Elite: Dangerous generated a fair bit of ill will when its Kickstarter first launched, so short on detail or assets was its initial appeal for alms. With Peter Molyneux’s similarly vague Project GODUS setting up its crowd-funded stall a few weeks later, we’re now in the midst of the first major Kickstarter backlash – concern that big developers who arguably might not struggle to get publishing deals might be milking their fans’ nostalgia with surprise resurrections of the series and concepts they’ve for various reasons left alone for decades. It’s not for me to judge whether Braben and Molyneux are truly earnest in their intentions for these games or have just spotted an opportunity to make a fast buck, but I am relieved to see people are voting with their feet – demanding more concrete evidence of what’s being promised before they’ll cough up the internet-bucks. So it is that Elite Dangerous isn’t even halfway to its absurd £1.25 million goal even after several weeks, while Project GODUS has brought in ‘only’ £125k so far.
Elite seems to be on the long road back to doing what it should have done in the first place at least, with a slow trickle of real information and brief glimpses rather than generalised promises – and now it’s got a significant amount of in-game footage too. (more…)
Three cheers for the small god. A couple of days ago things looked a wee bit shaky for Simon Roth’s Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress-inspired god game Maia, but a flurry of Kickstarting over the weekend has seen it beat its once faintly ridiculous-seeming £100,000 target and reach the esteemed status of A Thing That Is Happening. (more…)
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.
Fuck this dungeon. More like tower DON’Tfense. Dweegarian smectoids. Mass Effect as a text-based strategy dating sim. Enough run-on sentences to last the next thousand years.>
Today I want to tell you about a new game called ESCAPE: The Curse Of The Temple. It’s a game that plays in 10 Minutes. It’s frantic. And I felt that the best way to explain it would be to try to somehow capture the character of the game in text form.
And that’s why this week’s column is one I will write in TEN MINUTES. I am going to start a timer, start writing, and when the timer stops I will take my hands off the keyboard. There’s a lot I want to say, so please forgive any typos or mistakes. I have nothing pre-planned. And I am in a rush.
You ready? Let’s go. (more…)
WARNING: Blatant self-promotional post ahead. Love you!
As many of you will doubtless be aware, I’ve spent the last couple of years dual-classing as journalist and game developer. I’ve worked with two friends – Tom Betts and James Carey – to create the indie studio, Big Robot. We are currently Kickstarting our third game, Sir, You Are Being Hunted. With just a week to go, I wanted to talk plainly about why we’re making it, what the game is, and what it means to us. Specifically, what it means to me>. Because this whole gaming-making business is a complicated, tricky thing, and worth talking about in some detail.
Sundays are for waiting. Pass the time by reading some of the things that might have been said about videogames during the week. Will they change the way you think FOREVER?
Have you been busy recently? I’ve been unable to pry my fingers and thumbs away from my keyboard and mouse for any significant period of time for the last few days. That because all the games are cheap right now. There’s several worthwhile sales going on, including some excellent discounts on a few classics, and the first significant discounts on some of the hottest games from this year. From now until around mid-January is the cheapest time of the year to buy games, so you’ll want to stay plugged in to SavyGamer.co.uk. This is just the start. (more…)
We are approaching the singularity. First there were bundles and then there was Kickstarter. That’s pretty much how I’ll remember the last couple of years. Exciting sci-fi god game Maia has done the unthinkable and combined the two. That’s an update worth checking out. Currently performing victory dances in the endzone are Hero-U and Shadowgate, while two promising RPGs fall short – one promises to return soon, perhaps too soon, while the other may be gone for good. And if all that isn’t enough for you, there’s also a one-man space game that’s quite a bit cheaper than Elite: Dangerous, an egg and Peter Molyneux. Let’s take a look.>
In which Adam, who has played it all, and Alec, who has played around a third of it, gather to discuss IO Interactive’s divisive Hitman: Absolution. Devout Blood Money disciple Adam felt let down by this latest reinvention of Agent 47 – does Alec feel differently? (“No.”) They do find some positive things to say about it though, promise.>
Alec: I’ve been playing some Absolution. It’s brilliant! Just kidding. It’s a nasty, grimy, uneven game.
Adam: I almost wish I had someone to debate it with, who did think it was brilliant. But I think I’d just say YOU’RE WRONG and we’d find little common ground. I have been pondering how much of my dislike does come from the ugliness of it – I don’t think it’s well designed on the whole but there are bright spots. I wonder if I’d feel more sympathetic toward those if they weren’t wrapped in grime. (more…)