Oh hey, remember how I was telling you about Circa Infinity [official site] last week? That demo of the first few levels is out now so in the interests of Following Up and Being Thoughtful and whatnot, I’m letting you know.
I used to play Command & Conquer almost exclusively for the base-building; I’d turtle-up, build walls around my home, and get frustrated when enemies would bother me by attacking. If you share my addiction to anal-retentive building placement and efficient production lines, you need to watch the trailer for Factorio immediately. Not only does it evoke the grit of mid-’90s sprite graphics, it’s a game entirely about conveyor belts and machine arms. There’s even a demo! Cor.
Writing a long post about how you’d remake Monkey Island sure is a funny way of demonstrating that “I have no plans to make another Monkey Island.” Threepwood co-parent Ron Gilbert’s done it anyway, and while I believe him when he says he’s currently not working on any such game, it’s hard not to tin-foil-hat-read his post as essentially a public pitch to Disney now they’ve taken LucasArts down to the bottom of the garden. He even mentions Kickstarter, for heaven’s sakes. This is calculated. Whether anything will ever come of it is anyone’s guess – I would imagine it’s less a case of resistance at Disney, and more one of corporate wheels turning too impossibly slowly and safely to even notice this sort of thing.
Anyway, the main event: how Gilbert would tackle a Nu-Monkey, given the opportunity.
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RPS Feature Simulation and wargame news
It’s that time of the week again, that time when Shermans and StuGs stop squabbling, Albatrosses and Camels play football together in no-man’s-land, and rust-streaked U-boats sidle up to exhausted Victory Ships and start nuzzling them like thirsty calves. The Flare Path has been lit, and today its flickering rectangular finger points towards an important flight sim demo, some classified campaign intel, a festival of formation flying, and a sim studio not too proud to beg. Read the rest of this entry »
I miss demos. I miss them so much. I wouldn’t be here, writing these words, if it weren’t for demos: how else could a sport-fearing, skinny young misery with only the slightest pittance for pocketmoney have found his way into playing video games? Once, my bedroom was littered with floppy discs, each and every one of which had at some point led to me standing outside a game shop, counting pennies with a quivering hand, praying I had enough.
Granted, magazines were the gateway drug back then, when there was no way to watch a trailer or scour Facebook for new screenshots, but later in life the web too seemed an infinite fount of sampled digital delights, and led to any number of purchases of those games that seemed the most absorbing – or simply because the demo ended, apparently expertly, at a point which left me urgently hungry for more. Those days are gone.
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Paradox Interactive’s latest strip of historical beef jerky, Commander: Conquest of the Americas, has a brand spanking new demo available for download at FilePlanet. CotA casts players as a European power scrabbling for colonies in the New World at the start of the 16th century, meaning it’s all turning a profit while remembering to fight your wars. Or the other way around, if you’re a jerk. I’ve had a quick look and it seems plenty engaging in a biscuity, Paradoxy, straight-laced sort of way, so why not give it a shot?
The demo stands alone. In all of entertainment, with the possible and fairly rare exception of novel samplers, there’s nothing quite like it – it may be based on the same principles as a movie trailer or a single, but the execution and the eventual effect is entirely different. A movie trailer is a mash-up of the film’s best moments – often to the point that the film itself simply can’t measure up to that ninety seconds of concentrated bombast. A single is, in theory at least, the most immediate track from an album, the song that demonstrates that artist at the height of their abilities.
A demo? It’s got to do so much more than simply look cool or sound catchy. Read the rest of this entry »