Make Something That Makes Something At ProcJam

Last year’s ProcJam produced talks worth watching about the current state of procedural generation, while the game jam’s participants produced a number of fun games to play. Now the dates and speakers have been announced for ProcJam 2015, which will run November 7th to November 16th.

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Wadjet Eye Going Post-Apocalyptic With Shardlight

Hullo, sorry, me again, on my final round of clearing up left-over newsbits from when I was on holiday. Such as: the fine folks of Wadjet Eye announced their next lo-fi adventure game, Shardlight [official site]. Set in a plague-ridden post-apocalyptic land, Shardlight will see an infected lady trying to find a cure, maybe taking on the shadowy government, and maybe saving herself. Spring 2016 is when you should expect it.

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Premature Evaluation: Angels Fall First

One of the emerging themes of these alt-texts appears to be how useless humans are at anticipating anything outside of their immediate experience - whether that’s preparing for a fringe weather event like a flash flood or appreciating the essential inhumanity of a non-biological super intelligence. It’s particularly true in science fiction, where we frequently find implausible projections of earth-bound 20th century life. I think I’ve quoted Solyaris’s drunken scientist before, as he complains how inward-looking humanity is in its pursuit of the stars: “We just want to extend the earth up to the cosmos's borders. We don't want any more worlds. Only a mirror to see our own in.” There’s nothing more emblematic of this than our inability to imagine space combat in anything other than direct analogies to 20th century naval and aerial warfare.

Each week Marsh Davies screeches out the airlock as part of a frontline assault upon the forces of Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or makes no appreciable difference to the war effort whatsoever. This week he’s fodder for the 64-man battles of Angels Fall First, a promising indie alternative to the likes of Battlefront, with space combat to boot.

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Wot I Think: Bedlam

You wait forty years for a game about jumping between video games, and two come at once. A couple of weeks after we saw Davey Wreden’s experimental project The Beginner’s Guide, we now have Bedlam [official site]. (No, not that one. The other one.) Based on Christopher Brookmyr’s book of the same name, and written by the author, this is a tale of being trapped inside the history of first-person shooters. Here’s wot I think:

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Heating Up! Firewatch Coming In February 2016

Whatcha watching?

Fine-looking first-person explore-o-adventure-a-mystery Firewatch [official site] will arrive for Windows, Mac, and Linux on February 9th, 2016, developers Campo Santo announced today. Firewatch, if you’ve missed it, is a thriller of sorts set in the wilds of Wyoming. John played a bit and dug it, and you can carry a tortoise, and gosh dang its trees are gorgeous.

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Crows Crows Crows Kicks Off With An ARG

A couple of days ago William Pugh – one half of the team that brought us The Stanley Parable – teased a new development team, and a new game to be announced soon. It seems he’s not going to be making it easy for anyone, as it’s kicking off with an ARG. About Crows.

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End Times: Europa Universal IV’s Million-Man Battle

Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy games create extraordinary scenarios. Often they’re based around small, local events – everyone seems to love sharing Crusader Kings II‘s twisted family trees and tales of incest, treachery and knives in the dark – but occasionally a story emerges that shows how preposterous and impressive these games can be at the other end of the scale. I’ve never seen anything quite like this million-man battle from Europa Universalis IV [official site] though.

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Back To The Footie: Rocket League’s DeLorean DLC


For a few years now, internauts have enjoyed editing stills from Back to the Future Part II to pretend today’s the date young Marty McFly travels forward to – the time when we should all ride hoverboards and feed our cars garbage. Well, that date is really for really reals almost here – October 21st, 2015 – and it’s being marked in a fine way by Rocket League [official site].

Cry “Great Scott!” and (in excited confusion) “Wubba lubba dub-dub!” as Psyonix are only flipping putting Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine into their footie-with-cars game. It will not travel through time. It will cost you $2.

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Wot I Think: 80 Days

Videogames can take you on a thousand different adventures, but few offer the thrill of travel as 80 Days does. It’s a story game adaptation of Around The World In 80 Days, and it’s accordingly full of exciting, exotic locations to visit, with capers to pull, revolutions to incite and derring-do to perform at many of them. Yet it’s in the quiet moments that it best captures the sensation of going on a journey. For me those moments were the mathematician I met, full of hope for the future of her home country, and the air pirate who kidnapped me in northern Europe but then entrusted me with delivering something personal to her. For you, they might be very different – but wherever you go, the appeal is the same. 80 Days is full of romance, and mystery, and intimacy, and a deep, abiding sense of melancholy, because it understands that what make journeys and adventures compelling isn’t only the mutinies you lead, but the people you meet along the way. It is consequently the most human game I’ve ever played.

Here’s Wot I Think.

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Tales From The Borderlands Wrapping Up Next Week

Yes, I know this screen isn't from episode 5.

It seems RPS mostly ran tickety-boo while I was on holiday last week but – gasp! – what’s this, an oversight? You guys! I can’t believe you didn’t mention that the final episode of Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands [official site] will be out next week, on October 20th. Tch. Clearly I should never go on holiday ever again.

I’ve more catching-up of my own to do, mind – I really enjoyed the first few episodes of Tales but I’m one behind. Here, come have a peek at episode 5.

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Have You Played… The Guild 2

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

The Guild 2 does one of the best things a game can do – it takes a genre not usually associated with roleplaying and slaps a life simulation on top of it. I might be the kind of nerd who’d happily play a 15th century economic strategy game even if it were made of spreadsheets and history lessons, but throw in a spot of family management and everything becomes more immediate and personal.

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Stars Amongst The Stars In Star Citizen

Hollywood actors including Harry Potter‘s Gary Oldman, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back‘s Mark Hamill, Sliders‘ John Rhys-Davies, Volume‘s Andy Serkis, Eastenders‘ Craig Fairbrass, and GILLIAN CHUFFING ANDERSON are lending their voices and faces to Squardron 42, the single-player side of Star Citizen [official site].

Creator Chris Roberts’s years in Hollywood may not have produced much of note, but his crowdfunded space ‘em up has let him pull together a pret-ty swish cast. Fresh from his debut at the CitizenCon shindig over the weekend, here’s an eerie virtual Gary Oldman spouting jingoism as a space-American:

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Sirs, You Are Being Hunted: Multiplayer Added

When I pop open and drink bottles I find in bushes, people gasp and scuttle away in horror. Yet it’s cause for celebration when we virtually get together with pals to drink cyber bushbeer. Go figure. The point is: steampunk countryside survive ‘em up Sir, You Are Being Hunted [official site] has finally added multiplayer.

RPS co-founder Jimmy Ro-ro is one of the folks behind Sir, I should of course mention, but I’ve only met him a few times myself and certainly never when sober so I couldn’t tell you much about him. He’s shorter than me, and I don’t care about the rest.

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