Category Archives: LBoG: Editorials

I Love Me Some RollerCoaster Tycoon – But This Guy? Dayum!

RollerCoaster Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 are quite simply the greatest theme park/management games ever created. Originally released in 1999 from Chris Sawyer and they still stand the test of time today. I did a quick overview of the game right here. I recently re-brought the first three games via Steam with all the added content and I’m currently re-playing through them. According to my Steam account – so far I’ve racked up over 100 hours and that is just on the first game… and I’m nowhere near close to finishing every scenario either.

I thought 100+ hours was a decent amount of time to put into the game… until I found out some guy has spent ten years, that’s TEN YEARS creating his ultimate mega-park.

Mega park.jpg

The above image is the work of one man – Sebastian Brendgen. Just to put things into perspective, the map is 254×254 tiles and that’s 64,516 individual tiles. If you know anything about the RollerCoaster Tycoon games, then you’s know that each and every single one of these tiles has to be placed and decorated yourself… that’s a hell of a lot of work.

Most of my theme parks end up being a mess of rides and attractions, and to be honest – I don’t really plan ahead and just build on instinct as the park grows. I just build because its fun. But what Sebastian did with his mega-park was very carefully pre-plan everything.

“At first I liked the gameplay very much, Later on, I don’t think it was a game anymore to me. It was more like a picture or an art.”

Sebastian used the modding tool OpenRCT2 to help him create his park. Its a tool that removes some of the restrictions the base game has, offers better building controls as well as add some new scenery and attractions.

The park grew and grew and Sebastian began to split it into various themed sections. Pirate Land, Middle Ages, Mountain Top, Mars and even a section based on Tron – he even created a parking lot!

Pirate Zone

His ideas would change and quite often, Sebastian had to destroy and rebuild rides and coasters and even entire sections in order get everything just right. A lot of the attractions in his park are based on real ones he has experienced first hand living in Germany. By the time his park was finished, it contained 255 rides and shops 34 of which are coasters and was averaging around 8,000 peeps in his park at any one time.

“It took me so long and I wasted so many thoughts on it. But I’m really proud of myself that I stuck to it and brought it that far.”

A decade is a hell of a lot of time to spend on any one game… never mind one map. I doff my hat in respect to you Mr Sebastian Brendgen – the king of RollerCoaster Tycoon.

Advertisements

Red Dead Redemption II – 2nd Trailer

Well its finally here. Forget a big build up, lets just get right to it…

This is a little follow on from my previous Red Dead Redemption II article and here I’m just going to offer my thoughts on what this new trailer shows us (after watching it several times).

First impressions… I looks efing’ gorgeous. The vistas and scenery, the character models, the lip syncing, etc. It all looks incredibly detailed and to be honest, after Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V –  I’d expect nothing less either. Also, its now Red Dead Redemption II and not 2.

Vista.JPG

The trailer synopsis, according to Rockstar themselves reads:

“The story of outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang as they rob, fight, and steal their way across the vast and rugged heart of America in order to survive.”

Morgan Horse

So looks like we’re playing as this Arthur Morgan character or at least he is one of the characters you play as. I’m still confident there is more to be revealed when it comes to playable characters and I also think the multi-character mechanic from Grand Theft Auto V will make a return. Mainly as you are connected to the Van der Linde gang which is the gang that previous protagonist, John Marston was involved with in the events before Red Dead Redemption… which would also cement in place what many people thought from the start – that this game will be a prequel. It also could mean the return of John Marston as a playable character. Plus Dutch appears in the trailer and if you’ve completed the previous game – then you know this means it has to be a prequel.

No John Marston though… not yet anyway. But I think this could be Abigail Marston…

Abigail

She was a member of Dutch’s gang and the character models look very similar between the two games… except for the obvious quality difference. And I think when she says “You’re the only one of these fools that I trust.” That she’s talking to an off camera John.

Morgan seems to be a complete, unrelenting asshole. There’s a part in the trailer where he threatens the son of a grieving mother still in mourning over the death of her husband… the he was most probably responsible for. He seems like a very different character to John Marston who was actively trying to become a better man.

Morgan

Morgan seems like he relishes being the bad guy, so quite a contrast from the previous game. Its also point blank pointed out that he is a wanted man so it seems you’ll definitely be playing on the wrong side of the law this time around… at least as Morgan anyway.

We get to see some interesting action in the trailer too. A train heist, bank robbery, all sorts of fisticuffs and gun-play, alligators and the return of the wild horse breaking… I didn’t see any wild flower collecting – which is a good thing. But the wildlife is back and more varied than before too, so hunting will be a part of the game again. I also noted the use of a bow & arrow hinting that ‘injuns’ could be a part of the game. There is also a variety of places to explore including snowy mountains, swamp land, forests and of course – classic western towns.

Duo

There’s still much more for Rockstar to reveal in regards to Red Dead Redemption II I’m sure of that, and we’ll see more trailers over the next few months that’ll reveal more characters and plot and hopefully some actual gameplay footage.

Fire

Its looking good, very, very good indeed. Still no confirmed release date though, just that ‘Spring 2018’ rough time-frame. But I can wait. Looking forward to playing as a complete bad-ass, outlaw, cowboy and causing some wild west havoc.

 

What I Don’t Want From Red Dead Redemption 2

There’s going to be a new Red Dead Redemption 2 announcement very soon (in only a few hours in fact).

Red Dead Redepmtion 2 Teaser

Yes, Rockstar have been doing what they do best by teasing us fans when they Tweeted the above image and nothing else. But what is coming in a few hours? A new trailer? Gameplay footage? Online mode reveal? A confirmed release date?… another delay?

We can do nothing but wait…

Its been almost a year since Rockstar released the first teaser trailer in October of 2016 when they also teased a fall 2017 release date and if things had worked out – we most probably would all be playing Red Dead Redemption 2 right now. Of course the game was delayed until 2018 (as some predicted months ago), so no Red Dead Redemption 2 for us.

In the almost 12 month wait between that first trailer, Rockstar have remained very tight lipped and with the exception of a few images – they’ve shown us nothing. But this has not stopped fans from predicting what the new game will be about. A full on and direct sequel is what the title suggests, but given the fact the last game ends just as the wild west era was dying out – a sequel seems doubtful… possible but doubtful.

Others think it’ll be a prequel filling in the backstory of John Marston and his involvement with Dutch van der Linde’s gang that served as the backbone of the plot for Red Dead Redemption. Some have even suggested that’ll it could be both a sequel and a prequel featuring John’s son Jack Marston. With the player being both Jack in the ‘present’ telling the story of his father in the past via stories he was told growing up. But no matter what theory you look into – there’s one central factor that seems to be a fan favourite and that is that John Marston will be in Red Dead Redemption 2.

John Marston

Now, I love me some John Marston. In fact I would say he’s probably one of my all time favourite game characters ever. He’s charismatic, humble, caring as well as being a total bad-ass. The ending to Red Dead Redemption is still one of the most emotional and hard hitting game endings I’ve experienced and I miss playing as John as much as the next fan. But do you know what? I don’t want John in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Well let me rephrase that. I don’t want John as a main playable character. If Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to be a prequel – then I’d rather that Rockstar come up with all new characters and story. As much as I adore John Marston, I feel I’d rather play as a new character or characters – given Grand Theft Auto V’s multiple character mechanic, I’m sure we’ll see that return here too. But also like the Grand Theft Auto franchise, I always enjoy how they create all new characters for each game.

GTA V Characters

There are often references and ties to previous games (within each new Grand Theft Auto generation) and characters from one game can often appear in another. This is something I’d like to see with Red Dead Redemption 2 – a whole new set of main characters to play as but maybe have them cross paths with Dutch’s gang and John. Intertwine the stories and let us peak into the window of John’s previous life before Red Dead Redemption, sure have that story going on the background -but give us a totally new set of main characters to play as in the main story.

Yeah I love me some John Marston but I also think his history should remain just that – history. Keep it under wraps and leave us fans to make up our own mythology of John. Oh yeah, one more thing… a lot less wild flower picking too.

RDR giff

Just have to wait for the big reveal now…

GTA V: Judgement Day

Who doesn’t love Grand Theft Auto V? And who doesn’t love the James Cameron flick – Terminator 2: Judgement Day?… well me. But that is not the point, because a fan of both with a hell of a lot of time on their hands had melded the two. Using a heavily modded version of Grand Theft Auto V to recreate Terminator 2. Okay, so its not the entire film which runs at a a little over 2 hours. This fan made GTA film is just over an hour long. But it does hit all the major scenes.

Using audio taken directly from the movie to tell a more condensed take on the film. This GTA version is pretty damn impressive and even recreates the opening credits and every memorable scene from the movie right up to the ending.

Full credit goes to Kramer’s Media for this impressive feat. You can watch GTA V – T2 right here…

Red Dead Redemption 2 Officially Delayed.

Well, I did write the following article in March…Could Red Dead Redemption 2 Be Delayed Until 2018?

After looking at all of Rockstar’s big game releases over the last decade or so, I proved how each and every one of them has been delayed and pondered whether RDR 2 could follow suit… and now it officially has. As Rockstar themselves have confirmed right here.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is now set to launch Spring 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This outlaw epic set across the vast and unforgiving American heartland will be the first Rockstar game created from the ground up for the latest generation of console hardware, and some extra time is necessary to ensure that we can deliver the best experience possible for our fans.

We are very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes, but we are firm believers in delivering a game only when it is ready. We are really excited to bring you more details about the game this summer. In the meantime, please enjoy this selection of new screenshots from the world of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redepmtion 2 Image 2

Red Dead Redepmtion 2 Image 3

Well there you have it, straight from the horses mouth. No RDR 2 until at least spring 2018. Its a bit of a blow for all RDR fans everywhere – but hardly unexpected given Rockstar’s track record with delays. Still, at least they have given us some new images to look at which I’m sharing right here.

Red Dead Redepmtion 2 Image 4

Red Dead Redepmtion 2 Image 5.jpg

Looks beautiful.

Red Dead Redepmtion 2 Image 6

Red Dead Redepmtion 2 Image 7

Just a shame we have to wait even longer now. But I just know the extra time will be used to make the game as polished as they can. I can wait…

About That ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Leaked Image… Its Not

Pretty much any and everyone eagerly awaiting the release of Rockstar’s sequel/prequel to Red Dead Redemption has gone crazy over the leaked image that has been doing the rounds recently.

Wild West Online Image 1

Its Not What You Think

I’ve read articles that have analysed the image over and over. “That’s definitely a young John Marston.”, “That’s Armadillo. It just looks different because its a prequel.” and so on. Some sites have compared the image to the official trailer released last year and made direct connections as proof that the said image is definitely from Red Dead Redemption 2.

There is a slight problem with all of these articles that are making these comparisons. That ‘leaked’ Red Dead Redemption 2 image is not from Red Dead Redemption 2 at all. In fact – the image comes from an all new game called Wild West Online being developed for the PC and there are other images too.

The Wild West Gets Social

Wild West Online will be an open world PvP MMO game. A countdown on the official site is promising more info in a few days but some features of the game are already known. Being inspired by Rockstar’s Red Dead RedemptionWild West Online will give players the chance to explore an open world map all while forming a posse of other real players. You can also decide to either defend or break the law as you try to make a name for yourself and your fellow cowboys or you could just sit around in a saloon and play some cards.

612 Games, the developers of Wild West Online are made up of some of the talent behind games like Crysis and League of Legends are set to launch a Kickstarter at the end of this month to help fund the project and include stretch goals for an added bonus. Yet even without the Kickstarter campaign, the team say that they are already so far along in development that the game will see a release later this year regardless of the Kickstarter.

While the game takes in main inspiration form Red Dead Redemption – particularly the multiplayer/online element. The development team want to bring a very different game with this MMO and that it won’t be a typical grind-fest and repetitive quests and promise a very different MMO with more variety and depth. It seems there will be more to the game than just being a cowboy as you can forge an alternate career and specialise in various vocations such as a gatherer, prospector or even a farmer. Then use your wares to inject fuel into a player-driven in-game economy.

Gathering resources and even building camps will be a big social aspect of the game that will be coupled with a crafting system which will rely on discovering new creations, recipes and weapons. All will help build and grow your posse as you add more and more real life players. The team also say the game will be more story, character, and gameplay-driven than other MMOs and they are working on a unique progression system that will add depth and keep players coming back for more.

The Good, The Bad And The Lawless

If you do chose the wrong side of the law path for your posse, then you will soon find yourself becoming a wanted gang. As you earn wanted starts and the infamy of your gang grows, you’ll find yourself being sought out by bounty hunters, sheriffs and deputies all played by real people. Rivalries will be formed between the right and wrong side of the law as the intricate gang system in the game starts to grow with each new player.

The developers are promising many, various way to break the law and become a known outlaw if you wish. From simple robberies and bigger bank heists to outright murder. As you and you gang raise their lawless profile, you’ll find that you will become exiled from towns – and this is where you can set up your very own bandit hideouts and where the previously mentioned resource system will play a big part. As you’ll be able to build and upgrade your hideout trough the course of the game.

Its looking and sounding great. Seeing as Rockstar seem to have no intention of bringing either the original Red Dead Redemption or its sequel/prequel to the PC – then this game seems the be the closest PC gamers are going to get to a multiplayer wild west game.

More details of the game will be released soon, stay tuned to the official Wild West Online site.

Sources: playwwo.com, pcgamer.com.

Three Maps For State Of Decay 2… And Maybe More Later?

2013s State of Decay from developer Undead Labs was an unexpected hit. To be honest, I was bored of the whole zombie sub-genre of gaming as zombie fatigue began to set in, the undead blighters were everywhere. But it was State of Decay that provided the shot in the arm I needed. A great mix of action, crafting, base management, RPG and open world exploration. The game had its problems in terms of frame-rates and minor bugs – but what was there was an amazing experience to be found.

When Undead Labs officially announced State of Decay 2 last year, the palms of my hands began to sweat in anticipation and I have been eagerly trying to soak up any information on the sequel like a thirsty sponge. It all began with the teaser trailer shown at E3 in 2016.

While Undead Labs have remained tight-lipped on a lot of the details for State of Decay 2, they have been slowly teasing us with concept art and screen shots over the last few months while they are hard at work polishing and perfecting the sequel to one of the best zombie survival games made so far.

But in a recent post on the Undead Labs official blog, the developers have spilt the beans on what we can expect to see in terms of maps for State of Decay 2. If you were expecting a map that could rival the first game – then you are in for a lot more then you bargained for as State of Decay 2 will feature three maps and each of those maps will be (at least) the size of the map from the original game.

We are launching with THREE maps. Each roughly the size of the original. You should expect to see slightly different environments, definitely different landmarks and locations, different layouts lending themselves to different strategies, unique home sites, and even different mission types.

Sounds bloody great. The map of the original was not really the biggest or most detailed open world map ever created, but it was damn good fun to explore as you learned your way around in search of resources to keep your community of survivors alive and even searched for new places to set up a home-base.

But why are we getting three maps in State of Decay 2?

Well, primarily, because it makes the game more fun. It really feels like you’re moving from one small town to another, and creates a tremendous sense of immersion. And perhaps counter-intuitively, it makes the world feel even bigger. You know how on one map (even one three times the size as the original game’s) the longer you play, the more you start feeling deju vu with every mission? That’s less of an issue with separate maps.

If you played the original State of Decay, then you’d know how important scavenging for items and searching for fellow survivors was. So what happens to all of what we have built up in one map if/when we move to another?

The intent is for us to be able to take all of our people, and everything in our supply lockers and rucks. We’ll have all the vehicles parked in our home site parking spaces, along with whatever’s stored in the trunks. We’re also going to get at least a partial refund on what we sunk into building our facilities.

So any and everything you have striven and risked your life for in one map will be carried over to the next one – creating a seamless transition and allowing you to go from map to map without loosing all of your prized possessions or characters you have grown an affinity with.

I also must point out that the blog states they will be ‘launching’ with three maps. So does this mean there will be more than three maps post-launch possibly offered via DLC? This is sounding better and better.

Undead Labs have promised that more details on State of Decay 2 will be revealed in June at E3 this year, including a release date and gameplay footage.