Patterns: now on Desura & the Lab teams with Alienware again

Patterns on Desura
Patterns on Desura

Update: Linden Lab sold Desura to Bad Juju Games on November 5th, 2014.

Update, October 9th, 2014: Linden Lab announced that development work on Patterns has been discontinued.

I’ve been keeping an eye on Desura for a while, mainly to see if any rebranding commences. In doing so, I came across the fact that Patterns is now available on the Lab’s latest acquisition.

Whether the Lab heard my speculation on the subject of Patterns and Desura or not I’ve no idea* , but Patterns appeared on Desura  at the start of August, just after I last poked at the digital distribution service. It arrived with a “special offer” of an additional 25% off the purchase price (so 75% off rather than the “usual” 50% for the Genesis version). This offer ended on Monday 5th August, and the price is now back to the 50% off the “Alpha” price.

Response from the Desura community has so far been small but positive, with most ratings sitting at 8-10 (out of 10). The Desura web page includes a Vimeo version of the Lab’s last video promo for Patterns, which appeared back in early July. This is actually quite stylish and something of a departure for the Lab video-wise (as have their Blocksworld promo videos – have they hired in a new team for marketing, or are the Boldai team having an additional impact? :P).

Patterns Competition

Patterns-compWhile I may not have received notification of Pattern’s arrival on Desura, I did receive an e-mail notifying me of Patterns-based competition the Lab is running in conjunction with Dell / Alienware.

The competition appears to have launched on August 12th, and is linked to via the Patterns website, Patterns on Desura and Patterns on Steam. On offer to the winner is an Alienware X51 gaming desktop.

Entrants to the competition are required to design and construct a unique alien landscape within Patterns using the in-game shapes and abilities offered in the game and then upload a screen shot of the build to the Alienware competition web page before September 15th, 2013.

An Alienware Arena account is required to enter the competition, and as has ben the case in the past, the competition is only open to legal residents of the United States (other than Rhode Island and US Territories), and entrants must be 13 years of age or older. The winner will be selected through a split between public voting (open to Alienware Arena members) and “Expert Judging”, and based on a combined score from both. Judging criteria will be on the originality / creativity within a build and relevance to Alienware / Dell.

Further details on the competition can be found on the Alienware Arena Patterns Competition page, as can the Contest Rules.

Patterns Updates

Patterns has gone through a considerable number of updates since the last time I blogged about it, with a lot of new capabilities added. I did actually start writing a review at the end of June but got sidetracked by the Desura acquisition, the dio overhaul and then the Blocksworld arrival, so it has been languishing a bit.

With the updates, the UI has been overhauled, there are a number of different playing modes (“realistic”, “Unbound” (physics off) and “Easy Build”) added, as have creatures which can create a degree of havoc as you build, and the multi-player mode has been introduced (these last two points have had passing mention in my last report on Desura – see the link above and the screen-cap below), and the ability to upload and share your own builds with others.

Patterns new creatures and multi-player mode received passing mention in my last look at Desura, when I suggested it would be a channel-to-market for Patterns
Patterns new creatures and multi-player mode received passing mention in my last look at Desura, when I suggested it would be a channel-to-market for Patterns

I will get around to completing my update on Patterns as and when time allows. In the meantime, here’s one of the more recent videos from the Patterns YouTube channel, covering the ability to upload and share world builds through the “Cosmos”.

I’ve not as yet had much success playing Patterns in multi-player mode, which appeared back at the end of June. This is largely because the process is (to me) overly convoluted, requiring someone to select a world, set it up for multi-player as the “host” and then send the name they’ve created for the world  to friends via some means (e-mail, Skype, IRC, Second Life(!) or something), and the friends then launch Patterns in multi-player mode and enter the name of the world. Whether this will be simplified in the future remains to be seen. I might have to tap Shug on the shoulder and see if we can get something set-up between us so that things can be “properly” reviewed ;-).

Related Links

*I’m joking. Clearly the move was in the planning well before I made the obvious connection!