August was a busy month for the RPS community, with action seen in Dirt Rally [official site], Rocket League [official site], Terraria [official site] and others - including Awesomenauts [official site], Natural Selection 2 [official site] and Killing Floor [official site].
Click on for information about each, along with how you can get involved.
I mentioned our Dirt Rally league at the start of June, and since then the fantastically-named 'Rally Power Slide' has swollen to 80 active members, all competing for the best times. The second season finished off at the start of August, followed by the Richard Burns Memorial Rally Revival.
In honour of its namesake, the Memorial Rally demanded careful driving, requiring a methodical approach to each of the protracted courses. The event was lengthy, with times clocking at the hour mark from a combination of tracks - spanning from Wales to Greece.
Despite the many stages, drivers could only repair once during their entire attempt. This lead to many stories of lost minutes thanks to deceptive corners luring unsuspecting players in half-broken cars into accidental offroading.
It was a lot of fun, with many participants scraping across the finish line with wheels falling off, engine warning lights blazing and radiators disappearing. Rally Power Slide has become the league if you want to push your skills, and your car, to their limits.
We're now on the third season, very aptly called 'Highway to Hell'. Taking inspiration from the Rallycross event actually held in Hell (the Norwegian village), event organiser Grizzly has mapped out a gruelling series of challenges, banning restarts for the first two sprint-heavy stages. This season is designed to be ugly, but ultimately very rewarding (if you can survive).
How to join: Everything is organised in this thread on the forum. All of the necessary details of the current season can generally be found in the first post there by Grizzly.
You can also check out the league directly here for the current standings and an overview of each of the events. I think you can even join the league directly through that page too.
Of course we've been busy in Rocket League; it's super, super popular and great to play with friends. There has been an active Steam group specifically for the RPS community for a while now, which is being updated and moderated frequently - it's a good place to find people to play a casual 15-minute match with.
But if you're up for a more competitive experience, there's now several proper leagues for the RPS community. Organised by rocketeers NickWhite and Challenger2uk, there's five weeks of fixtures set up, due to commence from Saturday the 5th of September and running until the 3rd of October. Absolutely loads of people have signed up to take part, with 10 contestants in the one-on-one league, 10 teams in the two-on-two section and six teams playing three-on-three. That sounds manic, but every fixture has a full week to complete in their own time.
The games are set, so now it's time to watch how they pan out over the next month. There's going to be highlights too!
Sign-ups are now closed for this first season, but there's still plenty of room for the second - likely to begin towards the end of October. I'll personally be watching September's efforts with great interest. Heck, we might end by fielding a team in the next MLG tournament - who knows?
How to join: The Steam group is open to anyone, and you can find it here. Click the button on the right to join.
The thread with all of the details of the first league can be found here, and the spreadsheet to sign up for the second league is here. Just put in your name with Steam user page, and keep an eye on the forum for the announcement of the next season.
Two Multiplay servers running. 10 nasty bosses defeated. 800 new members registered.
Terraria is wondrously popular with the RPS crowd, with players killing, crafting and building all day, every day. The launch of the second server in August has proven interesting, with substantial differences appearing compared to the first - although they use exactly the same base world. It's been fascinating to watch the two develop, as their direction has been determined solely by the people playing.
The older server is being filled with huge buildings and sophisticated systems, from agriculture to teleportation - accomplished while fighting against the restrictions of Hardmode.
The newer server initially struggled to build the same infrastructure due to a massive land-grab the moment it opened. In the weeks since, the collective effort of its regulars has helped it emulate (and even occasionally surpass) the wonders of the first.
Due to the huge and constant river of folks wanting to join, the admins are taking a more active role in both controlling the flow of new players being distributed to each server, alongside ensuring everyone plays fairly and follows the rules. This has helped build an atmosphere of positivity and helpfulness even in the face of these huge numbers.
If you'd like to join either server, please don't be discouraged by so many people populating the maps; they're huge worlds and there's plenty to discover. Not only are new bosses killed every Sunday night (EU time), but there's plans to hold different events to help reward all of the great work - and provide fresh gear.
How to join: The first post here contains all of the rules and instructions how to sign up. Essentially, ensure you act nicely and post a bit about yourself in the thread.
Please read the rules carefully; due to the huge numbers across both servers we have strong controls in place for any cheeky stowaway who try to break them.
Other Games (Saturday Night Gaming)
Since the 8th of August, we've hosted a night of playing a new game every Saturday. These have ranged from Terraria, through to Awesomenauts, Natural Selection 2 and Killing Floor, before hitting up some Sonic racing this weekend (5th September). The aim in Saturday Night Gaming is to get people from across the community to meet each other, and play games together - particularly older titles that have been on sale for cheap recently.
The rotation of games has proven interesting and surprisingly fun. It's strange to go back to these communities years after their release, and yet find them still active. What's possibly more unexpected is the great attendance we're seeing every Saturday already.
The mixture of games to date has been nicely balanced, and this will continue in the future. If you're interested, I'm sure there's going to be at least one game you can install and play over the next month.
Even if you don't own any of the games, it may be worth checking in the thread to see if anyone else has a giftable copy. Playing these older games together is really enjoyable (and it's a bit cathartic to set your fellow RPSers on fire).
How to join: The first post in this thread shows the current calendar of games, and the title is updated every week to reflect what will be played on the next Saturday.
Turn up on Mumble (see here) on the night - everything else gets sorted and communicated during the evening, all we ask is your patience.
A lot of other information about how to get involved in the community can be found here. Anyone is free to ask questions (or plug other games) in the comments below.