Rover’s Return: Don’t Forget NASA’s Curiosity Sim

Look, I know I already posted about NASA’s Unity-powered Mars exploration sim not three weeks ago, but given those marvellous men and women and their remote-controlled flying machines have just managed to successfully land a nuclear-powered robot on the Red Planet, it seems entirely timely to flag it up again. Particlarly because the game/sim is being updated with the Curiosity rover’s progress and discoveries in something like real-time. Go look!
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Push His Button: Walker

Hello! These legs were made for walking. Don't let the lack of proper feet convince you otherwise.

Walker is a free one-button game about John’s commute to work every morning*, from the four poster bed in which he enjoys his point and click dreams to the sturdy oaken desk at which he delivers words to the eyes of the world. It’s not as simple as something like Canabalt, where jumping and fleeing are the order of the day, instead presenting a complex and cleverly designed world to platform through. Some obstacles will make Walker turn and walk in the opposite direction (mostly ghosts, he hates ghosts) and all you can control is when and how high he jumps. Sadly not by shouting ‘jump’ at him, but by pressing ‘z’. Free, fairly lengthy and quite charming, Walker is available here.

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Interview: Subset Games Talk FTL

Last week Adam posted some impressions of the spaceship managing FTL, and you’re allowed to read them. And now, Craig’s spoken with its creators, Justin Ma and Matthew Davis. They talk about how the project came to be, how they’re still in shock over their massive Kickstarter success, and how it was that the game was inspired by text adventures.

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Winner Makes All: Mercury’s Roguelike Experiment

Mercury is “an experimental winner-generated arcade roguelike”, which immediately made it sound more exciting than “a massively anti-aliased cover-based shooter set in a warehouse on the moon” when I read about it first thing this morning. It’s a free game in the early stages of development, which, because of its brilliant conceptual twist, makes it the perfect time for the good people of RPS to enter its dungeons. Mercury is “winner-generated” because after each cycle of play, the two players with the most points are allowed to make new content for the game. So what started as a single class, single enemy, single item dungeon crawl is becoming more complex and chaotic as time goes on. Try the beta now or read more below.

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Planetside 2 Beta Is Go For The Privileged Few

give me my suit give me my suit give me my suit waaah


That’s all this post is, really – a public lamentation that I’m not part of the latest New Hotness, said New Hotness being fab-looking MMOFPS Planetside 2, which will finally open its doors to a selected few members of the public later today (about 7pm UK time, I believe). Hopefully I’ll be welcomed to the ranks of the eternal tri-war before too long – meantime, how have you lot go on? Clearly, we shall have to form some sort of enormous RPS faction once this thing is up and running for more of the public. No doubt the recent reveal that Planetside 2 is coming to Steam in addition to SOE’s Station platform will help make what’s already likely to be a huge playerbase all the huger. Sign up for the beta here, though it may be sometime before you’re given the king’s shilling.
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Visions Of The Future: Face-On With Oculus Rift

John Carmack is building the future. Well, technically, he’s only helping this time. Along with Palmer Luckey and the other fine folks at Oculus Rift, Carmack’s diving headset-first into the world of virtual reality. Of course, this isn’t the first time gaming’s tried taking Bambi-like first steps onto the Holodeck. But then the Virtual Boy happened, and everyone got really sad. Now, though, Carmack and co are claiming the tech’s reached its threshold for “useful coolness,” and – after a hands/eyes/face-on demo with a duct-tape-and-hot-glue prototype of the Rift – I’m sold. This thing’s the future. Or at least a big part of it, anyway.

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Trouble & Strife For The Final Fantasy VII PC Remake

that makes it look pretty cool, actually.

N.B. – please feel free to interchange the words ‘bad’ and ‘good’ in the next two sentences as you see fit.

Bad news: the deathless 90s JRPG that inspired a hundred million DeviantArt pages, Final Fantasy VII, is to be re-released for PC, in a shinier form with new bits. Good news: its launch over the weekend was pulled due to technical problems.
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Valve References “Next-Gen” Source 2 In Filmmaker Files

The lighting will be better

Valve’s Source engine is eight years old, which makes me feel eighty years old, but the tech hasn’t been in stasis since housing the bleak blocks of City-17. All of the iterations and updates may soon be a thing of the past though if the discoveries of the sleuths over at are as intriguing as they seem. Eurogamer spotted that Valvetime spotted that the Source Filmmaker script files contain “60+ references” to Source 2, making it distinctly possible that the new engine will be here sooner rather than later.

”’Return an str with the current engine version. If key doesn’t doesn’t exist, assume ‘Source’, otherwise invalid — assume next-gen ‘Source 2′.”’

What’s all that about then?

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Mask Of The Red Death: New Dishonored Screens

It won’t be long before I’m the only member of RPS who hasn’t played Dishonored, which is surely due to some form of dire cosmic plot against me. I’m not going to spend the next few months tugging at Alec’s sleeve and asking, over and over again, “but how good was it?” or calling Jim in the wee small hours of the morning and asking, “will it satisfy my every desire?”. Instead of gathering every last remaining scrap of knowledge that falls from their brain-pans, I’ve decided to impose a media blackout on myself. I’ll be the one who goes in knowing the least and that’ll make the experience all the sweeter. But then I remembered that it’s my job to look at every picture and video of every game. Here are some new screens.

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Cardboard Children: Further Descent

Hello youse,

Today I’ll wrap up my take on Descent: Second Edition. I’ll also tell you about an amazing game called CONQUEST OF PLANET EARTH.

Is that enough for you? What else do you want? Blood? You want me to make you a sausage out of my blood? What? What’s wrong with you?
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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for medals. You’re going to get one just for reading this article. Will we award zinc discs of achievement to any of this week’s word-producing individuals? Let’s find out.

  • This is a strange article. Simon Parkin meets with Nolan Bushnell and frames him as “gaming’s absent father”: “I don’t like to go into red oceans. If I don’t have a significant innovation I don’t like to try it. It’s just too much hard work. And right now, iPhone games – even if you have a great game, discoverability is really hard. The reason I’m in education right now is because it’s massively screwed up, and the technology is manageable and doable. And so, in the classical definition of a poet who interprets God for the masses: I want to interpret technology for the education business.”
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210 Minutes of Direct Access To Carmack’s Brain

There are more brain cells in that fingertip than in my skull :(

It says something about John Carmack’s status in the gaming industry that he can hold a talk that lasts for three and a half hours and the majority of watchers are simply delighted. So, if you’ve got nothing else on for the next 210 minutes, here is said relaxed, cheerful, full-throttle, ad-libbed and fascinating QuakeCon speech in full. id’s brain o’brains chats about the problems with Rage and its messy PC launch, his love-hate relationship with the PC as a platform, those Oculus Rift VR goggles that are getting Kickstarted hearts all aflutter, Doom 3 BFG, 3D displays, just the tiniest smidgen on Doom 4 and, of course, a sustained stream of characteristically uncensored techspeak about the past, present and future of computing. Such as viewing images by firing laser beams directly into people’s retinas. Er…

Impressively, as well as talking for so damned long, he doesn’t sit down until the 90-minute point.
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Kickstarter Katchup – 4th August 2012

There’s an absolutely enormous winners’ list this week, which is always a pleasure to see. Unless they turn out to be international money laundering thieves who release mediocre games at best. Then it will be a bit of a shame. So at what will you throw your money?

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