Dote Night: The Petting Zoo Of Disaster

By Philippa Warr on July 1st, 2015.

Double pig. Triple Pig. Ultra pig. RAMPAGE.

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart. THIS WEEK, however, she will be complaining about her Dota 2 petting zoo!

I am staring at a hang screen in Dota 2. I think I just tried to compile a map but I can’t be completely sure because programming words have always been a bit of a mystery to me.

Being sick and jetlagged I took the obvious decision that this would be a good time to build a petting zoo as a custom game mode using Dota 2 Reborn’s toolkit. So far I seem to have made a horrible map in the Hammer editor where the trees look goofy and the textures are unsubtle and there’s an army of butterflies completely by accident that I can’t get rid of. The totally separate INTENTIONAL army of butterflies is in a totally different location but I got cross with rotating them individually so they’re currently in grid formation and now they look weird and menacing and, crucially, unable to fly. I think they might all be dead.

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Ultra Street Fighter IV’s Long Road To Becoming The World’s Greatest Fighting Game

By Rich Stanton on July 1st, 2015.

A month or so ago there was a Capcom weekend on Steam, where some of the publisher’s finest cuts were free to play for a few days. Out of curiosity as to whether my old 360 arcade stick would work with it I downloaded Ultra Street Fighter IV [official site]. I have a long history with Street Fighter IV and thought I knew what to expect – but the World Warriors blew me away again, and that once-dusty stick is now part of the furniture. Here’s why.

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Chris Crawford’s Unslain Dragon Of Interactive Storytelling

By Richard Moss on July 1st, 2015.

Chris Crawford is a contradiction: mythologized for his bold vision for the future of games; criticised and dismissed for his lifelong failure to accomplish that bold vision. His numerous critics see him as out of touch and over the hill. A washout. An unrepentant failure. Someone who should give it up and walk away. But he can’t bring himself to do that. He has a dream, and he hasn’t finished laying the groundwork for someone else to carry that dream forward. Crawford is driven by a singular vision — by an idea that he’s pursued doggedly since he left the games industry over 20 years ago. And even now, as I speak to him about Siboot [official site], his latest attempt to spruik his dream of character-driven interactive storytelling, he remains tormented by a dragon he knows he will never slay.

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Cardboard Children – Expansions Round-Up

By Robert Florence on June 30th, 2015.

Okay, so next week I have a MAJOR REVIEW of a very important indie game. It’s not a new release, but it’s a historically important one, I think. And before we head off into better coverage of indie/small-print releases, I think it’s one we have to cover. Before THAT though, we need to clear the decks a little bit. I realise that there are a number of expansions that I’ve not covered yet, and they’re worth highlighting here. All of them are strong. Very strong.

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18 Years Later, Why Are People Still Playing Ultima Online?

By Jake Tucker on June 30th, 2015.

Later this year, Ultima Online [official site] will turn 18 years old. In the genre of MMOs, that makes the game positively ancient – and it’s even more remarkable when you consider that it’s still funded via a subscription model.

I’ve never played an Ultima game, much less one that’s nearly my age. I wanted to find out what the game is like to play today as a newcomer, and to ask people why they’ve continued visiting Britannia for nearly two decades.

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Wot I Think – Lethis: Path Of Progress

By Alec Meer on June 30th, 2015.

As the doors of game development open up to more and more souls, an added benefit is that it’s ever-more plausible to make some great art then slap it into your engine, elevating the functional into the beautiful. Caesar/Zeus/Pharaoh-inspired, combat-free Gallic citybuilder Lethis: Path Of Progress doesn’t do especially remarkable things in terms of town management, but with an animation-inspired, gently Steampunk art style which falls somewhere in between bande dessinee and Studio Ghibli, it’s too gorgeous to put down even when it’s on the verge of tedium.
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Premature Evaluation: Train Valley

By Marsh Davies on June 29th, 2015.

Train Valley offers quite a focussed and fun optimisation challenge rather than a sprawling simulation of every aspect of rail management. Nonetheless, it makes some efforts at historical accuracy - at least in terms of the style of the engines you use - setting its challenges across two centuries of rail transport in Europe, America, Russia and (when it gets a later content patch) Japan. The Gold Rush gets a hat tip, as does World War 2 - so it was with a tiny amount of completely irrational sadness that the date of 1864 came and went while playing the game’s European levels, and there was no mention of the One Thing I Know About Railways: the first British railway murder.

Each week Marsh Davies boards the Steam locomotive as it chugs its way through Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or is cannibalised by rabid commuters while delayed in a siding. This week he’s played Train Valley, a chirpy but challenging rail construction sim.

My attempts to run a railway system make a good case for nationalisation: the absurd delays as I reverse trains back and forth over a switch in the track, somehow making the same signalling error each time; the piles of cargo that end up in the wrong town, or so late that its value has completely expired; the destruction to wildlife, farmland and neolithic monuments; the forced relocation of indigenous people. Oh, and the massive loss of life, too, I suppose. At the end of it all, I go bankrupt – and yet they keep giving me another chance.

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We Happy Few’s Fledgling Dystopian Survival Experience

By Philippa Warr on June 29th, 2015.

Punch ups are a reglar occurance for me

We Happy Few [official site] is, I think, the only survival game with permadeath whose conceit has intrigued me enough that I’ve wanted to stick with it in spite of the insistence that humans lose water at the rate of your average sieve and that anyone can build advanced machinery with enough scavenged scrap metal. That said, I’ve just died for the sixth time and I’m feeling ever-more like the desperate and downcast character I’m playing.

We Happy Few is Compulsion Games’ current project. Its world is the city of Wellington Wells, where a perky, authoritarian bubble called Hamlyn is separated from World War II ruins known as the Garden District by a series of bridges and security checkpoints. The checkpoints are designed to keep Downers – people who aren’t taking their happy pills (“Joy” in the game parlance) – on the ruined side of the river. The idea is to find a way from the ruins where you spawn to the other side of the river and then figure out a way to escape.

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Returning To World Of Warcraft With Patch 6.2

By Ben Barrett on June 29th, 2015.

Featuring my friend Mair, his cat-man follower Leorajh, *his* skeleton dinosaur mount and some plant-based hallucinogens. Video games.

I’ve been playing WoW on and off for most of my adult life and quite a bit more besides. It is my comfort game, a warm blanket of mob-killing, number-crunching and loot-grabbing that has always been there when I’ve needed it. Latest expansion Warlords of Draenor [official site] was, on release, the best the game has ever been in terms of quality, though rather quickly ran out of interesting things to do once max level was reached. I burnt out early this year but 6.2 and its laundry list of changes and additions piqued my interest and pulled me back in. Here’s how it played out.

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RPS Community Update: What You Did in ARK,
Guild Wars 2, Hearthstone and Warframe

By Scott Constantine on June 29th, 2015.

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s time for the monthly recap of what the RPS community have been up to. June saw action in ARK: Survival Evolved [official site] (dinosaurs!), Guild Wars 2 [official site] (crowds!), Hearthstone [official site] (cards!) and Warframe [official site] (ninjas!). Oh, and a reminder about our Steam group too.

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The RPG Scrollbars: Exciting Upcoming Updates

By Richard Cobbett on June 29th, 2015.

One of the most gratifying things about the recent-ish RPG revival is that they’ve almost all done well enough to warrant developer interest after release. (Oh, if only the adventure one had been as… no, no. Wrong column.) Call them Enhanced Editions, Director’s Cuts or whatever else, they give their creators a second chance to fix mistakes or expand their worlds – and that’s pretty cool for fans. But what are the main ones on the way? I put together this quick list of ones to look forward to.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on June 28th, 2015.

Sundays are for getting back to Gamer Maker after a few weeks of accomplishing little, and after making a to-do list and realising you’ve got about two years of work left. Sundays are also for gathering the week’s best writing about videogames, so let’s get started.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Witch Witcher is Which?

By Cassandra Khaw on June 27th, 2015.

Want the week’s best gaming deals? Step below. Includes the excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the odd Remember Me, and the final version of Dark Souls II.

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