Posts Tagged ‘alpha’

Impressions: Hack ‘N’ Slash

By Craig Pearson on May 19th, 2014.

The first thing that happens in Hack ‘N’ Slash is the player is given a weapon, a sword, and then it breaks. Beneath the sword’s external stabby part is a USB interface. A smarter person would point out how this is a microcosm of the game, because you solve puzzles by peeling away the game’s outer layer to manipulate the code beneath the surface. Me? I’ll just lazily use it as a way of introducing the concept and then hop into the game proper. Oh, and I’ll also say it’s great.

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As Pure As The Driven: SNOW’s M3 Alpha Adds Top Hats

By Graham Smith on May 13th, 2014.

Just like professional skiers.

Can there be any more fundamental a post to a PC blog – any more pure a post, to justify my headline pun – than writing about the inclusion of hats in a free-to-play game? SNOW, the skiing game currently in Steam Early Access, has long had head-warming beanies and the like, but the latest update introduces the founder set. That’s the top hat, moustache and monocle you see in the image above.

If John was here and he was to see this and say “That’s all there is,” I would respond to him by saying, “You know nothing John, SNOW update M3 also includes engine upgrades, a better sense of speed and more.” There’s a video detailing all these changes below.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Caribbean!

By Christopher Livingston on May 12th, 2014.

I'm not going to suddenly wake up in a Ubisoft office, right?

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, sailing the low-res seas in sandbox RPG Caribbean!

I race across the open sea, bearing down on an English convoy. I have twice as many ships and nearly three times their crew, so this will be an easy kill, another feather in my tricorn hat. Or it would be, if my crew didn’t pick that precise moment to mutiny, seize control of one of my ships, turn and attack me instead of the English, board me, and pummel me into unconsciousness on my own deck. Pirates. If you can’t trust them, who can you trust?
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The Lighthouse Customer: The Golf Club

By Christopher Livingston on May 5th, 2014.

Grazing: the eco-friendly way to keep your greens well-groomed.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, diabolical golf course creation in The Golf Club.

It’s been a tough round of golf. I got a ball stuck on the balcony of a clubhouse. I got mired down in a sand trap that was five hundred yards long. I’ve had to play around trees, boulders, and a fairway covered with sailboats. And now I’m attempting to sink a putt through a massive crowd of grazing deer. Who the hell designed this terrible golf course? Oh right, it was me.

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Prison Architect Alpha 20 Sends You To, Er, Prison

By Graham Smith on April 29th, 2014.

How many posts have I written about Prison Architect alphas since joining RPS last October? Checking the tag page for the game suggests seven thousand. It’s not my fault, it’s just that each one adds a feature or set of features I find irresistible. The latest, alpha 20, introduces a set of failure states to the game, including the ability to be convicted of criminal negligence. You will then “spend time within your own jail as a prisoner.”

The regular developer video showing the new features is below.

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The Lighthouse Customer: The Age of Decadence

By Christopher Livingston on April 28th, 2014.

So you're saying you DON'T want to share your campfire?

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, isometric turn-based RPG combat (and attempting to avoid it) in The Age of Decadence.

Imagine walking out of a store and discovering that not only have you been pickpocketed while shopping, but the expensive item you bought is actually a worthless trinket. When you complain to a city guard, he suspects you’re the real thief, and when a friendly citizen offers to help, you soon find yourself in an alley surrounded by armed thugs. You’ve been ripped off, robbed, accused, mislead, and stabbed to death, all in a single afternoon. Welcome to The Age of Decadence! A quote from the tutorial seems fitting: “Remember to save, you are going to die soon.”
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The Lighthouse Customer: Viscera Cleanup Detail

By Christopher Livingston on April 21st, 2014.

Really? You couldn't have used a pen and paper?

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, space station sanitation in Viscera Cleanup Detail.

I’ve been picking internal organs off the floor, mopping blood off the walls, cramming severed limbs and heads into an incinerator, and I’ve only just now noticed the shell casings, dozens of them, scattered around the room. In every other game, spent shell casings vanish when you’re not looking. If you ever wondered where they end up, it’s here, in Viscera Cleanup Detail, where they wait to be picked up, one by one. It makes me desperately wish for that Bioshock Infinite vigor that lets you collect bullets into a big hovering mass. Of course, vigors like that tend to lead to scenes of carnage like this. A simple magnet on a stick might be a better idea.
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The Lighthouse Customer: Space Engineers (Survival Mode)

By Christopher Livingston on April 14th, 2014.

This thing better have at least one cup holder.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, space-based gathering, crafting, and dying in Space Engineers’ new survival mode.

There’s a large red and white spaceship, its front end crumpled after what must have been a spectacular nosedive. There’s a tiny yellow space engineer inspecting the wreck, armed with only a handful of tools. There’s the inky blackness of outer space, the comforting glow of a distant sun, and an asteroid field of stationary rocks, chock-full of ore and minerals to mine. As the astronaut floats there, enchanted by the view, he notices a few of the asteroids — quite a few, in fact — have given up waiting for him to visit them and taken a more proactive stance. They’re delivering themselves to him. Well, at him, anyway. In an awful hurry.

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Spike The Earth: KeeperRL Alpha

By Adam Smith on April 14th, 2014.

Every morning, my inbox contains at least one email pointing in the direction of a less complicated and/or complex Dwarf Fortress. There was a time when I believed in the dream of an approachable Dwarf Fortress with a friendly interface but I’m starting to think that even the slightest simplification invalidates the comparison. Dwarf Fortress is complexity, of simulation and control, and the games that do have something in common with it often have far more in common with more traditional management sims or roguelike adventures. KeeperRL, sensibly and pleasingly, plays more like top-down Dungeon Keeper than Dwarf Fortress with the edges smoothed and the corners cut. The alpha is available and crowdfunding has begun.

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The Lighthouse Customer: DayZ (Experimental Branch)

By Christopher Livingston on April 7th, 2014.

Give me that old-time zombie religion.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, survival horror in DayZ’s experimental branch.

While nearly two million players have paid to act as DayZ’s beta testers, there’s a much smaller subset of lighthouse customers acting as beta testers to those beta testers. On a handful of DayZ experimental branch servers, changes are rolled out and played with weeks before being introduced to the early access game at large. This week I opted into the experimental branch, keen to inhale the future of DayZ before most players even get a whiff.

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The Lighthouse Customer: 1849

By Christopher Livingston on March 31st, 2014.

No spaghetti in this western, but there is a bakery.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, wild west management in 1849.

How-do, pardner! I know you’re accustomed to a ton of shootin’, lootin’, rootin’ and/or tootin’ in your wild west games, but rarely do they address the real complexities of frontier life. For instance, where did the fabric needed to sew all those enormous calico dresses come from? Who provided the lumber and fashioned the boards to build the O.K. Corral? How did gunslingers acquire olive oil to daintily dip their sourdough bread into? Finally, those head-scratchin’, long-lingerin’ questions have been answered in the early access wild-west management game 1849 from Somasim. Reach for it, cowboy! Not your gun, your sales ledger!

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One For You, Alpha 19 For Me: Prison Architect Adds Taxes

By Graham Smith on March 31st, 2014.

Sexy.

After recent updates added bulletproof vests and shotguns, it was probably inevitable that Prison Architect would continue it’s escalation towards more and more exciting additions with each alpha. The trend continues in alpha 19 with a broad revision to the game’s finance systems, which introduces new rules for borrowing, the need to pay corporation tax, and the ability to sell shares in your prison to investors.

Video update below while I try to explain why I’m not being sarcastic.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Planet Explorers

By Christopher Livingston on March 24th, 2014.

Could you dinosaurs move? I'm TRYING to EXPLORE.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, exploring a planet in the appropriately named Planet Explorers.

The title of the game is direct, to be sure. In Planet Explorers, a planet exploration game by Pathea Games, there is a planet, and you explore it. If that doesn’t sound like enough, there’s also resource gathering, crafting, building, and tons of alien creatures to discover, by which I mean “slaughter and turn into money.” Get ready, innocent alien planet! Humans have arrived, and we’ve brought hunting, real estate development, and capitalism.

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