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Gillian Pemberton

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About Gillian Pemberton

  • Birthday 09/11/1980

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  1. The weekend is upon us which means Steam's free weekend games and weekend deals are active. It's easy to find decent sales and Free to Play periods nearly every weekend but this one in particular features two really cool games. First, we have Killing Floor 2, for which Tripwire Interactive just released their seasonal event, Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies. Second, the still in early access Quake Champions is also Free to Play. These are very different games, but if you're a fan of first-person shooters then you're in for a busy weekend. As an added bonus, both games are heavily discounted, and the case of Quake Champions, the price of the Champions Pack is lower. The Killing Floor 2 Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies event is actually a sequel to a 2013 map called Steamland, and it definitely has a circus/freak show/steampunk theme. If that sounds like a lot to take in, it is. But, just suspend your disbelief and accept that you'll be fighting circus-themed Zeds and nearly invincible robots on a flying airship as you attempt to reach an island where the Ringmaster's home is located. In addition to this intense event, a few upgrades have been added, including Endless Lockdown, a fan-made community map, a new playable DLC character name Mrs. Foster, a new weapons upgrade system, and several new and powerful weapons. About Killing Floor 2: "Just one month after the events in the original KILLING FLOOR, the specimen clones are everywhere and civilization is in disarray; communications have failed, governments have collapsed, and military forces have been systematically eradicated. The people of Europe know survival and self-preservation too well and lucky survivors have gone into hiding. Not all have given up hope though... A group of civilians and mercenaries have banded together to combat the outbreak and established privately funded operation bases across Europe. Upon tracking specimen clone outbreaks, players will descend into zed-laden hot zones and exterminate them." Killing Floor 2, complete with the Summer Sideshow event, is Free to Play on Steam until Sunday afternoon and both the main game and the Digital Deluxe Edition are 60% off for a limited time. Watch the Killing Floor 2 Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies Update Trailer: Once you're done fighting your way through waves of Zeds, try your hand at Quake Champions, the newest Quake game, still in early access. About Quake Champions: "Quake Champions is a return to the frenetic, fast-paced competition that established Quake as the originator of the multiplayer shooter genre more than 20 years ago. Quake Champions delivers the dark mythos of the first Quake combined with the groundbreaking multiplayer mayhem of Quake III Arena with a major modern twist – Champions. These fierce warriors each wield unique attributes and abilities, enabling players to compete in their own distinctive style, while adding an additional layer of strategy to the game." Quake Champions is a return to familiar Quake gameplay, with the added element of collecting "Champions" with different strengths, weaknesses, and skills, which brings an added level of strategy to the game, as well as a "collectors" aspect. Skill will still be rewarded, but the Champions add greater depth and playability. Though the game will eventually be Free to Play full-time, playing during this early access period requires the Champions Pack, unless you were one of the lucky people to receive an early access code while they were available. But, it's free to play for everyone this weekend and the Champions pack contains a host of other desirable items like the full roster of current and future Champions, three Loot Chests, an exclusive Early Access Ranger skin, and the ability to play in custom games. The Champions Pack is 34% off until June 21.
  2. While we were watching and waiting for big games from our favorite franchises to be announced at E3 2018, a few very promising indie titles may have slipped under the radar. One of those games is Afterparty , an upcoming game from Night School Studio, which brought us the simple, but highly acclaimed and brilliantly atmospheric Oxenfree . In Oxenfree, players solved puzzles and made choices that affected their characters, but it looks like Afterparty has expanded on that concept with a bigger world, neon-infused graphics with much greater detail, and a more in-depth experience overall. I'm hoping that it will be a multi-layered experience, building on the atmospheric feel of Oxenfree, but expanding the story and giving the characters a greater range of emotion and humor. Details aside, Afterparty promises players the opportunity to get plastered with Satan. That in itself brings the game to the forefront of completely original storylines and if it's done well and the game is entertaining and playable, it just might be a hit. With a combination of uniqueness, atmosphere, humor, and nuanced themes like friendship and good vs. evil, this will be one to watch. Sean Krankel, co-founder and studio director of Night School Studio, gives a colorful description of the gameplay: “I think it’s fair to say that if any of us turns up in Hell, our first priority will be to GTFO and get sloshed with our best friend. We want to give players real agency in accomplishing those goals,” said Sean. “Players can chat up demons and the deceased using a new dialogue system, challenge them to Satanic bar games, and drink from a huge menu of infernal cocktails, all with game-changing abilities.” Dark but with a sense of humor, Afterparty appears to be driven by the immersive story, and every compelling story must have engaging characters that players can relate to in some way, or at the very least, hope to see succeed. Janina Gavankar (Star Wars: Battlefront II, True Blood) will voice Lola, one of Afterparty’s two playable characters. “Milo is a lost puppy without Lola, and Lola loves him for it. She’s protective to the death, and even after death,” said Janina of her role. “She didn’t even like drinking when she was alive, but how could anything get worse? When in hell, do as the demons do.” Alternatively, players will split their time and also play as Milo. From Night School Studio: As both Milo and Lola, the player will experience a neon-drenched vision of Hell for a wild, bar-hopping night. Exploring an interconnected network of underworld islands via the River Styx, players will be sucked into the lives of a variety of hellions’ storylines, each of which ripples into the next. What happens by the end of the night is completely up to the player. "We wanted to merge a heavily player-driven narrative with outlandish comedy that feels surprising and spontaneous," said Adam Hines, co-founder and lead writer. "So the player not only defines their adventure, but directly creates the outrageous situations that make any great ‘crazy night out’ story worth telling." Watch the E3 Gameplay Demo of Afterparty: Afterparty will release in 2019.
  3. Of all the news and demos that dropped at E3 2018, the premiere of the brand new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer was one of the most hyped moments of the entire conference. From CD Projekt Red, the famed creators of The Witcher Series, comes this open world, narrative-driven role-playing game set in the universe of the classic pen and paper RPG system of Cyberpunk 2020. Cyberpunk 2020 released in 1990 as the second edition to the original Cyberpunk, which was published in 1988 by R. Talsorian Games. Cyberpunk 2020 takes place in the year 2020 after the world has endured a socioeconomic collapse. For some, this storyline and time period may feel just a little too relevant at this point in time, kind of The Handmaid's Tale of role-playing games. The United States is now completely reliant on mega-corporations to survive and maintain some shaky semblance of order. The RPG characters classes are referred to as "roles", but are similar to the character classes of Cyberpunk 2077. Night City, the setting of the original Cyberpunk series of games, is also the setting of Cyberpunk 2077. From CD Projekt Red: "The game follows the story of V — a hired gun on the rise in Night City, the most violent and dangerous metropolis of the corporate-ruled future. A robust character creator will allow players to choose V’s gender, visual appearance, character class, as well as historical background — all of which may influence the shape of the game. With dozens of hours of main story arc quests, and many more of additional activities, there’s always something to see and do in Night City. Players will experience all of it entirely through V’s eyes, with an interactive dialogue system that gives them greater narrative agency." Details surrounding the exciting new open world RPG popped up throughout E3, and a gameplay demo clarified many of the details. During Gamespot's E3 Stage Show, CD Projekt Red's Kyle Rowley explained why the creators chose a first-person perspective to tell Cyberpunk 2077's in-depth narrative story. According to Rowley, the highly detailed nature of the visuals was the reason for the gameplay choice: "We're spending a lot of time on this very detailed cyberpunk world set in Night City," he said. "It's all handcrafted, there's a lot of atmosphere. We really want players to feel this depression and the fact that these mega-corporations are kind of stamping down on people's lives. To really showcase that and immerse the player in that world we decided the first-person perspective was the best way to do it." Cyberpunk 2077 also takes advantage of the popularity of a choice-based narrative, something that CD Projekt Red is known for in their games. In addition to a first-person shooter style experience, players will find themselves immersed in the world of Night City and their choices for their character will affect the way the game unfolds. Every action has a consequence, and because you are not given a choice of character roles at the very beginning of the game, one can hypothesize that this may be affected, as well. At the very least, your choices surrounding your character will influence the game somewhat. Not only is this type of character customization a way to draw in a wide range of players, but it maximizes the game's replay value. Cyberpunk 2077 will be available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Watch the Cyberpunk 2077 Official E3 Trailer:
  4. E3 2018 is winding down, and this year's conference was an action-packed few days with non-stop gaming news from the biggest names in the industry, like EA, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Sony, Microsoft, Square Enix, Nintendo, and more. There's all kinds of amazing news in regards to upcoming releases, like Battlefield V, Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls 6, Kingdom Hearts 3, Super Mario Party, and more information on the upcoming Pokemon games for the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Let's Go Evee and Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu. The great thing about this year's conference and the current state of the gaming industry and general is that there is something out there for everyone, regardless of your gaming tastes. Sure, there are a lot of Battle Royale style first-person shooters flooding the market, but there are also compelling platformers, challenging puzzlers and strategy games, huge open-world MMOs, and plenty of old favorites given new life in their most recent versions and packages. We have our choice of consoles, digital and physical games, unprecedented graphics, sound, and connectivity, and our pick of awesome accessories. There has never been a better time to be a gamer. Everyone experiences a huge conference like E3 differently. There are plenty of people at the venue, right in the thick of the action, but most consumers are watching it from home. We all have something different that we pay attention to. Whether it's new DLC for our favorite games or the announcement of a never before heard of title, these highlights appeal to different people. For me, I am always most excited about all of the new trailers. It's important to remember that many of the trailers are simply cinematic and don't contain any actual gameplay footage, but they are still a wonderful way to generate hype for the games and give players just a little taste of what's to follow. With that in mind, here are a few of the best game trailers from E3 2018: The Last of Us Part 2 With almost 12 minutes of gripping video including actual gameplay footage, the trailer for The Last of Us Part II gives players a taste of what's in store for Ellie, the main playable character. Stealth and survival will both play a role in the second game in this acclaimed series. Marvel's Spider-Man Marvel is dominating the movie box-office this year and with the September release of Spider-Man, they may manage to reach the top of the list in new games, as well. We've known this game was coming for a while, but the E3 demo video gives us a better idea of how the actual game mechanics will play out. Fallout 76 Perhaps one of the biggest announcements this year was the first news surrounding Fallout 76, the newest game in Bethesda's Fallout series. This iteration takes the popular franchise to a new level with multiplayer. Everyone who joins in will have to decide whether they want to work with others or fight it out. Sable Sable did its best to stand out as one of the most unique games to appear at E3. The trailer basically introduces the one-of-kind artwork, but there's a lot more to come from this intriguing new title. Super Mario Party It's official, Mario Kart will no longer be the only game on the Nintendo Switch specifically designed to destroy relationships. Super Mario Party is releasing in November and promises to use Nintendo's newest console and controls in completely unprecedented ways, something that this lighthearted party game is known for. What was your favorite trailer from E3 2018? We'd love to hear from you!
  5. Agreed! But, if the trend dies out (which it doesn't look like it will anytime soon) or if people miss the single-player campaign, they can always add it back in the next in the series.
  6. Owlboy, the critically acclaimed pixel art platformer released a physical edition for Nintendo Switch and PS4 on May 29th. On the same day, publisher SODESCO announced that a Limited Edition game box is in the works and would be released on July 13th. However, because of logistical details, the publisher has pushed the release date back to August 31st. Marten Buijsse, Community Manager at SOEDESCO, shed some light on the delay: “We want everyone around the globe to receive their Limited Edition at the sale time. This was proving to be a challenge, so we decided to delay the launch so that we can have one worldwide launch date. However, I’m sure true fans will agree that it’s worth the wait!” The Limited Edition of Owlboy includes the base game for either Nintendo Switch or PS4, along with some pretty cool collector’s items, all packaged in an exclusive Limited Edition box. Each of these boxes includes the following: Owlboy base game for either Nintendo Switch or PS4. Certificate of authenticity with a unique Limited Edition number. Original Soundtrack physical copy featuring the majestic Owlboy sounds Owlboy notebook for logging all your adventures. Owlboy manual full of useful information about the game. Two pins one of the Owlboy logo and one of main character Otus. Two metal coins inspired by the collectible 'Buccanary coins' in the game. Pin box to safely store your pins and coins. Sticker sheet with seventeen magnificent Owlboy stickers. There will only be 6,000 Owlboy: Limited Edition boxes available for each platform. About Owlboy: "Owlboy is a story-driven platform adventure game, where you can fly and explore a brand new world in the clouds! Pick up your friends, and bring them with you as you explore the open skies. Overcome obstacles and greater enemies, in one of the most detailed adventures of this era." Play as Otus, a mute Owlboy, struggling with the expectations of "owlhood". A sudden appearance of sky pirates forces Otus to deal with his own issues as he battles dangerous enemies. In this coming of age adventure story, travel with Otus and his friends through monster-infested ruins, cities, and ancient temples as they seek the answer to the mystery behind the sky pirate attacks. You'll have to make full utilization of both flying and platforming game mechanics. Owlboy spent 10 years in development and that attention to detail shows. Its pixel art style appeals to fans of this popular retro-gaming style as well as people who tend to shy away from the trend. Players note that it is the perfect combination of artwork, mechanics, story, and soundtrack. The experts agree, and Owlboy has won multiple awards, including a spot on Time Magazine's Top 15 Games. It has amassed a legion of devoted fans, and thanks to experienced players and new converts, the Limited Edition Boxes are certain to be snatched up quickly. If you're waiting for the Limited Edition to be released before purchasing your copy, enjoy the Owlboy trailer while you wait:
  7. Playniac , an award-winning games studio, is bringing a brand-new sci-fi card battling experience to PC and all major consoles this July. Insane Robots was originally developed as a tabletop prototype using old business cards. From those humble beginnings, the game was completely transformed using inspiration from both physical and digital design processes. The game is a bright and entertaining take on the card battler, with some unique features that are certain to please many gamers. If you've played many multiplayer card games, you know that it usually involves a fair amount of card collecting and the fact that you need to sink significant amounts of money into a "Free To Play" (read: "Free To Start") game to remain in any way competitive, especially as you move up through the levels can be incredibly frustrating. Publishers need to make money, and while that is completely understandable, this system can easily put off casual players who otherwise may have enjoyed the game. Insane Robots seeks to remove the roadblocks that many players encounter in multiplayer card games. Specifically, Playniac has eliminated "expensive card expansions, time-consuming customization, farming, and an ever-rising bar that excludes players who don’t purchase more cards". It's not a collectible card game at all, and the developers have provided every player with a streamlined battle deck. Insane Robots is truly a test of skill, strategy, and luck, with the same gameplay opportunities afforded to every player. From Playniac: "Insane Robots finds players leading a robot rebellion through randomly generated survival arenas. Full of fiendish card battles, it’s FTL meets Battle Royale in a card game. Overthrow the malevolent robot despot, The Kernel. Save robotkind in an epic 15+ hour single-player campaign full of peril and twists, as a decaying robot dystopia is revealed." Players utilize their battle deck to the best of their abilities in single-player, online, and local battles. "Hacks" and "Glitches" can be employed at just the right moment to get ahead in the game or defeat your enemy. You can even taunt your opponents with in-game communication. Game Features: This is card battling HACKED with no costly expansions and time-consuming customization. Compete in intense local and online ranked 2P multiplayer battles. Experience the epic 15+ hour single-player campaign, overthrow the megalomaniacal Kernel and save robotkind. Unlock 46 robots and find over 100 augments to boost their abilities. Explore your tactical options to survive randomly generated survival arenas. Master the 22-token battle deck and define your own style of play. A compelling narrative with over 150 branching story events. Explore five types of hazardous environments from lush jungles to barren Moonscapes. Insane Robots launches on July 10, 2018, on PS4, followed by Windows and Mac (via Steam) on July 12, and Xbox One on July 13. You can add it to your Steam wishlist, today. Pre-orders will also be available soon on the PlayStation Store and Microsoft Store for $15.99 (20% pre-order discount) for the base game and $23.09 for the Insane Robots Deluxe Pack (30% pre-order discount), which also includes a Season Pass with six DLCs.
  8. For months now, a quiet revolution has been starting in the mobile gaming industry. Mobile gaming has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. We went from playing games that were merely touch-screen novelties like Fruit Ninja, moved on to addictive match-three games like Candy Crush and Bejeweled, and finally, we have recently been able to play mobile ports of full games that are actually very good. Fortnite Battle Royale is an example of a large-scale game going mobile and the mobile version of Final Fantasy XV is absolutely brilliant. Mobile gaming opens up the world of gaming to consumers who often wouldn't even consider themselves a traditional "gamer". With bigger, better games being released on mobile, the landscape is changing. Developers are introducing full console and PC games as mobile ports. These games are usually purchased individually and they often take up a lot of space on a device and the prices of these types of games can vary widely. A new gaming service, Hatch , is hoping to streamline the mobile gaming experience for its users through cloud gaming. Their goal is to make streaming games on your mobile device just as seamless as streaming movies or television. Hatch is currently in beta, but is quickly growing as more developers recognize a space in the market for mobile cloud gaming. Hatch boasts no in-app purchases on their games and a download free way to play. They are also experimenting with some unique social features. Hatch will record your gameplay so that you can save and share clips. In addition, you can invite friends into your games and share the controls to play games together. As of now, more than 100 developers and publishers have signed up for the cloud gaming platform and more are coming, including notable publishers like SEGA and Noodlecake Studios. They are new additions to the ever-growing roster of major names like Bandai Namco (PAC-MAN CE DX), Square Enix (Hitman Sniper), and Ubisoft (Rayman Fiesta Run), and popular indies like ustwo Games (Monument Valley), Frogmind (Badland), and Headup Games (the Bridge Constructor franchise). Noodlecake Studios has recently added Chameleon Run, an infinite runner, to the Hatch library and is promising to add some of their most popular games like Death Road To Canada, Lumino City, Island Delta, Wayward Souls, Framed, and Framed 2 very soon. “We are super excited to support publishers like Noodlecake, who are showing the world just how delightful and different mobile gaming experiences can be,” says Hatch co-founder and Head of Content Vesa Jutila. “Free-to-play games obviously have a place in the market, but their dominance means that mass consumers have been missing out on other types of games that are not designed around in-app purchasing. With instant play via our unique streaming tech and monetization via advertising or subscription, Hatch sees an opportunity to grow the mobile games market and offer consumers a painless, low-risk way to discover and play great games they never knew existed or were even possible on mobile.” There is a lot of excitement surrounding the addition of some of SEGA's most popular mobile games. Sonic Jump, Sonic 4 Episode 2, Sonic CD, Crazy Taxi, and Virtual Tennis are all coming to Hatch in the near future. “We are excited to be part of Hatch’s pioneering effort to deliver entertainment in a new and frictionless way,” says Naoki Kameda, COO, SEGA Networks. “With Hatch, we see an excellent opportunity to allow players to engage with five of our classic games in a new way.” With improvements in mobile technology, it makes sense that mobile gaming is taking this step towards the future. It remains to be seen if players will see the benefits of cloud gaming services and change the way they purchase and play their games. What do you think about mobile cloud gaming? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!
  9. SEGA recently announced that Team Sonic Racing will release to consoles and PC this winter. Developed by Sumo Digital, this brand-new racing experience promises fast-paced action, phenomenal graphics, and some of your favorite Sonic characters behind the wheel of cool, customizable vehicles. Does the formula sound a lot like Mario Kart, but with SEGA characters? Yes. Will people still buy and play this game? Absolutely. It has been forever since Nintendo released a new Mario Kart game. Mario Kart 8 released to the Wii U way back in 2014 and the game was ported, with a few improvements, to the Nintendo Switch in 2017. With its array of fantastic courses, recognizable characters, and unique options, it's an amazing game. Having purchased the game for both the Wii U and the Switch, I can tell you that it is one of the most replayable games out there. But, even Mario Kart 8 can start to feel a little stale. I've mastered all of the courses, experimented with every route, and unlocked nearly everything (except a few amiibo outfits from amiibos I don't own). It's time for a new Mario Kart. But, since that announcement hasn't happened yet, I'm thrilled about Team Sonic Racing. It appears to follow much of the same Mario Kart formula, but it's available for PS4 and Xbox One, instead of being Nintendo exclusive. It also has some pretty cool features like "Adventure Mode" (story mode), lots of items, characters with different racing styles, and the ability to play as a team. The team feature is a welcome addition for those that have ruined friendships and relationships through Mario Kart competition. Now, instead of red shelling your competition a split-second before they cross the finish line, you can simply be angry at your friends and family for ruining things for the whole team. Overall, this looks like a solid addition to the character racing genre. From SEGA: "Team Sonic Racing lets fans speed through vibrant circuits from the Sonic Universe as Sonic, Shadow, Tails, and more while taking part in an electrifying multiplayer racing competition. Compete solo or play with up to 12 drivers online in various exhilarating single and multiplayer game modes, including Grand Prix, Time Trial, Team Adventure and more. With unique character types, game modes, and car customization options, Team Sonic Racing blends the best elements of racing games." Game Features: Online Multiplayer & Local Co-Op Modes – 12 players per race, 4 player split screen, and various offline/online race modes including Grand Prix Mode, Exhibition Mode, Time-Trial and Team Adventure Mode. Team Racing – Race as a team, win as a team. Use various team moves to assist your teammates, knock out opponents and unleash your Team Ultimate. Performance & Skin Customization – Alter the appearance and handling of your vehicle. Wisps - 14 spectacular offensive and defensive items to help overcome rival teams and get ahead! Adventure Mode – Unique story experience where players are introduced to basic game features and characters. Various Characters and Types – 15 playable characters from across the Sonic Universe and 3 distinct character types including Speed, Technique, and Power. Team Sonic Racing comes to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC (digital version only) this winter. Watch the full reveal trailer below:
  10. I tend to get bored with these type of games once I've built all of the systems and completed the research. But, I keep coming back to this one.
  11. There are currently a number of colony building sims available, like Dwarf Fortress, Factorio, and Rimworld, another early access game. However, Oxygen Not Included brings something special to the genre. Klei Entertainment is the game development studio that brought us Don't Starve and its various expansions as well as Don't Starve Together, the online co-op version of Don't Starve, and Don't Starve Pocket, a well-done mobile port. With Oxygen Not Included, they have ventured into the sci-fi colony management genre while maintaining the survival, building, and crafting aspects of their most popular game. The graphics style is similar to that of Don't Starve, and it's that charming and quirky aesthetic and characters that truly bring this particular game to life. Still in early access, at this point in the development process, Oxygen Not Included is entirely playable, with very few bugs, primarily related to audio and visual glitches. From Klei Entertainment: "In the space-colony simulation game Oxygen Not Included you’ll find that scarcities of oxygen, warmth, and sustenance are constant threats to your colony's survival. Guide colonists through the perils of subterranean asteroid living and watch as their population grows until they're not simply surviving, but thriving... Just make sure you don't forget to breathe." At first glance, Oxygen Not Included appears similar to many other space colony development and building sims but also shares some of the mechanics of survival games. A couple of characters are dropped someplace in space, in this instance on an asteroid, and it's your job to guide the characters to excavate the area, begin to build and establish the colony, implement essential systems like power, water, food production, and living space, all while keeping your tiny humans, fed, hydrated, disease free, and relatively happy. It seems simple at first, but while basic survival games focus on procuring necessary items as you wander around and try not to get killed, a colony sim has the survival aspects to overcome, as well as a growing population. Your attention shifts from the well-being of a single protagonist to the colony as a whole. Players keep their humans, called Duplicants or "Dupes" alive, but there is an emphasis on building and maintaining systems. This type of game is great for multitaskers and players with attention to detail, though it suits many gameplay styles. Depending on how you choose to progress, you can focus primarily on a single aspect of the game — whether you play as a builder, an explorer, or even a decorator, you'll be equally satisfied with your options. After you begin your first game and shuffle through a few suitable settings, or in my case, just leave everything on default because I wanted to learn by playing, you'll be asked to choose the first three Dupes that will start your colony. Each Dupe has a set of attributes, some negative and some positive, that will determine the tasks they will excel at and even their viability in the colony. Depending on your play style and what aspects you wish to focus on in, certain dupes may be better suited. Sometimes, it doesn't really matter if you choose three Dupes that appear to be absolutely perfect, they may not be suitable for the particular environment or better suited for others. For instance, in one of my playthroughs, my Dupes were dropped on an asteroid with practically no breathable oxygen and at least one Dupe with "Diver's Lungs" would have been helpful. Having not had much of an issue with oxygen production up to that point, it didn't occur to me as a very useful trait. This type of randomness is one of the game's major strengths, and if you enjoy that aspect, it will certainly keep each playthrough unique. However, you can eliminate much of the game's random nature by choosing a particular "Worldgen Seed" in the Settings dialogue box at the beginning of your game. In addition, you'll be able to shuffle through your Dupes until you reach a combination of attributes you want to start the game with. For me, it is the Dupes that make Oxygen Not Included more enjoyable than other colony building sims. I tend to be an unforgiving taskmaster and with push my characters to the brink of death if it means more efficient systems and production. But, the Dupes are so charming and adorable that I actually want to make them happy. I tend to their needs and even decorate their spaces to please them. Watching them run around, working, operating machinery, and even sleeping is endlessly entertaining. At first, the beginning stages of the game are overwhelming and confusing. There are a lot of controls, overlays, and stats to manage. It's necessary to keep a close eye on the upper left-hand corner of the screen for alerts and helpful hints and mini tutorials. It took me the first hour of the game to just figure out the basics because I made the mistake of attempting to learn every control and aspect of the game in those first moments. In reality, it wasn't necessary — I needed to start with the basics and move forward from there. Just dig. And dig some more. Then, more digging. After the first few cycles, things will start to fall into place. There's no tutorial and players are meant to figure out things for themselves, which some players enjoy and others may find incredibly frustrating. Most of the mechanics are pretty straightforward, but some don't come as easily. I spent a full three hours struggling with running my power generators and other machines because I didn't understand how to connect the wiring. It was actually very simple, but for me, not entirely intuitive. Games like this are meant to be about discovering and developing your own systems and means of survival, so too much guidance would actually water down the experience. If you're a player that absolutely needs a tutorial or just want to research other players' strategies, there are plenty of guides available online. After the initial stages of setting up your colony, the middle game hits a little bit of a snag. There's a steep learning curve and all of a sudden you can't keep up with your colony and everyone dies. Over and over... and over. But, unlike many games that are easy to give up, Oxygen Not Included kept me coming back. I wanted to try different strategies, explore the various biomes, do new research and build new machines. After a while, I stopped caring if everyone in this colony lived or died, because I would use what I learned in my next colony. Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it fun? Absolutely. This stage of the game requires attention to detail in is the time to start learning the finer mechanics of the game's technical management. Later, it is possible to acquire a state of automation where players have the ability to expand, tweak, and refine their colony. Oxygen Not Included strength lies in that it truly offers players the ability to make the game whatever they want it to be. It is more than just a survival game, a colony management sim, or a building sim, it's a balanced combination that allows players to focus on the aspects they enjoy the most. It is difficult and challenging, with ups and downs of periods of relaxation followed by fast-paced life or death scenarios. With so much to offer, Oxygen Included feels, at this point in its development, to be a finished game, though it has the potential to grow into something even better as it moves beyond the early access phase. Oxygen Not Incuded is available on Steam .
  12. As someone who enjoys playing video games, I have spent some time researching what actually goes into making a game. What I've discovered is that it takes time, talent, dedication, money, and even a little bit of luck to produce a successful game. Exposing that game to the public and finding an audience that will play, enjoy, and share it with others is a challenge in itself. Indie games don't have the same backing and built-in audience that AAA games enjoy. But, that doesn't mean that many indie games aren't just as enjoyable or even more so than the larger game franchises. They also don't have the heavy weight of expectation placed on games from the big publishers. They do, however, have a different set of challenges. Currently, the indie gaming market is huge and great games are being released all the time. The oversaturation of the market and a wealth of games that appear very similar means that it is hard for indie developers to find an audience for their games. That means relying on creative marketing to get their game noticed. Some publishers and developers are going one step further and allowing consumers a glimpse into the process of creating what they hope is the next big hit. Video game publisher Big Ben Interactive, together with Frogwares, is venturing into new territory with their latest behind the scenes video. In the revealing footage, they're allowing viewers a chance to see part of a game's development process, specifically the work and process that goes into producing a public demo. Frogwares plans to showcase their Lovecraftian adventure, The Sinking City, for the first time to the public at GDC San Franciso and EGX Rezzed London. “We wanted to show our community, and the gaming community in general, a perspective which hasn’t really been shown to the public that much — the process of preparing an event demo of a game that’s still in production,” said Sergey Oganesyan, Frogwares Community Manager. The team started the challenging demo production process back in November and encountered their fair share of difficulties, including an "ethical dilemma", detailed in the video. “It’s tempting to spice up the demo and make it look better than the final product. But this will be short-term gain for long-term loss,” said Wael Amr, the CEO of Frogwares. “We don't want unfulfilled promises haunting us. We want to show as much truth as we can.” From Frogwares: "The Sinking City is an open world, open investigation game set in a Lovecraft universe. The player steps into the shoes of a private investigator who finds himself trapped in the city of Oakmont Massachusetts — a city suffering from unprecedented floods of supernatural origins. The player must uncover the source of whatever has taken possession of the city, and the minds of its inhabitants." The Sinking City is currently in production and will be available in 2018 on PC and consoles. Watch the behind the scenes video, complete with never before seen gameplay footage and a brief look at the actual demo:
  13. I haven't really touched it since release, though most players think that the gradual improvements have made it a better game. The major complaint was that it just wasn't enough game for the money and failed to live up to the huge hype. I'll probably pick it up again after the NEXT update releases.
  14. I'm super excited now that the game is finally here. I've decided to play it on the Switch, since I think survival games translate well to a portable format.
  15. It's not out yet, but it looks similar, though I think it will be more building/control center strategy game than exploration. It also appears to be less ambitious, more scientifically accurate than NMS, so hopefully, the simple approach will be more successful right from the start.
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