Cliff Harris of Positech Games doesn't think it's much of a surprise, but just in case anyone was wondering, he made it official today that Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is in the works. It's all about doing the job properly this time around, he said, and that means the sequel will be "bigger, bolder, better and have more cool effects than you can shake a laser gun at."
It’s completely and utterly ridiculous and silly to think that anyone could sit down and say they could make a simulation of democracy,” says Cliff Harris. He should know, what with being the man behind the democracy sim series, Democracy. “But as a result nobody’s done it. I’d much rather play a flawed or imperfect version of politics than not just because everyone says it’s too difficult.”
The series is now gearing up for a third outing, and we are talking in a coffee shop near the Rezzed booth where Cliff has been previewing the game for attendees. The conversation thus far has encompassed monkey brains, the US Department of Defense and implementing a ‘Boris Johnson mode’. We’ll get to why in a minute. Firstly, here’s what would happen if the UK were run by a sleep-deprived games journalist hopped up on caffeine and power.
As the new leader of the UK I have, as they are so fond of saying on Question Time, “some problems inherited from the previous government.” Focusing on the economy seems to be a sensible (and relatively popular) thing to do because there’s more money going out than coming in, so I introduce a luxury goods tax. The UK’s credit rating drops instantly.
Gratuitous Tank Battles creator: free-to-play "doesn't ask you to value the game until you already feel you own it"
The concept of distributing a game for no cost, once the domain of Facebook app-clones and mobile platforms, has quickly become commonplace in PC gaming. We've all seen clear evidence of such a phenomena, from the lessened emphasis on subscription models in MMOs to the availability of quality multiplayer shooters like Tribes: Ascend from a single download. In a blog post, Positech Games head and Gratuitous Tank Battles creator Chris Harris says the psychology of free gaming boils down to letting players set their own sense of worth before asking for money.
Gratuitous Tank Battles is the result of experimentation with the tower defence genre, yielding a strategy game where you attack as much as entrench. Experimentation with units means players can make their own machines and turn them on their foes. And experimentation with AI means the computer can use your creations against you in an endless arms race of tanks, mechs and laser-toting Tommies.
What would the word be like in a hundred years time if the leaders of the major nations in The Great War never called it a day. There would be gratuitous giant robots, of course, tanks, trenches, laser beams and huge flamethrower towers at strategic intervals. See all of these in action in the latest trailer for Gratuitous Tanks Battles, spotted over on RPS.