Game News

Until Then’s minigames create depth out of simple moments

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Until Then is a stunning narrative adventure set in a charming pixelated world inspired by the Philippines. Playing as protagonist Mark, you navigate day-to-day high school insecurities until he begins to realize something more mysterious is going on. Between juggling homework deadlines, navigating relationships, practicing piano, and investigating the strange occurrences happening in between, the developers also sprinkled endearing minigames throughout the story that create depth and delight out of what could have been just mundane moments. 

For example, a walk to the fishball stand to subdue hunger pangs turns into a fierce competition for who can fill up their fishball stick the fastest. Getting extra meta, play the video game within a video game with Cathy & Mark to find out who is the fastest racer. And, of course, what would a carnival outing with friends be without all the classic fair games like whack-a-mole? 

Beyond being just plain entertaining, Until Then’s minigames resonate in unique ways and those among the development team have their own opinions about which minigame stands out among the rest.

A minigame to create interactive worldbuilding

Mickole Klein Nulud, Game Director of Polychroma Games, has nostalgic ties to the ticket vending machine from chapter 1 of the game. “I’d always used them in my college days so it’s nostalgic,” said Nulud. “I replicated its user interface from the real world to the game in detail, which was a very fun process for me.”

Moments in the game like the ticket vending machine, were included to help break up the flow of the game’s dialogue-heavy nature and to create moments of interactive worldbuilding. “It sets up the tone of what kind of experience the player is going to get, where minigames can be as mundane as possible but true to life,” Nulud added.

A minigame to showcase character development

Senior Environment Artist Pia Demanawa’s favorite minigame, the haunted house in the perya, calls out to Filipino culture.‘Perya’ is a Tagalog word for ‘fair’, like a carnival. These week-long events take place throughout the year and are a unique part of Philippine celebrations. From game booths to rides to food stalls, a perya is a place of fun and entertainment for people of all ages.

Until Then brings this to life in chapter 10. Mark runs into one of the new students at the carnival and, after a bit of banter, bets that he can scare more people in the haunted house than she can. You then have two minutes to chase NPCs around the creepy maze, gaining points for each person successfully frightened.

“On its surface, [the haunted house] uses elements of Filipino mythology such as the Kiwig [a shapeshifter that preys on humans] and the Minokawa [a giant, dragon-like bird that can swallow the moon and sun],” Demanawa shared. “The designer for the art of the minigame itself, Vanessa Sumo, really encapsulated what a low-budget, Filipino-themed haunted house would look like from the inside with the stereotypical bahay kubo and the random chickens. The art director, Dominique Duran, additionally found inspiration for aesthetics from the 2012 RPGMaker horror game called Ib, and I thought that it was a wonderful homage to the cult-classic story game.”

Without spoiling too much, this competitive, haunted minigame c

Share of the Week: Landscapes

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Last week we asked you to take in the view from your favorite games, and share memorable landscapes and environments using #PSshare #PSBlog. Here are this week’s highlights:

MrioMoreno5 shares a sky gondola and bridge in The Artful Escape.

bardfinnie shares Ellie gazing out at a lush mountain and forest landscape in The Last of Us Part II Remastered.

photomodeoftsu shares the flooded pavilion of Eidos 7 in Stellar Blade.

call_me_xavii shares Aloy running across a vast desert in Horizon Forbidden West.

scottoka1 shares a blue oasis town in the middle of a desert in Final Fantasy XVI.

jdmsantos07 shares a massive ship lodged between rocks in a craggy cave of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week?

THEME:  Mythical
SUBMIT BY: 11:59 PM PT on May 22, 2024

Next week, we’re turning the lens on legends and myths. Share mythical characters or creatures you’ve encountered the a game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Dave the Diver: free Godzilla DLC arrives May 23

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Monstrous giants lurk in the unfathomable depths of the Blue Hole, their formidable presence striking terror into the hearts of any who dare to venture into their domain. They interfere with Dave’s tranquil fishing pursuits, yet unwittingly become prime ingredients for his sushi restaurant. Their colossal forms lend an unexpected and savory twist to the culinary creations.

Godzilla, the mighty monarch of monsters whose legendary reign celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, now emerges to make a historic appearance within the depths of the Blue Hole. Prepare to encounter the awe-inspiring Godzilla, arriving May 23.*

G-Force, the military organization from the Godzilla series

G-Force, an international joint military organization formed by the United Nations and the JSDF, is tasked with the paramount mission of safeguarding humanity and upholding global peace. They follow Godzilla’s trail, leading them to the elusive depths of the Blue Hole.

“Godzilla was wounded. We tracked down its brainwaves, and they led us here…”

Kaiju discovered in the abyss

While diving in the shadowy depths of the Blue Hole looking for fish, Dave is confronted with Godzilla, injured and recovering from his wounds. Wariness grips the mighty titan as he senses Dave’s approach, but it looks like he might just need some assistance from an unexpected ally.

Watch out for the relentless Kaiju in pursuit

Embark on an exhilarating adventure in the Godzilla DLC where you’ll engage in a heart-pounding pursuit with Ebirah, the iconic deep-sea Kaiju from the 1966 live-action movie [Ebirah, horror of the deep]. Plunge into the oceanic depths to evade Ebirah’s assaults as the creature relentlessly pursues the submarine carrying Dave and Miki. 

Epic battle with Ebirah

Harpoons prove ineffective against the Kaiju’s impenetrable shell. In a daring move, Dave abandons his usual gear for a more formidable approach. Boarding the G-Force submarine to confront Ebirah head-on. Despite his lack of experience in submarine piloting, Dave needs to stay focused to penetrate Ebirah’s shell.

On whose side does Godzilla stand…?

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Nightdive Studios’ System Shock remake launches May 21 – devs discuss 1994 original’s influence on modern games

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With Nightdive Studios’ System Shock remake releasing May 21 on PS5 and PS4, it’s a perfect opportunity to look back and celebrate the original PC game that changed everything. 

The original System Shock was developed by Looking Glass Studios and released by Origin Systems on PC in 1994. It was a groundbreaking first-person adventure that has come to be considered one of the most influential games ever. Modern classics such as BioShock, Dishonored, Dead Space, the Deus Ex series, and many others drew inspiration from its pioneering gameplay.

All gameplay and screenshots featured in this article are from Nightdive’s System Shock remake.

System Shock’s distinctive features became the hallmarks of what many now consider to be a genre called “immersive sims”: games with large, nonlinear environments that afford players a wide degree of freedom in how they overcome challenges, whether by combat, stealth, or other means.

To mark the occasion of Nightdive’s System Shock remake heading to PS5 and PS4 next week, we reached out to some of the gaming industry’s most acclaimed developers to highlight the influence of 1994’s System Shock on the first-person shooter genre and trace its impact to the modern day.

System Shock pioneered the genre that we now call ‘immersive sims’, which combines gameplay elements from multiple genres to immerse players in a simulated experience where their choices matter and they have the flexibility to interact with and unravel the game world.

Stephen Kick, CEO, Nightdive Studios

In addition to adding layers of complexity to gameplay systems, System Shock left a lasting impact on video game narrative and storytelling.

The biggest influence of the original System Shock on BioShock (and of course the sequel we made, System Shock 2) was the sense of a world inhabited by normal people in abnormal situations. We also loved the broad range of tools the game gave the player and, of course, one of the best videogame inventions of all time: the audio log. I still remember the thrill of hearing actual human voices come out of my computer conveying their incredible circumstances in a way that felt so grounded and real. I’ve never made a first-person game without them and I’m not sure I ever will.

 Ken Levine, Creative Director, Ghost Story Games

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How the names Arrowhead Game Studios and Helldivers 2 came to be

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Gamers take a lot of unique and interesting names at face value, but there’s always an insightful origin story to be told. We spoke with Arrowhead Game Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt about how the name of the studio and Helldivers franchise came to be. Read on to learn how a translated last name, WWII airplane, and tongue-in-cheek humor played into these titles.

Behind the name “Arrowhead Games”

PlayStation Blog: How did your team come up with the name for Arrowhead Game Studios?

Johan Pilestedt: When we tried to come up with a studio name, we had a long day of throwing ideas around, but ultimately, only Arrowhead stuck, and without much competition. 

The name “Arrowhead” mainly came out of two main ideas. One, my last name is Pilestedt, which can be directly translated to English as “arrow stead.” We also liked the idea that “Arrowhead” sounds like a serious company.  Tip of the arrow. Cutting edge. Then you see the logo [a person with an arrow comically piercing their head] and the meaning changes into something dumber. 

We did, somewhat cheekily, decide to call our studio “Arrowhead Game Studios” plural, just in case we would grow to encompass more than one studio someday. Now, the name stands as a reminder of our student beginnings, when we were five people in a small room on LTU campus. Even the logo hasn’t changed much since then. We’re still chasing the same dream: to change the games industry with the power of fantasy-first co-op games. 

How the “Helldivers” game title came

On the surface, “Helldivers” is a perfect title for a game about soldiers dropping into hostile planets brimming with enemies. What else is there to say about the title’s origins?

Pilestedt: “Helldivers” was a thought on the phrases “war is hell” and “diving into war.” So Helldivers it became. Also, we wanted a name that reflected the activity that you would do in the game. The “Helldivers” name had also lingered in the back of my name since I learned the name of the World War II era Curtiss SB2C “Helldiver” dive bomber. I’ve always wanted to do something with it. 

The Helldivers name fit so well that it actually stayed the same from the earliest pitches to the final product. On an emotional level, we wanted the name “Helldivers” to evoke the feeling of going up against insurmountable odds and that you’ll probably die.

For those prepared to dive into the insurmountable opposition of Helldivers 2, Arrowhead Game Studios’ sci-fi co-op shooter is available now on PS5 and PC. Learn more about the latest Polar Patriots Premium Warbond available in Helldivers 2.

PlayStation Plus Game Catalog for May: Red Dead Redemption 2, Deceive Inc., Crime Boss: Rockay City and more

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Witness the end of the Wild West era, become the world’s greatest secret agent, take on the role of a rising underworld star, brave an alien world, and much more with May’s PlayStation Plus Game Catalog lineup! Red Dead Redemption 2, Deceive Inc., Crime Boss: Rockay City, Stranded: Alien Dawn, and many more titles are available from May 21. We’re also announcing new classic titles coming to PlayStation Plus Premium. 

Let’s take a closer look at each game. 

PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium | Game Catalog

Red Dead Redemption 2* | PS4

From the creators of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a sprawling tale of life in America at the dawn of the modern age. The end of the Wild West era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed.

After a robbery goes badly wrong in the Western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde Gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal, and fight their way across the rugged he

Avast! New Cat Quest III friends and foes revealed, out August 8

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Get ready to set sail, me hearties! I’m Desmond, Designer and Artist at The Gentlebros and today we’re revealing some of the new crewmates and nefarious villains that await you in the newest entry into the Cat Quest series – Cat Quest III coming to PS5 and PS4 on August 8.

Avast! New Cat Quest III friends and foes revealed, out August 8

In Cat Quest III, players will explore a treasure trove of picturesque islands and meet a bevy of meow-sterious characters as they set sail in pursuit of the legendary North Star. Some of these characters will assist your adventures and prove to be valuable crewmates for the journey ahead… while other devious Pi-rats and nefarious villains will try to ruin your day! Let’s meet some of the new characters you’ll meet on this seafaring adventure.

Your trusty spirit companion, Captain Cappey is with you every step of the way on your adventures. His main goal is to be the greatest pirate that ever lived, although he’s long past the ‘living’ stage. Whether sharing their wisdom or explaining the ins and outs of being a pirate, Captain Cappey is the purr-fect guide for you.

This furrmidable feline is Mama Milka, proud owner of The Milky Barrel tavern, serving cats across the land milk instead of rum. She’ll offer some guidance to kick off your adventure in search of the mythical North Star, giving the first clues to take on Captain Meowtallika. Additionally, turn in Mama Milka’s pirate (or pi-rat!) bounties to get stat-boosting jugs o’ milk – an essential beverage for any would-be privateers! These equippable trinkets boost a specific ability or stat, like the Pawer Milk which makes the player attack faster the more they attack! Players can equip as many of these trinkets as they want as long as they have spare customization slots in their gear.

Brother of series favourite Kit Cat, Kidd Cat is a mischievous kitten and the local blacksmith. Throughout your adventures you’ll find a boatload of gear to customize your feline friend, from hats and eye-patches to boots and swords! Upgrading your gear with coins found in the world around you makes you both stronger and

Dead by Daylight: Dungeons & Dragons brings Vecna into the Fog on June 3

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Dead by Daylight: Dungeons & Dragons features one of the most iconic characters in the D&D mythos – the archlich Vecna – as well as the original Bard Survivor Aestri Yazar (and her playable counterpart, Baermar Uraz). Also coming is the Forgotten Ruins Map, a dark fantasy-inspired Realm befitting of The Whispered One’s presence.

Countless players have immersed themselves in the world of Dungeons & Dragons – including many of us on the Dead by Daylight team – and it was important to capture the experience and characters players know and love. It was an exciting challenge for Principal Game Designer Janick Neveu, who was tasked with bringing the all-powerful Vecna to life. 

“We wanted to explore magic and really delve into the spellcasting aspect of the Killer,” he explains. “The first thing we did was look at Vecna’s recently updated lore and stat block from Wizards of the Coast. We then compiled a list of potential spells and tried to identify game mechanics that would translate to DbD.”

After deliberation and a few rounds of prototyping, the team ultimately landed on four distinct spells: Fly, Flight of the Damned, Dispelling Sphere, and Mage Hand. During a game, Vecna can cycle through his spell book and select whichever spell he wishes to use, with each one excelling at a different role.

“Fly allows Vecna to traverse the map quickly,” notes Neveu, citing the impact Killer mobility can have on a match. “Mobility is an interesting element that’s present on many other Killers, and it’s always appreciated by our players.”

“However, it was important that Fly wasn’t more effective than a Killer’s main mobility effect,” he continues. “Otherwise, we’d risk making an older Killer obsolete. During design, we had to carefully examine the values of traversal length, speed, and efficacy in chase.” 

Complementing this tool for quickly gaining ground on a Survivor, Vecna can use his projectile Flight of the Damned spell to zone them into a favourable location. “Flight of the Damned, which is a special ability unique to Vecna in D&D, allows him to cast undead spectral projectiles that propel forward, creating a bullet-hell effect,” explains Neveu. “Try shooting it through walls to catch Survivors unawares.” 

When Vecna catches up to a Survivor, he can use his Mage Hand spell to tip the scales in his fa

The Casting of Frank Stone gameplay reveals the expanded world of Dead by Daylight

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Back in December of last year we revealed The Casting of Frank Stone at the Game Awards, and we couldn’t have been happier with the reception.

Not only did it become one of the event’s most buzzed-about titles, but it was great to see that like so many of us here at Dead by Daylight, people were genuinely excited to dive deeper into our universe with a standalone narrative experience. Expanding the world of Dead by Daylight alongside the crew at Supermassive Games has been nothing short of a thrill. 

Fresh off its premiere at Dead by Daylight’s 8th Anniversary Broadcast, The Casting of Frank Stone’s new Gameplay Trailer offers a chilling look at our cast of characters, setting of Cedar Hills, and the unspeakable horrors that await there.

The Casting of Frank Stone gameplay reveals the expanded world of Dead by Daylight

For four young aspiring filmmakers in the summer of 1980, the quaint town of Cedar Hills is the backdrop to their first foray into moviemaking. With their Super 8 camera in hand, they set out to make their mark on horror cinema with the shoot of Murder Mill – a soon-to-be cult classic with an insidious influence. 

Four friends looking to make their mark on horror cinema.

Unbeknownst to them, the blood-soaked history of the Cedar Hills Steel Mill is far more terrifying than any screenplay they could imagine. Was it fate that drew the budding auteurs here, or something much more ominous? When their film unearths long-forgotten secrets of the town’s infamous serial killer, Frank Stone, they’ll find themselves pulled into a web of cosmic horrors beyond comprehension.

In true Supermassive Games’ style, The Casting of Frank Stone presents players with a dark, branching narrative and countless sinister threads to pull. Every piece of dialogue you pick, every decision you make pens the script – and may be the only thing standing between life and death for this group of young friends. 

This is a story where the unexpected lurks around every bend, and the choices you make can have consequences that impact the very fabric of reality itself. 

Tower of Fantasy version 4.0 introduces a new open-world update on May 28

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Hello, Wanderers, or should I say, Authorizers? Welcome back! I’m SKY, the lead designer at Hotta Studio of Perfect World Games, and I’m bursting with excitement to share some thrilling news with you. Tower of Fantasy version 4.0, Gesthos Sector, is on the horizon, slated for release on May 28. 

In this upcoming update, we’re introducing an entirely new breathtaking urban-style open world, all infused with futuristic charm and technological wonders. Version 4.0 also brings with it a diverse cast of new companions, each with their own captivating stories and unique abilities. 

We have also prepared a series of events. After the version is released, participating in events, you can get up to 188 draws, 1000 Dark Crystals. We look forward to your participation!

Gesthos Sector

After experiencing the adventures of the Domain 9, I believe you are already familiar with Gesthos—the supercomputer nestled within the headquarters of Hykros. Its recent descent into a state of shutdown due to a virus invasion, potentially causing a severe Omnium crisis. To find the virus that threatens the system, you will become an Authorizer, uploading your consciousness into a virtual world calculated by it—the Gesthos Network World. 

Picture this: a realm meticulously crafted by Gesthos, mirroring the pre-Cataclysmic era of Aida in all its glory. Here, Omnium technology reigns supreme, orchestrating a thriving technological revolution amidst unparalleled prosperity.

A friendly tip: after the version 4.0 is released, newcomers won’t need to complete the previous chapters, you’re granted direct passage to the latest marvel—the Gesthos Sector!

And your first stop upon arrival is Aesperia. 

Behold towering edifices adorned with shimmering holographic billboards, while a symphony of aircraft dances across the azure skies. Embark on an urban trip along gravity rails, bask in tranquil vacations along the sun-kissed shores of Astra…enjoy the seamless fusion of technological marvels and natural splendor. And for those with an appetite for discovery, you can also delve deeper into this world through puzzle-solving gameplay and exploration tasks.

An officer and a phantom thief

In your quest to resolve the viral threat, you’ll find yourself entangled in the complex power struggles of Aesperia’s factions. But fear not, as new friends stand ready to aid you in your endeavors.

Meet Roslyn, a fresh recruit of the Federation Police. With a blend of dedication and charm, she tirelessly pursues justice while lending