Posts Tagged ‘eskil-steenberg’

How To Make A Great British Bake Off Game

The latest series of The Great British Bake Off has come to an end, causing those of us hooked by its cream-filled buns, end-of-the-pier puns, and oddly sincere celebration of the human spirit, to feel as empty inside as an incompletely prepared batch of jam donuts. After a few days spent facing a future free from sugar, gluten, and the strange tension between Paul Hollywood and hosts Mel & Sue, I decided to do something about it. I emailed some game designers and asked them a question: if you were charged with making a computer game of The Great British Bake Off, how would you do it?

The answers are below.

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Love In The Dark: Steenberg Releases Exo Test

I love it like EXO, You love me like EXO

You may think you’re something of a video games whizz. After a few minutes of button-bashing and mouse-waggling you’ll figure out any game, you like to think. No. Nope. Not with this. Love maker Eskil Steenberg has released a public test version of his next game, Exo (formerly Dark Side of the Moon), and you should read the helpful file named How_to_play.txt. Without it, you may not even twig that it’s a stealth RTS about heavily-armed exosuits hiding in shadows. I certainly didn’t.

Testing’s centred around a thread on The Crate and Crowbar’s forums (it’s some manner of cyberpod, I told), so grab the build and head over there.

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The Steenberg Emails


Well, email. “Emails” just makes it sound cooler, like a political thriller. I’m sorry I lied to get you in here, but there’s something fun waiting for you. I promise. You might remember the post from last week when I DRAMATICALLY REVEALED Love guru Eskil Steenberg was working on a strategy game, codenamed The Dark Side Of The Moon. It was all very exciting. I received a round of high-fives, and Adam told me to take the weekend off, even though it was my last post of the week. Anyway, I asked a few questions in it, because Eskil’s games always leave you with a few head-scratchers. Eskil took it on himself to answer them, pretty much doing my job for me. I wrote a news story and Q&A in one! Go me!
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We Can Finally See The Dark Side Of The Moon

No, it's not very dark. Well done.
Lovely Love-maker Eskil Steenberg has finally revealed what his next project will be. He just popped a video up on Youtube, showing off the prototype for a Dark Side Of The Moon, a “real-time strategy stealth action game”. The video is a quick look at some of the units he’s preparing for the battlefield. It looks like he’ll be focusing on smaller battles, rather than turning out a StarCraft clone.

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Eskil Steenberg’s Love Is Free


It’s as if he wanted his own pun thread. Love, the strange and beautiful co-op building/combat MMO, is now completely free. If you have never played it, you should, because it is one of the great outliers of game design. Eskil has been quietly working on in for several years, and it’s packed with surprising features, clever AI behaviour, obscure solutions, and hallucinatory visuals. I know you’ve got a lot of other games to play right now, but make time for this oddity. There is nothing else like it.

To understand a bit about how this game works, and how Eskil thinks, check out the video below. It shows you all the different ways you can get up a ledge. No, really. Take a look.
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Falling In Love Again


Delicately enigmatic online shootery buildery co-opery thing Love is just a slightly bit less enigmatic now, waving in new users to its impressionistic world via a demo. The one-man MMO show has just welcomed an expansion, Dark Matter Spreads Over Fair Land, where the world you’re on is a slowly corrupting via a powerful artifact. As Eskil Steenberg puts it: “Bad things happen”. The demo is actually the full client, so all you need to do is download it and select ‘demo’. You don’t even need to sign up. If this is your first time playing, you might want to watch the tutorial video below.
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Love Grows Stronger, Deeper, Cheaper

In the beginning there was a word, and the word was gorgeous.

In stark contrast to the usual internet drum-banging that occurs whenever a developer patches a new feature into their game, Eskil Steenberg has been growing Love– his beautiful, enigmatic, online building game- on the sly, with new features arriving simply as precious treats for the game’s existing community. As of this week, he’s dropped the price of the game to €10 for 180 days and is looking to expand his playerbase. Actually, let me phrase it another way. Eskil wants you. I met up with him for a spellbinding demonstration of what he’s added to Love, where he’s taking it and why you should be playing it.
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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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Free Love Weekend


No, nothing like that. It’s Eskil opening up his minimally-multiplayer shooting and building game, Love, to everyone, just for this coming weekend. Being co-op down to its procedurally generated soul, it’s a game that is best played with chums, so why don’t we get on there and have a RPS love-in on Saturday night, perhaps from about 7pm BST? You can download the client now from here, and it will be automatically free to access any of the servers over the weekend. Useful fan portal for the game over here.

Love Spreads: Free “Avail” Expansion


Steenberg has announced that there’s going to be a free expansion for his mini-MO, Love. It’s called Avail, and it’s going to allow players to benefit more from their progress within the game, specifically in a player advancement system and in being able to extract a number of precious resources from the landscape. Progression will be based on standing with other players who are online at the time. Co-operate with more people and your standing rises. Resource, it seems, will be used to upgrade certain tokens and produce better equipment and tools. No release date yet, but more info here.

Eskil Steenberg Made Love


Beautiful and weird co-op combat and settlement-building MMO Love has been released. After months of furious development, one-man studio Eskil Steenberg has finally brought his project to completion, and it’s one of the most individualistic, esoteric experiences in gaming. It really is not like other games, and as such it’s my opinion that you should probably try it for yourself. Love is a challenging thing, but worth investigating. (And in the game! – RPS joke-o-matic.) It’s €10 for a month, and you can download the test client to make sure the game runs on your machine, before you buy. All the details are here, while Eskil’s Twitter records the vast catalogue of changes he’s made in the past few months.

Go take a look. (Also forum help and basic tutorials here.)

The Incredible Secret Future Of Videogames


This is a heavily revised version of an article first published in PC Gamer UK, last year. It’s based on a presentation given by Ray Kurzweil at GDC 2008, and subsequent conversations I had with the author Charles Stross and the game designer Eskil Steenberg.

This article began back in 2008, when I was sat in the audience for GDC’s keynote speech by futurist Ray Kurweil. “Games are the harbinger of everything,” Kurzweil was saying, as he delivered his take on the future of everything (with slight emphasis on games) to the assembled design-masses. The controversial technologist, who regularly talks about his hopes for technological immortality and transhuman ascension via artificial intelligence, was arguing that games were where the future manifested itself. “Ultimately,” he said, “they’re going to be competitive with real reality.” These were claims I’d heard a bunch of times before. Often, in the pub, during conversations with Kieron, as he gesticulated dangerously behind a glass of wine. Other times from developers, writers, and gamers. I realised, watching Kurzweil, that it was something I was going to have to write more about: just what kind of future do games promise?

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“What Is Love, Beta?”


The “beta” version of build ‘n’ shoot micro-MMO Love has almost arrived. It’s not beta in the usual sense, of course, because like the previous alpha-test version you’ll need to pay a 3€ fee for access. Currently the testing stage is only for previous subscribers, but it’ll be opened up as access for all on the 7th. Eskil has been working hard squashing bugs and introducing new features, and it’s reflected in a new level of polish within the game world.

And Love’s world is not like that of other games, as I’ll explain below.
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Worlds Apart: Love & Neverdaunt 8bit


Oddly, Love isn’t the only trippy single-programmer MMOG with an emphasis on player landscaping and building that’s currently in beta. There’s also Neverdaunt 8Bit, or N8, which swaps procedurally generated gorgeousity and lethal roaming AI for a retro aesthetic and plain old messing around. I took a closer look at both of them recently and find myself liking one an awful lot more than the other. Find out which after the jump.
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Morning, Love


Having pootled around in Love for a while last week, and watching Steenberg’s updates on Twitter, I decided it was time to have a decent session in the alpha build of the game. This led to me tell my girlfriend that I’d be spending the morning “in Love with James.” She didn’t bat an eyelid, used to such early-morning incoherence, and continued getting ready for work. Later, armed with Teamspeak and cups of tea, James (Arma II’s scriptwriter) and I set about investigating the indie not-quite-MMO in its embryonic stages. Our findings are below.
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Is Love All You Need? Public Alpha Go!


Eskil Steenberg sends word that he’s opening up the alpha of his game to the public. Because it requires servers to be run to test it, he’s asking money for access at this eatly stage. You will be helping test a game, but the fee is relatively small. You can get it for 3 Euros, which is about £2.80. HOWEVER, it is not a finished product and/or service, and it is the work of a one man team. If you don’t like the idea of paying for an explicitly unfinished game, then this is not for you. If you want access to a weird and beautiful indie MMO, and to help make it work in the long run, then get your wallet out. To be sure it runs on your PC please download the client and get the alpha access details via the game itself. That way, says Eskil, you can be sure the game will function on your machine, as the world displays in the menu screen. You can follow Eskil’s ongoing updates on Twitter. And very brief first impressions follow…
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Love Test Client


Nothing playable yet, but Steenberg has released a test client that will (via the menu screen) show how well his impressionistic multiplayer game will run on your PC. It’s kind of tantalising and frustrating to download this and not be able to log in, but by running it you’ll be helping Steenberg out by gauging interest and general PC specs for his potential audience. Also: pretty.

Steenberg says that the beta is “close” perhaps “just a matter of days”. Woo.

Go watch the video, or check out the new screenshots, to remind yourself of why we’re excited.

Automagic: Love Footage And Tools Demo


Graphics wizard and solo MMO developer Eskil Steenberg has just posted up a couple of videos from GDC. The first shows a substantial amount of footage from the game itself, with Steenberg playing around in the game world, building, deploying items, creating infrastructure, setting off remote radio bombs, sabotaging AI manufacturing plants, exploring deserts, and so on. Amazing stuff. Perhaps even more impressive, even for the non-technical among us, is Steenberg’s tools demo footage. Go watch. Original trailer here.

Love Gets Closer


Just a random bit of newsflash from one of the games we’ve been following most closely this year: Eskil Steenberg’s latest blog entry closes with the line: “I don’t know if is possible to “manufacture” great control bugs, but its worth a try, maybe I already have. Next week when i get back home from LA, my first alpha will go out so I guess I will find out.”

Hopefully we’ll get to find out too. If you missed the trailer for this amazing looking indie MMO, check out the trailer.

RPS Interview: Love


Following on from the recent trailer, I decided to see if one-man-studio Eskil Steenberg would answer a few more questions about his city-building MMOFPS. Below we find out a little more about what we can expect from his strange indie project.

Jim: So, my first question is about the visual style of Love. Was it something you envisioned, or did it come about via experimentation?

Eskil: I had an original vision, but it has taken a lot of experimentation. Being a graphics programmer means that I never really stop tweaking it and testing new things.The graphics look has already moved on a bit from the trailer, even. I have clear inspirations, like Craig Mullins, Syd Mead, and Ralph McQuarrie.
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