Happy Wednesday! What games are you playing lately? Like apparently most of the world, I’m playing Fortnite (more on that below). I’m also continuing Hitman, which stands out among games I’ve played for its sheer number of ways you can complete quests. I also played Life is Strange: Before the Storm‘s “Farewell” episode. Taking place five years before the events of the original Life is Strange, it reunites Ashly Burch and Hannah Telle’s emotive acting for one final, heartbreaking story.
Let us know on Twitter or in the comments what games you’re playing lately! Here are some of the news and links we’ve been thinking about this week:
Sidequest editor Soco attended GDC! Take a look at Sidequest’s Instagram.
At this year’s Game Developers Conference, there was increased visibility for the push for game developer unionization. Game Workers Unite, a group that has organized for this cause, was present at GDC. Here’s a summary of some of the progress towards unionization that people saw at GDC, and here’s some more background.
Check out this post from Jordan Minor highlighting several game developers, streamers, and podcasters:
Naturally I made it my mission at #GDC2018 to see what all the other Black folks were up to. They didn't disappoint https://t.co/rFD6i7wMkg
— Jordan Minor (@JordanWMinor) March 22, 2018
We’re grateful to everyone who is speaking out about sexism and misogyny in game development. See this important thread from Ally McLean about her experience at GDC:
While I had a wonderful time at GDC I do have to share how shocked I was by the behaviour of some male attendees. On three separate occasions, while I was having meetings or catch ups with other women, random men with GDC badges would insert themselves in our conversations –
— ally mclean (@allymcleangames) March 25, 2018
The most troubling part of all of these encounters was how unphased some of the American women around me were by it. They were uncomfortable, but they expected to be uncomfortable while working.
— ally mclean (@allymcleangames) March 25, 2018
alt.ctrl.GDC was an exhibit at GDC highlighting alternative control schemes and interactions. Take a look at some of the games, including one where an in-game explosion causes the controller to fall apart in real life.
The U.S. government’s restrictions to keep out people from a number of countries affects game developers. Multiple GDC panelists-to-be were denied entry into the U.S.
Game Developers Choice Awards and Independent Games Festival Awards winners were announced. Breath of the Wild, Celeste, Night in the Woods, What Remains of Edith Finch, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Nier: Automata were among the winners.
Overwatch League Code of Conduct Leaked
Professional esports players’ rights and behavior are a timely topic, as game developer unionization and the inexcusable, offensive behavior of some high-profile gamers have been in the news in recent weeks. Maddy Myers reported on a leaked copy of the Overwatch League rulebook or code of conduct:
hey so the overwatch league code of conduct leaked and imo it sucks https://t.co/prq8IRiPKG
— Maddy 'MIDI' Myers 🌈 (@MIDImyers) March 24, 2018
It’s particularly notable the extent to which Overwatch League has rules regarding players’ streams in various contexts outside of official League play. Also, how Overwatch League claims ownership and monetization rights over certain streams.
PUBG Mobile Released
PUBG Mobile released last week. There are several changes and improvements from the original game.
Brigitte Added to Overwatch
Fan-favorite character Brigitte is now a playable character across Overwatch‘s servers, not just its test servers.
I will prove myself!
Play Brigitte now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One!
Learn more @ https://t.co/JCSkZJGOzc pic.twitter.com/Ulcb5qHt0w
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 20, 2018
Avoiding People in Fortnite and Bonding IRL Because of Fortnite
Fortnite players, what are your favorite things to do in the game? I’ve finished in second or third place multiple times by simply avoiding everyone. Here’s a post from someone who’s done the same.
Speaking of Fortnite: “‘[My] school allows phones during the lunch breaks and instead of socialising all they do is play Fortnite,’ said high school teacher Priscilla Cullen.” The article also points out that students are excitedly socializing by talking about Fortnite.
Games Where You Play as a Lesbian or Bisexual Woman
Check out this list of “10 Video Games That Let You Play as a Lesbian or Bisexual Woman.” It includes many favorites among Sidequest readers, including Life is Strange, Stardew Valley, and the Dragon Age series, as well as ones I still need to check out, like Prey.
- Far Cry 5 releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on March 27th.
- Also out on March 27th is MLB The Show 18. Here’s more info on new features and gameplay improvements.
- Yakuza 6: The Song of Life releases on PS4 on April 17th. A demo is available now.
- God of War releases on PS4 on April 20th. Here’s how combat has changed in the new game.
- Check out this list of upcoming Switch games in 2018, including Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on May 4th, Hyrule Warriors on May 18th, and Mega Man Legacy Collections 1 and 2 on May 22nd.
- Here’s an in-depth look at concept teams in Japan’s game industry, including the director and writer of Nier: Automata.
- First impressions of Oculus Go, a self-contained VR unit that sells for $199.
- Destiny 2 updated with a patch on March 27th. The patch includes a new penalty in PvP for frequent quitters.
- One of the Campo Santo programmers talked about how he played shooters without ever firing a gun. This included punching his way through Call of Duty games, using a crowbar in Half-Life 2, and getting the “sharpshooter” achievement in Uncharted 4 because he technically never missed a shot.
- A job listing from Electronic Arts’ Vancouver studio is for someone to work on “a Star Wars Open World project.”
- Here’s a list of the best cheap games on PS4.
- Before you spend money on a wireless headset for your Switch, check out this list of wireless headsets which are confirmed to work, and those confirmed to not work, on Switch.
- The original arcade version of Punch-Out!! is coming to Switch.
- A Street Fighter TV show is coming, developed from a web series that developed from a fan movie. Fandom power at work!
Welcome to Games Bleat! As always, I’m Joesph, your local gaming witch, and I’ve been monitoring the moon cycles all year to bring you this week’s games! The All Mother bestowed knowledge of these deals on the one condition that I make them known to as many of her daughters and non-binary children as I can, which is exactly what I intend to do.
- Lumino City $4.99
- Long Live the Queen $2.49
- Super Time Force Ultra $4.94
- Even The Ocean $9.74
- Undertale $4.99
- Tales from the Void $7.49
- Chroma Squad $3.74
- The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human $4.99
- FAUVISTa: Sailboats $0.75
- SteamWorld Dig $4.99
- Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King $12.74
- Splasher $10.99
- Kamiko $2.99
Full disclosure, I lost consciousness around midnight last night while dancing naked through the forest. I don’t know for sure if it was the mugwort ointment or divine guidance, but I have some pretty fresh games for y’all this week.
First off is Secret Little Haven, a game with a late 90s retro feel about a young trans girl figuring herself out through media, fandom, and the internet. Next is Fleuret Blanc, which is part visual novel, part JRPG, part mystery novel. It promises a bittersweet vibe and looks like developers put a lot of heart into it. Finally, it wouldn’t be a Games Bleat without some atmospheric horror, and this week’s suggestion is Umfend. Not much is clear about this game except it revolves around some sort of experiment, it’s got a look that ranges from chilling to psychedelic, and the music is super nice.
Well, that’s it for this week’s bleat! I hope you found something that helps you forget about that one class you just didn’t try as hard in as you could have, even though the teacher was so nice and supportive. If not, I’ll catch you in next week’s bleat!
Writer at Sidequest and WWAC; past: Newsarama, Comicosity, executive editor of Kollaboration. I’ve watched over 200 hours of Life is Strange playthroughs. Talk to me about LiS, The Last of Us, and the games and fandoms you love! Twitter: @loudlysilent