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April 21, 2018
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Updates » Social/Online
Hearthstone game director Ben Brode departs Blizzard  
by Alissa McAloon [04.20.18]
Brode, who has worked on Hearthstone for 10 of his 15 years at Blizzard, has announced that he is leaving Blizzard to 'take a crazy risk' and help start a game development company of his own.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

Thanks to a cosmetic change, Epic accidentally rebalanced Fortnite's shotguns 12
by Alissa McAloon [04.19.18]
Epic Games decided to change the rarity ranking of Fortnite's in-game shotguns, and the result was an unprecedented change in how each weapon was used.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Design

Exploring the rise and eventual fall of Xbox's early teenage hackers  
by Alissa McAloon [04.17.18]
“As much as I consciously made the decisions I did, I never meant for it to get as bad as it did,” one hacker, David Pokora, told Wired for an in-depth story about his group's actions.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Sponsored: Join this free live webinar on cross-platform multiplayer game dev!  
by Amazon GameLift [04.17.18]
In this free webinar, join AWS and Amazon GameLift and learn how to support cross-platform play for your multiplayer game. Register now!
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing, Sponsored Article

Video Game Deep Cuts: Dancing Below The Ceiling?  
by Gamasutra Staff [04.15.18]
This week's highlights include an update on Capy's much-discussed Below, how Valve gets you to look up in their first-person shooters, and lots more.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Sponsored: Designing architecture to support cross-platform play  
by Bruce Brown, Peter Chapman [04.12.18]
Experts from the Amazon GameLift team take an informative deep-dive into the architecture of cross-platform multiplayer games.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Sponsored Article

Sponsored: With a name like N3TWORK, it has to be good  
by N3TWORK [04.10.18]
From its relatively flat and transparent company structure to its aggressively player-oriented approach, N3TWORK has a unique take on what game development can be -- and they're hiring!
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing, Sponsored Article

Building a multiplayer game entirely around economic systems 7
by Gamasutra Community [04.10.18]
Game develoer John Krajewski pens a fascinating blog post about how the creation and growth of an economy as a tool for achieving your goals forms the backbone of multiplayer play in his game Eco.
Social/Online, Indie

Video: How Rare crafted the look and feel of Sea of Thieves  
by Staff [04.09.18]
At GDC 2018 Rare art director Ryan Stevenson reveals how the studio settled on and crafted the game's unique look, sharing behind-the-scenes insight into the game's visual development.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Art, Video

Video Game Deep Cuts: A WiLD eSports Mario Approaches  
by Gamasutra Staff [04.07.18]
This week's highlights include the current fate of Michel Ancel's WiLD, a 'state of eSports' profile, Super Mario RPG archival interview goodness, & much more.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

PUBG Corp takes NetEase to court over alleged mobile PUBG copycats  
by Alex Wawro [04.05.18]
The people behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds allege that NetEase's mobile games Knives Out and Rules of Survival contain "similar visual and audio elements" to PUBG.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

BossKey backing away from active LawBreakers development 5
by Alissa McAloon [04.05.18]
"We will continue to support the game in its current state, but we also need to focus on other projects with fresh creative leaders."
Console/PC, Social/Online

Blizzard experiments with machine learning to fight Overwatch toxicity 7
by Alex Wawro [04.03.18]
“We’ve been trying to teach our games what toxic language is, which is kinda fun," director Jeff Kaplan tells Kotaku. "Our goal is to get it so you don’t have to wait for a report to happen.”
Social/Online, Programming

Niantic settles Pokemon Go class action lawsuit for $1.5M  
by Alissa McAloon [04.02.18]
Niantic has reportedly settled a class action lawsuit over last year’s botched Pokemon Go Fest event with a payout of just over $1.5 million.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

Amazon's Lumberyard-powered brawler Breakaway is no more 2
by Alissa McAloon [04.02.18]
Breakaway was one of three titles revealed in 2016 just as Amazon began its big push to position Lumberyard as an engine for social, streamable games.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Making a civilization-scale crafting system for Jason Rohrer's One Hour One Life 2
by Alex Wiltshire [04.02.18]
“The user interface," says developer Jason Rohrer. "Part of it is me figuring out as a solo developer, how to make a game that’s as big as all the content that’s in the real world, right?”
Social/Online, Indie, Design, Video

Video Game Deep Cuts: Guns, Water & The Nintendo King  
by Gamasutra Staff [04.01.18]
This week's longform article highlights include musings on guns in games, a postmortem of Where The Water Tastes Like Wine, & a profile of a top retro YouTuber, among others.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Video: Retaining player retention in Runescape  
by Staff [03.29.18]
In this 2015 GDC session, Jagex Game Studios' Phil Mansell discusses how designers can improve retention rates of returning players in online games by examining Runescape.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Design, Video

To prevent toxicity, design games with community management in mind 1
by Alissa McAloon [03.29.18]
"Community is now, more than ever, an actual part of game design," argued Flaregames' Tara Brannigan. "It’s not something you staple on the end."
Social/Online, Design, GDC

Microsoft says Sea of Thieves sold well, even without counting Game Pass copies  
by Alissa McAloon [03.28.18]
With over 2M players, Microsoft has hailed the game as its “fastest-selling first-party new IP of this generation” and notes that that praise is without counting copies given away through Game Pass. 
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing