Edge October 2021

The authority on videogame art, design and play, Edge is the must-have companion for game industry professionals, aspiring game-makers and super-committed hobbyists. Its mission is to celebrate the best in interactive entertainment today and identify the most important developments of tomorrow, providing the most trusted, in-depth editorial in the business via unparalleled access to the developers and technologies that make videogames the world’s most dynamic form of entertainment.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Edities

in deze editie

2 min
a door between two worlds

OK, here’s a test. What were you doing 19 years ago? If the answer is ‘making plans to visit Game On, the first major UK exhibition to explore the vibrant history and culture of videogames’, then snap – us, too. If you were in a particularly honoured group, you may even remember the Edge party held at the event, where the likes of Steven Poole could be found mingling among a galaxy of games from across the ages. This Barbican exhibition felt important, staged with the kind of attention to detail you’d expect from such an organisation, displaying 125 playable games and exotic original hardware such as a DEC PDP-1 minicomputer alongside a sparkly yellow Computer Space cabinet. Yes, we thought at the time, finally videogames are getting the recognition…

9 min
the wisdom of crowds

Everywhere you look, there are players. Thousands of them, pressed so thickly that they seem to move as one, all the jostling and jumping translating into the tides of some single fluid entity. Towering overhead are a pair of colossal avatars, decked out in neon. They chat jovially with the crowd – then, laughing, one of them throws out an enormous gust of wind, blowing the players away in a dense cloud. These community events have brought together an unprecedented number of players – 1,800 of them in the initial closed event, over 4,000 in the first that was open to the public – in a single realtime, fully 3D environment. Improbable, the technology company behind it all, reckons it can manage 15,000. Big numbers indeed. The technology that makes this possible…

1 min
mass effect

Among the design possibilities opened up by this volume of players, Diemer says, is a kind of teamwork rarely experienced in multiplayer games. “Working together, being able to achieve things in groups that you couldn’t achieve on your own, which is very different from traditional multiplayer games where the teams tend to be rather small and where, most of the time, it’s more about your personal status – how good you are.” This is more than just a case of removing end-of-match scoreboards, which would make for rather dull reading with a few thousand players featured – Improbable needs to make sure that each player can tell what they have contributed to the larger effort. It’s a tall order, and Diemer makes no pretence of having found the answers yet.…

1 min
group think

Bernd Diemer will deliver a presentation on Improbable’s experiments with ScavLab at Develop: Brighton. After a digital incarnation last year, the event is making its physical return from Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 October at the Brighton Hilton Metropole. Keynotes announced so far include Team17 CEO Debbie Bestwick and Insomniac Games founder and president Ted Price. Also on the schedule are presentations from Sega, Xbox, Arkane, Square Enix and Konami. Edge readers can get a ten per cent discount on tickets by using the code ‘CJSHYU’. For further info or to book, visit developconference.com.…

1 min
time to switch?

It would be easy to look at the disappointed response to the OLED Switch model and the comparatively rapturous reception that greeted Steam Deck and assume that Nintendo is in trouble. Yet while Steam Deck’s form factor has clearly been inspired by Switch, the two devices are aimed at very different markets. Outside of dedicated hobbyist circles, where there is some audience crossover, Nintendo’s relatively underpowered hardware simply isn’t a concern for most of its vast installed base. And even those threatening to make the switch, you sense, will miss those firstparty titles that make Nintendo’s device so appealing to the masses. Having the whole of your Steam library available at any time is an attractive prospect, but until such time as Steam Deck can play Breath Of The Wild…

4 min
gabe gear

The timing could hardly have been better. A little over a week after the underwhelming announcement of Nintendo’s new OLED Switch model (better screen, bigger stand, and, well, that’s your lot), along came Steam Deck – a significantly more powerful handheld console a few wags determined was the real Switch Pro. The process for reserving units may have turned into a bit of a mess, with some Steam users told their accounts were too new (did the past decade or so really mean that little, Valve?) while others were informed they’d made too many purchases before their deposit had been taken. Yet these obvious signs of servers being overrun would probably have been music to the platform holder’s ears: a leak of the queue sizes suggested 100,000 reservations were made…