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If you thought Dark Souls was hard, try Titan Souls

Death is inevitable in Titan Souls. Playing as a tiny pixel human, players get one arrow and one hit point. If they fire their arrow, they have to retrieve it in order to fire it again. If they get hit even once, they die and have to return to the last check point and do it all over again. Every battle is against a boss — a kind of super enemy that is much bigger than the player. But every boss also has a weak spot. Find the weak spot and the boss can be taken out in one hit. "The process of playing involves dying a lot," says David Fenn, who made Titan Souls with two other developers at studio Acid Nerve. "You need to learn from your mistakes every time you die. You need to really prioritize staying alive as much as you can so you can observe enemy behavior and work out when you're...

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As Project Spark beta begins, players seek new creative paths

Project Spark is a free-to-play game level construction kit with a Lord of the Rings look and feel. It's easy to demonstrate crafting an epic fantasy landscape, a hero, sidekicks, enemies and monsters while imbuing all those elements with basic combat patterns. The Microsoft and Team Dakota product also allows you to act out animations via Kinect and import those into your games, so much emphasis has been placed on stories featuring characters. It's come as a surprise to the developers, that many of the games actually being created on Project Spark, by real consumers, are deviating significantly from this template. The beta opens today for 250,000 people, with a cap of one million planned, before final and full launch later this year on Xbox One and Windows PC. For the last few...

News
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Payday 2 update can make you an infamous plague doctor

Infamous is what you become when you've done it all in Payday 2 and you don't mind tossing aside some progress to build yourself back up as a pro. According to Overkill Software's official site for Infamy, the heist-based shooter's latest free update for Windows PC introduces a new concept based on success. Reach level 100, and you can purchase a level of Infamy for $200 million of in-game currency. Becoming infamous also means you'll lose your level progress, spent and unspent skill points and the aforementioned millions. However, you'll gain one of 14 cards that prove you're a pro, an Infamy point to spend in a new skill tree and the aforementioned card. Every time you level up, you'll earn a new card and an Infamy point to spend. At launch, only tier one is available. The rest...

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Patterns now available for direct purchase

Linden Lab, best known as the creators of online virtual world Second Life, will sell their sandbox game Patterns directly on buildpatterns.com, the company announced. Patterns is a 3D universe where players build both simple and complex structures. Exploration also plays a part, as players will discover new shapes and materials to build with. The game is available in its "Genesis" release, or pre-alpha stage. According to Linden Lab's CEO, Rod Humble, the game is "still in its infancy" and more developments are planned in 2013. Additional updates will be available at no additional cost to those who purchase the game now. Patterns is available for a limited time at $9.95, a $10 discount off the normal price. The game launched earlier this year in Genesis mode for both Windows and...

News
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Poking the box: Why Linden Lab creates shared creative spaces

Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab, is proud that his company doesn’t create content. Most games are stories. There’s a beginning, middle, and an end. Link begins as a powerless boy and, over the course of many hours and dungeons, he gains abilities, overcomes challenges, and saves the world. So does Kratos. So does Snake. Linden Lab does it differently. The developer, known best for Second Life, builds sandboxes not unlike the Metaverse in author Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. There’s an architecture to the online world, and a set of rules governing the digital reality. Everything else that happens there is up to its inhabitants. "We don't make the content." Linden Lab has poured it’s creative energies into Second Life and little else for many years. When Humble became Linden Lab's CEO...

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'Resident Evil 6': The pre-launch dev postmortem

Ask Resident Evil 6 director Eiichiro Sasaki what he thinks about his project now that it's nearly on sale, and the impression he gives is that he's just glad the thing's done. "I think the feeling is 'It's finally over,'" he told Famitsu magazine in a roundtable interview published this week. "I have to pat myself on the back for the fact that we were able to get this out on time and on schedule. We had someone who very carefully managed all of the scheduling, which is part of why we were able to have enough confidence we'd make the release date that we pushed the launch up from November 22nd to October 4th [October 2nd in the US]. We were pushing right up to the end to get as much user feedback as we could into the game, though, so it was a race against time right up to the end." ...

1 Comment

Google examines gaming search trends, statistical model says ad clicks can predict sales numbers

A new study from Google analyzed two years' worth of gaming-related searches to come up with some facts, figures, and interesting insights into fans' desire for information on their favorite games. The report, "Understanding the Modern Gamer," considered "hundreds of millions of video game searches" performed on desktops and mobile devices for the 20 highest selling games of 2010 and 2011. According to the study's findings, the search interest for a typical triple-A title follows a rough bell curve (see image above) that starts during the announcement month, peaks during the month of release — with a 540 percent increase in searches over the initial month — and falls off after launch. Google's study also found patterns in the type of information gamers sought over the course of that...

2 Comments

'Second Life' developer reveals newest game 'Patterns'

Second Life developer Linden Labs revealed its next upcoming title, Patterns, in a gameplay trailer for the 3D world building game. Patterns is described as an "elegant, shared 3D creative space" that will allow users to craft and manipulate objects that make up the environment. Players are first taught to create basic shapes that can be used to create more complex constructs. Physics is built in, meaning all objects have a physical property, while users will also be able to share creations with each other in order to learn from one another. Patterns is in early development; However, early adopters will be able to access the Genesis Release software, a pre-alpha product designed to allow users to test out the object creation process. The development team is currently working to...

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Intellivision releasing three updated classics to PlayStation Home

Astrosmash, Shark! Shark!, and Night Stalker will release on the PlayStation Home this fall, announced Intellivision Productions, Inc. All three games have been upgraded with new features and graphics. The updated titles have been dubbed "Gen2" by Intellivision. Astrosmash, where players blast meteors and avoid enemies, will now feature more UFOs. The game will also have base weapon power-ups and more obvious difficulty level progressions. Gen2 of Shark! Shark! has updated puzzle patterns for fishy foes to swim through, as well as bonus rounds. Night Stalker has added more enemies and mazes to its game as well. The Intellivision console, which featured 16-bit graphics, launched in 1980. Until the PlayStation Home announcement, their previous releases have been deliberate duplications...

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Japan Review Check: 'LittleBigPlanet PS Vita', 'Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning'

A recap of the most interesting games coming out soon in Japan, courtesy of the reviews section in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine: LittleBigPlanet PS Vita (9/9/9/9, 36 points out of 40): It's perhaps not the flashiest release one could think of, but in this relatively slow release period in Japan (the week of the Tokyo Game Show), it was the highest rated title. "Even on the PS Vita, the pretty and unique graphics are still prevalent," one review began. "The stages are packed with neat gimmicks, and as an action game it's extremely well made and designed to keep you from getting bored. The content lends itself well to the touch controls, making stage creation quite simple.""The graphics and interface are excellent," continued another editor, "to the point where just pressing...

Patterns Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Publisher Linden Lab
    • Developer Linden Lab
  • Mac
    • Publisher Linden Lab
    • Developer Linden Lab
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