Gameskinny Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Gameskinny RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network GameSkinny Staff's 2017 Game of the Year Picks https://www.gameskinny.com/n5275/gameskinny-staffs-2017-game-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/n5275/gameskinny-staffs-2017-game-of-the-year-picks Tue, 02 Jan 2018 17:21:18 -0500 Kat De Shields

2018 is upon us, but we can't properly usher in the new year without giving some major kudos to the games we fell in love with in 2017. For some of us, it was an easy decision. For others, it took some deliberation. From blockbuster hits for major publishers to awesome titles from smaller studios, here's the GameSkinny roundup for Game of the Year. 

Jonathan Moore - Senior Editor

Nex Machina 

 

Taking detailed notes from games of yore such as Robotron: 2084 and Smash TV, Nex Machina is a modern slant in the logical progression of all things chaos and twin-stick-shooter. Working in conjunction with Eugene Jarvis, the grandfather of the frenetic arcade shooter, Housemarque ventured into new territory while remaining faithful to the edicts that set twin-stick shooters apart from other genres in the 80s and 90s.

Nex Machina is a blast to play. With tight controls, intelligently belligerent AI, beautiful design, and interesting bosses that redefine bullet-hell insanity, it's exceedingly difficult to find another shooter that bests it. The most fun I had all year was traversing the game's labyrinthine stages (which are utterly gorgeous), unlocking its well-placed secrets, and blasting robots into the scrap heap of oblivion in some of the most glorious arcade combat I've experienced since Resogun (and perhaps ever).  

The only qualm I had with Nex Machina is that it wasn't longer, but its arcade style more than makes up for that. When you come back to a game over and over and over and over again, that tells you something -- it tells you a game is special. And in 2017, I played way too much Nex Machina, none of which I regret in the slightest. In short, Nex Machina is a masterclass in sensory bombardment without the overload -- and makes you feel as if you're truly living Running Man.

Nier: Automata

 

Nier: Automata perfectly blends genres into a whirling game-smoothie of delight. It's the hack-and-slash action RPG top-down twin-stick shooter platformer I didn't know I wanted until I finally started playing it. Somehow (some way), Nier seamlessly fuses 2D, 3D, and top-down playstyles and camera angles into a flourishing adventure of action and, at times, metered patience. It makes these genres feel naturally connected -- and subverts player expectations in all the right ways. 

On top of that, its narrative is quirky and whimsical, yet also full of emotional and philosophical resonance. Whereas I felt utter delight blasting robots in Nex MachinaNier: Automata flipped the script. These weren't blood-thirsty terminators but beings with emotion and agency -- beings I grew to care for. 

Swirling in and out of Nier's set pieces, the game's soundtrack supports that emotion and agency with character and gravitas. Where there's no dialogue, there's music to explain character progression and intent. Where there's bombastic fighting, there's sweeping melody. There aren't too many games that so elegantly synchronize story and poignancy in such a way, but Nier pulls it off beautifully.  

Zach Hunt - Editor 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 

One of my fondest gaming memories -- heck, one of my fondest memories in general -- is of first setting loose upon some mysterious land called Hyrule, unsure of what exactly I was doing or where I was going, but finding absolute joy in every moment of the original The Legend of Zelda. Like a blue candle burning away a bush to reveal hidden depths beneath, Breath of the Wild rekindled that flame within me, reminding me of why I ever started playing video games in the first place.

Everything that can be said about Breath of the Wild has already been said, so rather than justify my game of the year pick by detailing all that it did right (or how it succeeds despite some flaws), I'm going to talk about my beloved Hyrulian horse, Jomo, and about how the connection I felt with him reflected this game's unique ability to draw me into its world.

I think I was probably on my way to some Divine Beast or another when I spotted an innocent little fox that, for whatever reason, I decided needed to die. With my horseback archery skills being abysmal, I ditched my dappled steed Jomo and pursued that stupid fox down a cliffside for an unreasonable amount of time. Well, I couldn't tell you where that little sucker ended up, but I found myself a hundred feet beneath my steadfast equine buddy, whose distant silhouette towered against a darkening Hyrule sky.

Possibly the best horse photobomb ever. Screenshot courtesy of Nintendolife forums. 

So what did I do? I looked up at my trusty horse, and I did what you do in BotW: I whistled. I whistled poor Jomo -- loyal to the last -- to a horrific suicide straight down the face of the mountain. 

Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking. Part of me figured there was no way he'd hear the whistle from that distance or, if he did, that he'd surely just neigh it away as if to say, "Yeah, I don't think so. You're like three minutes from a stable full of other horses, so I'm just gonna chill up here until you decide to climb back up." But that was misguided. That was ignorant. That was murder.

I watched in terror as my once graceful Jomo tumbled down, hooves-up, dashed against jagged boulders amid clouds of that very same Hyrulian soil upon which he once so nobly trotted. Time stopped. Critters scurried. And I was left to face the consequences of what I had just done to my best friend in all of Hyrule. 

Jomo was gone for good (or so I thought at the time), and I was devastated. Sure, I had a couple other horses at the stables, but I hadn't spent hours upon hours of my life exploring with those guys. Jomo was, and would always be, my adventuring companion in this world, and moving forward would be a much slower, more melancholic exercise from there on out.

Thinking back on my many, many hours with BotW, I consider just how much will it sometimes took to turn the game off, to get some sleep, to be a real person in the real world. But the death of dear Jomo, noblest stallion in all of Hyrule, was enough of a shock to keep me from returning to my Switch for well over a week. I needed time to mourn.

The point of all this hyperbole is that certain moments in BotW reminded me -- on a very visceral level -- that video games truly are more than just interactive entertainment. The death of Jomo, and my own genuine guilt afterward, made concrete for me the idea that video games belong right there alongside literature, film, and music as having the potential to truly transform and affect us. For that reason (and a million others), Breath of the Wild is my game of the year ... and Jomo is my horse of the century.

Brian Schaaf (Rothalack) - Developer 

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)

I was mostly displeased by 2017's games. The games I really want to give my GOTY are not from this year. This means I have to begrudgingly give PUBG my game of the year.

The reason I can give such a broken mess GOTY is because of the design philosophy of the game and the cultural/streamer impact the game has made. It has so many whispers of where games like DOTA have come from: Pure grass roots passion and strict adherence to a design philosophy that results in a complicated game with a steep learning curve.

These types of games, in my opinion, keep the real hardcore gamer culture alive as well as prove its large market appeal. Gamers don't always want perfect, streamlined, "mainstream" games. They want passionate, well thought-out, difficult games. Blizzard, for example, likes to make games that bridge the gap between near perfectly designed games and streamlined, easy-to-learn mechanics while still maintaining a hard-to-master feel.

PUBG is a great example that if there's an idea of a game that is hard to learn from the start (and pretty much broken), it can still make Call of Duty jealous of the playerbase and wide appeal. 

Kat De Shields - JTP Coordinator & Communications Manager

What Remains of Edith Finch 

There are games that have stories in them, and then there are games that really tell a great story. As an avid writer and reader, What Remains of Edith Finch is a bittersweet narrative adventure that is beautiful in design and plot lines.

It goes without saying that the focal point of the game is the bizarre story that unfolds as Edith learns the history of her family members and what caused each of their deaths. The stories are connected in that the life and thoughts of one family member are referenced in sequences outside of their own. The narrative structure is subtly woven together in a way that gives life to the shadowy secrets Edith discovers as she walks through the house.

A theme of childhood nostalgia runs deep within the game -- from monsters under the bed, to flying kites, to seeing how high you can go on a swing set. Often, I would pause during a segment and dwell in the level of detail provided in each vignette. Though some may wave off this game as a walking sim, if you're looking for an adventure of heart and mind that lingers long after the end credits roll, you should definitely give What Remains of Edith Finch a go.

*******

 What were your Game of the Year picks? Let us know in the comments below. Happy New Year from the GameSkinny crew! We hope 2018 is a great year for growth and gaming. 

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GameSkinny is Ranked the 8th Largest Game News and Review Site on Alexa https://www.gameskinny.com/s4l7t/gameskinny-is-ranked-the-8th-largest-game-news-and-review-site-on-alexa https://www.gameskinny.com/s4l7t/gameskinny-is-ranked-the-8th-largest-game-news-and-review-site-on-alexa Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:56:43 -0400 Kat De Shields

GameSkinny is kicking butt and taking names. And now we're climbing our way to the top ranks in Alexa.

Created by Amazon, Alexa is a tool that tracks website traffic, statistics, and analytics. According to Alexa, GameSkinny is listed in the top 500 sites on the web in the Game and News Site category. To sweeten the deal, GameSkinny comes in as the 8th most prominent game and news review site against more than 100 competitors. Aww yissssssss.

We're comin' for that number one spot!

According to the website, Alexa's site ranking is calculated by a combination of average daily visitors and pageviews. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1. 

We're excited for future opportunities and are looking forward to building an even stronger community. If you want to get involved, you can start writing immediately as a GameSkinny Community Writer, join our Journalist Training Program for a more structured in-depth learning experience, pitch articles, or apply to be a freelance writer. GameSkinny is 100% edited no matter who you are or how you found us -- and all of our writers receive the support of our seasoned editorial team.

GameSkinny has come a long way over the past five years, and we're incredibly proud of our success. However, we know that we wouldn't have gotten very far without our fantastic Community Writers, JTP Members (past and present), and a super awesome reader base. So thank you for being awesome and for helping GameSkinny to be awesome, too. We couldn't have done it without you. 

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Add GameSkinny Certification Badges To Your LinkedIn Profile https://www.gameskinny.com/02mkc/add-gameskinny-certification-badges-to-your-linkedin-profile https://www.gameskinny.com/02mkc/add-gameskinny-certification-badges-to-your-linkedin-profile Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:22:47 -0400 Kat De Shields

LinkedIn is one of the most prominent professional networking platforms, and there isn't a better place to share your career accomplishments. Celebrate your successes with GameSkinny by adding a verified certification badge to your profile. It shows your network and employers that you're serious about what you do and are willing to go the extra mile. We currently have six badges that you can earn. 

It's Time to Toot Your Own Horn 

GameSkinny.com Contributor: 5 Promoted Articles 

 All of our articles are vetted by an editorial team, so if you have five promoted articles on the site, obviously you're up to snuff. Let your network know you're a contributor for the fastest  growing games journalism community on the planet with this badge. 

 

GameSkinny.com Homepage Hero: 5 Featured Articles

 You've owned the most prominent position on the GameSkinny homepage five times because you generate awesome, click-worthy content. Toot your own horn with this featured badge. 

 

GameSkinny.com Recognized Contributor: 30,000 Pageviews 

 Oh boy, you're on a roll. Across all of your articles, you've netted 30K pageviews. Well done, GS Writer, well done. Celebrate your success with this certification badge. By the way, you do know you can earn GS Bounty, right?

 

GameSkinny.com Verified Contributor: 50,000 Pageviews

You bleed GameSkinny green and you have the pageviews to prove it. In honor of your achievement, slap this badge on your profile and watch out for your shout out on the GameSkinny Twitter account

  

GameSkinny.com JTP 9 Week Intensive Completion 

You committed 9-weeks of your life to studying the ins and outs of games journalism, and we commend you for it. Add this certification to your profile, and be sure to update your resume with the experience you gained from the JTP!   

 

GameSkinny.com JTP Mentor Completion

You loved GameSkinny and your JTP experience so much, you came back and leveled up as a mentor.  You've gained managerial, writing and editing experience. Make it known and add this certification to LinkedIn! 

***We're now accepting applications for 2017 JTP Sessions!***

Note:  You'll receive an automated email containing a link to your certification badge when you cross the threshold. JTP and JTP Senior Mentor badge links are provided at the conclusion of the session. 

Adding LinkedIn Certification Badges to Your Profile

Adding a GameSkinny.com certification to your LinkedIn profile is easy and only takes a couple seconds to complete. 

  1. You'll receive an email containing a link to your badge, click it!
  2. The following box will appear above your profile image on LinkedIn. 
  3. Click "edit certification details." You can leave the License field blank, and toggle the "This certification never expires" box. Click "Save"
  4. Your certification should now appear in your profile. If you can't see it, first try refreshing the page. If it still doesn't work, you may need to add a certification section to your LinkedIn profile

 We'll be adding more certification badges that you can add to your profile over the next few months, so keep an eye out. Is there a badge you'd like to see added? Let us know in the comments section. 

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New from GameSkinny: Introducing Launch Commerce https://www.gameskinny.com/doku9/new-from-gameskinny-introducing-launch-commerce https://www.gameskinny.com/doku9/new-from-gameskinny-introducing-launch-commerce Thu, 11 Aug 2016 07:24:59 -0400 kate.farrow

We’ve always reviewed gaming products on GameSkinny. We’ve even put together buying guides for the best gaming desks and gift guides for the holidays. Well, now we’re taking that one step further. Maybe more than one.

Enter Launch Commerce. GameSkinny’s Launch Commerce posts are where you go for recommendations and deals when you need a new headset or some sweet PokeGear for that PokeDate you’re going on this weekend.

As GameSkinny’s Launch Commerce Editor, I will be hand-selecting some of the gaming community’s favorite products or best deals. My daily posts will appear on GameSkinny, but you can have them sent directly to your inbox if you’re signed up for GameSkinny’s newsletter. Keep an eye out for my posts so you can find your next favorite gadget, gear, or game (without breaking the bank)!

 

I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at commerce@LaunchMediaNetwork.com.

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JTP Jingo Session - The Intern Experience https://www.gameskinny.com/bql6n/jtp-jingo-session-the-intern-experience https://www.gameskinny.com/bql6n/jtp-jingo-session-the-intern-experience Mon, 16 May 2016 03:30:01 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

The Journalist Training Program (JTP) here at GameSkinny is all about giving anyone real experience in journalism, and online publishing. With skilled and knowledgeable editors, content management systems, and a whole bunch of people who are willing to help, anyone can join!

With the Jingo session at an end, some of our illustrious and fantastic Junior Interns shared their thoughts on the 9-week program.

Jeffrey Rousseau

After graduating recently, I found that the JTP really did help out with focusing my efforts. The session really does provide a great basis for journalism in general. The most important thing that it has given me is experience. Experience is so valuable to have and I appreciate that we have the opportunity. I have to admit I really enjoyed the advice emails for our weekly goals. It’s certainly helped me think of my evergreen titles especially. Writing is easy enough but writing with no direction is driving with no map.

The JTP session wasn’t without its rough patches though. I encountered times when my articles were taken, even after being claimed in the Content Directive (CD). Other times I got frustrated was when I would have articles sitting the lobby for nearly 48 hours. I understand the editors have their hands full and it’s a lot of articles to edit. Still, I might not like that but it goes with the territory.

At first, I panicked to think I wouldn’t be able to create 5 weekly articles of any kind. Yet, here I am weeks later and it’s smooth as clockwork. I really feel my writing has evolved, now that I have a space to put it in. I wasn’t very pleased with my view count, but it’s all a learning process. I realized that all articles need to be promoted accordingly and have a catchy title. When it comes to gaming news, now I immediately think about primary source.

I’m coming back for more JTP goodness!

Benjamin Hernandez

I was a little skeptical about starting the JTP session, especially after the first week just being news articles for the most part. Then week-on-week it grew and grew, and I really enjoyed the different assignments we were given.

The different personalities of editors and mentors helped get different perspectives on the same articles, which was great. The knowledge that was available was extremely helpful, and not only is my writing better it has gotten faster too. I have a better understanding of how to get the information I need, and express it in my articles.

Damien Smith

I have loved every minute of the JTP. It has been a real learning experience, that covers a large array of different forms of articles and in great detail. Before participating in the JTP, I was very much someone who just stuck with writing reviews, and the occasional news article and listicle.

Since the JTP, I am now confident to write in all forms of articles from news, reviews, op-eds, and even guides. Interviews were always something I was very much nervous of, as I am not the most socially confident individual. The program has helped bring me out of my shell and gave me the confidence needed to get out there, and interact with the industry.

It teaches you everything you need to know about video game journalism. You just need to work towards improving your writing in every way possible. The program has something new for everyone to learn, as it covers so much. The entire team, both the GameSkinny staff and the mentors, have all been extremely helpful and friendly to work with.

I couldn't ask for a more supportive team. I can't recommend the JTP highly enough. If you want to bring your writing skills to the next level, the JTP is an absolute must. My writing has improved considerably over the nine weeks of the program. I can't wait to return for another lesson.

Mark Elgie

When I first heard about GameSkinny's JTP, I was intrigued. I was strongly considering completing an internship there. At the same time, though, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle it. 5 articles a week

Then I actually went in, with a bunch of other people, and did the work -- I loved every minute of it. If there was something I wasn't sure of, I just asked about it and received an answer. It was great.

It wasn't the smoothest of a ride, but I got to write about a topic that I love, and about games that I love even more. So if you're a gamer, you love writing, you have no excuse. You owe it to yourself. Give it a go. You won't regret it.

Junae Benne

I loved my session in the JTP with GameSkinny. It exposed my weak points within video game journalism. I appreciate all the Senpais that helped out on this journey. They will tell you exactly what you did wrong and allow you to fix your mistakes.

This method worked the best for me, because I like to see what I did wrong so I learn from my mistakes. I loved that I could receive extra help pretty much around the clock, because someone was available and willing to help out. I appreciate that within JTP I was allowed to branch out and take on any project, and receive the encouragement needed to complete said project.

The amount of knowledge that is in this program is overwhelming, but in a good way. Any and everything you want to know about video games, video game journalism, and how to start your journalism career, the people of the JTP know it. They are the plug, take advantage of this program ASAP.

Joshua Potter

I learned about GameSkinny's JTP program from a friend, and couldn't be happier with having joined. Everyone has been very considerate and I love being able to read feedback on my work. The world is full of people ready to give you criticism, but it's not often that you can actually find an entire site dedicated to offering something constructive, with the sole purpose of helping you to succeed.

Everyone who has ever given me feedback on any of my work has been very helpful, and concise in what needed to be fixed. They also praise the work I've done well, showing me what needs improvements, and what I should continue to use in order to strengthen my writing.

I feel like I'm coming out of this experience with a lot more confidence about my writing, and have a very clear idea of what it is I can do to continue to work on. The JTP, and it's amazing community, have really helped me put goals in front of myself to continue my writing. I honestly couldn't be more proud of being accepted into this opportunity.

Thank you to everyone above for the feedback, and being such great sports!

But that's not everything!

As a returning Senior Mentor myself, I have had a great time also bringing my skills higher than before. Not only with my writing, but with SEO, social media promotion, and even editing experience. Yep, GameSkinny let me edit things -- Yes, I know they are crazy, and that's why I keep coming back.

David Fisher also asks that you bring some tissues, as I tend to get wet eyes fairly often -- we are a considerate bunch. David is now a Freelancer here at GameSkinny. This could be you too.

I, along with others, will be joining the next session, codenamed Kiwi. If you want a delicious dose of ripe games journalism learning, then take a bite and apple apply now!

If you don't think you're good enough, who are you? Because I want to prove to you that you can do it!

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Activision being sued by historical figure Savimbi's survivors for an inaccurate portrayal in Call of Duty Black ops 2. https://www.gameskinny.com/azd1o/activision-being-sued-by-historical-figure-savimbis-survivors-for-an-inaccurate-portrayal-in-call-of-duty-black-ops-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/azd1o/activision-being-sued-by-historical-figure-savimbis-survivors-for-an-inaccurate-portrayal-in-call-of-duty-black-ops-2 Sat, 16 Jan 2016 10:14:17 -0500 Benjamin Browning

Despite all of the controversy about their father, the children of Savimbi were alarmed by the depiction of him in Activion’s blockbuster hit Call of Duty Black ops 2. The family argues that he was a “political leader and strategist,” and not a “barbarian” or a “big halfwit who wants to kill everybody.”

In the early 1960’s, Jonas Savimbi was a political and military leader for the Republic of Angola, who ended up founding and leading the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, the UNITA. He was killed in 2002, the result of a dispute against the Angolan Government.

One segment of the game in particular—seen in the video above—that caused the family to file suit is the line Savimbi’s shouts before charging to battle, “DEATH TO THE MPLA!” However, during an interview with The Guardian a legal representative for Activision Blizzard stated he was a “good guy,” in the video game and “portrayed ‘for who he was…a character of Angolan history, a guerrilla chief who fought the [People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola]."

Savimbi’s surviving children are seeking €1 million in damages from Activision Blizzard's French arm, as they live in France.  However, the game developer's legal counsel claims that the lawsuit is “without merit."

This is not the first time a lawsuit has been filed against the Call of Duty Black Ops 2 developer for not asking permission to use someone's image. A suit was filed by Manuel Noriega for using his “name and likeness” last year, and was thrown out of court. The game’s publisher asserted that artistic interpretation allows for the depiction of historical figures in movies, books, television, and games as a form of free speech. This strategy will also be used once more against the Savimbi case.

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GameSkinny staff's 2015 Game of the Year picks https://www.gameskinny.com/qscsh/gameskinny-staffs-2015-game-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/qscsh/gameskinny-staffs-2015-game-of-the-year-picks Thu, 10 Dec 2015 11:23:40 -0500 GameSkinny Staff

Oh, hey there, GameSkinny community!

It's that time of year again; we're talking Game of the Year awards. Same as last year, we're going to sit down and pick out some of our favorite games of 2015 and tell you a little bit about why we love them!

Today, I'm joined by some familiar GameSkinny faces and some lesser-seen faces from our Atlanta offices. Let's get to it.

Kate Farrow - Community Manager

Fallout 4

Stephen (our CEO) made me play Fallout 3 because I had never played it and it's possibly his favorite game series in the entire universe. I fell in love with the game and instantly hopped aboard the Fallout 4 hype train full speed to Bethesda (Our Lord and Savior) Land. I have not been disappointed in the least playing Fallout 4. I've been mesmerized, intrigued, terrified and totally invested in the game due to all the care they've put into the details.

You can tell that this game is made by people who love what they do and pour their passion into their work. Glitches...they just happen when you're working with something where you can't predict or address every foreseeable action a player might take. Bethesda fixes their mistakes. They've done us right with Fallout 4.

Honorable Mention: DragonVale. It's actually 4-years-old and a mobile game. However, it's the only mobile game I've continued to play for more than a month or so without getting bored with it. I think I've played it for 8 months or so at this point. It continues to engage me with updates, events, new goals and challenges that are difficult, yet achievable. Plus, the goal of the game is dragons: gotta hatch 'em all. So many types! I've never played any other mobile game as consistently as I play DragonVale.

Editor's Note: Picking a 4-year-old game for her Honorable Mention makes Kate a dirty cheater.

 

Brian Schaaf (Rothalack) - Developer

Heroes of the Storm

Okay, you got me, I'm just a Blizzard fanboy. But, really, HotS has taken one of the most hardcore genres out there and stripped it down to pure fun. I like to say: for every mechanic in LoL, there are two mechanics in Dota. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if you added it all up, HotS has one fourth the mechanics as Dota. I've been watching competitive Dota 2 for about 3 years now, and I watch because it just blows my mind.

HotS has been my chance to actually play the genre and be very good at it without dumping the insane commitment needed to be good at Dota.

I've been playing HotS since very early Alpha and am up to 1000+ games played. The only thing I do not like about HotS is matchmaking, it is pretty bad at the moment. Once they fix up matchmaking, it will be a nearly perfect game. My favorite parts of HotS are the heroes and the art style. I love how when you start a match, your hero always has a dialog with another hero. Just look at this little lore-filled exchange between Tyrande and Illidan.

Tyrande: Setting you free was my biggest mistake.

Illidan: And loving you is mine.

I cannot wait to see the game continues to grow, and I can't wait to see the game get to 100+ heroes.

Honorable Mention: Speaking of pure fun, props to Rocket League. This game came out of nowhere and surprised everyone. I was really excited to see a pro scene develop with big tournaments, but that hasn't seemed to reach full steam yet. I'd really enjoy watching some high-level tournament play and crazy aerials.

 

Kushick Paul - Minecraft Intern

Bloodborne

Out of all the great releases in 2015, I'm going to have to pick Bloodborne. I've been a fan of From Software since Demon Souls, and they did not disappoint with their new-gen installment. The gameplay is absolutely amazing. No more sluggish, tank-like movements - instead, when you engage in combat everything feels so fluid as you sidestep everything that comes at you until you can finally close in for the kill.

Or be killed, because it's REALLY HARD. But the challenge adds to the overall enjoyment. Bosses feel like bosses and trophies feel like real accomplishments. The environment is stunning, and the story is enthralling. And, in true From Software fashion, everything is delightfully cryptic. Bloodborne is just perfect. It's been a while since I played a game for 6-8 hrs in a single sitting, debated sleep, and repeated the process over again the next day. 10/10. Would play again.

Honorable Mention: Goes to Witcher 3. Great game, but maybe too big for its own good.

 

Kathryn De Shields - Social Media Manager

Undertale

When it comes to this game, obsessed is an understatement. I'm a sucker for an awesome narrative with dark/macabre elements, and Undertale doesn't disappoint. This 16-bit, bullet hell RPG is a must play for anyone who loves quirky characters, a haunting story, and high fantasy. Every decision carries weight and culminates in an ending that lingers in your mind long after the computer is turned off. The puns, jokes, and downright odd observations/descriptions make for some great laugh-out-loud moments that offset some of the creepier scenes in the game.

With approximately six hours playtime, I'm on my third run through the game and am just as engaged (if not more so) as I was during my first playthrough. I was floored to discover that in restarting the game, the characters REMEMBER YOU and some of the decisions you made in a prior run. (This fact still trips me out when it occurs.) However, that is the tip of the iceberg in terms of Undertale's complexity. I guarantee: if you play it, you'll be filled with determination to unlock all the dark secrets that lurk within the game.

 

Auverin Morrow - Associate Editor (Weeknights)

Pillars of Eternity

It's so hard to pick a GOTY this year. We got Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Life is Strange, and so many other fantastic titles. It's been a good year for gaming. But honestly, I think I have to go with Pillars of Eternity. I can't remember the last time I got to play a truly great isometric RPG, and Pillars just blew me away. The lore and the world is so rich, and I kept creating different characters because there are so many different ways to play.

Plus, it's possible to play Pillars as all bears, and that's pretty amazing.

Honorable mention: I'm tempted to say Witcher 3 or Fallout 4... but I need to give props to Life is Strange. That game deeply moved a lot of people, myself included.

 

Jay Ricciardi - Senior Editor

Pillars of Eternity

It is very tough for me to see the same game on this list twice - the editor in me in screaming in frustration at the missed opportunity to create a more diverse list! However, I simply can't not give my Game of the Year pick to Pillars of Eternity.

I've always loved the isometric RPGs of yesteryear and am a huge nut for Kickstarter projects, so I was already primed to enjoy Pillars - and, hot damn, I'm so glad I gave it a chance. Everything that should be good about an RPG is simply stunning in this game: the writing, the characters, the voice acting, the world, the dialogue trees, and the gameplay are all a blast. 

I adore the humble origin story (from horrible gastric distress to heroic deeds), I love the number and depth of viable roleplay options beyond 'walk in front door and kill everything', and I just can't get over how rich the world is.

Every time I stopped to learn about each random NPC's backstory with the 'Watcher' mechanic (see screenshot) I was floored by the quality of writing and world building. Pillars of Eternity easily claims my Game of the Year spot.

Honorable mention: Heroes of the Storm has taken up a lot of my time this year and with good reason. It's the most innovative and creative take on the MOBA genre and is, at least, two steps ahead of Dota 2 and League of Legends. I've played a LOT of League over the past five years, but I don't think I can ever go back.

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Introducing GameSkinny's new Weekend Editor: QuintLyn! https://www.gameskinny.com/kyo9f/introducing-gameskinnys-new-weekend-editor-quintlyn https://www.gameskinny.com/kyo9f/introducing-gameskinnys-new-weekend-editor-quintlyn Thu, 29 Oct 2015 08:07:14 -0400 GameSkinny Staff

Greetings, GameSkinny community! Today we officially introduce our brand new Associate Weekend Editor, QuintLyn Bowers.

QuintLyn (Q, for you James Bond fans) brings over four years of gaming-related editorial experience to GameSkinny and we are absolutely ecstatic to have her on our team. She also hit a lot of our key checkboxes with experience in SEO, writer education, and community management. There has been a LOT of stiff competition for this role, but QuintLyn is the clearly the best candidate for the job.

Even more exciting? She's already started! After a training session this past weekend, Q is now up to speed and will be floating around GameSkinny on the weekends, dropping into post-edits to offer feedback and advice.

Our sincere thanks and appreciation go out to all of the candidates who took the time to apply; there was a smorgasbord of talent, and we're sad we could only pick one person!

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for any future openings and be sure to check out our advice article on how to get hired for a games journalism job for future applications! 

Of course, you can always make money with GameSkinny by signing up for our Bounty Program, too.

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GameSkinny is Hiring: Associate Editor (Weekends) https://www.gameskinny.com/5uum2/gameskinny-is-hiring-associate-editor-weekends https://www.gameskinny.com/5uum2/gameskinny-is-hiring-associate-editor-weekends Wed, 30 Sep 2015 06:50:37 -0400 GameSkinny Staff

Update: Position is now filled!

Amber (Auverin) Morrow, our former editor in charge of weekend coverage, went and got herself promoted to weeknight Associate Editor here at GameSkinny. This staffing change comes as we bid farewell to Amanda Wallace, who got herself bumped up to full time at her daytime PR and Marketing job.

(Beyond rude, I know. Congrats, Amanda!)

This move will leave our weekends hopelessly deprived of editorial coverage until we tap as our newest Associate Editor in charge of weekend coverage. 

We need one brave, talented, passionate soul who loves games as much as they love the Oxford Comma to guide writers toward greatness on the weekends.

Search Deep Within Your Soul, and Ask Yourself... Are You That Editor?

The weekend editor works on (please, pretend to be surprised) the weekends editing content on GameSkinny.

Responsibilities

This part-time, hourly, contract position is responsible for:

  • Editing articles on GameSkinny with attention to spelling, readability, grammar, accuracy, and entertainment. 
  • Increasing SEO and search quality of articles.
  • Providing helpful, informative, friendly feedback to GameSkinny writers.
  • Acting on a genuine desire to help GameSkinny grow as a community, a destination for gamers, and a great place for writers.
  • Articulating writing techniques and advice to many levels of English proficiency.
  • Providing guidance to JTP members as needed during coverage hours.
  • Writing occasional articles as needed.
  • 5-15 hours of editorial coverage spread over each weekend (Saturday and Sunday), depending on content volume.
Location - Remote or Local

Remote applicants are accepted and encouraged, but our offices are located in Atlanta, GA and we'd love to be able to look you in your eyes now and again. If you're local, we'll be extra-excited to hear from you and you may have opportunities to review whatever physical copies of games and hardware we get.

How to Apply

Please adhere to the following instructions

If you are a current writer on GameSkinny, include a link to your profile in your email, along with your resume.

If you have left editorial feedback on GameSkinny for another writer, please send us a link to the article(s). Second round applicants may be required to edit a sample article.

If you do not have any writing examples on GameSkinny, please include links to other published work online.

To apply, send an email - subject line "Application: Associate Editor" - with your resume attached, to: WriteforUs@GameSkinny.com.

Posted September 30, 2015. Position is now filled.
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Free gifts for day one users of PS Plus in celebration of 5th birthday https://www.gameskinny.com/lz8sn/free-gifts-for-day-one-users-of-ps-plus-in-celebration-of-5th-birthday https://www.gameskinny.com/lz8sn/free-gifts-for-day-one-users-of-ps-plus-in-celebration-of-5th-birthday Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:26:32 -0400 Larry Iaccio

Sony is celebrating the launch of PlayStation Plus which debuted in North America 5 years ago on August 3rd, 2010.  To commemorate this joyous occasion, Sony has decided to reward their most loyal users of the service by sending out special gifts to those who have been subscribed to PS Plus since it first launched.

While it is still unclear what the special gift may be for North American users, Sony plans on contacting their most loyal users via email very soon.  As PlayStation Plus content manager, Chris Howe explains,

"To celebrate those of you that have been with us from the very beginning, a limited edition gift will be arriving in the mail for those of you that have been part of the journey since the very start. Think you may be one of them? Then keep a close eye on your emails as we’ll be getting in touch today."

Users in Japan who were eligible for the gift received free games such as Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate or Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN while European users were promised a free personalized print detailing all of their achievements on PS Plus.

Keep an eye on your email, but in the meantime enjoy the games that PS Plus has to offer for the month of August which include God of War: AscensionLimboLara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and a few others!

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We're making a games journalism eBook, help us pick one of these three cover images https://www.gameskinny.com/arh41/were-making-a-games-journalism-ebook-help-us-pick-one-of-these-three-cover-images https://www.gameskinny.com/arh41/were-making-a-games-journalism-ebook-help-us-pick-one-of-these-three-cover-images Sat, 18 Jul 2015 14:33:18 -0400 Amanda Wallace

UPDATE: Thanks all for the excellent feedback! We've heard you and your thoughts on the covers and we're taking it all into consideration. Keep an eye out for the next news about our ebook!

One of GameSkinny's core tenets is that we are here to help you become better gaming journalists. In the spirit of this philosophy we're bringing you an eBook entitled "A Crash Course in Games Journalism: The Basics." We're hoping to bring you a comprehensive guide for all aspiring game journalists on the basics for writing quality and effective content. 

But for this part, we need your help. 

Everyone knows that you judge a book by its cover, and for a book this cool we're going to need a pretty awesome cover. With that in mind, we've designed three covers and we're looking to you, our GameSkinny community, to help us find the perfect one. 

In the comments below, let us know what your favorite eBook cover is. Which one would you pick up in the bookstore? And if you have any thoughts, be sure to share them. This project is a community endeavor and we're excited to share this with you. 

Cover 1

 

 

Cover 2

Cover 3

Do you have a favorite? Please let us know in the comments below! 

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Master Guide List - Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs https://www.gameskinny.com/s7yl0/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-master-guide-list-tips-tricks-walkthroughs https://www.gameskinny.com/s7yl0/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-master-guide-list-tips-tricks-walkthroughs Tue, 19 May 2015 20:08:16 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

Welcome to the Northern Realms of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. CD Projekt RED has brought us this vast open world concluding Geralt of Rivia's story. For those of you who are fans of The Witcher Series, this long awaited day has finally come, and we at GameSkinny know that assistance will be needed on your journey.

To assist you during your game play will be your humble writers Venisia Gonzalez and Synzer. Here will be the Master Guide List to all of guides being written throughout their game play.

* Note: This is a guide list IN-PROGRESS, so it will be constantly updated as guides are written and changed. Be sure to keep a close eye out.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Guides

Review

Please be sure to leave any suggestions or additional notes in the comments section.

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The Dragon Chasers - Episode #2 https://www.gameskinny.com/1baxz/the-dragon-chasers-episode-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/1baxz/the-dragon-chasers-episode-2 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 16:16:16 -0500 Mark Taylor

Today, we launched a new episode in the Dragon Chasers series as we keep our ears to the ground and our eyes wide open for that next great gaming experience.  We were joined by Bill (aka "Lethality") to chat about new MM's that are on the horizon. Specifically, Crowfall is a sandbox game that seems to have a number of development vets associated with it.  

Things we all seem to like about this upcoming title are the sandbox nature and procedural design elements, which should involve faster development, environmental affects upon the world, and periodic changes to the entire gaming world to keep things dynamic. The net result (we feel) is a more engaging and smaller-focused MMO experience which avoids the long development lead times and rapid content-devouring nature of current gamers.

We hope you like the cast!

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The Dragon Chasers - Episode #1 https://www.gameskinny.com/4d7jc/the-dragon-chasers-episode-1 https://www.gameskinny.com/4d7jc/the-dragon-chasers-episode-1 Sun, 08 Feb 2015 16:47:23 -0500 Mark Taylor

Today, we published and broadcast our new video talk show covering the next great gaming experience - The Dragon Chasers cast.  Like many gamers that have been ruined for all future games thanks to the likes of World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, or some other game changer, we seek new games and hope that one day we will be satisfied again.

Current games to track are things such as Star Citizen, Crowfall, Dreadnought, among others.  So, we hope to track/obsess over the new games that are coming out, gain and maintain relationships with the developers, and host an interactive discussion with you - the gaming community.

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GameSkinny's Best of 2014 League of Legends Awards https://www.gameskinny.com/i8fsl/gameskinnys-best-of-2014-league-of-legends-awards https://www.gameskinny.com/i8fsl/gameskinnys-best-of-2014-league-of-legends-awards Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:43:13 -0500 TheCasualGamer

It's been a long year with many amazing games, players, champions and fan creations. Today GameSkinny is going to take a look at all of them and give you our picks for who came out on top. We will be covering Team of the Year, Player of the Year, Series of the Year, Rioter of the Year, Champion of the Year, Skin of the Year, Game Type of the Year, Event of the Year, Fan Creations of the Year, Community Site of the Year and Journalist of the Year.

Team of the Year

Winner: Samsung White | Runner Up: KT Rolster Arrows

The honor of Team of the Year goes to the Season 4 World Champions Samsung White. After struggling throughout all of 2014 to defeat their sister team Samsung Blue they finally won when it counted in the World Championship Semifinals and advanced on eventually winning the Summoner's Cup. They peaked at just the right time finishing the World Championship with a 15-2 record only losing games to Team Solo Mid and Starhorn Royal Club.

Player of the Year

Winner: Dandy | Runner Up: Mata

Play of the Year honors go to Samsung White's jungler Dandy. Unargueably the best jungler in the world and often the driving force behind the Samsung monster it is hard to argue with his dominance of both Korea and the World. Dandy favoured aggressive play-making junglers like Lee Sin, Kha'zix or his famous Rengar. He put on a clinic in Game 4 of the World Championship FInal and proved exactly why Rengar was always a must ban champion for teams playing against Samsung White.

Series of the Year

Winner: OGN Summer Finals KTA vs SSB
Runner Up: World Championship Semi-Finals OMG vs SHRC

Rivaling the 2013 OGN Champions Summer Final for the greatest series of League of Legends ever played, the 2014 Champions Summer Final takes the Series of the Year award. A completely back and forth series between the KT Rolster Arrows and Samsung Galaxy Blue came down to an epic mirror match. Seriously, if you don't watch any other League of Legends games from 2014 this one is well worth it.

Rioter of the Year

Winner: Deman | Runner Up: JPShub

Everybody's favourite caster Leigh "Deman" Smith wins our award for Rioter of the Year. Never a bad word to say about Deman, coming from a long casting career that started back with Battlefield: 1942, he continued to bring his top-tier casting to EU LCS and the Season 4 World Championship. Despite leaving the Riot family to rejoin the team at ESL he is no less loved and we wish him all the best in 2015 and beyond.

Champion of the Year

Winner: Gnar | Runner Up: Braum

This guy had a "Gnarly" release with some cool lore and an awesome launch event and webpage to boot. Oh, and he's a yordle! Beyond his launch many players wondered how effective this little guy would be with his unreliable transformation mechanic. Gambit Gaming top laner Darien seemed to be the first of many to realize his potential and played him to over a 60% winrate shortly after his release.

Skin of the Year

Winner: Dunkmaster Darius | Runner Up: Project: Yasuo

Riot finally acknowledged the dunk squad with their Dunkmaster Darius skin release. Sporting a broken basketball hoop in place of a giant axe and a Team Noxus jersey, Darius is ready to take on all comers. You can now get all the tasty resets by putting your enemies bodies through your hoop.

Game Type of the Year

Winner: Urf  | Runner Up: Legend of the Poro King

The most popular game mode this year by a landslide was the new Ultra Rapid Fire or URF mode. It didn't matter what champion you picked there was always something ridiculous to discover with no cooldowns and infinite mana! After having almost 15% of the champion pool deemed too overpowered to play in URF mode was shut down all too soon and has been begging to come back ever since.

Event of the Year

Winner: World Championship | Runner Up: IEM Katowice

It should only make sense that the best international event of the year should go to the Season 4 World Championship. However IEM Katowice in March was our runner-up over IEM San Jose and All-Stars. It featured a more diverse international lineup and an undefeated by the slumping KT Rolster Bullets, proving that Korea was still very much ahead of the west.

Fan Creations of the Year

Winner: Instalok | Runner Up: ohnips

Youtubers Instalok top this years fan creations list. Performing parodies of hit songs and even some of their own originals consistently has put them over the top in terms of popularity among the League of Legends player base. Check out their version of Dangerous by David Guetta featuring one of our other winners! Listening to them while you play ensures you'll have fun, even when you're losing.

Community Site of the Year

Winner: Surrender@20 | Runner Up: onGamers

Surrender@20, run by the bearded bandit @Moobeat is our top fan site for 2014. Covering everything from PBE Updates to Tier lists a Dev Tracker and more, Surrender@20 is the one stop shop for everything coming to League of Legends before it hits the live servers!

Journalist of the Year

Winner: Richard Lewis | Runner Up: Kelsey Moser

 

An integral part of the League of Legends community, whether you love him or love to hate him, Richard Lewis snags our Journalist of the Year award. Breaking all the news sometimes before even the teams knew what was going on! The majority of the League of Legends community has warmed up to Richard over the last several months, but several still oppose his ways of bringing news into the public domain. We wish Richard continued success in 2015!

Do you agree with the choices? Who would you have picked in this 2014 round-up? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below!

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GameSkinny: A Contributor's Testimony https://www.gameskinny.com/9p1hz/gameskinny-a-contributors-testimony https://www.gameskinny.com/9p1hz/gameskinny-a-contributors-testimony Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:33:52 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Man... it's been a long time since I've seen that green and gray logo. Way back in the summer of this year, I came upon this fine site by accident. I had realized the site I had been writing for was on a downward spiral, and I had no idea where to go from there. It'd been a lucky bunch of coincidences that had gotten me my first gig, and I didn't want to go back to regular ol' blogging. I wanted to find work for another site. It didn't matter if I was paid or not, just so long as I could work with a great team and help provide some new perspectives.

Thank God for GameSkinny, because I couldn't have found a better place to help me improve my writing and get a new start. The months I contributed here, it was like a breath of fresh air. On most sites, you're either a full-fledged member of the staff, or at best, you can blog independently amongst the community. Beyond that, only a few gaming sites try to encourage new contributors.

After I got set up at GameSkinny, I tried to post as frequently as I could. It was here I pushed myself to try new things I wouldn't have even considered before, with a lot of previous stresses off my head. Because everyone's doing something on GameSkinny, you get that chance to toy around with your reviewing style and try out new things like making slide shows (and apparently now even video content! An addition I'm happy to see.)

The staff were (and still are) all great here at GameSkinny. I got a lot of helpful feedback from everyone, and I still love the approach GameSkinny has taken to games journalism. There's no other site where you can write up an idea and within the day, get free editorial feedback and helpful suggestions, and maybe even end up on the front page.

What's best about this is how the staff even brings on people from the community. While I never got to join in on the JTP due to my new job, I still strongly encourage everyone try to get in that can devote the eight weeks. It's a splendid idea that will help get your feet wet and help identifying your strengths and improving on your weaknesses.

Also, I have to sincerely believe the entire editorial team are vampires. I know no other editors who can edit so many pieces without tiring out. Or perhaps they've had their blood swapped with coffee. Coffee vampires? I'm sure that's already a series of novels.

Plus I can think of few communities that try to be as constructive as GameSkinny's. You might have a few disagreements, but that's the worst I had here. I've had much worse on other sites, especially in their comments sections. It's impressive this constructive atmosphere's lasted for as long as it has, and I hope it goes on for years to come.

So what are you doing? Why are you sitting here, listening to me blather on? Register! It's free! Write something! Get feedback! Improve! Show the world what you've got to say and why they should listen. Blow the internet's mind!*

*Preferably not literally, that'd be very expensive to repair, but you get the point.

 

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Game Industry + ALS Ice Bucket Challenge = Epic Awareness https://www.gameskinny.com/7p0xl/game-industry-als-ice-bucket-challenge-epic-awareness https://www.gameskinny.com/7p0xl/game-industry-als-ice-bucket-challenge-epic-awareness Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:02:24 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e267b7e23bc6321e28ee4660b457fd7b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e267b7e23bc6321e28ee4660b457fd7b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4464","description":"

Kermit the Frog is the first to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge naked and he proudly announces that fact in his video. He names a few celebrities who are also co-stars in The Muppets latest film as nominees but he isn't the first "of his kind" to be challenged. Cookie Monster was challenged by Rachael Ray, though he preferred a cookie challenge.

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For more information about Lou Gherig’s Disease and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, go to www.ALSA.org and discover how you can be a real-life hero.

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Let's #StrikeOutALS with the #IceBucketChallenge as #IceBucketGamers!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b9cc9a9b249df67d74dc732dc4232084.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b9cc9a9b249df67d74dc732dc4232084.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4459","description":"

Mega64 was nominated by Game Grumps and Screw Attack. In turn they nominated-- get ready--Edward Snowden, Oprah Winfrey, Viggo Mortensen, Paul McCartney, Kevin Spacey, and Casey Anthony. Their video is quite unique I must say. They did put a plea out on Twitter requesting assistance for contact information for both Edward Snowden and Casey Anthony.

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They aren't the only interesting videos out there I assure you.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f2d2110b7513ac691de0b80937736598.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f2d2110b7513ac691de0b80937736598.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4460","description":"

5 Second Films takes the California drought into serious consideration in this cinematic event of a lifetime. They nominated Tom Watson because there isn't a drought in England.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2ac06feee890b8c7560dcbe52ca60421.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2ac06feee890b8c7560dcbe52ca60421.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4457","description":"

Devin Super Tramp who is known for some amazing Assassin's Creed parkour videos, took his own unique ice bucket challenge. He nominated Shay Carl, Logan Paul and Dude Perfect.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/371203fc7815cd85198551a1ca858c7c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/371203fc7815cd85198551a1ca858c7c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4455","description":"

PlayStation San Mateo HQ took the ice bucket challenge and nominated Bobby Kotick of Activision, Tony Bartel of GameStop, and Jim Ryan of PlayStation Europe.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6839b726fb8332b28e2d313a415ddc41.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6839b726fb8332b28e2d313a415ddc41.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4454","description":"

The Completionist took the drought in California into consideration with his challenge. He in turn nominated James Rolfe of AVGN, Matt Patrick of The Game Theorists, and The Warp Zone.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/20108ebcf14e599014baee91b8a16679.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/20108ebcf14e599014baee91b8a16679.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4472","description":"

"That Bucket Came From the Moon!" That's right folks you heard right. Bungie has delivered a stellar Ice bucket Challenge from the MOON! Ghost from the upcoming Destiny has answered by challenging "Jonathan Irons" from Call Of Duty: Advance Warfare, "Joel" from The Last Of Us, and George Lucas himself.

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In addition, Bungie has promised 20% of all proceeds from the Bungie Store (www.bungiestore.com) to the ALS Association until September 9th.

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How's that for caring?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/09bee4101dd893d1f582d50e6ecea740.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/09bee4101dd893d1f582d50e6ecea740.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4462","description":"

Stephan Frost of WildStar chose to donate to ALS but Tony Rey decided otherwise. He nominated Mike Zadorojny of ArenaNet, Greg Street of Riot Games, and Dave Kosak of Blizzard Entertainment.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/90b5700b8fda2f279c9d208491f49cbf.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/90b5700b8fda2f279c9d208491f49cbf.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4463","description":"

Hot Pepper Gaming, who was nominated by Sunder Gamer, takes the California drought into consideration and takes a spicy challenge. They nominated Amy Dallen of Geek and Sundry, Stephan Frost of WildStar, and Andrew W.K.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/eba5f6418a9f829cdc57f7eda0d7aa21.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/eba5f6418a9f829cdc57f7eda0d7aa21.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4453","description":"

Artix Entertainment was nominated by many and in great show of support, challenged Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games and Zynga!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9d6fc123ab450c4a34e15558ebdd935a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9d6fc123ab450c4a34e15558ebdd935a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4452","description":"

Phil Spencer accepted Notch's challenge and in turn nominated Gabe Newell of Valve, Shuhei Yoshida of Sony, and Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo. Major Nelson got the chance to dump that bucket--too lucky man!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a0c3aca9daa64e323fec05021f00ce17.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a0c3aca9daa64e323fec05021f00ce17.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4451","description":"

Markus "Notch" Persson provides us a silent challenge, unrelated to the others but did get others in the gaming community involved as well. He nominated Phil Spencer of Xbox, Bobby Kotick of Activision, and Cliff Bleszinski.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/38d8605a5adca2412cb0c8b0259f6d20.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/38d8605a5adca2412cb0c8b0259f6d20.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4450","description":"

What can I say about Antti Ilvessuo of RedLynx? This ice challenge or ice bath is interesting to say the least. I love the effects and the rubber duckies. You must watch to see what I mean. Antti nominated Yves Guillemot the CEO of Ubisoft, Sam Lake of Remedy Entertainment, and Geoff Keighley, well-known video game journalist and presenter.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/eb67553c3cb075b920da2bb3efe287ad.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/eb67553c3cb075b920da2bb3efe287ad.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4449","description":"

Daniel Nixon in turn nominated creative director Antti Ilvessuo of RedLynx, Jack Pattillo of Achievement Hunter and Eric Neustadter (e) of Xbox Live.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/34715232eab936a3b5ce4ab7a24f8696.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/34715232eab936a3b5ce4ab7a24f8696.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4448","description":"

Awe poor Zack Cooper from Ubisoft Toronto. I did apologize to Zack for this one, I felt so bad. We did agree that the water tower would've been awesome, since he had so many ideas. This Champion, that he is, nominated Community Developers Gabe Graziani, Nik Schmidt, and Xbox Canada's Raj Patel.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/64ad66641d3cf807fa1821f72075ea21.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/64ad66641d3cf807fa1821f72075ea21.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4447","description":"

The Ubisoft Support team was nominated by me (muahahaha) and in fun nominated Zack Cooper (Ubisoft Toronto), Justin Kruger (Ubisoft), the Frag Dolls, and Daniel Nixon (Ubisoft, RedLynxGamer, TrialGames).

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4cb44600ac9bf3697d33f5ea3b65bdb1.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4cb44600ac9bf3697d33f5ea3b65bdb1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4446","description":"

I'm sure many of you are aware by now of the growing ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. You see videos posted all over social media promoting awareness of ALS or Lou Gherig’s Disease all in good fun. The challenge is: People make a video of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads, post it on social media sites and then challenge friends to do the same within 24 hours and/or donate $100 to ALS. Many do both like all of us in these videos you're about to see.

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I was challenged by a reader on Twitter on behalf of the Video Game Industry that I met through Ubisoft Support. What transpired from my challenge and my nominees, has shown nothing but tremendous support from the gaming community. This is our way of showing everyone that yes - the gaming community cares about raising awareness for a worthy cause.

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Can we say, not just #icebucketchallenge, but #icebucketgamers?

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Guild Launch's Nominees for the 2014 Dragon Slayer Awards: Best Community Manager https://www.gameskinny.com/iqldo/guild-launchs-nominees-for-the-2014-dragon-slayer-awards-best-community-manager https://www.gameskinny.com/iqldo/guild-launchs-nominees-for-the-2014-dragon-slayer-awards-best-community-manager Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:53:28 -0400 Proto Foe

It is that time of year again, the time where all your DKP is counted up and distributed across the 'Best Community Managers' of 2014. For three years now, our sister-site, Guild Launch has hosted the Dragon Slayer Awards.

So, how exactly does the Dragon Slayer Award process work? Well, members of the communities of nominate community managers, community builders, streamers, and developers, among others. This happens over three rounds, and when those rounds have concluded the final list is released. Voting is live now and runs through to September 1st, so be sure to register your vote.

Past winners of the Community Manager award include, Jonathan "Zarhym" Brown in 2012, and Andrew "Tamat" Beegle in 2013.

The Nominees

What is a Community Manager? 

A CM can be compared to a Man-in-Black, a Sheppard, a conduit, a punching bag... but I like see them as the our best friends (within the community that we are involved in.) Among other duties, they help us through each day, tell us when we are out of line, and pass on any frustrations we may have.

They achieve this through many means; social media, live streams, blogs, live interviews, forums, and any other mediums that can enable productive communications with the community-at-large.

As a former CM, I know that a lot of what happens behind-the-scenes goes unnoticed: long hours, short weekends, infinite coffee, dropped Skype calls. Yet, when that piece of news goes out and the community reacts, good or bad, it's when you know you have done your job. These nominees all do their jobs to the highest standard.

The Question Then

Which Community Manager has ticked your boxes? Is it Tony Rey and the 'I'm a fan' mentality he brought to WildStar during the launch period? Could it be Jessica Folsom and her down-to-earth management of the ESO forums amidst the cries of foul by the community? Or is it longstanding CM, Zarhym, who never fails bring opinion and fact from both sides of the fence when discussing content with the World of Warcraft community? Or will it be one of the other, equally deserving, Community Managers? The power is in your hands.

Let your voice be heard, vote now! Feel free to vote on the other categories too.

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A Look at the People Behind the Words at GameSkinny https://www.gameskinny.com/tkrgt/a-look-at-the-people-behind-the-words-at-gameskinny https://www.gameskinny.com/tkrgt/a-look-at-the-people-behind-the-words-at-gameskinny Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:41:17 -0400 Proto Foe

Have you ever wondered about the person behind the words on your screen? Why they do what they do? What inspired them to pick up a keyboard and write? Do they actually play games? If they could do this forever, would they?

Well, some of our interns had the chance to ask and/or answer some questions similar to those above, and more. This article will highlight a small selection of their answers. The writers that will be under-the-knife this time will be, Yasmin CurrenShawn Malone, and myself.

Oh, and if you would like to be one of the interns in the future, then check out this article that explains how many pints of blood & sweat are required on a weekly basis, and maybe you can be the one who is wondered about.

Money, Fame, and Oranges

All three were asked a variation of "What inspired you to take the mantle of protector of GameSkinny, the Italic Knight?", and here is what they had to say:

Yasmin: In theory my pen never left the paper! Since I was a child I've been concocting imaginative short stories and making detailed files of my imaginary friends different personality traits and appearances. (I had some real friends too... I swear!)

When I grew older the pen was used as an emotional outlet for anything I was going through and I excelled in English within school. So when I saw the opportunity to write about games and gain something from it for my future career I jumped at the chance to get involved. I love games and I love writing so it just made sense :)

We all have had imaginary friends, Yasmin, but not all of us kept an X-Files style library of them. I, for one, wish I had though.

Shawn: It was suggested by someone already in JTP as a way to explore a different spectrum of the game industry.

That someone is GameSkinny's very own Venisia.  We are thankful for both them both. (I was not paid to say that.)

I Used to Smile, That Was before I Worked in Retail

A lot of writers have other jobs, or have worked in areas that gave them inspiration to move into the writing field. Shawn was asked: "How do you enjoy game journalism as compared to your past experience with game retail?"

Well I enjoy both. I like in journalism how I can express my love of games through knowledge and research. I love researching into each piece and informing readers.

The difference between that and retail is that, it’s not as personal. In retail, if I recommended a game for a customer to purchase, I’d be exposed to them coming back into the store thanking me for it and sharing what they loved so much. I got the chance to build relationships with my customers. I don’t have that in journalism. Yet at that the same time, I don’t have the corporate pressures that come with working in the retail end--the pressure for sales, pre-order quotas and the like.

I feel your pain, brudda. 

There Can Be Only One

Interviewing a fellow industry professional is no easy feat. So, when asked "If you could interview anyone from the games industry, who would it be and why?", Yasmin was torn between fandom and professionalism.

Do I have to choose just one?! D: I would originally want to choose Notch because, well, who wouldn't?! He's a genius and so freakin' humble as well it's crazy! But there are already so many interviews to watch online and books to read about him... Also if I did see him I'd probably turn it into a session of me attempting to sponge knowledge from him.

Instead I would choose Michel Ancel just so I could slip in some pestering about Beyond Good and Evil 2; I need that game!

We all need that game, Yasmin. We. All. Need. Beyond Good and Evil 2.

Does It Hurt?

I was asked: "Is this your first time doing the JTP?"

It is not, I have been here since January 2014. It's been an interesting 7 months, each session brings a whole new set of learnings for me.

To expand on my initial answer a bit; GameSkinny have had the displeasure of my company for 7 months. I initially wasn't going to return, however some elements changed between the last session and this one. Mainly, the addition of 'Senior Interns.' This new role has allowed several former interns the chance to see more behind the scenes; it's a real eye-opener.

(W)Rapping It up, Freestyle

Let's dive into the deepest, darkest, parts of the psyche of our subjects. This is where it can get real dark. You have all been warned!

First off is Shawn, "As an artist, what is your impression of how far art has come in video games?"

I think they have come very, very far from the days of the Atari 2600. Where games didn’t have very much concept art, where as today, you have multi-million dollar projects. It’s as if you’re watching them make a movie. Thanks to the advances of hardware, you can now have in-game art look as amazing and highly detailed as the concept art.

Shawn is absolutely correct, he also has some skills. Check out this example, the cover of For the Love of Words, which was penned by a fellow writer of GameSkinny, the Queen of Geeks, Venisia Gonzalez. 

The advancements over the past 3 generations of console is amazing, indeed. Just take a look at what Blur are doing with the Halo 2 Anniversary cut scenes.

Yasmin may be a writer, a collector of imaginary friends (the ultimate precursor to Skylanders), but that doesn't mean she has reached her limits. She has a YouTube channel, and when asked about it:

Ah yes, YagmanX. My YouTube channel is my passion and has been a real blessing since I started it last October. I enjoy all forms of creative media and had just finished a well-rounded media course and pursued a career in coding. But I missed filming, editing and using my imagination so that's when I started my channel.

I've already met some amazing people on there and use it to my advantage to get in touch with people from all sorts of industries as it shows my enthusiasm for certain areas of work (like games!) Overall it's just fun! :D

Here is hoping that she can take the skills that have been learnt in the realm of YouTube, games journalism, and mix them together.

Well, that escalated quickly.

Lastly, I was asked what job I'd select if I was granted the ability, by President Obama, to pick any in the world?

Creative Lead for first party and expanded universe products, at 343i.

I hope you all enjoyed this small peek behind the curtain. All that is left for me to do is give thanks to my fellow interviewers and interviewees, Rocky and Venisia, and Yasmin and Shawn, respectively.

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GameSkinny News Roundup - July 27th https://www.gameskinny.com/5q0cw/gameskinny-news-roundup-july-27th https://www.gameskinny.com/5q0cw/gameskinny-news-roundup-july-27th Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:52:15 -0400 Proto Foe

[Author's Note: Production quality will increase, format will evolve. Any suggestions you may have, please do not hesitate to put them forth.]

Welcome to the GameSkinny News Roundup.

This weekly feature highlights 5 articles from the previous week, with the aim to simply bring them to the attention of those who may have missed important or interesting updates due to the ever-increasing influx of games news, reviews, and more.

There will usually be 1 article from the following categories; News, Review, Interview, Guide, and Culture. Some nice, light reading at the end of the week.

Have You Googled "Rumor" Recently?

First up we have the returning rumour, this time confirmed by a reliable source, of Google purchasing Twitch.tv. This rumour first entered circulation back in May, and had a price tag of $1 billion attached to it.

Alex reports on the VentureBeat detailed report, and ends by asking:

Can Twitch retain its small, non-corporate aura as they climb the ladder of mega-corporation success?

Minor Spoilers Incoming, You Were Warned!

Angelina makes her first of two appearances this week. Firstly with her review of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: Season 2 episode named "Amid the Ruins", scoring it a very satisfying 9 stars.

Now, I'll admit I am a little behind on the second season of TWD, so I am thankful for the lightly sprinkled review. It has made me want to wait to play the whole season in one big, walker-sized lump. You can read the review right here.

There is a looming feeling of dread on the horizon constantly during this episode.   The future seems murky for the members of Clementine’s group but as for Clementine, she learned a lot of hard but necessary lessons in this episode that will no doubt affect her in the thrilling conclusion of the Walking Dead Season 2.

Angelina on Amid the Ruins

Excuse Me, Mr. President

It's not everyday you get to interview the President of the United States of America, that day came for Angelina, or so she thought. She did, however,  get to interview Richard Nixon. What did they speak about? The end of the world, obviously.

Angelina asked Richard Nixon, the founder of Black Studios, many, many questions. One highlight for me was the straight question of  "Just what inspired you to make a game like After Reset?"

Frankly, I was desperately waiting for the real Fallout 3 that Van Buren should have become. I was disappointed when that one was canceled, as well as when Project 13 was cancelled. Oblivion's mods were able to save memories of true Fallout spirit from extinction.

-Richard Nixon on his inspiration for After Reset

The lengthy, but informative, interview can be read here.

Yes, Yes. Welcome to My Parlour

 Hearthstone has captured many a  gamer's  imagination. It has fused  together their  (read: my) love for  the Warcraft universe,  passion for  collectible card games, and the  need for  simple accessibility. The  result? Heroes of Warcraft: Hearthstone. Not happy with just allowing players to face each other in (im)mortal combat, Blizzard has added a single-player expansion titled "The Curse of Naxxramas". Pretty freaking sweet, right?

Well, yes. However, the fights are rather challenging. Bosses have cards that would make Stu Ungar want to play Snap, heroic sized health pools, and lines that wouldn't make it into a Nic Cage film.

Never fear, Jay, has you covered. Check out his guide to the Arachnid Quarter of Naxxramas.

And Finally...

New kid on the block, TiquorSJ, wanted to share this great video of Minecraft. It's essential viewing for any parent that is thinking of allowing their child to enter this brutal, horrific, savage, world.

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