The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for baby baby baby baby bab–

Fridays are for preparing a collection of the week’s (and then some) best games writing. Since I haven’t been around for the past month, some of these articles are a little older than normal.

At Sub-Q – an “interactive magazine for interactive fiction” – A. Johanna DeNiro looks at the work of a forgotten, maybe-bad, maybe-great IF creator, Rybread Celsius.

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Free Loaders: There’s A Storm Coming

A series of bizarre typhoons struck coastlines in dozens of countries last week in a global phenomenon many are calling the ‘Ludum Storm’. The tempests appear without warning and produce a heavy downpour of free games, leading many to suspect the Ludum Darists to be somehow behind the surreal weather. Our sources say that elements calling themselves ‘the 35th Division’ have taken responsibility for the storms. Forecasters are warning people to stay inside, close their windows and to play only “safe, expensive videogames.”

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What Are We All Playing This Weekend?

Monday is a holiday for us so we’ll be a bit quieter than usual until Tuesday.

But, more importantly… they said it couldn’t be done. They said it’d never happen. They said I was only fooling myself. Hmph! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: all six RPS staffers reporting what we’re playing this weekend!

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How Brutal Doom’s Gore Works

“Saved my hide, it did. The alien’s broad back shielded me as its brethren flung their fiery mucus wads; the fireballs burst, spraying flaming, red liquid that dribbled down my dance partner’s legs to pool on the ground, lighting the room with a hellish, red glaze. I fired nine or ten times, finally blowing a hole clean through the alien … a gory loophole through which I turned on the rest.”

Knee Deep in the Dead, Dafydd Ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver’s novelisation of Doom, is perhaps a little more theatrical than the Doom that played in my head during the summer of 1994. It features a sidekick and talking demons, and dramatised sequences in which protagonist Corporal Flynn Taggart finds ammo and bumps up against walls to find secrets. But it captures something of Doom’s intensely graphic nature. Doom was the first game I played that felt truly fluid and direct.

Playing Brutal Doom [official site] today feels like Doom always did, despite its custom levels and gouts of blood and gore, death animations and chugging live versions of Doom’s MUS originals. It overhauls pretty much every element of the original, and yet it’s the Doom that plays in my memory, amplifying the original’s gore and immediacy to suit a post-COD, Gears of War – heck, Soldier of Fortune – world. For me, the latest version, v20b, reaches a state of the sublime. But while the blood that drips from ceilings and screen-filling viscera are its obvious achievements, something far more prosaic lies at the root of how it works so well.

THE MECHANIC: Hitboxes.

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LoL Mage Update: What You Need To Know

With the Mid-Season Invitational around the corner for League of Legends, plans are already well underway at Riot Games for the Summer season. As we’ve discussed before, Riot are not the kind of studio to sit on their haunches and major changes are coming to the game in the form of the Mage Update. You can find the full details of the patch here, but here’s what you need to know:

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Wot I Think: Offworld Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company [official site], the new game from Civ IV lead designer Soren Johnson and his team at Mohawk Games, is a strategic simulation of a sci-fi Martian economy. It’s also one of the smartest strategy games I’ve ever played.

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