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Press Start: Swords, secrets, and Supermassive Games

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 highlighted the past seven days, especially when it opened up to everyone who owns a PS4. If you haven't downloaded it yet, there may not be much time left, as it closes down at the end of the day before moving on to other platforms at midweek.

Other highlights and oddities: Heroes of the Storm got an Easter egg featuring Asshole Dog from Duck Hunt. Gearbox and 3D Realms patched up their differences over Duke Nukem, and perhaps the King may at last find some peace. EA Sports went bananas with another over-the-top "Madden Season" flick featuring Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones karate chopping someone 628 times.

Those were some of the silly and serious things. What you really need to know is below, a roundup of seven days of original reporting, commentary and major news. Welcome to Press Start, recapping the past week to get you ready for the one ahead.

Last Week in Five Stories

  1. No, the gaming industry isn't too secretive

    "Developers don't need to be so secretive," is a statement you often hear from players and fans. "There's no reason to keep so much information from us." It's a common claim. The problem isn't that the game industry is too secretive at all. The problem is it's hard for developers information to the fans in a way that benefits them or the game.

  2. What if Kickstarter let you profit from a game's success? Fig found a way

    Justin Bailey, formerly of developer Double Fine, is launching a new crowdfunding solution for game developers. Called Fig, the service will offer rewards-based funding alongside equity investment. Fig's advisory board will include Feargus Urquhart, Brian Fargo and Tim Schafer.

  3. Some Star Citizen backers who claim full pledge refunds are getting their money back

    A number of frustrated Star Citizen backers are asking publisher Cloud Imperium Games for their money back. And although the company is making no guarantees or public announcements, Polygon has learned that refunds are being made.

  4. Until Dawn: The surprising ambition and curious fear of supermassive games

    It’s less than a month until the launch of Until Dawn and creative director Will Byles is equal parts energetic and nervous. It isn’t just the normal anxiety of a developer about to release a game years in the making. For Byles this emotion seems multiplied into a strangely respectable uncertainty about his own game.

  5. Knight classes: Inside Chicago's only school for medieval longsword

    At the head of a circle of students is a tall, soft-spoken man with wire-framed glasses. He is a historian and an athlete, one of a handful of people dedicated to rediscovering European martial traditions. This is an introductory class in the art of Italian longsword.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.