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Prison Architect interview: putting the triple-A market on trial

Monday, 29 October 2012 08:57 GMT By Dave Cook

Prison Architect is the grim new sim title from indie studio Introversion. VG247′s Dave Cook speaks with the dev about death row, shanking and the poor treatment of indies in the console market today.

Introversion Software

Founded in 2001, Introversion is based in England and is headed up by Chris Delay and Mark Morris.

Introversion is known for Uplink, Defcon, Darwinia and Multiwinia. Prison Architect is its most recent project.

The game is being funded by independent backers. It is in alpha state now and will grow from there – similar to Minecraft.

You can buy the game and become an official Prison Architect backer at the game’s official site.

Introversion is not a triple-a studio. It does not have the luxury of bottomless bank vaults set aside for marketing spend. There are no bleach-toothed, genetically perfect spokespeople peddling the game from a carefully-prepared PR script. They are just two guys making games in a maze of falsities and mirrors.

Their latest project is Prison Architect, a striking sim title that is being funded through an iterative alpha process, similar to Notch’s fund-raising efforts with Minecraft. For Introversion, the walled garden of console distribution leaves a sour taste in the mouth – the cost of entry too high, and the potential returns too low.

The developer is on to a winner, as Prison Architect is one of the most emotionally engaging titles you will play this year. The game is now in alpha, and although it may look like a simple sim title – closely akin to Theme Hospital – it delivers a soul-piercing stab that asks some taboo but powerful questions.

Your first story mission tasks you with building a small, but fully-functioning prison that will house some truly despicable people – the bottom rung of both society and morality. The process of actually fashioning the facility becomes slightly disturbing as that classic sim game mentality starts to kick in.

You start to stress over the size of holding cells, whether or not the prisoners have enough light, if you should grow grass everywhere to make their stay more bearable, forgetting that many these men have carried out heinous acts. It’s a lesson in morality.

Then of course you can choose to add an execution chamber, solitary wing and morgue to your prison, and then you really have to ask yourself questions about how the inmates should be treated. You are essentially playing with their lives and they are yours to take away as you see fit.

It’s a chilling experience, but this is why it’s also garnering a swelling fan base online. VG247 spoke with Introversion’s Mark Morris about the game’s conception, the alpha process and the sorry state of console distribution today.

Each prison starts as barren land. It’s yours to shape as you see fit.

VG247: It’s inspiring to see you taking an independent approach to funding. Was that something you deliberated on for a while before you decided to go ahead with it?

Mark Morris:We’ve basically been thinking about that for most of 2012, and how to do it. I mean, we saw the success of Minecraft alpha and others, so there’s a lot of good reasons to do a paid alpha, so that decision wasn’t hard, that was made quite quickly.

That was one fact. The other fact was – both Kickstarter and Humble Bundle kind of showed huge benevolence that exists within the gaming community. We were thinking that we wanted to try and get involved with that as well, so we were thinking – for a long time – about doing a ‘pay what you want’ for the alpha.

That was one option, and maybe doing that with Humble Bundle. We also considered Kickstarter, but that is more for getting projects off the ground, and we weren’t there, as we were about two-thirds of the way through Prison Architect.

We need funding to get us over the line, which is a kind of different thing, so I don’t expect the Kickstarer model would have worked. We just thought and thought, then came up with our own tiered alpha system, and then we spent a long time thinking about what the tiers and pricing were going to be.

”I think it’s a real golden age for indie development teams now. The routes to market are fully established via Steam, the app stores, so it’s easier for us to get games into the hands of players.”

When we eventually launched it, we kept it pretty quiet. We only told a few journalists – about two or three – because we didn’t know what was going to happen. We didn’t want to make a huge song and dance about it if it completely fell on its face. We launched it, and we’ve been completely blown away by its success.

It seems that – right now, today – people are happier to invest in projects that people or small teams are making by themselves. What does that tell you about the industry now?

I think it’s a real golden age for indie development teams now. The routes to market are fully established via Steam, the app stores, so it’s easier for us to get games into the hands of players. The press are fully on board for supporting indie titles, and there’s a whole indie genre now.

It appears that a lot of people who have bought into our alpha are developers themselves, just to see how we go about developing. So it’s there’s a big network of indie developers and gamers you can bounce ideas off.

I hope that this model – this model we’ve taken – does stick. I can’t think of a reason why it’d go away. I think the Kickstarter bubble will burst. I think there will be a few high-profile failures, and perhaps people will be a little bit less keen to throw huge amounts of money at certain types of projects.

I think you’re right on that. I can’t see every single Kickstarter working – I mean, it’s yet to actually produce a finished game – whereas you have two-thirds of your game completed already. That’s the gamble people buy into with Kickstarter isn’t it?

Yeah, exactly. We’re a little bit different in that when you join up, you immediately get access to what we’ve got. It’s not a finished game, and we don’t pretend that it is. But you can have a good experience of playing with that, and then come along with us as we update it and add new features in.

I think people will be happy with what they’re getting for the donations that they pay, and ultimately we’ll finish the game and put it out there. Everyone will then be able to say, ‘I helped in funding that.’

One of our fears with Kickstarter was that it might not take off at all. There’s another side to it, which is, you could come away with a million dollars, or two million, and what are we going to to with two million dollars?

It would completely change things – the way you set up and run your project – all sorts of things. That’s interesting, and things can go wrong. When you’ve got too much money, you can try and over-reach things. It’s an interesting space.


Cell size, showers, canteen, kitchen, common rooms. All must be considered.

Letting people see and experience what they’re investing in is powerful persuasion that their money is being well-spent. Prison Architect is now in the alpha 2 stage. Can you tell us more about what’s in this build?

The big changes stem from rioting. Rioting is something that happens in prisons and we need to be able to deal with it in Prison Architect. So getting the prisoners to riot is pretty easy, but finding a good way for the players to deal with that riot within a Prison Architect context is quite a difficult thing.

Because it is a building and management game, we experiment with a few different control mechanisms. The one that we thought was likely to be the best would be a mechanism that allows you to sector-ise your prisoners, and then assign guards to a particular sector, then draw out patrols for guards to walk within that sector.

That works nicely because when the rioting prisoners finally get round to rioting, they will take over and control that sector, and then none of your staff will be able to go in there. It’s quite an important, underlying feature that gives us a lot of interesting options for rioting.

“If you don’t meet their needs, over time the prisoners will get more and more angry, and then will be more likely to cause trouble – beat up guards, riot or anything like that.”

That’s the main change. The way the game worked originally was that there was a constant influx of prisoners that were coming to the jail every day, but not everyone enjoyed that, so you can turn that off now simply, so that you can have a bit more control over the volume of prisoners that you get.

We put in a bit of stuff to do with the canteen, but we’re keeping that a little bit quiet so our community can discover that for themselves.

One thing that really struck me the first time I saw Prison Architect was the art style. It reminds me of your game Defcon actually, because when you think about that game, it’s based on very grim subject matter but the art style made it look like a fun arcade title. Prison Architect also touches on difficult issues, but its colourful and almost cartoon-esque. Was that a deliberate design choice?

Not really actually. We didn’t want to make it abstract, we knew that from the start. We have an artist on board that we haven’t worked with before at Introversion. We found Ryan Sumo’s art was perfect for the right, very clean and obvious top-down look, so you can see at a glance what’s going on.

That kind of – by definition – is quite cartoony, but it wasn’t a specific decision to juxtaposition that against the serious issues within the game. it just kind of happened that way. But fairly early on we realised we wanted the tone of the game to be a bit darker and more serious.

I think Ryan – just on spec – sent us a couple of Polaroids of a fight going on or something, and those are a great way of illustrating things in a serious manner in-game, what the cartoony guys are doing to each other.

So they went in the game, and now – it often happens this way with indie development – you see that and you see it working well, and now the Polaroids have become an increasingly important part. The general look of the game as it evolves makes this – I think – makes this really great juxtaposition between its cartoony look and serious issues.

”Within the sandbox you get to choose whether or not you want to have a death row and an execution chamber in there. You’ll probably get paid more for doing it, but there will be expensive to run, and you’ll probably have campaigners outside your prison.”

It is a very serious subject and it comes with many personal and emotional conundrums. How far can you rule with an iron fist and punish inmates further, or perhaps even be more sympathetic towards them based on their crime?

Well we’re still only in alpha, we’ve still got a long way to go. But what we’re trying to do is, we’ve used the same AI model that they’ve used in The Sims – based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – which is a psychological model.

Basically, human beings at base level have a need to go to the toilet, and they can’t stop that. That overrides every other need, and then the next level – the second stage up – is the need to eat and drink. You have all these basic needs.

But then as you go up, you start hitting a need to socialise, or a need to feel respected – those kind of things. Within Prison Architect, the structure is in place to code all of these things, but they’ve not been written yet.

Ultimately, the goal is that – for instance – prisoners will have a need to spend time with their family, and if you put pay phones in, or a visitation centre, that need will be met and discharged.

If you don’t meet their needs, over time the prisoners will get more and more angry, and then will be more likely to cause trouble – beat up guards, riot or anything like that. One approach to playing Prison Architect would be to try and meet the needs of all of the prisoners.

This would take over the approach of ruling with an iron fist. However, the option to rule with an iron fist will definitely be in there as well, so if you wanted to take a more disciplinarian approach to your prison you will be able to.


You must manage power and water too, ensuring everything is connected correctly.

The most poignant element of that whole process is the death penalty. How do you treat something so controversial in the game? Will people really struggle with the choices laid before them?

I hope so yeah. There’s two modes in the game – a chapter story mode, and a kind of sandbox mode. The very first tutorial chapter is all about death row, so you can play that and kind of see how we’ve tackled that issue.

But then within the sandbox you get to choose whether or not you want to have a death row and an execution chamber in there. You’ll probably get paid more for doing it, but there will be expensive to run, and you’ll probably have campaigners outside your prison, so we try and make the choices have solid consequences within the game world.

It is a taboo subject for many people, and prison life is obviously not easy or safe. Were there any issues you thought about adding but then decided against for controversial reasons?

“There probably won’t be any sexual violence either, so prisons will beat each other up and shank each other. But any of the nastier aspects of what goes on in prisons we’re probably not going to include, because it doesn’t add a lot of benefit to the game.”

Everything’s on the cards at the moment as we decide what we’re going to include and not include. We’re probably not going to include rape – we’re probably not going to go down that route – but we’ll probably include gangs.

Certainly in the States, those two are pretty synonymous. Gangs tend to be racial – that’s how the alignments work, so we’re kind of dealing with race in a gang context, but we’re not doing that in an obvious way.

That’s an issue that is too thorny, and we don’t think we can really deal with appropriately. Also, there probably won’t be any sexual violence either, so prisoners will beat each other up and shank each other. But any of the nastier aspects of what goes on in prisons we’re probably not going to include, because it doesn’t add a lot of benefit to the game.

It wouldn’t make much sense to include those things just to have them.

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to add things just because, but as we roll forward anything might change.

Given the controversy of the subject it’s not surprising that this game hasn’t been done before – Prison Tycoon aside. Was that game an inspiration for Prison Architect at all?

No not at all. We have played it when we became aware of it, just to see what it’s like, and there’s no depth to it really. The biggest inspiration here was War Fortress. It’s a game that has this huge systematic depth, and I think Chris and I are very attractive to that way of making games.

You write a system in the game, and then you layer a system on top of a system, on top of a system. You end up with a very complex world in which you can have an affect. You can tweak and do things.

One thing I want to ask you regarding the game’s systems, is that – because it’s a community led development process – was there anything in particular that the current players were desperate to see?

We’re not really that far into the alpha yet. We gave the guys a pretty small choice about which of the three systems they wanted us to work on next, and they opted for the guard mechanism.

Pretty soon, we’re internally going to draw up a list of broader things we’re going to consider, and then ask people to vote on which of those they think are interesting. We’ll just see whether or not we’re misaligned with the community.

Ultimately, we’re the game designers and we don’t want it to be designed by committee, but we do want people’s opinion, double check things and get ideas. Over time we’ll get a much better understanding of the best way to engage with the community.


You start with eight prisoners and two guards. Stopping them from rioting is key.

You’ve stated previously that the end goal of this alpha phase is to get Prison Architect up to a quality level that allows it to be published on Steam. What do you need to happen first before that can become a reality?

I don’t really know how to answers that. I mean, we’ve got aspirations for the game. At the moment there’s quite a strong early game in it, and it plays quite well. The mid-game plays well, but the end game is just completely not there.

When we’re at the point where we’re completely happy that we’ve made a whole prison game, we’ll go and see Valve, put it in front of them, and hopefully they’ll launch it on Steam.

You’re not going for PSN or Xbox Live with Prison Architect, and I’ve read comment from Introversion before about how high the barriers to entry are on those platforms. Does that high criteria need to change?

Yeah, I think the world has hugely moved on. The original idea behind game consoles were that the experienced player was going to be of a much higher quality than PC gaming was.

In the old days you had to set up your IRQs and do all sorts of crazy stuff to get your game to run, or something wouldn’t run because your graphics card was out of date. Somebody looked at that – probably Nintendo – and said, ‘no we’re going to put all of that in the bin and make a games console that is dedicated to gaming, putting it on the hands of the masses.’

”Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, ‘well we don’t want to have your game second, we want to be first.’ Well, they can’t be first. We’re on PC because they’ve made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off. ”

Then over time, they evolved the huge requirement sets – basically the quality assurance mechanisms – to ensure the game you play on your console plays well and doesn’t crash. Meanwhile, the PC market has just completely matured, so it’s not difficult any more. you don’t need to have a huge amount of technical knowledge to play games.

The technology games are written on – Unity, or in our case, our own game library – have now matured to the point where, there are still crashes and bugs, but on a significantly lower level that they used to.

If you look at our position: we’re two guys basically – although we’re a little big bigger than that – working on a game we’ve launched ourselves. We’re in alpha, we’re seeing money now, which is enabling us to carry on developing it.

Hopefully we’ll get a Steam deal – I’m pretty confident we will as we have a great relationship with Valve – and then we’re exposed to Valve’s market of 20 million people. Alternatively we could spin out a team of probably ten people, we need to pay Microsoft £10,000 a go for a development kit.

Bloody hell.

Yeah, it’s ridiculous, and it’s non-refundable once you’ve bought it. You’ve got to pay – I think our quality assurance bill was $30,000 for testing with Darwinia+, and it took four years to get the game certified to a standard that Microsoft wanted. It then sold rubbish. We hardly shipped any units on Xbox 360, compared to PC.

But do you reckon that this was because PC and consoles are two different markets, and that fans of both sides have different expectations and values?

I think so. There is a strong indie community now on PC that doesn’t exist within the console world, and they’ve tried various ways to tap into that with Live Arcade and Xbox Indie Games, and they just never managed it in the way Steam has.

We’ve got no interest in working with any of the big console owners now with Prison Architect. The only think we might do, once the game’s out there, is license it to another developer to do the port on our behalf.

But Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, ‘well we don’t want to have your game second, we want to be first.’ Well, they can’t be first. We’re on PC because they’ve made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off.

You’re not delivering the amount of sales, you’re making us work harder, and ultimately we’re getting paid less than what we do on PC. So I think they’re definitely – in the indie world – second class customers.

If they want to work with us – and if they want indie games on their systems – they’re going to have to change quite a lot to make it attractive.

You can check out more on Prison Architect, or download the alpha build over at the official Introversion site.

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3 Comments

  1. DSB

    Can’t believe you went for it Dave, thanks! As a huge Introversion fanboy, I definitely agree with the intro.

    They make games that aren’t much to look at, but they’re stuffed with so much passion that you just don’t care. And that’s why I always break my bank whenever there’s a chance to fund those guys.

    Prison Architect is shaping up nicely too.

    Still not true that Kickstarter hasn’t produced a succes though. FTL became one of the biggest indie hits in recent years.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Hey man, it was my pleasure. The game took my interest and I simply had to find out more :)

    Been playing it a lot over the weekend and all those screenshots are of my jail ‘Dave Penitentiary.’ Shit name I know.

    The game is tough though, no tutorial, but the linked Wiki guide work a treat.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Arkos

    Just read that article. And I laughed : “War fortress”. I doubt that any game has ever been named that, but anyway, the true reference is : “Dwarf fortress”, a game made by Tarn Adams. As the name say, you’re managing a fortress, with dwarves, and the depth of it is unparalleled (even Prison architect is far from it).

    Prison architect is interesting in its prison management, and I love it.But Dwarf fortress will remain the most complex and hardest game. PA still lacks a lot of sim and possibility.

    #3 2 years ago

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    Super Smash Bros. might be a Nintendo flagship, but it’s Sony’s movie business that wants to bring it to the big screen. A Super Smash Bros. movie is referenced several times in documents published by Wikileaks following the huge Sony Pictures leak. ArsTechnica dug out these interesting snippets, discovering that Sony made a “full court […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 3 coming next month

    Life is Strange Episode 3 will arrive as expected next month. Life is Strange developer Dontnod confirmed on Twitter that the third episode is on track for a May release. It's great to hear so many of you are excited for Episode 3 which will be released in May! (official date TBA) pic.twitter.com/jIp7upU2u9 — Life […]

  • Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness – details on story and setting emerge

    Information pertaining to the story and setting in Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness has been detailed by Famitsu. According to what Siliconera reports, several centuries after leaving Earth, humans have created the “Galactic Federation” in order to maintain unified order and peace after years and years of war. But all is not peaceful, as […]

  • This homebrew app turns your 3DS into a remote desktop – shown running World of Warcraft

    Modders are busy working on a Nintendo 3DS homebrew app which turns the system into a remote desktop. A post on the gbatemp forum (thanks, Eurogamer) shows the app in action running World of Warcraft on a 3DS – although not perfectly. At present, the app has a rather low frame-rate, but development is still […]

  • Release dates for three Hyperdimension Neptunia games announced

    Hyperdimension Neptunia fans will be pleased to know three games in the franchise have release dates for Steam and Vita. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed, which was announced for western audiences last year, will arrive on PS Vita will be released digitally and and at retail in North America on May 19 and in Europe […]

  • Mass Effect 4 survey contains info on crafting, exploration, a Horde Mode more – RUMOR

    Remember when a Dragon Age: Inquisition survey popped up and outed possible content for the title? It’s happened again and this time it’s for the next Mass Effect game. Note: take the information contained herein with a grain of salt. Surveys, if this one is legit, are usually sent out to test ideas and aren’t […]

  • GTA 5 PC: modders poking around the files find Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT textures

    More GTA 5 information has been posted by modders poking around in the files of the PC version. This time, instead of zombies and horses, textures for the Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT vehicles have been found. New leaked vehicles Barbarian, Detonator and Tampa are also mentioned in the thread. A screencap of the files […]

  • Sony leaks: Uncharted movie similar to National Treasure but more “intense” and not as “silly”

    Sony Pictures wants the Uncharted film to be similar in tone to the National Treasure franchise, but not as soft or silly, and with deeper romantic storyline than the Nicolas Cage films. The information on the upcoming film was pulled from emails and database files derived from the Sony Pictures hack last year by North […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” says DICE

    DICE boss Patrick Bach has promised Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” as the game carries the Battlefront title for a reason. Speaking with Eurogamer during Day 2 of the Star Wars Celebration yesterday, Bach said the team stayed true to the “core ethos” of the Battlefront series by adhering to what […]

  • New Steam policy restricts accounts to protect users from phishing scams and spam

    Valve has implemented a new policy on Steam which limits user accounts which have spent less than $5 through the store. The new policy is to protect users from phishing scams and spam. If the users hasn’t spent anything on the store, they at least have to have $5 sitting in their Steam Wallet. This […]

  • Latest Flash Sale on the US PlayStation Store discounts action games and movies

    Sony is hosting another Flash Sale on the North American store with plenty of action games, and some films, to help get your weekend started. The list is super long, so here’s a few highlights: Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Bayonetta Beyond Good & Evil HD Castlevania: Harmony of Despair […]

  • A new expansion for Postal 2 called Paradise Lost was released today

    It appears Postal 2 has a new add-on available. No, it’s not for the 2003 version, but the Complete Edition which was greenlit on Steam 10 years later. Called Paradise Lost, the add-on stars the Dude and contains a new single-player story campaign and new areas featuring free-roam gameplay. The original voice actor for the […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.01 is now available for PC, fixes launcher and framerate issues

    Rockstar has released patch 1.01 for the PC version of GTA 5 and along with a fix to the character’s facial features changing when transferring to PC, the launcher will no longer drain your CPU and crash. Here are the full patch notes: Fixed an issue where the GTAV Launcher would use an abnormally high […]

  • Ultra Street Fighter 4 will arrive on the PS Store for PS4 in May

    Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be released on PlayStation 4 in May, Capcom has announced. All characters, levels and previous DLC will be included in the PS4 version, including a fix to input lag found in the PS3 version’s controls. The fighting game will be released digitally on the PS Store May 26 for $24.99 […]

  • Upcoming Dark Souls 2 patch to fix weapon degradation glitch

    Weapon degradation wan’t an intentional feature in Dark Souls 2, and now that it has carried over into Scholar of the First Sin, the glitch will be patched out in an upcoming update. The glitch also affected the framerate of Dark Souls 2 on PC, and on all platforms with Scholar of the First Sin. […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order on Origin, Amazon, others

    Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order through EA’s Origin service as well as Amazon and GameStop. Star Wars: Battlefront pre-orders, as previously reported, will include early access to the free Battle of Jakku DLC. The planet is included in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and finds the New Republic coming […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront – watch the lovely reveal trailer here

    The first trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront was released today after much anticipation. Watch the lovely game reveal below, all captured on PlayStation 4. The trailer was revealed during an EA panel today at the Star Wars Celebration, and featured Lucasfilm concept artist Doug Chiang, the game’s senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, and other members of […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront has 40-player battles, play as Darth Vader and Boba Fett

    Star Wars: Battlefront will take place during the original film trilogy’s timeline, according to a report from the Associated Press. It appears the information was posted ahead of time, (via Kotaku) as the report is written in past tense. According to the report, players will take part in “frenzied shoot-outs between up to 40 players” […]

  • Microsoft confirms departure of Xbox Europe VP Phil Harrison

    Microsoft has confirmed the departure of Phil Harrison, its corporate VP of Xbox in Europe. According to a statement, Harrison left to pursue interests outside of the company, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GI.biz. “Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Rent-a-Server option coming to both last and current-gen consoles

    Battlefield Hardline players will be able to take part in the Rent-a-Server program, similar to the one in Battlefield 4, when the first patch for the shooter is released. Rental servers will come to both last and current-gen consoles, and CPU issues will be addressed in the patch as well, which PC players will be […]

  • Chip’s Challenge and unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2 arrive on Steam next month

    Chip’s Challenge, the 1989 top-down tile-based puzzler created by Chuck Sommerville, is heading to Steam along with the unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2. After the release of the first game, Sommerville spent two years developing the sequel, only to find the trademark had been sold. The trademark’s new owners wanted him to fund the publishing, […]

  • Pillars of Eternity patch betas hitting Steam, update 1.05 to drop in May

    Patch 1.04 for Pillars of Eternity dropped yesterday, and according to Obsidian Entertainment, players can expect the next round of fixes to arrive in May. According to a post on the Kickstarter page, patch 1.04 contained quite a bit of fixes, and going forward, the team plans to continue squishing bugs, adding additional polish and […]

  • Goat Simulator comes to Xbox platforms

    Goat Simulator continues its plan to dominate all platforms under the sun by releasing on Xbox consoles. Goat Simulator has been released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The store page for the Xbox One version is now live, but the 360 one is lagging behind. Don’t know what this game is or what it’s […]

  • Alienation: first co-op footage revealed

    We have our first look at gameplay footage from Housemarque’s Alienation. Housemarque has finally given us a look at their upcoming shooter project, Alienation. The twin-stick shooter will feature co-op and the new video shows it in action. It’s a short one but still manages to demo several environments. The game was shown off at […]

  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

  • GTA 5 files accessed by modders, reveal horses, zombies, more

    Modders have managed to pry GTA 5′s file lock open and expose many of its interesting innards. GTA community modders have gained access to several of GTA 5′s archives on PC. These files were previously believed to be inaccessible. Popular modding tool OpenIV, which was used in editing files in GTA 4 (hence the name), […]

  • Bethesda’s E3 invite features Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein… but no Fallout

    Bethesda is going first at E3 this year with a showcase of games on Sunday night. What clues can we see in the press invite? Skyrim publisher Bethesda has sent out confirmation of its E3 showcase, taking place Sunday June 14. The invite includes a number of Bethesda game characters including Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazcowicz, a […]

  • Here’s Crytek’s VR demo, because dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs! This is precisely what virtual reality is for. VR demos are all over the place and CryEngine developer Crytek has produced one of its own, showing off how the engine is flexible enough t- Look, let me level with you: I don’t care. I only care about dinosaurs. Hush now and watch the dinosaurs. […]

  • StreetPass update adds birthday collecting, VIP Miis and more

    StreetPass collecters should take advantage of an optional update. It’s International StreetPass Week, so now’s the time to break out the 3DS and go hunting. Don’t leave your home network without first checking out a new optional update, though. Kotaku reports the update prompt is available from the leftmost icon in your StreetPass Mii Plaza. […]

  • Massive Uplay sale offers cheap games in time for the weekend

    PC gamers can grab a sweet saving or two in Uplay’s Spring Sale. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Alien: Isolation are all on sale as part of Uplay’s Spring Sale, among many other titles. The sale offers discounts of up to 85% off digital […]

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.