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Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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

The factory is a mess, but at least no one works here.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, building efficient machines to make other efficient machines in strategy game Factorio.>

I’ve got coal-powered drills digging up resources, mechanical arms collecting the raw materials, and conveyor belts transporting it across the landscape where more arms collect it and deposit it into fabrication machines, after which the resulting product is plucked out by still more arms, dropped on more belts, moved on to more factories. Clouds of pollution fill the air, production lines twist and turn haphazardly, electrical poles and storage units appear to have been placed by a confused and drunken city planner. It’s a mess. A big mess. But it’s a beautiful mess, because it all works.

… [visit site to read more]

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

You'll never see me, copper.

While John’s waging war on oceans (a traumatic crab experience as a child, perhaps?), I’ve decided that my first Official RPS Crusade will be against far less pleasant bodies of water. Cnut that I am, I set my throne before waves of lurid green sludge and futilely declare: no sewers.

I’ve chosen my first champion. A game bold enough to cut a sewer level because it wasn’t adding anything. A game that destroyed sewers even though you can probably, like, make a really powerful point about cyberpunk cities and waste flow and, like, society, yeah? Good on you, Neon Struct.

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

Please elaborate as I'm not sure whether to laugh.

Sometimes, you get a little glimpse of how you re perceived by the world. That can be flattering, like when you leave a suicide note and hide in the wardrobe while everyone starts improvising really sweet eulogies over a human beatbox. Then there s this line of an email, which neatly captures why I was considered appropriate for this review of sci-fi point-and-click adventure game Bik:

The trailer maybe contains a scene in which an alien uses a machine to force feed poop into a child’s mouth? And you are that child! >

Some games writers focus on social justice, others carve themselves a sex niche. I m the poop guy. Hi!

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

If I decide to journey beyond Manchester of a weekend, I might wander as far as Sheffield or Leeds. Maybe a village pub if I’m in the mood for something a little more quaint. Occasionally, I’m even tempted to heard north, across the border into Scotland. Chances are, once I get beyond the front door of my flat, I’ll land in a local drinking haunt though.

A new trailer for Lego Batman 3 shows what happens when Bruce Wayne goes ‘beyond Gotham’. It’s space. He goes to space in some sort of BatRocket. I think he goes to other dimensions as well and at one point Robin Plasticman turns into a fighter plane (which makes more sense – thanks to @rhamorim for correcting my ludicrous error). This is why Wayne is a billionaire vigilante and I’m a dishevelled games journalist. The man has ambition (and bucketloads of inherited wealth).

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

Shiny.

Fan-made replacement models and textures whatnot have been jazzing up games for decades, but recent years have seen the curious development of custom cinematography. Tools like ENB and SweetFX jack into a game’s rendering pipeline, letting people create their own vision by tweaking things like lighting, shadows, colours, reflections, anti-aliasing, and all manner of blooms and blurs. While some try to bring a look closer to reality, others go more moody.

Perhaps the most popular of these for Grand Theft Auto IV is iCEnhancer, adding enough fancy effects and tonal tweaks to make a six-year-old game look fresh as a daisy. Version 3.0 has now arrived, with plenty of new prettiness and a little extra performance.

… [visit site to read more]

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

Zen Pinball 2 isn’t my digital pinball flavour of choice. I prefer the recreation of actual tables, even if sometimes imperfect, to the shiny Marvel and Star Wars licensed fare of Zen Studios. I still dabble in the lightshow occasionally though and a new Guardians of the Galaxy table seems like a good excuse to shake off the ball rust. Judging by the trailer (below), the new table will fall in the Zen tradition of ramp-heavy high-scoring theme park tables. Lots of bang for your buck (actually $2.99), but not necessarily a whole lot of skills and processes to learn.

… [visit site to read more]

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

How many in-development games are there? There are infinite numbers of in-development games. Unfortunately not every one of those in-development games can afford the time or money to produce eye-catching trailers or to send out brain-catching press releases. Instead their harried creators make short GIFs and blog furiously about feature design, art creation and whatever remains on their todo lists.

These are devlogs. And this is where we collect the best of the week’s updates.

Procedural universes! Procedural world maps! Procedural dinosaurs!

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

Look, haven't we all had our fingers fused together in sci-fi cowboy antics?

Firefly Online is clearly counting on the cancelled sci-fi show’s fanbase to carry it, and has revealed it’s hoping to lure them in by reuniting the core cast to voice virtual versions of their characters. Which will probably work. But it’s a tricky balance to strike: this will make more fans interested, but also raises development costs of a game based on a show that wasn’t popular enough to avoid cancellation. The game beneath the nostalgia will need to be good enough.

A few snaps of gameplay are in a new trailer. Come see.

… [visit site to read more]

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

It takes at least two hoodies to make a game.

The concept is thus: take two game makers, one artist and one programmer, and challenge them to make a game in 48 hours. Film the process and release the result as a bundle including the documentary and the resulting game. It’s called Super Game Jam, the first episode was released two months ago, and episodes two and three just launched simultaneously late last week. That’s the news, but there are trailers and witterings below.

… [visit site to read more]

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

What do you do when your released games unexpectedly make all the money in the world? Use some of it to create prototypes of other games, I guess. Facepunch Studios, makers of Garry’s Mod and Rust, are beginning to write about different projects they’ve been developing. The first is Riftlight, an arcade shooter with “light-RPG” elements like levelling and skill trees. Over on the Facepunch blog, designer Adam Woolridge has concept art, early in-game footage and other details, some of which I’ve picked out below.

… [visit site to read more]

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