A new Starbound video appears

And it is sexy.

But seriously, check it out – Tiy has posted a video of the forest biome generation, and it is looking pretty damn sleek if I may say so myself. Hit the break for the video presentation in question. (the music is also nice!) Continue reading

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Dejobaan announces “Drunken Robot Pornography”

Dejobaan Games, the independent developer responsible for indie hit AaAaAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity and its sequel AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome (which I reviewed aaaaaages ago), has announced the beginning of development for their latest project, Drunken Robot Pornography following a successful prototype showing at PAX East ’12. Gameplay, in the prototype’s current form, consists of the player jetpacking around on platforms, Ricochet style, fighting gigantic, multi-storey-tall robots (“Titan” in the game’s nomenclature). Dejobaan promises that players will be able to create their own Titans with some pretty deep customization – different weapons, shielding materials, and custom components will be among the plethora of planned parts.

As I mentioned before, the game seems influenced by the oft-forgotten Ricochet, as well as the arena battles in Tron (which, funnily enough, were the main influence behind Ricochet).

Hit the break for the full press release, as well as a gallery of screenshots from the prototype. Also I want to make sweet kisses to this game. Mmmm. Continue reading

Review: Iron Sky

(I know this isn’t a game review, but, you know, whatever, man.)

I just got home from watching Iron Sky at a special pre-screening – hell, for the price of $0 per ticket, it was a damn lucrative deal.

Now that I’ve seen it, I have the honour of saying that Iron Sky is a singular achievement in irreverent satire, with more intelligent humour than most of the swill that we’re generally fed at the box office. The special effects are absolutely fabulous, with set design and costumes also warranting a special mention.

In fact, I couldn’t think of a single facet of this diamond that I didn’t find instantly and completely appealing. This is a movie that I’ll come back to again and again, and I wholeheartedly recommend that every single one of you stop reading this post and go see it.

A must purchase.

10/10, 100%, triple thumbs up.

(Oh, and they parodied a certain famous YouTube video, which had my girlfriend and I in stitches)

On the Multiplayer Narrative and Emergent Gameplay

Republished from Piki Geek. Original article is here.

When I was asked to write this article, I immediately wondered to myself how many buzzwords I’d be allowed to use. One? Two? Six? In the end, I said, “Blast it,” and left all my buzzwords in. So, if you (my dear reader) are allergic to these words of buzziness, please stop reading. You’ll break out in hives and EMERGENT GAMEPLAY. HAHAHA. Some more buzzword triggers for your sensitive soul: gaming, multiplayer, narrative and buzzword.

In all seriousness, though, the lack of emergent gameplay is what is killing the gaming industry, and nobody’s noticed it yet – well, more specifically, the lack of an amazing multiplayer narrative is. Look at games like Minecraft and Journey – the former allows players to tell their own stories through roleplay and shared game time, and the latter doesn’t even tell you that you’re playing with other people until the end, which is what makes it oh-so-very special.

I’ll cite a further example of a game that I poured hundreds of hours into: Garry’s Mod. The sheer versatility of that title’s mod system, along with the boundless creativity of mod creators, allows for some fantastic “dynamic stories” – the DarkRP mod is one particularly popular way to play, with thousands of people roleplaying in settings from Half-Life 2′s Combine occupation to a Mafia-infested Italian town. Oh, the fun you can have – I remember once, playing as a weak-willed Resistance member, being solicited by a Combine officer to become a secret informant. After a few of our operations went awry due to my snitching, my gangster friends organized a hit on me, and the last thing I saw was the barrel of a .357 revolver.

It’s worth noting that I cannot think of a single commercial game, other than Minecraft, that offers this level of immersion, especially when playing with friends. The ability to tell your own story is incredibly liberating, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with it is astonishingly fantastic – the endorphin rush which comes with a plot twist is staggering. Usually, anyway – I’ll admit that being mugged by a fry cook wielding nothing but sharpened spatula and a bad attitude generally isn’t very fun.

The fact that barely anybody has taken advantage of this is disgusting – whatever happened to emergent gameplay? The only upcoming game with this sort of play-it-your-own-way mentality that I can think of is Starbound, and perhaps the oft-rumoured Elder Scrolls MMO. Other games, though, will restrict you to their artificial rails, disallowing you from making the story your own. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, of course (except when it is), since there are plenty of truly great narratives out there – the issue is that there are zero truly great (or good) multiplayer narratives, and the market’s saturation (obsession?) with arcade-style games like Call of Duty and NigerianGenocideVille is only exacerbating the problem.

This issue coincides with the loss of personality-driven games in publisher catalogs – when was the last time a giant like EA or Activison released a game that had true personality? Oh wait, that’s right, never.

The gaming industry needs a swift kick up the arse to rectify the glaring issues with fun that it’s facing – I am convinced that developers, especially big ones with large budgets, should be trying very hard to find (and emulate) the sort of emergent, procedural narrative generation that multiplayer sandboxes like Minecraft have, instead of leaving it down to modders and upstart indie developers.

For the sake of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, though, don’t try to copy Minecraft. Please.

A Nooby Hour With Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Title screen! Hells yeah!
On Sunday night, a new wave of beta keys for Valve’s upcoming shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, was released, and I was lucky enough to get one (and an extra giftable key, which I immediately sent to an internet buddy of mine. His reaction? “WOOOOOOOOOOOOO”). Surprisingly enough, the game is actually pretty fun (and much more accessible to noobs like I than its predecessors), and I spent an hour in a Quick Match server to get to grips with the new mechanics
Continue reading

Telling a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story in #starbound

So this isn’t technically video game related, but it’s fun anyway – we were having a lull in activity in Starbound’s IRC channel (irc.freenode.net, #starbound, if you’re interested) and I decided to write a (very) short story on the fly using user interaction to further the plot line.

So, without any further ado, here it is. 😉 Continue reading

Starbound is literally the best thing ever


Starbound is the RPG we’ve all been waiting for our entire lives, and here’s why.

One of the most irritating trends that’s prevalent in pretty much every modern RPG is the concept of min/maxing. There’s always a perfect build for any character, and this simple fact makes RPGs only worthy of playtime for their story alone. That’s what it basically boils down to – if a modern RPG can’t stand up alone on its story, it will fall flat on its feet and never get back up. Continue reading

(P)review: Steam for Mobile (iOS)

A couple of days ago, I snagged myself an imo.im account. I was pretty chuffed – who wouldn’t want mobile access to Steam Chat? I excitedly started chatting away to my friends, and recommending the app to everyone I knew…

…the next day, Steam for Mobile came out. I felt rightly silly.

The day after that, I paid Top Dolla for a beta invite – and here are my thoughts on Steam’s oh-so-mobile experience. Continue reading

Teeny Tiny Review: AaAaAA!!: For The Awesome

Billed as the “semi-sequel” to Dejobaan’s 2010 surprise hit AaAaAA!!: A Reckless Disregard For Gravity, For The Awesome brings new graphical effects, levels, and gameplay mechanics, all of which are exquisitely crafted and vastly improve the already-exhilarating experience of hurling yourself off of a building and hoping to not smear yourself on the side of a skyscraper. Continue reading