Category Archives: Games

What should you be playing right now (mac)?

Schools over for me, and I’ve had lots of time to get into games again (hurray!). Other than getting back into Skyrim and digging my teeth into Tribes: Ascend, I think OS X gamers will have a great summer. Here are a couple of personal suggestions.

If you haven’t played yet, Bastion is now out for the Mac. It’s got 29000 recommendations on Steam, was nominated in many awards and won 2 of them at GDC 2012. It’s a game full of soul, with narrating playing a huge part in bringing this gem to life. You absolutely deserve this! And it’s really cheap too.

Since my brother sucks at Tribes (sigh… nOOb), I’ve been playing lots of Team Fortress 2. It’s free to play, but not how you would imagine. You actually don’t need to pay anything! I’ve been playing for at least a whole year, haven’t put a dime into it, and am often a top player during a match!? This game is really fun, well-balanced, competitive and since it’s free, makes for some memorable killing with family and friends.

Torchlight 2… It’s not out for the mac yet. It wont be at launch time (don’t worry, the team at Runic Games is just too small to tackle both PC and OS X versions at the same time), but it will be out probably mid summer. This is an absolute buy. At 20$ it’s a steal, and again will be a blast to kill monsters in their co-op mode.

AirMech is a fun, free to play, strategic, top down robot killing RTS action… thing? It’s not natively ported to Mac and is still in beta, but if you have a google account, you can play it free on the Chrome Store. It’s well worth it, though you’ll need a good machine to run it (a 2-year-old mac should be quite enough).

These are just a few picks, but all of them are worth it. Of course there’s always Civ 5 as a must go-to and the new expansion seems awesome.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Game publishers: “Houston, we have a problem?”

If Kickstarter could speak, I think this is what it would say:

“Game developers, meet fan base.”

“Fan base, meet game developers.”

Game publishing has changed and there is no going back. For good or for worst we’ll see, but I would lean towards good. If you’ve missed out on all the Double Fine fun, worry not, Wasteland 2 will be coming soon. With your help, it might even make it to Mac! I think this is one of the most interesting things that has happened to the video game industry since Steam and the Indie revolution. Lets dig deeper…

One of the first thing that struck me about both Double Fine and Wasteland 2 is the fact that both games offer DRM free versions. The publishers want to make buyers feel bad when they download illegal copies of games, but in reality, all they are hurting are the huge wallets that have refused to publish games we want to play and that game developers want to create! Or worst, ruin old classics! Take X-Com for a tragic example.

If you aren’t sure what a DRM free download is, well basically you can take the game, create a torrent and share it with the world. It will work! I am definitely not encouraging you do that, but it’s interesting to see how game studios don’t care about it. All they care about is making fun games, and live decently off of that. Which to me sounds respectful.

A comparison to iTunes could be made here, which changed the way people buy music. Publishers lost big because of Napster, but they lost even bigger because anyone can self-publish on iTunes. The same can be said about Steam. The stupid middle-man (suit clad publisher), who will measure a game’s quality by the amount of copies sold, can now be skipped all-together.

Or can it? Indies have used Kickstarter in the past, but also Alpha version pre-orders and other ways to fund they’re games. What the system brings is a way to fund more expensive games, or bigger teams, who have a product people have been waiting for. I would tend to think this funding method will get more and more popular with time.

So they lived happily ever after?

Not so quick. As many have mentioned, all it takes is for one huge scam and everyone will most definitely back away… or will they? I can already imagine a game-oriented Kickstarter-like page on Steam. That would be awesome. So even if Amazon fails (and they definitely will take any steps required so it doesn’t happen), the crowd-sourced funding method will not.

Finally, what’s great about this phenomenon is the games aren’t even sold yet. The game studios will make even more money once the sales start. I bet you they’ll make enough for a couple of updates and maybe even patches/DLC. In the end, publishers will always be there for huge titles like Battlefield or Call of Duty, but could you imagine the next Skyrim being funded this way? ABSOLUTELY.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,