Posts Tagged ‘features’

Dota 2 Boston Major: Highlights and must-see matches

Boston Major

Another multimillion-dollar Dota 2 Major tournament has come to a close this weekend as top teams from all over the world battled for the Boston Major‘s Eaglesong trophy and a share of the $3m prize pool. Would OG be able to defend their title with a remixed lineup or would some feisty newcomers be able to snaffle it away? In case you’re still avoiding spoilers all of this will be revealed after the jump, as well as the must-watch matches so you can condense your viewing into a single action-packed evening! Read the rest of this entry »

State of the Art: Lights, action, razzle dazzle with League of Legends’ VFX

Visual effects in League of Legends

Visual effects in games intrigue me – they contribute so much to the flavour of a character or an experience but often they’re at their best when you’re not consciously registering them – they need to complement and harmonise and blend… In a game like League of Legends [official site] they need to communicate character, telegraph attacks, fit in with the established vocabulary of more than a hundred other champions and let the designers further customise them to create themed skins. Jason Keyser, a visual effects artist at Riot who has been working on champs like newcomer Camille explained to me just a little of what his work entailed while he was over for League Fest earlier this year: Read the rest of this entry »

League Of Legends: Unpicking World-Famous Plays

League of Legends, with its upwards-of-67-million-players-a-month, is a phenomenon. As an esport it garners hundreds of millions of hours of viewer time, packs out arenas and has made its way onto mainsteam channels like the BBC and ESPN. But to the casual viewer it’s also an incredibly difficult game to decode. 10 champions out of a possible 128 run around the map, killing minions, monsters, structures and each other, throwing out colourful abilities and colliding with each other in a flurry of swords and spells.

To a neophyte spectator it’s too much information to handle, the commentators only adding to the chaos with their indecipherable terminology. “His control of the minion wave allowed a fast rotation, using TP to tower dive bot-lane and secure control over the dragon.” they might cry as your brain hopelessly tries to make sense of their word-vomit. (The same sentence making perfect sense to anyone familiar with the game or genre.)

This primer hopes to share with you a few of LoL’s greatest eSports moments and most spectacular plays in an effort to help the casual or unfamiliar understand exactly why this cartoonish lane pusher is so popular. This is why we watch:

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Cubic Curiosity

Nothing says “weekend” like an afternoon spent watching a Malcolm in the Middle rerun marathon. It’s genuinely better than I remembered, but that may hold true for anything that has been viewed in order. Between you and me, though, the sitcom is best viewed as a preview to Breaking Bad. So many gas masks. So much angst. So many narrative possibilities. Anyway, pickings remain slim this week outside of Steam’s colossal selection, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, yea?

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The Bargain Bucket: PAX Hungover

I am fresh back from PAX! Which, I might note, was an absolutely bizarre experience. Who knew that not running around like a headless chicken could be so exhausting? Never had I imagined that being stationary, while endlessly repeating the same lines over and over, could be such a challenge. (Seriously, being an exhibitor is tough work. I salute those who have done it repeatedly.) Of course, after having survived the ordeal AND PAX plague, I will soon be off to Iceland where I will freeze to death. Sigh.

So, how has your week been? Ignoring everything else, mine’s awesome because we have a guest plushie! His/her name is Schwein. It enjoys sunshine, unicorns, sleep, and Don’t Starve. (Thanks for the submission, Lene & D3c0n!)

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Help, GDC Is Here

In two days, I will be on a plane for 36 hours. I am going to be very sad. Shortly after that, I will be doing my first exhibition at PAX East. Which is alternately both terrifying and kind of amazing. (I think.) So, just a short column this week because my brain is steaming like the air vents in Alien: Isolation. But I will see all of you soon. Not next week, unfortunately. But the week after that. (Apologies for the week before. Chinese New Year is murderous.) This week’s repost plushie is from dosbox!

(Wish me luck surviving the next week.)

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Darkest Dungeon of Discounts

Does anyone here T-Rex when they sleep? Because I do. And that stinks when you sleep on your wrist and wake up with this lingering ache. PTSD seems an inevitable future for all people who work with their hands but goshdarnit, the twinges stink, anyway. Wait for my fifties please, cartilage! This week’s crop feels slightly “meh,” especially since Gamersgate had unfortunate pricing accidents a few days ago. (Which was guiltily good.) P.S: I am currently obsessed with Darkest Dungeon. It rocks.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Bytes Of A Feather

Confession: I bought Heroes of the Storm’s Founder Pack. Sometimes, even professional bargain hunters are brought low by the seduction of immediate gratification. (Or something. Hi! Are you playing too? You should add me on Battle.Net if so. casshirek#1483 is the battletag in question.) Moving on, this week’s bargains are an entertaining montage of genres. Bundle Stars is the clear winner of the “holy crap, those are some shiny offers they’ve put together” competition, beating out even crowd favorite Nuuvem. This week’s plushie is from kfix! I am nursing a fever. Halp.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Weekend of Evil

So many exciting things happened this week and I wish I could share some of it. Alas, I am instead shepherding 13 drunk people around today as the designated sober person, which may or may not entail me worrying about them falling off buildings. Wish me luck. In celebration of this annual event (and because this is my responsibility), have a bucket of bargains and a happy weekend. (Send me plushie photos, darnit all!)

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Bucking the Trend

It’s here. It’s finally here. Black Friday weekend. The capitalistic orgy to end all capitalistic orgies. Not even Christmas is so shameless, so ruthlessly focused on the material. It’s .. it’s glorious, really. If you’re not otherwise busy with turkey comas, this is an excellent time to stalk the various online distributors for deals because it looks like they’re coming in fast and furious.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Fizzle

And it’s the end of the week! Oh, thank god, it’s the end of the week. It’s beginning to feel like every Bargain Bucket is preceeded by muttering about long, long days. (Which it is. Good grief. You can thank my slow but inexorable assimilation into the fiction industry for that.) We’re going to try doing that “these are the big outlets having sales” sub-section this week. I will personally boff anyone who protests with a digital pillow. You have been fore-fluffed. As always, enjoy this bucket of deals. (How have YOUR weeks been?)

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Hide and Go Chu!

With the holiday season teetering on the edge of existence, it’s weird to even think about recommending games right now. You should wait. Maybe, not forever. But hanging onto your lusts for a few more weeks is definitely an idea to evaluate. That said, I’m plotting to acquire Pokemon and Persona Q the first opportunity I get so who I am to judge? As always, here’s a fresh chapter of cool deals, collated into one blue bucket of bargains. (P.S: No, I totally did not injure anyone for the keys to Castle Shotgun last week. Spoke creatively to, perhaps, but..)

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: November Expenditure

Hello! This has been a rather strange week. It started with being in transit for about 40 odd hours, and ended with a volley of newswriting for RPS. (This may happen again soon. Maybe. We’ll see.) In between, I lost my wallet and started writing about polygamy in the Song Dynasty, and continued my interactive fiction piece for Choice of Games. My brain is sizzling. Slightly. The smoke wisping out of my ears has dulled to threads. While I recuperate from the week, have this bucket of bargains and the tiniest, awesome-st hedgehog this side of the hemisphere. I am taking name suggestions!

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Candy Haze

So, I had my first Halloween experience this week, which is to say, I spent a lot of time meandering after a troop of kids, and hanging out at a friend’s living room with a cauldron full of candy. My teeth ache from excess, but it has been an informative day. Hopefully, your Halloween was equally novel! Or frightful. Or, well, whichever idea you like best. As I am still in transit, there won’t be an exceptional new plushie to feast your eyes on so have a bucket filled with bargains instead.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Cat-llergical Problems

I love cats, but their luxurious coats disagree with my nose. I am writing this from behind a mountain of soggy tissue paper, even as kittens attempt to use my toes as props in play. I should probably run away, but they’re too cute. Help. (On the bright side, this much sneezing has to qualify as a workout, right? Right?) Because I’m currently located in the Pacific North-West and must prepare this earlier than I normally would, there’s a chance that this week’s Bargain Bucket might have more inaccuracies than normal. I hope not. I don’t know. I’m too busy sneezing my lungs out in the service of cute, fuzzy things. Regardless, enjoy today’s collection of discounted video games. (Ah-choo!) Also, this week’s plushie is an old submission from Lemming because I’m too sick and too far away from home to take my own photos.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Angry Pigeons

I’m leaving on a jet plane, and I know exactly when I will be coming home – I suppose that disrupts some of the romanticism, doesn’t it? Alas. Anyway, I’ve been musing about something that was brought up in the comments in last week’s Bargain Bucket. What’s everyone’s stance on sites like cdkeys? They make me leery, obviously. Especially with that recent rash of news about people scamming developers for keys, and the grey areas surrounding the whole concept. Is this all a socially acceptable situation? Or is it more of a “click-click, nudge-nudge” kind of deal? Should I be scouring these key-trading sites too? While you all have a think, here’s a bucket of shinies. This week’s plushies are from Hideous! (As always, send more picture. Kthxbai.)

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for transcribing 20,000 words of interviews long ago recorded, but before I type my fingers into bloodied stumps, lets round up the week’s best wordythoughts about viddygames.

  • Time sent a war photographer into The Last Of Us, which is a great idea I wish was carried out in Arma 3.
  • None of the game’s characters show distress, and that to me was bizarre – it’s a post apocalyptic scenario, with a few remaining humans fighting for the survival of their race! To be successful, a player must be the perpetrator of extreme, and highly graphic, violence. I’m interested in a more emotionally engaged type of photography, where the human reaction to a scene is what brings a story to life. That was tough inside this game. Occasionally the characters show anger, though generally they’re nonchalant about the situation they’ve found themselves in. In the end, their emotions mimicked that of the zombies they were killing.

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    The RPS Bargain Bucket: Love At First Fluff

    Avast, ye – no, I’m not even going to try. But, it is apparently Talk like a Pirate Day and I won’t judge if you fill my comments with growly, ocean lingo. As some of you might already know, I had the distinct pleasure of having fellow columnist Cara Ellison over in Malaysia for a few weeks. I also played host to Aaron Souppouris, a colleague from the Verge. Naturally, both brought plushies to the altar. (P.S: I haven’t figured out a name for the cozily-garbed bear. If anyone would like to contribute a ponder, go right ahead.) Personal updates, enjoy this week’s bucket of bargains.

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    The Sunday Papers

    Sundays are for looking. Scrabble around your brimming shelves until you find it down the back of your Gamecube games. A lighter, still full. Flick it on and hold it underneath your monitor till the heat warps the plastic, the frame cracks, and liquid crystals start to dribble on to your desk. Trepanning is the only way to get the madness out.

  • Mark Johnson is working on Ultima Ratio Regum, an ambitious procedurally generated 4X roguelike. Before that, he once tried his hand at making a living as a poker player, and he writes excellently here about the power games have when you invest in them fully. It’s a story about losing.
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