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Paul Dean

2 years ago

Feature: Still life

A year in Stardew Valley: life, labour and love

Paul Dean spends a year in Stardew Valley [official site], ahead of the game's one year anniversary later this month, and reflects on the work that goes into building a life, virtual or otherwise. The farm I’ve inherited is a mess. It’s nothing more than a small house at one corner of an overgrown tract of land, set away from a tiny riverside village of…

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Feature: Twin Piqued

Virginia review

I’m delighted to say that Virginia [official site] was not at all about what I thought it would be, what it seemed to be. Pretty early on, its narrative took a surprising sideways step, a sudden and yet fluid motion that made it feel fresh, exciting and unpredictable. It was the first of a series of such steps the game would take, crabbing its way…

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3 years ago

Feature: Grand, old and deadly...

My Favourite Art Style: Baldur’s Gate

RPS has sealed itself inside a chocolate egg for the duration of the UK's long holiday weekend, to emerge only when the reign of Mr Hops The Doom Rabbit has run its dread course. While we slumber, enjoy these fine words previously published as part of our Supporter program. More to come. I will never shut up about Baldur’s Gate. I’ll still be talking about…

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Feature: Winter wonderland?

Cities Skylines – Snowfall review

I have been inside a sauna and I believe the health benefits are dubious at best. Snowfall, the latest expansion for Cities: Skylines [official site], disagrees with me. It reckons that saunas are both recreational and restorative, a mix of a clinic and a park. Build one and your citizens will send a flood of smiles bursting out of your city like souls ascending to…

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Feature: Damned if you do

Mordheim – City Of The Damned review

Hi! How are you? Are you having a good December? It’s almost Christmas. That’s probably something to be excited about, I suppose. I tell you something that’s not worth being excited about, and that’s Mordheim [official site]. Probably don’t get anyone Mordheim for Christmas. I’m going to explain why and to try to remain cheerful, but every time I write about or think about Mordheim's…

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Feature: Saved Games: a retrospective series.

Kohan Is The Game Most Worth Saving From 2001

Every game released before 2005 is being destroyed. We only have time to rescue one game from each year. Not those you've played to death, or the classics that the industry has already learned from. We're going to select the games that still have more to give. These are the Saved Games. It’s not just that I want to save Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns from whatever…

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Feature: Putting the MMO in MMOTCG.

How To Teach An AI To Play Hex: Shards Of Fate

Hex is getting smarter. It’s learning. While it might not quite be approaching the colloquial indifference (or destructive potential) of Wargames’ WOPR, it is watching you play - it’s watching everyone play - and it’s adapting. After their tremendously successful Kickstarter (warning: contains clown death) and while settling a protracted lawsuit with the creators of Magic: The Gathering, developer Cryptozoic have been diligently ploughing through…

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Feature: Everything You Need To Know

Baldur’s Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear
On Mods, Publishers And The Future Of Baldur’s Gate

“We move from custodian to creator.” That was how Trent Oster described it. Beamdog’s co-founder who, twenty years ago, was also there when Bioware began, is once again returning to one of roleplaying’s most beloved and most influential series. This time, he won’t just be adding a new lick of paint here or a subtle embellishment there, as he has with the company’s Enhanced Editions…

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Baldur’s Gate: EE Expanding With Siege Of Dragonspear

We live in interesting times. The Baldur's Gate RPGs are amongst the most well-loved, well-regarded and influential the PC has ever seen, but surely they're now a relic of an ever more distant past? Along with most things that we consider legendary, they have begun to fade into the past and, like weathered statuary, are slowly losing their definition. We remember them fondly, but indistinctly,…

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Feature: Paid Mods, Licensed DLC, And Cease & Desist Letters

How Do Boardgame Creators Feel About Tabletop Simulator And Infringing Mods?

We asked Paul Dean of splendid boardgaming website Shut Up & Sit Down to investigate the future of the enormously successful boardgame software, Tabletop Simulator [official site]. He spoke to the creators, as well as boardgame designers, to discover their feelings towards copyright-infringing mods that replicate their games, plus the possible benefits of paid mods and licensed DLC. The first time I saw anyone playing…

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4 years ago

Feature: Wizarding Again

Magicka 2 Hands On: How To Refine Slapstick Co-Op

I have accidentally killed Peter Cornelius. I have accidentally killed him several times and this has included (but is not limited to) the time that I launched a rock at his head, the time that I electrocuted him and the time that I pushed him off a cliff. On each and every occasion it was an accident and I don't think I was entirely in…

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Feature: Hot Town

Cities: Skylines – Hope For Heartbroken SimCity Fans?

Last year's SimCity disappointed me. Beautifully presented, it was nevertheless cramped, buggy, and content to throw thousands of simoleons at me no matter how good or bad I was at my job. It broke my heart a tiny bit. When I heard that Colossal Order were working on Cities: Skylines, I wondered if they might just pick up the pieces. Already experts on making games…

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Feature: The Pre-Pre-Sequel Interview

Interview: Gearbox On Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

With every new release, the Borderlands universe becomes increasingly ridiculous. It's been happening for a while now, with the puns, the slapstick and the hidden pop culture references that pepper Borderlands 2 and further season its DLC. I'm hardly complaining, because I've gradually disengaged from the first-person shooter over the last few years, confronted again and again by far too many po-faced, monochrome military affairs.…

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Feature: No Nonsense, Just Norse Sense

Interview: Adding Shieldmaidens To War Of The Vikings

War of the Vikings, Paradox Interactive's sequel to the gritty and gruesome War of the Roses, is about to receive its first expansion, a relatively modest addition that adds one new class: the Shieldmaiden. Executive producer Gordon Van Dyke, a veteran of multiplayer development who can trace his history back to some of the early Battlefield games, says it's an opportunity to not only shake…

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