Posts Tagged ‘Cliff-Harris’

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 Beta Available To Buy Now

'Gratuitous' but not as in free.

Is pre-ordering still pre-ordering if you get instant access to the game? That’s the case with Gratuitous Space Battles 2 [official site], Positech’s follow-up to the spacewar/laserguns management game. If you buy the game now via the developer website, you get instant access to its beta. There’s a new trailer below to prove it.

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Attack Of The Clones & Drones: New Democracy 3 DLC Out

Democracy 3 is a political simulator that works best when treated as a toy rather than a strategy game. Put aside your instinctive desire to win and instead just tinker with its societal web and play out different what-if scenarios. “What happens if the welfare state is dismantled,” you ask. And in the game.

The last expansion let you push those what-ifs into extremism, and the just-released Clones & Drones DLC seems to exist on a similar knife-edge between timely, politically-charged issues and ‘ooh won’t that be fun to make people do.’ Check the trailer below.

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Gratuitous Space Battles 2 Trailer Comes In Peace

Gratuitous Space inspired gratuitous Wikipedia information.

I’ve spent untold hours watching back replays of my own Supreme Commander games, taking the opportunity to slow-down or speed-up time, watch maneuvers by my opponents I missed the first time around, and to marvel at the bombastic laser wars that eventually decide each match.

Gratuitious Space Battles is that whole process as an entire game: you build a fleet, design the ships, and then click go to watch a spectacular hands-off space battle. The sequel seems determined to make those battles more spectacular than ever, as demonstrated by this new trailer. Such pretty lasers and explosions.

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Greatest Britain: Democracy 3 Hands-On

I returned to Democracy 3 in an attempt to put right the wrongs of my previous administration. On my first visit, I broke Britain, crushing its culture and creating a country reminiscent of Clockwork Orange, filled with gangs and ultraviolence. During my second stint in government, I expected to inhabit the middle ground, hoping to discover stability in mediocrity. As always, the plan didn’t quite work out and the actual experience was far more interesting than I’d anticipated.

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A Web Of Lies: Democracy 3 Hands-On

Damn you, Democracy 3, and damn you Cliffski. I wouldn’t say I’m quite at the point where I sympathise with the many blood-sucking insects that make up the UK’s political scene, but I worry that I’m starting to think like one of them. When I began playing, I was determined to do the right thing. A couple of hours later, I realised I didn’t know what the right thing was anymore. Two days in, I’d have chopped off my own hand for a few more votes.

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On The Power And The Diminishing Returns Of “Indie”


Something is happening. I’ve noticed it, you may have noticed it, and it’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s ever bought an “indie” record. The corporations with a finger in this delicious pie we call the games industry have been watching what’s happened, too. They’ve been watching the achievements of the likes of Jonathan Blow, 2Dboy, Notch/Mojang and other countless successful indie developers. Now, they’re changing the way the operate. And that is in turn changing how indies operate. Indie gaming will never be the same again. Is this a bad thing?

We talked to Double Fine, Positech, Klei and others to find out. Read the rest of this entry »

Cabinet Of Curiosities: Democracy 3

Peek behind the scenes of power and you’ll find paper trails and perfidy, but behind the curtain at Positech the scene is entirely different. In the first development video for Democracy 3, Cliffski discusses the new additions to the third game in the political simulator. We’d already heard about the major changes to the private sector, which will allow for more variety in the workings of individual nations. The graphics in the video are taken from Democracy 2 and, in a display of absurd detachment from reality, Cliffski notes that in the new game, cabinet ministers will not all resemble the same few gray-faced husks, cloned and seated side by side.

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Occupy Positech: Democracy 3 Announced

When he isn’t mounting gratuitous battles between war-vehicles of various sorts, Cliff Harris likes to model the political world. The next project from Positech will be Democracy 3, which will benefit not only from updated code, being 95% written from scratch, it’ll also update its political world to incorporate the events of the last five years. Much has changed since Democracy 2’s release and the new game will include reflections on the global credit crunch, Occupy movement and Arab spring, while also reflecting technological and scientific advances. An updated GUI and stronger modding support are also set for inclusion when the game is released “sometime this year”. I enjoyed the previous version, so colour me intrigued.

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Over The Top: Gratuitous Tank Battles Beta Release

Much-anticipated RTS/sim/tower-defense game Gratuitous Tank Battles is now available, even though it’s not entirely complete. The just-this-moment released beta can be yours if you preorder the finished version for $22.95. Currently only available direct from Positech, a purchase will last forever and ever, and there will also be a Steam key provided once the game is released there. Hurrah! In case you didn’t know, Gratuitous Tank Battles imagines that WWI never ended, mixing trench warfare with laser rifles and mechs. A launch trailer nestles in the fox-hole below.

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Development Shell: Gratuitous Tank Battles

Grats!
If there’s one thing better than tanks fighting it out, it’s tanks fighting it out for no reason other than because they are tanks. Let Tanks Be Tanks should be the subtitle of Cliffski‘s RTS, Gratuitous Tank Battles. Followed by three exclamation, because nothing says gratuitous than ‘!!!’. Even the sound in this video is gratuitous: Cliffski has recorded 7 minutes of the game playing, showing off his development tools that he’s choreographing the tank violence with. Unfortunately, the tanks are so loud that he had to set his mic up to compensate. This set off a tit-for-tat response with the game that ended up with his mic being declared a war crime. It’s loud, people.
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Treadnaughts: Gratuitous Tank Battles

It wasn't over by Christmas!

Hello 2012! The observant among you may have noticed that I appeared to write something yesterday but I actually wrote that in 2011. Yesterday, I was still in a burrow eating the last needles of the Christmas tree in preparation for emergence. The first thing I saw as my eyes adjusted to the light was a developer diary for Gratuitous Tank Battles, so I brought that with me. Within, Cliff puts forward two game design proposals. One, “a sort of Upper Class World War I English General Simulator”, the other a game taking place during a war that has spanned centuries, leading to battlefields strewn with laser-spewing Tiger tanks, tiny infantrymen and robots alike. He’s making the latter. We must demand the former as well.

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Tanks In Progress: Gratuitous Tank Battles

Tanks, but also towers.
Cliff Harris has sent word that the first footage of his next game, Gratuitous Tank Battles, is now available. You can see it below. Cliff describes this as “a video showing early work-in-progress footage from battles in ‘Gratuitous Tank Battles’, the RTS/Tower Defense/ Sim strategy game.” In it you can see elements of both the attacking and defending games, as well as some of the conditions of battle, such as pesky darkness. For more on this you can have a read of my interview with Cliff, in which he explains the inspiration for the game and his aims for building on Gratuitous Space Battles with a more complex and strategic game.
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Revealed: Gratuitous Tank Battles

Exclusive!
Today we got to see Positech’s sequel to Gratuitous Space Battles for the first time. Logically enough it was called Gratuitous Tank Battles, because it features a multitude of tanks, and even robots. However, it was very nearly called Gratuitous Trench Battles, and even “Over The Top”, and you can find out why by reading on, below…
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WoL Footage: Harris, Steenberg, Betts


So we already posted the Subversion wobblecam footage from last year’s big indie event, World Of Love, but now there’s much more from a bunch of other speakers. Almost certainly the most interesting of these is the talk by Cliff Harris, who speaks in plain terms about the practicalities of making a living from producing indie games. If you don’t have a cash-button formula like Minecraft then there’s still a lot of hard work to be done, and Cliffski lays that out with illegible Powerpoint slides and straight-talking. Really, this one is worth a watch.

There’s also some of Eskil Steenberg’s wizardry, and some thoughts about how to avoid retro visuals and look good in the 21st century from Tom “Nullpointer” Betts. Go take a look. Also, don’t forget the second World Of Love is up this month. More on that soon!
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Cliffski Shows Us The Games

Even more games, yesterday
Cliff “Positech” Harris, the man who is currently finishing off the campaign parts of Gratuitous Space Battles, has been busy with a side project: wrangling independent developers.They now have a new indie portal called Show Me The Games. It’s supposed to be a collection of some of the best indie games on the PC, and includes some that you might recognise. Cliff explains:

SMTG is a crazy plan to try and prove that indie game developers, despite theoretically being in competition, can come together as a group, throw some money in an ‘advertising’ bucket, and help promote each others games. It’s true that getting indie developers to organise together is like herding cats, but I’ve owned 4 cats over my life, so I’m not scared. Using the amazing nasa-like technology of random numbers, the SMTG site randomises the games listing so nobody gets ‘top slot’. This simple listing of games is hopefully just the start, there may well be competitions, discount bundles or all kinds of stuff happening on SMTG in the future. The main point is that we now have a fixed location to host that kind of thing.

Go take a look.

Develop 10: The Microstudios Panel

Hot hot hot developers!

The Microstudios panel proved to be the most controversial and widely talked about at Develop 10, but the exchange of commentary followed by detente wasn’t all that was worth taking away from the gathering, where Beatnik‘s Robin Lacey (Plain Sight), Positech‘s Cliff Harris (Kudos, Democracy, Gratuitous Space Battles), Introversion‘s Mark Morris (Darwinia, Defcon, Uplink) and Hello Games‘ Sean Murray (Joe “They’ll all be in” Danger “if there’s not a PC port”) talked about the state of the Microstudio. Starting with what a microstudio is anyway…
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Mark Rein Says Sorry To Cliffski

See, look how friendly he is! Picture from www.thegamereviews.com

Mark Rein has said sorry to Cliff Harris over his comments at last week’s Develop Conference. The Develop website reports that Rein was mortified when he learned of Cliffski’s upset, and has written him an email to apologise. The text of the email is available in full over on Develop. Rein makes it very clear that he does support indies, and that his passion and big mouth got him into trouble. It’s an extremely contrite response, and one in which he makes his motivations for interrupting Harris’s panel very clear, along with explaining how Epic isn’t the enemy of the indie. How has Cliffski responded to this? I’d wager good money he’ll let us know in the comments below.

Developer Beef Watch: Positech Vs Epic

Sometimes I love this job.

It really was the Develop for it. After Schafer’s lobbing of the prick-stick at Kotick, Cliff Harris returns from there to write a furious blog post arguing that Epic’s Mark Rein is “a jerk”. Which is a lot milder than prick, but Cliff keeps-on-keeping-on climaxing with him telling that Triple-A bosses should “Fuck off”. The cause for his concertation? Well, it’s the microdeveloper panel at Develop where Harris – on the panel – took umbrage with Rein – in the front row – interrupting the discussion to give him a piece of his marketing wisdom. Go read Cliff’s takes on the event – though I was actually at the event, so will hopefully write it up soon. It’s worth noting that Rein’s interruption came when Cliff was talking about his time with Lionhead and getting into trouble with PRs for speaking to the forumites. However, it quickly continued into the wider area, with Rein basically acting like a fifth panelist for the closing section.

I’m hoping this erupts into a full-scale war between the American Mainstream and British Independents by next Develop, and look forward to Terry Cavanagh saying that Valve are a big bunch of tossers or similar.

Gratuitous Space Battles Add-On Ahoy!


News of a mini-expansion for GSB arrives over on the Positech blog. Cliffski says: “…current plans for the pack are to introduce a new race to the game. It will have the same variety of ships as the other races. The ships will also have a few race-specific modules, and some quite drastic ship bonuses. It was a relief to work out that ship bonuses can be negative, meaning this new batch of ships will have weak shields, weak armor, and very strong hulls.” He’s not yet decided on a price for said expansion, claiming he only wishes to recoup the cost of making it.

Kudos 2 Released: Time To Get A Life?

The aesthetic upgrade doesn't make this any easier to get screenshots for. Pah!
It’s a bit of an indie season, innit? News reaches us that comments-regular Cliffski’s latest game – Kudos 2 – is now available to buy for the sum of twelve quid. Its the sequel to his popular alternate-take on the Sims – think the Sims meet Princess Maker. And if you don’t know Princess Maker, think Championship Manager with a Teenage Girl, except Kudos is about 20-somethings. I liked the first one, and this one seems a genuine improvement, not least because of the cool indy aesthetic brought by Jamie “Suburban Glamour” McKelvie. A demo can be downloaded off the electric internet. It’s amazing! Like, a game just arriving on your hard-drive by clicking on your screen. This shit is going to catch on. Seriously, try it.