In case you missed it: The first hour of Echo of Soul!: @EOS_game

Bethesda TwitchWorks: With Friends Like These…
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 May 2015, 11:09 am
Gstaff is a man of his convictions when it comes to loyalty to the best and boldest of assassin guilds, The Dark Brotherhood. We dive into the darkness with Astrid and co. this Friday with Skyrim’s tales of the Dark Brotherhood quest. The Night Mother calls to us and we must be The Listener! No […]

Giving Up and Letting Go of Un-Fun Games
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 May 2015, 10:00 am
This seems like it might be straightforward, but it's not.  If a game is un-fun should you keep playing it?  The answer should obviously be "no" but often we keep playing games we're invested in.  Or we put down a game and tell ourselves, "I'll come back to that soon." but we never do.

I feel like these games have a mental weight.  For me they definitely do.  These type of games will be in the back of my mind in some sub-process of my thoughts until I explicitly tell myself that I'm done with a game and I let it go.  But it's a hard thing to do.

Sometimes it feels like failure.  What if you've only played 30 minutes of a game?  What if you've played 40 hours?  What if you're right near the end?  All of these are valid jumping-off points but they all carry different feelings and can lead to guilt.  I know I feel it.

One of the best ways I've found to let go of these games are to write about them.  If I can get my thoughts down on the page I can get them out of that sub-process constantly running in the back of my head.

So, let's do that today.  I'm owning up to two games that I keep saying, "I'll come back to that soon."  For me, right now, those games are Bloodborne and Majora's Mask.

I thought Bloodborne would be a good game to play while riding my exercise bike.  It was intriguing for a few days but after that it has been nothing but frustration.  I haven't touched it in over a month.  I've been playing Destiny again because Bloodborne wasn't clicking with me.  Today I'm letting go of it.  I know now that Bloodborne isn't for me.  That's ok.  It can be for other people but I don't need it in my mental RAM anymore.

Majora's Mask is harder to admit.  I love some entries of the Zelda series but find that other ones fall flat for me.  I loved Majora's Mask the first time I played it, but this time I'm finding it more of a chore.  I remember enough that the fun of exploring the world is gone but I don't actually remember enough to complete the puzzles without a guide.  I end up using a walkthrough to solve puzzles that I mostly remember to get to story beats that I definitely remember.  It's still a good game, but it's not a fun game for me right now.  And that's ok.  I'm letting it go too.

How about you guys and gals out there?  Do you have any game that's mentally weighing you down?  Do you want to let anything go and get it out of your head?

Try it.

It might help.

This is exhausted daddy with embarrassed dog after a sleepless night of thunderstorms and fear.

Politics in review scores
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 May 2015, 7:08 am
Imagine that you created a game playing in 2015 Europe. As a dev your bonus from the publishing company depends on the Metacritic score of the game. And then you read a review in a major publication where the reviewer gave you a lower score because he didn't agree with a map in the game showing the Crimea as being Russian (or alternatively as being not Russian). Bonus gone because of a difference in political opinions. How would you feel?

In reality the game developer in question, Adrian Chmielarz, and the reviewer from Polygon had a political difference about sexism and equal representation of minorities in the game The Witcher 3. But otherwise the story remains the same, the reviewer gave a lower score to The Witcher 3 than other reviewers because of politics. And because this is the post-Gamergate era, any discussion of gender / minority politics in games always ends up exploding in a huge shitstorm. The problem with those shitstorms is that people only ever discuss minor details like some statement not being 100% accurate, or the credibility of this or that person, and totally fail to discuss the core issue.

I have no interest whatsoever in discussing the details of the Chmielarz / Polygon spat, and will delete all comments trying to derail this thread towards those details. What I would like to discuss is whether it is justified to give a worse review score or better review score to a game because you disagree or agree with the politics of the game.

Games have come a long way from Pong, Pac-Man, and Tetris. So when a game stops being about the interaction of abstract shapes, but instead shows cinematic quality stories, it is only natural that the reviewer has an opinion about the stories that are being told. And it is nearly inevitable that those stories in some way touch on political issues, because everything in life does. Would you expect a book review of "Capital in the 21st Century" by Thomas Piketty (or the earlier incarnation "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx) to be politically neutral and only talk about whether the book is well written or not?

On the other side threatening a developer with bad review scores if he isn't politically correct is clearly a form of censorship and attack on artistic freedom. I remember people complaining about the promotional material for Warlords of Draenor, because it showed only male orcs, and they wanted equal representation: Some male, some female characters, and preferably two gay orcs holding hands and another one in a wheelchair to represent the handicapped demographic. Personally I don't think we should repaint Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" to include apostles of different skin color or gender. I believe that any artist, including game developers, should have the artistic freedom to say that *his* vision of warlords is one of blood-thirsty male brutes that just aren't very inclusive as a club. In particular I believe that if you tell a historical story, you should have at least the freedom to depict gender and race relations in a historically correct way, even if we all agree that those relations have progressed since. If gender and race relations in medieval times weren't very enlightened, that isn't exactly the fault of the artist who depicts those times. You *can* create a story based on the premise "what if people in medieval times would have been totally enlightened", but you shouldn't be forced to.

I think that while a reviewer could well mention his politics and his political opinion on things shown in a game in the text, it is somewhat unfair to then let those politics affect the review score. Review scores are simple numbers that don't reflect the details of how a reviewer got to them, especially once they are aggregated. The most common use of a review score is for a customer to decide whether a game is any good and whether he should buy it (thus the link to bonuses). Personally I prefer reviews without scores, but if you have to put a score, that score should say more about the quality of the game than about the politics of the reviewer.
Tobold's Blog

Too Long; Didn't Play: Dead Bits
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 May 2015, 6:02 am

Time Played: 45 minutes

Sponsored By: Chaz

Pixel Review

Do you like blocky, pseudo-retro art design? Do you like half-baked first person shooters? Do you like levels that erase themselves as you play, so backing up causes you to fall to your death?

Then don't play Dead Bits, because it has all those things and it's terrible!

Voxel Review

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More late night storms that remind me: Beau, you have no candles in this house.

In case you missed it: The first hour of Echo of Soul! @EOS_game

What About a Native American MMO?
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 May 2015, 12:22 am
Native American culture is often imitated in MMORPGs. I can name several MMOs that feature races or cultures that are obviously inspired by Native cultures. Unfortunately, this often means that players are met only with tepees, totem poles and other classic Hollywood imagery inside these games, and never does any MMO get down to the … Continue reading What About a Native American MMO?

Register for the Sydney E3 Showcase Event
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 May 2015, 1:30 am
E3 is one of the biggest events on the gaming calendar, but for those of you in Australia it can be a bit tough braving the Pacific Ocean (and the time difference) to catch all the action. Well, no more. This year we’re holding an exclusive free event in Sydney CBD at 11am on Monday […]

MMO screenshot #7481: Ryzom gathering spam. Odd? Yes, but great game! @Ryzom

Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 5/29/2015
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 May 2015, 9:05 pm

Champion Changes


  • Base magic resistance is now 32.1 (up from 30) and gains 1.25 magic resistance per level
  • Shadow Dash [E] - Energy cost is now 100/95/90/85/80 (changed from 100 at all ranks)
  • Passive may now have its cooldown lowered as Shen levels. Level 1 cooldown at 15 seconds (will verify)


Going live with the first hour of Echo Of Soul in 15 minutes (9PM EST)..right here: @EOS_game

The first hour of Echo of Soul! 9PM EST! @EOS_game:

So the new @google photos app is nice, but is it still missing the ability to change a “taken on” date. In the trailer there are some?

How ’bout now? Now? What about now?

Will be livestreaming the new stuff at a later date, with the team!

I hope this brings the ability to sort in more ways!

I thought @Raptr had a way to keep track of characters in games? I need a way to track all of mine. Across all my games. lol

Are self-hosted blogs making a comeback? Should they? #blogging

I’ll be livestreaming the first hour of Echo of Souls tonight at 9:00 pm Eastern, right here: @EOS_game

DOOM Retro Tease
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 May 2015, 1:03 pm
That didn’t take long. Yesterday @DOOM tweeted the idea of doing a throwback video spoofing DOOM’s teaser video. Hours later (and perhaps by pure coincidence), YouTuber UberOfFP put together this sweet little package using DOOM II. Pretty spot on. To see the new DOOM that id Software’s working on now, don’t miss our E3 Showcase […]

Ekko, the Boy Who Shattered Time, Available Now

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

The hour is nigh. Ekko’s here and ready to get tickin’.

Gaming in the Gaps
Posted by Articles [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 May 2015, 10:36 am

It is interesting to me that in this age of graphical fidelity where it is possible to create in great detail a nuanced, fully-fleshed world that a player can delve into, that with greater frequency I find myself drawn to games that tell the story of a world in many ways through abstraction.

A decade and longer ago I was, like so many others, obsessed with the seemingly limitless potential of improving graphics in video games. From the day I bought and installed my first 3dfx Voodoo 2 with its 8MB of RAM, it's promises of unlocking impossible resolutions such as 1024x768, and its ability to actually run EverQuest, a bold game that actually required 3d acceleration, I had in my head visions of someday playing photo-realistic games.

I knew in my darkest heart's desires that someday when hyper-realistic games were the norm, they would be all I’d play.

We could quibble on how close games are or are-not to this long held, photo-realism ideal, but by any measurable means were I to hand myself a screenshot of The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition or Grand Theft Auto 5 back in 1998, I’d have conceded that these games are at least close enough. And yet, more and more these are games I play and dabble with like a kid handed a plate full of brussel sprouts and peas. I metaphorically push the games around with a fork for a while and try to cover them up with a napkin while I ask to be excused from the table.

Instead my time is monopolized by games like Galactic Civilizations 3, Order of Battle: Pacific, Rimworld, Kerbal Space Program and, of course, my long standing obsession with Paradox’s Europa Universalis IV -- take a drink! -- all games that I find far more immersive and evocative than these other games with incredibly detailed and visually stunning worlds.

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This is Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited – Exploring Tamriel
Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 May 2015, 10:04 am
With nine massive and vastly diverse provinces to explore—and Oblivion beyond—Tamriel is a land that beckons to the explorer’s spirit in us all. From hunting the forces of Molag Bal to gathering natural resources for crafting to plumbing ancient ruins for treasure, your next big adventure awaits in Tamriel. Spend hours walking the bustling villages […]

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