The last time we spoke with Misfits Attic founder Tim Keenan about this game, it was called Scavenger, and it was a paper prototype starring tower-defense mechanics and a Han Solo-esque character traveling the galaxy to pay off his debts. Now, it's called Duskers, and it's darker. The game has migrated to the screen, and it's no longer tower defense; instead, it's a roguelike with RTS and dungeon-crawling aspects in a survival-horror setting.
"You pilot drones into derelict spaceships to find the means to survive and piece together how the universe became a giant graveyard," Keenan explains in his pitch video. In Hollywood terms, Keenan compares Duskers to The Road and the original Alien.
The art in the pitch video is temporary, but the mechanics are nearing their final forms. Players must use power-ups and abilities to outsmart and avoid enemies waiting behind various spaceship doors. "The game's strongest moments come when you feel that there is no solution to a problem, but then by creatively thinking about what upgrades you have and the predicament you're in, you have this MacGyver-type moment where you come up with a plan," Keenan says.
Keenan is looking at funding options for Duskers (Kickstarter is the "worst case" option), but the tentative plan is to get it on Steam Early Access for PC this year, with a full launch in 2015, he tells Joystiq. So far, his previous game, A Virus Named Tom, has kept the lights on, but it's not quite enough to fund a second game. Misfits Attic has a few projects in the works right now.
XCOM series creator Julian Gollop has released a new playable prototype version of his crowdfunded strategy game Chaos Reborn as the project enters its final days on Kickstarter.
Available exclusively for backers, version .11 of Chaos Reborn gives an early look at the game's multiplayer component. The release follows up on Chaos Reborn's recent approval at Steam Greenlight, and a final version is set to launch next year.
Currently, Chaos Reborn has earned over $134,000 toward its initial funding goal of $180,000, with eight days remaining in the campaign.
The Sun at Night developer Minicore Studios announced that it's currently prototyping Murder at Mystery Manor, an online multiplayer investigation game that puts players at the heart of a low-poly murder mystery.
Similar in setup to the classic board game Clue, Murder at Mystery Manor challenges players to unanimously identify a murderer among their ranks by piecing together clues and communicating discoveries with one another. Unlike Clue, however, the player who is assigned the role of the murderer at the beginning of each game must successfully break away from the group and kill an assigned target without being seen by other players, adding a layer of deception to gameplay.
Murder at Mystery Manor is in development for PC platforms, and a release date has not been announced. Minicore is also developing The Sky Below, a direct sequel to last year's The Sun at Night.
Seattle-based designer Sam Matson developed a headset that tracks "gamer rage" and adjusts a custom game's difficulty to compensate for it. Dubbed "Immersion," Matson's headset uses an optical sensor that reads "minute color changes in the user's ear tissue to approximate a pulse."
Matson's prototype headset includes both audio input and output channels in addition to the heart rate monitor, relaying information via bluetooth to a hacked Xbox 360 controller. He developed a custom shooter game using Unity that ramps up the difficulty as the player's heart race increases, encouraging the player to stay cool and collected. The Immersion headset isn't a commercially available product, and it's uncertain if it ever will be, but Matson does offer a few glances at the prototype model on his website.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional Games revealed that The Fullbright Company's indie hit Gone Home began life as an Amnesia mod, but switched to the Unity engine after plans to license Frictional's HPL2 engine fell through.
As a standard practice, Frictional Games co-founder Thomas Grip declines all HPL2 licensing requests, due to the engine's lack of documentation and support. After inquiring about licensing, Fullbright's Steve Gaynor received the same response from Grip, who advised the team to begin building Gone Home with Unity instead.
After following up with Gaynor in the months after Gone Home's release, Grip received a copy of Gone Home's original prototype version, which is now available for download as a mod for Amnesia.
While it's still in an early state, the prototype retains many of Gone Home's distinct themes and mechanics. "The prototype is quite short and very basic; it is really more of a proof of concept," Grip explains. "But it still gives a very good sense of the game, and having played the full version, I could recognize quite a bit. It does feel a bit awkward to play an early test like this though. Gone Home is a very personal game, and playing this prototype felt like a meta version of the game's voyeuristic thematics."
What you're looking at is an internal Capcom video made by the team behind Dragon's Dogma, designed to demonstrate the ease with which the game's character creation system can make universal use of animation data, regardless of a humanoid creature's size or configuration.
Aside from being an effective measure of the technology's capabilities and a surprising glimpse into the lighthearted nature of Capcom's internal development process, it's also a surreal, often hilarious and pointedly bizarre carnival sideshow of bulging eyeballs and dancing cyclopes.
As you may have noticed, it doesn't really look like footage from a fairly recent game, and there's two main reasons for that: First of all, this is an internal production that was never originally intended for mass consumption. Moreover, this is an early prototype from five years ago, when development on Dragon's Dogma was first underway, and the game still went by its original codename: BBS-RPG.
You may have also noticed that this video has no sound, which is more of a legal issue than an effort to enhance the production's already potent hypnagogic qualities. Since Capcom never intended for this video to be distributed to the public, it had to have its uncleared soundtrack removed before the developer could share it with us. If you're willing to have two tabs open, however, we thing we've found an elegant alternative.
Samsung just officially unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S 4, and revealed the existence of this adorable little prototype wireless mobile controller. Communicating with the phone via bluetooth, the pad has an adjustable sliding cradle as well as four familiar-looking face buttons.
The controller runs on triple-A batteries and interfaces with a pretty slick looking arcade app, as demonstrated by the above hands-on video from our friends over at Engadget. Expected at retail sometime this summer, Samsung's prototype has yet to earn itself an official name or price point. The Galaxy 4 S, meanwhile, will be available sometime near the end of April.
Martin Bruusgaard, lead designer on Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey, introduces us to some prototype gameplay footage in today's Kickstarter campaign update. The presetnation is admittedly a bit rough around the edges, but indicative of what players should expect of the final product should Dreamfall Chapters reach its funding goal on Kickstarter.
Bruusgaard says the game will have fully explorable and varied environments, though all the prototype shows is a wooded glen and some gerbil guy ... thing. Programmer Quintin Pan also jumps in to demonstrate the control system, which allows for free movement yet incorporates a traditional point-and-click control model for interacting with the world.
On top of the prototype video, developer Red Thread Games has announced that Sarah Hamilton has signed on for Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey. Hamilton voiced protagonist April Ryan in the previous two games, The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey.
The Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight game jam resulted in a series of prototypes for games to be made later. And yet, you can buy those prototypes in a fancy boxed set even before the games exist!
The new $30 collection includes the five games from the most recent Fortnight: Autonomous, Black Lake, Hack 'n' Slash, Spacebase DF-9, and The White Birch, along with the documentary about the event by 2 Player Productions. Also included are the prototype versions of Brazen, Costume Quest, and Happy Song, and an original soundtrack. All of this was originally released in the Amnesia Fortnight voting Humble Bundle dealie.
For an extra $15, you can get a slipcase for one of the prototype games, signed by that game's project lead. For $70, you can get the boxed set and signed covers for all five games. Or, if you want zero boxes instead of many, you can download the set for $9.99.
Prolific DS/3DS developer Renegade Kid made a demo for a Crash Bandicoot DS game years ago. The test for Crash Landed was done in 2008 or 2009 for publisher Activision, according to Nintendo World Report's source, but the game was not picked up. Several Crash games were made for DS, but this was not one of them.
Now, for the first time, video of the unfinished (barely started!) demo has surfaced on YouTube. Renegade Kid co-founder Jools Watsham verified the existence of the demo, calling the video "a blast from the past" and revealing that the demo took two weeks to make.
Peter Molyneux and his experimental game studio 22 Cans hope to have a prototype of project Godus available tomorrow, December 14, the famed creator tells Ars Technica.
"I've seen the prototype, I've actually played it... I've got a few changes I'd like to be made, but the progress has been pretty constant, so Friday is going to be the time when we show the rest of the world what the prototype is," Molyneux says.
Godus is a reimagining of Molyneux's breakout 1989 god game Populous, and the new prototype should be available for PC and mobile download. Earlier this month, Molyneux told us he hoped to have a prototype out by Christmas.
"[The prototype] is not the most beautiful piece of computer interaction ever, but you knead it and you touch it and you get the idea that sculpting the landscape is amazing, seeing things react in the landscape is incredible, and it's definitely going to work," Molyneux says.
The Godus Kickstarter has seven days to raise £180,000, to reach its goal of £450,000.
Why spend $15 on a box-less copy of The Legend of Zelda for the original Nintendo Entertainment system when you can spend $150,000 on a mustard yellow NES cartridge adorned with a faded label with the game's name typed on it? It's collectible craziness available right now on eBay. More »
There's a movie coming out next year called The Prototype. It stars a "man" in a hoodie who is on the run, being hunted for his extraordinary powers. Combine the plot with the name and you'd be forgiven for assuming it's a movie about Activision's Prototype series. More »
Some of us play games without worying about how much they cost. Others, like commenter Sol, want to make sure they're getting a fair amount of entertaiment for their money. How do you measure the value of a video game? More »
In very few games have I truly inhabited the persona of a goddam-right-I-am badass, whose demonstrations of power were as personal as Prototype 2's. And it's not because I've imagined any of the superpowers you wield in this game, or how I'd perform with them. It's because of the very normal, very pissed-off man in charge of them. More »
Here's something I didn't expect in Prototype 2: A human bowling minigame. That's the best way I can describe "Collateral Damage," one of the Radnet challenges that the game will be offering week-to-week, with character skins, experience points, powers and other goodies as the payout. More »
Have you a heartstring? Then the sequel to open world anti-hero game Prototype would like a chance to pull at it. It has a sad Johnny Cash song, it has a dead wife and it’s not afraid to use them.(more…)
The Indie Royale "April Fool's" bundle includes Defense Grid: The Awakening, Hack, Slash, Loot, Alien Zombie Megadeath, Astro Tripper, and Explodemon. It also includes, as a bonus, exclusive access to the past.
A new surprise unlocked for the bundle yesterday is a 2005 prototype for Explodemon, used in level development of the final, polygonal version. This historical document is playable in Windows.
If you exceed the average pay-what-you-want price, you also get Sexy-Synthesizer's chiptune album Rock - Deluxe Edition. If you're considering the bundle, be sure to get this.
Tim Schafer's the three-million-dollar man, thanks to a record-breaking Kickstarter his Double Fine development studio launched to fund a new adventure game. While work should be starting soon on that crowd-funded creation, the respected designer showed off a project that probably won't ever happen at a lecture last night at New York University's Game Center. More »
Double Fine's Tim Schafer was the guest of honor last evening at New York University's Game Center, joining Zynga New York's creative director (and NYU professor) Frank Lantz for an "Inside the Gamer's Studio" conversation. Schafer, however, brought more than just good conversation. He showed off two separate versions of a prototyped game that Double Fine ended up shelving. The prototype, for no reason at all, is dubbed "Specs."
In the first video (seen above), rudimentary concepts for the game are introduced. Two convicts sit in a prison cell, a shiv on the floor between them. The player character isn't one of the two convicts, or even the shiv, but instead a possessed amulet that's using its power of influence to guide the actions of those around it (inanimate objects included). As it turns out, one of the two convicts has said amulet in his hand when the prototype kicks off.
The two emotions that the amulet can produce - love and hate - are represented by blue and red cursors on-screen, each mapped to one of your hands. With just two emotions, a handful of set pieces to interact with, and a Kinect, a variety of potential outcomes with varying levels of hilarity ensued.
As far as we're able to tell, Microsoft envisions a future where powerful businessmen and hipster ultrabloggers (like ourselves) flail wildly in front of our laptops while on crowded public transportation. Yes, the Kinect's array of cameras and sensors is being tested on various prototype Windows 8 laptops, according to a preview by The Daily.
Beyond gaming applications, Kinect sensors integrated into a laptop could be used to navigate Windows 8's Metro UI, in a fashion not entirely dissimilar to navigating the Metro-esque interface on the latest Xbox dashboard. Additionally, a Kinect-equipped device could also be used for something actually useful by providing the disabled with another means of interacting with a computer.
Just like it does with its software, Microsoft be will licensing the Kinect technology out to hardware manufacturers, who will then implement it into their laptop designs. Considering the Kinect's rather expansive deadzone, we're interested in seeing how the technology functions in such an up close and personal application.
I did not like the first Prototype. Radical's open-world action title put you into the mutated skin of a super-cannibal that ate people in his quest for vengeance. Playing as aggrieved scientist Alex Mercer made me feel creepy, as I generally am not interested in eating people. The story and the reasons it gave for eating other humans didn't make much sense. More »
After what we can only imagine was an exciting and Hollywood worthy laser-grid-circumnavigating vault heist, two experimental Blade prototypes have been stolen from a Razer research and development laboratory in the San Francisco bay area, according to a Facebook post made by Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan.
It's unclear as to whether or not these were the only two prototypes, however its safe to say that any loss like this is a significant one, and that the prototypes are worth far more than the $2,800 retail price originally quoted for the laptop. Tan is asking for anyone with information about the theft to send an email to cult at razerzone dot com.
The Blade, revealed earlier this year at PAX, makes use of a proprietary user interface and LCD touchpad; trade secrets which Razer must desperately (and understandably) want to keep out of the hands of the competition. We're not saying this was corporate espionage, of course, but we are heavily implying that.
Activision commissioned TwitchGames, makers of Slice HD, to create a Prototype 2-themed minigame available now for iOS devices on the iTunes App Store. It's a big free ad for the upcoming game, but it's also a small free game that utilizes the multitouch interface in a challenging way. More »
My best camera lost its shutter button a year ago. My second best camera lost its button five shots into today's Dragon Con day one cosplay harvest. My third best camera was purchased at Wal-Mart a half hour ago. More »
Head- and eye-tracking will be the next big breakthrough in motion-controlled gaming. Forza Motorsport 4 will deliver it via Kinect. But for first-person shooters, we're still stuck controlling our look with our arms, an act as unnatural as it is inconvenient. Some University of Texas students have whipped up a solution for that. More »