Posts Tagged ‘Space Week’

Making of: System Shock 2

Yeah, see what we did here.
[Since it’s Space Week, it’s a good time to pull my Edge-commissioned Making Of System Shock 2 feature out of Stasis. The material for this was drawn from the lengthy conversation I had with Ken Levine last year. So, yes, before Bioshock. I’m quite fond of this piece, if only as it reveals the secret origin of the Psychic Monkeys…]

The lights are low. Everyone’s panickedly fighting against a seemingly impossible, oppressive deadline. At every turn there’s a crippling lack of resources. Viewed by any objective criteria, the small inexperienced team doesn’t have the skills to achieve their aims. They’re all crammed into a single room – in fact, half of one, since it’s one room bisected with screens. When you look at where and how Irrational worked on their first game, it’s easy to think of the claustrophobic horror of RPG/Shooter System Shock 2 as a pure product of its environment.
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Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

I’ve been pleased to see the new Crispy Gamer column about Game-health issues, as we could never write it – despite our previously discussed gaming hypochondria - because we are phenomenally lazy. Steve Steinberg gives some tips to combat Warcraft Back, which includes things which look suspiciously like Yoga. We’re not good at Yoga. We think Yoga taught Luke Skywalker to do that stuff with the Force.

Oh – This is a Space Week post because in Space, Astronauts do exercise and in the Space-future we’ll all be perfectly healthy. Millions now living will never die. Yes. Anyway – anyone got any health tips they’ll recommend? Other than doing anything obviously healthy?

Confessions Of A Shameless Gravitart

Well, not confessions exactly, just me using Space Week as a feeble excuse to recommend fine freeware involving spaceships, cramped tunnels, and towed pods.

TerraFire is the obvious place to start. Creator Owen Thomas deserves a tooth-loosening pat on the back for single-handedly crafting this gem, and a big wet French kiss for cutting the price to £0.00 last summer. DosBox may be required, but so what. The pretty parallax visuals, varied hazards, and perfect pendulum physics are well-worth a minute’s MOUNT C-ing.

Five more twirly spaceship options after the cut.
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Dawn Of War II

It’s official:

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, the highly anticipated sequel from one of the industry’s premiere Real-Time Strategy developers, Relic Entertainment, is set to bring the 41st Millennium’s savage warfare to life like never before in spring 2009. Powered by an enhanced version of Relic’s proprietary Essence Engine 2.0, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II will take players to the brutal frontlines of war where they’ll experience intense action and visceral combat through a non-linear single player experience and a fully co-operative multiplayer campaign.

Soulstorm owners will get access to the multiplayer beta, whenever that might be. More info coming up later in the week, apparently.

Sins Expansion Confirmed

Excuse me if I whoop and perhaps punch the air, but I am uncharacteristically over-excited by the announcement that RPS’ favourite space RTS of the moment, the gigantic and enthralling Sins Of A Solar Empire, is going to get an expansion pack. Wired are the couriers of this splendid news:

While he couldn’t nail down a date for the expansion pack’s release, Mr. Wardell did mention that the expansion would include some much-requested features including a “full on campaign” mode as well as new playable factions.

We’ll be talking more about Sins this week, probably.

“Explore The Solution Space”

I’m not quite sure how I missed this video about Maxis’ work on Spore earlier this week, but fortunately VG247 flagged it up. A brief but pleasingly insight into the studio that is developing Spore.

We’d explore your solution space, GameTrailers.

Incidentally, we know RSS is all messed up. It’ll return to normal as soon, probably. (Hopefully.)

Thunderlizard Dreams

Amorphous dream landscapes are sort of like space, right? Good – then this can receive the hallowed ‘space week’ tag.

It’s the first, gorgeous footage of Jetpack Brontosaurus, the next game from Flashbang Studios – who you may remember from such indie physics-delights as The President’s Neck is Missing Offroad Velociraptor Safari. The ethereal soundtrack helps, but even without it I’m pretty convinced this apparent Gravitar/Thrust descendant will muster a joyous PC gamer pile-on in much the same manner as did Raptor Safari and Trials 2 . It makes me want to say daffy things like “mesmeric beauty.” In fact, it’s so elegant that I immediately forgot it was about piloting a 30-ton dinosaur through the skies. It just seems natural, somehow.

Mr Robot for Mr No Money

Honestly. It's another one which is tricky to get cute grabs for.

Now, as I’m looking at Kotaku paraphrasing and linking to our Ubisoft-on-Steam-but-not-for-non-US-peeps story, I notice a story which I’m now going to paraphrase and link to. That is, Mr Robot is now free and on Gametap’s ad-supported service. You may remember Mr Robot from when we’ve previously talked about it, but it’s a hyper-cut retro-mash-up of Knight Lore and a jRPG, with System Shock’s plot. And a splash of Silent Running. Also, I now notice, it’s executable is called “Black Hole”, and I slap my forehead at the obvious other influence. But cute. Mindbending, but cute.

You have to watch one short advert when you start the game, but other than that, it’s exactly the same game that I’d have been more than happy to pay for. And, even better, it’s the perfect Space Week game. Go play.

CCP’s Torfi Frans Olafsson On The Future Of Eve

This interview with Eve Online’s senior technical producer, Torfi Frans Olafsson, focuses on his work on the “walk-in stations” concept for Eve Online. This initiative is the thing that will finally give the disembodied character portraits of Eve some substance. We’ll be able to hang out on stations, interact, and participate in station activities with embodied avatars. As always, the theme is human interaction, only this time there’s not going to be any combat.
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Space Week: Bonus Battlestars

Frak frak fraketty frak

Oh, the fates do align so. On Friday, Battlestar Galactica returns to TV (and, on Saturday, bittorrent) for its fourth and final series. And this week is space week on RPS. Which can only mean one thing – spurious linking between PC games and Battlestar Galactica. Yes.
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