I was hired as a founding reporter for a Kickstarter and Early Access focused site called BitPulse. I emailed, called and scooped for stories every day for this under-reported (we think) side of the industry.

Launched in January 2014, we’ve managed to draw ~6,000 weekly unique visitors.

I’ve since had to take a step back, but will be returning to the site in a video-only role.

You can view all my posts here.

Here are some of my favourite posts:

Interview: Developer Fred Wood on how to fall in Love.

Review: Love tears out your heart, dares you to win it back.

Interview: Dog Sled Saga slides forwards towards PAX, Steam Early Access.

News: Aderyn’s Cradle continues through fundraising failure: “We plan to launch another Kickstarter”

How Eric Zimmerman, Naomi Clark and the Brooklyn Game Ensemble are avoiding trends and tropes to create a metaphysical experience.

My first real (legit, 100% proven) freelance article for a site I’m a little in awe of. Click the image to read it.

Iteration fetishism

Originially published in Exeposé 25th Anniversary Issue. I still don’t know why.

Make a splash in the best john on campus as Marcus Beard, Games Editor, watches the thrones.

Sometimes, unloading your greasy, bean-filled log into just any old water closet doesn’t cut it. As your bowels squeeze out the digested remnants of yesterday’s gorging, it’s nice to be somewhere with comfort, taste, and style. Grind some beef, unbuckle your belt and place your cheeks upon this tour of Exeter’s luscious lavatories.

Ram & Forum – 2*
Almost impossible to tell apart, these two excrement halls share the same trough-style sinks and warped mirrors. The seemingly complete inability to deal with any stool larger than an aborted squirrel is forgiven by the spaciousness of each commode. These toilets share a wall, so one has to wonder; why make two mediocre fecal depositories instead of one poo-poo paradise. Expect to find vomit in every cubicle Thursday – Saturday.

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Originally published in Exeposé

Fable creator opens up about ‘Curiosity’, ‘Co-operation’ and ‘Milo’

Curiosity can be dangerous. For Peter Molyneux, his curiosity at Microsoft lead to the rise and fall of one of the most groundbreaking interactive experiences of the current generation.

In a small office in Guildford technology centre, a few hundred yards from his previous studio Lionhead, Molyneux’s startup 22Cans is hard at work testing Curiosity: What’s Inside The Cube. The iOS game features a giant black cube made from millions of ‘cubelets’ which, after 64 billions taps, will reveal a secret so profound it will “make world news” according to Molyneux.

Don’t be surprised if this sounds far-fetched, Molyneux is well known in the industry for making promises about his game that don’t end up being strictly truthful. He’s well aware of this, as the game is currently a month behind the previously announced launch date .“It was my stupid mouth that shot off and gave the date in the first place,” he says. “That was a bit silly.”

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Originally written for Exeposé, didn’t make it into the freshers’ issue.

Katamari Damacy creator talks about his past at art school and why fun is so important, Marcus Beard, Games Editor reports.

Sitting on stage in flip flops and shorts, casually flipping through his iPhone, you wouldn’t get the impression that Keita Takahashi is the creator of a series that has reunited millions with the quirkyness and playfulness of youth. As the mind that sprouted the 2004 sleeper hit and cult classic Katamari Damacy, Takahashi doesn’t possess the fashion sense of Hideo Kojima or the bold rhetoric of Peter Molyneux.

“I don’t like [to] talk much” he admits as one of his greatest weaknesses to a theatre full of amateur game designers at the Babycastles Summit in Manhattan. Keita’s keynote (which took the form of a Q&A session) kicked off the three-day festival of workshops and interactive exhibitions at the Museum of Art and Design. The summit’s goal is to explore new ways to play and develop games, with a focus on experimentation and collaboration.

“I need[ed] to find a road” he says, describing what moved him into game development “..where I can make fun things.” Read More

Originally published in Exeposé

Making history in Exeter Cathedral as Marcus Beard, Games Editor, reports on Flower being used as part of Holy Worship

“History is being made in Exeter Cathedral today” says Canon Missioner of Exeter Cathedral , Anna Norman-Walker. The ambient orchestral score of thatgamecompany’s flower fills the knave as people have gathered to celebrate the Eucharist on a Sunday evening in mid-May.

“For the first time, we are going to be using a videogame as part of Holy Worship.” There’s some squirming from the mostly over-40 congregation, as we watch a single a single yellow flower blow in the wind on the 6 foot screen. Andy Robertson, editor of, takes hold of a controller, and as the petal on screen opens up to start our communal game of Flower, a collective gasp can be heard. History has been made.

In late August, Andy gave a talk at the TEDx conference in Exeter. Speaking on sustainable perspectives on videogames, Robertson commented on the ethical, social, psychological and spiritual contribution to human life that games can make. He spoke of creating a new ‘priesthood’ of videogame players and writers to appreciate games in a broader sense that just entertainment value. This was when he was approached by Anna, and the idea of using videogame as part of a service at Exeter cathedral took hold.

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Originally published in Exeposé – University of Exeter Student Newspaper

Before Facebook became the owner of our persistent online identity and before Zynga created their ‘-ville’ empire, Habbo Hotel (a glorified chatroom) was where tweens went to get their fill of browser based social gaming.

I was about 11 years old when I first started frequenting this free-to-play virtual world, which makes my last visit to the hotel around 2003. The features that stick in my mind are public rooms filled with chat-bots and people trying to block exits (an early form of trolling), and private rooms decorated with pixelated furniture (‘furni’ essentially formed the economy of the virtual hotel) where users would exchange niceties such as ‘hi qt u lk soooo hot’, and generally play a big game of pretend while trading ‘furni’ with each other.

It wasn’t long before this wore thin for me, and I looked for ways to exploit the game (making clones of myself to flood rooms was particularly entertaining) before finally hanging up my Habbo hat.  Today I check back in to Habbo Hotel, to see what has changed.

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Originally published in Exeposé – University of Exeter Student Newspaper

Marcus Beard tells the story of industry underdogs Double Fine

Double Fine, the development company behind Psychonauts and Brütal Legend raised over $1,000,000 in under 24 hours directly from the community to fund their new project; a point-and-click adventure. No publishers, no executives giving orders to ‘widen our demographic’ or ‘appeal to the Gears of War crowd’. Just Tim Schafer – the king of adventure games – heading up a brand new IP. Yet, Schafer and Double Fine have not always secured funding so easily. Let’s have a quick history lesson.

Before the release of the Star Wars prequels, George Lucas’ LucasArts developed and published games that weren’t exclusively Star Wars tie-ins as it does today. LucasArts pioneered the point-and-click adventure game – a genre that relied on developers creating clever puzzles, witty and creative storytelling. A far cry from the ‘point gun at man’ gameplay we see today.

In 1990, a team of young developers including Tim Schafer designed and co-wrote LucasArts’ The Secret of Monkey Island. It is widely regarded as one of the best and well-written games of all time, pioneering the adventure genre. A number of sequels spawned from this, and Schafer was given the responsibility of lead developer for a number of projects. 1998’s Grim Fandango, a black comedy noire-film-esque adventure game set in the Aztec-style Land of The Dead was universally praised for its inventive world and artistic design.

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Originally published in Exeposé – University of Exeter Student Newspaper

Marcus Beard takes up the fight for industry innovation.

Let me tell you about publishing giant Activision’s humble beginnings. Formed in 1979 by former music industry executive Jim Levy, Activision was the first game developer not to be owned by console manufacturers – the first independent developer. Creating games for the Atari 2600, just one developer would work on each game, creating titles such as ‘Tennis’, ‘Ice Hockey’, and the ground-breaking ‘Fishing Derby’ – each game having mechanics entirely new and different from the last. Levy would ensure a whole page in each manual was dedicated to the developer, in the hope new talent would be attracted to create the best games out there for consumers.

So what happened? Things went the same way as the music industry. Activision grew too large, core developers broke away, lawsuits were started, and smaller publishers were acquired; it became all about the dollar. Activision is now the top publisher in US, and after firing and attempting to sue the co-founder and lead designer that created the series, will be releasing its eighth Call of Duty game in five years. Almost indistinguishable from its predecessor and using the same stale engine and formula it has been for five years, Modern Warfare 3 is set to break all-time sales revenue records in entertainment industry. It is the videogame industry’s Justin Bieber.

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