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DayZ standalone interview: selfishness breeds success

Monday, 8 October 2012 17:11 GMT By Dave Cook

DayZ started life as an Arma 2 mod, but now it’s grown into something bigger. VG247′s Dave Cook spoke with creator Dean Hall about where the game goes from here.

DayZ

Created as an Arma 2 mod by Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall.

As of August 6th 2012, DayZ reached one million players.

Hall is now working on a standalone version of DayZ that is slated for a November-December 2012 release window.

You don’t have to look very far to see why right now, as you read these words, the games industry has never been in a healthier state if you’re an independent creator.

While the triple-a market may be awash with rote design, committee-led development and cookie-cutter experiences, the indie scene is gearing up for an explosion. It’s a genuinely thrilling playing field.

If you have an idea, you must act now, before the big corporations, publishers and studios muscle in on this flourishing market and wrench control away from those trying to make it big off their own back.

Someone who knows this first hand – both by working in the big business side of the industry, and through his own work – is DayZ creator Dean Hall. He’s gearing up to launch the standalone version of his survival horror mod, and he’s got much to say during these volatile times.

VG247: You’ve gone from a modder to an icon in the eyes of many gamers, thanks to the success of DayZ. How does it feel to have shot to fame and prominence so suddenly?

Dean Hall: You only really realise it when you look back, so when I think about it, and about how you’ve changed – how you think and react differently – some of it’s not positive.

I think sometimes I’m much less inclined to accept, say, a team member submitting poor quality work, I’m probably less patient and things like that. So some of it’s quite negative, and I think it’s because of all the pressure and things like that.

Because so many eyes are on you now and people want to hear what you have to say?

Yeah, and it’s really hard to keep a sense of perspective and the vision as well. That’s why it’s been really good to talk to people like Notch, Valve or the guys from CCP.

They helped me by saying, ‘nope, you’re on the right track, keep doing this or that.’ So it’s been really useful to have that, but I haven’t really reflected on the – as you say – fame side of it.

“I think we’ve got a winner here, but it’s been challenging. It’s a slower development than I’d like.”

It’s because I just haven’t had time. When there’s a lull – say when we’ve done the alpha standalone release of DayZ – then maybe it will sink in a little bit more, But at the moment it’s literally like I go somewhere, I do a talk, I leave, I go back to work.

It’s just planes, planes, getting grumpy, and you really don’t think of the awesomeness of it. I’m jet-lagged, on another plane, my hotel room’s not ready yet, and all of that other stuff.

You got advice from Notch though. What was that like? Was his input useful?

Well he’s pretty busy. Basically he had wanted to play DayZ, but he had great difficulty installing it, and also I think he was a bit worried that it would soak up a lot of his time. So I think he’s waiting for the standalone.

Can you give us a status update on the standalone version’s development?

Yeah sure. It’s been a real challenge to move all the data, because it’s a mixture of Arma 2, Take On Helicopters and bits of Arma 3, so it’s a real smorgasbord of Bohemia Interactive products lumped together.

That’s awesome but it also creates a real data challenge, as there’s just vast quantities of data that has to be moved. In many ways it’s a new product, because we’ve come up with a unique way of distributing it through DayZ, and a unique way of pushing out updates very quickly thanks to working with awesome people like Valve.

I think we’ve got a winner here, but it’s been challenging. It’s a slower development than I’d like, and while that’s not going to affect the release date, it is going to affect how ambitious we can be with the actual content.

So it will be chopped down a bit over the existing version?

Well you know, I guess I never really thought we’d get things like construction into the standalone at launch. I’d prefer things to go faster, but that’s just game development.

Tight development cycles and such?

Yeah, and I think the most important thing is we deal with hacking, bugs, duping, new content, tidy up some of the features and expand them a bit. I think if we can get that base – by the end of November or December – then that means January and February will be really happy, fun times.

Launch day will mark the start of an iterative development process for you and your team. How will you look to expand the game from that point, and how closely will fan feedback dictate where you go next?

We have to get that initial alpha out, and whenever we want to push out a build we can pretty much push that. We’ve been talking about having three builds. First is an internal build – one that is just available for the development team.

Then a recommended build – like a beta testing build that’s available for the community, where they can try new updates before they come out. Then the final build, so that’s how we’re going to be taking things forward.

”I think modding the DayZ standalone is something that would come much, much later. Bohemia Interactive loves to have its products modded, and it’s the first thing the studio wants people to do, as many of them come from a modding background.”

Code-wise, the updates will be quite well planned – like Minecraft updates ended up being with update Fridays and all that. I think with content, the content will come out as it’s done.

I think if it’s done and it’s tested, we’ll roll it out. We have an art cell as well, and we say to them, ‘we want this done’. So they go away and they are very agile, they decide how they’re going to do it. They manage themselves and produce the content.

DayZ was a mod of Arma 2, so in turn will people be able to mod DayZ standalone?

I think modding the DayZ standalone is something that would come much, much later. Bohemia Interactive loves to have its products modded, and it’s the first thing the studio wants people to do, as many of them come from a modding background.

But we’re realistic. If we don’t first control hacking, duping and bugs, than that’s a very serious issue.

So again, you have to have that solid base first?

Yes exactly. But we talk about things, like it would be lovely to have things like APIs and things like that. Arma already supports high command extensions and other things that have helped make DayZ possible.

There’s a lot of support already out there for how the engine works, but that would all be stuff that comes after we’ve got that solid base, and we can say, ‘yes we have dealt with the problems as much as we can – we will never remove it completely – but we’ve given it a killer blow.’

Let’s move to how you got to this point in the first place. I mean, when you were making the mod, did you ever envision a standalone DayZ game happening?

Well I want to see more games that I want to play. That was why I started making games, and I think that’s the case for many people. I think as people get older, and they have kids they have different desires.

The whole reason I make games is I want to play them, and that’s maybe why I don’t like single-player campaign console games, because if you make that, then you’re probably sick of it by the time it launches.

Whereas with an open world multiplayer game, well you know, I’m still exploring the world as much as the player is once it was made. Perhaps that’s selfish because there’s a selfish reason why I like that game.

It’s also probably – I think – one of the more challenging game styles to design, because if you miss, you miss big. Your success is based on the players and how they use it.

But when you have something like Mass Effect, where you have a good story, great graphics, good cinematics, you’re more likely to see that success come through. I’ve kind of gone off topic here a little.

No, that’s fine. I guess from our end looking in, we’ve seen many people playing DayZ and then writing journals as the character, telling these awesome stories of survival and betrayal. How did it feel to start seeing that?

It was fantastic. That made it in my mind. I mean just sign it, seal it and say ‘done’. I don’t think there’s any greater thing you can do than to make something that other people pick up and run with.

So yeah that’s really awesome, but it does present some problems like people making their own t-shirts, selling things and stuff like that. You almost don’t want to jump on them because it’s cool, but these days you have to protect trademark and more.

”I believe the next six months will decide whether we’ve screwed it up, and how good we make the product. That will dictate how far it goes. So really, it’s on us.”

In a way one of the annoying things that’s come out is that things start to get serious. It got big, people start seeing you as a target, and a whole lot of bullshit comes out.

I don’t like that, that’s why I think our next games after DayZ won’t be as widely successful. I look at projects like Kerbal Space Program which is still incredibly popular, and I think it’s hit a sweet spot of awesome community, great number of players, but it’s not swamped to the point of destruction.

When you say ‘next games’, I mean, would you ever want to run a massive triple-a studio, or do you still want to function as an indie?

I think that eventually I want to go back to New Zealand, as I think it’s a great place to start a studio. With DayZ, I think it would be awesome to see it go in the direction of something like EvE Online.

I believe the next six months will decide whether we’ve screwed it up, and how good we make the product. That will dictate how far it goes. So really, it’s on us. The games industry very supportive of DayZ, the community is very supportive of it, other developers are kind to it – with a few exceptions.

I think it’s such a cherished IP, basically because it’s a success story. Does that tell you that anyone can do this if they have the right idea?

I definitely think they should get into it. The most important thing – and this also applies to big projects – is that the biggest problem is a lack of single vision. You need someone like Apple.

As much as people like to rip on what Steve Jobs did, and how he could be a bit of a dick sometimes, he knew what was needed. Sometimes I’m like that. I’m sure if you talk to some of the team, they would say I’m not always a nice person to be around.

But I think that, with mods, the reason a lot of them don’t get released is because they were team efforts. I think one person has to sit down ant take the responsibility like I did. I did the art, the code, production, I paid for things, so at the end of the day the buck stopped with me.

Everybody knew that, so they would accept it if I said, ‘nope, we’re doing things that way’. I think that’s really important, and I think a lot of mods or even big games do that.

They are games by committee, and I think those games depend on marketing. You need one person going, ‘this is what we’re doing’.

I guess the worst example of that is when you can tell a game has been focus-tested, and pandering to current trends. We’re now looking at things like open platforms. Should triple-a studios be worried of that emergent space?

I think they should definitely be worried, particularly publishers. History does repeat itself, and if you look at the music industry – you know, the way publishers reacted to iTunes – there’s a different thing going on in games.

If you look at something like DayZ or Minecraft – the cost of them is tiny compared to the amount of money they make. Then you look at something big – pretty much anything out there – they are very expensive propositions.

”Big budgets and big teams breed games by committee. But I guess it’s too early to really say much about the impact open platforms will have.”

They’re very risky, and you can fail very easily. I think free-to-play could spell some very serious problems for the big developers.

So I like to think that it’s a sunrise on an era of gaming that goes back to the David Brabens, to the type of games that are the ideas of a couple of people who stuck to it, who did what was right, and were pushed out to be reached by a lot of people.

Because big budgets and big teams breed games by committee. But I guess it’s too early to really say much about the impact open platforms will have.

On top of that these developers also have the pressure of next-gen hardware being right around the corner.

Yes, and how they approach it. Because the next-gen – and I think it might – go and say, ‘we want in on this innovation market’, because innovation is all the rage at the moment.

That’s why DayZ is successful, that’s why Minecraft as successful. People pick it up, and they talk about it on Twitter, even if it’s a bit crappy. If I were Sony or Microsoft, I would be sitting there saying, ‘OK, we want this’, because we’ve got all these console players bleating on YouTube comment threads asking, ‘why aren’t these games on consoles?’

They’re going out and buying pretty reasonably priced PCs to play them, so I think there’s a good chance we could see consoles manufacturers getting in on that.

They’re going for innovation, and they’ll have to re-think the way publishers work, and they’ll have to re-think everything. I think if I was a publishers I’d be thinking, ‘well, where am I going to be?’

It feels like we’re truly on the cusp of a market that will allow new IP to thrive like never before. You can see it already starting to begin. Do you agree that this is a great time for new games to shine?

My only experience with that was, I was making the PS2 version of Speed Racer – you know the movie license game?

Yeah.

At the time Sony was saying, ‘right, we’re not going to do any more PS2 games, PS2 is gone.’ But then what happened was, there was a big resurgence in PS2 sales because there was all these emerging markets picking up the console -Latin America and stuff like that.

”We don’t see our product at retail. We don’t need money. So then we don’t need marketing. People don’t want to see ‘DayZ: brought to you by x-brand.’ These publishers are in danger of being irrelevant.”

It was still selling. I mean, it may have been selling out of a bargain bin, but it was still selling, and I guess that changes your direction. Massive gaming publishers like EA have to take the safe ground, because they’re investing tens – many more times – millions of dollars.

They have to take the safe ground, and that’s not what people want. They want innovation. They’re tired of FIFA 13, and they don’t care that there’s one or two new features because they want to see cool new stuff, because people have short attention spans as well.

You mentioned iTunes a few questions back. What’s interesting is this notion that after the next console cycle, physical hardware will cease and the consoles as we know them will be less about a box you buy, but a service that you subscribe to. What’s your take on that?

I don’t really know enough about the technology behind it, but I look at it occasionally. All I know is that there will be more rapid, huge change. I think that everyone – developers, publishers and manufacturers – need to take a good hard look and say, ‘we want that process’.

When we had a lot of publishers come to us with the DayZ project and say, ‘we want to be involved’, I had to say to them, ‘well, what will you provide?’ They said money, marketing, retail placement and all of that.

We don’t see our product at retail. We don’t need money. So then we don’t need marketing. People don’t want to see ‘DayZ: brought to you by x-brand.’ These publishers are in danger of being irrelevant, but at the same time they can provide a lot of specialist assistance, or technology assistance.

But I think everyone in the development side of it needs to take a good hard look, especially if Sony and Microsoft say, ‘we want to focus on innovation’. If I were them I’d be looking at Steam going, ‘woah’. Steam makes it oh-so-easy for developers.

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6 Comments

  1. GwynbleiddiuM

    Thank you Dave, a very nice interview.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    Not a problem, glad you liked it :)

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    I’m more excited for ArMA 3 than dayz to be honest.

    Bohemia devs are excellent devs.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. absolutezero

    When DayZ first released it had a strange community, those that saw the potential of the title and a chance to forge a new way of playing. Groups, pairs, random strangers suddenly meeting face to face and having to make the choice over killing or helping, sticking togethor or separating. So many emergent stories were forged within the first month of the mod being released. I remember myself and my friend forcing someone we came across to drop a can of beans, then rewarding his trust and co-operation with a new weapon and playing with him for a couple of hours.

    Then it exploded. Went all over youtube and the news sites, the user base kept of climbing higher and higher. That increase in numbers has had a direct effect on the quality of the experience. Now there are people waiting at the beach to kill new defenseless players because its “less competition” right? Even though they can just respawn randomly elsewhere so its not about that at all. Theres no trust what so ever, just alot of players with alot of supplies and next to no trust.

    I uninstalled DayZ last week and I have no intention of playing it ever again. It was a brave experiment but it was killed dead in the water by popularity and an awful user base.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. jacobvandy

    Yup, just take your ball and go home, baby… ;)

    Day Z is an amazing game, despite the masses of fucktards that have jumped on the bandwagon. Rocket is right about the main issues being the bugs and hacking; both have led to an over-abundance of high-level loot floating around, not to mention trolling and frustration caused by power-hungry dipshits or glitches in the game itself. I’ve not been playing near as much as I used to, but I know it’ll just take some time to iron things out and for the unsavory folks to get bored and leave (or be banned).

    I do believe the “kill everyone” mentality is partially due to boredom — once you spend some time gearing up and exploring the map, there gets to be a point where all you can do is try to survive as long as possible or go and find people to kill. Well, there’s really no challenge left from the environment or zombies once you know what you’re doing, so all that’s left is player interaction.

    I admit to doing my own share of indiscriminate killing, ’cause what else are you going to do with that shiny new AS50? Gotta use it before you lose it! Nowadays, though, we have a policy of not killing anybody who doesn’t have a weapon. Might let them slip if they have a hatchet out, but then there’s no way to know if they’re just messing around and have a rifle in their bag, so it’s usually better to be safe than sorry if they’ve seen you. The best is finding a server with global chat enabled, though, and hunting down the sniper(s) that everyone is complaining about. There’s always at least one around the coastal cities.

    However, there are still some nice guys out there who like to cooperate. My buddy likes to answer those rescue calls on Reddit, even though he always has to be wary of it being an ambush, and usually stashes his valuable stuff somewhere before going. And almost surprisingly, I’ve still seen plenty of newbies around very recently. Gotta help them out and get them to experience and like the game before they’re jaded and get trigger-happy or just plain quit!

    #5 3 years ago
  6. UuBuU

    @4 Agreed ~ I can’t recall any other game where my interest has turned so dramatically.

    There were a few weeks where it was hands down one of the best gaming experiences i’ve ever had. Then as the masses started swarming in [people without the capacity to even appreciate arma 2 by itself - as evidenced by constant whinings on the DayZ forums about some of the more hardcore elements]. The whole experience declined after that. It went from being an open-world zombie survival game with tense player encounters to an open-world PvP deathmatch experience with loot.

    Great concept ~ but a victim of it’s own success.

    #6 3 years ago

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  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]

  • Free Dragon Age short stories fill us in on Corypheus’s followers

    Dragon Age: Inquisition developer BioWare invites you to learn more about the lore and characters that make up its beautiful role-playing setting. Dragon Age is set in Thedas, a world still only partially revealed by the three core games to date. BioWare puts a heck of a lot of work into its worldbuilding, employing a […]

  • Remember that gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo? It now utilizes DirectX 12

    Remember the gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo Square Enix showed off three years ago? The firm showed it again at Microsoft’s Build Conference, this time utilizing DirectX 12. The Witch Chapter 0 [cry] real-time tech demo was created from research Square conducted using real-time CG technology and DX12 in collaboration with Microsoft and Nvidia. The […]

  • Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones sneaks onto GOG and Steam services

    Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones can now be purchased through GOG and Steam. On both services it will run you £12.99/€14.99/$14.99. Links here and here. The game features: Fully explorable ‘Metroidvania’ style overworld, laying siege to a diabolical cloning facility with varied and detailed environments. A variety of special equipment to unlock new […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC Ascendance has arrived on PC, PlayStation consoles

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players on PC and PlayStation consoles can now download the Ascendance DLC. The second content pack contains the OHM weapon, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the second entry in the Exo Zombies saga, Infection. Four new maps are also included: Perplex, Site 244, Climate, and Chop Shop. Ascendance was […]

  • Latest Xbox 360 system update is live, now supports 2TB hard drives

    Xbox 360 now supports 2TB hard drives via the latest system update for the console. Support for the drives was announced earlier this month and has been available for preview members. “In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” said the firm. “If you are using 16GB of […]