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Archive for the ‘games’ tag

Listen to: The Unlimited Hyperbole Podcast

Posted on 28th May 2012 at 09:33 by Joe Martin with 77 comments

Joe Martin
Believe it or not, I'm not someone who's usually all that comfortable talking about themselves or pushing their ideas on to others. I'd much rather be left alone with a bottle of wine and a new computer game. So, you'll understand why I want to keep it brief when I say: listen to my new podcast. It's called Unlimited Hyperbole.

While it's a podcast, Unlimited Hyperbole is unlike most other shows in that it is short and intensively edited. It pulls on exclusive interviews with special guests and each episode culls more than an hour of conversation into just 15 minutes of finely honed discussion. Even the topic is controlled, being decided in advance for a season of five episodes.

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The Rise of the Hobby Developer

Posted on 18th Mar 2011 at 16:33 by David Hing with 8 comments

David Hing
Developers around the world have submitted over 61,000 games made in Game Maker to the YoYo Games site since 2007. The rate at which they are being submitted is that, when I started writing and researching this article, it was closer to 60,900. A new game is submitted every 20 minutes.

As you can probably guess based on the rate of submissions, a lot of these games are more works in progress than stable, finished releases. There’s no real quality control and the content ranges from the likes of Crimelife 2 to Box Dodger.

There are a lot of indie developers who use Game Maker as a way of producing very high quality titles, but what I find more interesting is the number of what I would describe as ‘hobby developers’ there are out there.

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iPhone Review: Dead Space

Posted on 6th Feb 2011 at 09:52 by Joe Martin with 10 comments

Joe Martin
It’s startling what’s possible with technology these days. A few decades ago Pong! was the pinnacle of interactive entertainment, and digital watches were the height of fashion. Nowadays, games such as Dead Space for iPhone offer console-like experiences on pocket-sized devices. Meanwhile, I’m wearing a wind-up watch, so maybe not everything progresses equally.

The term ‘console-like experience’ is one that gets bandied about a lot on the AppStore, with the likes of the simplistic-but-stylish Infinity Blade making an especially big deal about it. To us, though, the iPhone version of Dead Space is the first title that really lives up to that claim, matching great graphics with decent complexity.

Casting players as a new character in the Dead Space universe, codenamed Vandal, Dead Space for iPhone bridges the game between the 2008 series debut and the more recent sequel. Acting as a secret agent for the church of Unitology, Vandal is manipulated in the opening chapters in order to contribute to the disaster that forms Dead Space 2’s backdrop.

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You Know You've Played Too Many Games When…

Posted on 23rd Dec 2010 at 11:41 by Joe Martin with 57 comments

Joe Martin
You know you’ve played too many games when you deliberately get up early on a Saturday morning, just so you can explore the new Minecraft update in peace for a few hours.

…when you hum the Monkey Island theme tune to yourself when you’re tense, and it actually makes you feel better.

…when you catch yourself thinking, ‘Oh, quicksave!’ when you cross the road.

…when you have recurring dreams about writing the perfect walkthrough for Baldur’s Gate 2.

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Where are my gaming spin-offs?

Posted on 17th Dec 2010 at 10:12 by Chris Pickering with 22 comments

Chris Pickering
The world of television has always featured spin-offs. The long running Frasier starred a character created in the world of Cheers. The Day Today brought us into contact with the comedy stylings of Alan Partridge. Even Hollyoaks found itself giving birth to a late night ‘adult’ variations of its tea-time teenage themes.

Yet the video game world seemingly doesn’t wish to join in on this potential cavalcade of excitement. Recently the fantastic Red Dead Redemption was infested with zombies in Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, which has John Marston attempt to stop the zombie horde. It’s really quite blooming good fun and you can only assume it was pretty bloomin' cheap to produce too.

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A Letter to Minecraft

Posted on 28th Nov 2010 at 09:59 by Paul Goodhead with 103 comments

Paul Goodhead

Dear Joe

Thanks for your kind letter the other month, it was very nice of you to think of me and Harry while away on your Minecraft excursion. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to turn down your offer to join you however.

I don't mean to appear rude by turning down your offer, but believe me when I say I'd rather stab rusty forks into my own eyeballs than toil away away in an imaginary world, building nothing of any value, consequence or benefit.

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My Gaming Twitch

Posted on 25th Sep 2010 at 09:47 by Joe Martin with 60 comments

Joe Martin
Once upon a time, when I was a littler boy, I used to spend my evenings watching my Dad play computer games. It started back with Amiga classics, like the Cryo’s adventure/strategy hybrid based on Frank Herbert’s Dune, but later moved to more modern games on the PC, especially the Thief games.

Despite the games my Dad played though, you couldn’t really ever consider him to be a gamer. He chose a few games and played them religiously, but he didn’t have the breadth of gaming knowledge that I have and when he played, you could see that. He manifested it physically, especially in 3D games which he sometimes found difficult to navigate.

Playing Thief: The Dark Age, for example, he would move his head to match the movements of the mouse. If he moved the mouse to tell Garret to look up then my Dad would also move his head to look up, though keeping his eyes glued to the screen. When he needed to shoot a rope arrow into some rafters overhead then he’d slowly start to point his nose at the ceiling, gazing down past his chin. Peering over an in-game cliff he’d be burying his jaw in his chest, having to open his eyes wide so he could see past his eyebrows. The constant side-to-side movements made him look like he was nursing a stiff neck, but I don’t think he was ever aware he was doing it, even when he did it really fast.

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Made in the UK Week: Secret Bonus Content

Posted on 12th Apr 2010 at 09:53 by Joe Martin with 1 comments

Joe Martin
It’s Monday now, so Made in the UK Week (AKA Project Awesome) has finally drawn to a close. It’s a time that will be filled with bittersweet memories as Batman finally leaves the bit-tech page and we all have to go back to the look of the old site – but don’t despair! There’s one more thing I have left!

Well, actually there are a lot of things I have left - articles that had to be culled from the final line-up and plans that just timed out - but there's one thing in particular. A little thank you to everyone who read the site last week...

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Like Father, Like Son

Posted on 26th Feb 2010 at 10:59 by Joe Martin with 39 comments

Joe Martin
I had an interesting experience the other day. It was late and I, staggering home from a party through the streets of Reading, overheard something unusual. My ears caught a familiar word in the lull between the music I was listening to and I looked around. It was a dreary, drizzly night and the streets were almost empty, so it didn’t take me long to locate the source.

The word I had heard was ‘Tegra’ and what I saw was a father walking behind me, explaining something to his young son. The kid must have been no older than 11, in fact.

Now, I should clarify that I don’t really know very much about Tegra. I know the basics, but my knowledge pales in comparison to the rest of the bit-tech.net and Custom PC staff. It’s why you don’t see me writing graphic card reviews. Still, I knew enough to follow a bit of this eavesdropped conversation in which the Dad explained what Tegra was to his boy.

I was intrigued. It wasn’t the type of conversation you’d expect to hear on a city street at 11AM and the fact that the boy was earnestly interested fascinated me. Discreetly and slyly, I stopped my music and let the pair overtake me. We were heading in the same direction and I wanted to hear more about the conversation, so I listened in for a bit as I made my way home.

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RE: Choose Your Own Adventure Gamebooks

Posted on 23rd Dec 2009 at 09:50 by Joe Martin with 17 comments

Joe Martin
I used to love Choose Your Own Adventure games and I’d regularly either rent them out of the library or pick them up before going on holiday. Lately I’ve been thinking what a shame it is that the medium has pretty much died out and I’ve been fighting back against this by having a go on some of the later interpretations of the idea.

For those not in the know, CYOA books are essentially multiple-choice driven singleplayer RPGs. You create a character according to the rules established in the start of the book, turn to the first passage, read it and then decide what you would do next. Each option available to you would point you to another passage in the book, creating a rudimentary branching adventure.

In the early ‘90s I remember them being all the rage and there were some long-lasting brands to come out of the short-lived fad, the most popular of which was the Fighting Fantasy series which included the likes of The Legend of Zagor and The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. My personal favourites however were the long-running Lone Wolf books by Joe Dever, - which had a single adventure running across multiple books - and the Fabled Lands series.

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Exploring CPU Cooler Design and Testing with Cooler Master

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Mod of the Month November 2014 in association with Corsair

Mod of the Month November 2014 in association with Corsair

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