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Articles by Keith Stuart

    Oculus Rift: can indie developers save virtual reality?

    at 02:00pm October 29 2012
    Oculus Rift

    Do the purveyors of highly subjective experiences like Spelunky or Dear Esther really want to explore the technical capabilities of emergent platforms such as Oculus Rift? Notch has joined big swingers like John Carmack, Cliff Bleszinski and Gabe Newell in endorsing the tech, which is a start, but will others follow?

    Tetsuya Mizuguchi becomes games professor

    at 04:29pm October 17 2012
    Tetsuya Mizuguchi

    Last month, it was announced that Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi would be moving away from active project development at his studio, Q Games, and towards more of a spokesperson role. And now it looks as though he has stepped even further way. The veteran designer is now a professor at Keio University’s Graduate School of Media Design.

    MechWarrior Online makes $5 million on ‘pre-orders’, despite free-to-play status

    at 03:53pm October 17 2012

    You’d think the developers of free-to-play games would be excluded from the money-spinning world of the pre-order programme. But you’d be wrong. Fans of robot combat have now slung over $5 million in pre-release payments at the forthcoming sci-fi slugfest, MechWarrior Online – even though its an FTP title.

    Minecraft gets Mojang approved Far Cry 3 makeover, more could follow

    at 12:55pm October 17 2012

    In an intriguing piece of cross-promotional activity, Ubisoft is to release a Far Cry 3 map and texture pack for Minecraft. Produced with Mojang’s approval, the package modifies all aspects of the game including environments, weapons and tools. Key locations from Ubisoft’s shooter will be reproduced as well as characters such as Vaas, Jason and Citra – all in Minecraft’s blocky style. There will also be 50 Easter eggs to discover, hidden around the island.

    Project Eternity Kickstarter ends on $4 million

    at 11:21am October 17 2012

    The quest is complete; the spoils won. Obsidian Entertainment’s Kickstarter fund for Project Eternity closed at $3,986,929 on Tuesday, but with Paypal contributions the figure surpassed the studio’s final stretch goal target of $4 million. The isometric party-based RPG, a nostalgic tribute to titles like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, will now be receiving an extra layer of audio visual flourish.

    Developers ask: is free-to-play an immoral model?

    at 04:01pm October 16 2012
    FarmVille 2

    This has to be one of the most contentious issues facing modern game design: is free-to-play just intrinsically evil? Of course not, is the sensible response, but developers need to be careful about how they employ a system that has no barrier-to-entry but will allow fans to spend thousands of dollars a month on virtual goods.

    Project Eternity breaks Kickstarter record with 13 hours left to go

    at 01:23pm October 16 2012

    Nostalgia is clearly a powerful currency on Kickstarter. Project Eternity, a new squad-based role-playing adventure from Obsidian Entertainment, has just become the most highly funded game project ever to run on the site. At the time of writing, the title had accrued pledges worth $3,449,222 with 13 hours left on the clock: Obsidian’s target was a mere $1,100,000.

    Mike Singleton, Lords Of Midnight creator, dies at 61

    at 12:29pm October 16 2012

    Veteran British game designer Mike Singleton, creator of legendary adventure title Lords Of Midnight, has died. The 61-year-old passed away last week after a long battle with mouth cancer. Singleton, an ex-teacher, started programming games in the early eighties, producing titles such as Space Ace and Snake Pit for the Pet, Vic 20 and ZX81. In 1984 however, he created his masterpiece, the epic Spectrum and Commodore 64 role-player, Lords Of Midnight.

    To kill or not to kill? Dishonored’s makers on the morality behind murder

    at 09:43am October 16 2012

    Game designers rarely provide players with tools that they’re not expected to use. There’s no stun gun in Borderlands 2, no chainsaw murder missile in Journey – the arsenal tends to dictate the moral tone of the experience: you need to be as brutal as the system allows. Dishonored is different. Protagonist Corvo Attano has…

    EA Origin blunder leads to free games bonanza

    at 03:40pm October 15 2012

    Electronic Arts has stumbled across an interesting promotional tool for its Origin digital distribution service: accidentally give away thousands of games. Last week, the publisher set up a promotion offering US gamers a $20 discount token for taking part in an online survey. However, once participants had spent their reward, the code remained active, allowing wily users to download dozens of titles for nothing, as well as distribute the unsecure code to friends.

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