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Sometimes a game does something so well that you can't really walk away. You might have finished its content or cleared out its achievements list, but you can still pour hours into it without really noticing. They're the games that find a way back into rotation evenamongst a freshavalanche of excellence.
I'm kind of between games like this as of late, but Super Mario World is probably the easiest example I'll ever have. There's something about that game's magic that besting the Koopa family dozens of times just can't kill off for me. I've learned most of its secrets on accident over the years, but they're never what I'm looking for. I come back to wreck havoc with Yoshis, to search the clouds for coins with a Cape Feather, to push Wigglers toward extinction as I re-learn how to escape the Forest of Illusion. I come back because Super Mario World is an unflinching match of my definition of fun, and I don't think that will change with 100 more views of the game's credits.
There have been more recent games that have done the same thing for me of course, but I already shared the big one. Now it's your turn! I'd like to hear about the games that have stuck with you long after their related game of the year discussions ended and what it is about them that makes them so memorable. What is it that they manage to do that seems to make the amount of time you spend with them irrelevant? Let me know in the comments, right after you check this week's Japanese hardware sales after the break!
Scraps wants you to strap guns to cars, build bringers of destruction
Car combat games can be built with a fairly simplistic formula and still be a lot of fun to play. What would happen if players entered death machines with wheels that they crafted down to a vehicle's chassis, though? It would look something like Scraps, a customization-focused car combat game that's more than willing to hand you the toolbox and a pile of parts.
Scraps will focus on a deathmatch experience, both in free-for-all and team-oriented rounds of destruction. As players blast pieces off of an opponent's vehicle, they will be able to collect the rubble and return to designated platforms to repair or upgrade their own rides. If your friends aren't into reducing cars to LEGO sets, single player, AI-filled deathmatch options will also be available. Those more interested in playing withcreation tools are covered, too - Scraps will offer a sandbox mode with unlimited funds. Can you build a 20-foot wide wall of turrets on wheels capable of firing without knocking itself over? Only one way to find out!
The alpha release of Scraps is planned for the middle of 2014, but you can tinker around with some creation tools in Scraps' pre-alpha builder demo right now. If the project has already won you over, you can donate $20 NZD (~$16 in US currency) to its Kickstarter campaign and secure yourself a digital copy for PC, Mac and Linux once the first alpha is live. Yes, that will eventually include the full game too, and Steam keys will be available now that the project has been Greenlit.
Spaceteam might not have been made had money been a priority
Spaceteamcreator Henry Smith revealed in a recent retrospective piece that he believes his iOS and Android game, which has teams of players coordinating tasks on a spaceship a la Star Trek, would not have been made had making money off the game taken top priority.
Smith discussed his game's success - and the many ways he defines that word - in the retrospective due to a Twitter discussion that arose after he posted the game's sales numbers. Smith wrote that the numbers were not "bad news" as some had claimed, and clarified that his goal was never to make money. He wrote that, "Worrying about how to 'monetize' effectively might have compromised the game design and almost certainly would have hindered ... getting my name out because there would have been much more resistance to sharing and spreading the game."
Smith repeatedly stressed dissatisfaction with current business models and claimed that he wants his future projects to be free, like Spaceteam. However, Smith still needs to earn a living, so he plans on holding a crowdfunding campaign. "This feels more honest and sustainable to me and the pay-what-you-can model seems fair for everyone else," he wrote. Smith closed with the promise he'll be sharing more details about the crowdfunding campaign soon.
Shadow of the Colossus fan art has all colossi drawn to scale in one image - spoiler alert: they're big
Shadow of the Colossus' colossi are downright ... well, colossal. But how colossal, you ask? Why not consult DeviantArt member Andrew McGee's helpful visualization of the game's golems that you see posted above? Pro-tip: After consulting the image, walk outside, imagine how big a colossus would be in real life, and change your pants.
To see the image in full resolution, you can check out McGee's DeviantArt page or order an A3 or A4 size poster print by clicking here.
EA's Origin Humble Bundle brings $1.65 million to American Cancer Society
Remember EA's Humble Origin Bundle and how the publisher vowed to donate its share of the proceeds to charity? EA COO Peter Moore tweeted the above picture this week of himself presenting a $1.65 million cut of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society.
The Origin Bundle's launch followed Moore's insistence that EA could "do better" just before it won its second consecutiveGolden Poo award. It would be interesting to see a full breakdown of the Humble Origin Bundle's revenue, but it's nice to at least see this sliver of the results, especially when EA isn't necessarily raking in cash for themselves.
Arma 3 modding contest involves pool of ?500,000, potential contracts
Those enlisted in the war sandbox of Arma 3 have a shot at a real life victory - developer Bohemia Interactive has announced Make Arma Not War, a contest that will reward top-tier mod projects from a pool of €500,000. The revealing post also notes that mod projects which "show a lot of potential" could result in a contract offer from Bohemia, regardless of their standing in the contest's ranks.
Participants will compete in four categories: Total Modification, Singleplayer Game Mode, Multiplayer Game Mode and Addon. The event's keystone reward, a prize of €200,000, will be rewarded to the winner of the Total Modification category. The other categories will grant scaled awards depending on a contestant's placement - first place winners will rake in €50,000, second placers will get €30,000 and those in third will get €20,000. Ten finalists will be selected for most categories (20 for Singeplayer), with the victors being selected according to four equally-weighted attributes: Technical Quality, Originality, Experience and Presentation.
Applications won't be accepted until 2014, but Bohemia welcomes those interested to begin working on their project right now. Once you're done daydreaming about a future sack of money, you can also check in on the rules of entry. Submissions will be accepted up until October 28, with winners being announced on January 15, 2015.
Tomb Raider, Republic Commando creative director joins 343 Industries
Tim Longo, creative director of Star Wars: Republic Commando and Tomb Raider has assumed the familiar position of - wait for it - creative director, at 343 Industries. Beyond Entertainment spotted a change in Longo's Twitter biography noting the job change earlier today, which sees him replacing Halo 4creative director Josh Holmes.
David Ellis, designer at 343i, also hinted at Longo's new position when he tweeted that he looked forward to giving Longo regular feedback as he plays through the recently-announced Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition. Longo replied that he's "all #343Industries & @HaloWaypoint now!"
Holmes' LinkedIn profile lists his most current position as "Franchise Creative Director" for 343i, but his Twitter biography has been updated to read "EP [Executive Producer] @ 343." We've reached out for clarification on the position changes.
Uber Entertainment, developer of real-time strategy game Planetary Annihilation, has stopped furiously clicking on a December launch window in favor of releasing the game "when it's done," an update to the game's website has revealed.
"Planetary Annihilation will launch when we feel confident about its level of polish and the amount of awesome we can jam into it," the statement reads. "We don't have a hard date moving forward. However, we do expect it to be feature-complete in early 2014."
The Kickstarter campaign for the project began back in August 2012 and harvested $2.2 million, outperforming the requested $900,000 by far. Planetary Annihilation's beta launched this month and is available to backers or those that purchase the $45 Warfare Edition (or above) of the game from Uber's store.
TheWarcraft movie from Legendary and Universal Pictures has received its first set of stars. Don't start riding around your epic mount in celebration just yet though, because while each of the actors Universal has closed a deal with is talented, they're not the big-name stars that generally set audience excitement meters to 'OMG Hype.' We also don't know to which characters these actors have been assigned.
As we previously noted, the film's plot is something of an origin story for the conflict between orcs and humans, and takes place long before the events of World of Warcraft- hence the title being just "Warcraft." We'll have to wait a bit longer than originally anticipated to see which of the above actors will be taking up arms for Horde or Alliance (or indeed if those factions will yet exist in the film's timeline), as the movie was recently pushed back from its December 2015 release date to March 11, 2016.
Surgeon Simulator developer launches Time to Live demo
After ... uh, proving their capabilities in tense medical situations, Bossa Studios is moving on to the realm of deathmatch-oriented game shows with a project called Time to Live.
The demo features a hexagonal game board that brings in special areas as the match continues on. Coin deposits and health regeneration spaces are common resources, and racing players to a sparking, incoming space on the grid is frequent. They're not all races you want to win, however - getting too hectic with clicks can lead an unfortunate contender onto electrified trap spaces. You won't be able to just shrug off a chunk of lost health, either - players slowly lose health as the match progresses, so utilizing game spaces and the items purchased in shops is essential for a victory.
While Bossa describes Time to Live as being in an "alpha stage of development," you can try out a round of the game show from the future by loading up the demo. If you can't find friends or strangers willing to blow each others heads off for the sake of an audience, Time to Live's demo will fill your match with bots.