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Tomb Raider

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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Award-winning game writer wants storytelling to play a larger role in game development">bioshock







Susan O’Connor, who helped pen the stories in BioShock, Far Cry 2, and the latest Tomb Raider along with Rhianna Pratchett, isn't happy with the state of game storytelling. She doesn't condemn video game stories themselves, but rather the overall process through which those stories are written. She sees storytelling in games being as dominated by teams that care more about compiling code—and she's tired of it.



In an interview with The Gameological Society, O’Connor pointed out how the creative process for video games is different from other forms of media.



“For me, I always want to focus on the entertainment side of it,” O’ Connor said. “This is supposed to make people feel something. It’s supposed to be fun, or be scary. But when I look at conversations that creatives are having, like in television or film or theater or freaking mimes, everyone else, the conversations they’re having are totally different.



“If you were to say, ‘Books are a great way to go inside a character’s mind for pages and pages, and movies are a great place to see larger-than-life movie stars and phenomenal explosions that are 40-feet tall,’ games are a really kinetic medium. The story is what the player does.”







She has a point. Books and movies rely on well-developed plots because that’s all they have. Movies might add amazing special effects to distract you from a poor script, but games are interactive. Whether you’re taking out an enemy base, scavenging an abandoned cave, or opening inter-dimensional portals, you are busy doing something. Sometimes, there’s not enough time or priority to inject enough plot to tell you why you’re doing said thing.



O’Connor went on to admit that she was tired of writing stories for video games and wanted to move on to other areas of entertainment.



“I don’t want to put up with this s$*& anymore,” she said. “I’m grateful for the success I’ve had, but I’m never going to be able to do work that can come anywhere close to the kind of emotional impact that stories in other media have, at least not in the next five to 10 years. I love stories, and I just happened to fall into games. I’ve learned who I am as a writer, and I think my talents and skills are much better used in other places."
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Square Enix want earlier interaction with customers, look to Kickstarter as inspiration">Tomb Raider - fire







After a disastrous financial year, in which Square Enix not only failed to make their expected profits, but were hit instead with by massive financial loss, the company's senior executive managing director Yosuke Matsuda has been looking at Kickstarter as a possible guide to improving "asset turnover". Which isn't to say they'll attempt to raise $100,000,000 for a Tomb Raider sequel via the crowd-funding site. ($110,000,000 stretch goal: add some proper tombs.) Instead, Matsuda wants Square Enix to interact with its customers at an earlier stage.



"One could go as far as to say that in today's times, making customers wait for years with little to no information is being dishonest to them," Matsuda said, in an earnings call two weeks ago. "We're no longer in an age where customers are left in the dark until a product is completed. We need to shift to a business model where we frequently interact with our customers for our products that are in‐development and/or prior to being sold, have our customers understand games under development, and finally make sure we develop games that meet their expectations."



"There is a crowdfunding website called 'Kickstarter,'" he continued, "which does not only serve as a method of financing for developers, but I believe should also be seen as a way to unite marketing and development together by allowing us to interact with customers while a game is in development."



Matsuda also pointed to Steam's Greenlight and Early Access initiatives as ways in which game makers are communicating with their community:



"Valve's Steam Greenlight and Early Access, are also very interesting, in that they raise the frequency by which we interact with customers, increasing their engagement and reflecting customer needs. We are also looking at what initiatives are possible from this perspective. What should we present to our customers before a game is finished, how can our customers enjoy this, and how do we connect this to profitability, is something we are thinking about implementing, and which can improve our asset turnover in the process."



Traditionally these services have been used by smaller developers, with smaller communities, making direct engagement a more manageable prospect. How Square Enix would scale these ideas out onto a much larger scale remains to be seen. But more openness and interaction from the publisher surely can't be a bad thing.



Thanks, GamesIndustry.
Product Update - Valve
We have just made public a new version of the PC version of Tomb Raider, build 1.01.748.0. This patch will be applied by Steam automatically when you next start the game. If your game does not update, please restart the Steam client.

New fixes in 748.0:

- Fixed problem with Mountaineer, Sure-Shot, and Demolition outfits not properly unlocking when no other DLC is installed.
- Fixed TressFX Hair not being able to be turned on, on some machines, when using AMD Eyefinity or NVIDIA Surround.
- Significant performance improvements in CPU limited areas, for example in Shanty Town. (This is the same fix we have previously exposed to users on forums with the MulticoreFlushMode registry key).
- Fixed water polygons randomly disappearing on Intel graphics hardware.
- Fix problem with English VO setting when playing in Japanese not properly being remembered after a restart.
- Minor UI improvements.

While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version we made a Beta available on Steam, Build743.0, that can be used to switch back to the previous version. Please note however that you may not be able to play multiplayer with people that do not share your version.

Players on NVIDIA hardware we recommend using the 320.0 BETA or more recent drivers, which contain several driver fixes related to Tomb Raider.

We will keep monitoring for feedback and will release further patches as it seems required. We always welcome your feedback!

Product Release - Valve
New Multiplayer DLC for Tomb Raider is now available on Steam!

Check out the three all-new skins and the Shipwrecked Map Pack to add to your multiplayer raiding experience!

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Rhianna Pratchett on game development, gender equality and #1ReasonToBe">10213TR9_Concept_Art_v1_TR_Wet_03_TressFX





Rhianna Pratchett, the lead writer for Tomb Raider, has given an extensive interview at Rock Paper Shotgun where she discusses her work in a male-dominated industry and her thoughts on the #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe movements on Twitter. The result is an in-depth profile of a reluctant equality activist.

“Although I’ve not personally experienced some of the more extreme examples of industry sexism which the first hashtag highlighted, #1reasonwhy and #1reasontobe have lit a fire in me—and Pratchetts are inherently a bit fighty by nature,” Pratchett said, referring to her father, prolific novelist Sir Terry Pratchett.



“For many years I steered clear of ‘women in games’ issues,” Pratchett continued, in response to questions about her willingness to become one of the faces, for better or worse, of gender equality activism in game development. "In fact, I’ll admit to being downright uncomfortable with being asked about that side of things. Mainly because I felt that the best thing I could do for women in games was just be one and do my job to the best of my ability.”

“I’ve realised that for young girls getting into the industry, it does matter to see women out there talking about these issues—although I’d still always prefer to talk about the work.”

Head over to Rock Paper Shotgun to read the full interview.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Recently, we had the wonderful fortune to post GDC’s magnificent #1ReasonToBe panel in full. It’s a powerfully eye-opening thing – regardless of which “side” of the equality “debate” you fall on – and you should absolutely, definitely give it a watch if you haven’t already. One person, however, was missing from its lineup: industry writing vet Rhianna Pratchett, who – in addition to whipping up words for the likes of Tomb Raider, Overlord, Mirror’s Edge, and heaps more – sorta, you know, created the #1ReasonToBe hashtag in the first place. She wasn’t able to make it out due to scheduling conflicts, but this is why they invented the Internet: so we could do anything from anywhere at any time. Thus, we bring you Pratchett’s #1Reason – not to mention her viewpoints on why equality’s very different from ‘pinking’ games, why the industry’s failing to attract female talent, what controversies surrounding Tomb Raider taught her, and how we can ultimately make games better for everyone.      > (more…)

Announcement - Valve
Save 50% on Tomb Raider as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold. Download the Turning Point trailer to see the beginning of Lara’s epic adventure.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

Product Release - Valve
Caves and Cliffs Multiplayer Map Pack, all new content for Tomb Raider is Now Available on Steam!

This Map Pack includes two new maps, the Cliff Shantytown and the Burning Village, for you to explore in Multiplayer!

Product Update - Valve
We have just made public a new version of the PC version of Tomb Raider, build 1.01.743.0. This patch will be applied by Steam automatically when you next start the game. If your game does not update, please restart the Steam client.

This is primarily an update to fix a problem introduced in the previous patch, but it brings some other improvements as well.

New fixes in 743.0:

- Resolved a problem where mouse control in the basecamp upgrade screen would not work properly since build 742.0.
- Stereo3D parameters for strength and depth can now be modified in the registry beyond their normal in-game range again.
- GPU performance improvements, specifically at higher quality levels.

While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version we made a Beta available on Steam, Build742.0, that can be used to switch back to the previous version. Please note however that you can only play multiplayer with people that share your version.

Unfortunately we do not yet have a resolution for the players that are experiencing crashes and major graphical corruption on NVIDIA hardware. Some progress has been made though, and we expect hope to have an update soon.

We will keep monitoring for feedback and will release further patches as it seems required. We always welcome your feedback!

Product Update - Valve
We have just made public a new version of the PC version of Tomb Raider, build 1.01.742.0. This patch will be applied by Steam automatically when you next start the game. If your game does not update, please restart the Steam client.

While most fixes found in the latest console patches have already been released as part of earlier PC patches, this patch includes all fixes made on the consoles by Patch 3.

New fixes in 742.0:

- Resolved situation in which combat would not spawn the next encounter on Chasm Bridge, halting player progress.
- Fixed an issue where the block and tackle itself was inaccessible while on the galleon.
- Improved QTE timing (left/right movement, button mashing) to be more consistent independent of frame-rate.
- Parachute controls are now more responsive on low frame-rate.
- Improvements to the 3DVision support, and support for the 3DVision IR device.
- Support for Eyefinity setups with multiple display-sets. (for example 3x1 + 1 setups).
- Some small multiplayer improvements.
- Various improvements to the handling of the last-campsite save.
- We have decided to remove the Optional Movie download and instead provide links to our YouTube pages containing those same videos.

While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version we made a Beta available on Steam, Build732.1, that can be used to switch back to the previous version. Please note however that you can only play multiplayer with people that share your version.

Unfortunately we do not yet have a resolution for the players that are experiencing crashes and major graphical corruption on NVIDIA hardware. Some progress has been made though, and we expect hope to have an update soon.

We will keep monitoring for feedback and will release further patches as it seems required. We always welcome your feedback!
...

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