Why You Don’t Need More Than Four CPU Cores

By Jeremy Laird on March 5th, 2015.

We’re back and this week I’m saving you even more money by telling you why you don’t need more than four processor cores in your PC for gaming. You don’t need more now. And you almost definitely won’t need more for several years to come. What’s, er, more, even if your cores are quite crusty, you’re probably fine.
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Jack In The Box: Five Nights At Freddy’s 3

By Adam Smith on March 5th, 2015.

Will I never learn?

RPS Towers, two days ago

Pip: Oh look, a new Five Nights At Freddy’s game [official site]*.

Adam: There are so many. I can’t play them all. There isn’t enough liquor in the world.

Pip: This isn’t one for Alice’s Encyclopædia Animatronica. It’s Five Nights At Freddy’s 3.

Adam: OK. I’m going in.

I shouldn’t have gone in.

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Hands-On With Mike Bithell’s Volume

By Alec Meer on March 5th, 2015.

that is not camouflage, sir

“It will probably be the only time in my life when I have no responsibilities, didn’t owe anyone any money, didn’t have staff that I had to worry about. Absolute freedom to do what I want. I wasn’t going to use that to make a sequel to a reasonably well-received puzzle-platformer.”

I’ve asked Volume lead Mike Bithell if he’s been worried about over-reaching himself. 2012’s Thomas Was Alone was one of several break-out indie hits around that time – a era of Steam that many of today’s PC developers are increasingly worried they’ve missed the boat on – but it was a simple game.

It was, as the man says, a reasonably well-received puzzle-platformer, and it blew up because it was charming and funny, effectively anthropomorphising the textureless, two-dimensional rectangles it starred thanks to well-judged narration and very human writing. Volume, by contrast, is a full-on, 3D stealth game which will ship with around 100 levels, features an array of tricsky sci-fi items, has a full level editor and has hired Andy Serkis to voice its lead villain. Conceptually, it’s a huge leap.

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Lunching In Space With IGF Winner Outer Wilds

By Philippa Warr on March 5th, 2015.

The view from the moon

After catching up with the 2015 IGF winners news I spent my lunchtime playing the downloadable build of Outer Wilds from the official website. It’s the alpha build so I’m not sure how it would measure up to a current build but it’s been one of those lovely unexpected discoveries and almost made me forget my sandwich.

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Hands On With Valve’s Hardware Bonanza

By John Walker on March 5th, 2015.

Sitting down with Valve’s Eric Johnson this morning, one thing seemed to become increasingly clear. Valve, a studio that has arguably been pretty quiet of late (not least with the failure to ship Steam Machines in 2014), is coming to life again. With a slew of announcements at this year’s GDC, the HTC-tech-incorporating VR Vive, a proper announcement of Source 2, in-home streaming tech in Link, available builds of Steam OS, and a final build for their much anticipated controller, you could almost forget that none of them is a game. While Graham was being pulled into a virtual world, I had a play with the controller on games running on a couple of Steam Machines, on some rather enormous televisions.

So the first thing you want to know: is the controller any good?

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Valve’s Vive VR Prototype Is Better Than The Oculus Rift’s

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2015.

I’ve used the Oculus Rift DK1, HD and DK2 for hours and hours and enjoyed my time with each of them immensely, but on each occasion, I’d feel some sense of relief upon taking the headset off. Relief that my head could cool down, relief my eyes could relax, relief that I hadn’t thrown up.

When my twenty minutes with Valve and HTC’s Vive came to an end, I felt no relief. Instead, I only felt disappointed that I couldn’t continue exploring the 3D painting demo or playing with the specially-designed Portal 2 vignette.

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Dote Night: RPS vs PCG

By Philippa Warr on March 4th, 2015.

GO TEAM

Alec has been asking me to come to Brighton to teach him Dota 2 for a while now. Thus far scheduling had made the trip impossible (plus I’m still not entirely convinced it isn’t an elaborate childcare trap), But then an opportunity presented itself. A chat with their deputy editor let me know that cheery RPS fanzine, PC Gamer had decided to learn to play Dota 2. The one problem was that they needed a team to face off against – a team of similar skill, or at least sufficiently inexperienced that four Dota babbies with between four and ten hours of play under their belts wouldn’t just get ground into a fine paste over the course of eight minutes…

I volunteered RPS.

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Hands On: Magicka 2

By Adam Smith on March 4th, 2015.

The first time I killed one of my teammates, it was an accident. The second time may have been an accident as well. The third time was definitely deliberate and after that, the relationship was one of mutual murdering.

Magicka 2 [official site] is a brilliant, challenging cooperative game about killing your friends.

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Wot I Think: Tormentum – Dark Sorrow

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

The two sides have finally met in the middle! About ten years back, as adventure gaming continued to trundle along before its recent renaissance, hidden object games became a hugely popular form of “casual game” (a vile term that needs to be removed from our snobbish vocabulary). With time, the two have been gradually creeping toward one another. The latter shedding its spot-the-difference origins for more puzzle-focused, story-led design, and the former simplifying itself to single-click interaction for a larger audience on tablets. In the genuinely interesting Tormentum: Dark Sorrow [official site], the two finally meet in the middle. Here’s wot I think.

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Hopi-less: How Kachina Became Donut County

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

Two years ago, GDC 2013’s Experimental Gameplay Workshop featured a game that had the crowd cheering and applauding in delight. It was Ben Esposito (The Unfinished Swan) with Kachina. This year’s GDC revived an old favourite of the show, the Failure Workshop. This was a chance for developers to share the stories of their disasters, and the good or bad that came from them. And during it, Esposito generously and honestly told an engrossing and humbling tale of how Kachina became Donut County [official site], and the hard cultural lessons he learned along the way.

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Cardboard Children: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

By Robert Florence on March 3rd, 2015.

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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Impressions: Catacomb Kids

By Adam Smith on March 3rd, 2015.

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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Watch Us Play Cities Skylines Live

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015.

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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