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Limit Theory: a solo mission to the stars

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 13:37 GMT By Dave Cook

Limit Theory is the procedural space game from Stanford alumni Josh Parnell. VG247′s Dave Cook talks with him about his Kickstarter project, and the pressure of going solo.

Josh Parnell had his first brush with coding at the age of ten. It all started when his parents bought him a book on C++, and although the intricacies of pointers and inheritance might have confused the aspiring game developer at the outset, he stuck with it and hit the books hard,

While most ten-year-olds would have been fixated on riding bikes or playing football, Parnell had his sights set on the stars, and the promise of an infinite universe teeming with possibility convinced him to knuckle down. After a few years spent making fun, workable projects for his own amusement, Parnell decided it was time to carve out a niche in the broader industry.

He then spent two years researching procedurally-generated audio, which led to the creation of a competent music application that reaffirmed his love for coding, and a fondness for dynamic content. But still, the fledgling coder wasn’t satisfied, and yearned to put his knowledge to better use.

The desire to actually see and interact with procedurally-generated content, rather than simply hear it, gave Parnell an end-goal, and three years of burying himself in programming books, and with several Stanford courses under his belt, he’s now developing Limit Theory, an infinite, procedurally space RPG which has recently become fully-funded on Kickstarter.

“I think it’s fair to say that it all started with Morrowind.

“The freedom, the beautiful, strange, and intricate world, and the limitless number of ways that you could choose to play it. That game just blew my mind and ignited my intense love for PC games.”

“Exploration is a huge part of the game, and I’m excited to see it implemented as a real, playable career rather than the usual cool-but-not-functional role that it tends to take in space games.”

The first games you might think of when looking at Parnell’s Limit Theory are EvE Online, Freelancer, and of course, David Braben’s recent foray into Kickstarter, Elite: Dangerous. But for the developer the road to Limit Theory started with Bethesda’s RPG, as it helped him think bigger than the rigid, cinematic corridors and linear worlds that dominated the industry at the time of Morrowind’s launch.

“Morrowind forever spoiled me,” he continued, “and now I can’t go back to enjoying linear gameplay. It goes without saying that Oblivion and Skyrim drove the nails in the coffin. My next big experience was Freelancer, which afforded the same kind of freedom as Morrowind, but in a sci-fi venue. Looking back, Morrowind and Freelancer were almost certainly the most influential games that I ever played, so I guess it’s no surprise that people have noted that Limit Theory looks like “Freelancer 2” or “Morrowind in Space.”

The notion of “Morrowind in space” is a tantalising prospect, but that – believe it or not – actually undersells Parnell’s aspiration for his story-less, visually breathtaking world. Where Bethesda saw you travelling its meticulously-designed world, following its pre-written lore and falling into one of several character classes, Limit Theory offers near-unbound freedom

So in many ways Limit Theory falls closer to EvE Online and Elite, in that players are free to carve out their own persona and reason for existing with its sprawling world. There is no story, so you can adopt the role of, say, a trigger-happy pirate, or an intellectual who uses their mastery of commerce as a weapon. It’s pure role-playing at its finest, where you are free to be whoever you want to be.

This is your entirely your story, Parnell stressed, “Depending on the universe you select, you’ll start the game in one of a few possible situations. You may find yourself on a planet, or perhaps a space station, or just drifting in space. Either way, you’ll have few assets – a basic ship, a handful of credits, and perhaps a cargo hold full of goods.

“Where you go from there is completely up to you. Different players will gravitate toward different openings. Personally, I’ll probably do some easy missions to round up credits in the beginning, because I’m really looking forward to using the procedural mission system. Some players will take to trading. Others will head off to explore.

“Exploration is a huge part of the game, and I’m excited to see it implemented as a real, playable career rather than the usual cool-but-not-functional role that it tends to take in space games. One of the critical components of exploration in Limit Theory is the sensor system. Players can purchase and outfit their ships with sensor equipment of varying grades, which enable the player to record ‘snapshots’ of various game entities.

“The economy is driven by supply-and-demand and brought into equilibrium by the numerous NPC traders that roam the systems looking for profit opportunities. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of trading is the variability of demand.”

“Sensor logs can have inherent value based on the contents. For example, a log that records the location of a yet-undiscovered wormhole holds a great deal of value, as does a log of a particularly ore-rich asteroid. Through the use of this sensor log system, the player can convert discoveries into tradable commodities. The faction in control of the system containing the undiscovered wormhole, for example, may be willing to pay top-dollar to purchase the information.”

The existence of a strong and exploitable economy is vital for any space trading game worth its salt, so it’s refreshing to see Parnell put so much thought into the idea of trading scanned information as a means of charting unknown space. It’s complex, sure, but there are many ways to make a living in his universe if this method makes your brain itch.

“Mining is the primary form of raw resource gathering in Limit Theory,” Parnell continued. “There aren’t really any surprises here. To mine, the player needs to locate an asteroid rich with ore, then use a weapon or specialized mining beam to dislodge chunks of ore from the asteroid.

“These chunks must be pulled in with a tractor beam, or scooped up manually into the cargo hold. One of my favourite parts of mining is using the mining beam. Since the game is twitch-based, that means you’re in direct control of the beam, and I often find myself having far too much fun trying to burn my name into asteroids with it.”

I know what we’re all thinking here, and yes you can probably draw phalluses onto the side of asteroids if you want. But this is a world free from shackles, so if that’s your poison then you can roll with it. You can’t spend too long messing about however, as the galactic economy of Limit Theory is also dynamic, and offers rewards to those who master it quickly.

“The economy is driven by supply-and-demand and brought into equilibrium by the numerous NPC traders that roam the systems looking for profit opportunities”, Parnell explained, “Perhaps the most interesting aspect of trading is the variability of demand.

“In a dynamic universe such as Limit Theory, a great many time-dependent factors can influence demand. Construction of a new fleet by a faction preparing to go to war, for example, can naturally inflate the price of various alloys in a region.

“To be a great trader, the player will need to do more than recognize price differences – they’ll need to stay abreast of the events taking place within a given region, so as to be ready to strike when demand presents itself. Information about such events will be disseminated through news consoles on planets and space stations.”

“For me, the biggest challenge in working alone is figuring out how to maintain absolute maximum efficiency at all times. To bring a project of this size to reality without a team, I have to constantly ask myself, ‘Is what I’m doing adding maximal value to the game? ”

When you consider all of the above, it’s hard to bear in mind that all of Limit Theory’s DNA – all the mechanics, assets and engines are created procedurally through tech coded by one man. It’s a colossal undertaking that has been made significantly lighter thanks to Parnell’s generational tools.

“The amount of procedural generation used in the game is fairly staggering,” Parnell admitted. “Star systems, background skyboxes – including stars and nebulae – planets, asteroids, ships, and space stations are all generated procedurally. In terms of the items in game, Limit Theory takes a mixed approach in that some pieces of equipment and commodities are randomized, while others are fixed.

“Technically speaking, there’s not really a galaxy in Limit Theory – or, if you like, it’s all one massive galaxy. Space is organized into a hierarchical structure. Star systems make up regions, regions make up clusters, and clusters make up the universe.

“Since the universe is infinite, it’s obviously not generated or simulated all at once, which creates an interesting set of technical problems to solve. At any given point in time, different pieces of the universe will exist at different levels of detail, based primarily on the player’s location.

“For example, the system in which the player resides is always loaded and simulated at full detail. The local region, on the other hand, is loaded and simulated at a lower level of detail. Finally, the local cluster is loaded and simulated only selectively, at a very coarse level.”

Within that space, the player is doled out missions that are also procedurally generated, including information gathering, resource mining and more. However, completing missions doesn’t just result in a small fee and a pat on the back – it actually changes the game world further. For example, if a faction wants information on an uncharted area of space, you could go mining there and scan new planets or zones to help that faction’s expansion there.

“After completing the mission, the player would, of course, obtain a reward in return for the scanned data. But what’s important to note is that this action doesn’t just represent a fleeting monetary transaction. In finding and providing the requested information, the player has actually affected the knowledge of that particular faction in a very real way.

“The sheer amount of learning, of brain-stretching, of hours of frustration but moments of revelation… it excites me now, just thinking about it. Learning is something that can’t be revoked. It’s like money that you get to keep forever.”

“In all likelihood, the faction will go on to set up an outpost in the observed system, and perhaps begin a new operation therein. If the player returns to the system later, they may find new stations, mining barges, and other factional assets roaming about the system, indicating that the knowledge transaction actually had a heavy impact on the universe.

“Had an NPC beaten the player to the job and provided information concerning a different system, the faction might have expanded into an entirely different area. In this manner, I hope to imbue missions with a certain level of meaning, despite the fact that they’re procedural.”

Complete enough missions to become an influential name across the cosmos, and you might just find yourself in command of a whole fleet of ships, adding RTS elements into the mix. Add to this limitless exploration, mining for resources, escorting ships through lawless space for a fee, hunting down bounties across the stars and building a respected fleet, and you have an incredibly ambitious project. I ask Parnell if this level of responsibility ever proves daunting.

“For me, the biggest challenge in working alone is figuring out how to maintain absolute maximum efficiency at all times,” Parnell tells me, “To bring a project of this size to reality without a team, I have to constantly ask myself, ‘Is what I’m doing adding maximal value to the game? If I catch myself doing repetitive or trite labour, I’ve got to stop, step back, and ask ‘what have I done wrong?’

“That’s part of the key to developing Limit Theory. It’s not impossible to build a game like this with one person – but it does require a fairly intense regimen. There’s no time for days and days of tweaking one small piece of the game. There’s no time for writing duplicate code that could have been unified. Most of all, there’s no time for making manual assets.

“Sure, it can get daunting, but one of the many upsides to handling the entire process alone is that it’s hard to get bored. At some point, I might get a bit tired of coding. To give myself a break, I can compose music for a while instead. Or, if that gets tiring too, I can work on the website, design document, images and banners, or figure out how I’m going to approach a certain theoretical problem in the game.”

Make no mistake, Parnell is a busy man right now, but he views it with the refreshing perspective of an optimist, constantly learning through doing. So to him, all of this work is a means to an end beyond Kickstarter and the game’s eventual release.

“The sheer amount of learning, of brain-stretching, of hours of frustration but moments of revelation… it excites me now, just thinking about it. Learning is something that can’t be revoked. It’s like money that you get to keep forever. So regardless of how many copies Limit Theory sells, by release time, I’ll already have made an absurd amount of brain-money.”

“It’d be more than foolish to think that I could make the perfect game in one go. I’m well aware of the fact that Limit Theory is just the tip of a rather enormous iceberg. There’s so much more territory left to be explored.”

It’s making a great deal of real money too of course, thanks to Parnell’s Kickstarter project, so I ask him why he opted for this route over, say, an open alpha model like Prison Architect or Minecraft. Regardless, the public have fully-funded the project and helped Parnell realise the dreams he’s held since he first picked up that C++ book at age ten.

“Kickstarter’s just about the only place I know of where you can say, ‘hey, look at my dream and what could happen if you help me turn it into reality,’ and actually go on to garner enough support from a community to make the dream come true.

“No big name, no studio, and no marketing required. It’s the rawest form of support. It’s the proposal of a vision, and the acceptance or rejection of that vision by others. In the case of Limit Theory, I would say that a great many people enthusiastically supported the vision, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

“It’d be more than foolish to think that I could make the perfect game in one go. I’m well aware of the fact that Limit Theory is just the tip of a rather enormous iceberg. There’s so much more territory left to be explored, both in terms of space sims as well as procedural content generation. Given my unfailing love for both, I just can’t imagine being able to stop any time soon.

“As for Limit Theory, it seems like a very natural progression of my life up to this point. Programming, space games, procedural generation, freedom…this game is where they all come together. How could I not make Limit Theory? I feel as though I’ve been working up to it my whole life.”

If you’d like to pledge to Limit Theory, you can do so over at Parnell’s Kickstarter project page.

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6 Comments

  1. TMRNetShark

    I backed this project over Star Citizen and Elite for one reason… Limit Theory seems like it will be so much more than those two games because it was procedurally generated. We can also make our own ships, have fleets, and if we hit the stretch goal… own and manage planets.

    I’m super excited for this game and I hope that it is very successful!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. OwnedWhenStoned

    I backed all 3…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. RandomTiger

    @2 Same here, I imagine they will each have their strengths and weaknesses.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TMRNetShark

    Oh, don’t get me wrong… all three look amazing! I am just amazed that the space sim genre is coming back with each one of these entries.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. RandomTiger

    None for years and now they seem to be coming out the woodwork, Miner Wars came out a few days ago and Strike Suit Zero is on the way too. My concern is that this is just a bit of a blip, I want to see the genre back for good and evolve with new releases like other healthy genres. I would also like to see some of them reach the console at some point.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. TMRNetShark

    Healthy genres? JRPGs have sucked (for awhile now)… which lead to the few western RPGS. Shooters are littered in every month and the only part of “healthy” is EA and Activision’s check book. The next big genres after that are strategy and action/adventure titles… both of which usually have a number following it (I’m referring to sequels).

    My point it, an industry usually squeezes a certain market until it’s dead. Shooters, as being the most popular genre today, still have some squeeze left in them.

    A blip? Maybe. But having three more games to play is three more games I get to play. Space sims/RTS games are the games I play the most. I still play Starlancer, Freelancer, Sins, X3, Homeworld, Galactic Civilization, Endless Space, and Freespace 2. Yes, Eve Online is good and cool… if you like getting blown up by someone with 3 years more experience than you.

    #6 2 years ago

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    China will open its borders to video game consoles. Last year, the Chinese government allowed a trial of video game console sales in Shanghai, ending a 14 year ban. Bloomberg reports the trial went well enough that China has elected to allow the business nation-wide. Platform holders still have to wait on local governments, who […]

  • 3DS life to date sales top 50 million, Wii U at 9.2 million

    Nintendo has released update hardware life to date sales figures. According to figures released in Nintendo’s latest financial briefing, the 3DS has sold over 50 million units, and spawned 215 million software sales. The poor old Wii U is still languishing at under 10 million hardware sales, with 52 million software sales to its name. […]

  • Destiny heavy ammo bug to be fixed, probably won’t break everything else

    Praise the Sunbro, Bungie is finally going to fix the heavy ammo bug in Destiny. If Destiny has one bug that has gone too long unresolved, it’s the heavy ammo issue. For quite a while now Guardians wearing armour that increased heavy ammo capacity have found their supply emptied whenever they respawn, return to orbit […]

  • MLB 15 The Show continues year-to-year saves, has real time sun and shadows

    MLB 15 The Show is going to be oodles better than last year’s effort, judging by a list of planned improvements. SCE San Diego has released a list of features and improvements coming to MLB 15 The Show. For those keen on the franchise the news that year-to-year saves are making a return is an […]

  • Nintendo outlines 3DS and Wii U release dates for the upcoming year

    Nintendo has published a list of release dates for upcoming 3DS and Wii U games. There aren’t a great many surprises on offer, unfortunately, but if you’rew wondering what’s next for your faithful 3DS and Wii U, you can now consider yourself fully informed. It’s worth noting that these dates are subject to change, and […]

  • Majora’s Mask Hyrule Warriors DLC is just too, too cute

    Majora’s Mask might be the creepiest Zelda but its Hyrule Warriors incarnation is so adorable I don’t know whether to eat it or tuck it up in a little blankey. The Majora’s Mask DLC hits Hyrule Warriors is due on February 5, and includes a version of young Link so sweet that I need a […]

  • Fahrenheit remaster doesn’t play nicely with unusual Steam names, apparently

    Fahrenheit will reportedly not work for you if you have special characters in your Steam name. Fahrenheit, or Indigo Prophecy as it is sometimes known, has been re-released on iOS, Linux, Mac and PC thanks to Aspyr Media. It’s not much of an upgrade, but it is pretty cheap and a great way to experience […]

  • Bloodborne PS4 bundle pops up on Amazon Spain

    Bloodborne should definitely get its own PS4 bundle. It just makes sense. A Bloodborne PS4 bundle has popped up online, although there’s been no official announcement form Sony. Amazon Spain listed the pack, which includes a 500GB console and goes for €440. In other words it’s very similar to existing game bundles and doesn’t include […]

  • Ermac joins Mortal Kombat X cast

    Mortal Kombat X will see the return of the red-clad ninja with origins in myth and glitches. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Twitch stream made good on NetherRealm’s promise of a new roster reveal. As a few of you guessed from the teasers, the latest character to be announced is Ermac, another of the ninjas. Like […]

  • Badland: Game of the Year Edition coming this spring to multiple platforms

    Frogmind Games has announced it will be bringing its action-adventure game Badland to multiple platforms this spring with Badland: Game of the Year Edition. Initially released in 2013 on tablets, the game is a mix of physics-based gameplay with varying level designs and power-up featuring cloning, growing and slowing down time. Badland is set in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront concept art shows Endor, map details teased

    With Star Wars Battlefront set for holiday 2015, it’s high time we were told something about the FPS. Today, a slight bit of information was released on the game, along with a piece of concept art. Finally. While we wait until spring for the first look at the game, we’ll have to be sated with […]

  • You can now catch Emboar and Serperior in Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

    Two new Pokemon are now available for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire through the official Pokemon website’s special event. You can pick up the fire, fighting type Pokemon Emboar from January 28 – November 30, per IGN, using the special code POKEMON500. Enter it into the Mystery Gift section from the main game menu to […]

  • Fight demons, save the world in The Awakened Fate Ultimatum this March

    A new set of videos for The Awakened Fate Ultimatum have been released by NIS America, showing off the roguelike RPG coming to PlayStation 3. In the game, player will guide a high school student named Shin Kamikaze as he comes to term with being a god. After having a dream featuring a girl talking […]

  • You can now pick up Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition on PC, tablets

    Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition is now available on PC as well as Android and iOS tablets. The fifteen year-old title has been revamped in full HD and includes the seven original campaign scenarios and 48 skirmish maps. Local multiplayer mode, a map editor and a Steam lobby are also included.

  • 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s Make Arma Not War contest announced

    The 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest have been announced, after the firm combed through over 250 entries. Finalists chosen in the single-player category were chosen by Arma 3 players, and the add-on and multipkayer entries were selected by Bohemia Interactive. Winners for the next round will be evaluated by […]

  • Here’s a new batch of gruesome Killing Floor 2 screenshots

    Tripwire Interactive has released a new batch of screenshots for Killing Floor 2. The screens show various weapons as well as a variety of Zeds ready to tear you to shreds. Killing Floor 2 is slated for release this year on PC and PlayStation 4. It will also be made available for SteamOS.

  • Hatred is now available for pre-order, new video released

    Hatred is now available for pre-order through the game’s official website. There are two editions to choose from: Digital version with the official game soundtrack for €16.66; or the Digital version with the game soundtrack and a T-shirt for €36.66. The second edition is limited to 1,485 units. Hatred, which was handed an AO rating […]

  • This The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D TV spot is sort of creepy

    With The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D arriving on the first Friday the 13th of the year, it’s only fitting Nintendo would release a slightly creepy TV spot for it. The game’s concept is rather dark, and while it the commercial isn’t too creeptastic, for as short as it is the message is conveyed […]

  • GTA 5 “documentary” chronicles the life of a Tennis Pro

    Here’s another user created video featuring footage from GTA 5, but this one is a documentary instead of crazy stunts, mayhem and face-plants. Created by Bombastic Gamer Films, the documentary delves into the life of Tennis Pro Andreas Schmovakovic, who is both the “greatest player in the world, and the worst.” It’s rather good honestly. […]

  • World of Tanks Xbox 360 updated with console exclusive Pacific Island map, JapaneseChi-Nu Kai tank

    World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition has been updated with a new and exclusive console-only map called “Pacific Island”, which also comes with a Japanese tank. Players will be able to wreck havoc in their very own Japanese Chi-Nu Kai tank, which ca be picked up through the in-game store for Tier 5. It tank […]

  • Here’s the first trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

    Roll 7 has released the first trailer for OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Gameplay in the second outing will include ramps, jumps and hills, allowing for plenty of air and split level routes. It comes with a deeper combo system with Manuals, Reverts, Revert Manuals and Grind Switching. The ‘Tricktionary’ has also been updated with new […]

  • Learn all about the single-player mode in this Evolve video

    A video showing off the single-player portion of Evolve has been released by 2K and Turtle Rock. All content in the game can be played in either online multiplayer or offline in single-player. The video below contains two matches of Defend mode played from both the Monster and Hunter perspective. AI obviously takes on the […]

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U update comes with 15 extra stages

    An update for Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been released, and it comes with 15 new stages for the 8-player mode. The update, version 1.0.2., is 316MB in size and the stages are split with nine normal stages and six Omega stages. Here’s the list: Regular stages Animal Crossing – Smashville Animal Crossing – […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update includes Metroid Prime Trilogy, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. demo

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow of the Ninja on Virtual Console and a demo for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Here’s your update: Metroid Prime: Trilogy – Wii U Rock ’N Racing Off Road – Wii U Frenchy Bird – Wii U Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – […]

  • Battlefield Hardline open beta takes place next week on all systems

    Details and dates for the Battlefield Hardline open multiplayer beta were announced by EA and Visceral Games today. From February 3-8, the beta will be available to all players worldwide on Origin for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You’ll notice that the dates coincide with the Microsoft slip up earlier in […]

  • Transistor, Yakuza 4, Thief headline February PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]