Connect with us

News

GDC 2020 Virtual Talks start today, here’s the full schedule

Following the postponement of GDC 2020, organisers have detailed a week of talks and panels that will be live-streamed on Twitch from today.

Published

on

GDC 2020 virtual talk schedule
Game Developers Conference

Following the cancellation of GDC 2020, organisers have lined-up a week of talks and sessions to be live-streamed on Twitch, starting today.

This year’s GDC was set to host hundreds of panels, talks, and roundtables. With the conference ‘postponed’ due to COVID-19, organisers are instead broadcasting a selection of self-recorded developer sessions on Twitch.

Nearly 40 talks will be streamed, as well as the Game Developers Choice and Independent Games Festival awards. Highlights include a look at storytelling and narrative from Capybara Games, an exploration of Borderland 3‘s accessibility features, and a post-mortem on Adam Robinson-Yu’s wonderful game, A Short Hike.

Double Fine and iam8bit will also highlight a range of upcoming indie games in a special digital version of Day of the Devs. Microsoft will broadcast its GDC sessions via the Game Stack Live digital event.

Finally, it’s also worth reminding our readers of the various initiatives supporting independent developers affected by GDC’s cancellation. You can read our report here.

Here’s the full lineup of GDC 2020 virtual talks with PT start times. You can watch each one on the GDC Twitch channel.

GDC 2020 Virtual Talks schedule

Monday, March 16

  • 9:00am – The ‘Kine’ Postmortem
    Gwen Frey (President, Chump Squad)
  • 10:00am – Storytelling with Verbs: Integrating Gameplay and Narrative
    Kaitlin Tremblay (Writer & Narrative Designer, Capybara Games)
  • 11:00am – Intrinsically Motivated Teams: The Manager’s Toolbox
    Alexandre Moufarek (Product Manager, DeepMind)
  • 12:00pm – From ‘Assassin’s Creed’ to ‘The Dark Eye’: The Importance of Themes
    Winifred Phillips (Composer, Generations Productions LLC)
  • 1:00pm – Representing LGBT+ Characters in Games: Two Case Studies
    Tori Schafer (Writer & Designer, Proletariat)
  • 2:00pm – The Sound of Anthem
    Cody Behiel (Audio Lead, Electronic Arts BioWare), Eric Vervaet (Director of Audio, Electronic Arts BioWare)
  • 3:00pm – Is Your Game Cross-Platform Ready?
    Raymond Arifianto (VP of Tech, AccelByte)
  • 4:00pm – Forgiveness Mechanics: Reading Minds for Responsive Gameplay
    Seth Coster (CEO & Game Programmer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, Inc)
  • 4:30pm – Experimental AI Lightning Talk: Hyper Realistic Artificial Voices for Games
    Zeena Qureshi (Co-Founder & CEO, Sonantic)

Tuesday, March 17

  • 9:00am – What to Write So People Buy: Selling Your Game Without Feeling Sleazy
    Chris Zukowski (Founder, Return To Adventure Mountain)
  • 9:50am – Failure Workshop: FutureGrind: How To Make A 6-Month Game In Only 4.5 Years
    Owen Goss (Co-Founder, Milkbag Games)
  • 10:00am – Stress-Free Game Development: Powering Up Your Studio With DevOps
    Seth Coster (CEO & Game Programmer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, Inc)
  • 11:00am – Baked in Accessibility: How Features Were Approached in ‘Borderlands 3’
    Andrew Bair (Lead UI Programmer, Gearbox Software)
  • 12:00pm – Matchmaking for Engagement: Lessons from ‘Halo 5’
    Josh Menke (Lead Engagement Designer, 343 Industries)
  • 1:00pm – Forget CPI: Dynamic Mobile Marketing
    Heather Gainer (Marketing Manager User Acquisition, Kongregate)
  • 2:00pm – Integrating Sound Healing Methodologies Into Your Workflow
    Matt Levine (Uncle Vector’s Audio Lab LLC)
  • 3:00pm – From 0-1000: A Test Driven Approach to Tools Development
    David Paris (Senior Engineer, Playground Games)
  • 4:00pm – Overcoming Creative Block on ‘Super Crush KO’
    Gabby DaRienzo (Senior Artist, Drinkbox Studios)
  • 4:30pm – When Film, Games, and Theatre Collide
    Sarah Scialli (Game Director & Mocap Engineer, Tinted Stardust & DreamWorks)

Wednesday, March 18

  • 9:00am – Bringing Replays to ‘World of Tanks: Mercenaries’
    Andrew Glover (Lead Software Engineer, Wargaming Sydney)
  • 10:00am – Developing and Running Neural Audio in Constrained Environments
    Carter Huffman (Co-Founder & CTO, Modulate.ai), Brendan Kelly (Research Engineer, Modulate.ai)
  • 11:00am – Mental Health State of the Industry: Past, Present & Future
    Eve Crevoshay (Executive Director, Take This)
  • 12:00pm – Empathizing with Steam: How People Shop for Your Game
    Chris Zukowski (Game Designer & Marketing Consultant, Return To Adventure Mountain LLC)
  • 1:00pm – Scaling to 10 Concurrent Users: Online Infrastructure as an Indie
    Andrew Erridge (Software Engineer & Cofounder, Gamebreaking Studios)
  • 2:00pm – Crafting A Tiny Open World: ‘A Short Hike’ Postmortem
    Adam Robinson-Yu (Developer, Independent)
  • 2:30pm – Indie Soapbox: UI design is fun!
    Nathalie Lawhead (Independent Game Designer, Alienmelon)
  • 3:00pm – Don’t Ship a Product, Ship Value: Start Your Minimum Viable Product With a Solution
    Janessa Olson (Product Manager, Data & Tools, Kongregate)
  • 4:00pm – Day of the Devs: GDC Edition Direct
    Presented by: Double Fine & iam8bit
  • 5:00pm – Independent Games Festival & Game Developers Choice Awards
    Hosted by: Trent Kusters (IGF) and Kim Swift (GDCA)

Thursday, March 19

  • 9:00am – Machine Learning for Optimal Matchmaking
    Josh Menke (Lead Engagement Designer, 343 Industries)
  • 10:00am – Skill Progression, Visual Attention, and Efficiently Getting Good at Esports
    Dr. Anders Frank (Game Experience Researcher, Tobii)
  • 11:00am – Making Your Game Influencer Ready: A Marketing Wishlist for Developers
    David Ortiz Lapaz (Communications Director, ICO Partners)
  • 12:00pm – How to Run Your Own Career Fair on a Tiny Budget
    Chris DeLeon (Independent Educator & Game Developer, Gamkedo LLC), Dru Erridge (Software Engineer & Cofounder, Gamebreaking Studios), David Mullich (Adjunct Professor, ArtCenter College of Design), Tiffany Otto (Director of Partnership & Sponsorship, IndieCade)
  • 1:00pm – Making a Healthy Social Impact in Commercial Games
    Jennifer Estaris (Game Director, Sybo Games)
  • 2:00pm – ‘Forza’ Monthly: Live Streaming a Franchise
    Shay Goldenberg (Producer, Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft)
  • 3:00pm – Aesthetic Driven Development: Choosing Your Art Before Making a Game
    Vladimir Slav (Owner & Director, Coldwild Games)
  • 4:00pm – Reading the Rules of ‘Baba Is You’
    Arvi Teikari (Game Developer, Hempuli Oy)

Friday, March 20

  • 9:00am – Beyond Games as a Service with Live Ops
    Crystin Cox (Director of Live Operations, Microsoft)
  • 10:00am – Kill the Hero, Save the (Narrative) World
    Hannah Nicklin (Studio Lead, Narrative Designer & Writer, Die Gute Fabrik)

Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

News

New Nintendo Switch releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and Lost Ember are among the new video games coming to the Nintendo Switch eShop this week.

Published

on

New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and Lost Ember are among the new video games coming to the Nintendo Switch eShop this week.

This week’s crop of new Nintendo Switch releases features some promising new indie games and a bunch of mobile ports. Let’s focus on the cool indie games.

Sci-fi sequel Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is a trading and combat simulation from Double Damage Games. The first game was an ambitious, if flawed, homage to classics like Freelancer. Outlaw continues the space-Western vibe with a kicking country soundtrack, dusty trading posts, odd-ball characters, and improved dogfights. If the port is decent, this could be a gem in Switch’s library.

Another new release we’re keen to see running on Nintendo Switch is Lost Ember from Mooneye Studios. The game had some performance issues on other platforms, but if it runs well, we recommend this touching journey through a majestic and vibrant animal kingdom.

This week’s final pick is CastleStorm II from Zen Studios, the developer best known for its pinball games. Like its predecessor, Castlestorm II is a personality-packed blend of real-time action and tower defence.

Other new Nintendo Switch releases include Unrailed!, Going Under, and the Definitive Edition of fighting platformer Rivals of Aether. We’ll update this article throughout the week with any late additions.

New Nintendo Switch releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • Worm Jazz

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • Dungreed
  • Orbt XL
  • Unrailed!
  • Perky Little Things
  • Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure
  • Vigor

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Alluris
  • BIG-Bobby-Car – The Big Race
  • Breakpoint
  • Great Conqueror: Rome
  • Lost Ember
  • Micro Pico Racers
  • Going Under
  • Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny
  • Rivals of Aether Definitive Edition
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition
  • Secrets of Me
  • This Is The Zodiac Speaking
  • Wartile

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Jet Set Knights
  • Trollhunters Defenders of Arcadia

Catch up with this week’s new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases.


More from Thumbsticks

Save the Thumbsticks new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

New PlayStation 4 releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Published

on

New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition tops next week’s list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Hangar 13’s ground-up remake of Mafia is this week’s PlayStation 4 pick. The original game is not an outright classic, but it’s certainly bold and was forward-thinking in its day. The remake includes new vehicles, improved visuals and audio, and a larger city of Lost Heaven to explore.

Another highlight is the console port of Port Royale 4. Kalypso Media’s trading and strategy game depicts the 17th-century Caribbean power struggle between Spain, England, France and the Netherlands. Turn-based naval encounters are the big new feature, and each nation has a full single-player campaign to complete.

Trading is also central to Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, the new space Western sequel from Double Damage Games. Outlaw improves on its predecessor with streamlined spaceship combat, seven new radio stations, and a fun cast of bounty hunters, aliens, and intergalactic ne’er-do-wells.

Other new PS4 releases include Tennis World Tour 2, Unrailed!, and Going Under. We’ll update this article throughout the week with news of any late additions. Here’s the full lineup of new PS4 games confirmed so far.

New PlayStation4 releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • 3 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • Jet Set Knights – TBC
  • Unrailed!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Dungreed
  • Ginga Force
  • Going Under
  • Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Port Royale 4
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Bookmark our new releases page for weekly updates on the latest games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

New Xbox One releases (September 21-25, 2020)

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Published

on

New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Mafia: Definitive Edition and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw headline the list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Xbox One owners can lead a life crime next week in the eagerly anticipated remake of 2002’s Mafia. The city of Lost Heaven has never looked better, but we’re interested to see how Hangar 13 has fleshed out the experience. The addition of motorcycles is a fun place to start.

Meanwhile, players of Rebel Galaxy Outlaw can live their lives on the outer rim of law and order. This sequel from Double Damage builds upon the strong foundations of the first game with improved dogfights, an engaging story, and an even better soundtrack. If you find Elite Dangerous too overwhelming, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is an accessible blend of arcade and simulation sci-fi that scratches the same intergalactic itch.

Other new Xbox One release highlights include Port Royale 4, procedurally generated track laying game Unrailed!, and satirical dungeon crawler, Going Under. Halo ODST‘s Firefight mode is also coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Tuesday.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any late additions to the lineup.

New Xbox One releases: September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  • Halo ODST: Firefight (The Master Chief Collection)
  • Rebel Galaxy Outlaw
  • Tennis World Tour 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

  • CastleStorm II
  • The Drone Racing League Simulator
  • Jet Set Knights
  • Unrailed!
  • Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure

Thursday, September 24, 2020

  • Going Under
  • Little Big Workshop
  • Tears of Avia

Friday, September 25, 2020

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition
  • Nexomon: Extinction
  • Port Royale 4
  • Sentinels of Freedom
  • Shotgun Farmers
  • Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Swoop by the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

Hello Games announces No Man’s Sky Origins update

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

Published

on

No Mans Sky book covers
Hello Games / Thumbsticks

No Man’s Sky is the gift that keeps on giving, from a team we don’t even deserve.

Did you know that the procedurally-generated aesthetic for No Man’s Sky was based on pulpy, 70s science fiction novel covers?

(We did know, but it’s still fun to watch the video in the post linked above. For all of its “bazillion of procedurally generated planets” pitch, the aesthetic and the atmosphere of No Man’s Sky are still some of its biggest selling points, especially with the very scary Desolation update from a couple of months ago.)

As the free content updates kept coming for No Man’s Sky, each with its own science fiction cover, it built up a bigger picture: a “shelf” of those pulpy sci-fi book covers.

But when Sean Murray, of Hello Games, tweeted a picture of all the covers together following the Desolation update, it did not escape people’s notice that there was only “room” for one more cover left on that artificial bookshelf of pulpy book covers:

And with the No Man’s Sky Origins update set to be revealed next week, people have been worried that might be the last update we see for the game. The final space on the bookshelf will be filled, as it were.

But according to the blog post announcing Origins, “This update will be another small step in a longer journey.”

Perhaps Hello Games isn’t quite done with No Man’s Sky just yet.


Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily video game news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

Play three cool games for free on Xbox One this weekend

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and a creature-infested Louisiana.

Published

on

Sea of Thieves - Xbox One

This week’s lineup of Xbox One Free Play Days titles takes players to the high seas, a world destroyed by war, and, erm, Louisiana.

Shiver me timbers, Sea of Thieves is free to play on Xbox One this weekend. Rare’s online pirate adventure was somewhat cooly received on release, but who’s cool now? A treasure chest of content and gameplay updates has helped build a thriving community of shipmates, most of whom are welcoming to new deckhands. Nonetheless, take care, there’s always someone waiting to steal a Bilge Rat Doubloon or two when your back is turned.

Players should also keep their wits about them in Hunt: Showdown, the popular PvP first-person hunting game from Crytek. Up to 12 players must venture into the dangerous swamps of Louisiana. Your task is to retrieve a bounty from a vicious creature, but once you have that bounty, friends become foes, and you become the target. Hi-jinks ensue.

Finally, Warhammer: Chaosbane is moderately fun hack-and-slash action RPG from EKO Software. If the phrase “fighting battles in the sewers of Nuln” gets your blood pumping, this game is probably for you.

All three games are playable for free until midnight on Sunday for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. As always, any earned achievements and save states carry over into purchased copies of each game. Here’s the lowdown on this week’s related digital discounts.

Xbox One Free Play Days Discounts

Hunt: Showdown

  • Standard Edition – 60% off
  • Master Hunter Edition – 50% off

Warhammer: Chaosbane

  • Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Deluxe Edition – 65% off
  • Magnus Edition – 70% off

Sea of Thieves

  • Standard Edition – 50% off

Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily gaming news updates

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading