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ZA/UM’s Best of 2018

We’re almost at the end of the year, which means many folks have been sharing their favourite things about 2018. Since Disco Elysium is a game influenced by many kinds of mediums, we thought it would be fun to share the many kinds of works that have kept us inspired as we’ve worked. We hope you enjoy this collection of recommendations from the team at ZA/UM!

Jaagup Irve, Developer
Favourite Game of 2018: Helldivers
Looking at Steam history I only bought Frostpunk, Cultist Simulator and Obra Dinn, but those aren’t my Game of the Year. I discovered Helldivers and it works just so well on a couch with a controller and those friends who enjoy being accidentally hit by friendly fire that there’s no contender for my Game of the Year. Some alcohol might have been involved.

Favourite anything of 2018: Ziggy, our studio dog.
I have been a cat person all my life, but Ziggy made me reconsider my evil ways. Whilst I’m not running to buy myself a bucketful of corgies I’m slowly becoming a dog and cat person due to those cute muddy paws of hers.

Siim-Kosmos Sinamäe, Line Producer
Favourite Game of 2018: Tiny Tanks 
I’ve yet to meet a cook who, after a long day working the kitchen, goes home to prepare themselves a restaurant class meal. Usually they fry some eggs and have a slice of bread to go with it. I suffer from the same syndrome – rarely do I sit down to play video games, creating the best game in the world seems to make it irrelevant. Yet whenever it happens, I enjoy it quite a lot – at MAG Erfurt this year, I played a game called Tiny Tanks, created by some funky people at the booth next to us. It’s a physics based party game with very cool mechanics and I had a blast playing it.

Favourite Movie of 2018: Cronofobia by Francesco Rizzi
Obsessive grief and guilt converge in this rather unconventional love story, if I even dare call it that. I hopped into the cinema without knowing anything about this movie and it kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole of it. As I originate from a small-town in the local midlands, I am allowed to cry once a year, and I spent that allowance on this movie.

Yuan Zhang, Chinese Community Manager
Favourite Game of 2018: Root
A board game.. it’s fantastic

Favourite Manga of 2018: Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma
I feel a bit shame to say I like them a lot out loud but look at those fooooods man

Ott Madis Ozolit, Technical Producer
Favourite Game of 2018: Mass Effect: Andromeda 
Even though it was released in 2017 and I played it on release, I still re-played it again fully in 2018 just because of the impression the game left me with. Art direction issues notwithstanding, for me it’s the best Mass Effect game to date. The story was gripping enough for me to latch on and the gameplay was the best in the series. Even though there were a lot of new releases in 2018 which I was looking forward to, I only really found time for Andromeda, aside from my usual preferences, just to get the full experience of the game again.

Favourite Album of 2018: Snow Patrol’s Wildness
After waiting for nearly seven years, Snow Patrol’s spanking new collection Wildness is something to behold. As with every new release, they experiment heavily and it really works. Honorable mention to Florence + the Machine’s opus High as Hope.

Kaur Kender, Executive Producer

Liisi Laasik, Programmer
Favourite Game of 2018: Rimworld
I was addicted to Dwarf Fortress, although I wasn’t a hardcore enough fan to fully appreciate the minimalist graphics and lack of statistics data. Rimworld took the brilliant game mechanics and improved upon them with a solid UI and nice visuals. Also, being a Firefly fan, I totally love the space-country music.

Favourite Movie of 2018: Hotel Artemis
This was a totally random movie selection and I had no previous knowledge nor expectations towards it. The setting, characters and plot progression however were all extremely stylish and cool. My best surprise movie of 2018.

Kaspar Tamsalu, Concept Artist
Favourite Game of 2018: Hollow Knight
It got its final update some time in the spring and since then I’ve been grinding away at it in my free time. HK has enjoyable gameplay beautifully balanced with great aesthetics and sound in an original little (under)world.
Currently I’m in my first playthrough of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. I’m not sold on the story yet, but I’m intrigued by the way this game handles exploration, stealth and combat.

Favourite TV Show of 2018: Sharp Objects
I was glued to the screen during the run on HBO. I’m not sure which one I dig more – Rectify or this. They’re both so beautifully depressing.

Stein Andrian Lindmäe, Animation Programmer
Favourite Game of 2018: Overwatch

Favourite Other Thing of 2018: Unity 2018.3

Siim Raidma, Technical Artist and Graphics Programming
Favourite Game of 2018: Epic Games Store
It’s not a game and it crashed several times before starting up but there’s no denying Steam has been in dire need of competition. As much as I love itch.io, I am also aware that my little relatives live and breathe Fortnite and it’s a brilliant chance to serve them some indie titles on the side.

Favourite Book of 2018: “Tears and Tantrums: What to Do When Babies and Children Cry” by Aletha Jauch Solter
My current bedside read, picked it up to understand the little one but ended up learning about control patterns I use when processing my own stress and emotions as well. Thanks, book!

Markus Rondo, Developer
Favourite Game of 2018: Mario Tennis Aces
So basically concering games I’ve been living in 2017. This year I’ve played and really enjoyed Battle Brothers, Battle Chef Brigade, Hollow Knight and several others. But the three games I’ve played from this year have all been good experiences also. The best one being Mario Tennis Aces. The Jackbox Party Pack 5 and Quarantine Circular get honorable mentions because they all come from completely different genres.

Favourite Movie of 2018: Bad Poems

Arks, Writer
Favourite Game of 2018: Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri
It came out in 1998 if I remember correctly – it has been my best gaming experience this year… and most years before that.

Favourite TV Show of 2018: The Terror

Danielle Woodford, UK Community Manager
Favourite Game of 2018: Slay the Spire
The game I have played most this year would have to be this. Although it’s been in Early Access for over a year the team have been updating the game every 2 weeks and the game has an overwhelmingly positive rating on Steam. I enjoy the fact that each run can be completely different and there are lots of ways to change up your decks. If you enjoy roguelikes and are also a fan of Hearthstone like myself, check it out!

Favourite Movie of 2018: Searching
I won’t say too much because I think it’s best experienced without any prior knowledge but it’s the film that surprised me the most. I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much.

EMiSpicer, US Producer
Favourite Game of 2018: Florence
Like many others, I was taken in by its wonderful illustrative style, its beautiful soundtrack, along with its ability to convey emotion and experience through its thoughtfully designed mechanics. Being the short story equivalent of a game also worked to its advantage for me; I prefer compact, focused experiences in the games I play and Florence absolutely delivered that.

Favourite Album of 2018: Kero Kero Bonito’s Time ‘n’ Place
This is a completely solid music release, and one I can’t seem to stop mentioning. I’ve been following the band since an early point in their career, and I’m so impressed by the growth this record shows. It can be easy to stay comfortable in a style of sound, especially when you’ve achieved the popularity that KKB has, so the fact that they’ve chosen to evolve further is that much more impressive. I love how they were able to retain some of the pop stylings that lead to their initial success while incorporating more chaotic elements into their instrumentation. I was also lucky enough to catch one of their full-band performances when they toured this year, and the show was incredibly fun. Honorable mentions to Jeff Rosenstock’s Post- and Hop Along’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog.

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