Posts Tagged ‘features’

The RPS Bargain Bucket: Free Stuff!

Happy Free Comic Book Day! If you live in a city that believes in this most glorious of days, I recommend dashing out to check out your local comic book stores for, well, free comics. Seriously, go! Go and wallow in the splendour of stuff you don’t need to spend money on. At least, if you’re able to. This week’s Bargain Bucket is rife with books, old games and, er, more old games. (I like retro games.) This plushie was its owner’s favorite childhood toy. His name is Fattie. Now, say “D’awwww!

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The Sunday Papers

An act of tradition.

Sundays are for playing Numenera with good friends, but not before assembling a bumper crop of the week’s best games writing and videoing.

  • Philippa Warr writes about PolitkerStarCraft, a StarCraft tournament in which representatives from Sweden’s political parties do battle. I love that this exists:
  • On April 13, Sweden’s political parties took to the maps of StarCraft II in a struggle for digital supremacy and bragging rights in the ultimate rematch. The PolitikerStarcraft tournament first took place in 2010 in the run up to the Swedish general election. Back then, victory went to the Liberal Party who scored first place in the gaming contest as well as a sort-of first place at the polls as part of a four-party coalition government. With another general election looming, Jonathan Rieder Lundkvist resurrected PolitikerStarcraft, challenging each party in parliament, as well as the Feminist Initiative and the Pirate Party, to field a worthy StarCraft II contender.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Scary Fuzz

Ever had one of those weeks where you feel like you were gobbled up, chewed on and spat back out? Yeah, it was one of those weeks for me. I’m not even really sure why. It could well be the inexorable build up to this year’s summer blockbusters and the endless nights of writing that will no doubt follow. On another note, bargain hunters should probably monitor Gamersgate for the next few days. It looks like the site is doing some awesome flash deals and whatnot. This week’s plushie comes from lemming. His buckets put mine to shame. Also, that … thing is terrifying.

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for checking in late to write up notes on the week’s best games writing. Let’s get this done; there are games to be played.

  • Simon Parkin over at Eurogamer speaks to some of the key team members behind the creation of the original BioShock, including JP LeBreton and Jordan Thomas:
  • Not every aspect of the game evolved so effortlessly. At one point the team needed to create a demo for the American video game magazine Game Informer. The magazine was set to run a BioShock cover story. “The pressure was on to create something that would impress, and our deadline was looming,” says LeBreton. “In a level review, there was some discussion of how an AI should be presented in the short demo. Someone mentioned System Shock 2’s evasive cyborg ninjas as a reference point. Ken threw his glasses down and yelled: ‘I don’t want to hear anything about any f***ing cyborg ninjas!'”

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Fluffy Showdown

If it wasn’t obvious already, I have a camera. An actual camera. Not a dinky, built-into-my-phone camera but an actual camera. Obviously, plushie-related images are now going to appear in abundance. (Bargain Bucket regulars may recognize the floppy white figure in the foreground; it’s the first plushie we ever featured on this column.) As always, it’s that time of the week again and it looks like the Bargain Bucket has discounted shinies to spare.

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Impressions: Broforce

Broforce is a run-and-gun platformer which joyously spoofs the bellicose masculinity of action cinema. It’s available on Steam Early Access for £12/$15, but its featureset punches above its alpha status: singleplayer, online co-op, deathmatch, time trials, a level editor and more are already in a fairly well-polished state with more tweaks and content planned.

Here are three uncharitable assumptions you might have made about Broforce: it’s a ten-a-penny mindless blaster; the whole “bro” thing makes it more ironic meme than game; it’s snoresomely reverent of bygone shooters like Contra. Happily, Broforce dodges all these bullets like a spry Sly Stallone weaving through a hail of preposterously inaccurate Kalashnikov fire. On the evidence of its Early Access release, it’s actually a game of breezy invention and energetic pace which deploys both its nostalgia for action films and pixellated shooters with a lightness of touch. And, though there’s a very good deal of carnage, it enforces some degree of tactical caution – partly because even a single bullet will kill you, but mostly because the levels are wholly and very readily destructible, quickly evaporating over-eager bros in devastating chain detonations or squashing them with falling detritus.

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Dwarf Fortress: The Detailed Roguelike That’s Easy To Play

Dwarf Fortress is famous for producing anecdotes by the minute. The two-man, twelve-year, donation-funded indie project weaves together procedurally generated geography, civilizations and histories to create a rich fantasy world. It simulates its characters – standard fare like dwarves, elves, goblins, etc. – down to the most minute detail, and when all its systems combine, the results are often hilarious, occasionally tragic, and always surprising.

It’s also blissfully easy to play. The game is free to download and easy to install, the UI comes with a detailed and handy help system, and there’s a community wiki full of guides – not that you’ll need them. I started from scratch last night and was having fun immediately. Let me tell you about my experience.

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The Sunday Papers

I'm back whether you want me or not.

Sundays are for whatever you please. Don’t let me tell you what you can and can’t do. You’re free and the world is your lobster.

The RPS Bargain Bucket: Convention Season

Ah, conventions. While a reason for giddy exuberance among gamers big and small, they’re not unlike games journalism’s answer to The Labors of Hercules. Seriously, these stop being fun after the fifteenth interview of the day. Trust me on this. Brr. Anyway. With everyone else on the floor and alit with excitement about upcoming games, this is probably the perfect time to talk about discounted games. Old games, new games, games you’ve probably never heard about. They might lack the razzle and dazzle of upcoming games but at least you can play them now. Either way, the Bargain Bucket is rattling with cheap bargains for you. Today’s plushie is brought to you by Angel Tear and the number 12.

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DevLog Watch: Curious Expedition, Lift, Office Management

Tesla! Flight! Offices.

The problem with turning this into a regular column is that I have to write it regularly. I have clearly failed this week, but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying day-late development blogs and GIFs from around the web.

Includes: dinosaurs, Nikola Tesla, flight sandboxes, conference tables, ‘game jams’.

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The Sunday Papers

Sorry it's a little short this week.

I don’t know yet, but if I had to guess, I’d say that Sundays are for waking up blearily somewhere in Birmingham in a post-Rezzed fugue. Good thing I’ve already prepared a list of the week’s finest (mostly) games writing.

To Hell With Other People: Nine Lives in Rust

I had died again. For the eighth time I had been murdered by a greedy neighbour. I sighed. It was time to switch servers and try it all again. Usually when you spawn on a Rust server, there are a few quiet minutes to get used to your surroundings and look around. Not on my ninth reincarnation. The very instant I popped into the world I heard a voice behind me, yelling.

“Who are you!”

It was more of a statement of rage than a question. Shocked, I turned and saw him. Silhouetted against the sky, a man stood atop a wrecked building, stretching a bow and pointing an arrow at me. His name was Blazing Bazing. He was completely naked.

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Wot I Think: Smite

Frost giant Ymire is prettttttty cool

“Oh God, it’s like playing League of Legends crossed with Jumanji,” was my initial verdict on Smite. I stand by that assessment but I probably ought to flesh it out a bit in this here Wot I Think piece. Here goes:

Smite is Hi-Rez’s god-themed MOBA. Hang on, are we calling them MOBAs at the moment? ARTS? Lane pushing game? Lords management? Wizard-em-up? Magi-brawler? Five-a-side farming simulator? Whatever your preferred label, it’s Hi-Rez’s take on that genre. You play as one of a pantheon of characters based on the gods of various religions and mythological figures and proceed to do battle across a number of different game modes.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Planet Explorers

Could you dinosaurs move? I'm TRYING to EXPLORE.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, exploring a planet in the appropriately named Planet Explorers.

The title of the game is direct, to be sure. In Planet Explorers, a planet exploration game by Pathea Games, there is a planet, and you explore it. If that doesn’t sound like enough, there’s also resource gathering, crafting, building, and tons of alien creatures to discover, by which I mean “slaughter and turn into money.” Get ready, innocent alien planet! Humans have arrived, and we’ve brought hunting, real estate development, and capitalism.

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The Sunday Papers

Regular like clockwork.

Sundays are for watching roller derby and wondering why someone designed a sport that was like NASCAR but with people instead of cars. Sundays are for reviewing the best (mostly) games related writing from (mostly) the past week.

  • Critical Proximity was a conference about games criticism which took place the Sunday before GDC. Alan Williamson from Five Out Of Ten Magazine produced a video for the event on an important subject: why magazines are better than these newfangled webpages. It’s a romantic, cheerful call to arms for maintaining, and more importantly pushing, the old format further. I tend to agree, and continue to idly consider doing something about it. But probably I’ll just eat another packet of crisps and order some of Alan’s work online.
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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Merlion Meditation

Hello, Bucket-eers! Today, I’m writing in from sunny Singapore where the food is great and people keep tripping over my extension cord. Also, a word of advice for those positioned for an imminent trip somewhere foreign: never pick a cafe parked next to a gaming memorabilia store. The effect such places have on your wallet is positively magnetic, I tell you. Magnetic. Because I’m typing this in between trying to catch my laptop each time someone tugs on the wire, today’s introduction will be short, frantic and slightly rambly. Our fuzzy Companion Cube of the day is from one Alex F. Enjoy the bargains. I’m going to finish up before someone sends my poor Fenris flying.

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Wot I Think: Powerpuff Girls Defenders of Townsville

Certain developers stick in your head. The first time I played Radiangames‘ Super Crossfire I thought this is good, looked out for other stuff like the brilliant Inferno+, and eventually found out these neat packages were the labours of one man – Luke Schneider. But disaster struck! Radiangames tried to hit it big with Bombcats, a mobile F2P game, but found only the black dog of rejection and financial ruin! It looked like the end for Luke! Was there nothing to be done? Wait, is that a bird? A plane? No!

POWERPUFF SAVE THE DAY.
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IGF Factor 2014: Dominique Pamplemousse

Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!” is a stop motion animated musical detective adventure game about gender. “Another one,” you wail, and yet it’s nominated for thousands of IGF awards, including Narrative, Audio, Nuovo and the Grand Prize. Today’s IGF Factor sits down with the game’s writing, programming, musicing creator, Deirdra Kiai, to pick over the creation of the game.
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