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Edge November 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.
we’ll put it back together, raise up a giant ladder

In this line of work, we think a lot about building things. This month we’re freshly back – well, back, certainly – from Gamescom, the biggest videogame event in Europe. Every year, attendance figures rise, and the show must grow in tandem, something you’d forgive its organisers for struggling with. Part of the solution to an ever-more-teeming throng is to spread Gamescom out beyond the walls of the Koelnmesse. These days Gamescom is not just a gaming show but an esports tournament, a cosplay contest, an industry conference and B2B pow-wow, to name a few. It covers much of the city of Cologne, and has come to feel more like a festival than a pure consumer show. It’s all the better for it. Gamescom’s organisers are old hands at this; this…

5 min.
crowded house

Back in June, E3 suggested an industry that was starting to think about the next generation of consoles. This is always a fine time in games; installed bases are large enough that publishers and, on occasion, platform holders are more prepared to take risks. But it does mean the release calendar starts to thin out a little. Over the past few years there have been so many games for developers and publishers to talk about that the industry had to look beyond E3; events like Gamescom were the beneficiaries, picking up the spare that couldn’t be knocked over during a week in LA. With the pace slowing as the generation winds down, what becomes of Gamescom? Well, it certainly had the numbers. A total of 370,000 people filed through the doors…

5 min.
stardust to dust

Last November, faced with sluggish sales of its wondrous shooter Nex Machina, Housemarque announced that it was moving away from the arcade games that had been its trademark since 1995. In August the Finnish studio gave us our first look at Stormdivers, an Unreal Engine battle-royale game with a strong emphasis on verticality – PlayerUnknown’s Crackdown, to cut a long story short. Housemarque’s older fans have reacted to this change of focus much as you’d expect. “It’s like, fuck you, why are you ruining my childhood?” game designer Henri Markus sums up. The outrage is hard to swallow, he says, because Housemarque still adores arcade games and would happily have carried on developing them, if only they would sell. “It’s painful to read that we need to go back to…

4 min.
dead reckoning

All told, it’s been a rough 12 months for Telltale Games. Caught between reports of a nightmarish workplace culture on one hand and player discontent with bugs and delayed releases on the other, the studio has undergone a dramatic restructure. It’s unsurprising that Telltale has kept a low profile in 2018: its sole major release is The Walking Dead’s fourth season, reflecting new CEO Pete Hawley’s commitment to releasing fewer games each year at higher quality. “It has been a period of tremendous change for Telltale over the past couple of years,” The Walking Dead’s executive producer Brodie Andersen tells us. “As you know, we got quite a bit bigger, and I’m really proud of the stories we were able to tell, the content we’ve put out. But yeah, Pete Hawley,…

1 min.
mixing media

Movies and videogames can happily marry When it comes to adapting licences, the balance of power between videogame makers and their peers in TV, film and literature has never been more even. “I think going back in time, narrative in games was often dismissed, and that’s very much changing,” Brodie Andersen says. Licensors no longer see interactivity and storytelling as “mutually exclusive”, he goes on, not least because so many creators in other media are also prolific game-players. “A lot of films are about games now. There’s a lot more crossover between the mediums; it’s an interesting evolution. I think whatever is pushing forward the union of narrative and gaming, we’re not always going to see it coming.”…

1 min.
digital foundry

This time, Coffee Stain is playing by the rules. While its previous project Goat Simulator revelled in going off the rails, Satisfactory is about the pleasure of creating a perfectly interlocking set of your own to ride. Vibrantly coloured, lavishly detailed machinery gleams in the sun in this firstperson open-world building sim. Its art style is a combination of various factors including life studies, art found online and game-engine limitations. “We’ve always had a conflict in mind between machine and nature, hard surface versus organic,” art director Joakim Sjöö says. “I think this will become visible to players as their factories grow bigger and the landscape transforms into industry.” The aim is to “explore and exploit”, drilling, digging and chainsawing your way through lush alien planets to build the ultimate factory.…