This Month On Edge
The things that caught our eye during the production of E306
Gamesman catalogue archive bit.ly/gamesmen catalogues If, like us, you spent a good portion of your childhood pawing through the Argos catalogue and back pages of magazines coveting the outrageously expensive consoles and games, The Gamesmen’s archive should offer a pleasant shot of nostalgia. While the catalogues don’t reach back as far as the Australian retailer’s founding in 1982, it still takes in 26 years of seasonal bulletins. You can flick through each one and relive a time when the Master System was still being marketed more aggressively than the newly released Mega Drive, the prospect of whacking a 512kb RAM expansion card in your Amiga 500 felt revelatory, and adding a Soundblaster card to your 486 DX2 rig was something to get really fired up about.
Asteroids with lasers bit.ly/laserasteroids
Asteroids has long evaded being captured in an arcadeperfect home conversion. The symbiotic relationship between the original’s gameplay and those piercing vector-drawn visuals is incredibly difficult to emulate, but that hasn’t stopped Youtuber and comedian Matt Parker from teaming up with visual artist and programmer Seb Lee-Delisle to have a go. Their solution involves some coding wizardry, a giant screen and a dangerously powerful 4W RGB laser. Not quite a solution for the average living room, then, but learning about the guts of Asteroids makes for fascinating viewing anyway.
Wave Run bit.ly/waverun Created for Global Game Jam 2017, Jamie Rollo’s fast-paced jetpacking platformer is a formidable challenge. There are shades of SuperMeatBoy in the precision long jumps and danger-covered surfaces, but rather than rely entirely on momentum, the rocket on your back affords you some lifesaving thrust. You can fire small jets after jumping – to hover, adjust your position or arrest a fall – or fling yourself in any direction you choose using a jet boost. You can combine these two moves with wall jumps and running to create an unbroken flow of movement through the spike-lined and water-filled passageways. The jetpack uses fuel, however, so you’ll need to top up from awkwardly placed depots. It’s thrilling stuff, and generous checkpointing ensures the game remains fun rather than infuriating.
Planet Coaster OST bit.ly/planetcoasterLP There’s a lot to like about PlanetCoaster, but one of its most appealing – and surprising – aspects is the Jim Guthrie and JJ Ipsenpenned soundtrack. Big-hearted, lilting slices of expansive Americana, the compositions feel at once disconnected from, and yet perfect for, the game. Indeed, these are the tunes that gently waft in and provide welcome relief from the cacophony of the rides and screaming patrons when you zoom out from the action. Now the soundtrack is available through iam8bit as a beautiful gatefold double LP featuring pink and purple vinyl and art by Syd Weiler. A good way to withdraw from any hectic situation, we’d say.
If you doubt that Steam is growing in China: for last 3 months we’ve sold 3x as many units of TheLongDark there as in the US.
Raphael Von Lierop @Raphlife Game director, TheLongDark The two best VR games are Alien:Isolation and Half-Life2 and they both have had their VR support broken so you can’t do it anymore Joe Wintergreen @joewintergreen Designer, Impromptu Games I just want everything on Switch. It really irritates me when I can’t take a game into the kitchen to check my rice is boiling.
Geraint Evans @_geraintevans_ Founder, Rice Digital Silly idea, but proper prefiltering of equirect polar compression could be done directly by truncating horizontal jpg DCT coefficients.
John Carmack @ID_AA_Carmack CTO, Oculus