Sharon Fisher on harassment and toxic behaviour in video games: “The old-fashioned approach to moderation needs to be re-thought”
Just over a month ago, Unity bought AI-driven audio analysis platform OTO to fight toxic behavior in multiplayer games. A month before that, Discord acquired Sentropy, a company behind AI-powered software to detect and remove online harassment. We sat down with Utopia Analytics‘ Sharon Fisher, a veteran in the games moderation space, to discuss the challenges the industry is facing in its quest to make the gaming environment safer.
Anshar Studios’ Mateusz Greloch looks back at Gamedec’s launch and looks forward to more fully narrative RPGs
Cyberpunk isometric RPG Gamedec came out on September 16. The game, inspired by the Gamedec book series by Marcin Przybyłek, puts you in the shoes of a game detective, who solves mysteries inside virtual worlds. A year ago, we discussed the Gamedec demo with the development team known as Anshar Studios. Now, days after the title’s release, we caught up with Mateusz Greloch, Community Manager at Anshar Studios,
Tim Willits on the games that shaped the industry and the technology that shaped these games
Tim Willits, chief creative officer at Saber Interactive and former studio director and level designer of id Software, is one of the key people behind the DOOM, Quake, and Rage franchises. We caught up with Tim amid WN Winter’21 in a futile attempt to capture his 25+ years in video games, as well as to find out what he’s up to these days.
chaosmonger’s Nicola Piovesan on old school sci-fi, avoiding moon logic puzzles, and breaking the fourth wall
ENCODYA is a cyberpunk point-and-click adventure game that came out on PC on Jauary 26. We caught up with ENCODYA’s developer Nicola Piovesan to discuss the game and the team behind it at chaosmonger studio.
Anshar Studios on making Gamedec, cyberpunk RPG about solving mysteries in virtual worlds
Gamedec is an upcoming cyberpunk isometric RPG. It puts you in the shoes of a game detective, who solves mysteries inside virtual worlds. The story adapts to the decisions you make, but those won’t come easy to you. Players will have to make their morally ambiguous choices and deductions under constant time pressure, never able to collect enough evidence to piece together the whole picture.
Carrion game/level designer Krzysztof Chomicki on managing amorphousness, gravity and screams
Carrion is a reverse horror game in which you play as an amorphous creature of unknown origins. The game received universal acclaim from players and critics for its clever power-fantasy premise, as well as satisfying traversal and combat mechanics, which allow for gameplay that can be both strategic and chaotic.
Cloudpunk creator Marko Dieckmann on cyberpunk, voxel art, and constant fight that is indie development
Cloudpunk is a neon-noir story set in a dystopian cyberpunk metropolis. You play as a courier with the Cloudpunk delivery service.
The studio behind the title is Berlin-based developer ION LANDS. We caught up with its founder Marko Dieckmann to discuss Cloudpunk and the struggles it took to create it.
“We have no interest in directly profiting from the success of game developers.” Defold creators on engine’s new license and current status
Defold, the game engine from the makers of Candy Crush Saga, doesn’t make news quite as often as, for example, Unreal or Unity. Last May, however, was important for the engine. First, it became open source. Second, it officially separated from King. Björn Ritzl, Defold product owner, explains why and how this happened.
Super Sexy Software founder Marta Szymańska on shades of white, fear of emptiness, and power of unknown
The Shattering is a first-person story-driven psychological thriller with horror elements. It came out on April 21 and is currently available on PC.
Rather than relying on the genre’s clichés such as jumpscares and the generous use of darkness, The Shattering invokes fear through the absence of information. It defines the overall design of the game, with its shifting environments, invisible characters and the color palette that is dominated by various shades of white.
Black Mesa project lead Adam Engels on Half-Life, remote work, and game design philosophy
Black Mesa 1.0 came out on March 6 bringing closure to 16 years of arguably the most ambitious modding effort ever. The nuances of Gordon Freeman’s inaugural adventure cleverly rewritten, multiple environments and AI overhauled, Xen completely reimagined. The game itself, once a fan mod, is now a commercial stand-alone title. All good things to those who wait.
Alberto Belli on Italian gamedev scene: “Evolution always arrives just before extinction”
Italy is a great market for games. It’s worth €1.7 billion, which means that people buy and play games. However, revenues from Italian developers account for just around €50 million, and almost everything comes from a handful of key studios.
So what’s it like to make games in Italy?
LUNA The Shadow Dust developer Beidi Guo on how lore and environmental storytelling increase replayability in puzzle games
LUNA The Shadow Dust is a hand-animated point-and-click puzzle adventure that came out on February 13. It is the debut title of the Chinese team called Lantern Studio.
We sat down with Beidi Guo, art director on the game, to discuss ups and downs of the development process, as well as the general fate of puzzle games.
Through the Darkest of Times developer Jörg Friedrich on sensitive topics in games, quick prototyping, and gameplay rewardingness
Strategy game Through the Darkest of Times came out on January 30 to very positive reviews on Steam. The award-winning indie title chronicles the struggle of a small resistance group during the years of Nazi rule in Germany.
We caught up with Jörg Friedrich, creative director on TtDoT and co-founder at Paintbucket Studios, to discuss the creation of the game that is also a compelling history lesson.
Ministry of Broadcast on Tinder-date publishing, primacy of narrative, and walls people like to build
Ministry of Broadcast is a narrative-driven cinematic platformer released on January 30. The game is set in a dystopian country divided by the Wall, and to get to the other side, you must survive the reality show run by the omnipresent Ministry of Broadcast. Expect traps, tons of moral ambiguity, and brilliantly somber humor in the vein of Monty Python.
Eliza developer Matthew Burns on stress, choices that matter, and language of games
Eliza is the latest title from Zachtronics that took everyone by surprise. In contrast to the programming puzzle games the studio is famous for, Eliza is a visual novel about an AI counseling program, the people who develop it, and the people who use it.
Strategic minimalism behind indie hit Islanders
On April 4th, a German indie studio called GrizzlyGames released Islanders, an atmospheric minimalist city builder. The game immediately got warm reception from critics and very positive reviews on Steam. Valve listed it among 20 top-selling games of April 2019.
Islanders is about making the best of very limited resources. So is the story of the real-world people behind the game.
40 years in games industry: David Mullich on breaking rules, going beyond entertainment, and inspiring others
The expression “industry veteran” is used too liberally these days. We are quick to call anybody “veteran” who has a couple of decades of experience. What does it make David Mullich, the man who has been making games or teaching about games for 40 years? And it’s not just any games. David created or was involved in creating the legendary titles like I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines,