The official Papers, Please short film has been a long time in coming, but it's finally here... and if you're a fan of the game's grim Soviet Bloc atmosphere, you're in for a treat. The 11-minute production includes plenty of nods to the title's nerve-wracking customs checks, such as the dread you feel when you're not quite sure you should have let someone through. It also touches on the game's underlying theme -- how do you maintain some shred of humanity in a job that's frequently heartless? Be sure to turn subtitles on, by the way, as the dialogue is appropriately Russian.
Apple may be one of the biggest companies in the world, but it still doesn't open up often about how it operates. A few times a year though, we catch a glimpse. Fast Company caught up with CEO Tim Cook back in January to chat Apple's recent run of new gear in an interview that published this week.
Last year's gaming controversy has turned into this year's legislative battleground. Fans were outraged when Star Wars: Battlefront II launched with buyable loot boxes that unbalanced multiplayer combat, and other games like Need For Speed: Payback and Destiny 2 had their own pay-to-win controversies. Eventually, loot boxes unsettled enough constituents to rile their representatives. Legislators in Hawaii, Washington and Illinois have introduced bills to either study loot boxes or restrict access to young players, but how effective will they be? What else can lawmakers do?
Last December, Twitch announced that it would be making a live-streaming reality show, Stream On. In it, Twitch creators who need a boost to make streaming a full-time gig compete against one another in a series of challenges, Survivor-style, for a grand prize of $60,000, delivered across 12 months. Now the details are out, with the live game show set to debut with 14 competitors on March 8th at 3:00 pm PST.
Using AR to promote movies isn't entirely new. We've already seen official movie tie-in augmented reality apps for Spider-Man: Homecoming and the Jon Hamm vehicle, Marjorie. Now, though, Sony Pictures is taking things a bit farther with Ghostbusters World, a mobile AR game based on the popular film, television and comic book franchise. The title is currently in development with 4:33 Creative Lab and should launch sometime this year on iOS and Android.
The 16-bit aesthetic is the new vinyl. It taps into a growing vein of '90s nostalgia, and it also reflects a longing for a tactile past world that just predates full-scale digitization. Fat, colorful sprites represent an era when technology was still analogue and full of exciting possibilities. The Super Nintendo is as much an emblem of this retro near-futurism as it is a game machine. But boy, is it also a great game machine.
A Normal Lost Phone is the kind of indie game that seizes a tricky niche (mobile gaming) and leans into the form factor for a unique experience -- a Gone Home or Life Is Strange that takes place entirely within a mock phone interface. The game will lose that skeuomorphic novelty when it arrives on Nintendo Switch on March 1st, but will be able to reach players on a console increasingly known for indie titles.