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The Art of Free to Play: Viktor Antonov on designing Battlecry's beautiful world

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The Art of Free to Play: Viktor Antonov on designing Battlecry's beautiful world

We're told game design has to be unsentimental and iterative. But Viktor Antonov, creative director on Bethesda’s Battlecry and the celebrated artist of behind Half-Life 2's City 17 and Dishonored's Dunwall, disagrees.

“I come from a less experimental philosophy and a commitment to a strong concept," he said. “If you’re called by a client as an architect and you make a building, you won’t experiment and destroy buildings before it’ll function.

“Battlecry was a one-shot concept. It was very precise and it’s gone into production exactly as it was planned."

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What Dunwall's designer did next: Bethesda-backed multiplayer arena battler Battlecry

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What Dunwall's designer did next: Bethesda-backed multiplayer arena battler Battlecry

We’ve known for a good while that Bethesda had opened a new studio in Austin named BattleCry, to work on a free-to-play multiplayer game. We didn’t know what the game was called, but we probably could have guessed: it’s Battlecry.

Set in an alternate 20th century where gunpowder has been banned but gutting your opponent is a-okay, it’s a third-person competitive affair from Viktor Antonov: the world designer behind Dishonored’s Dunwall and Half-Life 2’s City 17.

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Dishonored art directors redesign London’s Shard skyscraper

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Dishonored art directors redesign London’s Shard skyscraper

Just as gaming’s best stab at New York lies not with Crysis 2 but in the profound greys of Liberty City, London’s finest digital incarnation is known by another name: Dunwall. Dishonored’s steampunk clock towers and dilapidated docklands are ripped straight from the capital - and what is Samuel the Boatman but a transplanted cabbie?

In acknowledgement of the game’s debt to the city, Arkane art directors Viktor Antonov and Sebastien Mitton have applied Dunwall’s aesthetic and thematics to real-life LDN skyscraper/obelisk The Shard. See the results after the break.

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Dishonored dev diary discusses the creative process, from concept to conclusion

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Dishonored dev diary discusses the creative process, from concept to conclusion

At times during this, the last Dishonored dev diary scheduled before its release into the wild, even the cameraman seems swept up by Arkane’s player-driven-gaming rhetoric. He jettisons framing conventions, instead crouching in the shadows behind the heads of Smith, Colantonio, Antonov and co. Film from any direction, or not at all. See parts of Harvey Smith’s skull the designer never intended.

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The best of the Steam Halloween Sale

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The Swindle

The Swindle is Spelunky meets Deus Ex, a stealth roguelike in a steampunk top hat

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War Thunder

The 10 best World War 2 PC games

Enforcer: Police Crime Action is a full-blooded police simulator. Yet it’s hilarious

Enforcer: Police Crime Action

Enforcer: Police Crime Action is a full-blooded police simulator. Yet it’s hilarious

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Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

Inside Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition and the future of D&D RPGs

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Hands on with Dirty Bomb

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Topic of the Week: Do you buy season passes?

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Season Pass

Dear everyone: it's time to stop buying season passes at launch

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Dead Island 2

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Guild Wars 2: Tyria prepares for war with the return of the Living World Season 2

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Stockholm Syndrome: Why Scandinavia loves DreamHack

Civilization: Beyond Earth review

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Civilization: Beyond Earth review

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Warframe Archwing update turns you into a rocket-powered space ninja

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Win a ticket to the Tank Museum and a premium Fury Sherman with World of Tanks

Lords of the Fallen is a ferocious, and infuriating Dark Souls clone

Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen is a ferocious, and infuriating Dark Souls clone

Red:Out is Wipeout, but on the PC. It’s about time.

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Red:Out is Wipeout, but on the PC. It’s about time.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor gear guide: getting started

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Rodina

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Fighting the inevitable in Stardock's Sorcerer King

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Paranautical Activity

Paranautical Activity un-launches on Steam after creator threatens to kill Gabe Newell

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Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

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Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

Here's what's coming in EVE Online's Phoebe expansion, and beyond

EVE Online

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Playing With Myself: Legend of Grimrock 2

Legend of Grimrock 2

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Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is the single-player campaign you've been waiting for

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Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is the single-player campaign you've been waiting for

Make conversation, not war: Galactic Civilizations III gets diplomacy

Galactic Civilizations® III

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Hands on with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulator made using lasers

Assetto Corsa

Hands on with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulator made using lasers

Assassin's Creed Unity

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Playing With Myself: Sid Meier's Covert Action

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Nvidia's plans to become a

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We've got 50 codes for Anno Online starter packs that'll make privateers of you

Anno Online

We've got 50 codes for Anno Online starter packs that'll make privateers of you

Wild Cards: what does the future hold for Hearthstone's fresh pros?

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Wild Cards: what does the future hold for Hearthstone's fresh pros?

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Total War™: ROME II - Emperor Edition

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