Thursday, 4 February 2016

Genesis - Open world, Survival, Fps, Sandbox game

Blindshot Interactive are a small team making an indie survival multiplayer open world sandbox game for PC in Unreal Engine 4. They've just released a new trailer:

“Genesis is a place to explore searching for the next big thing while trying to stay alive and safe, a place for creativity and playfulness, you can take the role of an aggressive solo player and ferociously hunt down animals and other players or you can hide in the mountains and set up a farming community with your friends.”

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! now on PC & Mac

Do you have the strength, wits, and courage to become a hero? Find out in Steve Jackson's Sorcery!, the bestselling narrative game now available for the first time on PC and Mac. Today's release combines the first two Sorcery! chapters, "The Shamutanti Hills" and "Kharé, Cityport of Traps," into a single volume priced at $9.99 / £6.99. Better yet -- through February 9 it's on sale for 40% off!

Store Links

About Steve Jackson's Sorcery!
Liberally adapted from a cult classic gamebook series, Steve Jackson's Sorcery! is an epic fantasy game with a sprawling storyline that literally writes itself around tens of thousands of choices you make along your adventure. Created by inkle, developer of the BAFTA-nominated 80 DaysSorcery! is an engrossing narrative game that blends modern interactive fiction, massively adaptive storytelling, and strategic turn-based combat with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and a rich orchestral score.

The Story
You are an aspiring hero on a quest to recover the stolen Crown of Kings. The journey begins in the Shamutanti Hills, a treacherous landscape peppered with monsters, magic, and traps to snare the unwary. But those hills are a cakewalk compared to the twisted city of Kharé, where restless citizens, crazed Nobles and a brutal goblin army are about to come to blows. And even if you do survive, the far gate into the wastelands will only open for those who manage to uncover Kharé most ancient secrets...

The Gameplay
In this intricate narrative game, intrepid players choose a path across a lush illustrated map, face off against strange enemies in turn-based battles, interact with curious country dwellers and wily townspeople, puzzle through devious traps, dip into a massive book of (sometimes) helpful spells, and dabble in the dice-bluffing game Swindlestones. All the while an elaborate fantasy story is writing itself on the fly, based on your decisions -- making you the hero of a unique, personalized adventure that offers up tons of replay opportunity.

The Adventure Continues
Following today's Sorcery! debut on Steam, the third installment, "The Seven Serpents," will come to PC and Mac this spring. The fourth and final Sorcery! game, "The Crown of Kings," is planned to release on all platforms (PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android) later in 2016. For players who wish to continue an adventure they started on previously on another platform, end-of-chapter saves can easily be imported between the mobile versions and PC/Mac.
Learn more about inkle's Sorcery! games at

Gaming Experts from Yogscast & Kerbal Talk Educational Games

My recent reviews of indie games Sydney's World and It's Spring Again (plus a little project of my own I haven't released yet) relate to the subject of how computer games can be used for education, so this press release that I received seems fitting information to include on the site, even though it isn't specifically indie game related.

How is Gaming and Education Converging?

Recent budget cuts have proposed a threat to science in schools and the science industry as a whole. This will have a knock on effect to the accessibility of Science focused careers. Despite the decline in quality and funding there still seems to be an appetite for the sciences and Tim Peake’s expedition to the International Space Station has been an example of how imaginations can be sparked.

Online games are becoming an introduction into the worlds of physics and engineering. The gamification of education is a growing trend that allows youngsters to engage with subjects like physics first-hand, something they may be missing out on in the classroom.

Mark Turpin, the CEO of the popular YouTube Gaming Network Yogscast LTD said:
“Games, education and learning are converging. We are seeing more and more people try to capture the excitement and attention of young people by placing their learning within a game. Kids love playing games, as do grown-ups as games are inherently fun, but they need to be seen as a tool and a way to educate.”

The slow decline of science lessons in school has been apparent over the past few years and a recent report from Ofsted* found that the quality of practical science in schools needed revising. Ofsted visited 180 schools and reported that standards of science were not good enough in more than a quarter them. They also found that while the intention to perform practical experiments was there, in practice it was not possible due to timetabling constraints. Some secondary schools were allocated less than one-fifth of the weekly timetable to teach the triple science GCSE syllabus, so as a consequence only the "necessary minimum" practical work was carried out.

The recent rise in popularity of space games, such as Kerbal Space Program, indicates a growing interest in space and science. According to the Joint Council for Qualifications** there was a 3.2% rise in ‘A’ Levels taken in Physics between 2012 and 2014. Along with a 3.3% rise in Chemistry uptake and 0.2% in Biology.

Ted Everett, a Technical Producer at Kerbal Space Program added:
There is an area of children’s minds that won’t be developed with these budget cuts- they won’t be seeing the everyday occurrence of science and or find an appreciation for everything around them.

Games likes Kerbal Space Program can teach people about science through a sort of passive learning, as you are playing a game that is not initially brought to teach yourself about physics, but brought to have fun. As the game is quite a real world simulation of rocket science, you end up learning a lot about these niche areas of science that ordinarily would be very out of access to you.”

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) student records***, over the 10 year span between 2004 and 2014, show that the number of students studying biological sciences at universities in the UK rose by 62,000. Physical sciences rose by 18,000. Although the appetite for science is apparent among young people, the support and funding could hold them back from entering jobs in science or taking their science education further.     

For more understanding of how games and education can work together you can watch the following video with experts from Kerbal Space Program, and Yogscast: