Bangladeshi video gamer makes a gaming empire: The B2M Games story

Video games have played a significant part in shaping most of our lives. Video games have a way for our imaginations to spring free. The engaging narratives and open sandboxes in games inspire us to build worlds, follow storylines, be engaged in new universes and have a lot of friends while doing it. Many of us have wondered, if only we could turn our love for video games into a way to make money.  What if the dream of having your own gaming empire came true? Is that even possible in Bangladesh? Introducing, B2M Games.

What is B2M Games?

B2M Games specializes in making addicting mobile video games on the Android platform. Some of their games are Fruit Hit Smash, Kingfisher, Tap Tap Dagger. Their most popular game, “Adommo 71” has a solid fan base and played regularly by locals. The Adommo series may be followed up with future entries.

A whopping 65 games are in the development phase. Their future plans include creating more than a thousand video games.

Founded in April of 2016, the company started with three people. B2M games has now grown into a 12-person team with 6 developers and 4 designers. B2M games has started to break even on their third year of operation. For a gaming company in the current industry, especially in the context of Bangladesh, that is a remarkable and difficult feat.

Read more: Bangladeshi graphic novels: 5 essential reads

B2M games is the dream child of Rayid Isaam Faruq, Founder and CEO.

Driven by the passion of one gamer

Mr. Rayid possessed knowledge of app building, but his skills in game making was next to nothing at the initial stages of the company. Mr. Rayid’s, an avid game enthusiast, took his passion for gaming and turned into a full time job.

Before B2M Games, he worked in a holding company which dealt with purchasing intellectual property of game companies. Mr. Rayid was motivated by this experience and drew from it to acquire the necessary knowledge of the industry and confidence to start B2M Games. The astonishing growth in smartphone usage penetration also contributed to B2M Games’ growth. Mr. Rayid’s story inspires us to carry our dreams with us, wherever we might end up, even in jobs and tasks that may seem unrelated. It might just happen to come compound into something bigger and come true.

Advice to aspiring game developers

Learn as you go and keep improving

At the moment, B2M Games are producing fun, but simple games. But it is a company which seeks to evolve with each release. Mr. Rayid puts it simply, his team has grown with each game and through the vigorous process of trial and error. They have worked on each new release, being smoother and more seamless, more emotional and cerebral.

Grow slowly, but effectively

As trailblazers in a relatively young industry in Bangladesh, persistence and quality is important.


Mr. Rayid’s message to aspiring game developers is to grow slowly, but effectively. He advises planning out a road map for your company and working according to that plan. Not getting ahead of yourself is strongly recommended, and patience is key. Most of all, he advises writing down the rawest version of the dream you have and looking at it every once in a while– just in case you ever lose your way. Because it is a long road ahead.

20th edition game is coming out soon!

On this journey of growth and learning, B2M Games is reaching a milestone in the form of their 20th edition game, Brain Calculator. This game is different than other B2M projects in that this is more of mathematical puzzle game, as opposed to one click action/arcade games. It is going to be a very colorful retro experience and due to launch very soon.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi bands that disappeared after their debut album

You can download their games today from the Play Store. Join B2M Games on their exciting journey and support local entrepreneurs while you are at it.

Google launching game streaming service “Stadia”

Remember that streaming service for gaming everyone wouldn’t shut up about? Although it wasn’t even here yet?

It’s here.

Google’s stadia

Google is launching the Stadia cloud gaming service at the San Francisco GDC (Game Developers Conference). CEO Sundar Pichai spoke about the company’s ambition to make Stadia a platform for everyone. Google hopes to stream games to all devices. But as of now, Stadia will stream games to the PC, laptop, tablet computers, TV and mobile phones.

How it works

Pichai and Phil Harrison, former Microsoft and Sony executive unveiled Stadia onstage. According to Harrison, YouTube will be used to add to the service. This comes in the form of a new feature, which allows one to view a game clip from a YouTube creator and hit a “play now” button to instantly access streaming service to the game. And this feature doesn’t require one to download or install any games. You can play through the google chrome browser. The feature was previously hinted at during Google’s trial period of Stadia deemed “Project Stream”. Many Chrome users accessed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through the browser and streamed mostly seamless gameplay.

Part of the demonstration was moving gameplay seamlessly from a phone to a tablet and then to a TV.

A Stadia controller will also be launched and will work with the service by connecting through Wi-Fi. It will make moving games between devices smoother, and also being able to use one controller for all your devices is kind of cool. Games can be run at 4K at 60 FPS at launch, and up to 8K resolutions with 120 FPS will be made available in the future. A custom GPU will be released for Google datacenters, partnering with AMD. The GPU is expected to be more powerful and efficient than the ones used in the PS4 pro and even the Xbox One X.

Doom Eternal will be one of the launch titles for Stadia. And a cheeky reference to The Elder Scrolls series was also made courtesy of an image with a sword, a potion flask and a knee with an arrow sticking out. Make of that what you will. Google is planning to use State Share for players to share gameplay instances, down to specific parts of the game.

Competition looms in the horizon

In short, this has the potential to change the landscape of the gaming industry, if done right. And although Google seem like the first of the pack to unveil a firm offering, they are to face stiff competition from Microsoft and Amazon who are to release similar service later this year. Things are starting to get very intriguing indeed.

5 Bangladeshi graphic novels you must read

Graphic novel is a wonderful medium where art and literature interplays. Often deemed as a pulpy and lesser creative form, graphic novels have gained momentum in the past 20 years or so. Often mistakenly labelled as comics, graphic novels deal with deeper subject matter and perplexed illustrations. They are bigger in length as well.

Bangladesh too has a thriving graphic novel scene confined in a limited readership. It is great to see publishing houses like Panjeree and Dhaka Comics are catering to the local fans and publishing new graphic novels frequently. If you have never read a deshi graphic novel, here is an essential reading list to get you started with. These 5 titles are a testament that our local writers/artists are rivalling with their Western counterparts, with what limited time and resource they have.

#1 Ruhan Ruhan (রুহান রুহান)

Genre: Sci-fi

Publisher: Dhaka Comics

Credit: Muhammad Zafar Iqbal (story), Mehedi Haque (illustration)

Summary: Ruhan Ruhan is set in a nihilistic and dystopian planet where people have no sense of humanity whatsoever. Ruhan, was fatefully kidnapped and deported to the planet ‘Gruzan’. A gang of savage businessmen throws him two options- either engage in a win-or-die gladiator match or be a guinea pig of human anatomy replacement. Ruhan is no ordinary guy, he defies the corrupt system and reclaims humanity. This graphic novel is a 5 part series; the last issue is scheduled to hit bookstores this year.

#2 Laily (লাইলী)

Genre: Comedy/romance

Publisher: Panjeree

Credit: Shahrier Khan (Story and illustration)

Summary: Laily, the titular character, is a drop dead gorgeous girl of her neighbourhood. After a 10 year hiatus, she returns to the area where she grew up. In no time, a neighboring engineer, a gangster and a journalist fall for her. With a heavy dose of Dhallywood-ish humor, Laily tackles all the hopeless romantics come what may. This is by far the best comedy graphic novel by a Bangladeshi artist. Although I might be opinionated, you’ll thank me later for recommending Laily!

#3 Shurjer Din (সূর্যের দিন)

Genre: Liberation war

Publisher: Pragati

Credits: Humayun Ahmed (story), Ahsan Habib (illustration)

Summary: Shurjer din chronicles the life of a group of teens amidst the tension of the liberation war. The main characters go through a crisis as their regular life comes to a standstill following the events of 1971. I highly recommend this graphic novel to pre-teenagers. Adapted from a Humayun Ahmed novella, Ahsan Habib’s illustration breathes sentiments of our glorious liberation war in this gem. This is a suitable starter for young readers who find war stories complex.

#4 Poncho Romancho (পঞ্চ রোমাঞ্চ)

Genre: Anthology

Publisher: Dhaka Comics

Credits: Kazi Anwar Hossain (story), various artists (illustration)

Summary: Kazi Anwar Hossain is a name synonymous with thriller/adventure books in Bangla. Back in mid 70’s, the legendary ‘Kazi Da’ adapted 5 stories by foreign writers, giving them an appropriate local setting. The book came out titled ‘Poncho Romancho’ featuring stories named Onno konokhane, Jhamela, Cancer, Ostad and Porokiya. Almost four decades later, Dhaka Comics adapted this anthology collection as a graphic novel. If you are a Sheba Prokashani fan, this one will definitely send nostalgia down your bloodstream.

#5 Cube (কিউব)

Genre: Sci-fi

Publisher: Panjeree

Credit: Shahrier Khan (story and illustration)

Summary: Geologist Joy Ahmed is employed in the coastal city of Cox’s Bazaar. He was having an ordinary life but soon things escalade when he stumbles upon an alien race. Aliens come to earth to scout a mysteriously powerful thing called ‘cube’. Whoever possesses the cube gains super power. Joy finds a cube as well as his love interest. But he will have a hard time defending his city as the extraterrestrial threat looms large in picturesque places of Chittagong.

That’s all for now, folks. I insist you to read Bangladeshi graphic novels. Without our support, it’s very hard to be a professional in this medium. As the local comic readers grow, we can dream of a day when fan-favourite titles will become live action movies. We’ll have our own Avengers or Tintin, someday!

Red Dead Redemption 2 review: Rage, rage against the dying of the West

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an unabashedly stubborn masterpiece.

I was strolling through the quiet road at the base of Mount Shan on my trusty steed, Epona. Suddenly I came across a rugged-looking man intently crouching over something and talking to himself. It wasn’t long before I listened in and came to know that he was a hunter tracking his prey. We shared a hearty greeting thanks to the contextual button on my PS4 controller. But then he went back to his hunter business. Curious, I followed him from afar just to see the climax of this random event. I wasn’t ready for what happened a couple of seconds later.

Without warning, a huge bear suddenly came out of the woods and rushed straight towards him. The hunter got in a few shots from his rifle but not before the bear jumped squarely on him and viciously clawed his face off. I ran towards the spot but found both of them laying lifeless and still. I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt about my failure in saving him. Maybe if I drew faster, he’d still be alive and we could have shared a chuckle after his successful hunt. Worn with woe, I accepted his fate and rode back into the world.

This is just one of the many, many random encounters in Rockstar’s astonishingly detailed and exhaustingly beautiful open-world western opus, Red Dead Redemption 2. A world unnervingly polished to a marvelous sheen, the sequel’s responsive open-world design ensures it’s a treat to just exist there. It tells a heart-wrenching and worthy story that weaves many character-driven narrative threads into a glorious tapestry. It starts at a deliberately measured pace but soon reaches full steam and gradually culminates in a thunderous crescendo. When the sun has set on the somber tale of not heroes but flawed men and women with dark pasts and desperate futures, you can’t help but marvel at your own journey.

The premise

Red dead redemption 2, Arthur Morgan
Our man Arthur lookin’ real nice

As Arthur Morgan, you have plenty of opportunities to do right by the Van der Lindes.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a follow-up to Red Dead Redemption. And while new and improved in terms of design and execution, Red Dead Redemption 2 is narratively a prequel. The year is 1899, a decade before the events of the first game. The story follows the adventures of Arthur Morgan, right-hand man to charismatic gang leader Dutch van der Linde. Players of the original Red Dead will recall that this gang is the one previous protagonist John Marston originated from. At this stage of history, Arthur, Dutch, and crew are on the run following a failed job in the town of Blackwater.

Throughout the story, the gang exists in a transient state. Moving from state to state, the crew finds itself mixed up in a wide variety of misadventures as they try to regather themselves and pull together the funds they need to finally disappear. As Arthur, you are essentially the gang’s fixer. In addition to participating in the various robberies and related crimes that take place throughout the game, you’ll also find yourself in charge of the gang’s camp. Its is a bustling communal space where you collect quests, manage resources, and just exist alongside the various personalities that encapsulate the gang. But your true calling comes from the wild.

Wild wild West-world

horse
More horses than you could ever want. Question is: why’d you want so many horses?

One of RDR2’s greatest strengths is the lengths it goes to in order to make its world feel like it is breathing on its own. Other Rockstar open world games have largely focused on centering the player in every way. Everything is typically built like a playground, chock full of activities that exist at the forefront, while the various NPCs just sort of mill around. Here, the various cities, camps, and wild areas all feel like they are moving along at a life-like pace. When you’re in your gang camp, you’ll see people doing chores, reading, playing games, and engaging in conversations that have nothing, in particular, to do with whatever quest you’re about to embark upon. These personalities, these people, are the core of what makes Red Dead Redemption 2 go. There is a humanity to these characters that Rockstar games don’t typically seem all that invested in portraying.

When you head into towns, Rockstar’s meticulous craftsmanship gets even more impressive. Each of the many towns and cities has its own character and personality, with the bustling New Orleans facsimile Saint Denis being the crown jewel. The cities are packed with things to do, from taking in a vaudeville show and getting your photo taken to meeting a memorable cast of strangers and perusing the intricately detailed shops. You can dive into a catalog at gun shops and general stores, or walk right up to the shelves and grab what you need.

Ultra-realism

“… And that’s why I’ll need your horse, pardner”

All the exteriors and interiors in the game look authentic to the time period and make you feel like you are visiting a place lost in time. Even the civilian population is remarkable – you can interact with each person you come across. I rarely heard a repeated line of dialogue outside of some random encounters outside the city. New strangers continually pop up offering interesting side missions as well. This is world both alive and lived in. And Rockstar never misconstrues this basic foundation.

But the strongest case for this amazing open-world is its nothingness. Galloping through the path less-trodden, enjoying the simplicity and the Zen-like peace of the western frontier is such a delight. The stretch of calm is at complete odds with the gun-slinging robust action but just as vital to the game’s experience. Light bursting through a tree canopy, rain clouds forming and clearing, evening mists rolling into an eerie swamp- the gorgeous visuals of the game punctuates throughout these spectacular moments.

It’s an outlaw’s life for me

Because ladies LOVE to be wooed by a mysterious guy in a mask with a bloody knife in his hand

As Arthur Morgan, you have plenty of opportunities to do right by the Van der Lindes. You’ll find a settlement for your gang first, of course. Then you quickly learn how imperative it is to keep everyone alive by supplying them with food, medical supplies, and ammunition. You’ll have to rob trains, steal stagecoaches, hold up shopkeepers and civilians on the road, as well as complete missions, hunt animals, or complete bounty missions to earn your keep. On top of this, there’re plenty of other ways to earn money, such as games of Blackjack or Poker, and selling your wares to those that are interested.

Your camp has a group fund to which you can donate your money, as well as a ledger where you can spend that hard-earned cash to improve the camp by upgrading it. Living quarters, building better supply stores, and opening up the option to fast travel across the vast plains- all can be achieved through these upgrades.

Survive

Sounds simple. Ain’t.

Out in the wild, or engulfed in a mission, the three cores of your character need to be kept replenished if you want to survive. Health, Stamina, and Dead Eye all need to remain high or you’ll start to show signs of fatigue. It isn’t just Arthur that has these cores. Your horse is an extension of you, and looking after it is essential. It’s important to bond with your horse because you’ll have access to better abilities. For example, if you’re bonded with your horse it’ll come to you from a farther distance once you whistle it to return. Your horse also acts as your inventory whilst exploring, storing the extra guns and equipment for you to equip while in the wild.

Hunting is a huge part of Red Dead Redemption 2, as is fishing, and both can be done whenever you like. Planning every hunt is just as important as robbing a train. Learning which options are at your disposal can take time. But planning that next big kill proves incredibly satisfying when done correctly. Unlike so many modern open-world games, Red Dead Redemption 2 does not want you to achieve dominance over it. It wants you to simply be in its world, and to feel like a part of it. It’s a crucial distinction and a big part of what makes it all so immersive and engrossing.

The wild bunch

Ain’t no party like a cowboy party

Arthur may be the story’s protagonist, but Red Dead Redemption 2 is an ensemble drama. The Van der Linde gang is more than just another clutch of scoundrels on horseback. It’s a community, a mobile encampment consisting of about 20 men, women, and children, each with their own story, desires, and role. There are villains and psychopaths, drunks and miscreants, and also dreamers, runaways, and lost souls just looking to survive. Each character has their own chances to shine, particularly for players who take the time to get to know them all. From the cook to the layabout to the loan shark, each has become real to me in a way fictional characters rarely do.

The game’s primary tale of Arthur’s journey through the gang’s final days is an extremely compelling one. The performance of Rob Clark as Arthur is a big part of that. Also at the head of the table sits Dutch van der Linde, as complex and fascinating a villain as I’ve met in a video game. Benjamin Byron Davis plays the boss man perfectly, imagining Dutch as a constantly concerned, watery-eyed killer. Time and again I was also struck by how seriously this game’s writers took these characters, themes, and subject matter. Glances of Rockstar’s satiric commentary famous from the Grand Theft Auto franchise can be seen here. But in its heart, the narrative remains about an invading modern world and a grim destruction of the old guard. And it is absolutely riveting in its execution.

See you, cowboy

See you, not-space cowboy

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an incredible achievement in open world gaming. It is an intricate machine that disguises its machinery better than just about anything else that’s come before. It toys with our suspension of disbelief about all those ones and zeroes beneath. Ultimately, it is gaming’s Pinocchio moment- blurring the puppet strings beyond belief. In addition to its lengthy and engrossing campaign, it delivers moments of emergent storytelling more compelling than anything I can ever remember playing. Graphically and aurally, it is top-to-bottom stunning. Rockstar has single-handedly thrust open-world game design to the next generation. And I refuse to ever go back.

Telltale’s demise is a cautionary tale for the video game industry

On September 21st, Telltale Games confirmed that it was shutting down operations, laying off the majority of its 250-strong staff. Now, only a skeleton crew remains to “fulfill the company’s obligation to its board and partners”.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course,” said Pete Hawley, CEO of Telltale Games, in an official statement. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Founded in 2004, the company garnered mainstream success in 2012 with the release of the Walking Dead, which earned both mainstream and critical success. Despite creating licensed, episodic adventure games for properties such as Game of Thrones, Batman and Guardians of the Galaxy, the company has struggled to stay afloat in recent years. Although it bagged many “Game of the Year” awards and other accolades, most of its games failed to make any money, other than the Walking Dead season one and Minecraft. Batman, in particular, was a big flop.

Following Walking Dead, Telltale continued its signature brand of episodic and interactive storytelling with other IPs such as the Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands. It also inspired others such as Dontnod to follow in its steps with Life is Strange. Telltale’s current production, the final season of the Walking Dead, has been canceled. Minecraft Story Mode, however, will be finished, according to Netflix.

Telltale’s demise, though abrupt, was not completely unexpected. In November 2017, the studio laid off 90 employees, which constituted roughly one-fourth of its staff. The studio has, purportedly, promoted a toxic culture of overwork, stagnation and corrupt management. Kevin Brunner, former CEO and co-founder, sued Telltale earlier this year, seeking recovery of financial damages.

Cult of Personality

According to numerous current and former employees, Bruner’s behavior became decidedly more histrionic after the studio first tasted mainstream success. “That’s when things got really bad,” says a former employee. “I think a lot of the insecurity came from The Walking Dead. He felt that… he deserved that. It was his project, or it was his company. He should have gotten all that love.”

Rodkin and Vanaman, the key driving factors for the success of the first season of The Walking Dead, ultimately left Telltale to found Campo Santo. They went onto release the award-winning Firewatch.

Bruner has contested the claims that he micromanaged and killed others’ creative influences inside Telltale. “Taste is a tricky thing, and I’m confident the games reflected a lot of different tastes at the studio. Our style of gameplay was really powerful but also constraining, and not everyone was comfortable working within those constraints.”

Over time, Telltale’s process turned from revolutionary to stale. If you had played one Telltale game, you could trace the narrative outline for most of them. “The folks at the very top never really understood what made Walking Dead work,” said another former employee. “They were given a recipe book, and they just followed the recipe because they don’t really understand why the recipe tastes good.”

Youth is Wasted on the Young

Telltale’s fall tells a story of mismanagement in not just one small firm, but the video game industry as a whole. The industry overworks developers. Often they are working 20-hour workdays and clocking 100 hours per week. Issues of crunch time and abuse of underpaid junior employees were rampant in Telltale.

“You’d get a lot of people coming right out of school, going, ‘Oh I really want to prove myself, and I really want to make sure that they see that I’m contributing,’” says an insider to the Verge. “The thing that broke my heart the most was seeing new team members that were just so gung-ho and optimistic and excited to be at Telltale get overused and abused because they did not feel comfortable drawing the line in the sand to say, ‘This is my limit.’ They either worked themselves out and would get sick or would become bitter.”

After the announcement of Telltale’s closure, fans have rallied around the workers. Major studios such as Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog, and Gearbox have expressed solidarity and offered new positions for the beleaguered Telltale staff.

The 225 former employees fired on Friday were allowed back on Monday for three hours to collect their belongings. “Despite my tweets, it hasn’t really hit me yet,” tweeted narrative designer Grace Buck. “But I know tomorrow will.”

What Telltale’s Legacy Can Look Like

I personally felt numbed by this development. In a way I grew up with Telltale, . I remember protecting Clementine and watching her grow up over the next few seasons of the Walking Dead. I loved the neo-noir atmosphere of the Wolf Among Us and relished playing as Bruce Wayne in the Batman games. Even the weaker games, such as Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy, were worth one playthrough.

Melissa Hutchison, the actress who voiced Clementine for the Walking Dead games, penned a heartfelt letter for the fans. “It hurts to know that all of the extremely talented actors who lent voice to this final season, won’t get to experience the final ending of one of the best damn game titles in the history of games,” Hutchison said. “and it hurts to know that long-awaited titles like a second season of The Wolf Among Us won’t be made.”

It still hasn’t hit home that Telltale isn’t going to be producing new seasons of the Wolf Among Us, or Batman. Although their work was always flawed, there was something to be appreciated in the very human stories they told. We hope that others can take the right lessons from their rise and demise, and continue producing content that invokes the best elements of interactive storytelling.

You can now play Assassin’s Creed on Chrome, no high-end PC required

Since February this year, there have been rumors of Google developing a gaming console for 2 years. The project was called “Yeti” and would use Google’s powerful server capabilities to help buffer game data during playtime, without the need for expensive dedicated hardware.

The Reveal

Odessey: The least Assassins Creed Assassins Creed game ever

Now as of recently, Google has transitioned to only software-based services under the title “Project Stream”. The service will offer the same streaming services as TVs, Movies, and Music, with the only requirement of 25Mbps of stable internet connection.

To demonstrate the service, Ubisoft has partnered with Google to release a demo of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey playable from Google Chrome browser. This is a US only project so the demo will have limited availability.

Not getting ahead of ourselves

Credit: The Verge/Ubisoft/Project Stream

This is an indication of Google’s increasing its presence in the gaming market from their Play Store services.  However, this service has been tried for many years by previous ventures like OnLive and Ouya, neither enjoyed widespread success. Currently, Sony is testing the waters for full-fledged streaming on its PlayStation Now services. Microsoft is also developing a streaming service for their next-gen Scarlett system.

Most streaming play experiences have been glitchy because of poor streaming quality, data loss, and input lag. Google’s resources and global presence might be enough to deliver a satisfactory product and reverse the existing negative mindset around game streaming services as a whole. This remains to be seen.

Will this move affect the dedicated consoles market including the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch? I doubt it, it’ll take years, maybe more than a decade before the ecosystem is built so that it is possible for services to be adopted by a majority of consumers. Constant internet access is a huge requirement for many of those users.  Dedicated systems may have its setbacks but gamers may resist moving away from the advantages like physical game copies or playing games offline.

What about the Desi Gamers?

Unless you’re in the US, not much

To be quite frank, our ISPs aren’t the most helpful bunch. They do not consistently provide quality services and network disconnections and lag is still common. Broadband is still expensive relative to other neighbor countries. So, there are reasons to believe that adoption in less technologically advanced world countries will take much longer time.

I still stand by the opinion, that even if this is a cheaper option, it will not be a fluently playable one. But who knows, maybe the premise of easier access is more of a compelling reason that any other factors. It will be interesting to see how these services work together with the anticipated mainstream integration of VR-games and software. Only the future will tell.

Harry Potter game trailer leaked

A new trailer of the Harry Potter game has been leaked, supposedly from an inside source. The video looks recorded from a handheld with no direct captured footage, and Warner Brothers managed to halt the original upload. Many outlets including VG247 has found mirrors that have the video uploaded. Close inspection of the video indicates that it will be a AAA Role-Playing Game or intense Action-Adventure game.

Past attempts at HP games were mediocre at best

Gaming giant EA held the rights to the Harry Potter gaming franchise for the longest time, bringing out a game for every book in the series alongside the movies, starting with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001 and wrapping up with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011.

While the books and movies were critically acclaimed, the games were a series of duds – across multiple platforms of PC, Xbox, PlayStation (1, 2, PSP, 3), Gamecube and Gameboy, not a single game registered more than a blip on gamers’ radar. Most of them were clunky, unimaginative and, beyond a few mini-games in the earlier instalments, largely bland.

What’s different this time?

There are no official relation or continuity with the main characters of the book written by J.K Rowling – the game could be setting up new characters or new story branches. The video shows glimpses of spell-casting, set-piece scenes, lots of action and battles, accompanied by high-quality visuals and effects.

The reaction to the leak was positive. Fans are clamouring for the immediate release of the original trailer.  Surely a second by second breakdown and investigation into every detail awaits. One could say that they already spellbound.

Without an official announcement, there are plenty of guesses as to what the name might be. The game is being developed by Avalanche Software (not to be confused with Avalanche Studios).

Do we need another Harry Potter game?

After EA’s botched attempts at releasing licensed games, Warner Brothers took the license in an attempt at releasing their own titles. There haven’t been any major video game releases. This revelation sparks hope in the fans that the franchise will get a new series that’ll live up to expectations.  The clock is ticking, the ball is in WB’s court to officially release the trailer. We will let you know when we know.

A new Witcher game?

The teaser for a new Witcher game has been dropped out of the blue. A few hours ago, CDProject Red posted the following on their social media:

Similar Vibes

We’re not in Velen anymore… I’m not sure where we are

The top-down RPG, known as Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, has the same feel as the other games of the series but is vastly different. The game plays in the same way as old school top downs, and being an AA title, should be easier to run than a full priced one. Yet it still looks really good. Don’t take my word for it, here are pictures. It seems very well illustrated. It really is as beautiful as you remember the world of Witcher to be.

Huge Map?

Cool.

The game will allow for a much bigger map with places not shown in the other games. It claims to have characters and places not found in the original three games. The trailer of the game shows a few places not seen in the games, and some that we have visited before.

30 Hours of Game

Nothing says RPG like dialogue options.

The new game, Thronebreaker, has 30 hours of gameplay, according to the game’s page on the developer website. However, CDProject Red is known for underpromising and overdelivering. Expect this game to have more gameplay than advertised. There are bound to be side quests.

New Characters

Diverse.

The game promises some classic book characters like Queen Meve, as well as characters who have already appeared in the games, like King Demavend III. It’s hard to tell how the game will actually play out, but these two seem to be protagonists, alongside Brouver Hoog, Gascon, Ardal Aep Dahy and Raynard Odo.

A surprise gift is at times the most pleasant. This game’s teaser trailer dropped out of the blue. Maybe that’s why the Witcher fans in us feel happy. The game will retail for $29.99 and pre-orders are available now.

Top 6 indie game developers

Now, it has come to the point where indie games have provided better storytelling, visuals, and concepts than most of them AAA ones. I mean seriously EA you make me sad, and when I say Me, I speak for a lot of us. But thank the game gods for the indie developers who were there to make us hopeful during the times we lost hope. These Developers put heart and soul into these games just so that after a hectic day of reality we can get lost in a fantasy-land and forget our worries momentarily. They have given us the escape we needed. For example, when the Assassins Creed Unity failed us, Coffee Stain Studio bestowed upon us Goat Simulation as a ray of hope.

Now let us take a look at 6 of these Developers.

1. Telltale Games

Since established in 2004, Telltale over the recent years have provided us with the stories we wanted. With different outcomes each time, we played until we have gotten all of them. Batman Telltale series is one of my personal favorites. It’s one of those games that helps me forget my worries and tough times. Being a comic book geek this is the perfect escape for me. Telltale is one of the most known and mainstream companies in this list. Many of the readers have probably played games made by these guys before.

I do hope they make a Telltale series of The Punisher.

2. Amanita Design

Amanita Design is known mostly for Machinarium. A minimalist dark puzzle game that would keep you occupied for hours. It kept me occupied. The brainteasers and puzzles would actually be a challenge I would need to jump-start my brain after a boring day spent at school. It would instantly get me back to using my brain. It was a good alternative to coffee. Amanita has produced twelve games with Samorost series included. Amanita since 2003 is known for brainteasers and puzzles.

3. Studio MDHR

Studio MDHR is a new Game developer consisting of two brothers who took the world by storm with just one game CUPHEAD. It was announced in 2014 with some betas released but when the completed game came out it broke the internet. Cuphead is also a kind of special to me. Not just a kind of but a lot to be exact. When I finally gathered the courage to ask the girl of dreams out and got rejected Cuphead was there to help me get over it. The frustration of trying not to die for the gazillionth time and spending a whole month nonstop for completing the game helped me forget the event and overcome my depression in such a short notice was a miracle.

So yeah, I’m not gonna do a listicle about Game developers with Studio MDHR excluded. I hope they keep on making games like this in the future.

4. Cloud Imperium Games

Cloud Imperium started in 2012 with Star Citizen as a Kickstarter project. Now according to calculations made in March 2018, Star Citizen has passed a whopping amount of 181 million dollars just from crowdfunding and 2 million registered users, which makes it the biggest crowd-funded video game in history. HOLY MOLY! After knowing this info, this game now got my attention and I just had to find out why all the hype. Therefore, I call up my friend Tonmoy who bought this game and head out. Firstly, you get to chose whomever you want to be in this game and then the infinite universe with an immense number of planets and a stunning concept which won over peoples heart and support. This game is a prime example telling us People will support you if you can give the people something worthy of their time.

5. The Behemoth

If you’ve played Castle Crashers, you definitely love Behemoth. This game was not just fun but you are able to go 4 person team Co-op. Like, this is one of those Beat-em-up games that you call up your friends and four people could go nuts over constantly beating bad guys up. This is one of the games that prove you don’t always have to keep FIFA or NBA whenever friends come around for a stay over to have one hell of a blast.

6. Edmund McMillen

The man who made two of the well-known games, Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac. This was a tough choice between Behemoth and Edmund. Why not go for both? Super Meat Boy is one those games that almost everyone you know must have played at a point after release.

Well, this does not by any means concludes the list. What I have said is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of Indie game developers that are out there, whom I have yet to discuss. These are just some of the Developers who I love the most for their unique works. Some hold a sentimental value some I just love for the sheer fun they provide.

Hope you liked my list and remember this is just my opinion. You’re welcome to comment your own indie darlings below.

5 cyberpunk games to get on Steam Summer Sale while waiting for Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk isn’t a happy notion. It isn’t a clean and shiny utopian promise, rather a neon hued painting depicting the breakdown of social order. Despite the peak techno revolution, cyberpunk fiction revels just as much in the dystopic future where technology might have ended up doing more harm than good. And yet, somehow this angsty subgenre of sci-fi has mesmerized many of us through the years with its masterstroke combination of lowlife, high tech, AI, mega corporations and so much more. Therefore, it was not surprising when the whole spectrum of gamers was swooning over the reveal of Cyberpunk 2077 at this year’s E3. But the game is in its early stages and years away from release. Now how do we scratch that cyberpunk itch that the game’s trailer has surely conjured up in us? Well, by grabbing some underrated cyberpunk gems from the Steam Summer Sale, of course. We all are aware of the usual heavy hitters like Deus Ex, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon or the rebooted Shadowrun games that encapsulate this genre. But I’ll be going a bit deeper down the rabbit hole today to suggest some games that might not have gotten the same media attention but are worthy of your time all the same. And did I say they are dirt cheap in the Steam Summer Sale?

Dex

Dex is an open world, side scrolling, action RPG that takes place in a far future Cyberpunk setting and takes some inspiration from classic Metroid and Castlevania games. The city of Harbor Prime, the setting of the game, has been beautifully constructed with an incredibly immersive environment.

Dex also possesses a politically intriguing main quest and a somewhat solid gameplay base. It focuses on both melee and ranged combat. If you can tolerate the occasional gameplay hiccups, there’s a lot of fun to be had. It is currently $1.99 on Steam.

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

VA-11 HALL-A is the rare cyberpunk adventure that actually manages to remain interesting until the end with a unique mechanic and loveable characters. You play as Jill who works as a bartender at VA-11 Hall-A. The story is nonlinear and instead of being decided by dialogue options, it changes depending on the drinks you make for patrons at the bar. There are regular clients with their own personalities and the people who work at the bar themselves who slowly grow on you.

Mixing drinks and serving a particular drink to people is basically the main gameplay here. I absolutely love the character designs and the subtle animations at play both in characters and in the bar environment. The title screen itself is worth having a big poster of framed in your room. Go buy it for a measly 10 bucks on Steam.

Observer

Right from the off, Observer is textbook cyberpunk. Grim and brooding with atmosphere, its world feels like a digital recreation of a William Gibson novel. Observer uses this unsettling ambiance to tee up a gripping horror narrative, but it also simultaneously weaves in themes of paranoia and espionage classic to the genre. It had me utterly captivated over the course of six hours, soaking up the tension of its eerie environment and locked into unraveling the mystery of its story.

Starring Rutger Hauer of Blade Runner’s Roy Batty fame, in this game you play as an Observer- an augmented KGB police detective- who’ll wander around a retro-cyberpunk vision of future Poland piecing together an ever-thickening plot. For the most part, the gameplay that translates this story is engaging enough and the game does a good job of shepherding you between objectives without ever feeling as though it’s holding your hand. Observer is currently $6.29 on Steam.

Ruiner

Ruiner is a tense, top-down shooter and a series of equations written in blood, bullets, neon. The maiden game from Reikon Games pretty much demands the fluidity of twin-stick control, even at the cost of mouse-and-keyboard precision. And by “demands,” I mean the game kicked my head in six ways ’til Sunday before I realized the optimal way to play. The game’s world is as red as Carrie on prom night and puts about as much value on human life.

Its harsh cyberpunk aesthetic never lightens up and never gets old. The satisfying combat calculations of the game come together, execute smoothly and consequently gives you a rare cathartic feeling. You can also endlessly tinker with the skill builds that lets you build your own play styles. Grab it for just 10 bucks from the Steam store.

Satellite Reign

Back in 1993, Bullfrog made a ground-breaking cyberpunk tactical combat game called Syndicate. Its 1996 sequel, Syndicate Wars, was one of gaming’s lost Ur-genres, an even darker game about religion in a fully-destructible cityscape. Both were perfect recreations of grim cyberpunk worlds that you had to take over with your gang of cyborgs, by stealth, hacking or straightforward ultraviolence. Satellite Reign (named punningly after Satellite Rain, the most indiscriminately-destructive of Syndicate Wars’ weapons) is a spiritual sequel to those games.

You take control of a corporation seeking to muscle in another corp that’s dominating your city, using a group of four specialized cyborgs. As a tactical combat game, it runs a close second to XCOM, which is saying something. The game’s open world is a grimy labyrinth of urban design, and it’s an absolute joy to explore. You’ll feel like a kid playing with the most badass action figures you could ever have owned, set atop the biggest playset your imagination could handle. If you can survive the unforgiving opening hours of this game, I promise you there is something special in there. And all this for less than $2 in Steam. I mean, talk about getting a bang for your buck.