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Duke Nukem goes to court

Two companies, actual registered companies with people working for them, people with dreams and aspirations and fragile human hopes, are going to court to fight for ownership of Duke Nukem. [Rock Paper Shotgun] Rob 8

Kickstarting Lifeform: a fun, educational game about evolution

Michael writes, "I'm launching a Kickstarter campaign for a new game founded in the basics of genetics and physics. You're a cell in a 2d underwater universe, and you must reproduce to gain traits that dictate what you can do. Resources found around the map can be used to construct machines and tools to aide in your evolution. Not only is Lifeform the genetics game we've long been searching for, but it's going to be extremely powerful in classrooms all across the world. Science teachers can use it for genetics lessons, physics, studying the elements, and much more."

This looks really cool (and the prototype is great)! One caveat is that Michael's development projects are pretty thinly detailed, though it sounds like he's had some relevant experience, and the prototype bodes well for the project's future. As with all Kickstarters, you might get nothing for your money! A $15 minimum contribution gets you a copy of the game when and if.

Lifeform: A game of genetic and biomechanical evolution (Thanks, Michael!)

The coming "cyberpunk" entertainment war

William Gibson's books often feature big, sinister corporations co-opting near-future technological wonders to uncertain ends. Facebook buying Oculus fits right in there! John Brownlee heralds the coming "cyberpunk war" to be fought by giant multinational corporations, in the future entertainment dystopia you were always promised. [Fast Co] Rob 17

Game Developers Conference '14: The Experimental Gameplay Workshop

There are a few regular, unmissable sessions at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, sessions that have achieved Legendary status, a catalogue of extreme and memorable moments.

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Game developers as brutalized industrial attention-farmers: a look back from tomorrow


Writing to us from the distant future, Ian "Cow Clicker" Bogost describes our modern games industry and the role it will play in the coming downfall of civilization: "Working long before sustenance powders, developers were easily seduced by appeals to their physical urges. Overseers plied them with sugars and salts during the day and forced them to engorge on extravagant meals at night. Shifts extended for days at a time."

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New Augustus Gladstone game: AWOL in P-Town

Can you find Augustus Gladstone in this gigapixel photo of Portland? I was the 10th person to find him! AWOL in P-Town

Crowdfunding a binaural, video-less videogame

Paul Bennun, who helped created the groundbreaking, video-less binaural sound videogame Papa Sangre sez, "We're making a 'video game without video' and we're turning to Kickstarter to fund it. Team Papa Sangre has been responsible for some fantastic 'work of art' games over the last few years; games with the unique quality of having no graphics whatsoever, based on some (dare we say it) kick-arse technology that helps us make entire worlds in sound. The one-before-last starred Benedict Cumberbatch; the last one starred Sean Bean and was the best-reviewed iOS game of 2013 according to Metacritic. The next one most certainly isn't art (well, actually it is but that's not so obvious). It's you versus the zombies and it's just batshit crazy. We want make something much more direct. The problem is the economics of audio games are tricky. If we don't get defined support it's going to be a lot more tricky to know when or how we can game the game out -- so we've turned to Kickstarter."

I know Paul personally and he gets stuff done. While all kickstarters carry the caveat that you may get nothing for your money, I have extremely high confidence that if this is funded, it will happen.

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Trailer for a fan-supported film based on Jack Chick's "Dark Dungeons" tract

Dark Dungeons is a notorious 1984 Jack Chick tract that warns the readers about the danger of being embroiled in soul-destroying Satanic cults through playing Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs. A group of fan-supported media creators obtained a free film license from Chick to make a film based on the comic, and they've released a trailer that hints at a very funny future for the project.

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Play the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure online


In honour of the 30th anniversary of the brilliant (and incredibly frustrating) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game, BBC Radio 4 Extra have recreated the game in an online edition. I remember playing this for endless hours, with my Peril Sensitive Sunglasses perched on my forehead, repeatedly typing "look." The R4 version allows for saved games, so you can come back to it. You can also play the 20th anniversary edition.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Game - 30th Anniversary Edition (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Ghost Ship (free pirate-themed browser game)

Ghost Ship is a surprisingly fun pirate-themed loot-em-up, set on merchant frigates designed by drunken pirate architects. Basic as it is, this is the game I thought I was getting when I first loaded up the terrible Roland on the Ropes in 198℥, so you might say I've been waiting 2ℍ years to play it. It's just one title emerging from the Prodecural Death Jam, which ended this weekend after a week of frenetic indie game development. [via Indie Games]

Interview with Richard Garriott of Ultima fame

Richard Garriott, creator of the legendary Ultima series of computer RPGs, talks to Wired about his future plans, about being disowned by a fundamentalist relative, and ethics in games. Rob 5

Get a signed, inscribed copy of "In Real Life" delivered to your door, courtesy of WORD Books


As previously mentioned, Jen Wang and I have adapted my short story "Anda's Game" as a full-length, young adult graphic novel called "In Real Life," which comes out next October. Brooklyn's excellent WORD bookstore has generously offered to take pre-orders for signed copies; I'll drop by the store during New York Comic-Con and sign and personalize a copy for you and they'll ship it to you straightaway.

$380,000 spent designing one tiny part of a laptop

I'm not sure USB port design is the detail I care most about, but I'm glad that Razer spent $380k sweating it. Fast Co Design's Dan Nosowitz sees, in a very expensive gaming laptop, the hand of Jobs:

That attention to detail isn't just for show; Razer really has accomplished something pretty impressive with the Blade. It's thinner than the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, much more powerful, with a display that's not only 20% more pixel-dense than the Retina but a touch screen as well. Though it's very similar to the MacBook in some of its design cues--its hinges, its trackpad, and its matte finish are all very Apple-y--it's undeniably an exciting machine. But as any Jobsian acolyte knows, it's obsession with detail that makes a piece of technology truly seem special, and for Min, that included the USB ports.

Table tennis robot

Update: switched out the cheesy and substantially faked tennis robot ad for an actual, honest-to god tennis robot that can actually play table tennis.

Enjoy this table tennis match fought out by German champion Timo Boll, a robot, and irremediable cinematic pretension. [Video Link] Previously.

Mini Metro: fun game simulates planning and running public transit system

Mini Metro is a video-game from New Zealand's Dinosaur Polo Club in which you create public transit systems in order to improve the lives of virtual citizens of an imaginary town. It does a really clever job of simulating the efficacy of your trains and the way that influences commuter behaviors. The game is in early alpha and is a free download for GNU/Linux, Mac OS and Windows.

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