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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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    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]