No Content For The Next 24 Hours In Protest Of SOPA and PIPA

As we stated late last week, we have shut down all content publishing and social networking updates for the next 24 hours as we stand with Reddit, Wikipedia, Cynical Brit, Destructoid, Rock Paper Shotgun, Mojang, among others, in protest of SOPA and PIPA.  Unfortunately, we were unable to edit any of the backend code for TPG, so the site will still be fully functional.  We will resume our normal publishing schedule on January 19th, at 8am US Mountain Time.  Below are some helpful links which outlines exactly what these pieces of legislation are and how they could impact the internet.

John “Total Biscuit” Bain – WTF is SOPA

PIPA Petition

Library of Congress – SOPA in Detail

Reddit Blog – Technical Examination of SOPA/PIPA

SOPA Countdown

4X Space Simulation Gem: Star Ruler Interview

Conducted By Adam Ames

TPG had the chance to chat with the the fine gents from Blind Mind Studios who talk about their space sim title, Star Ruler.  James and Andrew also speak on various topics in the PC gaming industry as well as life an independent game developer.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Star Ruler.

James: I joined up in Spring of 2009 and am mainly responsible for the sprites, quality assurance testing, GUI art, sound effects, some of the art and design direction, the marketing, the dialogue, and customer relations.
Andrew: I’m the lead designer and programmer, and I started the project roughly 4 years ago. I also manage the business and finances.

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Pre-Release Interview: Card Hunter

Conducted By Adam Ames

What happens when you cross a board game, CCG and MMO?  You end up with a F2P title with unique elements and staggering potential.  Card Hunter is currently under development by Blue Manchu Games with Jonathan Chey, formerly of Looking Glass Studios, leading the way.  In this interview, Johnathan talks about the development of Card Hunter and his expectations for the future.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Card Hunter.

Hi, I’m Jonathan Chey. Card Hunter is an indie game so naturally I wear many developer hats. I probably spend most of my time programming, lots of time designing stuff and a bit of time coordinating the other people on the team. As well as that, I build some battle maps, muck around in Photoshop, maintain the website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, post on the forums, and write interviews. Phew!

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A Light-Hearted Adventure Romp – Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World Interview

Conducted By Adam Ames

TPG had the chance to interview the fine folks at Cateia Games, developers of the humorous adventure game, Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World.  You will get their opinions on various aspects of the PC gaming industry and details of the development of Kaptain Brawe.

1.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World.

Ivan Bralić: – Cateia Games has a vast experience when it comes to developing and producing adventure games. On Kaptain Brawe we joined our forces with creative game designer Petar Ivanček who was responsible for the artwork and storyline. We wanted to create (this may sound a bit strange) a modern old-school point n’ click adventure game. We wanted to take players back to the golden age of adventure gaming (Monkey Island, Broken Sword, etc.), and at the same time, to introduce such an old-school adventure with modern, intuitive and minimalistic user interface and character control.

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Elias Toufexis Interview (Voice of Adam Jensen)

Conducted By Adam Ames

Elias Toufexis, the voice for lead character, Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution took time away from his busy schedule to answer to few questions for TPG.  Elias talks about how he got the role, his fondness for video games and much more.

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Combat On The High Seas: Ironclads Developer Interview

The fellas from Totem Games agreed to answer some interview questions via e-mail about their naval combat series, Ironclads.  They talk about developing Ironclads, researching historic naval information, piracy, DRM and DLC.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Ironclads.

My name is Maxim Ferapontov. My brother and I, Oleg, are behind Totem Games. Ironclads – this is our common work. I am responsible for the gameplay, and Oleg for all technical issues and programming. We both were responsible for the entire project and do different things. For example, I drawing interface. Oleg participated in the creation of the combat system. Everything in the game, except the ship 3D models and music made by ourselves.

Hello, my name is Oleg Ferapontov, I am a senior programmer of Ironclads.

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Hard Reset Review: A Disappointing Return to the Classics

By Nicholas Krawchuk

I have to admit, since TPG previewed Hard Reset last month, I’ve been excited to get my hands on this title.  It was being hailed as the return of old school PC shooters, using elements from classics like Serious Sam and Duke Nukem, combined with a presentation in the comic book style of Max Payne. Well, the hype was all true. It takes all the promised elements, tosses in a sprinkle of modern graphical magic and mixes them all together.  Unfortunately, the final product only offers a slight taste of the original ingredients.  The magic then wears off quickly and you start seeing flaws everywhere.

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Delightfully Addicting Mini Golf: Wonderputt Interview

Conducted By Adam Ames

Reece Millidge, head honcho at Damp Gnat, was nice enough to speak to TPG about his fantastic free flash game, Wonderputt.  Reece also talks about how Wonderputt was created, the success and failures in doing so and various topics on the PC gaming industry.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Wonderputt.

I’m a freelance Animator & Compositor by trade.  Worked mainly in commercials, promos and feature film intros in London for animation studios such as Nexus Productions.  I had quite a flexible role that allowed me to move across all areas of pre-production through to post-production so I had a good grounding in each aspect of Wonderputt.  The hardest and slowest part for me is always the coding as I’ve no training.  My brother Dan did all the sound design.

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From Juggernauts to Humans: A Look at Realism in Gaming

By Carlin Au

New games like Serious Sam 3 and Red Orchestra 2 really show how games have evolved in the past two decades. Back in the 90s, you had a gun – you point it at things and they disappear. As technology grew, details like real-world bullet trajectories, and environmental destruction have emerged. It’s no surprise that as technology grows, people will grow too, but that’s a topic for another day. For now, let’s talk about how games have gotten more realistic.

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Alice: Madness Returns Interview With American McGee

Conducted By Adam Ames

TGP is delighted to bring you an interview with American McGee, creator of Alice: Madness Returns.  You will get his take on the success and failures experienced with Alice, the lack of a PC demo, setting the difficulty for Alice, DRM and much more.

1.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Alice: Madness Returns.

My name is American McGee and I’m the CEO and Founder of Spicy Horse Games in Shanghai, China. During the development of A:MR my role was as Sr. Creative Director and studio head. My involvement spanned things like creation of the core narrative, overseeing implementation of the design and working with the various team Leads (art director, animation director, sound director, etc) to drive production. I also spend a significant amount of time keeping the studio and its people running smoothly and happily.

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Space Pirates and Zombies Review: Fight the Undead in Space

By Nicholas Krawchuk

Few things beat commanding a fleet of battleships into combat against both humans and zombies.  One thing that does is doing so with a fleet of custom-built ships. Space Pirates and Zombies is a top-down space sim RPG where every ship is customizable and every part matters. The game has been developed over the past few years by a two-man studio, MinMax Games. In SPAZ, you are in charge of a band of space pirates on a ship called The Clockwork. Aside from yourself, the crew of the ship contains three bickering lieutenants who must have the last word. Your main goal in the game is exactly what you would expect from pirates: loot. Somewhere in the restricted Core Worlds is supposedly a colossal pile of rez, which is black market currency. Being a pirate, you’ll stop at nothing to find it.

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The Witcher 2 Interview With John Mamais

Conducted By Adam Ames

TGP is proud to offer an interview with the great folks at CDProjeckt RED, developers of the RPG sensation, The Witcher 2.  You will read about their views on PC development, DRM, piracy, modding, the lack of a demo and much more.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of The Witcher 2.

John Mamais, Executive Producer and Head of Production at CPDR. I manage the team and make sure we execute on the vision on time and in budget.

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Bastion Review: One For The Ages

By Mike Bezek

Lives undone, a history unraveled, a world broken. A silent hero takes up arms to repair the devastation and reap the nonexistent rewards of a thankless job. It’s the classic formula for all of our favorite childhood games, isn’t it? But this time, the approach is different. The setting is serious, the story becomes personal, and the player is emotionally invested before they even know it. The coupling of exquisite gameplay and immersive storytelling is the creation of people who want to perfect the genre. Bastion is a game that takes those who think games are for children and spins their argument on its head. For all the childish romps that fuel the arguments of the naysayers, finally, here is the antithesis.

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We All Live In A Swing Swing Submarine: Blocks That Matter Interview

Conducted By Adam Ames

Fresh off their Grand Prize finish in the 2011 Dream.Build.Play competition, Swing Swing Submarine, the creative force behind Blocks That Matter, spent some time with TGP talking about the PC gaming industry.  William David gives his take on the origins of his love for PC gaming, piracy, DRM as well as the successes and failures of Blocks That Matter.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Blocks That Matter.

Hi, my name is William David, game designer. I was responsible of the Level Design and In-game arts of Blocks That Matter, and Guillaume Martin, the other half of Swing Swing Submarine and our programmer, is the one that brought life to the game.

Two other guys helped us to create Blocks That Matter: Yann van der Cruyssen, sound designer and composer, and Géraud Soulié, chara-designer and illustrator. So we were a team of 4, just a like a tetromino.

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Words For The Weekend: The Best PC Gaming Bang For Your Buck

By Adam Ames

Here at TPG, we strive to present our readers with the best PC gaming choices especially when it comes to your money.  We complied a list of games currently ten dollars or less which we feel offer superior value in terms of play time, story and fun factor.  Keep in mind these are just a few of many fantastic titles available at the ten-dollar price point so we recommend shopping around before throwing down your cash.  Sure, you could go out and grab some burgers from the local fast food joint, but why not play it safe, stay indoors and bask in the greatness that is PC gaming on the cheap.

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From CompuServe To Steam – Avadon: The Black Fortress Interview

Conducted by Adam Ames

TPG was given the great opportunity to interview Jeff Vogel founder of Spiderweb Software and developer of the smash RPG hit, Avadon: The Black Fortress.  Jeff also speaks on DRM, piracy, digital distribution, lack of PC demos, life as an indie dev and much more.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Avadon: The Black Fortress.

I am founder and president of Spiderweb Software, a 3-person company based in Seattle and founded in 1994. We’ve spend all these years making the best Indie, old-school RPGs we can for Windows, Mac, and iPad.

I am the main programmer and designer for Spiderweb. Others handle the art and business stuff. I figure out the game part.

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Defend Your Planet: Mini Robot Wars

By Nicholas Krawchuk

Some games are completely unique while some have minor similarities.  Others take a formula that is proven to work and either modify or take it to the next level.  These games are often known as clones, and Mini Robot Wars is exactly that. The developer, Picsoft Studio, based the their effort on the popular Plants Vs. Zombies.  This time though, instead of plants versus zombies, it’s robots versus bigger robots, known as Machines.  Plenty of different units, lots of upgrades and countless enemies trying to break through your defenses are all here in this tower defense adventure.

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One Sentence Review Challenge: S.P.A.Z.

TruePCGaming is proud to announce the first in a series of contests that will run periodically throughout the rest of 2011.  We will be working with the best developers to offer free games and other goodies to the winner of our various giveaways.  Prizes will be sent from TPG to the winners via e-mail and may be direct links, activation keys or gifts.  The winners will be voted on by TPG staff and the respective development team.

First up is Space Pirates and Zombies (aka SPAZ) brought to you by MinMax Games.    This particular contest is known as The One Sentence Review Challenge.  The premise is simple: create a one sentence review on SPAZ.

If you are new to SPAZ and want to try it out, download the demo via Steam.  After you are done, come back and give us your review.

The contest is now over.  Thank you for participating.  We had 27 entries, but only 3 were crowned champions.  Congrats to Meatboy, Moonwax and John V!  Your Steam keys have been sent.  For your security, all comments and e-mail addresses have been deleted.

Marble Popping Maddness: Luxor: 5th Passage Interview

Conducted by Adam Ames

Josh Spigener from MumboJumbo and Lead Producer on the great title, LUXOR 5th Passage, gives us detailed look into the life of a PC games developer.  Josh also talks about DRM, piracy, how Luxor came to be and much more.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Luxor: 5th Passage.

I began my career in video games in the QA department of MumboJumbo as a tester for the games we develop and publish for the PC, Mac, Nintendo platforms, and iOS. Starting at the entry-level of game development exposed me to a sample of all aspects of game development. Since LUXOR is our flagship title, I’ve done my share of testing and logged countless hours playing it. As the position became available for a producer for the new LUXOR, I brought lots of experience playing LUXOR, along with some ideas on updating the franchise and bringing something new.

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GamersGate Interview With CEO Theodore Bergquist

-Conducted by Adam Ames

TPG had the great privilege to interview the CEO of GamersGate, Theodore Bergquist.  Theo spends time talking about the future of digital distribution, his competition, interacting with publishers and developers, pricing, their upcoming service, FreeGames and much more.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of GamersGate.

I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve built, sold and acquired companies for the past 15 years. Most of them are self funded “labor of love” projects that has grown into companies. Nowadays I’m the CEO and major shareholder of GamersGate.

Where did the idea for GamersGate come from?

Five years ago when I owned and managed Paradox Interactive (a strategy games publisher) my side kick and deputy Fredrik Wester came up with the idea to launch Paradox on Demand, a download service for our own games. It was such a good business that we decided to put it in a separate entity and invite 3rd party publishers to sell their games there too. As a niche player it is tough to get into retail with a fairly small title and suddenly all our fans could buy games direct from us.

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