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Archive for the ‘gaming’ tag

Good Free Games: 10 Min Space Strategy

Posted on 30th Aug 2011 at 08:36 by Clive Webster with 4 comments

Clive Webster
While the name is overly ambitious, and it could be more helpful for novices, 10 Min Space Strategy is a rather good 4X (Expand, Explore, Exterminate and Research, or something like that) game that you can play for free.

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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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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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I’ve Burnt My Hand

Posted on 1st Apr 2010 at 11:09 by Joe Martin with 30 comments

Joe Martin
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I’m an idiot. Right now I’ve even got a constant reminder of the fact in the form of a bandage covering the middle two fingers and palm of my left hand.

Important life lesson: When trying to impress your girlfriend by making jerk chicken and homemade cornbread it’s important not to pick up the griddle pan that’s been in the oven for the last 20 minutes unless you're wearing oven gloves..

Fortunately, my hand is now pretty much OK and the burns, while painful and annoying, were only superficial. No lasting damage. On the downside, the exorbitant amount of bandaging and the blisters beneath have had an impact on my gaming life.

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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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In Search Of A 'B Game'

Posted on 3rd Dec 2009 at 10:32 by Joe Martin with 32 comments

Joe Martin
I’m on holiday at the moment, so I’m not really supposed to be working – but one of the virtues of loafing around at my parents house for a week has had me thinking about something lately. Namely, B Movies. I’m a big fan of them and I’ve been watching a lot lately because in my family the Evil Dead trilogy is treated with same amount of reverence and awe as Russian Ark.

So, what I’ve been thinking about lately is whether or not there’s a computer game equivalent of the B Movie. I’m not sure there is.

Maybe it’s helpful if I clarify what I mean by ‘B Movie’. What I’m talking about isn’t necessarily some tawdry and over-gored piece of dross with no script and a Bruce Campbell cameo. What I really mean is something low-budget and with obvious faults, but which overcomes them through some (probably unintended) humour or charm.

Basically; that old ‘so bad, it’s good’ factor.

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