simulation

Spacebase DF-9 alpha released by Double Fine to Steam Early Access

Evan Lahti at

During E3 we learned that Double Fine was putting two unnamed games into production with help from its rich uncle, Indie Fund. Today Double Fine is releasing an early version one of those games: Spacebase DF-9.


Farming Simulator 2013: Titanium trailer has a brand new combine harvester (in America)

Phil Savage at

I've cultivated a genuine love of Euro Truck Simulator 2, so while I've yet to get on board with Farming Simulator 2013, I understand why people enjoy pretending to do a job they don't do. With Farming Simulator 2013: Titanium, you can now pretend to do that job on a different continent. The American expansion brings new crops, new vehicles, and new dungarees. Note: game might not contain dungarees.


Train Simulator 2014 hands-on: all aboard the series' new vehicles and routes

Christopher Livingston at

It’s typically said of horror games that you should play them with headphones on and the lights turned off. I think the same should be said of train simulators, because driving a diesel train down the side of a mountain while pulling so many cars you can’t see the end of them can be just as intense and heart-pounding as any haunted house.


Prison Architect: how Introversion avoided jail by embracing their hardest project yet

Graham Smith at

Prison Architect has sold 124,691 copies and made a gross revenue of £2,679,730 ($4,031,925). If you’re one of the remaining major videogame publishers, that’s pocket change, but if you’re Introversion it’s more money in ten months of alpha sales than your previous four games made in over 12 years. If you’re Chris Delay, the game’s lead designer and programmer, it’s the opportunity to start a family. And if you’re the three founders - Chris, plus college friends Mark Morris and Tom Arundel - it’s the difference between being comfortably wealthy and living in fear of spending time in a real prison.

“Tom was convinced that we were going to go to jail,” says Chris. “He was convinced that we were going to go to jail because he thought that for most of 2010 we’d been trading insolvently, which means trading knowing that there’s no chance you’re going to survive.”

Prison Architect is the game that saved Introversion, one of gaming’s most interesting and longest-serving indie developers, but if you’re a gamer then it also represents a bunch of other, similarly excellent things.

SimCity expands its borders to Cities of Tomorrow in November

Patrick Carlson at

SimCity's upcoming expansion should give you the chance to create a utopian paradise, or maybe a dystopian nightmare, if that's more in line with how you see the world. Cities of Tomorrow launches November 12, according to a new blog post by developer Maxis.

Democracy 3 hands on: losing elections with land mines in a complex politics sim

Philippa Warr 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.


Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is on Steam and you should totally give it a shot

Tom Senior at

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a co-op game about flying a starship. Each member of the team takes a separate screen to take care of one aspect of the ship's operations - weapons, science, communications, engineering and piloting, for example. Then you head out to explore space, meet mission-givers at space stations and battle space bandits while swaying theatrically in your chair every time the ship takes a hit.

Also, whenever you put all power to the engines, you have to say "all power to the engines!" and the captain has to say "engage!" There will be no tangible affect on your performance if you don't, but it is nonetheless absolutely mandatory. Artemis is available on Steam now for £5 / $7, which is all the excuse I need to recommend it to anyone who can get a group of friends together in the same room to try it.


Arma 3 review

Evan Lahti at

Simulation isn’t the defining aspect of Arma. It’s scale.

The enormity of the map is the foundation for the experiences that distinguish Bohemia Interactive’s flagship franchise. It’s what makes radios, topographical maps, binoculars, and compasses practical equipment in an FPS. It’s what allows for kilometer-long headshots and coordinated convoy raids. It’s what makes using your eyes to spot hints of enemies--muzzle flashes, tracers, gunsmoke--as valuable as being a crack shot.


War Thunder releases beautiful, bullet-ridden new CGI trailer

Patrick Carlson at

World War 2 combat simulator War Thunder has come a long way since it got Steam Greenlight approval back in February. Russian developer Gaijin Entertainment has released a gorgeous new CGI trailer for the free-to-play MMO, giving us a slow-motion glance at the human side of its incredibly mechanized battlefield of planes, tanks, and naval warships.


Football Manager 2014: Miles Jacobson on user-made leagues and tips from real managers

Chris Schilling at

Miles Jacobson is, in his own words, “a bit tired, actually.” It turns out the Sports Interactive boss was up until the small hours the previous night organising screenshots for the announcement of Football Manager 14, this year’s iteration of arguably gaming’s most famous simulation. With a promised 1000 improvements and a wealth of new features that offer much more scope for user-generated content, it sounds like a pretty substantial overhaul. So we rang him up to find out more, and ended up discussing pots, PR training and parallel universes.


Euro Truck Simulator 2 receives a truckload of fixes

Perry Vandell at

The day has finally come my fellow truckers-in-training. After working for months to keep our left turns from wreaking havoc during the morning commute, we’ve finally received a massive update to Euro Truck Simulator 2 that sharpens some of the game’s rougher edges.


SimCity update 5 patch notes reveal upcoming multiplayer and multi-city fixes

Ian Birnbaum at

SimCity is getting another update full of tweaks changes some time in the next few of weeks, according to the newest patch notes from Maxis. The planned update will include an overhaul of many regional mechanics alongside fixes for some of the remaining bugs in the daily lives of sim workers.

Guns of Icarus Online flies past Kickstarter goal for new expansion

Patrick Carlson at

Airship combat sim Guns of Icarus Online should see a new game mode on the horizon now that its recent Kickstarter goal has been reached and surpassed in a crowdfunding effort that ended Tuesday. Developer Muse Games received $198,000 from 4,632 backers, exceeding its $100,000 goal for the 60-day pledge period.


Chemical Spillage Simulation is a thing, and it's coming to us this June

Katie Williams at

From the god of the simulation genre comes the latest in astounding, lifelike approximations of human endurance. No, I'm not talking about SimCity's infrastructural dramas. You won't be messing around with the direction of poop flow; instead you'll be dealing with drama-riddled matters of urgency, such as cleaning green goo off a factory floor to the satisfaction of health and safety inspectors. Yep—it's Chemical Spillage Simulation!


SimCity update 4.0 hits tomorrow with various fine-tuning efforts

Katie Williams at

We envision SimCity's residents sadly shaking their heads, mourning the students that never return from their commute to university—as well as the lack of a place to shop. These truly troubling issues, among others, are getting fixed in a patch tomorrow.


DayZ Mod seeks community input before next patch release

Patrick Carlson at

Are you the hunter or the hunted? The DayZ Mod development team has released a new version of proposed changes and fixes to the zombie survival simulator and is seeking input from the community about anything that has been left out. The community changelog for the next update is a fascinating look at how the game has evolved since I first landed on Chernarus almost a year ago.


The Sims 3 indulges in flights of fancy with a new dragon town

Katie Williams at

Looks like we'll be able to re-enact parts of Game of Thrones in The Sims 3 now, with the introduction of a new dragon-themed map—I wonder how to say "oh god help me it's eating my face" in Simlish?


Maxis working to address SimCity processing issues

Katie Williams at

I spent most of last night staring forlornly at my prettiest SimCity city, which was constantly at the “processing” stage and would not allow me to play it. I thought perhaps my citizens feared my mayoral skills too much to allow me to enter my own tiny metropolis, but apparently, mayors all over the world had been locked out in the wake of the 2.0 update. Yes, Maxis heard our echoed cries and moans, and they’re currently working to restore order. Here’s what’s the team is working on.


Don't Starve makes it to Steam, and it's 10% off

Katie Williams at

If you're hungering for a new indie release, you'll now be able to avoid those inevitable stomach-gnawing pangs, because the whimsically sepia-tinged Don't Starve has grown out of its awkward beta phase to stand among the indie greats on Steam.


Clockwork Empires video interview: "Things going spectacularly wrong makes a great story."

Evan Lahti at

Last August we revealed Clockwork Empires, a steampunk city-builder inspired by Dwarf Fortress (and Lovecraftian doom) from the creators of Dungeons of Dredmor, our favorite indie game of 2011. Since then we've followed Gaslamp's weekly blog updates with interest as the Vancouver-based indie assembles the systems that'll drive the game.

I caught up with Gaslamp's founders at GDC to get an update on the game's progress, its release date, and to ask Gaslamp to explain how features like combat, modding, and megaprojects will operate in Clockwork Empires.