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

TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019

For Dota 2 and PUBG

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After three long days of battle in Bangkok, Thailand from February 15 to 17, two champions have emerged from the two featured games of the Predator League in Asia Pacific 2019.

For Dota 2, it’s TNC Predator from the Philippines; and for PUBG, the champ is none other than Afreeca Freecs Fatal from South Korea.

Their winnings come from a prize pool worth US$ 250,000. Each champion receives US$ 75,000 for their efforts, while the runners-up split the remaining pot.

The grand event concluded after over 3,500 competing teams from 16 countries were eventually reduced to only 26 groups in Bangkok for the finals.

This was the Predator League’s second event in the APAC region. In 2018, it was held in Indonesia. Next year’s event will take place in the Philippines.

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Gaming

Nintendo reveals upcoming games for the Switch

Featuring some old favorites!

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Throughout the year, the world’s biggest tech companies host the most lavish events to promote new launches and announcements. Most of the time, these massive events have redefined their respective industries. Alternatively, some companies rely on subtler means for their launches. Regardless, the industry-defining effects remain the same.

Nintendo typifies this strategy to perfection, boasting their chops through online-only Nintendo Direct events. Today, in the first Nintendo Direct of the year, the company unveiled its slew of strong contenders going into 2019. Here’s a taste of Nintendo’s upcoming heavy-hitters:

Super Mario Maker 2

In 2015, Nintendo released its most revolutionary retooling of the Mario formula — Super Mario Maker. Exclusive to the 3DS and the Wii U, the highly customizable Mario game was a beloved hit. This June, Nintendo finally releases a follow-up featuring new tools, elements, and a lot more playability on the Switch.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

By no means a new game, Link’s Awakening brings the Game Boy classic to the Switch. This time, Nintendo has remastered the game in a top-down, 3D engine. Further, the remastered game features similar side-scrolling segments from the old game.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

The current Marvel fever has also infected the gaming world. The Black Order brings a four-player co-op brawler experience to the Switch. Featuring a wide array of characters from the universe, the game features an original story, pitting your favorite heroes against Thanos and the Black Order.

Tetris 99

Out today, Tetris 99 is the most shocking iteration of the time-honored series. Why? It’s a battle royale. The free online block-building game pits you against 98 other players in a race to become the last man standing.

Besides these four, Nintendo will also launch a flurry of updates and ports. In the coming months, the company will release substantial updates to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. It will also launch Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon: Let’s Go gets its own Nintendo Switch bundles

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Apps

EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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