Posts Tagged ‘alpha’

The Lighthouse Customer: Windward

By Christopher Livingston on October 20th, 2014.

Diplomacy in action.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, sailing the shimmering, procedurally generated seas of action RPG Windward.

Glimmering seas and snapping sails. Pirate ships and plundered booty. Factions fighting for control of ports and lighthouses. Cannonfire, ship-to-ship combat, pitched battles and daring escapes. Really, the only thing missing from Windward is a rousing sea shanty. Don’t worry, though. I wrote my own.

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Diplomatic Opportunity: Gal Civ 3 Beta 2 Adds Lots

By Graham Smith on October 17th, 2014.

Update: Stardock have now released a video showing the diplomacy feature in action.

When Brendan looked at Galactic Civilization 3‘s beta back in August, he deemed it not ready for consumption. It’s a 4X series that’s beloved for the anecdotes it creates for players through its personality-driven AI and the ability to conquer galaxies not just with superior numbers but by, say, destroying all the stars or broadcasting better television. None of that choice was in the game at that point, despite the £30/$45 price tag.

Now there’s a lot more of it. Beta 2 has just gone live, which adds diplomacy and trading and personalities and a ton of new ways to win the game, including through influence, alliances, ascension and research. The full list of changes is too vast to list here, but I’ve picked out a few below.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Interstellar Marines

By Christopher Livingston on October 14th, 2014.

I don't think he wants to play a nice game of chess.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, screaming in space can definitely be heard in Interstellar Marines.

As an interstellar marine, it goes without saying that I’m the best of the best. I’m tough as nails. I’ve seen it all and I’m ready for anything. I scream like a preschooler and fire entire clips in a messy panic. Okay, maybe the last one doesn’t fit with the image, but I can’t help it: when malfunctioning robots run at me from the darkness I scream. Then I fire a flood of panicky bullets into them far longer than strictly necessary. Then I run away and try to hide. I’m an interstellar marine. And I’m terrified.

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Life is Feudal Alpha: Is It Worth Playing Yet?

By Angus Morrison on October 10th, 2014.

They don’t teach Terraforming like they used to.

Life is Feudal wants to be a “realistic-fictional Medieval hardcore sandbox MMORPG”, give or take an adjective.

A warning before we fish for the meaning in that sea of descriptors: Life is Feudal is Early Access, a point the devs take pains to communicate, but this isn’t ARMA III Early Access. It’s not even DayZ Early Access, which was held together by duct tape and rags on release. Life is Feudal is sketch-on-the-back-of-a-napkin Early Access, and you’ll have to squint to see what the picture is.

Swear fealty at this stage and you’re buying a vertiginous £25 worth of idea. But there it is, staking a claim on the Steam bestseller list. I struck out to found my fiefdom and see how its promises are being put into play.

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The Lighthouse Customer: I Shall Remain

By Christopher Livingston on October 6th, 2014.

You're doing fine. You got this. I'll hang back.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, being a terrible apocalypse pal with top-down zombie ARPG I Shall Remain.

I like to think of myself as a selfless person. I donate to charity, I pick up litter in parks, and help my elderly neighbor with her chores. If I come across a stray dog I’ll work tirelessly to find its owner, and if I find a spider in our home I’ll carefully carry it outside, find a nice bush for it to live in, give it a bag lunch and a tender kiss on the forehead, and check on it periodically to make sure it’s getting on okay. In a zombie apocalypse, however, all that seems to goes out the window from zed one. There’s no I in TEAM, but there is one in I Shall Remain. Actually, there’s two. They both stand for ME. Everyone else can get stuffed.

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The Lighthouse Customer: TUG

By Christopher Livingston on September 29th, 2014.

I'm here to chew gum and kick ass and I'm all out of... enthusiasm.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, a little digging, a little building, and a lot of failing in survival crafting sandbox TUG.

I’ve survived the survival modes of many survival games, and I went into TUG figuring it wouldn’t be any different: I’d whip up a house, dig a mine, get my smelt on, build an arsenal, kill whatever animals were around, and consider the game conquered. Instead, I built half a house, dug a shallow hole, got killed by a cat, and spent the rest of the time fighting with the smallest backpack in video game history.

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Prison Architect Alpha 25 Adds New Ways To Fail

By Graham Smith on September 25th, 2014.

All strategy games strive to reach a certain balance; the point at which the player feels responsible for their successes and failures, but where the simulation is so complex and alive that a perfect, static system can never be built. That’s apparently what motivates Prison Architect‘s 25th alpha, “one of the biggest updates” Introversion say they’ve ever done. The main new addition is prisoner reputations, a system of personality types that will make creating a perfectly functioning, forever peaceful prison practically impossible.

As ever, there’s a video talkthrough and some more detail of the changes below.

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The Lighthouse Customer: LA Cops

By Christopher Livingston on September 22nd, 2014.

I'm a 70's cop in LA. What the hell is a lift, turkey?

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, shooting thugs in their mugs and then shooting their drugs, with LA Cops.

I entered a mansion without a warrant. I shot dozens of suspects dead without identifying myself as a police officer. I destroyed several shipments of illegal drugs that could have served as evidence. And, I carelessly got my partner killed. Since I’m a cop in 1970′s Los Angeles, that’s all par for the course. But I also broke two doors! That’s property damage! Man, the Chief is gonna have my ass.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Recruits

By Christopher Livingston on September 8th, 2014.

I love the smell of tiny napalm in the morning.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, a tiny war with big stories in top-down action squad-shooter Recruits.

When games don’t have their own stories (and sometimes even when they do) I like to invent my own. Recruits, a game featuring tiny soldiers, is perfect for that, because while it gives each soldier a random, meaningless name, it also lets you create your own nicknames. This simple little feature makes all the difference. I mean, if Carl Arnold dies from enemy AK fire and Earl Lawson shreds himself with his own grenade, you don’t have much reason to care. But when Carl “Two Days left” Arnold and Earl “Girl Back Home” Lawson die, well, it’s tragic… though you totally saw that shit comin’.
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The Lighthouse Customer: Dex

By Christopher Livingston on August 25th, 2014.

I will punch out all of your elbow-blood! All of it!

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week: thugs, drugs, and alpha-induced amnesia in side-scrolling cyberpunk RPG Dex.

Behind one door, someone sells me noodles. Behind another, someone tries to punch me to death. I buy pornographic magazines and toilet paper, then walk down the street and pay for a stranger’s organ transplant. I upload a computer virus into a vending machine that sells condoms, then buy myself a set of cybernetic legs and visit a prostitute. Who am I? Where am I? Why am I doing these things? I’m Dex, I’m in a cyberpunk world, and I have absolutely no idea.

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What’s Yours Is Mined: Cloudbase Prime

By Adam Smith on August 22nd, 2014.

Cloudbase Prime is a first-person platformer with shooting elements. That’s a fine change from first-person shooters with ‘platforming elements’ in the form of a context-sensitive ‘jump’ button used once during a fourteen minute long singleplayer campaign. Originally created as part of the 7 Day FPS Challenge back in 2012, it’s a game about survival on a floating mining platform in deep space. Enormous robots are attacking the platform and your goal is to survive for as long as possible by propelling them (and yourself) from hex to hex. The key to your survival is not found in the barrel of a gun but in the terrain-manipulating Architect tool. The freshly baked alpha is free.

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Impressions: Galactic Civilizations 3

By Brendan Caldwell on August 21st, 2014.

Gal Civ 3 has warped from Early Access alpha to Early Access beta, and brought with it more (but not all) features to the famous, 4X strategy game. Is it worth your time or money yet? We sent Brendan to investigate.

Picture the scene. You are a peaceful, religious race of extra-terrestrials, but you are inexplicably at war with the three rival civilisations that surround you. Your people love you for your mindfulness but they are upset that they don’t have more money to spend. Your desert planet full of shopping centres is deeply unhappy. Your planet full of scorpions is booming. Huge lettering drops from the sky! GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Frozen State

By Christopher Livingston on August 18th, 2014.

We're gonna need a bigger everything.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, fighting the cold and popping pills in Frozen State.

There are a lot of ways to die in Frozen State, a top-down survival action RPG that takes place in a snowy abandoned city in Siberia. You can die from hunger or thirst, you can die from the cold, and you can get monstered to death by monsters. You also need to sleep from time to time, and while doing so you can die in all the ways I just listed. What follows is a chronicle of my first nine lives in Frozen State, in which I find those ways to die, and others, and a couple more.

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