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January 2022
IN THIS ISSUE of our monthly newsletter:

◗ Little Orpheus out on PC / Consoles! 🚀
◗ Dear Esther Touring the World
◗ EXCLUSIVE - TCR Talk with creators of Paratopic
◗ Production Assistant Saskia Gives Games Industry Advice
◗ TCR Spotlight - Laura Dodds
◗ 'Paratopic' Recommendation
◗ EXCLUSIVE - TCR Friday Jukebox - I Want My MTV
◗ Preview of 10 Years of Dear Esther
◗ EXCLUSIVE - TCR Recommends
Welcome to 2022! We know we've been very secretive - the studio has nearly doubled in size in the last year, and we are in peak production with two games that are our most ambitious projects yet. We invite you to continue following this newsletter as most exclusive news are most likely to come here first, and enjoy all the bonus content that we save for this monthly dispatch only. 💌
Little Orpheus out on PC / Console on March 1st! 🦖
Little Orpheus may have started its journey on a little mobile screen at Apple Arcade, but its story wasn't little at all... Apple Design Award, D.I.C.E., Develop: Star and Pocket Gamer Awards - these are just some of the accolades the game was able to claim. And now we can reveal that Ivan's adventures are headed for a much wider audience!

March 1st is when the game is coming out on Nintendo SwitchPlay Station EUPlay Station USSteam and Xbox. Wishlist now! ✨
Dear Esther Touring The World
Museum Belvédère - 📸 by Cor Pot
Seeing videogames leap out of the screen and give joy to visitors of an art gallery is always great. Having Dear Esther be one of those games - we couldn't be more proud. ''Arranged Realism - Art in Games'' exhibit at Museum Belvédère in the Netherlands featured artefacts from many other great titles - Dishonored 2, Fallout 4, and others. What company! More brilliant photographs from the event here

Are there readers of this newsletter that perhaps curated our titles into an exhibition? We want to hear from you - please email us, we really wish to document all these instances. 🎨
EXCLUSIVE - TCR Talk with Lazzie Brown - Co-creator of Paratopic
In 2018 Paratopic seemingly dropped out of nowhere and stunned everyone – this one-hour lasting jewel of a game utilised very minimal means to effectively exude a maximal effect of a tense, unnerving atmosphere, eerie aesthetics and dazzling sound. It transports the player to surreal and dreamlike settings, crawling deep under the skin, with every detail immaculately executed, albeit under a purposefully dated look. The game was often compared to our very own Dear Esther and we take this comparison with pride as Paratopic truly is a rare gem in our often over-saturated industry. The title was made by a tiny team and we are incredibly excited to be able to pick their brain. In Part II of this extended talk, which will come out next month, we will have the designer and coder Jessica Harvey join us. And in this Part 1 - listen to our Community Manager Marijam discuss Paratopic with Lazzie Brown - Composer and Audio Designer for the game. 

TCR Talks are available exclusively to our newsletter readers - we are proud to invite you to watch this one here! 🖤
Production Assistant Saskia Gives Games Industry Advice
Our brilliant Production Assistant Saskia Bünte was featured in this three-part podcast series, where she gives advice on how to get into the industry. Listen to this yourself, or pass it on to anyone you know who is interested in beginning their journey in game development! 💅
Useful Games Industry Advice from Creative Assembly
Carrying on the theme of industry advice - we must share this brilliant graphic made by the good folks at Creative Assembly - ''We've created a one-page introductory overview of various career pathways, and accompanying key skills & software requirements. It doesn't show everything in our vast industry, but it is a good introduction!.'' We couldn't agree more - this could be so useful for anybody who is considering starting their career in games. See the graphic in more detail on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

Would you consider joining us? We have several positions still open as we are looking for the right people to join us in the most exciting period of our studio's history. 
TCR Spotlight - Laura Dodds
Who makes video games? People make video games. The invisible heroes behind the titles you love. #TCRSpotlight tells a story about one of our studio members every month.
Today we invite you to get to know our Lead Artist - the extraordinary Laura Dodds. 👑

Laura joined us back in March 2019, and similar to many of our studio members, had a bit of a roundabout journey into game development - she was previously doing some 2D animation for a children’s book publisher! Then she did a Master's Degree at National Film and Television School in Games Design & Development.

Who is an inspiration for you, in your role? - we asked. Laura: ''Lucas Pope, because of his multi-disciplinary approach to development, and the artistic integrity of games like Paper’s Please and Obra Dinn.'' 🌠
Laura's advice for Artists starting out in the industry? ''A variety of interests and work experiences outside of games is an advantage. Understanding what kind of games you want to make and building your portfolio towards that. I found the idea of ‘networking’ terrifying at the beginning, but it helped me to build connections through game jams and groups that felt safe and welcoming whether it’s Women in Games, BAME in Games, or Bafta Guru etc.''

Laura just rejoined us after nearly a year of maternity leave - we couldn't be more chuffed for the parents, but are also delighted Laura is back with us. 💘

Her favourite videogames are: Okami, Tomb Raider (1996), FFVII (1997), Paper’s Please, Crash Bandicoot, XCOM 2. A fabulous selection. And a song that calms Laura? Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Dear Believer 🥰
'Paratopic' Recommendation
We use this segment of the newsletter to give a recommendation of a videogame we think is interesting, and since our TCR Talk involved a creator of Paratopic - why not ask for you to consider playing this surreal, disorientating tale of a game?  We’re not the only ones that love it – the game won laurels at the Independent Games Festival, and the critics lauded it too. Paratopic is also currently 50% off on Steam so there is no better time to try it! 
EXCLUSIVE - TCR Friday Jukebox - I Want My MTV
Every Friday we at The Chinese Room have a different music playlist spinning, the theme for which gets set by the person who got voted as having submitted the best song the previous week! We figured it's fun to share these with you, our dear newsletter readers! 🎶

Our Senior Level Designer Michael gave us this nostalgic theme - ''Back in the day, MTV used to play actual music videos. In memory of those glory days, pick a song that has a great video!'' The resulting playlist is full of gems that will surely make you miss the ol' MTV and the subversive art of a music video. 🎥
10 Years of Dear Esther Next Month!
Dear Esther is 10 years old next month... 
There are many spectacular memories and we intend to revisit many of them in February, but this review above, there is something very special about it. It not only celebrates the game, but it gives perspective on evolution and growth. Dear Esther was not necessarily everyone's cup of tea when it just came out. So to see such reviews where a player has matured into enjoying it deeply over time, just means so much.

Look out for competitions, celebrations, and a Q & A with the authors of the game - all coming to our social media feeds next month. 

''We will scrawl in dead languages and electrical diagrams and hide them away for future theologians to muse and mumble over. We will send a letter to Esther Donnelly and demand her answer. We will mix the paint with ashes and tarmac and the glow from our infections. We paint a moon over the Sandford junction and blue lights falling like stars along the hard shoulder.''

EXCLUSIVE
TCR Recommends


Art
Senior Character Artist Kjartan Tysdal:
Walkthrough - Medieval Game Environment In UE4 - ''Quixel is spoiling us with some seriously nice tutorials. I've watched the first few videos and its very well presented. I think you can download the full project on the marketplace as well for free.''

Senior Designer Manos Agianniotakis:
''Most Nerdwriter videos are worth a watch. Here are three of my favourites:
See With Your Ears: Spielberg And Sound Design
How David Fincher Hijacks Your Eyes
In The Mood For Love: Frames Within Frames''


Audio
Junior Audio Designer Corry Young:
How Does An Owl Fly So Silently? | BBC - ''I have a great video from BBC Earth. Titled "How does and Owl fly so silently?" I love watching this.''
 

Design
Lead Environment Artist Iain Gillespie
RenderBuffers, Non-Planar Simulation Mesh - ''A really awesome demo of a plugin this guy has created for UE4''


Programming
Lead Programmer Louis De Wet:
Unreal: Animating With Control Rig In 4.26 -  ''UE4 livestream training session on control rigs''

Programmer Ruth Caulcott-Cooper:
C Bitwise Operators - AND, OR, XOR, Shift & Complement - ''Bitwise operators are fundamental to all coding, and it's useful for coders and non-coders alike to understand what they do and how. This is a nice little article about Bitwise Operators in C.''

Programmer Sebastian Ploch
Integrating An FEM Physics System Into Unreal Engin - 'A talk at Unreal Fest 2019 about FEM physics system being integrated into UE4''

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The Chinese Room · 4 Clarence Yard · Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1GT · United Kingdom

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