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PC Gaming Weekly: Independents day

We love PC gaming for high-end experiences such as Diablo III (read how Blizzard designed around thousands of corpses) and Middle-earth: Shadow of War (what I’m cheekily referring to as “the orc-collecting sim”). But this weekend, indie games took the spotlight.

We sent Stephanie Chan to the 10th annual IndieCade festival, and she’s so far filed a bevy of stories on interesting games coming from independent developers: Fear Sphere, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, Atchafalaya Arcade (what she’s calling a pixelated love letter to Louisiana), Cosmic Top Secret, and the Interaction award winner, Everything Is Going to Be OK.

Indie gaming is what I cherish about the PC platform. Steam has been a godsend for independent developers. I remember when the indie boom started several years ago. I would look at the What’s New section a couple times of week, taking a look at what was filtering into the platform.

Now, you’d need to check a couple times a day to keep up.

Festivals like IndieCade help these games stand out, and platforms like Itch.io just sell indie games, nothing else. Indie gaming is also Stephanie Chan‘s beat here at GamesBeat: If you have news about a new project, or just want to chat, reach out to her.

For PC gaming coverage, send news tips to Jeff Grubb and guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our PC Gaming Channel.

—Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

P.S. Jeff claims that now he’s the master when it comes to Star Wars: Battlefront II.

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Hearthstone boss Ben Brode gives me new insight on what ‘casual’ means

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Everything Is Going to be OK wins IndieCade’s 2017 Interaction Award

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The DeanBeat: Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the revenge of the nerds

Sometimes the GamesBeat staff is a microcosm of the world of gamers and other real people. This week, Jeff Grubb, our PC gaming editor, called the rest of us nerds because we were talking knowledgeably about Shelob, a major character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings novels and one of the major characters […]

Beyond GamesBeat

Shadow of War dev says to be a better lead, ‘make yourself obsolete’

“I love putting on the headphones and writing shaders,” he told Gamasutra recently, while chatting at an Xbox press event. “It scratches the technical itch and the artistic itch, because I get to make things look shit-hot by writing code.” (via Gamasutra)

The Harsh History Of Gaming Microtransactions: From Horse Armor to Loot Boxes

Loot boxes are a trend that the game industry has heartily bought into in 2017. They’ve been around for almost a decade in the massively-multiplayer online space, but since the release and success of Overwatch in 2016, the business model has had more visibility. Major developers and publishers have adopted the model before and since. What thrust the mechanic into the spotlight was a trio of major releases: Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, and Star Wars: Battlefront 2. (via US Gamer)

Would the Queen survive Medieval England?

As an honest and god-fearing Englishman, I have nothing but undying respect for the Crown. Every day I wake up in my Royal Family-branded pyjamas and swear my own personal oath of allegiance to the British monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and her public approval ratings have never been higher. I have to admit, however, that in my darkest hours my faith in one of the core tenets of British society – that it is the divine right of the House of Windsor to rule over us in perpetuity – is shaken. Can the Windsor’s remarkable skill at unveiling plaques really be taken as proof of the divine right of the monarchy? (via Eurogamer)

ECHO captures the horror of being replaced by yourself

It’s awfully hard to make player death scary in games. I adored this spring’s Resident Evil 7, but it’s hard to maintain a sense of dread when you know in-game “death” just means restarting from a nearby checkpoint. The impermanence of death in games—this virtual save-and-reload immortality—doesn’t capture the terror of uncertainty and discontinuity that death provides us all at least once in our lives. It can’t. (via Arstechnica)

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