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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

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Nintendo of America’s hosting a Nintendo Direct on April 1

    Nintendo of America will be hosting a Nintendo Direct tomorrow, April 1 of all days. The company will be discussing upcoming 3DS and Wii U games. The session will take place at 3pm PDT/6pm EDT/12am CET. Catch a #NintendoDirectNA about #WiiU & #3DS games on 4/1 at 3 p.m. PT. Don’t let the date fool […]

  • How eSports changed Call of Duty

    Betting on eSports for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has reinvigorated the biggest game on consoles and turned it into a spectator sport. “We were looking at the eSports scene blowing up. Every year it was getting bigger. Players were maturing and being more discriminating. We had to understand the impact that eSports is having […]

  • Destiny: how does the road ahead look?

    The future of Destiny looks very bright with House of Wolves and Comet releasing this year. But what about next year, and the one after that? Alex has a new video for you that tries to paint a picture of the future of Destiny. He goes over the timeline as we know it based on […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.09 improves Heists matchmaking

    GTA 5 received a patch towards the end of last week. The patch, version 1.09, brought with it a few improvements to Heists and plenty of other fixes. Rockstar has released patch 1.09 (1.23 PS3 and Xbox 360) for all versions of GTA 5 to help make the Heisting experience better for all. The ‘auto-invite’ […]

  • Diablo 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and more make up this week’s Deals with Gold

    Deals with Gold is back for the week of March 30 with discounts on Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Lego Movie Videogame, and others. Xbox Live Gold members get a few good deals this week to spend money on. A large assortment of The Lego games is on […]

  • GTA 5: parallax occlusion mapping is gone, but framerate is better

    Patch 1.09 for GTA 5 has indeed removed the parallax occlusion mapping effect, but has in turn improved the game’s overall framerate – at least on PlayStation 4. Earlier last week a YouTube video came to light and showed what appeared to be the removal of effects from GTA 5 after applying patch 1.09. The […]

  • The Witcher 3 dev: DirectX 12 may not have impact on Xbox One games resolution

    DirectX 12 may not be the miracle that some are believing it to be, at least not when it comes to improving the resolution of Xbox One ports. Damien Monnier, a senior game designer at The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has revealed through a Twitter conversation with fans that DirectX 12 may not […]

  • Get infinite items in Bloodborne with this duplication glitch

    Bloodborne has a nasty glitch that will let you duplicate all in-game consumables. The glitch was discovered by Kotaku and makes item duplication pretty simple. Note that doing this will trivialise a major part of the game’s challenge and that it will probably get patched soon. For this glitch to work, you’ll need to create […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 31: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    The weekly reset to Destiny’s merchants, strikes, and reputation caps is here. The strike for this week is The Nexus on the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Void burn will be your ally/enemy for the Nightfall. The Juggler modifier is also available on both Heroic and Nightfall. Inferno Crucible mode also returns with Clash, and it […]

  • Motivational Growth is the first non-documentary film to be released on Steam

    Motivational Growth will soon be Steam’s first foray into selling movies that are not based around video games Steam will release its first, non-documentary film later today in the form of Motivational Growth. The film is a sci-fi comedy distributed by Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital, who has itself produced other game-centred documentaries before, and […]

  • Metal Gear Solid movie in the works at Sony Pictures

    A Metal Gear Solid film is in the making at Sony Pictures. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures has closed a deal to make a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid. The film will be written by Jay Basu, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct. Michael De Luca is said to be heading production. There […]

  • Destiny: Inferno mode returns this week with Inferno Clash

    Inferno mode returns to Destiny this week. This time it’s Inferno Clash. The Inferno playlist will be back to The Crucible rotation in Destiny this week. Unlike last month’s Control, Clash will be the mode variant this time. The main changes Inferno brings to the game is the removal of the radar (mini-map), scoring is […]

  • Bladestorm: how 28 rogue ninja conquered Brittany

    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

  • First Bloodborne speedrun is in, game finished in under 45 minutes

    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

    We’ve got some new gameplay footage from Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies episode 2 – Infection. Arekkz went to L.A. this past weekend and played the new map that Infection brings to Exo Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare. The map is noticeably larger than that of the first episode, with more branching paths you can unlock. […]

  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]