Gaming

8 Notable women in game development

Doing what you love isn’t gender-bound

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The gaming industry is perceptibly becoming more progressive, or at least, I’d like to think so. With people developing new games, playing them, and voicing out their insights, much of the industry is under more scrutiny than the community is used to. The gender split amongst gaming professionals, however, has long been an interesting talking point over the years.

In 2014, the International Game Developer’s Association released a report detailing the prevalence of women in the gaming industry. The presence of female developers has doubled since 2009 despite the persistence of male dominance in the industry.


The industry hit a striking spike in female audiences and consumers over time. With more female developers creating games and women themselves playing professionally, things had to change. Here are eight women who broke the mold:

Carol Shaw

Carol Shaw was a former video game designer and was one of the first in the industry. She was known for having designed Happy Trails for the Intellivision and River Raid for the Atari 800 and Atari 5200. She worked for Atari and wrote Video Checkers (1978), 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1978), and Super Breakout (1978, alongside Nick Turner).

Jane Ng

Jane Ng is a 3D environment artist who worked on well-received games like Firewatch, The Cave, Brütal Legend, Stacking, Spore, Costume Quest, and The Godfather. She started as an intern in Ronin Studios, but later moved on to Electronic Arts, then Double Fine Productions, and now Campo Santo.

Robin Hunicke

Robin Hunicke is a game designer and producer, as well as a professor of game design at UC Santa Cruz. She is also the co-founder of Funomena.

She began her career in Electronic Arts and worked on MySims and Boom Blox. Her advocacies include her support of independent game development and championing of women within the games industry.

Amy Hennig

Amy Hennig is a game director and scriptwriter who believes that the creative direction of a script holds more importance than the graphics of the game. She worked on the Legacy of Kain series, the Jak and Daxter series, and the Uncharted series. She has been called one of the most influential women in the video game industry by Edge magazine.

Corrinne Yu

Corinne Yu started her career with the King’s Quest series for the Apple II. She wrote the original engine for the Spec Ops series and was a founding member of Microsoft’s Direct 3D Advisory Board. She programmed lighting, facial animation, and developed new technology for the 2012 video game Halo 4.

Kim Swift

Kim Swift is a video game designer known for her work at Valve on games such as Portal (2007) and Left 4 Dead (2008). Much later, She led the team that developed Quantum Conundrum (2012). Kim Swift was featured by Fortune as one of “30 Under 30” influential figures in the video game industry.

Kellee Santiago

Kellee is a video game designer and producer. While studying at the USC Interactive Media Division of the University of Southern California, Santiago with her friend, Jenova Chen, and a team of students, they produced the game Cloud. After graduating, Santiago and Chen founded Thatgamecompany — the developers of FlowFlower, and Journey.

Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno is a Japanese composer, arranger, and musician known for her work on the soundtracks on anime films, television series, live-action films, video games, and advertisements. She has written scores for Cowboy Bebop, Nobunaga’s Ambition, Uncharted Waters, and Ragnarok Online 2.

It’s inspiring to find more women working towards what they enjoy and love doing — especially in an industry that is undeniably dominated by men.

Although a certain collective of men in the industry sustain the misogynistic view that women aren’t fit for jobs like those mentioned above, it’s nice to see women gather around to support each other towards their dreams in life. Even if the game development industry doesn’t necessarily enable misogyny, the environment is still persistently male-dominated, making the push for gender equality a constant struggle.

Despite that, the community has grown and has shown support towards a more gender-diverse environment. After all, doing what you love and creating what you find fulfilling is not gender-bound.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Video Games of 2017

Gaming

Playdate is a handheld gaming system with a crank

Yes, an actual crank

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If you’re bored of the current gaming console landscape or are simply waiting for the next-gen PlayStation to come out, there’s this new handheld system that might keep you a little busy.

From a company named Panic, which is known for developing the popular game Firewatch, comes the Playdate. It may seem like a simple gaming system at first, but look to its right and you’ll see its defining feature: a crank.


The developer says that some titles will use this analog controller exclusively, while some won’t at all (which, to me, sorta defeats the purpose of placing that game on this console). Everything will be played on its monochrome screen with no backlighting.

You can see it in action here:

The spin here is that the Playdate will come with a subscription of 12 games — delivered to you once a week for 12 weeks. It’s part of the initial cost of US$ 149, but there’s no word yet if there’ll be subscriptions after that and how much they’ll cost.

Each game will be a surprise, which may or not be a good thing. Spending this much on an unproven console — and possibly more for succeeding subscriptions — could end up becoming a costly risk.

Orders will be accepted later this year, while actual shipping will happen in early 2020. For now, you can sign up through the official website to receive updates on its progress.

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Gaming

Here’s an early look at the Sony PS5’s raw performance

Spoiler: It’s fast!

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Even though Sony dished out some early info on the upcoming PlayStation 5 (should they choose to stick to the numbered naming scheme) and revealed that it’s more than just a mere upgrade, we don’t have any tangible data on what exactly to expect.

Fortunately, Wall Street Journal tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki was present at Sony’s most recent gaming presentation and had this video to show us:


What you see here is a comparison between the loading times of the PS5 and PS4 Pro. Make no mistake here: The next-generation console is incredibly fast! A lot of credit must be given to the built-in SSD the PS5 will ship with.

This should be taken with a grain of salt, however. Tech demos are often fixed to make the newer (and more expensive) product seem superior. To the next-gen console’s credit, it’ll come with the latest eight-core Ryzen chip and a custom GPU from AMD’s Radeon Navi, which are capable of 8K gaming and ray tracing when put together.

Sadly, we still don’t have a release date and Sony won’t announce anything at E3 next month. For now, savor your PS4 and its growing library of classics.

Via: Kotaku

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Apps

Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks

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In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.


Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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