Talk about anything and everything Squad-related here -- what you've been playing, what you're looking forward to, and how big your Pile of Shame has grown after that last Steam sale...
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Beige » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:26 am

Honestly I've yet to be disappointed by either model, though like all of you I seem to be fairly choosy about my bookmaking. In case it wasn't obvious from my grumbling my main complaint about Early Access is that I can't simply just go play these games RIGHT NOW, which is also coincidentally my gripe with kickfunding. This is my own choice admittedly. Kentucky Route Zero is right there and I'm just not playing it.

This level -- the Steam $15-20 experience of whatever flavor floats your boat - is the new mammalian ascendent over the dinosaurs of AAA gaming. To flip my argument on its head, Wadget Eye and Daedelic are making all kinds of Adventure games, Double Fine is Doing Fine and I can go out right now and download Japanese indie titles or visual novels on the Steam Store. There's no deficit of interesting krill out there to scoop up.

I've said before that I will consider there to be a problem the day I go to turn my box on and there's nothing to play that interests me. A few years ago this would have kept me up at night but digital distribution and cheap access to dev tools seems to have solved this one handily.

I am glad for my squadmates, without whose assistance in hunting and gathering I would be much more at a loss than I currently am.

Pity our ancient lords, mouldering away in triple-A development. When AAA is at its best nothing can touch it, but it seems to me a longer and longer time between Uncharted 2s. The days of the apex predator may be coming to a close sooner rather than later. I don't count things like Titanfall and AssCreed as heartening signs.
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Alex Connolly » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:43 am

Just wanted to let folks know that Starpoint Gemini 2 is on sale right now for a cool 16 space shekels. It's essentially X with a far greater emphasis on hands-on capital ship battles, with the most vast galaxy map you're likely to find outside of the strategy genre.
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Bowley » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:06 pm

SOLD, no idea if it plays on my PC either, lol.
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Alex Connolly » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:36 pm

Bowley wrote:SOLD, no idea if it plays on my PC either, lol.


It should. Quite scalable. You'll dig it, Bowls. Already so much content and systems in place. Far more personality than X. A twist of Freelancer, a hint of Space Rangers...good fun.

As an aside, this is absolutely one of the Crown Jewels of the EA system.
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Alex Connolly » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:37 pm

Spintires
Моя прекрасная Грузовик
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The relationship of tire upon terrain. Since the dawn of civilisation, mankind has had a fascination with the wheel. Johnny Hart's B.C. certainly illustrates the point as a confraternity that was born in prehistory. We all love a good racing game, but ever since I went offroad in the digital sense, I yearned specifically for more. And, honestly, the slower the better. While Invictus' 1NSANE established the sweaty addiction to finicky overland fare, it was with little-known titles like UAZ Racing 4X4 and Off-Road Drive that cemented it. Games that thrived on being the most glacial racers on the planet. These were the true offroad games. And here, with Spintires, we're seeing it ratcheted up to the next level – although currently with a few caveats.

UAZ Racing 4X4 and Off-Road Drive were indeed racers, however far from the Dew-glugging gymkhanas of the DiRT series. Traversing swamps and near-vertical hills with all manner of gearbox mastery, differential locking and unlock, as well as deft winch usage. While the satisfaction of high-speed powersliding through a Burnout game or a Bugbear-sponsored rending of metal is tough to match, something like Spintires exists elsewhere.

A bog-ridden elsewhere.

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Spintires has just released on Steam and, in its current state, is the toughest delivery driver simulation I've yet put paw to. Starring the Soviet's finest heavy machinery, primarily the MAZ and its myriad variants, a player is tasked with picking up lumber from outpost mills scattered across sprawling terrain and delivering it elsewhere. Indeed, merely driving from A to B. But here, there are no waypoints or GPS directions. Here, there are no pretenders to the muddy throne of slow-going.

What separates Spintires from most other recent vehicle games is the track deformation. We saw similar technology used in the phenomenal one-shot by SEGA Racing Studios' SEGA Rally Revo, if to a much lesser degree. A run in Spintires has elephantine haulers navigating metre-deep sludge that'll bog even the most wary of frontiersmen. The deep, soggy ruts forged in one direction will still be there on the return, possibly to play a more hazardous obstacle the second time around. Tactical use of the winch, tire position, even things like utility cranes or other vehicles are order of the day. There is no greater sense of triumph in making it to a delivery point, and no greater sense of tragedy when a Scud truck lolls to one side in an inescapable mire. Or worse; rolls.

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The Havok-powered physics feel good. Really good. The sense of inertia as a truck thunders down an incline is as well-tuned as plying a sucking morass. Churning through a turgid swamp, seeing the water rush and ripple about the diesel-chugging goliath, hasn't been this much fun since, well, Off-Road Drive. Vehicles rumble and roll over the uneven terrain, showcasing not only the articulation of each truck, but the deformation properties built into the tires. They react to weight, surface and acceleration in a way I've not seen before; squashing appropriately and caking with clods.

But all is not perfect in the world of Siberian logging.

For a game that is aiming to be be-all-end-all for mudders and Russian machine fetishists, the distinct lack of wheel support right now is the biggest deficit. Developer Oovee state such peripheral usage will be catered to in a patch, but if you're a purist, you might find the Xbox 360 controller something of a travesty. I personally think a controller is the way to go, but I wouldn't say no to edging through slop with my hands on the DFP and feeling the rumble of terrain 'neath the treads.

Also served alongside the lack of wheel support is the brow-furrowing lack of internal view. Personally, I don't mind the freely-rotatable chase camera, as I like to assess the road ahead or the hole I'm digging, but not being able to steer from within the cabin is a bit of a letdown. Oovee have mentioned it'll probably be part of a free DLC bundle, but for the time being, get used to driving via every camera direction bar the one inside the truck.

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The Spintires alpha had oodles of community mods to bolster a relative lack of content in the early days, and while I strongly suspect the game will receive the Steam Workshop treatment, the game doesn't support mods at the time of writing. Eventual mitigation appears to be the theme of Spintires right now, so all we can do is wait. After all, those four-odd maps are big and arduous, and coupled with multiplayer, Spintires makes a compelling argument for those not dissuaded by the above.

These are my impressions. This spiel is not a review. And perhaps this is a personal indictment, where the act of trying to dislodge my bogged machine from a natural slurry pit is far more engaging than anything I've yet seen on a current generation console.

Or perhaps that's far more a damning indictment of everything else right now. In any case, Spintires is damn good stuff.

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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Bowley » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:00 pm

I've heard of Spintires, it's way more interesting to me than something like Euro Truck Simulator. I love that something this simple and specific can exist. Get your unnecessarily overweight soviet scud launcher stuck in some motherfucking mud and then get it out.
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Alex Connolly » Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:41 am

Bowley wrote:I've heard of Spintires, it's way more interesting to me than something like Euro Truck Simulator. I love that something this simple and specific can exist. Get your unnecessarily overweight soviet scud launcher stuck in some motherfucking mud and then get it out.


Euro Truck has the whole transport empire management element built into the driving sim, so it's a lot closer to X in that regard, and has the Praxas appeal. I think you'd enjoy it more than you'd think, Bowls.

But god damn right on the glory of Spintires. With some updates and patches, it'll be a must-have and an easy recommendation...

First though, it needs mod support. The early alpha had tonnes of mods, and if the idea of transporting a T-60 on a flatbed over hill and dale appeals, then that's merely the tip of the iceberg. Hope support happens sooner, rather than later.
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Bowley » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:17 am

Ok, but X has the whole SPACE! thing going for it. I don't think I could stomach the trading without that, oh and SETA too.

I agree with you in that it needs a first person view, complete with dynamic mud splatter on the windows and wipers that just smear it around some. Wiper fluid meter? Get out and hand wipe.
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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Alex Connolly » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:56 am

Looking forward to realtime weather in some update, too. Needs rain. Lots of rain.

Just fell down a Youtube rabbit hole of watching Russians driving Kamaz/Ural trucks about in the wilderness. Right. Time to boot up Spintires again. Videos like the following either make the strongest case, or ward off fence-sitting punditry.

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Re: Hope Springs Eternal - Crowdfund / Early Access Thread

by Angry Jedi » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:25 am

Tangent: Euro Truck Simulator is surprisingly compelling thanks to its extensive metagame and huge amount of fun simulation elements you just don't get in other driving games -- when was the last time you could use your indicator lights in a driving sim? When was the last time you could tune your in-cab stereo in to an actual radio station via Internet streaming -- something that I've been thinking driving games should do ever since Metropolis Street Racer?

Plus it's the only game I know of that makes parking strike fear into the player's heart. I'm terrible at reverse-parking a car so you can probably imagine what a hash I make of it when a massive trailer's involved.
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