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Edge December 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
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
you gotta pay your dues before you pay the rent

This industry ticks along to a certain rhythm, and the longer you spend in it the more you learn to keep time with it. GDC turns into E3, then Gamescom and, this month, Tokyo Game Show; still to come amid the rush of autumn review code is PlayStation Experience. Then we put our feet up for a bit and ring in the New Year before the cycle begins anew. Only rarely does something come along to disrupt it. New hardware yanks the industry out of its comfort zone, certainly, but still in a very organised, controlled and collaborative way. There might be the occasional new event – PS4 was unveiled in New York; Xbox One, disastrously, in Redmond – but by and large a new hardware year is much the same…

6 min.
found in translation

Compared to the aromatic bustle of E3, or its even more boisterous European counterpart Gamescom, the Tokyo Game Show can seem like a minor sideshow in the industry calendar. The feeling is exacerbated by the scale of the event’s chosen venue; even with more than 2,000 booths, swathes of the cavernous Makuhari Messe convention centre go unused during TGS week. Then there’s the relative paucity of attendant announcements. Nintendo, whose post-Switch prosperity has slackened any urgency to rush out fresh ideas, hasn’t shown up for years, while Microsoft has never much bothered with a country where its systems have always been seen as cumbersomely super-sized and its games regretfully American. Yet now the mobile game bubble has floated off toward China, TGS has a newly urgent and console-centric feel. There is…

4 min.
ocean view

Created in partnership with Alaskan tribes, 2015’s Never Alone was a powerful attempt to preserve and celebrate indigenous culture through the mechanics of a platform game. Following its release, publisher E-Line Media received a call from an unexpected quarter. The BBC had enjoyed Never Alone’s handling of documentary materials, and wondered if the company might do something similar for the forthcoming second series of Blue Planet. “They invited us to sort of shadow the production,” E-Line’s CEO Michael Angst says. “To look at the huge library of footage they’d put together, speak to the scientists and see if we could mine that for an original story, but sort of continue from where the last episode talks about the future of the ocean.” As its creators acknowledge, Beyond Blue is a profoundly…

4 min.
not made in japan

Founded in June 2017, Dangen – a contraction of the English words ‘Dandy’ and ‘Gentlemen’ that also happens to mean ‘conviction’ in Japanese – is an indie-game publisher that is run like a small record label, promoting independent games that have some kind of unifying quality. The six-person outfit, based in Osaka, specialises in signing western games that it believes will appeal to Japanese audience, a demographic that has, company co-founder Nayan Ramachandran claims, historically shied away from western indie games. “The Japanese resistance comes from western games being so different for such a long time” Ramachandran’s job title is ‘content connoisseur’, but his role is perhaps best-described in music industry terms: he acts as an A&R manager, signing games that he believes fit the label and its fans. In a little…

1 min.
seeking endorsement

To help raise the profile of its games, Dangen has borrowed a marketing technique more usually associated with the book publishing and fashion industries: the celebrity endorsement. The company has carefully targeted some of the titans of the Japanese videogame industry, such as Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night creator Koji Igarashi, with its first run of games. Even if the celebrity doesn’t offer up a quotation that can be used on the box, sometimes just the effect of having a well-known creator play one of the publisher’s games at a public event is enough to build word of mouth among Japanese players. It’s also a clever way to connect western indies with their heroes.…

1 min.
cutting words

Haiku – a venerable Japanese poetic form with a three-line, 5-7-5 syllable structure – and the point-and-click adventure might seem odd bedfellows, but as Small Island Games co-director Ceri Williams observes, both hinge on an element of reflective curiosity. “What we love about haiku is that apparently they’re supposed to be discovered, not written, which really suits a game about looking for inspiration,” he says. The game in question is PC and mobile odyssey Haiku Adventure, in which a pilgrim wanders single-screen environments, composing poems by interacting with objects and characters to reveal lines of verse. The game’s beautifully wrought landscapes are based on ukiyo-e woodblock prints – literally, “pictures of the floating world”. Puzzle outcomes within range from the improbable, such as triggering a distant volcano to awaken a bird,…