In this weeks bulletin, we discuss a digital convention, a call for papers, art content for Animal Crossing, the upcoming games Landlord’s Super, Industries of Titan, Before We Leave and The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, how video games misrepresent Ghandi, a discussion of graphics in strategy games, free Total War: Shogun 2, a dev asking for campfire stories, Dr. Random on the radio, the normality of No Man’s Sky and free ebooks!

LudoNarraCon 24-27 April

From the 24th (today) until the 27th of April a digital convention will be held on Steam for all the lovers of narrative games (like me). Initated by Fellow Traveler, it is a platform to showcase and celebrate interesting narrative games. There are game booths, panels, streams and of course an event sale! Check it out on Steam or through the website!

Call for papers on Women in Historical video games

The Games and Gaming Lab of Glasgow University has invited submissions for a edited volume:Women in Historical and Archaelogical Video Games. Women in video games are a massively understudied subject, and the GGL tries to close the gap a bit with this edited volume. The deadline is the 29th of May. For more information, see the call for papers!

Before We Leave release date announced

The civilization-builder Before We Leave is set to be launched at the Epic Games Store at the 8th of May. The much anticipated civ-builder is a non-violent game, in contrast to its many counterparts. The player has to reconstruct civilizations after some post-apocalyptic natural disasters, with no competitors and almost no threats (aside from some ancient world guardians, natural disasters and space whales!) You can pick the game up at the Epic Games Store!

Video: Balancing Monkey Games

Animal Crossing: Getty Museum opens up collection

Whilst museums around the world are closed, people take to other media for their entertainment, leisure and artistic needs. For example, by playing Animal Crossing! However, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has just opened up their 70,000 pieced collection to users of the Nintendo game. Using some cool technology, all 70,000 artworks are scannable through a QR code with the Nintendo Switch Online app. They even have a collection of some of their favorites. Also look out for more museums opening up their collections! Read more on artwork in Animal Crossing in this article on Polygon!

Animal Crossing version of Irises by Vincent van Gogh

Landlord’s Super in Early Access at the end of April

The new game of the developers of popular Eastern European road trip game Jalopy is set to hit Steam on the 30th of April. Landlord’s Super is a first-person building simulator set in 1980’s Northern England. Historical context: that is just the time the English government were closing the coal mines in that region, rendering many people without a job and poverty setting in. Landlord’s Super has you build your way up from this poverty. Read more on Eurogamer or watch the trailer below!

Video: Yogscast Games

A sci-fi city-builder we all need: Industries of Titan

Imagine Sim City, but then in space. More specifically, on one of the moons of Saturn. And add some sci-fi elements. Then you get Industries of Titan. The game is just hit Early Access over at the Epic Games Store. You need to build a thriving city on the moon Titan, using debris and materials from the ancient ruins all around you (I told you it was sci-fi). Also, you can control your colony to the finest details, like a combination of Sim City and the Sims! Read a more extensive review on the game by Luke Plunkett of Kotaku here!

Video: Brace Yourself Games

How video games misrepresent Gandhi

There is a plethora of video games where you can play as Gandhi, or he is somehow part of the game. The Civilization Series is a prime example. Nikhil Murhty of Rock Paper Shotgun wrote an article on how games often misrepresent Gandhi, and everything he stood for. He makes a very interesting point: ‘ If a game is to represent Gandhi, it cannot be as a potential player character. It has to be as a force to resist the players instead.’ His pacificsm is often very shallow, and offers no real meaning in games. An interesting opninion, which you can read here!

Video: The Salt Factory. How a bug transformed Gandhi in the Civilization series.

80 Days calls for ‘campfire stories’

Early in April, the developers of 80 Days, Inkle, revealed their new Arthurian ‘strategic narrative’ adventure game Pendragon. The game is based upon the King Arthur legend, and contains turn-based combat on a game board. The devs have asked the community to send in short ‘campfire stories’, which the characters in game will tell each other whilst settling down for the night. Inkle even promised to pay for the stories they use in game! Read more on the project, and how to contribute at Eurogamer!

Video: inkleStudios

Total War: Shogun 2 for free

According to Destructiod, Total War: Shogun 2 will be free to download and keep from the 27th of April until the 1st of May. The game is in the upcoming listings of the Steam Database, but Sega is yet to officialy announce the free download. Keep your eyes peeled for this!

Dr. Random on science through video games

Our own Dr. Random was interviewed by Sleutelstad FM, a local radio station from Leiden. In the interview, he talked about our Minecraft Server, the cool stuff people build and all the other things we do! Listen the interview here (in Dutch)!

The No Man’s Sky community offering normality to those who need it

In times when we cannot communicate with our friends in the usual ways, like sitting in the pub, you can look at online communities for your social needs. One cool example is the UNity1 community in No Man’s Sky. They try to bring parts of normalcy, things you miss from the real world, into the open community. Read this article by Chase Carter of Eurogamer on the UNity1 community!

Video: Nirwana SAO

3D graphics in wargames: bane or boon?

Tim Stone of Rock Paper Shotgun wrote a quirky but funny feature on the use of 3D graphics in wargames. It is no regular article, but set as a conversation between fieldmarshalls Bernard Montgomery and Erwin Rommel (this left me with question marks as well to be honest). Read the whole article here!

Image: Rock Paper Shotgun

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope

The second installment of The Dark Pictures Anthology called Little Hope, set to be released somewhere in 2020, presents a more dark historical narrative then Man of Medan, the first installment of the Anthology. Partially set in witch-fearing 1692, the focus on different time periods will play a bigger role in the overarching story than before. Read a more in depth article on the game over at Eurogamer.

Video: Playstation

Free ebooks from Springer

Looking for something to do during your times at home? Have a look at the free ebooks released by Springer, on subjects such as GIS, data analysis, digital archaeology and spationomy. Read more here.