million copies in the last 5 days since release, but it also has beaten Valve’s own Counter-Strike 2 All-Time Peak player count, becoming the second most played game of all time with over 1.86 million concurrent players. However, this has not come without hiccups. The game has released in early access on steam and game preview on game pass, so bugs are to be expected, but steam and Microsoft are publishing different versions. Each with their own bugs and server issues that have required emergency meetings with Epic Games backend, and individual updates with expectations that they won’t coalesce until crossplay is established in the future. Until then, Microsoft players will have to deal with the lack of dedicated servers and slow updates, and the quality of life updates seen with steam users.
Internally, developer Pocket Pair has had to deal with a slew of press and player accusations with Community Manager and CEO reporting to have been receiving death threats, “slanderous comments, and outlandish claims.” Some of these being claims they “ripped off Pokémon” and utilised AI to either create the monsters in the game or that GenAI is used in the game. The CEO Takuro Mizobe has responded to at least one claim, stating that “We have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.” But not all are convinced, with former head of Pokémon’s legal team Dan McGowan saying the game “looks like the usual ripoff nonsense that I would see a thousand times a year when I was Chief Legal Officer of Pokémon.” And not without cause, with a mod already released and removed that not only put Pokémon into Palworld, but also Ash, Misty, and Team Rocket. Creator, Toasted Shoes, put out a statement after the mods removal.

“Nintendo has come for me, please leave me in your thoughts and prayers”

The 2024 Forecast for Game Developers
After more layoffs Game Devs are facing a hard reality this week with Riot laying off 11% of its workforce. That’s 530 people losing their jobs with the blame being put on management’s decision to rapidly expand after the pandemic. And it’s not the only one, with the trend continuing in more studios. 2k’s 31st Union is cutting team members even after the “momentous” move to California. Embracer Group is trying to find a buyer for developer Piranha Bytes. And the developer of recently released VR game Micro Machines: Mini Challenge Mayhem, WIMO Games, has announced they’ve closed their doors with around three dozen staff left out in the cold.
With one third of developers being impacted by layoffs in the last year, and more than half of developers concerned about their futures we can see there are challenges to face in the future. Experts are increasing the worry with expectations the gaming industry will face challenges possibly into 2025 after the abundance of games released in 2020, and 2021 pushing unrealistic release schedules. Despite this, industry leaders are optimistic of the long-term survivability of game development, leaning of the industries resilience and potential growth in the future.

And now for the Gaming Bytes:

  • Awesome Games Done Quick is back with AGDQ2024 streaming over 135 speedruns and raising over 5 million us dollars for The Prevent Cancer Foundation during the week-long event.
  • While earlier this week it was rumoured BulletStorm VR was to be removed from the PS5 Store and auto refunded… it has come to light that only Japan and South Korea will be receiving this golden ticket with the rest of the world left to fend for ourselves.
  • And for those people looking forward to the game Indiana Jones and the Great Ciricle, Harrison Ford is NOT voicing Indiana Jones, rather Troy Baker the voice actor behind The Last of Us’s Joel, BioShock Infinite’s Booker DeWitt , and many more.
  • OH! And the finalists for the Freeplay Awards for 2024 have been announced. If you don’t know what they are, it is the world’s longest-running independent games festival with the awards ceremony to take place on the 29th of February in Melbourne. These awards focus on Australian and New Zealand indi grass roots game artists and developers with this year’s nominees to include Unpacking from Witch Beam Games, Wayward Strand from ghost pattern, and Dap from Melting Parrot, plus many more. For the full list of nominations CLICK HERE

And now for the upcoming game releases.
Friday the 26th brings us two new releases with Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth coming to PC, PlayStation, & Xbox, and Tekken 8 coming to PC and Next Gen Consoles.
On Tuesday the 30th Rugby 24 to PC, PlayStation, & Xbox.
Wednesday the 31st the DLC for 2021’s Eastward, Eastward: Octopia DLC and is coming to PC & Switch
And lastly, Thursday the 1st of February, Granblue Fantasy: Relink comes to PC and PlayStation.

Rapid Fire Reviews

This week Hazel leads the round table with Zahra and Peter to talk Gaming News (from Cam) and the impact of AI. Zahra goes mobile while reviewing sandboarder Alto’s Odyssey developed by Snowman. Caroline then goes digging and gets stuck in(to) the early access game Below the Stone developed by Strollart. And finally Zahra jumps back in for an extra review of mobile creative Let’s Create! Pottery 2 from Infinite Dreams.

Bobby GONE, The Mouse is OUT, Jack Black is Steve, and More!

Bobby Kotick Is Gone

The now-former CEO of Activision Blizzard has officially stepped down now that the 2023 year has ended and the acquisition by Microsoft proceeds. He won’t be the only executive-level employee leaving, with more expected to depart as the transition process develops. Otherwise, the leadership teams for Activision Publishing and Blizzard will remain in place.

The now-vacant CEO spot won’t be filled, and instead executives will report directly to Matt Booty, President of Microsoft Game Content and Studios.

Minecrafters, Grab Your Picks…

If you forgot that there was a Minecraft movie on the way, well, here’s your reminder. And now you also know that Jack Black, who has played Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. Movie, will be starring as the main man himself, Minecraft Steve. You may also know Jack Black from a few other films. The movie will be directed by Jared Hess, known for Nacho Libre, and Napoleon Dynamite.

Jason Momoa had reportedly been in negotiations to voice Minecraft Steve last year.

The Minecraft movie has been in development since 2014, while filming began in December 2023. It is scheduled to release in early April, 2025, meaning it will have been in development for 10-ish years. It hasn’t been the smoothest journey for the movie, as a few directors have dropped out, and the initial release date of May 24th, 2019 obviously not working out.

The Mouse Is OUT!

And a horror game has already been created within 24 hours of ‘Steamboat Willie’ entering the public domain. The game, called Infestation 88, has a terrifying depiction of the mouse hunting the player down in a spooky warehouse.

Disney is rather infamous for its heavy-handed approach to protecting its copyright, as the company has been reported to discourage a stonemason from carving Winnie-the-Pooh into a child’s gravestone. In fact, Steamboat Willie was initially set to enter the public domain in 1984, but the company lobbied US copyright laws to extend to “the life of the author plus 50 years”.

Now that the fated day has finally arrived, along with Infestation 88, a horror movie has been announced, as well as NFTs created, dubstep remixes mixed, and just generally making the mouse do things that Disney definitely wouldn’t approve of.

The 2023 Steam Awards

Let’s round up another round of awards! The Steam Awards is pretty straightforward, nominate your favourite games and then vote for them! Games also can’t win more than two categories.

Sit Back and Relax went to Dave the Diver, and the Labour of Love Award was granted to Red Dead Redemption 2.

Better With Friends went to Lethal Company, and Most Innovative Gameplay went to Starfield.

Outstanding Story-Rich Game and Game of the Year goes to Baldur’s Gate 3.

Some News Nibbles

Peanut Butter, a shiba inu, will be participating in Awesome Games Done Quick, a charity speedrunning event. He is probably the first dog to get into speedrunning video games, and he will be beating Gyromite in front of an audience.

The PlayStation 5 has officially passed 50 million units, managing to sell 10 million units in the latter half of 2023.

Square Enix has expressed a desire to apply AI technology ‘more aggressively’ to create ‘new forms of content’ for consumers, with Square Enix president, Takashi Kiryu stating “I believe that generative AI has the potential not only to reshape was we create, but also to fundamentally change the processes by which we create, including programming”.

And now for some upcoming game releases!

January 11

  • War Hospital – PC, PS5, XBX

That’s it for game releases. You have a week to work through your backlog before games start getting released again.