It’s Easier Than Ever To Start Making Games, So Don't Be Afraid To Try

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In the summer after third grade, I enrolled in a class called "How To Make Video Games." After a month of work, I hacked together one minute of original content. My game starred a tiger (an orange square) as he dodged waves (four blue rectangles) in a swamp (green background). With a severe lack of funding and almost no programming skill, I figured game development was out of my reach. After all, I could barely use Visual Basic (the software we used) let alone afford it. I continued to feel like game design was beyond my bounds until a few weeks ago, when Humble Bundle offered almost $2,000 worth of game-making software for a name-your-price discount.

Resources For Would-Be Game Programmers

There are several beginner game engines available outside of the two discussed in this article. When developing traditional role-playing games with turn-based combat, for example, many turn to RPG Maker. Experts using this software produced To The Moon, Lisa, and Sometimes Always Monsters, all three of which released to positive reviews on Steam. For those who want to work in flash, Flixel may be the right choice; Canabalt, a Flixel game, popularized the endless runner genre when it launched in 2009.

Test Chamber – Watch Us Lose 46 Lives On Super Mario Maker's Most Difficult User-Created Levels

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Test Chamber – Watch Us Lose 46 Lives On Super Mario Maker's Most Difficult User-Created Levels

Super Mario Maker has a mode that gives you 100 lives and lets you sample some of the most difficult user-created levels. We tried it out.

Super Mario Maker doesn't release on Wii U until September 11, but ahead of release there is already a healthy community building levels that run the gamut of breezy and entertaining, to brutally difficult. We tried out some of the latter, hopefully to your entertainment.

Join myself, Andrew Reiner, Brian Shea, and Wade Wojcik as we pass the controller and throw away an absurd number of lives in order to make progress through the mode's 16 level gauntlet. You'll have to watch to see how far we make it.

Test Chamber – Madden NFL 16

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Pre-season in the NFL is normally a love/hate thing as you're glad football is back, but hate the prospect of waiting through a month of meaningless games. Don't worry. If you're an EA Access member, you can play through 10 hours of Madden NFL 16 exclusively on Xbox One. We fired up the game and take a look at its gameplay, scouting system, Draft Champions feature, and more in this installment of Test Chamber.

Matt Bertz and I sample some gameplay through a half of gameplay, talking about the new passing mechanics and tweaked running, and give you a tour of some of the other features.

Madden NFL 16 comes out on August 25 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. 

Never Played Shenmue? Watch Us Play The First 12 Hours

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Never Played Shenmue? Watch Us Play The First 12 Hours

With Shenmue 3's Kickstarter officially funded, numerous people in Game Informer's community sent in requests for complete Super Replay playthroughs of the first two games in the Shenmue series. Several Game Informer staffers also expressed interest in either revisiting this series or seeing it for the first time. Since we already have numerous Super Replay projects in the works, yet wanted to get a Shenmue playthrough going now, we decided to record it as a crowd-driven experiment of sorts. If you like what you see, and want more of it, we'll return with more episodes. Just let us know in the comments section below or on YouTube.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (August 20, 2015)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (August 20, 2015)

Community writing challenges are back this week, as is the community playdate! Aside from those two wonderful events, we also have some fun blogs on art books, Ace Attorney casework, and a look at Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.

Community Blogs For August 13 – August 19:

Getting This "Straight Outta" Meme Straight Outta Me Born4this jumps on the "Straight Outta Somewhere" meme bandwagon and provides the community with some silly, video game interpretations of the meme. It's worth a few chuckles. Well done!

Head Of The Class: Bungie Breaks Down Destiny's New Subclasses And Abandoned Fourth Class

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Destiny players have been eagerly awaiting a third subclass for their Guardians for a long time. The Taken King expansion looks to deliver big with the new Stormcaller, Sunbreaker, and Nightstalker subclasses that should help Guardians tear through Oryx's forces. You might be comfortable with your current class build, but when you get a handle on these new subclasses, you'll be tempted to try them all out. Senior designer Sage Merrill walked us through how Bungie iterated on each new subclass in order to make sure they weren't repeats of anything the developer has already done.

Destiny's Evolving Class DesignBungie actually designed The Taken King's three new subclasses as far back as the release of the original Destiny. However, the team didn't feel like it had the time or resources to polish their mechanics in time for the release of the base game last year. Thankfully, another year has given Bungie time to fine-tune these three new subclasses, creating some of the most interesting abilities in the game to date.

Test Chamber – Batman: Arkham Knight's 1989 Tim Burton Batmobile DLC

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Today saw the release of some new skins and DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, the most exciting of which is based on the Tim Burton's Batman released in 1989.

Join myself and Ben Reeves as we try on Michael Keaton's Batsuit and jump into his Batmobile. Alongside the new suit and Batmobile (which has no tank mode and can only be used after you have eliminated all the tanks from Gotham City) the DLC also includes a set of Riddler-style race tracks that are themed after Burton's two Batman films. You can watch us play the DLC below.

The Batmobile has been a divisive addition to the Arkham games. Head here to read a debate about the vehicle between Tim Turi and Matt Bertz.

Analysis: Two Reasons Why Playable Female Characters Are Here To Stay

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Video game protagonists have come a long way over the years. Consider the iconic Lara Croft: In her 1996 debut, she was a polygonal, sexualized figure, designed to appeal to an overwhelmingly male audience. However, she also stood out for being one of the few playable female protagonists at the time; her strong demeanor made her a beloved heroine for many female gamers as well. Almost 20 years later, Crystal Dynamics took the character to the next level by rebooting her into a more complex, multidimensional character. This year's E3 showcased that more playable female characters are following suit, suggesting this trend may soon become the new status quo.

At E3 2014, the press conferences showcased 28 games with exclusive male leads compared to 5 titles starring women. Around the same time, Ubisoft chose not to add a playable female character to its upcoming game Assassin's Creed Unity, alienating potential customers. These two occurrences encapsulate why controversy arose during last year's E3, an event some publications used to call out the video game industry on its lack of gender diversity. This year, however, the narrative seems to have flipped.

Test Chamber – Gears Of War: Ultimate Edition

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As we patiently wait for The Coalition to reveal new details about Gears of War 4, we're invited to revisit the game that started it all. I think you'll agree that it's good to see Marcus and Dom again. Boasting a bevy of audio and video enhancements, their inaugural adventure looks like it belongs on Xbox One. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition boasts all of the single-player bonus content from the PC version of the game, and offers a slightly different multiplayer experience, beginning with the action moving at 60 frames per second.

Matt Miller joined me for a look at the opening moments of this remastered game. We discuss a number of its new features, and show off plenty of carnage along the way. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition releases on August 25 for Xbox One.

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Debate – Does Batman: Arkham Knight's Batmobile Suck?

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Debate – Does Batman: Arkham Knight's Batmobile Suck?

This feature was originally published on July 4, 2015.

Rocksteady’s latest, Batman: Arkham Knight, is a hit with fans of the DC superhero thanks to its authentic take on Gotham’s savior (read our glowing review). The developer has a history of nailing the look and feel of the city’s imposing gothic architecture, larger-than-life villains, and each of Batman’s handy gadgets. On the topic of fancy accessories, Arkham Knight marks the first time Rocksteady has set players loose with a fully playable Batmobile in its open world, and the iconic vehicle has some fans divided. Game Informer editors Matt Bertz and Tim Turi square off in this debate about the merits and failings of Arkham Knight’s speedy transforming war machine.

Tim: To kick things off before we get into it, let me pose a question: At any point while you were playing the first three Arkham games, did you ever find yourself thinking, “This is great, but I wish I could drive the Batmobile around”?