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Outer Wilds is like Groundhog Day in space

Even though it took the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Excellence in Design awards at the Independent Games Festival earlier this year, Outer Wilds is something of a mystery. It was still in very early alpha when it was being judged for this year’s Game Developers Conference, and has flown under a lot of people’s radars since, especially in the shadow of a game like No Man’s Sky. Both games feature an open, explorable universe at their core, but Outer Wilds differs in a lot of ways. why does the universe keep resetting?  The defining factor of Outer Wilds is…

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Star Citizen’s crowdfunding campaign now exceeds the GNP of Tuvalu

Star Citizen, the spiritual successor to Wing Commander, continues to inhale gobs of cash from the crowd, recently breaking the $47 million dollar mark, which is nuts. Passing this milestone gives players the added feature of engine tuning, allowing them to tinker around under the hood of their ship. If (when) this reaches $49 million, the devs will add a rare species of space plant, which blooms one night every 100 years. It sounds like they are running thin on stretch goals.  For the record, this puts the budget for a game about spaceships shooting other spaceships far above the…

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A room full of rowdy people getting hype for Star Citizen’s in-game footage

Star Citizen is quickly becoming something of a big deal. Sure, the $41 million raised is impressive, for a crowdfunding campaign. But what finally convinced me that this spiritual salute to Wing Commander has escaped the echo chamber of the Internet into broader culture was when a random stranger I met at a pizzeria asked me, “Do you know about this Star Citizen game?” Her boyfriend was obsessed, she said.  Apparently there were plenty of people like her boyfriend at PAX East this morning, hooting and chanting and yelling “woo” as the developer demoed the game in action for the…

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Square Enix’s confusing crowd-screening platform explained

The Square Enix Collective, the Final Fantasy maker’s, uh, crowd-something platform—launched yesterday, but it’s actually just a screening process for games that will appear on Square’s official Indiegogo page. Confusing, I know, but I can explain. The way it works is that if a game garners enough interest, gauged through page hits and (yes) votes, then it might get the chance to appear in a crowdfunding project blessed by Square. You’re competing to compete. So it’s kind of a crowdsourcing filter for crowdfunding projects that will be endorsed by a big publisher, which seems like three degrees of pointless. The…