Jack Gardner
The demo for the remake/remaster of the PlayStation 2 classic Odin Sphere has released on PS3 and PS4. Players can download the slice of gameplay via PSN and jump into saving the world of Erion once again. The demo provides players with the opportunity to experience the revamped combat system of Leifthrasir as each of the five protagonists - Gwendolyn, Cornelius, Mercedes, Velvet, and Oswald. 
 
 
Unfortunately for PS Vita owners, the demo for Odin Sphere Leifthrasir will be delayed until May 31, a week before Odin Sphere Leifthrasir's retail release on June 7 for PS3, PS4, and Vita.
 
Publisher Atlus has been pushing the Storybook PS4 edition that delivers a shirt, 64-page art book, a premium box cover, a metal case, and a collectible art print. 
Jack Gardner
The 2007 indie game Passage could be considered one of the standard bearers for the art game genre. Created by Jason Rohrer, for a game jam event, Passage went on to receive a significant amount of attention in the mainstream press with some critics outside of the gaming world claiming it was the first game to make them cry - essentially a proof of concept to some industry outsiders that games could be vehicles for emotion and meaningful expression. 
 
Passage is free and can be downloaded on Jason Rohrer's website: http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/passage/ It's only five minutes long, so play it a time or two and listen along to our discussion this week!
 
Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.
 

 
Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Please, please make it rain...' by Benjaipod (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03347)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
Jack Gardner

Review: Stellaris

By Jack Gardner, in Features,

With the advent of faster than light travel, the void of space suddenly seemed to teem with life. Human, alien, synthetic, and organisms that defy classification found new homes in the cosmos. Players step in to lead an empire at the dawn of an exciting new era as creatures of all kinds reach for the stars. What awaits in the cold vacuum of space and the worlds orbiting foreign stars? Only those bold enough to go forth into the unknown can tell. Stellaris, though ultimately flawed in a number of ways, might just be the best 4X game of the last few years.

Breaking free of more traditional turn-based shackles, Stellaris presents players with a fluid real-time strategy system. Within that real-time framework, the title asks players to manage an every expanding empire. Players will need to choose their priorities and balance the need to develop planets and galactic infrastructure against building a deadly fleet to defend their people against the various threats that they will encounter in the galaxy. Now, as one might imagine, there is a fair amount of micromanaging that can become too much once an empire gets too big. Developer Paradox understood the need to simplify the micromanagement and implemented a sector system. Once an empire has hit a certain size, it can begin sectioning off portions of the empire into sectors, autonomous regions that manage themselves and send the player resources. While this significantly streamlines play, especially during the late game, the overall pace of Stellaris seems a bit off. It can occasionally turn between everything happening very quickly to long stretches of waiting. Paradox does provide game speed options, but even on the fastest setting common activities like ship building or research seem to take long periods of time to finish.  

Players choose from a handful of pre-made spacefaring races or create their own, customizing everything from their people’s philosophy and system of government to their genetic dispositions. From there, every game presents its own challenges. Each galaxy that a player loads into is randomized with different races and events. This element of unpredictability leads to a kind of emergent history for the various fictional factions that make up each galaxy. For example, in one of my campaigns I created a race of snout-toting mammals called the Sneeb, religious zealots in a military dictatorship that lived to be over 200 years old. Early on in the game, my defensive space fleet was caught out by a neighboring empire and destroyed, leaving me at the mercy of their armada. My enemies then bombarded my planet from orbit for almost a century. However, they lacked the armies to successfully invade on foot and my people live for so long that the population being bombarded simply waited for the enemy government officials to die of old age and end the war.


Random events can also be encountered in the vastness of space. Derelict space stations, large-scale space animals, paradise worlds, planet-destroying asteroids, and more can be found. I’ve discovered deserted ring worlds, abandoned ships that made my scientists go insane, and ceramic objects that have puzzled my philosophers and researchers for decades. All of these things have consequences, whether beneficial or disastrous. As far as I can tell, every game also has some kind of randomized end-game crisis that can conquer the galaxy if left unchecked. I encountered three crises during my time with Stellaris: The Prethoryn Scourge, a race of hostile creatures from beyond the reaches of the galaxy; extra dimensional entities that invade through a dimensional rift; and the ever-present threat of AI research leading to unshackled sentience and the rise of a robotic revolution against organics. If unmanaged, all of these can prove devastating to the entire galaxy.

A relatively robust diplomacy system creates decent interaction with AI players. Each political system and racial outlook grants different bonuses that make every faction’s reaction to other cultures different. The way you improve standing with other societies is by establishing embassies, having common rivals or enemies, trade, and by projecting military might. Empires can ally with one another and, if enough empires are in alliance, form a federation. On the more aggressive side of negotiation, often it isn’t beneficial to outright conquer another empire when at war. Instead, Stellaris gives players the option to vassalize their enemies. This essentially forces them to be your ally and allows players to slowly integrate that empire into their own without the negative consequences like rebellion or sabotage.



While Stellaris might not represent the pinnacle of RTS visuals, it proves to be more than adequate on the eyes. The models for the various races are nicely detailed and move with a life-like energy. Zooming in close to view stars and planets presents pleasing and unique worlds and vistas floating in space. The ship models are also well made, if a little lacking in differentiation. It is hard to tell the difference between most ships and weapons beyond the particle effects being used and the size of the vessel.

This brings us to perhaps the most lackluster part of Stellaris: Combat. Engagements are automatic when fleets of warships enter firing range. Each fleet has a number indicating its combat strength and 99% of the time the fleet with the bigger overall number wins. This leads to players stacking up “fleets of doom” with all military strength in one massive death ball rolling through the cosmos. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t as interesting as the tactics players can use in games like Sins of a Solar Empire or StarCraft. Perhaps those who have entered high levels of RTS play can more effectively split fleets, but the game’s AI encourages this behavior, too. Even though the AI will break into different fleet sizes, any AI allies a player has will just send all their fleets to follow the player’s largest fleet. This actually causes some degree of lag, even on beefy computers because so many ships can be flying around in a bajillion different fleets. Beyond that, the AI just generally makes poor tactical decisions and often seems to become inactive outside of sending their fleets to follow the ever growing death ball.


Remember those potentially game-ending crises I mentioned earlier? The AI does almost nothing in response to those. It can be frustrating when an extra dimensional invasion starts on the other side of the galaxy because about fifteen empires can stand between you and the rift and none of them will lift a finger to close it, even as their civilizations crumble into ruin. Pray that you or a neighboring empire is the one to begin the robotic revolution or you will have almost no chance of stopping it when it hits full swing and has enslaved half the galaxy before you can reach it. This seems like such an oversight that I have a hard time believing it wasn’t caught during QA testing. If I had to guess, end-game crises were an idea that entered late in development and Paradox didn’t have time to fully iron out the kinks before shipping it. I’m hoping for an extensive AI patch in the coming months that addresses AI inaction in the face of certain death, but it is a shame Stellaris didn’t ship with that functionality in the first place.   

If the AI proves to be a huge turn off, I’d recommend grabbing a couple friends who will stick with Stellaris for the long-haul and playing online. Having allies (or enemies, if your friends are particularly competitive/prone to backstabbery) that can react to situations in a human way really does add to the experience significantly. The only hurdle is time. Even at the fastest game speed, a full campaign might take 24-30 hours on a small sized map.


Conclusion:

All the randomized elements Stellaris brings to every galaxy it generates really absorbed me. Much like when I play Civilization and lose hours of my life being engaged in strategic decision-making, I found myself captivated by the emergent narratives of my alien empires in Stellaris. This review has only scratched the surface of the sense of discovery Stellaris holds for those with imagination. Primitive alien worlds can be observed, researched, guided, genetically altered, and uplifted to be allies in some unforeseen galactic war. Ancient ships might be discovered that might possibly be resurrected as weapons capable of setting an atmosphere ablaze. Sure, the pace might be slower than ideal at times and the AI might not be up to all of the tasks asked of it, but I had an undeniably great time exploring the stars and conquering my enemies through war, diplomacy, and manipulation. Despite lacking a story-driven campaign, Paradox included all the tools necessary to forge unique stories with every playthrough and I’m hoping Stellaris goes on to influence more games, directing them in how to create an effective emergent narrative on a grand scale.

Stellaris was reviewed on PC and is now available
Jack Gardner
Craving some more action from the Arkham series of Batman games? Warner Bros. might be releasing something to give you your Batman fix later this year. Batman: Return to Arkham is a combination of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City remastered for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The two games will be recreated in Unreal Engine 4 and include all downloadable content that was released for both titles. Character models will be updated and improved along with lighting and particle effects. No word yet on whether the improved versions of these two games will be making their way to PC (though given the kerfuffle with Arkham Knight, it is doubtful if Warner Bros. will bother with PC for the remaster). 
 
 
Batman: Return to Arkham releases July 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Jack Gardner
It turns out the helmet with a skull that has served as Kojima Productions' logo for the past several months is now a fully realized character. Kojima has been saying that fans of Uncharted will love his studio's mysterious first title, but otherwise remained relatively tight-lipped on the specifics of what the game is going to be like. However, we might have some of our first hard data about the upcoming title.  
 
Hideo Kojima tweeted out images of the fully realized version of the helmet-skull character from the Kojima Productions logo. Initially dubbed Ludence on Twitter, Kojima has also called the character Ludens leading to some confusion as to the actual name of the character. In his series of reveal tweets, Kojima stated, "LUDENS, the icon of Kojima Productions. We'll deliver THE NEW PLAY in THE NEW FUTURE with the cutting-edge equipment, technology, & the frontier spirit. The gear he's wearing is the extra-vehicular activity(EVA) creative suit."
 

 
"I won’t say that it’s an open-world title, but those that enjoy playing today’s AAA titles such as The Division and Uncharted will be able to play it smoothly," said Kojima in an interview with Famitsu "Some parts are very new, so I’ll need to experiment with it. When it gets announced some may think that it’s not as way-out as they had expected, but I’m sure they’ll understand once they play it.”
 
Extrapolating from the full image and Kojima's earlier comments, we might be able to glean some information on the upcoming title from the creator of Metal Gear Solid. Keep in mind pretty much all of this is speculation. If Ludence/Ludens is indeed more than a mascot and instead a full character from Kojima Productions' game, the presence of an EVA-skull-man would mean we are going to be getting into some solidly sci-fi territory (which should be no surprise given the plot of the Metal Gear Solid series and Zone of the Enders). The need for an EVA in the first place implies that the setting is either a highly irradiated Earth or on another inhospitable planet. Given that Kojima refers to it as a "creative suit," that could mean we are in for some kind of crafting or base-building. The comparison to The Division might imply some integrated multiplayer aspect to the title, while Uncharted seems to imply third-person action. 
 
Even if all of that conjecture leads nowhere, Ludence/Ludens and crumbs Kojima let fall in interviews have ignited quite a bit of interest in Kojima Productions and their unannounced game.
Jack Gardner
Since Naughty Dog recently released the fourth Uncharted game, we took the opportunity to talk about the 2007 Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. As the title that resurrected the third-person shooter for the modern age and proved to the world what the PlayStation 3 was capable of rendering on-screen, is Nathan Drake's initial adventure one of the best games period?
 
Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.
 

 
Outro music: Crash Bandicoot 'Hogging Molly' by Brandon Strader and Rexy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02413)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
Jack Gardner
Being a small studio, 11 bit studios doesn't have a robust translation department. However, they want their indie hit about people struggling for survival during wartime to be played by as many people around the world as possible. Their solution to bring This War of Mine to the widest possible audience is kind of brilliant. 
 
We've seen a lot of companies and people tapping into the power of crowdsourcing to get games funded, prove concepts, and support ongoing projects. What we've never seen before is a company turning officially to the internet to crowdsource translations. Usually, games are translated by in-house translators or third party companies that specialize in translation. If a game achieves a large enough following or find its way into the hands of super fans who have the necessary skills, they are sometimes unofficially translated into languages that are outside of the core market languages like English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, etc. 11 bit studios aims to change that with their new tool, Babel.
 
 
Babel was created with the help of community members from Vietnam and Hungary and, alongside the launch of the Babel tool, This War of Mine can now be played in Vietnamese and Hungarian with Czech following soon. People who are interested in joining and translating the game into new languages can register at babel.thiswarofmine.com and join/create the team translating This War of Mine into the language they'd like to see it in. 
 
Granted, this tool is only for This War of Mine, but imagine if it proved to be immensely popular and was modified to work with other titles. This could be really amazing for populations that might not otherwise see games in their native language. 
Jack Gardner
2K has unveiled the next entry in the Civilization series. The announcement trailer they have released is narrated by Sean Bean, which might hint that the actor might be handling the in-game narration as well, much like Leonard Nimoy in Civilization IV. The trailer hits pivotal moments and achievements from ancient and recent history. It covers architectural feats like the Great Sphinx of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the Eiffel Tower; pinnacles of artistic achievement like da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," van Gogh's "Starry Night," and a slightly censored version of Eugene Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People;" and meaningful moments from history like the dawn of human flight, space exploration, and storming the beaches at Normandy. No gameplay was shown, but if you're a fan of Civilization, this trailer comes with a release date - enough to get any Civ fan excited.
 
 
Civilization VI releases on October 21 for PC.
Jack Gardner
From Croatian developer Pine Studio, Seum: Speedrunners from Hell puts players in the shoes of Marty, a man who has just had a very bad day. Demons invaded during breakfast, ripped off his arm, and stole his precious limited edition Walrus Ale. Naturally, he ripped off a demon's arm and went to Hell to get his beer back.
 
As Marty, players must navigate over a hundred flaming death traps on their quest to retrieve beer from the bowels of Hell itself. The developer describes each levels as a combination of Quake 3, Portal, and Super Meat Boy. Players will need to solve puzzles on the fly and should expect to die... a lot. As players progress, they'll learn how to harness new abilities, like time reversal or gravity manipulation.
 
 
Seum: Speedrunners from Hell will be available this July on PC.    
Jack Gardner
A wanderer collapses in the night, surrounded by a broken world torn by war and littered with the bones of giants. Gorgeous pixel landscapes and animated sequences mesh to create an impression of a coming doom that has happened before and will happen again. However, even in a shattered world heroes can rise, braving the ruins of glories long past to uncover technology and hope, a way to avert the coming end. This is Hyper Light Drifter, a top-down action-adventure title from indie studio Heart Machine. As the nameless drifter, players must venture forth to battle monsters, solve puzzles, and become master of the four regions which surround the one safe haven that still seems habitable for the few remaining peaceful people who inhabit the world.
In many ways, Hyper Light Drifter plays like a unique combination of The Legend of Zelda series with a dash of Dark Souls tossed in for good measure. Much like a Zelda title, players need to explore vast dungeons riddled with bloodthirsty monsters and traps. Thorough exploration is well rewarded and observant players will find tons of secret nooks and crannies that hold hidden gear bits that can be used to upgrade the drifter's gear and techniques. These treasures are hidden in ways that make those who find them feel clever, but few will be able to find all the secrets of Hyper Light Drifter like the golden keys or glowing power sources. Initially, players will need to make do with a simple slashing sword attack and a laser pistol along with a dash, but the opportunities to unlock more moves and tools soon open up. By the end of the game, most players will have a charged slash, the ability to knock back projectiles, and even a slashing light dash. Every tool in the player’s arsenal will need to be used to solve puzzles and proceed through levels infested with enemies. The comparison to Dark Souls comes in the way that each combat encounter plays out very deliberately. Often players will find themselves strategizing on how to best take on a room full of enemies. Reckless play can easily lead to death, while methodical approaches to every fight are rewarded.

There exists a certain economy of time in Hyper Light Drifter that limits the actions of enemies and the player. This makes understanding what enemies are capable of doing, how they move, imperative alongside understanding the drifter’s abilities. Each slash takes up a definite amount of time; each dash puts the player a set distance in a given direction; a certain number of slashes restores a set fraction of projectile ammo, etc. Once a player can instinctively understand these rules, the combat gradually gains speed and what once seemed to be a slow game of tactics becomes a fluid storm of action as the player seeks out the most efficient means of clearing an area of enemies.   
Of course, this approach to combat also has some downsides. A mistimed slash can lock the player into a second of animation that can’t be cancelled in favor of a dodge if an enemy makes an unforeseen attack. There were many times when playing that I wished I could cancel my action to avoid incoming danger. To be honest, I’m unsure if this slight irritation comes directly from the way Heart Machine believed combat should flow or it stems from a desire to have smooth, unbroken animations. The focus on creating an economy of time also leads to an issue with button timing. A perfect example of this can be found in the way Hyper Light Drifter allows players to chain together dashes for faster, longer dashes. With each additional dash, the timing required for the next dash shortens slightly. I found it almost entirely impossible for me to successfully chain more than three or four dashes together, frequently stalling out (which can prove to be a problem when your life depends on chaining together those dashes). The mechanics of Hyper Light Drifter are practically perfect in most other respects, so these complaints are rather small, but can lead to some significant frustration over the course of a full playthrough.

One aspect of Hyper Light Drifter is utterly perfect, though. The aesthetic manages to remain captivating and gorgeous from beginning to end. Any given screenshot of the title would look at home in a frame on someone’s wall. It easily contains some of the most gorgeous pixel art that I have ever seen. Surreal animated dream sequences, fantastic beasts, breathtaking landscapes, the motivation to visually devour more of this world will be more than enough to motivate most players to fully explore it. Hyper Light Drifter depicts its neon, post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world as dirty, grimy, and barely clinging to life amidst piles of death. Corpses and bones are commonplace, but still civilization and light remains to those few who press on with the task of living. Monsters roam the lands and sow chaos as they prey upon the few sentient lifeforms left alive. The bodies of great giants litter the world, limbs frozen mid-battle. Below the earth in mechanical labs, the colossal hearts of long-dead experiments still beat, hinting that perhaps those giants of war aren’t truly gone.
The fortunate strength of Hyper Light Drifter’s aesthetic allows the entire narrative to unfold visually. There are cryptic messages left throughout the world written in a cypher that players who have cracked it claim give some small details about the world, but those messages will remain a mystery for most. Players encounter characters who tell stories of great battles, lost loved ones, and small hopes for a brighter future through still frame images. Through these visual insights, touching moments connect players to the setting of Hyper Light Drifter and motivate players emotionally. Many of the characters who tell their stories don’t provide material aid to the player, but they give faces and stories to the world and make it worth fighting for.
 
<a data-cke-saved-href="http://music.disasterpeace.com/album/hyper-light-drifter" href="http://music.disasterpeace.com/album/hyper-light-drifter">Hyper Light Drifter by Disasterpeace</a>
The mesmerizing soundtrack from Disasterpeace conveys a sense of sinister mystery and dread as players explore. Each new area seems to ratchet up the tension with very few lighthearted breaks in the soundscape. It does some really fascinating things with silence and a minimal style that really adds to the overall character of Hyper Light Drifter. The visual and audible aesthetics build on one another as players delve deeper into the secrets concealed by the old world ruins.
Now, all of that being said, Hyper Light Drifter left me feeling conflicted. It is undoubtedly beautiful, mechanically very sound, and well made, but I’m not sure if that is enough. To be clear, I loved my time with it and I think anyone who looks at it or sees it in action will have a great time. However, I’m not sure if it has the staying power to remain firmly rooted in our collective gaming consciousness. There is something about Hyper Light Drifter that, much like its protagonist, feels fleeting. This might be a deliberate choice from Heart Machine, as that transient impression works in Hyper Light Drifter’s artistic favor, but might also lead to it being forgettable. The subdued nature of the title leads to a solid theme, but there are few highs or lows that will lodge it forever in a player’s mind. No shocking revelation or emotionally charged battle to prod us into remembrance, just the image of an ailing drifter near a fire in the middle of a dark world as the flames sputter into embers.

Conclusion:
For some, Hyper Light Drifter’s competence, aesthetic, and soundscape might be enough. It’s well designed and gorgeous and fun – a very well-rounded and solid experience. However, I think Hyper Light Drifter will also leave people wanting more both in terms of how long the game is, it clocks in at four dungeons and around seven or eight hours, but also in terms of meaning. Most will enjoy their time within the devastated lands of Hyper Light Drifter, but some people will struggle to attach personal meaning to the experience. The artistic cohesion that Hear Machine has put together is incredibly impressive and well worth the time it takes to experience. Those who wish for more beyond the tense melancholy of dangerous exploration and the rough interpretations of a wordless, surreal story might need to seek out other worlds and stories. For those who can accept it as it is, Hyper Light Drifter is beautiful, haunting, tense, and fittingly transient as an artistic work.  
Hyper Light Drifter was reviewed on PC and will soon be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Jack Gardner
From breaking through the Iron Curtain of Soviet Russia to being labelled as a cause of medically confirmed hallucinations, Tetris has a fascinating history both within and without the video game industry. Alexey Pajitnov and Vladamir Pokhilko's classic puzzle game has become one of the most widely available video games on the planet and a common household name. To this day, Tetris appears near the top of best games of all time lists, but is that merely nostalgia or a mark of genuine quality? 
 
Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.
 

 
Outro music: Tetris 'The Peddler's Legacy' by Vurez (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02202)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
Jack Gardner
After only a day or two of raising pledges through Kickstarter, John Romero and Adrian Carmack have officially suspended their Kickstarter campaign for their dream FPS, Blackroom. Most people will remember John Romero for being one of the founders of id Software, being heavily involved in the creation of Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Commander Keen, as well as the tools that made games like Quake possible. He is also known for the famous debacle surrounding the title Daikatana that led to the closure of the Ion Storm studio. Adrian Carmack was another one of the founders of id Software and worked as an artist there until 2005 when he and the rest of id Software had a financial falling out that led to a lawsuit. 
 
The two game creators have joined forces along with Night Work Games to create Blackroom. Blackroom envisions a future in which virtual reality has become commonplace and one day it goes horribly wrong. Rooms equipped with advanced technology reminiscent of the Holo-Deck from Star Trek: The Next Generation, blackrooms, have gone haywire. Those who enter them run the risk of becoming trapped within a shifting reality that mixes time and space. Medieval castles, the Wild West, sci-fi impossiblities, and surreal landscapes await those who become snared in a blackroom.
 
John Romero plans to handle the level design of Blackroom as well as some of the general game design. Romero hopes to take Blackroom in a classic FPS direction, including circle strafing and rocket jumping. Carmack will be in charge of the art design to give it an authentic retro feel for the modern age.
 


The Kickstarter aimed to raise over $700,000 in funding, but was cut short after a large number of people asked to see a working demo of Blackroom. The time required to create the demo would be longer than the Kickstarter campaign, so Romero and Carmack suspended the campaign to come back at a later date with the playable proof of concept. They released a letter to the community who had backed them so far to explain the situation:
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