As pretty much everyone knows, Square Enix is the RPG company. They’ve made Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games for more than 30 years. They’ve worked on the Mana games and Chrono Trigger in the SNES days and beyond. And well, if there’s a classic RPG you’ve got any nostalgia for at all, it’s likely Square Enix had some part in its development.
So now they’ve got another project underway! Nicknamed ‘Project Prelude’, the title is developed by the newly established Tokyo studio Studio Istolia, with former Tales series producer Hideo Baba at the helm. Here’s the outline of the project illustrating what it aims to be:
The project aims to build a new RPG with a new fantasy: unfolding across a vast land teeming with life. Nurtured by the earth, the many peoples of this land dare to dream, fighting for what is just—and this is their tale.
As you can tell, it’s pretty ambitious as a game. Vast world filled with life and things to do? An epic battle between good and evil?
And well, that sounds exactly like the kind of big budget fantasy RPG Square Enix and co are known for. And it’s gonna have a pretty big team too. Since Studio Istolia are actually looking for a ton of staff to work on the game. In roles such as:
- Battle Planner
- Map Planner
- UI Planner
- Character Designer
- Map Designer
- Monster Designer
- Motion Designer
- Effect Designer
- UI Designer
- Battle Programmer
- Tool Programmer
- Event Programmer
- Sound Programmer
- UI Programmer
- Technical Support
So if you’ve got any of those relevant skillsets, go and talk to the studio via their official website or social media channels. If not… well at least you can enjoy some of the artwork they released for the game:
But hey, what do you think of the title? Does it sound like it could be a classic RPG like those in the Final Fantasy series? Or do you worry about the new studio that’s working on it?
Post your thoughts here or on social media today!
Square Enix Announces new RPG ‘Project Prelude Run’ (Gematsu)
From the very start, Fur Fun has been a… controversial game. Originally known as Kewpie-Jazzy and accused of ripping off Yooka-Laylee with its Kickstarter campaign, the title’s gained a bit of a reputation for being a less inspired 3D platformer. Like a poor man’s version of Banjo-Kazooie.
And while things have looked up since it’s early access release, it seems controversy is still afoot here. Why? Because as the title suggests, the Fur Fun team has been accused of stealing resources and responding to criticism in all the worst ways possible.
For example, look at this picture showing the game’s sound files. Taken by a member of The Cutting Room Floor wiki, it quite clearly shows things like the Banjo-Kazooie Mad Monster Mansion theme in the game’s resources folder. Or what appears to be one of Kazooie’s voice clips from the same game.
Now admittedly, this doesn’t mean said files are used in the game itself. It could be the case, sure. But a lot of games also have random and somewhat inappropriate content held on the disc/in the files that never sees the light of day. Like say, Mario Kart Arcade GP having photos of the Besian school hostage crisis. Or a certain Datel mini game collection having a Metroid Fusion ROM and emulator on the disc.
So Fur Fun may be in the clear here.
But their potential use of stolen resources is only one of the issues with the game. Another (and more worrying) one is their complete and utter inability to take feedback. For example, lots of reviews were going missing on Steam:
And as OtherEhm (the guy who find the stolen resources) found out, the developers also seemed to like sending copyright takedown notices for critical videos on YouTube too:
That’s a worrying indication that the development team is very thin skinned here. That the people behind this game have no ability to handle negative opinions of their work in a responsible manner and wish to simply take down criticism rather than deal with it.
Yes, it’s not as bad as the Art of Stealth developer (who threatened to sue Jim Sterling) or Digital Homicide (who threatened to sue Jim Sterling, a bunch of Steam users and then Valve themselves in response to negative feedback).
And hey, note the past tense above. Since that time, a previously hit account was restored:
Along with at least one negative review of the game.
So the development team is improving here. They are realising that accepting negative feedback is part and parcel of any decent game development team’s life. They’re trying to listen to critics now.
It’s just that with what happened before, there’s still a worrying history of poor responses to criticism here. Let’s hope the team have learnt their lesson and put their focus on the game rather than their responses to critics!
A couple of days ago, YouTube star and internet sensation PewDiePie was dropped by Disney and YouTube by making anti Semitic jokes on YouTube. Basically, he’d paid someone on Fiverr (a site where you can get people to do anything for money) to hold up a sign saying ‘death to Jews’, as a twisted example of the kind of crap people do for money.
In other words… he was demonstrating how low some people’s standards were.
As you can guess, this did not go down too well with his sponsors. YouTube quickly booted him from their special advertising program, Disney dropped their partnership with his channel and well, quite a few websites turned on him pretty much instantly. It basically took a career that was making millions and sent it plummeting downwards in a matter of hours.
Hell, even the people in the video got (temporarily) banned from Fiverr! Like the guy pretending to be Jesus.
So it was a silly, career hurting move all round.
But it doesn’t make PewDiePie a Nazi.
Yes, he crossed the line and ended up offending everyone with a joke that was in bad taste.
But he didn’t believe what he was saying. And that’s the key really. A Nazi believes in things like racial supremacy and genocide and all manner of other horrible things because they agree with the idea. They believe that the Nazi Party did the right thing in the 30s and 40s, that Hitler was a good leader. All that stuff. Basically, they’re sick minded twats who love the idea of a Fourth Reich and think their twisted ideas make sense.
PewDiePie is not. PewDiePie is basically just a comedian mocking desperate people on a service which lets them do anything in exchange for cash. It’s not really any different to having a European liberal recite Donald Trump lines or an American politician read from Marx’s communist manifesto.
Yes, it’s a stupid idea. But it’s not serious. It’s merely illustrating the desperate lengths Fiverr lets you go to for cash.
And the other ‘examples’ are similar. PewDiePie is making controversial jokes for attention. He doesn’t actually believe what people think he believes. H3H3Productions says it best in this video:
That doesn’t mean Disney was wrong to drop him. Disney is notoriously worried about controversy, and will drop anyone or anything that may even potentially hurt their public image. Just ask Harlan Ellison, who got sacked on his first day at Disney for making jokes about a Mickey Mouse porn film in the cafeteria. Or the many stars dropped or disowned by the company for not acting ‘pure’ outside of work:
It’s called Contractual Purity, and even has a page on TV Tropes. Complete with Disney having its own folder there!
So in that sense, they’re basically like Nintendo as a company. No tolerance for anything that may even potentially harm their own.
Hence for them, dropping PewDiePie did make sense. They didn’t want to be under fire by moral guardians and parents reading about racism in online newspaper articles/on the evening news.
But this doesn’t mean PewDiePie is a Nazi. He made a few jokes in bad taste and got ‘sacked’ for it, but he doesn’t hold such views or believe they’re right. Instead, he just tried to be funny via some black humour and went too far.
That’s it. Stop overreacting and assuming anyone who makes an offensive joke is a Nazi please.
When Valve introduced paid mods in 2015, people were not impressed. There were complaints about stolen work and how people would profit from other people’s resources. There were debates about how the modding community would become too corporatized if mods went from a hobby to a career. And with worries online about price gauging and horse armour, the general reception was highly negative.
So much so in fact that the whole concept was dropped in four days. It was that unpopular.
But now it seems like Valve may be giving it another go! Why? Because in a recent roundtable at Valve’s HQ, Gabe Newell expressed the intention of trying paid mods again in the future. He did this by saying that modders are ‘definitely’ creating value and should be compensated for it, as well as mentioning that money needs to flow to the people creating said value. Here’s his comments in full:
[modders] create a lot of value, and we think that … absolutely they need to be compensated, they’re creating value and the degree to which they’re not being accurately compensated is a bug in the system, right? It’s just inserting noise into it/
You want to have efficient ways so that the people who are actually creating value are the people that money is flowing to.
As you can see, it’s a pretty clear comment about paid mods being a possibility in future. It’s not 100% blatant, but you can definitely see where they’re going here.
Either way, the reaction online… has not been positive. Oh no. You’ve got people on Voat literally tearing the statement apart.
The population of the Elder Scrolls modding subreddit think of it as a terrible idea.
And well, many other sites and comment sections are not best pleased here either.
So why is this? Why are people so negative about the idea of paid mods?
Well for the most part, it’s the same reasoning as last time. It takes modding away from a community pastime to a pay to play business.
In other words, it makes it so the average modder is less likely to give out their work for free (aka to help the community) and more likely to become part of a corporation or collective charging money for every little thing.
It also opens a big cans of words in regards to mod compatibility. Why? Because mods are not really designed to work with other mods. They can (and sometimes they do), but they’re not really intended for that. Each mod is designed with the assumption the original vanilla game is being used and that it’s own changes will work standalone.
That’s fine for a free product used at your own risk. If things don’t work out, just revert to the normal version of the game without losing anything. Nothing lost and nothing gained.
But for paid mods? That’s not the case. Instead, there’s the assumption (by the user) that by paying for a product, they expect support for said product. That the two $20 mods they bought are both going to work alongside each other.
And as any person with any experience in the mod world knows, that’s impossible. I mean, imagine two massive mods that overhaul the whole game and story. You physically can’t get them working together. They edit the exact same stuff. Same with multiple mods for characters, multiple mods for certain physics, etc. Basically, it becomes a support nightmare.
Add the inevitable copyright/trademark violation mods (like those that turn the Elder Scrolls series into a Lord of the Rings adaptation, Batman Doom, etc) and paid mods become a very complicated situation that needs careful planning in order to not spiral out of control.
That said, I don’t mind if Valve does implement them. The core concept has its positives (like rewarding people for their work and incentivising more people to develop mods for games). And as a concept, paid mods are inevitable to some degree. It will happen one day, whether we like it or not.
I just hope Valve had done their homework and planned it out properly this time around. And that everyone’s fears of community change, legal issues and support nightmares turn out to be irrelevant in the long run.
But hey, what do you think? Do you like the idea of paid mods making a comeback? Or do you think this idea has too many issues to work out well?
P.S. The mods featured are all from Nexus Mods
When Call of Duty Infinite Warfare was announced, fans were not too pleased. They downvoted the trailer to hell, which actually made it the second most disliked video on YouTube. They complained about the content being too different, and the space theme not really working in the Call of Duty series.
And when it came out, the game drastically undersold compared to past titles too, with its sales being down 50% compared to the (much better received) Blacks Ops III.
Fortunately for them though, it seems Activision has been listening. Why?
Because according to their latest business report, the next game will literally be ‘heading back to the series roots’:
This follows quite nicely from their comment last year that the ‘space setting didn’t resonate with players’. As well as that Infinite Warfare ‘wasn’t the success that they planned’.
So as a result, Call of Duty is going back to its roots again.
But what are those roots?
Well, it’s hard to tell at the moment. Activision do mention that ‘traditional combat will once again take centre stage’ (hence implying any recent gimmicks aren’t returning here). But that’s pretty vague on its own. After all, every setting in the first five or six games had traditional combat taking centre stage. That’s why it was called traditional combat.
Still, the prevailing wisdom online is that either World War 2 or Modern Warfare is a likely theme this time around. Both are part of the most beloved games in the series, both leave very little room for unusual mechanics and either one would be a drastic shift away from Infinite Warfare’s space themes to boot.
Regardless of the one chosen though, it’s quite clear that Activision is done with Infinite Warfare and its ideas now. So what do you think about it all? Are you happy that Activision is taking Call of Duty back to its roots? Or would you have rather seen an Infinite Warfare follow up after all?
Activision Q4 Earnings Report