The New Vid Economy: Making A Living From Crowdfunded Game Analysis

about X hours ago from
The New Vid Economy: Making A Living From Crowdfunded Game Analysis

Almost four years ago, Mark Brown posted a YouTube video on adaptive soundtracks in games. The piece, snappily edited and confidently narrated, could have stood alone as a neat look behind the curtain at the tricks used by designers when creating a musical score that reacts to the player’s actions. However, the quality of Mark Brown’s first video served a larger purpose: a statement of intent. More than 90 videos and 450,000 subscribers later, Game Maker’s Toolkit has proven itself to be a wide-ranging, insightful, and consistent source of game analysis on YouTube.

From the feeling of Kratos’ axe to the secrets of Resident Evil 4’s difficulty system, Game Maker’s Toolkit has remained one of the most popular game-analysis channels on YouTube. A look into The Legend of Zelda turned into an extensive side-project called “Boss Keys,” which went over virtually every title in the series and developed an intricate mapping system to describe the layout of each dungeon. A deep dive on BioShock’s Fort Frolic became a meditation on what creates effective level design.

Brown’s videos are now his full-time job. But unlike massive streamers such as PewDiePie or Ninja, his subscriber count isn’t what keeps him afloat; instead, about one percent of his viewership provides his income through the crowdfunding site Patreon.

Everything We Know About NASCAR Heat 3

about X hours ago from
Everything We Know About NASCAR Heat 3

The NASCAR season is in full swing, but gamers are already looking to the future – September 7 in particular, when NASCAR Heat 3 comes out (PS4, Xbox One, PC). The game has just been announced, and I got my hands on the title and am heartened by the fact that developer Monster Games is bringing back more depth to the franchise's career mode, a sore point in NASCAR Heat 2.

Based on my time with the game and the recent reveal, here's what we know so far.

NASCAR Heat 2's career mode was more about signing contacts and meeting sponsor objectives than it was about actually building an actual organization. You can still sign contracts with teams in Heat 3, but after earning enough money in the game's early stages you can start one of your own. This, however, is a single-owner/operator company, so unfortunately you won't be signing different drivers for multiple rides.

Everything We Know About NASCAR Heat 3

about X hours ago from
Everything We Know About NASCAR Heat 3

The NASCAR season is in full swing, but gamers are already looking to the future – September 7 in particular, when NASCAR Heat 3 comes out (PS4, Xbox One, PC). The game has just been announced, and I got my hands on the title and am heartened by the fact that developer Monster Games is bringing back more depth to the franchise's career mode, a sore point in NASCAR Heat 2.

Based on my time with the game and the recent reveal, here's what we know so far.

NASCAR Heat 2's career mode was more about signing contacts and meeting sponsor objectives than it was about actually building an actual organization. You can still sign contracts with teams in Heat 3, but after earning enough money in the game's early stages you can start one of your own. This, however, is a single-owner/operator company, so unfortunately you won't be signing different drivers for multiple rides.

Exploring Destiny 2: Forsaken's Tangled Shore

about X hours ago from
Exploring Destiny 2: Forsaken's Tangled Shore

Your hunt for the eight barons and Uldren in Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion will take place mostly on the Tangled Shore, a vast area made of tied-together rock formations, Fallen architecture, and of course, beautiful skyboxes.

For a sense of what to expect when you start exploring the Tangled Shore, we took a quick look at what the location has to offer. We have some flythrough footage of some of the more memorable parts of the locale, and we also tackle a public event and three of the Lost Sectors you can expect to find there. We also talk about how the location ties into Bungie's claim that the story will be taking a darker turn in Forsaken, the Western inspiration for some of the locations, and what does and does not qualify as a saloon.

For more on Destiny 2: Forsaken, such as an in-depth look at the nine new subclass branches and supers, a look how the Flashpoint milestone is changing, and more, click on the banner below, and make sure to come back throughout the month for more coverage.

Exploring Destiny 2: Forsaken's Tangled Shore

about X hours ago from
Exploring Destiny 2: Forsaken's Tangled Shore

Your hunt for the eight barons and Uldren in Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion will take place mostly on the Tangled Shore, a vast area made of tied-together rock formations, Fallen architecture, and of course, beautiful skyboxes.

For a sense of what to expect when you start exploring the Tangled Shore, we took a quick look at what the location has to offer. We have some flythrough footage of some of the more memorable parts of the locale, and we also tackle a public event and three of the Lost Sectors you can expect to find there. We also talk about how the location ties into Bungie's claim that the story will be taking a darker turn in Forsaken, the Western inspiration for some of the locations, and what does and does not qualify as a saloon.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Is Worth Revisiting…For A Price

about X hours ago from
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Is Worth Revisiting…For A Price

When Xenoblade Chronicles 2 released last year, I had mixed feelings about it. Despite an impressive world and a fascinating array of interlocking systems, the experience also felt bloated and repetitive. However, like so many titles these days, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has evolved since its launch. Here’s the good news: Many the game’s problems are now fixed, and it is much more enjoyable today. Unfortunately, to receive the full benefit of these changes and experience the game at its best, you need buy DLC.

Players often are expected to pay for additional DLC and expansions above and beyond the main game. I understand that, so it didn’t seem strange when Nintendo detailed the plans for Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s $30 expansion pass prior to launch. According to Nintendo, this purchase would entitle owners to a vague assortment of new quests, items, and characters – along with story campaign that we now know is called Torna: The Golden Country. These things are not broken into individual chunks; it’s basically an all-or-nothing $30 purchase.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Is Worth Revisiting…For A Price

about X hours ago from
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Is Worth Revisiting…For A Price

When Xenoblade Chronicles 2 released last year, I had mixed feelings about it. Despite an impressive world and a fascinating array of interlocking systems, the experience also felt bloated and repetitive. However, like so many titles these days, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has evolved since its launch. Here’s the good news: Many the game’s problems are now fixed, and it is much more enjoyable today. Unfortunately, to receive the full benefit of these changes and experience the game at its best, you need buy DLC.

Players often are expected to pay for additional DLC and expansions above and beyond the main game. I understand that, so it didn’t seem strange when Nintendo detailed the plans for Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s $30 expansion pass prior to launch. According to Nintendo, this purchase would entitle owners to a vague assortment of new quests, items, and characters – along with story campaign that we now know is called Torna: The Golden Country. These things are not broken into individual chunks; it’s basically an all-or-nothing $30 purchase.

5 Summer Steam Early Access Gems

about X hours ago from
5 Summer Steam Early Access Gems

The term “early access” can mean many things these days, from incomplete alphas where nothing works to polished mainstays (Fortnite is still in early access, ladies and gentlemen). Steam can be a treasure trove for hunters looking for the next big game, and there’s no lack of impressive up-and-coming titles that deserve attention even as they push onward toward eventual release. Today, we look at a few titles that might be early access but have already captured our interest.

If you’re into roguelike dungeon crawling, this title demands your attention. It’s a card-based crawl that taps into the deck-building mechanic to allow you to create a custom build each attempt as you push forward to take on deadly elite enemies and big bosses. With some classic RPG archetypes like the tanky Ironclad and the stealthy combo-cobbling Silent, you can create builds that hinge on ever-stacking strength or impenetrable defenses. Or perhaps you’re looking for something completely different, and the game’s ostensible take on the mage class, the Defect, allows you to craft an orb-evoking robot-thing that begs for interesting setups and builds.

5 Summer Steam Early Access Gems

about X hours ago from
5 Summer Steam Early Access Gems

The term “early access” can mean many things these days, from incomplete alphas where nothing works to polished mainstays (Fortnite is still in early access, ladies and gentlemen). Steam can be a treasure trove for hunters looking for the next big game, and there’s no lack of impressive up-and-coming titles that deserve attention even as they push onward toward eventual release. Today, we look at a few titles that might be early access but have already captured our interest.

If you’re into roguelike dungeon crawling, this title demands your attention. It’s a card-based crawl that taps into the deck-building mechanic to allow you to create a custom build each attempt as you push forward to take on deadly elite enemies and big bosses. With some classic RPG archetypes like the tanky Ironclad and the stealthy combo-cobbling Silent, you can create builds that hinge on ever-stacking strength or impenetrable defenses. Or perhaps you’re looking for something completely different, and the game’s ostensible take on the mage class, the Defect, allows you to craft an orb-evoking robot-thing that begs for interesting setups and builds.

New Gameplay Today – Skull & Bones

about X hours ago from
New Gameplay Today – Skull & Bones

Let's get this out of the way: Even though Skull & Bones is a game about pirates, I'm not going to write this up in pirate talk. OK? Good. Brian Shea played Ubisoft's upcoming title at E3, and he walks me and Leo through what he saw like walking the plank in our latest episode of NGT.

You like cannons? We've got cannons. Sails? You bet. Choppy seas that turn red as our foes meet their demise at sea? Are you kidding me? What I'm trying to say here is that Shea does a solid job of pointing out nearly everything you need to know about Skull & Bones. 

Look for it in 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.