Crew Members Station Commander : Allen Stroud – Heldaban Kel Head of health and safety : Ben Moss-Woodward – Cmdr Eid LeWeise Chief Bar Steward : Grant Woolcott – Cmdr Psykokow (In)Human Resources Director : Shan – Cmdr Shanaeri Lavian Space Program Director : Andy Barnes – Cmdr Kurgol
In theory I had all day at EGX again, however I might have lost a couple of hours to Sunless Skies in the morning before I set off! I interviewed them last year and it’s come on leaps and bounds since then, and is a very easy game to get lost in!
However I did make it to two panels. The audio for these are not available yet, but hopefully will be out “soon”
The 1st was on the power of gaming and creation vs bullying where 2 You Tubers chaired a discussion with the audience about how gaming and online communities have improved lives whilst acknowledging that cyber bullying is a thing. It was a nice and mostly positive discussion that touched on many aspects, from being bullied at school or online, having a teacher recognise your you tube channel through to how gaming and streaming can help with mental health issues for example depression.
The second panel I went to was on the Future of VR I enjoyed it but I didn’t find it particularly enlightening. For example anyone who’s tried VR knows that the goggles need to improve, made more comfortable and breathable, lighter, not being tethered etc. We also need better ways to move around in VR, but equally does anyone really want to run on an omni-directional treadmill for 10 miles to get to their next way point! Of course costs need to get more consumer friendly and haptics need to be improved. There are some truly amazing VR experiences that have been set up but these are obviously things you go and see as opposed to something you have at home. They also felt that VR needs to move away from “a gaming thing” to a tool that we all can use in our day to day lives. Teaching for example would be a great use of VR if done right.
Following on from this panel I went to play Skyfront VR which (as far as I know) is one of the 1st VR multiplayer shooters and I was able to get an interview with one of their community management team after the game.
I really enjoyed Skyfront, I wish I’d been able to play it “un-tethered” Although I know that technology is in its infancy. The game is a zero g shooter, where you use your gun to get around. This is a nice way to solve the movement issue that some VR games have, whilst not “planting” you in one spot, and jumping… The controls felt very natural, although I wasn’t a fan of where the grappling hook button was, though this is more a fault of the vive controller rather than the game! I am probably bias, but I found the environment being a castle but a zero g environment is a bit of a missed opportunity, since obviously one of the key benefits of being in zero G is that there’s no limitation of “up or down” and you could be incredibly creative with your maps. However their next map will be set in space, it will be very interesting to see how the game develops. It certainly has a lot of potential.
Finally I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Euro Gamer for allowing me to come to their event. As ever their support has been amazing. So that wraps up our coverage of EGX 2018 I hope you enjoyed it and until next time, fly safe and if you can’t do that, fly dangerous.
I tried to wheedle out some information out of Bethesda about Vault 76, but sadly all they had was the Vault Door, with an opportunity to hug Vault Boy, who enjoyed knocking my hat off and a Fallout themed van service Blanco Mac and Cheese!
The 1st Developer Session I went to was about the next Generation of NVIDIA Cards, the RTX series hosted by the guys from Digital Foundry. It was a good interview although they seemed to feel that without Ray-tracing making it into the next generation of consoles, that technology might fall by the wayside or at least be little used by “prosumer” PC Master Race gamers.
The 2nd Developer Session was with Paul Arendt who is Failbetter Games’ CEO and Art Director who gave a nice bit of history and update on the Game Sunless Skies as well as announcing their (Spoiler) Free Pen And Paper RPG set in that Universe! I love how their going more for a Victorian, Steam Punk take on what the universe is like, with living suns and rich moons with plenty of life on them as opposed to the more Scientifically Accurate version of what is actually there!
Finally I had a chance to watch a demo of Just Cause 4 where the walked through some of the crazy stuff you can do in that game – For example they made a FLOATING TANK!, but also how the game maintains a realistic(ish) physics engine.
I also interviewed the developer behind a new Flight Simulator called Deadstick, and I bumped into our friends from Snapshot Games who were there showing off a very busy Pheonix Point Booth.
Deadstick actually reminds me a little of Elite Dangerous if it were set on Earth, and you were a small independent pilot! In that it’s an open world and wont force you to do anything BUT you can run missions, upgrade you ship. It’s modelling much simpler planes than DCS, so instead of taking 30 minutes to take off you only need to flick a couple of switches. HOWEVER the depth to tinker is there if you want to and you can adjust your fuel mixture, and flick all the dials and switches in your cockpit to your hearts content. Also it matters where you place your cargo since its mass can effect how your plane handles. http://deadsticksimulator.com/
Most of us know about Phoenix Point, but it was great to hear that they have a provisional release date as well as why the game no longer shows you hit percentages.
Once again I had “real life” get in the way of fun, though I was still able to get a couple of good interviews in. The 1st was with Vanguard which is a cross platform space combat game. The second was with Shadow who run a gaming PC streaming service, essentially letting you have access to a full powered gaming rig from, pretty much anywhere! Psykokow talked about them on the main show a couple of weeks ago.
As always, these interviews were recorded in a noisy environment, and I apologise for any sound issues in advance.
Vanguard is a LOT of fun, I played on Mobile, PC with a HOTAS and on Oculus Go. Naturally I felt most comfortable using the HOTAS, however the game looked and handled brilliantly in Oculus Go using its motion controller. I personally didn’t feel as comfortable playing on the phone, and it could just come down to familiarity however one of the devs told me that he was routinely beaten by another of his colleagues using the phone. https://www.vanguard.game/
I think that the Shadow Interview covers most of what needs said about them. It’s an interesting concept and a great way to guarantee you always have a top of the line PC… so long as you have a good internet connection! I feel surprised to say this but it’s actually really good value for money even at £30 a month (I am giving you both the subscription and some extra drive space AND over estimating) you’re still cheaper doing this than you would be replacing a top of the line PC every few years… https://shadow.tech/gben/
I didn’t have a lot of time today due to “real” work but I did have a chance to re-visit one of my highlights from last year the National Film and Television School Game Development Students.
Firstly I spoke to Rose and Dr Timothy Kalifmann who are producing a game called MISFOLDED which is a delightful and dark story of Alzheimers.
Secondly I spoke to OIC (Obviously Inappropriate Content) The Game.
MISFOLDED had some really touching moments in it and beautiful graphics I don’t want to say too much less I spoil it. The game-play is a fairly straight forward, and a little slow with the game waiting for you to maybe take in the scene fully before moving on. However the story and the emotions it makes you feel definitely makes it worth your time.
OIC is a very unique game as well as a bit of a satirical political statement on Censorship in a less liberal society. The idea of the game is that you’re a game tester and have to spot potential inappropriate content as directed by your company’s management as well as “the supreme leader”. The actual game-play is divided in to 2 halves. The 1st part where you’re playing a fairly compelling if basic side scroll-er whilst looking for and taking screenshots of issues. The second part is unique as far as I am aware in that you’re at your desktop logging the bugs whilst getting instant messages or emails from people as well as news from your government’s political office.
Crew Members Head of health and safety : Ben Moss-Woodward – Cmdr Eid LeWeise Chief Archivist : Colin Ford – Cmdr phoenix_dfire Chief Bar Steward : Grant Woolcott – Cmdr Psykokow (In)Human Resources Director : Shan – Cmdr Shanaeri Lavian Space Program Director : Andy Barnes – Cmdr Kurgol
On Friday I went to a Panel on the Past, Present and Future of XCOM with Julian Gollop, the original creator of X-COM: UFO Defense , and Jake Solomon, creative director of the current XCOM. At the panel I bumped into Cmdr Wishblend and spoke to her about the highlight’s of her day.
On Saturday and Sunday I spoke to a lot of the Smaller Developers including a lot of Masters students from the NFTS. These students have had roughtly 5 months to develop and build their ideas before their presentations at EGX, although they have until Chrismas to finish their project
Not every project has a website up and running for their work, especially those of the National Film and Television School, but where websites are available I’ll like them in the show notes.
Please remember that all of the audio was recorded live at the convention in a noisy environment, so I’ll apologise in advance for any audio issues.
I had the chance to explore so many great games at EGX this year. Falling Sky, even though it’s a student project has a really great feel to it and I’m really interested in where Jonathan Nielssen takes it. I absolutely adored Jo Paterson’s music in May. Sunless Skies, 2000 to 1 and The Town Of Light I found myself getting immediately immersed in and I could have so easily played them for hours, which of course you can’t have at a convention, but I’ll definately be picking these up and playing some more of them when I have some free time!
Crew Members Head of Health and safety : Ben Moss-Woodward : Cmdr Eid LeWeise Head of Entertainment : Chris Jarvis : Cmdr Thane Head of Station Archives : Colin Ford : Cmdr PheonixDFire Chief Bar Steward : Grant Woolcott : Cmdr Psykokow Test Pilot : Matthew Monson : Cmdr Paroxsym (Paladin Consortium)