Freeware Garden: You Were Made For Loneliness

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on July 29th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Freeware Garden searches the corners of the internet to highlight one free game every day.

Elizabeth Simins provided You Were Made For Loneliness with a brilliantly evocative opening illustration, that really sets the game’s mood and acts as a first warning of sorts. A warning followed by further trigger warnings for suicide, depression, and psychological abuse.

You Were Made For Loneliness, you see, is definitely not for everyone, but, for those who can brave disturbing scenes in their texty Twine games, it does offer both food for thought and some great, wild prose by Tsukareta*.

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Ben But No Dan: The Often-Ending Story

By Alice O'Connor on July 29th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Good old character creation!

“When’s the new Ben & Dan game coming?” the crowd throbbing around Dan Marshall pleads. Something about the way his shirt is always unbuttoned, inevitably one button beyond appropriate, makes people assume he’s in control. “You know, Son of Ben & Dan, or Revenge of the Balloon-Headed Mexican, or whatever it is, when oh when oh where oh why?”

You don’t need Dan. You probably don’t even want him. Ben Ward–the good half of Ben & Dan, the one to play pool with, who only teases kindly about your love life–has released a silly Twine game.

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Filmmakers Sourced: Saxxy Awards 2014 Announced

By Graham Smith on July 29th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

So saxxy it hurts.

Every year Valve hold the Saxxy Awards to encourage and round-up the very best Source Filmmaker creations, and every year the submissions are almost solely set inside the Team Fortress 2 universe. That’s perhaps because they’re Valve’s most expressive characters and because TF2′s manic world is most easily bent towards drama and comedy, but for the just-announced 4th annual Saxxy Awards, Valve are encouraging submissions from other games. Mainly: Portal 2.

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Deduction & Dress-Up: 23 Minutes Of Sherlock Gameplay

By Alice O'Connor on July 29th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

Sherlock Holmes is actually the one lying dead in this screenshot. What wizardry!

The Duke of Deduction and the Duchess of Disguise, they called Sherlock Holmes. Probably. Why not? Sure, whatever. A new Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments trailer demonstrates these skills, and though I might chortle at giving Holmes wild hair and a big old beard from his dress-up box of disguises, the deduction interests me. See, you’ll need to search, research, and scrutinise to collect clues, then connect these inside his noggin with mental string to draw conclusions.

And if that doesn’t have you curious, the 23-minute gameplay trailer opens with Watson dashing from cover to cover to duck flying bullets and I am exaggerating only through omission.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Factorio

By Christopher Livingston on July 28th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

The factory is a mess, but at least no one works here.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, building efficient machines to make other efficient machines in strategy game Factorio.

I’ve got coal-powered drills digging up resources, mechanical arms collecting the raw materials, and conveyor belts transporting it across the landscape where more arms collect it and deposit it into fabrication machines, after which the resulting product is plucked out by still more arms, dropped on more belts, moved on to more factories. Clouds of pollution fill the air, production lines twist and turn haphazardly, electrical poles and storage units appear to have been placed by a confused and drunken city planner. It’s a mess. A big mess. But it’s a beautiful mess, because it all works.

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#nosewers: First-Person Sneaker Neon Struct Shuns Sewers

By Alice O'Connor on July 28th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

You'll never see me, copper.

While John’s waging war on oceans (a traumatic crab experience as a child, perhaps?), I’ve decided that my first Official RPS Crusade will be against far less pleasant bodies of water. Cnut that I am, I set my throne before waves of lurid green sludge and futilely declare: no sewers.

I’ve chosen my first champion. A game bold enough to cut a sewer level because it wasn’t adding anything. A game that destroyed sewers even though you can probably, like, make a really powerful point about cyberpunk cities and waste flow and, like, society, yeah? Good on you, Neon Struct.

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Wot I Think: Bik

By Jon Blyth on July 28th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Please elaborate as I'm not sure whether to laugh.

Sometimes, you get a little glimpse of how you’re perceived by the world. That can be flattering, like when you leave a suicide note and hide in the wardrobe while everyone starts improvising really sweet eulogies over a human beatbox. Then there’s this line of an email, which neatly captures why I was considered appropriate for this review of sci-fi point-and-click adventure game Bik:

“The trailer maybe contains a scene in which an alien uses a machine to force feed poop into a child’s mouth? And you are that child!”

Some games writers focus on social justice, others carve themselves a sex niche. I’m the poop guy. Hi!

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Spruce Bruce: Lego Batman 3 – Beyond Gotham

By Adam Smith on July 28th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

If I decide to journey beyond Manchester of a weekend, I might wander as far as Sheffield or Leeds. Maybe a village pub if I’m in the mood for something a little more quaint. Occasionally, I’m even tempted to heard north, across the border into Scotland. Chances are, once I get beyond the front door of my flat, I’ll land in a local drinking haunt though.

A new trailer for Lego Batman 3 shows what happens when Bruce Wayne goes ‘beyond Gotham’. It’s space. He goes to space in some sort of BatRocket. I think he goes to other dimensions as well and at one point Robin Plasticman turns into a fighter plane (which makes more sense – thanks to @rhamorim for correcting my ludicrous error). This is why Wayne is a billionaire vigilante and I’m a dishevelled games journalist. The man has ambition (and bucketloads of inherited wealth).

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Grand Theft Oh Whoah: iCEnhancer Mod Updated

By Alice O'Connor on July 28th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Shiny.

Fan-made replacement models and textures whatnot have been jazzing up games for decades, but recent years have seen the curious development of custom cinematography. Tools like ENB and SweetFX jack into a game’s rendering pipeline, letting people create their own vision by tweaking things like lighting, shadows, colours, reflections, anti-aliasing, and all manner of blooms and blurs. While some try to bring a look closer to reality, others go more moody.

Perhaps the most popular of these for Grand Theft Auto IV is iCEnhancer, adding enough fancy effects and tonal tweaks to make a six-year-old game look fresh as a daisy. Version 3.0 has now arrived, with plenty of new prettiness and a little extra performance.

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Rock It, Raccoon: Zen Pinball 2 Guardians Of The Galaxy

By Adam Smith on July 28th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Zen Pinball 2 isn’t my digital pinball flavour of choice. I prefer the recreation of actual tables, even if sometimes imperfect, to the shiny Marvel and Star Wars licensed fare of Zen Studios. I still dabble in the lightshow occasionally though and a new Guardians of the Galaxy table seems like a good excuse to shake off the ball rust. Judging by the trailer (below), the new table will fall in the Zen tradition of ramp-heavy high-scoring theme park tables. Lots of bang for your buck (actually $2.99), but not necessarily a whole lot of skills and processes to learn.

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DevLog Watch: Everything Will Be Procedural Eventually

By Graham Smith on July 28th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

How many in-development games are there? There are infinite numbers of in-development games. Unfortunately not every one of those in-development games can afford the time or money to produce eye-catching trailers or to send out brain-catching press releases. Instead their harried creators make short GIFs and blog furiously about feature design, art creation and whatever remains on their todo lists.

These are devlogs. And this is where we collect the best of the week’s updates.

Procedural universes! Procedural world maps! Procedural dinosaurs!

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Take My Etc: Firefly Online Reunites TV Cast

By Alice O'Connor on July 28th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Look, haven't we all had our fingers fused together in sci-fi cowboy antics?

Firefly Online is clearly counting on the cancelled sci-fi show’s fanbase to carry it, and has revealed it’s hoping to lure them in by reuniting the core cast to voice virtual versions of their characters. Which will probably work. But it’s a tricky balance to strike: this will make more fans interested, but also raises development costs of a game based on a show that wasn’t popular enough to avoid cancellation. The game beneath the nostalgia will need to be good enough.

A few snaps of gameplay are in a new trailer. Come see.

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Pump Up The (Super Game) Jam: Episodes 2 and 3 Out Now

By Graham Smith on July 28th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

It takes at least two hoodies to make a game.

The concept is thus: take two game makers, one artist and one programmer, and challenge them to make a game in 48 hours. Film the process and release the result as a bundle including the documentary and the resulting game. It’s called Super Game Jam, the first episode was released two months ago, and episodes two and three just launched simultaneously late last week. That’s the news, but there are trailers and witterings below.

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