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Posts tagged “interview”

Feature: What it means for Half-Life 3 and where VR goes from here

We talk Half-Life: Alyx with Valve in “the meanest interview ever”

It's taken 13 years, but we finally have a new Half-Life game. It may not be the long-awaited Half-Life 3, but as you've probably seen from our Half-Life: Alyx review, Valve's first foray into virtual reality shows they're a developer that are still very much at the top of their game. But Half-Life: Alyx isn't just the work of a talented team of developers. It's…

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Feature: Keep on truckin'

How American Truck Simulator recreates the grand American west

Oh, to visit Spokane on a bright summer morning. Bakersfield, Albuquerque, Reno and Salem. The evening sun shining across the surface of the I-10. In these locked-down times, American Truck Simulator is a chance to tour America, or at least its western edge, running from Washington in the north down to California in the south, and over to Utah and New Mexico in the east.…

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Feature: Living space

We talked to Eve Online’s devs about faction warfare, Loyalty To Lowsec and other seasonal updates

CCP, the developers of the famously complicated space MMO Eve Online, have taken a new approach to their updates in recent months. They've split each year into three-month 'quadrants', during which they'll release smaller, more regular features and changes along a common theme - not unlike 'seasons' as used by many other online games. The first of these quadrants, titled Fight Or Flight, began this…

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Until Alyx spoke, “everyone just assumed they were playing as Gordon Freeman,” say Valve

As its name implies, Half-Life: Alyx sees you step into the virtual shoes of Alyx Vance, Gordon Freeman's fellow Resistance member from Half-Life 2. But in early playtests, several players still thought they were playing as Half-Life's silent protagonist, Valve have told me. "We spent a bunch of time early on messing about with Alyx, trying to figure out what kind of language players responded…

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Feature: God from the machine

How a would-be priest explores the horror of God in videogames

Spencer Yan was at the beach, chatting with a friend and pondering the horizon, when he felt the proximity of something like a god. "I was struck by this profound sense of coldness and acute loneliness. Everything got very bright all of a sudden, and then very dim, and I felt utterly alone and insignificant in the world, like all my actions would just evaporate.…

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Feature: Not built in a day

How Failbetter’s artists drew the unknowable for Fallen London’s new map

As part of Failbetter's 10th anniversary, the studio has made an overhaul to Fallen London. Its first game, and the one on which subsequent, exceedingly polite steampunk-ish exploration games Sunless Sea and Sunless Skies were based, Fallen London is a browser-based story game that takes place almost entirely in text form. But a little less so today, since after some downtime yesterday, it has reappeared…

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Feature: Compose yourself

The secrets of Ori And The Will Of The Wisps’ incredible music

It’s quite rare for a composer to be offered as the spokesperson for an upcoming game, but it’s also quite rare for a game to sound as good as Ori And The Will Of The Wisps. So good, in fact, that it was Gareth Coker’s tinkling ivories that were first used to announce the game at E3 2017, where he sat at his piano and…

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Feature: Gather your party

Baldur’s Gate 3 is nearly here, and it looks as good as you hope

If you play tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons - heck, if you play a lot of video games like Hitman or XCOM where you rely on a blend of skill and luck - you'll know that it's more fun when everything goes wrong but you manage to make it through anyway. Things going according to plan are boring. This is why it was great…

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Feature: Chinese indie devs are feeling the effect of COVID-19

Making indie games under the coronavirus quarantine

There’s no shortage of games about the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, which has, over the past few months, created a global miasma of paranoia, racism, and fear. Global Game Jam 2020 was peppered with virus and outbreak-themed games, including a 2D action game named 2019-nCOV Stole My DNA and a Taiwanese game where players must monitor the proper use of face masks. Thanks to the…

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Feature: A nice chat with Martin Greip

Among Ripples’ creative director on crayfish, capitalism, and 90s Star Trek

Last week I played the prototype demo of Among Ripples: Shallow Waters, and although it was in fairly basic shape, I was both enthused and touched by it. Enthused, because it proved that tycoon games don’t have to cheerlead for the idea of the natural world existing only to fuel exponential financial growth. And charmed, because it chose European freshwater fish - a lifelong, inherited…

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Feature: “Morale? Personally, I am not a fan.”

The Flare Path talks Task Force Admiral

For a man patently hellbent on developing the most realistic Pacific Theatre of Operations wet wargame ever, French flat-top fan 'Amiral Crapaud' uses the 'R' word extremely sparingly. Still at least a year away*, Task Force Admiral Volume 1: American Carrier Battles is a project with ancient touchstones, but a thoroughly modern approach to graphics, physics, and what Carl von Clausewitz called “friction”. I've high…

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Feature: An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas

Meet the streamers keeping the Irish language alive on Twitch

"Tá me just ag smaoineamh: Cad a dhéanfaidh mé leis Miú? Tá Miú leibhéal a dó dhéag anois..." There’s something wonderfully jarring about hearing the sentence "I'm just thinking: What will I do with Mew? Mew's level twelve now" spoken in fluent Irish, or a few bars of House of Pain rapped as Gaeilge (in Irish) over a Pokémon livestream. This is the Twitch channel…

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Feature: Kaleidoscopic.

How a comic book author is making a platformer that looks like his art

Jesse Jacobs is famous, but you've may have never heard of him. That's because he's not a game developer, but an award-winner comics author known for his intricate, colourful art style. Go read his comics, if you want to dazzle your eyes. Read Safari Honeymoon, about two newlyweds exploring a dense jungle full of weird creatures. Or read Crawl Space, about a troubled teenager who…

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Feature: They are billions (early access city builders, that is)

Surviving The Aftermath… of the early access city builder craze

It’s been three and a half months since Paradox Interactive announced - and simultaneously released into early access - post-apocalyptic city builder Surviving The Aftermath. And while I still haven’t worked out whether I think the game’s experimental development plan was a good idea or not, I can certainly respect how developer Iceflake Studios, and their publisher, are sticking to their guns. And their schedules,…

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Feature: Knights who say "ni.exe"

The Trese Brothers dish details on Cyber Knights: Flashpoint, their new cyberpunk RPG

It's no secret that I adore Star Traders: Frontiers, the space captain RPG. It was my favourite game of 2018 and one of the best of the decade, and still threatens to consume my weekends whenever I carelessly click on its icon. Its creators, the Trese Brothers (it's pronounced "Trese"), have just successfully funded their new game, Cyber Knights: Flashpoint on Kickstarter. They met their…

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Feature: Month at the end of the money

Disco Elysium’s Hardcore Mode is just one way games can meaningfully explore poverty

Last week, the haunting and hilarious Disco Elysium added an extra difficulty setting called ‘Hardcore True Detective Mode’. On the surface, it seems like a fairly standard set of tweaked parameters. More demanding dice roles to shaft dear old Harry Du Bois at every opportunity. If you take time to read the update notes though, it becomes clear that these new changes are storytelling devices…

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Feature: Dig up, stupid

How Shovel Knight’s last boss was designed four times

When Yacht Club Games decided to style Shovel Knight after the NES games that inspired it, they took that project seriously. Shovel Knight can’t fill the screen with 1000 bullets or radically switch up how it plays. It has to stay true to its inheritance, else, as programmer and co-designer David D’Angelo tells me, “It’d stand out as bizarre.” So its bosses naturally follow classic…

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Feature: Turns out that standing still is pretty hard

The unknowable chaos of physics in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

“A lot of fun stuff happens when you try to do stuff with physics,” says Wilhelm Nylund, head of Landfall Games, and the intelligent god behind Totally Accurate Battle Simulator’s legions of gangling warriors. And yet physics has given him an enormous amount of grief over the course of TABS’ development - as well as all the other games he’s made at Landfall. Physics, after…

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Feature: If you're tired of London...

Failbetter on the unlikely success of Fallen London’s first ten years

Last year, Failbetter Games moved to new offices near London Bridge. To the incautious, the building is a maze of identical white corridors and glass walled office rooms, punctuated by sleek break areas with helpfully labelled cupboards. I kept thinking it would be a terrible place to get stuck with a serial killer, especially because I only had a visitor pass and couldn't open most…

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Feature: I know it's my destiny

Behind the scenes of the games that brought Pokémon to PC before Temtem

Although Switch owners got not just one, but a pair of new Pokémon games this year, folks who are committed to PC gaming got the short end of the Farfetch’d leek. Temtem, an MMO game openly - almost brazenly - inspired by Pokémon is out later this month, but you don't have to wait until the 21st of January to play a Pokalike. See, PC…

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