PC Gamer

Cliff "Cliffski" Harris has released a new development video for the upcoming Gratuitous Space Battles 2, showing off new beam weapons, improved fighter behavior, and more realistic damage effects.

It's possible to enjoy this video simply for the majestic destruction it brings to the table, and in that regard the new Gratuitous Space Battles clearly isn't going to deviate far from its predecessor. But it also looks to be considerably improved in a number of ways, such as with the addition of nebula clouds, squadrons of fighters that fly in formation, and capital ship damage that appears to be internal, rather than simply painted on. There will also be more types of "support beams," enabling more complex interactions between capital and support ships.

It was thought back in the summer that Gratuitous Space Battles 2 might come out before the end of the year. With December looming and no release date announced, however, 2015 is looking increasingly likely.

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

Gratuitous Space inspired gratuitous Wikipedia information.

I’ve spent untold hours watching back replays of my own Supreme Commander games, taking the opportunity to slow-down or speed-up time, watch maneuvers by my opponents I missed the first time around, and to marvel at the bombastic laser wars that eventually decide each match.

Gratuitious Space Battles is that whole process as an entire game: you build a fleet, design the ships, and then click go to watch a spectacular hands-off space battle. The sequel seems determined to make those battles more spectacular than ever, as demonstrated by this new trailer. Such pretty lasers and explosions.

… [visit site to read more]

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

The conflicts in Gratuitous Space Battles 2 are certainly deserving of the adjective applied in the game’s title but the new video below brings several other descriptives to mind. ‘Colourful’, ‘cunning’, ‘extravagant’, ‘fabulous’ and more besides. Like it’s predecessor, GSB 2 is a game in which players construct fleets, position them and then watch as they do battle. Remember the text crawl that sucked all the excitement out of you like a joy vampire at the beginning of The Phantom Menace? “The taxation of trade routes to outlying starsystems is in dispute”, says Star Wars. GSB says, “BOY HOWDY THE PURPLE SHIPS ARE SHOOTING THE EVER-LIVING CRAP OUT OF THE GREEN SHIPS YOWZERS!”

… [visit site to read more]

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

Zap zap!

Gratuitous Space Battles was not a game of masterful tactics. It didn’t allow damn fool gambits. GSB was won or lost long before then. GSB is played in the planning, the design and customisation of a huge space fleet and the careful behaviours you order them to follow. Once your ships are ready to launch, it could run the numbers and say if you won or lost, but that would be somewhat against the name. The eponymous space battles are> gratuitous, with cruisers and fighters and lasers and missiles and drones and so many explosions for you to simply watch.

Expect more explosions, as sequel Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is now officially announced.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
So gratuitous...
So gratuitous...

Maybe you'd like to play some games this weekend? Maybe you'd like them to be completely free? Maybe you'd also like them to be games you don't own; games that will stop letting you play them on Sunday unless you pay a reduced price to secure their continued use? That's a bizarre set of conditions, but whatever, Steam's got you covered. Both Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Gratuitous Space Battles are holding Free Weekend trials, giving you unpaid access to two completely different ends of the gaming spectrum.

Gratuitous Space Battles is a sci-fi strategy in which you design spaceships, construct a space-fleet, issue space-orders and then watch as your space-squadron battles it out against an army of spacejerks. In space. It's currently 75%, with the generously stocked Complete Pack costing £3.49.

CoDBlOps 2 is a purgatorial nightmare in which you're forced to endlessly and repetitively kill aggressors, all while smug and indifferent soldiers babble in an alien language of numbers, Zs and Xs, performing depraved rituals like "Noscope" and... Oh wait, it's just a relatively fun arcade FPS. It's 33% off, at £26.79.

Both trials will end at 9pm GMT on Sunday, at which point you'll have to start playing games you actually own or something.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I know many of you will be spending the weekend tending to your winter-blasted shoots as you celebrate the feast day of Serenus the Gardener, or perhaps remembering Red Army Day by engaging in tabletop recreations of the Battle of Kiev or, for the more ambitious, Operation Bagration. Commendable pastimes, I’m sure, but if the dusty red blocks that represent Soviet armoured divisions are lost in the attic, or Serenus’ spirit is locked in the frozen turf, then you may be interested to hear that Gratuitous Space Battles is free to play on Steam until Sunday 9PM GMT.

(more…)

Announcement - Valve
Play Gratuitous Space Battles for FREE until Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also purchase Gratuitous Space Battles at 75% off during this time.

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Gratuitous Space Battles. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

Who needs backstory? Who needs resource-gathering? Diplomacy is so last year. Gratuitous Space Battles cuts right to the chase of sci-fi strategy games, and deals with large, completely unjustified space battles between huge opposing space fleets.

Gratuitous Space Battles combines the visual appeal of an RTS, with the addictive unit-placement and design gameplay from tower defense games. In GSB, the player does not control individual ships at all during battle. The ships fight to a pre-determined set of orders and formations given to them by you before the battles.

GSB casts you as supreme space admiral, tasked with the design of individual spaceships, and the composition of your fleet, as well as general orders of engagement. This is not a twitch-based real time arcade game like many an RTS, but a game of careful thought, planning and big-picture strategy. Huge space battles can be won or lost depending on just how cleverly you balanced the needs of defensive shielding and armor against the expensive punch of laser cannons and plasma torpedoes.

PC Gamer
Team Fortress 2


The concept of distributing a game for no cost, once the domain of Facebook app-clones and mobile platforms, has quickly become commonplace in PC gaming. We've all seen clear evidence of such a phenomena, from the lessened emphasis on subscription models in MMOs to the availability of quality multiplayer shooters like Tribes: Ascend from a single download. In a blog post, Positech Games head and Gratuitous Tank Battles creator Chris Harris says the psychology of free gaming boils down to letting players set their own sense of worth before asking for money.

"Free to play works because it doesn’t ask you to value the game until you already feel you own it," he writes. "How much would you pay for Farmville to buy it outright? Maybe $5? But play the game for free for a month, build up your farm, invest it, and then hit a plateau in the game where you really need to buy coins to continue, and suddenly your game is worth a lot more than $5. You value the game you already own very highly, and so buying add-ons for it is just common sense. I suspect this is why DLC works so well and sells so well. You have already made a commitment to valuing the game by investing your time. Only a fool could try to rationalize not spending money on it now."

It's almost as if Harris stumbled upon the secret formula of free-to-play games: foster a sense of ownership to encourage microtransactions and DLC. Item-heavy games such as Team Fortress 2 and PlanetSide 2 let you try out a shiny weapon for a short period before taking it away, but that brief usage could boost the likelihood of a wallet getting pulled out simply because you determined your own measure of worth on the item you fleetingly "owned."

Let's hear your comments. Do you only drop dollars on free-to-play games after you've built up a sense of attachment to them, or are your buying habits more free-form?
PC Gamer
Gratuitous space battles - swarm war


I know a man who was once consumed by Gratuitous Space Battles. The stand-offish strategy lets you design a fleet, sketch out a plan of attack and then deploy them against the enemy. It's like cultivating a bionic army of space-pokemon. Once they're away, you can only watch as they're lasered, rocketed and bombed into shimmering clouds of galactic debris. My friend spent hours tinkering with the modules on each ship. He tried sending hordes of tiny fighters into the fray. He tried lone rocketeering behemoths. With every iteration his score increased until he entered the upper echelons of the global high score table. Then, one day, he was gone. All that remained was his chair, a puddle of alien goo and a note in cryptic cosmic shorthand.

I sometimes wonder what happened to that guy. I like to think he was recruited by some interstellar warmongers to direct their ships. Wherever he is, I'm sure he's playing the new Gratuitous Space Battles expansion, The Outcasts.

As you'd expect, the expansion lets you play as The Outcasts faction. It includes 10 new ship designs and some neat Outcast-specific ship modules like the "multiple target tractor beam" and a "decoy projector" to create wobbly holographic decoys. See that particular gadget in action and many, many lasers in the trailer below. The Outcasts is available now from the Positech site, or via Steam for $5.99.

If you're intrigued by Gratuitous Space Battles, check out the demo, and have a look at Positech's innovate tower assault/tower defense hybrid, Gratuitous Tank Battles (which also has a demo)

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

The release of the conquest mode for Gratuitous Space Battles caused me to reinstall and lose a couple of weekends plotting and planning. Conquest provided a campaign to sit alongside the standalone bouts of ship wrecking and, lo, it was good. A few months ago, unbeknownst to me, a clever sort who goes by the name Pendra on the Positech forums released a random galaxy generator, providing Endless Consecutive Contextual Gratuitous Space Battles. There was an update to the generator this morning, which Cliffski mentioned in the Twittersphere, and I’ve copied some details into the emptiness below.

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