It's Friday, which means it's once again time for Replay, WIRED's look at the world of gaming. Since nearly everyone involved in the videogame industry spent the week at the Game Developers Conference discussing the future and reflecting on the past, a lot of news came out of that annual gathering. But a lot of news came from elsewhere, too. "What news?" you ask? Well, there are awards, a new title to look forward to, and an old conflict finally (almost) coming to an end. Let's go.
The IGF Awards Showcase the Best in Indie Gaming
Earlier this week at the Game Developers Conference, the Independent Gaming Festival held its yearly awards ceremony, honoring the best and most exciting works in the indie gaming sphere. As always, a slew of titles got recognized, but there was one that was clearly the biggest winner: Return of the Obra Dinn, the murder-y mystery game by Lucas Pope, creator of Papers, Please. Obra Dinn won not only the Seumas McNally Grand Prize but the Excellence in Narrative award as well.
Other winners included Opus Magnum, a fascinating puzzle game by Zachtronics, which specializes on fascinating puzzle games and took home the Best Design award. The Excellence in Visual Art award, meanwhile, went to psychedelic puzzle game Mirror Drop and the Excellence in Audio award went to first-person creep-em-up Paratopic. If you want any tips on indie games to play as the winter air turns to spring, these are the ones to check out.
Cadence of Hyrule Is the Kind of Collaboration Nintendo Should Do More Often
Speaking of cool indies, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Cadence of Hyrule. It's a collaboration between Nintendo and the developers at Brace Yourself Games, who produced the hit rhythm title Crypt of the Necrodancer. Cadence of Hyrule is, in fact, a sort of sequel to that game, set in the Zelda universe, featuring Zelda and Link as playable characters alongside the eponymous Cadence.
Nintendo has been less precious with its IP as of late, and this excellent collaboration plays on the strengths of a great indie studio and marshals Nintendo's design palette and characters to create a distinct, creative experience. Nintendo is at its best when it surprises players, and when it lets unlikely creators work on its stuff. Here's to more of this.
38 Studios Gets a Settlement, Several Years After the Fact
Remember 38 Studios? No? Founded by Curt Schilling (yeah, the baseball player), the game studio, partially funded by money from the state of Rhode Island, collapsed dramatically in 2012 after going bankrupt. Since then, 38 and its owner have been involved in a messy legal debacle with Rhode Island and the SEC, a conflict that ended up embroiling Wells Fargo Securities and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, both of which were charged by the SEC with securities fraud.
Now, according to Variety, Wells Fargo has settled with the SEC, agreeing to pay $800,000 on top of the $50,000 the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation already agreed to shell out. The proposed settlement came to light Monday and is now awaiting a federal judge's approval. With this settled, the saga of 38 Studios might finally be over.
Recommendation of the Week: Paratopic on PC
I've been hesitant to write about Paratopic since I'm friends with a couple of the developers at Arbitrary Metric who put it together. But now that it's won an IGF award, it seems like it would be an oversight not to recommend it. Creepy, short, and memorable, this first-person game is a great experience. What are the mysterious videotapes you're carrying around, and what is the rusty pallor that soaks the world around you? You probably won't find any concrete answers here, but you'll definitely find something enthralling.
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