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Edge August 2018

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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.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
that wasn’t flying. that was falling with style

Yes, that’s a toys-to-life game on the cover of Edge. A genre you thought was gone for good following the demise of Disney Infinity and the disappearance of Skylanders. Yet Starlink: Battle For Atlas is an entirely different beast. Where Warner and Activision aimed their wares at the very young, Ubisoft’s game skews a little older. And that’s not just a matter of presentation: this is a tricky game set in a dynamic world that responds to your input, and your lack of it, the bad guys overrunning the entire solar system if you don’t keep them in check. The toys themselves aren’t just plastic playthings to be dropped, one by one, onto an NFC scanner; they’re modular, their components snapped off and on, the change reflected instantly in game,…

10 min.
download complete

Quietly, games are watching what you’re doing. They remember when you started playing, what weapons you like to use, who’s winning, where you meet your end, where you quit, and they report that information back to their makers. “Potentially, every action that you perform in a game can be tracked because games are state machines,” says Anders Drachen, professor at the Digital Creativity Labs at the University of York. “You push a button and something happens; we can track those behaviours.” And that means that they’re also squarely in the sights of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on May 25. “For games, GDPR has had a really big impact,” Eitan Jankelewitz, partner at legal firm Sheridans, tells us. As with seemingly every web service and…

4 min.
beach house

Hangar 13’s new Brighton studio began, like so many of the good things in life, over a pint. Andy Wilson and Nick Baynes worked together, years ago, at Black Rock, the developer of Split/Second that was shut down by parent company Disney in 2011. They’ve taken very different paths since. Wilson went off to build a studio for Codemasters in Guildford, then helped Ubisoft do likewise in Toronto, before joining Hangar 13 in 2014. Baynes stayed local, working in small, agile indie teams after years on the console-game treadmill. Yet he and his core team had been feeling the itch a bit. They yearned for a big project. “We’d still meet at E3s and GDCs for a quick catch-up and a beer,” Baynes tells us, going on to recall the meeting…

1 min.
global overground

Hangar 13 thinks of itself as one team spread across four locations – though the need for individual studios to have ownership and autonomy means that the global operation isn’t entirely holistic. “Each studio has to have a set of mandates,” Wilson says, “so you don’t have the Death Star over in California and then a bunch of co-devs. We take individual areas and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to build a team that’s going to be the owner of, and experts in, one particular area’.” Yet efforts are being made to ensure handfuls of staff work directly with overseas colleagues. “That’s helpful, because it drives collaboration.”…

1 min.
cold case

Somewhere between mobile game 80 Days and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, Over The Alps is a World War II-era thriller that casts you as a secret agent. On the trail of a grand conspiracy, you’ll pore over found objects scattered across your desk, don disguises, and send hidden messages written in invisible ink. “I was inspired by interwar Swiss design seen in travel posters, matchbooks, postcards, stamps and even beer mats, though I was keen to give it a modern twist to avoid pastiche,” artist Joshua Callaghan says of his colourful, clean design. A less obvious influence on Over The Alps’ pastel subterfuge is space-strategy game FTL. You’re constantly tailed by the Spycatcher, who is quick to spot your every mistake, be it a poor choice or sloppy traces…

1 min.

“We have had over two million unique visitors to this stream to watch, I don’t know what, nothing.” Todd Howard finally appears on Bethesda’s 24-hour stream of emptiness to announce Fallout 76 “Let me be clear about one thing. Player choice and female playable characters are here to stay.” Strong stuff from DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson, but he probably thought the same about loot boxes this time last year, too “Some days feel amazing, and you know that everything’s gonna be just fantastic. And then the next day it feels like it’s all falling apart.” Media Molecule’s Siobhan Reddy further strengthens our belief that making games are essentially identical to making magazines about them “These in-game transactions are not gambling. Videogames never take money from a player and leave them with nothing.” ESA president Mike Gallagher must…