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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for reading about videogames all day and nothing else. That’s why you’re here, right?

At Waypoint, Patrick Klepek wrote about how two developers dealt with the racist parts of their community. There are interesting anecdotes here, about the work required to deal with problem players in online games.

Trolls who trot out racism and other toxic remarks are nothing new to online games, but what prompted Brenner and his team to take notice was watching their player count going down.

“We actually noticed a dip in our retention numbers of new players because of his actions,” he said. “And I get it, I mean—You sign in to a new game for the first time and just see a wall of the N-word in global chat.”

Mona Ibrahim, a videogame attorney, wrote an article for Polygon about Campo Santo’s use of DMCA takedown notices against PewDiePie.

But from the perspective of the content owner, Vanaman’s reasoning is irrelevant. You see, a licensor doesn’t need a reason to withhold a license. That also means that they can withhold a license for any reason. In the case of a Let’s Play video, a content owner like Campo Santo would argue that they can revoke their permissive, non-exclusive license to stream (granted to end users) against anyone who uses their content in a way they find offensive, or in a way that associates their game or brand with something against their values.

LawBreakers has been struggling since release to keep players, but Cliff Bleszinski isn’t giving up on it. He spoke with Gamespot with a few hints as to what he felt has gone wrong.

But you know, I have to keep this game alive, first and foremost. I can be very cocky and very brash on social media. And realising that, you know, we have a fledgling player base. It’s been very humbling for me. I’m going to continue to iterate on this game, continue to add to it. And try to be less of a dick, honestly.”

For another perspective, Alice Bell spoke to fans of LawBreakers about why should play it and what went wrong. I don’t know if Overwatch can really be blamed for so much, since Paladins wasn’t hurt at all by those comparisons, but the feature is interesting throughout. Particularly agree with this comment on delicious Nintendo games.

LawBreakers does read, visually, like a more standard FPS, with a lot of gunmetal grey and muzzle flash when compared with the technicolour approach of shooters like Overwatch and Splatoon. Splatoon in particular gives me the impulse, as most Nintendo games do, to eat it. LawBreakers looks like it would taste more of concrete and hot tin rather than a Fruit Salad. This may of course be the point, but one is still more eye catching on a storefront than the other.

Some people asked what the difference is between our new Clickuorice Allsorts posts and The Sunday Papers. Allsorts are very short posts which link to something interesting, but aren’t restricted to only articles, videos and podcasts. They can be anything, and include all three. There will be occasional overlap however – so here’s Mark Brown’s great video on detective games again.

I really loved the Double Fine Adventure documentary, which charted the creation of Broken Age from beginning to end. Near the completion of the project, one of the main team members had to take a long time off work sick, and although I forget what’s exactly said, it’s at least heavily implied that the illness was caused by the stresses of long hours working on the game. Crunch sucks, but I’m glad the documentary showed its consequences. And I’m glad that Tim Schafer has now spoken about how crunch has impacted his company, his career and his personal life.

“You don’t realize until it has happened that you’re doing all this damage to your personal life by staying at work all the time,” he said. “You can mentally put the rest of the world on hold, but the rest of the world can’t necessarily be put on hold by you. I was so gung-ho about it. If you think someone will wait for you and tolerate you not being around… people move on.”

Craig Pearson used to write words on these pages (and I used to live with him – hi Craig!), but now he’s at Facepunch, makers of Rust and Garry’s Mod. He emailed me this article he wrote this past week about Michael Efraim, a player who makes vast, complex, beautiful scenes in Garry’s Mod. These need to be seen to be believed.

It involved 329 effects, 679 props, and 116 individually posed ragdolls that were iterated upon several times over the course of seven months. The in-game scene building took me around five months, the editing took me around two more. I barely made any compromises, and the ones I did make were because of engine limits. I used every trick I knew back then to get the most out of the picture, and as a result the project was extremely demanding, technically speaking. Material blending, atmospheric passes, direct and ambient light stacking passes (holding light information equivalent to hundreds of thousands of lamps) all rendered and outputted to 25600×14400 raw captures which I later had to manually–and very slowly–process in Photoshop. I definitely bit more than I could chew with Path of Spawn, but I followed through with it till the end. And it was still mostly fun.

At Kotaku UK a few weeks ago, Laura Kate Dale got to the bottom of Tracer’s bottom in Overwatch. That shadow? It’s not painted on the texture.

Wu discovered that the primary cause of Tracer’s plump backside is an inhumanly deep buttcrack. In fact Tracer has a butt crack so deep that regular humans could not possess similar physiology and survive. Such a crack would inevitably interfere with organs and the body’s structural integrity

New Baman Piderman.

Apparently the lyrics to this song don’t make much sense even in Japanese, but isn’t it fun?

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Graham Smith

Editor-in-chief

Graham is to blame for all this.

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