Cardboard Children – On Dungeons & Dragons

By Robert Florence on February 24th, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

Hello youse.

Where would we be without Dungeons & Dragons? A few days ago I ran a live session of 5th Edition D&D at Glasgow Film Festival, and it was a really fun experience. I’ll be talking about that session in some detail next week when I review 5th Edition itself, but let’s spend this week just reminiscing about Dungeons & Dragons, and thinking about everything that Dungeons & Dragons means to people like us.

And by “people like us” I mean people who like Dungeons. And Dragons.

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Telltale And Lionsgate Mixing Games With Filmed Episodes

By Alice O'Connor on February 24th, 2015 at 8:00 pm.

I have this great idea for a game about Alex, Nicky, Poussey, and Flaca becoming BFFs. Also, I hope Flaca becomes prominent enough to join group cast photos with Season 3.

Mad Men, Orange Is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, Weeds, and other popular collections of moving pictures are not strictly connected to this, or I don’t think they are, but they work all right as an intro. Lionsgate, the production company behind them (with distributing and producing fingers in film pies such as The Hunger Games too), have cosied up to Telltale Games. Lionsgate have “made a significant investment” in the Wolf Among Us and Walking Dead devs, they announced today.

Together, they plan to work on original creations and Telltale’s idea for a part-game, part-filmed thingy episodic format called a ‘Super Show’.

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Wot I Think: Hand of Fate

By Alec Meer on February 24th, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

uh, you really should learn how to fast shuffle, dude

Hand of Fate [official site] is a CCG/roguelite in which a masked, magical figure challenges you to play an increasingly deadly card game against him, switching to high-speed, stabby third-person combat whenever you get into a fight. It’s out now.

The reason I so often want to play boardgames despite having a hard drive full of more videogames than I could ever hope to complete isn’t simply because occasional contact with other human beings is unfortunately necessary in order to remember how to talk. It’s because having an opponent who voices their frustration and exhilaration as the game goes for or against them makes it seem so much more than it is. It becomes a true contest, its cards and dice these physical extensions of your will to defeat another lifeform. Videogames, usually, offer us the canned, meaningless soundbytes of a hundred thousand slain foes, but they don’t often offer us a single, overarching opponent who lets slip irritation or indulges in crowing. They’ll often offer us someone we want to defeat because they’re shown to do terrible things or have a skull for a face, but they very rarely offer us someone we want to defeat purely because they are our rival.
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Touch The Sky: Sid Meier’s Starships Release On March 12

By Graham Smith on February 24th, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

In January, Firaxis announced Sid Meier’s Starships [official site], a new, small-scale space game that’s actually designed by the name in its title. Now we know that it’s coming next month on March 12th, which gosh, is only a couple of weeks away. If only all marketing campaigns were so brief.

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Hands On: Hearts Of Iron IV

By Adam Smith on February 24th, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Hearts of Iron [official site] is my Moby Dick. I’ve spent an inordinate portion of my adult life playing grand strategy games, particularly those of the Paradox variety. I’m slightly unusual in that Europa Universalis wasn’t my gateway game – I entered the fold by means of the first Crusader Kings, which swiftly became one of my favourite games, despite its problems. From there I moved to Europa Universalis II and struggled to infiltrate the colonial powers of Victoria. It wasn’t until the sequel that I learned to enjoy the nineteenth century.

Hearts of Iron IV might finally bring me into the heart of the twentieth century.

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Gridlock: GTA V Delayed Again

By Adam Smith on February 24th, 2015 at 4:00 pm.

Where is it? Where is the GTA?

It’s time for the February Edition of the monthly “Grand Theft Auto V Delay” post.

“Our apologies to PC gamers worldwide who have been counting down the days until the launch of the game, but a bit more time is needed to ensure that the game is as polished as possible, and to make certain that both Heists and the GTA Online experience are ready to roll out on day one for PC. As a gesture of thanks for your understanding, we will grant anyone who has pre-ordered the game an additional $200,000 in-game cash for use in GTA Online.”

The new release date is April 14th. The next release date is unknown at this time.

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Star Citizen FPS, Social Features Coming “In Short Order”

By Graham Smith on February 24th, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

Star Citizen [official site] is like the videogame eight-year-olds design on notebook paper when they’re supposed to be doing homework, only with actual development expertise and money behind it. That alone makes it fascinating. In his latest “Letter from the Chairman“, chief eight-year-old Chris Roberts says that they’ll soon be pulling those disparate notebook pages together, with “Arena Commander 1.1 (now with REC!), the FPS module and the so-called ‘social module,’ our first foray into the persistent universe” all due soon.

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Plutoku: A Pleasing Riff On Sudoku

By Philippa Warr on February 24th, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

I demand fiendishness

Here’s a tiny puzzle game which riffs on the principles of sudoku puzzles. It’s called Plutoku and was made by a group of students for a class.

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Wot I Think: Frozen Cortex

By Fraser Brown on February 24th, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Frozen Cortex [official site], formerly Frozen Endzone, is a futuristic American Football analogue where surprisingly graceful robots take the place of fleshy, armour-clad men. It’s evocative of Speedball and Blood Bowl, but it’s really Frozen Synapse wrapped in the theme of competitive team sports. The result’s a purely strategic and tactical game, entirely absent RNG, with players taking their turns simultaneously. I’m quite bad at it.

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Work A Cybernetic Implant Support Line In Bionic Bliss

By Alice O'Connor on February 24th, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

We can fix this!

I feel anxious when I load a game to find a static view of a desk or computer terminal. Will I find the tension and jumpscares of Five Nights at Freddy’s or the grinding dread of Papers, Please? Bionic Bliss [official page] offers neither, though it might be even more horrifying to some. We work at a call centre on a helpline, see, dealing with malfunctioning cyberlimbs in the cyberfuture. It’s short, fun, silly, and free.

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Freeware Garden: Off-Peak

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on February 24th, 2015 at 11:00 am.

Off-Peak, the first game I know of that has been created by a cellist — Archie Pelago’s Cosmo D– is much more than an audio-visual experiment with an appropriately excellent soundtrack. It is a wonderfully odd first person adventure game taking place in a cavernous train station with the kind of geometrically wrong architecture one could only find in Kubrick’s version of The Shining.

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A Leaked Look At The Cancelled Legacy Of Kain: Dead Sun

By Alice O'Connor on February 24th, 2015 at 10:00 am.

Cast your mind back to 2013, when Square Enix announced the first new Legacy of Kain game in a decade. Well. Sorta. Nosgoth is set in the same universe as the vamp ‘em up series, but a free-to-play multiplayer game rather than the usual singleplayer murder adventure. Well!

Turns out, according to whispers and rumours, Nosgoth was the spun-off multiplayer side from a Legacy of Kain game cancelled in 2012. Made by Climax Studios, it was to be named Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun. And now you can watch half an hour of leaked footage which, if not real, would have been a monumental effort to fake.

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Sikk Tricks And Polarity Flips: FutureGrind

By Alice O'Connor on February 24th, 2015 at 9:00 am.

“Pull a sikkie you ningbot!” I yelled last night as I span through the air, throwing horns, and nailing a perfect landing on my skateboard or hoverboard or whatever cool ‘alternative’ transportation it is I’m riding really well in this true story. “Your neutron flow’s reversed, you legger!” Yeah, pret-ty cool all right. I’m sure this experience will carry over into FutureGrind [official site], which has caught my eye this morning with its first trailer.

It’s a sikk trikk simulator with a futurebike bouncing between two rails, flipping and grinding and zooming and being totally rad, howies.

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