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Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015

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Ken Levine's Sci-Fi PC Game Plans

Ken Levine's Twitter feed has a bunch of little tidbits about his next game as Ken engages with some of his followers to answer all manner of questions, tweeting that he is "trying to do open dev," and pointing to his GDC 2014 talk on Narrative LEGOs as a "starting point." Along the way he says "Vampires in EVERY game. But with capes, not abs," that this isn't a new Freedom Force game (saying "that's still in my back pocket"), that it won't be shown at E3. More concretely, he mentions a genre: "We're playing with something sci fi. Or sci-fi ish." He also notes the impact of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, saying: "Had Mordor impacted the project? mostly in that it validated that people would care about narrative replayability," and he addresses target platforms, saying: "As of now, developing for pc." Thanks GameInformer.

EA Financial Results

Electronic Arts reports their Q3 FY15 financial results, describing them with terms including "great execution," "excellent performance," and "record-breaking financials," as they report non-GAAP net revenue of $1.428 billion for a diluted earnings per share of $1.22. They celebrate with an infographic with milestones from the quarter, and here are the aspects from the report they are highlighting:

Selected Operating Highlights and Metrics:

  • Calendar year 2014 EA was the #1 publisher on PlayStation®4 and Xbox One consoles in the world, driven by the success of Dragon Age™: Inquisition, FIFA 15, NHL®15, Madden NFL 15, EA SPORTSTM UFC®, TitanfallTM, Battlefield 4TM, and FIFA 14.
  • SimCity™ BuildIt just launched in December and has already achieved 22 million downloads to date and has reached the top 5 iOS game downloads in more than 100 countries.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition captivated fans and critics worldwide and it quickly became the most successful launch in BioWare™ history in addition to being named to more than 200 “Game of the Year” lists. The single player campaign alone has been enjoyed for more than 113 million hours.
  • Monthly active users for EA’s mobile titles averaged more than 160 million in Q3.
  • EA’s mobile sports games continue to engage players, with Madden NFL Mobile and FIFA 15 Ultimate Team™ together averaging 45% more monthly active players through Q3 compared to our previous iterations in the same period last year.

Selected Financial Highlights:
*On a non-GAAP basis

  • For the quarter, net revenue* of $1.428 billion was above our guidance of $1.275 billion. Diluted earnings per share* of $1.22 was above our guidance of $0.90.
  • On a trailing twelve month basis, EA had net revenue* of $4.337 billion of which a record $2.178 billion was digital* (more than half for the first time ever), net income* of $833 million and operating cash flow of $1.150 billion (a record for a calendar year).
  • EA raised fiscal 2015 net revenue* guidance from $4.175 billion to $4.253 billion and diluted EPS* guidance from $2.05 to $2.35 per share.
  • Net revenue* for EA’s FIFA, Madden NFL and Hockey Ultimate Team services continued to grow, collectively up 82% year-over-year.
  • EA repurchased 2.5 million shares in Q3 for $97 million, pursuant to the $750 million share repurchase program initiated in May 2014.

Army 21 Announced

Indiegama announces Army 21, their debut title for Windows PC (a reassurance that we didn't miss the first 20 installments in a series), saying this online action/strategy team combat game is already in the alpha testing phase. Those interested in the test can sign up on the Army 21 website, where they offer this trailer with a look at the game. This is the output of a one-person studio, founded by Tom Spencer-Smith, who has worked on AAA series including Command & Conquer, Need For Speed, FIFA, and Crysis, and the plan is to bring this to Kickstarter and Greenlight later this year. The developer offers a list of six tings that make this unique, which is more than six times what the average game could claim. Here's word:

  1. The gameplay is pretty unique. It's a 6-team game, with a total of up to 60 players. Gameplay involves base warfare: you build up your team's base (a set of buildings), defend it, and destroy the bases of the other teams. When a base is destroyed, that team is defeated, and the players are reassigned to the remaining teams. This goes on until there is one team remaining. Its a mix of action and strategy played in first person. There are Co-op and Versus game modes. It's hella fun even with a handful of players.
  2. The game appears simple but actually has a lot of depth. This is needed in part to tackle the chicken-and-egg problem of multiplayer games for unknown developers: players come when the game is fun; but the game is only fun when there are players. Solution: the game must be fun with no players, or with only a few players; i.e. the game needs to be fun when you're playing against Bots. I've added depth by having multiple simultaneous and differently-scoped objectives: you are playing to beat all 5 other teams and be the last team standing; playing to attain a higher difficulty level; playing to beat the best time and best points recorded for each difficulty level; and above all playing to gain a high Army Rank on the Worldwide Leaderboard. Army Rank is determined by your Skill, Reputation and Experience, and in turn gives you certain privileges, status and responsibilities within your team and within the game.

Continue here to read the full story.

Magicka 2 Trailer; Bonus Signups

An Interview Without the Vampire is a new video promoting Magicka 2 with a mix of live-action and gameplay footage. They also urge anyone interested in their magickal action/adventure sequel to sign up on this page for the chance to win exclusive in-game rewards, including the chance to name an NPC (warning, bonerfarts is already taken). Here's word on the trailer and the rewards program:

In the newly released video, viewers will sit in on a very special conversation with Brad, who is not Vlad, who is not a vampire, as he comes to terms with his demons, and reminisces about slaying those demons using a fantastic spellcasting system with up to four players—ahem, Wizards.

Signing up on the Magicka 2 website will offer would-be Wizards the chance to earn a variety of in-game goodies in the PC version, including new weapons, a new robe, and delightful avatars and icons on the Magicka 2 forums. These rewards can be unlocked by playing exclusive, never-before-seen Magicka 2 content not even included in the main game, giving players the chance to experience an exciting side story set in the rich lore of Midgard.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Crew Street Edition Pack DLC

The Crew Street Edition Pack is now available on Steam, offering some new rides for The Crew, Ubisoft's open-world driving game. Word is: "This bundle includes the MINI COOPER S 2010, the BMW Z4 sDrive35is 2011, the DODGE RAM SRT-10 and the 2015 Ford Mustang GT Fastback as well as exclusive customization possibilities."

On Sale

  • Portal 2 on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Patches

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Trials Fusion Fire in the Deep DLC

A new Fire in the Deep DLC pack is now available for Trials Fusion, adding new challenges to the stunt riding game. Here's what this offers:

Get on you motorbike within the infernal heat below the earth's surface with the fourth content pack for Trials Fusion: Fire in the Deep!

Go underground with:

  • 11 new tracks including 9 Classic Trials Tracks, one Skill Game and one FMX Track
  • 27 new challenges from secret locations to surprising mini-games
  • New 'Billy Gruff' helmet and skin for TKO-Panda

& much more!

Resident Evil Revelations 2 Pre-Purchases

In addition to the rundown on Raid Mode in Resident Evil Revelations 2 on Capcom Unity, Capcom also announces pre-purchases are now underway for Resident Evil Revelations 2 / Biohazard Revelations 2 on Steam, saying this will offer "access to each piece of content as it goes live," with the first episode due on February 24th. On the other hand, there are no discounts or other preorder incentives, and waiting for a game review before buying is often its own reward.

Dying Light Dawns

Dying Light is now available via digital distribution, offering Techland's new take on the zombie epidemic following their Dead Island series. This page on the game's website offers links to where to get the game in various territories. There's been some discussion in our forums over the lack of reviews for this, which may be explained by a post on GameSpot where they explain they "only recently received the complete, finished game for review," so they will need more time to post an evaluation. Here's word on the game:

Dying Light is an action survival game presented in first-person perspective. The game is set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the day, you roam an urban environment devastated by a mysterious epidemic, scavenging for supplies and crafting weapons to help you defeat the hordes of mindless, flesh-hungry enemies the plague has created. At night, the hunter becomes the prey as the infected grow in strength and aggression - but even more lethal are the nocturnal, inhuman predators that leave their nests to feed. You will need to make use of all your skills and any available means to survive till dawn.

Grim Fandango Remastered & More Star Wars Games on GOG.com

GOG.com announces the release of Grim Fandango Remastered for Windows, OS X, and Linux, offering an updated edition of the LucasArts classic. This is also available on Steam and probably elsewhere as well. In addition, GOG.com also announces that LucasFilm on GOG.COM: Wave II continues" (not to be confused with Wave III, which would be a whole different thing), as they have added Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Star Wars: Republic Commando, and Star Wars: Starfighter to their DRM-fee marketplace, with each carrying a 20% launch discount. Here's word on the Grim Fandango remake:

Grim Fandango is just one of those games, it doesn't really need much of an introduction. The unique blend of Mexican folklore with film noir stylings - Tim Schafer's last and greatest hurrah as LucasArts' adventure-gaming-extraordinaire - is widely considered to simply be the best adventure game ever made. Grim Fandango Remastered refreshes and refines the award-winning title, finally making a piece of history available to everyone - hassle-free with no need to leave the dry land. The remaster modernizes the game's presentation and gameplay in a way that improves, but does not distort, the original experience. That means higher quality models and textures, but a familiar unaltered art style; the same musical score as before, re-recorded in higher quality with no unnecessary compression; and perhaps best of all: a new point-and-click interface - but one that is fully optional - the original tank controls are just a few clicks away.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel DLC & Patch Warning

Gearbox Software notes today is the release date for the new Lady Hammerlock Pack for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, their shooter/RPG prequel. This earlier post outlines the contents of the pack and Gearbox Software Support has details on the patch that accompanies the release that also includes changes for all users. Unfortunately, a problem has cropped up with the patch, and Gearbox Software Support now has a warning for those who have applied the January 27 update. Until they work things out, they warn you should probably avoid using the Grinder, because due to a bug, it's not always just the same old grind:

It has come to our attention that the January 27 game update for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which releases alongside the Lady Hammerlock Pack, has an unforeseen issue.

Specifically, when the update is applied, putting three items of purple rarity into the Grinder has the potential to cause a crash. The team is hard at work at addressing this issue as quickly as possible -- until then, we recommend players use the Grinder at their own risk.

Should players not wish to receive this update, which is required to play online and access the Lady Hammerlock Pack, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players should not accept the update when prompted to download while Steam players can put Steam into Offline Mode.

We'll share more information on the resolution to this issue as soon as we have it confirmed -- keep an eye on the Knowledge Base article here for the latest.

Victory Command Announced

A bit over a year ago Petroglyph kicked off a Kickstarter for a World War II RTS game called Victory, but this was later cancelled, with the developer saying they "learned that Victory is definitely not the type of game that the Kickstarter community craves. They have now launched a new Victory Command website for a reworked version of the game (thanks IncGamers). They are accepting signups from those interested in beta testing and offer this short trailer to promote the project. Here's a bit on the plan:

Victory Command is a free-to-play RTS that pits you and four of your friends against five enemies in tactical combat.

Choose a company of units comprised of either infantry, jeeps, or tanks and customize them for battle with literally millions of strategic combinations. No battle will be the same.

Teamwork is key in this 5v5 arena. Coordinate with your other commanders to out-gun, out-maneuver, and out-play your rivals.

Far Cry 4 Hurk DLC Released

Ubisoft announces today is marks the release of the new Hurk DLC for Far Cry 4, which adds five new missions and an armory of new weapons. This is available separately of as part of a season pass, and they note that season passes are still on sale. Here's the deal:

Ubisoft announced that Hurk Deluxe downloadable content for Far Cry 4, will be released today. Hurk Deluxe includes five missions playable in single-player and co-op, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s Redemption. This content also gives players access to an arsenal of new weapons including a harpoon gun for Hurk.

Hurk Deluxe is available as part of the Far Cry 4 Season Pass or can be purchased separately. The Season Pass is still available and includes Hurk Deluxe as well as the following content: The Syringe and Escape from Durgesh Prison, already available, Overrun and Valley of the Yetis, both to be available soon.

8bitMMO Launches

Archive Entertainment announces the full release of version 1.0 of 8BitMMO after a brief 14-year development run for this free construction/sandbox MMOG. The game is available for free through the 8BitMMO website or Steam. Here's word:

Development on 8BitMMO originally began in 2001, when solo indie developer Robby Zinchak began working in his spare time on a sandbox game where all players could help build the world together. The game went through many iterations and several rewrites. Finally, a publicly playable build was ready in June of 2011. It was well received, and later that year Zinchak began working on the title full-time. 8BitMMO continued to be improved as time went on and a community built up around it. It was selected for Steam Early Access and launched there on December 13, 2013.

The title has grown immensely over the past few years, with now over 650,000 registered users and a user-built world that is larger than the combined landmass of the United Kingdom. The fan community is small, but fervent, with some users writing novels-worth of fanfiction, creating a 3d-printed model of their character, or in one case even getting a tattoo of the game.

Zinchak has added many new features in the past year based on feedback received from players. One major new feature recently added is a new competitive PvP/PvE game mode called Transponders that allows players to build a base and then summon a raid consisting of monsters and other players. Enemies spawn in increasingly difficult waves, and the winning side is awarded gold for their victory.

The game has won several awards, including Best Technological Game at Tokyo Game Show's Sense of Wonder Night, Winner of the Seattle Independent Game Competition, and Director's Choice at the Indie Prize Showcase in San Francisco.

Even though this is the official launch, the game will continue to be updated with new content even after this release.

Blackguards 2 Video Guide

This video kicks off a four-part video guide to Blackguards 2, Daedalic Entertainment's strategy/RPG sequel. Their description of the clip is general, rather than specific: "These videos will show what is new in the game and give useful tips to ensure a safe trip to become the conqueror of Southern Aventuria." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Addonics Pocket UDD25 USB 3.0 External Dock on TweakTown.
  • AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux on Phoronix.
  • BeQuiet Pure Rock Heatsink on FrostyTech.com.
  • Box Cube Reaper System on pcGameware.
  • Corsair Gaming Sabre Optical RGB Gaming Mouse on eTeknix.
  • Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 16GB 2666MHz Memory Kit on Legit Reviews.
  • D-Link DNS-320L on PC Review.
  • Fractal Design Kelvin T12 AIO CPU Cooler on TweakTown.
  • iControl Networks Piper Smart Home Security System on Nikk Tech.
  • Kingston HyperX Cloud II on ocaholic and Vortez.
  • littleBits Smart Home Kit on TechSpot.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Video Cards (ZOTAC and MSI) in SLI on TweakTown.
  • Samsung Portable SSD T1 500GB on ocaholic.
  • Swiftech H240-X CPU Liquid Cooling AIO KiT on HARDOCP.
  • Team Group M131 16GB Dual Flash Drive on eTeknix.
  • Tesoro Gandiva H1L Laser Gaming Mouse on Bigbruin.com.
  • Thermaltake Core V21 Micro-ATX Case on Benchmark Reviews.
  • Transcend SSD370 (128GB, 256GB & 512GB) on AnandTech.


Out of the Blue

Well I called that pretty well, as the loophole I noticed in the forecast came into play, and the storm formed farther east than first thought. This means that even though they predicted 12"-24" of snow, we will end up with under a foot when it's all said and done, (though in fairness, the snowfall is apparently pretty impressive east of here, so here's hoping everyone stays safe in those areas). Amusingly, because the weatherman added the caveat that the storm would be smaller if it formed to the east, this morning he is claiming the 2"-6" of not-blizzard we received is just what he predicted, which is pretty weak. Anyway, I'm not complaining that there's less shoveling to do, I'm just amused by the reluctance to admit the advance hysteria was overblown. In a bloviated press briefing from our governor and a panel of solemn officials this morning, he announced the lifting of all the unnecessary travel bans they enacted in case this was an actual blizzard. They say the fact that nobody died on the roads proved this was all quite prudent. I just want to point out that if they ban cars altogether, road deaths will drop to zero permanently.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Impale 3.
Angry Sheep.
Mister Mine.
Story: 5 shocking revelations to look for in HBO’s new Scientology documentary.
Media: Fantastic Four - Official Teaser Trailer. Thanks Kotaku via nin.
How an Aussie postman deals with dogs. NSFW.

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Monday, Jan 26, 2015 Happy Australia Day, Mate

Frontier Announces Coaster Park Tycoon & Layoffs

Frontier Developments announces development of Coaster Park Tycoon, a second franchise they plan to support concurrently with Elite: Dangerous, their space combat game, saying this "marks the next stage in Frontier’s transition towards increasing its proportion of self-published revenue." Coaster Park Tycoon is coming to Windows PCs next year, and they say this will combine "accessible creative features with a sophisticated simulation," building on their experience with the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise. Though this sounds like they are adding work, they also announce they are cutting staff, as development positions are being moved from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Cambridge, and 15 employees in "content creation roles" are being cut as a result. On that topic, Gamasutra reports an anonymous source tells them Frontier's Halifax studio is being closed altogether. Here's word on the new game and the layoffs:

Frontier Developments plc (AIM: FDEV, “Frontier”, the “Group”), a leading developer of video games, announces the start of development of a self-published game called Coaster Park Tycoon. This will run as a second franchise alongside continued development of its existing self-published Elite: Dangerous title, and marks the next stage in Frontier’s transition towards increasing its proportion of self-published revenue.

Coaster Park Tycoon

Frontier became the acknowledged leading developer of Tycoon games for its work on the RollerCoaster Tycoon® franchise, particularly its development of 2004’s c.10M unit-selling PC game RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 which is still considered the benchmark of the Tycoon genre, more than ten years after its release in 2004.

Coaster Park Tycoon, scheduled for 2016 release on PC, is intended to raise that benchmark for ‘Tycoon’ gameplay even further by combining accessible creative features with a sophisticated simulation.

Continue here to read the full story.

Five Nights at Freddy's 3 Announced

The Scott Games website has another teaser image following the recent tease presumed to be for Five Nights at Freddy's 3 (along with warnings not to be scammed by Scottgames impersonators). Sure enough, there's now a Steam Greenlight campaign and a new teaser trailer confirming plans for a new installment in the survival/horror series, and offering the following description:

Thirty years after Freddy Fazbear's Pizza closed it's doors, the events that took place there have become nothing more than a rumor and a childhood memory, but the owners of "Fazbear's Fright: The Horror Attraction" are determined to revive the legend and make the experience as authentic as possible for patrons, going to great lengths to find anything that might have survived decades of neglect and ruin.

At first there were only empty shells, a hand, a hook, an old paper-plate doll, but then a remarkable discovery was made...

The attraction now has one animatronic.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Witcher III Video; Previews

As noted on The Witcher website, today GOG.com had a livestream session showing off gameplay from The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, the upcoming RPG sequel. The recording of that session is now available, running a little under 15 minutes. Word is this shows off segments from the game prologue and Skellige islands. This was accompanied by a fan Q&A, and the answers from this are summarized on GameInformer.com. CD Projekt RED also recently held a global hands-on preview event for the game, and this video explains more about that. This resulted in a delicate smattering of hands-on previews that can be found on ComingSoon.net, The Escapist, Flickering Myth, GameSpot, God is a Geek, The Independent, Kotaku, Metro News, NZGamer.com, Only Single Player, Paste, PCWorld, PlayStation Life, PlayStation Universe, Pocket-lint, Shacknews, and XboxAchievements.com. Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light Launch Trailer

Here's a launch trailer for Dying Light, Techland's zombie game that will be released worldwide tomorrow via digital distribution. Here's the slightly premature word from the description: "Dying Light is finally here! Experience an all-new story of survival set in a city devastated by a mysterious infection. Play as Kyle Crane, an undercover operative sent to the quarantine zone with the mission to locate a high-ranking military officer gone missing. As you mission goes sour almost instantly, you soon find yourself caught in the midst of a desperate fight for survival." Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Tavern Songs & Sheet Music for Free

The Dragon Age website now offers the Tavern Songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition as a free download, a temporary offer, as beginning on February 9th this will cease being free and will go on sale on various digital distributors. Additionally, they are offering downloads of the sheet music from these tunes so they can be included in their Fan Celebration Contest. Here's word: "We've received many inquiries from our fans asking where they can get these songs, and we're thrilled that you're enjoying them as much as we do. As our way of saying thank you for being the awesome community that you are, we're excited to announce that for the next two weeks, you can download these songs from a desktop computer free of charge!"

On Sale

  • FEZ on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Painkiller Hell & Damnation on Steam. Save 80%.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Wake No More. Thanks nin. "Am I sleeping? Have I slept at all?"

Ubisoft Deactivating Far Cry 4 Keys; Cites Fraud

An Open Letter on the Ubisoft forums has complaints from gamers who have had their copies of Far Cry 4 removed from their UPlay game libraries, apparently because they were unlocked with game keys from unauthorized sellers, with a number of posts identifying G2A as where they purchased the game. Since the keys themselves are legitimate, this leaves impacted gamers wondering why they are being punished, but apparently this clawback was executed before all the facts have been gathered, as Eurogamer has the following vague statement from Ubisoft:

We regularly deactivate keys that were fraudulently obtained and resold. In this case, we are currently investigating the origin of the fraud, and will update customers as soon as we have more information to share. In the meantime, customers should contact the vendor from whom they purchased the key.

PlanetSide 2 Sets FPS Record

Sony Online Entertainment announces PlanetSide 2 has set a new record for most players online in a single first-person shooter battle. This record was previously held by browser-based shooter Man vs. Machine, which fell one player short of a 1000 player goal in 2012, and word is that PlanetSide 2 has now surpassed that by a good margin after 1,158 players participated in a single battle on one server instance over the weekend. This record is official, as it is fully sanctioned by the people who make the stout and the record books: "This amazing achievement shows not only how truly massive the PlanetSide 2 universe is, but also how inclusive its online community is," said Annie Nguyen, Video Games Records Manager at Guinness World Records. "This title truly embodies the international, record-breaking spirit of Guinness World Records."

DOOM Mythbusters

The Bethesda Blog has word that DOOM will be the subject of this coming weekend's episode of Mythbusters, as apparently they have run out of real myths to bust, and are now testing the limits of reality in virtual reality. They say id Software's Tim Willits will help answer questions about ideas presented in the first-person shooter series, such as: "Is it really possible for someone to carry all those health packs, guns, and even a chainsaw? Using the DOOM universe and DOOM 3 BFG Edition for reference, Tim helps the team recreate a DOOM level in real life." Here are some further questions from the series we can suggest: How long can a monster stay in a closet before it fills with monster poop? Why was it so hard to duct tape a flashlight to a gun? And how do you find the red key in DOOM II level two? Here's a teaser video, and word is: "Catch the episode on Discovery on Saturday, January 31st at 9/8c. For more details, visit the show’s page on Discovery.com." Continue here to read the full story.

WRC 5 Announced

The WRC website announces WRC 5, saying the fifth installment in the FIA World Rally Championship series will be released this fall for Windows and current-generation consoles (thanks Gamer's Hell). A reveal trailer shows off some environments, and here's word (for the record, Kylotonn is the correct spelling out of the two):

After 4 episodes on the previous generation of consoles, WRC reaches a new step toward history. This year, Bigben Interactive and Kylotton Games are proud to announce that WRC 5 will also be available on new generation consoles !

The WRC game series is taking a new shift with the introduction of Kylotonn and will benefit from new development tools and experienced European developers and many surprises are planned for fans in the game.“We are very proud and excited to work on a title dedicated to one of the most challenging and spectacular forms of motor sport,” says Diego Sartori, Creative Director at Kylotonn Games.

Bigben Interactive is also proud to introduce Sébastien Chardonnet as one of the game’s Ambassadors. Sébastien is the 2013 FIA WRC 3 champion who is graduating to the top level of WRC in 2015 in Monte Carlo – after a first attempt in 2012 in France. He has been involved with the concept and planning for WRC 5 since early on in the project.

“It’s exciting to help Kylotonn to make the best WRC game ever seen. Combining my driver and gamer experience with their technical point of view is something interesting when you are trying to do the most realistic game possible,” declares Chardonnet.

Moutains, valleys, snow, rain… That is a long and winding road to get to the WRC title. Will you have what it takes to unleash the driver that lies in you ?

Continue here to read the full story.

Homeworld Remastered Collection Next Month

The Homeworld Remastered Collection will launch on February 25th, announces Gearbox Software, though development of the space strategy relaunch will evidently not be fully complete at that time, as they say saying that all customers "will also receive free access to the Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta when the collection releases." They offer a 90 second teaser trailer to celebrate the news, and the collection is available for pre-purchase on Steam with a 15% discount. Here's word on the new trailer and the multiplayer beta:

The first-ever gameplay footage – shown this weekend to a packed room at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio and available here on YouTube – highlights the extensive effort that has gone into updating the games for modern audiences. Homeworld Remastered Collection refreshes these tremendous games with new, high-resolution textures and models, the latest graphics-rendering technology, as well as a fully remastered score and new voice recordings from the original cast.

Gamers who purchase Homeworld Remastered Collection will also receive access to the Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta, which kicks off alongside Homeworld Remastered Collection on February 25, 2015. Competitive multiplayer modes for Homeworld and Homeworld 2 have been joined to offer players access to races, maps and game modes from both games in one integrated multiplayer experience. This beta combines code from over 15 years ago with newly-written changes, and will be shaped by fan feedback as development progresses.

Continue here to read the full story.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel: Lady Hammerlock Pack Tomorrow

Gearbox Software announces they will release the Lady Hammerlock Pack tomorrow, a new DLC pack which adds Lady Hammerlock as a playable character to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, offering the chance to play as Sir Hammerlock's older sister. There's a trailer on IGN (thanks nin) showing off some gameplay, and confirming that all of the good lady's appendages seem to be present, unlike her refurbished brother. Here's word on the pack, which is part of the season pass, but will also be available separately:

Like every playable character in Borderlands, Aurelia has an action skill and three different skill trees. Her action skill is Cold As Ice, which lets her throw out a Frost Diadem Shard that seeks out enemies and attaches to them, dealing constant damage. If that target dies, the shard will move onto a new enemy, and so on.

Her three skills trees are Huntress, Cold Money, and Contractual Aristocracy. Her Huntress skill tree focuses on sniping, including a skill that offers a massive critical hit bonus for each consecutive hit she lands without missing. Her other skill tree, Cold Money, focuses on ice damage and includes a skill that can add Cryo damage to any gun. Her third skill tree is Contractual Aristocracy, which allows her to turn a co-op teammate into a servant, earning her bonuses for their kills in addition to her own. We’ll have much more info on just how badass Aurelia is in the weeks ahead, so keep an eye out for a deep dive on her skills.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gearbox Recruiting for "Next Borderlands"

A tweet yesterday from Randy Pitchford pitches for recruits to make the next Borderlands game, presumably Borderlands 3: "We are recruiting for next Borderlands. This is the big one. Industry badass? E-mail me: heyrandy@gearboxsoftware.com." This is followed by this tweet: "We want to meet great artists, designers, coders, producers and other developers to help with next Borderlands! http://www.gearboxsoftware.com." Thanks CVG.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Apparently the sky is falling, or something, as the weather forecasts around here call for a serious blizzard today, which could leave up to a couple of feet of snow by the end of the day tomorrow. I'm guessing this won't be as dramatic as all that, as when I paid close attention to one forecast, what they said was this could leave 12"-24" inches, but that this could turn out to be lower if the storm forms further east than they are anticipating. This sounds to me like the low number of their estimate is intentionally too high, which meshes with expectations that news organizations are drawn to weather hyperbole, and an explanation of how you can end up with 6" of snow when they are saying it could be as much as two feet.

R.I.P.: Joe Franklin dead at 88. Non-New Yorkers may still know him thanks to Billy Crystal's SNL impression.

Link Forecast: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Invert Selection Level Pack.
Mafia Driver: Omerta.
Science: New painkiller found in coffee – stronger than morphine.
Scientists figure out to unboil an egg.
Day Tripping: Benefits Seen in Psychedelics.
Media: OUTLAST- PART 6 (Teens React- Gaming).
A dog helps the cat.
A New Level Of Archery Skills.
Auction: 47-year-old Star Trek phaser to be sold for $60,000. Thanks HARDOCP.
Follow-up: U.S. Navy Railgun Video Shows The Future Weapon’s Power, In February See It In Person. Thanks HARDOCP.

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