At the Gates & Kickstarter Observations

The second Kickstarter project I helped funding has just reached its goal – several times over, in fact. Congratulations to Jon Shafer whose At the Gates made over $100,000 compared to an original goal of $40,000! Last October, Obsidian’s Project Eternity had asked for $1.1 million and got nearly $4 million. Overall, Kickstarter has had … Continue reading “At the Gates & Kickstarter Observations”

From Civilization V to At the Gates

Jon Shafer has just posted an extensive discussion of his original design for Civilization V and what he changed for his new project, At the Gates. It’s a great read for Civilization fans, and for anyone interested in the design of grand strategy games. Keep in mind that Jon left Firaxis before a multitude of … Continue reading “From Civilization V to At the Gates”

Jon Shafer’s At the Gates

Jon Shafer, lead designer of Sid Meier’s Civilization V, has finally unwrapped his new project: At the Gates, a turn-based strategy game vaguely similar to Civilization and funded on Kickstarter. The short promotion video is best described as “endearingly amateurish.” Scroll down to the detailed description and gameplay sample, those give a much better idea … Continue reading “Jon Shafer’s At the Gates”

Walkers in City Builders

Tilted Mill Entertainment is currently working on a new city building game, Medieval Mayor. That’s exciting news because Tilted Mill and its predecessor Impressions Games created most of the classics in this genre, except for Sim City. The most recent one, Children of the Nile, was notable for changing the “walker” mechanics, i.e. the way … Continue reading “Walkers in City Builders”

Dishonored Review

Dishonored is a steampunk assassin simulator by French developer Arkane Studios whose previous work includes Arx Fatalis and Bioshock 2, here teamed up with publisher Bethesda (Elder Scrolls, Fallout 3) and creative co-director Harvey Smith (Cybermage, Deus Ex, System Shock). All this sounds too good to be true, but amazingly the game lives up to … Continue reading “Dishonored Review”

LittleWing Pinball Review

The Japanese company LittleWing Pinball has been making pinball games for Macintosh and Windows since 1990, and two of their early classics are now available on iOS: Tristan and Crystal Caliburn II. Neither are cheap by iOS standards, and sadly there are no free demos either. However, they are far and away the best pinball … Continue reading “LittleWing Pinball Review”

Civilization V Local Happiness

One entry in the notes for the recent Civilization V Fall Patch explicitly distinguishes “local” from “global” happiness: Follower and Pantheon beliefs provide Local Happiness; Founder beliefs provide Global Happiness. At first this mystified me since Civ5 had replaced Civ4’s per-city happiness with purely global happiness effects. But then people pointed out that some happiness … Continue reading “Civilization V Local Happiness”

Civilization V Fall Patch

The eagerly anticipated “fall patch” (version for Civilization V has just been released, packing an enormous amount of changes into a surprisingly small download. The big new feature is touch screen support for Windows 8, activated through a new launcher option. Here’s a rundown of the new input facilities as listed in the patch … Continue reading “Civilization V Fall Patch”

Torchlight 2 Review

I just finished my first run through Torchlight 2 with an engineer on veteran difficulty level, so here are a couple of thoughts on the game. First, there’s a lot of things to like: Only $20, available directly from the developer as a fairly compact 1.4 GB download. The simple game launcher merely checks for … Continue reading “Torchlight 2 Review”