Cardboard Children: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

By Robert Florence on March 3rd, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

Hello youse.

Running a live session of D&D Fifth Edition is far easier than you’d think. First of all, you need an audience of nice people – we have plenty of those in Glasgow. Then you need some good, funny players. I had those too, all of them friends of mine, all of them involved in the TV comedy game in some capacity. Then you need Dungeons & Dragons itself. I had the Player’s Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual behind my DM screen. Oh, and I also had the new Dungeon Master’s Screen.

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Changes Are A-Coming For StarCraft 2 Ladders

By Philippa Warr on March 3rd, 2015 at 8:00 pm.

Laddering like a pro

Blizzard has laid out plans to fiddle with the StarCraft 2 ladders, including changing the new player start point to make the experience less punishing.

The alterations come in three flavours – “mild”, “MORE DRASTIC PERHAPS” and “Legacy of the Void”.

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Impressions: Catacomb Kids

By Adam Smith on March 3rd, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

My average life expectancy in Catacomb Kids [official site] is measured in minutes. I’ve died within seconds of starting a run through the procedurally generated Spelunky-like, clobbered by monsters or reduced to a blood puddle by swarming piranhas. The first couple of minutes are the hardest part, as I struggle to make sense of my situation and abilities, and if I survive for a couple of levels, I’m likely to die because I deserve to rather than because the game decides to kill me.

Maybe it’s not the game. Problem is, I’m a cat. Curiosity kills me.

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Night In The Woods Likely Delayed Til 2016

By Philippa Warr on March 3rd, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

“Sad news from other people at GDC” time: Eurogamer are reporting that Night In The Woods [official site] is probably going to be a 2016 release rather than a game to be played this current sun-cycle.

Night In The Woods is a game I became interested in having played Lost Constellation over Christmas. NITW focuses on Mae, a cat who drops out of college and returns home. It’s about that period of change where you’ve outgrown home but not quite found your next thing yet.

Lost Constellation was a different thing – a supplemental fairystory set in the same universe – but with a wonderful sense of place and a bite in the telling which kept it from cloying twee-ness.

As per their official information page the team had been aiming for a 2015 release but, according to Eurogamer Scott Benson, one of the developers, now thinks 2016 is far more likely.

In the meantime, if you haven’t played Lost Constellation I suggest you give it a whirl, especially if you’re looking for a quirky, spooky fairytale to play while the evenings still have a chill to them. (It’s pay-what-you-fancy over on Itch.io)

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!!!!!: Metal Gear Solid V Out September 1st

By Adam Smith on March 3rd, 2015 at 5:03 pm.

Metal Gear Solid V’s release date is so important that there’s been a countdown and everything. TICK TOCK, it went. TICK TOCK. And then, moments ago, a cuckoo popped out screaming “SEPTEMBER 1ST, SEPTEMBER 1ST” before the timer had hit zero. Oops.

The countdown continues.

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Unity 5 Is Out Now, Has Free No-Royalty “Personal Edition”

By Graham Smith on March 3rd, 2015 at 4:35 pm.

I’m at a Unity [official site] special event at GDC and I’ve had a donut for breakfast. Take everything I’m writing below with a pinch of the sugar rushing through my veins, but Unity have just announced that Unity 5 is available to download now and that there’s a free, no-royalty Personal Edition for use by small companies.

There’s a livestream of the event and more details below.

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The Buddy System: Resi Rev 2 Adds Local Co-op

By Adam Smith on March 3rd, 2015 at 4:00 pm.

Without local co-op, there are no boybands. This is a boyband.

When Resident Evil Revelations 2 [official site] Episode One released without the local co-op feature that had been promised on the Steam Store page, I was outraged. So outraged that anyone in the same room might have heard a faint sigh if they’d been paying particularly close attention. It seems likely that Capcom were listening because they’ve added local co-op to the campaign and raid modes of the game, currently in the form of an open beta patch. For anyone who is still unhappy, “refunds are available through Steam”.

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Watch Us Play Cities Skylines Live

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015 at 3:38 pm.

OH GOD. Why am I doing this? Well, partly because it’s high time I learned how, and partly because we’re allowed to stream Cities Skylines before we’re allowed to write reviews. Thus, in a few minutes I shall leave my comfort zone to bring you live footage of me playing (trying to play) Paradox’s new city-builder. It’s due to go live at 3.45pm UK time, but you’ll be able to watch the whole thing retroactively later if you prefer.
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Dress Like A Sofa With Advanced Warfare Master Prestige

By Philippa Warr on March 3rd, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

Inspired by Liberace

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare [official site] has introduced Master Prestige ranks which are another way to earn elite weapon drops and culminate in a Grand Master Prestige gear set which kind of makes you look like your character has been mistaken for a couch and upholstered.

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First Look: Guild Wars 2 – Heart of Thorns

By Tom Mayo on March 3rd, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

Well, hello there!

Guild Wars 2 [official site] launched with a promise – to fix MMOs. Strident, attention-grabbing, patently doomed schtick that was nevertheless suffused with just enough gosh-shucks-darn-it-I-want-to-see-them-try zest to make it a journey worth tracking. That was two years ago.

The mission met with mixed results, as lead designer Isaiah Cartwright admitted to me when we spoke in Brighton during a hands-on with the game’s first expansion, Heart of Thorns. We were among the first to play the expansion and all of the details are below.

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Unreal ‘Free’ To Devs, Unreal Tournament Free To All

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Ultra-graphicsed Facing Worlds next pls

Even the tallest of titans couldn’t stand against the tide of free game-making for long. With so many developers turning to Unity to make their own games, and Unity’s capabilities improving rapidly, Ye Olde Unreal Engine was starting to look like something of a dinosaur despite being the go-to framework for a great many blockbuster action titles. And now it, too, is free, albeit with one big proviso. While this is primarily big news for devs (more on that below), it does also mean that anyone can now make their own maps for the work-in-progress, community-made Unreal Tournament sequel/remake. Which is currently also free. There’s also a new, super-shiny map to try out the next-gen engine with.

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23 Observations On 17 Minutes Of Firewatch

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

'Control, I need to report a giant orange circle taking up space in the sky'

I haven’t been entirely sure what to make of Firewatch [official site], the upcoming great outdoors adventure/exploration title from a mini-supergroup of ex-Double Fine/ Telltale/ Lucasarts/ Klei/ Lionhead devs, because I wasn’t entirely sure what it was. Having just watched a quarter of an hour of it, I still don’t entirely know what it’s going to become, but I really, really like it. It seems to have this laid-back pace and tone and tons of slow-burn character-building while still being very, well, gamey. I really hope that pace and tone can be maintained throughout. Also it looks like somewhere I’d really love to go and live in for a while.

The footage and my own assorted as-they-happened thoughts, including observations on underwear, caves and wedding rings, are below.
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Freeware Garden: Our Personal Space

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on March 3rd, 2015 at 11:00 am.

You are Kelly. You are the newlywed doctor who’s in love with charming Jack and has followed him to far away planet Talaam. It’s a place that excellent sci-fi marriage simulation Our Personal Space lets you live in, explore and influence.

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