One thing is for sure: there are a lot of games based in Middle-Earth. In the last five years alone there have been twelve across platforms ranging smartphones, consoles and PC. It's obviously a lucrative property, but as a video game it's never reached the heights of say, the Arkham series.
Every year, Sony Online Entertainment brings its fans together in Las Vegas at SOE Live, and this year was its 15th anniversary. PC Gamer sat down with SOE President John Smedley at the event to talk about the future of EverQuest Next, the 15th birthday for the original EverQuest, and H1Z1, its upcoming survival MMO. He also talks about the fate of the MMO subscription model, what separates H1Z1 from DayZ, and the value of emergent gameplay and player-driven storytelling.
E3 2014 is the first time that many in the press have been able to see Shroud of the Avatar, the new crowdfunded role-playing game from Ultima creator Richard Garriott. But that doesn't mean its backers are in the dark. Garriott, aka Lord British, says the people who have backed his game are included in every step of the process—some have even created art or music that will be used in the game.
PC Gamer spoke with Garriott and executive producer Starr Long on the E3 floor about the game, and how transparency—and the Unity engine—has changed the game development process for the better.
One of the most exciting games we’re getting a look at during E3 is Sid Meyer’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, the newest entry to the venerable strategy franchise. The game is set after a colonial exodus from Earth—for the first time, this Civ won’t be about going to war with Gandhi and forming an alliance with Cleopatra. The new planet comes with its own challenges and goals, according to an interview the game's co-lead designers gave to GameTrailers at E3.
People are obsessed with pirate ships. Before we sat down to chat proper, Assassin's Creed IV game director Ashraf Ismail told me a story about how one playtester became so enamoured with the Jackdaw that he spent hours boarding it from every possible angle. "You know, we kinda needed to get some other things tested, but we let him at it anyway," Ismail laughed.
Chunky free-to-play mech-shooter Hawken went into open Beta last month. You can spend money on its marketplace, so we reviewed the available version and rather liked it. We even made a video, and crammed some of our thoughts into it. However, as with any Beta, Hawken is evolving week by week – it could be a very different beast three months from now, after developer Adhesive decides what does and doesn’t work in the wake of player testing and feedback.
We caught up with studio co-founder and lead animator Chris Lalli to chat about melee weapons, server browsers, counter-measures, and whether or not the community has been behaving itself.
Earlier this week I had a chat with CD Projekt RED PR Specialist Agnieszka Szóstak and GOG Head of PR & Marketing Trevor Longino. We briefly discussed several topics, including CDP RED's upcoming open-world RPG Cyberpunk 2077, GOG's take on Windows 8 and its new Mac library, as well as some of the piracy issues CDP has been so vocal about in the past. Here are the best responses on those topics.
Making an indie game, publishing it and then selling your soul to EA for £1 million is the new get-rich-quick scheme. But how exactly does one make an indie game? Our video-camera-faced-chums over at CVG have asked just that to Bristol-based developers Red Wasp Design, whose intriguing turn-based strategy RPG Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is due out early next year.
The first part of the interview, above, covers how the three of them work together as a team and how they stay motivated (clue: they stay motivated with money). Talking about their vision for the game, Tomas Rawlings, the game designer, says, “They talk about the Angry Birds, they say you just have to make an Angry Birds but with lizards and cats instead. It just doesn’t work like that, you have to have a vision for what you see as a great game. And you just hope that enough people agree with you that that’s a vision for a great game.”
Parts two and three follow after the break.
Worried that a free-to-play MechWarrior might be a cynical cash-in on a beloved franchise? So was I. But after talking with Creative Director Bryan Ekman and Russ Bullock, president of Piranha Games, I was not only more confident about MechWarrior Online, but genuinely excited about the direction they are taking the franchise.
Ekman and Bullock are serious Mech fans, and knew exactly where my questions were coming from. They were also crystal clear about one thing: this is the MechWarrior that PC gamers know and love. This is about taking the gameplay of MechWarrior 2 through MechWarrior 4 in directions those earlier games couldn't even contemplate.
Last week, CCP announced major layoffs and a significant shift in priorities away from Vampire: The Masquerade-themed MMO World of Darkness and back toward EVE Online.
We had a long chat with CEO Hilmar Petursson about the changes, and where they leave CCP. He explains why CCP is narrowing its focus, and says that it was "hubris" that led CCP astray.
Fallen Earth is an action-MMO set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, built around faction warfare and team tactics. Until now it's been a subscription-based game, but tomorrow it goes free-to-play. That's just a part of how Fallen Earth is changing, however. Developer Reloaded Productions is keen to open up the game to more sandbox play, and to intensify the ongoing faction warfare.
Reloaded Productions' lead designer Mariel Croall and associate game director Joseph Willmon, of GamersFirst, were good enough to answer some questions about what's changing in Fallen Earth.
Last week we announced the landmark launch of PC Gamer Digital, and today we're excited to let you know that Episode 2 is now available on Steam - you don't want to miss it! In the second episode of PC Gamer Digital, you'll climb into the ethereal world of BioShock Infinite for a self-guided, 360-degree tour of Columbia, go behind the scenes of upcoming free-to-play shooter Tribes: Ascend, discover the cerebral tactics of Frozen Synapse, and much more!
Purchasing PC Gamer Digital Episode 2 also scores you the Killer Exclusive hat in Team Fortress 2. (It's extremely sexy!)
In an interview in PC Gamer UK issue 228, Bioware writing director Daniel Erickson gave some insight into the Bioware writing process and how it is at the forefront of their game design. "A BioWare writer is a game designer." He said. "What I’ve learned though, and what the rest of the industry is still wrestling with, is: you can teach a writer to be a junior game designer. You cannot teach a junior game designer to be a writer. You need somebody who is a senior master level writer and then you teach them the basics of game design."
We sat down with legendary John Carmack and picked his brain on a few of our favorite topics. Along the way, we asked him which graphics card--AMD or Nvidia--he would buy right that second and why. His answer might surprise you.
If you've ever played the Magic: The Gathering customizable card game, you've no doubt wondered what it would look like if the creatures you cast duked it out on the table in front of you. SOE's free-to-play Magic: The Gathering - Tactics, a turn-based strategy game based on the CCG universe, renders your summoned creatures in 3D, fighting in formation on a tactical grid. We got the chance to talk about the game with Mark Tuttle, executive producer at SOE Denver, about the launch. Read on and see what it took to turn the classic tabletop card game into a grid-based battle of wits.