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Monday, Nov 17, 2008

  

WAR Patch Changes

The Warhammer Online Website has word from Mythic Entertainment's Mark Jacobs on a change in plans for the upcoming version 1.0.5 patch for their MMORPG. After identifying some issues with the patch after placing it on their new Public Test Server, they are going to shift the Combat and Careers content to the version 1.0.6 patch that will follow. He outlines some specific career changes they are planning, and in the meantime, says they will continue to test version 1.0.5 on the PTS, saying: "we will not rush these changes on to the LIVE servers until we are sure that they have been thoroughly tested and that the changes are working the way that the designers planned." This must mean they are confident that the changes remaining in the version 1.0.5 update are ready for prime time, as he goes on to say: "Additionally, 1.0.5 will now focus on the “Heavy Metal” event that paves the way for the introduction of the Blackguard and the Knight of the Blazing Sun as well as a few other changes including fixes/improvements to our Realm War system. We expect to deploy 1.0.5 tomorrow to our LIVE servers." Thanks Massively.

Definitely No PC Halo Wars, Maybe

VideoGamer has a quote from Graeme Devine from a Microsoft press event last week where the Ensemble designer definitively says there will be no Halo Wars for Windows, in spite of near constant speculation that the Halo-themed RTS game would inevitably land on the preeminent real-time strategy platform. That would seem to clear this up once and for all, except, of course, for the part where he admits the owner of the property has the final say in the matter: "Zero. Never. I'm going to go on the record and say never ever! Microsoft may go and announce it, but I'll say never." So there, it's settled. Sort of. Graeme also goes on to comment that the successor to Ensemble mentioned when the studios' closing was announced is still in the cards: "There's a new studio forming that will rise from Ensemble."

Mac & Linux Penumbra: Requiem Now Available

Frictional Games announces the release of Penumbra: Requiem for Mac & Linux, the puzzle expansion for the Penumbra horror series that was released for Windows during the summer. Requiem for Mac and Linux is available only via digital distribution, for $9.99 USD, and also: "Driven completely insane from creating the Penumbra games, Frictional Games is offering all three Penumbra games as a collection at a horrific price of USD 35. This offer is available through the online store and is for Mac & Linux only."

Demiurge Expands, Plans New IP

Demiurge Studios announces they've hired designer Harley Baldwin White-Wiedow, a 14-year veteran of the game development industry, most recently serving as lead designer on Tomb Raider: Underworld. An interesting aspect of the announcement is the indication that Demiurge, a developer mostly associated with ports (Mass Effect for PC, Brothers in Arms: Double Time for Wii) is looking to develop their own intellectual property: "White-Wiedow will be working on an unannounced project and heading Demiurge Studios' original property development efforts."

Prince of Persia Interview

Prince of Persia interview on Destructoid chats with producer Ben Mattes about the return of the prince, discussing the game's concurrent development with Assassin's Creed, how the new game is the spiritual successor to Sands of Time, and how you can have a Prince of Persia game where the main character is not a prince and the setting is now Persia. They also highlight a quote where Ben says the "Wii version is non-existent," though he does say: "I hope that we will see another Prince of Persia game on the Wii." Thanks Mike Martinez.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Mobilization

Metaverse

Legal Briefs

Safety Dance

Thanks Ant.

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Thanks Ant.

Into the Black

Spore Patch

The Spore Patch Page announces the availability of the promised third patch for Spore, updating the life simulation to version 1.03 for either Windows or MacOS. Here's word on what the patch offers in addition to a few bug fixes: "Maxis wants to thank you by giving you some free parts in the Creature Creator. We've created 24 new exoskeleton limbs! You can combine them with parts from Creepy & Cute Parts Pack to create new, awesome creatures. To get the patch, launch Spore. If you didn't install the EADM when you installed Spore, you can download it here." Thanks Gavin.

Stardock's Star Control & MOO Ambitions

Gamasutra offers some quotes from Stardock CEO Brad Wardell, who admits they have other old-school ambitions after acknowledging their recently announced Elemental: War of Magic is an homage to Microprose's Master of Magic. Wardell says he's also pitched Atari on revisiting both the Star Control and Master of Orion franchises, albeit unsuccessfully, so there are no current plans to pursue either project, but he does say Stardock is contemplating another game as they prepare to put a second internal development team to work. His comments about the Star Control series and Master of Orion series are interesting, as, like the recent Superman movie, he envisions pretending the most recent games in each series occurred in the same non-existent alternate universe in which Superman III and IV were set, saying a Star Control game would follow Star Control II, rather than III, and likewise, were they to take on Master of Orion IV, it would be a sequel to Master of Orion II, sagely observing: "If you're making a game that ends with '3,' or Something: The Sequel, it should be similar to the original game."

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Movie

Monolith's upcoming F.E.A.R. sequel is on display in a new F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin behind-the-scenes trailer, in which designer Craig Hubbard talks about the story in the horror-themed shooter. The clip is available on the game's community website, and mirrored on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

Left 4 Dead TV Spot

Valve has released another TV spot for Left 4 Dead, a new clip that will begin airing tomorrow to coincide with the retail availability of the multiplayer zombie shooter. The clip is part of their $10 million ad campaign for the game, though I'm pretty sure they are not sending any of us any of that money for watching it on our own machines. If you're okay with that, you can grab the clip from FileFront and Gamer's Hell. In the meantime, today is the last day the playable demo will be running, and also the last day the Steam Left 4 Dead pre-purchase discount is in effect.

Even Ensemble Doesn't Understand Their Closure

There's an interview with Dave Pottinger on Shacknews that talks with the director of technology at Ensemble Studios about the news that they are being closed by owner Microsoft. Topics include the success of the Age of Empires franchise, the promise of their Halo Wars project, and their cancelled Halo MMOG. The conversation about all those successful and potentially successful projects naturally drifts to questions about why a studio with such a pedigree would be closed, but Dave seems as mystified by this as the rest of us: "They... they have a plan. We're not in it the way that we used to be. It's... they're making the choice that they need to make to be profitable, and make the right choice for the shareholders and things like that. It's hard to look at the stuff Ensemble's done and equate those two things, and justify it in that sense, but..."

Strong Bad Episode 4 & Demo Released

Telltale Games now offers digital sales and distribution of Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, the fourth installment in the five-episode adventure series known as Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. Word is: "Move over, James Bond! Strong Bad's here to show you how it's done in his hand-crafted cinematic masterpiece. You play Dangeresque, a dirty cop in pursuit of action and big sacks of cash. Can our hero defeat his arch-nemesis and save the world? Looks like he's gonna have to jump... " The game, which is also available via WiiWare, is accompanied by a playable demo, which is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

East India Company Movie

Publisher Lighthouse Interactive and developer Nitro Games offer a new trailer from East India Company, the upcoming historical real-time strategy game. Here's the official description of the clip: "This teaser highlights the key gameplay aspects of this stunning historical real-time strategy game – Manage, Rule, and Fight to build the World’s greatest trading empire! East India Company (PC) is scheduled for release across Canada and the United States in Q1 2009." The movie is posted on FileFront and Gamer's Hell.

A Vampyre Story Demo

The A Vampyre Story Website now offers a playable demo for A Vampyre Story, offering the chance to see if this vampiric adventure game from Bill Tiller and Autumn Moon Entertainment sucks in a good way or not. Word is: "In the demo, Mona and Froderick are in trouble: They are on the Vlad's Landing Graveyard and Picknick Grounds, looking for Mona's grave, in order to retreive [sic] some grave dirt that Mona needs to put in her coffin for travelling. This short slice of the game gives a short glimpse of how versatile and multi-faceted the puzzles can be - as well as presenting the athmospheric [sic] art and music and humor, of course!" The demo features support for both English and German languages. Word is the full game "will be released on the 24th in the UK and soon in the US and on any decent download retail service, like GameTap, metaboli and GamersGate." The demo is mirrored on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FileFront.com, and Gamer's Hell.

Op Ed

Morning Consolidation

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A couple of folks asked about my plans to catch the new Bond movie. I had hoped to see it over the weekend, but that did not work out, so we'll just have to see how it goes. I'll just remain happy they've repaired the franchise to the point where I care again: Before the Daniel Craig reboot it was a long time since I concerned myself this much with seeing the latest Bond in theaters, and I'm enjoying it before they build back up to having invisible cars.

R.I.P.: Mitch Mitchell, drummer for Jimi Hendrix Experience, dies at 62. Thanks Brad

Rebooted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: The Game.
Links: The smaller the enemy, the bigger the prick.
Top 10 Video Game Clichés. Thanks Digg.
Stories: 'Lost' Beatles track could finally be heard.
Media: Sheldon Uses A Driving Simulator.
Final Countdown - The Ultimate Version. Thanks Anonymous Coward.
Senior Adult Choir Hip Hop (Short Version).
Follow-up: NASA keeps eye on two shuttle problems.
The Funnies: Ctrl+Alt+Del. End Guy Blues.



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