What Was Prospero, The Fantasy Game Valve Never Made?

By Graham Smith on July 21st, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

The road not traveled is uninteresting to me when the road we are travelling is winding, densely populated and has no speed limit. (The road I’m talking about is videogames.) That didn’t stop me being intrigued to find out more about Prospero via the latest episode of Valve Time Database. Prospero was one of two game’s Valve were working on when the company was founded in 1996, and Valve Time Database is a series of short YouTube videos detailing elements of Valve’s universe of games.

Episode 3 contains previously unreleased screenshots of the never released game, along with quotes from Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw. I think the information is new, but either way it’s entertaining and embedded below.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

23 Comments »

Biblical Action: Super Noah’s Ark 3D

By Alice O'Connor on July 21st, 2014 at 11:00 am.

He's HELPING the animals.

I’m fascinated by attempts to remove violence from first-person shooters. One Wolfenstein 3D mod replaces enemies with giant coloured marbles and turns hanging skeletons to hanging pot plants, yet leaves in all the Nazi symbolism “in order to keep the original ‘spirit’ of the game.” That is, I think, a serious attempt at de-violenceing. More jokey is Happy Doom, where “you are a little boy who has a basket of flowers” and give them to “cloud people” to make them happy and sleep.

Super 3D Noah’s Ark, a game I never knew existed, was wholly serious. It’s essentially Wolfenstein 3D, and built on the Wolf3D engine, but with Noah running around the Ark, ‘feeding escaped animals’ using high-powered catapults. And now it’s been re-released.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

53 Comments »

FIFA 15 Highlights The Emotional Intelligence Of Footballers

By Graham Smith on July 21st, 2014 at 10:00 am.

There’s a point in the life cycle of any EA Sports series where, pressured by the need for new yearly features, the game dashes away from the reality of its simulated sport and straight into fantasy. In the old Tiger Woods golf games, that was being struck by lightning to charge up supershots. In FIFA 15, it’s positing a world in which footballers have something called “emotional intelligence.” As the trailer below outlines, players in the next iteration will experience the following feels: neutral, anger, delighted, alarmed, excited, surprise, disgust, tired, happy, sad, and calm.

If you’re going to do this, why not go further?

Read the rest of this entry »

, .

38 Comments »

Peeved Push Ups And Premium Memberships: The Sims 4

By Alice O'Connor on July 21st, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Bro out!

The word “bro” is tossed around a lot nowadays, but I can’t say I’ve ever met one of these curious beings. I’m choosing to treat a new The Sims 4 trailer as a documentary, 20 minutes teaching me about two bros who work out, bro out, party down, and die of laughter after their Kim Jong-un-lookalike housemate wees himself during a cupcake fire. What a strange bird, the bro.

The trailer also offers a glimpse of something as inevitable as a bro bump: Premium memberships.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

32 Comments »

The Sunday Papers

By Adam Smith on July 20th, 2014 at 1:08 pm.

Sundays are for balancing many interests and inputs, and realising that there aren’t enough windows in the world to see the whole picture. The International rumbles on, an unblinking machine that exhales dry ice as it calibrates the new theatre of esports live on stage and screen. Kill Screen’s reporter Darren Davis makes his debut at a live esports tournament and captures the exhileration and oddity.

As I said, I’ve never been to a live esports tournament. But once you’re there in the arena it’s hard not to feel like every other event is just talking shit. Valve has really outdone itself in terms of production and pageantry. This is not off-brand. This is the progamer tournament. Turns out, it has more in common with WWE than any pro sport. When Gabe Newell takes the stage to kick off the event, he steps through smoke and spotlights and may as well stop to flex. He speaks with the full-throated confidence of a wrestler at the peak of his narrative arch, bringing the crowd to a fever pitch in their reverence. This is Valve’s behemoth on Valve’s home turf.

Read the rest of this entry »

.

183 Comments »

The RPS Bargain Bucket: International Tiger

By Cassandra Khaw on July 19th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

There’s a certain poetry to the recent schedule of sporting events. First, we had the World Cup, which was rather widely celebrated (and criticized.) Now, we have the International, which is somewhat less maligned but just as adored. I’m of the opinion that the Olympics will probably never open a sub-section for esports, but it’s rather exciting to see video game competitions turning into a multi-million dollar affair. My nine-year-old self would laugh at you if you told her that, but she was also very easily entertained and would laugh at just about anything. ANYWAY. Here’s this week’s Bargain Bucket, and the compulsory plushie. I shall leave its champion to explain this week’s conspicuous absence of a bucket. Prepare the pitchforks.

Read the rest of this entry »

.

49 Comments »

S.EXE: Hentai Edition (NSFW)

By Cara Ellison on July 18th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

Nina and I are NSFWI have been aware, for a while at least, that for S.EXE you wanted me to do something on Hentai/eroge/H games, and so this week I fulfilled your wish with Da Capo.

For a pretty long time I didn’t want to cover Hentai, the main reason being that I couldn’t find one that appealed to my personal libido and I am very selfish. (Though when living in Japan I did spend a lot of time in manga shops and in sex shops merely attempting to understand the discourse around sex in Japan (I wasn’t getting laid at all).) (Maybe my lurking in those places was the reason?) But the other reasons I didn’t negotiate these waters sooner is that I find them full of problematic approaches to youth, incest, to consent, and to sex that even as an adult who enjoys a perverse fantasy or two it breaks me out of that and into the ‘this isn’t hot this is a nightmare’ mindset. It turns out even Hentai games with all men in them can be predicated on sexual assault scenarios. But I delve into Da Capo just for you, my dears.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

237 Comments »

Origami Army: Upside Down Dimensions

By Alec Meer on July 18th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Yesterday, Alice had a public rumination about what games news is/should be/can be, and it’s true to say that’s something which preoccupies all of us on RPS to some degree these days. In a world of instant headlines, Twitter, and charismatic people who can record response videos to anything within seconds of it happening, what purpose does ‘videogame news’ serve?

Well, yeah. Big question, innit? But I’m pretty cool with “I saw this trailer for this game, and it looked quite nice so I thought I’d show you” being part of the answer. The origami-styled Upside-Down Dimensions borrows liberally from Paper Mario, but frankly I don’t know why more games don’t.
Read the rest of this entry »

.

12 Comments »

Please Enjoy 8 Minutes of Alec Being Terrible At Point Perfect

By Alec Meer on July 18th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Point Pefect is a mouse-only, high precision action/reflex game which was released just this week. I thought I’d have a go at it, I thought I’d be pretty bad at it because I’m pretty bad at anything high precision, and I thought I’d film it too. Here you go!
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

2 Comments »

Sweet-Centred Discounts: Indie Piñata

By Adam Smith on July 18th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

If one thing has become clear to me over the last couple of years, it’s that Those Who Game need even more ways to spend their cash on discounted games. In the lull between digital sales events that are engineered with more precision than Black Friday’s SWAT support, wallets are exposed to a paltry forty two thousand bundles and Steam has not yet incorporated second-long flash sales into its infrastructure.

Good news arrives in the form of Indie Piñata, a collection of games selected by developers. They’re all on Steam and if you own one, you qualify for discounts on the rest. I’m not particularly interested in the discounts (too common), but I am intrigued by the idea of dev-curated collections. Particularly now that keeping track of ‘new’ releases on Steam has become rather difficult.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , .

12 Comments »

Why You – Even You – Should Watch The International Finals

By Alice O'Connor on July 18th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Spectacle!

By my watch, the main event of Valve’s $10 million Dota 2 tournament The International kicks off oooooh right about now in front of a sold-out crowd in Seattle. Gabe Newell will take to the stage and someone will yell out something trite about Half-Life 3. You should watch it. Not just because I think Dota 2′s one of the finest video games, but to see Valve’s pageantry. Big-money digital sport competitions in arenas will be A Thing for quite some time, it seems, and The International so far has put on the best show. With decent presenters, a solid between-game show, different ways to watch, and a general hum of excitement, it’s the event other games should be cribbing from.

Look, if you play Dota 2 you probably already know this stuff, but I’ll explain for everyone else.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

112 Comments »

Grimdark Adventuring: Tormentum Demo

By Alice O'Connor on July 18th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

You bet that statue's a puzzle!

Talk is cheap. You may get people to give your game the old Steam Greenlight within 23 days, but that doesn’t mean they’ll chip in to raise $9,000 for it. And while you can say you’re making a fantasy horror adventure game, that doesn’t mean it’ll be any good. Hoping to resolve all of this, OhNoo Studio have released a short demo for Tormentum – Dark Sorrow.

It’s all grim stone fortresses, torture chambers, ornate sinewy armour, dessicated worshippers, and classic adventure game puzzles–certainly everything I expected. Grab it for Windows or Mac.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

9 Comments »

It Lives Again: Blood Rises On Steam

By Adam Smith on July 18th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

If I wrote a post every time an old game popped up on Steam, I wouldn’t have time to gather my thoughts about new games, or to drink this delicious cuppa. I’d also be wasting a lot of words on Putt-Putt And Fatty Bear’s Flatulent Festival, along with various other fetid blasts from the past. Blood is different though. It isn’t a difficult game to find but when I spotted that it had emerged on Steam, I felt the butterflies that live in my stomach fluttering into action (assistance required – send a lepidopterist with a scalpel). It’s a brilliant FPS, with credible environments and intelligent enemy placement, particularly throughout the first episode, which I’ve probably played more than any other collection of levels.

Do not buy the sequel though. It’s a rotten mess.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

52 Comments »