This article originally appeared in issue 245 of PC Gamer.
The StarCraft IIs, they are a-changing. After two years, Blizzard have finally got the competitive balance of their space-set RTS just right. But just as they’ve massaged the numbers into place, just as they’ve buffed and nerfed it in the right spots to make the world’s premier e-sport, they’ve decided to smash it all up.
Heart of the Swarm is the second in the StarCraft II trilogy, and it will drastically change a game that has raised the e-sports banner high over the past few years. A game that a cadre of elite players depend upon for their livelihood. It must be a scary time for the developers.
But designer David Kim isn’t feeling the fear. “While it’s pretty scary, we’re also confident that we’re ready to go ahead with it. We have the experience of tuning units in the past – not only in the beta – but through patches. We think we’re prepared in terms of the things we have to look for.” Blizzard have it easier than some when it comes to this kind of tuning. A vast, competitive userbase plays on Battle.net’s ladders every day, and professional players are quick to determine the weaknesses and strengths of new additions. “Right now we have a small playtest group internally of the best StarCraft players across all of Blizzard,” Kim says. “Some of the players are from the Q&A team, some players are from the development team.”
But no matter the amount of fiddling that goes on internally, Kim and his peers won’t be happy with the balance until a hefty beta period is through. “I don’t think we would be able to ship the game right now and have the pros play it at a balanced level. That has to be done during the beta.”
Wings of Liberty’s beta uncovered some serious balance problems Blizzard had missed, but players also complained about units and powers that Kim and co believed would eventually even out. “Banelings used to be considered super powerful in the WoLbeta, but we left them as they were. We realised that as the Terran players’ micro became better, so the marine spread is a little faster and the damage banelings actually do is reduced.”
But not all of WoL’s now-venerable units will be left alone. The slug-bodied, spine-spewing Zerg hydralisks – decidedly underused in the competitive community – have been retooled to facilitate their successful deployment. They’re faster, and work particularly well with the new Zerg viper: the latter unit can yank bothersome enemy units into a mass of squidgy Hydralisk flesh, letting the monsters tear the interloper apart with chitinous spikes.
StarCraft II has such a wide fanbase that Blizzard won’t be able to please everyone with Heart of the Swarm– but an obsessive level of testing means they can give it a damn good try.
This article originally appeared in issue 228 of PC Gamer UK.
Of the 20 waves of enemies that make up Dawn of War 2: Retribution’s Last Stand mode, wave 16 is the most important. In every other wave your team of three heroes face overwhelming odds. In wave 16 there are only three enemies, but they’re the most powerful opponents you could ever face. Exact clones of you.
The solution is to intentionally build weaknesses into your own team – which is why I’ve teamed-up with two friends to take two poorly armoured Chaos Sorcerers into battle alongside one rock-hard Space Marine captain. Trust me, it all makes sense.
The Space Marine captain can punch the air so hard it sends out a shockwave that makes nearby enemies explode. He can summon a 12-foot robotic behemoth from orbit. He is officially a badass.
The Chaos Sorcerers are not. Their showy armour may as well not be there and their melee attack wouldn’t bother a dog. But, they can clone enemies. If films and TV have taught us anything, it’s that cloning things never ends well. Come wave 16, we’re planning to clone our own enemy clones. In the grand list of things you should never, ever do, this definitely falls into the Very Bad Shit category.
The early waves pass without a hitch. The Space Marine’s Dreadnought protects our Sorcerers while the captain deals all the real damage. Every time the stone gates around the arena descend, more powerful foes emerge. Eventually, it’s wave 16.
Our doppelgangers charge toward us. We’re shouting over voice chat. “Clone the captain! Clone the captain!” Both Sorcerers clone the captain. There are now four Space Marine captains. Drop pods crash down from orbit, one after the other. They explode, unleashing their deadly cargo. There are now four Space Marine captains and four Dreadnoughts. Voice chat is filled with our horrified gasps. “What have we done?” one of us cries, “what have we done?”
We have to act fast. If we don’t kill everything in the arena in the next few seconds, their Chaos Sorcerers could clone our captain, and those clones in turn would summon more Dreadnoughts. This is the Very Bad Shit I mentioned earlier. Our Chaos Sorcerer doppelgangers need to die, and they need to die now.
Our captain charges into combat with the nearest enemy Sorcerer. Our clones of the enemy captain do the same. Seconds later, everything is dead, except for the enemy Dreadnought.
Our three Dreadnoughts punch it to death.
Our cheers abate as the gates lower again. One minute later wave 17 is a charred paste on the arena floor. Our Dreadnoughts waddle around looking pleased with themselves. Wave 18 comes and goes, leaving more than a hundred dead Orks in its wake. In wave 19, our Dreadnoughts go down, but our cloned captains just summon more. We’re on the verge of wave 20. We might just do this.
There’s a thunderclap. It starts raining blood. A mighty Chaos Lord emerges from a ring of fire in the centre of the arena and demons attack from every gate. Our Dreadnoughts are swarmed, our cloned captains fall in seconds. Our survival now depends on one simple question. Is it possible to clone the final boss of the game?
The answer is yes. In the space of approximately three seconds the tide of battle is turned. Our two newly recruited Chaos Lord clones smother the battlefield in searing warp fire. The demons are all dead. It all comes down to a fist fight between the enemy Chaos Lord and two more powerful clones of himself. It’s a battle he’s never going to win. We’ve done it. We’ve beaten Last Stand.
Our reward? A text pop-up. “You are victorious!” it says. It feels like the greatest prize in all gaming.
I am the best Counter-Terrorist ever. While most CTs stand at spawn wondering what gun they can afford, I'm standing at cs_office's dank car-park trying to work out the best way to squeeze a rollercoaster track through the collection containers. I'm addicted to bringing fun to a gun fight, turning cs_office's corridors into a ride, bending and twisting my rollercoaster through windows and corridors. Why? And more importantly, how? Read on.
I'll get the 'why' out the way first. Because when I got the chance to thread a thrillride through the familiar surroundings of my favourite CS map, I took it. I wanted to throw up a track that followed through the corridors, that banked and twisted through the windows. You needn't choose cs_office, but this is where I ended up.
That's cleared up, let's address the 'how'. You'll need Garry's Mod 13, the current beta that Garry's been developing for the last year. If you have GMod on Steam you'll now have access to the beta. You'll need it to install the Lua Rollercoasters mod that I found on the Steam Workshop. It's a remarkable building tool that gives you the power of roller coasters, right at the tip of your in-game gun.
At the bottom of the spawn menu's "tools" section is the Rollercoaster Gun. Firing it at the terrain spawns a node. A second shot will create a second node, and between them you'll see the ethereal glow of a potential track. The nodes are turning points and state shifters, where you can have a different track selection between each one. It means one section can be the designated length where carts spawn, while another could be set to speed up the cart. An incline is served by swapping a section of track from 'normal' to 'chained', so anyone riding that section will feel the ratchet of the chain dragging them slowly to the top. It's with these controls that you'll get the feel of the coaster, turning it from a pile of rails into the more familiar changes in speed that coasters deliver.
Nodes can be grabbed with the GMod physics gun, so you're able to alter the placement and height just by yanking up and down. You can change the angle of the coaster's dangle by altering the lean settings in the spawn menu. The system is surprisingly lenient: it allows for the tightest of turns, leaps between multiple tracks, and you can change track states and angles after placing them, so a normal flat sequence can be pepped up by changing the node settings in the spawn menu and shooting at the node: it'll update. There's no loop yet, but I'm hoping in time it'll come.
Dropping a track in cs_office was a test: I wanted to see how tightly wound I could make a track, and if I could fire a cart through a window. I led my track up from CT spawn and out into the little clearing that has a few ways into the buildings. Instead of following any of these, I veer up and through a window, into the office. A few more points drags the cart through the corridors, with the green line passing through the cabinets. I'd no idea if this will stop the cart, or if I'll burst triumphantly through them, and the only test is to launch myself through the offices in it.
I lead the tracks through the cluster of rooms at T-spawn and out the other side, hoping to crash through the large windows near and out into the small courtyard. Except I can't get back in that way: the electronic doors won't open, so I veer around inside the corridors instead, following the building's layout back to CT-spawn.
A top view shows how glorious my creation is. Behold.
Now to test it. This will definitely work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS3UtkrLeNw&feature=youtu.be Hmm. It seems I have come across a design flaw: I built a rolllercoaster in an office. That's probably the reason that my cart crashed, because it was built in an office. No matter how much I fiddle with it, I can't seem to get a clear run through the area at T-spawn. Er, here's one I made earlier. If anything, it shows that there are better maps to try Lua Rollecoasters in.
Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, a Russian adventure that's not as porny as it sounds, but whose surrealism might make you gag in a very different way...
Sorry. Normally I try to find something interesting and a little bit unusual for you. This week though, I'm afraid we're going to have to resort to that most tired and cliched of gaming staples - secret agents struggling with sexual inadequacy after being bitten on the penis by a poisoned penguin.
And they say zombies are overplayed...
So... yeah. GAG: The Impotent Mystery. It's a rare example of a Russian adventure that got an international release, but only technically. It seems that there were only about twenty copies sent out - three for the Dutch, seven for the English, nine for the Germans, and one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie. If more people have come into contact with any sticky part of it, it's because one of its minigames was cut out and released as freeware - an erotic Tetris clone. Erotic as in naked people for blocks, not sexy blocks. Unless you're into that.
(And, you know, it's not like people aren't turned on by much weirder stuff. Why, even now I'm sure there's a guy sitting on a bed while a prostitute eats several tins of fruit salad so that she can be sick all over his naked body and call it Joseph's Amazing Technicolour Dream Coating.)
Nothing like that happens in GAG of course. There doesn't even seem to be any actual nudity in the English version, though apparently there is some in the original Russian one. (Edit: Apparently not, though there was a soft-core expansion - no comment - called Gary's Vacation.)
It's... ah... an odd adventure, to put it mildly. The title screen alone is head-tilting, as a naked woman in silhouette slides back and forth over a line, before being knocked off it by the falling game logo and turning into a waving penguin. With me so far? Good. It won't last.
From there, we find out that the main character, Gary Tusker, is a member of an agency charged with - and I quote - the Prevention of Sexual And Religious Perversions. From there, a spooky introduction more suitable for a horror game kicks off, with graves and zombies and scantily clad ladies being beamed around... and then talking to demon creatures about plans to kidnap a girl called the Marquese. Then our hero wakes up and has a hallucination based on Doom in which he blows up his telephone with a rocket launcher, and also is a cut-rate virginal Fabio whose hobbies include using a telescope to peek at and film girls in other buildings and porn. And that is all.
That is just the introduction! Watch it and the first area here.
It gets weirder. Go to bed, and you can sleep - a narrator intoning that "Gary slept. But he knew he should wake up at the first click of the mouse. That was a habit developed over the years." Instead, it takes a couple, after which he groans "Okay, stop that clicking, I'm up already!" You can also opt to have a wet dream, which consists of him dreaming about a race between some racing cars, tribal warriors, elephants, rhinos and buses. The TV - tuned to Horny News, as if there's any other kind - has an announcement about the game's designer being declared the Sexiest Man In The World. His name incidentally is pronounced "Cop off" by at least the English dub. Narrative determinism, ho? Maybe! Then there's a mini-game where you stab flies on a table with a fork because... yummy protein?
Also, he owns these...
The actual plot kicks off by returning a call from Gary's boss. "If I never hear from you again, scumbag, it'll be too soon," she growls, despite having phoned him. She assigns him to the Marquese case, responding to his question about whether she's hot with "What's it to you, limpo?" Also, the phone/fax machine burps out print-outs because... I don't know. On the wall, flies are having sex. One of them poops on Gary's diploma. You also have to cook the flies you already gathered in a microwave.
Oh, and this is in the toilet. If you get the reference, award yourself a point.
Anyway, all detectives have helpers. Gary's is Lao, the kind of Chinese stereotype that... oh, I have no words. Not only does he have a 'comedy' accent, his face has been run through Kai's Power Goo or similar just to really get its racism on. Anyway, he swaps voyeur porn for items, including "North Korean Passport", "Globe Of Taiwan" and "Huge Pack Of Dodgy Second Hand Luminous Condoms." What he actually provides are a gynaecologist's ID and some house keys. You can also flick through a porn mag where the topless ladies are censored by a penguin and I think I just went insane.
Yep. That was it. Hurt less than expected. I can now hear fuchsia.
Wow. Even the caption I wrote refuses to be associated with that picture.
Heading out to what I vaguely remember being an assignment, Gary finds himself at a spooky castle with en suite teleport hole to THE FUTURE. Blue portal in. Orange portal out. It reminds me of something, but I can't put my finger on exactly what. You're then mugged by a guy in a robot mech, who will only let you into the castle if you prove you're a member of the military Corps of "Ginaecologists" using that convenient ID from earlier. Confused? You should see some of the stuff I'm leaving out. Like the flying turkey in Gary's microwave. I'd mention it, but it would be a distraction.
Or how about that minigame? Yes, you obviously need to match up the rutting couples. It's tough going though, and you don't know exactly what the game wants you to match up. As with Tetris, the drop rate is brutal, and you need to get a seriously high score to win an item you need to finish the game. Unlike Tetris, not winning ultimately results in the completion of an evil scheme, because past a certain point in the game a bug means that you're not allowed to play it any more.
Nnnngh. I've never been drunk, but this is what I imagine it would be like to play Myst after a whole crate of absinthe. The castle isn't as overtly wacky as the apartment, but it's still got levers that detect your mouse pointer and lock you out, codes written under mats that trip you up while you're standing on them, random military equipment just sitting around, and of course, this professional blockade...
In fact, I'm just going to copy a few things from the walkthrough I found myself using after about five minutes. I think the snippets say more than an attempt to explain ever could.
"When you wake up, you are facing a guillotine and only have your iberium in inventory. Quickly look down at your feet--you notice a candle burning the rope that holds the guillotine up. You now must spit accurately to dampen the candle. When you have success, you are taken a little closer to it. Trial and error will get you there. Finally, you reach out and put out the flame between your finger. You then realize you weren't even tied up!"
"Use the lingerie on the area below to make a bungee cord. You have to calculate how many bras and panties to use to reach the motorboat without overshooting it. It has an instant do-over if you fail, so don't worry about experimenting. You are given a drawing board schematic. There are three combinations that work: 3 bras and 5 panties, 4 bras and 3 panties, or 5 bras and 1 panty."
And let's not forget the finale:
"Pick up the spell book. The Marquise appears, ready to do you in. Quickly throw the spell book in the fire. The evil is banished, the castle and the Marquise destroyed. This leads to the first end sequence cutscene of a war machine hoedown!"
Incidentally, they're Satanists. Or something. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. I'm just grateful that at this point, both of the game CDs were suddenly snapped in half by an unseen force you cannot prove does not exist. Luckily, I have this clip of the ending on hand, which should explain everything...
...or, y'know. Not. Though I doubt it'd be any better in context.
GAG only officially came out in Russia and the Netherlands (where this English dubbed version also hails from) though I've been told there was a German release as well. The scary part? Crazy as is it is, GAG did well enough to get at least one sequel. I shall repeat that. There is a sequel and it is real!
I think I'd rather eat the game discs. Both at once, as a hyper-crunchy ham sandwich. Only with a baguette instead of the CDs. I'd also like Kit-Kat. Excuse me. Trip to the shops beckons.
Sorry about ruining fruit salad for you, by the way.
Splinter Cell sneakster Sam Fisher regularly sticks to shadows like a cyborg ghost, but his obtrusively unstealthy antics during the E3 reveal of Splinter Cell: Blacklist divided fans over its depicted departure from the franchise's covert roots. Speaking to Eurogamer, Blacklist director David Footman believed "knee-jerk" and "uninformed" reactions piled too much focus upon the debut's "pow!" factor.
"Everyone can make knee-jerk reactions to a vertical slice of the game that are really uninformed as to what the whole experience is like," Footman said. "We really have to be patient as we roll out each item about the game."
Footman stressed the importance of speedily delivering a playable demo as a temperance for supposed overreactions on Blacklist's heightened action, saying, "The proof is always going to be in the pudding. Talk is talk, and it is just all talk right now."
Blacklist contains maps built primarily for ghosting in addition to action-oriented missions, according to Footman. " Conviction was a pretty big change for the brand to stealth-action," he explained. " in terms of ensemble cast and everything else about our story, we're stealth-action-adventure now. We definitely know our roots--being stealthy, realism, having Sam Fisher at the core of it, and so on. But like every branded franchise, it is evolving."
Valve did a sneaky, small-but-significant thing recently: it expanded its "Top Sellers" list on Steam to include one hundred games. The sales leaderboard doesn't tell us exactly how many copies a game sold, but it gives us a vague idea of how well certain games are doing on Steam in a given moment.
It's an inherently misleading metric—take that as a disclaimer. Still, as we sit in the shadow of some of 2012's biggest releases, I'd like to take a crack at gleaning what we can from this moment in time.
2K's having a great end of the year. The $50 pre-sale of XCOM is outselling everything but Borderlands 2 on Steam. We might be able to chalk that up to fairly generous pre-purchase incentives (which could include a free copy of Civ 5 if enough people pre-buy it). It might be mild evidence that demos still work, too. Borderlands 2's high concurrent user count over the past few days (reaching 123,758 last weekend) is also evidence that 2K will win the weeks connecting September and October on Steam.
Digital pre-orders are a thing. XCOM isn't the only thing-you-can-buy-but-can't-play-yet doing well. Joining the unreleased are Dishonored at #7, War of the Roses at #12, Football Manager 2013 at #17, Company of Heroes 2 at #29, and Hitman Absolution at #51. Even though there's no chance of a game going out of stock, Steam users don't seem to mind putting money down in advance, especially if they're rewarded with bonus content or a small discount for doing so.
Where are the MMOs? Oh, right. Zero MMOs appear in today's top 100. I might consider that unsurprising—we wouldn't expect too many people to be picking up competitors while Guild Wars 2 and Pandaria are drawing the attention, and neither are available on Steam. Still, it's a little surprising not to see RIFT ($10) or EVE Online: Inferno ($20) popping up anywhere.
Call of Duty remains a PC fixture. The sense that Call of Duty remains a fixture for PC gamers is supported by SteamGraph data. Some form of Call of Duty make up 10 whole entries of the Steam's top 100. Many of those are map packs, but the performance of Call of Duty: Black Ops - Mac Edition (#41) is interesting to me. It released yesterday, September 27, and it's outperforming stuff like Civ V: GOTY and Natural Selection 2. Modern Warfare 3 is 50% off until October 1, and it's sitting comfortably at #5.
DayZ continues to have a long tail. I don't think Arma 2: Combined Operations (what you need to play DayZ) has left the top ten of Steam's Top Sellers since it caught on in May and June. It seems to be outperforming other games that released in May and June like Sins: Rebellion (#56), Max Payne 3 (#76), Civ 5: Gods & Kings (#20), and Spec Ops: The Line (unlisted).
Below: the data, captured at 6:05 PM PDT. Ctrl + Fing encouraged.
Top Ten Borderlands 2 XCOM: Enemy Unknown Total War Master Collection Torchlight II Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Dishonored Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Arma 2: Combined Operations Empire: Total War
#11-25 Castle Crashers War of the Roses Borderlands 2 Season Pass FTL: Faster Than Light Cortex Command The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Football Manager 2013 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard Garry's Mod Sid Meier's Civilization V - Gods 'n Kings Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition The Binding of Isaac Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy Left 4 Dead 2 Hell Year! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit
#26-50 F1 2012 Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour Rome: Total War - Gold Company of Heroes 2 Total War Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai Sid Meier's Civilization V Counter-Strike: Source Borderlands: Game of the Year Worms Revolution Total War Mega Pack Terraria The Walking Dead Rocksmith Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 3: Chaos Pack Call of Duty: Black Ops - Mac Edition Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb Portal 2 McPixel Sid Meier's Civilization V: Game of the Year Total War: SHOGUN 2 The Sims 3 Counter-Strike Complete Hearts of Iron 3 Collection The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
#51-100 Hitman: Absolution Borderlands Train Simulator 2013 The Testament of Sherlock Holmes Medieval II Gold Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Orcs Must Die! 2 - Family Ties Booster Pack Call of Duty: Black Ops II The Amazing Spider-Man Orcs Must Die! 2 Saints Row: The Third Dead Island: GOTY Natural Selection 2 Orcs Must Die! 2 - Complete Pack Half-Life 2 Amnesia: The Dark Descent Rome: Total War - Complete The Orange Box Borderlands 2 + Official Brady Guide Batman: Arkham City GOTY Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead Grand Theft Auto IV Endless Space Killing Floor Call of Duty: World at War Max Payne 3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 SPORE I Am Alive Fallout 3: GOTY Fallen Enchantress Valve Complete Pack Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition Mount & Blade: Warband New Star Soccer 5 Portal Bundle Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 2 Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 Expansion Counter-Strike Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® 3 Collection 1 Arma 2 Might & Magic Heroes VI - Danse Macabre Adventure Pack Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 Call of Duty: Black Ops Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD STAR WARS: Knights of the Old Republic II Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Planets Under Attack Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Age of Empires III: Complete Collection
Reiterating: We don't know what formula or data drives Steam's Top Sellers rankings. It's probably safest to consider them a representation of what games are selling well in one moment of time on Steam.
The smoke still belches forth from our endlessly firing guns in Borderlands 2, but Gearbox lost no time swinging straight into toying with more absurd quips, plotlines, and bonkers bandits yelling "Stop yelling at me!" for Borderlands 3, according to a recent video interview with lead writer Anthony Burch.
When asked about Gearbox's thoughts of the Borderlands franchise and the prospect of a trilogy, Burch said he's entertaining "some more general ideas I have for Borderlands 3 that I hope we get to see come to fruition."
"The thing about game design is that it's so fluid, things can just change all the time," Burch added. "So, you don't want to get too specific, because then you're like, 'Oh, crap, I gotta write myself out of this hole that I thought would be a really cool idea two years ago.' I could just Looper myself and punch myself in the for having stupid ideas."
Gearbox hasn't delivered any official word on a three-quel, but given the series' popularity and critical success, Borderlands 3 would continue Gearbox's straightforward mantra of adding more upon what works best--oddball characters, a gorgeously constructed world, and troves of loot--and what gamers want.
Logan, Evan, Omri, and T.J. join forces with special guest and PC Gamer Podcast veteran Chuck Osborn to spray and pray their way through the gaming news of the day. Is Mists of Pandaria worth your time if you've fallen out of love with World of Warcraft? Is Windows 8 really as disastrous as Notch and Gabe seem to think it is? What is it about Borderlands 2 that earns it such universal praise? Has one Unreal Tournament 2004 bot heralded the early coming of the machine apocalypse? Have we presented enough thought-provoking questions to get you to listen to the freaking podcast already?
The last you can only answer yourself, but we've got the rest covered in PC Gamer Podcast 331: Osbornderlands!
Have a question, comment, complaint, or observation? Leave a voicemail: 1-877-404-1337 ext 724 or email the mp3 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breaking into the gaming industry isn't as simple and straightforward a process as, say, establishing a reputation as a ruthless flamethrower-wielding mercenary. But you're not limited to knocking on the doors of large studios to get your break. At the Eurogamer Expo today, Valve writer Chet Faliszek offered would-be developers this simple piece of advice: "Create something."
"I'm being serious," he said. "There are no gatekeepers. There are no requirements. There is no prior experience that you need. Just make something."
Faliszek suggested budding indiesmiths seek feedback on their work through forums and developer communities as well as heightening their exposure through submissions to gaming portals such as Greenlight, Kongregate, and Desura.
"How do you get yourself a job in the games industry?" he said. "This is the answer: You just give yourself one. It's that simple. You're in control of your own destiny. Make your resume and ship it to the world. Take whatever ideas you have, whatever computer you have, whatever software you have, and scope it down to something you can ship. Start working on it. Every day you come home from work, work on it some more. Show it to your friends. Talk about it. Get feedback on it. Playtest it. And when it's ready, release it. There, you just gave yourself a job in the game industry."
Eurogamer recorded Faliszek's entire talk at the Expo, should you want to see more.
This week's best deals ► Total War, EVE Online, Dragon Age Steam has routed your excuses for not trying out the Total War franchise with Rome Gold, Empire, Medieval II, Napoleon, Shogun 2, and Fall of the Samurai all for $32. Amazon will throw you pod-first into the ruthless galaxy of EVE Online for a fiver. GameStop is looking to hook you up with over 100 hours of Dragon Age goodness for $10.
Steam ► Total War Franchise, Modern Warfare 3, Hearts of Iron III Modern Warfare 3 is half price and the multiplayer is free to play this weekend. This is in addition to basically everything that says "Total War" on it being discounted 25% or more.
75% off Total War Master Collection - $31.98 Individual Total War titles are also 25% off or more. 50% off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - $29.99 75% off Hearts of Iron 3 Collection - $7.49 75% off The Binding of Isaac - $1.24, Wrath of the Lamb DLC is also 75% off - 74 cents 50% off Age of Empires Online Steam Starter Pack - $9.99 More Steam Deals
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Green Man Gaming ► Alpha Protocol, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, XCOM Green Man is offering up Obsidian's spy-themed story RPG Alpha Protocol and an armload of Sonic the Hedgehog titles - including the quintessential Sonic 3 and Knuckles - at half off. They've also got two voucher deals running: GMG20-27J4Z-8NXHO for 20% off any download, and GMGSD-W3R94-DZBAZ for 30% off Sleeping Dogs.
10% off XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Pre-order) - $44.99 50% off Alpha Protocol - $9.98 50% off Condemned: Criminal Origins - $7.49 50% off Sonic 3 and Knuckles - $2.49 50% off Renegade Ops - $7.49 More GMG Deals
GOG ► Square Enix Squad How does this sound: Thief 1, 2, and 3, Deus Ex GOTY and Deus Ex Invisible War, Hitman 1 and 2, Tomb Raider 1, 2, and 3... all for $38.30. You can also add the Legacy of Kain series, Conflict: Desert Storm, Anachronox, and Pandemonium! to the deal to increase your percentage savings.
Also, it's not on sale, but the Carmageddon Max Pack is now available for $9.99.
Get Games ► Hitman Absolution, Guild Wars 2 (EU), Far Cry series Get Games is selling the Professional Edition of Hitman Absolution (pre-order) for the same price as the normal edition, which is cheaper than we've seen it anywhere else.
25% off Hitman Absolution Professional Edition (Pre-order) - $44.99 10% off Carrier Command: Gaea Mission - $44.99 15% off Guild Wars 2 - $46.75 (Europe only) 75% off Far Cry 1 and 2 - $6.25 60% off Lord of the Rings: War in the North - $19.99 75% off Overlord II - $2.49 More deals from Get Games
GameStop ► War of the Roses, Dragon Age, Battlefield 3 The problem with pre-ordering War of the Roses on Steam is that it gives you the House of Lancaster armor set. Toss aside those pretenders and support the noble House of York with GameStop for only 30 bucks. You can also get ALL THE DRAGON AGE! (Excluding DA2 DLC) that there is to play for 10.
War of the Roses House of York Deluxe Edition (Pre-order) - $29.99 80% off Dragon Age Bundle - $9.99, includes Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition and Dragon Age 2 75% off Battlefield 3 - $9.99 50% off Spore Ultimate Digital Collection - $14.99 More GameStop deals
GameFly ► Modern Warfare, Prototype, Singularity You could grab the entire Prototype franchise for under 40 bucks, or the entire Modern Warfare franchise for $60 from GameFly this week.
50% off Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - $9.99 50% off Modern Warfare 2 - $9.99 50% off Modern Warfare 3 - $29.99 75% off Prototype - $4.99 33% off Prototype 2 - $33.49 75% off Singularity - $7.49 More GameFly Deals
Best Buy ► Max Payne 3 Finally, Best Buy has Max Payne 3 for 66% off, at $20.
Let us know in the comments if you find any more great deals!
Disclaimer: We offer no guarantees regarding the validity of these sales, their restrictions, or the quality of service provided by these distributors. We cannot vet every deal: we only list what we see advertised at the time of writing. Buy at your own risk!