The Very Best Of RPS 2013: Columns

We are very blessed at RPS to have some of the finest, most interesting columnists in the business. Drawing on the expertise of those who passionately care about their niche, it allows us to go big on topics that otherwise might not receive their due attention. Below you can find a guide to our fine, fine columnists’ work.

Dead End Thrills – Duncan Harris

A perfect example of what I describe above is Duncan Harris of Dead End Thrills. A column about the art technology of games. What if you ignore how the game plays, and just focus on the technology that creates the art? Duncan provides us with expert interviews with the creators of a game’s artwork, or discussions of his own unique perspective of games. Definitely check these out.

The Bargain Bucket – Cassandra Khaw

Games cost a lot of money. Apart from when they don’t. And The Bargain Bucket is the column that helps you spot those latter moments. Powerfully manned by Savy Gamer‘s Lewie Procter until this year, it’s now in the splendid hands of Cassandra Khaw, guiding you toward the neatest way to pick up great games for lots less cash.

The Flare Path – Tim Stone

One of the best writers the UK games industry has ever seen turns up every Friday on RPS with his fantastic, hilarious column, The Flare Path. Covering hardcore strategy and simulation gaming, Tim makes subjects you’d think were so far out of your interest zone into absolutely compelling topics that’ll make you want to play.

Week In Tech – Jeremy Laird

The link above isn’t so useful, since it turns out we are terrible editors. But almost every Thursday sees our hardware genius, Jeremy Laird, bringing us the latest tech news in sentences that actually make sense to non-techies. Which is an all-too rare gift when it comes to hardware writing.

Live Free Play Hard – Porpentine

You want cheaper than bargains? How about, free? Porpentine’s Live Free Play Hard is a goldmine of fascinating projects you might otherwise never hear of. Specialising in obscura, it’s a wonderful treasure trove of peculiar, outrageous, beautiful and challenging games, and the only column that we allow to break our one-line-for-headlines rule. Because it’s Porpentine.

Level With Me – Robert Yang

What a stunning project this is. A series of interviews with game developers that focuses on design philosophy – that’s a sentence any gaming website should be proud to write. And as Robert Yang interviews developers, he also gets them to design a level for a game. Those levels are compiled into a playable project! Holy crap, RPS is great sometimes. This year it all led to Cohort 2, which you can play right now.

Cardboard Children – Robert Florence

But board games aren’t PC games! What next? RPS reviewing soup? Yes. That is what’s next. But in the meantime, Rab’s column on touchable gaming makes us proud to be alive. And never more so than when it leads to something as extraordinary as this.

Photo credit: cliff1066


  1. stoner says:

    “We are very blessed at RPS to have some of the finest, most interesting columnists in the business.”
    Good to hear. When can we read their columns?

    J/K. I check the site several times a day for my gaming fix.

  2. MiniMatt says:

    Worth adding that whilst the subject matter of Tim’s columns only occasionally tickles my fancy, my fancy is reliably tickled with his writing, making it one my most ticklish columns.

  3. RedViv says:

    RPS reviewing soup? Yes.

    Good. Cara should not stay pondering whether to eat or live under a roof any longer. She does not deserve it.

    • tigerfort says:

      How dare you! Cara deserves both food and shelter! (Isn’t the ambiguity of English wonderful? :)

    • DrScuttles says:

      “The RPS Soup Carachan”, to make a terribly laboured pun.

    • The Random One says:

      So she can eat to pay for her roof. A truly perfect arrangement.

  4. GameCat says:

    That kinda scratched one in the middle is the best.

  5. Mirqy says:

    Tom yum is the best soup.

  6. serioussgtstu says:

    Fridays are always significantly improved by the fact that I get to read something Tim wrote that day (and that’s coming from someone who has next to no interest in sims).

    Also, I had beef and veg soup for lunch, does that qualify me to write your new column? My fee is a fiver per word or £1.25 during Steam sales. That’s how games journalism works right?

  7. Radiant says:

    What did you guys do to Lewie to make him leave? Go on own up who said what… Bet you it was Grayson.

    • The Random One says:

      They wanted him to have his column ready the previous day so that the automated post-posting bot could place it at a precise moment, but Lewie thought that by doing so he would be unable to include last-minute offers and it would impact the quality of his work. That’s what I pieced from their several statements anyway.

      • John Walker says:

        No. That isn’t accurate. Sometimes columns change hands, and this was one of those times. We’re extremely grateful to Lewie for the years he wrote it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Rumour has it that the hivemind were all hey lewie you have to move to our volcano fortress it is time for us to unleash the doomsday badgers and he was all no i will fight you i should have known your british accents and fine moustaches meant you were unspeakably evil and nathan was like what i am not even but before he could finish lewie valiently threw himself into the genetically engineered killer badger pen holding only a machete and slaughtered them all while john cried because he had just been playing shelter and it was all too painfully resonant and he and cara stepped in to stop him but lewie had grown too powerful and fled into the night weepingly openly for what had been lost that dark and stormy night

      • SgtStens says:

        I hereby nominate this as the greatest run-on sentence of 2013. I love you guys.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        YouTube dramatic reading: Incoming

  8. Premium User Badge

    Haywardan says:

    I’ve seen a number of other writers declare Tim Stone to be the best thing since sliced bread. Not being a writer myself, I don’t quite understand why. I certainly like his columns, but is there something definable about his writing that makes other professional writers sit up and take notice? There seems to be a widely-held belief among people who do this for a living that Tim is uniquely good at it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      He can remember and consistenly apply all seven-thousand rules defining the proper use of the semicolon; he has never once managed to accidentally split the infinitive; his ability to identify submarines by the silouette of their periscope on the horizon is matched only by his ability to identify which one superflous, needless, redundant word from a passage the length of War and Peace can be struck out to improve it thricefold; and other writers live in terror of his substantial army of tanks crushing them beneath their iron treads if they do not live in a state of perpetual, feverant worship of his glory.

      Or maybe some other reason. I’m not a writer either.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        I cannot say anything cleverer than I WUB TIM. His column always feels like talking to an interesting and highly educated relative you got chatting to at a wedding, who then inspires you to learn every variety of Russian BMP and American ATGM unit so that you can become good at wargames.

        I also love Cassandra for she has won me over with her army of difficult to identify cuddly toys who live in buckets (Cassandra’s Bargain Bucket Bamboozler to Tim’s Flare Path Foxer, if you will)

    • Geebs says:

      I think Richard Cobbett’s up there as well for witty nonsense and general enjoyability.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yes, he’s a good’un too, and it’s kind of surprising that as one of the old PCG crew, he doesn’t end up guesting on RPS more even if he has other commitments.

        Happy New Year!

        • boyspud says:

          I do love his Saturday Crapshoots over on PCGamer. They have a heavy RPS feel off them.

          Also, Happy New Year chiiiiildren! Ringing in the New Year all across the Capital Wasteland!

    • frightlever says:

      I don’t always read the Flare Path because I’m not really into those games, but when I have I’ve liked the writing. Enough for me to say so here, I guess. Some of the RPS writers twist themselves into knots trying to be funny, but Tim is just a genuinely witty guy.

  9. mirdza says:

    Are those the Pillars of Nosgoth in the first pic?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      No, I think those are the Pillars of Eternity or they could even be The Pillars of the Earth (great mini-series on TV).

    • Borodin says:

      Nothing to do with Kain. They appear to be the National Capitol Columns in the National Arboretum in Washington link to

  10. Kaeoschassis says:

    The Pillars don’t belong to them mirdza!
    They belong… to us.

  11. 12inchPlasticToy says:

    Happy new year, y’all!

    • Crazy Horse says:

      We have survived yet another Earth cycle. Give yourself a pat on the back.

  12. Urthman says:

    Dead End Thrills has consistently been the very best of RPS.

  13. bstard says:

    Fancy Corinthian style columns!