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Archive for Rick Lane

Who benefits from the idea of gamers?

Posted on 5th Sep 2014 at 10:39 by Rick Lane with 23 comments

Rick Lane
The last few weeks have been a dismal time for many people involved in the games industry. A combination of vicious personal attacks on important female figures in the industry, torrents of accusations regarding journalistic ethics and rampant paranoia over the perceived destruction of gaming itself has all bundled together in one great snowball of malevolence, misinformation and outright misery. I'm not going into the nitty-gritty of recent occurrences in this article, but these pieces here and here here give a pretty good summary of events.

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What the hell is videogame AI anyway?

Posted on 16th Jul 2014 at 09:05 by Rick Lane with 10 comments

Rick Lane
Dearest readers of bit-tech! Come hither and listen to my whispered words, as I am a troubled soul. For a long time now I have lamented the lack of progress made in the AI sphere of game development. In the years surrounding the millennium AI was bold and bright and exciting. Games like Unreal Tournament, Thief, Black and White and Halo were doing clever and innovative things with artificial intelligence, providing enemies that could use teamwork to outmanoeuvre us, guards that would hunt us, and a big daft monkey that could learn from us.

This continued until around 2005, with FEAR being the last game I can recall with truly memorable AI. Then something changed, and after that nothing changed. Stealth AI has patrolled the same pathways for years, shooter AI crouched behind a wall circa 2006 and decided to make a home there, and when was the last time you played a game that involved the AI learning anything?

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There's more to graphics tech than resolutions and framerates

Posted on 6th Jun 2014 at 10:10 by Rick Lane with 38 comments

Rick Lane
Last year I interviewed Ken Silverman, creator of the Build engine (used in games like Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior) as part of a monthly article series I write in Custom PC about graphics engines. While preparing for the interview, I read through his timeline for the engine's development, which is published on his website. Amid all the technical jargon and details of publisher deals was the simple line "Finally added SLOPES!"

It stood out because whereas so much of the information was factual and to the point, this entry conveyed more emotion; a strong sense of both relief and achievement. I asked him what the big deal was, and he responded thus:

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Should we be concerned about the state of Steam?

Posted on 9th May 2014 at 08:58 by Rick Lane with 27 comments

Rick Lane
Earlier this week the post-apocalypse FPS Earth: Year 2066 was withdrawn from sale on Steam. The game had come under fire from fans and journalists alike on account of being severely underdeveloped even for an Early Access title, and misleading players about its rudimentary and broken state on the product page. This came to a head on the sixth of May when Valve dubbed the game a scam and removed all mention of it from the service.

Earth: Year 2066 isn't the only steaming plate of rubbish served to players through Steam lately. This has been highlighted by Escapist Reviews Editor Jim Sterling, who has spent the past few months slowly shovelling his way through the mounting pile of excrement which alongside 2066 include the likes of Overcast: Walden and the Werewolf, the multiplayer FPS Rekoil, and Day One: Garry's Incident. All as part of an effort to demonstrate that Steam needs better quality control.

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Styx: Master of Shadows Review

Styx: Master of Shadows Review

Styx's interesting approach to stealth is hindered by a lack of polish.
Mod of the Month October 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month October 2014 in association with Corsair

Six up and coming modding projects straight from our forum

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