Kingpin — Life of Crime - (Alec Meer)

Don’t call it a comeback. Don’t call it, like, three comebacks. Interplay, once renowned as a house of PC ideas, has failed to get back off the ground across various attempts at resurrection, and it seems matters have gone no better for whoever is currently wearing the well-worn skinsuit. ‘Interplay’ has just announced a firesale of various intellectual properties. Which means that the likes of Descent, Freespace, Kingpin, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, MDK, Sacrifice and Earthworm bally Jim are now looking for new homes.

Oh God, come on, let’s do this. Let’s get the RPS community to club together to buy the rights to and make a new Kingpin game. … [visit site to read more]

Descent - (Alec Meer)

Edit: and it made it, with just under two hours to go. Yer new Descent will be a reality, then. Congrats to Revival.

The bums, they are a-squeakin’. There are just four hours left on the Kickstarter clock for Overload, the game from the core creators of the original Descent, and it appears they need to round up the best part of $20k in that time. A photo finish is not at all impossible, but I imagine it’s been a sleepless night for Revival productions.

… [visit site to read more]

Descent - (Alice O'Connor)

The folks who co-created Descent in the ’90s have released a playable demo of Overload [official site], their spiritual successor to the fine zero-gravity spaceship shooter series. With less than three days left on their Kickstarter campaign, they’re just over half-way to their $300,000 goal ( 210k-ish).

“Er, Alice,” you interrupt, “I’m not being funny, but didn’t they Kickstart a new Descent last year? It’s already out on Early Access? People say it’s pretty fun?” Yyyes. Sort of. While Descent: Underground does have the name, licensed from withered husk of publishers Interplay, the initial team was folks who’d never worked on Descent. So! How would Descent’s creators do Descent today? Have a play and see.

… [visit site to read more]

Saints Row IV - (Alec Meer)

Remember that Descent game Kickstarted by people by who didn’t make Descent? Here’s an unofficial Descent remakequel Kickstarted by people who did make Descent.

If Descent was on your Kickstarted comeback bingo card, then today’s the day to wave your pen in the air. Mike Kulas and Matt Toschlog, lead creators of the 1990s’ beloved six-degrees of freedom spaceshippy FPS, have gotten the band back together for a comeback named Overload. You wanted Descent with sparkly 2016 graphics? You’re gonna get it. Well, if you and your fellow retronauts can put $300k together. … [visit site to read more]


Yeah yeah, Steam sale, but if you're in the mood for Old Games (the 'Good' part is debatable), you might want to check out GOG's Interplay sale. The retailer has discounted lots of classic/ancient PC games including MDK, Messiah, Stonekeep, Lionheart and....OK, so it's not the best sale in the world. I mainly find it interesting because of what's missing: namely, Descent 1, 2 and 3, which have mysteriously vanished from the store.

There's a reason for that, as explained by Parallax Software's Matt Toschlog & Mike Kulas, who hold the rights to the Descent series.

"Parallax Software still exists and still owns the copyrights to the Descent games. Under our 21-year-old agreement, Interplay has the exclusive rights to sell Descent and Descent II, and they have been doing so on Good Old Games and Steam.

"The problem is that Interplay has not paid to Parallax any royalties since 2007. We've talked to them about this numerous times over the years, and finally took action this fall. We served Interplay official notice that they were in breach of the contract, and when they still failed to pay we terminated the agreement."

According to Toschlog and Kulas, Interplay has therefore lost the rights to sell the original Descent games online (this doesn't apply to Descent: Freespace, which has no real connection to the series.) By rights, it seems the games should be removed from Steam too, so you might want to snap them up there if you've been jonesing for some 6DOF space combat.

"Interplay does, however, still own the Descent trademark," the pair elaborate, "which they are free to use or license as they see fit (such as for Descent: Underground) as long as they don't violate our copyrights.

"As for whether Descent and Descent II will be available for purchase again, we hope so. We'd be very happy to work things out with Interplay." (Thanks, Reddit.)

Descent - (Joe Donnelly)

Reimagining classic 90s video games is something crowdfunding platforms seem cut out for. Ah, nostalgia, what a wondrous thing. It’s been some 15 years since a Descent game reached our telly screens, and 21 years since the first – a pioneering space shooter with six degrees of freedom – did the same.

After barely succeeding on Kickstarter earlier this year, the multiplayer-focused Descent: Underground [official site] has now arrived on Steam Early Access.

… [visit site to read more]

Descent - (John Walker)

While not the only Descent-style revival of recent times, the six-axis floaty base exploration genre is still woefully underfed. Sublevel Zero [official site] arrives to help with that, taking a more rogue-lite, randomised approach to the notion. Am I spinning with glee, or nose-diving with disappointment? Here’s wot I think:>

… [visit site to read more]

Half-Life - (Alec Meer)

Gathering together the best shooters is no easy task, but if you’re looking for a new PC FPS to play, look no further.

Your favourite game is at number 51.

… [visit site to read more]

Descent - (Shaun Green)

Descent Underground concept art

You wait fifteen years for a proper Descent game, and then several come along at once. Tsk.

A group of industry vets have licensed the Descent trademark from Interplay and begun development of Descent: Underground [official site]. They launched a Kickstarter campaign a couple of days ago; as I write this they’ve already passed the 25% mark. Their pitch video follows.

… [visit site to read more]


If you had a PC in the 90s you probably remember Descent. It was a fully 3D first-person shooter which preceded Quake, and it holds a special place in many a 90s PC owner s heart. While not as iconic as some of its contemporaries, there s still a sizable fanbase out there: enough at least to warrant the development of Sol Contingency, a fanmade reimagining of the Descent universe. Problem is, now Descent IP owner Interplay has decided it doesn t want the tribute developed.

Sol Contingency project lead Maximillian Schulz has received a cease and desist notice from Interplay Entertainment, which he has posted on the Sol Contingency website. The letter follows previous contact with an unspecified daughter company of Interplay, which Schulz hoped would result in Sol Contingency becoming an officially sanctioned Descent game . Following the sister company s contact with Schulz it went silent, until the arrival of the C&D letter last month.

We responded to their C&D by proposing negotiations with them, giving them 14 days, Schulz wrote on the project s website. It has been three weeks and we ve yet to hear from them. We don t expect to. We sent another message to the guys from the daughter company I mentioned and their response was, in one sentence, that Interplay had to decide on the matter and they wouldn t be able to help us.

Schulz was preparing to release the game s Proving Grounds demo later this month, and while that won't happen now it s likely to emerge once the game has been tweaked to remove all references to Descent.

Interplay may own the rights to Descent, but they do not own the rights to 6DoF (6 degrees of freedom), to first-person shooters, or to a type of gameplay within creepy and claustrophobic environments, Schulz wrote. We realized that everything they own the rights to is, at the end of it all, purely cosmetic

While we are very sad to see these iconic archetypes go, we will come up with new robots, a new plot, a new ship, new levels, and perhaps a few new weapons and names to differentiate our game just enough from the trademarked assets Interplay is so dearly holding on to. We still want to make a game that *feels* and *plays* how we all want, so none of the gameplay will change. The core experience in Proving Grounds multiplayer will be identical to what you have seen from us so far.

Schulz added that while plans to completely remake Descent 1 have been abandoned, the project won t come to a halt as a result of Interplay s incompetent and unprofessional behavior . With the shedding of the Descent association, Schulz will take the project to Kickstarter once the Proving Ground demo has been released.

Here's how the game looked as of May:


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