Guest Week – Why Tie In?

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Today’s post was written by Allen Stroud, a published novelist in both the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres, a Creative Writing PhD student at the University of Winchester and Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Film and TV Production degree course at Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe.

These days, you can’t browse the bookshelves in a supermarket without seeing an Assassin’s Creed novel or something related to Halo. The collaboration of writers and game designers to produce cross media projects that involve books, games and other work are definitely on the rise.

The benefits for a writer looking to work on tie-in fiction (a novel or story written in the world of computer game or other medium) are fairly easy to see from the outside...

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Guest Week – Elite: Dangerous, A Journey

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Today’s post was written by Simon Winnard of the Elite themed, community-made mockumentary podcast Dockers.

I first started playing Elite, or I suppose now it is Elite I in 1985. It was after the release and I had no idea what the game was about. My brand new BBC B Micro and 15-inch Colour TV came bundled with a copy. I remember being mesmerized by the box the cover showing a space ship in space with the words ‘ELITE’ blazoned across in large yellow letters. It also weighed more than any other game I’ve ever owned before or since for that matter.

I opened the wrapper and the box sprang open a cassette tape a large manual and a book. There was also some weird cardboard cut-out that fitted over my keyboard...

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Saints Row V Looking Likely And Spooky

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As PAX 2014 opens it’s doors later today and the entire population of Seattle crams itself in to worship at the altar of Penny Arcade, some developers are taking the opportunity to announce new games and projects now instead of at the bigger shows of E3 and Gamescom. One such announcement was a dead giveaway after the listing on the official PAX schedule, with the title ‘Quiz Show Hour with Volition – Project Reveal & Prizes‘ – subtle.

Volition, makers of the now rather infamous Saints Row tetralogy, will be putting in a strong appearance for the billed ‘Quiz Hour’ and the panel will feature Natalie Lander, the voice of Kinzie Kensington from the third and fourth games, along with Aubrey Norris (Brand Director at publisher Deep Silver), Steve Jaros (Creative Director at Volition), Jim Boon...

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Hearthstone: Naxxramas Dissected

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The doors of each quarter are now wide-open and the last bastion of Kel’Thuzad himself is finally revealed, access to Frostwyrm Lair marks the end of the glacial reveal of the Curse of Naxxramas expansion. Now that all the content is available I’d like to chew the fat over whether Hearthstone’s first dose of new content was worth all that time and money.

Arachnid Quarter

The Arachnid Quarter

I hurtled through the first three ‘Normal’ bosses, Anub’Rekhan, Faerlina and Maexxna, with minimal difficulty and only really stumbling once when faced with Faerlina. The reason for this momentary blip? Her rather aggressive ability to cast a randomly targeted missile for every card in her opponent’s possession at the time, meaning that she could potentially have 10 missiles at her disposal...

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The Escapists: No Time Off For Good Behaviour, Just Early Access

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The first I was aware of this game was after the Xbox One Indie games showreel at GamesCom this year, though in an apparent trend many of the games featured in that presentation are slowly all arriving on Steam or are already there for your delectation in one form or another. Yes, The Escapists about prison life, though you’d be mistaken to think it’s anything like the equally prison-themed Prison Architect from Introversion Software.

Visually the game conjures up my early memories Pokémon, its deceptively cute depiction of life in the slammer makes me think that somewhere there’s some weird parallel universe where Ash ends up in prison on charges of Poké-manslaughter… Maybe that’s just me then...

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Card Hunter: Mobile Remake Is Now Loot And Legends

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As you may know Card Hunter is one of my favourite online CCG games, well back in March Jonathan Chey (former director and co-founder of Irrational Games, the developer of BioShock) announced that his company Blue Manchu Games would be handing over their highly acclaimed game to the newly-formed DropForge Games so they could bring the Card Hunter experience to mobile and tablet devices.

Fans of the game and reviewers alike have been asking for this to happen for some time with good reason, the format lends itself incredibly well to those platforms but making it had some complications...

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World Of Price-hikes: The UK To Pay More For WoW

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In the wake of GamesCom and the announcement of the release date for Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard have dropped some unexpected news on those who pay for their World of Warcrack subscriptions in Great British variety of Pounds (GBP). Buried in the depths of the forums, kept away from their homepage’s news-stream or limelight of Cologne, was the sad news for UK subscribers that Blizzard have decided to apply a price increase to the UK market.

We regularly look at our pricing around the world and from time to time we make changes in light of local and regional market conditions. As such, we want to give everyone a heads-up that we will shortly be adjusting the pound sterling subscription price of World of Warcraft. – Taepsilum

As of the release of the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor, ...

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GamesCom 2014: Bonus Content

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With the two major press conference media thingies from Xbox and PlayStation over, there was still that of EA and everything happening on the trade floor to rummage through. News has poured forth from every corner of GamesCom, to fill in blanks and create new ones; surprises abound this year it seems. So what happened beyond the press and trade days? Let’s take a look at some of my preferred snippets of news:

Warlords of Draenor

Despite my refusal to succumb to its siren-like lure and my journey of self-discovery when it comes to my MMO addiction, Blizzard are the masters of gorgeous CG cinematic trailers, with the premiere of the intro for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion being no exception...

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GamesCom 2014: The PlayStation Briefing Round-up

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The PlayStation briefing went down yesterday afternoon/evening, initially plagued by some internet issues it started late with their streamed content being plagued with a myriad of technical hiccups. From there, whilst the event was packed with content, the presentation felt a little disjointed to me with the focus shifting constantly between games, business performance, hardware and services; there were no defined sections to speak of other than the blocks of Indie and first-party titles, which were interspersed by other content in an order only Sony know the logic of.

Whilst my assessment of their event may sound negative because of the seemingly haphazard nature of who got to talk about what games in what order, they actually showcased some really interesting looking new games...

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GamesCom 2014: My Favourite Xbox Briefing Bits

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Well that was something. Typically Xbox don’t go in for major surprises at GamesCom, as I mentioned just the other day they tend to use the opportunity that the Cologne trip affords them to announce new bundles and feature some more cut-scenes and gameplay of titles that were previewed or announced at E3. Whilst we got a whole bunch of the things we expected, there was also a few bits that were completely out of left field.

Under the ‘expected’ column we can firmly place the console bundles aimed at boosting profits on the way to the ‘holidays’ as the Americans like to call it, we got a look at a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare themed console and controller, that has a with 1TB hard drive, along with a pre-downloaded Day One edition of the game retailing at around the £429...

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