Battletoads gets a release date!
After being anounced at E3 2019, Battletoads will be released on the 20th of August 2020. The game is available on Gamepass on PC and Xbox.
I had the opportunity to work on a few levels on the game which was great fun. I also mixed the reveal trailer just right here!
The people and the system are pragmatic and usually deal with problems in a realistic way. The administration is easy to deal with, taxes are paid from your salary directly, most of the things can be done online and the government website is actually both clear and useful.
Obviously, I can’t talk about all jobs, but generally speaking there are a lot of work opportunities, young and talented people are usually given a chance to shine and make a difference. Sadly I haven’t noticed such an incentive in France.
Open to diversity and new ideas : You’ll commonly find tattooed policemen, employees with blue hair, foreigners, people seem to globally care less about how things look or sound (and they actually like a bit of a French accent) and that might explain their sense of fashion. English people don’t fear being different, they drive on the left, use different measurement units, electric sockets, and despise UHT milk.
Nice country to drive in / travel, despite the traffic jams. Everywhere is so close (especially if you live in the midlands!). Motorways are virtually free and vehicles check happen every year. People won’t honk at you for stupid reasons. Many airports with countless destinations to the continent. Parking your car in a city centre is also a lot less expensive than in France.
Crime and insecurity is rare. People aren’t obsessed with guns. Cities are safe, and police is useful. People will often say hello and thanks to the bus driver (maybe less in London), and non-paying customers wouldn’t be allowed. People are most of the time very polite and respectful.
The Pub culture
Good tea and beer (local craft Ale) at a very decent price (£3.50-4 where I live). The pub culture is unrivaled. They do some decent cheese like the Stilton blue, and it’s hard to beat a proper English breakfast. They also serve proper pints (0.56L) instead of European pints (0.5L).
Hard to compare with other Europeans cities, but here museums are free. They have a national television network whose dramas and world news coverage are the best in the world. And it has no commercials. Also, I have to mention British humour, which seems stupid at first, but once you get it, you’ll love it.
The weather isn’t as bad as people say it is. Summer is fantastic and most cities have a lot of green area.
Britain is gastronomically underdeveloped. Take away the beers and breakfast, and it’s mostly fish and chips, burgers and fries. Although, with such a diversity (see pros), if you love cooking, you’ll be able to get anything.
General sense of aesthetic, design and colour is … different, and you might see such things as : Carpet in bathrooms (what were they thinking?) or hallways, flower dresses that’ll look like grandma’s curtains, those weird windows that look like a bunch of squares tied together, English sofas, shaved/painted eyebrows, women wearing mini-skirts in winter, … Note that if you mention the carpet to a British, there is a solid 80% chance that he replies : “Because it’s cosy.”
Medium sized cities planning is bad which leads to traffic jams, and the architecture can be atrociously ugly. Medium size city centers usually consist of a betting shop, next to a pawnshop, next to a pub, next to a grocery store, next to a mobility scooter store, next to a KFC, in front of a McDonald that’s sitting next to a Primark.
Higher education seems expensive. Students have to take ridiculously high loans, which also makes the following point harder:
Rents and house prices
The housing market is expensive, and houses are small to compensate for that. Single professionals will have close to no chance to ever own a property, especially around London and the south of the country. Also, windows usually open outward (what were they thinking?).
Imperial measurements. It’s fun ordering a pint in a pub, but when you start talking miles per gallon while you get liters from the petrol station, it gets ridiculous.
Sea Of Thieves is out !
After three years working on what is at that date the biggest project I ever worked on, Sea Of Thieves is now released.
Sea of Thieves is a shared world action-adventure video game developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows 10 and Xbox. The game allows players to take the role of a pirate, sailing the seas of a fantastical world either solo or as part of a crew of up to four players. The game features both co-operative and player versus player combat.
Put down the controller and close your eyes: there is no better game on earth to listen to. What do I hear? The creak of timbers, the flap of a sail, the thud and shudder and boom of the ocean.
So many of my very favourite things in Sea of Thieves are sounds. There’s the wonderful snug internal clonk of the ship’s wheel settling back into its full-ahead position (so subtle you have to really listen for it; at times I think I am imagining the whole thing). There’s the strained, buckling groan of your hull reacting to a dropped anchor when it still has sails filled with wind. Best of all there’s the neat, arresting, confirmative thwack of a shovel digging into sand and hitting – something! Something good! A treasure chest! Clonk, groan, thwack. This is a game you play with your ears as much as your eyes, and while your eyes get the glorious rolling, thrashing drama of the waters to look at, your ears get so much else besides. Your ears get the detailing that really sells the fiction.
Gamescom 2017 : Representing Rare & Sea Of Thieves
I had the opportunity to go to Gamescom 2017, in Cologne, Germany, where I’ve been guiding and informing attendants about Sea Of Thieves.
Gamescom is extremely intense, mostly because it is so different from my day to day activities : you stay stand up most of the time, it is a very noisy environment, and you are in permanent contact with visitors and everyday gamer that sometimes don’t speak English. Actually, it’s the exact opposite of my current job!
Although, seeing the first smiles and laugh of non-developers playing the game for the first time is thrilling. The enthusiasm and the excitement in their voices cannot be faked and noticing their first time ever reactions to the game is extremely interesting. When you work a long time on a game you tend to forgot about the first time experience and sometime you end up focusing on things only you can see (or hear, in my case).
I answered countless questions, participated in live streams, took a picture of Angela Merkel with the Sea Of Thieves booth (!!) and globally had a blast, unforgettable experience.
See more and have a look at my Gamescom pictures here.
What ‘s new in game’s world this year : 5 little games worth playing in 2017
Check out this selection of 5 great little games that are worth a play and won’t break the bank.
Deadbolt is a sort of try and die / shooter 2D game. You play as a sort of noble undead and kill zombies, vampires and other mystical creatures in our contemporary world. The atmosphere is great and the game challenging (especially if you liked Hotline Miami).
Beat Cop is a 2D point and click adventure game where you’re a cop during the 70’s. The game is playing on cliches on purpose and is genuinely funny while the storyline is captivating as there are many different outcomes.
Turmoil is a 2D (once again) strategy game where you’ll have to dig oil during the 19th century. Although the story line is almost non-existent, it is a nice little game that can become challenging at time and will require you to make good decisions. Manage time, risks, costs and upgrades to get the most out of the soil.
Old Man’s Journey
I am not sure how to talk about Old Man’s Journey. It is a little 2D game with very little interactions, but the whole thing is simply charming. It seems more designed for kids and for tablets so don’t expect a challenging game, but it is, surely, a well made one.
Ok, Sheltered technically came out last year and I didn’t play the game until recently, but still. In Sheltered, a pixel art, survival game, you have to manage a family that took refuge into a bunker after a nuclear holocaust. All your characters (including your pet) have abilities and different stats and the game will require you to manage your electricity, water, supplies, food, radiation and so on. There are also combats in the wild lands, the ability to recruit new people (but can you afford to feed them?), and a strong crafting component.
Sea Of Thieves : Sounds of the Land and Sea
So here is my first appearance talking a bit about the audio in Sea Of Thieves with Jamie Hughes. Hoping you will find it interesting, for more information about the game, please visit : https://www.seaofthieves.com/
In short : 5 little games worth playing in 2016
Not sure what’s new in game’s world this year? Check out this selection of 5 great little games that are worth a play and won’t make a hole in your wallet.
Firewatch is a sort of hiking simulator / narrative game (first person view). You play as Henry, and spend the most of your time speaking to Delilah (via your talkie) and running around a natural reserve. The atmosphere is great and the story captivating. Kudos for the music!
Samorost 3 is a puzzle / point and click journey made by Amanita Design (who also made Botanicula and the lovely Machinarium). It got its own peculiar atmosphere, it also sounds and feel great thanks to the extensive work on the music and sound design.
Inside is a platformer / puzzle-game made by Playdead (creators of Limbo). Set in a grim and Orwellian type of world, the game is highly polished with its flat / minimalist design and definitively very pleasing to see, hear and play.
It is hard talking about Factorio as its still in development but the game is pretty much finished to me and highly enjoyable with friends. Most of the game is based around collecting and transforming resources. It is more of a simcity/minecraft type of game. Starting from scratch, you will have to build, improve, automate and maintain a factory in order to build yourself a rocket and leave the planet. There are also fights against aliens, military buildings and researches to complete.
Crush your enemies
Crush your enemies is a small pixel art RTS. Everything happens on one screen, it is easy to learn but hard to master, and it’s wrapped around some sort of barbarian humor.
Rare Replay is out !
After having worked six months on the game, Rare Replay is now out and released! Very proud having worked on it.
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Rare brings together the adventures of its iconic characters in a collection that spans the decades. From its earliest 2D classics to Xbox 360 triumphs, Rare Replay delivers a gaming treasure trove for veteran players and newcomers alike. As you brawl with the Battletoads, grab Jiggies in Banjo-Kazooie and fight the future in Perfect Dark, you’ll uncover bonus content and exclusive looks at the creation of Rare Replay’s hits. Master the basics or test your skills with all-new snapshot challenges and 10,000 Gamerscore. Gaming’s greatest are back, lovingly presented and exclusively on Xbox One!
Rare Replay is a 2015 compilation of 30 video games previously developed by Rare in their 30-year combined history. The emulated games span multiple genres and consoles and retain the features and errors of their original releases with minimal edits. The compilation adds cheats to make the older games easier and a Snapshots mode of specific challenges culled from parts of the games. Player progress is rewarded with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews about Rare’s major and unreleased games.
The compilation was one of several ideas Rare considered to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Inspired by fans, upcoming Xbox One backwards compatibility features, and the idea to connect Rare’s past and future, the company sorted through 120 games to choose titles that best represented its oeuvre. They prioritized games with characters and environments original to the company. Rare incorporated six emulators in the package, and worked with its parent company, Microsoft, to use its unannounced Xbox 360 emulation. Rare Replay was announced at the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo and released worldwide as an Xbox One exclusive on August 4, 2015.