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The Witcher 2

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Located on a rather nondescript industrial estate in a suburb of Leicester you'll find an equally nondescript warehouse unit. Nestled amongst the usual glut of logistics companies and scrap metal merchants, the building in question once housed a firm that was poised to dramatically alter the world of interactive entertainment as we know it, and worked with such illustrious partners as Sega, Atari, Ford and IBM.

That company was Virtuality. Founded by a dashing and charismatic Phd graduate by the name of Jonathan D. Waldern, it placed the UK at the vanguard of a Virtual Reality revolution that captured the imagination of millions before collapsing spectacularly amid unfulfilled promises and public apathy.

The genesis of VR begins a few years prior to Virtuality's birth in its grey and uninspiring industrial surroundings. The technology was born outside of the entertainment industry, with NASA and the US Air Force cooking up what would prove to be the first VR systems, intended primarily for training and research. The late '80s and very early '90s saw much academic interest in the potential of VR, but typically, it took a slice of Hollywood hokum to really jettison the concept into the global consciousness and create a new buzzword for the masses.

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As smooth as Kenny

Do you care about anti-aliasing? Do you dream of snuggling up to its sort of crisp edges and mild performance hit? Or are jaggies an acceptable compromise in the name of RAW INCREDIBLE SPEEDY SPEED? It’s one of those things I find it increasingly hard to go without (though not as much as anisotropic filtering, missus) yet it’s always the first thing to go if a game’s not running so well on my ageing PC. Also, so many games don’t include a decent/any option for it in their settings, requiring me to have a fiddle in driver settings with variable results. Both NVIDIA and AMD are trying to change that, with newer anti-aliasing tech and the option to force it on globally in driver settings.
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We've had our say. You've had your say. But what about the people who made the games? What were their favourites of the year just ended? Yes, it's that time of year again, when we pester our favourite creators for their reflections and then watch them show us up with their witty and insightful explanations.

Read on to find out what the likes of BioShock developer Ken Levine, Lionhead founder Peter Molyneux, spaceship-loving Richard Garriott and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe have to say, among many others. Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to contribute.

Dylan Cuthbert is founder of PixelJunk developer Q-Games, and one of the creators of Star Fox 64 3D.

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Never knowingly unpretty.
Artful dungeon-crawler Bastion charmed us with its strange world, solid combat mechanics, and elegant narration. John loved it. It even inspired Alec to a big old cleverthink. I decided to have a chat with Greg Kasavin, creative director and writer on the project, to find out a bit more about how Bastion came to be, and what the future holds.
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Crikey, The Elder Scrolls IV: Andoran, which is a Russian-language Oblivion mod, is looking splendid and, more importantly, a bit mad. Spotted by the chaps at PC Gamer, the mod’s trailer (which you can see below) reveals a more visually interesting world, and the game’s site boasts that it has a “non-linear plot”.

It also says this: “What would it be, if the time went mad? Meeting your own self, talking rats, intertaining fleas, live cheese and horses walking on the sea is what a player will face in the Axis, one of the games areas. But things are not as they seem, the matters will become clear after a while and logic, though unusual, will replace the madness.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds AWESOME. Go watch the trailer. I mean it.
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The term "old-school" encompasses multiple game mechanics, both good and bad; understanding the differences between the two is an important lesson on game design.

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Hitting the player early on with difficult design can be a gamble. When done right it allows designer to create challenging scenarios without worrying about overloading the player. However, when done wrong it can drive players away.

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