Posts Tagged ‘eskil-steenberg’

Eskil Steenberg Made Love

Beautiful and weird co-op combat and settlement-building MMO Love has been released. After months of furious development, one-man studio Eskil Steenberg has finally brought his project to completion, and it’s one of the most individualistic, esoteric experiences in gaming. It really is not like other games, and as such it’s my opinion that you should probably try it for yourself. Love is a challenging thing, but worth investigating. (And in the game! – RPS joke-o-matic.) It’s €10 for a month, and you can download the test client to make sure the game runs on your machine, before you buy. All the details are here, while Eskil’s Twitter records the vast catalogue of changes he’s made in the past few months.

Go take a look. (Also forum help and basic tutorials here.)

The Incredible Secret Future Of Videogames

This is a heavily revised version of an article first published in PC Gamer UK, last year. It’s based on a presentation given by Ray Kurzweil at GDC 2008, and subsequent conversations I had with the author Charles Stross and the game designer Eskil Steenberg.

This article began back in 2008, when I was sat in the audience for GDC’s keynote speech by futurist Ray Kurweil. “Games are the harbinger of everything,” Kurzweil was saying, as he delivered his take on the future of everything (with slight emphasis on games) to the assembled design-masses. The controversial technologist, who regularly talks about his hopes for technological immortality and transhuman ascension via artificial intelligence, was arguing that games were where the future manifested itself. “Ultimately,” he said, “they’re going to be competitive with real reality.” These were claims I’d heard a bunch of times before. Often, in the pub, during conversations with Kieron, as he gesticulated dangerously behind a glass of wine. Other times from developers, writers, and gamers. I realised, watching Kurzweil, that it was something I was going to have to write more about: just what kind of future do games promise?

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“What Is Love, Beta?”

The “beta” version of build ‘n’ shoot micro-MMO Love has almost arrived. It’s not beta in the usual sense, of course, because like the previous alpha-test version you’ll need to pay a 3€ fee for access. Currently the testing stage is only for previous subscribers, but it’ll be opened up as access for all on the 7th. Eskil has been working hard squashing bugs and introducing new features, and it’s reflected in a new level of polish within the game world.

And Love’s world is not like that of other games, as I’ll explain below.
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Worlds Apart: Love & Neverdaunt 8bit

Oddly, Love isn’t the only trippy single-programmer MMOG with an emphasis on player landscaping and building that’s currently in beta. There’s also Neverdaunt 8Bit, or N8, which swaps procedurally generated gorgeousity and lethal roaming AI for a retro aesthetic and plain old messing around. I took a closer look at both of them recently and find myself liking one an awful lot more than the other. Find out which after the jump.
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Morning, Love

Having pootled around in Love for a while last week, and watching Steenberg’s updates on Twitter, I decided it was time to have a decent session in the alpha build of the game. This led to me tell my girlfriend that I’d be spending the morning “in Love with James.” She didn’t bat an eyelid, used to such early-morning incoherence, and continued getting ready for work. Later, armed with Teamspeak and cups of tea, James (Arma II’s scriptwriter) and I set about investigating the indie not-quite-MMO in its embryonic stages. Our findings are below.
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Is Love All You Need? Public Alpha Go!

Eskil Steenberg sends word that he’s opening up the alpha of his game to the public. Because it requires servers to be run to test it, he’s asking money for access at this eatly stage. You will be helping test a game, but the fee is relatively small. You can get it for 3 Euros, which is about £2.80. HOWEVER, it is not a finished product and/or service, and it is the work of a one man team. If you don’t like the idea of paying for an explicitly unfinished game, then this is not for you. If you want access to a weird and beautiful indie MMO, and to help make it work in the long run, then get your wallet out. To be sure it runs on your PC please download the client and get the alpha access details via the game itself. That way, says Eskil, you can be sure the game will function on your machine, as the world displays in the menu screen. You can follow Eskil’s ongoing updates on Twitter. And very brief first impressions follow…
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Love Test Client

Nothing playable yet, but Steenberg has released a test client that will (via the menu screen) show how well his impressionistic multiplayer game will run on your PC. It’s kind of tantalising and frustrating to download this and not be able to log in, but by running it you’ll be helping Steenberg out by gauging interest and general PC specs for his potential audience. Also: pretty.

Steenberg says that the beta is “close” perhaps “just a matter of days”. Woo.

Go watch the video, or check out the new screenshots, to remind yourself of why we’re excited.

Automagic: Love Footage And Tools Demo

Graphics wizard and solo MMO developer Eskil Steenberg has just posted up a couple of videos from GDC. The first shows a substantial amount of footage from the game itself, with Steenberg playing around in the game world, building, deploying items, creating infrastructure, setting off remote radio bombs, sabotaging AI manufacturing plants, exploring deserts, and so on. Amazing stuff. Perhaps even more impressive, even for the non-technical among us, is Steenberg’s tools demo footage. Go watch. Original trailer here.

Love Gets Closer

Just a random bit of newsflash from one of the games we’ve been following most closely this year: Eskil Steenberg’s latest blog entry closes with the line: “I don’t know if is possible to “manufacture” great control bugs, but its worth a try, maybe I already have. Next week when i get back home from LA, my first alpha will go out so I guess I will find out.”

Hopefully we’ll get to find out too. If you missed the trailer for this amazing looking indie MMO, check out the trailer.

RPS Interview: Love

Following on from the recent trailer, I decided to see if one-man-studio Eskil Steenberg would answer a few more questions about his city-building MMOFPS. Below we find out a little more about what we can expect from his strange indie project.

Jim: So, my first question is about the visual style of Love. Was it something you envisioned, or did it come about via experimentation?

Eskil: I had an original vision, but it has taken a lot of experimentation. Being a graphics programmer means that I never really stop tweaking it and testing new things.The graphics look has already moved on a bit from the trailer, even. I have clear inspirations, like Craig Mullins, Syd Mead, and Ralph McQuarrie.
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