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There are a lot of words being written about the new consoles this week but when I spoke to Warren Spector a few days ago, he was clear about where his future lies: “I think all the interesting stuff is happening on PC now… Assuming I make more games, which I intend to do, PC and Mac are going to be my targets.”
It’s good to hear. We spoke at the Bradford Animation Festival and covered a wide range of topics, from his theories of design and pioneering role in PC gaming to thoughts on the current state of the industry. In this first part of our conversation, there’s insight into how Spector see his own legacy and the work of his former colleagues, and how frustrations with Thief’s difficulty inspired the player empowerment of Deus Ex.>
Path of Shadows is an upcoming non-commercial student project in which the player character can teleport between shadows. As seen in the prototype video below, it resembles an over-the-shoulder Mark of the Ninja, with a protagonist who is wearing a magical glyph version of Isaac Clarke’s RIG read-out. Limiting the teleportation ability to shadowy areas suggests prescribed paths through levels, a puzzler’s approach to stealth. As is often the case, the sneaky protagonist feels compelled to creep through temples, silently murdering guards. A goddess instructs, “do not bother remembering anything”, which sounds exactly like the sort of thing that somebody would say if they’d killed you and taken command of your soul in the recent past so they could make you smash up a rival deity’s temple.
This is the latest in the series of articles about the art technology of games, in collaboration with the particularly handsome Dead End Thrills.>
Games move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss them. The pretties this week come courtesy not of a particular game, nor indeed me, but of the Dead End Thrills Flickr group, a caravan of some 500+ ‘players’ who spend more time stopping games and looking around than they do actually playing. The times we live in.
With some 11,000 images in there, I wasn’t sure how best to approach this. (Drunk, obviously, but how badly?) I’ve gone for the easy option: a round-up of games and/or users that stood out over the last few weeks. What you’ll often find is that wrangling games into ‘screenshot mode’ has knock-on benefits for any PC gamer, so let’s see if that holds true. (more…)
When I saw that Dishonored was going to have additional DLC missions I was worried that it might wander off the beautiful path that the original game created. It was all too possible that any additions might seem like bad fan fiction for the original, quite neatly encapsulated, game. Corvo’s story was so complete that would be very odd to see “further adventures of”, or anything of that ilk. Arkane, of course, chose wisely in this regard. They chose Daud, the troubled master assassin defeated by Corvo in the original game. And Daud, I am beginning to feel, makes for a better experience than Corvo ever could.
Dishonored lacked multiplayer, $5828375 worth of microtransactions, and hyper-linear setpiece rollercoasters, yet for some reason everybody loved it. It’s almost like people want intrigue, options, and whale-oil-based societies from their games. Almost. So, with the new (and excellent) Brigmore Witches DLC bidding adieu to the first game’s creaking, disease-infested Dunwall, what’s next for the best sneaky-stabby series to come along in years? Bethesda’s officially calling it a “franchise” now, so a sequel’s all but certain. Where might it go, though? Could multiplayer be in the cards? And where does Arkane think the first game failed? Also, were Dishonored’s two DLC episodes – with their tweaked powers and fairly vocal main character – a preview of things to come? I spoke with Dishonored co-creative director Raphael Colantonio to find out.>
Bum. I’ve just realised I’ve not actually finished the previous Dishonored DLC, The Knife of Dunwall. I’m halfway through the second mission. Usually that wouldn’t be a problem, but Arkane took the odd decision to make their DLC episodic, and Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches continues the story they started in the Knife of Dunwall. You are still Daud, fighting for redemption. If anyone else is in my position then it’s best you don’t look below the cut. Spoilers! (more…)
Jim is basically the J. Jonah Jameson of RPS: I was handsomely making sweet news for you guys when he stormed into the forbidden RPS chatroom of mystery, slammed his fists on the desk with the rage that only an editor can muster, and demanded I find some mods. “It’s the weekend!”, he angrily typed. “If you don’t find at least three mods by the end of the day that the readers can play, you can go and beg VG247 forra job.” And then he stormed out, muttering about page impressions, tea, and robots. Luckily I’ve been on a bit of a modding binge of late, so I have a few interesting things for you. Do you have Arma 3 installed? That’s nice. (more…)
They’re clearly lacing the drinking water at Arkane with Creative Itch Juice, as both Dishonored’s co-lead Harvey Smith and one of its writers, Austin Grossman, have put out novels in the last couple of months. Of course, both are esteemed games industry figures from long before that, having worked in the fabled Looking Glass/Ion Storm mines and contributed to some of the most-respected titles in PC gaming history. Unsurprising, then, that they’d have something to say about their experiences. I’m yet to read Smith’s Big Jack Is Dead – that’s next on my list – but I have made my way through YOU, Grossman’s fiction-ode to videogame development and his first novel since the popular supervillain tale Soon I Will Be Invincible.> (more…)
Here at RPS, we’re not often in the business of reporting rumors, but this one’s too much of a doozy to leave inside the colossal organic womb ship from which all rumors are born. Prey 2‘s been MIA since time immemorial, with various rumblings of strikes, stall outs, and near-cancellation the only things even vaguely resembling a warm trail for us to follow. Now, however, according to Kotaku and Prey 2 fansite Alien Noire, Dishonored developer Arkane has – allegedly somewhat reluctantly – taken the reigns. THE PLOT THICKENS. Watch it ooze and burble after the break.