I feel that 2013 was a good year for PC gaming, with legacy consoles holding their cards close to their chest this year preparing for the next-gen, PC gaming appeared to jump to the forefront of the gaming scene.
This was quite apparent with the 3 big announcements from Valve, (SteamOS, ValveBox & Controller) bringing PC gaming into the living room, removing the dependency on console controllers and building on streaming technology to get around the Linux OS compatibility issue.
In 2013 we also saw the fruit of Kickstarters landing in the laps of backers and the general public, with games like Shadowrun Returns seeing release on Steam(PC/Mac), and mobile platforms Android and iOS.
This year saw an explosion in the number of games offering access to the latest release of the game in Alpha and Beta states.
Many people find this approach difficult to swallow and with good reason in many cases however if Minecraft is anything to go by the model can be good at bringing in players, money, and feedback for games in early development stages, allowing generation of increased groundswell for smaller developers that haven’t got money to throw at mass marketing.
The approach is reminiscent of Google’s Beta phase of software like Gmail, which was not officially out of Beta for 5 years, Ok maybe a little over the tops but you get the idea.
Mold breaking games
One of the key things that sticks out to me is that games are appearing with different flavours, new mechanics, or in many instances less mechanics and more gameplay, more player satisfaction.
To me it feels like the old revolution of the Spectrum days, when there were no molds, no predefined ideals of what a game should do or look like. A new frontier for developers and gamers alike.
The games in this arena for me would have to be:
- Gone Home
- The Novelist
For many, the appeal of new games has to be in the graphics or a thinly disguised Skinner Box, but those looking for engagement the PC is the platform where small developers are drawing their lines in the sand.
Of those you played in 2013, what were your favourites?
There were so many fun games if I had to list a few it would be:
- Sanctum 2
- Prison Architect
- Shadowrun Returns
- Euro Truck Simulator 2
- Gone Home
- Remember Me
- The Novelist
The first of Decemeber marked the 1 year passing of City of Heroes/Villains, there are a few fan driven projects looking to build a replacement. This year the City Of Titans game was branded and thrust into the public eye, looking to crowd sourcing to help the community based MMO project find funding for software and licensing costs.
Woven in my gaming history for 2013 has been Planetside 2, but I really don’t have the energy to get into the reasons why this game is very broken.
Hope your 2013 was filled with fun games and the promise of more in 2014 keeps our focus for a little while.