The Witness And The Joy Of Note-Taking

Inspired by recent experiences with The Witness’ [official site] puzzles, Robert Zak has been reminiscing about the art of note-taking while playing games. From graph paper for dungeon crawlers to suspicions and clues for Her Story [official site], many genres are represented, with only the noble pen and paper to hold them together.

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The Pipwick Papers

[This edition was originally published on 2 Feb]

I just got back from the Maltese edition of the Global Game Jam (not to do with RPS work exactly, I was just doing the keynote and being interested in what all the students were up to). There were some neat things and I’ll write about them if I get time but in the meantime here are a few of the articles I’ve been reading:

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An XCOM 2 Diary: The Wizened + The Doomed, Day 1

It’s tradition now: when an XCOM game comes out, you recreate your friends, colleagues and record-collection-stealing former lovers then send them out to be murdered by aliens. Basically, it’s the Sims with Sectoids rather than sex.

So let’s do it again: an XCOM 2 [official site] Iron Man/perma-death diary starring the staff of RPS, who you can download and add to your game below.

But they’ll only star briefly. Whenever someone dies, they’ll be replaced by one of this site’s readers. Who will also almost certainly die. That’s how much we love you.
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Descent Veterans Kickstarting Basically Descent 4

Remember that Descent game Kickstarted by people by who didn’t make Descent? Here’s an unofficial Descent remakequel Kickstarted by people who did make Descent.

If Descent was on your Kickstarted comeback bingo card, then today’s the day to wave your pen in the air. Mike Kulas and Matt Toschlog, lead creators of the 1990s’ beloved six-degrees of freedom spaceshippy FPS, have gotten the band back together for a comeback named Overload. You wanted Descent with sparkly 2016 graphics? You’re gonna get it. Well, if you and your fellow retronauts can put $300k together.
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The Walking Dead: Michonne Starts This Month

I’ve only a passing familiarity with Michonne from seeing a bit of the Walking Dead TV show, where she is one of the few competent characters, but I broadly understand she is, as the kids say, ‘pretty dang cool’. Cool enough to get her own spin-off game and be voiced by Orange Is the New Black‘s Poussey, certainly.

The Walking Dead: Michonne [official site] will begin on Tuesday, February 23rd, Telltale announced today. All three episodes will run you $15 together.

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Overwatch’s Closed Beta Returned With New Mode, Maps

“Would it be possible for you to write the Overwatch info, Alice?” Pip asks as she swings through Unravel, and I… as a good friend, shall refrain from embarking upon An Hilarious Misunderstanding with several hundreds words about XCOM 2 ‘overwatch’ attacks. So. Closed beta testing has resumed for Overwatch [official site] (you can sign up over here), bringing with it new maps and modes and things.

This may be most immediately useful to folks in the beta but hey, it also tells the rest of us what to expect from Blizzard’s FPS.

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Have You Played… Commander Blood?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Bob Morlock, the oldest being in the known universe, in is about to pass away. Before he departs this mortal plane, he wants to see the Big Bang. Yeah, that Big Bang. It’s your job to take him there using a high-tech ship known only as the Ark. In fact, that’s why you were created. Better get to it, then.

That’s the gist of 1994’s Commander Blood, easily one of the most bizarre experiences one could ever have in PC gaming.
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Open World Tactics: Frozen Synapse 2 Announced

What a time to be alive. Not a moon pie in sight but 2016 is already looking like a fantastic smorgasbord of tactical treats. It’s early February and yet we’ve already seen XCOM 2 and Darkest Dungeon. Now, to make my turn-based existence even more exciting, Mode 7 have announced a full-blown sequel to the supremely entertaining Frozen Synapse . Rather than going with Endzones or Cortexes, as with their sporty spin-off, the team have gone with the self-explanatory Frozen Synapse 2 [official site]. Details are thin on the ground but it’ll be “open world” and it’s coming this year.

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Star Citizen’s Sandbox/Campaign Split Explained

This Sunday will see crowdfunded space ‘em up Star Citizen [official site] split into two games, the MMO-y sandbox Star Citizen and the singleplayer campaign Squadron 42. Sort of. Not really. It’s two separate ‘packages’, at least. As this has evidently surprised some, developers Cloud Imperium Games have explained more about what it is, saying they’d “like to clear up some confusion about exactly what’s happening!”

In short, if you already own Star Citizen you’re fine. By which I mean the whole game previously sold as ‘Star Citizen’. Not the module/package/game/thing ‘Star Citizen’. Oh yes, I see where this can get confusing.

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Hitman Aims For Freedom But Misses The Mark

After Hitman: Absolution, Agent 47 is in need of another subtitle. Redemption, perhaps, or Contrition. His upcoming adventure has already made headlines thanks to its now-confirmed episodic release schedule but it also seemed to be a game made with the awareness that the previous hadn’t given fans of the series quite what they wanted. I was eager to get my hands on it after seeing a promising demo at Gamescom last year and now that I have, I’m in two minds.

Hitman [official site] contains just about everything I want from the series but all of the ingredients have become a little muddled.

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