Valve’s next game is Artifact. It’s a Dota-branded take on digital trading card games that has gathered its fair share of detractors since its unveiling. There’s no escaping that fate for any Valve game that doesn’t have a ‘3’ in the title. But those early reactions had nothing to do with the game itself, and on its public debut at PAX West this weekend, Artifact has shown itself to be a card game of notable depth and complexity. We got the chance to talk with two of the people responsible for bringing the game to life: programmer Jeep Barnett, who’s been with Valve for over a decade, and game designer Richard Garfield, who came to the company with an idea for a digital card game that could capture the scope of his own Magic: The Gathering in a new format. Together, they addressed the reaction to the game, how it will integrate into the Steam Marketplace, and how the team plans to build future expansions. The pair also told us the story of how … [Read more...] about The full Artifact interview – the future of Valve’s card game
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The challenge of making a videogame in the Alien universe is capturing what initially made it so, well, alien. When the first film came out in 1979 it changed sci-fi. Before then, popular space fiction was awash with the brightly-lit optimism of a world that had not long celebrated the moon landing. Sci-fi of the ‘50s and ‘60s borrowed the clean simplicity of mid-century modernism: flying saucers, silver space suits, empty white hallways, and control panels with flashing buttons that had no function. In space, everything had its place, it was envisioned to be perfect. Alien’s famous chestburster scene threw blood and terror over all of that. Under the low-hanging ceiling lights of the USCSS Nostromo’s all-white dining room, the impregnated Kane twitched in fits on the table as his rib cage cracked open, a new horror born from man – the xenomorph. But it wasn’t just the sex-horror designs that Swiss artist H.R. Giger gave to the titular creature that … [Read more...] about How Alien: Isolation’s retro space station was built with fear in mind
After what seemed like an eternity, Monster Hunter: World is out today, marking the first time the Monster Hunter series has ventured onto PC. Console players may have had at most a decade’s head start, with new things being introduced steadily. For PC players, there’s a lot of concepts which could seem alien, such as being heavily encouraged to upgrade constantly and team up with other players to take down larger monsters. In order to ease the newer players in a bit more smoothly, this guide will bring everyone up to speed with what to expect in this deceptively taxing game. Monster Hunter: World guide Once you’ve customised your character and your adorable Palico (cat), it’s time to venture into the world of Monster Hunter. After a while, it becomes hugely apparent that this isn’t a game where you get instant gratification upon defeating a monster for the first time; you’ll need to do things over, and over, until you have the resources … [Read more...] about Monster Hunter: World guide: monster hunting basics, combat tips, how to set up multiplayer on PC
Well here I am, talking to publishers again. I thought that time was over, because as I’ve said before, I believe most publishers aren’t that helpful for indies past the money they provide. I still think this is mostly true. But guess what – that money has to come from somewhere, and these days it sure isn’t coming from selling indie games. Since money is so tough to come by through direct sales as an independent developer, money from publishers, and the fanbase and access that comes with their influence, can be a big decider of success. Even that slight edge you get from being “a Devolver game” or “an Atlus game” can be a big boon, and help set you up for future success. On top of that, consoles are important again. Since there are fewer games released on console, you’ve got a better shot at getting a slice of the pie. Unfortunately, some platforms remain gated behind devkits that can be difficult to acquire if you’re … [Read more...] about Always Be Pitching: How to find and talk to publishers to survive as an indie
Updated to reflect the latest, even more horrifying graphics card prices & availability, plus the concurrent RAM shortage. If you’ve made a point of leaving any conversation as soon as you hear the sound ‘bitc…’ start to emanate from someone’s face-hole, I’ve got some bad news for you. The effects of the cryptocurrency goldrush are no longer confined to twitchy-eyed evangelists and screechy news headlines – for the second time in recent memory, it’s caused a huge spike in graphics card prices, both new and second-hand, as the crypto-clan rush to snaffle up any GPU they could possibly use to mine blockchain currencies such as Ethereum and Zcash. Even the recent decline in crypto exchange rates hasn’t brought GPU pricing back down to Earth – quite the opposite, in fact. This means two things for us, in practice. 1) Now is the worst possible time to buy a new graphics card for gaming 2) now is the best possible time to … [Read more...] about The great GPU crisis – why are graphics cards so expensive now, and just how bad is it?