Hello person reading this on the Steam update page for their favourite game! You can only read this paragraph introducing the Steam Charts right now, but I promise if you only click through to the full article you will read insights into this game of the sorts you could never believe! People, it’s the mother-stuffing Steam Charts.

10. Citadel: Forged With Fire

Come on Steam Charts readers, let’s all make an early access sandbox MMO together!

It’s definitely our turn. We need to make sure there are giant animals of some nature to ride, some notion of an allusion toward crafting and world-changing options, and a way to build your own house. (Dear me, don’t forget the houses if you want to survive the forums.) Ark’s done dinosaurs, Dark And Light’s done dragons, and Citadel does direwolves. So we’ll do… hippos! And the game’s set in… the Shetland Isles! Yes, yes, this is working, let’s keep spitballing…

9. H1Z1: King Of The Kill

We’re going to need to be more than just another Ark though, I think, from Citadel’s plunge down to #10, and languishing deep on page 2 of Steam’s best seller listings.

H1Z1 barely ever goes anywhere, just bouncing around the full stretch of the top 10 each week. I think we’re going to need some battle royale last-man-standing too.

Right, so, players start scattered around the various Shetland Isles, all 300 of them. Luckier players get one of the 16 inhabited islands, the rest have to forage and make do on the craggy rocks, and everyone begins the race to Lerwick. Along the way they can complete a number of quests handed out by… mermaids? Mermaids. And, of course, capture, train and eventually ride the islands’ population of hippopotamuses. We’ll carry on at GTA V…

8. The Long Dark

Well here’s lovely. While the fabled Story Mode didn’t quite live up to our desires, The Long Dark remains one of RPS’s favourite survival sims, wooing many of us over the last three years. So it’s really very nice to see that it’s selling well enough for a chart position. It’s a very beautiful, very clever game, and one of the most brutally difficult of the bunch. Especially because of those bloody wolves.

I still crave a mode that calms down the wolves without reducing the rest of the difficulty to pointlessness, and most especially one that lets you only need to eat a realistic amount of food to survive, rather than scarf an entire buffet every 30 minutes, but as it happens the Story Mode balances this quite nicely, with its extra supplies of scripted carcass discoveries. There’s a sentence.

7. Total War: Warhammer II

Right, we’re going to have a test. There’s some required reading.

Firstly, read this.

Then read this.

And now answer this reading comprehension test:

1) Should I pre-order games?

6. Grand Theft Auto V

Obviously the only way to get from island to island is by hippo, so we’ll have to make sure they’re swimming around all the outer islands to give players a chance. And I think we’ll need a bit of Plunkbatty arena shrinkage to force everyone to Lerwick, and the final battleground of the harbourside Specsavers.

And mods. If there’s anything the incessant sales of GTA V tells us, it’s we need mods. And bans. Mods and bans. Just keep adding mods, and keep banning everyone, so they have to keep re-buying the game to keep adding their mods.

5. Foxhole

As if we needed any other proof that the game we’re all so brilliantly coming up with this week is sure to make us rich, here’s yet another new entry of yet another sandbox MMO. This one is rather charmingly “filmed” like an RTS, where players control a lone unit in the top-down world. That’s splendid! Well done everyone involved. And unlike most of these early access sandbox MMOs that will soon take all ten positions in the charts every week, this one has mostly positive reviews.

Should we make our game top-down? It might save on art. And, as I write “our game”, I realise we don’t even have a name yet! Let’s figure one out under Counter-Strike.

4. Car Mechanic Simulator 2018

What a peculiar thing. The game comes out, it’s a game about pretending to be a car mechanic, AND it barely works, and it charts. That was odd… last week. That it’s stayed in the charts even in the face of a mea culpa from the developers that read more like a hostage forced to speak the words of his captor, and the reality that the game – as lovely as it is – just isn’t in a working condition, is quite bemusing. Still, there’s no doubt that the devs are working flat out to get it up and running.

(Should we try to make sure our game doesn’t work? It does seem to get a lot of press for your project?)

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

We need a name! But crucially, it mustn’t be anything to do with what the game’s about. That much is obvious. You might think Shetland Hippos would do it, but as truly brilliant as that name is, it directly contains two key elements of our game. Ark isn’t called Ark: Ride Dinosaurs. Plunkbat isn’t called “Battle Royale But With Chicken”. We need to be tangential.

I propose: Archipelago: Battle For Supremacy.

We’re going to be so rich, everyone!

2. Dark And Light

See, I tried playing this, and it was like hideous flashbacks to when PC Format would ask me to review a Korean MMO in the early 2000s. But here it is, number 2 again! Sandbox MMO with monsters to sit on. This is the secret sauce, and we’re going to bottle it folks. We’re going to bottle it up, and mix it with ol’ Puggles, and we’ll be buying Caribbean islands within the month.

1. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

So, let’s do this! We’ve done so well, everyone! Archipelago: Battle For Supremacy is going to be the number 2 smash on the Steam charts for months to come. We’ll split the profits – I reckon 75:25, because if we’re honest, to be blunt, I’ve put the most work in so far.

Does, um… Does anyone know how to make video games?


  1. Nauallis says:

    Release it as a platform-exclusive F2P Ouya title.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I have an OUYA. It was sorta amusing, but I wouldn’t really recommend it.

      • Runty McTall says:

        Ditto – bought an Ouya for a full fat Android device attached to my TV, realised that it *wasn’t* a full fat Android device (why lock down the file browser and app store? Why?!) and gave up on it really quickly.

        Now have a Fire TV with Kodi for in-house streaming and Steam Link for playing games. Done.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          Yeah, I got it for the marketing. “Open-source console! Free the games!” etc.

          But it was actually pretty locked down and had few sales and just this side of no support.

          A failed experiment, I guess. Had promise, and the controllers were kind of neat in a way, but still.

          • Nauallis says:

            I was assuming it would be implicit that was tongue-in-cheek, as the Ouya was discontinued officially two years ago and the parent company has since been acquired.

    • Neurotic says:

      It’s okay, I don’t think you fooled anyone. ;)

  2. edwardoka says:

    Re: name
    Botherer’s Hjaltland Adventures: Nemesis

    In which 100 players must fight it out and race each other to deliver the stolen plans for a Viking doomsday weapon to Lerwick.

    Many Bothans etc

    Yes, before you ask, this idea was better in my head.

  3. Chaz says:

    Re Archipelago: Battle For Supremacy.

    You could add the crafting of Fair Isle jumpers from the wool harvested from Mammoths (got have some dinosaur content in there), which you’ll need to survive the extreme temperatures if you stray more than 100m from your spawn point (the survival element). Only, so as not to make it too easy, for some inexplicable reason you will need the wool from 20 Mammouths to craft just one jumper (you need grind to artificially pad out the longevity of the gameplay in order to keep people playing every month).

    • Rorschach617 says:

      Don’t really need mammoths, let’s just use pre-made sheep and goat assets BUT, as in WoWarcraft, Wool doesn’t “drop” every time you kill one. Cue Evil Developer Laugh! BWAHAHAHA!!!

      And crafting warm clothing for yourself should be cheaper than 20 Wool. Lets say 2 Wool is enough. BUT the Fair Isle jumper for your HIPPO, on the other hand… Hot country animal like a Hippo is going to need a woolly onesie at least. Actually, make it two! We can set the game up that once the Hippo has swam you to another island, his onesie is ruined and you need to give him a nice dry one to continue your journey!

      And, of course, the recipe and needles for the jumpers and onesies have already been swallowed by one of the goats! So you have to kill a load of goats first just to get started on collecting the wool!

      I am going to stop now, I don’t like where this train of thought is taking me :)

  4. DEspresso says:

    Let’s call it Jogged Alliance 3! The Pre-orders will roll in before they even realize the typo.

  5. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    By my count, that’s 7 of 10 games in the top 10 that are either indies or from non-AAA publishers. PC gaming is really turning into something different, right before our eyes.

    • Ghostwise says:

      Specifically, an hippo.

    • Unclepauly says:

      It’s turned into large beast riding survival mmo land. Imagine if someone modded beast riding into STALKER. Instant extra 2 million sold. GET ON IT MODDORZ

  6. RedDragon says:

    The anti pre-order stance in regards to triple-A games doesn’t make much sense ever since Steam changed their refund policy. Since you can get a refund anytime you want before the game releases and after the release the two hours of playtime/ 14 days of owning it applies. Steam has removed most if not all of the risk involved in pre-ordering games.

    Linking to two previous editorials that are all about the “risk of pre-ordering” just strikes me as really out of touch with how Valve actually handles pre-orders currently. Now those editorials still apply and make sense in regard to other digital storefronts and early access titles; but in the context of steam charts Total Warhammer is neither of those.

    • pentraksil says:

      This^^^ These “NO PRE-ORDER” rants are becoming annoying. I very rarely pre-order, especially with some companies, but not all pre-orders are bad. You can get it for cheaper, you get free DLCs and you can make planned purchases. Allocate money in advance and not worry about emptying your wallet :D Get all the goodies, then wait for reviews and there you go…..If you don’t like it, refund. Win-Win. Also WH was great at launch and had no problems at all. People pre-ordered it because they can get it for cheap and can get the Norsca DLC on August 10th.

    • ThePuzzler says:

      The concept of pre-ordering doesn’t really make sense any more either. In the old days it allowed games shops to gauge how many copies to order. On Steam, what’s the point? Are they hoping to sell it to people who wouldn’t buy it if they knew all the problems with it, but who are too lazy to claim a refund?

      • nearly says:

        Partially, yes, just as other businesses with subscription models hope to make bank on people that sign up for trials and never cancel. Of course, if you’re buying games that you never play and thus can’t refund, it’s a bit of a different situation than the sort of preying on older people that tends to happen with premium subscriptions / trials, and easily handled by a little personal accountability/restraint.

        On the other hand, pre-ordering makes perfect sense: you’re making/publishing a game, you are expected to officially “release” it on a set date that you’ve already determined based on a number of factors, you know how much you’re going to charge for it, and a non-negligible portion of your audience knows they are or aren’t interested in it. There’s no reason not to let people buy games early, and given the refund policy, there’s little reason not to. There’s also the bonus of presumably being able to gauge interest and start planning more concretely for the future.

        The real issue and what doesn’t necessarily make sense and/or needs to be revised is what constitutes a “release.” People love to buy Early Access games, then complain that they’re unfinished, or desired updates aren’t coming, or the price is increasing, or etc., despite the fact that they bought into a pre-release title with a handful of promises that everybody involved should be entirely aware are not in any way 100% guarantees.

        It’s really bizarre to me that people were upset Ark for raising the price to 60$ for the official release, despite them having said pretty early on that they’d be pricing it that way when the game releases. I’ve never played the game and pretty confidently remember that price point has been in the FAQ for quite a while. They also explained pretty clearly what content would be included, and gave some idea of what they would consider the full release, and suggested that they’d sell additional maps at some point down the road.

        Applying the same logic as above, why the outrage over selling additional content before the game has “released”? Ideally, everyone would be completely transparent with the content plans, costs, release timelines, etc., but that’s not exactly a realistic way for developers/publishers to work. Still, though, if they’ve delivered X content with Y content promised and in the pipeline, why wait until an arbitrary set-date to start selling Z? As a thought-experiment, would it be a different situation if Ark started selling DLC pre-orders instead of DLC during Early Access? What would be the date after release when they are officially allowed to start selling additional content if it’s not okay to sell it during EA?

        I think people have some very black and white opinions on these topics/questions, but, honestly, a lot of it is incredibly arbitrary. Again, in an ideal world, everyone would be perfectly honest and transparent, but I also think people should really think deeply and critically about what content they’re buying, what their expectations are, and whether or not those things are matched up.

      • pentraksil says:

        The point is you can get it cheaper, you get goodies and you get to preload. Better than buying it n launch and loosing all that.

  7. Someoldguy says:

    Who needs to know how to make video games? Just copy the ones already doing this and change the art assets a bit. You work on the hippos and I’ll do the pelicans. The pelicans can be in our first bit of pre-release cosmetic DLC. We will be doing pre-release DLC for maximum monetisation, right?

  8. Heptapod says:

    Yeah, Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 was a real mess a week ago at its release. Now, 14 patches later, it seems to be very playable. And the game keeps getting patched daily. The devs are working 24/7 as it seems. So another week maybe and it should be largely bug-free and in a good spot.

    • ThePuzzler says:

      Maybe they’ll finally fix the year in the title of the game.

      • Heptapod says:

        … but only after EA fix the year in all their sport titles.

    • Spinkick says:

      It seems that they are playing their own game called Game Software mechanic. Its a huge hit!

    • Tuidjy says:

      If Car Mechanic had any of the cars I currently own (’90 Supra, ’97 Integra, Volvo S60-R, and Audi A5) or any of the cars I’ve ever worked on (any kind of Supra, most Ladas, Reno 4, Citroen CX) I would buy it in a second.

      I’m quite curious about it, but I would try it with a car I know inside and out… I’m really annoyed how it seems to have dodged all of my cars.

  9. Moraven says:

    By Revenue right? Does Steam Marketplace items factor in?

    PUBG released their 3 new cosmetic creates, where a school girl skirt can go for hundreds of dollars.

  10. DasBilligeAlien says:

    Archipelago: Battel for Supremacy
    (Horrifiningly realistic name)

    Tutorial Section
    If you start as a new player and make character you spawn on a tiny rock in the sea. You and you baby hippo are stranded recued by a mermaid. She urges you to get your stuff together craft a little raft and then travel to Lerwick at the center. Th ereason she insists on speed is a monumental stormfront. Nearly black and riddled with lightning. Moving closer and closer.
    While your hippo is yet to small to be ridden but you can feed it to make it grow and give it some bonus based on the food.
    The mermaid gives you some basic tutorial and you can now travel to the next islands. Always with the storm wall in your back.

    After a short time you reach the island of Lerwick. It’s the games hub world. Filled with other players and thier hippo friends.
    The stomr reaches the shore shortly after you but hold back by a mysterious barrier. After a shrt battle with it the storm is unstantly pushed back. The archipelago is free again for a some time.
    Now all the players embark to thier Games.

    In the games PvP mode players “ride” the mystical shield pushing back the storm. They now can loot and battle each other. The last hippo rider standing get’s a little price back in town. Which is craftet by the community using the donated resources.

    In the “Wreck Hunt” PVE mode players join together in groups of 4 to search for Shipwrecks that contain the important resourceses to upgrade your gear and hippo. As well as donate it to the city on Lerwick to unlock communtie benefits.
    The farther you venture out the more brutal the fight gets with the dark creatures that lurk deep in the storm.

    Addtional thoguhts:
    – Lots of hippo and player cusomtisation
    – Hippo jousting mode
    – People can make thier own homes A small house with a hippo bath?
    – Expansion with playable mairmaids

    • The Bitcher III says:

      Re: Monetisation.

      Loot boxes.

      1 in 10 is an adorable hippo hat.

      1 in a hundred is a special hippo upgrade, rollerskates (for jousting) and such.

      The rest are pebbles. Sure, they’re on every beach in the game – you might not be on a beach. You could be anything up to 20 seconds from a beach.

      And I’m not getting enough ‘survival’ / ‘instadeath’ vibes. It’s all a bit SJW. Killing another players Hippo gives 5 food (and one hippo-tooth bone-charm-thing), rising to 8 if you have a fire (you don’t want to eat raw Hippo).

      Hippos need food too so lets have it they can eat the +3 raw food, but it comes with +8% chance your hippo will mutate into a dire-hippo (untamable by less than level 80).

      Also (social media HELLO) you can marry your Hippo.

    • Grizzly says:

      Can I propose “A toll for supremacy” because then you can be both psuedo-intellectual and achieve a neat pun if you set your game on a pacific island.

      • The Bitcher III says:

        I like. Am envisioning a Hippos In Bikini series of (sexy) skins.

  11. Guimavr7 says:

    I want in, i can 3d model <3 let's do this please uhaeuhuaeuhe

    • cpt_freakout says:

      I also want in, my qualifications are: lives near a park.

  12. racccoon says:

    Citadel forge with fire is a much better game than darknlight as its had far more passion in its game and a more active development team.
    The only real problem with all these types of room based games is they are all using the crappy unreal 4 engine, which causes massive lag spikes. All these game types are modeled around “maps and rooms” with limited players, this causes more problems, because the servers are small they do not have the power to cope with anything but, only 5-8 players.. not 40! or even 60. Whereas a full fledged mmo has hard core servers which cope effortlessly.

    Go get Citadel forged with fire
    for a much better fun game in this scenario of the room based mmo game play. You will still get lag & none if you custom ;) but, its a much better bag in my opinion as i had dnl and hit support for a RETURN quick smart.

    • Kalamadea says:

      Uh, what? UE4 is anything but crappy, lol. You’re getting the wrong idea of it due to incompetent devs jumping onto a free engine, just like you see with Unity. Take a look at Redout, Paragon, Unreal Tournament, GRIP, and Squad for some actual examples of what UE4 is capable of. PUBG is also a good example of UE4’s capability because it’s quite well optimized and has up to 100 people in the same server on a massive map. It also doesn’t base itself on “rooms” like UE3 did, it handles massive worlds extremely well, as PUBG and Squad show.

      There’s a very good reason why Unreal is the most used engine on the market. It’s easy to work with, it’s one of the most powerful engines in existence, alongside Frostbite and CryEngine, and has always been pretty cheap to use and has only gotten cheaper.

  13. Stargazer86 says:

    I kinda agree with the “never pre-order” mentality, yet I kind of don’t. I can see arguments from both sides being perfectly reasonable. Early Access games can burn you. We’ve seen issues with pre-ordering games that turn out to be buggy messes or simply be crap. Sometimes 2 hours isn’t enough to figure this stuff out and then you’re screwed. Then again the Steam refund policy does mitigate some, if not all, of the risks of pre-ordering. And some Early Access games look pretty darn good even in Alpha. Yet some games claim beta status far, far past the point that they should.

    I still lean towards a “wait and see” attitude, myself. It’s simply safer to wait and let reviewers discover the hidden awfulness rather than stumble upon it yourself.

    Although I AM tempted to pick up Foxhole even in spite of it being Early Access…

    • ColonelFailure says:

      Foxhole is splendid already. Played for 4 hours solid with a few associates on Saturday evening, no crashes, no dropped connections – it’s a solid game and a very good foundation. A few more features and some refinement is clearly the early access goal, there’s definitely a good game in there and you can play it right now.

      Two tips:
      1. Play with friends, or get involved with the team you’re on. It’s not a game for lone wolves.

      2. Don’t stress too much about teamkilling. Either when you do it inadvertently or are on the receiving end. It happens a lot, and is near universally accidental. The first grenade you throw will come back in your direction, I promise.

  14. Spinkick says:

    Pre-ordering has no place. Are you guys afraid of running out of 1’s and 0’s to download?

    • Kalamadea says:

      There actually have been cases of Steam running out of keys for games before, and then people had to wait for Valve to get more from the developer. So it is possible for Steam to run out of copies, actually.

  15. sagredo1632 says:

    Archipelago will also need another key ingredient for true monetary success: a digital-only monetization scheme. In addition to skinning hippos for crafting, skinning hippos for unique customization should do the trick. Extra points if skins have limited editions, come via randomized loot and have seasonal content. 3rd party reselling encouraged! Extra craftiness points if you sell a charity skin pack with exclusive content that donates 100%* to hippo conservation efforts!

    *net of salaries, marketing, bonuses, etc.

  16. Al__S says:

    own up: who else went to Streetview to check whether or not there is a Specsavers by the harbour in Lerwick?

    • foop says:

      Went for the Specsavers, stayed for the gigantic ship painted in dazzle camouflage.

      Is Tim Stone planning to help develop this game?

  17. napoleonic says:

    Normally I agree about not pre-ordering, but I don’t think it applies to Total War: Warhammer II. I think that the “no pre-orders” rule only applies to base games, not to DLC.

    Although TW:WHII is nominally a standalone game, effectively it’s an expansion to the first TW:WH: eventually all three will be combinable into one huge TW:WH game. It’s the same engine, the same mechanics, the same basic assets. If you liked the first one, and you eventually want to play the full game, you are going to buy TW:WHII sooner or later, no matter how bad the reviews are. So why not sooner?

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      “you are going to buy TW:WHII sooner or later, no matter how bad the reviews are. So why not sooner?”

      Largely because it’ll end up being half price or less, ‘later’.

      • napoleonic says:

        Fair point, but you’d have to wait a year or so for it to get to half price.

      • DarkFenix says:

        Price isn’t an argument against preordering, it’s more an argument against touching any game less than 6 months after release. The games industry would be in a pretty dire place if everyone followed that policy.

        • Harvey says:

          Yeah, I’m happy with my place in the gamer ecosystem. I wait for all games to be in my price range. 20 greenbacks. Other gamers buying early keeps the developers going, and I don’t have to pay to play a beta version of a game. I NEED my game finished, and cheap. I’m patient, and I thank all pre-orderers and first day purchasers for their service. Without them, where would I be?

  18. MarcusR says:

    While in some cases pre-ordering can be a risky move, bringing that argument up with TW:W 2 is misplaced. We know the game we’re getting, they’re showing off the new content as it leads up to release and the life cycle of the first game has shown massive improvements and success. If there was ever a game we can be sure will work and deliver what’s promised it’s this one. They even changed their policy to something better than a simple pre-order, allowing buyers to get the Norsca bonus for game 1 up to a week after release, so people can see reviews and tests to ensure it all works.
    The way pre-orders work isn’t a universal truth, they can be delivered in good and bad ways. What Creative Assembly is doing shows that it can evolve in good ways, not just bad like with the Tomb Raider example.
    So to answer your hilariously condescending question: Should I pre-order games? Depending on the information available and the context of the games’ delivery, the answer can be yes or no.

  19. Railway Rifle says:

    “So we’ll do… hippos! And the game’s set in… the Shetland Isles!”

    Hippos, but set in Louisiana, in an alternate history. They were going to introduce hippos, but the plan was defeated by one vote. Hippos riding and town building in the rural Southern US early in the 20th century! That’s an original setting. River Of Teeth MMO, yes.

  20. MajorLag says:

    In the spirit of community developed projects, I intend to fork A:BFS. My version is now an Open World Walking Simulator with no crafting, survival mechanics, enemies, or quests. Every player is a Hippo with no meaningful ability to interact with each other outside of Hippo-pantomime. Gameplay consists of wandering around until you find a nice spot to sit for a while, and you win by attaining enlightenment.

  21. Blastaz says:

    My God! Look at what is currently No 1 on Steam!111!!!1

  22. says: