The Sunday Papers
Sundays are for taking vitamin D tablets because the sun has decided it can't be bothered to hang about. Before you ingest, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).
Over on Eurogamer, Victoria Kennedy wrote about the man making controllers accessible for everyone. Kennedy sits down with Caleb Kraft from The Controller Project, a charity that creates free downloadable blueprints that modify existing controllers and make them work in unison with the player's disabilities.
"I think it would be incredible to see an online configurator, where you can select from a group of parts and build out a 3D printed kit for your controller that does what you need, and then have it printed and shipped to you," he shares, saying he believes something like this would be "extremely powerful" for consumers in general.
For Game Informer, Blake Hester chats with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio about the future of Like A Dragon (Yakuza). I covered this briefly in a news post but it deserves a proper shout out here too. Fascinating insight into their views on managerial change, experimentation, and work life balance.
One shift the studio can speak to now is the amount of non-Japanese working at RGG. As Yokoyama tells it, its workforce has many employees from all over Asia. He hopes to continue this trend, creating a more multicultural studio. He says he imagines a scenario where we’re sitting in this same room in the future, and there are heads of the studio that aren’t from Japan.
On The Guardian, Patrick Lum wrote about how Dwarf Fortress tells some of gamings most bizarre stories. Lum chats with brothers and DF creators Zach and Tarn Adams about the game's upcoming commercial release. They are nowhere near finished, though.
Tarn describes their aim as creating a “story engine”, and they’re still trying to figure out the best way to explain it. Every feature in the game, he says, has to be interesting to simulate AND have an interesting effect that players can notice. At one point they added mannerisms, where nervous dwarves might tap their feet – but dwarves being nervous didn’t actually affect the rest of the game, and therefore it wasn’t obvious to players. “If you make the simulation really complicated, but you don’t surface it to the players,” says Zach, “it’s not going to become part of their story.”
On The Washington Post, Jeremy Signor wrote about how V Rising lights the way forward for the survival genre. A look at how the game explores vampiric weakness and makes it an interesting system.
Sunlight in “V Rising” turns daytime hours into hostile territory. Solely doing things outside of the castle at night is one strategy, but that’s extremely inefficient, and you’re likely to run out of things to do before the day ends. But there’s a reason the game’s first biome is a forest: ample shadows. As long as you’re standing in a shadow of any kind, you’re safe. In a way, this transforms “V Rising” into something more akin to a Zelda game than a survival game, putting hazards in your way and heavily warping the way you play by making pathfinding a major gameplay element. Anything the sun touches is lava. You’ll have to dash between shadows to survive.
Music this week is Dun Morogh by Jason Hayes, which is off the World Of Warcraft OST. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. Easily one of my favourites off the WoW soundtrack.
That's it for now, catch you next week folks!