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Tim Schafer to receive GDC Lifetime Achievement award

Organisers of this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards have announced the recipients of the Ambassador, Pioneer, and Lifetime Achievement awards.

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Tim Schafer

Organisers of this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards have announced the recipients of the Ambassador, Pioneer, and Lifetime Achievement awards.

The Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) recognise the achievement of the game development community, and although the winners of the main awards – check out the full list of nominees here – are not revealed until the ceremony in March, the recipients of Ambassador, Pioneer, and Lifetime Achievement awards have now been confirmed.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Double Fine founder, Tim Schafer. Schafer has been part of the games industry for three decades, working on beloved Lucasarts adventure games such as Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango. In 2000 he founded Double Fine Productions, and has overseen production on over 30 titles, including PsychonautsBrutal Legend, and Broken Age. Schafer joins an esteemed collection of previous winners, including Tim Sweeney, Shigeru Miyamoto, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, and Peter Molyneux, among many others.

The Pioneer Award will be presented to industry legend, Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari. Bushnell is now seen as one of the fathers of video games, with PongBreakout, and the Atari 2600 home console, all developed under his guidance.

Update: 01/31/2018: Glixel reports that Nolan Bushnell’s award is being re-examined following concerns over alleged sexist behaviour.

This year’s Ambassador Award goes to Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail. The award recognises the contribution of individuals who help the medium of games advance through advocacy or action. Anyone who has seen Ismail speak will be familiar with his devotion to the democratisation of game development, and his free tools – such as presskit() – have been widely adopted by the indie development community.

Katie Stern, general manager of GDC, said in a press statement:

“Tim, Rami and Nolan have each given so much to the video game industry through their creative passions, advocacy and leadership, it’s only fitting that they are each recognized for their unique contributions to making games and game development accessible, open and fun for everyone. Each has worked hard to become leaders in their fields, and serve as an example of how developers who pour their passions into their projects can create something really wonderful. This is a model for all GDC attendees to aspire to.”

The 2018 GDC Awards will be presented by Robin Hunicke, and held during the Game Developers Conference in March. Find out more at the GDC website.

Image: GiantBomb


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New Xbox One releases: January 27-31, 2020

Kentucky Route Zero and Journey to the Savage Planet headline next week’s new Xbox One video game releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Journey to the Savage Planet and Kentucky Route Zero headline next week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases.

Cardboard Computer’s striking point-and-click adventure game, Kentucky Route Zero, comes to an end this week with the release of its fifth and final act. Seven years in the making, it’s rightly acclaimed as a stunning example of what video games can be. It’s pretty much essential.

Comical space adventures also beckon in Journey to the Savage Planet. The debut game from Typhoon Studios is a colourful exploratory adventure in the Douglas Adams vein. Google is evidently impressed and has acquired the studio – which was set up by Ubisoft and Electronic Arts alumni – to make exclusive games for Stadia.

Other new releases include licensed motorcycle racer Supercross 3, Milo’s Quest, and Coffee Talk, a game about helping people with problems from the comforting haze of a Seattle coffee shop.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the confirmed lineup.

New Xbox One games – January 27-31, 2020

Monday, January 27, 2020

  • Stone

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

  • It Came from Space and Ate Our Brains
  • Journey to the Savage Planet
  • Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

  • Milo’s Quest: Console Edition
  • Music Racer

Thursday, January 30, 2020

  • Code Shifter
  • Monster Energy Supercross 3 – Special Edition

Friday, January 31, 2020

  • Coffee Talk
  • HyperDot
  • Sky Rogue

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Wasteland Remastered gets a release date

Wasteland Remastered will upgrade the 1988 RPG’s look just in time for Wasteland 3.

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Wasteland Remastered release date
inXile

Wasteland Remastered will upgrade the 1988 RPG’s look just in time for Wasteland 3.

inXile Entertainment announced the remaster back in 2018, with a scheduled 2019 release. But with release dates prone to slipping, instead, Wasteland Remastered will launch on February 25 2020. That’s my birthday if you’ve been wondering what to get me. [Duly noted – Ed.]

The game will simultaneously launch on Steam, the Windows Store and GOG, inXile said. Additionally, Wasteland Remastered will be available via the console and PC versions of Xbox Game Pass.

“Wasteland Remastered is an overhaul of the 1988 title that brought the post-apocalypse to video games,” inXile said in a post on its website. “The Remastered title brings new graphics, audio, music, and digitizes the physical paragraphs book from the original with brand new artwork.”

Here are the before and after pictures. It’s like weirdly-specific time travel.

Wasteland remastered

The remaster is being handled by Krome Studios. That’s a name I haven’t heard in years. Krome developed the Ty the Tasmanian Tiger games in the PS2 era and rebooted the Spyro franchise in 2006. It also remastered the Bard’s Tale games.

Wasteland 3 is set to launch on May 19. Its predecessors were recently free on GOG.


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Pick up The Bridge, an Escher-inspired puzzler, for free

The Bridge, a perspective-swapping puzzler is free on the Epic Games Store.

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The Bridge - Epic Games Store
The Quantum Astrophysics Guild

The Bridge, a perspective-swapping puzzler is free on the Epic Games Store.

According to its Epic description, The Bridge “forces the player to reevaluate their preconceptions of physics and perspective.” And, its black-and-white, pencil-drawn graphics certainly make it look like a brain-breaking M.C. Escher drawing. But, with a bearded suit-wearing guy – who wouldn’t look out of place in Braid – exploring it.

I missed this one back in 2013. When it came out, I was in the middle of my freshman year of college and taking a break from video games. But, if I had been playing games at the time, this one’s mash-up of Fez mechanics and philosophical self-importance absolutely would have appealed to me.

Make of that what you will.

The Bridge screenshot

Now that The Bridge is free, Epic has unveiled next week’s freebie. Get ready to simulate some farming. That’s right Farming Simulator 19 will be up for grabs next Thursday.


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This week’s best Nintendo eShop bargains

Are you looking for something new to play on Nintendo Switch this weekend? Here’s news of some new eShop discounts.

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Nintendo eShop Sale - VVVVVV

Are you looking for something new to play on Nintendo Switch this weekend? Here’s news of some new eShop video game discounts.

This week’s crop of Nintendo Switch digital discounts in Europe includes a range of classic indie games published by Nicalis.

We’ll never stop recommending Terry Cavanagh’s masterful platformer VVVVVV, even if he is a little sheepish about its qualities these days. Likewise, Daisuke Amaya’s timeless Metroid-style adventure game, Cave Story+. Classic shmup Ikaruga also comes highly recommended, particularly as it can be played on Switch in Tate Mode.

Other discounted games include sports sim Football Manager 2020, futuristic stunt racer FutureGrind, and no less than five titles from the Jackbox Party series.

We’ll also highlight Super Life of Pixel. It’s a simple and charming platform game that takes players on a trip through various console generations. Originally released on Wii U, the Switch version includes six new vintage consoles. It’s a neat idea, delightfully executed.

Here are some more sale recommendations. Visit the Nintendo eShop in your country for the full lineup of discounted games.

Nintendo Switch sale highlights

  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
  • The End is Nigh
  • Ikaruga
  • VVVVVV
  • Cave Story +
  • Toki Tori
  • Toki Tori 2+: Nintendo Switch Edition
  • Football Manager 2020
  • Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Super Burger Time
  • FutureGrind
  • Crystal Crisis
  • RemiLore
  • Umihara Kawase Fresh!
  • Blade Strangers
  • Redout
  • Code of Princess EX
  • Tiny Barbarian DX
  • Swords & Soldiers
  • The Jackbox Party Packs 2-6
  • Gear.Club Unlimited 2

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Stardew Valley passes huge sales milestone

Eric Barone confirms that Stardew Valley has passed another sales milestone.

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Stardew Valley logo
ConcernedApe

ConcernedApe confirms that Stardew Valley has chalked off another sales milestone.

Eric Barone – also known as ConcernedApe – has revealed that small-town farming RPG Stardew Valley has now sold over 10 million copies.

Tweeting the news, Barone said:

Stardew Valley has sold over 10 million copies. It’s strange & amazing to think back to when I was making this game in my bedroom w/ no clue if anyone would like it. Only 4 years ago! To everyone who has played this game, supported it, and made all of this possible: Thank you!!”

Stardew Valley –  which began life as a tribute to Harvest Moon – was first released on PC in 2016. If you’ve read Jason Schreier’s excellent book on game development, Blood, Sweat and Pixels, you’ll know that the game’s journey to release was not easy, and involved a lot of, well, blood, sweat and pixels. Fortunately, it was an instant hit, selling over 400,000 copies in two weeks.

Following its PC launch, Stardew Valley was ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Mac, mobile, and even Tesla Arcade. Yup, players can tend to their carrots from the comfort of an electric car. Modern life truly is reasonable.

Barone is planning to support the game for a while yet, so it’s not too late to move to the country and live the life you’ve always dreamed about.


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