Posts Tagged: Sci-fi

Set Phasers to Facebook: Star Trek Getting A “Social” Game

Until Trexels came along, this was my worst Star Trek memory

Until Trexels came along, this was my worst Star Trek memory

Before last week, the most confusing thing I’d ever associated with Star Trek was when Troi and Pulaski were giggling over Riker’s sex dream during Shades of Gray. Even typing that sentence was gross. So very gross. What could possibly have rivaled that unforgettable Star Trek moment? The announcement of an upcoming Star Trek “social game”, Star Trek Timelines, which is planned for iOS/Android/Facebook later this year.

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Blame it on RVO: Skunkwerks Kinetic Bringing Their Vision to iPad

You can't see it here but, trust me, the sky is the color of television, tuned to a dead channel

You can’t see it here but, trust me, the sky is the color of television, tuned to a dead channel

What do you get when you cross a software developer with one of the greatest science fiction authors ever? I, honestly, have no freaking idea, but it sounds all kinds of cool.

Canadian developer Skunkwerks Software has teamed up with Neuromancer author William Gibson to create something called MEG: RVO and it exists right now on the App Store.  Kind of. What we can grab and play with now is a (rather polished) tech demo of the engine they’re creating specifically for the game, with an intro to some of the mechanisms used in the game. You play as the titular RVO or  Ranged Vehicle Operator, using your iPad as the controls of a rover on a hostile planet. Inside your rover is a MEG unit (think BigDog) which you command to collect resources, lay traps, and hack into obstacles. All of this is being run by the evil Slate Industries in a story that will expand and change based what happens in the community.

While the tech demo currently available is a dual-stick shooter version of Capture the Flag, the long term vision is of open-world sandbox in which the story and economy is controlled by what the players do in-game. We’re talking EVE Online kind of stuff here, people. The developers are expecting this somewhat simple game to eventually evolve over time into a fully-fledged MMO or action real time strategy game with a back story written by the guy who was predicting the internet before anyone knew what the internet was.

I’ve been playing the tech demo and it’s definitely not a finished game as just trying to drive your rover makes you pine for the halcyon days of getting your M35 Mako stuck in a canyon. That said, there is already a community of people buying and selling resources and refitting their rovers with new equipment and weapons, and Skunkwerks is expecting it to get bigger and better as time goes on.

While only available for iPad right now, the goal is to get the game on Android, Windows and, if we’re lucky, our neural implants.

Trailer after the break.

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Eclipse dev Łukasz Łazarecki: My favorite iOS games

New life and new civilisations.

New life and new civilisations.

To celebrate Pocket Tactics’ second birthday, we’re handing the mic over to some of our favorite developers to ask them what their favourite iOS or Android games are.

Łukasz Łazarecki is a co-founder of Polish studio Big Daddy’s Creations. In the past years, BDC have released attractive and widely-admired iOS translations of some very notable board games like Caylus, Neuroshima Hex, and the enormous sci-fi 4X EclipseŁazarecki hasn’t told me what he and his comrades are working on next but you can bet it’s going to be another big-name board game.

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Out Tonight: FTL, FTL, FTL, and FTL (and other stuff)

Can't we fight FancyBot instead?

Can’t we fight FancyBot instead?

Were you just released from prison? Has your memory suddenly returned from a bout of soap opera amnesia? Did you recently escape from the compound of a hyper-conservative Luddite religious community? Then it’s possible you’ve missed the fact that vaunted PC starship captain sim FTL is coming to iPad tonight. (If your problem was the last one, I’ll explain what iPads are later.)

FTL: Advanced Edition comes to us with a trove of new content that didn’t exist in the original PC release of the game, and the interface has been completely reworked for iPad — something that I briefly examined on Monday. I won’t waste time coyly pulling punches here: Subset’s iPad FTL is single-malt awesome served (no ice) in a tumbler of badassery on a coaster of righteousness.

Oh yes, and there’s other games, too, some of them very promising indeed. Trailers galore after the jump.

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Closer quarters: Frozen Synapse heads to iPhones “by the end of this year”

Closer quarters.

Fresh out of the vat.

With the slow deliberation of a man clipping the toenails of a velociraptor, Mode 7 Games are introducing Frozen Synapse to every relevant mobile platform. After debuting on iPad and Android last year, the simultaneous-turn tactical game that we anointed our Multiplayer Game of the Year Runner-up is coming to iPhones before the end of 2014. One imagines that Chumby is next.

Now I love Frozen Synapse and I love Mode 7 — their next game for PC is Frozen Endzone, a turn-based American football game with robots that would be amazing on a tablet. But I have a hard time visualising an iteration of Frozen Synapse that works on a phone. There’s an awful lot of interface that needs to get crammed onto a relatively tiny screen. But let’s see what Mode 7 come up with. I’ll nag them for screenshots in a couple of months.

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X-Com designer Julian Gollop: My favorite iOS games

Divus Iulius.

Divus Iulius.

To celebrate Pocket Tactics‘ second birthday, we’re handing the mic over to some of our favorite developers to ask them what their favourite iOS or Android games are.

Julian Gollop is the patron saint of this website. The designer of the original X-Com has submitted to my interrogation on multiple occasions and even gamely wrote a guest post for us back when PT‘s regular readership was too small to field a baseball team.

Gollop is currently Kickstarting a very promising remake of his 1985 ZX Spectrum classic Chaos, which Phil and I found singularly enjoyable last year.

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Sorcery! makers Inkle: Our favorite iOS games

Orcs to the left of me, goblins to the right.

Orcs to the left of me, goblins to the right.

To celebrate Pocket Tactics‘ second birthday, we’re handing the mic over to some of our favorite developers to ask them what their favourite iOS or Android games are.

After the jump we hear from Joseph Humfrey and Jon Ingold, co-founders of Cambridge-based Inkle. Last year, Inkle made a big splash with Sorcery!, a game that reinvented the choose-your-own-adventure genre from the ground up for touchscreens.

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Three gifs that demonstrate what’s great about FTL’s iPad interface

38 FTL crewmen who look like Shiba Inus.

38 FTL crewmen who look like Shiba Inus.

Relax, relax. We didn’t get bought by Buzzfeed or anything. Though that would have been a decent April Fool’s gag for tomorrow.

No, it’s just that FTL for iPad’s interface is so slick and so thoughtful that it’s difficult not to underserve it with words alone. 2013′s amazing iOS port was XCOM, a game that bent your iOS device to its will, ramming a fully-fledged PC game onto it. FTL is coming to iPad with a very different approach: it’s contorting itself, making significant accommodations for the smaller screen and different inputs.

You’ll see what I mean when FTL: Advanced Edition drops this Wednesday night — that’s when my full review will be going up, too. But until then, have a look at these three gifs I made.

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