The Kickstarter Compendium

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The Kickstarter Compendium

Our regularly revised feature keeps you up to date on the Kickstarter games worth watching, and helps you track projects both before and after they’re funded.

Welcome to the Kickstarter Compendium, a gathering of games and game-related projects that we’ve come across that deserve your attention. The crowd-funding model for video games has resulted in some fascinating new game ideas, and new projects are going up on a weekly basis that deserve your attention. 

The only problem is keeping track of it all – what’s worth watching, and what are these different projects about? As an ongoing feature, our Kickstarter Compendium is your guide to games seeking funding through Kickstarter. After funding projects are complete, this feature will also track what games (and game-related projects) got funded and which ones didn’t – and, where possible, offer links to the projects as they are developed. 

How The Taken King Changes Destiny's Competitive Multiplayer

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To coincide with our September cover story on Destiny: The Taken King, we've been rolling out features highlighting different aspects of the game in our content hub. While we've already showcased the eight new maps for the Crucible, we wanted to go a bit more in depth on the gameplay changes to the PvP aspect of Destiny: The Taken King. We sat down with design lead Lars Bakken to talk about the new modes that the team is adding, the current role of vehicles in the game, and how PvP content can tease the future of Destiny's PvE environments. Also, this video features new music from The Taken King so enjoy your first taste of what's to come!

Watch the video below to see new, exclusive gameplay of the Crucible in Destiny: The Taken King and learn what's new for players.

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How Avalanche Snuck A Lightsaber Into The First Disney Infinity

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When Disney bought Star Wars in late 2012, Avalanche had already been hard at work on the original Disney Infinity for some time, prepping it for its August 2013 release. It was too late to add a robust Star Wars playset or figures to the game at a worthwhile capacity, but Avalanche felt it couldn’t ignore the acquisition. It’s Star Wars after all.

Prior to the Star Wars acquisition, vice president of production for Disney Infinity, John Vignocchi had friends who worked for Lucas. Once Star Wars became part of the Disney family and they were now co-workers, he started making calls. “We want to do an ultimate unlock in the game. We’d like to put a lightsaber in the game,” Vignocchi told his Lucas friend. “Here’s what we’re thinking: If you own all the figures then this is like this super-secret end of the end – the Yoshi on top of the Princess’ castle.”

The team had to scramble to get it in the game, and they wanted to make sure it was part of the shipped product as opposed to getting added later as an update. “It became a passion project for the team, that was already doing tons of overtime to ship a great game,” Vignocchi says. “They were like, ‘If we can get this approved, we can put in an extra weekend or extra time to get this in there.’”

Ten Japanese Games We Can’t Wait To Play

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Ten Japanese Games We Can’t Wait To Play

Conventional wisdom suggests that Japanese development has been losing steam in recent years. And while we don’t see the same number of titles emerging from across the Pacific as we once did, some amazing titles are making their way stateside. With the big release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on the horizon, we pick ten titles that have us especially stoked.

Only a few characters have been announced for the latest iteration of this classic fighting game, but early glimpses show off a continued evolution of Capcom’s beautiful painterly style for the series, exhibiting familiar characters like Chun-Li and newcomers like Necalli. The new V-System promises to add a new layer of strategy to combat, letting players pull off new character-specific moves, or even counter certain attacks while blocking. We’re also happy to see that the game is doing more to distinguish its long-time characters from one another; in particular, Ken will now feel even more distinct from Ryu.

Replay – EverQuest

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This week's episode took a bit of setup. We contacted publisher Daybreak Game Company to see if they could retrieve an EverQuest account that hasn't been played in over a decade. The hope was that we could reunite Andy McNamara, Game Informer's editor-in-chief, with his former EverQuest character, Hemmingway. Given the amount of time that had passed, we didn't think this reunion would be possible, but Daybreak answered back quickly, saying that Hemmingway was alive and well.

We didn't let Andy see the game before recording this Replay. As you would imagine, it takes some time for him to learn to play again, but once he does, we get a good look at this PC MMORPG from 1999. Andy proves to be a fountain of EverQuest knowledge, and provides some of his craziest moments with the game. For those of you that don't know, Andy was in one of the biggest guilds on his server. He discusses that time, too.

In our second segment, I read one of my worst reviews from yesteryear for a Nintendo 64 game that was better off left in the past. Our final segment is a Stress Test for Dan Tack, Game Informer's all-around best game. Can he beat the challenge? Watch to find out!

Test Chamber – Dragon Age Inquisition: The Descent DLC

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Test Chamber – Dragon Age Inquisition: The Descent DLC

Earlier this week, BioWare released The Descent, the latest single-player DLC for Dragon Age Inquisition. The story deals with an earth-shaking force that dwells in the Deep Roads, and we entered the depths for a look at the beginning of this lengthy quest.

Watch Joe Juba and Matt Miller begin the quest and go through the introductory sections. This is just a taste of what the content offers; the massive dungeon at the heart of the The Descent spans many levels, and gets more difficult the deeper you go. We don't get far enough to see a substantial challenge, but we do see some interesting battles and a modified version of the War Table specifically for the Deep Roads content.

Special Note: due to some different recording circumstances, the audio quality for this Test Chamber is sub-par. We apologize. Those responsible have been sacked.

Classic Gaming’s 10 Worst-Kept Secrets

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Though they have been largely eliminated in today’s gaming landscape thanks to downloadable content and the Internet, hidden secrets have played a large role in the games industry since its early days. These intentionally programmed cheats and shortcuts went undocumented, but that didn’t stop the most dedicated gamers from finding and sharing them with all of their friends.

In the days before the Internet, these secrets were often passed around friendship circles like urban legends. While gaming magazines often helped verify and spread them, word of mouth proved most powerful.

Let’s take a look at some of the worst-kept secrets in some of the most classic video games.

Why Gjallarhorn Is Overpowered, And The Tricks To Balancing Destiny's Weapons

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Weapon balancing is a delicate operation. While some players might hate the fact that another player's weapon outclasses their own, that other player might be happy to exploit an overpowered weapon. Some fans cry foul whenever a company rebalances its game after release, but balancing is an important element for a thriving game community, but did you know that you can overpower a weapon just by fine-tuning the audio?

Last month, Bungie announced that they would be rebalancing some of Destiny's most powerful weapons, such as Gjallarhorn, Thorn, and Ice Breaker. Some of Destiny's fan base went into an uproar, but Bungie didn't decide to rebalance these weapons to irritate their fans.

"It's funny, there's an interesting reaction, which is the opposite of what we wanted, because we're actually trying to create more viable options so you have more choices to pick from," says senior designer Sage Merrill. "There was a bug late in the development of Destiny where the trails didn't appear for the sub-munitions of Gjallarhorn, so you couldn't see what it was doing and it wasn't this spectacular display that it is now. However, the bug didn't get logged as, 'This doesn't look awesome." It got logged as 'isn't powerful enough.'"

The Taken King Fixes Destiny's Three Biggest Problems

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Despite Destiny's popularity, it remains a very polarizing game. For every enthusiastic fan, there seems to be another player who quit in disgust. I understand the hate, because I used to be one of the haters. However, sometimes games deserve a second chance, and The Taken King looks to be the perfect time to give Destiny another shot.

I was busy with personal family matters when Destiny launched last year, so I jumped into the game a few weeks later than most. In the grand scheme, a few weeks doesn't seem like much, but with Destiny it was too long. Once I started playing, I felt like I was struggling to catch up to my friends who had already finished the campaign and were well on their way to collecting a full set of exotic equipment.

After making a mad dash to finish a campaign story that made absolutely no sense, I felt like I hit a wall. The grind from 20 to 30 was pretty confusing and since most of my friends were already sitting around level 27 or 28, I was locked out of playing the same strikes they all wanted to grind through. While trying to collect my own set of exotic armor, I got some bad dice rolls and ended up with equipment I already had. I wasn't having fun, so I set the controller down, vowing that I was done with Bungie's new shooter experiment.