Thursday, 16 October 2014

Dirty, rotten scoundrels


From IDKFA-activated arsenal boosts in Doom to sophisticated aimbots, cheating in games has evolved signifi cantly since its developer-championed inception. NATHAN LAWRENCE takes a faithful look at the rise and restriction of online cheaters.

There was a time when cheats were fun, back when cheats provided an unofficial ‘beyond casual’ difficulty option for games. The uniting logic behind the lack of controversy surrounding cheating back in the good ol’ gaming days was twofold. First, games were, more often than not, purely single-player experiences. Second, the individual player had the option to choose to activate cheats at their discretion in a contained solo experience.

The triumphant return of the RPG

fantasy rpg

Now that the fi rst big wave of crowdfunded titles is landing JOHN GILLOOLY looks at the past, present and future of the RPG.

In his missive to Kickstarter backers announcing the release of Wasteland 2, Inxile’s Brian Fargo made a point of the fact that without crowdfunding the game would never have been made. This is in spite of the fact that the original title is widely held as one of the seminal early RPGs, inspiring a generation of developers and acting as a huge influence on many games made in the 25 years since its release.

As you’ll see in our review of the game this month, the game has been a huge hit in the PCPP offices, bringing with it a flood of nostalgia for a genre many of us grew up with, but one whose pickings have become incredibly slim in recent years. It isn’t so much that the RPG has gone away, but it has morphed and splintered into all kinds of different things, its influence felt across all kinds of genres. But along the way the big, meaty isometric epic adventures have become thin on the ground.

Anonymous networking

Anonymous networking

Davey Winder wonders if a social network can ever be truly anonymous, and is horrified by Facebook’s latest announcement.

Love it or loathe it, the Portable Document Format (PDF) – developed by Adobe and released to the world in 1993 – is a fact of online life. If you do any kind of internet research, you’re sure to find documents in this format, and while most web browsers have builtin PDF viewers, they’re typically less well featured than the real Adobe Reader. Regulars to these pages will know that I’ve been bashing Adobe for the past few years due to various security vulnerabilities in its products, not to mention the seemingly endless torrent of fix patches, but for once I’m putting these security matters aside to concentrate on an altogether different complaint.