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Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009

  

Braid Patch, Editor Plans

Steam News announces a new patch for Braid is now automatically available, fixing the screenshot function and the speed run achievement, along with a number of graphical glitches. Also, the Steam Users' Forums (thanks Destructoid) have details on how to access the game's internal map editor, and a post along the way from Jonathan Blow explaining plans to fix and enhance the editor going forward:

Yeah, after I get a new version out in a few days that fixes the problems some people are having, and when more people have played/finished the game, I am going to post some documentation for the editor. The way it works is you can make levels with the editor (up to a full game, potentially) and run that with -universe later... also a tool will be released that lets you take Photoshop files and import them into the game, if you want to put new graphics in your levels.

The Ghostbusters Saga

A Ghostbusters update on the Ghostbusters IGN Blog offers an interesting history of the project to make a Ghostbusters game written by Terminal Reality Creative Director Drew Haworth. Topics like the non-participation of actors Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver, as well as an explanation of that confusing Ghostbusters concept video from developer ZootFly, and how it complicated the secretive process of the game's early development. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Fallen Earth Interview

The Interview with Fallen Earth's Marie Croall on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talks with the Content Team Lead for Fallen Earth, the upcoming post-apocalyptic MMOG. Topics include the game's environments, factions, how "classless advancement" works, avoiding MMO-launch pitfalls, and more.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Tech Bits

Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Movie

A new trailer from X-Men Origins: Wolverine shows off gambit from the upcoming superhero movie tie-in, as well as what appear to be a couple of other characters from the game like a Sentinel and what appears to be a proto-Juggernaut (bitch!). The clip is posted on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Damnation Trailer

A new developer-narrated movie from Damnation is now available on the official website for Blue Omega's upcoming vertically unchallenged steam-punk themed shooter. They say, "the 'Levels & Environments' video features developer commentary from Blue Omega's Jacob Minkoff and offers an insight into how Blue Omega created such awe-inspiring game environments and the vertical nature of the expansive levels on offer in Damnation." The clip is also mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Trine Movie

A new Trine movie offers a look at co-op play from this upcoming action/platformer where if you're not flyin', you're not Trine. Word is: "The second trailer showcases the co-operative mode, where the three characters – the Wizard, the Knight and the Thief – work together to overcome obstacles and beat enemies. In co-op mode the players can invent even more creative solutions to puzzles and battles using each character's strengths to their advantage. Players can also join in at any time and leave freely, making the game perfect for co-op." The clip can be found on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.

Steam GTAIV Patched

Catch-up day continues on Steam, where they now offer their edition of the Grand Theft Auto IV PC version 1.0.3.0 patch released in manual form last month. This page outlines all the changes in the update.

Steam Sacred 2 Patched

Steam now offers the promised automatic update for Sacred 2: Fallen Angel to bring the digitally distributed version of Ascaron Entertainment's action/RPG up to version 2.40, in line with the recent patch for the retail edition. This page has details on the patch.

X3:Terran Conflict Patched

Steam News also announces the patch for X3:Terran Conflict is now automatically available to add the The Aldrin Missions content to EGOSOFT's space simulator. The update adds new missions, new factories, a new ship, and much more.

Ships Ahoy - Demigod

Stardock and Gas Powered Games announce that Demigod is now available in North American stores and for worldwide digital distribution, though the action/strategy game has actually inadvertently been available for a while already. Here's the announcement:

PLYMOUTH, MI (APRIL 14, 2009) - Stardock (www.stardock.com) announced today that its much anticipated PC real-time action strategy game, Demigod is now available for purchase at most retail outlets in North America as well as available worldwide digitally via Impulse (www.impulsedriven.com) at the same price ($39.95) no matter where the person is located.

Developed by renowned gaming studio Gas Powered Games, Demigod lets players take control of an immensely powerful being whose goal is to defeat his brethren in a series of epic arenas in order to ascend into the pantheon of the gods. During the course of each battle, players gain experience, purchase equipment, learn magical spells, capture key resources and upgrade their Citadel while working to lay waste the opposing faction.

Demigod battles take place in spectacular environments that are visually stunning and yet still run well on relatively older hardware thanks to a new technology developed by Gas Powered Games that optimizes the way rendering is executed on most video cards.

“Demigod in many ways captures the combined spirit of two hit Gas Powered Games titles – Supreme Commander and Dungeon Siege,” said Brad Wardell, president & CEO of Stardock. “In Demigod, the player controls a massively powerful unit who in some ways is like the commander in Supreme Commander except here, like in Dungeon Siege, the character can purchase equipment, buy items, and go up in level as he gains experience to access more powerful skills.”

In single player, Demigod provides both a skirmish mode for individual battles as well as a tournament in which players choose a Demigod and compete against other Demigods controlled by the computer to gain the most favor points with the gods in order to ascend.

In multiplayer, players can compete in online skirmishes in which matches players together based on their skill and experience or participate in the Pantheon, a persistent online tournament in which players choose a faction and earn favor points to through victory in the arena. Wins, losses, experience and much more is available.

Demigod is also the first PC title to make full use of Stardock’s new development platform, Impulse Reactor which provides Demigod with its in-game community features (friends, chat, tournaments, matchmaking, and more).

Like all Stardock games, the retail version of the game contains no DRM or copy protection. It includes Impulse to allow users to update to the latest version or even re-download the entire game. Players can install the game on multiple computers via Impulse without a hassle.

For further details about Demigod, please visit www.demigodthegame.com.

For more information about Stardock please visit www.stardock.com.

Six Days in Fallujah Announcement

Konami officially announces Six Days in Fallujah, the third-person shooter, which has caused quite an uproar since it was first revealed here, a trend that doesn't look like it's ending soon if Peter Tamte's recent comments that the game will include a contribution from insurgents (thanks GamePolitics) are any indication. Here's the official announcement:

El Segundo, Calif. - April 14, 2009 - Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., announced today that Six Days in Fallujah is currently in development for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. Developed by Atomic Games, Six Days in Fallujah is a new third person shooter experience that puts the player in the center of the largest urban military operation in four decades. Six Days in Fallujah combines the action of a military shooter with the realism of a documentary film to create a new kind of experience that is both historical and engaging. Partnering with over three dozen US Marines to help develop the game along with unprecedented access to battle plans, after action reports, photos, videos and satellite maps makes this game the most authentic military shooter to date. Coupled with missions, objectives and scenarios grounded in factual events, Six Days in Fallujah will create an authentic 3rd person shooter unlike any ever developed.

"Six Days in Fallujah creates a very compelling interactive experience," said Brian Christian, Vice President of Product Development for Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "We are creating a 3rd person shooter unlike any other by combining a brand new game engine, authentic weaponry, missions and combat set against the gripping story of the US Marines on the ground."

Six Days in Fallujah lets players experience the historic battle of Fallujah as a US Marine fire-team leader and places them in the heat of the action against the insurgency. Players are able to physically shape the battlefield just as US Marines did during the battle in Fallujah. Create new lines of attack by kicking in doors, blowing up walls, eliminating enemy cover and destroying the environment around them. To make the battle even more authentic, heavy emphasis has been put into the environments using real world satellite maps, weapons from US Marines and vehicles used in the conflict to fully immerse players in this epic confrontation and experience what it was like to be a Marine on the ground. In addition, Six Days in Fallujah will include multiplayer functionality - allowing players to team up with other fire team members in co-op and online modes.

Six Days in Fallujah is scheduled to be released in 2010 on Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION®3 system and Windows PC.

More New Trademarks

superannuation continues keeping a watchful eye on the doings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They note that SCEA has filed a trademark registration for Starhawk and another report shows SCEA has also filed for a trademark for Dominion (which is the name of a cancelled game from Pharaoh Productions and an Open Source MMOG that never saw the light of day). They also have word that Square Enix has filed a trademark registration for Front Mission Evolved, and finally, they also inform us Artists Patrick Morgan, Ed Acosta, and Taesoo Kim have filed a trademark registration "for intend gaming use of their forthcoming vinyl toy Whaleboy."

World of Warcraft Patches

Manual editions of the new version 3.10 patch for World of Warcraft are now available for some of the localized editions of Blizzard's MMORPG. The patch for the US/Aus edition is now available from AtomicGamer, FileFront, FileShack, IncGamers, Strategy Informer, and The Patches Scrolls; and some of the other localized patches can now be found on AtomicGamer, Strategy Informer, and The Patches Scrolls. A story from earlier today has links to info and a new movie for the new version.

NCsoft NorCal now Paragon Studios

NCsoft announces their internal studio that picked up support for City of Heroes from developer Cryptic Studios will henceforth be known as Paragon Studios. "The renaming of our studio to Paragon Studios represents our devotion to the present and future of the City of Heroes series" is the supplied quote from said Brian Clayton, general manager of Paragon Studios, who goes on to say: "As pioneers in the comic book-inspired MMO genre, together with our esteemed veteran development team, it is our mission to continually strive for innovation, solidify the strength of our brand, and continue providing high quality experiences for City of Heroes and any future projects that come from Paragon Studios."

Westwood College Sued

Westwood College Sued For Fraud on VideoSift is a video of a news report on Westwood College, famed for their commercial where potential designers are told to tighten up the graphics on level 3. Word is students pay $27,000-$34,000 for an 18 month program, which is as much as four years of tuition in some schools or a year at Harvard, and that in spite of Westwood's claims of accreditation, most students find they cannot transfer credits to other schools. 67 past students are now suing the school for deceptive trade practices and breach of contract. The clip also shows representatives of Westwood reneging on an offer to appear on-camera about this, but the report concludes saying Westwood tells the TV station it is eager for a face-to-face interview on the topic. Thanks Ant.

WoW Patch Today

The World of Warcraft Forums mentions extended maintenance on all realms preparing for the launch of the new version 3.1 update for World of Warcraft, which will apparently be rolled out today. The Test Realm Patch Notes outline what's new in the new version of the MMORPG, and Blizzard also has a Secrets of Uldar Patch 3.1 Page with a more general outline of the new version, along with screenshots and a new trailer featuring new content introduced with the patch. Thanks IncGamers.

Morning Consolidation

Wolverine Sequel?

GameZone Talks it Up with Dan Vondrak about X-Men Origins: Wolverine offers a conversation about Raven's upcoming superhero game. Topics include the story, the (lack of) participation of the film's creators, mature content, how the game project started before it was a movie tie-in, the fact that they are already sketching out plans for a sequel (though this hasn't yet been greenlit), and more.

New P.U.R.E.

Mod DB reports the availability of a new RC6 of P.U.R.E., the freeware Windows, Linux, and Mac real-time strategy game. Word is: "If you haven't tried P.U.R.E., this is a great time to give it a whirl. The game's been improving steadily with each release, and we're confident that you will enjoy this game. There's more stuff to blow up, more things to interact with, and more things to do than ever before." There is a "barebones" release "for users who have a separate installation of the Spring Engine and Linux users," mirrored on AtomicGamer. The full version "for people who have not installed P.U.R.E. before, or for users who wish to upgrade their previous installation" is mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

New StuntMANIA!pro

Sector3 Games now offers a new version 3.1.1 of StuntMANIA!pro, their stunt-driving game. The new version addresses a couple of bugs, optimizes the game further for lower-end systems, and reduces the game's memory requirements. The new Windows version is mirrored on AtomicGamer and FileFront. The new Mac version is mirrored on AtomicGamer and FileFront.

Op Ed

Gamasutra - Choosing The Game Engine That Can.
"'I get the feeling that most developers who want to build their own are cocky bastards who just want to prove themselves,' he observes, 'and that's a good attitude to have, a very healthy one. But, for most start-ups, it's far less risky to license somebody else's engine. Today's climate is very different from when we started in '97.'"

Kotaku - Can Games Handle History?
"Some don't. There are developers – and these can often be found creating games in which action is the primary focus – who use historical events as a bullet point on the back of the box. The glut of Second World War games over the past decade are probably the best example, using the 20th century's most brutal conflict as nothing more than window dressing for a fast-twitch action experience."

Gatherings & Competitions

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

So the Mets opened up their new ballpark last night, and in essence, lost the game on a balk. I hope that's not an omen or something, or the team could have an odd future. Now that I think of it, they have a pretty odd past already, so I guess I shouldn't sweat it too much.

Ominous Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Swing that Freak.
Link: Coffee Lid Caddy Proves Even Humble Coffee Lids Are Ripe For Innovation.
Story: Geriatric porn star an inspiration for the old. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: Color Vision: How Our Eyes Reflect Primate Evolution. Thanks j.c.f.
Media: Extended Edition -- History of Video Games (37 titles added).
Wolverine sent me here as an offense to both of us.
Wow this goalie can kick...air. FAIL!
Follow-up: Experts say develop eggs using stem cells from mice.



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