Wot I Think: Crowntakers

By Adam Smith on November 12th, 2014.

A brief description of Crowntakers reads like an exercise in box-ticking. “Roguelike turn-based strategy meets RPG”, says the Steam page, “alternative endings…resources…companions…mighty equipment…hexagonal battlefields.” Behind all of that is a game that strips down almost every aspect of its design to present something half-way between a solo boardgame and a coffee break take on Heroes of Might and Magic. It’s a clever game, though not without its frustrations. Here’s wot I think.

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Interview: Robin Arnott On Biofeedback

By Philippa Warr on November 11th, 2014.

Beepity beep

Image by Ken Fager (used under CC license)

One of the fascinating things about the Oculus Rift headset is the way it forces players and developers to consider the body in relation to a game. A lot of the talk is about how to represent your avatar’s body. There are questions like whether it’s a problem when you look down and see “your” body but in the wrong clothes, and fascinating art projects designed around you being in someone else’s skin. But another avenue of exploration when it comes to incorporating bodies in gaming is biofeedback.

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Games For Humanity, Part 2

By Alec Meer on November 11th, 2014.

Continuing and concluding our round-up of PC games to show people who feel that all games are culturally worthless, or are otherwise entirely uninterested in them. Part One is here, and I do strongly suggest you read it before this one if you missed it.
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Premature Evaluation: Dovetail Games Fishing

By Marsh Davies on November 10th, 2014.

“Carpe diem,” as the ancient Romans used to say, meaning, “Direct Message the carp”.

Each Monday, Marsh Davies sticks his beak into Steam Early Access and returns with whatever stories and/or pearlescent, writhing grubs he can find. This week, he pops a wriggler onto a hook and tosses it into the gentle waters of Dovetail Games Fishing.

“Welcome to the great indoors,” is Dovetail Games’ pitch for its simulation; all the fun of fishing without the need to cultivate a box of maggots in your fridge and then stand for hours on a mudbank while your core temperature slowly drops.

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Second Gen Tank Shenanigans In Armored Warfare

By Philippa Warr on November 10th, 2014.

Probably an objective

“It’s not so much that we’re competing directly. We want to take things forward a bit for the genre and do the second generation type of this game.”

I’m speaking to Matt Festa, senior designer on Obsidian’s tank-based strategic shooter Armored Warfare about the differences between his game and – just to pluck an example out of the air – World Of Tanks.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on November 9th, 2014.

Sundays are for seeing off family, but there can be time left over for a quick run through the week’s best games writing. Let’s do this.

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Happy Kitty, Cat Petting Simulator 2014, Purr Purr Purr

By Cassandra Khaw on November 9th, 2014.

I miss having cats. Four years ago, I left home and became a professional itinerant, leaving my felines in the care of rich strangers. Today, I am bereft of cats and so, you shouldn’t take me as an unbiased source when I say, “Oh, god. Cat Petting Simulator 2014 is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

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Fantastic Cartography: Why Videogame Maps Matter

By Adam Smith on November 9th, 2014.

I well up a bit looking at this. So many memories.

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Adam’s celebration of videogame cartography, from cloth maps to digital records of procedural worlds. This article was first published in 2011.

Some of my earliest memories of gaming are not of the games themselves but of the things that came bundled in the box with them. Whether it was a hefty manual, full of lore and encyclopaedic listings, or a little extra something. My games don’t even come in boxes anymore. Recently, I’ve been thinking about the shelves in the house where I grew up, full of big cardboard slabs with none of this DVD case finery. I’ve been remembering the excitement of opening the box on the bus, surreptitiously because my parents always thought I’d lose the manual or disks before we reached home. And I’ve been thinking about what else I sometimes found inside.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: November Expenditure

By Cassandra Khaw on November 8th, 2014.

Hello! This has been a rather strange week. It started with being in transit for about 40 odd hours, and ended with a volley of newswriting for RPS. (This may happen again soon. Maybe. We’ll see.) In between, I lost my wallet and started writing about polygamy in the Song Dynasty, and continued my interactive fiction piece for Choice of Games. My brain is sizzling. Slightly. The smoke wisping out of my ears has dulled to threads. While I recuperate from the week, have this bucket of bargains and the tiniest, awesome-st hedgehog this side of the hemisphere. I am taking name suggestions!

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S.EXE: Gateway Shuffle

By Cara Ellison on November 7th, 2014.

You know the first rule of combat? Shoot them before they shoot you.Stars glint off the side of the hull as the wartorn ship slowly turns in space. She sits in her underwear, staring out at the far-off smear of white on the blue-marbled orb and the drifting neon love hotels by the casino station. She is hung, suspended, her stomach grumbling, her muscles barely remembering what seiza is like, or what fish and chips taste like. Dirty laundry and wax strips drift by her face. Once she was stationed on space station Britannia, working regularly for the Rock Paper Shotgun outfit, but now she drifts in space, for hire only by those who can find her. She remembers the ones she left behind to the tune of Orbital’s Halcyon On And On.

The monitor bleeps, waking her from her hyperspace-lag. INCOMING COMMISSION it flashes. INCOMING COMMISSION. INCOMING COMMISSION. $100 WULONGS FOR THE HEAD OF A GAMES DEVELOPER. She scrambles for the button, her tummy growling, accidentally opening a tab on a game instead: Gateway Shuffle. 3,2,1 let’s jam.

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Blood Bowl Is Unbalanced And That’s Why It’s Good

By Jody Macgregor on November 7th, 2014.

I recently spoke to Sylvain Sechi, project manager of Cyanide Studio’s forthcoming Blood Bowl 2, about their new adaptation of Games Workshop’s game of fantasy football. I had an ulterior motive, though. I didn’t just want to ask him about when the game is coming out and what the new team will be like. I wanted to selfishly hassle him about not including some of my favourite teams and also present my pet theory about the appeal of Blood Bowl: that what makes it fun is that it’s the most unbalanced strategy game ever made.

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The Flare Path: A Ponce In A Ponsse

By Tim Stone on November 7th, 2014.

Forestry was one of the industries the Industrial Revolution forgot. The tools used by a British forestry worker at the start of the Twentieth Century would have been instantly recognizable to a forestry worker of 1700. It would be another two decades before the oil dripping, smoke breathing dragon of progress appeared in the UK’s pine stands and oak woods. First came the lumbering tractor, then the chainsaw, an increasingly portable petrol-fuelled marvel that quickly saw off the crosscut saw and eventually banished the axe too. Finally, in the 1990s, something truly remarkable arrived. A machine that, in favourable terrain, made a hard-working chainsaw flourisher look like a hopeless slacker, an anachronism, an irrelevance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Week in Tech: Mobile Gaming Update

By Jeremy Laird on November 6th, 2014.

Embrace the brick

Long ago, in an age when PC magazines ruled the land, the internet had barely achieved broadband and being a tech journalist really meant something (OK, that last bit was probably never true), I used to be a laptop gaming junky. This, I’d largely forgotten until Nvidia’s new mobile GPUs launched the other day and were accompanied by some conspicuously OTT hyperbole from wet-behind-the-ears padawans in the tech press. How quickly they forget the great mobile GPUs of yesteryear. Thus, for a serious dissertation on the delights and, let’s be honest, drastic downsides of laptop gaming along with a grudging admission that the new GeForce GTX 970M and 980M do actually look pretty damn fine, you know what to do.

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