Orcs have long been the red-headed stepchild of the fantasy and gaming worlds. Why must we persecute them time and time again? We might not discover the answer to that question anytime soon, but we do have the answer for when many more of them will die: October 5 and 12, on XBLA and PC, respectively.
Duke Nukem, Deux Ex and now Serious Sam? It looks like 2011 is the new 2001! Croteam’s muscle-brained hero gets the 2D treatment courtesy of Mommy’s Best Games, and we’re here to let you know which end of the retro-revival spectrum Sam falls on.
Serious Sam Double D was provided for review by Mommy’s Best Games, and it is available on Steam for $7.99.
It’s no secret that we’re fans of XNA here at Armless Octopus. Considering nearly every title we cover is made from the framework, including every XBLIG game, as well as a some XBLA and PC titles, we’ve grown quite fond of it over the years.
Sadly, the latest version of Windows, simply dubbed Windows 8, may not offer a home for our beloved XNA. This news comes to us from XNA MVP Chris Williams, who was informed by John Lam, a member of the Technical Computing Group at Microsoft.
What does this mean for XNA and XBLIGs? Will this be the last stop for the framework as more and more titles are beginning to use languages such as HTML5 for web content and Direct X for gaming related content? We won’t know for sure until more details are released, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we find out. Bear in mind though, that Windows 8 is still in alpha, so all terms are still subject to change.
We’ve contacted Microsoft for a comment and will have additional content as it arrives.
Hazardous Software wants gamers to put up $30 or their hard earned cash for the new RTS title, Achron. With a clever time travel mechanic, the game brings something new to the table, but is it enough to warrant the steep indie price tag? See for yourself and watch the latest Armless Octopus video review. This review is based on the single-player portion of the game.
Achron was provided for review by Hazardous Software. It is available for $29.99 on Steam.
In today’s gaming climate, developers are beginning to abandon the PC exclusive in favor of consoles. Fortunately, there’s still an audience for titles geared specifically for the PC, and Polish indie upstart, Flying Wild Hog, seems to have noticed. Many of the team’s members have previous industry experience, as they have gotten their start on titles such as Bulletstorm, the Witcher Series, and PainKiller. This twitch shooter hearkens back to a day where the FPS was king on the PC and it shows. In a world of Call of Duty clones,Hard Reset is a welcome return to the old-school days of FPS shooters such as Quake II and Unreal, where your sole goal was to make it out alive. Sure, there are mission objectives littered about, but they’re typically nothing more than “get to the laboratory.” For the most part, conflict arises from waves of enemies shuffling into rooms that are crowded with health and ammo pickups, so fans of those older franchises will instantly feel at home.
Hard Reset does an excellent job of building a sense of excitement and anxiety through scripting. As players progress down alleyways, the clanking sound of a metal door can be heard flapping in the distance followed by the quick pitter-patter of small robot feet as an enemy makes its way across said alley. These auditory clues warn players of what’s to come, but they also build tension for the conflict leading up to the moment it arrives. The Daft Punk-esque soundtrack kicks in as battles ensue as well, then it slowly fades out to let you know that you’re safe….for now.
In part 2 of this feature, we’ll introduce you to some of gaming’s more prominent publishers and find out exactly what they are looking for in a development team. If the anxiety of pitching your next title to a publisher has got you at wit’s end, then this is probably a good place to start to cool those nerves. You can find part 1 here
Put some faith in people
When someone says “Yeah, I’ll pass the message along,” do you ever get the feeling that you’re just getting blown off? While that may be true in most cases, it doesn’t hurt to put a bit of faith in people from time to time either. “Microsoft is spectacular with spreading the world of your content within their offices,” proclaimed XBLA Portfolio Director Chris Charla. “Just ask ‘please forward my e-mail,’ and they will.” So if you tell one person about a bit of information, put some faith in the fact that they just may spread the good world. Would I put all of my eggs in that basket? Probably not, but hey, it couldn’t hurt, right?
When I read a book, and I mean a really good book, I will start from the beginning and continue reading until it’s done. “But Erron,” you’re probably (not) saying, “That’s how most people read a book.” Granted, but what I mean is that I will start reading and not do anything else, sleep included, until that book is finished.
Avadon hooked me in a very similar way. I quickly realized that the game itself wasn’t as important to me as the story that was unfolding before my eyes. Being thrown instantly into a world I had no understand of elicited feelings I’ve only felt from a single book series before: a post-apocalyptic pulp fiction series called Outlanders. I had randomly received a book from near the (then) middle of the series, and the mild confusion and something similar to agoraphobia set in. I had no idea what this massive universe contained, and I had no concept of how the universe had progressed to that point.
I felt those same feelings from the very beginning of Avadon. This obviously massive, intricate world with its own history of politics and policies began to spread out with every action taken, and I had no idea what any of them were. Instead of making me want to wheel away from my computer and collapse into a sobbing, traumatized mess, I found myself intrigued.
In part 1 of this feature, we’ll introduce you to some of gaming’s more prominent publishers and find out exactly what they are looking for in a development team. If the anxiety of pitching your next title to a publisher has got you at wit’s end, then this is probably a good place to start to cool those nerves.
On the second day of GDC Europe, panelists from a variety of publishers shared what were some of the best and worst practices for pitching a game to a publisher. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, each offered a unique perspective, from Triple-A titles down to mobile gaming.
Is mobile gaming a viable solution?
While on the topic of mobile gaming, Capcom’s Christian Svensson, senior VP of strategic planning and business development (whew, that’s a mouthful), stated that they are currently showing strong support for both first party and third party mobile products. Two distinct divisions exist within Capcom’s mobile division, both of which are largely incubated in Japan. The first is Capcom-IP focused; therefore, they concentrate on existing intellectual properties, such as the Resident Evil and Street Fighter franchises, while the other is non-Capcom-IP focused and are usually developed by third-party developers.