Hello, hello, hello and welcome along to Parcival Plays. This site is a place for a Scottish guy in his 30's to share some of the games he is playing. This will be a variety of older games and more recent titles with most of these being by smaller or indie teams. Please feel free to comment on posts or follow me on Twitter and to drop me an email using the buttons on the right. New posts will generally be weekly on a Wednesday.


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Games From Space

Whilst I will usually be writing about games I wanted share something else that I’ve come across that might be of interest to gamers.  It is a piece of software called Games From Space.

The programme lets you earn ‘free’ games using your graphics card whilst your computer is idle.  It does this by using the processing power to mine for cryptocurrencies and rewards you with an in-app currency called ‘Space Coins’.  These can then be used to purchase games within the store section of the client. At the time of writing the platform had over 350 items, with more being added each week, including Steam Keys, GOG Keys, GTAV Shark cards and, recently added, Steam, iTunes and Google Play gift cards and even subscriptions for your favourite Twitch channels.  The prices of these vary, based on the cost at suppliers, with the cheapest item being indie puzzle platformer Yasik at a cost of 113 Space Coins, which should be achievable by most people within a day or two of using the app. There are a mix on these smaller indie games, and bigger, more popular games like PUBG and Ark.  These bigger games will take longer to get than the small indie games due to the cost.

Some of the items available in the Store

How quickly you are able to redeem a game is dependant on how powerful your graphics card is.  Currently any NVIDIA card with 512mb VRAM or higher (providing it uses the CUDA (NVIDIA coding architecture) version 5 or higher and AMD cards with more than 4GB of VRAM can use the service - a full list of supported cards can be found here.  You can of course increase your coin production by overclocking your card but the Games From Space staff do make a point of say that it's not recommended and they don't provide support or advice for overclocking, so this is done entirely at your own risk.  The value of cryptocurrency will also affect your mining speed. As this can fluctuate, currently they mine for Ethereum with their 'default’ configuration and ZCash on the 'alternative’ configuration, it does mean that the number of coins you gain each day can go up or down with the market price of the currency, but the coin value of the games in the store remains the same.

The Engine Room where you can customise the settings for the miner

There are various settings you can apply, for example how long you need to be AFK before the engine starts mining, or even if it will run whilst you are using your computer.  This is something you need to play with and find the settings that work best for you, remember that it uses your graphics card so will cause issues such as frame rate drops if you are trying to run games at the same time.

Chosen games in the Queue where you can track progress

I know you’re probably thinking 'what’s the catch?’ but there really isn't any.  You may notice a slight increase to energy bills as your computer will be running whilst you are not actively using and and there will be some wear to your graphics card, but no more than running a demanding game for an equivalent time, so you need to bear that in mind.

I've been using the platform for a while now and have received a few games.   It's also been great to see it growing and develop. The team is based out of Berlin and is pretty small with only 4 core staff, but they do have some great volunteers helping them out on their Discord server and the team themselves are pretty active.

A redeemed 'Pod' arrives.  Clicking on the Pod displays your game key
(N.B. not all keys are delivered instantly)

In summary, if you don't mind running your computer while you are AFK and are wanting to increase your game collection it's worth giving it a shot.  They've got a range of games from psychonauts to PUBG, the list is growing regularly and the keys are guaranteed to be genuine. Unfortunately, due to circumstances outwith the devs control, crypto values are quite low at the time of writing so it's taking a bit longer to get games than it did a few months ago.

**The Devs are holding a ''Kill The Devs event in a few weeks (15th September) and have PUBG half price for a limited time in the run up to this event**

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