Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Cardboard Children: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

By Robert Florence on March 3rd, 2015.

Hello youse.

Running a live session of D&D Fifth Edition is far easier than you’d think. First of all, you need an audience of nice people – we have plenty of those in Glasgow. Then you need some good, funny players. I had those too, all of them friends of mine, all of them involved in the TV comedy game in some capacity. Then you need Dungeons & Dragons itself. I had the Player’s Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual behind my DM screen. Oh, and I also had the new Dungeon Master’s Screen.

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Impressions: Catacomb Kids

By Adam Smith on March 3rd, 2015.

My average life expectancy in Catacomb Kids [official site] is measured in minutes. I’ve died within seconds of starting a run through the procedurally generated Spelunky-like, clobbered by monsters or reduced to a blood puddle by swarming piranhas. The first couple of minutes are the hardest part, as I struggle to make sense of my situation and abilities, and if I survive for a couple of levels, I’m likely to die because I deserve to rather than because the game decides to kill me.

Maybe it’s not the game. Problem is, I’m a cat. Curiosity kills me.

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Watch Us Play Cities Skylines Live

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015.

OH GOD. Why am I doing this? Well, partly because it’s high time I learned how, and partly because we’re allowed to stream Cities Skylines before we’re allowed to write reviews. Thus, in a few minutes I shall leave my comfort zone to bring you live footage of me playing (trying to play) Paradox’s new city-builder. It’s due to go live at 3.45pm UK time, but you’ll be able to watch the whole thing retroactively later if you prefer.
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First Look: Guild Wars 2 – Heart of Thorns

By Tom Mayo on March 3rd, 2015.

Well, hello there!

Guild Wars 2 [official site] launched with a promise – to fix MMOs. Strident, attention-grabbing, patently doomed schtick that was nevertheless suffused with just enough gosh-shucks-darn-it-I-want-to-see-them-try zest to make it a journey worth tracking. That was two years ago.

The mission met with mixed results, as lead designer Isaiah Cartwright admitted to me when we spoke in Brighton during a hands-on with the game’s first expansion, Heart of Thorns. We were among the first to play the expansion and all of the details are below.

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23 Observations On 17 Minutes Of Firewatch

By Alec Meer on March 3rd, 2015.

'Control, I need to report a giant orange circle taking up space in the sky'

I haven’t been entirely sure what to make of Firewatch [official site], the upcoming great outdoors adventure/exploration title from a mini-supergroup of ex-Double Fine/ Telltale/ Lucasarts/ Klei/ Lionhead devs, because I wasn’t entirely sure what it was. Having just watched a quarter of an hour of it, I still don’t entirely know what it’s going to become, but I really, really like it. It seems to have this laid-back pace and tone and tons of slow-burn character-building while still being very, well, gamey. I really hope that pace and tone can be maintained throughout. Also it looks like somewhere I’d really love to go and live in for a while.

The footage and my own assorted as-they-happened thoughts, including observations on underwear, caves and wedding rings, are below.
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Attention Rookies: Getting Started In Elite Dangerous

By Brendan Caldwell on March 2nd, 2015.

This is our guide for absolute beginners. For more detailed advice on a particular space career, look out for our upcoming Careers and Resource Guides.

It may have its flaws but even as undercooked as it is, Elite: Dangerous [official site] still has enough going on that makes it both interesting and difficult to find your feet in the vast galaxy. Trading, bounty hunting, even learning to pilot your ship takes patience and a bit of experimentation. To make things easier as you scrounge together your first few thousand credits (and in anticipation of the upcoming 1.2 update which will finally add useful multiplayer groups), RPS has recruited me to hand out some tips and tricks to get you on your way. So strap in, Commander, and trust in some advice from a man who has learned it the hard way.

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Confessions Of A Save Scummer

By Graham Smith on March 1st, 2015.

The current game is not saved.
Do you want to save the game before you load another game?

No.

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The Sunday Papers

By Adam Smith on March 1st, 2015.

Sundays are for contemplating those who are gone and those who go on.

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Subverting The Nazis: Alternative Hearts Of Iron Playstyles

By Adam Smith on February 28th, 2015.

Hearts of Iron [official site] is the one Paradox grand strategy series that I’ve been unable to befriend. Partly that’s because it’s a more guided experience, a game about a specific war rather than a historical sandbox and it’s partly because of the micromanagement involved in production and resource chains. Hearts of Iron IV might change that, with its cleverly streamlined factory operations and improved minor nations. More on that later this week.

First of all, I wanted to discuss the difficulty of playing the bad guys.

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What If Steam Never Existed?

By Graham Smith on February 27th, 2015.

Ten years ago, you’d struggle to find fifteen retail PC games released in any given month – and fourteen of them would launch with bugs, never be patched, and sink without trace. Compare and contrast with today, where Brewsters’ Millions could be spent in the time it took to load the Steam store. The existence of Steam isn’t entirely the cause for our videogame abundance, but it’s certainly a large factor – along with an influence, for good and ill, on almost every other part of PC games culture.

But what if it had never existed? You be Jimmy Stewart-playing-Gabe Newell and I’ll be Clarence, your guardian angel and guide to this alternate reality.

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Electric Dreams, Part 2: Optimists At Heart

By Michael Cook on February 27th, 2015.

“There’s an undiscovered country of possibilities out there that we need to explore and create.”

It’s Monday morning on the first day of Dagstuhl Seminar 15051: “Artificial and Computational Intelligence in Games: Integration” and Michael Mateas is talking about impossible games. You might remember Mateas from the first Electric Dreams article – he was one of the scientific researchers behind Facade, a groundbreaking games experiment in interactive drama and artificial intelligence. Nowadays he runs the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz, a nexus of the world’s best and soon-to-be-best games researchers. This January around fifty games researchers, including Michael and myself, came together in Germany for a week to talk about the future of our field and to work together to discuss some of the biggest research questions we’re facing right now.

Last time on Electric Dreams we talked about the history of artificial intelligence in the games industry. In this second part I want to talk about the present day, and what scientific research has to do with all of this. I’m going to try to shed some light on why I think games research is broken and not benefitting games as well as it could be – but I also want to end on a positive note, and introduce you to the wonderful people and research that is going on right now around the world.

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Video: File System Aging – 1. Defragmentation

By RPS on February 27th, 2015.

Hey come watch Rab Florence’s new weekly video series for us.

Rab Florence digs deep for beautiful PC gaming memories before they’re lost forever in this affectionate series about games, time and life.

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Impressions: Oscura – Lost Light

By John Walker on February 26th, 2015.

Every now and then, like for instance whenever we communicate, Kieron Gillen and I disagree about things. One of the things we both think the other is most wrong about is Limbo. Kieron wrongly thinks it’s an unfair game, echoing the failings of Rick Dangerous and its ilk by forcing you to fail. I rightly think it was a statement, an expression through these enforced failures, that crafts a uniquely interesting experience. Oscura [Steam link], despite trying to be a lot like Limbo, is not doing that. It’s doing Kieron’s thing.

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