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Microsoft

Watch the whole of Phil Spencer’s “The Future of Gaming” Microsoft keynote

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Phil Spencer GDC Microsoft Keynote

Microsoft have made available on YouTube a full video of Phil Spencer’s GDC Keynote, where he discussed the software giant’s plans for gaming across all Microsoft platforms. 

Entitled “The Future of Gaming across the Microsoft Ecosystem”, the Keynote saw Spencer reveal such interesting features as a cross-buy system for PC and Xbox games.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor declared Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

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Shadow of Mordor: mean and green.

This year’s GDC Choice Awards handed out its highest honor - Game of the Year - to Monolith’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. 

The Lord of the Rings universe-set game has been doing well on the awards circuit - especially at DICE Awards in February where it grabbed eight gongs - but has frequently lost the top spot to various other titles. 

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Alien: Isolation was originally built as a third-person game

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Alien Isolation third person GDC

One of the core elements that makes Alien: Isolation so incredibly frightening is the first-person perspective. More than most first-person games, Isolation really captures the feeling of being a person in its dank, dirty world. 

That feeling may not have been there had Creative Assembly gone with their original prototype though, which was in fact a third-person perspective game. 

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HTC apologise for confusing people about Half-Life VR

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Half-Life 2

There’s no such thing as Half-Life VR, and as far as we know Half-Life 3 isn’t going to be the launch title for Valve’s new VR technology. If you thought this was the case, though, it’s understandable: Valve’s partner in VR - mobile creators HTC - seemed to think that was what they were doing. Talking to the BBC at the start of GDC, HTC’s chairwoman Cher Wang said the company was “co-operating with Half-Life”. 

Valve, however, knew nothing of this. A clarification from HTC later, and it appears that Wang meant to say ‘Valve’ rather than ‘Half-Life’. 

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Unreal Tournament will let community modders sell cosmetics

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Unreal Tournament: a place where the gruff, wide-shouldered men and women of Epic can live on.

Epic’s latest Unreal Tournament project is a real interesting specimen. A collaboration between the community and Epic’s development team, it’s a celebration of the modding culture that made the previous games such long-living legends.

Continuing to embrace that culture, Unreal Tournament will have a marketplace similar to that seen in Valve’s games, where community-made items can be bought and sold. 

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John Carmack

John Carmack thinks that the future of VR is in mobile tech

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Mobile VR

Since Oculus got everyone sweaty over virtual reality, the focus has mostly been on games, and specifically PC games. But that’s been slowly changing since it was acquired by Facebook, and the Oculus Rift has started to be positioned as this ubiquitous device in the same way the smartphone is now. 

That’s always been the plan, though. At his GDC talk today, John Carmack discussed the potential of mobile VR, and why it was the reason he originally started working with Oculus in 2013. 

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Steam Controller

Steam Controller’s final design has been revealed at GDC

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Steam Controller final design

With Steam Machines appearing in the wild this coming November, it’s about time Valve got the final designs nailed down. And that seems to be exactly what they’ve done with the Steam Controller; the key piece in the living room puzzle, translating mouse and keyboard to hand-held controls. The final design is being shown off at GDC this week, and you’ll notice a few refinements. 

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Spotlight
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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Valve's showing off SteamVR with a Portal demo

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SteamVR Portal demo

When HTC announced the Vive, a VR headset being developed with Valve, on the weekend, it was missing one thing: games. But now it’s GDC, the perfect opportunity for Valve to show off what the Vive can do. 

Today and tomorrow, the developer is demoing the headset at GDC, and one of the games on display is a Portal demo. Who doesn’t want mind-bending physics right in their face?

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Double Fine’s Broken Age documentary is now free for everyone to watch

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Tim Schafer Double Fine Adventure documentary

Three years ago when the Kickstarter for Double Fine Adventure launched, backers were not just throwing money at Tim Schafer to make a brand new point-n-click game. Also part of the parcel was a multi-part documentary, created by Two-Player Productions. Backers have been able to see the highs, lows, and intricate details of game development as the years have gone by, discovering secrets that non-backers haven’t been privy to. 

Until now. Double Fine are removing the barriers on the documentary, and non-backers can now watch the series on YouTube for free. 

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SimCity developer Maxis shut down by EA

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Maxis closes

Maxis Emeryville, the core EA Maxis studio and SimCity developer, has been shut down by owner EA today. Maxis was one of five studios working under the EA Maxis umbrella, and over the last six years has release Spore, Darkspore and SimCity - all of which launched with a lot of criticism. 

SimCity designer and lead scripter Guillaume Pierre broken the unfortunate news on Twitter this evening. “Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door,” he said.

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Payday 2, Shadow of Mordor, and more coming to SteamOS; all on sale now

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valve vr gdc SteamOS Steam universe source engine 2

With SteamOS and Steam Machines destined to be complete and in our homes by the end of the year, numerous developers have decided to pipe up and announce that their games will be coming to the new operating system. Among the games you can expect to see are Payday 2, Total War: Attila, Batman: Arkham Knight, and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. 

To make sure you’ve got a library prepared for the day you PC game from your living room, Steam has put on a sale of the most exciting SteamOS games. 

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Unreal Engine 4

Unreal Engine 4 Kite demo shows off procedural generation, giant landscapes and big ears

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Unreal Engine 4 Kite demo

The big news from Epic is that the Unreal Engine 4’s subscription model has been tossed in the bin, and it’s now free, with Epic only making money when the developer does. That’s all well and good, but why would you want to use Unreal Engine 4? Epic’s put together a short film about a big-eared lad chasing a kite to show what the engine is capable of.

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All Unreal 4 games will be able to provide modding tools, says Epic's Tim Sweeney

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Unreal Engine 4

Tim Sweeney, Epic Games’ head honcho, has been giving a talk at GDC about the exciting features of the studio’s new Unreal Engine. For Epic, Unreal 4 is the gateway to a wonderful new land for modders. Any game built on the Unreal 4 engine will be able to provide the tools and source code for any modders to tinker away on their own projects. 

Modding should be a “first class platform,” according to Sweeney. My oh my, are we about to start reliving the modding heyday of the early 2000s? 

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Servo is a mech RTS with RPG progression from Age of Empires developers

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Servo announcement

Servo’s being touted as a “new kind of RTS” by Stardock and the ex-Ensemble folks at BonusXP, and today they’ve revealed just what’s new about it. It’s a fast-paced RTS with RPG-like progression… a bit like Dawn of War II. But there are no grumpy Space Marines. Servo’s main units are the titular Servos, gargantuan mechs that wield huge swords and building-sized mini-guns. 

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Spotlight
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Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Sid Meier’s Starships is a glorious stripped back strategy game packed with chunky spaceships

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sid meiers starships firaxis 2k games

Sid Meier’s Starships is a game of galactic control. Your mission is to claim over 51% of the galaxy’s territory or, if you’re more conquest minded, to take your opponents’ home worlds.

But it wouldn’t be called Starships without the glorious celestial vehicles that make up your fleet. Made up of individually upgradeable components, your fleet evolves over a campaign into a wing of vessels bristling with cannons, fighter bays, and torpedo tubes.

Starships is a tightly designed turn-based strategy game that’s very, very satisfying to play.

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Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Valve announce Steam Link, a device to enable plug 'n' play in-home streaming

Valve

Valve announce Steam Link, a device to enable plug 'n' play in-home streaming

Topic of the Week: Describe your perfect Valve press conference

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Describe your perfect Valve press conference

17 things Valve might announce at GDC that aren't Half-Life 3 (and one that is)

Half-Life 2

17 things Valve might announce at GDC that aren't Half-Life 3 (and one that is)

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns' new Stronghold mode is a MOBA for MMO players

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns' new Stronghold mode is a MOBA for MMO players

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns eschews tradition with its exciting new approach to profession and progression

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns eschews tradition with its exciting new approach to profession and progression

I ate too many egg bagels and span around in a virtual reality chair and now I feel sick

Roto

I ate too many egg bagels and span around in a virtual reality chair and now I feel sick

We've got 1000 UK keys for the World of Tanks Generals closed beta. Fancy one?

World of Tanks Generals

We've got 1000 UK keys for the World of Tanks Generals closed beta. Fancy one?

Total War: Attila review

Total War: ATTILA

Total War: Attila review

Making it in Unreal: bringing combo combat to the PC in Age of Blood

Age of Blood

Making it in Unreal: bringing combo combat to the PC in Age of Blood

The thirty best Minecraft mods

Minecraft

The thirty best Minecraft mods

Reality check: What developers really think of DirectX 12

DirectX

Reality check: What developers really think of DirectX 12

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Weekend Deal Dump: Maps, maps, maps

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Maps, maps, maps

How good a job have Gearbox done in remastering Homeworld?

Homeworld Remastered

How good a job have Gearbox done in remastering Homeworld?

The 21 best RPGs on PC

Best PC RPGs

The 21 best RPGs on PC

The 14 best co-op PC games

Trine 2: Complete Story

The 14 best co-op PC games

Frozen Cortex review

Frozen Cortex

Frozen Cortex review

How Josh Sawyer sold me on Pillars of Eternity's combat

Pillars of Eternity

How Josh Sawyer sold me on Pillars of Eternity's combat

The best PC games of 2015 and 2014

Best PC Games of 2015

The best PC games of 2015 and 2014

Hands on with Zombie Army Trilogy

Zombie Army Trilogy

Hands on with Zombie Army Trilogy

Why have Green Man Gaming started publishing games instead of just selling them?

Idol Hands

Why have Green Man Gaming started publishing games instead of just selling them?

What on earth is glNext?

glNext

What on earth is glNext?

Topic of the Week: Where do you play, and what do you play on?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Where do you play, and what do you play on?

Introducing GameSessions: the Steam-integrated return of the demo

GameSessions

Introducing GameSessions: the Steam-integrated return of the demo

Interview — Resident Evil: Revelations 2

Resident Evil Revelations 2 / Biohazard Revelations 2

Interview — Resident Evil: Revelations 2

Hearts of Iron 4 is shaping up to make

Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron 4 is shaping up to make "The Good War" a great one

Making it in Unreal: climbing aboard the Titanic with Honor and Glory

Titanic: Honor and Glory

Making it in Unreal: climbing aboard the Titanic with Honor and Glory

Besiege Early Access review

Besiege

Besiege Early Access review

Adventures in... Space Hulk - Jeremy and Julian cross claws on the Sin of Damnation

Space Hulk

Adventures in... Space Hulk - Jeremy and Julian cross claws on the Sin of Damnation

Weekend Deal Dump: Lord of the Bundles

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Lord of the Bundles