Suffer A Breakdown By Playing 17 Breakouts At Once


Of the games concerning the repeated hitting of blocks until they disappear, Breakout is surely the best. Sorry, Notch. If only there was some way to expand upon Breakout. If only someone had ever tried that. If only the Atari corporation had tried to monetise Breakout on an ongoing basis, instead of just releasing it then leaving it as a pure, untouched snowflake of gaming challenge.

Fortunately, an indie developer has done the hitherto impossible – modified Breakout. I know, right? His twist is an excellent, and painful one – each block contains another, smaller game of Breakout which must be played simultaneously with the ‘main’ game and any other activated micro-Breakouts upon being struck by the ball for the first time.
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Broken Age Needs More Money, Tries Steam Early Access

Wake up! Double Fine needs money! GET JOBS.

HARK, A TWIST. Once upon a time, Double Fine’s Kickstarter-fueled adventure Broken Age had all the money in the world. Not a single couch cushion abyss was left un-mined, nor a piggy bank kept from the slaughter. But here’s the thing: apparently that wasn’t quite enough. Broken Age is, in effect, on track to go broke. In a new Kickstarter update, Tim Schafer explained: “Even though we received much more money from our Kickstarter than we, or anybody anticipated, that didn’t stop me from getting excited and designing a game so big that it would need even more money.” Another Kickstarter, however, is out of the question, so Double Fine’s doing the next best thing: Steam Early Access. 

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Satellite Reign And Syndicate’s Simulation Legacy

Perhaps it’s my insomnia, but I’m feeling rather emotional. There was something that made me want to well up in my interview with Satellite Reign lead, Mike Diskett. Even with the fall of Mucky Foot on his CV, it seems unfair to say that Diskett has had a tough time of it – he’s a talented programmer working on numerous successful (and not so successful) projects over many years – now living in Brisbane. But there’s something else simultaneously tragic and beautiful going on here, which is bound up with the two empty decades since Syndicate Wars. It’s something about the dreams of what games could be. Diskett believes and lives that simulation dream. He is one of the pioneers at the heart of the idea of open worlds and living systems.

“Behaviour,” he told me, “not scripting.” I could have wept.

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Modder’s Secession: Ultimate General: Gettysburg

Nice of these guys to give people with metal detectors something to do.
I once modded Oblivion to stop some text from popping up on screen, which technically makes me a modder. I don’t imagine I’ll be building the next Skyrim anytime soon, but if you need me Bethesda, I am here. In similar news, one of the main chaps behind DarthMod, probably the Total War series’ most famous mods, has decided to make a game. Not content with fixing and rebalancing The Creative Assembly’s war fiddlers, he’s making his own RTS: Ultimate General: Gettysburg,

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‘Every Decision You Make Is An Abomination’

Don't listen!

I’m in one of those moods. You know the sort, when anything other than expressions of total contempt for existence will appeal. No, I don’t want to play a jolly platform game with its jolly jumping puzzles. No, I don’t want dreamy music and pastel shades. No, I don’t want a noisy trailer noisily promising noisy viscerality. I just want something that says ‘hey, all of this is totally ridiculous and it’s OK to laugh/sneer at it.’ Button Roulette is very much the ticket.

Don’t push the button. But push it, obviously.
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Don’t Starve Dev On Its ‘Espionage XCOM’ Incognita

Klei has put marks on ninjas and avoided starvation (for now), and it’s all been pretty great. But now that all of that’s out in the open, what’s next? How do you follow gloriously precise stealth and maddeningly demented survival? Why, with turn-based tactical espionage, of course. Otherwise, there just wouldn’t be enough adjectives. I sat down with Klei co-founder Jamie Cheng for a brief chat about Icognita, which he’s billing as a more information-centric cousin to modern XCOM. Somewhat fittingly (though also frustratingly), he kept many details hidden away beneath his figurative trench coat, but we were able to discuss the broader strokes: espionage, the game’s upcoming paid alpha (ala Don’t Starve), procedural generation, and PC as the primary platform. Give the chat a quick read after the break.

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Steely Skies: The Maker’s Eden Demo

This morning I woke up in a bed that does not know me, reached for a familiar nightstand only to flinch as my fingers curled around the cold metal of a lighting fixture. It was a lot like the philosomnulent beginning of that one story by Proust. A couple of hours later, I found myself waking in another strange and unexpected environment – a pod inside a ruined building, which was also inside The Maker’s Eden, a handsome sci-fi point and click adventure that is seeking funds on Indiegogo. It’s a flexible funding campaign, which disqualifies it from Katchup consideration, but the first act will be completed even if the devs fail to reach their goal. And there’s a fine sense of bleak mystery in this short introductory demo.

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2K Marin’s Jordan ‘The Cradle’ Thomas Goes Indie

He might not have quite the profile of a Levine or Smith, but as a lead designer on Thief 3, particularly of The Cradle level, not to mention the similarly nerve-torturing Fort Frolic map in BioShock, Jordan Thomas is a name just as worth knowing. While being granted more overreaching control of a project resulted in 2K Marin’s smart, improved but too safe sequel BioShock 2, followed by a disappearance into the black hole which eventually morphed into The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Thomas also took on some creative duties late in BioShock Infinite’s development. Now he’s moving away from franchises into creator-controlled, independent territory, and I am not-entirely-quietly confident that this will mean great things.
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World Of Watercraft: Freebooter

I’m reclaiming the RPS ‘piracy‘ tag. Look at all those posts that have nothing to do with cannons or scurvy. We’re gamers! We should know all about balls and vitamin deficiency! I want happy stories about fun games, not sad stories about an industry trying to deal with people and the internet. I’d guess that part of the problem is that there aren’t many games about the life of a pirate, but Freebooter is hoping to change that. It’s a procedurally generated open-world pirate game that’s just popped up on the horizon Kickstarter. Pitch below.
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Isometric Espionage: 40 Mins Of Black Annex

All of a sudden, espionage is cool again. I’d suggest it has something to do with WikiLeaks, but the last time I typed a nice thing about WikiLeaks my PC started making funny noises and a flower delivery truck spent three days outside my house. And I hadn’t ordered any flowers, sheeple. Anyway, I blew that van up and then the police came. Coincidence? I think not. So now I’m writing about Black Annex from the front room of the Cuban embassy: Developer Lance E. McDonald streamed it as part of the Greenlight SuperShow, showing off his incredibly silly strategy action game. I think it looks rather lovely.
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