The Joker: A History of Madness

The Joker: A History of Madness

The Joker is arguably the most iconic comic book villain of all time. He has cemented himself in popular culture through comics, TV shows and movies. Even non-comic book junkies know the Joker—his trademark smile, his sadistic laugh. In short, he’s the best of the worst. But how did he get there? Was he always the incarnation the world sees today, or was there an evolution? For the Joker, there has been a history of madness; one that has seen change throughout the decades, mirroring societal shifts with each incarnation.

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CGMagazine June/July 2016: The Return Of The JRPG

CGMagazine June/July 2016: The Return Of The JRPG 1

In the videogame industry, some of the biggest, most beloved franchises are JRPGs. From Final Fantasy, to Persona, this genre is so diverse and unique; we dedicated a whole issue to it. With titles like I am Setsuna, Bravely Second, Persona 5, and Final Fantasy XV, taking the mantle of the most talked about games in recent memory, it seems like there is a genre wide revival.

Jump inside the June/July issue of CGMagazine where Lisa Mior explores the meaning of Setsunai, Elias Blondeau talks about how JRPGs saved his life, Liana Kerzner wonders where the romance in videogames went, and Cody Orme sits down with Dragon Quest Producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto to discuss Dragon Quest Builders.

Features
Leveling Up With 3D Printing
Where Is The Love?
Dead By Daylight: The Slasher Movie Made Interactive
Independant Doublethink
Perhaps Videogames Just Shouldn’t Be Made Into Movies
The Technomancer‘s Faults Make It A Refreshingly Unique RPG
Affirmative Inaction

Focus
I Am Setsuna: The Return Of The JRPG
Making A New Genre With Dragon Quest Builders
Understanding Through I Am Setsuna
How To Best Approach JRPGs
How JRPGs Saved My Life
A New Golden Age Of JRPGs Is On The Way

Reviews
Also available for FREE online!

Monster Hunter Generations
I am Setsuna
Dex – Enhanced Edition
Furi

Available now online and in print! 

An Overview Of No Man’s Sky Giant Day One Update

An Overview Of No Man's Sky Giant Day One Update

No Man’s Sky, one of if not the most anticipated game of the summer, will officially see the light of day on August 9 for consoles (August 12 for PC).

The press will get access to the game starting today, according to the update post on the official No Man’s Sky website. Some places are already publishing reviews of the game, but this is due to them somehow getting their hands on the game early. This has lead to those players streaming and recording their experience in the game before anyone else populates its Universe.

In No Man’s Sky, when a player discovers a planet no one else has ventured to, they have the option to name it. Since players have gotten into the game early, Hello Games, the company behind the game, have stated they will wipe the servers ahead of the official launch, allowing everyone a fair shot at putting their mark on the Universe.

For those who got No Man’s Sky early, your save file will still work post-launch, but you’ll be missing out on what the game has to offer.

“If you had an early copy somehow, your save game will technically work post update, but you will miss out on new content and experiences if you don’t delete your save before updating (should be obvious why from notes below),” said Sean Murray, Managing Director of Hello Games in the post. “We highly recommend deleting your save if you have played before updating your game (we won’t do this in future, but it’s a day zero update).”

Here is what’s included in the day one patch for No Man’s Sky. Please note that there are some spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk:

  • The Three Paths – there are now new, unique “paths” you can follow throughout the game. You must start the game on a fresh save, with the patch, as early choices have significant impact on what you see later in the game, and the overall experience.
  • The Universe – we changed the rules of the universe generation algorithm. Planets have moved. Environments have changed biomes. Galaxies have altered shape. All to create greater variety earlier. Galaxies are now up to 10x larger.
  • Diversity – Creatures are now more diverse in terms of ecology and densities on planets.
  • Planets – we’ve added dead moons, low atmosphere and extreme hazardous planets. Extreme hazards include blizzards and dust storms.
  • Atmosphere – space, night time and day skies are now 4x more varied due to new atmospheric system, which refracts light more accurately to allow for more intense sunsets.
  • Planet rotation – play testing has made it obvious people are struggling to adjust to this during play so it’s effects have been reduced further…
  • Terrain generation – caves up to 128m tall are now possible. Geometric anomalies have been added. Underwater erosion now leads to more interesting sea beds.
  • Ship diversity – a wider variety of ships appear per star system, and are available to purchase. Cargo and installed technology now vary more, and ships have more unique attributes.
  • Inventory – ship inventories now store 5 times more resources per slot. Suit inventories now store 2.5 times more per slot. This encourages exploration and gives freedom from the beginning. We’re probably going to increase this even further in the next update, for people in the latter game phases, and will allow greater trading potential.
  • Trading – trading is deeper. Star systems and planets each have their own wants and needs, based off a galactic economy. Observing these is the key to successful trading. We still working on adjusting this based on how everyone plays, but all trading values have been rebalanced across the galaxy, giving a greater depth. A bunch of trade exploits were uncovered and have been removed
  • Feeding – creatures now have their own diet, based on planet and climate. Feeding them correctly will yield different results per species, such as mining for you, protecting the player, becoming pets, alerting you to rare loot or pooping valuable resources.
  • Survival – recharging hazard protection requires rare resources, making shielding shards useful again. Storms can be deadly. Hazard protection and suit upgrades have been added. Liquids are often more dangerous
  • Graphical effects – Lighting and texture resolution have been improved. Shadow quality has doubled. Temporal AA didn’t make it in time, but it’s so close
  • Balancing – several hundred upgrades have had stat changes (mainly exo-suit and ship, but also weapon), new upgrades have been added.
  • Combat – Auto Aim and weapon aim has been completely rewritten to feel more gentle in general, but stickier when you need it. Sentinels now alert each other, if they haven’t been dealt with quickly. Quad and Walker AI is now much more challenging, even I struggle with them without a powered up weapon.
  • Space Combat – advanced techniques have been introduced, like brake drifting and critical hits. Bounty missions and larger battles now occur. Pirate frequency has been increased, as well as difficulty depending on your cargo.
  • Exploits – infinite warp cell exploit and rare goods trading exploit among other removed. People using these cheats were ruining the game for themselves, but people are weird and can’t stop themselves ¯\_(シ)_/¯
  • Stability – foundations for buildings on super large planets. Resolved several low repro crashes, in particular when player warped further than 256 light years in one session (was only possible due to warp cell exploit above).
  • Space Stations – interiors are now more varied, bars, trade rooms and hydroponic labs have been added
  • Networking – Ability to scan star systems other players have discovered on the Galactic Map, increasing the chance of collision. Star systems discovered by other players appear during Galactic Map flight
  • Ship scanning – scanning for points of interest from your ship is now possible. Buildings generate earlier and show up in ship scans
  • Flying over terrain – pop-in and shadow artefacts have been reduced. Generation speed has been increased two fold (planets with large bodies of water will be targeted in next update)
  • Writing – The Atlas path has been rewritten by James Swallow (writer on Deus Ex) and me.  I think it speaks to the over-arching theme of player freedom more clearly now. Early mission text has been rewritten to allow for multiple endings.

The post also lists some future plans for No Man’s Sky, including base building and the ability to purchase giant space freighters.

tinyBuild’s The Final Station has a lot of Heart

tinyBuild's The Final Station has a lot of Heart 3

When I first played The Final Station earlier this year at PAX South, developer tinyBuild likened it to Faster Than Light. However, instead of managing a starship crew during a perilous journey, you’re a train conductor operating one of the last means of transportation during a zombie-like apocalypse. It’s not quite a rogue-like and it does employ fun and harrowing 2D exploration sections between stops. The beta included the first act, which hints at a surprisingly deep narrative and wider world.

Read moretinyBuild’s The Final Station has a lot of Heart