In this weeks bulletin, we discuss TIPC-Online 2, Sid Meier’s Memoir, Pendragon, Rogue, Runescape and Scale Theory, Anno 1800, King Arthur: Kinght’s Tale, Valhalla, Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Pokemon Sword & Shield and Kingdom New Lands!
The Interactive Pasts Conference Online 2
Some big news from our side! Due to the ongoing pandemic, we couldn’t organise TIPC3 the way we would like to have done. That’s why we’re going online and are now brining you The Interactive Pasts Conference Online 2! The dates are still the same (5 & 6 November), but you won’t have to travel anywhere, you can just sit at home and follow the conference live on our Twitch Channel! Check out more information on the dedicated information page for TIPC-Online 2, and check out the schedule here!
Pendragon and Arthurian tragedy
We’re big fans of inkle studio’s Pendragon. The roguelike game is based on the Arthurian legend (but you don’t play as the main man himself). Bryant Francis of Gamasutra took a closer look at the game, and wrote a feature on how the game uses tragedy in the Arthurian Legend to drive the games narrative (Gamasutra). Whilst many games posses a fixed narrative, Pendragon‘s narrative changes with every playthrough, and the narrative is as influenced by the players actions as the player is influenced by the narrative. If you’re interested in the game, inkle studio’s Creative Director Jon Ingold will deliver a keynote at TIPC-Online 2!
Original roguelike available on Steam
Staying on the topic of roguelikes (kinda), the original roguelike game, Rogue, is releasing on Steam. Back in the ’80’s, the concept of Rogue was very new, but it is still very awesome. The game randomly generated new dungeons with every playthrough, a system which changed the fantasy genre forever. It will be available fron October 20 onwards, with no price indication as yet. Also look at the release date: 1 June 1985 (might this be the oldest game on Steam?) Check out more on Rock Paper Shotgun.
Runescape and Scale Theory
We’re not the ones to discard interesting articles because it’s not archaeology (or history). However, I don’t think we’ve ever ventured into the regions of geography. Until now. For those of you who have every played Runescape, you might have noticed how traveling on the map doesn’t seem to differ, even if the terrain is different. That’s where the scale theory comes in: bascially it states that Runescape‘s world (Gielinor) we discover in the game is not the whole world, it is rather a gamified and adapted version of the real world. It is a very interesting way to look at game maps. It is precisely what Eurogamer’s Lottie Lynn did in this amazing feature! Lynn explains in detail how the scale theory relates to Runescape. Whilst the feature only handles Runescape, more game worlds can be interpreted in this way.
An interview with Sid Meier
Back for some more interview action with Sid Meier! And this time, Sid is being interviewed by Soren Johnson, the lead designer for Civilization IV and now Design Director for Mohawk Games (Old World, OffWorld Trading Company). Soren and Sid of course share some common memories, and in a very interesting talk for New York Comic Con, they touch upon some interesting design ideas of Sid, and some of his memories! You can check the interview below. While you’re at it, you might also want to check out this Twitter thread by Soren, who comments on some of the quotes from Sid Meier’s Memoir!
Anno 1800 Expansion Preview
The new expansion Land of Lions for Anno 1800 will feature a new region called Enbesa. Richard Scott-Jones of PCGamesN wrote a preview on the new DLC, and tells you if it’s worth playing (and buying). Scott-Jones’s conclusion? Land of Lions provides a story-rich gameplay to Anno 1800, but some of it’s new mechanics are hard to get to grips with. That being said, the region is Enbesa is amazing, and the DLC will be quite worthwhile: ‘Land of Lions seems poised to be a splendid, fittingly sepia-tinged send-off.’ Read more of Scott-Jones’ preview on PCGamesN here.
King Arthur: Knight’s Tale
Yes, some more King Arthur for you! But this time, it’s XCOM-style. Made by Hungarian studio NeocoreGames (who you might know of Warhammer 40K Martyr and the Van Helsing RPGs), King Arthur: Knight’s Tale tells the story of Mordred, Arthur’s famous rival. It is a tactial RPG where your goal is to kill the king. Quite the other take on the famous Arthurian Legend. It’s looking proper exiting. You can check features about the game on Eurogamer and PC Gamer. Also check out the trailer below. If you want to support the development, you can join the Kickstarter (they’re about halfway the goal).
The Animus will decide if you play female or male Eivor
Yes, you read that right. My first reaction: ‘uh what?’. On the back of the news that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla‘s protagonist Eivor can be played either as a male or as a female, Ubi announced that you can either permanently choose to play as male or female, or have the Animus decide for you. It will mean that during your playthrough, Eivor will switch from male to female: ‘The Animus will represent the stronger FEMALE or MALE memory-stream, depending on its current strength. You may choose another option at any time.’ You’re as confused as I am, but according to Darby McDevitt (narrative director), the switches will be completely logical. We’ll see when the game releases in just under a month I guess. Read more on Eurogamer.
Introducing the Video Game Source Project
A new project by the Video Game History Foundation focusses on the preservation of all sources relating to the production of video games. We’re not only talking about the game itself, but also about source codes, game art, documentation on the development and other correspondence. This information is often very important, but is more often very inaccesible. The project wants to archive these important sources, and make sure that devs know that these sources are important for the future. Check out more on the project here!
Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition review
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition launched this week, and the reviews are in. And they aren’t too great to be honest. The game has always been the least loved in the series (by players and devs), and that also shows in the Definitive Edition. Robert Zak of PC Gamer gave the game 70/100. Not great, but not terrible either. There have been some tweaks here and there, and some updated visuals, but below the hood still some problems remain. The biggest problem according to Zak: it was released too soon after Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, which has been a fan (and dev) favourite for a long time. In general, AoE II has more to offer, at least storywise. Read more of Zak’s review on PC Gamer.
Pokemon Sword & Shield are British Tourism
Yes, kinda weird, but the worlds (Galar) of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield were clearly influenced by locations in the British Isles. Nintendo has launched a Expedition Guide, which will show you all the locations it used and based the game world upon. They have also launched a video series, which will focus on the same subject! It came just in time for one of our TIPCO2 presenters, as Florence Smith Nicholls is writing a chapter on how the games have been promoted as digital tourism experiences!
Kingdom New Lands free on Epic
To round off this bulletin, you can now claim Kingdom New Lands for free on the Epic Games Store! Kingdom is a strategy game where you take control as the monarch, and try to build up your kingdom. It’s predecessor (just called Kingdom), was once featured in a Games We Dig!