Something for the weekend #023

Something for the weekend #023 – A collection of my favourite video game and pop culture related news, videos and content from around the web this week.

Welcome to another Something for the weekend!

Since I’m buggering off to Japan for a whole month, this will be the last weekly review until I get back, towards the end of April.

Until then, I’ll be posting regular updates from my trip! I’ll sort something out on the site too, to keep my own personal adventures from cluttering other content.

Watcha playin’?

Well clearly, since I’ve had something important to plan this week, I’ve been playing a lot of games instead.

Screen from Rise of the Tomb Raider game. Female protagonist overlooks an ancient stronghold.
Nothing can come between Lara and raiding tombs.

Notably, I completed Rise of the Tomb Raider; which played out really well in the end. It wasn’t the longest story in the world, but I consider that a good thing. It didn’t drag-out or feel forced in a way that compels the player to waste time completing unrelated tasks. For those who are interested, there are of course side-missions, collectable artefacts and achievements a-plenty. I was interested in a strong, immersive story, with characters I could empathise with; and I wasn’t disappointed.

I started playing Dishonoured too. Whilst I didn’t get far, I enjoyed the story setup, and the option to play non-lethally, using your characters stealth abilities.

Playing through The Beginner’s Guide this week, was a literal game-changer for me. Davey Wreden (@hellocakebread), writer and designer of The Stanley Parable has created an equally experimental title in The Beginner’s Guide.

Screen from The Beginner's Guide. A lecture theatre viewed from the front - the back wall removed, and in its place a howling maelstrom.
I.. feel a little exposed.

Whilst the game has many interpretations[1]Wikipedia: The Beginner’s Guide – Interpretations, I’m not massively hung up on what the game actually means, more about how it made me feel. Through each of the ‘experiments’, the game challenged my expectations. It makes you ask the right kind of questions about player experience in video games.

It’s a very difficult game to talk about at length without spoiling the experience, so I’ll just say: It allowed me to appreciate, from the point of view of an artist, the pressures which are applied to create consumable media for an audience. This game is an absolute must for anyone looking to design their own games.

And I also played through Dr. Langesykov, The Tiger, and the Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist, which is a Steam freebie by Crows Crows Crows; A new studio established by William Pugh (@HonestWilliam), who also wrote and designed The Stanley Parable.

I’ve also been sucked into Final Fantasy XIV again, no doubt inspired by the Gears of Change update, and my own plans to visit the Eorzea Cafe in Akiba next week!

Screen from Final Fantasy XIV. My character, Rinny Ozarin; a Lalafell Dragoon.
Lalafell’s last longer.

Whilst I don’t want to get sucked back into my old play style – grinding for weeks to acquire gear which was redundant a few days later, I’ve enjoyed the plot and the world of Eorzea in general, so I’d like to keep playing casually if it fits in with my personal schedule.

I managed to squeeze in a few hours playing Not a Hero, which is an over-the-top tactical shooter, with a retro look. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and was fun to play through.

Gaming news

Game Developers Conference

So GDC is pretty much the biggest game developer event of the year, and it’ll soon be finished for another year. Despite this, the event creates such a wealth of information, and some video presentations from the event are released publicly, in the months leading up to the next GDC.

Whilst I haven’t been keeping track of anything in particular, the guys at The Game Developer’s Radio certainly have! On their website, they’ve aggregated news from GDC into a series of daily digests, which make it super easy to scan the headlines and find something interesting. It’s kind of like Something for the weekend, but every day.

Sadly, The Game Developer’s Radio seems to have since removed their articles. Apologies!

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve only really skimmed through headlines this week.

From around the web..

Exploring the mind-bending science of 4D in Miegakure

Whilst half the gaming community is going nuts for 3D right now, I’m trying to get my head around 4-dimensions in Miegakure.

Miegakure is the first game that lets you explore and interact with a 4D world. In this game, the fourth dimension is not time! It is an actual fourth dimension of space, that works just like the first three dimensions we are familiar with. If you count time, this game is 5D.

I read about this game a while back, and dismissed it – as it was in early development, and I really didn’t quite understand how the mechanics of 4D would work in a 3D space.. presented on a 2D medium. I’m still not closer to understanding it, but the game has had some serious polish.

Despite still being in development, the game has achieved some critical acclaim. It caught the eye of Jonathan Blow (@Jonathan_Blow), who said “I find it easy to think of Miegakure as one of the great puzzle games of all time.”[2]A game to watch for: Miegakure.

I’m really curious about this game. I wonder if by playing, I’ll be able to think in 4-dimensions to overcome the puzzles presented. Furthermore, could interacting with 4D elements be easier to grasp using VR? In the same way that 2D screens present simulated 3D in interactive games. I guess time will tell.

Read the full article at Kill Screen

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