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Making multiplayer music in Fantasia: Music Evolved photo
Making multiplayer music in Fantasia: Music Evolved
by Dale North

Harmonix revealed a multiplayer mode for Fantasia: Music Evolved at GDC last week alongside some new songs and levels. I jumped in front of a Kinect sensor to try out the new mode, and it wasn't long before I was flapping my arms to the beat. 

Can't you hear that boom, badoom, boom, boom, badoom, boom, bass?

 

 

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9:00 AM on 03.25.2014

Skyforge has the potential to be the next big MMO

There's something about Skyforge that's kind of unbelievable. It's an MMO that's doing away with the multi-server issues by having millions playing together on one server, visuals are highly detailed putting in on-par with cu...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing photo
Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing
by Brett Makedonski

With all the cool tech demos and innovative ideas on display at GDC Play, it's a bit surprising that a 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer is one of the most worthwhile things to check out. But hey, good games are good games, and that's exactly what Monochroma look like it is.

At first glance, Monochroma invites comparisons to Limbo. Hell, executive producer Burak Tezateser said as much as soon as the demo started. For good reason too: the color scheme made up of hues of black and grey, the small boy protagonist, the unsettling environments -- it all positively smacks of the style popularized by Playdead. However, Monochroma has enough going on that it doesn't need to use these comparisons as a crutch.

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Clockwork Empires will make sure you make your own fun photo
Clockwork Empires will make sure you make your own fun
by Brett Makedonski

You know those games where you're responsible for creating your own entertainment -- the sort that drop you into a world and hope that you're creative enough to craft your own experience? They're usually pretty hit or miss. That's more or less what Gaslamp Games is doing with Clockwork Empires, but the developers are taking away this element of chance by ensuring that whatever scenario arises will be entertaining as all hell.

Clockwork Empires is a sandbox colony builder in a Victorian England setting. But, just because you have the theoretical ability to build an empire, doesn't mean it'll actually happen. Rather than assign tasks to the citizens of your township, you can only sort of suggest jobs for them to do. Most of the time they'll go and harvest resources or whatnot, but if they're feeling particularly uppity, they may just mope about.

That's why it's paramount that you keep those little buggers happy. You're responsible for keeping them fed, giving them shelter, and (most interestingly) balancing any social issues that come about. For instance, if two members from different social classes marry, it'll anger some of the townspeople. It may seem backwards now, but it was very much a real issue in the period the game takes place in.

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World of Diving with Oculus Rift is a real treasure photo
World of Diving with Oculus Rift is a real treasure
by Alessandro Fillari

One thing about this year's GDC is that virtual reality made a huge splash. And that would be an understatement. With the news of Oculus Rift development kit 2 and the reveal of Sony's VR headset, it's looking like there will be an interesting future for these peripherals. Now, we've got another title looking to jump on the VR hype.

After an impressive debut on Steam Greenlight, the developers from Vertigo Games are taking their experience with simulation titles and applying it to new type of online game for the PC. And with the big push for VR happening now, they plan to have World of Diving take advantage of the Oculus Rift in surprising ways.

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Bound By Flame is richly detailed and dark photo
Bound By Flame is richly detailed and dark
by Alessandro Fillari

The fantasy genre has been a staple of the gaming scene for a long time. They go hand in hand, really. Because of this, it’s common to see titles that look to similar to each and don’t necessarily distinguish themselves from the pack.

Well, I was lucky enough to check out a new title within the genre that seeks to leave a big impression on fans. In Bound By Flame, players can walk the fine line between good and evil, and leave a very visible and lasting impression on their character and the world they inhabit.

At GDC, the developers at Spiders, creators of Mars: War Logs and their last fantasy title Of Orcs and Men, showed off a near-final build of their next action-RPG title. During this private showing, they displayed several sections of the game and went into detail about the choices and customization players can expect in their adventures.

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Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing photo
Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing
by Dale North

Sony choose GDC as its coming out party for its virtual reality platform, Project Morpheus. The goal was to build interest at a show where just about every developer in the industry is in attendance. And from the look of the lines at their GDC floor booth yesterday, every one of those developers had someone in line to try it out. 

We finally got our faces in the headset late last night to try out the new demos that Sony prepared for the show. We were surprised to find that Project Morpheus is already on a level playing field with Oculus Rift, and even shows it up in some places.  

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Musclecat Showdown is a game where you strike beefy cat poses photo
Musclecat Showdown is a game where you strike beefy cat poses
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Along with Push Me Pull You, I got to finally see what Musclecat Showdown was all about. And. It. Was. Glorious.

You and another muscle bound cat have to strike your owners requested poses, and the person that's able to do them the best wins. The only controls are with the analog sticks on a controller, with each stick representing your cats glorious arms. That's it, that's the entire concept. Super simple, and super fun. Essentially think Pokemon, but instead of fighting, you're posing.

The main draw here is the lovely visual style, which was created by Adventure Time and Bee and PuppyCat artist Natasha Allegri. Here's some snippets of gameplay for you to get a better sense of what the game is all about.

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Push Me Pull You is sumo wrestling meets soccer meets WTF photo
Push Me Pull You is sumo wrestling meets soccer meets WTF
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Last night I got to play a round of Push Me Pull You during the Venus Patrol party here in San Francisco. It was, without a doubt, the weirdest and best time I've had with a videogame in a long time. 

So here's the basic premise. You and a partner each control one end of the "sports-monster," a conjoined humanoid Catdog like person. You're going up against two other players in control of the same thing, and to win you need to keep control of a ball on your side of the court the longest for multiple rounds. You're able to shrink or increase the length of your body as needed, and you'll be adjusting sizes a lot as you vie for control. 

It's such a ridiculous concept, and it's a little bit disturbing too. It's essentially a f*cked up version of the Tron light cycle battles, expect here you're naked man monsters getting entangled as each team tries to wrap up their entire being around a ball. Videogames are just the greatest. 

I wasn't able to capture any video, but there are these animated gifs that can give you some insight to the gameplay over on Push Me Pull You's website

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Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift photo
Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift
by Steven Hansen

The sensory deprivation the Oculus Rift provides is great for immersion. And immersion is great for moody, atmospheric, scary games like Grave. Though there is a non Rift coming, so if you haven't sold your eye souls to virtual reality, don't stop reading yet.  

I'm very glad I've put my face in several strange contraptions, including Rifts, this week and I still have my eyes. Someone is going to get their eyes stolen soon.

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Double Fine's Hack 'N' Slash is like Zelda, but you hack the game photo
Double Fine's Hack 'N' Slash is like Zelda, but you hack the game
by Steven Hansen

Borne out of Double Fine's yearly Amnesia Fortnight game jam, Hack 'N' Slash (as well as Spacebase DF-9) is getting a full release this summer. The top down action adventure game may look like a Legend of Zelda clone, but that's intentional, because the actual mechanics are different. And weird. 

You actually hack the game, rewriting bits of its code and changing values in real time to affect how you interact with these iconic mechanics. I feel a little dumb and intimidated, too, don't worry.

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Nero: First-person visual novel is part Journey, part Myst photo
Nero: First-person visual novel is part Journey, part Myst
by Dale North

Imagine the exploratory experience of Journey, the first-person puzzle solving of Myst, and the look of the world of Avatar, all mixed together in one new game. That's how Storm in a Teacup's Executive Producer, Alberto Belli, describes their upcoming title, Nero.

They call it a visual novel, though it's nothing like the Japanese text-based titles you might imagine from that label.

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Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 pre-orders open today, priced at $350 photo
Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 pre-orders open today, priced at $350
by Dale North

As of this morning at 8 a.m. PST, pre-orders are open for the Oculus Rift development kit 2 (DK2). They're priced at $350, and will ship beginning in July of this year. Oculus tells Destructoid that the kits will be shipped on a first come, first serve basis, so you'd better get that order in now if you're wanting to get yours in July. 

For that $350 you're getting the newest Rift, one that benefits from all the work they've put in since the Kickstarter days of the platform. This kit features OLED displays running at 960 x 1080 per eye, supported by internal tracking that runs at 1,000 Hz and positional tracking that has seen upgrades since the last time we've seen it, which wasn't even that long ago. Oh, and the camera that does the positional tracking -- that comes with the kit, too. 

Oculus were nice enough to give us a sneak peek of DK2 yesterday, so read on for our impressions of the new kit. 

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Hyper Light Drifter is gorgeous and punishing photo
Hyper Light Drifter is gorgeous and punishing
by Alessandro Fillari

In recent times it seems as though games in 'retro-style' are on the rise. Perhaps this is nostalgia at work for a bygone era of gaming, or maybe there's an endearing spirit and honesty from gaming's past that people still resonates with people. One such title that believes in the later is Hyper Light Drifter. After an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign, the developers have been keeping things pretty close to the vest since it was funded.

During GDC, IGN hosted their Media Indie Exchange event to show off new and upcoming titles from independent developers and on-hand were the developers of Hyper Light Drifter with a new build. After getting some much appreciated hands-on time, we spoke with Heart Machine's Alex Preston, got to learn how the development of Hyper Light Drifter has been going, and how you can incorporate retro games into modern game design.

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Sentai studio sim Chroma Squad could be my XCOM replacement photo
Sentai studio sim Chroma Squad could be my XCOM replacement
by Steven Hansen

I played a lot of XCOM last year, between running through Enemy Unknown late and Enemy Within. The blend of on the ground, turn-based combat and back home base management simulation hooked me.

Chroma Squad is basically that. Except you're directing a Sentai with actors in colorful spandex dancing around lots of explosions and turtle and plant monsters.

It's pretty great.

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Pig Eat Ball made my butt rumble photo
Pig Eat Ball made my butt rumble
by Brett Makedonski

"Have you guys played the butt rumble game yet?" That's what Dale North and I were asked by a conversational colleague at IGN's indie game mixer last night. The confused looks on our faces probably served as a blatant tell, as he followed his question with "Oh man, you guys gotta play the butt rumble game. Let's go!"

And we did. And our butts rumbled. And the night was exponentially better as a result.

The butt rumble game, or Pig Eat Ball as I'm sure the developers would be more keen on it being called, acted as an experimental competitive multiplayer experience last night. Four players sat down on vibrating pads and partook in round after round of party games. There were plenty of objectives -- from eating tennis balls to making "sammiches" -- but the intention of everyone seemed to be attacking another player causing them to lose progress, and more importantly, causing their butt to rumble.

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