Nick Konkle, Lead Gameplay Designer of The Elder Scrolls Online, is similar to many of the other developers we’ve featured on Show Us Your Rig by having three different computers. However, Nick ups the ante by cramming them all onto a single desk. He was kind enough to take the time and show off his set-up, including that one monitor he just can’t bear to part with.
Welcome to Show Us Your Rig, where we feature the PC gaming industry's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.
Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft, has a powerful rig with a deceptive appearance. Hidden behind its ancient keyboard and healthy layer of dust, Persson’s computer houses some serious punch. Notch was kind enough to spend some time telling us about his set-up, what he’s been playing lately, and the keyboard that has withstood the test of time.
We got our first significant look at Firewatch last weekend at PAX. I spoke to Jake Rodkin and Chris Remo shortly after Campo Santo's panel.
Veteran game designer Jane Jensen and her indie studio, Pinkerton Road, have been working on a 20th anniversary remake of the classic Sierra point-and-click adventure Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers since last year. After co-designing King's Quest VI in 1992, Jensen got her first shoot at designing and directing her own project. That game was Gabriel Knight, the story of a New Orleans writer who investigates a series of ritualistic voodoo murders and discovers he’s the descendant of a long line of monster hunters. Pinkerton Road plans to launch the Gabriel Knight remake in early fall.
Jane Jensen recently spoke to PC Gamer about what's changing in the Gabriel Knight remake, the revival of the Sierra brand, and her hopes for a new game starring everyone’s favorite N’awlins Schattenjäger.
Darkest Dungeon continues to be one of the games I'm looking forward to most. Red Hook Studios has cherry-picked its favorite aspects of XCOM, roguelikes, and turn-based strategy, and wrapped Darkest Dungeon in a gloomy fantasy art style that's evocative of Dark Souls while still feeling inexplicably cute. It also has one of the most fitting mechanics I've seen featured in a roguelike partly inspired by Lovecraft: a "stress" meter for representing the mental health of your party members.
The demo that Red Hook walked me through at PAX Prime this weekend was the first glimpse of Darkest Dungeon's town metagame, as well as four new classes, of the planned 16.
We've had a few opportunities to play Evolve this year, but not since the game's delay from its original October release date. I caught up with Chris Ashton and Phil Robb from Turtle Rock to ask them what the delay's allowing them to do, what modes or monsters we might see added to the game next, and whether moddability on PC is out of the question.
Earlier today, Evan met with Dragon Age: Inquisition producer Scylla Costa to talk about the just-announced multiplayer mode in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Amid the din of PAX, Evan asks how Inquisition's dungeon crawling differs from Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, how microtransactions fit in, and how BioWare responds to players worried the mode will detract from the single-player game.
Steam makes it easy to collect games, but as a tool for maintaining a collection it suffers from a few shortcomings. It's not much use for cataloging Infocom classics, say, or that Splinter Cell special edition that came in a metal lunchbox, and some die-hard collectors—people who'll pass on a game because the packaging is just a little too banged up—may not consider "owning" a game on Steam the same as having it parked in a place of pride on a shelf.
That's where Darkadia comes in. It's a website that simplifies the process of organizing and tracking videogame collections with a substantial degree of control and detail. Darkadia also makes it easy to show off collections to other gamers around the world: I've got 170 digital boxes arranged in glorious rows on my Darkadia shelves—not the entirety of my collection, but a solid start—and man, they look good.
Show Us Your Rig is back! We feature the PC gaming industry's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.
Farhang Namdar, lead game designer of Divinity: Original Sin, uses three different computers all designed with a different purpose in mind, and has a great sense for interior design to boot. In fact, his living room PC molds so well into its surroundings that, at first, I thought he was just bragging about his immaculately furnished home. Farhang was gracious enough to take some time and show off the rigs he uses, along with the pets that inevitably crawl around them.
Shadow Realms will be playable sooner than anyone expected. BioWare only announced the 4v1 action RPG at Gamescom on Wednesday, but speaking after the EA press conference BioWare Austin General Manager Jeff Hickman revealed that alpha invites will be arriving in players’ inboxes next month. "I've never put a game into a player's hands as early as we're putting this game into players' hands," he told PC Gamer.
Metrocide is a forthcoming top-down stealth shooter developed by Sydney studio Flat Earth Games. The team, made up of brothers Leigh and Rohan Harris, is best known for the whimsical survival game Towncraft. Metrocide is entirely different: lush greens have been replaced with cyberpunk chromes, while instead of chopping down trees you'll be murdering in cold blood.
Tomorrow sees the second wing of Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion opening its mouldering doors to players around the world. So now felt like the perfect time to talk to Blizzard about the current state of the game and what we can expect from the future. I nervously approached the giant ebony coffins of senior game designer Ben Brode and production director Jason Chayes and asked them about the new cards, how close they came to nerfing Leeroy, what's going to be done about the seemingly unstoppable Zoo onslaught, and whether we'll ever get more deck slots…
Earlier this month Cliff Bleszinski revealed his next project: a free-to-play, PC-focused arena shooter called Project BlueStreak created by Boss Key Productions, his new studio. Following a Reddit AMA that answered some surface-level questions about the game, I spoke with Bleszinski about what sort of shooter he’s hoping to create.
PC Gamer's classic commentaries are special interviews with the developers of some of our favorite games. Join us for an hour with a classic game and the inside stories of its creation.
Before he composed the music for Jazz Jackrabbit, or Unreal Tournament, or Deus Ex, Alexander Brandon helped design one of the PC's all-time great SHMUPs. That game was Tyrian, which Epic MegaGames published as shareware in 1995. Compared to most Japanese SHMUPs, Tyrian was utterly packed with features—a story mode and an arcade mode, tons of weapons and upgrades, secret levels, secret modes, multiple ships. And at the time, its smooth 2D parallax scrolling was a mini technical marvel. Brandon wrote music for Tyrian, but he also contributed to writing and design. Our hour-long chat is full of stories from the early days of Epic and the 1990s freeware scene.
ESL One Frankfurt: Loda discusses Alliance's tournament performance, rat Dota, and the impact of winning The International
Jonathan 'Loda' Berg has been part of the competitive Dota scene for as long as there's been a scene to be part of. He was the man holding the Aegis of Champions aloft at the end of The International 2013, and his team—Alliance—are one of the most effective, efficient, and idiosyncratic teams in the world. I first met Loda at TI3, when I interviewed him the night before the grand final. That interview became this article. After Alliance's loss to tournament champions iG in the semi finals of ESL One Frankfurt I spoke to Loda for half an hour about the current metagame, that incredible match against Cloud 9, and the way that winning TI3 has affected Alliance for better and for worse. This is a long interview, but I think most Dota fans would appreciate seeing the whole thing so you'll find it all below.
Image via the official ESL Twitter account.
Per Anders 'Pajkatt' Olsson Lille has been playing competitive Dota since prior to the first International, which he attended with Online Kingdom. He played for LGD.int at TI2 and will return this year with Mousesports, formerly Team Dog, who earned their place in TI4 with a fantastic performance in the European qualifiers. Yesterday, they got knocked out of ESL One Frankfurt following a close-fought – and very exciting – series of matches against Invictius Gaming.
I spoke to Pajkatt an hour after the game to talk about that first blood, the reasons why they lost, the danger of Pugna and the plan between now and TI4.
I really wanted to fight wizards as an eight-year-old. I watched my older brother play Dungeons & Dragons with his friends, but I was far too young to join them as they adventured through castles and battled dragons. So when my brother sat me down in front of the NES version of Shadowgate, it felt like I was finally getting an adventure of my own. A terrifying, difficult adventure, where one wrong click meant instant death.
Twenty-five years later, the original developers are bringing Shadowgate back, this time to Steam. Developer Zojoi has reimagined what standing in front of the living castle should feel like, adding a (slightly) modern interface to the same punishing adventure gameplay of the original. Ahead of its summer release, I spoke to design director Karl Roelefs about what makes a modern Shadowgate, and why the team used illustrations instead of 3D models.
Rainbow Six Siege was our favorite game at E3. The promise of a Rainbow reboot centered around competitive multiplayer and high-fidelity destruction captured our tactical imaginations, but Ubisoft’s narrow, one-level demo left us with a ton of unanswered questions. How does destruction work? Would it be moddable? Can hostages move on their own? What form will co-op take?
We've played Star Citizen's Arena Commander module and gotten our first taste of dogfighting in Chris Roberts' new universe. At E3 2014, we had time to talk to the man himself. Roberts gave us all kinds of information about the current state of Star Citizen and what's coming in the next two years. He talks about the Oculus Rift, planetside gameplay, server architecture, and much more.