Star Citizen: How Long Does it Take to Build a Universe?

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Created by: cloudimperiumgames.com
Game Site: robertsspaceindustries.com
ESRB Rating: not yet rated
Support: support.robertsspaceindustries.com

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You might have seen articles about how Star Citizen funding has surpassed $200 million dollars (pcgamer – star citizen shoots past dollar 200 million in crowdfunding ahead of free week). Star Citizen is the largest crowd funded project ever, and the funding is still flowing in. Why? As noted in the article from PC Gamer, Star Citizen sells the dream of the perfect space game.

Star Citizen started in October of 2012 by Chris Roberts. Chris Roberts released space games in the 90s, including the Wing Commander franchise and the Privateer series. In 2003 he, as part of Digital Anvil, released Freelancer. People who’ve played his games in the past have a faith in him regarding producing Star Citizen and Squadron 42, the single player story game from the Star Citizen universe. People like Mark Hamill have worked with Chris Roberts in the past. Because of these things, people have confidence in the projects.

But then there are the other people, the skeptics, the trolls, the haters. Those people talk about how the project is the biggest scam in the world. It’s been more than almost 6 years since the start of the two projects. What’s taking so long? I did some research regarding time taken to develop some of the most acclaimed games in the past decade.

To quote Kotaku, “CD Projekt RED recently said it cost $81 million to create and promote The Witcher 3 over three and a half years of development.” Skyrim took approximately four years, and cost around 100 million dollars according to Quora. You can check out a list of other game development costs here:

List of Most Expensive Video Games to Develop

PC Gamer didn’t get into comparing other game development costs and development times. Roberts Space Industries includes two Games, not one. Star Citizen and Squadron 42. That neither game has been released yet shouldn’t be a concern when considering the time it’s taken to develop other games, and in consideration of the scope of the games when compared to others. We’re talking about something far larger than Skyrim in both quests and exploration area – not just open continent on one world, but open universe. Conceptualize that.

No other AAA game development has been so open with process. Star Citizen project management gives the supporters the ability to pick the prioritization for bug fixes through the issue council. This is something that No Man’s Sky could have used to avoid their launch troubles. They’ve still not fully recovered from that bomb.

Some other games have tried to fill in the space game market, like Elite Dangerous, but fall short of what people want in an open-universe space game. Star Citizen and Squadron 42 open project management will ensure that the supporter enthusiasts will be able to create the exact game that so many have been looking for, or will it?

In many people’s eyes nothing stated so far justifies why it’s taken so long. People want to know where Foundry 42 / Cloud Imperium Games have spent the money that they’ve pledged. People also want to know what’s going on with Squadron 42. Yesterday that information was published in this article from wccftech.com. You can find the financial information here on the official site: historical financials with the roadmap to Squadron 42 here: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/2-Squadron-42.

This new information relieves some of those who’ve been concerned, but others might continue to hold a doubting Thomas perspective, maintaining there’s not enough empirical evidence. So, again, why has it taken so long to develop these two games?

I’ve heard rumors that Foundry 42 started with ten people working on the projects. While I’ve not found any validating documentation to that statement, I can agree that it takes time to grow a company to almost four hundred employees (established through research on linkedin.com Foundary 42 and Cloud Imperium total employees shown through linked in: 394). I’ve heard statements made that there’s currently over five hundred employees, but I can’t validate that number.

Now I’m going to take you into the complexities of development. Generally devs don’t get into the details of their development challenges because it’s often very hard to put the issues they face in relate-able terms for the audience. However, my development experience and my strong interest in linguistics has given me the ability to do a translation of sorts in that area, so here goes.

You’re sitting in front of the tv in the morning with a cup of coffee sitting on the table next to you. While watching tv, you reach over and pick up that hot cup of coffee and take a sip, only briefly moving your eyes from the tv to look down immediately when you move the cup to your lips. You looking at the coffee takes less than half a second. The rest is done almost on autopilot.

Think of all the motion that happens during the time it takes to reach for the cup, pick it up, move it to your lips, then angle the cup to pour coffee in your face. If you move your hand too far when reaching for the cup, you knock that hot cup of coffee over onto the table. if you don’t close your hand around the cup in the right place, or tight enough, then you again spill the coffee, perhaps onto yourself as you pull it to your lips. if you don’t tilt the cup at the right time, you end up spilling the coffee again. So many details to keep track of, but we do it almost without thinking.

The one thing we have that the game doesn’t is a built-in managing system. We have our muscle memory, which is essentially a ton of stored animation calls. And we have a command manager, which includes telling our muscles when to do actions, thereby tilting that cup of coffee after bringing it to our lips to drink. In multi-threaded game development, the developers must create those same managers from scratch because multi-threaded programming is still relatively new in game development.

What’s all this have to do with why development for Star Citizen and Squadron 42 has been slow? Star Citizen started off using Cryengine. Cryengine at the time still used Lua as a scripting language, which doesn’t handle multi-threaded programming, thereby sparking an internal re-write of the engine by Cloud Imperium Games while using Amazon’s Lumberyard for networking infrastructure. (Cryengine has since moved away from Lua, to move toward multi-threaded functionality using C++). I’ve done some research about Lua, finding that while Lua does have multi-threaded functionality, it’s not developed enough at this time for intense gaming.

In short, Cloud Imperium Games decided it needed to write features from scratch. It takes quite a long time to develop a well designed game engine. Look how long it’s taken Unity to get where it’s at now, and Unity started off with a focus on developing the engine. Cryengine came from Crytek needing to develop technology for the Crysis games, published through EA. They were in the business of producing games. They weren’t focused on making a well polished game engine.

Now i’ll briefly talk about the complexities of creating 3d models. These videos show the process for Blender Character Modeling. As you can see from this, it takes quite some time for just the 3d mesh itself, without texturing, mapping, animation rigging, weighting, and texture unwrapping. And again, even more time for the animations themselves.

You might think, “but a space ship doesn’t take that much to make.” Yes, it does, and more because you’re making many many moving parts that interact with each other through physics in some cases (like elevators, chairs, doors, etc). The scale of some of the ships both games include is staggering to consider. And then we get to the big thing called space. Thinking about what goes into rendering a universe in real time for game play at sixty frames per second without any loading screens can be staggering, and requires multiple skill-sets to create.

If at this point you’re still stuck on “Why isn’t Star Citizen done yet?” or “You’ve still not proved to me that it’s not a scam.” or “I still don’t see enough details showing that they didn’t use the finances only for the game,” you’re being cautious, which is fine. You want to see the Universe unfold. I was that person until recently. I remember where they were when I first created an account. I remember where they were when I checked in last, almost a year ago. I see where they are today. We each decide what risks we’ll take in life, and I decided I want to be a part of helping shape the future of Star Citizen while I can.

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Dying Light

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Created by: Techland
Game Site: Dying Light
ESRB Rating: M for Mature

Hellcat5 Connect: Official Forums

Dying Light makes you feel as though you’re living a zombie apocalypse. Far advanced from previous games the developers created, such as the dead island series, the gameplay and graphics will blow you away. Leveling system keeps you engaged for 100+ hours, with each new advancement giving you a renewed feeling of power and ability, yet never detracting from the danger of surviving in a zombie apocalypse. This is definitely one of my favorite games.

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Easter Eggs – Main Game

Outfits – Main Game

Blueprints – Slums (Main Game)

Blueprints – Old Town (Main Game)

Collectables – Main Game

Blueprints – The Following DLC

Outfits, Aliens, and Secret Ending – the Following
To get two of the outfits, it’s necessary to finish the aliens easteregg and the secret ending.

Paintjobs, Bobbleheads, and Charms – The Following
Note about Paint Jobs – While there are 52 total collectable paint jobs, you can get three of those only from participating in community events (golden, lemon, and little rising sun) and at least one (Rocket League) docket code only paint job. One DLC, Crash Test, shows up in the “Collectable Paint Jobs” list, but it’s from DLC.

Collectables

Borderlands 2

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Created by: Gearbox Software
Game Site: Borderlands 2
ESRB Rating: M for Mature

Hellcat5 Connect: n/a

Borderlands 2 is an intense stupidity shooter. Containing much adult humor / slapstick, if you’re tired of the boring old shooter game, and you want to play a shooter game with humor, this is it. Borderlands series has a unique art style, an rpg leveling system, and a huge area you can wonder around. Tons of side missions, tons of loot, tons of cash. Sure, you pay to revive, but you never really run out of money, and if you do happen to die so much that you don’t have any money left, you won’t be left to start over. Get your friends (because you’re going to need them for Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode) and have a blast shooting your way through the storyline many many times, because like potato chips one just isn’t enough.

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ARK: Survival Evolved – a Steam Guide to Multi-Map Server Cluster Setup from Scratch

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Created by: Studio Wildcard
Game Site: Official Website
ESRB Rating: T for teen
Support: Support Website

Hellcat5 Connect: Hellcat5 on Steam

I’ve spent a ton of time searching for a step-by-step guide for how to setup an ark server. Most of what I found lies along the path of Indiana Jones on one of his expeditions – very cryptic and, unless you’ve experience with setups before (Indiana Jones faced plenty of setups), might be daunting, discouraging, and bring you to give up, or try using one of the tools created by some people to deal with server setup, which could open you up to holes in your network security.

You don’t need third party tools to easily setup an Ark server. You don’t need to pay high fees for an Ark server. This guide will show you not only how to create your own server but, if you want, also how to create your own multi-map server cluster, where you can jump between maps seamlessly using the obelisk transfer. The one catch – the computer you’re going to use as the server must have at least 16gb memory to host 3+ map servers in a cluster.

Imagine having Ragnarok, the Island, and Scorched Earth all connected. The world just became 3x bigger. You can transfer your gear, materials, dinos, and building crafting parts all through the obelisk, then turn off the server you left until you want to go back. If you want to have the ability to do this, then you’ve got to add a few things to the command line for the map servers to operate in the same cluster. I’ll cover all the steps, from nothing to triple map server cluster.

Part 1 – How to Install and Configure Ark Survival Evolved Dedicated Server or Cluster through Steam

You can download the files from my github.

  1. open steam.
  2. click Library from the main menu to expose the Library dropdown, then select ‘tools’.
  3.  
    steam ark server 1

  4. type ‘ark’ in the searchbox to find ‘Ark Survival Evolved Dedicated Server’ from tools.
  5.  
    steam ark server 3

  6. right click ‘Ark Survival Evolved Dedicated Server’ then select ‘Install Game’.
  7. after the installation finishes, right click ‘Ark Survival Evolved Dedicated Server’ again, this time selecting ‘properties’ toward the bottom of the drop-down menu.
  8.  
    steam ark server 4

  9. from ‘properties’ select ‘local files’ then click the button ‘browse local files’ at the top.
  10.  
    steam ark server 5

  11. after explorer opens, click ‘ShooterGame’ folder
  12.  
    steam ark server 6

  13. then go to Binaries > Win64.
  14.  
    steam ark server 7

  15. then move the explorer window over so you can see your desktop.
  16. right click the desktop, then select ‘New > ‘text document’
  17.  
    steam ark server 7a

  18. Rename the file according to the image below – example: startArkServer_theIsland.bat, then click ‘yes’ when you get the prompt
  19.  
    steam ark server 7c

  20. then right click the file so you can select to edit with the default notepad, or install notepad++
  21.  
    steam ark server 7e

  22. add this text as one line (except exit, it goes on it’s own line) to your batch file (NOTE: you can change SessionName to the name you want to give your server. You should also make sure to give different SessionNames for each server in your cluster):
  23.  
    start ShooterGameServer.exe "TheIsland?listen?Port=7777?QueryPort=27015?MaxPlayers=10?SessionName=Katmandu The Island" -UseBattleye -NoTransferFromFiltering -clusterid=katgod

    exit

  24. this is what the file should look like:
  25.  
    steam ark server 8

  26. for the other servers you want to run, you should add to the start line ‘?AltSaveDirectoryName=SaveRag’ to create save files in different directories. below are some examples:
  27.  
    start ShooterGameServer.exe "Ragnarok?listen?Port=7782?QueryPort=27017?MaxPlayers=10?SessionName=Katmandu Ragnarok?AltSaveDirectoryName=SaveRag" -UseBattleye -NoTransferFromFiltering -clusterid=katgod

    start ShooterGameServer.exe "ScorchedEarth_P?listen?Port=7779?QueryPort=27016?SessionName=Katmandu Scorched?AltSaveDirectoryName=SaveScorch" -UseBattleye -NoTransferFromFiltering -clusterid=katgod

    Remember to change the SessionName to what you want, and change the clusterid also. If you plan to only run one map server, then you might want to remove the clusterid property from the command line options. You can change the AltSaveDirectoryName also if you wish. The server will create the directory upon launching if it doesn’t already exist. I don’t add the server password to the batch file, but you can set that on the command line if you wish. Refer to the “Core Resources” section to find more details about what options you have for the command line.

    After you’ve created all the batch files, copy those over into the explorer window you moved to the side above. The directory location is: Ark Survival Evolved Dedicated Server\ShooterGame\Binaries\Win64. If you closed the window, just follow steps 5-7 above to locate and reopen the directory. The directory should look like this when you finish:

    steam ark server 7

    Part 2 – Advanced Configuration

    Here I’ll get into how to customize your servers with detail. First, I’ll give you this reference to look over regarding both the GameUserSettings.ini file and the Game.ini file. This way you can take a look at the settings you can modify, then decide what appeals to you:

    Wiki – Server Configuration Files

    I’ve included as reference some useful properties to set for the server in the process below. You can take a look at the reference to see what you’d like to add or remove.

  28. go back to the ‘ShooterGame’ directory. If you closed explorer, follow steps 5-7 above.
  29. from ‘ShooterGame’, choose the ‘Saved’ directory this time.
  30.  
    steam ark server 8

  31. from here, go to Config > WindowsServer
  32.  
    steam ark server 9

  33. right click ‘GameUserSettings.ini’, then choose ‘edit’.
  34.  
    steam ark server 10

You can change quite a few things from ‘GameUserSettings.ini’ and ‘Game.ini’. ‘GameUserSettings.ini’ handles broader server settings, while ‘Game.ini’ covers more gameplay specific settings you can adjust. I’ve not made changes to the ‘Game.ini’ file, but I will provide resources so you can add what you need, such as adjusting how many points you get to spent per level.

I’ve added these lines to ‘GameUserSettings.ini’ highlighted below:
 
steam ark server 10

I suggest you change the password fields to what you want to use. Alternately, you can set your password in the batch file if you want your server cluster to have different passwords for each server. You can copy these lines into your .ini file if you’d like:

TamingSpeedMultiplier=10.0
XPMultiplier=5.0
ResourcesRespawnPeriodMultiplier=0.5
StructureResistanceMultiplier=0.0
HarvestAmountMultiplier=10.0
HarvestHealthMultiplier=2.0
alwaysNotifyPlayerJoined=true
alwaysNotifyPlayerLeft=true
NightTimeSpeedScale=4.0
DayTimeSpeedScale=0.25
globalVoiceChat=true

Now, I’ll break down what each of these does.

TamingSpeedMultiplier – decreases the amount of time it takes to tame dinos. Who doesn’t want that?

XPMultiplier – gives more experience for each thing you do.

ResourcesRespawnPeriodMultiplier – you want to use a decimal for this to decrease the amount of time it takes. ex: 0.5 to take half the amount of time it would normally.

StructureResistanceMultiplier – this sets now much resistance to damage structures have. setting to 0.0 gives it indestructible status. So, you can have thatch houses that not even a giga can destroy.

HarvestAmountMultiplier – setting this to a higher number means you’ll get more per swing of pickaxe, axe, etc. And harvesting dinos will get more too.

HarvestHealthMultiplier – This means trees, rocks, etc., can take more hits, thus yielding more materials.

alwaysNotifyPlayerJoined – I always want to get a notice when someone joins my server in game.

alwaysNotifyPlayerLeft – I always want to get a notice when someone leaves my server.

NightTimeSpeedScale – to make the night shorter, make this greater than 1.

DayTimeSpeedScale – to make the daytime longer, make this less than 1.

globalVoiceChat – this is far better than the walkie talkies you get in game, and doesn’t require you to use a third party program, such as discord, to talk to people you’re playing with.

Part 3 – Firewall and Port Forwarding: How to Let the Ark Server Services Know Your Server Exists

So, we’ve got the server all prepped and ready. You added all the settings you want to try out. But, the door’s closed. You can’t get out the front door because locks bar your way. But, you’ve got the keys in a drawer, just need to find them. Those two locks on your internet door exist in the firewall and with port forwarding. Let’s get those keys.

Depending on which firewall you use, if it’s the built in windows defender firewall, or a third party program, find out how to allow the ports you’ve set in the batch files through your firewall. Search Google for “how do I open ports in windows defender firewall?” Or search instead for whichever firewall program you might use. If you want more info about what you’re opening up on your system, check out this article: Required Ports for Steam. Here’s directions for windows (overhauled from Official Wiki Firewall and Port Forwarding Info and improved for clarity):
 

  1. If you use Windows 10, click on Cortana search (the circle) in the lower left corner next to the start button, then type in “Firewall”. When “Best Match” shows, Click on “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security” at the top, then this window will open:
  2.  
    ark firewall 1

  3. Click “Inbound Rules” on the left panel
  4.  
    ark firewall 2

  5. Scroll down the middle panel to see if you can find anything named Ark: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server.
    If you’ve started the game before, you should see some entries for Ark: Survival Evolved because Windows Defender Firewall prompts you to give access to new programs you launch that want to access the internet. The rules you see here for Ark: Survival Evolved, in the middle pane, are program specific, and should have a path set on the programs and services tab to ShooterGame.exe.
  6. If you find entries for Ark: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server you’ll see two. If you decide to check what’s in programs and services tab you should find a path to ShooterGameServer.exe.
     
    ark firewall 5

    In the center panel, right click the first entry for Ark: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server then go to properties.

  7.  
    ark firewall 3

  8. click on Protocols and Ports
  9.  
    ark firewall 4

  10. look for the Protocol type: drop-down.
  11.  
    ark firewall 6

    If the protocol type drop-down shows UDP, then:
     
    a1. then in the drop-down next to Local port: select Specific Ports
    a2. enter the game ports 7777, 7779, 7782 in the text field below the drop-down, along with the steam query ports 27015, 27016, and 27017 if you’re going to setup the triple map server cluster. Otherwise, just add 7777 and 27015.

     
    ark firewall 8

    If the protocol type drop-down shows TCP, then:
     
    b1. then in the drop-down next to Local port: select Specific Ports
    b2. enter the RCON port 27020 in the text field below the drop-down.

     
    ark firewall 9

  12. be sure to change both rules, for TCP and UDP.

If you don’t find the two rules for Ark: Survival Evolved Dedicated Server, then follow the directions below to create them with the settings shown above.

  1. Click “Inbound Rules” on the left panel, then click “New Rule…” on the right panel.
  2.  
    ark firewall 10

  3. When the New Inbound Rule Wizard opens up, select Port, then next.
  4.  
    ark firewall 11

  5. The setup will now ask you if you want to allow TCP or UDP, and what port it will be. Select TCP. Then, make sure you have “Specific local ports” selected and then put the port you plan to forward into the box (default 27020 for RCON).
  6.  
    ark firewall 12

  7. Select “Allow the connection”, and continue with the wizard.
  8.  
    ark firewall 13

  9. Make sure all of the boxes are selected for where the rule applies.
  10.  
    ark firewall 14

  11. Enter a name (required) and a description (optional).
  12.  
    ark firewall 15

Repeat these steps for UDP. Make sure to enter your steam browser/query port (27015 default) and game port (7777 default). You also need the raw UDP socket port (7778 default, always your game port +1) if using the ?bRawSockets command line option.

After finishing, you have two Ark Survival Evolved Dedicated Server firewall inbound rules. Close the advanced firewall window, and open Windows Firewall again.

Now, the wiki states this:

Click “Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall”. Scroll down to ShooterGame. Make sure all apps named ShooterGame have the Private and Public boxes checked.

I’ll tell you that’s the worst idea possible. Doing so would open you to the possibility of giving a virus open access to your computer. Windows defender firewall will ask to give ShooterGame.exe (Ark: Survival Evolved) permission to access the internet the first time you run it. If you can play Ark, you don’t need to set anything for ShooterGame.exe for the ShooterGameServer.exe to have access. Whoever wrote the entry didn’t fully understand.

For server setup, you need to make sure that the Program and Services tab on the inbound rules shows a path to ShooterGameServer.exe
 
ark firewall 16

You don’t want to open anymore ports than necessary for hackers and cyber theft. Now on to port forwarding!

This part might seem the most daunting, because I can’t give you screenshots. It’s not a good idea to advertise what router you’re using. But, I can walk you through general steps for doing this. If you want to know more about port forwarding, read this article on wikipedia.org. Here are the steps:

  1. Find the Make and Model for your router.
  2. search google for ‘manual for xx xxx xxx’ router. put your router’s make and model instead of x’s.
  3. download your router’s manual
  4. find out how to login to your router from the manual if you don’t already know.
  5. find in the manual where it talks about how to setup port forwarding. If you’re new to this, read it a few times.
  6. login to your router, then follow the directions for setting up port forwarding from your router’s manual.
  7. select the protocols you want to forward (typically TCP and UDP)
  8. forward only the ports necessary (27015, 27016, 27017, 7777, 7779, 7782 if you follow my cluster setup exactly)
  9. make sure you forward the ports from the correct ip address on your network – the server’s local ip address.
  10. apply the settings, then you’re done!

Part 4 – Starting the Server

Now you can create shortcuts on your desktop to the batch files to start your server cluster easily. It’s best to start one map server at a time, and know that each will take about 3.5 gb of memory, so unless you have at least 32 gb of memory on your server, you might want to stay to 2 instances running in the cluster at a time. Watch your memory resources by pressing ctrl+shift+esc to open the task manager, then select performance.

Finally, double click on the short cut to start your first server. you should see something like this once the server finishes loading:

steam ark server running

Part 5 – Finding your Server in the Game Client List

  1. start the game client
  2. click ‘join ark’ button from the main menu.
  3. .
    ark main menu

  4. type part of the server name you gave your server in the ‘Name Filter’ search box.
  5. .
    searching the server list

  6. select the server, then click join. enter your server password, then click ‘accept’.
  7. .
    searching the server list

You’re on your way into your own lands! After you finish, and everyone logs out of the server or cluster, to close the server, just click on the server window, then press ctrl+C one time.

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Resident Evil 7: So Intense You’ll Shit Your Pants

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Created by: Capcom Co., Ltd.
Game Site: Resident Evil 7
ESRB Rating: M for mature
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At first, I thought, “oh great, another resident evil game…” then I saw some of the footage, and I was hooked like a fish who just wanted to eat the little wiggling worm. I’ve played all the resident evil games since Resident Evil 4. i’ve watched some of the previous games, and saw the difference people talked about. Resident Evil core fans complained about the direction Resident Evil 4 went, and moreso Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6.

We’ve seen many spinoffs from the series, and HD remakes. Resident Evil: Revelations, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Resident Evil Zero, etc., through steam, and the poorly rated Resident Evil Racoon City and Umbrella Corps. The series went in the direction of action / shooter, moving away from horror / survival, and the fans hated it.

During the downtime, Electronic Arts released a game called Dead Space which quickly filled the void the Resident Evil series left. However, the Dead Space series followed suit, moving away form the horror / survival genre, toward the action / shooter, thus again, leaving an unsated void in horror / survival enthusiasts. We didn’t expect it. We had no idea what was coming for us in 2017 (other than the horror of Trump as president).

Horror survival enthusiasts found few solid titles to fill the void during this downtime in games such as Outlast and Alien: Isolation. These titles got great reviews, and players enjoyed them.

The sense of surviving something horrible drives the horror survival player. It’s a hunger for the buildup, the release of the survival instinct. The accomplishment of figuring out how to survive. Throwing a steady stream of monsters to shoot insults and disappoints the horror survival player. We don’t need constant external action. We enjoy the internal build up, of not knowing when we’ll face the monster in the dark that we feel.

I grabbed the demo from Steam. I waited anxiously for the download to finish, then fired it up with the lights off. Oh my god. I felt the hairs on my nect stand on end, I felt the tingle of anxiety and fear. I felt afraid.

The game has amazing graphics. No one can miss that. The controls are easy and intuitive, the camera and lights work fluidly and the environment amazed me. I’m shocked and happy that Capcom finally got back to what the players love about the series. After many tries, they finally listened. They finally got it after we said it over and over. This is the horror / survival game I’ve been waiting for. This is Resident Evil.

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Battlefield 1

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Created by: DICE
Game Site: Battlefield 1
ESRB Rating: M for mature

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Battlefield 1 takes you into world war one, to give you experience of what that war was like. Brutal tactics and war machines, you’ll encounter blimps, planes, ships, horses, and the weaponry of the time. Yes, it has swords. However, you’ll spend more time dead than playing the game, and the menus are terribly un-intuitive. With a friend, I took a test spin on this game during the last EA Origin sale.

We spent time trying to figure out how to get into a game together. For some reason the developers decided it was a good idea with this menu’s iteration to allow people in a party to join different game instances. Does that make sense? Why join a party to play with friends if you’re going to join a different map or instance? No, that’s not a good design decision. Common guys, follow the implications of an action or idea. We join parties with friends to play with friends in the same instance and in the same map, to say it a second time.

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