Posts Tagged ‘Early Access’

Every Death You Take: Perma-Permadeath in DayZ

By Christopher Livingston on October 23rd, 2014.

This town is, frankly, big enough for the two of us It's DayZ. It's huge.

Games with permadeath — wherein you start over completely when you die — provide certain stakes to a gaming session. Rather than reloading your last save after you die, you lose all your gear, you lose all your progress, and you essentially lose all the time you’ve spent playing up to that point. For a while now (a couple years, to be honest) I’ve been thinking about a way to up those stakes, to go a step beyond perma-death: perma-permadeath, where dying means you don’t just lose your stuff, you lose the game itself. Forever. Survival Week on RPS seems like an apt time to finally give it a try.

So, today I’ll play DayZ, and if I die, I won’t simply start over. I’ll stop playing DayZ, and I won’t play it again. For the rest of my life. For real.

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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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It’s A: Deathtrap Launching On Early Access Oct 22nd

By Graham Smith on October 14th, 2014.

Given the comments on our article about the closed beta, a lot of people are disappointed or nervous about Orcs Must Die!’s trip from cheery, co-op tower defense game to cheery, free-to-play MOBA-like. Deathtrap may satisfy, then.

It’s being made by Neocore, creators of The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing, and it hopes to blend tower defense with action-RPG mechanics. It has co-op and competitive modes, it has traps and waves of creeps, and it’s just been announced that it’s coming to Early Access on October 22nd.

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Now With Added Scorpions: Robocraft

By Ben Barrett on October 11th, 2014.

Robocraft is an early access mash-up of World of Tanks and voxel building, letting players build land and air vehicles and then take them into online arenas to do battle. Chris thought the “tinkering is actually more fun than the tankering,” when he played it back in July, though both are likely better after the latest update added wall-scaling, crawling vehicles to its already hefty number of customisation options.

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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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Sorcerer King: Stardock’s Surprise New 4X Strategy

By Alice O'Connor on October 3rd, 2014.

'Things are heating up around here,' says the fire demon. No one likes that guy.

Oh, those Stardock scamps! Skipping the post-announcement, pre-release build-up of people muttering how they hope new Stardock games are less buggy than Elemental’s initial release, they’ve jumped straight to release with their latest. Or Early Access release, anyway. Yesterday Stardock both announced and released Sorcerer King. It’s a 4X strategy, as you might expect and hope from Stardock, with the twist of pitting players against a Left 4 Dead-ish AI director. Rather than fighting similar AI civilisations doing similar things, it’s an asymmetric war against the mighty Sorcerer King.

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Cosmochoria In Early Access: Nakedly Terraform Planets

By Graham Smith on October 1st, 2014.

I’ve been in love with 2D games set upon small planets since Edmund McMillen’s Aether, and Cosmochoria, released on Steam Early Access just a couple of days ago, covers similar ground. As a little naked man with a space helmet on, you bound across miniature planets, terraform them by planting flowers, and use a jetpack to launch into space to fight aliens and find new worlds to explore. Check the early access trailer below for a little taste of each.

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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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No Landsharks Yet: Interstellar Marines Adds Co-op

By Alice O'Connor on September 29th, 2014.

It's a blurry place, space.

In the early days of alphafunding, long before we settled on the term “early access”, Zero Point Software came up with the loathsome “AAA Indie”. In 2009 they started crowdfunding Interstellar Marines, a type of game impossible in AAA Dependent: an FPS about space marines. Oh, but I’m too cruel. After years of prototypes and milestones ranging from a shooting gallery to competitive multiplayer, Zero Point updated it on Friday with the first iteration of what they’ve teased since 2006: single-player and co-op story missions.

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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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