If I’m being honest, neither of The Trench‘s trailers – both of which you’ll find after the break – look too terribly different standard World War Whichever fare. But, reading more about the WWI “50 percent FPS, 50 percent RPG” from Gallica Game Studio, it sounds like its most interesting bits wouldn’t trailer well anyway. Basically, though, The Trench puts you in the meticulously laced combat boots of a French soldier on the Verdun front three days before the German assault on February 21st, 1916. So, for the most part, you’ll spend those precious few moments preparing - which, among other things, includes positioning soldiers and weaponry, exploring your trench, customizing equipment, and taking sidequests from NPCs.
Simon Roth is best known as the newest recruit to Frozen Synapse creators Mode 7, but he’s also one of the most veteran developers in the entire history of the world, if my research is correct. And he’s moonlighting on a side-project all of his own, the Bullfrog/early Maxis-inspired sci-fi management game Maia. This isn’t a matter of keeping colonists happy with space ice cream and zero-grav toilets – we’re promised the likes of ‘up to 2KM X 2KM X 2KM of procedural world’, water and lava simulation, defensive structures to fend off hostile wildlife, bipolar robots and a first-person mode.
Oh, dare I dream ‘sci-fi Dungeon Keeper’? (more…)
In June I was pleased and surprised to see Nuclear Union, a post-apocalyptic RPG, announced by 1c. What was most intriguing about that announcement was that the team making it was most famous for its strategy titles, culminating in the Men Of War games. It’ll even be a new version of the same engine which powers this new game. Therefore I just had to talk to director of game design Julia Romanova, and ask her a few questions about what her team is up to. You can find the answers below. (more…)
The Secret World is officially live, and we’ve both locked it in a room with our most dangerous mythical creature, Adam, and hurled questions at creative director Ragnar Tornquist until he cracked – by which I mean “willingly and jovially answered my questions in a highly consensual fashion.” And today, the insane brutality continues. Specifically, we discuss free-to-play, what Tornquist plans on doing next (hint: probably not another MMO), social gaming, whether or not MMO business models hurt fun, and more.
Man cannot live on loot alone. Well, I’ve never actually tried, but I assume so, anyway. Blizzard, however, speaks with the experience of a developer that’s feasted on gold coins (that weren’t made of chocolate) and wiped the sweat from its brow with gleaming, mythril-infused hauberks (that, regrettably, also weren’t made of chocolate). It knows loot, is what I’m saying. So when it says that forcing Diablo III players to subsist solely on the stuff just isn’t doing the job, you know it means it. Once upon a time, though, this wasn’t even a concern. People hacked, slashed, and looted until they got their fill, and then they moved on to a different game. So why are players suddenly demanding that an entirely different sort of experience be duct-taped onto the end of Diablo’s?
I’m free! Using a straightened coathanger, a blob of chewing gum, and an old Broken Sword walkthrough, I’ve managed to escape the fetid dungeon that is The Flare Path. God, the air out here sure is sweet. And the views – wow! – that must be Mount Manshoot over there, and that can only be the Temple of Fairly Tiresome MMOs. A man could totally reinvent himself in a land like this… he could ditch decades’ worth of baggage and inhibitions.
Gone Home is to be the first game from The Fullbright Company, a new indie studio whose formerly mainstream members were previously the prime creators of the excellent BioShock 2 add-on Minerva’s Den, as well as working on assorted other 2K projects. I had a chat with Mr Fullbright himself, Steve Gaynor, about their highly intriguing but equally mysterious non-combat first-person game. Why ditch the guns? Why leave cushty industry jobs to do this? How abstract will it be? How much can the physics be abused? I also made some sweeping generalisations about Columbo. (more…)
Flare Path at Rezzed. How To Find Us : On entering the main hall, head towards the Prison Architect watchtower, keeping the giant Day Z can of beans on your right. Beneath the Sniper Elite exploding testicles turn left following signs to the disabled toilets. Next to the toilet door is a fire-exit that opens onto Mancini Avenue. Use this exit then cross the street and enter the park opposite. See that big copper beech on the knoll? Under it you’ll find a dozing middle-aged man in a grubby army greatcoat. Spread out on a blanket in front of him will be an assortment of sim and wargame-related bric-a-brac. Peruse said bric-a-brac. If the man wakes, smile nervously at him and quickly retrace your steps.
People like to divide people into two groups: those who can multitask, and those who cannot. Nearly everyone includes themselves in the former group, and then they put everyone else in the latter. Most people are lying. But there’s another group: those who needto multitask. I’d put myself in that group – the sort who can’t concentrate on one thing unless he or she is doing at least one other thing at the same time. You may call it ADHD. I call it efficient. I wrote about it last year, and it turns out it’s more common than I’d ever realised. So below are my suggestions for the best ways to play while you’re doing something else.