My reaction to this can only be summarised as:
CD Projekt Red, the developer of The Witcher game series, has reached triple-A status, to become the industry leader in creating RPG video games, largely due to the success of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, the latest game in the series and in my opinion one of the best games every made.
Like any good large scale RPG, The Witcher 3 hosts a hefty amount of content and character, such as a playable card minigame within the main game itself, called Gwent. Gwent closely resembles a simplified version of other collectable card games such as Magic The Gathering or Hearthstone (http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/) and in many cases players find themselves playing the minigame much more than the epic tale of Geralt Of F####ing Rivia.
Gwent has become a fan favourite among the Witcher community and ever since the Witcher 3’s release the internet has blown up with a s### tonne of tweets, Facebook/Reddit posts, discussions and articles regarding it, including this one. One creative fan even made a mod that converts the Witcher 3‘s combat completely into Gwent: (http://www.nexusmods.com/witcher3/mods/953/?). It seems that everyone wants a Gwent standalone game. So what did CD Projekt Red do? They listened, officially unveiling Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, at the 2016 E3 game expo.
CD Projekt Red isn`t just creating a simple adaptation for some quick cash either, the game, in my opinion, looks to be born of passion and ambition from the studio to wade into the rising waters of the world of simulated card games. Despite the mild oversaturation of the genre, Gwent still feels special from the rest. To think it was initially developed to serve as a minigame within The Witcher 3 and has now garnered so much support to prompt the creation of a standalone is amazing to me.
To break it down for those that don`t, Gwent involves a battlefield with three different levels: infantry, ranged, and artillery. Each card has a numbered value and can be placed in one of the said levels. Rounds end when both players pass a turn and the player with the highest number at the end of each round wins it. Best of three takes home the win.
It’s a quick and fun, yet simple game. While other games in the genre emphasis well thought out and strategized card-based moves, Gwent promotes trickery and feints. You enter a tavern, take a seat and get to playing. When you really should be killing that drowner bounty you got off the last village`s notice board. Hmmm, I wonder how I can f### with this guy enough to make him use all his best cards quickly….should I lose the first round on purpose to make him vulnerable later on…maybe…maybe. These are the thoughts that go through your head as you play this game within a game. All the while listening to the excellent musical score of the Witcher 3 and its fun as hell.
With the standalone release, comes more features and increased depth. With a larger card selection and more focus on how the game’s different card factions will play distinctively different from one another. This is not the simple minigame within the Witcher 3 that you or I know. This will be the true Gwent game Witcher fans remember. Fun, Quick, addictive, and much, much deeper.
As of now CD Projekt Red hasn’t announced a release date yet, but we know it’s going to be a free-to-play title with in-game transactions. There is currently a closed beta, which I myself have applied for, find out more here: https://www.playgwent.com/en
I’ve been a big fan of CarbotAnimations since I started playing Starcraft 2 four years ago1. It provided a cute whimsy look to a very dark sci-fi game. And all these years later I found the man himself has made a mod for the game, which comes out today. It gives the entire game a look similar to the animation in Carbot, stripping it of all dark and gritty used future to a cute and colourful kids cartoon.
Hello Neighbor is an upcoming stealth horror game by previously mobile-only studio Dynamic Pixels. You’ve just moved into a small village, living across from your neighbour in his small manor. For some reason, his boarded up the basement, and in true horror game fashion you need to know why.
What makes Hello Neighbor special is the game actually learns from what you do. Like coming through the front door? There’s a bear trap there now. Like hiding upstairs? It’s now blocked by a drawer.
Hello Neighbour launches in Summer 2017, but you can sign up for the alpha today at the Hello Neighbor website. I haven’t played any video games in a long time, but this looks interesting and I sure as hell have signed up.
(via Laughing Squid)
After a conversation with Wayne, I am now playing Shadowrun: Dragonfall after nearly a year of owning it on Steam but never playing it. I bought the original Shadowrun Returns on Steam nearly three years ago now, and I loved the hell out of it. It was a cool blend of gritty futurism, sci-fi and fantasy that instantly drew me in, and I finished it quickly.
I’ve written before how I don’t really play games anymore, but Dragonfall has drawn me in for a couple of reasons. When I view any text, I have a descending order of the things that are important to me: Narrative ➡ Characters ➡ Action. Dragonfall excels at the first two more than the original did1, while still maintaining the tight, fun turn-based RPG combat system, but another thing it also does well is little details in the environment.
In the original Returns2 your in between missions haunt was a bar that doubled as a Shadowrunner base. It was fun and interesting, but at the end of the day, that’s all there was to it. There was no exploring or anything that made the world outside the bar, aside from the missions, seem real.
Meanwhile, in Dragonfall you can move around outside your main base, a renovated shop into a small part of Berlin, now known as the Flux State. And this is what I love mostly about Dragonfall as opposed to the original, this little corner of Berlin makes the game feel much more alive and real that Returns did. In between missions you can talk to the people in your team, and regular people on the street. Slowly you learn more about these people and their background, their desires and their goals.
Or, you can go to the coffee shop and order coffee.
It has no purpose. You lose 5 Nuyen (The currency) for buying some Soykaf, and then that’s it. There is no stat advantage on the next missions, you don’t get a caffeine hit or anything useful, you can just buy coffee.
On the bottom left corner of the map, you can tip a dancer who is always there. There is no reason to tip this dancer, but I do every damn time I’m in Berlin. Just because.
And you get a dog. Why do you get a dog? Because dog. If you talk to this dog it will follow it around. For the post part, it is simply following you around because dog.
Of course, useless additions? You could argue that. But also in maps, on missions there are useless little rooms, like this one:
This mission takes place in an orphanage, but of course being Shadowrun this is not a nice place, however soothing the music may be. There is a bathroom, and there is nothing in this bathroom, except it builds the world. The area is not to fight in. It is simply an area to add to the overall detail of the game.
And I love it for it.
At the time of writing, I’m a couple of hours into the only game I’ve ever seen that involves saving the world with potatoes, Spaceplan.
You wake up in a broken spaceship, spinning around an unknown planet with a broken AI computer as your only help. After running all the diagnostics finds that your only method of survival… potatoes. Not just eating, but for energy generation to build more things and eventually, using accurate physics, save the world1.
Yes, it’s initially a clicker game, before you have a sustainable potato based infrastructure. But after a couple of minutes/clicks you manage to set up an infrastructure of potatoes that can constantly generate power while you do other stuff, like sort through 600 tabs or watch some episodes of the brilliant 91 days.
The game is also filled to the brim with nice little touches, like how your potato solar panels2 lose energy when your little ship is not in direct sight of the sun and, according to Kill Screen, the physics used in the planets and gravity thingy is correct to real-life physics models. This is the kind of game I’ve been searching for since I fell out of gaming a few years ago, you can just leave it running in your browser and check up on it every few hours or so to improve what you’re doing.
Play Spaceplan here in your browser right now, but at time of writing there’s no available mobile version 🙁