Something for the weekend #024

Something for the weekend #024 – A collection of my favourite video game and pop culture related news, videos and content from around the web this week.

I’m back after my long hiatus. Because I know you’ve missed it, here’s Something for the weekend!

I’ve spent the better part of two weeks coming down from my Japan-high, and getting back into my daily routine at work. For now, life reverts to a regular pace – but I have vowed to return to the beautiful country of Japan in the near future!

As things return to normal, I’ve spent a bit of time away from the ol’ blog so I might be a little rusty.

Whatcha playin’?

Dark Souls 3

Naturally, the first thing I did before getting on a plane home was to order Dark Souls 3 on Amazon, so it would be waiting for me when I returned home.

I’m a latecomer to the Souls series, but I was very impressed with the game design and lore behind Bloodborne, which made me curious about FROM SOFTWARE’s other titles. Having only briefly played the first Dark Souls and ignorantly dismissing it as being ‘too difficult’.

With perseverance comes great reward however. The Souls series has so much to offer players, in terms of open world hack n’ slash fantasy lore, but they of course require a degree of commitment.

I’m still fairly early into the game, having only played it a few times since getting home, though I feel as if I have made definite progress on how I approach playing it.

Unlike Devil May Cry, where you are by far the strongest entity in the game world, Dark Souls requires patience and restraint when engaging in battle. Timing is also important, and learning your enemies attack patterns can be the difference between victory and the infamous, YOU DIED screen.

I’d like to recommend VaatiVidya on YouTube, who puts together some amazing Dark Souls and Bloodborne videos, which delve into the lore, mechanics and gameplay.

You can learn more on the official Dark Souls 3 website.

Gaming news

Lionhead Studios closes its doors after 20 years

Illustration of a sleeping white lion, being hugged by a young boy. Art by Damian Buzugbe
“Goodbye old friend” by Damian Buzugbe

The company behind the iconic Fable series closed its doors on Friday after announcements back in March that the Fable Legends title had been cancelled[1]Microsoft: Changes to Microsoft Studios in UK and Denmark.

UK game development company Lionhead Studios, was founded by Peter Molyneux (@pmolyneux) way back in 1996 and released its first title, Black and White in 2001. The company was acquired by Microsoft in 2006, shifting its entire focus to the Fable series[2]Alphr: Microsoft buys Lionhead games studio.

I have fond memories of the Black and White series and the first Fable title. Both games had a great sense of humour, and you could tell a lot of work went into creating them. My thoughts are with the staff during this difficult time.

Powerup Gaming published a retrospective article looking at the studio’s work and history, which is worth a read.

You can share your memories on Twitter, as many others have, using the hashtags #riplionhead and #LionheadMemories.

From around the web..

Video games and the digital baroque

An intersting article on Kill Screen by Roman Kalinovski (@kalinova828), which looks at digital media (in particular, Dark Souls and Final Fantasy VI) viewed from the rules of the Baroque period art movement.

Read the full article at Kill Screen

Narrative design tips I wish I’d known

David Kuelz (@AkwardPegasus) shares his experience and offers some advice with story writing for games.

This post has a bunch of great tips for creative types, and might offer a different way of thinking when intertwining story elements with your game.

Read the full article on Gamasutra

Programming tips

Unconventional tips for improving your programming skills

Most of the tips Livio (@LivioDeLaCruz) offers are lifestyle choices rather than explicit programming advice. Which means they can be applied to pretty much any creative discipline!

Seriously, a lot of these things are counter to how society expects people to work, but programming doesn’t have to be back-breaking work if you take care of yourself.

Beyond maintaining good health, Livio goes on to discuss the importance of good documentation, debugging and keeping your code tidy.

Read the full article on Livio De La Cruz’s blog

Recently translated interview with Fumito Ueda

After many years, this 2005 interview with ICO and Shadow of the Colossus creator has been translated, shedding some light on the Japanese artist’s professional life.

This long and wonderful interview with ICO and Shadow of the Colossus creator Fumito Ueda first appeared in vol. 25 of the excellent CONTINUE magazine in 2005, and was later compiled in a book of interviews. It covers Ueda’s entire career up to that point: his childhood years, art school, working at WARP, and finally settling in at Sony as a full-fledge game creator. The discussion is full of Ueda’s thoughts and insights about game design, gaming, and the themes of his own two masterpiece “art” games.

Possibly one of the more interesting parts of the conversation reveals Ueda’s inspiration from PaRappa the Rappa, and how he hoped to make a game with the ‘same degree of stylishness’.

Read the full interview at Shmuplations


Light Bytes

Light Bytes by We Throw Switches

We Throw Switches (@wethrowswitches) has announced their latest series of events in Scotland, which will take place in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.

Light Bytes comprises a series of events that will be held in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee at the beginning of June designed to stimulate illuminating debate, critical thinking, risk and experimentation, and exploration into innovative ways of making the most of creative technology.

As published on the Creative Scotland website, the initial dates are as follows:

We Throw Switches have put on some great events in the past, and each has facilitated promotion and networking for local creatives. These events look set to continue that theme, bringing together creatives from artistic and tech backgrounds alike.

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