In this weeks bulletin (it’s a big one) we talk about the Settlers of Catan, Bannerlord Roleplaying, a Racial Justice Humble Bundle, an apology from the devs of Little Devil Inside, the VALHEIM trailer, the Humankind Open Dev, the New World Combat Trailer, Total War Saga: Troy, the Paradox Insider Update, the use of video games to treat ADHD, Ran: Lost Islands open beta test, This War of Mine being added to Polish reading lists and finally a round-up of our new Stratigraphs!
Settlers of Catan at 25 years
Most of you have probably sometimes played Settlers of Catan (now just called Catan, Kolonisten van Catan in Dutch) once in your lifetime. The board game just celebrated its 25th birthday. The first release in 1995 showed a revolutionary view on board games, focussing on cooperation instead of conflict. VICE had a talk with Klaus Teuber, the mastermind behind the game, on the creation of the game and how it has progressed over the years. Read their whole extensive feature here!
A look at the lives of hardcore Bannerlord Roleplayers
I’m a huge fan of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (you might have guessed that by my review and our stream). Besides it usual funkyness and quite lackluster (and short) storyline, there is a whole community out there doing some hardcore roleplaying. Nic Reuben of Rock Paper Shotgun stumbled upon a roleplaying mod-community and its director ‘Flavberg’. The community has its own lore, its own rules and its own way of living. Read more on Nic’s travels in the online world here!
Humble Bundle for Racial Justice
Some more bundles you can buy to support Racial Justice and Equality. Next to last weeks Itch Bundle (which raised over 8 million Dollars!) you can also buy a bundle put together by bundle guru’s Humble Bundle. It features $1200 worth of games, comics and books for only $30. So far, it has already raised more than 1 million dollar! There is some great content in it, such as This War of Mine, Company of Heroes II and Kerbal Space Program. It also features books on Racial Justice such as Twelve Years a Slave and The Man Who Cried I Am. Check out the bundle here!
Little Devil Inside devs apologise for racist caricatures
Last weeks PS5 reveal left many people excited for the new games (and some also dissapointed, looking at you GTA V). However, some people were quick to spot something very wrong with Little Devil Inside. Twitch streamer Lord Balvin pointed out the racial stereotypes with the design of some enemy types. Twitch streamer PickaChulita explained: ‘There’s a way of depicting indigenous tribes or tribal people without portraying a caricature. The lips, the dreads-those are stereotypes.’ The devs of the game, Neostream, announced they would be changing the design. However, following the words of Kotaku’s Zack Zwiezen, they should just remove the enemy types. This also shows the importance of BIPOC in the gaming industry, and companies actually needing to do more on this subject. Read more on Kotaku here.
Games about Vikings seem to be very hot right now. We of course have AC: Valhalla incoming, but there is plenty more out there. Take VALHEIM for example, a Viking survival game. A new trailer was released for the PC Gaming show. PC Gamer had a small rundown of the game, which you can read here! As of yet, no release date is announced (it’ll go live when ‘Odin is pleased’), but you can sign up to the beta test on the VALHEIM website!
Humankind open dev scheme
In this weeks first ever Stratigraph, we praised the use of Early Access by Mohawk Games for Old World. The other (very promising) 4X game which is gaining some traction over the past weeks is Humankind. In a similar scheme, devs Amplitude have opened up an Open Dev system, where players can join the testing of the game (and will gain Early Access as well). By doing this, the devs want to incorporate the feedback of players directly into their game. Have a look at PC Gamer’s rundown of the new trailer here or read IGN’s hands-on experience with the game! Register for the Open Dev here!
New World combat trailer
We’ve talked about Old World, so to make it confusing, here’s a trailer about the game New World! The Amazon-made MMO will be released coming summer, but you can get beta access by pre-ordering the game now! The game will feature action-RPG like fighting on mystical islands. Even though the game is MMO, it shows a lot of potential for some good PvP fighting. Read more on the game on PC Gamer here!
Total War Saga: Troy brings mythical heroes to the game
With the upcoming release of Total War Saga: Troy, Creative Assembly will venture into a realm they have not seen before: those of mythical heroes and wooden horses. Yes, you get to play Odysseus as he rolls into the city of Troy! Tom Senoir of PC Gamer wrote a feature on the game, and what we can expect. Read it here! Also, don’t forget it is free to keep if you claim it within 24 hours of release (15th of August) on the Epic Games Store!
Wonder what the people over at Paradox have been working on the past couple of weeks? Well, they now have a video to tell you all about it! Meet Paradox Insider, where Paradox keeps you up to speed on everything they have been working in. Watch the full video below, and see the progress on Crusader Kings III, and some more info on Empire of Sin, Prison Architect and Hearts of Iron IV!
Play RAN: Lost Island for free during the Steam Summer Game Festival
The 16th century-style 100 player battle royale RAN: Lost Island will be in free open beta during the Steam Summer Game Festival. Instead of machine guns, the game will feature flintlock rifles and a lot of melee action! Watch the trailer below or read more on the game in this PC Gamer feature! It is free to play from the 16th until the 22nd of June!
FDA approves game as additional treatment for ADHD
The US governing body on medicine, the FDA, has approved the use of a game as additional treatment for ADHD. The game EndeavourXR can help children focus more during the week if played for 25 minutes five days long. Even though it is not the only treatment, the game can help massively. It is not released yet, but people can sign up through the website of the game. Read more on RTL (Dutch), or watch Professor Andy Miah on Twitter!
This War of Mine will be added to reading lists in Poland
11 bit Studios’ This War of Mine will be placed on the reading list for Polish schools. It will be the first video game to be recognized in such a way! The game was released in 2014 and is based upon experiences from the 1990 Siege of Sarajevo. It will be available for students of sociology, ethics, philosophy, and history, and will be free! However, only students over the age of 18 can play it, as this is the age limit in Poland for the game. Read more on gamesindustry.biz!
This week we posted two Stratigraphs, our new piece on the website. In the Stratigraph, we talk more in depth about certain interesting features of video games or news from the industry. In the first Stratigraph we focussed on the use of Early Access by Mohawk Games, the developers of Old World. They set a good example for devs using Early Access to better their game (and they were in the stream again yesterday!) The second Stratigraph featured Inkulinati, a turn based strategy game in development based on medieval magrinalia, the cool doodles next to amazing manuscripts!