A new Steam update will allow users to download software while playing a game, meaning you may never have to resort to other, non-game pastimes again. This means in-progress downloads will no longer pause when a game is launched in the Steam client, though this functionality can be toggled on a case-by-case basis if your internet connection isn't up to scratch.
Warren Spector, the legendary developer best known for Deus Ex and Thief, has a new job: director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, a post-grad design school based out of the University of Texas in Austin.
Bloom: Memories is an ambitious action RPG that’s going to try to marry the exploration of Zelda, the stealth of Thief, and the living world of Harvest Moon. With a big emphasis on clever solutions beyond violence and a really beautiful batch of concept art, I’m not surprised that Bloom is already halfway to its $40,000 funding goal after only a couple of days on Kickstarter.
DayZ developer Dean "Rocket" Hall took to Reddit on Monday to discuss the current state of the standalone version for the popular Arma 2 mod. The final version, unfortunately, is still a ways off, due to Hall's insistence that the game needs more optimization and bug fixes before he's happy with it.
Names are important. Giving a name to a tiny, mindless unit in games such as FTL or XCOM: Enemy Unknown—and XCOM: Enemy Within, out today—gives them the importance necessary for permadeath to matter. I don't care if some anonymous squaddie bites it in an alien base mission, but I care a lot more about the well-being of Lt. Tyler "Maverick" Wilde.
Indie shooter Natural Selection 2 will get a world championship. The FPS/RTS hybrid's community-led project has raised the full $30,000 it said it needs to bring 24 players to Cologne, Germany and stage an eSports event to determine a winning team. An ambitious goal, to be sure, but the money is now there to make it happen, according to the fan effort's official crowdfunding site.
After seeing red it only makes sense to fade to black. Unity of Command is getting a new DLC campaign, Black Turn—Operation Barbarossa 1941, which focuses on German operations on the Eastern front after last year's Soviet-centered Red Turn. Although historical details behind the massive—and notorious—military action are well-known, it looks like the Black Turn's end game allows for a "what if" result.
My ministers are looking at me like I’ve lost my mind. The country is an economic basket case, we’re trailing in the polls, and my next policy decision is... tougher abortion laws. I pause for the gasps to subside, then, like a political Poirot, explain.
Restricting abortions will mollify the religious component of the party membership in preparation for next turn’s ban on teaching creationism. Returning Darwinism to its rightful place in the curriculum, together with a boost to science funding, will help address the ‘technology backwater’ situation that is doing so much damage to GDP. A healthy GDP together with some canny VAT and corporation tax changes, should, in the long run, equal prosperity and – pause to sip water and anticipate imminent applause – the voter support necessary for victory in the next election.
2013 has been a big year for Linux gaming. For the first time, there's a glimmer of hope for a gaming future for the OS. Games are being built in Unity, being sold in Humble Bundles (which tend to require Linux versions), and though it's more of a trickle than a flood, things are picking up a little. And then there's Steam. Valve's push towards Linux, with an existing Steam client as well as a Linux-based OS in the works, mirrors my own frustrations with Windows: I'd quite like an OS that's not going to completely change shape, size, colour, and usability when it comes time to upgrade it, but I'd like to have a supported OS as well. So once a year I'll try out Linux's friendliest face, Ubuntu. Is this the year it stays on my PC*?
My initial plan was to dual-boot my Windows 7 desktop with the latest version of Ubuntu. I have a laptop with Nvidia Optimus (it has two GFX cards: one Intel card for undemanding chores, then it swaps to the Nvidia card when it needs more power), and the driver support for that in Windows is a mess, so I didn't imagine Ubuntu mobile drivers would fare any better. But Ubuntu just didn't want to install where I wanted it to install on my desktop. No matter what I tried, it would attempt to squeeze onto a hard-drive that ultimately wouldn't allow it to boot. This left me with little option but to make room on the Optimus laptop and install it there. After a relatively painless few minutes, I was dual-booting PC with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 13.10. So far so good.
SOE have today released the first step of their OMFG (or, Operation: Make Faster Game) initiative. Performance Update 01 has just gone live, and it's changelist is a catalogue of tweaks, full of words like "optimized," and "faster," and "reduced". It turns out that framerates are OP.
Quickly, pile on into this post, where the armies of darkness can't see you. We're sheltering thirty minutes of leaked Dragon Age: Inquisition footage, smuggled out from the Finnish Digiexpo 2013. Watch it quickly, before EA's ever-watchful legal dragons swoop down and burn it to a crisp. In it, you'll see combat, dialogue, and a brief glimpse of the less litigious lizards.
I'm not sure how I feel about getting emails from Neptune's Pride. Dirty, I guess? It was a game responsible for some pretty reprehensible behaviour, as part of a month-long campaign of stress, plotting and backstabbing. After it was over, I swore never to play it again. Then Neptune's Pride 2: Triton appeared, so naturally I played it again. Now it's emailing me, seemingly for no reason other reason than to taunt me with a reminder of its existence, and to reveal that its developers are testing out 64-player games of mammoth machination and mental manoeuvring.
I'm being attacked by splicers again. I've got little health, no EVE, and only a few bullets for each of my four guns. I'm about to die, which is annoying, because I'd prefer to spend that money refilling all the things I'm low on.
Elizabeth calls out: she's found some EVE. I can use this. I catch a splicer with the Possession plasmid and, in the confusion, use my last shotgun shell to blast another. I then call for Elizabeth to materialise a freight hook, so that by the time I've Sky-Hooked (sorry, Air Grabbed) to reposition, my shield has recharged. I dismount, slamming into another splicer, and finish by using my buffed melee range to execute the last enemy, just as his possession wears off.
Bundles are so 2012. Okay, they're still pretty 2013 too, and the Humble Bundle organisers are planning to run both them and the Weekly Sale offers in future. Now, though, they've expanded their Humble enterprise to include a permanent store front, from which you can buy a selection of indie and indie-ish games. To celebrate the store's launch, they're running a sale that knocks 50-75% off the entirety of the (currently small) catalogue. More deals - and therefore more games - are scheduled to appear over the next few days.
Action RPG Path of Exile sees its first post-launch patch go live this Wednesday, the first update of seven planned before Grinding Gears releases an expansion in March 2014. While the 1.0.1 update includes its share of mysterious new items to try out, it's also set to kick off the free-to-play game's fifth season of competitive events, according to lead designer Chris Wilson.
Arma III’s release had its fair share of hitches, but it appears as though the bugs and optimizations issues plaguing DayZ Standalone's development are of a different breed—enough to push back the game's launch window.
FTL, last year’s breakout hit from two-person studio Subset Games, will receive a free update that adds new ship systems, weapons, events and environments. Called FTL: Advanced Edition, the update will be timed to coincide with an iPad edition of the game set for release in 2014.
It might surprise you to learn that the Portal 2 Steam Workshop is the busiest of all Workshop's mod repositories. There are over 302,000 items on there, so I had to narrow the search down somewhat. I chose innovation as my main filter. I've been on the lookout for game-changing mods: the new challenges that haven't been seen before, creative level-design that Valve forgot, and additions to the base game that creates new ways of solving puzzles. Here are the best I found.
The problem with writing about Take On Mars is that, at some point, I will get that song stuck in my head. This is the curse of being born in the '80s. It's particularly annoying in this instance, because the update doesn't take place on the red planet, but its moon, Deimos, as well as some surrounding asteroids. We'll never know if "Take On Deimos" would prove less ear-worm inducing, but hopefully its trailer's electro-beeps can dispel the New Wave spectre.
Between Warlords of Draenor, Reaper of Souls, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard must be nearing their quota of "X of Y" named games. But if modern Blizzard has a penchant for expanding and advancing its key franchises through a standardised nomenclature, they haven't completely abandoned the days when they could release games that were just called Warcraft. Or Warcraft 2: Tides of... Oh, come on.
Well, if the names haven't changed, the style has, which is something you'll hopefully be able to re-experience soon. During a panel over this last weekend's Blizzcon, it was revealed that a team within Blizzard hope to bring the classic RTS games to modern PCs.