Big-budget, single-player gaming isn’t dead (yet) [Ars Technica] “Yesterday's news that EA is shutting down Visceral Games is bad news for fans of franchises like Dead Space and for the studio's unnamed Star Wars project. But the abrupt shutdown has also caused a bit of an existential crisis to creep into the game industry chatter regarding the future of big-budget, single-player, story-driven gaming in general. [...] Looking around at the most popular games these days, it's not hard to see the market shift Söderlund is talking about. From Hearthstone and Overwatch, to Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and Rocket League, to Dota 2 and League of Legends, to Clash of Clans and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, and on and on, the games getting the most player attention (and money) today tend to be never-ending online competitions.” [more inside]
(aka PUBG aka Plunkbat aka PUBaGr) is a 100 person shooter evoking Battle Royale/Hunger Games last-person-standing mechanics but without the narrative framing, newest and biggest in a recent genre explosion. You and 99 other people parachute onto an island, and try to find weapons and armor and misc. gear while struggling to keep within the bounds of an increasingly claustrophobic circle. It can be rather goofy, even before you add McEllroys. [more inside]
A decade after Halo 2 (and a day before the MCC), enjoy this loose timeline of essential Halo fandom: Halo.Bungie.Org / Halo at Macworld '99 / Red vs. Blue / The Halo Trilogy in 5 minutes / The Cortana Letters / and dialog databank / Main Menus / Kitty Cat / Warthog Jump (and ) / How Not To Be Seen / Fan Art / Panoramas / The Music of Marty O'Donnell (prev.) / Video Games Live: Halo / Analysis by Stephen Loftus / Who was Brian Morden? / I Love Bees and the ARG radio drama / Halo 2 Trailer / Halo 2 E3 '04 Demo / Full Halo 2 making-of documentary / Voice acting / Conversations from the Universe / The Beastiarum / Surround Sound Test! / Geography of New Mombasa / This Spartan Life / The Solid Gold Elite Dancers / Creepy Guy at Work / Gameplay May Change / Master Chief Sucks at Halo / Another Day at the Beach / / Halo 3 Trailer / Starry Night / Believe / HALOID / No Scope Was Involved / 100 Ways to Die / "Bungie Favorites" gallery / Mister Chief / OONSK / OneOneSe7en / 2553 Civilian 'Hog Review / Griffball / ForgeHub / 405th Cosplay / Neill Blomkamp's Landfall / / Halo Legends anime anthology / List of Halo novels / Halopedia / Halo 3 Terminal Archive / DDR Dance / Animatronic Elite project / / Keep It Clean / We Are ODST / / Halocraft / "A Fistful of Arrows" fan comic / RvB Animated (and CGI) / Project Contingency / Halo Zero / Halo 2600 (prev.) / Reach Datapad Transcripts / The last Halo 2 player on Xbox LIVE / / Key & Peele: Obama on Halo 4 / Top 10 Halo Easter Eggs / Behind the scenes of Halo 2 Anniversary
Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA ( | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful
noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for , , and... a pirate. ＤＩＧＩＴＡＬ ＳＰＯＲＴＳ!
You can play Cards Against Humanity online using a free webapp: Pretend You're Xyzzy is a CAH clone that allows you to join a game with random strangers -or- you can set up a password-protected game for you & your friends only. [more inside]
Bennett Foddy (of QWOP fame) explains why some multiplayer games aren't cut out for online multiplayer.
Obsidian’s Feargus Urquhart and Bioware co-founder Ray Muzyka gave a joint talk during DICE 2013 on the future of RPGs . Topics included player engagement, modding, (a)synchronous multiplayer and ways of interacting with players. [more inside]
Xona Games have ported their Xbox Live Indie Games bullet hell shoot-em-up Score Rush to HTML5 — with multiplayer included!
Plink! A multiplayer music experience by DinahMoe. Like ToneMatrix, but with friends (or complete Internet strangers!).
The Duke Nukem series is certainly not known for its positive portrayal of women. In the previous game, (NSFW) women were either strippers, prostitutes, or trapped in alien cocoons, begging you to end their pain. The new game starts off showing Duke getting an implied blowjob from twins in school uniforms. The strippers and clubs are back. But when a multiplayer mode called "Capture the Babe" requires you to abduct women and lets you give them a "reassuring slap" on their buttocks if they "freak out", have the developers simply gone too far?
Share your Wiimote, share your wife. Ars Technica presents Ubisoft game "We Dare" as a "WTF". Joystiq declares it will "ruin parties for PS3/Wii owners". But North American Puritans need not fear:
As far as we can tell, We Dare is a European exclusive, so American partygoers are safe for the time being.See the trailer to decide for yourself. Oh, and cue the jokes about vibrating controllers.
Super Mario Brothers X The greatest fan game tribute to Super Mario of all time! Gameplay video here. hat tip to tigsource!
Scrabb.ly: Massively multiplayer online Scrabble.
Rumpetroll - an HTML5, multiplayer, swimming & chatting game. "It's Norwegian, but not what you think."
Everybody Edits is a fun Flash game where everyone edits the world and plays in it together.
OMGpop is potentially all your Flash Fun Fridays come at once. Clones of addictive classic multiplayer games like Bomberman, Pictionary, Tetris, even Mario Kart and Guitar Hero - plus a whole lot more, all wrapped up in an extremely slick interface with an added dash of chat and social networking features. Not yet out of beta, the hype is certainly extensive, but is the business model sound? [more inside]
Friday Flash Fun: "'Make My Head Grow' is a two player battle game. Each player control a small angry guy trying to push the other guys box over the edge. As everyone knows smacking your head into the ground makes your head grow - maybe even enough to make your box move..." [more inside]
Savage 2 is an innovative mix of first-person shooter, third-person action rpg, and real-time strategy. Teams consisting of 18 different classes, each with unique abilities, are divided in squads led by an officer, and under the direction of a single commander with a top down view of the action. Players must help their commander capture resources, advance their front line, and eventually destroy the enemy’s stronghold while accumulating experience and improving their abilities. Did I mention as of December 9th, it has become free to play? [more inside]
Nano War: Infectious Flash Fun. Colonize blobs, send swarms, and win superior numbers. Free multi-player and level editor. Dangerously addictive. [more inside]
Paul and Dave, creators of the extremely popular Desktop Tower Defense flash game, have just opened up their new flash games site to the public! [more inside]
Sumo Volleyball - online competition at its finest. Yep, Friday flash fun on Tuesday. For those of you who used to have ICQ, this game will be very familiar. Four different variates of play are offered. 1 on 1 is by far the favorite and the most fun, IMHO. One tiny downside, activeX based, and thus, pretty much IE only. There are also other games via the home page, of which Kung-fu chess is also very popular.
You may have your own set of acquired tastes, but what of acquired F.E.A.R.? The multiplayer component of Monolith's latest LithTek powered franchise has been overhauled and released into the wild - without a price tag in sight. If you've been known to enjoy a bit of the old simulated ultra violence you'll feel right at home among the frenetic emergence of automatic weapon fire and the spectre of the unarmed takedown.
A little over a year ago, the Guiding Hand Social Club issued a stunning press release - after months of infiltration and planning they had fulfilled an assassination contract on the CEO of a major corporation and ransacked the corporation's hangers, stealing almost 20 billion ISK, worth over $16,000 USD at the time. See PCGamer's excellent detailed description of the event: pages 1, 2, 3, 4. As synthetic worlds like Eve-Online and World of Warcraft gain popularity, what should we make of this kind of behavior? . Also, a response with a little more perspective. And what's going to happen when the IRS catches on?
Stick Arena - mindless multiplayer Flash violence, because I can't frigging wait for it to be Friday already.
Ninjam lets you play music (not MIDI) collaboratively with random people in real-time offset by one measure. Samples.
The thinking man's MMOG is now live and accepting subscriptions. Someone on mefi noticed this game in development last July, but very little attention was given to it at that time. What has evolved in the game is an interesting social experiment, rather than your typical hack and slash Massive Multiplayer game. Many have equated it to Sims Online, but whereas that game appears to have failed to result in anything that doesn't smell of pig excrement, this title appears to have a soul. In fact, it's garnished its first review since opening on Feb 15th (shameless self-linking).
Addictive game based in large part on discussion. Perfect for MeFi'ers in my book. There's trivia, there's politics, plenty of "strategery", and the heart of it is the message boards. Plus the added benefit of very few trolls, because to make it in this game, you need to be intelligent and literate. No wonder I'm addicted.