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The Flame in the Flood Kickstarter sails past its initial goal; stretch goals go up to $400k

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The Flame in the Flood

The Flame in the Flood, the procedurally generated rafting misadventure being developed by ex-BioShock, Halo and Guitar Hero devs swam past its initial Kickstarter goal today, only a week after its inception

Now that the $150,000 has been pledged, The Molasses Flood is now looking at stretch goals, from $175k to $400k, and the first five have already been revealed. 

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Crusader Kings 2 gets fatter with the Charlemagne expansion today

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Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne

At some point in the not so distant future, Crusader Kings II will have grown so large that it simply becomes our primary reality. That’s great if you’ve always wanted to kill a family member and grab their title, or manipulate the nobles of Europe into declaring a religious war on the Welsh. It’s not so great if you like cars, computers and not dying at 30, though. 

Today sees the grand strategy game get closer to that horrifying end point with the launch of the meaty Charlemagne expansion and the 2.2 patch. 

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Rebel Galaxy is an outlaw space adventure with big ol' capital ships from ex-Torchlight devs

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Rebel Galaxy

When Runic Games’ co-founders, Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer left the Torchlight studio and set up Double Damage Games earlier this year, they had yet to announce their first project. However, given their past, developing Fate, Diablo and Torchlight, it wouldn’t have been bonkers to expect them to make another ARPG. 

Rebel Galaxy is not an ARPG. It’s a Firefly, outlaw and ‘70s sci-fi inspired space adventure. 

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Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: When getting a new PC, do you build or buy?

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Topic of the Week: Building or buying a PC

There are a lot of reasons why you might be contemplating a new rig at the moment. Maybe you’ve become terrified by the VRAM apocalypse, or you’re desperate to ensure you can make The Witcher 3 look better than real life, or perhaps you just want to get yourself one of those fancy new 9 Series GPUs that Nvidia’s released. 

But before you even start looking at components, there’s one big question that must be answered: do you buy a prebuilt PC, or build one yourself? And that’s our Topic of the Week. 

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Port Inspection - The Evil Within

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The Evil Within Port Inspection

The Evil Within launched today, and I hesitantly stepped inside the gore-filled world to see if the absurd VRAM requirements and bizarre limitations that Bethesda has been sugar-coating as part of an artistic vision crippled this port. 

Lamentably, they have. I’ve done a fair few Port Inspections, and this is one of the worst. Little consideration has been given to the PC version, and the significant issues mar what could be a rather entertaining, if silly, horror game. 

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Hands on with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulator made using lasers

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Assetto Corsa

Full disclosure: the people who make Assetto Corsa put me in a race car and let me drive around a race track at a million miles per hour, simultaneously burning both rubber and the paper-thin veneer of journalistic ethics that prohibits having any fun on press trips.

The idea was that by driving around the Autodromo di Vallelunga in real life I could fully appreciate just how accurately the developer had simulated the track in Assetto Corsa. In practice I was too busy concentrating on not flipping the car over and murdering everybody in a giant fireball to take any notes.

Largely speaking however, all of the corners appeared to be in the right places. So well done.

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Skywind trailer beautifies some of the Elder Scrolls' oddest-ever environments

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Skywind: shroomsville.

The western highlands of Vvardenfell are known as the West Gash. It’s a matter of Elder Scrolls lore, and the sooner we get over that fact, the sooner we can talk about their reimagining in Skywind. Okay? Okay.

It’s a source of administrative aggravation that we can’t yet add Skywind to our list of the 100 Best Skyrim Mods, because it isn’t finished. But the latest alpha footage shows that a familiar landscape is beginning to emerge.

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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.

Wasteland 2 patch offers low-spec PC users a "large amount" of memory optimisations

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Wasteland 2

The second post-release patch for InXile's Black Islish opus, Wasteland 2, went live on Steam yesterday afternoon. It'll appear shortly on GOG, Origin and something called Glyph, if it hasn’t already.

Like one of those non-canon blimps they had floating about Fallout Tactics, the patch is a biggie. It begins with improved performance for lower-spec systems, takes in a bunch of fixes to California’s questlines, and winds up in a pile of extra hints and tips to be shown during loading screens.

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Warlords of Draenor group finder will allow WoW players to "actually meet new people"

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Warlords of Draenor: group friendly.

Blizzard have decided that WoW’s dungeon finder is perhaps a little too efficient. The grouping tool pulls strangers together for five-man dungeons, and fires them off on their separate ways immediately afterwards. No time lost - but all too often, no friends gained either.

“The pre-made group finder we’re introducing in Warlords of Draenor is very much trying to take a step back in the direction of World of Warcraft being a place where you can actually meet new people,” said lead designer Ion Hazzikostas.

“It’s about creating a world where players can find like-minded others to adventure with, but also a way you can talk to them.”

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Nobody is buying Unity: "it is best for us to be an independent company"

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Chaos Reborn: a Unity game.

Whispers began circulating over the weekend that Unity was looking for a buyer, and had begun pitching its popular game engine to the likes of Google. As the rumours threatened to cage the company in a great, suffocating speculattice, its co-founder was forced to head to the Unity forums and clear the air.

“Sometimes when we talk to our partners, discussions turn to talk of acquisition,” said CTO Joachim Ante. “Our response has always been that for Unity it is best to be an independent company.”

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Bethesda open The Evil Within's box of debug commands; unleash "fully playable" 60fps

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The Evil Within

In a release day twist that’s likely to impress ARG fans, Bethesda have revealed that the evil within Shinji Mikami’s survival horror game is actually buried in the code of the game itself. A dark power slumbers between the walls of its debug console, and Bethesda have given us the tools to wake it.

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Riot rework League of Legends' "severely abused" refer-a-friend system to fight botting

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League of Legends

Riot have been running a refer-a-friend scheme in one form or another since League of Legends launched half a decade ago. The current system rewards players who introduce others to the MOBA with new skins - but will soon be revamped to tackle a growing problem with botting and account selling.

“Ordinarily we might tolerate low levels of fringe misuse if it meant we were still doing right by the vast majority of players,” wrote Riot. “However, RAF abuse was increasingly degrading the average players’ experience, forcing us to contemplate changes.”

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Heroes of the Storm rolls on: Chinese players to test ranked play, draft mode and more

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Heroes of the Storm

The Heroes of the Storm technical alpha entered its final phase at the end of September, but Blizzard are “not done yet”. They’ll make a localised client available to Chinese players this Friday, and plan to try out a “host of exciting new features” with their newly bolstered testers before beta.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition's PC streams shows off an hour of mouse clicking and keyboard tapping

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Dragon Age: Inquisition PC stream

BioWare’s recorded another Dragon Age: Inquisition stream, and this time it’s for us PC folk. Mike Laidlaw controls the previously unseen Knight Enchanter class using a mouse and keyboard, while also dabbling in tactical combat. 

There’s even a keyboard cam, so you can see exactly what Laidlaw is doing - it’s all nice and transparent. 

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Assassin's Creed Unity

"Cinematic experience" is a nonsense term and isn't achieved by frame rates

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Frame rates

Lately, many AAA developers have been striving for a strange, intangible thing: the “cinematic experience”. It’s a term that has become synonymous for developer-imposed limitations, a clarification or an excuse to explain why a game is - usually technically, but sometimes thematically - restricted in some way. 

There is nothing innately wrong with limitations, even within the power fantasies of modern gaming. But problems arise when this crude term is thrown into the mix. It implies a horrible end-goal, where what games really need to be more like are films. 

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Assassin's Creed Rogue will sail onto PC early next year

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Assassin's Creed Rogue

Ubisoft revealed, today, that Assassin’s Creed: Rogue will definitely be making it way onto PC, and not just the previous generation of consoles. It’s set to arrive at some point early next year, the publisher told IGN. 

It’s due out in a couple of weeks on PS3 and Xbox 360, almost at the same time as Unity hits PC and next-gen consoles. The explanation for the large gap between the PC and console releases of Rogue is “production reasons”.

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Firefly Online's environment engine creates procedurally generated maps, from floating cities to derelict ships

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Firefly Online

Firefly Online still isn’t ready for you to hop onboard a ship and explore the ‘verse, but developer Spark Plug Games has put together a sneak peek at the 3D environment engine. 

This tiny preview, first shown at New York Comic Con, shows off a procedurally generated derelict, floating in space, with Captain Mal and Jayne exploring it - though in the game you’ll have your own crew, not Serenity’s. 

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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.

Sigils of Elohim is a free prequel to The Talos Principle

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Sigils of Elohim

The Talos Principle is Croteam’s obtusely named first-person puzzler, and while it won’t be gracing our PCs until later this year, a prequel mini-game, Sigils of Elohim, has appeared, and it’s entirely free. 

While The Talos Principle sees players take on the role of an AI, exploring the ruins and detritus of humanity while getting stuck into puzzles that tie into a metaphysical story about mankind’s end, Sigils of Elohim appears to be a game about turning shapes around and slotting them into spaces. 

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Port Inspection - The Evil Within

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Hands on with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulator made using lasers

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