Raiders Of The Lost Art – Destiny’s Developers Explains Their Raid Development Process

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Raiders Of The Lost Art – Destiny’s Developers Explains Their Raid Development Process

Destiny’s raids are some of the most unique and challenging content Bungie has ever produced. These lengthy team-based firefights are often full of complicated puzzles that leave fans scratching their heads for days.

In 2013, Gavin Irby left Trion Worlds, where he helped lead a content development team for the MMO RIFT, and joined Bungie’s raid development team. Irby is now Bungie’s lead raid designer, and during our recent trip to the studio, we chatted with him about Destiny’s general raid philosophy, how Destiny’s raids might be more complicated to design than those in traditional MMOs, and what the studio has planned for Rise of Iron's new raid, Wrath of the Machine.

How Eye-Tracking May Change The Way We Play And Interact With Video Games

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How Eye-Tracking May Change The Way We Play And Interact With Video Games

Eye contact is one of our most basic means of communication and is usually the first way we start any in-person interaction. We look someone in the eyes, then we greet them. We make eye contact, then initiate conversation. It’s the same when playing video games. We see a title screen, then we engage. But the latter’s always been a one-sided experience. Video games have never looked back.

According to some with their fingers on the pulse of a new technology, however, this may soon change. Companies are starting to experiment with a middleware technology that allows games to track users’ eye movement and points of focus, opening new doors to the way developers gain feedback about their players and interact with them.

Eye-tracking technology also has the potential to change the way we use virtual reality. VR has been on the tip of a lot of tongues recently, but it also has undeniable hurdles to overcome if it’s going to go mainstream. It’s expensive, it’s cumbersome, and developers haven’t settled on a standard input device, with some choosing motion controls and others sticking to conventional controllers. Eye-tracking, however, may hold the key to VR’s mainstream appeal. 

Peeking Into The Overly-Efficient Minds Of Speedrunners

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Peeking Into The Overly-Efficient Minds Of Speedrunners

Most Super Mario Bros. players wouldn’t think twice about picking up a fireflower during their playthrough. For speedrunners, however, doing so comes at too high a cost. Fireflowers make the game easier to complete, but take a few seconds to actually collect. Since the goal of a speedrunner is to finish a game in the quickest time possible, stopping to collect an item like a fireflower is as wasteful as pausing the game to take a sip of water. Any distraction can shave precious seconds off, destroying a run for record completion time.

Speedrunners will do anything to get a better time, even if it means exploiting glitches or undermining game systems. In Fallout 4, a speedrunning trick requires you to break your character's legs in order to get a speed boost. Once you jump off a nearby cliff, follow up by immediately saving and reloading. Since your character loses speed when breaking their legs and healing allows you to gain it back, you can trick the game into thinking you just healed your broken legs despite them being perfectly fine, thus allowing you to walk at 165% of your walking speed.   

Five Solid Ideas For Where Metal Gear Can Go Next

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain served as Hideo Kojima’s swan song for the beloved franchise he created. There was a great deal of controversy surrounding the game, including production troubles during the buildup to release, culminating in Kojima parting ways with Konami to pursue new ideas at his own studio. However, before The Phantom Pain released, a statement from Konami said the company would be making new Metal Gear games even after Kojima was done with the series.

Earlier this summer, the trailer surfaced for a pachinko game based on Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Die-hard Metal Gear fans reacted negatively to the trailer, expressing that this was not the future they wanted to see for the franchise. A Konami employee took to Reddit after the backlash over the pachinko game to assure fans that Metal Gear would be properly supported on consoles moving forward. We were recently given our first glimpse of the post-Kojima Metal Gear world with the trailer for Metal Gear Survive. While zombie survival may not be the way many expected a new Metal Gear to look, there are still a number of great ideas for a proper spin-off. Here are just a few directions a new Metal Gear game could take the series in.

The Story Behind The Story Of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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The Story Behind The Story Of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Any mention of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is quickly followed by mention of its scale – be that in terms of its story or its world. Wild Hunt’s script is roughly 450,000 words long. Its literature (books, bestiary, etc.) add another 250,000 words. Combining all of the different world states, the game has 36 different endings. Both its main story arc and side quests provide about 50 hours of content each – if you’re rushing – though it’s easy to spend upwards of 200 hours with the game. Wild Hunt’s two expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, add another combined 50 hours of content. 

CD Projekt Red senior writer Karolina Stachyra says that incredible scale was planned from the beginning. Wild Hunt was always going to be an open world and its story was always going to be massive. We recently spoke to Stachyra about the process of writing Wild Hunt, how Projekt Red crafted such a large narrative, and how it is moving forward after finishing protagonist Geralt of Rivia’s story.

Ambiguous, But By Design  The inspirations for Wild Hunt are surprisingly intimate, close to home. When asked to define what exactly makes a Witcher game, Stachyra first points to comic writer Alan Moore’s quote, “Artists use lies to tell the truth.” 

Replay – Metroid Fusion

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Replay – Metroid Fusion

Metroid Prime: Federation Force released today, further removing this beloved series from classic sidescrolling roots. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about the great Metroid games of yesteryear. In this episode of Replay we take a look at the GBA classic, Metroid Fusion. After appearing to crash her ship into an asteroid (what's up with that, Nintendo?), Samus eventually gets a new suit thanks to science and alien stuff.

Kyle Hilliard does his best to show just how challenging this title can be by doing things poorly. We get a good ways into the title and transition to two handheld games you've likely never heard of, and they come from publisher Rockstar Games. What could they be? Watch the damn episode to find out!

Thanks again for supporting this silly little show. We'll be back in seven days with another episode!

Super Replay – Shadow Of The Colossus Episode Seven

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Super Replay – Shadow Of The Colossus Episode Seven

Team Ico's latest, The Last Guardian, is finally (pending any additional surprise delays) arriving this October, which is a perfect excuse to play through Shadow of the Colossus in its entirety.

Of course, you don't really need an excuse to play Shadow of the Colossus because it is a fantastic game. Join myself and Andrew Reiner as we relive some of our Shenmue magic by keeping this a two-person show, making our way through the game's strange world and bringing down its imposing beasts. We don't have a strict schedule in mind for this series, because we want to be able to absorb everyone's feedback episode to episode, so we likely won't be recording multiple episodes in advance. We're all going on this journey together, so please sound off in the comments section below or on YouTube.

For more Super Replay, follow the links to find our full playthroughs of Shenmue and Tex Murphy: Under A Killing Moon. You can also see our full playthrough of Dark Souls III here, which technically isn't a Super Replay, but is pretty close. For our Replay of Shadow of the Colossus, head here.

Top Of The Table – Klask

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Top Of The Table – Klask

The ever-broadening scope and genres in tabletop gaming make for a fascinating study. Each year, designers and publishers push the boundaries of what we can expect out of the tabletop gaming hobby. We’ve seen new explorations of cooperative play through app-driven aid, legacy projects that change over multiple sessions, and highly tactile games built around component manipulation as much as strategy or dice-rolling. Klask immediately caught my attention for the way it differs from traditional tabletop games, but is nonetheless a great source of entertainment for parties, family game nights, or even for a couple looking for a more active, dexterity-based game to play together.

Klask is an odd-looking game. A raised wooden platform serves as the playspace, bounded on each side by a wooden barrier, and two opposing players each sit opposite one another with their hands positioned below the elevated board. A steering magnet is held beneath the platform, which connects to a striking magnet on the top side of the board that moves in response to each player’s under-the-table manipulations. A marble-like ball is placed onto the board, and each player’s striking magnet is able to knock the ball back and forth. 

Test Chamber – Late Game Exploration In No Man’s Sky

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Test Chamber – Late Game Exploration In No Man’s Sky

I’ve spent much of the last week enmeshed in the vast universe of No Man’s Sky. After many hours making my way from one star system to the next, I recently passed along my opinion about Hello Game’s science-fiction game. Today, I sat down with Kyle Hilliard to show off some of what awaits in the later stages of the game. 

As I point out throughout the video, No Man’s Sky puts a big focus on freeform wandering, so beginning players may notice that a number of things haven’t dramatically changed. Nonetheless, our video does show off expanded inventory space, discusses the best ways to move on land, how to best farm for money, and also features a fun late-game option for faster warping between systems. 

Enjoy the video!