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Platform Win, Mac Publisher N/A Developer Lucas Pope Release Date 08/08/2013

Review

Review
53 Comments
8.0

Papers, Please Review: Mundane tyranny

I've asked so many times I hear it in my sleep. Another haggard, hopeful face hangs in front of my window, my tenth of the day. She slides her passport, her access permit, her polio vaccination through the window and then tedium begins. I've done what comes next so many times, it's practically instinctual at this point. I check her height, her weight, her gender, cross-referencing each field against all the documents. Finally I uncover what I'm looking for: A small discrepancy in the spelling of her name. She assures me it's a typo, begs me to let her through the border checkpoint. She's wasting her breath. I consider sending her away, but the documents could be falsified. That's a crime, and I've got a partner who gives me a kickback for every would-be immigrant that I...

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Games for Change 2014 award finalists include Papers, Please, Gone Home

The eight finalists for the 2014 Games for Change Awards have been selected and include titles such as Gone Home, Papers, Please and SoundSelf, organizers announced today. For Most Significant Impact, submissions have been narrowed down to The Mission US: A Cheyenee Odyssey, Start the Talk and Migrant Trail. In the Most Innovative category, finalists are SoundSelf and Súbete al SITP. Gone Home and TryAnt are nominated for Best Gameplay. Lucas Pope's Papers, Please is the only game to be nominated in both the Most Innovative and Best Gameplay categories. Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell will host the event. "Whether crowd-funded or supported by public and private funding, the finalists reflect the increasing diversity of forms, audiences and subject matter embraced by developers...

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YouTube star Northernlion gives advice on how indie devs can succeed on video

Letourneau started by noting that YouTube stars have become "some of the biggest influencers and biggest personalities out there" in the world of gaming and yet simultaneously "a niche that's still untapped." To prove his point, Letourneau put up logos for major gaming publications like IGN, GameSpot and Kotaku. "You probably all recognize these," he said. Then he put up logos for three of the top gaming video creators on YouTube: TotalBiscuit, OfficialNerdCubed and TheRPGMinx. He pointed out that together these three reach millions of viewers, but they aren't as instantly recognizable — and as such not as frequently contacted by developers. "These three YouTubers can single-handedly get your game greenlit and drive sales if they like it," he said. To further demonstrate this,...

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Papers, Please awards haul is a big win for gaming

This small game, in which the player takes on the role of a border-guard working for a violent and oppressive regime, is a long way from the mainstream view of games, so often assumed to be frivolities and dumb escapism. As the player, you represent the full and awesome power of bureaucracy, with power over the lives of others. You are also tasked with preserving the future of an evil regime. You can do things that make you feel like a better person, like reuniting families who lack the correct papers, but you are putting the lives and safety of your own family at grave risk. It's a situation that isn't "fun" in the traditional sense, but gaming allows the player to feel like they control the lives of others, for good or ill. It's one thing to talk about the banality of evil when it...

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Papers, Please wins big at the 16th annual Independent Games Festival awards

Papers, Please, a game that has players taking on the role of an immigration inspector in the Kafkaesque communist state of Arstotzka, took home nearly half of the Independent Games Festival Awards at tonight's show. The Windows and Mac game, developed by Lucas Pope, won the awards for excellence in design, excellence in narrative and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. After winning the final award of the night for the 16th annual Independent Games Festival Awards, held during the Game Developers Conference, Pope thanked his family and admired the prize. "You're looking at the peak of my career," he said. The full categories and rest of the winners are listed below. Seumas McNally Grand Prize Papers, Please DEVICE 6 Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady...

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Papers, Please creator wants to make PS Vita version

The developer of the immigration-themed puzzle game Papers, Please Lucas Pope recently expressed an interest in bringing the game to the PlayStation Vita, VG247 reports. Pope told the site he wants to bring Papers, Please to the handheld device, but is unsure whether he wants to port the game himself, or hand it over to a third party. "Up until now, I've been the only guy who's ever touched the source code or anything related to the game," he said. "And that's just kind of a control issue. A lot of people offered to just, 'send me over the assets and codes and I'll kick out all your localised versions, you'll be set,' but I wanted to do it myself because it was a little bit fun and because I'm a control freak." Pope told VG247 he is currently divided on what to do, and he is equally...

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Voting opens for GDC Choice and IGF Awards

Voting for the 2014 Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival Audience Awards are open now through March 1 at 2:59 p.m. ET, organizers announced today. The GDC Choice awards are designed for developers to recognize the best of their own in categories that include Best Debut, Best Technology and Game of the Year. Nominees announced earlier this year include Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, Media Molecule's Tearaway and The Fullbright Company's Gone Home. For the IGF's Audience Awards, you can vote for a game at the IGF's official site until March 1. The IGF Awards celebrate indie gaming's best in categories like Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Narrative and Excellent in Visual Art. Nominees were also announced earlier this year and include Klei Entertainment's...

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Papers, Please nation Arstotzka playable with Civilization 5 mod

Through a Steam Workshop mod created by user Snakeeater337, the country of Arstotzka in Lucas Pope's "dystopian document thriller" Papers, Please is now a playable nation in Sid Meier's Civilization 5. The Arstotzka mod features custom units, buildings, dialogue and an orchestral remix. Border Guard units are riflemen, which costs no maintenance and features a 50 percent Combat bonus in friendly territory. It is a weakened version of the rifleman with a combat value of 55 percent outside of friendly territory. Border Checkpoint buildings are strengthened police stations that costs no maintenance, reduces enemy spy stealing by 33 percent and features three Immigration Inspector specialist slots. The Glory To Arstotzka custom trait adds bonuses to citizen production and adds a...

Report
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Games for Change boosted by Tribeca Film Festival link

For the first time, the Games for Change Festival is being attached to Tribeca, offering a much larger audience for its mission, to advocate for games with serious messages or with a strong charitable element. According to Games for Change president Asi Burak, the deal to link up with the TFF marks a turning point for serious games. "We celebrated ten years in 2013," he told Polygon. "The first decade was all about advocacy of the genre and the movement, but now we are seeing more and more independent game creators express themselves around big issues." Burak said that much good work had been done by many individuals and organizations that helped increase "the public perception that this is something that is just like [TV and film] documentaries or non-fiction books." He said that...

News
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The Last of Us, Tearaway, Gone Home lead 2014 GDC Award noms

Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, Media Molecule's Tearaway and The Fullbright Company's Gone Home lead the pack of 2014 Game Developers Choice Awards nominees, with each game getting nods in five categories. The full list, which can be found below, runs the gamut from indie titles by tiny teams to the biggest-budget productions in the industry. Other multiple-nominated games include Lucas Pope's Papers, Please; Starbreeze Studios' Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons; and Rockstar North's Grand Theft Auto 5. The 14th annual Game Developers Choice Awards will follow the 2014 Independent Games Festival Awards, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET on March 19 during the 2014 Game Developers Conference. Game of the YearGone Home (The Fullbright Company)Grand Theft Auto 5 (Rockstar North/Rockstar Games)The...

News
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Valve shows Steam Controller in action with Portal 2, Civ 5, more

In a new video posted to its YouTube channel, Valve engineer Jeff Bellinghausen shows off the developer's new dual trackpad-powered Steam Controller, illustrating how effective it can be when playing primarily mouse and keyboard-controlled games. Bellinghausen plays a variety of games with the prototype controller, from Valve-developed first-person shooters Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Portal 2, to strategy game Civilization 5 and mouse pointer-controlled indie game Papers, Please. The demo shows a number of control schemes, including "legacy mode" controls in Portal 2, a standard keyboard-and-mouse replacement, as well as custom control bindings that can be used to navigate a strategy game like Civ 5. Valve says it will post additional game demonstrations soon, "including...

Papers, Please Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 08/08/2013
    • Developer Lucas Pope
    • Score 8.0
  • Mac
    • Released 08/08/2013
    • Developer Lucas Pope
    • Score 8.0
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