The long development arm of the law
When I last played Police Stories, I was pretty delighted by how much the two level alpha had to offer. So it was with somewhat mixed feelings that a year later I found myself playing a four level alpha – this feels like slow progress, albeit it with a graphical overhaul. And yet I am just as captured and occupied by the levels it has, and really impressed with the improvements made. Read the rest of this entry »
Systems are doin' it for themselves
The power fantasy of exploring new worlds or meeting strange alien races (and then shooting at both of those things) is the kind of thing that big-budget games tend to focus on. As far as humour is concerned, they’re at best ‘plus comedy’ experiences that deliver on their key points but also have some funny quips along the way. You’re never asked to participate in the humour, and if the jokes don’t land then there’s little you as the player can do about it. So why not equip the player with the systems to write their own jokes and tell their own stories? And how do you foster humour creation in games that don’t already have a pun-based name for every item? I spoke to the developers of four such games to find out how they utilise this approach in order to enable players to create their own fun.
One thing that became evident through the interviews was that each and every system available to the player has to be airtight if they are to get the most out of the experience. A poorly-implemented system can cause you to lose investment in the same way that a poorly delivered punchline might. Each developer wanted to encourage experimentation through their game’s systems in their own way. But which comes first; the design of the systems or the desire to create humour? Read the rest of this entry »
A poultry task
This is Playstyle Royale, where I head into
Playerunknown’s Battlergounds a battle royale game and try to win my chicken dinner while adhering to arbitrary rules. This time’s a bit different, because I’m more interested in becoming a chicken than winning one.
I’m playing Realm Royale, the battle royale spin off to Hi-Rez’s Paladins. One of its best ideas is that when you run out of health, instead of dying you get to run around as a defenceless chicken: survive for 30 seconds, and you’re reincarnated in human form. I’m going to get myself poultry-fied three times, then win a game. That is definitely absolutely what is going to happen. Read the rest of this entry »
This Wot I Think is destined to go down in RPS history. For the first time ever a review on this site will make use of VAR (Virtual Assistant Reviewer) technology. If I make a “clear and obvious error” while describing Football, Tactics & Glory’s features or extolling its myriad charms, a team of ancillary reviewers known colloquially as ‘commenters’ will notify me of my mistake almost instantly. Heed the following ruddy exhortation to discover whether this revolutionary experiment in game reviewing succeeds or fails. Read the rest of this entry »
An entirely free Shadowrun game!
Back once again like so many proverbial block-rocking beats, it’s the time where we can stop and take a look at some of the best PC gaming deals of the week. It’s all fun and games until we all spend far too much money in the Steam Summer Sale, so before that happens, have a look at what this week’s got to offer and see if you can spend your money elsewhere.
Then go ahead and gorge on the Steam sale.
As usual, we’ve got deals that’ll work in the UK, deals that’ll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let’s get started.
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