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Patrick Hickey Jr, Author of “The Minds Behind the Games” – Interview Series

Patrick Hickey Jr, Author of "The Minds Behind the Games" - Interview Series

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Patrick Hickey Jr, Author of "The Minds Behind the Games" - Interview Series

Patrick Hickey Jr, is a games writer, his first book, “The Minds Behind the Games” features interviews with cult and classic video game developers.

Which came first, your passion for writing or gaming?

Absolutely gaming. The NES changed my life as a three-year-old with RBI Baseball and Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt. If not for a serious car accident at 18, I may have never seriously focused on my writing the way I have over the last two decades. I’d probably be wrapping up a minor league hockey career or have taken some civil service exams. What ended up was probably the best thing that could have, considering my love of history, writing, art and gaming. As an author, voice actor and college professor, I can truly drown myself in everything I care about it and support my family doing so.

 

What was the first game that you played when you realized that gaming would be an important part of your life?

Probably RBI Baseball on the NES. I absolutely loved playing games with real players. It made the games feel so much more important than a standard game. Later on, during the PlayStation One era, I’d manually update my rosters and sell the saves to friends. This was the beginning of my journey, I just didn’t know it yet.

 

Do you have a current favorite game and why does this game resonate with you?

I love the Fallout series and I am currently playing The Outer Worlds on the Switch. I love the notion of being able to travel someplace and make a character mean something in a world. The fact that it’s a single-player experience and not forcing me to go online or to buy DLC is even better. That notion of the grand single-player experience in gaming is becoming a lost one, but it’s still a valid one.

 

Could you tell us about your first book, “The Minds Behind the Games”?

The original Minds Behind the Games is a collection of stories on 36 games that have impacted a ton of people’s lives. From Mortal Kombat and Deus Ex to NHLPA 93 and ToeJam N Earl, there’s something there for everyone. Speaking with the developers themselves, I was able to tell a ton of stories that weren’t widely known or known at all. While there’s obvious opinion in the book, the majority of it is from the developer. I allow them to tell a story that’ll shed light on the creation process of the title. Each chapter also has interesting biographical data on the developers featured. It was my goal to educate, inform and entertain in the book and I think through the fun history, advice and tidbits from the developers, that this goal has been achieved.

 

Are game developers generally receptive to being interviewed when you approach them?

Each developer must be approached differently. They are artists. There’s not a one size fits all approach. Before I pitch a developer, I make sure I know who they are, about their work and hopefully, their legacy. Because of that, I usually don’t have much trouble, once I find them and we start to talk. From my experience, most developers are amazing people that actually want to tell their stories. They just haven’t been asked yet, or they haven’t been asked by a person they see as worthy enough to share it.

 

Have you been surprised with how favorably received and reviewed the book is?

Video Games are a huge part of my life. Writing takes up just as big a part. By combining these two things, I’ve created something that I feel is a more than adequate representation of what I’d like to be remembered for as a writer. My heart has always been in it. The passion is definitely there. I think rather than focus on the critical and commercial success of a project, you have to understand how important it is to you and then to the people that have experienced it. In the two years since the original book has been published, I’ve definitely seen it have an effect on the people who have read it and on the culture of video game history. That is something I am immensely proud of. And it’s the reason why the series continues to this day.

 

You have gone on to sign a multi-book deal for sequels. Could you tell us about “The Mind Behind Adventure Games”, as well as the other sequels you will be working on?

The Minds Behind Adventure Games is written in the same style as the original book, but with 31 new games, all of which have added to the Adventure game genre in their own unique ways. I see Adventure games as ones that make story paramount and these titles all did something to make story matter more in games- from Grand Theft Auto, Pitfall and even Maximum Carnage and Parappa the Rapper, this book is full of fun and informative tales.

As far as other books go, The Minds Behind Sports Games will be out in a month or so, while The Minds Behind the Shooter Games should be out by early 2021. I’m currently wrapping up The Minds Behind Sega Genesis Games and am about halfway done with The Minds Behind PlayStation Games. So by the end of 2022, I should have six books complete in the series.

 

You are also a voice actor and have performed in some games. Can you tell more about this?

After the release of the first book, I didn’t initially know if I was going to write a sequel, so I started covering the games industry again for the site I own, ReviewFix.com. I came across a game called The Padre, that looked cool- a dark story and Minecraft-inspired visuals. I contacted the developer for an interview and it went well. I was soon asked to play a Beta and then offered some critique. Within a few days, I was the game’s Story Editor and about a month later, our lead voice actor left so I offered my services.

The rest they say is history.

Now I’ve got credits on a few other games and am currently writing the story for KROOM, a game that Orange Door Studios in Rhode Island is creating. There are also a few other projects I’m contributing to that I cannot announce yet.

 

You are also the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Reviewfix.com, what was the inspiration behind launching this website and what should people expect when visiting this website?

I started Review Fix in May of 2009 when a relationship I was in was floundering. Rather than invest more time in something that wasn’t working, I created something- something that 11 years later is still going strong. At that time, I had just gotten my BA in Journalism the year before and was teaching and covering Minor League Hockey and Baseball, but I wanted to cover music, gaming and entertainment.

As far as what to expect, it’s a daily updated site with news, interviews, reviews on everything entertainment, games, comics, wrestling, TV- it’s a nerd haven. I have a slew of amazing writers supporting it as well, many of which have gone on to write at great places as well.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

If you’re interested in video game history, there are a lot of great books out there, but not many have made it their sole focus to allow the developers to tell their stories- to get it right. It’s so much better than a coffee table book with thousands of pictures, or a self-published rant that is all opinion. I want people to appreciate gaming history because it’ll make them love the games they do more- and understand and accept the games they don’t care for.

For me, this is a daily endeavor. It’s not just tied to the book. It’s on my FB, my Twitter, my Instagram. This is a part of my legacy as a human being.

As well, the best way to support me is to buy the books directly at PatrickHickeyJr.com/books.

There, I will personalize your book and slip in goodies like trading cards, stickers, bookmarks. I want you as a reader. I want to connect with you. Buying the book on Amazon or a major retailer doesn’t afford us that process.

Patrick Hickey Jr, Author of "The Minds Behind the Games" - Interview Series

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Antoine Tardif is the CEO of Gaming.net, and has always had a love affair for games, and has a special fondness for anything Nintendo related.

Esports

TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

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TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

TeamFight Tactics (TFT) received patch 10.16 on Wednesday (5). The update brought some news and added a new galaxy that promises to impact the style of play. With that in mind, Gaming Net selected the strongest compositions for the updated TFT Set 3. Strong compositions have not undergone so many changes and some may appear as alternatives in this Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16.

TFT is an Auto Chess game from Riot Games. The title is available in a mobile version for download on Android and iPhone phones (iOS) and as a game mode in League of Legends (LoL) for PC.

Rebel Blademaster

Champions: Shen, Yasuo, Zed, Yi, Fizz, Irelia and Riven.

TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

Master Yi is one of the strongest characters of Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16. (Image: Riot Games)

This composition appears as one of the best for some patches. The idea is to have many champions who can do damage, with Master Yi as the main one. Seeking to maximize the power of Shen, Yasuo, Zed and Yi, the strategy requires patience to reach greater potential.

Tips

  • Start the game by focusing on champions who are master of blades and infiltrators, such as Nocturne, Fiora, Shen, Zed, Yasuo and Master Yi.
  • Use the “Slow Roll” tactic on level 7. This strategy consists of accumulating money and spending the excess after reaching 50 gold until you reach Zed, Shen, Yasuo and Master Yi at the maximum level.
  • The items needed to maximize the characters’ damage come from the recurve bow. Get at least three of them to ensure greater efficiency in Master Yi. Steaming Cannon, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Mercury and Guinsoo’s Blade of Fury are the best items for the champion.
  • Zed is one of the best champions of this composition, but he needs to have the blade master feature activated. Focus on getting a spatula as soon as possible and, in the new patch, a GPC Sword to get the Destroyed King’s Sword.
  • Remember to always place the three rebels together so that they gain the shield of the rebel feature, which was improved in this update.
  • Riven, Ireilia and Fizz are strong champions in their own right. Riven comes in to provide the time characteristic buff for the entire team. Meanwhile, Fizz has a lot of group control and is an infiltrator, just like Zed. Irelia comes in as the sixth blade master for being a strong character.

Sniper Astronauts

Champions: Caitlyn, Nautilus, Ashe, Gnar, Jhin, Teemo, Wukong and Lulu / Karma.

TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

Teemo is one of the damage carriers of the composition. (Image: Riot Games)

In this Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16, Sniper champions do more damage from distance to opponents. Meanwhile, astronauts have reduced their mana cost to 30 when they are together. In addition, this is a composition with immense group control, has a resistant front line and causes enormous damage.

Tips

  • Being a composition with two magazines with different damage, a physical and a magician, it is good to pay attention to the items at the beginning of the game. If you get Tears of the Goddess, Needlessly Large Rod and GPC Sword, you have a call to make this composition.
  • Get Caitlyn two stars as soon as possible. As he is a strong champion at the beginning of the game, there is a chance to win some duels and maintain hit points.
  • Always have two Vanguards on the field. The Mordekaiser can be useful for being a Black Star and activating the trait once you get Jhin.
  • Reaching level 8 is essential as it contains four characters of cost 4, such as Jhin, Teemo, Gnar and Wukong. The chances of getting these champions increase from 15% to 25% from level 7 to 8.
  • Positioning is paramount. Knowing where to place the characters on the platform to increase the damage done and the distribution of group control caused by Gnar, Ashe, Teemo and Nautilus is necessary. Place the Snipers at the ends. Watch out if the enemy has Blitzcrank or the Zephyr item.
  • At level 9, having two Mystics can be very useful. To increase protection for Jhin, Karma and Lulu alongside him can be good champions. Karma is Black Star and Lulu is Celestial. Both will be activated because they already have Ashe and Jhin in the field.

Master of the Golden Blades

Champions: Fiora, Jarvan, Xayah, Rakan, Shen, Master Yi, Irelia and Riven.

TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

Fiora is part of the composition strategy. (Image: Riot Games)

The synergy achieved at the beginning of the game with three Blade Masters, two Temporal and the attack speed promoted by Jarvan’s skill, this composition presents a good start to the game. Seeking to activate the feature with six Blade Masters and a powerful frontline, this composition does a lot of damage.

Tips

  • With a focus on achieving the greatest number of tier 1 three-star champions, adopt the “hyperroll” tactic, which consists of accumulating gold and spending it all one round before reaching level five. Search for Xayah, Fiora and Jarvan.
  • Taken as the composition of the “three critics”, for requiring three Boxer Gloves, the items in the finals of Xayah are Last Whisper, Edge of Infinity and Mercury. With the best in Statikk Knife, it is an item that can be useful in the damage loader.
  • Strengthen your Jarvan so that he stays longer and can give Xayah more attack speed. The positioning of the characters of the two characters, being close to each other, is essential.
  • When you get the six Blade Masters, Riven is one of the most important for granting Temporal to the whole team, as you will already have Shen.
  • Always keep in mind to change the composition if you don’t get the six Blade Masters, being able to use four Celestial, with Lulu and Ashe. In addition to exchanging Riven for Caitlyn.

Demolishing Rebels

Champions: Malphite, Ziggs, Blitzcrank, Yasuo, Ezreal, Yi, Jinx, Aurelion Sol and Gangplank.

TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

When you activate your ability, Jinx does a lot of damage. (Image: Riot Games)

With a focus on keeping Jinx alive, this composition seeks to have a good position and a front line capable of waiting for the activation of the champion’s ability. With Gangplank or Aurelion Sol as possible loaders, the comp has a good distribution between physical and magical damage. Blitzcrank and Ezreal will activate Temporal and Fighter, in addition to the first bringing the element of surprise to the team.

Tips

  • If you start with items like the Red Effect, try to get characters like Lucian and Graves, as well as Malphite and Blitz. If you get a Rabadon Deathcap, an alternative is to drop it off at Ziggs in the beginning.
  • The transition is made from the moment you get Jinx, but always keeping two detonators together.
  • Your main loader is Jinx, make items like Giant Kills, Red Effect, Last Whisper, Infinity Edge and Mortal Blade to do more damage and Guardian Angel to protect yourself.
  • Blitzcrank near Jinx can be useful. The champion’s ability is activated after she kills two enemies. With the initial pull of Blitz, Jinx can start distributing damage more quickly.
  • Gangplank adds the Daredevil deal along with Ziggs. With the right items, the Space Pirate is able to deal a lot of damage and group control. Guardian Angel, Ionic Spark and Rabadon’s Deathcap are the items to survive to the point of using your ability.
  • Position the rebels always together, with Jinx at the center. At the start of the fight, Rebels gain a shield for each adjacent rebel. The shield was buffed in the current patch.

Cybernetic

Champions: Fiora, Leona, Shen, Vayne, Vi, Irelia, Ekko and Thresh.

TFT: Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16 news

With Ekko, cybernetics remain at the finish line. (Image: Riot Games)

With low cost champions such as Leona, Fiora and Lucian, the beginning of the Cybernetic game can be very strong. Along with the ease of finding champions, the feature gains life and attack damage when equipping only one item. With the possibility of a game start with detonators, passing through Snipers and ending with the help of Masters of Blades, the composition ends up being versatile. In the Treasure Chest galaxy, the composition gets even stronger in this Teamfight Tatics patch 10.16.

Tips

  • The beginning of the Cybernetics game is very strong. Search for Leona, Fiora and Lucian. If you get many items, distribute them among the three, but focusing on the damage items on Lucian. He will be your loader at the start of the game. Red effect is a great item if you get another Detonator.
  • After the addition of Vayne it was easier to get six Cybernetics, but don’t stick to that. Try as many synergies as possible, as your two carriers will be Irelia and Ekko and they will be slow to arrive.
  • Vi always uses her skill on the champion furthest from her. Position it to reach a target that could be problematic for your team.
  • Transition the team as soon as you get Irelia. If you have Shen or Riven, you will be able to activate Blademaster, making it stronger. In addition to these, Thresh is important to activate Manamante and Temporal.
  • Positioning is key. Upon obtaining Ekko, he will jump on the enemy. Get a spot for him to hit the most powerful opponent. Irelia with active Manamante can also unbalance a round.
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Valorant: 1.05 update with KillJoy and deathmatch mode

Valorant: 1.05 update with KillJoy and deathmatch mode

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The Valorant Update 1.05 was released on Tuesday by Riot Games. From the already announced KillJoy, the new FPS agent, to the confirmation of rumors regarding the arrival of deathmatch mode. The developer released the patch notes with all the news of the new version. In addition to the new agent and a new way, there was a patent reset and Raze was nerfed. A new set of skins and a new Battle Pass will be added to the game as well.

KillJoy is added to the game

Main addition of Valorant Update 1.05, KillJoy is of German origin and is regarded as a prodigy in the use of gadgets and robots. With animations and skills already released by Riot Games even before the Update, KillJoy will be the game’s twelfth agent. The second added after the official launch of Valorant.

Valorant: 1.05 update with KillJoy and deathmatch mode

KillJoy was added to Valorant Update 1.05. (Image: Riot Games)

With a 100% technological kit, the agent arrives, in that first moment, much more as a defense agent than an attack agent. Check out the description of your skills below:

Alarm Robot: KillJoy launches a robot that chases enemies, similar to Rumba’s Bumba, and explodes when it reaches them. Affected enemies are temporarily vulnerable to double damage from all sources. That is, shots, falls or damage skills such as molotovs, grenades, shock arrows and the like.

Turret: KillJoy equips a turret that shoots enemies at an angle of 180º. The turret can be destroyed by enemies and removed by KillJoy by pressing the same button used to equip the machine.

Nanoenxame: KillJoy launches a silent grenade, which, when touching the ground, stops making sounds. When activated again by KillJoy, a swarm of nanorobots are sent to damage those on top of the gadget.

Confinement (X): KillJoy imprisons all enemies within range of the ultimate ability for about eight seconds. However, the gadget that causes the confinement can be destroyed by enemies.

Confirmation of deathmatch mode

An old request from the Valorant community, deathmatch mode was confirmed by Riot Games in the Update Notes for Act II. Common in all FPS games, the deathmatch mode on Valorant will start the testing phase and work as follows:

  • FFA (Free For All), that is, all against all. No pre-defined teams.
  • 10 players per game.
  • Random agents.
  • Abilities disabled.
  • Weapons released and heavy vest equipped automatically.
  • A kill automatically reloads your weapon and completely regenerates your health and armor.
  • Whoever gets 30 kills first or who has the most kills after six minutes wins.

Ranked: patent reset and Act Rank

Along with the Update, Riot decided to reset all players’ patents. Now, players who already had rank in the previous version will need to play three games in Unrated mode to win their new rank. The company informed that the “new” link should not be so far from the old one. He also warned of the possibility of players falling “more or less 2 ranks below their rank in Act I”.

Valorant: 1.05 update with KillJoy and deathmatch mode

Act ranks will appear in the lobby and during game loading after Valorant Update 1.05. (Image: Riot Games)

In addition, Riot has adopted a kind of “prize pool” for ranked players. The Act Ranks. A border added to the card of all players with a Valorant rank, similar to the borders of League of Legends. It refers to the nine best ranked wins that the player obtained and for his overall number of victories in Act I. As of the Update, each player’s starting history will also be available.

Raze nerfed

Raze has undergone some adjustments in Update 1.05. Figurine stamped in casual and ranked matches, the Brazilian once again received a nerf, this time in two of her abilities: Plague-killers and Charge of Explosives.

Spoiler

  • Equip time increased: 1.1 to 1.4 seconds
  • Fast equip time increased: 0.5 to 0.7 seconds

Explosives

  • Damage reduced: 75 to 50 damage
  • The skill now deals 600 damage to objects consistently
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Games on Steam: A Dark Journey

Games on Steam: A Dark Journey

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Games on Steam: A Dark Journey

Games on Steam is a weekly installment that tackles the latest and greatest Indie games on this popular platform. Today, we talk about death, angry werewolves, one ambitious candle, and the problems of dating an android.

Aarog

Aarog can be best described as a minimalistic adventure with puzzle elements. Set in a trippy black and white world, it’s a story about a man whose goal is to accept death through his dreams. As you can imagine, this is an intense experience. Aarog has beautiful hand-drawn visuals that really give it a unique charm. Although it’s a bit short, the game will transport you to a bizarre world that may stay with you for quite some time.

Aarog gameplay

A charming little adventure Steam

Travellers Rest

If you ever wanted to be an innkeeper, try Travellers Rest. This is an interesting life sim, which will challenge you to transform your tavern into a respectable social space. Aside from brewing beer and distilling spirits, you will also need to explore your world to find interesting new drinks and food. The tavern is fully customizable, and you will need to work quite a bit to make it entertaining. If you were into Stardew Valley, Travellers Rest might become one of your new favorite games on Steam.

Games on Steam: Travellers Rest

Can you manage your own tavern? Steam

Agrou

Next, we have a multiplayer strategy that plays like a popular party game. Werewolves are hidden among the villagers and hunt them during the night, one by one. To survive, villagers gather around the fire to debate who is guilty. There are also unique roles like the hunter and the seer, which have special powers. In Agrou, communication is of vital importance, and you have to think carefully about how to defend yourself. Up to 12 players can join, which makes it a great casual Indie to play with your friends.

Games on Steam: Agrou

Not everyone can be trusted Steam

Synergia

Synergia is an interesting yuri cyberpunk thriller/visual novel with a distinct dystopian artwork. You play as Cila, a pessimistic cop who is getting sick and tired of the world. One day, she gets a new android named  M.A.R.A with which she begins to form a deep bond. However, not everything is as it seems … This is a story-driven experience that strongly develops 2 main characters while enveloping you in a sense of mystery. Atmospheric music fits really well with the cyberpunk theme, and even the background characters feel lively. So, if you are at all interested in Yuri or dystopian novels, Synergia is well worth your time.

Synergia gameplay

Synergia brings a strong atmosphere and gripping story Steam

WickAs a cherry on top, we have a stealth thriller called Wick. Weirdly enough, you take the role of a small candle called Jean Wick whose goal is to bring the light to the ruined cathedral. On your quest, you will use a bag of waxy tricks to avoid the sight of a nun Mara and huge insects called Legiones. Wick has an eerie atmosphere and doesn’t rely on jump scares. It gives a vibe similar to Little Nightmares, which is definitely a good thing. Although it’s a bit short, Wick is also completely free, so I can’t complain. 

These games are not your style? You can find more titles on our previous edition of Games on Steam here.
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