What’s up, Wednesday? Life and other commitments have been taking their toll, and I haven’t played a video game in what feels like forever. The Lunar New Year event is over in Overwatch, and I am sadly without a fancy new D.va skin. But the news marches on, and, despite my lack of time to play video games, you better believe I’m keeping up on what’s happening.
We’re in the post-holiday slow time, but that just means it’s the right time of year for trailers, previews, and wild guessing about what the year will bring. Will we finally see the sequel to Jet Set Radio we deserve? Will the jokes about Half-Life 3 ever end? Probably not, but there’s still things to celebrate right here and right now.
If you’re a fan of the dark and spooky, good news! Netflix announced a Castlevania show. That’s it; that’s the whole announcement. Presumably, somebody will star in, direct, and write it, but anything beyond that is still guesswork at this point. Sorry, folks. I don’t make the news, I just collect it.
Edge of Eternity, which raised over $150,000 on Kickstarter, has its first trailer ahead of its public debut at this year’s GDC. Aiming to capture the best features of JRPGs, like Final Fantasy and newer Western RPGs, the game is ambitious for an indie project, but looks pretty snazzy for its first trailer. I’m a sucker for stylish armor, and Edge of Eternity seems to have spent a lot of time in that department.
If you’ve been enjoying FTL: Faster Than Light, good news: Subset Games announced their next title, a turn-based tactics game with mechs and monsters and a pretty neat time travel twist. There’s no release date for the game, called Into the Breach, but Subset Games promises to keep fans updated via their website and social media.
Steam Gives Greenlight The Red Light
Steam Greenlight–Valve’s pro-indie dev service that allowed users to vote on the games they wanted to see on the platform–is getting the ax. Instead, the company is creating Steam Direct, a new program intended to streamline the process through larger fees and no more community vote. Supposedly, this is meant to limit the amount of junk, spam, and outright malware that makes it onto Steam, but many indie devs don’t see it that way. By raising prices (fees have been quoted as high as $5,000 per game submission), Steam Direct, as proposed, may prevent indie developers from submitting to the service at all.
Given that games like Stardew Valley and Undertale are some of the bestsellers of recent years and largely developed by one person, this new system seems like an odd choice. Where would these titles be without Greenlight? We can hope that other platforms will fill the gap in making indie games accessible to huge audiences, but that’s a lot to hope for. In the meantime, we have itch.io and their world-class sass:
Introducing itch.io direct
— itch.io (@itchio) February 10, 2017
Gaming News Tidbits
As of writing, Humble Bundle has raised over $5 million for the ACLU with a truly stunning collection of games for pay-what-you-want above $30. While the purchase deadline is over, consider buying a few of these titles individually and donating to the ACLU directly.
A Minecraft-alike has gained some negative attention after a parent reported their child received sexual messages and actions from other players. The company behind Roblox says messages are filtered for underage users and that any poor behavior can be reported. Snopes says they haven’t found evidence that Roblox is any worse than other online MMOs kids play. It’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on what your young kids are playing, especially in online games.
If laughing at the absurdity of American politics is your best medicine, check out this Twitter account that imagines Donald Trump as your Dungeon Master. Spoiler: He’s bad at it.
#ResistJam, sponsored by organizations like Indiecade, the IGDA, Devolver Digital, and Raw Fury, is an upcoming game jam where developers of all skill levels can create games based on resisting authoritarianism. These partnerships mean that the jam will include workshops and mentorship from professionals, so it’s a great place to start even if you’ve never made a game before.
PewDiePie, the gaming YouTube streamer primarily known for simply being gaming’s biggest streamer–listen, it’s true–and screaming a whole lot is under fire after repeated anti-Semitic “jokes” and other shoddy attempts at humor. Disney dropped him, YouTube canceled the second season of his series and dropped him from Google Preferred, and, unfortunately, it’s all par for the course in gaming culture.
Let’s end on a lighter note, shall we? Eighty new Pokémon have been released into the wilds of Pokémon GO, including new eeveelutions, starters, and other favorites. The moment it warms up here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ll be back on my bike and hunting for Eevees. I’ve been waiting my entire life for an Umbreon of my very own.
Have a great week, gamers!