Fullbright On The Games Gone Home Is And Isn’t Like

Last week, I ran the first half of my recent chat with Steve Gaynor, formerly of Irrational and 2K Marin, and now of indie studio The Fullbright Company – who are working on mysterious, ambitious, suburban-set non-combat first-person game Gone Home. Being as I am an investigative journalist par excellence, I decided that it would be appropriate to spend the second half of the interview forgoing questioning entirely in favour of simply shouting the names of other games at him. Games like Myst, Amnesia, Jurassic Park: Trespasser, Journey and Dear Esther. Rather than hanging up in disgust, he offered fascinating, thoughtful replies on the limits of interactivity in games and the sort of scale Gone Home is intended to operate on.
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You Winarium Or You Diearium: Survarium

A new developer diary for Survarium, which is not STALKER 1.5, STALKER 2 or STALKER Online, fails to dispel such notions entirely by referring to anomalies and artifacts at the first possible opportunity. A finely edited montage of horrors explains how the world died this time around and creeping botanical nightmares make even the talking head sections quite unnerving. Then there’s explanation of levels, purchases and perks, and the two game modes: team combat and co-op. Then, right at the end, a man with a magnificent beard appears to talk about One More Mode (cue: Daft Punk’s One More Time).

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Wot I Think: Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

sssssssspppppppppaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCEEE
The boys at RPS needed somebody who knew about rebellions for this review, so they called me in because I am Northern Irish and I once shot a gun. I thought, “This will be easy because it is a game about rebellion. There is even ‘rebellion’ in the title.” And then I discovered it was a game about SPACE rebellion, which is completely outside of my knowledge because I have not been into space even once. I thought, “I am in trouble now because I am not good at being in space.” I am currently playing a pen and paper role-playing campaign set in space. The character I rolled is so traumatised by life in space that every time there is a “stressful situation” he has to roll to see how he reacts. If I roll a one, I have to go through a psychotic breakdown.

I am not good at being in space. And here’s wot i think of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion.
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Glam Dunk: BasketBelle Is Out Now

My only actual sporting injury was inflicted during a game of basketball and there weren't even any purple monsters opposing me, just tall, cruel teenagers who swatted me aside as they carved up the court

I am tiny and weak, which contributes to my being terrible at basketball, but I’m hoping to be quite good at BasketBelle. From the creator of tear-yanking But That Was [Yesterday], its trippy visuals and shimmering soundtrack are precisely my sort of thing. Taking place over seven chapters, each of which uses the basic concept of ball-to-basket in a different way, including monster battles in Paris and journeys through the clouds, it’s available now and there’s some new video below.

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Cardboard Children: Infiltration


Hello youse.

Our planned photo special must be bumped to next Sunday, because this week a great new game came into my life. Of all the columns I write, these ones are my favourite – I get to recommend something great, and it’s easily available. You can read these words and then order it instantly. And that’s exactly what you should do. It’s a game called “Infiltration” and after the jump I’ll tell you all about it. It’s brilliant.

Will you Advance?
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The Sunday Papers


Sunday mornings are for waking up back at Rossignol HQ and being pleased that Rezzed was a success. Wish you had been there, etc. But anyway, let’s get back to the usual way of things and examine the evidence for people know what they are talking about when it comes to games.

  • This is great: Fun Is Boring on Gamasutra. “Fun is a lazy word. A bit like “game”. On first blush anyone can grin, nod their head, and think they understand what you’re talking about — but there are breathtaking gulfs between Today I Die and World of Warcraft, between Monopoly and Foursquare (both social networking or playground variants). Pete Garcin wrote a good piece last year about the problems of broad language, though he wasn’t looking to, “pick on ‘fun’ specifically.” Let’s pick on fun, specifically.”
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Day Z Heading For Half A Million Players


Speaking at Rezzed, Day Z‘s Dean Hall said: “We’ve got 420,000 now. We’ll have 430,000 tomorrow.” The Arma 3 developer reckons that his mod will end up selling more copies than Arma 2 did originally. “Currently we’re running 22,000 concurrent at full peak, and 10,000 off peak, which is pretty huge numbers considering the original data structure and system was designed to handle 100 concurrents, and two servers… We now have 1000 servers. We’re getting 110,000 players in a 24 hour period at the moment.”

Game of the year so far, for me at least. And for a few other people, it seems. [I missed Rocket’s session, sadly, so thanks to Eurogamer for covering it.]

Kickstarter Katchup – 7th July 2012

Lots of losses this week, demonstrating that 55% failure rate that gaming Kickstarters experience. Some aren’t surprises, others really are. But there are winners too, and an awful lot of new games appearing in the list this week.

Usual disclaimer: Featuring a game here doesn’t mean we endorse giving it your money. If there’s something you’d like to see appear, email me via my name above, but that doesn’t guarantee inclusion. And finally, be warned about “flexible funding” on some Indiegogo projects – it means they’ll get your money even if they come nowhere near their target.

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Of Ooos And Ahhhs: Of Orcs And Men Looks Quite Good

Not pictured: men.

It’s been more than a year since we last peeked into the Cyanide-and-Spiders-filled cauldron that’s cooking up Of Orcs And Men, and that’s a bit of a shame. If you ask me, it’s looking rather promising – though information on combat, skills, etc is unfortunately scarce at the moment. But, at the very least, the central concept – humans are dumb jerks and you, an orc, must battle back against their oppressive, racism-steeped regime – sounds like it could provide the ingredients for a very special dish: a fantasy RPG that’s actually unique. You’ll find two impressive-looking trailers beyond the break, after which you are cordially invited to join me in heel-clicking-centric merriment and light discussion. There will, however, be no refreshments, because humans are jerks who don’t deserve liquids.

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Don’t Worry, Activision Also Has A Walking Dead Game

Quietly now, everyone. If we catch him while he's posing, he probably won't notice us.

So, those comic-based Walking Dead games from Telltale are pretty great, huh? Well, if you’re worried about some “There ain’t enough room in this town for the two of uuuuuuh [jaw falls off]” showdown, don’t be. Activision’s take on the one zombie franchise to rule them all is an entirely different animal – by which I mean it’s the same animal as a lot of other animals: a first-person shooter. Also, it’s based on AMC’s Walking Dead television show instead of the comics. Terminal Reality, they of the recent Ghost Busters game and, er, Kinect Star Wars, is on development duty, promising an emphasis on scarce supplies and survival over all-out action.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Derezzed


All the cool kids are at Rezzed today so it has fallen to me – professional uncool kid Tony Heugh – to be your bargain guide. Don’t focus on the fun they must be having without us, grab your bindle and come with me on a discounted adventure across the very best digital distributor bargains. For more deals you can find us at SavyGamer.co.uk.

This week there’s still no sign of the Steam Summer Sale but we have bundles aplenty, a Double Fine triple and even a chance to break out MS Paint. Read the rest of this entry »

Life-Changing: Molyneux Pegs Curiosity For August

Guys, I know what's inside the box! It's the color green! What do I win?

Here at RPS, we consider all of our posts to be small, mysterious boxes with things of life-changing significance inside. Especially this one. So it’s a bit flattering to hear that fabled Fable-er and god of god gaming Peter Molyneux is totally stealing our format. Yep. That is definitely what’s happening. On August 22, Molyneux’s cube-tapping opus is coming to PC (and the tiny, rectangular PCs that can make phone calls), and he claims whatever’s inside will be “life-changingly important.”

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Fear Not: Walking Dead Ep 3 On Track For Mid-August

At the end of the day, zombie hordes are unstoppable, but they can be impeded – for instance, by tricky doorknobs, flamethrowers, and their most well-known nemesis of all: the pulse-pounding perils of game development. So it was with Walking Dead Episode Two, which managed to stumble and moan its way into the very end of June. Telltale assures, however, that the wait for Episode Three won’t be quite so lengthy. Well, kinda.

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WWI Meets RPG: The Trench

OK, OK, jeez, truce. Now you go hide and I'll seek.

If I’m being honest, neither of The Trench‘s trailers – both of which you’ll find after the break – look too terribly different standard World War Whichever fare. But, reading more about the WWI “50 percent FPS, 50 percent RPG” from Gallica Game Studio, it sounds like its most interesting bits wouldn’t trailer well anyway. Basically, though, The Trench puts you in the meticulously laced combat boots of a French soldier on the Verdun front three days before the German assault on February 21st, 1916. So, for the most part, you’ll spend those precious few moments preparing – which, among other things, includes positioning soldiers and weaponry, exploring your trench, customizing equipment, and taking sidequests from NPCs.

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Mulling Mode 7 Man’s Management-Centric Maia

Simon Roth is best known as the newest recruit to Frozen Synapse creators Mode 7, but he’s also one of the most veteran developers in the entire history of the world, if my research is correct. And he’s moonlighting on a side-project all of his own, the Bullfrog/early Maxis-inspired sci-fi management game Maia. This isn’t a matter of keeping colonists happy with space ice cream and zero-grav toilets – we’re promised the likes of ‘up to 2KM X 2KM X 2KM of procedural world’, water and lava simulation, defensive structures to fend off hostile wildlife, bipolar robots and a first-person mode.

Oh, dare I dream ‘sci-fi Dungeon Keeper’?
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Interview: Best Way Talk Nuclear Union

Conducting the interview, yesterday.
In June I was pleased and surprised to see Nuclear Union, a post-apocalyptic RPG, announced by 1c. What was most intriguing about that announcement was that the team making it was most famous for its strategy titles, culminating in the Men Of War games. It’ll even be a new version of the same engine which powers this new game. Therefore I just had to talk to director of game design Julia Romanova, and ask her a few questions about what her team is up to. You can find the answers below.
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Secret World’s Tornquist On F2P, Single-Player Games

The Secret World is officially live, and we’ve both locked it in a room with our most dangerous mythical creature, Adam, and hurled questions at creative director Ragnar Tornquist until he cracked – by which I mean “willingly and jovially answered my questions in a highly consensual fashion.” And today, the insane brutality continues. Specifically, we discuss free-to-play, what Tornquist plans on doing next (hint: probably not another MMO), social gaming, whether or not MMO business models hurt fun, and more.

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Wait, Since When Did Diablo Need An Endgame?

I actually had my eyes replaced with rubies because I ran out of space for ALL OF THE LOOT.

Man cannot live on loot alone. Well, I’ve never actually tried, but I assume so, anyway. Blizzard, however, speaks with the experience of a developer that’s feasted on gold coins (that weren’t made of chocolate) and wiped the sweat from its brow with gleaming, mythril-infused hauberks (that, regrettably, also weren’t made of chocolate). It knows loot, is what I’m saying. So when it says that forcing Diablo III players to subsist solely on the stuff just isn’t doing the job, you know it means it. Once upon a time, though, this wasn’t even a concern. People hacked, slashed, and looted until they got their fill, and then they moved on to a different game. So why are players suddenly demanding that an entirely different sort of experience be duct-taped onto the end of Diablo’s?

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The Sicilian Defence: Battlefront Talk Plans, Prices, & Pixies

I’m free! Using a straightened coathanger, a blob of chewing gum, and an old Broken Sword walkthrough, I’ve managed to escape the fetid dungeon that is The Flare Path. God, the air out here sure is sweet. And the views – wow! – that must be Mount Manshoot over there, and that can only be the Temple of Fairly Tiresome MMOs. A man could totally reinvent himself in a land like this… he could ditch decades’ worth of baggage and inhibitions.

Alternatively, he could have a panic attack, and decide to calm himself by talking to the nice people* at Battlefront about their staggeringly bold Combat Mission roadmap.

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Ain’t No Mystery: Fullbright Talks Gone Home

Gone Home is to be the first game from The Fullbright Company, a new indie studio whose formerly mainstream members were previously the prime creators of the excellent BioShock 2 add-on Minerva’s Den, as well as working on assorted other 2K projects. I had a chat with Mr Fullbright himself, Steve Gaynor, about their highly intriguing but equally mysterious non-combat first-person game. Why ditch the guns? Why leave cushty industry jobs to do this? How abstract will it be? How much can the physics be abused? I also made some sweeping generalisations about Columbo.
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