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Jack Yarwood


A Celebration of Ultimate Play the Game and Rare’s Carole Stamper

When people talk about the history of Ultimate Play the Game and Rare, Carole Stamper (neé: Ward) is barely mentioned. But between Ultimate’s founding in 1982 to the Stamper family’s eventual departure from Rare in 2007, she was a constant figure behind the scenes. In the early days of Ultimate,…

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Carole Stamper

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More TT Games Employees Speak Out After Skywalker Saga Report

On April 5, 2022, after five years and three delays, TT Games released LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga across multiple platforms. Many publications reviewed the game positively, praising it for its incredible attention to detail, overhauled combat, and easter eggs for eagle-eyed players to spot. As a result, the game…

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Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga Early 3

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Lost Memories in the Snow: The Forgotten Famicom Detective Club Sequel

When Nintendo announced that it was releasing remakes of the Famicom Detective Club games, it came as a bit of a surprise. The series about a fifteen-year-old boy solving murder mysteries around the Japanese countryside was never released in the West, with international players having to search out fan translations…

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BS Tantei Club

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How a British Developer Made a Japan-Exclusive Sequel to Mario Paint

Not many western studios have taken a swing at making an official Mario game. But, between 1995 and 1999, the now defunct UK-based developer Software Creations did exactly that. Nintendo of America had picked Software to be a part of its Nintendo 64 “Dream Team” — a collection of studios…

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Mario Artist Paint Studio

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At Team17, Rapid Expansion Has Staff Stretched to the Breaking Point

On January 31, 2022, Team17 announced its intention to license the Worms brand to a third party to produce a set of “environmentally friendly” NFTs, attracting the anger of the internet. Online commenters were critical of the announcement, while publishing partners distanced themselves from the project; less than a day…

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Worms Rumble

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The Story of Arkadia, the Witcher Game You’ve Never Heard Of

Before Henry Cavill donned the white wig and introduced everyone and their grandmothers to The Witcher, and even before CD Projekt Red made Geralt into one of the most recognizable characters in gaming, a group of Polish volunteers brought the Witcher world to life inside a little-known fangame called Arkadia.…

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The Strange Tale of Rockstar Loft, Rockstar Games’ Short-Lived Club Night

In 1999, Rockstar Games co-founders Sam Houser and Terry Donovan teamed up with John Davis, the promoter of the Sunday afternoon New York party Body & Soul, to envision a new club night — one that would stand apart from the vacuous, celebrity-filled parties that dominated the city. It would…

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Rockstar Loft

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Behind the Groundbreaking Sound of SSX and SSX Tricky

When I think about SSX, the first thing that comes to mind is the sound. It’s the noise the board makes as it cuts through the snow; the electronic mix that plays as you make your way down the mountain; and the beatboxer Rahzel’s larger-than-life commentary that hypes you up…

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SSX Studio

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Inside PlayMagic, the Studio Behind the Disastrous XIII Remake

On November 13th 2020, publisher Microids and developer PlayMagic put out a statement apologizing for their recent remake of XIII. Fans had been eagerly anticipating the remake of Ubisoft Paris’s cult first-person-shooter — itself based on a Belgian graphic novel of the same name. But when it launched, frustrated players took…

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XIII

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The Story of Hi-Tech Expressions, the Original Rockstars of Gaming

There was a popular saying at Hi-Tech Expressions, the Manhattan-based video game publisher and developer: “To work at Hi-Tech, you have to play an instrument.”  Like most sayings, it was a slight exaggeration. The management at the company never expected applicants to crack out a guitar and jam out in…

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Hi-Tech Expressions

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A ‘Rare’ Interview with Donkey Kong Country Composer Eveline Novakovic

In 2007, video game composer Eveline Novakovic (née Fischer) faced a difficult decision. Working at Rare had been the perfect job — it was a state-of-the-art games studio nestled away in the English countryside, and a place where she could be creative alongside a team of other talented individuals. But…

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Eveline Novakovic

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The Bizarre Tale of How E.T. Killed Video Games (Again)

E.T. for the Atari 2600 is one of the most infamous video games in history — the title is often held up as the last straw that ended the first video game boom and led to truckloads of cartridges being dumped in the New Mexican desert. But while it’s certainly the…

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E.T.

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Whatever Happened to Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings?

After hearing the announcement that Lucasfilm Games and Bethesda are working together on a new Indiana Jones game, I couldn’t help but think back to Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings. No, not Artificial Mind and Movement’s ports that most people would have played on other consoles, but the…

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Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings

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From X-Men to Iron Man: The Strange Tale of Genepool Software

You’ve probably never heard of Genepool Software, the developer of X2: Wolverine’s Revenge — a video game tie-in to the 2001 X-Men sequel. Based out of a Victorian manor house in the middle of a picturesque park in Manchester, UK, Genepool was only active for a couple of years — just…

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Genepool

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‘Soon, Only the Ocean’ is One of the Best Games of 2020, But You Can’t Play It

I always find talking about my games of the year particularly challenging. Sometimes that’s down to the fear that I’ve missed something great, and other times simply due to the way that my opinions seem to change the more I try to pin them down. But as we approach the…

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How Director Michael Keillor Set the Tone of Grand Theft Auto

Michael Keillor probably isn’t a name that many fans of the Grand Theft Auto series are familiar with. Not only does the writer/director not talk much about his work on the game, but if you look at the credits for Grand Theft Auto 2, he’s listed under “Documentation,” an ambiguous…

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Michael Keillor

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How Games Like ‘Grounded’ are Going Big by Getting Small

We all think we know the ins and outs of our own home. But what if we had to explore it from a new perspective? Say, from the perspective of an ant or a small bug? This would completely change the way we view our surroundings, turning a backyard into…

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Grounded

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Sony’s ‘The Tomorrow Children’ Was Ahead of Its Time

When people talk about their favorite PlayStation exclusives, the free-to-play game The Tomorrow Children doesn’t usually rank among them, buried under an avalanche of sad dad simulators and cinematic action-adventures. But it remains arguably one of the most interesting and unusual projects Sony Interactive Entertainment published this generation, combining the…

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The Tomorrow Children

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Before ‘Tetris Effect,’ There Was the Vaporwave Bliss of Tetris on the CD-i

Video game composer Jim Andron isn’t the easiest person in the world to contact. Unlike his contemporaries, he doesn’t have a strong social media presence, an easily accessible contact email, or even many pictures of himself online. But ask most video game music enthusiasts and they’ll speak highly of his…

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Tetris CD-i

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The Strange Allure of the Pacific Northwest

When you picture the Pacific Northwest — the area that consists of the northwestern corner of the United States and the southwestern part of Canada — there are likely a collection of postcard images that spring to mind. It could be an endless forest of firs, dramatic lakes and jagged…

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Lake people campfire

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