Devs Fear Nightmare Doors, Rust Data Loss in Fire

Today: Spare a thought for the physics programmers next time you swing a door open — All Rust EU servers lost in data center fire — Buying a PlayStation 5 in the UK is literally like winning the lottery

Apex Legends Switch ‘a unique challenge’

Bringing battle royale hit Apex Legends to Switch presented a unique challenge to the veteran porting studio Panic Button.

Apex Legends comes to Switch two years later

“…you’re kind of trying to build an aircraft and land it on a moving aircraft carrier all at the same time,” said Dan Hernberg of Panic Button. The slightest change that Respawn makes to the ever-changing live game could have wide-reaching consequences for the Switch port.

Steady as she goes: Work on the port began about 15 months ago, around the time Apex Legends season four began. The biggest challenge has been figuring out how much they could actually adapt the game to Switch, and how much needed to stay exactly the same. There are also some new features exclusive to the Switch version, like gyroscopic aiming.

Going live: Apex Legends has been Panic Button's most demanding project to date according to Hernberg, and they will keep working on the port to ensure that future changes to the core game works well on Switch. If Respawn feels confident to handle the platform by themselves, they'll be happy to hand the port over – but for now, it looks like a steady hand is required.

Why is the Hearts of Iron series banned in China?

a) Depicting Tibet as an independent nation
b) Depicting the Uyghur People
c) Depicting the Red Cross
d) Portraying the Nanjing Massacre 

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

The Warming glow of MMO nostalgia

RuneScape was launched in 2001, and changed dramatically over the next decade. Yet Jagex decided to relaunch the the August 2007 version as Old School RuneScape in 2013, with changes mostly determined by the community.

‘...urge to kill rising...’

There’s more fan service than just the re-release: If you examine a certain fire in Burgh de Rott, the text “Come bask in the fire’s warm glowing warming glow” appears on the screen – a reference to one of Homer’s lines in Treehouse of Horror V, one of the long-running show’s many halloween specials.

Join our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today's fact.

The technical wizardry behind good doors

You’ve all seen that t-shirt scene and the frankly jaw-dropping rope physics from The Last of Us Part II, but it turns out that one of the biggest technical challenges in the game was … doors!

Everyone can appreciate a good door

Doors are pretty simple, right? In real life, maybe. In game design and programming terms, they are hinged nightmare fuel. Players need to interact with them, AI need to interact with them and they need to behave realistically yet never get in the way of the player. Quite a tall order, all in all.

Magic doors: “It can’t just magically fly open, the character has to reach to the doorknob and push it open," explained co-director Kurt Margenau. “But what about closing it behind you?” It took a lot of iteration to make the perfect door, both figuring out it would need to work in design terms as well as the technical details.

Combat slam: The team tried letting players manually close doors, but it didn't work particularly well, so in the end they decided to make doors either slowly close, or quickly slam behind you depending on the situation and how the door was opened. In the end, Naughty Dog found that making good doors took up a considerable amount of development time.

Rust hit with “total loss” of EU server data

Facepunch Studios lost a bunch of servers when the OVH datacenter in Strasbourg, France was completely destroyed in a fire.

The data center fire has taken down thousands of websites

All of Rust's EU servers were lost, and that means all of the data on them is gone as well. Fortunately no-one was hurt in the massive blaze, which incinerated the data center and damaged another nearby building. The only casualties were computers – and 25 Rust servers.

Total loss: "We've confirmed a total loss of the affected EU servers during the OVH data centre fire," Facepunch stated. "We're now exploring replacing the affected servers. Data will be unable to be restored." It's not a huge disaster though, since Rust player progress is wiped once a month.

Carrying on: However, the community is also able to run their own servers with their own data persistence rules – and they were also all hosted at the same data center, which means they are all gone too. Fortunately for Facepunch, players seem to be taking the bad news in stride: Player numbers are largely unaffected.

Humble Bundle discounts

A good deal makes a hard man humble, as they say, and there are simply not a lot of deals better than Humble Choice: A bundle of free games every month, and 20% off in the Humble Store to boot.

Stronghold Warlords is 10% off

For example, there is no cheaper way to buy the newly released Stronghold: Warlords, which transports the classic RTS series from its traditional European setting to the exotic far east. You can also pick up Loop Hero, the rogue-like that's got everyone talking, for a song.

Win the entire We Were Here series

What's better than winning a game? Why, winning three games, of course! The entire We Were Here series of first-person puzzle adventures could be yours since we have codes for all three games in the series to give away.

We Were Here first released in 2017

The trilogy was developed by the Dutch studio Total Mayhem Games, and challenges you to guide a team through challenging situations deep in the Antarctic. Check out the We Were Here Series Giveaway to find out how to enter the competition.

Why is the Hearts of Iron series banned in China?

ANSWER: Depicting Tibet as an independent nation!

Whatever you do, don’t play a Tibet run in China

China has pretty strict policies about what you can show in videogames, and that’s why you can’t play Hearts of Iron in the Middle Kingdom. Tibet, Manchuria and Sinkiang are shown as independent from the rest of China, and that’s a big no-no. The series even features the Tibetan flag, known as the snow lion flag, which is outright banned in China.

The games also depict Chinese warlords as independent forces during the Warlord era of the 1910-20s, contradicting China’s official state history of a united nation. So remember, kids: If you plan to publish a game in China, you might have to make some unexpected changes to please the CCP’s censors.

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Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.