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Friday - March 06, 2015
Sunday - November 23, 2014
Thursday - July 18, 2013
Monday - June 25, 2012

Friday - March 06, 2015

Ars Technica - 2014 Steam Sales Estimates

by Couchpotato, 05:31

Forum members Jhwisner & Silver submitted links to a new article on Ars Technica where the site posted Steam sales estimates for all 2014 PC games.

Here is more information form Jhwisner.

Ars Technica used data availible publicaly through steam's API to estimate sales, ownership, and playtime for the 400 most popular games on steam for 2014.  They did this for 2013 previously and it was pretty interesting. 

Some interesting tidbits (these are games released in 2014, numbers are estimated Steam owners and obviously does not include sales on GoG or other distribution systems)

Divinity: Original Sin ~ 802,315

Dark Souls II ~ 964,266

South Park: The Stick of Truth ~ 929,442

Wasteland 2 ~ 384,760

Banner Saga ~ 343,511

Final Fantasy XIII ~ 327,959

Shadowrun Dragonfall Director's edition ~ 313,082

To put this in some perspective, they also found there to be roughly 3 million new Skyrim owners on Steam since 4/14/2014. The good news there is that if you think Bethesda likes money, then they might not be at all disingenous when they said they were putting an increased focus on the PC going forward..

Sunday - November 23, 2014

Video Gamer - Changing Review Policy

by Aries100, 11:25

Tom Orry has written an editorial announcing changes in their review policy.
The reason is this: 

There's also an increasing likelihood that the game we review will have changed by the time it's in your hands on 'Day One'. It now seems more likely than not that a game will receive a patch between the time the disc is printed and it goes on sale. We need to account for this in our reviews. 

Tom Orry announces that the changes in review policy will be these:

We will only award a game a score if we've been able to test all aspects to our satisfaction, offline and online.
We will award a game a score based on the experience at the time. Review conditions will be stated in the coverage.
Review text and scores may be updated once we've tested the game in consumer conditions, with the game released and online servers populated with real players.
Review text and scores may be updated if a title receives significant and game-changing updates post release. This does not include DLC unless offered for free to all.
If review text or score is changed the original text and score will be archived on the page.

Double Fine Studios - Project Cancelled - Layoffs

by Aries100, 09:54

A yet undisclosed project fell through so that the developer had to let 12 people go from the company. A quote from Tim Schafer:

"One of our unannounced projects was unexpectedly cancelled by its publisher, forcing us to reduce our staff by 12 people," Double Fine founder Tim Schafer said in a statement to GameSpot. "Our remaining projects -- Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Grim Fandango Remastered, were unaffected." Double Fine did not disclose the nature of the project or the publisher who canceled it.

Polygon - Games are better without damsels to save

by Aries100, 09:33

Claire Hosking has written an opinion piece for Polygon.  It it, she argues that game
don't need to have damsels in distress to save. And that they are better this way.

The starting point for Claire Hosking is this:

Anita Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency series has amazing influence for someone who's simply doing what so many have done before - making videos about about their opinions on books, TV, film and video games.... Anthony Burch, Joss Whedon and Tim Schafer - have listened and encouraged their followers to take note, while Saints Row creative Director Steve Jaros has said, "I actually think [Tropes vs. Women creator Anita Sarkeesian's] right in this case" when a video was critical of an aspect of the game.

Claire Hoskings argues that when a female character has to e.g. rescued by the player she becomes just a thing to fetch. She does so with a quote from Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes in Video Games, part 1: 

...[damseling is] a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and must be rescued by a male character, usually providing a core incentive or motivation for the protagonist’s quest. In video games this is most often accomplished via kidnapping but it can also take the form of petrification or demon possession for example."
Claire Hosking uses two examples from current videogames on how to avoid this:
Games like Bioshock or Gone Home use audio logs and environmental narrative to flesh out characters you’re searching for; they’re games about entering their world and understanding their life. It’s an interesting game design question — there are many, many reasons why a character might be interesting to find or deliberately trying to keep something from you. Every one of them says more about the character than just someone being taken away and locked up.
And finally, she writes that:

While they are damsels, they exist for others and no longer have their own initiative or interactions......It also frequently portrays love as transactional — save girl, get kiss — rather than something that springs from spending time with a person and getting to know them. None of this makes for good writing. The fact damseling happens overwhelmingly to female characters has a particular meaning in a society that has historically restricted women’s freedoms and denied them equal autonomy with men. 

Thursday - July 18, 2013

Dungeonmans - Videos and Digital Tier

by Myrthos, 12:32

Galaad writes in to let us know of the latest Kickstarter update for Dungeonmans (currently at $21K out of an asked $35K) about a new digital tier with alpha access, new let's play videos and user feedback.

Multiple people have asked about a tier where they can get Alpha access without needing to buy in for the (awesome) physical copy of the Dungeonmans soundtrack. This is a fine idea, especially for monster crushers outside of the USA who would be forced to pay extra for shipping. 

I've introduced the DIGITAL EXPLORER tier which will get you into the Alpha as well as provide you with a PDF copy of the Dungeonmans Almanac! Perfect for those of you who want set out into the earliest Dungeonmans experience but like to pack light.

Monday - June 25, 2012

Hooked Gamers - Nine Sequells They'd Like to See

by Aries100, 18:11

Hooked Gamers has an editorial about the rpg sequels they'd like to see.
The link:

Among them are KOTOR 3, Icewind Dale 3, and Alpha Protocol 2.
A quote on AP2:

I couldn’t have been more surprised if I tried, when I put out a call to see what RPG sequels people most wanted and Alpha Protocol 2 came back as one of the top answers. However there is merit to the idea. Alpha Protocol had a ton of great ideas that ultimately fell flat; if polished to a shiny veneer, a sequel could deliver the goods as the game Obsidian originally intended to make.

Source: GameBanshee

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