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Etch Play Roundup (06/03/2020)

Ben Joy
Ben Joy
Client Services Lead (Play) 6 Mar 20205 minutes read

The Play Team are back in action with their roundup of the interesting things they are excited by this week.

This week we are looking at upcoming games we're excited about, the beauty of development patches and developers who are committed to the continuous improvement of their games, and how games can be used for the greater good!

Adam

This week, I loved this deep dive into Crash Bandicoot's programming and design, courtesy of Andy Gavin and Ars Technica.

Crash was a part of my childhood, and also a huge technical achievement, and hearing some of the challenges they faced and how they overcame them is incredibly interesting.

Joe

I've been patiently waiting for the update to Necronator: Dead Wrong, which finally dropped yesterday, and I sunk most of my evening into it! It's made the longer fights feel better, and the new endless mode lets you keep going with a single deck, rather than ending when I felt like I was just building some momentum with my deck.

It's been a great update, and with the devs saying there's one coming every month, I'm excited to see what April brings!

necronator infinity update

Pete

This week I was briefed on the Etch academy that we run here at Etch and it's very exciting and a great opportunity for 3 lucky people. I've put my hat in the ring to be a mentor for the web development position and I'm really looking forward to it. This is a great opportunity to learn and be involved in some amazing work that we do here in the Play team and the wider Etch Group. If this is something that you'd be interested in go over and apply before it's too late!

Lawrence

This week we've seen controversy surrounding NVidia's Geforce Now streaming service which essentially allows users to rent virtual high-end gaming PCs in the cloud allowing people to play the latest games on really low spec laptops, phones, TVs and all sorts of other devices I'm sure.

The service recently left beta and started to charge users a monthly fee and this seems to have triggered a cascade of publishers and developers requesting that their games are removed. This seems like an odd move to me because unlike other services such as Google's Stadia, Geforce Now specifically doesn't sell any games (they used to but after feedback from testers they changed their model) they just enable gamers to play games they already own on various services such as Steam and UPlay.

In other words developers/publishers have already received payment for these games, they're just telling people they're not allowed to play them that way.

Personally, as I love the idea and have been trying it out to play demanding games way beyond the capabilities of my work laptop during my lunch break, this attitude from developers is pretty irritating and confusing though I assume there's abstract legal reasons I'm not fully aware of buried in the EULAs.

If you're interested you can read a much more in-depth analysis on Vice here.

Ben J

As the world's media is currently being dominated by Coronavirus, I thought, why not include it our weekly round up. The virus is obviously having a massive effect on the whole world at the moment, which the video game world is not immune from, and a whole host of events, such as GDC, have been cancelled, with others teetering on the brink of whether they will go ahead or not.

An interesting development is that researchers are hoping that a video game, that was actually first released in 2008 and developed by the University of Washington, can help find the solution to the spread of COVID-19! The game is Foldit, and is a puzzle game that involves trying to fold protein structures as perfectly as they can. Recently a new puzzle has been added based around coronavirus and challenges players to design an antiviral protein to block the coronavirus spike protein from interacting with human cells.

Now don't tell me games can't be a cause for good! 

Ben G

I've been looking forward to Ghost of Tsushima since I saw it announced back in 2017. The graphics look amazing. Definitely going to have to get it at launch.

That's all for another week folks. Have a lovely weekend, keep smart, keep safe, and we'll see you at around this time again next week!

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