How to make a video game about drag queens

A California-based studio is developing the sequel to RuPaul's Drag Race: Dragopolis, an iOS and Android game that will feature seven drag queens from the World of Wonder reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race. The ingredients? Queens, sass, glitter and glamor. Speaking to Polygon, So Much Drama Studios' founder Jeff Meador said the idea for the original Dragopolis came from the apparent lack of video games that targeted and spoke to the LGBT audience. "I think [drag] has such a celebratory element to it," Meador said. "Queens are such fun and they're such characters — it was a great opportunity to bring something like that that has such joy and passion to it, to bring it to life within a video game where we could really take it and make it very cartoony and over the top in a lot of...

Flappy Bird creator says game was inspired by bouncing a ping pong ball on a paddle

The inspiration for Flappy Bird, a game deemed so addictive by its creator he pulled it from mobile phones for awhile, was ping pong.Specifically, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen told a gathering of developers at Gamelab 2014 in Barcelona last month, the game was inspired by the habit he had of trying to bounce a ping pong ball on a paddle for as long as possible. "Every game of mine is inspired by sport," Nguyen said. "It's not from real life experiences. "Sports naturally follow the philosophy of something that is easy to learn and difficult to master. I just follow the experience of playing sports and put that into my games." In Flappy Bird, which was released in May, 2012, players tap the screen of a phone to make a small bird flap its wings. The object of the game is to pass...

Contest winners given early access to game, reward devs by cracking and releasing it to pirates

Modern Combat 5 has been cracked and uploaded to multiple torrenting websites over the weekend. MC5 is a first person shooter for iOS, Android and Windows 8. The developer and publisher, Gameloft, ran a contest recently and invited players into the game early. One of those winners apparently cracked the game and began distributing it online. Modern Combat's dev team is not pleased with the situation. "As you can imagine I am really pissed off," wrote Gameloft community manager Florian Weber on the Modern Combat 4 Hub Facebook group. "To anybody who got MC5 already, shame on you! We are making games for you and all you can do is pirate them? "Anybody which is talking to me and shows in some way that he already has MC5 will get an instant ban. Seriously, this is why we can't have nice...

Why some Magic: The Gathering fans are upset with Magic 2015

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 released on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Android devices this week after a week of iOS exclusivity. It's the fifth Magic game from developer Stainless Games and, in a year where Hearthstone has blown up, arguably the one Duels of the Planeswalkers release with the biggest chance at reaching a new audience.According to some fans, though, Magic 2015 is actually a considerable step back from previous entries in the series. In a Reddit thread full of complaints, user "AwSunnyDeeFYeah" leads the charge, pointing to a sluggish interface, slower gameplay and a more frustrating approach to unlock new cards and decks that can make it difficult to win with your preferred style. User "NeoFalcon2" points to microtransactions as an issue. While...

The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault is set against Warhammer 40,000's civil war

The latest entry in the Warhammer 40,000 franchise, The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault, will be the first game to take place during an era of civil war known as the Horus Heresy, developer Complex Games announced. Drop Assault is a fast-paced tactical game set against conflict among the Emperor's Space Marine Legions in the 30th millennium. After choosing a side as either a Traitor or Loyalist, players work to build and customize their armies. Players can also build chapters with friends or challenge players worldwide. "The Horus Heresy is an iconic and seminal part of our IP that describes the dark period in the Imperium's history that ultimately led to the way the Warhammer 40,000 universe looks now," Head of Games Workshop licensing Jon Gillard said. "As a setting it has been the...

Kim Kardashian's game is making millions of dollars because … it's not terrible

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the mobile role-playing game featuring the socialite herself, is forecast to make $200 million this year, which is significantly more than what most video games make in their lifetime. While it may be easy to attribute most of those earnings to her rabid fan base, which has been known to throw money at anything the Kardashian Klan puts its name on, there might be more to its success than just a pretty face. "There are a couple of things," said the co-founder of Drexel University's game design program, Frank Lee. "If the gameplay itself was really horrible, it probably wouldn't sell as well. Certainly having her name attached to it and given the amount of media interest she's able to generate is a great help, but the underlying gameplay is pretty...
Top Games
  • Watch Dogs
    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
All Games

Final Fantasy: Record Keeper mobile game brings back characters from the past

Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, a new title in the long-running fantasy series, will feature protagonists and environments from past releases, Square Enix announced. The company is currently accepting pre-registration for the upcoming release, which will give those pre-registered users five Mythril at the game's launch. Record Keeper tells the story of a boy named Apprentice who is sent into the worlds of memories that have been sealed away within paintings. Apprentice will relive these memories from earlier Final Fantasy games, including Zanarkand, the big bridge and the Northern Cave. The game will also feature protagonists from earlier games including Final Fantasy 3's Luneth, Final Fantasy 7's Cloud Strife and Final Fantasy 9's Zidane Tribal, who can all be added to your party by...

Back to Bed trailer shows the perils of sleepwalking in a world built by Salvador Dali

The launch trailer for indie studio Bedtime Gaming's puzzle adventure game Back to Bed — funded through Kickstarter last spring — shows the perils of sleepwalking in a world that looks like it was built by surrealist painted Salvador Dali. Back to Bed is slated to launch next month through Steam and for iOS and Android devices. In the game, players control a man who has fallen asleep and is now walking with his eyes closed through some very strange dangers. Players must guide him through these walking puzzles and back to his bed, where he will be safe from harm. In February, project manager Klaus Pedersen told Polygon that with financial assistance from Danish game investment company Capnova, Bedtime Gaming was able to set up its own studio and complete work on Back to Bed. The game...

Assassin's Creed Memories is a card battling mobile game

The latest mobile spin-off from the Assassin's Creed franchise is card battler Assassin's Creed Memories, Ubisoft announced today. In Memories, players will travel throughout time building their own assassins' guild through a blend of strategy role-playing game mechanics and card-collecting. Players will recruit famous assassins as well as create their own to fight in multiplayer combat with up to 20 players on each side. Assassin's Creed Memories is part of a collaboration between Gree and free-to-play mobile games developer PlayNext. "The card battle genre has been hugely popular around the world and GREE and PlayNext have demonstrated their know-how and expertise on such games," said Ubisoft mobile division managing director Jean-Michel Detoc in the announcement post. " With such...

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas expansion arrives July 22

Blizzard has revealed that its popular digital card game Hearthstone will be receiving its first major addition next week. The single-player-focused Curse of Naxxramas expansion will see its first "wing" released next Tuesday, July 22. That wing will be free for the duration of the expansion's launch event. Four further wings will follow on a weekly basis and will cost $6.99 or 700 in-game gold per wing. While the majority of Hearthstone is centered around multiplayer, Curse of Naxxramas will pit players against challenging AI-controlled bosses. Overcoming these enemies will unlock 30 new cards that can then be used in regular play. We'll have video coverage of Curse of Naxxramas here on Polygon next week. In the mean time, you can watch me introducing a fresh Griffin McElroy to H...

Atari makes good on LGBT-inclusive promises with social sim Pridefest

Atari will release an LGBT-themed social sim game for Android and iOS tablets and mobile devices celebrating one of the community's biggest events called Pridefest, the company announced today. PrideFest is an annual parade and celebration that takes place around the world and in U.S. cities such as New York and San Francisco. Atari's game will allow players to build parade flotillas and decorate their city to keep it "happy and vibrant." As players solve challenges and complete quests, they'll unlock new items for the festival. With the Pridefest's social aspects, players can visit other cities and chat with friends, as well as create unique avatars. Chief operating officer Todd Shallbetter said Atari will continue to offer "a variety of games that are inclusive for all Atari fans." ...

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 hits next week

The fourth episode of The Walking Dead Season 2, "Amid the Ruins," hits next week, developer Telltale Games announced today. The episode will launch on July 22 for Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC and on July 23 for Xbox 360. The iOS version of Episode 4 will hit the following day, July 24. Check out the trailer above (warning: there are spoilers) for a look at what's in store for Clementine and her friends — more zombies and even more pain. Now free of Carver, the group heads north plagued by hunger, violence and conflicts between group members that are always on a slow burn. For more information on the award-winning series' second season, check out our reviews for episodes one, two and three.

Guardians of the Galaxy makes its video game debut with The Universal Weapon

Marvel's galactic super hero team Guardians of the Galaxy is heading to theaters Aug. 1, but the franchise's video game debut hits today with Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon. In The Universal Weapon, players cobble together a team of guardians and do battle in real-time.The game includes six intergalactic worlds and more than 60 levels for players to explore, as well as an Arena Mode and story-driven Battle Mode. Although the game is available shortly before the movie's release, producer Aaron Norstad said The Universal Weapon will introduce its own unique story that draws more heavily from Marvel's comics. "We started the game before we knew anything about the film, other than the release date," Norstad told Polygon. "We knew from the beginning that although we were...

NFL 'Sunday Ticket' coming back to consoles and mobile, no DirecTV subscription required

The "Sunday Ticket" service offered by DirecTV — essentially delivering every Sunday afternoon NFL game except the one involving your local team — appears to be coming to personal computers, consoles, tablets and mobile devices this season, with no subscription to the satellite provider necessary. Technically, the service is intended for those who are unable to use DirecTV, perhaps because of their location or building restrictions. You'll need to complete a form to learn if you're eligible for the service. Places like apartment buildings and college dormitories can pick any of the streaming options. But some homes may be ineligible for the streaming service, because DirecTV would like those residents to subscribe to their satellite service. A promotional page at DirecTV's official...

Report: Kim Kardashian could make $85M from her mobile game this year

Late last month, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood launched for Android and iOS, and the game with the celebrity's likeness could earn her $85 million, TMZ reports. According to the publication's sources, Kardashian receives 45 percent of net profits. Assuming that the game earns an estimated $200 million this year, and accounting for $10 million in expenses, that would put Kardashian's cut at $85.5 million. In Kim Kardashian: Hollywood players take on the role of an aspiring celebrity. Using Kardashian's "in-game audio commentary, hand-selected wardrobe, and persona authenticity" to rise to fame, according to developer Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi, players encounter celebrities, visit exclusive clubs and can become an A-list movie actor, fashion designer or cover model. You can download the...

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake - Overview video

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake's motivations are straightforward — get cake! — but little else about the game is.It starts out slow, tasking you with pushing blocks over switches in order to clear paths towards cake; easy enough. Each level, though, throws a new playable character, a new puzzle mechanic or a new objective into the mix, enough to keep you on your toes, or on your claws, on the off chance you're controlling a toe-free character. In this Overview video, Chris Plante and I take a stab at a few early levels in Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake. Make sure to take time to really enjoy that soundtrack — as much as you can, at least, with us squawking all over it. Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is out now on Steam, as well as iOS and Android.

The Wolf Among Us episode five: Cry Wolf review: bark at the moon

We're trying something new with episodic reviews on Polygon. What follows of something of a hybrid between recap and review and, as such, should not be read by anybody worried about spoilers. You've been warned. The trick to enjoying The Wolf Among Us is letting go of expectation. After completing Cry Wolf, the final episode of this (first? only?) season of Telltale's take on Fables, I was left with a feeling I've become well acquainted with while reviewing this series: Stunned, confused and more than a little delighted. The first expectation that Cry Wolf turned on its head was that this was a whodunnit, a story of the reformed Big Bad Wolf Bigby finding out who was killing off citizens of Fabletown. Since this secret sub-borough of New York City is home to storybook...
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Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake gameplay video - Puzzles and Pastries

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a charmer, boasting clever puzzles, adorable character design and some truly stellar music. The title, which launched last week on Steam, Android and iOS platforms, may seem like a straightforward cake-hunting affair, but each level throws a new mechanical monkey wrench into the works, keeping things fairly fresh. For a sampling of the first 15 minutes of the title, check out the gameplay video posted above.

What's the scariest thing in the world? Ask your teenage daughter

I’m driving my eldest daughter Alia home from kung fu lessons. She’s telling me crazy stories about her job as a pizza delivery girl.Apparently letting a seventeen year old girl drive alone through dark streets to knock on a stranger’s door is perfectly okay so long as she’s wearing a pizza uniform. I’d be terrified to do her job, and I tell her so. She puts on a brave smile and says the only time she was scared was when a man answered the door almost naked. "I wanted to hurl his pizza away and tell him to put some pants on." Alia tells me. I laugh and say that she’d make a great video game character. "Ninja Pizza Girl." When development is a family business Conversations about video game ideas have always been a part of our family life. My wife Nicole and I have spent our entire...
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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ simian flu comes to infection strategy game Plague Inc.

The latest update to Ndemic Creations' mobile strategy title Plague Inc. is inspired by the recent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes film, bringing with it a playable version of the Apes franchise's simian flu, according to its app store listings. Update 1.9 brings the Simian Flu Expansion Pack, which includes a mission involving "a growing nation of genetically evolved, intelligent apes" developed in collaboration with film distributor 20th Century Fox. Players can control communities of these intelligent apes, nurturing the disease between them to max out their cognitive functions, as well as send them to tear down research labs and avoid military drones that may drag them into detrimental scientific experimentation. The update, which will allow players to make apes the world's...
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