In this weeks bulletin, we discuss an update on TIPC3 and a new VALUE Survey, an Animal Corssing based horror game, the end of arcades, the 8 best Viking games, game developers and the climate crisis, new Microprose games, the theft of 2TB Nintendo Data and Armoured Commander II!

VALUE updates: TIPC3 and Survey!

You might have seen it already, but we posted an update on TIPC3 planned for later this year. For now, we’ll keep the physical event and it’s dates in place, but will make a final call in mid-June. The Call for Papers has been extended to the 6th of June. Read more on the update here! In some other VALUE news, we have put out a new Survey! It focusses on how players experience the past in video games. There are also some questions on Civilization VI, the data of which will be used by a BA student for his thesis! You can fill out the Survey here!

Animal Crossing horror: Kind Donations

You could say we quite enjoy Animal Crossing. It has been featured in bulletins many times, and we even streamed it. However, some people do other things with the game. Take Kind Donations, a short horror-game, based upon the Crossings museum and it’s curator Blathers. Instead of the mostly joyful AC, Blathers now finds himself in a world of horror! You can download the game for free here! While your at it, have a watch at our stream!

Video: VALUE plays Animal Crossing

How the pandemic could be the end of arcades

While many gaming companies do earn quite the bit of money from all the people sitting at home playing video games, not all companies are that lucky. Take the arcade halls for example. Matthew Olson of US Gamer wrote a feature on the many arcades now struggling for money. Even the arcades with huge communities are struggling, let alone the smaller arcades who were having rough times before the pandemic. Read the whole feature here, and look if you can support your local arcade (and artists and other cultural events).

Image: Steven Miller

The 8 best Viking games to play before AC: Valhalla

Last week we were all ‘shocked’ by the reveal of the new Assassins Creed game, set in the Viking Era! Rock Paper Shotgun compiled a list of the 8 best Viking related games you can play to get in the mood! There are games for all likings, ranging from the duel simulator For Honor to action-adventure Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and strategy games Total War: Thrones of Britannia and Northgard. Check the whole list here!

Video: Ymir and Dr. Random’s reaction to last weeks big reveal

How video game development impacts the climate crisis

The current pandemic has overtaken the climate crisis as the number one threat to the Earth’s population. However, factories and other big polluters seem to be clawing back lost progress, and are polluting the Earth even more than before. You might think that video games have no role in this, but you could be wrong. Lewis Gordon of The Verge wrote an extensive feature on how video game developers can (and must) change their ways. This not only comes down to the in-game focus on climate change, but also the hardware aspect of video games. Read the whole article here!

Microprose is making strategy and simulation games again!

Microprose, the company founded in 1982 by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey, is known for some of the greatest military simulators and strategy games ever (and of course the Civilization Series). However, the last game they published was Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix 4 back in 2002 (which was a banging good game by the way!) But now, Microprose is back (to some extend), with three new strategy games! Read more on the comeback on Kotaku or on the Microprose website!

Video: the trailer of Sea Power, one of the new games!

2TB of Nintendo’s data stolen

A huge amount of data was leaked from Nintendo, coinciding with a fan-made 4K port of Super Mario 64. The data ranges from technical details for consoles (N64 until the Wii) and game data, such as datasheets and game demos. The leaked source codes can be of huge value to emulator developers and rom hackers. Read more on Tech Times.

Video: Unreal

Armoured Commander II to hit Early Access next week

The roguelike/strategy hybrid Armoured Commander II by Gregory Adam Scott will be in Early Access on Steam from next week on. It follows Armoured Commander which was released in 2017. Armoured Commander is a very retro-looking, but also quite detailed and compelling game. The next installment will be good! Read more on the game on Wargamer, or watch Scott play through a mission below!

Video: Gregory Scott