VALUE Field Reports #27: Electric Boogaloo Year Two!

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Sequels are funny thing, because they sometimes continue the great things from their precursors and become legends in its own right (Half-Life 2), or they take things into a completely different direction that hardcore fans hated (Super Mario Bros. 2 and Dark Souls 2) or trash the entire series (Duke Nukem Forever why did you have to hurt me so?). Nowadays, gamers sometimes prefer to keep their precious game untainted by a possible terrible sequel.

But we here at the Field Reports headquarter don’t give a damn, we’re here to stay baby! Look forward to a year of nerfs to your favourite hero, paid DLC for article-armor, a mandatory connection to the internet, over-priced lootboxes for fonts and pictures, and a very nasty and unnecessarily complicated DRM!

FIELD REPORTS ISSUE 27 IS HERE TO KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR!


Newsfromthefield

VALUE Interactive Pasts Workshop (TIPC@Work) Drawing Nearer!

You, yes you there! Do you want to learn about the potential of creating and telling interactive stories (with tools such as Twine)? Do I have some news for you! This workshop will bring together scholars and students from archaeology, history, heritage and museum studies and game developers and narrative designers. The 2-day workshop takes place on Tuesday September 5th and Wednesday September 6th, and there’s only a handful of spots left!

So don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity and sign up!

Videogaming-new

Stranger Than Video Games – Middle Ages Inspiring Video Games


Let me tell you, during my studies I’ve seen and read a LOT of weird images, poems, texts, and allegories from the Middle Ages. A lot end with brutal torture and death, but hey: different folks different strokes. One of the oldest surviving Dutch stories is Van den vos Reynaerde in which a clever anthropomorphic fox outwits (and casually maims) other denizens of the wood. Or what about the crazy attempts at drawing elephants and lions (or non-existent fairy tale creatures such as dragons and feys?) in bestiaries? Games such as Witcher 3 have borrowed heavily from the (most definitely caused by all kinds of medieval drugs) creative stories written in the Middle Ages. But even more realistic games happily use these fables (and more trustworthy annals) to paint a lively world for their fans.
RockPaperShotgun took a gander at the Medieval bestiaries and their influence on games.

Video Games Creating Communities

Tyr Fothergill, who you might’ve seen present at the Interactive Pasts Conference in 2016, has started a blog on archaeology of the recent past and her most recent post is about something most gamers will recognise: online communities. How do perfect strangers, sometimes thousands of miles apart feel part of the same community? Better yet: how do we study communities in video games (let alone the video games themselves?). Tyr asks these (and more) questions in her blog.
So hop on over and read how “FOR THE HORDE” leads to a massive project to change the face of science.

Spelunky Developer Digs Out 50 Games!

Spelunky is an amazing game in which the player digs, explodes, jumps, and climbs his way through different biomes to get treasure and artifacts. And probably die a lot. I don’t want to look at the stats in my game, because the number will probably be in the hundreds, maybe thousands. Derek Yu, the creator of Spelunky has since updating the free version of the game to a polished product not done much in the world of developing. However, in a surprise announcement he revealed not just one game, but fifty games at once. Granted, all those games are included in one package and not a single one will match the scope of Spelunky, but according to Yu you’d need hundreds of hours to beat them all. UFO 50 seems to be a collection of 80s arcade games from all genres: Beat ‘em Up, Sports, Flying, Platformers: you name it.
Look forward to the biggest bang for your buck in 2018!

AM2R Not For Naught – Developer Recruited!

Another Metroid 2 Remake has been mentioned in Field Reports before, because it’s a great remake of a great game that sadly (but not surprisingly) got shot down by Nintendo. The developer behind the great Metroidvania game Ori and the Blind Forest, Moon Studios, recognised DoctorM64’s brilliance and hired him for the sequel to Ori. His expertise will certainly add to the already amazing world of Ori and I can’t wait to get my hands on the result!
Destructoid is happily reporting this news here!

Digital Heavy Metal Reaches No 1  and Dutch Soccer Player Wins Lawsuit

You might haven’t heard of Pentakill, the heavy metal band that reached the Number 1 position on the iTunes metal chart. That’s not too surprising, seeing as they don’t do interviews, they don’t tour, they don’t even exist.
If you DO know them, you know why: Pentakill is a fictional heavy metal band formed by characters in League of Legends: Mordekaiser on guitar, Olaf on drums, Karthus (the Deathsinger, Spam R to win) as front…lich? Sona on keys and Yorick on bass. Of course, there’s some real talent behind the group (with cameos by Tommy Lee and Nine Inch Nails). League of Legends’ massive fanbase probably has a hand in its immense success, but it’s pretty cool that a digital band beat all the ‘real’ bands. As you know, it’s even more real when it’s digital.
The Guardian explains why this is such a feat.

Meanwhile, in lawsuit-land (just left of Hyrule, if you see zombies you’re in Raccoon City and you should TURN AROUND BEFORE IT’S TOO LA-AAHHRHGHGHG *gurgle*. …… —– Err, everything is fine. Why don’t you expose your cranium to me? Don’t worry, it’s just to check if you have…delicious…brainszzzzz (Bram, please take some time off – Megalithic) the Dutch former soccer player Edgar Davids has won a lawsuit against League of Legends developer Riot Games because they used his appearance for a soccer-themed skin for their champion Lucian. While Davids is legally in the right, it’s a bit of a lame move because he thanked and applauded Riot Games for using him as inspiration in a tweet at the time the skin was released.
Here’s the rundown by Kotaku!

Yo Dog, I Heard You Like Board Games

…so I made a new board game about your favourite video game that’s inspired by a board game. Now you can play Civilization while you wait on your turn in Civilization (you guess which of the two is the video game and which is the board game). Civilization: New Dawn is released later this year, and it seems to stay faithful to both the game series and the previous board games. The visuals are based on Civilization VI, and you collect Faith, Science, Money, Production, and Culture to advance your technology just like the real thing (it’s more real, etcetera). But how can I abuse the AI’s faults when there’s no AI? Damn you, board games, you’ve thwarted me once again!
Check out the product page on Fantasy Flight Games!

To Boldly Go Where Many Games Have Gone Before

No Man’s Sky (nonono, put those torches and pitchforks down, my house is VERY flammable) needs no introduction. Last’s year’s release was mostly remembered for the major disappointments gamers faced when they realised many promises made during the PR campaign weren’t actually in-game. The most famous claim was “players can meet and interact with each other”. They couldn’t. But now, after a year and many updates, two players have finally met up in virtual space (and erected a monument to commemorate this special moment that other games have been able to give gamers for years and years). Well, “entities” have met and they could only interact through voice chat. No manipulation of things and stuff like that.
Kotaku describes the small step for a man, and an even smaller step for gamekind.

Surviving the Desert Island – Vikings Like a Fish Out The Water

You take vikings, throw their drekar on a mysterious island, and give them mental and health to manage. This is Dead in Vinland an indie survival management sim. Better pick your favourite family member, because keeping everyone alive is going to be a lot harder than the viking raid on Paris in 845 (spoilers, the Parisians just paid the vikings to go away).
Sail on over to Dead in Vinland!


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