Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Stellaris: A utopian race of multicultural turtles, part 2

Last time in this diary on grand space strategy Stellaris, my species of sugary, democratic Tortals invited everyone to their space nation regardless of race, creed or culture. It was a burgeoning multicultural utopia called the Open Gates. Then a terrifying horde of transdimensional beings arrived and started to eat everyone like a rack of saucy ribs, which is against the rules.

The Tortals and their compatriots have now escaped in a flotilla of refugee ships to the Shell, a corner of space where they hope to be safe. They are far from the Unbidden, the aforementioned interdimensional gatecrashers, but now they have new neighbours in the form of of two very large despotic empires. And, as any cultured dictator knows, shells usually contain something tasty and soft inside. Read the rest of this entry »

Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is scratching that itch

I have been cynical from afar, which is a polite way of saying I’ve been privately thinking ‘aargh, kill it with fire’ about The Elder Scrolls Online‘s [official site] massively multiplayer recreation of revered singleplayer roleplaying game Morrowind. I didn’t want to be a snob, but the pairing of an MMO hamster wheel with the high watermark of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series read to me a whole lot like adapting chess into a match-3 game.

Two days into the closed beta, and I’m cautiously eating my unspoken words. Which is a mild way of saying that I feel that itch. That itch to spend my every waking moment in it.
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Morrowind forever

I’ve got a piece going up later today about my thoughts on the closed beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind (short answer: I like it lot more than I’d expected to), but I wanted to write a little too about why the original Morrowind, aka The Elder Scrolls III remains a high watermark of roleplaying games for me. Why it’s a place I forever yearn to go back to.
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Have You Played… X-COM: Interceptor

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

There was a time when I’d buy anything X-COM. I sometimes look at people who have an entire room dedicated to collectibles and tat based on a specific franchise and think, “there but for the grace of Gollop go I”. If there’d been X-COM cereal, I’d have bought it. Action figures, of course. Comics, watercolour paintings, boardgames, plushies, chocolate bars…the Saturday morning X-COM cartoon would have been a precious thing indeed. Actually, yes, I’d still like an X-COM cartoon.

As it turned out, I just ended up with a copy of X-COM: Interceptor. Enforcer too, but Interceptor is the one I remember best.

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PlantSims: A story of tragedy and romance

The Sims Plant Challenge

Checking in on The Sims 4 [official site] I realised it’s having a PlantSim challenge at the moment! PlantSim purists who remember the photosynthesising supernaturalness from previous games seem to be having mixed reactions (too casual/just right/hate it/it’s fine/love it/what did you expect from a free update/etc etc) but for me who missed all that I decided to hop in and see about collecting these magic seeds from my green-skinned residents. It… spiralled somewhat and there was at least one disaster. Read on (by clicking the arrow buttons or using the left and right cursor keys) for the whole sorry story…

IF Only: Alcyone on Kickstarter

Logo and banner from Alcyone

Fresh on Kickstarter is a science fiction IF piece called Alcyone: The Last City. A look at the screenshots will suggest something familiar to dedicated IF fans: it looks a lot like StoryNexus, the Failbetter engine that powers both Fallen London and (behind the scenes) Sunless Sea/Sunless Skies. Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Schafer tells the story of Amnesia Fortnight

“I started feeling a little bogged down by the scope of [Brutal Legend],” says Tim Schafer, founder of Double Fine. “It was really huge and I felt like the team had been doing it for a long time and had a long way to go yet. I felt like they needed a break.”

That break was Amnesia Fortnight, a two week game jam during which anyone at the developer can pitch an idea and, if it’s selected, lead a team to turn it from concept to working prototype. Now in its tenth year, I spoke to Schafer about the jam’s benefits, pitfalls and how it’s changed over the years. Read the rest of this entry »