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Interview: Alan Wake’s Häkkinen on surrealism, DLC, Max Payne and more

Friday, 19 February 2010 15:21 GMT By Patrick Garratt

alanwake2

There can be few unreleased games as enigmatic as Alan Wake. The Remedy thriller, announced in 2005 for both 360 and PC, has gone in a matter of weeks from being almost entirely under wraps to a 360 exclusive, a May release, an episodic adventure in an untraditional gaming sense, a project inspired by Twin Peaks and as having “seasons” with planned DLC. It’s all go for Alan and the gang.

Following a blocked writer on a mission to save his wife in the Pacific Northwest, the game is finally gearing up for what looks to be a sizeable launch for Microsoft. We were lucky enough to grab some time in London this week with Oskari Häkkinen, head of franchise at Remedy. Hit the link.

VG247: I’m going to get this out of the way quickly.

Oskari Häkkinen: Sure.

What’s taken so long?

Oskari Häkkinen: Well, this has been a long process, obviously. It’s taken about five years. We’re a very small studio of about 50 people, so a lot smaller than most. It’s been a labour of love, and we’ve built all of the tools and technology from the ground up ourselves. When we came up with the concept of Alan Wake, we felt that we were on to something that was going to be compelling and good, and we checked out there to see if there were any engines that could do the kind of work that we needed it to do, from the light and dark perspective, and there was nothing.

So, we set out to bring our own tools and make the engine ourselves. We did a lot of research. We were out in the Pacific Northwest, and we drove over 3,000 miles and took over 60,000 photos. We even had people camping out in the middle of the forest and recording the ambient sounds to get the authenticity. We made all the bio-types ourselves, from the ground up.

We want to push the envelope with story-telling, and getting that right takes time. You can only be as good as your last game, and we want the Remedy brand to be a seal of quality. If we’re going to suck at this, we don’t have a future.

You’ve confirmed now that the game’s going to have an episodic format, and you’ve clearly been inspired by shows like Twin Peaks, and so forth.

Yep.

When in the process did you decide that this was the right way to go?

Oskari Häkkinen: Quite early on in the development process we realized that a TV-style structure works really well for a thriller. I can’t tell you how long the game is – you’ll be satisfied and it’s comparable to other games out there on the market today – but if you think about a movie that’s two hours long, then it’s fine for it to have a story arc like this [makes shape of a single arc]. If you have the same set-up for a game with the same story arc, at one point you peak, and it’s hard to keep peaking and peaking and peaking. The player gets immune to the things that are happening. When we have a TV series-style structure, we have many story arcs, and within those arcs we can peak at one point, we can end on a cliffhanger, and the next episode, for instance, can start in a very serene day-time setting where it’s more about NPC interaction and learning the motives of the other characters around Wake himself. This foreshadows things happening in the night, which is more action-oriented.

You can tap into those emotions over and over again, and in different ways. It’s much harder if you just have a straight, long arc.

So, at the beginning of the code I just played, it says “Episode 1.”

Oskari Häkkinen: Right.

Is the code on the disc people are going to buy Episode 1?

Oskari Häkkinen: I can’t tell you how many episodes, as I’m getting evil looks from over there [motions to PR]. We will have numerous episodes, and it’s structured like episodes, so what you’ve just played is Episode 1.

But I mean, on the actual retail disc, there’s going to be a string of episodes?

Oskari Häkkinen: Right. Absolutely. You’ll go into the menu and you’ll have a selection of episodes there, and they need to be played in order. This is a story-driven experience. It’ll be like Season 1 of a TV series. You wouldn’t want to watch episode three before you’ve seen one and two.

Are further episodes going to be DLC- or disc-based?

Oskari Häkkinen: You want to think of this as Season 1, so to speak, of a TV series. This will have a satisfactory and conclusive ending, but we will leave doors open, just as they do in Lost or 24, where they have a satisfactory ending to the season but they leave some doors open for the larger story. Just the same here. We’ll have the satisfactory and conclusive ending, and should this be successful then we will do Season 2.

We are doing DLC. You should think of the DLC as more of a bridge between Season 1 and Season 2. Specials, if you like. So, like Friends has a Christmas special, and the Easter special, so to speak.

Early on in the code I just played there are some surreal elements that feel very “Twin Peaks”. You have a voice in the sky, and so on. How do you think the general audience is going to take to that style of surrealism?

Oskari Häkkinen: Yeah, it’s interesting to see, and there’s been a lot of interest surrounding the game. At E3 last May, we were somewhat dubious to show off a game we’d been quiet about for such a long time, and frankly, we didn’t want to show something off before it was in a state where we wanted to show it off. But it’s been taken very well, and we’ve been humbled by the reception everywhere that we’ve shown the game. At X10 last week the reception was awesome, and here, from what I understand so far, it’s been resonating well with people.

Right now, we’re just really excited to have people play it and give their opinions on it. It’s a more cerebral story we’re going for, and hopefully that’s going to be something people are waiting for.

At X10 there were some Remedy quotes explaining away the PC version saying the game was best played on the sofa, that it was best played in that style of set-up. Surely the real reason behind binning the PC SKU was a Microsoft corporate decision?

Oskari Häkkinen: Saying that Alan Wake is best played of a sofa with 5.1 surround and a big TV screen, I think is more of a preference than anything else. We’re not going out there to say that PC gamers can’t enjoy it from their own PC set-up. We’re certainly not saying that. We have a strong heritage in PC gaming as well. But, frankly, we’re a small studio. We’re 50 people, and being a small studio, it makes a lot more sense for us to focus on one platform. Currently we’re fully focused on the Xbox version, and [as for] what the future holds, we haven’t got anything to announce, and we haven’t thought that far right now. We’re fully crunching towards the Xbox 360 version.

Going forward, do you think there’s a chance you’d consider a PC version?

Oskari Häkkinen: I think that’s a decision to sit down [and make] with our publisher… and see where the title goes.

Alright. Back to the game itself. Alan’s wife, Alice: how big a role does she play in the plot?

Oskari Häkkinen: Alice is the reason why Wake is going through trying to unravel this mystery. She’s the driving force behind going through the adventure he’s going through, trying to unravel the mystery and ultimately save his wife. Her role is huge from a motivational perspective.

She appears in it, right?

Oskari Häkkinen: Yeah. They arrive at Bright Falls together. How the story plays out – I don’t want any spoilers – but she certainly has a big role.

As far as the actual structure of the game, there was talk at X10 last week of Wake being a sandbox structure. That was clearly binned in favour of a narrative structure. There seems to be a resurgence of narrative gaming at the moment, following a big push towards the end of the last generation towards sandbox gaming.

Oskari Häkkinen: Right.

Do you feel that? Do you feel things are swinging back toward narrative structures in general?

Oskari Häkkinen: You know, I hope so, and I hope Wake will stand on its own two feet and people will respect the angle that we’ve taken here. As you said, there was a push towards everything having to be sandbox and big, and I think we got caught in that trap as well, and thought we’d do an open world. What a Remedy game is all about is a story-driven, single-player, character-centric game, and we realized quite early on in the development process that it wasn’t working for us. And even though the norm back then was to develop big worlds, we wanted to push the envelope with story-telling, we went back to a linear storyline.

Having said that, it’s paid off really well for us, actually, because we built open world technology, and that’s allowed us to make the path relatively wide and relatively long for the player, so the player can make their own decisions instead of being pulled by a string. If the player sees a light in the forest, he can choose whether or not he wants to walk there or take a car. It allows us to put a lot of exploration content in there as well.

It’s a thriller, so we want to control the pacing, but at the same time we offer a lot of story angles there, and deeper fiction for the player to explore. So we’ve kind of gone half way, but just be clear: this is not a sandbox game. But the technology has allowed us to do a lot of things. Like, we can foreshadow or foresee something that happens in the future. Because you can see out into the world, there might be relevant things from locations in the world. If you’re standing on a cliff edge and you look out, and you see something like a TV mast, or something familiar, and there might be a relevance to what you’re playing later on.

What else is going on at Remedy at the moment? Obviously, Max Payne’s gone to Rockstar now; would you like to revisit Max at any point?

Oskari Häkkinen: Max was a long process for us obviously as well. We sold the IP to Rockstar who are now doing their interpretation of Max Payne. I haven’t seen it. I mean, I’ve seen the screenshots, and you know what? Rockstar don’t make bad games. Rockstar make awesome games, and, rightly so, they’re going to make their own interpretation of Max Payne and it’s not going to be a Remedy game. But it’ll be awesome, because it’s going to be Rockstar. Just from the screenshots, it’s got Rockstar written all over it. I’m sure it’s going to rock. It’ll be interesting to play it and see their interpretation.

And that’s what they should do. Sam Lake is the brainchild behind the Remedy version, so Rockstar should make their own interpretation of that.

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14 Comments

  1. blackdreamhunk

    how about I hate microsoft and sony! I hate game devs like epic games,id software,remdy, Peter Molyneux, infinty ward and game devs like them.

    To be honest I don’t why some pc gamers even want to support. In my eyes they are the biggest losers in the gaming industry.

    You have a lieing distorship like media that says every year pc gaming is dying!!!!!

    the day pc gaming dies your going to see gaming come crashing down on your heads and luck getting people to trust you ever agin. gaming will never ever rise back ever agin if that happens.
    I don’t need to take the gaming Industry’s junk. You want me to buy your future junk?

    #1 5 years ago
  2. sennasnit

    i’m gonna sail that distorship off into the sunset.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. blackdreamhunk

    @sennasnit

    the day will come when you will eat those very words! It’s coming very fast too. I haer greece has no voting power in the EU!

    I am going to say this also if these game devs are so heart less they can screw pc gamers over they will be heart less enough to screw console gamers over.

    I am spending less and less the more I read about the gaming Industry. frankly it’s a real joke!

    #3 5 years ago
  4. mington

    blackdreamhunk, i bet when you were younger you was always the kid who ruined the party

    nice interview, i’m getting pretty excited about this game now, hopefully they’ll disappear off the news radar until closer the release date, as seeing updates for this everyday for the next two months may get a bit irritating

    #4 5 years ago
  5. blackdreamhunk

    @mington

    I bet you use to get bully around when you were young. what a joke really so meny people so blind! this is the differnice between pc gamers and console gamers. They will take garbage.what a joke.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. mington

    yeah i got bullied a little bit, but didn’t we all

    stop bullying consoles, or i’ll tell the headmaster….Pat

    #6 5 years ago
  7. blackdreamhunk

    NO!I was born fighter in fact I would protect not only my self but other kids. I would take on kids who where older and 3 times my size!

    #7 5 years ago
  8. mington

    or right, you didn’t go to school

    BOOYEAH!!! it’s the weekend, i’m going home

    love you really BDH

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    :D

    #9 5 years ago
  10. rainer

    Great interview nice work Pat, looking forward to this.

    By the way the rantings and ravings of BDH are highly entertaining even if he is mentally retarded, that isn’t some offhand insult I really believe he has serous mental health issues.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. blackdreamhunk

    @rainer

    I think your one with the problem, aleast I am not dumb enough to be a cow that take garbage from people. you know the movie hackers sums up people like you very well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1WGFjhCktc

    hey why don’t you say mmmoooo for me lol

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb-dYVEBtfM

    @mington
    you might be very suprised! at aleast i am dumb enough to get ripped off wit over priced games and over priced hardware.

    what a joke! lol

    #11 5 years ago
  12. NGCes26294BIV

    @11

    “at aleast i am dumb enough to get ripped off wit over priced games and over priced hardware”

    Yes, you are indeed.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. blackdreamhunk

    @NGCes26294BIV

    oh really my pc is slot more usefull than them consoles and I didn’t pay huge price.

    lets not talk about costs of game either because i would must likely put you to shame.

    yea them over priced consoles and over pricced games what a joke. Oh and they don’t have mod support

    #13 5 years ago
  14. NGCes26294BIV

    @13

    Erm… you said it, not me. I simply agreed with you. I’d check what you write before being critical.

    Incidentally, I (like most people) have a PC too, but I still prefer gaming on my console, because I can hook it up to an HDTV, play it while on my couch, use an ergonomic, wireless controller, and console exclusives are far more prevelant than those on PC.

    Simples.

    #14 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]