In this week’s bulletin, we discuss Mars Horizon, Hades and masculinity, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Shao Jun, Charles Games’ Engine, an interview with Mohawk Games, new Civ VI DLC, a free GDC Showcase, Epic moving to films and our In Depth & Stratigraph of this week!

Mars Horizon

Mars Horizon, last year’s space agency management game is a findom. At least, that’s what Rock Paper Shotgun’s Nate Crowley argues in his piece on the game. Basically, Mars Horizon lets you manage a space agency from the birth of space travel to actually landing astronauts on Mars (no Martian just yet however). And that is actually harder than you might think. Crowley argues that the game became a findom with him just throwing more money at the rockets, for them still to ultimately fail. As it seemed, space travel, and managing it, requires a very thought out strategy. Also, in space travel, sometimes you need to take risks you are not willing to take (like having people land on the Moon with a lander which hadn’t landed on the Moon before – just like in real life). Read more on Crowley’s experiences in Mars Horizon on Rock Paper Shotgun.

What Hades can teach us about Ancient Greek Masculinity

You might have noticed we like Hades, and some of our team (looking at you Dr. Ymir) can really tell us many interesting stuffs about the portrayal of Greek Myths in the game (something I have no knowledge about whatsoever). Well, if you’re in need of more talking about this awesome game, you should read Wired’s article on masculinity in the game, and how it at the same time adopts, modernizes and subverts classical tradition all at once. Pretty cool right? Read more in this extensive feature on Wired by Autumn Wright.

Image: Supergiant Games

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s Magical Wilderness & Shao Jun

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is one of those other games which is featured way too often in this Bulletin or on Interactive Pasts in genreal. And it’s here again! This time, to discuss an article on Eurogamer by Emma Kent. Emma writes about how the game represents the area of Glouscestershire (Glowecestrescire in the game). It should come as no surprise that: ‘Ubisoft’s representation of Gloucestershire is far from historically accurate, but I doubt that was ever Ubisoft’s intention.’ However, it’s patchwork of English history, folklore and geographical features does work well, and create a great world for a game. Read Emma’s entire piece on Eurogamer!

Image: some Valhalla’s hills which are actually real. Courtesy of Ubisoft / Eurogamer.

But we’re not done with Assassin’s Creed just yet. However, this is not about Vikingr, but about Shao Jun! Now you might be unfamiliar with this name (which is very likely), but Shao Jun appeared in the Chronicles series, and became a bit of a fan favorite. Her first apperance was in Assassin’s Creed Embers, which follows the last moments of Ezio. Shao Jun will now get her own Manga, called Assassin’s Creed: Blade of Shao Jun. Pretty neat! Read more on Eurogamer.

Image: Eurogamer

Charles Games’ (Attentat 1942) Engine

If you really like making games, you should definitely check out the Charles Engine FMV asset for Unity. Developed by Charles Games, the developers of the wonderful Attentat 1942, the engine lets you create dialogue-based narrative games. The engine should be workable for beginners and more experienced game designers alike!

An interview with Mohawk Games

This Bulletin is filled with some of our favorite games and devs. When we have Valhalla, Hades and Attentat 1942, Old World can’t be missing out. So if want to know more about Old World and the development (and you want that), definitely read this interview with CEO of Mohawk Games & Head Writer Leyla Johnson and Creative Director Soren Johnson. Jan van der Crabben of the Ancient History Encyclopedia asks them lots of stuff, mostly about the ancient contents of the game and it’s development. Read the entire interview on the Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Image: The Hanging Gardens. Courtesy of Mohawk Games

New Civilization VI DLC: Vietnam & Mongolia

The new DLC of Civ’s New Frontier Pass is just around the corner. And it will feature two new leaders: Bà Triệu of Vietnam (also a new civ), and Kublai Khan, who can lead either Mongolia or China! Vietnam will be a terrain-focussed culture civ, but there’s no news (yet) on what his special abilities will be. The DLC is also accompanied by a free update for all, which will feature a new game mode called Monopolies and Corporations, if you really want to get you capitalism going. The DLC and update are set to launch next week!

Free GDC Showcase

From March 15 until 19, you will be able to attend a free-for-all Game Developers Conference Showcase! In this one-off all-digital event, everyone can keep up to speed with the GDC world, catch some of the older talks and get a taste of what is to come in the future. It will also have several sessions with Q&A’s, panels and AMA’s! More info on the Showcase and how to register can be found here!

Epic Games’ Gilgamesh Short Film

Epic Games is spreading out its influence in the world of movies. Aside from video games, the company wants other media outlets to start using their Unreal Engine. That has been working well, as series such as The Mandalorian used it for special effects. Now, Epic has announced that they are investing in their first feature film, made by Hook Up, DiermeVela and FilmSharks to create a filmified version of the Epic of Gilgamesh! Even though the creators are no big-budget Hollywood producers (mainly based in Argentina), it does look like a promising film! Read more on Escapist Magazine.

VALUE content: Alternative History & Wikipedia

This week, we featured two articles on the Interactive Pasts website. Our new intern ‘Guthixian’ wrote a first In Depth article on the value (see what he did there) of alternative histories in video games and in the historical profession. Expect more of these kinds of In Depth features on alterntative histories and Hearts of Iron IV. Also check out our streams of the game, as we will be streaming it a couple of times! Another piece on the website this week centered around Wikipedia. Oomzer wrote an ode to the online encyclopedia, and why it’s awesome.