The RPS Bargain Bucket: Cat-llergical Problems

By Cassandra Khaw on October 18th, 2014.

I love cats, but their luxurious coats disagree with my nose. I am writing this from behind a mountain of soggy tissue paper, even as kittens attempt to use my toes as props in play. I should probably run away, but they’re too cute. Help. (On the bright side, this much sneezing has to qualify as a workout, right? Right?) Because I’m currently located in the Pacific North-West and must prepare this earlier than I normally would, there’s a chance that this week’s Bargain Bucket might have more inaccuracies than normal. I hope not. I don’t know. I’m too busy sneezing my lungs out in the service of cute, fuzzy things. Regardless, enjoy today’s collection of discounted video games. (Ah-choo!) Also, this week’s plushie is an old submission from Lemming because I’m too sick and too far away from home to take my own photos.

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Swimming And Quitting

By Alice O'Connor on October 18th, 2014.

Again.

Hallo chums! I went swimming in a pond again this weekend — twice, even. Saturday’s swim was in the pouring rain, just me and three dozen ducks bobbing about. The water was a pleasant 16.7° C. Quietly stalking a mandarin duck, I decided to commit to making the traditional Christmas morning swim. A lot of conditioning and a little stiff upper lip and it’ll be fine, I was sure. When I returned on Sunday, the temperature chalked onto the board was down to 15° C. Fine, that’s fine. Stepping down the ladder, I froze as my foot entered water that unexpectedly felt bloody freezing. I cussed under my breath, remembered my pledge, and plunged in.

Which makes me wonder: when are we happy to stop pushing ourselves? When do we quit a game?

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Minecraft In 2014: Community And YouTube

By Duncan Geere on October 17th, 2014.

Minecraft gets more popular every day, but we don’t talk about it much anymore. To find out what the game is like in 2014, we asked Duncan Geere to impart his wisdom. The result is a three-part series. Part one looked at Minecraft mods, part two at servers, and part three is below…

It’s a great time to be a Minecraft fan. The enormous community has built incredible things, created amazing mods and runs brilliant multiplayer servers. But in mid-2014, it was all overshadowed by a bitter, brutal war about an end-user license agreement – the repercussions of which will shape the future of the game for a long time to come.

Nonetheless, Minecraft’s community still seems to be growing exponentially, despite only occasional coverage from gaming sites and the mainstream press. Almost all discussion of the game takes place on YouTube, where people share their exploits and a parallel world of Minecraft celebrities has emerged. I’ve hunted down the best channels you should follow.

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Remembering King Of Dragon Pass

By Sin Vega on October 17th, 2014.

King of Dragon Pass was first released on PC in 1999, but its mixture of strategy, management and RPG, and its focus on offering the player meaningful choices at every turn, was sadly overlooked at the time. We asked Sin Vega to explain why you should still play the game today.

We’ve all dreamt about ruling over a tribe, right? And let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s not really about the feasting, the comely milkmaids, or even the apocryphal helmets. No. It’s about the decisions.

There you are, lounging regally and probably inebriated on your throne, and in come some people with a complaint. “Urgrim stole my axe!”, shouts one. “That’s a bastard lie,” screams Presumably Ugrim, kicking over a nearby cow, “you’re just jealous of my fabulous beard!”. Wearily, you motion to your advisors, who tell you all about these two, what’s really going on, what the laws say you can do, and that you could at least limit yourself to only drinking from one flagon at a time when the people are watching.

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Hands On: Elegy For A Dead World

By John Walker on October 17th, 2014.

Elegy For A Dead World is undeniably quite a diversion for the developers Dejobaan Games, they behind AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity and Drunken Robot Pornography. It’s an extremely sedate concept, that aims to turn anyone into a storyteller.

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Have You Played… Sacrilege

By Alec Meer on October 17th, 2014.

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

Sacrilege is a free interactive fiction game about trying to pull guys in a nightclub. It’s by Cara Ellison.

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The Flare Path: And The Judgement Of Solomon

By Tim Stone on October 17th, 2014.

Are you ‘feature complete’ yet? Have you written that novel, made that parachute jump, found that special someone? By my calculations my own personal beta test still has about 250 years left to run. Circa 2264 the handful of people that backed my 1970 Kickstarter campaign will get an email thanking them for their patience. The email will include the following changelog.

New in Version 1.0

  • Focus
  • Patience
  • Charm
  • Gravitas
  • Wisdom…

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How Doom Got Me Suspended

By John Walker on October 17th, 2014.

Doom was, of course, originally released in 1993. It wasn’t until 1995 that it saw me get in trouble at school. We had fewer games then, and especially fewer games that could run on the crappy 486s that lined the edges of my sixth form (year 12, younglings) form room.

In the mid-90s, schools decided they needed computers. No one was quite sure what for, but they were needed. The Conservative government of the time encouraged it, and local councils would provide special funding for schools to invest in hundreds of beige boxes, so that there could be computers in every classroom. For which there was absolutely no purpose. The entire curriculum was written around text books and library resources, and the only software that was of any limited use was Encarta 95. Meanwhile, a History & Politics A Level class of twelve students was sharing textbooks one between three, because the school had no budget to buy more. Computers were being used as doorstops. It was very silly.

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Hard Choices: The Great DIY Vs Pre-built PC Debate, Part 2

By Jeremy Laird on October 16th, 2014.

After last week’s missive, the comments were alive with la passion PC. And it was all good. But the one critical aspect we didn’t look at in detail was the value proposition. Do you really save a chunk of change with a DIY build? A matter of some simple sums, you say?

Would that it could be so. The reality is that the variables quickly get out of control. Much depends on your budget, how flexible you are on spec, what kind of warranty you want, even where you are in the world. There are no definitive answers, folks. However, what I can do is spec up my ideal PC via both separate components and a few of the usual suspects from the PC building industry here in Blighty. The upshot makes for some interesting observations that highlight the various pitfalls, pros and cons, hell even some of my own personal peccadilloes, when it comes to DIY vs pre-built PCs. So get comfortable. This is going to take a while. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Chat About Banner Saga-Powered Roguelike Bedlam

By Alec Meer on October 16th, 2014.

A couple of weeks ago, a roguelike which uses the Banner Saga engine to create a rather attractive post-apocalyptic cocktail of FTL, The Oregon Trail and XCOM popped up on Kickstarter. Bedlam’s around $90k into its $130k goal, with just eight days left on the clock. I’ve had a chat with the devs, who include veterans of Darksiders studio Vigil, about what they’re aiming for with the game, what the Banner Saga engine enables them to do, what they’ve changed about it, and the 80s/90s comics visual influences for this game of desert bandits and desert death-buses. Also – what about that other game called Bedlam?
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Wot I Think: The Evil Within

By Adam Smith on October 16th, 2014.

At its best, The Evil Within is the sequel that Resident Evil 4 deserved and that subsequent viral not-zombie games failed to be. That’s reason enough to recommend the game to anyone who believes Resident Evil 4 is a fine thing to emulate, and that is probably true of everyone who has played Resident Evil 4. There’s much to celebrate in Mikami’s return to survival horror but the course of true terror does not run smooth. Here’s wot I think.

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Interview: Steve Sinclair On Warframe’s Archwing Update

By Philippa Warr on October 16th, 2014.

It's basically a red laser space Eye of Sauron

When I last played Warframe it was very much a vanilla space ninjas game. Just over a year later and there are still space ninjas but they sit alongside extras like tradeable space puppies. The player activity has been extensive too – there are user-created clan dojos so big the developers have had to add teleport functions to the game to make them navigable. As I write this it’s at number ten in the Steam top games list with 16,382 people playing right now. It’s also about to get wings.

In Warframe you play as one of the Tenno, an ancient warrior race who must don exo-armour (the titular warframes) to fight militarised clones called the Grineer. In the latest update, Archwing, players will be able to use new augments to allow their warframes to fly and fight in the vacuum of space. To find out how the Archwing update will work I spoke to Steve Sinclair – creative director of Warframe developer Digital Extremes.

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Have You Played… Dark Scavenger

By Adam Smith on October 16th, 2014.

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

Dark Scavenger is an odd game and it necessitated a very odd Wot I Think. I’ve encountered all sorts of strange creations during the few years I’ve been writing for RPS and many slip out of my mind quicker than a greased pig at a country fair. This bizarre ‘turn-based point and click adventure’ has stayed with me though. I said at the time that it would have been a cult classic had it been released on the Amiga back in the day and as time goes by, I’m convinced that it deserves cult classic status right now. Deliriously imaginative, it’s quite unlike anything else I’ve played before or since.

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