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Video Game Deep Cuts: Prague, Rogue, & FiveRP

The latest Video Game Deep Cuts selection, picking some of the smartest longform video game articles and videos of the week, looks at everything from Prague in the latest Deus Ex to Roguelike Celebration videos and GTA V mods.

Simon Carless, Blogger

September 25, 2016

9 Min Read

Video Game Deep Cuts, Week of Sept 24th: Prague, Rogue, & FiveRP

[This is the fourth Video Game Deep Cuts already - & here's a buttload (tm) of the most interesting journalist stories, dev blogs & YouTube videos that I found this week.

And interestingly, this is the first week that I just wrote down all of the links I found/got during the week and didn't have to 'trawl' much further on Saturday to finish up the list. Perhaps because I'm getting a bit further afield & allowing a few more links from YouTubers and non-journalists.

Tell me if you'd like to see more of any of those formats - since asking Mark Brown for a list of links to good longform YouTubers, I've actually been impressed by some of the low-volume, high quality video creators 'hidden' out there. Feel free to suggest others I may be missing!

- Simon Carless, curator.]


What it’s like to manage a gaming community on fire (Luke Winkie / PC Gamer)
"Micah Whipple didn’t believe in Real ID. It was unveiled in 2010 as a new social initiative in the Blizzard forums, effectively forcing players to register their real names instead of Battle.net aliases to cut down on the witch hunts and treachery that so often define anonymous, online public spaces. Whipple thought the policy would be unsustainable and unenforceable, but as a World of Warcraft community manager it was his job to go to bat for it."

Making a chatbot that drives a narrative in sci-fi exploration game Event[0] (Katherine Cross / Gamasutra)
""I can imagine a (very near) future where we generate entire narrative structures based on the player's personal traits and choices," says Ocelot Society co-founder Sergey Mohov."

How DLC Increases Player Counts: A Look into Street Fighter V (SeraphX)
"I believe SFV has very solid game mechanics; an opinion shared by even its detractors. The question then stands: Can SFV come back from its horrible start to bring in more players through DLC and patches? To answer this we look at player counts over time in relation with the four major DLC content released and measure how much they boosted player counts."

Better Than Black and White: One Man’s Decade-Long Quest to Remake 'Metroid II' (David L. Craddock / VICE)
"Milton Guasti never planned for his free fan-made game to become the de facto next chapter in Nintendo's Metroid story. In fact, although he'd played video games since the late 1980s, a special set of circumstances forestalled Guasti from becoming a Metroid fan until years after the franchise's most popular entry had come and gone."

In Praise of Prague (and other small worlds) (Mark Brown / Game Maker's Toolkit / YouTube)
"In previous episodes of Game Maker's Toolkit, I've talked about the need for games with smaller open worlds, and the joy of exploring without hand-holding. Here's why Deus Ex: Mankind Divided deserves credit for delivering both."

Talking Noir and The X-Files With The Developers Of Virginia (Javy Gwaltney / Game Informer)
"Virginia, a first-person narrative adventure game where you play a recent FBI graduate on a missing persons case in a small town, is shaping up to be one of 2016's most interesting and alluring adventure titles. We got some time with co-creator Jonathan Burroughs, who worked for EA and Rare before going on to form indie developer Variable State with Terry Kenny. Jonathan and I talked about the game's Twin Peaks inspirations as well as the struggle to develop Virginia over the past two years."

Game Design Deep Dive: Realistic chat in Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n (Adam Hines & Kevin Riach / Gamasutra)
"Adam Hines, co-founder of Night School Studio and game director, and Kevin Riach, game designer/producer, talk about creating the free-flowing real time text conversations in innovative mobile text-based adventure Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n, based on the hit TV show."

Super Mario 64 – 1996 Developer Interviews (Japanese strategy guides / Shmuplations)
"These two lengthy interviews with Shigeru Miyamoto and key members of the Super Mario 64 development team first appeared in two official Japanese strategy guides from 1996. Both interviews go over the design history of the groundbreaking game, including information about early design details that were ultimately dropped or changed."

A Game Player's Manifesto (Richard Garfield / Facebook)
"I believe that in recent years, while looking for revenue models that work for electronic games, game designers and publishers have stumbled upon some formulae that work only because they abuse segments of their player population. Games can have addictive properties – and these abusive games are created – intentionally or not – to exploit players who are subject to certain addictive behavior."

Roguelike Celebration: Rogue panel - Glenn Wichman, Michael Toy & Ken Arnold (Roguelike Celebration / YouTube)
"The three original creators of Rogue have a panel discussion about Rogue and its history - moderated by David Craddock. They will discuss the game's development and their process as well as its legacy, before opening the floor for questions from the audience."

Inside the Troubled Development of Star Citizen (Julian Benson / Kotaku UK)
"For the past seven months, I’ve been talking to the people who have been making Star Citizen. This includes its directors, a number of anonymous sources who’ve worked on it, and the man who drives the whole project: Chris Roberts. From the outside, Star Citizen appears to have been wildly successful; to date, it has raised more than $124 million from passionate fans."

The Determination of China’s Independent Game Scene (Luis Wong / Killscreen)
"The independent game scene in China has been dormant for years, shadowed by the tidal wave of free-to-play games and the ban of games consoles in the country that lasted from 2000 until 2015... Now that Chinese players were able to show a demand for more thoughtful games, and that they’d pay upfront for them, independent creators saw an audience waiting for them to deliver."

DF Retro: MDK - Shiny Entertainment's PC Masterpiece  (Digital Foundry / YouTube)
"This week, John returns to examine Shiny Entertainment's PC masterpiece. It's a PC game by console developers designed to push the limits of the platform circa 1997 and it does so with a look all its own. We take a look at the original software rendered versions alongside a couple different 3D accelerated versions."

Dear Esther: How composer and co-creator Jessica Curry is rethinking video game music for the better (Lewis Gordon / FACT)
"Award-winning composer Jessica Curry not only heads up the development team behind acclaimed indie games Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture and Dear Esther, she also composes the games’ unique, haunting scores. This autumn, a remastered version of Dear Esther is being released on Sony’s PS4 system, and Curry is gearing up for a special performance of the soundtrack at the Barbican in London. Lewis Gordon finds out the inspiration behind Curry’s distinctive soundtracks."

The Game Archaeologist: The Island of Kesmai (Justin Olivetti / Massively OP)
"In the beginning, all it took was two smart guys with a passion for games. In the summer of 1980, a pair of classmates from the University of Virginia put their heads together to start coding a computer game inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. Their names were Kelton Flinn and John Taylor, and unbeknownst to them, they were creating the prototype of what would become the world’s first commercial online RPG."

How Modders Are Reforging ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ Into a Role-Player's Paradise (Luke Winkie / Rolling Stone)
"There are no video games about being a small business owner in a living, breathing, unrestricted world. We look to the medium for escapism, to leave behind the mundane day-to-day and spend a few hours uncovering mysteries and conquering evils. Regardless, there are people eager to live out pedestrian, domestic fantasies in FiveRP – an upcoming multiplayer variant for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V that's been in development since 2015."

The Pitch Perfect - Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (Duncan Harris / Read-Only Memories)
"For his first fortnight at Bitmap HQ, Malone was the only person working on the new Speedball. ‘They put me on it just to start doing the characters and figure out the angle. They were like: “Have you played Speedball 1? Right, we want a bigger pitch, double the size.”’"

The space that isn't (Alexis Kennedy / Eurogamer)
"A lot of games - perhaps 'most games', certainly most AAA games - are set in virtual space. It's tempting to intuit virtual space as a sort of alternate dimension. It's not. There's no there there. It's like a book narrating how you turned left, turned right, opened the door, or a high-speed DM in a good tabletop RPG saying to you 'at the end of the corridor is the Fane of Tribbles'. It's just done with pictures instead of words. Nothing is present at all until you ask the software 'what's here?'"

The Creation of the ESRB - Gaming Historian (Gaming Historian / YouTube)
"Gaming Historian provides a history of the ESRB's creation. In the early 90's, there was a growing concern from the public about violent entertainment. When the government began seeing footage of graphic video games, they stepped in with an ultimatum for the industry: Regulate yourselves, or we'll do it for you."

Empowering the Player: Level Design in N++ (Mare Sheppard & Raigan Burns / GDC / YouTube)
"How do you produce thousands of levels without repeating yourself or sacrificing quality? This GDC 2016 talk from Metanet Software's Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns summarizes the level design lessons they learned over the course of the decade-long development cycle that led to N++."


[REMINDER: you can sign up to receive this newsletter every Saturday at tinyletter.com/vgdeepcuts - we crosspost to Gamasutra later on Sunday, so get it first via newsletter! Story tips and comments can be emailed to [email protected]. MINI-DISCLOSURE: Simon is one of the organizers of GDC and Gamasutra, so you may sometimes see links from those entities in his picks. Or not!]

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Simon Carless


Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.

He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.

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