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  • LEGO robot plays free-to-play games while human creator sleeps

    Chris Morris at Plugged In18 hrs ago

    You may think you're a dedicated player of your free-to-play game of choice. But no matter how often you go on raids in Boom Beach or send help requests to Facebook friends in Candy Crush Saga, you won't come close to Uli Kilian's dedication.

    Kilian, a 3D production director, loves Jurassic Park Builder. But like most free-to-play games, it requires players to check in regularly and tap on a dinosaur to earn in-game currency. The alternative, of course, is to pay real world money, but who wants to do that?

    Certainly not Kilian, who developed a ridiculous plan to keep his expenses low: he built a robotic arm using a LEGO Technic set to do the tapping for him at night.

    "It's a really nice game with nice graphics," Kilian tells Wired. "But I thought you could easily automate the tapping."

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  • Space is the place in Civilization: Beyond Earth

    Ben Silverman at Plugged In1 day ago

    The long-running Civilization series puts you in the shoes (or boots, or sandals) of a famous historical leader and tasks you with guiding a culture to world domination.

    But according to the newly announced Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, there's a lot more out there than just measly old Earth. Developed by legendary developer Sid Meier and his team at Firaxis Games, this spacefaring take on Civ is due out in fall 2014.

    “The Civ team was excited about the opportunity to continue the story of Civilization into the future, because it allows the team to break free of historical context,” said Civilization overlord Sid Meier. “We’ve always let our fans create the history of mankind, and Civilization: Beyond Earth will now let them create the future.”

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because you wisely played 1999’s Alpha Centauri, a fantastic, Sid Meier-produced Civilization spin-off set in the stars. Civilization: Beyond Earth isn’t related, however.

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  • The rebirth of the space sim

    Gordon Cameron at Plugged In4 days ago

    Space…the final frontier? Actually, in video games, it was pretty much the first one.

    No sooner had the concept of electronic gaming popped into some clever university students’ heads than 1961’s Space War hit mainframes, and in the 1970s a text-based Star Trek strategy game was all the rage. By the early 1980s, a series of ambitious titles were putting gamers in the cockpits of virtual spacecraft: Star Raiders, the original Star Wars arcade game, and the epic trading/combat sim, Elite.

    It’s odd, then, that today’s top-shelf video games seem a little earthbound. It’s not that sci-fi franchises aren’t still around -- Halo, Dead Space, Titanfall, and Killzone come to readily to mind -- but you tend to spend less time flying spacecraft in these titles than running around wielding laser guns. Niche titles like EVE Online, the X series, and Darkstar One have continued to appease the hardcore over the past decade, but the mainstream success of hits like Wing Commander and X-Wing seems to be a thing of the past.

    So what happened to the space sim?

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  • ‘The Last of Us’ is headed to the PS4

    Chris Morris at Plugged In6 days ago

    The game many people consider to be the best to ever grace the PlayStation 3 is coming to the PlayStation 4.

    A 'remastered’ version of Naughty Dog's critical and commercial smash The Last of Us goes next-gen this summer for $60.

    The updated version of the game will run in 1080p, letting the developer increase the resolution on Ellie and Joel -- as well as those damned Clickers -- and upgrade the shadows and lighting in the game.

    It will also come with a commentary track during the in-game cinematics, with Creative Director and Writer Neil Druckmann and voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson chiming in. And, as you'd expect, it will also come with all of the single- and multi-player expansion packs that have been released for the original game.

    Remastered games from the late stages of the last generation have already proven to be a big success with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Square Enix's update of Tomb Raider helped push that game's sales into the 6 million range.

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