What We’re Playing This Weekend
Editor’s note: As you may have noticed, we’re on a lighter publication schedule these days. This is because our regular editor, Pierre “Pidou” Bosset, who spins Substance content into blogpost gold, is away on a secret mission. He’ll be back early next year, and until then, we're trying to keep the pace :) This is is just one of the ways our entire team depends on groups of people, with their individual talents, to keep the lights on. So, in that spirit, today we’d like to let you get to know a few of us through our passion for games. Here's what we're playing!
Céline Dameron, Captain QA & Technical Support – Substance Designer
These days I'm playing Crypt of the NecroDancer. I really love this game because you can play while listening to music. I changed all the soundtrack for LukHash songs and the remix of Crypt of the NecroDancer OST made by Chipzel. I mainly changed them because I used to sing/yell with the merchant and that was very disturbing for my cat… .
There are two other games that I never get tired of playing: The Binding of Isaac and Spelunky. I love them because on both you start with nothing, you pray for good stuff and you cry a lot when you are killed near the end with the best stuff you've ever had.
Both have random levels so every game is unique and that's why I can spend an entire afternoon on them, especially on Binding. My favorite personal challenge in this game is to finish it with the ugliest character possible!
And finally, my guilty pleasure: Stardew Valley! It’s a really cute game, a bit too easy but perfect for calming down after the daily challenge of Spelunky.
Nicolas Wirrmann, Product Manager – Substance Designer
These days I'm playing Dishonored 2. I love the atmosphere and the style of the game. My goal is to finish it entirely in stealth mode (no detection) and without killing anyone. Needless to say, it takes a lot more time! The F9 key is my friend.
I finished Dishonored 1 the same way and it was easier, it seems the game designers have balanced the mana potions distribution so that we don't abuse of the powers, wise decision: it makes the game more challenging!
Arthur Walter, Boo doo boo doo!
I’ve been playing Overwatch since the Road to Blizzcon October 2015. It’s a nice mix of FPS and MOBA. The game is pretty famous now. I’m still playing with the same old dudes both at events for fun, but mostly online with them.
For us, Overwatch is a weekly meetup. It’s a good way to have fun together! You can see some gameplay together here, I do play Ana, and my nickname is “Manaberry”
Oh, and here is a picture of me with Ganymede (a character’s companion in Overwatch). We both were at an event for a world premiere of a competition stage!
Cyrille Damez, Chief Technical Officer
Over the past year, I have mostly spent my playing time on Rocksmith 2014. On the surface, it is similar to rhythm games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, except you are playing real scores with a real guitar (or bass guitar).
To be fair, it is best to see it as a "gamified" guitar practice tool rather than a game. Even complete beginners can start learning with it as it provides basic lessons and a fairly good difficulty progression, with the lower difficulty settings only asking you to play some notes of the melody.
As the player progresses, more and more notes and advanced techniques are automatically added until the full score is revealed. It is fairly good at keeping you interested in practicing and progressing. The developers are still very active, releasing three to five new tracks a week as DLC, with over a thousand currently available, spanning a large range of styles (pop, rock, funk, country, ...), and the quality of the transcriptions is comparable to the best sheet music or tablatures you can buy in music stores.
Recently I have also played the excellent Thimbleweed Park, by the authors of the venerable Maniac Mansion. Fans of point-and-click adventure games and Twin Peaks atmospheres should rush to play this game. Like the aforementioned references, it manages to be funny, yet quite cruel, with some particularly well-written characters.
Samuel Bourasseau, Software Developer
I have recently answered the call of wilderness and started The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the time I spent on it has been delightful. From the painterly art style to the bittersweet soundtrack, it is a finely crafted piece of art. The art direction revolves around nostalgia and time-worn monuments, so there are references to earlier games to be found in many places and they are sometimes as subtle as a few notes of a beloved theme song played slowly on a violin. The world map is huge; I’ve played a solid 30 hours but still haven't seen half of it, though I spent a fair amount of time roaming through Hyrule field on horseback just to enjoy the sights and music.
My other game of the week is Final Fantasy VI. This one I heard a lot about, with some people saying it's the best of the series (I guess there are people to say that about any FF, really) so I set up to see the story through. Having played the first Final Fantasy, I didn't expect much from this one, thinking it would be "just another 2D FF", but it's actually much more than that. You can really feel that it is the last episode before the Playstation era, and it plays a lot like one. The story is fast-paced and fairly intricate, and each of the many playable characters get decent screen time. I'm also really into Nobuo Uematsu's soundtrack, which is filled with catchy tunes.
Fabrice “Froyok” Piquet, Product Owner – Substance Painter
Recently I’ve been replaying Syndicate, a game released in 2012 by Starbreeze Studios. It’s a remake of the previous game which had the same name. While the original was a tactic game, the remake is oriented toward action by being a First Person Shooter instead.
What I like with this one is that while you have the classic ingredients for a FPS (shotgun, rifle, sniper weapons, and so on) you also have some more original ideas which make the game fun and interesting to play. For example, the hacking mechanic allows you to alter the state of some objects or even people, which means you can turn enemies into allies during a fight. It's fast-paced and it even has a co-op mode (even though I never had the chance to try it). You can find it at a fair price today, so I would recommend playing it!
I also finally started playing The Last of Us (the PS4 Remaster version) by Naughty Dog, probably after everybody. :) However, I now understand why so many people praise it, and I'm really digging it. The general mood, the writing and the acting are really, really good. I can't wait to reach the end of the story but at the same time I hope it will last so I can enjoy it as much as possible.