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We’ve covered Mega Man Maker a couple times before, but it’s worth a renewed mention now on account of the multitude of updates it’s received since launch, with its largest – Version 1.3 – being major enough to be worth a shiny new trailer. Plus, it’s something fun and free to leave you lot with over the weekend.
If you’ve never played before, then you’re in for a treat, assuming you like NES-era platformers in the slightest. Inspired heavily by Nintendo’s Mario Maker, Mega Man Maker is an online, fan-made Mega Man construction kit, allowing you to create your own levels, share them with the world, and inflict your terrible spike-laden ideas upon poor, unsuspecting strangers.
Not too long ago, we reported that things were sounding a bit wobbly over on the System Shock remake’s Kickstarter page. Plans to divert from a pure remake to redesign the game from the ground up had spiraled out of control, and money was running low.
While some less optimistic folks took this as a death knell for the project and declared it done and dusted at the time, the reality of the situation doesn’t seem to be nearly so dramatic. The game is officially back on track using their previous design, but it has come at a cost of time.
On the one hand, Sea of Thieves is a game so empty that recommending it feels like a dereliction of duty. On the other hand, I just chased down a man who killed me and threw a bucket of my own grog-induced vomit over him by way of revenge.
It’s the small things like that that can make Sea of Thieves triumphant, which is just as well, seeing as there’s just an empty mass of very pretty water where the big things should be. (more…)
The very surface of the games industry as we know it is still a free-flowing mass of magma, all recognizably solid ground reduced to dust by the shocking impact of the hyper-popular Battle Royale shooter genre, accelerated to planet-smashing speeds by the rise of high-end PC gaming in China.
With the very future of the industry still unsure (well, more unsure than usual), it’s almost hard to believe that this cataclysmic event happened just a year ago. In a video released alongside their GDC appearance, the lead developers of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds shared their thoughts on the past twelve months, plus a little glimpse at the upcoming island map.
The original PixelJunk Monsters feels like the product of a very different time in gaming. A simple, almost Flash-esque tower defense game, it still went on to became one of the first digitally distributed success stories on Sony’s (at the time) cutting edge PlayStation 3. Over five years later it came to PC, and while reasonably well received, it never made much of a splash.
Q-Games’ PixelJunk Monsters 2 may be boilerplate tower defense at its heart, too, but a shifted perspective and some impressive leverage of modern graphics tech gives the just-announced sequel a fresh and undeniably adorable claymation-like look.
So much of AI in games is smoke and mirrors, designed to create the impression of intelligence. Characters moving around navigation node-maps hand placed by developers, seeking cover behind whatever objects the level designers have marked as the most dramatic looking place to hide.
SEED (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division) are a research group with EA that – among other things – are experimenting with a different, much more organically grown form of AI. After six days of Battlefield One training, their neutral net-spawned little soldier men do seem to have developed something of a life of their own.
If you re not at the table, you re on the menu.
Steve Kaplan was in GDC to take part in a roundtable discussion about the pros and cons of unionisation in the games industry. He works in the entertainment industry and had travelled from Los Angeles, where he organises unions for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, to be the union rep in the room during the talk. He gave the impression he wanted everyone to be at the table, even the one person in a room of between 150 and 200 people who tried to put across anti-union arguments.
The room was noisy, with applause, appreciative clicking of fingers, and some mocking laughter alongside the occasional raised voice, but the corridor outside had been quiet. The roundtable was removed from the expo s usual bustle but it was one of the most important events of the show.
So far, American Truck Simulator has encouraged safe and legal driving. Don’t speed, don’t crash, don’t run red lights, don’t drive through protected forests. But I have longed for the game to be a little flexible with rules of the road in the name of a pleasant drive and my dream is coming true. The next update will add a new road venturing into a place where commercial trucking is forbidden, driving through a national park just because. The new route goes through Yosemite National Park along the winding Tioga Pass, and it looks lovely. (more…)
That s the Ancient word for writer , says Jon Ingold, pointing to some indecipherable symbols on his business card. What it breaks down to is Person-who-speaks-without-speaking.
Ingold is the writer for Heaven s Vault, an upcoming sci-fi adventure from Inkle (the folks behind 80 Days and Sorcery!) You play an archaeologist investigating the remains of an ancient civilisation in an otherworldly Nebula . He and some others from Inkle Studios have been watching me waddle around a garden of strange monuments, trying to discern meaning from the faded words I find carved into trees, walls, rocks and reliefs. In creating this game, they’ve constructed a fictional language of over 1000 words. They re so proud of this new language, they ve even used it on their business cards.
Ingold examines a card from Joseph Humfrey, the studio s co-founder and programmer who is sitting nearby. He thumbs over the pseudo-ancient script.
Joe s means: Person-who-controls-robots . (more…)
The Eastern European road trip Jalopy has almost completed its journey through early access, after nearly two years, and will properly launch next Wednesday, March 28th. You know, Jalopy, the game set in the 90s about driving your uncle from Germany to Turkey in a scrappy Trabant 601. Lots of things to pick up and fiddle with. That one. I enjoyed packing my car and pressing buttons in the old public prototype released way back when it was called Hac, then decided to wait until it was properly finished, so I’m keen to finally see how it’s ended up. (more…)