Jimmy Maher of The Digital Antiquarian tells the story of Sierra Entertainment's gamble on the MS-DOS/IMB platform shaped PC gaming as we know it: from creating the first game with a cinematic score (and later helping to make the Sound Blaster a standard feature of home PCs); to pioneering the genre of adventure games with rich storytelling; to a female-friendly marketing and design strategy that was decades ahead of its time.
Stardew Valley is a farming, fishing, mining, exploring, crafting game from Concerned Ape. Think a little Harvest Moon, Terraria, Animal Crossing and Minecraft, but also a little more than those. The game is currently topping the charts of Steam. Critical reception has also been great, seeing the game as an evolution of the Harvest Moon formula with several major improvements. Others highlight the somewhat addictively relaxing nature of the game.
Got a hankering to cash in that newly-acquired gift card or just browse the newest Winter Sale? You might be waiting for a while, as the Steam Store is currently very, very down. [more inside]
Dwarf Fortress will now include poetry, music and dance in procedurally generated forms. Making individual poems is beyond the capabilities of Dwarf Fortress (for now) but that hasn't stopped fans from making their own poems based on the publicly posted examples of poetic forms. Besides poetry, music and dance forms will also be generated and spread throughout the game as non-player characters teach each other. Dwarf Fortress developer Tarn Adams has been posting about these new additions to the game on his changelog (starting at 01/24/2015) and answering questions about it in his two latest monthly Future of the Fortress forum posts. On Rock Paper Shotgun Adam and Graham Smith delve into this topic to explore why it matters.
This War of Mine is a computer game by Polish developers 11 Bit Studios about being a normal citizen during a modern Eastern European civil war, drawing especially on the Siege of Sarajevo. It has been called an antidote to Call of Duty for its unremittingly bleak depiction of war, though it has been criticized for being an unrealistically grim portrayal of life in a besieged city by some, including a survivor of the Siege of Sarajevo. These and other issues are discussed on the strategy game podcast Three Moves Ahead. [This War of Mine previously]
With thousands of reader suggestions, Kotaku has published a directory of "Classic PC games you must play". The most voted for free games [links go to places you can download games]: Star Control II, Tyrian, Zork, Battle Zone, Myth II, and Daggerfall. Some of the most votes for games that are available for $10 or less:Master of Orion ($5),Quest for Glory ($10), Planescape ($10), Total Annihilation ($6), Heroes of Might and Magic III ($9), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ($5), Little Big Adventures 2 ($5), Descent ($10), and Betrayal at Krondor ($6). More idiosyncratic than PC Games list of the top games, but the people have spoken...
Indie gaming started out as games written with passion for people who embraced and loved them. Now too much of it is about churning out giant mounds of decent but undifferentiated product to be bought for pennies by people who don't give a crap either way.Veteran indie game developer Jeff Vogel says the indie game bubble is popping.
It's not sustainable.
"Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities." -- PC Gamer's Crap Shoot looks at (semi-)obscure pc games, featuring big budget failures, extinct for a reason subgenres and godawful erotic games (movies) but also lost classics and beloved eighties masterpieces.
"This week, I'm a ..." Christopher Livingston (aka notmydesk) plays mundane PC simulations so you don't have to! Read, heart-in-mouth, as he masters the art of Being a Wolf in WolfQuest, treats objects like women as a furniture-fixated Hugh Hefner in Playboy: the Mansion, makes a thrilling escape from the life of a simple cruise ship captain in Ship Simulator: Extremes, disappoints the masses in Circus World, and performs routine adminstrative tasks and dates a cartoon lawyer in the frankly terrifying-sounding Love & Order. [more inside]
The Castle Doctrine is the new "home invasion MMO" from cult game designer Jason Rohrer (previously: Sleep is Death, Passage, Chain World). It portrays a rather bleak world in which you must place traps to defend your home, family and life savings from an onslaught of burglars. At the same time, you must invade other players' homes to steal their life savings, in order to buy more expensive traps and tools. The more money you gain, the more attractive target your home is, so you better be clever in rigging up those traps. It's fiendish, brilliant, and currently open for public alpha at 50% of the full price. Rock Paper Shotgun has some early impressions: Part 1, Part 2.
Phaser Inc., a trading company in space-based MMO EVE online, have absconded with a record-breaking 1 trillion ISK and revealed themselves as a giant ponzi scheme in a remarkably frank open letter. Their haul of the in-game currency translates to just over $50,000, or 242 years-worth, of PLEX (traded for playing time). [via RockPaperShotgun] [more inside]
Piracy of PC games is nothing new, and has been discussed previously. Due to the high levels of PC game piracy, some development companies have decreased (or eliminated) PC game development, shifting support to console development. But piracy isn't limited to PCs, as modchips and other hacks have allowed users to play pirated and homebrewed games. In the continuing struggle for control, Microsoft banned as many as 1 million modded systems from Xbox Live, resulting in a surge of people reselling Xbox 360s that have been banned from online play (and modders finding a fix for the ban). Some developers have adopted another tactic - increased development of downloadable content (DLC), which has been seen as both good and bad by gamers. John Riccitiello, the head of Electronic Arts, seems to have embraced DLC as a marketing option, in noting that "[people] can steal the disc, but they can't steal the DLC."
To jump straight into it, what made you decide to make a game involving rape? Inspiration was mostly personal, I’ve known a few girls who have been through similar situations, which sparked the concept. As far as the experience, I wanted to inspire emotion in the player, even if its vile and disgusting.Edmund is game designer Paul Greasley's contribution to indie PC gaming web site TIGSource's competition's adult section. Gamers react. [more inside]
First Person Shooters don't always have to cost you money. Free Doom and Starsiege: Tribes are two of the most well known free FPS around, but inside this post is a list of 32 more for you to checkout, download legally for free and enjoy. [more inside]
Total Annihilation, released over ten years ago by the now defunct Cavedog Entertainment, was one of the most popular RTS games of its day. And it is still being played today, partly due to the mod community who have been working on keeping it alive through the release of patches, units and maps, a list of which you'll find inside. [more inside]