The wider entertainment industry is having a moment.
Long after people who work in the film and television industries started naming and shaming carefully hidden abusers and bigots, those in the video game, tabletop, and comic book industries are opening up about abusers in their fields as well. Over the past several weeks, accusations have been flooding onto social media, inspiring even more individuals to step forward with their own personal accounts. And, like much of 2020 that we’ve experienced so far, it all seems to be happening so fast.
Bethesda launched Fallout 76 one year ago today, and almost everything that could go wrong did. And yet 12 months later it’s still around, still getting updates, and full of players who remain willing to pour their best and most creative energies into trying to make it an interesting and wondrous place.
Sega is in an unexpectedly good place right now. The company was never on top of the industry; it’s been beaten by Nintendo, by Sony, by the decline of the arcade. It spent years nursing the wounds from its fall from grace in the ’90s, and through the ’00s and early ’10s could seemingly do little right.
Dreams is finally here. The latest game by Media Molecule, the delightfully whimsical studio behind LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway, was first teased at the PlayStation 4 reveal event in February 2013. A Creator Early Access was released on Tuesday (April 16th), mere hours before Mark Cerny, a systems architect at Sony, revealed the first details about the PlayStation 5. Dreams, then, was dangerously close to missing an entire console generation.
Gamers of a certain age probably remember being wowed by the quick, smooth scaling and rotation effects of the Super Nintendo’s much-ballyhooed “Mode 7” graphics. Looking back, though, those gamers might also notice how chunky and pixelated those background transformations could end up looking, especially when viewed on today’s high-end screens.
Emulation to the rescue. A modder going by the handle DerKoun has released an “HD Mode 7” patch for the accuracy-focused SNES emulator bsnes. In their own words, the patch “performs Mode at up to 4 times the horizontal and vertical resolution” of the original hardware.
One of the goals of Dual Universe, an upcoming massively multiplayer science fiction sandbox game, is to have every one of its players, potentially millions, playing on the same game server together. Earlier this month developer Novaquark ran a large-scale experiment, simulating 30,000 concurrent players wandering the same in-game planet. It’s a sight to see.
A fascinating essay by writer Cat DeSpira points out an easily observed, yet seldom-discussed facet of the history of the world-famous game Pac-Man: A near-universal part of the experience of playing the game in arcades was to grip the side of the machine with one’s non-joystick hand.
I’ve been playing a lot of The Sims 4 recently. There was a huge sale on Origin, so I bought about 75 percent of the expansions and various other DLC, and though I started fairly tamely (I made myself! And then my housemate!) it didn’t take long until I was double-fisting mods and cheats into my hungry mouth.