Mini-Games Now Allowed to be Included in Game Loading Screens

Loading screens, the bane of every gamer out there, plaguing games since the move away from flash storage. Many gamers try to escape or limit the time spent on loading by fitting their computers or consoles with fast solid state drives with which to load from. But what if loading screens were fun? Good news for those of you on a budget or unwilling to modify your console is here: games will now be permitted to include extra mini games on loading screens.

Back in 1995, Namco patented the use of auxiliary mini games on loading screens while the main game was loading. This was due to releasing the original Ridge Racer for the PS1 with the arcade classic Galaxian as a mini game to entertain players while the game itself loaded. And while this was a good idea, Namco wasn’t keen on sharing, cursing gamers playing other games to dull loading screens for 20 years. But no more. The original patent was filed on the 27th of November 1995, which has now expired.

I’m sure some people will note that some games do indeed include mini-games during their loading sequences, the most popular example being EA’s FIFA series. EA managed to avoid the limitations of the patent by making their loading mini-games cut down sections of the main game, instead of separate ‘auxiliary’ mini-games.

Gamers are keen to celebrate the newfound loading screen freedom too, with a group organizing a “Loading Screen Jam“, with the aim to “create games/interactive material based on infringing the now-defunct patent in any way possible!” Hopefully game developers will follow suit and provide interesting loading screens for gamers, maybe using classic versions of their own games in order to make the seemingly lengthening loading process of modern games more tolerable. It is definitely a power that should be used responsibly, however, as the wrong mini-games in the wrong places could easily disrupt the flow of gameplay and adventure or even break the atmosphere of a story-driven or emotional game.

I’m certainly excited to see what developers and the gaming community can come up with, free from the limitations of the patent. Let us know in the comments what you’d like to see on the loading screen of your favourite games!

The Awesome ‘Goat Simulator’ Game Now Available For Pre-Order

A few days ago we brought you news of Coffee Stain Studios developer Armin Ibrisagic’s game, Goat Simulator. This game is beyond madness, it’s the end result of his work at the Global Game Jam and was created more as a prototype and to simply be a fun thing to much about on. After a few days of being on the internet, the video became massively popular and even just among the eTeknix fan base we were seeing many people calling out to be able to play it, well your calls have been answered.

The game is now available for pre-order for $9.99 on Steam and it comes with one of the best disclaimers I’ve ever seen;

“Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. To be completely honest, it would be best if you’d spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat.”

Last year it was Surgery Simulator, but 2014 is definitely going to be the year of the goat.


Thank you Goat Simulator for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Goat Simulator.

Rezzed to host Creative Assembly Game Jam With Fabulous Prizes For The Winners

Gamer Network is pleased to announce that this year’s Rezzed will host the first ever Creative Assembly Game Jam, where four-man development teams will compose a game in a day for a shot at winning big-value prizes provided The Creative Assembly.

Game Jam participants will be given a topic to work from on Saturday morning and will be expected to finish their game by the close of the show at 6pm.

Teams will then present a five-minute presentation to a panel of expert judges and a live audience in a special developer session on Sunday at 4pm, which will also be streamed live on via YouTube.

Entries will be judged Chris Avellone from Obsidian Entertainment, Ed Stern from Splash Damage and Guardian journalist Keith Stuart.

Teams hoping to take part should email by 14th June with a team name and details of those who want to take part. Organisers will notify teams being invited to take part as soon as possible.

Teams should ideally be made of four people and each participant must be free to attend Rezzed in Birmingham this month under their own steam. Organisers will supply a suitable work area on the show floor, but developers must bring their own laptops.

In addition to the Game Jam developer session on Sunday afternoon, Rezzed attendees will be able to watch sessions on Project Eternity, Dreamfall Chapters, Frozen Endzone, Prison Architect, ROME II and many others.

Playable games on the show floor include Total War: ROME II, Company of Heroes 2 and a huge range of upcoming PC and indie titles.


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Image courtesy of Rezzed.