Hello once again NAGuxxens and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have a gaming accessory you want, but didn’t know existed, a video game movie that sounds worse than normal and an online troll gets doled some sweet justice. Then the most popular game in the world tries to manage its rampant toxicity, the Witcher 3 devs explain the latest controversy, Hearthstone talks long-term plans and a new Rockstar game is close at hand. All that, more news, highlights from the week and videos, after the jump.
Here’s something you never knew you wanted – a mousepad that lights up 16 million different colours.
This isn’t a R50 special from China Mall either, it’s a legitimate Razer product. Dubbed the Razer Firefly, it avoids administering tonic-clonic seizures by just having the borders of the mousepad light up, rather than the entire surface.
What’s cool about this is that it works with Chroma SDK, which allows game developers to integrate the effects into their games. This means the borders could frantically flash red when you’re approaching death, or glow a cool purple when you’re replenishing mana or something.
It’s probably not worth the R700 price tag, but pretty cool nonetheless.
Did you know there was a Grand Theft Auto movie coming out? Well, not exactly a GTA movie, but more a movie about how the game got made and all the controversy that has surrounded the franchise. Yes, a movie, not a documentary.
With Bill Paxton and Daniel freakin’ Radcliffe. If you’re thinking this sounds like the worst possible idea for a movie, you’re not alone – Rockstar thought so too, and promptly sued the pants off the BBC. They say it’s to “protect their trademarks”, but we know the truth Rockstar.
The movie is based on a book that apparently covered the same story, but did so without actually talking to anyone involved. Sigh.
Now for a bit of sweet, sweet justice. Some particularly nasty little shit from Canada has recently plead to 23 charges of extortion, criminal harassment, and public mischief.
What did he do? Got mad with girls who declined his friend invites in online games such as League of Legends. He would send offensive messages, gather personal information, call the girls at home and even went so far as sending SWAT teams to people’s houses via prank calls.
Of course, being a dumb 17-year old, he also did an eight-hour live stream of himself doing all of this. On YouTube. This is what the grownups call “evidence”.
Pity he’s not 18; he’d be looking at pretty serious jailtime.
Let’s kick things off with some Witcher 3 drama. Another Big Internet Controversy happened this week, when someone had a look at a two year old gameplay trailer of The Witcher 3 and noted that the graphics seemed a lot better than they do in the final release – stop me when you feel like you’ve heard this story before.
Developer CD Projekt Red have now openly admitted that yes, it was better – but they’ve also explained why.
“If you’re looking at the development process,” Marcin Iwinski explains, “we do a certain build for a tradeshow and you pack it, it works, it looks amazing. And you are extremely far away from completing the game. Then you put it in the open-world, regardless of the platform, and it’s like ‘oh shit, it doesn’t really work’. We’ve already showed it, now we have to make it work. And then we try to make it work on a huge scale. This is the nature of games development.”
The company does say that yes, things would be better on the PC version if they could focus only on that, but quite fairly argue that “if the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is,” money is money and games are expensive to make.
I find myself impressed by their attitude to the whole thing though – humble, honest and trying to make changes regardless. A new patch has just dropped which is supposed to fix some of these complaints, but we shouldn’t care anyway – focusing on this really takes away from what an incredible game this is.
League of Legends is the most popular game in the world, but it also might be the most toxic. Anyone who has set foot in those battlegrounds has had to contend with enormous amounts of abuse from Eastern Bloc adolescents.
The only thing more notorious than League’s rampant toxicity is developer Riot Games completely ineffective system of dealing with it.
They’re finally hoping to change all that, however, implementing a new automated system that will automatically scan chat logs for harassment and dish out bans to reported players.
For the initial “beta” phase, Riot will have real people looking over the logs themselves to see if SkyNet was getting a little too heavy-handed with the bans. If all goes well, the system will roll out globally. It’s a good step, because the LoL community ruins what is otherwise a great game.
Hearthstone has developed a massive global following, and creative director Eric Dodds would like to see it stay that way – but admitted that the team haven’t quite figured out how to do that. Just keep adding new cards you say? Blizzard disagrees.
“One of those issues does surround the adding of new cards, because we know we can’t just keep adding cards forever. It’s important to figure out solutions to that kind of thing”.
They could potentially go the same route as Magic: The Gathering – have a particular format that only allows you to play cards released in the last two years or so. So at some point, entire sets of cards rotate out of that Standard competitive format.
Since, of course, balancing a pool of cards that never stops growing is impossible.
Finally, Rockstar San Diego (the people behind Red Dead Redemption), have put out feelers for Graphics Programmer capable of rendering “state-of-the-art” graphics for a new project.
The advertised position promises “an exciting opportunity to develop cutting-edge graphics and visual effect systems, working together with the art department to create optimal, attractive solutions for our games.”
We also know from these ads that the game will be open-world, have integrated multiplayer and contain “densely populated areas”.
It sounds a lot like GTA V to be honest, so it’ll be interesting to see what this new IP actually is (or, not new IP, and actually just a Red Dead sequel).
Let’s kick things off with not one, but two new Overwatch gameplay videos. This game is really gonna kick ass.
Here’s something kind of weird – a live-action trailer for Arkham Knight. It’s, um, not very good.
Konami nuked Silent Hills and the P.T. demo recently, but you can still play P.T. if you really want to – in Minecraft.
God of War III Remastered is looking good – really good. Make sure to watch this in 1080p at 60fps. Nom nom.
Best of NAG
DotA 2‘s The International is an amazing spectacle every year – honestly, you don’t even really need to play DotA to enjoy it. Check out a breakdown of what to expect and what’s at stake, in Martin Coetsee’s excellent write-up over here.
Then why don’t you have a look at Mr Wesley Fick’s System Builders’ Guide, which looks at the sweet spot this week – the R12,000 to R18,000 range.
After that you can have a look at my confession this week – five games that I hyped up big, and then never even played myself.
Round things off with some manual spinal extraction – Matthew Vice’s review of Mortal Kombat X.