Sundays are for taking vitamin D tablets because the sun has decided it can’t bear to hang around. Before you eat, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and things related to games).
Over at Eurogamer, Victoria Kennedy wrote about the man who made controllers accessible to everyone. Kennedy sits down with Caleb Kraft of The Controller Project, a charity that creates free downloadable blueprints that modify existing controllers and make them work in concert with player disabilities.
“I think it would be amazing to see an online configurator, where you can pick from a group of parts and build out a 3D printed kit for your controller that does what you need, and then have it printed and shipped to you,” he shares, saying he thinks something like this would be “extremely powerful” for consumers in general.
For Game Informer, Blake Hester chats with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio about the future of Like A Dragon (Yakuza). I covered this briefly in a news post, but it deserves a proper shout out here as well. Fascinating insight into their views on leadership change, experimentation and work-life balance.
One shift the studio can speak to now is the amount of non-Japanese working at RGG. As Yokoyama tells it, the workforce has many employees from all over Asia. He hopes to continue this trend and create a more multicultural studio. He says that he envisions a scenario where we are sitting in the same room in the future, and there are heads of the studio who are not from Japan.
At The Guardian, Patrick Lum wrote about how Dwarf Fortress tells some of gaming’s most bizarre stories. Lum chats with brothers and DF creators Zach and Tarn Adams about the game’s upcoming commercial release. However, they are nowhere near finished.
Tarn describes their goal as creating a “story engine,” and they’re still trying to figure out the best way to explain it. Every feature in the game, he says, must be interesting to simulate AND have an interesting effect that players can notice. At some point they added mannerisms, where nervous dwarves could tap their feet – but dwarves being nervous didn’t actually affect the rest of the game, so it wasn’t obvious to the players. “If you make the simulation really complicated, but you don’t show it to the players,” says Zach, “it’s not going to become part of their story.”
At The Washington Post, Jeremy Signor wrote about how V Rising lights the way forward for the survival genre. A look at how the game explores vampire weakness and turns it into an interesting system.
Sunlight in “V Rising” turns daytime hours into enemy territory. Just doing things outside the castle at night is one strategy, but it’s extremely inefficient and you’ll likely run out of things to do before the day is over. But there’s a reason the game’s first biome is a forest: plenty of shadows. As long as you are standing in some kind of shade, you are safe. In a way, this turns “V Rising” into something more like a Zelda game than a survival game, putting dangers in your path and severely distorting the way you play by making pathfinding a major gameplay element. Everything the sun touches is lava. You must leap between the shadows to survive.
Music this week is Dun Morogh by Jason Hayes, which is off the World Of Warcraft OST. Here is the Spotify link and the YouTube link. Easily one of my favorites of the WoW soundtrack.
That’s it for now, see you next week guys!