Interview: Humble Bundles Raise $50 Million For Charity

By Duncan Geere on December 16th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Humble Bundles have helped raise $50 million for charity since the service’s launch in 2010. That’s a staggering amount of money, raised by people who love games, through a system that let’s people pay what they want. The money has gone to over 25 different charities, to help fund healthcare, bring food and water to those in need, and to help those with disabilities play games – among many, many others.

To mark the occasion, we asked Duncan Geere to have a chat with co-founder John Graham about the charity efforts, what he thinks of Steam curators, and why the future of digital distribution is colosseum deathmatches.

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Shifting Snows Bring 6.83 Dota 2 Patch

By Philippa Warr on December 16th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Dunkin' in a winter wonderland

Dota 2’s Shifting Snows patch notes have just been released offering a number of hero tweaks, game balance changes and – if you’re feeling grumpy about the lack of Frostivus this year – the snowy winter map makeover.

Having a skim through what Shifting Snows (or 6.83 to give it its less poetic title) has to offer a few things stood out on first pass, particularly with regard to Pudge, Lifestealer and Sniper.

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Have You Played… Syndicate?

By Alec Meer on December 16th, 2014 at 3:30 pm.

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

I’m playing Satellite Reign right now, so the Bullfrog subversive squad-shooter which heavily inspired it is very much on my mind. SR marks a sea-change: a game that’s been bewilderingly ignored by studios for decades is only now getting the follow-up it deserves.

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NEO Scavenger Is Out Now, Hints For “Next Thing”

By Graham Smith on December 16th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

I spot Adam looking for me in the dark and edge closer. Adam swings blindly and misses. I tackle him to the ground and start kicking. When he passes out, I stop – I wouldn’t normally, but he’s a friend – and start rumbling around in his pockets. Nothing. I check for a plastic bag and – yes! Inside: the rights to review turn-based, permadeath RPG NEO Scavenger. I scurry off into the night… and die three days later from the Blue Rot I caught from Adam.

NEO Scavenger is out of Early Access.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Has A Second Playable Character

By Graham Smith on December 16th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Last week CD Projekt Red released a new trailer for The Witcher 3 and teased that one of the characters within it – other than Geralt, obv – would be playable. Is it the cowering man who whimpers and narrates the introduction? Is it one of the Wild Hunt baddies Geralt slays throughout, or one of the horses they dismount from? Is it– Oh, wait – yeah, it’s the lady in the header image of this post. Ciri – a character referenced in The Witcher 1, with a big role in the books and TV series, who can teleport and who is Geralt’s Witcheress apprentice.

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You Can Go Home Again: Fullbright Talk Tacoma

By Alec Meer on December 16th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

Earlier this month, Gone Home developers Fullbright dropped a trailer for their follow-up, Tacoma. It’s set on a space station! People talk to each other! The gravity ain’t all there! There’s a toilet! And, er, that’s about all we found out. So let’s find out some more, by talking to Fullbright’s Steve Gaynor. Discussed: micro-gravity, Demolition Man, Chris Hadfield, being ‘socially conscious’ devs, accidental BioShock inspirations, what of Gone Home can and can’t work in a fantastical setting, System Shock, locked doors and whether Tacoma is more or less not-a-game than Gone Home was or wasn’t.
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Fullbright: Tacoma’s BioShock Similarities “Not Deliberate”

By Alec Meer on December 16th, 2014 at 12:30 pm.

Gone Home developers Fullbright have shed a little more light on their so-far cryptic follow-up, Tacoma. The space station-set exploration title is due for release in 2016, but gave away little in its announcement trailer. In a forthcoming interview with RPS, Fullbright’s Steve Gaynor revealed that “you can tell from the teaser that it’s in micro-gravity; stuff is floating around. And some of the implications that has for the relationship that the player can have to the space that you’re exploring, that you couldn’t have in a terrestrial setting, is really exciting to us.”
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Freeware Garden: A Date In The Park

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 16th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Awww, young love. Can seem so tacky when you are cynical, so naively passionate and yet so very adorable. Even when it involves a slightly obsessive young man and, as in the case of A Date In The Park, pointing-and-clicking at things that include at least one duckling. Then again, this relatively short adventure game does come from the creators of Mudlarks and thus both a decent amount of strangeness and some ’90s styled digitised graphics are to be expected.

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Valve “Would Not Publish” Hatred, Deletes From Greenlight

By John Walker on December 16th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Destructive Creations’ Hatred looks horrid. There’s little doubt about that. It’s a mass-murder simulator, created seemingly in order to offend, and it looks tacky and unpleasant. But then, you know, it’s allowed to be that if it wants to be. It’s not, however, allowed to be sold on Steam. Valve has taken the move to delist the game from Greenlight within a couple of hours of its appearance, despite its showing enormous popularity amongst potential customers. Which asks the question, what are Valve’s criteria for accepting a game?

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Side-Scrolling RPG LISA Is In A Mess

By John Walker on December 16th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

There may be a good game somewhere underneath the unexplained mess that is LISA. I’ve yet to find it, despite watching its unskippable, fifteen minute long intro four times now. I know there’s good to be found here, but it’s worth mentioning the state the game’s been released in.

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Cacowards Celebrate 2014’s Best Doom Mods And Levels

By Alice O'Connor on December 16th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

THAT DEMON SNATCHED MY TROPHY

John Romero celebrated Doom’s 21st birthday last week by sharing a load of neat-o unseen art and photographs from his personal archive, but in my gushing I missed a big Doom birthday tradition. For 11 years now, the Doomworld community have marked the day with the Cacowards, a celebration of the Doom mapping and modding community’s best from the past year. They’re still going strong! If you’re out of touch with recent Doom developments but fancy playing something new, the 2014 Cacowards winners are a fine place to start.

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Stop! Sign Motion Demo Ahead

By Alice O'Connor on December 16th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

My favourite road sign is the graffitied 'STOP for me it's the CLAW'

A world where people in traffic signs and other warning notices are alive, and can run, jump, and swing on bits from other signs? That’s a nice setup for a quirky aesthetic, that, and it’s the idea behind Sign Motion. We’re taking a child escaped from a school crossing sign on a merry adventure of puzzle-platforming, doing all the rope-swinging, crate-pushing, obstacle-dodging, poison gas-avoiding one would expect from the genre. What’s going on beneath an interesting look? You can feel for yourself, as a demo has arrived a while after its release on Steam.

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Premature Evaluation: The Deer God

By Marsh Davies on December 15th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

A staggering vision.

Each week Marsh Davies launches himself into the bestial bloodbath that is Early Access and comes out with whatever stories and/or handfuls of porcupine innards he can find. This week he gets his game on in the weird woodland-themed survival-platformer hybrid that is The Deer God.

And today in Least Fulfillable Game Development Promises: The Deer God “will challenge your religion and your platforming skills”. Presumably they didn’t hit the stretch goal for a full Damascene Conversion, but, still, that’s a loftier aim than making the player John Romero’s bitch. The Kickstarter blurb also mentions that the game is “dedicated to a small cardinal, whom I ran over recently,” which, if taken in the spirit of Thomas More, might well involve a robust challenge to religion – but I think the author probably just means the bird.

In the event, The Deer God has only challenged my patience so far, but it does start out with a little doctrinal shake up: a hunter reaches the Pearly Gates – via a gruesome mauling by wolves – and discovers that God is, in fact, a ruminant. And She isn’t best pleased about his penchant for venison burgers. Cue reincarnation as a baby deer, forced into a fittingly punitive collision of platformer, endless-runner and survival roguelike.

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