The sequel to Sunless Sea is very much on the way

Less than four hours after its Kickstarter launch, the sequel to Failbetter Games’ dying-at-sea simulator Sunless Sea reached its funding goal of $126,635 (a simpler number, 100,000, in British pounds). Now, one day later, they’ve raised $215,942, achieving every stretch goal but the last. If things continue this way, Failbetter is going to need to come up with a few more. The sequel to Sunless Sea takes players from the dim peril of a subterranean ocean to the final frontier; space! Instead of steering a steam ship through the black expanse, you’re the captain of the bastard child of a…


A closer look at the clunky bots and boxy spaceships of The Signal From Tölva

Do you remember Sir, You Are Being Hunted for its breathtaking art and scenic landscapes? Or do you remember mostly harrowing chases through the moors as bemonacled automatons try to skin you for sport? We covered the studio’s newest game The Signal From Tölva last December, focusing on the stunning landscapes of the titular planet. Now, thanks to a video posted by the art team, we’ve gotten a better look at the pointedly clunky, resilient aesthetic of the machines that make up the world of Tölva, from the oil tanker equivalent of spaceships to robots that look like they were put together…


An ode to Reinhardt, tortured scion of a broken land

We love Overwatch. So we assembled 22 of our best writers and set them to work—a writer to jump into the skin (or robotic shell) of each character. The result is 22 odes. You can use the “Overwatch odes” tag to leaf through them all, or use the handy list at the bottom of this post. /// Berlin, 1945. Spring has sprung, drawing a bitterly cold winter across Europe to a close. Like a stockyard’s hammer, Stalin’s Red Army has struck crippling blow after crippling blow to the Wehrmacht, and now sits outside the gates of Germany’s capital city. Concerted…


Total War: Warhammer, you pronounce it Waaagh

There was never a question of which faction I would be playing for my first run of Total War: Warhammer. The Vampire Counts were fun to dabble with, but their brand of corrupt-and-conquer worked a little too slowly for my tastes. The Dwarves, despite being the only race to master the helicopter while most of their neighbors are still working on crossbow technology, were too homogeneous for my taste. As for the Empire, if I wanted to play a vaguely Germanic and very mustachioed nation, I needn’t play a game about wizards and trolls. The Orcs, with their ultra-aggressive playstyle,…

The Gallery

The simple pleasure of tossing bottles and listening to sea shells in virtual reality

Virtual reality is absolutely everywhere at GDC this year. On the expo floor, a man strapped at the waist to a treadmill-like device runs in place. At the lunch tables, a woman’s jaw drops as she experiences some simulated haranguing of her sensory organs. Everyone is goggled up. Despite being my first time at the Game Developers Conference, I’m inclined to believe that the nigh ubiquitous presence of virtual reality gear is a first for the event. I was ecstatic just to walk around the world But even with an excess of hardware, there’s only so much actual content to go…


Chambara aims to capture the tension of samurai films

Esteban Fajardo and his team have been devouring samurai films while crafting their competitive action game Chambara. They were particularly drawn to the work of Akira Kurosawa, the renowned Japanese director known for films such as Seven Samurai (1954), Yojimbo (1961), and Rashomon (1950). This last of those films has come to inform Chambara‘s visual style, if not its tone, the most. “These strange impulses of the human heart would be expressed through the use of an elaborately fashioned play of light and shadow,” Kurosawa wrote on Rashomon. The title of Chambara refers to Kurosawa’s own film genre, the samurai film, but it’s…

Intel Extreme Masters

What happens to the young, retired stars of esports?

When Dennis “Thresh” Fong was growing up, there was no such thing as a ‘professional gamer’. He was sixteen when he started playing DOOM (1993), but wasn’t competing for anything other than the thrill of victory. Aside from hustling chumps at the local arcade, nobody was making money by playing games. “A professional gamer is anyone who makes money, even winning 10 bucks on a Street Fighter game at Seven-Eleven,” joked Nick Allen, the panel moderator of “The Professional Gamer” at GDC 2016. That notion should seem quaint; at the Capcom Cup in 2015, the final prize pool for Ultra Street…

The Church in the Darkness

Videogame to explore the possible causes of the Jonestown massacre

In The Church in the Darkness, you play a man looking for his nephew outside the borders of his own country. The lad has gone to a commune or cult in South America called the Collective Justice Mission, a group led by a charismatic married couple. The parallels to America’s third most famous cult—the first two being Scientology and the Apple corporation—are readily apparent. In 1974, Jim Jones led the Peoples Temple to South America to found Jonestown, a name most Americans would come to associate with tragedy. But Richard Rouse III, who leads the team creating The Church in the…