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NASA are ready to launch the proof-of-concept for their space-faring MMO, Moonbase Alpha, today. It's a six person multiplayer survival puzzler. It'll be free, it'll be on Steam, and it'll be realistic. Trailer below:
Brink and Enemy Territory developers Splash Damage have updated their website with the image you see above, featuring a mysterious logo and two - count them, two! - instances of the numbers eleven and twenty nine. Based on the fact that we use full stops and colons to separate days from months and hours from minutes respectively, the only logical interpretation is that something important is going to happen at twenty nine minutes past eleven on the eleventh day of the twenty-ninth month. But what could it be? And, perhaps more importantly: what year?
No, NASA isn't starting an open-membership Pink Floyd tribute band, it's running an upcoming event for crafting educational games about space. Starting on Friday, developers will head into NASA's Ames Research Center to participate in the Dark Side of the Jam, a three-day challenge to "help capture the public's interest in the real science and technology advancements being made in aerospace exploration."
Video games produced in Russia and Eastern Europe are nothing new, what with the Stalker series and Metro: Last Light. For the first time, though, we could start seeing video games produced in part by the Russian government to teach players specifically about the glorious history of the Russian military.
They say you don't get something for nothing. They're demonstrably wrong. For example, in July, you've been able to get at least six somethings for nothing. They're all PC games as well, as it happens. Here's the best in freebie entertainment from the last month, ready to play on your personal home computer video game entertainment systems.
Only NASA would have the chutzpah to begin a GDC presentation with a 15-minute trailer about how great they are. But then, every game developer in the room grew up with the dreams of being an astronaut, watched the shuttles launch and felt sad when they were grounded forever, with replacements a distant hope. Among the developers in the room, there can't have been one who didn't dream of one day floating above our insignificant green-blue orb. And NASA were here to charm, flatter and promise them the moon. Because NASA needs the games industry. NASA's promise is that, one day, we will all be taking part in “shared immersive tele-exploration” - or what the Trekkies out there will know as the Holodeck. That's how they're selling what they're doing. In reality, of course, budgets for space exploration have been gradually falling since 2009. As the slick Jeff Norris of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory told the conference, “We want to work with your industry and your vast resources.”
There might be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is certainly such a thing as free lunchtime entertainment. Over the following pages you’ll find a list of the best free indie games on PC – from 20-minute diversions to weekend-consuming, endlessly-expanded strategy epics. All of the games on this list are free in their entirety. That means no microtransaction-supported free-toplay games and no shareware. We’ve also excluded ‘pay what you want’ games on the basis that developers who give you the ability to chip-in would probably like you to consider doing that. That said, there are always exceptions and you’ll find games on this list that sit in a grey area – normally where there’s a substantial free version with the option of also buying an upgraded paid edition. In these cases, we’ve gone with our hearts. Which is to say that we argued about it for hours.
2013 rapidly recedes, leaving only trace memories of pirates, guns, storied old mansions and always-online debacles. For now, a moment of peace. What better time to admire the onrushing tide of destruction soon to be wrought on our spare time? Here in 2014, more people are making games than ever. More than 1500 titles line Greenlight's shelves, dozens of Kickstarter projects are coming to fruition and almost everything is headed to early access. That's just the tip of the joyberg that awaits. Which games will pierce through the screaming throng? Of the thousands of PC games out there, which are worthy of your attention? We're here to help, with the latest in our annual mega-features about the years to come. Sit back, have a cup of tea and immerse yourself in the games of 2014 and beyond.
2012 bobs away on the rushing river of history, washing into the past a dozen Dunwall guard bark memes, at least one controversially-terminated space saga and a worryingly-exhilarating excess of animal slaughter. But what’s that on the horizon, surging through the frothy wake of the year just gone? It’s - surprise! - 2013. The next 12 pages detail nearly every reason to be excited about the 365 days to come, and the armada of delights they bring. There are more combat bows than you can shake a punctured elk at, an unholy host of horrors, genre-smashing interstellar epics, multiplayer mega-franchises, petrolhead-pleasers, reinvigorated point-and-clickers, Kickstarter darlings, Greenlight outliers and many, many more. Click on to discover why 2013 may just be the most exciting year for gamers yet.