Whirring keyboards, large banners, woo-ing crowds, and over-enthusiastic commentators kept us busy all Saturday at MLG Pro in Raleigh, NC. The prizes were large, the egos were big, and the food was free - it was awesome. Never could I have imagined the power of raw excitement emitted from hundreds of gamers, their eyes cast hungrily on StarCraft 2 grandmaster HuK and other gaming icons, it was overwhelming. Although we did visit all of the booths and tournaments, our focus was on the absolutely riveting competition at the SC2 tables: replay commentating tag-team HD/Husky graced us with their presence, imbuing the tournament with the best combination of exhilaration and hilarity.
Commander: Conquest of the Americas brings fun, easy, and invigorating naval battles to the forefront of strategy gaming... wait, that sounds familiar. For those that remember the clunky and overcomplicated navies of Empire: Total War, Commander sails past its strategic counterpart as the more exciting, less glitchy victor.
Grandiose expos like E3 publicize American gaming culture to the world, but what is it like to be a gamer in other countries – like Pakistan? Every year I am tempted to attend E3 when it broadcasts live. The expo is a gaming symbol to the world, and thanks to events like E3, we all know what it is like to game in the US and Europe. Have you ever wondered if gaming elsewhere would be any different?
"I have a constant fear that something's always near." -Iron Maiden
Whether you’re trapped in a dark elevator shaft, cornered near an air duct, or just plain surrounded by zombies, only a handful of game designers have stimulated that dark-fearing, claustrophobic child within all of us. Scaring your audience is one of the hardest things to do as a designer – gamers are a giddy bunch: constantly giggling at twitching corpse glitches and missing limbs, the task itself is a scarier prospect than the execution. The games that truly frighten us don’t need the fanciest graphics, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accomplish.
TaleWorlds released a new update for Mount & Blade: Warband today, adding a duel mode due to high demand. The user base has been duelling based purely on an 'honor system,' - if two people are in a fight, don't go kill them both (tempting as it may be), but the new patch implements pure 1v1 duels without interruption. Duel mode supports up to 64 players.
We swear constantly. When you’re in a server full of belligerent scrubs, you can’t just tell them to “stop right now, otherwise I’ll trace your IP (which you won’t) and kick your ass" (which might be 6’15” and bench a VW). It doesn’t work like that here – this is the Internet, a place where men are kids the age of twelve, women are “women”, and anyone seeding a torrent or claiming to be under eighteen is an FBI agent. It’s a different world here; the inability to act accordingly results in paramount grief. So what do you do?
Find out why pure domination is bursting from the platters of our hard drive in this latest budget gaming build!
The only magazine capable of relating seafaring pirates to your gaming splendor has returned, and this time, with booty. You need to hoard the cash (and the cache) for gaming excellence, and nothing is more excellent than spending a weak $498 on a new rig (for those of you getting the calculators out, that’s nine games). Time to dig up that pirate’s treasure from your backyard, let’s take a look at these parts.
APB: All Points Bulletin received poor reviews right from the start, in part due to the excessive number of severe defects shipped with the game, the balance and matchmaking, and general frustrations. Luckily, the developers are listening to us (kind of), and they've responded with a large list of fixes to be released in the 1.3 patch. According to Neil Castle, you can look forward to these fixes and enhancements:
It's a phrase I picked up while working as a test technician at a large computing company, but was most often spoken with sarcastic undertones. A phrase coined with the intent of mocking heedless higher-ups exhibiting a careless disregard for bugs found during the test cycle. Unfortunately, the same words can be applied to any gaming company – but most often the larger, corporate types: “ship it!”
EA unceasingly flaunts defective titles as a prime example of what not to do, expressly with the company's recent manifestation of a 'ship it now, fix it later' mentality. If a particular game design concept is in vogue, provided that clever marketing reinforces it, hype will naturally ascend to a point where the gaming populace wants it now. Just as no rock star would deny an audience his presence, no large publishing conglomerate would withhold a game of such desire. There are exclusions to this statement – most prominently Blizzard, known for their tongue-in-cheek “it'll be done when it's done” release dates, but not everyone is so immune to the entrancing allure of money (usually in the form of millions). This post will examine the reasoning behind far-too-early releases, and more importantly, how you can protect yourself from becoming the owner of a shiny $50 coaster.
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