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Robert Purchese

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Prison Architect may look cute but the campaign content is not: build an execution chamber and send a man to his death - a man who's tale of murder and repent will challenge your beliefs and leave a lasting impression.

And that's just chapter one.

"It definitely starts on a dark note," creator Chris Delay told me. "I wanted it to start on a very dark note. I wanted you to feel a real shock of arrival in a different world when you first start playing Prison Architect.

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UPDATE: It's emerged that another key employee, producer Robin Hunicke, has also jumped ship. She's now working on oddball MMO Glitch at developer Tiny Speck with Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi.

ORIGINAL STORY: Kellee Santiago has left the talented studio she co-founded six years ago - Journey, Flower and Flow developer Thatgamecompany.

"So much of my work at Thatgamecompany was really supporting Jenova [Chen's] visions for the types of games he wanted to make," explained Santiago to Gamasutra.

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Forget the past and stop predicting the future - the "golden age" of gaming is now, believes Infinity Blade and Shadow Complex developer Chair.

"I honestly think we're in the golden age of gaming at the moment," declared creative director Donald Mustard to the freshly formed Hookshot Inc.

"There are games for zero dollars that are really worth playing, and then there are these games for sixty dollars which are just incredible experiences. And there's everything in between. It's just an awesome time to be a gamer.

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Classic PC game Counter-Strike (1.6) has been recreated for Android devices using the nifty Unity 3D engine.

There are two versions of Counter-Strike Portable available from the XDA forum now for free. One version - 5o - is for older phones; the other - 6p - for Android 2.3+ devices.

Online multiplayer is supported, and new maps are being added.

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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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Martin Edmonson on reviews, decisions and the future.

Back in PlayStation 1 days, Driver was the height of gaming, a pioneer in the open world mission-based driving genre. And Newcastle-based developer Reflections was a power-house. But Driver 2 stalled and Driver 3 crashed. Driver: Parallel Lines was better.

Atari flogged the IP and developer to Ubisoft, and PSP game Driver '76 emerged. Then, this week, along came Driver: San Francisco - a towering return to form and the best Driver game yet.

The Driver: San Francisco development team peaked at 220 staff. The project took four years. Then five, following a year-long delay. A bespoke engine was created from scratch. The game's promise? Driving in a world created by the comatose brain of hero Tanner following a car accident. And a Shift mechanic that allows Tanner's spirit to leap between hosts. In other words, Driver: San Francisco was one hell of risk.

Martin Edmonson, founder of Reflections (now Ubisoft Reflections), must deliver one hell of a sales pitch. After all, it was this game he returned to his studio to make, after having walked away in 2004 following the rushed release of Driver 3. But Driver: San Francisco wasn't flawless. And so Eurogamer sat down with Edmonson for a post-mortem, not only of Driver: San Francisco, but of the series as a whole.


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Near, Party, LiveArea and Activity.

Sony has revealed more information on PlayStation Vita's online modes Near, Party, LiveArea and Activity.

Near is like the Nintendo 3DS' SpotPass. It's "a location-based gifting system", according to Sony Europe manager of R&D, Phil Rogers.

"What Near does is it allows users to discover each other, leave gifts for each other and essentially find out more about games. You can see where people are in relation to your location, their five most recently played games and also gifts that they've registered. This is fairly cool because it exposes users to games they might not have heard of and you can see how popular those games are and how people are rating them," explained Rogers at the Develop Conference 2011.


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