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Oliver Milne

2 years ago

Feature: Spy vs Spy

RPS Suggests: Excellent Espionage

RPS Suggests is where we put forward our own ideas for new games, or changes to old games, or anything else. Think of it like backseat driving for the games industry. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a strategy game possessed of turns, tiles, and pretensions of grandeur, must be in want of an espionage system. It is a truth less often acknowledged, that…

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Feature: Means to an end-game

The successes and failures of Civilization 6

When Sid Meier’s Civilization VI [official site] came out last October, it represented a novel take on the series, boasting two parallel tech trees and an innovative city system that broke the previous games’ monolithic metropoli into distributed districts, with attendant tile-space-management gameplay. Nine months on, I spoke to lead designer Ed Beach about the finer points of the game’s design, what needs work, and…

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Feature: Strategy of place

Civ 6, EUIV and Endless Legend designers on how their strategy games create the illusion of a world

Big, slow, sweeping strategy games expose their rules in a way no other game does. Call of Duty doesn’t have floating numbers above enemy heads, telling you their movement speed, for example. But in most 4X and grand strategy games, there is no attempt to hide exactly how everything works: the stats, their interactions, are all laid out and plain to see. Yet these games…

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3 years ago

Feature: When communities control characters

The strange retro world of Vocaloid fan games

Imagine if Square Enix decided to release Lara Croft under a public license, allowing anyone to legally produce not-for-profit games, comics, films - really anything - starring the adventurer. Of course, that's not what big companies do with their intellectual property. Except, that's what Japanese manufacturing behemoth Yamaha did. For over a decade, Yamaha, in concert with developer and import/export concern Crypton Future Media, has…

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Feature: Some games last a lifetime

The remarkable community around a 27-year-old MS-DOS racing game

What does it take to keep a game alive for 27 years? Stunts, released by Distinctive Software in 1990, is a brutally unforgiving racing game. In glorious 640x480 resolution, it boasts 3D graphics in bold primary colours, a physics engine (that will regularly destroy your car), and a track editor. Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, it was pretty cutting edge. But what…

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Feature: Almost 20 years later...

Meet the superfans still playing Populous: The Beginning

In 1998, Bullfrog released Populous: The Beginning, a quirky RTS sequel to the legendary Populous series of god games, to middling reviews. It ‘[wa]sn’t really Populous’ (Ron Dulin, GameSpot). It was ‘incredibly entertaining for about two weeks’ (Trent Ward, IGN). EA absorbed Bullfrog in 2001, and shut down the game’s multiplayer server in 2004. And that was that. So how come there’s still an active…

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