We asked Dota 2’s Frostivus contest participants about spec work

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Frostivus is coming, but it’s not designed by the people you might expect. Frostivus is the Christmas event that Valve used to run for Dota 2 every year, though their last effort was way back in 2014. This year, Valve are turning to their modding community to revive the event in the form of a contest, with a $30,000 prize for the winner. I spoke to several participants about their games, and how they feel about doing what many would consider as spec work.

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Ridealong: A real comedian goes to Comedy Night

It didn't go well

In Ridealong we send Brendan into game worlds to meet the inhabitants that dwell within. This time, he introduces a professional comedian to the hecklers and horror of Comedy Night

“I hate this,” says Glenn. “What an absolute hellscape.”

Glenn Moore has been a comedian for years. He has written for TV and performed on panel show Mock The Week. Last year his Edinburgh Fringe performance won an award for ‘Best Debut Show’. But on this stage, none of that matters. Here, he is nervous and uncomfortable. It’s hardly a surprise. He’s just had “nigger” shouted at him, over and over. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: Post Sale Fatigue Edition

The tail-end of Steam’s Autumnal sale sees a few old favourites lingering with the usual suspects in the charts this week. The discounts that got them here are all gone now, but it’s only a couple of weeks now before everything goes completely bonkers for the Winter Sale, and you can expect to see all the same names deeply discounted once more. Read the rest of this entry »

What are we all playing this weekend?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Christmasish, at least. Close to Christmassy. God help me, I adore this season. The lights, the music, the movies, the endless sweet treats, people wearing paper crowns, the RPS Advent Calendar… it’s a good season. I deal very badly with Christmas itself but Christmas time is grand. What I’m saying is: it is now official Christmas tradition to play both Skeal and Dracula Cha Cha, so get to it.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. Read the rest of this entry »

Into The Breach: a diary of doom

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With apologies about continued teasing you with something you can’t have quite yet, I wanted to follow-up our recent chat about the stressful wonders of FTL follow-up Into The Breach with an after-action report. This takes you through how the game actually works, and demonstrates the kinds of decisions, sacrifices and face-palming involved in every moment of it.

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Podcast: Our most anticipated games of 2018

"YOU SHALL MAKE A NICE PURSE, DRAGON!"

What do you mean there’s a whole month of 2017 left? Well, the disembodied mouths of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, are tired of waiting. This week the team look at some of the most exciting upcoming games of 2018. Adam is looking forward to smashing big robots with other, bigger robots in Battletech. Matt wants to make trousers from dinosaur skin in Monster Hunter World. And Brendan forgot all about how much he’s excited by surreal isometric detective game No Truce With The Furies.

We’ve also got some chat about Viking strategy game Northgard and yet more love for FTL follow-up Into The Breach. Plus, our Patch Adam quiz is back!

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Best PC gaming deals of the week

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After all the madness that was Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s only natural that we’d be in the middle of a bit of a deals lull – in a purgatory-like state between the end of the Black Friday sales and the beginning of the Christmas sales. That being said, there’s still a handful of very nice offers out there, so let’s return to our regular scheduled programming with this week’s best PC gaming deals. This one will be brief.

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The awesome and alluring RPS Advent Calendar 2017

We like to have our eyes fixed on the future here at RPS, celebrating those games and creators that push things forward, but from time to time, tradition can be a fine thing and the RPS Advent Calendar is our grandest tradition. Here’s how it works.

As December begins, we round up our favourite games of the year and trap them behind the doors of a giant calendar/dungeon. Every day, we open a door and allow the game behind it to emerge, bewildered, into the cold of winter. Don’t worry – there’s plenty to keep them occupied while they’re locked inside the calendar, including a bottle of pop, a half-completed Witcher colouring book and a cracked snowglobe. The final game to leave is our absolute favourite game of the year, but they’re all great games so do greet their emergence with applause, cheers and kind words. Perhaps you could bring them a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa?

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The Flare Path: Claas War

For the past decade GIANTS Software has had the farming sim sector pretty much to itself. None of the competing agri offerings that have arrived in the years since FS2008 first lowered a plough and spreadeagled a sprayer have succeeded in loosening the Swiss stranglehold. Might Cattle and Crops have what it takes? Now approximately a month away from a Steam Early Access release, C&C’s not-so-secret weapons are physics, mud, and weather. Developer Masterbrain Bytes want to remind us why tractors are such stocky fellows and why they wear such big boots. Read the rest of this entry »

Nasty, brutish and short – Rust and the state of nature

Facepunch’s violent, vile Rust isn’t an obvious starting place to learn about philosophy. You might explore virtue ethics with the Ultima series, or free will with Bioshock, or concepts of self and moral worth with Soma. Even when looking at political philosophy, you’d perhaps be more inclined to stop by the totalitarian bureaucracy of Paper’s Please, or Crusader Kings II’s massive variety of governmental forms, or Eve Online’s+ unique democracy/tribalism.

But Rust…? Rust, a primitive world of dingly-dangly dongs and caved-in skulls? A transient land of ramshackle fortresses and roving gangs of hostile thugs? What can we hope to learn from that?

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Wot I Think: Battle Chef Brigade

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They say the best meals start with the finest ingredients. For example, if you take a freshly bought Pot Noodle, add a splash of boiling water and a soupçon of sachet sauce, you have a tasty meal for the bachelor in a hurry. Trinket Studios’ Battle Chef Brigade is a little more omnivorous, and a lot more ambitious, drawing from puzzle games and anime and reality TV in a way that, perhaps, should result in a steaming mess. It’s not a steaming mess, I’m happy to report, even if a couple of the ingredients do feel a little underdone.

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Football Manager 2018’s best wonderkids

Football Manager 2018 isn’t just about playing for a season, giving up, then starting over – it’s about building a legacy, relationships and a squad to be proud of. With that comes the need to sign people who are still legally children for more money than most of us will ever see in our lives. Wonderkids, then.

With that in mind, I’ve trawled through the game to find 36 of the best young players in the game, across all positions, and for a selection of budgets. The days of genuine bargains have faded into near obscurity, but you’ll still be able to put together a winning squad for a reasonable amount. Just remember they probably won’t be winning anything until 2023 at the earliest.

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Have You Played… Another World?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

(Out Of This World if you are not tea-swilling, toothless Brit who cleans chimbleys in old lahndahn tahn). SPOILERS for a 26-year-old videogame follow.

The first time a game broke my heart, or at least left me in a state of shocked disbelief. Read the rest of this entry »