This seems like a very odd feature for Steam not to have already had, but there we go. If you pre-order a game through Valve’s digital distribution service, you can now cancel that order and be automatically refunded for the cost of the game.
Previously cancelling pre-ordered items required you to contact Steam support in order to receive a refund, but now the funds will instantly appear in your Steam wallet and the game will be removed from your account.(more…)
It would be a fool who ignored the power of Maple Story. However, we arguably weren’t fools for not troubling you with the news of a MapleStory 2 last month. At that point Korean publishers Nexon had only put up a useless teaser site. Now there’s a trailer to make something of a more useful announcement.
You don’t care about MapleStory, you say? Sure, it’s not exactly core RPS material. But we should be interested it in anthropologically, if nothing else. This is a game that’s seen over 67 million players, and earned more than $300m before it was even famous. It’s a phenomenon, no question. And now it’s got a really stupid CGI trailer, complete with dubstep.
I have played EverQuest Next Landmark, and lo, it was akin to using Photoshop to birth worlds from my finger (and brain) tips. Also, a giant ice cream cone. For all of SOE’s boasting, there’s actually some awe-worthy power in the toolset, and that’s not even all there is to the game. Landmark is a universe of exploration, combat, and survival that will constantly expand as players build onto it. From a standpoint of scope and ambition, vanilla EverQuest Next pretty much pales in comparison. If you still don’t understand exactly why (SOE did a horrendous job of explaining it early on), there’s a fairly substantial video below that ought to help.
I always think of automated bots in MMOs as a type of game criticism. As in, if your players can, without mod tools, write scripts to easily automate some part of your game, probably that part isn’t as engaging as it should be. Probably there’s a reason why players want to bypass it.
I also understand why it’s bad for a game’s community for such things to carry on, so I don’t blame Blizzard for winning another lawsuit and a $7 million settlement against a World of Warcraft botmaker last week, as reported by WoW Insider.(more…)
Do you know the way to Eurogamerexpo woah woah woah woah woah woah woah? Because it’s just been announced there will be a bunch of cool stuff for you to play at Eurogamer Expo, Earls Court, London, from Thursday 26th September to Sunday 29th September. Eurogamer Expo is a giant games shenanigan, hosted by our friends and drinking buddies the Eurogamer Kids. RPS helps curate the Rezzed section of the Expo where all the most interesting indie games are kept, and copious other PC titles will be on show. And some sort of strange machine we are totally perplexed by. Is it called the Pess Four? Piece Far? Puss Fer? Anyway that will be there too. Our lovely pals at Eurogamer told us about it. (more…)
War. War never changes. It just gets bigger and more convoluted and adds space ships and looks kind of like a giant, twinkling star map spreadsheet. And so, in a year that’s already seen some truly colossal EVE Online battles, the biggest ever just sort of… happened. Admittedly, it was the result of months of conniving and cunning space mischief – as almost everything in the EVE universe is – but it still came as quite a surprise to dirty, non-playing Earth peasants like myself. Numbers so big you can see them from space after the break.
If gathering friends to play Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a bit cumbersome, and if you find FTL a bit lonely, then I’ve found the perfect game for you. Final Frontier is the result of a nasty transporter accident between the pair, where the Heisenberg compensators decoupled and they arrived on the SS GMOD screaming and inside out. The sick bay did its best, but all it could do is stabilise the life signs. To be honest, the gristly lump that was spat out looks pretty amazing.(more…)
My Little Pickaxe, My Little Pickaxe,
What is crafting all about?
My Little Pickaxe, My Little Pickaxe
Crafting is magic!
I used to wonder what crafting could be.
Until Mojang added horses to Minecraft.(more…)
A real high-point of every GDC is the Game Design Challenge. Well, was. Sadly the tenth year of this annual treat was the last, with organiser Eric Zimmerman bringing proceedings to an end. And wow, did it go out in style. With the apposite topic, “Humanity’s Last Game”, some of the biggest names in the industry put forth their pitches for the last game we’d ever need. And one man entirely stole the show. For a second year, that man was Jason Rohrer.
Oh dear. Disney have told Game Informer that LucasArts studios are shutting down, although the name will remain to hold the licenses. They explained: “we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model.” This means Star Wars 1313 is a goner.
There’s clearly quite the story to be told here, but for such a mighty studio to have fallen unto complete abandonment must be one of the most catastrophic failures of management in gaming history. Our thoughts are with those developers who are now out of work.
Well another person has learned: you don’t mess with Rock, Paper, Shotgun. It seems our coverage of the SimCity… no, not really. The rather more unfortunate reason for EA’s CEO, John Riccitiello’s stepping down is due to the publisher’s struggles to turn a profit, alongside warnings that the next quarter’s targets won’t be met.
I’m off in the strange, far-away land of Las Vegas right now, and I just got done watching Gabe Newell and JJ “Warring Trek of the Stars” Abrams chat each other up on stage. I’ll have more from the talk for you soon, but here’s the big take-away: Valve and Abrams are officially collaborating. “What we’re actually doing here,” Newell said at the talk’s conclusion, “is recapitulating a series of conversations that have been going on [between Abrams and I]. This is what happens when game and movie people get together. And we sort of reached the point where we decided that we needed to do more than talk. So we’re gonna try and figure out if we can make a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie together.” Meanwhile, Abrams added: “And we have a game idea we’d like to work with Valve on.” Finally, Gabe wrapped it up: “Really, it’s time for our industries to stop talking about potential and really execute on it.”
I remember when I turned 15. It was pretty unspectacular. I couldn’t drive yet, I didn’t really have much of a party to speak of, and hardly any of the entire Internet used it as an opportunity to fondly reminisce about rocket jumps and murder. But now, Quake II turns 15, and suddenly it gets the royal treatment. Bizarre, right? It really is just the darndest thing. Maybe everyone’s still waiting to leap out and surprise me. I bet that’s it. Any second now. While we’re waiting, though, I suppose we can discuss some crazy Quake II factoids. But only just for a bit. And you have to put on this party hat and pretend to be having fun. I demand it.
Like somewhat rusty clockwork, the not entirely predictable Steam Greenlight machine has whirred to life again – granting the wishes of hopeful developers who dared perform the dark rituals needed to invoke its promotional might. This time around, 13 games made the cut, and – as is becoming a happy trend – it’s a fairly diverse selection. Well-ish known standouts include Waking Mars, Primordia, and StarForge. Oh, also, there’s productivity software this time too, so thrill to that. (How does one thrill to something? I’ve never understood that phrase.)
Over-talented game dev Aubrey Hesselgren crafted an unofficial 3D mashup of Super Meat Boy and Super Mario Galaxy, apparently “for Tommy Refenes’ 30th Birthday”. You can see a video of it in action below. Hesselgren says on a Reddit thread devoted to the idea: “It’s just an experiment in adaptation. I kept hearing people write off 3D games with all the arguments about spatial perception, limited information etc, and wanted to try to tackle a few of their points, just for my own edification. I didn’t want to dismiss what they were saying, but I felt like I had to see for myself. I learnt a lot!”(more…)
Jagex, the UK-based studio responsible for the hugely successful RuneScape, have glued trumpets to their lips and heralded the announcement of their next game: Ace Of Spades. What’s that? You recognise a game by that name? Gosh, you’re a keen-eyed one. Indeed, a year and a half ago Quintin spotted the indie Minecraftish WWI multiplayer, and insisted that you play it. It seems Jagex took his instructions very seriously, and now they’re publishing it.
I’m desperately ill right now. Maybe that’s why I find Frog Fractions – an edutainment game spoof that’s far, far, far, far, far, far more than it seems – so hilarious. It’s very difficult to discuss much of it without spoiling the bounty of… knowledge it aims to impart unto the universe, but I’ll do my best. I’ll keep things pure for front-pagers, though, and take it past the break – aka, the place where innocence is lost.
Goodness, this looks impressive. MaK (pronounced “make”) is a game about building. Yes, there are roughly seven trillion of those at this point, but it’s actually aiming to execute the concept in an impressively different fashion. The short version: It’s highly physics-based, and there’s a lot of tethering and electricity conduction involved. As for the long version, well, it’s complicated, and you’ll be much better served by the trailer after the break than you will me. Seriously, though, go check it out. This spaced-out construct-o-tron just rocketed to the top of my “to watch” list.
The entire internet* is besieged by outrage** today*** by the news**** that an exploit in Blizzard’s Diablo III can allow some folk playing as Wizards to become invincible.***** No doubt it’s being patched out at a desperate rate, but for me it exemplifies just why Diablolikes, WoWlikes and games using similar progression mechanics will often lose their appeal to me relatively quickly. It’s all about the invisible numbers, forever escalating, forever having the ceiling above them raised, and our being tricked into thinking we have any real control over those numbers. Something can go wrong with the equations, and the numbers can then dictate something like invincibility.
It’s arguable that the current Humble Indie Bundle is the best one yet. I’d argue it. I’m arguing it right now. But incredibly, it just got better. Added to Bastion, Superbrothers, Limbo, Psychonauts and Amnesia are Super Meat Boy, Braid, and bundle first-timer, Lone Survivor. Oh my goodness.
When speaking to Humble’s Richard Esguerra earlier today, I took the chance to ask him about what difference these extras can make. You can see that below.
The news horn of Game Informer sounds a clear, pure note of announcement: The Elder Scrolls Online, that secret so poorly kept, has been confirmed by Zenimax. How’s this for interesting: the GI article will apparently reveal the “player-driven PvP conflict that pits the three player factions against each other in open-world warfare over the province of Cyrodiil.” Cor!
The key dev quoted by the article – and the lead in the project – is former Dark Age Of Camelot man Matt Firor, who said his team is “committed” to making the MMO into a Best Thing Ever. Lucky they’re not feeling indifferent about the whole affair. That would have been awful. Teaser type trailer will turn up tomorrow, apparently. (The press release even claims that the game will be featured in magazines! Amazing.)
Like John, I can’t claim to be the world’s foremost expert on Skullgirls, as I’ve yet to do that whole thing with the controllers and flashing images on a screen. So yeah, I’m probably closer to third or fourth. And yet, desert dry as my knowledge reservoirs may be, it’s growing into quite the sizable blip on my radar. Granted, while gorgeously animated 2D feats of incredible brutality are an appealing prospect, I’m even more taken with Reverge’s dedication to making us PC folks feel like the unique and intimidatingly attractive people that we are.
Fanfiction often has surprising visits from other fictional places, although the fact that I’m here and not writing on that other lovely PC gaming site means it happens in real-life as well. Super Mario Bros Crossover 2.0 is the gaming equivalent of fanfiction, bringing characters from all over the Nintendo universe and having an office party with them in the Mario world.(more…)
So then. I suspect the needle of Minecraft cuteness has swung way too far to the “d’aww” end of the meter with the introduction of tameable, breedable ocelots (which you can see emitting clouds of love-hearts in the video below.) This is a game with zombies and suicide-explosion beasts in! I demand more sinister threat. And I believe that it is only sensible, because horrors lurking outside our castles only make the cute, homely stuff cuter and more homely. Right, minerfolk?(more…)
We mentioned earlier that Tim Schafer would love to make a Pyschonauts 2, but can’t get the funding. Well, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson spotted our story and suggested to Schafer that they should work together to make it happen. Multimillionaire Persson clearly has the funds to do this, and everyone in the world with their brain in the right place wants to see a sequel to one of the most joyful games of all time, so this is a thing that might actually happen.
Clearly at the moment this is a tweeted offer, not a signed contract, but it’s a massively exciting one. Tim, say yes!
The latest release from Nitrome is one of those games that I wish I’d discovered later in the day, because I’m going to spend the remaining hours until I’m released from the shackles that bind me to the keyboard wishing I was playing it. It’s called Rainbogeddon, which should really be enough to make you click here and play it. If you haven’t, know that it’s Pacman, Bomberman, Dig Dug and loads of other brilliant things all packed together into a browser window. Destructible mazes? Of course. Oodles and oodles of powerups? Definitely. A little too tiny for my dwindling eyesight to fully take in? Regrettably. Go and play it. Do it for me, because I can’t.
Someone over at NeoGAF apparently got hold of the South Park edition of Game Informer and has posted up relevant details. These include:
- You play as a silent protagonist. A new kid in town who must work to fit in.
- It’s the first South Park game Stone and Parker have actively participated in and written the script for.
- Obsidian is using the Dungeon Siege III engine, there will be five classes (wizard, paladin, adventurer, rogue, and a fifth unannounced class).
- Apparently “elements of the combat system are like Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi games”. So it’s an RPG map with turn-based encounters.
Sounds like a peculiar blend! But that could be for the best. Plenty more spoilery details through the link.
The very important #indieVisibilty awards ceremony took place in London last night, organised by SizeFiveGames, officiated by OneLifeLeft, and with awards selected by IndieGames and “Rock, Paper, Shotgun”. You can see the full list of the awards distributed below, including Best Minecraft, Nicest Man, “best attempt to do what mainstream devs will not”, and Notch’s game of the year.
This isn’t PC gaming news so much as general internet nerding, but it’s a lovely thing nonetheless. I have to admit that I haven’t seen the Google homepage in months, so I wouldn’t have realised that the current logo is an extraordinary interactive Google doodle game thing, had John not alerted me. How did he know? Well, there are a lot of tubes from all round the world leading to his office. He was probably peering down them. [Actually my wife told me - John] Anyway, the new doodle is the tale of a meeting of robots, and has been put up in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the first publication by brilliant sci-fi author, Stanislaw Lem. Lem is best know for Solaris, which was made into movies by Tarkovsky and Soderburgh, but his influence on sf generally has been enormous, thanks to his prolific and insightful writing and amazing short stories. You should definitely have a read of some of his stuff, if you haven’t already. (The art in the logo is inspired by Lem illustrator, Daniel Mrózh, who illustrated a version of The Cyberiad. Which now, I learn, was even turned into an opera!)
I am posting this link almost purely for the benefit of RPS contributor Richard Cobbett, whose aversion to spiders in games is such that he’s forced to play Skyrim while dosed up with a medical team on standby, just in case his heart gives out. Sadly the mod is only a crude fix for now, and replaces spiders with awkward stuffed-looking bears. There’s a crab alternative if the bears look too stupid. (They do.)