Game Insight gets new president, promises to develop core games

Anatoly Ropotov _ Photo

Anatoly Ropotov is replacing Alisa Chumachenko as president of Game Insight, Kanobu reports. Company moves to develop core games for mobile devices, promises 5 Unity-based games till the end of 2014.

Game Insight is well-known in Russia for its creative director Leonid Sirotin quotes, slamming down core gamers as ignorant cheapskates and praising casual audience. It seems that “ignorant cheapskates” are the new target audience for GI.

Update: Here is an official press-release in English.

The Sims 4 is rated 18+ in Russia

Next instalment of favourite game of young girls and housewives, The Sims 4 was rated 18+ “Not suitable for children” in Russia.

sims4

As I wrote earlier there is no official rating entity in Russia and all rating are issued by local publisher. In this case – Electronic Arts Russia.

Supposedly the game was rated 18+ because it features gay and lesbian relationships between characters.

GamesJamGAMM announces winners

So, that Games Jam about phobias is finally complete and no games about homophobia made it to finals. Damn it!

Winners are mostly playing it safe with fear of the dark, closed rooms and cats. Cats?

I Saw My Soul

4th place

soul

Dot

3rd place

061

Game about laser pointer, cat and mayhem.

Talk to Me 

2nd place

1

Breathing Fear

1st place

s3-bf

Survival horror about lone cabin in a forest. Classic!

You can always check other games at Games Jam site. In fact you should do it right now.

And here is a brief video about all Games Jam GAMM finalists.

Somebody is making a GTA game about that cute prosecutor from Crimea

I don’t even know where to start.

Lifenews (yellow tabloid loyal to Russian government) reports that some studio in Russia is allegedly creating a Grand Theft Auto game based on Natalya Poklonskya, widely known here as “that cute prosecutor from Crimea”. Gamers are going to be able to play as Natalya, fighting crime on streets of conflicted Ukrainian peninsula.

The “game” is based on GTA: San Andreas and will, I quote, feature “less violence and perversions” and also allegedly is “compliant with Rockstar Games rules”.  They’re planning to release it for free in next four months and now registering a trademark to make sure nobody steals their brilliant idea.

Some other Russian developers are saying that GTA: Crimea is aimed at, I’m not joking, school kids.

Russia never ceases amusing me.

What happened to Nuclear Union from Best Way?

I’ve just finished recording How Games Are Made podcast with Dmitry Morozov, founder of Best Way company, game designer of Men of War series. It will go live in next couple of days, but it’s in Russian, so I’ll share some details with you here.

Much discussed Nuclear Union from Best Way was closed half a year ago right after Gamescom 2013. 1C-Softclub decided to focus on distribution instead of publishing and scraped it. It’s a pity, because Nuclear Union was actually 1C’s idea – they wanted to publish a Russian Fallout, every post-Soviet developer’s elusive dream.

Best Way owns assets and engine, but not the script, so they are remaking the project now. It will change title and story, but not the genre or setting. Best Way is looking for partners to finish a post-Nuclear Union (that’s my name for the game, not official one).

Dmitry Morozov also told us about Men of War Online, a PVP game based on Men of War multiplayer mode. This project is still early in development, but core gameplay will probably remain the same. Of course, the title will change as well, because Men of War brand is owned by 1C-Softclub.

And the winners are in for GamesJamKanobu

I wrote about GamesJamKanobu before – it’s basically a local version of IGF, where indie games compete for attention and some are awarded with money prizes. So, winners were finally selected in three categories and here they are.

Disclaimer: I’ve voted in design document category.

Best design document: Evolution.

Evolution sounds a bit like Black & White with RPG system and a bit of Spore mixed with From Dust. Ambitious to say the least.

Selenium

Best concept art: Selenium.

I worked with Mikhail Rakhmatullin for two years and he totally deserves this award.

Maze

Best playable prototype: Maze.

I still wish creators would finish 5734L3R first.

Video Hero Story

Grand Prize: Video Hero Story

For some reason I’m a playable character in this game, so I think it deserves its victory.

Ice-Pick Lodge is planning Pathologic remake

pathologic1You’ve probably never heard of Pathologic and that’s ok. The game never really took off outside Russia where it was released in 2005. But it was immensely popular in Russia and CIS countries and is regarded as one of the most influential games here.

Pathologic paints distinctively Russian (i.e. grim and hopeless) picture of medieval epidemic of unknown disease. Given the task to investigate this disease player has to make a series of tough choices, trying to save at least some of townsfolk all while conducting investigation and fighting for survival. Game is tough and unforgiving but widely loved by Russian audience.

Ice-Pick Lodge went on to create several more crazy games, including The Void and Knock Knock. Both were well received in Russia and both are largely unknown to Western gamers.

Now Ice-Pick Lodge is working on Pathologic remake or more precisely, new version. Nikolay Dybowskiy has recently stated that the new game will feature an updated story, different epidemic mechanic and changes to fighting, crafting and survival. And new graphics, of course, thanks to Unity 3D. Game might even change its English title to something more suitable.

If you’re interested in unusual games, this is the one to watch.

My.com unveils two new games: Armored Warfare from Obsidian and Skyforge from Allods Team

I briefly mentioned these two projects earlier, but now you can see them in their announcement trailers.

Armored Warfare is an action PVP game about tanks developed by Obsidian Entertainment with CryEngine. Mail.ru now has two World of Tanks clones, other being Ground War: Tanks.

Skyforge is developed internally by Allods Team with Obsidian’s help.

Xbox One is stated to launch in Russia this September

Microsoft’s Larry Hryb wrote that Xbox One will finally arrive in Russia this September. Meanwhile, Xbox One is already widely available in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, although at inflated prices.

No word on other CIS countries, where Microsoft haven’t even launched Xbox or Xbox 360 yet.

Sony dominated Russian console market for more than a decade, but in later years Microsoft finally gotten its foot in the door with Xbox 360. Decision to delay Xbox One launch by almost one year is seen in Russia as a step back.