Posts Tagged ‘feature’

A Game And A Chat: X-Com Creator Julian Gollop

By Nathan Grayson on April 14th, 2014.

Once upon a time Julian Gollop was one of the principle minds behind the original X-Com. Yes, with a dash. A dollop of Gollop’s design wizardry spawned a legendary strategy series, and now – somewhat fittingly, I suppose – he’s making a game about actual wizards. Chaos Reborn is mere days away from casting off its mortal Kickstarter, so Gollop and I are going to play a few rounds of a recent prototype while discussing the ups and downs of running a Kickstarter, the power (and lack thereof) of legacy, what made people fall so madly in love with X-Com, and which of said secret ingredients Chaos Reborn does and doesn’t apply. Expect a heady brew of history and reflection with a powerful note of fuuuuuuture. We’re kicking off at 10 AM PT/6 PM BST.

Update: We’re done! And we ended up roping in a special guest: XCOM: Enemy Unknown lead designer Jake Solomon. What followed were some great Chaos Reborn matches followed by an excellent discussion between two of the brightest minds in the turn-based strategy business. Catch it all below.

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DevLog Watch: The Hit, Infinitesimals, The Masterplan

By Graham Smith on April 14th, 2014.

A strange comic.

current mood: Optimistic
current song: Lou Reed – NYC Man

It’s a Monday and you’re back at work, but outside your window the sun is shining. You know you’re going to go into it later and have an adventure, but for now things aren’t so bad. You have friends here. You have music playing. Boots had your favourite sandwich in stock for your £3.29 lunchtime meal deal. And there’s a collection of in-development games to browse, to help you get excited about the future.

Dreams! Pilotable spider robots! Heists!

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Elite Dangerous, Nostalgia, Joysticks & Returning To Space

By Alec Meer on April 11th, 2014.

I come and go on old franchises and old ideas being resurrected by rich old men for rather less rich and old men and women. Sometimes it seems like a roadblock to fresh invention, other times it seems like returning to roads that games were forcibly and unfairly turned away from as forces of marketing and demographic-chasing decided they weren’t suitably commercially viable. For example: space sims didn’t all but die out because the possibilities were exhausted. Though there have always been survivors, they all but died out because they required huge budgets to pull off well, but could not command the sort of easily advertised-at mainstream audience required to earn their keep. What remained turned inwards, servicing the very particular demands of a passionate few, and making themselves all the more inaccessible to those who were interested but not quite so fervent about it.

The comeback, thanks to the removal of almost all middlemen and the ability to engage directly with an audience large enough but spread far and wide, is something I find incredibly exciting. After having barely touched space games for years, I now find myself owning a £120 joystick and obsessed with Elite 4.
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Introducing Last Life, Aka ‘Kentucky Route Zero In Space’

By Nathan Grayson on April 10th, 2014.

You might remember that we liked sleepy-as-the-night, sharp-as-a-knife adventure Kentucky Route Zero quite a lot. We even gave it game of the year, doncha know. So when Last Life creator Sam Farmer told me his game was best described as “Kentucky Route Zero in space,” I nearly warbled with glee. The noir-themed tale of a detective trying to solve the mystery of his own murder has Double Fine‘s blessing and backing, and it’s taking to Kickstarter for one more boost. I sat down with Farmer for what turned out to be his first interview ever, and we discussed Last Life’s universe and story, Sherlock-style inspection mechanics, Double Fine’s involvement, what it means to be “noir,” and transhumanism. It’s all below.

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Wot I Think: The Wolf Among Us Episode 3

By Alec Meer on April 10th, 2014.

The third chapter of Telltale’s adventure game adaptation of the ‘what if fairy tales were real and lived in New York?’ comic Fables was released on Tuesday. I played it on Wednesday. I then published an article about it on Thursday. I might play it again on Friday. Here’s why.

Ah, that’s much better. After such a strong start – for me, the most compelling Telltale opener yet – The Wolf Among Us hit lengthy and mysterious delays, followed by a disappointingly perfunctory episode 2. It left me wondering if the series was playing for time, but now it has had that time. Fortunately, it seems to have paid off. Longer, with many more decisions, a stronger sense of consequence and a wise focus on character development above melodrama, this series can once again be said to be a wolf rather than a poodle.
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SOMA’s Grip On BioShock Comparisons, Indie Influences

By Nathan Grayson on April 10th, 2014.

SOMA didn’t scare the scuba suit off me, but I did find a creeping sort of potential in its soaked-to-the-bone corridors. Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 this ain’t. Or at least, it’s not aiming to be. Currently, it still feels a lot like a slower-paced, less-monster-packed Amnesia in a different (though still very traditionally survival-horror-y) setting, but Frictional creative director Thomas Grip has big plans. I spoke with him about how he hopes to evolve the game, inevitable comparisons to the Big Daddy of gaming’s small undersea pond, BioShock, why simple monster AI is better than more sophisticated options, the mundanity of death, and how SOMA’s been pretty profoundly influenced by indie mega-hits like Dear Esther and Gone Home.

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Hands-On Impressions: A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build

By Nathan Grayson on April 9th, 2014.

Being from Texas, I can count the number of snowmen I’ve built on one hand. Being from Texas, they were also about the size of said one hand. I did get the chance to slap together a bulbous yeti of truly epic proportions in college, though. I took so much pride in that dumb thing that I nearly tried to put a hit out on whomever kicked it down during that coldest of winter nights. I can identify with A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build‘s title, is what I’m saying. The game itself, however, is probably not what you’re expecting – a thing of snow-white relaxation and contemplation, not astute snowperson defense. It’s a simple yet wickedly challenging puzzler from Sokobond designer Alan Hazelden, with lovably, huggably soft personality to match.

Each snowperson has a name. A name! Awwwwwwwww.

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What’s Up With Warframe?

By Jim Rossignol on April 9th, 2014.

By which I mean: I’ve played Warframe over the past couple of weeks and will now write about it, for your possible edification.

Warframe is a sci-fi over-the-shoulder shooter where space ninjas have upgradeable sharkfin heads. Sadly that doesn’t quite clinch the deal, because the free-to-play beast of Digital Extremes has been in beta for a year now, and still hasn’t quite driven home the wakizashi of success. But has that journey delivered it from the hollow purgatory of its early release? Or will it determine to be a footnote in the history of free-to-play experimentation?

I donned my impossible fish helmet to find out.

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Wot I Think: Rehearsals and Returns

By Alec Meer on April 9th, 2014.

Rehearsals and Return is the new game from (primarily) Peter Brinson, creator of the remarkable art/history/politics vignette The Cat & The Coup. This shares a certain cut-up appearance and a maudlin tone (well, depending on how you approach it), but it’s a rudimentary platform game set to surrealistic, sometimes chaotic backgrounds, wherein you collect dialogue options then make decisions about how to treat assorted famous and infamous figures. And a few less famous ones too.

At present it costs just $1, and will eventually rise to $4. This is a discussion of the experience I had with it, not of its value proposition.
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Impressions: VoidExpanse

By Ben Barrett on April 9th, 2014.

VoidExpanse strikes me somewhat as an inevitability. The years of Eve coupled with Elite and Star Citizen’s stratospheric success means a lower budget, retro-styled take on the same idea was viable. Its isometric viewpoint sets it apart from those peers, as does its extremely unpolished, early access state. As with any member of the space trading, exploring, bang-banging massive, the promise of the final game is an incredibly enticing one. The difficulty is seeing through the crashes, balance issues and unfinished mechanics to judge its core worth. VoidExpanse made that especially challenging, but there’s hope.

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Pre-Preview – Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

By Alec Meer on April 9th, 2014.

Yesterday I was shown around half an hour of footage from the new Borderlands game, which everyone already knew about as it got leaked on Monday. Here’s what it’s all about.

I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to take the messy portmanteau ‘Pre-Sequel’ too seriously, given Borderlands’ traditionally derisive-about-everything tone. So while it’s playful rather than the latest ‘expandalone’ or ‘freemium’ or whatever the latest newspeak horror someone’s marketing department has retched up, let’s just hope no-one else is inspired by it and we don’t find ourselves drowning in pre-sequels by this time next year.

Yes, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a brand-ish new Borderlands game, and due out somewhere around the tail end of this year. More importantly, it’s set on the moon and features jetpacks.
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