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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Hexcellent.

Joking about booking time off work for a video game’s release is awfully hackneyed, but I have known people to do it for two series: Grand Theft Auto and Civ. So, just so you know, Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a release date so WINK you might want to WINK book time off work or WINK consider laying the dramatic groundwork for a WINK illness to strike you on October 24.

The news comes alongside a new video with Beyond Earth’s co-lead designers talking about the kinda-Alpha-Centurai-ish-but-really-more-Civ-y game, over footage that’s mostly cinematics but does give a few tantalising peeks at things including the new web-like tech tree.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

This man represents open source supporters.

Is… Is this E3 news? On day three, I can’t tell anymore. Did Sid Meier swing on a trapeze across the E3 concourse to announce that Civilization 5 was now available on SteamOS and Linux? Did Aspyr gather the world’s press in an art deco theatre to reveal that this was their first Linux port, after years of porting popular games to Mac? Or is it the case that there was a simple post on Civ V’s Steam forum to declare that users of Ubuntu could now begin conquering 4X strategy worlds?

Probably that last one.

… [visit site to read more]

Shacknews - Steve Watts
Of all the times to roll out a video game, the middle of E3 probably threatens to drown it out the most. That makes the announcement of Civilization 5 on Linux and SteamOS a bit odd, but let this serve as your official alert: Civ 5 is now on Linux and SteamOS. And it's on sale to boot.
PC Gamer
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E3 is in full swing and that means an overload of press events, trailers, interviews and hands-on time with the latest and greatest of upcoming videogames. But I'd like to take a break from all that sound and fury for a moment, if I may, to let you all know that the strategy classic Sid Meier's Civilization V is now available for Linux and SteamOS. (Oh, and it's on sale, too.)



Civilization V has been around for a few years now but this still qualifies as pretty big news for SteamOS and Linux gamers. Developer Aspyr Media said today's release "targets SteamOS on current gen hardware," and it's also looking toward supporting Ubuntu 14.04 and additional video cards in future updates.



To that end, Aspyr is asking for feedback about what works, and what doesn't, in the Steam forums or via its own support channel. Some users are saying that the DLC isn't currently appearing in their Civilization V: Complete Edition packages, but the general consensus seems to be that it's a solid port that runs very well.



And as it occasionally does, Steam is marking the moment with a sale, offering Civ V and its various DLC releases, as well as Civilization IV and III bundles, for up to 75 percent off. The sale ends in a little over 19 hours at the time writing, however, which puts it around 1 pm EDT. Best not to dawdle.
Product Release - Valve
Sid Meier’s Civilization V and all available Expansion Packs and DLC are Now Available on Linux. Additionally, the entire Civilization Franchise is currently on sale for up to 75% off*!

*Offer ends June 11 at 10AM Pacific Time

Community Announcements - Aspyr-Blair
Aspyr Media is pleased to announce our first Linux and SteamOS title, Sid Meier’s Civilization V. The SteamOS release includes all Civilization V DLC and expansion content, including Gods & Kings and Brave New World.

This release targets SteamOS on current gen hardware. Additionally, we're working towards supporting Ubuntu 14.04 as well as additional video cards in future updates.

Here’s where we need your help! To improve Civ V and future AAA games on SteamOS, we're looking for feedback. Tell us below what's working great or what's not working. If you're having any problems, please contact our support directly at http://support.aspyr.com/tickets/new
Community Announcements - Drcane
The patch that replaces GameSpy with Steamworks for multiplayer functionality is now available via Steam. The game functions identically to the previous GameSpy version with the exception that the “Direct IP” option has been removed as it is no longer supported. Save game data should not be negatively affected. If you own a physical disc version of Civilization IV and are interested in receiving this multiplayer update, please submit a support request. http://support.2k.com/requests/new
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to A console gamer asked me what three PC games he should play here’s what I told him">world-of-pc-gaming







One of the pleasant parts of writing about games is just meeting the people who share your weird career. I went to a media dinner at PAX East this year and had the chance to get to know some editors that I hadn t met before. The guy sitting next to me happened to be primarily a console gamer, but that actually ended up being a neat opportunity for us to have a kind of cultural exchange. I got to learn about the state of Kinect games and Halo, and he got to hear me explain the appeal of Arma, a game that inspired me to memorize the NATO alphabet.



I took his business card and emailed him a few of my favorite Arma videos by Dslyecxi and CHKilroy later that night, hoping they would give him a sense of the beautiful coordination that s possible in a systems-driven, moddable, massive-scale multiplayer game. A few days after PAX East, I got a wonderful reply our conversation and the videos I d passed along had inspired him to build his first PC in 15 years.



I love being a PC evangelist. With my colleague s note, though, came a tough question: What are the three PC-only games I missed in the last 15 years that I absolutely have to play?



Daunting, right? These are the games I recommended, pasted verbatim from our email exchange:



//



From: Evan Lahti

Sent: Tuesday, May 5, 2014 4:01 PM

To: James Videogames

Subject: Re: ARMA WONDERS



Hey James,



Late follow-up here, but whoa, how exciting! Let me know if you need a hand with the build. Happy to pitch in or mail along one of our PC building issues.



Glad to hear you re willing to dig through some of PC gaming s wondrous past. Give GOG.com a gander for most of that. Fallout 2 is a must; building a grounded, variously amoral character in that setting holds up well. Deus Ex demands a bit of modding to make comfortably modern, though there are some great guides out there. TLJ is a wonder.



But man, this is a dream question. It s the gaming editor s equivalent of being visited by an alien, then asked to provide the three products of humanity they re most proud of. The approach I ve taken here is to suggest three games that are deeply representative of what there is to love about PC gaming as it exists right now. I don t know if I can say that these are absolutely, individually the best games ever made and I remember you mentioning not being particularly interested in MOBAs, so I ll omit those but as a group I think that these games form some good kindling for what ll hopefully be a passionate relationship with PC gaming going forward.



Play these games:





Civilization V

Civ is two things to me: the best board game in the world (that you can happen to play alone) and history, reverently presented in an elegant, entertaining form. The care with which Firaxis animates its tiny, tiled Earth and digital figurines does so much to make its subject matter vibrant. Beyond that, it s a wonderfully arranged set of rules that sets up meaningful decisions around how you develop your civilization. You have to zero-in on short-term and long-term goals while bumping up against the cultural, political, and territorial ambitions of the other civs in your world; it s one of the few experiences where I can drop a dozen-some hours into a game, lose, and enthusiastically start a new game the next second, certain in my new, improved plan to achieve a science victory.



My best advice, if you aren t big on history, would be to dig up a mod for whatever your favorite fandom might be LOTR, Game of Thrones, The Elder Scrolls Avatar: The Last Airbender? A weird amalgamation of Blizzard properties? My Little Pony? I don t know what you want. Perhaps your lifelong dream was to found a civilization dedicated to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Play as the Geth for all I care.





Papers, Please

A lot of the publishing friction that used to exist for individual and small game creators has been removed over the past few years, and it s a trend that s invited more weird, thoughtful, emotional narrative and systems-driven games. Papers, Please is my favorite from the past year; Lucas Pope takes a depressing setting (a fictionalized stand-in for a post-USSR Europe) and an uncomfortable subject (poverty and totalitarianism) and molds it into dystopian Oregon Trail told through rubber stamps and passport photos.



You play an immigration checkpoint officer, reporting into work each day to check over documents for errors. Each person processed correctly earns you money that goes towards maintaining the survival of your family (expressed as an end-of-day score screen where you pay to heat your squalid apartment, for example), but there s only so much time in each day to earn this money, so there s a real pressure to analyze quickly. Without spoiling anything the mundanity of all that is undercut by a series of moral decisions you have to make; in my review, I described it as the intersection of efficiency and intrigue. The need to focus on paperwork to detect forgeries while weighing your conscience and the need to collect your meager paycheck to support your family. The confluence of all that is brilliant. Another quote: A paperwork sim might sound mundane, but spotting a mislabeled gender or a forged stamp produces real pride, and Papers, Please keeps boredom at bay by gradually introducing incentives for bending or breaking the rules.



When you re done, do Kentucky Route Zero, The Castle Doctrine, The Stanley Parable, Gone Home, and The Swapper.







S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat + the CoP Complete mod

Despite being our designated shooter guy, I made the mistake of waiting years to try STALKER. Pripyat is the third expansion, and the Complete mod dials up the production quality of the game s skyboxes, textures, and other assets to modern standards without altering the story or gameplay. Complete is what I d recommend for a first playthrough, but feel free to give Misery a look if you re feeling especially masochistic.



Other than Arma, and with FEAR as a close second, the most memorable firefights I ve had in video games have been in STALKER. Imagine fighting on open terrain, in the dark, with limited ammo, against an unknown number of bandits that are crawling around in some beat-up, abandoned factory. Pripyat prompts you to play with a ton of spontaneity, and that scrappy quality of its firefights distinguishes it from anything else in gaming. The closest approximation might be clearing out a dangerous, random bandit camp in Skyrim, but that s always felt more like an exercise in picking apart an outpost at my own pace rather than being forced to fight on the fly.



STALKER isn't afraid to leave itself unexplained, and you realize how rare the experience of encountering enemies with zero introduction to how they operate is in modern gaming. In other words, without the heavy-handed explanation and focus-tested tutorialization you d get from many Western shooters. That doesn t mean STALKER is tough per se I d describe it more as a game that trusts you enough to feel around in its (haunted, radioactive) world with your arms extended, make mistakes, and learn through that experience. This approach to design is also part of the DNA of DayZ and Arma. Have fun fighting invisible radioactive monstrosities in swamps during a lightning storm!



Mechanically, too, STALKER mixes fidelity with playability in some nice ways; guns degrade and require specific types of ammunition, but every rifle and pistol feels as comfortable as a Call of Duty weapon.



Also:



FTL, the pinnacle of the current roguelike craze. I suppose it s out on iPad, too.



Skyrim + mods, most of which are single-click installs these days through Steam Workshop (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/browse/?appid=72850&browsesort=toprated)



Something like Skyrim Unbound is especially good for a second playthrough, as it makes how you enter the world selectable from the outset. You can cut the Dragonborn aspect of the game out completely I wanted to play as a completely martial, magicless atheist, so this was especially helpful.

http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/10/27/mod-of-the-week-skyrim-unbound/



Video games,



Evan Lahti

Editor-in-Chief, PC GAMER

evan@pcgamer.com

twitter.com/elahti



//



From: James Videogames

Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:01 AM

To: Evan Lahti

Subject: Re: ARMA WONDERS



Heya Evan,



Great catching dinner with you too, man. It's a rare treat to pick someone's brain who's deeply ensconced in granular PC gaming. I know folks who experiment with ArmA and EVE Online, etc. but no one who plays seriously. These videos are fascinating especially the half hour one. I don't necessarily know if I'm tempted to play now, but it's certainly reinforced my fascination.



Your selection of highlights did, however, inspire me to purchase components to build my very first PC since ye olde Packard Bell I had back in '97. Pretty excited about it to be honest. My question for you: What are the three PC-only games I missed in the last 15 years that I absolutely have to play? Archaic mechanics and aesthetics don't frighten me, so don't hold back. Fallout 2, The Longest Journey, and Deus Ex are already at the top of my list.



Best,

James



//



On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM, Evan Lahti wrote:

Hey! Great having dinner with you. Here's a few Arma videos that'll give you a sense of why folks get into it:



Some gritty, tough, guerrilla-style PvP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI7fxwy0Llo



A sizzle reel of moments

http://youtu.be/iylW68mwYIg



A longer video that shows a large-scale infantry battle with a bunch of new (but relatively experienced) players, basically like a training mission for recruits against AI

http://youtu.be/BguGRjPqCtM?t=5m6s
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Secret gamegent man

You might well cheer the demise of GameSpy Technologies, but an awful lot of games will lose official online multiplayer support when the service shuts down on May 31. Publishers scour the battlefield running triage measuring pulses peeling eyelids shining lights flexing smashed bones jabbing fingers in wounds licking blood. “We’ve got a live one here!” they cry occasionally and haul the game up on their shoulder, but all too often stand up, brush themselves down, then step over the grasping bloodied hand as they quietly walk away.

2K Games shall save Borderlands, Civilization III, Civ IV, and Civ IV: Colonization, the publisher has confirmed, along with their expansions. A dozen of its less popular games will be less lucky.

… [visit site to read more]

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
With GameSpy's online services set to shut down on May 31, 2K Games has stepped forward and announced which of its online-enabled multiplayer games will survive the closure. Borderlands, Civilization III, and Civilization IV, and their respective expansions will all begin making the transition from GameSpy servers to Steamworks in the coming days, while several other games will see their multiplayer servers go down with the GameSpy ship.
...

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