Posts Tagged ‘Early Access’

Impressions: Shadowrun Online Early Access

By Rich Stanton on April 16th, 2014.

The honeymoon period for Kickstarter is long over. There are a number of reasons why but perhaps the most impactful is the failure of several high-profile campaigns to deliver what was promised, or going full Darth Vader: ‘We are altering the deal, pray we don’t alter it any further.’ Such drek leads us to Shadowrun Online – a game that was due for release in May 2013, but on March 31 2014 crept onto Steam Early Access, available for sale to non-backers at the princely sum of £25. So what’s going on?

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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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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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Prog Racing: Krautscape Glides Onto Early Access

By Alice O'Connor on April 2nd, 2014.

Well, I saw skies are red, I was born and I was dead

In what would come to be called the Krautrock movement, bands like Can and Faust blended psychedelic and progressive rock with experimental electronics and a kick of jazz, riding rock off its rigid rails to create their own trippy paths. Yet that’s not why Krautscape is called Krautscape. No, while it may be playing at the same with racing, it’s ostensibly named after a fictional character with a hilarious name who dreamed of flying cars, Dr. von Krautkopf.

See, Krautscape has freeform tracks created by the whims and fancies of the leading racer, while chasing players can pop their wings to glide off-track and chase them down. The game’s not quite ready to soar yet, but you can still lay down some smooth tracks as it’s now hit Steam Early Access. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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The Lighthouse Customer: Arcadecraft

By Christopher Livingston on March 17th, 2014.

Behold, the birth of the microtransaction.

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

As kid in the 1980′s, I gazed with envy at a few adults who seemed to have the best jobs ever. The ice-cream man: he could eat all the ice cream he wanted! The ambulance driver: he could drive really fast whenever he wanted! Most of all, the guy who ran the arcade. I mean, we had a filthy belly-sack full of quarters. Probably a hundred dollars in quarters. He probably lived in a mansion. The 80′s may be long gone, but that dream job is finally mine.
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Endearing Wargeneering: Running With Rifles

By Craig Pearson on March 17th, 2014.

Like totes.

Hit ESC on the main menu of Running With Rifles and the words will melt away, leaving your character free to run around the screen. I like that. There is whimsy in this war. Running With Rifles is a top-down soldiererer thing inspired by Cannon Fodder, set in large maps with dynamically throbbing battles. You are a tiny man in a big war, and it’s oh-so cute. There’s a cartoonish edge to the look that pops up speech bubbles as the NPCs shout ‘OMG Grenade!’, and despite the hundreds of bloody deaths that smears the screen, it never fails to raise a smile. I am smiling now because it’s on Steam Early Access, it’s relatively cheap, and there’s a trailer below.
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Pixel Junk: Nom Nom Galaxy Is A Destructible Soup Empire

By John Walker on March 13th, 2014.

PixelJunk creators Q-Games seem to be slowly realising their love for the PC. After a while of the PJ games dragging their heels to reach Freedom, their latest is appearing on PC before anything else. Well done – this is Correct. And that latest is Nom Nom Galaxy – a very Terraria-looking platform bizarreness, about making soup. Yes Cara, soup. It’s on Steam Early Access from today.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Spacebase DF-9

By Christopher Livingston on March 10th, 2014.

In space, everyone can hear you scream. They're just used to it.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, space station simulation in Spacebase DF-9.

It’s been a rough week for my little space station. We were boarded by a squad of Kill Bots who, as you might expect, tried to kill all non-bots. A massive fire in the life support chamber nearly knocked out the oxygen supply. Now, an alien parasite has appeared, and even though my security chief easily killed it, I’m left to wonder how the bug even got aboard. Perhaps it burrowed in through that hole in the hull? The one my security chief was just sucked out of to his death? That’s probably how.
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