Eidolon Diary: Diarising Eidolon

By Jack de Quidt on October 21st, 2014.

Eidolon is a beautiful survival game inside which John starved to death on video back in August. We asked Jack de Quidt, writer for The Tall Trees, to live a little longer and write a little more about his experiences with the game.

When you first open up your journal in Eidolon you’re met with wonderful, terrifying blankness. You have no objective. You have no map. You have nothing in your inventory. There are spaces for these things, but they’re utterly empty. One icon in particular drew my attention – a little hand-drawn pencil that opened a tab with a single blinking cursor. I closed my journal. I looked out at the landscape. I opened my journal again.

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Cardboard Children – Dungeon Raiders

By Robert Florence on October 21st, 2014.

Okay, I will show some mercy this week and tell you about a game that isn’t very expensive and is tiny in size. Board games often suffer from being TOO DEAR and TOO BLOOMIN’ BIG, so it’s nice to be able to recommend something that is neither. It’s a game that uses cards to tell the story of a band of adventurers raiding a dungeon. It is called, therefore, ADVENTURER BAND STORY. No, sorry. Actually it’s DUNGEON RAIDERS.

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Wot I Think: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

By Jim Rossignol on October 21st, 2014.

It’s a little tricky to avoid feeling that a review of The Pre-Sequel (!) is superfluous. Surely everyone in the world has had a taste of Borderlands at this point, and have made their minds up about it? This is very much more of that same formula, with zaniness turned up to… What’s that, Steve? You’ve never played a Borderlands game? Wow.

Well then, I’d better explain!

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Field Notes: How Devs Recreate Wilderness In Games

By Mitch Bowman on October 21st, 2014.

Most survival games are set in the great outdoors, and while The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Firewatch aren’t survival games, both have taken interesting steps to present natural wilderness. We asked Mitch Bowman to find out more.

The outward appearance of everything on Earth that wasn’t made by humans is one big accident. It’s the result of a bewilderingly complicated system of interactions between organisms that couldn’t care less how pretty their surroundings are, and the end result isa chaotic mess.

As you might imagine, that makes it pretty tough for environment artists to recreate the corners of the planet that humans haven’t messed with. We understand cities – we know what they’re for, we know why they were designed the way they were, and we probably even have some idea how they were built. Not so with the great outdoors, and that presents an interesting challenge to those attempting to emulate wildernesses in video games.

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Rules For Survival Games: Do & Don’t #9

By John Walker on October 21st, 2014.

For four years now, I have been fixing all of gaming with mandatory decrees for the future state of development. There used to be some who would disagree with elements. Used to be. Now the series continues, with a selection of Dos and Don’ts for those developing survival games.

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Have You Played… State Of Decay?

By Adam Smith on October 21st, 2014.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

State of Decay didn’t impress me when I played it last September. Originally released on the 360, Undead Labs’ debut is an open world survival game with a structure remarkably close to my ideal zombie game. It’s about scavenging, gathering survivors, barricading, running out of supplies, collecting vehicles and avoiding enormous hordes of the living dead. Great ingredients that didn’t quite make for a fine banquet, but it’s a much better game now than it was a year ago.

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SWAT I Think: Door Kickers

By Tim Stone on October 21st, 2014.

During the making of this Wot I Think, 379 doors were unceremoniously breached, 546 flashbangs were artfully lobbed, 19 timebombs were hurriedly disarmed, 61 suspects were roughly handcuffed, 501 hostages were ingeniously liberated, 6362 hostiles were liberally ventilated, and 1 player was royally entertained.

That player is 97.24% certain you’ll enjoy Door Kickers. A top-down tactics diversion with Rainbow Six and Frozen Synapse echoes, KillHouse’s début project delivers its high risk, high bodycount combat action in brief bewitching bursts. Though successful raids can be over in less than sixty in-game seconds, they usually come at the end of long strings of SNAFUs… Read the rest of this entry »

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Retro DayZ: DoomZ Alpha Impressions

By Alec Meer on October 21st, 2014.

“This is a a remake of DayZ but made in a superior engine in which zombies can’t just walk through walls.” I love that. Puritanism in zombie games. If there was a Mojo magazine for games, “Doom is still the best engine in the world” would be its “the Beatles are still the best band in the world.”

I digress. DoomZ really is DayZ in Doom, including the whole rickety, unfinished thing, at least for now. And, to be honest, there is some truth to its obstinate declaration about superiority – but it’s not because of anything to do with walking through walls, and more because of how its appearance affects -and enhances – my survival game mindset.
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MISERY Diary: Playing Stalker’s Hardest Mod

By Angus Morrison on October 20th, 2014.

Get to the chopper!

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

Honour is for better folk than I. Honour is for the short-lived. Honour is for the people not playing MISERY. Accordingly, I choose to play as a Sniper. I’ll pick off monsters from the safety of a nice, cosy bush, although odds-on that’ll eat me too.

MISERY is a mod for STALKER: Call of Pripyat, two all-caps games which combine to form an experience which shouts death and despair at anyone who tries to play it.

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How To Make STALKER: Call of Pripyat A Survival Game

By Angus Morrison on October 20th, 2014.

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

Evil is nothing if not thorough. Usually I prefer to hone my experience with a series of small mods – other entries in this week-long series will do just that – but no combo comes close to the scope of the most twisted survival retool yet hatched: MISERY.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Windward

By Christopher Livingston on October 20th, 2014.

Diplomacy in action.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, sailing the shimmering, procedurally generated seas of action RPG Windward.

Glimmering seas and snapping sails. Pirate ships and plundered booty. Factions fighting for control of ports and lighthouses. Cannonfire, ship-to-ship combat, pitched battles and daring escapes. Really, the only thing missing from Windward is a rousing sea shanty. Don’t worry, though. I wrote my own.

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The Clothes Off His Back: Neo Scavenger Diary #1

By Adam Smith on October 20th, 2014.

Neo Scavenger is one of the best turn-based RPGs I’ve ever played. Although still in Early Access, it has oodles of content and has received several hefty updates since I first played it. As part of Survival Week, I decided to document a single playthrough of the game. No quicksaves, no restarts, no chance. Here’s how I died.

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Have You Played… UnReal World?

By Adam Smith on October 20th, 2014.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

This has nothing to do with the popular FPS series, Unreal. It’s much more interesting. UnReal World has been a mainstay on various hard drives that I’ve owned since I first discovered it at some point in the mid-nineties. The first release was in 1992 and to describe the game as being ‘a bit ahead of its time’ would be like describing Usain Bolt as ‘quite fast’. Unfamiliar at the time, the elements of play are now a genre in and of themselves. It’s an RPG about wilderness survival, with borrowings from the roguelike ocean, and an enormous amount of things to craft.

It’s also, quite possibly, the best example of its type.

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