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Original author: 
Andrew Webster

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When you first start playing Evoland, it doesn't look all that impressive. The pixelated visuals are lacking in color, and there isn't even any sound — it's like an original GameBoy game blown up to the size of your monitor. But as you play, you'll not only unlock new items and abilities like in most games, but also new features that bring Evoland closer to the present. Essentially you're playing through the modern history of games, going from an 8-bit black-and-white world all the way to detailed 3D — you'll even have to unlock modern conveniences like the ability to save.

Evoland started its life at the Ludum Dare game jam, an online contest where developers attempt to build a game around a particular theme in just 48 hours. For...

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In the grand scheme of MOBAs, Ironclad’s Sins of a Dark Age is quite the bold thing. AI directors, random rule-rewriting quests, and other RPG-influenced, flow-shattering shenanigans? This certainly isn’t DOTA 2.5 or Assortment of Apologues, and it’s not trying to be. But at one point, it was doing its damndest to be so much more. Unfortunately, the RTS-style base-building and commanding didn’t pan out, and Ironclad scratched them almost entirely. But according to studio director and co-owner Blair Fraser, his MOBA’s retching rejection of all things RTS is indicative of much larger problems for both genres. One, he argues, is on its death bed, and the other could be following suit if it doesn’t start blazing new trails.

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silentbrad points out an article about the gradual shift of video games from being 'goods' to being 'services.' They spoke with games lawyer Jas Purewal, who says the legal interpretation is murky: "If we're talking about boxed-product games, there's a good argument the physical boxed product is a 'good,' but we don't know definitively if the software on it, or more generally software which is digitally distributed, is a good or a service. In the absence of a definitive legal answer, software and games companies have generally treated software itself as a service – which means treating games like World of Warcraft as well as platforms like Steam or Xbox LIVE as a service." The article continues, "The free-to-play business model is particularly interesting, because the providers of the game willingly relinquish direct profits in exchange for greater control over how players receive the game, play it, and eventually pay for it. This control isn't necessarily a bad thing either. It can help companies to better understand what gamers want from their games, and done properly such services can benefit both gamers and publishers. Of course, the emphasis here is on the phrase 'done properly.' Such control can easily be abused."


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[While the new Indie Royale game bundle that we co-created with Desura is running, we'll be profiling each of the four games featured in it, giving our honest opinion on the pluses and minuses of each title. And finally, we have the gorgeous Nuclear Dawn, an RTS/FPS of epic proportions. ]

The phrase 'your personal mileage may vary' is probably the best description of Nuclear Dawn, a rather polished-looking multiplayer RTS/FPS from InterWave Studios. Your enjoyment of this mod-turned-actual-game will be largely dependent on two things. The first? Your fondness for shooting games, of course.

If you relish the idea of making things go boom or of plunging an arm knife deep into someone's vertebrate, you're in luck. Nuclear Dawn definitely delivers here. Though the developers have chosen to stick with the familiar, this doesn't make Nuclear Dawn a bad thing. There are four classes to choose from: Assault, Exo, Stealth and Support. For the most part, the names are pretty much self-explanatory.

Assault characters are the most versatile of the four. They're also the only ones capable of detecting stealth players. Exos are the heavy artillery. Stealth characters? Think gun-toting cousins to the rogues from World of Warcraft and you'll have painted yourself the perfect picture. And last but not least, the Support class offers healing, the ability to repair infrastructure and also to utilize everything from Flamethrowers to EMP grenades. If that wasn't enough for you, there are even ranks to earn and unlockables for your various weapons, gadgets and gizmos.

The action, when you find a well-populated server, is always fast and frantic, something that can be attributed to the sheer volume of stealth characters in every other match. It's not exactly a bad thing. Those who enjoy this playing style will like it but it might get on the nerves of those who prefer a more strategic approach.

The other factor that will determine your enjoyment of this title is your luck. Games can go either way. This is already the trend for most FPS titles but it feels even more so with Nuclear Dawn. In case you missed the memo, there's an RTS element to the game. Much like how things are in a real war, there are grunts and there are commanders. To be precise, there's one commander on each side and it's this dude or dudette's job to ensure that buildings and turrets are built correctly so as to be able to provide maximum fortification for your side. Given that they have a bird's eye view of things, it's also their responsibility to communicate the situation to their underlings.

In an ideal world, Nuclear Dawn would have made Team Fortress weep in shame. It could have been team-based combat at its best. In reality, it's usually pure chaos and a mess of people shooting at one another. You can imagine what it's like being the commander - herding cats would be easier. Nonetheless, when it does work, it really works. Nothing quite beats working as a team with absolute strangers and watching as your side grows tangibly stronger. New weapons, new infrastructure - it's no longer just about you and your kill-death ratio, it's about everyone else too.

So here's the important question: are you willing to give this a chance?

Nuclear Dawn doesn't have a single-player campaign for you to power through. You will be playing with other people, people who are likely as confused as you. If you think the bad matches are worth the good ones, you may have found Team Fortress's successor. If not, well, try it anyway. InterWave Studios has done a superb job of turning this mod into a full-fledged game and it deserves at least one passing encounter.
Official website here, and you can buy it as part of Indie Royale's 'New Year Bundle' for the next few days.

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In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Treyarch, OnLive, and Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused on online worlds, cellphone games, 'serious games', independent games and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

- OnLive: Game Services Engineer:
"OnLive is Games On Demand. The technology behind the scenes is what delivers the latest, high-end game titles to your PC, Mac or TV using your typical broadband connection. We have an amazing team working to deliver a product and service that is truly groundbreaking. We are pushing the limits of technology and are looking for creative, driven team players that want to make a difference in shaping the future of interactive media distribution."

- Treyarch / Activision: Lead Multiplayer Designer:
"Founded in 1996, and acquired by Activision in 2001, Treyarch has grown to become one of the most successful game developers in the world. Home to some of the industry's best and brightest creative talents, Treyarch's most recent creation is Call of Duty: Black Ops. Treyarch's latest offering, Call of Duty: Black Ops, encapsulates the studio's years of experience in developing Call of Duty games, first person shooters, and online multiplayer games. With a successful track record, extensive infrastructure, and strong management, Treyarch has the solid foundation it needs to pioneer the Call of Duty franchise in the future."

- EA - Austin: Security Engineer:
"Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS, EA, EA SPORTS BIG and POGO. In fiscal 2006, EA posted revenue of $2.95 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies."

- Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC: Developer Support Engineer:
"Be a part of the most exciting and innovating computer entertainment in North America. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one console, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems and the PlayStation Portable (PSP)."

- LOLapps: Senior 2D Artists:
"Lolapps is a small, but growing social gaming company with respectful peers. We are as dedicated to building a great culture as we are to building great products. We're only 50 people. You can make a MASSIVE impact here. Your work will be enjoyed by millions of people from around the world. We iterate quickly and release high quality games in a matter of months vs years. We have all the typical start-up stuff (smart people, challenging problems to solve, Rock Band, great city views, etc). We buy your lunch and provide free yoga. We can relocate you to our office in San Francisco (downtown / SOMA area)."

To browse hundreds of similar jobs, and for more information on searching, responding to, or posting game industry-relevant jobs to the top source for jobs in the business, please visit Gamasutra's job board now.

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