R.A. Salvatore has been at the fantasy game a long time. Thirty-one years ago, The Crystal Shard introduced readers to Drizzt Do’Urden, the twin scimitar–wielding, dark-elf ranger with a heart of gold (and a panther he can summon from the astral plane). Since then, Drizzt has become a fantasy icon, who, along with his supporting cast from the Forgotten Realms campaign, remain all over the new Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition handbooks, not to mention a handful of video games. Salvatore, 59, is almost as ubiquitous in the genre world. He’s written nearly 40 books set in the Forgotten Realms alone, not to mention his DemonWars saga, plus work on video games including Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and the Neverwinter MMORPG. He even developed a DemonWars tabletop game with his two sons. Yet Drizzt, above all, remains his most enduring creation — one whose moral compass never falters, even in the face of enormous challenges and the prejudice harbored by the … [Read more...] about R.A. Salvatore reflects on 30 years of writing Drizzt and an ever-changing fandom
Year plan template
Today, I have something really cool to share with you. I stopped using those large game design documents a while ago and I started using these cool, super short documents that helps me keep track of the design direction that I want to go. I had different versions of these. I forgot about them until recently and I want to share this with you guys because I think you’ll get some use out of it. In the Game Dev Underground forum, someone by the name of Jose posted in response to someone looking for game design documents. He posted a short little version of what he uses for a template. Now I thought this was cool because the last time I used the game design document was about 7-8 or 10 years ago for a game called Echo One and it was about a hundred pages. It was ridiculously long. That always rather turned me off, especially with the more iterative process of game development wherein I start with something small and build on top of it. I didn’t find much use for game design … [Read more...] about Game Design Document Template
Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse. Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of the Hindu faith, is legendarily generous, wise, and optimistic. He’s a patron of the arts and sciences, and busies himself by working to remove obstacles in the path of honest and caring people. It’s not really on then, I’d say, to call him a “fucking idiot.” That’s just what my teammates in deity-themed MOBA Smite kept doing, though. Maybe they had it in for the kind, gentle, and benevolent god? Maybe that was why they spent half an hour just absolutely roasting him? Or maybe it was my fault. You see, this was my first time playing Smite as fairly recent addition Ganesha, and I didn’t really get how he worked. I died. I died a lot. I’d started the match by dying to Thanatos. It was appropriate — Thanatos is the Greek personification of death, … [Read more...] about Has Smite been improved by its updates?
DCS World, a combat flight sim made from a superhard composite of Truthite and RTFM, is a few days* away from an engine upgrade that will unify like a drill sergeant and spruce like a Scandinavian forest. Earlier this week I took a break from foliage-shredding in Combat Actions: Vietnam (Assessed below) and whale-worrying in Nantucket (Want to join my crew? Read on) to quiz producer Matt Wagner about the sea change that is ‘2.5’. * “The 2.5 Open Beta will release on 31 January and the “stable” version a week later.” RPS: For those who haven’t been paying attention, what exactly is the 2.5 engine upgrade? Matt: First and foremost, it’s a single version that will run all DCS World maps and other modules (one version to rule them all). Since the release of version 2.0, that was required to support the Nevada and Normandy 1944 maps, we ran into our biggest problem: the division of DCS World maps between versions 1.x and 2.x. Not only … [Read more...] about The Flare Path: Jets, Jungle, and Jack Yards
Lock and load Okay, this list was never going to be easy to compile. As one of the most popular, eclectic and influential gaming genres, nailing down the list of the best FPS titles to just 25 games is an almost ridiculous task. So to help narrow things down, we made some hard and fast rules. Read them before you move on.Number 1: The games have to be first person, and shooting has to be the predominant game system (hey, the clue is in "FPS"). So no Gears of War, and no Resident Evil 7. Number 2: This list is about currently best, not historically most important. To keep this list accessible, we're only including games you can play right now on current-generation consoles, instead of having to hunt down a PS2 at a garage sale. Have no fear: we haven’t forgotten the influential games that came before. They have their very own slide that explains their importance to the genre before we get started. See if you agree with our choices, as we progress toward revealing our number … [Read more...] about The 25 best FPS games to play right now