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Sonic the Hedgehog's long, great, rocky history


Published by Polygon on February 8, 2016.

This piece takes a deep look into the long, sometimes tumultuous, history of Sonic the Hedgehog. I was fortunate enough to have this piece featured as Polygon's 15th Cover Story.

 

http://www.polygon.com/2016/2/8/10756318/sonic-the-hedgehog-great-rocky-history

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Sonic the Hedgehog's long, great, rocky history


Published by Polygon on February 8, 2016.

This piece takes a deep look into the long, sometimes tumultuous, history of Sonic the Hedgehog. I was fortunate enough to have this piece featured as Polygon's 15th Cover Story.

 

http://www.polygon.com/2016/2/8/10756318/sonic-the-hedgehog-great-rocky-history

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How a Washington-based clinic treats video game addicton


Published by Polygon on September 28, 2016.

I spent some time talking to Dr. Hillary Cash, the founder of the reSTART Center for Technology Sustainability, and one of her patients about how video game addiction affects people and how her clinic treats it.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2016/9/28/12992596/video-game-addiction-clinic

How a Washington-based clinic treats video game addicton


Published by Polygon on September 28, 2016.

I spent some time talking to Dr. Hillary Cash, the founder of the reSTART Center for Technology Sustainability, and one of her patients about how video game addiction affects people and how her clinic treats it.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2016/9/28/12992596/video-game-addiction-clinic

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Former Sega America CEO Tom Kalinske on Sonic’s missteps and future


Published by Polygon on March 23, 2017

More or less a sequel to a piece I wrote in 2016, I spent some time chatting with Sega America's former CEO Tom Kalinske about his thoughts on the past, present and future of the Sonic The Hedgehog series. 

http://www.polygon.com/features/2017/3/23/14916766/former-sega-america-ceo-tom-kalinske-on-sonics-missteps-and-future

Former Sega America CEO Tom Kalinske on Sonic’s missteps and future


Published by Polygon on March 23, 2017

More or less a sequel to a piece I wrote in 2016, I spent some time chatting with Sega America's former CEO Tom Kalinske about his thoughts on the past, present and future of the Sonic The Hedgehog series. 

http://www.polygon.com/features/2017/3/23/14916766/former-sega-america-ceo-tom-kalinske-on-sonics-missteps-and-future

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Redeeming Big Red Button after Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric


Published by Polygon on February 9, 2016

A companion piece to my feature looking at the tumultuous history of Sonic the Hedgehog, this piece takes a look at the career of Bob Rafei, co-founder of developer Big Red Button, and how he and his team plan to move forward from their critically panned project, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2016/2/9/10939924/big-red-button-sonic-boom-rise-of-lyric

Redeeming Big Red Button after Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric


Published by Polygon on February 9, 2016

A companion piece to my feature looking at the tumultuous history of Sonic the Hedgehog, this piece takes a look at the career of Bob Rafei, co-founder of developer Big Red Button, and how he and his team plan to move forward from their critically panned project, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2016/2/9/10939924/big-red-button-sonic-boom-rise-of-lyric

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The Story Behind The Story Of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


Published by Game Informer on August 20, 2016.

Any mention of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is quickly followed by mention of its scale – be that in terms of its story or its world. I got the chance to talk to Karolina Stachyra, senior writer at developer CD Projekt Red, about how the team created it's ambitious narrative. 

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/08/20/the-story-behind-the-story-of-the-witcher-3.aspx?PostPageIndex=1

The Story Behind The Story Of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


Published by Game Informer on August 20, 2016.

Any mention of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is quickly followed by mention of its scale – be that in terms of its story or its world. I got the chance to talk to Karolina Stachyra, senior writer at developer CD Projekt Red, about how the team created it's ambitious narrative. 

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/08/20/the-story-behind-the-story-of-the-witcher-3.aspx?PostPageIndex=1

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The costs of developing Easter eggs


Published by Polygon on January 19, 2017

I spent time talking to two AAA developers, and one independent, in an effort to learn what it costs to include Easter eggs into games. What I learned was, while no secret is free, their inclusion is never second-guessed.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2017/1/19/14318984/the-costs-of-developing-easter-eggs#comments

The costs of developing Easter eggs


Published by Polygon on January 19, 2017

I spent time talking to two AAA developers, and one independent, in an effort to learn what it costs to include Easter eggs into games. What I learned was, while no secret is free, their inclusion is never second-guessed.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2017/1/19/14318984/the-costs-of-developing-easter-eggs#comments

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Here's Why City 17 and Dunwall Feel Like Real Cities


Published by Waypoint on February 23, 2017.

I talked to Victor Antonov, the artist and designer behind Half-Life 2's City 17 and Dishonored's Dunwall, about how he created disturbing, memorable, and unique worlds that simultaneously conjure images of cyberpunk metropolises and grim London alleyways.

https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/heres-why-city-17-and-dunwall-feel-like-real-cities

Here's Why City 17 and Dunwall Feel Like Real Cities


Published by Waypoint on February 23, 2017.

I talked to Victor Antonov, the artist and designer behind Half-Life 2's City 17 and Dishonored's Dunwall, about how he created disturbing, memorable, and unique worlds that simultaneously conjure images of cyberpunk metropolises and grim London alleyways.

https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/heres-why-city-17-and-dunwall-feel-like-real-cities

Yu Suzuki, Tim Schafer and others discuss hype in game development


Published by Polygon on June 9, 2016

This feature looks at the ways different developers manage and work under the stresses of developing highly-anticipated games.

 

http://www.polygon.com/features/2016/6/9/11799986/yu-suzuki-tim-schafer-hype-in-game-development

Yu Suzuki, Tim Schafer and others discuss hype in game development


Published by Polygon on June 9, 2016

This feature looks at the ways different developers manage and work under the stresses of developing highly-anticipated games.

 

http://www.polygon.com/features/2016/6/9/11799986/yu-suzuki-tim-schafer-hype-in-game-development

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Illustrating The Story Behind Tetris – How A Puzzle Game Becomes A Comic Book


Published by Game Informer on June 7, 2016

An interview with author and illustrator Box Brown over his new comic book Tetris about the peaks and valleys of the titular game's history.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/06/07/illustrating-the-story-behind-tetris-how-a-puzzle-game-becomes-a-comic-book-.aspx

 

Illustrating The Story Behind Tetris – How A Puzzle Game Becomes A Comic Book


Published by Game Informer on June 7, 2016

An interview with author and illustrator Box Brown over his new comic book Tetris about the peaks and valleys of the titular game's history.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/06/07/illustrating-the-story-behind-tetris-how-a-puzzle-game-becomes-a-comic-book-.aspx

 

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How some of the game industry's best teams make box art


Published by Polygon on August 27, 2015

This piece takes a look at how video game box art is created, by interviewing the artists, developers and publishers that help to bring it to store-shelves.  

http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/8/27/9207581/video-game-box-art

How some of the game industry's best teams make box art


Published by Polygon on August 27, 2015

This piece takes a look at how video game box art is created, by interviewing the artists, developers and publishers that help to bring it to store-shelves.  

http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/8/27/9207581/video-game-box-art

Everything You Need To Know About The Xbox One S, Microsoft’s Middle Child


Published by Game Informer on June 15, 2016

This year at E3 2016, Microsoft announced its Xbox One S, a slimmer model of the Xbox One with 4K and HDR capability. I wrote this feature after the announcement as a primer for anyone wondering just exactly this new console was and what it featured.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/06/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-xbox-one-s-microsofts-middle-child.aspx

Everything You Need To Know About The Xbox One S, Microsoft’s Middle Child


Published by Game Informer on June 15, 2016

This year at E3 2016, Microsoft announced its Xbox One S, a slimmer model of the Xbox One with 4K and HDR capability. I wrote this feature after the announcement as a primer for anyone wondering just exactly this new console was and what it featured.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/06/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-xbox-one-s-microsofts-middle-child.aspx

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An Open Letter to the Dude Named Alex I Keep Killing in ‘The Division’


Published by Playboy on March 18, 2016

Almost every time I enter a firefight in The Division, I hear someone yell "They got Alex!" Clearly needing a new line of work, I wrote an open letter to Alex, both apologizing for constantly shooting him down as well as offering a suggestion for a new path in life.

http://www.playboy.com/articles/an-open-letter-to-the-dude-named-alex-i-keep-killing-in-the-division

An Open Letter to the Dude Named Alex I Keep Killing in ‘The Division’


Published by Playboy on March 18, 2016

Almost every time I enter a firefight in The Division, I hear someone yell "They got Alex!" Clearly needing a new line of work, I wrote an open letter to Alex, both apologizing for constantly shooting him down as well as offering a suggestion for a new path in life.

http://www.playboy.com/articles/an-open-letter-to-the-dude-named-alex-i-keep-killing-in-the-division

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Mafia III is a big "f*ck you" to its predecessors


Published by Kill Screen on October 11, 2013

There’s an attractive quality to the crime stories of the first two Mafia games. Two protagonists down on their luck—Tommy Angelo in the first and Vito Scaletta in the second—find success through a life of crime, wanting nothing more than to rise through the ranks, to be wealthy, to be a “Made Man.” Mafia III doesn’t care for that.

https://killscreen.com/articles/mafia-iii-big-fck-predecessors/

Mafia III is a big "f*ck you" to its predecessors


Published by Kill Screen on October 11, 2013

There’s an attractive quality to the crime stories of the first two Mafia games. Two protagonists down on their luck—Tommy Angelo in the first and Vito Scaletta in the second—find success through a life of crime, wanting nothing more than to rise through the ranks, to be wealthy, to be a “Made Man.” Mafia III doesn’t care for that.

https://killscreen.com/articles/mafia-iii-big-fck-predecessors/

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New God Of War Shows A Familiar, But Subdued Kratos


Published by Game Informer on June 14, 2016

Brief piece I wrote during E3 about the new God Of War and how its approach to its main character looks to be far cry from the brutal warrior we've come to know over the past 11 years.

http://www.gameinformer.com/games/god_of_war/b/playstation4/archive/2016/06/14/new-god-of-war-shows-a-familiar-but-subdued-kratos.aspx

New God Of War Shows A Familiar, But Subdued Kratos


Published by Game Informer on June 14, 2016

Brief piece I wrote during E3 about the new God Of War and how its approach to its main character looks to be far cry from the brutal warrior we've come to know over the past 11 years.

http://www.gameinformer.com/games/god_of_war/b/playstation4/archive/2016/06/14/new-god-of-war-shows-a-familiar-but-subdued-kratos.aspx

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How Eye-Tracking May Change The Way We Play And Interact With Video Games


Published by Game Informer on August 21, 2016

This feature takes a look at the potentials of integrating eye-tracking technology into gaming systems, such as virtual reality headsets, by talking to industry professionals. 
 

Image credit: Petr Novák, Wikipedia


http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/08/21/how-eye-tracking-may-change-the-way-we-play-and-interact-with-video-games.aspx

How Eye-Tracking May Change The Way We Play And Interact With Video Games


Published by Game Informer on August 21, 2016

This feature takes a look at the potentials of integrating eye-tracking technology into gaming systems, such as virtual reality headsets, by talking to industry professionals. 
 

Image credit: Petr Novák, Wikipedia


http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/08/21/how-eye-tracking-may-change-the-way-we-play-and-interact-with-video-games.aspx

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Bringing Habitat back to life


Published by Paste on February 3, 2016.

This piece looks at how The MADE and its founder, Alex Handy, are working to bring back the 30-year-old LucasFilm MMO, Habitat.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/02/bringing-habitat-back-to-life.html

Bringing Habitat back to life


Published by Paste on February 3, 2016.

This piece looks at how The MADE and its founder, Alex Handy, are working to bring back the 30-year-old LucasFilm MMO, Habitat.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/02/bringing-habitat-back-to-life.html

Kill Screen archive


I'm a freelance news writer for the site Kill Screen. Collected at the link is an entire archive of the work I have done for the site.

https://killscreen.com/author/blake-hester/

Kill Screen archive


I'm a freelance news writer for the site Kill Screen. Collected at the link is an entire archive of the work I have done for the site.

https://killscreen.com/author/blake-hester/

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Five Games That Find Drama In Realism


Published by Game Informer on August 3, 2016.

Life is boring. At least, compared to video games it is. But there’s a certain allure to the mundanity of life, and a romanticism found in meaningful conversations. There’s comfort in the quieter moments where we find ourselves in-between responsibilities. You may find tension in the silent moments after a loss, a darker intention behind a conversation that once seemed innocent, and a weight in making a choice.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/08/03/five-games-that-find-drama-in-realism.aspx

Five Games That Find Drama In Realism


Published by Game Informer on August 3, 2016.

Life is boring. At least, compared to video games it is. But there’s a certain allure to the mundanity of life, and a romanticism found in meaningful conversations. There’s comfort in the quieter moments where we find ourselves in-between responsibilities. You may find tension in the silent moments after a loss, a darker intention behind a conversation that once seemed innocent, and a weight in making a choice.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2016/08/03/five-games-that-find-drama-in-realism.aspx

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Who is Lincoln Clay?


Published by Bullet Points Monthly on October 31, 2016.

I was fortunate enough to be printed alongside a host of talented writers sharing opinions on Mafia III's main character, Lincoln Clay. For my piece, I focused on the way the game makes its players killers, each happy to his or her part in the bloodshed.

http://www.bulletpointsmonthly.com/2016/10/12/who-is-lincoln-clay/

Who is Lincoln Clay?


Published by Bullet Points Monthly on October 31, 2016.

I was fortunate enough to be printed alongside a host of talented writers sharing opinions on Mafia III's main character, Lincoln Clay. For my piece, I focused on the way the game makes its players killers, each happy to his or her part in the bloodshed.

http://www.bulletpointsmonthly.com/2016/10/12/who-is-lincoln-clay/

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Gaming Trend archive


Collected here is all of my work for the site Gaming Trend, in which I am a former volunteer editor. The majority of my work for the site is contributing news pieces, but I do offer the occasional review or feature when needed.

http://gamingtrend.com/author/blakehester94/

Gaming Trend archive


Collected here is all of my work for the site Gaming Trend, in which I am a former volunteer editor. The majority of my work for the site is contributing news pieces, but I do offer the occasional review or feature when needed.

http://gamingtrend.com/author/blakehester94/

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The MADE and Alex Handy’s mission to save forgotten video games


Published by Gaming Trend on October 21, 2015

This piece looks at Alex Handy, founder of The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment based in Oakland, CA, and his work to preserve video games that run the risk of being lost to time.

http://gamingtrend.com/2015/10/21/the-made-and-alex-handys-mission-to-save-forgotten-video-games/

The MADE and Alex Handy’s mission to save forgotten video games


Published by Gaming Trend on October 21, 2015

This piece looks at Alex Handy, founder of The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment based in Oakland, CA, and his work to preserve video games that run the risk of being lost to time.

http://gamingtrend.com/2015/10/21/the-made-and-alex-handys-mission-to-save-forgotten-video-games/

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Freshman Year: A Game About Sexual Harassment by Nina Freeman


Published by Gamespresso on April 8, 2015

This piece takes a look at the independent game Freshman Year by Nina Freeman, interviewing her about the experiences that led to the game's development.

http://www.gamespresso.com/2015/04/08/freshman-year-game-sexual-harassment-nina-freeman/

Freshman Year: A Game About Sexual Harassment by Nina Freeman


Published by Gamespresso on April 8, 2015

This piece takes a look at the independent game Freshman Year by Nina Freeman, interviewing her about the experiences that led to the game's development.

http://www.gamespresso.com/2015/04/08/freshman-year-game-sexual-harassment-nina-freeman/

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Hitman: Episode One review


Published by Gaming Trend on March 12, 2016

I don't get the chance to do many reviews, but I had a good time writing this over the first episode of the most recent Hitman game, even though I had some definite issues with it.

http://gamingtrend.com/reviews/a-lot-in-a-little-hitman-episode-one-review/

Hitman: Episode One review


Published by Gaming Trend on March 12, 2016

I don't get the chance to do many reviews, but I had a good time writing this over the first episode of the most recent Hitman game, even though I had some definite issues with it.

http://gamingtrend.com/reviews/a-lot-in-a-little-hitman-episode-one-review/

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Democratizing game design – A conversation with Roblox’s Rick Silvestrini


Published by Gaming Trend on September 24, 2015

This piece features an interview with Rick Silvestrini, CMO of the company Roblox, on its unique game-making platform, also named, Roblox.

http://gamingtrend.com/2015/09/24/democratizing-game-design-a-conversation-with-robloxs-rick-silvestrini/

Democratizing game design – A conversation with Roblox’s Rick Silvestrini


Published by Gaming Trend on September 24, 2015

This piece features an interview with Rick Silvestrini, CMO of the company Roblox, on its unique game-making platform, also named, Roblox.

http://gamingtrend.com/2015/09/24/democratizing-game-design-a-conversation-with-robloxs-rick-silvestrini/

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Interview: Zach Sanford of [bracket]games


Published by Gamespresso on March 30, 2015

A conversation with Zach Sanford of [bracket]games over his recent release, Three Fourths Home.

http://www.gamespresso.com/2015/03/30/interview-zach-sanford-bracketgames/

Interview: Zach Sanford of [bracket]games


Published by Gamespresso on March 30, 2015

A conversation with Zach Sanford of [bracket]games over his recent release, Three Fourths Home.

http://www.gamespresso.com/2015/03/30/interview-zach-sanford-bracketgames/

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Some of gaming’s most absurd collector’s editions


Published by Gaming Trend on September 10, 2015

A humorous look at the craziest, most expensive collector's editions gaming has seen. 

http://gamingtrend.com/2015/09/10/some-of-gamings-most-absurd-collectors-editions/

Some of gaming’s most absurd collector’s editions


Published by Gaming Trend on September 10, 2015

A humorous look at the craziest, most expensive collector's editions gaming has seen. 

http://gamingtrend.com/2015/09/10/some-of-gamings-most-absurd-collectors-editions/