Give It A Whack: Alien: Isolation’s Clunky Tech

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

A whole galaxy of planets to hack in the year 2137

They knew how to dream of futures, those film makers of the late 1970s and early ’80s. The dusty leather of Mad Max, rain refracting flickering neon in Blade Runner, and chunky busted technology in Alien. What are we teaching the next generation to hope for, Google Glass and cloud computing? It’s all too clean and too tidy, covering up the inevitable doom. Thankfully The Creative Assembly are putting an awful lot of work into recreating that analogue “low-fi sci-fi” vibe with Alien: Isolation, as a new video developer diary thing shows off.

The TCA gang are on hand to gab about analysing the film’s concept art, trying to emulate prop-making techniques of the era, and committing VHS vandalism to get a fuzzy UI. It is very pretty.

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Mashed: Concursion Demo Released

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

Shmup glitches into ninja platformer

Making a good video game is difficult, we can deduce from the existence of innumerable not-good video games. Making five good video games is a rare feat for any developer. Concursion boldly tries to smoosh five together into one single game. It does not really work for any of them. It’s an interesting idea though, so you may want to give the demo out now a go to see what it was trying.

See, Concursion has a platformer, a shoot ‘em up, a jetpack game, a stabby ninja platformer, and a Pac-Man-y maze game, sometimes all on the same screen. Levels have little rifts which pull you into pockets of another genre, so your ninja might hop up and enter a shmup, briefly becoming a spaceship blasting away, before dropping down into a maze to eat dots. But none of these individual subgames are fun.

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Curses ‘N Chaos Revealed By Mercenary Kings Devs

By Alice O'Connor on April 17th, 2014.

Boo!

I’m struggling to think of things I could say about this Curses ‘N Chaos trailer that aren’t sarcastic. It’s an 8-bit-styled game where you seem to jump and stab monsters then sometimes a booby anime witch appears to say something encouraging. It’s a video game, I guess?

But that’s unkind: many of my favourite video games have involved jumping, stabbing, or monsters. The latest from Mercenary Kings developers Tribute Games is not a game that will come across well in a 93-second video of snippets. It will (or won’t, who could say?) be in the feel and timing of strikes, the tension as hordes of ghosts rush you, hoping desperately that a health pickup will drop, and the joy of collecting loads of tinkling coins. Come watch the first trailer and you’ll see.

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It’s Weird We Haven’t Posted About Hex Before

By Ben Barrett on April 17th, 2014.

Usually upon discovering a juicy slice of news, first stop is the monolithic RPS archives where I spend a lifetime reading manuscripts on the games in question. It’s a herculean task which is rewarded only by a dip into the fountain of youthtube, where I am renewed and can spend equal time scratching out a post on ancient rolls of parchment. Finally they allow me to die – only to be replaced by a clone who begins the same work on a new venture. But! I have broken free of the cycle by discovering that not a word has been recorded about mostly cardboard-based Cryptozoic’s MMOTCG Hex: Shards of Fate within our halls. Quick, hasten forth, and learn all there is to know, now that the Beta phase has started.

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Puzzling Probing: 0rbitalis Launched On Steam Early Access

By Alice O'Connor on April 17th, 2014.

Round and round and round it goes

As a sceptic, I’m hesitant to believe in anything I can’t see. That’s why I schlep myself around in lead diving boots rather than trust in your supposed ‘gravity.’ I’m not closed-minded though, so I am willing to entertain the idea that it may be caused by marionette strings or invisible steel rods or something. Along comes gravity simulator 0rbitalis (yes, that is a zero) to assist my studies.

Out now on Steam Early Access on Wednesday at £2.09, the downtempo puzzler’s about plotting paths for space probes through gravitational currents, trying to avoid smashing into things.

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Here Is How Four Sided Fantasy Will Break Your Brain

By Nathan Grayson on April 17th, 2014.

You might remember that gorgeous puzzle adventure Four Sided Fantasy has the potential to twist your brain until it looks like a mangled Rubik’s Cube embedded in its very DNA, but what does that actually mean in practice? Well, the sidescroller from the level designer of the equally mind-melting Perspective focuses on level manipulation, on turning the game world from playground to plaything. Below you’ll find a video of its experimental mechanics in action. Prepare to go, “Wait, but then that means… no! Arghhhh! Please, don’t take away my limited perception of reality! It’s all I have!”

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Wildstar’s Customizable PVP Death Fortresses Look Brilliant

By Nathan Grayson on April 17th, 2014.

Who hasn't dreamed of owning one of those?

“Warplot” may sound a bit funny (especially if you’re John and immediately think up the phrase “Warplop”), but Wildstar‘s ambitious system of customizable 40vs40 PVP battlefields is anything but. The basic idea is that you have a “warparty” that jointly owns a massive hovering deathboat (aka, a warplot), and you can deck it out with everything from traps to murderbots to turrets to something called a Chompacabra to bosses you capture while adventuring. When two warplots click together like puzzle pieces, it’s time for all out teaparty war, with countless goodies and “warcoins” going to both the winners and the losers. Wildstar might be a traditional MMO to the core, but goodness is it ever wringing the formula dry. Trailer below.

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Hooray-os: Chaos Reborn Kickstarter Succeeds

By Nathan Grayson on April 17th, 2014.

I wonder how Bob Ross would feel about those trees

We live in a world where X-Com creator Julian Gollop can put a project onto Kickstarter and have its confetti parade success or outright failure come right down to the wire. I’m not sure how to feel about that. In the end, though, Chaos Reborn’s crowdfunding drive succeeded and then some, which I suppose means the world and I are cool. For now.

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Hexchat: Watch Civ: Beyond Earth’s Panel Discussion

By Alice O'Connor on April 17th, 2014.

Looking... 'hexy.' Wait, no, 'hexcellent.' How about 'hexciting?'

Perhaps I’m unfairly stereotyping Civilization fans, but I broadly imagine that they’re the type who’ll eagerly watch a panel of developers talk about the next game for half an hour, then perhaps rewatch it, wringing every last fact and morsel of information into their dry eyes. What I’m trying to say is, the panel discussion where Civilization: Beyond Earth was revealed is now online in talkie format, and I imagine you might like to watch it so I’m posting about it on Rock, Paper, Shotgun where you might see it.

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Second Screen Shotgun: Salvaged

By Ben Barrett on April 17th, 2014.

Despite how we, you or some ridiculous “they” may rant and rave about the legions of samey military shooters or other popular genre, games are the realm of the new and PC gaming most of all. Salvaged is right out there towards the edge of the new. It takes the tactical action of XCOM and places it on a touch device, controlled in real-time, with the first person views of soldiers showing up on your monitor. It’s a properly two-screen game, trying to simulate being an elite commander more accurately by getting rid of our so 20th century control mechanisms. I first saw it at Rezzed this year, where twelve member nu-team Opposable Games positively filled up the Leftfield Collection’s hallway, along with the sizable crowd. It’s now up on Kickstarter, chasing $125k, and you can see the pitch video, as well as my thoughts having spoken to them a little, below.

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Swimming Upstream: Twitch Sells, Funds Indie Games

By Nathan Grayson on April 17th, 2014.

I've got those millions-of-random-Internet-kids-screaming-in-my-head-at-all-once blues

Twitch has its fair share of problems, but there’s no denying the utter ubiquity of the massive videogame streaming service. Heck, I use it for two separate shows here on RPS, and I’m sure plenty of you stream out your cursing-and-bad-joke-ridden exploits as well. It’s interesting, then, to see what Twitch has decided to do with the powder keg of potential influence sitting right beneath its purple buttocks. Its latest decision? A move into game sales and – in one special case – funding. You can now purchase Vlambeer’s madly addictive Nuclear Throne from Twitch. Meanwhile, the Twitch Plays Pokemon inspired Choice Chamber is having its Kickstarter funding matched dollar-for-dollar by the streaming goliath.

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