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RPS friend and ally Leigh Alexander writes a short series about Interactive Fiction. This is part one.>
Interactive fiction was my first love, before the arms race. I’m the war bride waiting at the docks for the great return. In the meanwhile, there’s the Interactive Fiction Comp, my annual love letter, the missive that lets me know that the singular creature I adore above all others is still alive and well.
I played many of the contestants in the run-up to last week’s big announcement, and I have four games I want to talk about. Three of them — the one I like best, the one I found the most touching, the one that won overall – placed in the judges’ top three. Then there’s the one that went overlooked.
For today, let’s go with the one I like best; it lets me keep talking about lost love and how bad we want it back. (more…)
Endless Space is free to download and play on Steam until 9pm GMT this Sunday and its strategic turn-based space-conquering is fantastic, so you’re going to have to cancel your plans to do some Christmas shopping, hunt sharks or play with your new Nintendo-Box. There are so many space games in the crowd-funding mixer at present but it would be very foolish to forget that this year has already seen such a stellar release. To sonically celebrate the free weekend, the ace soundtrack is also available on a ‘name your price’ basis.
I’d somehow managed to avoid reading anything about Mortal Online until this morning. Upon hearing that the game’s free trial has been extended, now lasting forever, Jim directed me to this conversation about the player-driven sandbox MMORPG. He also said, “it’s a game where you spawn with just your pants” which caused my browser to instantly open a new tab and attempt to download the client. It took a couple of hours for me to get hold of it this morning due (presumably) to server errors, but now I’m all set and ready to run around in my pants. More info and a trailer below.
Former Edge staffer and protein bar-lover David Valjalo marks his first appearance in our corner of the internet by chatting to Born Ready Games’ leader designer Chris Redden about successfully Kickstartered mech/space combat game Strike Suit Zero. Discussed: the resurrection of a genre, the issues around meeting public promises, changes to the original plan, the rich UK developer Kickstarter backlash and if the wild success of Star Citizen suggests a space combat revival.>
Drox Operative, which comes from the same pedigree as Din’s Curse and Depths of Peril, is out of beta and available for purchase. Failing to find a few days to spend with the beta is probably my biggest regret of the year so I plan to remedy that by having a Droxy December. From what little I have played, I feel comfortable with the ‘Space Rangers 2 AARPG’ description I used when bringing news of the game’s demo. That demo is still available and you must play it. You must play it now. Drox Operative is $19.99 direct from Soldak. One payment provides Mac and> PC versions.
When the splendid time-bending shoot ‘em up Sine Mora arrived on PC after a long delay in the land of porting, I lamented the fact that the trial version wasn’t available alongside the full release. As an XBLA game, the game already had a demo so it seemed odd that it had been lost during transition. Fortunately, it wasn’t lost entirely and did in fact drift onto Steam a couple of days ago. My memory of the demo on 360 involves a tediously drawn-out story sequence before the dodging and destruction commences, but there’s enough to form an idea as to whether this is a suitable flavour of bullet hell. It’s not quite as difficult as the horror I’ve hidden below.
I quite like leaping into people’s heads and spelunking the deepest reaches of their brain caves. And in the game. Or games, rather, seeing as Psychonauts and To The Moon are two of my absolute favorites. So when Ether emerged from the woodwork promising mind-opening mind-exploration with a more personal, intimate focus, I sloppily salivated in the most attractive of fashions. And then I asked its creators a bunch of questions, as is my way. Head past the break to see White Paper co-founders Benjamin Hill and Pete Bottomley discuss Ether’s puzzles, why you can beat the game without solving a single one, whether or not storytelling in games is “mature” yet, and why it’s important to take risks that triple-A developers and publishers won’t.>
The chemistry between yourself and that INSERTVIRTUALVEHICLETYPEHERE is really quite remarkable. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but is it purely a consequence of the skill of INSERTSIMDEVHERE or are there other factors at work? Putting it bluntly, are you and INSERTVIRTUALVEHICLETYPEHERE old flames? (more…)
One-man procedural space RTS/RPG Limit Theory is one of the most intriguing Kickstarters currently on the block. Boasting an “infinite” procedurally-generated “open-world, sandbox universe in which you can explore, trade, pirate, mine, escort, hunt, defend, build, and more,” it certainly grabbed my space-attention. Needless to say, I got in touch with the programmer behind the project to find out who he is, and why he’s making such an ambitious game.> (more…)
I do not enjoy the musical stylings of Skrillex. I fully acknowledge that some people do, and that’s awesome. Music is wonderful in all its various forms, so good for you. (On the other hand, I don’t particularly enjoy his hair stylings either, and if you do, you’re irredeemable.) At any rate, in spite of his probable sky palace held aloft by glorious golden chains tethered to god’s toenails, Skrillex now has something that could be considered an “independent videogame.” Here’s the weird thing, though: it’s kind of good. Created primarily by Jason Oda, Skrillex Quest is a fairly ambitious (at least, in terms of scope) effort that mashes up bits of old-school Zelda, Swords and Sworcery, and trippy glitch visuals. Oh, and a Skrillex song, naturally.