Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Dwarf Fortress dev: ‘It’s kind of funny, we never achieved our original goals’

“This random side project suddenly becomes our fantasy game,” Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams told PC Gamer, reflecting on the game’s development. “And it’s been strange to adapt to that.” …


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Dwarf Fortress dev: ‘It’s kind of funny, we never achieved our original goals’

“This random side project suddenly becomes our fantasy game,” Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams told PC Gamer, reflecting on the game’s development. “And it’s been strange to adapt to that.” …


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Blog: China is kind of a big deal for indie games

I’ve always known there was an undiscovered batch of players eager for indie games. Well, I found them, and they’re in China. …


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Open your mind (and your mouth) and learn about a new kind of game design

This is single-handedly the weirdest thing we’ve ever done on Twitch. …


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Blog: What kind of tools should kids make games with?

A look at the kinds of tools available for kids to develop games with, and an exploration of the pros and cons of each. …


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What kind of games are popular with both children and parents?

A recent survey from Joan Ganz Clooney Center aims to discover what type of games are played in family homes by both children and parents alike. …


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De La Soul Appearing In Angry Birds Because That’s Just The Kind Of World We Live In These Days

Angry Birds Action!, the pinball spinoff to Rovio's popular series, is getting a big update. Considering the subject matter, it only makes sense that it's called the Big Pig Update. What seems a bit stranger is the inclusion of venerable hip-hoppers De La Soul. They've not only written a song for the game, but they're appearing in it as characters for a limited time. 

You can hear a snippet of the new track, "Action," in the clip below. You'll also see a bunch of pigs and birds and general anger. If you like what you hear, you may want to check out De La Soul's next album, which is out August 26. Or listen to this classic track from the Judgment Night soundtrack, which seems oddly prescient.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

[Source: Pitchfork]

Our Take
This isn't the first head-scratching collaboration we've seen between hip-hop artists and games. Remember Method Man's song "World Gone Sour," written for Caocom's Sour Patch Kids game? Who could forget really. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Grand Kingdom Review – A New Kind Of Strategy Domination

The
strategy/RPG genre has seen its share of growing pains in this modern age, and
plenty of games have tried to shake things up, such as Fire Emblem's
relationship system and The Banner Saga's choice-driven narrative. Grand
Kingdom is paving its own way, ditching grid-based combat, offering a bevy of
customization, and putting more action into the combat. It does a wonderful
job, and I enjoyed the challenging battles, building up my party, and competing
online.

The game has
a single-player campaign that serves as your introduction to the title and all
its intricacies. This is a hefty time investment and worth engaging in to build
up your party. The plot is basic, mainly about how the continent of Resonail,
which is made up of four nations, has erupted into war. The lure to Grand
Kingdom isn't its story, however, it's the gameplay and party-building, and the
campaign delivers on those fronts, giving you fun missions and battles.

In Grand
Kingdom, you put together a team of four mercenaries with classes of your
choosing. Every time you step into a mission or quest, it's set up like a board
game, where you move your piece around the field. This can trigger battles or
random events, but treasure and resources are also planted across the field.
You have a set amount of steps you can take with each map before it's game
over, but the allotment is generous. The board is littered with obstacles, and
depending on your party selection, certain field skills can help you get around
them. For instance, I had a wind skill that could take away any bad weather
instantly, which normally would take three turns to clear up.

Journeying
the board to find the optimal path has its own interesting dilemmas, but the
battle system is also stellar. In combat, you have three lanes where your party
and enemies can be moved. Character placement can mean life or death; you usually
want your tanks up front and your ranged members in the back, but you also have
to make decisions in the heat of battle, such as getting them out of the way if
they're vulnerable to a canon or a charged attack. You can see the turn order
and what's incoming to help you strategize. Deciding which enemies to attack first
can be make or break. Do you want to focus on deadly mages right in your vicinity
or are you better off eliminating the leader to lower the opponent's morale,
affecting their action and move gauge?

Encounters
are a cross between turn-based and action gameplay, forming one of my favorite
strategy/RPG battle systems of recent years. Every character has an action
gauge for movement and attacks. For melee characters, you want to repeatedly
press the corresponding button to combo up attacks when near enemies. For
ranged characters, it's all about timing and hitting the attack button as a
meter displays on the enemy. In both cases, characters can knock opponents in
the air or hit them into objects (or even each other) for more damage. Using
the environment to your advantage is fun, and I like the skill involved in how
you execute your attacks. Battles have surprising variety in how they play out,
and there's nothing like lining up an attack and having it kill multiple
enemies as they fly into each other. But also beware of your own characters'
positions, because they can take friendly damage. Sometimes it might mean
letting a party member get severely wounded for the greater good. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Outside of
taking on missions, some of the most fun I had was building up my party with
the breadth of customization the game offers. The class variety is diverse,
featuring everything from a dragon mage to an arcanist, and you choose their
skills, allocating experience points, and equipping them with gear you can buy
or create. As a cool feature, all the gear you equip shows up visibly on your
party, so you can put everything from clown noses to mummy wraps on them.

I loved all
the options to consider for my characters. You have four main attacks, plus
passive skills and support skills. How this continues to expand as you level up
is exciting, since your team earns skills, but you can also purchase some, such
as healing and poison resistance. A lot of the skills are appealing and can be
game-changers, so you're constantly making tough choices of what skill you can
live without.

While the
battle system thrives, the backdrops, especially in combat, do nothing to help
it. I noticed the scenery was similar in every encounter, making them lack
excitement. Maps can also take a while to complete, and in the campaign you
sometimes have three boss battles in succession. Dying at the end of the map
can mean losing a lot of progress. No save points exist during the maps, which
makes sense because you can back yourself into a corner with the resource
management, but these game overs are frustrating nonetheless.

The
experience also gets repetitive in other ways. In and outside of the campaign,
you're grinding to improve your party at every turn, though you do have
different types of quests to negate some of the tedium. Your level carries over
when you take your party online, where you form a contract with one of the four
nations vying for domination. You can pick a specific number of wars to support,
and depending on your choices, shops and trade posts of rival nations won't be
available to you. However, you do get access to perks in these areas from your
nation. Wars play out daily, and you can choose to manually control your troops
or let the A.I. control your party. I did both. When I went to bed at night, I
set the A.I. control, so I'd wake up with extra experience, items, and gold in
the morning. Other times, I wanted to see how I stacked up to the competition
and manually controlled my party for battles, which was exciting because I saw
opponents use strategies I never considered. You can also level up your party
by taking on quests against the computer with specific objectives, such as
making deliveries or defending areas. You can even just explore an area with no
objective to find treasure and gather resources for crafting.

Despite all
these options, my engagement drastically declined after a few days of playing
faithfully. Even if the conditions are slightly different, you're still doing
the same thing: battles on repeat and roaming similar maps. Plus, even when I
supported a nation, I felt like a drop in the bucket; my efforts did not have
much influence in its success or failure, so playing against others lost its
allure after a while. The rewards online are also disappointing; while you get
items and money, nothing I received was grand enough to keep me coming back.

Grand Kingdom is a solid strategy/RPG,
especially if you've been hankering for something new and different. I am
interested to see where the series goes in the future. It feels like it has a
solid foundation, and I'd love to see that expanded with even more reasons to
stick around after you polish off the campaign and play some online matches.
Even so, the game is entertaining, and strategy fans should appreciate all the
decisions it puts in their hands. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Creating Your Kind Of Car In Need For Speed

Need for Speed has always been about the streets, but this year's reboot (out November 3 for Xbox One and PS4) aims to nail the car culture of street racing. One component of this is the car customization options in the game. Find out how you can make your perfect ride.

The new trailer for the title walks through how you can do apply aftermarket parts, tune the car, and apply your own artistic touch courtesy of vinyl decals.

Apart from the cool visual aspect of building your beast, I've spent some time with the performance customization of the game, and it's cool that it's as granular or as basic as you want it to be.

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‘Discovery kind of sucks,’ so Unity aims to do something about it

At Unite 2015 in Boston, Unity unveiled a new website that aims to help game developers with discovery. It offers blogging tools and demo streams, and is linked to existing Unity accounts. …


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