Our exclusive cover feature profiles the return of Elite in the form of Dangerous, the ambitious space combat and trading sim which Frontier Developments founder David Braben has wanted to make for years. Helped by the advent of crowdfunding, that long-held ambition has now become reality, so we headed to the developer’s Cambridge office to get the inside story of its development and, of course, give our first impressions of the game, first with a good old-fashioned joystick-and-throttle setup and later, Oculus Rift.
Upfront in this month’s Knowledge section, we discover how Oculus is ramping up its VR ambition with Crystal Cove, and also look at the power of photogrammetry in The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter, The Astronauts’ new project. We talk over the success of Puzzle & Dragons with GungHo president Kazuki Morishita, peek behind the scenes at the realtime handicraft behind Sony’s unique CES keynote and Pelican’s Trevor De Brauw is the subject of My Favourite Game.
In Dispatches our columnists Steven Poole, Leigh Alexander and Brian Howe examine the claim that COD: Ghosts is ‘inappropriate’, how social media can educate the industry and console owners’ predilections in porn. There’s also the best of your views on contemporary industry issues.
Hype highlights include Evolve, DayZ, Wasteland 2, Project Spark, Planetary Annihilation and Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and accompanying Elite: Dangerous in the features section there’s an An Audience With Michel Ancel, who discusses making big games with tiny teams. We also examine the biting issues that have soured the sweetness of Apple’s platform as we ask: what happened to the iOS gaming revolution?
Highlights in Play take in reviews of Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and in Create, Team Meat’s Edmund McMillen, Far Cry 2’s Leboa-Sako and Bowa-Seko and Sam Fisher’s Trident goggles are this month’s People, Places and Things. We head inside Lionhead for our Studio Profile, and uncover how Specular Interactive and Raw Thrills built a Batman for the arcade in fellow regular The Making Of. Bookending the issue are Tadhg Kelly, Clint Hocking and James Leach, who discuss why denial leads to failure, the small but vital intricacies of game design and the downsides of hiring a celebrity voice cast.
iPad owners are advised to sign up to our limited free trial offer now to get three free issues – our debut from September 1993, and the two most recent editions, E263 and E264. Alternatively, you can buy an individual issue or subscribe in print and also buy or subscribe via Android and Zinio – just head through the links.