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Opus Magnum

6 days ago

Zach-Like comes to Steam free with loads of game-like extras

Zach-like, the book about Zachlikes by Zach Barth, creator of the genre, is now free albeit notably less papery now. Zachtronics's previously Kickstarter-exclusive book was a collection of design documents from the creator of Spacechem, Opus Magnum, Infinifactory and many more, showing just how he engineers his puzzles. Now anyone can read a digital version for free, and it comes bundled with a pile of his…

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3 months ago

Return Of The Obra Dinn wins IGF Grand Prize

Continuing to copy the tastes of RPS, the Independent Games Festival Awards last night awarded Return Of The Obra Dinn the Seumas McNally Grand Prize during the Game Developers Conference, with a cheeky Excellent In Narrative award on the side too. We declared it our favourite game of 2018 so, y'know, good on ya Ian GF. Correct decision. The other prizes were won by Mirror…

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5 months ago

Zachtronics book Zach-Like shows how the puzzle sausage gets made

I reckon most of the RPS Treehouse gang love us some Zachlikes, since well before Alice Prime coined the term in 2016 in reference to Shenzhen I/O. Puzzlemeister Zach Barth likes the term too, as he's borrowed it for the title of his book. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter (500% funded in one day), Zach-Like shows the workings and the processes behind his practical puzzlers. There's design docs…

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6 months ago

Return of The Obra Dinn, Paratopic and Hypnospace Outlaw headline IGF’s 2019 finalists

The finalists for the 2019 Independent Games Festival award ceremony on March 20th have been announced, and they remind me just how joyful a challenge it is to keep up with indie development. Every category is packed with exciting, creative endeavours both complete or still in development - a reminder that 2018 was a great year for games, and 2019 stands to be even better.…

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7 months ago

Feature:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018: Best PC gaming deals

Is... is it over yet? Are the Black Friday and Cyber Monday PC gaming deals finally finished? Just a couple more hours to go now, you can do it deals herald, you can get through this. You've got a week and a half holiday coming up soon, just get through the afternoon and then you can go and lie in a dark room and not…

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9 months ago

Feature: "I'm in"

How Exapunks represents hacking without limits

It’s pretty obvious that the excellent Exapunks is a game about hacking. Specifically, it’s a game about programming viruses and sending them into networked systems to monkey around with data, set in a great alternative 90s Wired cyberworld of PC cases flashed with black and red decals and zines set in Apple Garamond. For its makers, though, Exapunks is a game about limitations. Its format…

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10 months ago

1 year ago

Feature: Gunpoint's designer analyses games

What Works And Why: Optimising in Opus Magnum

What Works And Why is a new monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game and analyses what makes it good. Opus Magnum is a puzzle game about designing machines that arrange and combine shiny little atoms to turn lead to gold, and other fanciful alchemy. It's by Zachtronics, whose games follow such a recognised pattern…

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Opus Magnum launches on GOG, after initial rejection

The DRM-free digital game store GOG have reversed a baffling curation decision and started selling Opus Magnum, the wonderful machine-building puzzler from the studio behind Spacechem and Shenzhen I/O. GOG had initially declined to stock the game and gave developers Zachtronics a mysterious explanation that it "did not pass our internal curation system". Given that Opus Magnum is one of the best PC games of…

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Feature: Calendar condensed

Best PC games of 2017

The calendar's doors have been opened and the games inside have been eaten. But fear not, latecomer - we've reconstructed the list in this single post for easy re-consumption. Click on to discover the best games of 2017.

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2 years ago

Opus Magnum whirs out of Early Access

The age of machines has begun. I'm not talking about world conquering, human enslaving robots from the Matrix or what have you, nor the warped logic of paperclip-producing AIs. I'm talking about clunky factory lines producing wizard-viagra ('stamina' potions), and cobbled together contraptions that eventually churn out stain-removers. Now that I think about it, those were two unfortunate examples to use next to each other.…

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Feature: Zachlikes

Zach of Zachtronics: “I really like making my dumb little games that don’t matter”

The alchemical puzzler Opus Magnum has a few of us at House RPS scratching our heads and shouting "a-ha!" before giddily sharing our twisted contraptions in GIF form. It's real good, friends. The studio behind it, Zachtronics, is headed by Zach Barth. I spoke to him about the game's machines, his short stint at Valve, and the reasons he sold his own company.

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Feature: Listen while running

Podcast: Into The Breach, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and “running away”

Cowardice is a virtue. So says the team on this week's RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. That's because our theme is "running away" - games that encourage you to flee from danger, or that give you a choice between fight and flight. Adam will run from the soldiers of Arma or the post-apocalyptic antagonists of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Brendan will scarper from poor odds in For…

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Opus Magnum player makes an alchemical computer

By the laws of the game-o-sphere, a computer made from the marbles and metal of alchemy-based puzzler Opus Magnum almost seems like an inevitability. Alchemy and code fan Peer Backhaus has built a - ahem - "Brainfuck interpreter", which is a real computing term and not something I expected to see in my emails when I came into work this morning.

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Feature: Elemental, my dear Reddit

Opus Magnum’s most monstrous machines

Opus Magnum is Zachtronics’ best game and you’ll have to extricate me from an impossible web of metal talons if you want to argue otherwise. It's both understandable and open-ended. I spent almost ten hours on a single puzzle last week, not because I couldn’t decipher a solution but because I wanted a better solution. In the end, the stain remover I invented was a terrible,…

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Feature: Alchemy schmalchemy

Let’s machina: Our proudest Opus Magnum machines

The fever of alchemical engineering has descended on the RPS team like a dank fog. Opus Magnum is the new Zachtronics puzzler that asks you to make some hair gel out of salt and a hangover cure out of marbles. It's really good. We’ve already shown you some mechanical marvels and talked about it on the podcast but since the game includes a “record GIF”…

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Feature: Do tell

What are we all playing this weekend?

Alice is on holiday and she's taken all the games with her. Luckily some developers released new games after she'd left, so the rest of us still have something to play. Our choices are below, but we want to know from you: what are you playing in this weekend of plenty?

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Feature: Guilty as charged

Podcast: Guilty pleasures and Opus Magnum

It's a simple theme this week with the Electronic Wireless Show. We're talking about guilty pleasures - the games that make us feel a wee bit embarrassed but not so much that we won't squirrel away at them while grinning  like idiots. Alec feels a bit sheepish bringing his toy steering wheel to work when planning to play American Truck Simulator. Meanwhile, Matt remembers how…

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Opus Magnum’s alchemy machines are gorgeous

I am raising my head from the alchemy desk to tell you: Opus Magnum is out now and it is good. It's the new puzzle game from Zachtronics which crept up on us this week. This studio’s puzzlers have a definite flavour to them. They’re about fiddling with machines, hacking together a solution out of strange gadgets and mental duct tape before revealing a loudly-ticking…

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