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

These guys don't stand a chance.

Like any form of competition, speedrunning generates arguments over authenticity. Does a speedrun count if it relies on a bunny-hopping mod, in-game glitches and different runners tackling different parts of the game in short segments? I’m not sure I care either way. No matter the methods, Half-Life 1 being completed in 20 minutes and 41 seconds is an accomplishment of endurance, skill and effort. More importantly it’s a beautifully entertaining video, full of ingenuity and grace and physical comedy. The new record time is embedded below. You must watch it.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Time for some wanton murrrrddeee-- oh my, that is a splendid tomato crop!

Rust is already a purring, slurring engine of human depravity, but there’s no denying that it’s all rather barebones at the moment. You can explore, you can build a house around other people’s houses and take them prisoner but mercifully feed them tuna every couple hours, but Garry (of Garry’s Mod fame) and co have much bigger plans for the future. At this particular moment, that means a whole slew of improvements including a new UI, farming, and an item editor modeled after the one that produces Team Fortress 2′s infamous headwear selection.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

2014 would seem to be the year in which the games industry has another crack at making primarily multiplayer shooting games work all over again. There’ve been a few false starts in the past, but Destiny and Titanfall are some super-big, super-fat attempts at achieveing enormous mass market success from shooters where narrative takes a backseat. Now Evolve joins the ranks of big games looking for a piece of glossy, next-generation COD-seasoned pie, and it comes from Turtle Rock Studios, those former Valve chums who did the heavy lifting on the original Left 4 Dead. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Cara Ellison)

Xen is totally rubbish you were all right YOU WERE ALL RIGHTReaders. I crawled to the end. You warned me. After part one of the diary, you really did warn me.

At the beginning, I thought Half-Life was the best game I’d ever played. There were so many finely crafted moments; so many things I learned. I avoided reading the slightest thing on it. I wanted it unsullied. As time went on in Half-Life, I gradually realised that each level is a discrete little chocolate box of incidents, scripted events, little puzzles and touches. There is so much attention to detail in the way that everything is centred on the player’s experience, how to psyche you out, how to spook you, how to mess with you. And then, as each new level drags on, you begin to wonder what it is you’re aiming for. By the time you reach Xen, you’re done. By the time you get to gonad beast, you’re completely, oh so really, done. But wasn’t it something? But wasn’t it really something>? (more…)

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

These guys.

The Saxxy Awards are Valve’s annual celebration of the Source Filmmaker community and their efforts to make short films using the Source engine and Valve’s game assets. The community has been producing better and better stuff since the tool was released three years ago, and this year’s winners, nominees and honourable mentions are all worth ruining your productivity over.

Here’s the deserving Overall Winner for this year. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

STOP, in the name of love. Er, sorry. Guns. I meant to say stop in the name of guns.

OK, time for a truth bomb: I haven’t played Team Fortress 2 in age– *KATHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMSPLURSHHHHHH* Oh jeez, wow. That was actually a regular bomb lightly sprinkled with truth. My bad. I’m gonna need to un-bury John and Alec from the wreckage momentarily (Graham was out, and Adam is immune to explosions), but quickly: I haven’t played Team Fortress 2 in quite some time, but I still get excited about updates. Why, you ask? Because Valve always delivers brilliant laughs on top of them. Go below for delightful text and a gruesomely enjoyable video of the new, Medic-immortality-granting Two Cities update.

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

James McVinnie has been making machinima for years, for the Half-Life modding community, for BioWare as a cinematic director on Mass Effect and Dragon Age, and more recently for himself. His Source Filmmaker short, Practical Problems, was a finalist in the comedy category at the 2012 Saxxy awards.

His latest project is End of the Line, an eight-minute Source Filmmaker short due out early next year. It again stars a cast of Team Fortress 2 characters, but it’s more ambitious than any SFM short I’ve seen before. A minute-long trailer released in August garnered so much attention that Valve have asked McVinnie and his team to explore creating an official community update for Team Fortress 2 to coincide with the film’s release.

I spoke with James about his time with BioWare, and his process for making films within videogame engines. In response to one of my questions, he made an illustrative video. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Spare some change? I'm just a poor, hardworking headcrab who's been let down by The System.

Halfy birthday, Hap-Life! Well, I guess it’s technically the day after your birthday now, but an upgraded version of Source-powered Half-Life tribute Black Mesa still counts as a gift, I think. You might remember that the free labor of time, love, and more time was greenlit a while back, but now it’s finally taking the Lab Facility Train Ride of Ultimate Auspiciousness over to Steam. Better still, Gabe and the knights of the Valve table have given it their blessing, allowing the Black Mesa team to earn some especially pretty pennies for their hard work. The Steam version will include new features too, but not Xen. That’s apparently still “a ways off,” sadly.

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

Half-Life celebrates its 15th birthday today. Valve’s genre-exploding, literal game-changer first appeared on the 19th November 1998, taking the well-loved first-person shooter and crafting something extraordinary. It was considered a turning point. A new bar for games to beat. And one that was safely broken by, er, Half-Life 2 six years later. Below are some of RPS’s favourite memories of the old, old game.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

I’m not sure how I missed this back in August, but it’s splendid enough to warrant a belated post on a Saturday. The two men of Corridor Digital have been creating extraordinary movie shorts for years (one of my all-time favourites being The Glitch), primarily based on videogames, featuring extraordinary special effects that rival those of big budget Hollywood studios. Certainly their profile is a lot larger in recent times, and their work is now very often paid for by the publishers of the games they’re recreating. (This live action video of Rayman Legends (no, really) being one of the most bizarre.) However, they still create projects for their own entertainment, and their origin story for the Gravity Gun is absolutely stellar.

(more…)

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