Posts Tagged ‘Rare’

Grab the grog: Sea Of Thieves launches tomorrow

sea of thieves ama

I promised myself I wouldn’t get excited about another multiplayer game because I don’t have room for them right now, but Sea Of Thieves is launching tomorrow and here I am, desperate to leave behind my mundane, landlubber life and start a new one on the high seas. Rare also hosted an AMA on Friday, which reminded me of its impending arrival. The Q&A session was quite dry, but that’s not a problem the game has.

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Sea Of Thieves’ servers need plundering this weekend

Sea of Thieves

While I’ve not had the chance to find my sea legs yet, our Alec has greatly enjoyed his time thusfar with Rare’s upcoming co-op pirate sandbox adventure Sea of Thieves. Over the past month or two, beta testing events for the game have been stepping up, and now it’s in the final stretch of development. There’s just one thing left to do: Bracing for impact.

In order to help ensure that their servers don’t completely melt down on launch day, Rare are going to be running a series of Scale Testing beta weekends from now until release. The first of which is due to kick off tomorrow morning, 10am GMT, and end at the same time on Sunday morning.

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Sea of Thieves to add microtransactions three months after launch

sea of thieves header 620x319

Our Alec had a rum old time with Sea of Thieves‘ beta version, but the rest of us landlubbers will have to wait until March 20th before we can hoist the mainsail, scrub the poop deck, and [insert third funny-sounding nautical thing here]. In the meantime, there are brows to furrow and consternation to be had about microtransactions, loot boxes and the like. If you like the cut of Thieves’ jib, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are no loot crates planned, and that there will be no microtransactions…at least at launch. You may be less enamoured with developer Rare’s plan to implement them as part of the game’s first major post-release update.

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Sea Of Thieves system requirements and recommended specs announced


Has yer galleon got at least 4GB of RAM? Alas, if ye be missin’ that component, you’d best stay in port. *Ahem* Rare have announced the system requirements for their upcoming co-op pirate simulator Sea of Thieves. The game, which is due out on March 20th, has been heavily marketed as an Xbox One exclusive, but it will also be coming to the Microsoft store for anyone wanting to play it with a mouse & cutlass providing you’ve got a PC that can handle it. Read the rest of this entry »

Yo-ho-oh-no: Sea of Thieves beta extended ‘cos of bugs

The pretty-but-too-quiet beta for Rare’s jaunty multiplayer pirate ’em-up Sea of Thieves is currently open to pre-orderers, but it’s not been smooth-sailing for everyone who wants to experience co-op sea-shanties. A bug shut out a fair few paying customers, and so devs Rare and publisher Microsoft have put a few more days on the dead man’s chest by way of apology.

Which is also a good opportunity for me to mention what a total pig to get the beta running in the first place.
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Ships in the night: Sea Of Thieves beta impressions


Today I’ve been playing the Sea of Thieves closed beta, which is available to invitees and anyone who pre-orders between now and Monday Jan 29, and offers a limited slice of Rare’s open-world, mostly multiplayer pirate game. As such, it’s a bit of a rum do.

Between the small playerbase for the beta and assorted missing features (held back until release so as to not spoil too many surprises, apparently), the experience so far is more ghost ship than cosmopolitan Caribbean. It’s not too hard to find a few mateys to avast away with, but rare to bump into anyone else on the high waters. You’ve got to fill the time somehow though, right? So here’s a clip of how it tends to go.
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Sea Of Thieves’ latest alpha makes piracy more sociable

Sea of Thieves

Living in the tense geopolitical hellscape that is Earth 2017, it’s easy to forget the childlike thrill of adventure inherent in swashbuckling with a crew of buddies across the virtual seas. It’s been a while since we covered Sea of Thieves, Rare’s game of cooperative piracy, but it looks like development is chugging along nicely and, as far as we know, on track for a release early next year.

Detailed in a rather comprehensive video after the jump, Rare lay out (in piratical form) a list of oddly low-key yet vital features coming to the next alpha build of the game, available to anyone in their Insider Programme.

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Sea of Thieves’ storms, skeletons and treasure hunting

Pirates, the most untrustworthy of the Cowboy-Pirate-Zombie triumvirate in charge of the videogame industry, are getting their fill of the E3 booty this year. While Ubisoft revealed Skull and Bones, Microsoft have shown off more of the type of thing you’ll be doing in their online co-op plunder-em-up Sea of Thieves [official site]. You can see a Scottishly narrated (and highly scripted) example of a treasure hunt reaching its stormy conclusion in this trailer below deck.
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Sea of Thieves shows off more piratey co-op features

Microsoft may have stuck a dagger into each of the kidneys of Scalebound, cancelling it from future-existence, but at least they have neglected to murder upcoming co-operative pirate adventure Sea of Thieves [official site]. We’ve only today been reminded of the co-op hijinks by a new trailer showing some of the finer details that Rare are working into the game. There’s shovels, treasure maps, sea charts and steering wheels. Everything the growing pirate needs.
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Sea Of Thieves Showcases Chaotic High Seas Action

Sea Of Thieves [official site] got a gameplay video as part of E3 so we can see a bit more of the shared piratical world and get an idea for how the collaborative boating and cannonballing (and drinking) might work. I actually found it really engaging.

I know that that’s what a gameplay video is generally aiming for but so many miss the mark – with this one I can imagine catastrophic sea voyages as we accidentally abandon crew members, sail into rocks while someone says “you’ve got plenty of room” and capsize at the hands of vaguely competent foes. The only thing missing in the footage was sea shanties. I refuse to believe people wouldn’t sing sea shanties.

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Killer Instinct On Win 10 With Cross-Platform Multiplayer

’90s fighting game Killer Instinct [official site] returned on Xbox One in 2013, through (I imagine) some combination of nostalgia and Microsoft wanting a fighting game series then realising they owned one through Rare. Now the monsters ‘n’ magic men punch ’em up revival is headed towards PC for Windows 10.

“We don’t have any more to share at this time” said the terse announcement tweet. Okay then. A member of the dev team separately confirmed it’ll support cross-platform multiplayer. No one says whether it’ll be free-to-play, like it is on Xbox One, but I’d imagine so.

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Sea Of Thieves: Multiplayer Pirate Action From Rare

With Kinect now a thing of the past, Rare are free to make actual games again. They’re exercising this freedom by creating an online multiplayer pirate game called Sea Of Thieves [official site]. After the excellent Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag reminded me how much I love pirating, the idea of getting a full crew together and exploring the oceans is an appealing one. Especially since Sea Of Thieves has no qualms about being historically inaccurate. Which means krakens and ghost pirates.

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Rare Platformer Nostalg-o-Kickstarter: Yooka-Laylee

One can hardly have an N64-style platformer without a load of tat to collect.

You may have thought we’d run out of nostalgia to mine for Kickstarter but good gravy no! A group of folks formerly of Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country developers Rare, now at their own studio Playtonic Games, launched a crowdfunding campaign for a ye olde 3D N64-stylee platformer on Friday and have already blown past their goal.

They were looking for £175,000 to make Yooka-Laylee [official site], billing it as a “spiritual successor” to Banjo-Kazooie. With 42 days still to go they already have over £1.3 million in pledges. Lawks!

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Conker Coming To PC Via Big Reunion In Project Spark

I didn’t believe Conker was real, you know. I’d assumed a poo-obsessed platformer series about a boozy squirrel with guns was a hoax conjured up by the jokey final page of a games magazine to parody the rude ‘tude of ’90s excess. No, Conker was real, and now he’s coming to PC. In a way.

Conker’s Big Reunion is an episodic series made in Project Spark, Microsoft’s game make-o-share-a-play thing. It’s being made by Spark devs Team Dakota rather than creators Rare, though original Conker lead and designer Chris Seavor has returned to voice the squirrel again.

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High Stakes for the Medium: Rare

I like the Romancing

Powering up the Electric Internet in my new place in the Smoke – yes, I’m now RPS’ official Man In London – I see that Wired has published the results of my recent trip off to see Rare. While neither the new Banjo Kazooie or Viva Pinata have been confirmed for PC, I do interview Justin Cook, who’s lead designer on the latter and had worked on the former. And since that’s on the PC, and we mainly talk about the original and the importance of games-for-kids and games-as-education, it fits under RPS’ mandate. Go read. He’s a lovely guy.

If you’re wondering about the title, it’s what I tried to slip past the Wired editors as the title of my main article. Sadly – but unsurprisingly – cut, but I had to use it somewhere. I’ve been annoying everyone on my IM list by saying it repeatedly at them.

Evolution Of Viva Piñata

With delightful gardening/breeding game Viva Piñata having recently turned up on PC, I thought it appropriate to link to this rather interesting design article over at Gamasutra. In it developers Rare discuss the unique visual design of the game from initial conceptual art to commercial product. They discuss things such as the problems of stuff a game with quite so much cuteness:

In the original plan, non-resident Piñatas would retain their colors and markings while being indistinguishable by shape, only morphing into full form in the garden. All Piñata subsections, e.g. birds, quadrupeds, small things, slimy things etc. would have their own non-resident shape. On this slide you can see it next to their final form. The Mallowolf and Macaraccoon were almost just jellybeans on stilts; the Parrybo and Crowla retain some distinctive bird features. The cut duo of rattlesnake and cane toad both look like baby salamanders, while the Whilrm and Taffly appear to have grown ears. Pleasingly, the Whirlm has gained an eye. Although he still looks sinister.

One of the main reasons this feature never made it to the final game was because it would require yet another model for every Piñata. Given the overheads we had already, trying to free up the space would have been very stressful.


The Naked (War) Developer

Ste Pickford, one half of indie-devs the Pickford Brothers, dropped me a line recently. Their most recent was…
We don't have to take our clothes off to have a good time. We can always fly-fuck.
Which is another major piece of evidence in the “Indie games=Best names” argument. In passing, Naked War was one of my favourite underground games of last year and a really cute tactical PBEM game: The Gollops’ Laser Squad Nemesis possessed by the spirit of Sensible Software. I gave it 80% for PCG, and Dave Taurus concurred over at Eurogamer. Despite me being better than him at it.

But that’s not what this is about – Ste has entered the blogosphere. Since the Pickfords have been doing this for longer than a good chunk of our readers will have been alive, they’ve seen games change enormously. In the most recent post, Ste’s talking about talking to Rare about developing on the NES and the strange demands that they insisted upon…
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