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Monday, Nov 16, 2009

  

Gratuitous Space Battles on Steam, Expansion Plans Revealed

Steam announces that Gratuitous Space Battles is now available on their service, and on sale for 10% off until Monday. Positech's space tactics game is also for sale on Direct2Drive and Impulse as well as directly from Positech Games, where you can also download the demo. Meanwhile, Positech's cliffski tweets about add-on plans, saying: "doing expansion pack groundwork."

A Kingdom For Keflings for PC

The ninjabee forums have word that a Windows edition of A Kingdom For Keflings is in the works, offering PC owners this city building game that's been out for some time on Xbox LIVE. The post outlines how to participate in beta testing of the PC edition of the game, and testers are promised a free copy of the game upon its release. Thanks IGN.

EEDAR: Marketing Sells More Than Good Reviews

GamesIndusty.biz quotes EEDAR's Jesse Divnich speaking at the Montreal International Games Summit saying game marketing is far more influential than review scores, where he said: "You can make the greatest game and it won't even matter. I know that's discouraging to developers at first but it's very true." He goes on to say: "Marketing influences game revenue three times more than quality scores. There's a giant myth out there that reviews scores are the most crucial to a videogame." They offer a couple of examples, thought the second is a bit odd, as it reflects an approximate 300% sales boost based on a greater than 1000% increase in marketing budget:

For its first three months on sale, BioShock, which had $5.5 million in US marketing behind it, sold twice as many copies of EA's Dead Space, which had a budget of $2 million. The same results were found for EA Sports Active, which sold around 720,000 copies with a marketing budget of $5.6 million, compared to My Fitness Coach, which shifted an estimated 250,000 units backed with a $50,000 budget.

Star Trek Online Q&As

Ships! Star Trek Online community Q&A Part One and Part Two on Massively offers answers to community-submitted questions were everyone seriously geeks out about Trekkie spaceships in Star Trek Online, Cryptic's upcoming sci-fi MMORPG. Their next interview is on the topic of combat, and they are now soliciting questions for that. Jumping that gun, or phaser, rather is the Star Trek Online Ground Combat Q&A with Dan Stahl on Ten Ton Hammer.

Gatherings & Competitions

On Sale

Evening Previews

  • Command & Conquer 4 Multiplayer on IncGamers.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: NES Left 4 Dead Gameplay Video 1 (thanks Joystiq). Also, The ultimate boy toy (thanks Mike Martinez) in case you want to know what to get me for my birthday. Finally, an alert for you stargazers: Strong Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks Early Tuesday Morning (thanks brother19).

R.I.P.: Ikari Warriors Publisher Passes On.

Impulse Top 9 Games

Gearbox Passed on Blade Runner

The Official Xbox 360 Magazine has some comments from Gearbox president Randy Pitchford (thankfully not directed at another developer this time) about how Gearbox passed on the opportunity to create a licensed Blade Runner game. "We chased it down and we coulda had it. But that one failed on the business side, because the way we wanted to do it we wanted to spend 25 million dollars. And when you do the math on that, we weren't going to make it back," Pitchford says. "You're going to spend 25 million, there's another 10-15 risk just in the publishing process, and then you got another 10-15 million marketing, and we didn't think that we could make that back. So that's too bad." And imagine the origami mini-games with the wiimote! Thanks Computer and Video Games.

Lineage II Expands Tomorrow - Former Subscriptions Reactivated

The Lineage II - The Chaotic Throne Website has word that the Gracia Epilogue add-on for NCsoft's MMORPG will go live tomorrow, offering "the latest installment to the Lineage II saga with the highly-anticipated Gracia Epilogue update featuring the final chapter in the Gracia storyline, re-conceptualised hunting grounds and brand new utilities to enhance gameplay." There's a new Epilogue Gracia- The 2nd Throne trailer from the expansion on GameTrailers.com. NCsoft also announces a limited-time offer of bonus time to be added to long-term subscriptions. Also, NCsoft announces they will offer account reactivations to allow previous players with accounts in good standing the opportunity to try the new content.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Patch

A new unofficial patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines celebrates the fifth anniversary of the release of the action/RPG by updating it to version 6.6. The new version fixes more bugs and unlocks more of Troika's content that was never active within the game. The changelog outlines all the changes, and the patch itself is available from its official home on The Patches Scrolls.

Ships Ahoy - WorldShift

WorldShift For PC Ships To Stores Nationwide is the announcement from Got Game Entertainment that Black Sea Studios' real-time strategy game is now available in North America, just a bit after it was expected. Here's the deal:

Weston, Conn.-November 16, 2009 - Got Game Entertainment LLC, a leading publisher of interactive entertainment games, today announced that the long-anticipated next-gen cyber-fantasy, real-time strategy game for the PC, WorldShift, has shipped to retail. Published in agreement with Playlogic Entertainment, Inc. and developed by Black Sea Studios -- the team behind ''Knights of Honor'' -- WorldShift offers an exciting combination of a bold, immersive world, fierce and hectic action, and a unique gaming system that allows for faster ramp up. WorldShift is now available at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $39.99 (USD) and is rated "T" for Teen (Blood, Fantasy Violence) by the ESRB. For more information visit http://www.gotgameentertainment.com/worldshift/index.html.

"We are thrilled to bring this attention-grabbing PC game to retail in North America," said Howard Horowitz, Founder of Got Game Entertainment LLC. "RTS players are fiercely loyal to the genre and we know they are highly anticipating this game. In addition, we think that players who have been somewhat hesitant to pick up an RTS previously will find WorldShift to be easily accessible and quite addictive as well."

MW2 Ghost Spin-off?

That VideoGame Blog spoke with Craig Fairbrass, voice actor for the Ghost character in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, about the possibility that his character will be part of a spin-off game, presuming the "they" he references is Infinity Ward: "I did in the last game a voice for a character called Gaz and in this game I’m now voicing a guy called Ghost, who now just got a spin-off comic of his own and they’re talking about another little game to go with it." Thanks MCV.

Shattered Horizon Moonrise Announced

Futuremark Games Studio announces plans for Moonrise, a free expansion for Shattered Horizon, their zero-G fist-person shooter. Here's the announcement:

HELSINKI, FINLAND – NOVEMBER 16, 2009 – Futuremark® Games Studio today revealed plans for the first content pack for Shattered Horizon™, their PC exclusive multiplayer first-person shooter. The "Moonrise" pack, which will be free to all players, will include four new levels effectively doubling the number of levels in the game. http://www.shatteredhorizon.com/

In Shattered Horizon, a catastrophic explosion on the Moon has filled near-Earth space with billions of tons of rocky debris. Teams of players fight in zero gravity to control the limited supplies that mean the difference between survival and death in the cold of space. The Moonrise content pack includes four new levels set around the shattered Moon, taking the fight deeper into space and showing a new side to the conflict.

Although a release date for the Moonrise pack has not been announced, players who pre-ordered Shattered Horizon will be invited to start play-testing the new levels this week.

"Selected players will help us test the new Moonrise levels from a very early stage," said Antti Summala, lead designer. "Level design for zero gravity combat is a big challenge and we are looking forward to having real players help us create new experiences that cannot be found in other FPS games."

New MW2 PC Petition

As noted in the Infinity Ward Forums, a second Modern Warfare 2 PC Petition is now online. The first MW2 PC petition was dismissed by many since the military shooter sequel was not available to judge, so this new post-release petition is armed with confirmed facts about the release. The petition calls once again for dedicated servers as well as support for expected features like an in-game console, a "/record" feature, lean, auto-balancing, multiple profiles, better graphics and FOV control, actual ping readouts in ms (not graphs), and a tournament game type (like Promod). They say: "It is requested that all signatories only sign once (and as themselves) so that this petition accurately represents the views/concerns/feedback of the PC Community." There are well over 200,000 signatures on the Dedicated Servers petition that was ignored, so this effort has an uphill battle.

New Renegade X

The Command and Conquer: Renegade Official Forums have news of the release of a new version 0.40 of the Renegade X modification for Unreal Tournament 3. This change list has all that's new and different, and they also have links to a new gameplay trailer showing off the mod, which is based on the Command & Conquer universe. They also offer a preliminary outlook on how they will be taking advantage of the new Unreal Development Kit. Thanks Ant via Planet Command & Conquer.

Wings of Prey Website

A new Wings of Prey Website is home to the upcoming Windows edition of Birds of Prey, the World War II aerial combat game. The new site includes in-game screenshots, game info, a video, descriptions of campaigns and planes, forums, and more.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Legal Briefs

Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Thanks The Crypt.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I joked with friends that the just-concluded weekend would be the high-point for the Giants in over a month, since they were not playing, and thus, could not lose again. Then the Eagles and Cowboys both lost and made the joke come true.

R.I.P.: Actor Edward Woodward dies at 79.

Ham-fisted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Wings Of Fury.
ClickPlay 2.
Links: 12 Sci-Fi Shows That Were Canceled Too Soon. Thanks Digg.
Hiring Pot Heads and Dead Heads for New Hippie Jobs.
Story: Sex infections still growing in U.S., says CDC. Thanks Acleacius.
Science: British scientists testing Ukrainian 'super flu' that has killed 189 people. Thanks Acleacius.
Mystery of world’s worst mass poisoning solved, but problem remains. Thanks Acleacius.
NASA Fuels Space Shuttle Atlantis for Liftoff.
Images: Thanks for killing my childhood LAPD. Thanks Digg.
Alice in Wonderland Poster. Thanks Sliv.
Media: Modern Warfare 2 - Death by Care Package. Thanks Ralph.
And the Winner Is....
SpatSolver.
The Funnies: Dilbert.

Sunday, Nov 15, 2009

New Unreal Development Kit Beta

Epic Games now offers a new beta 2 of the Unreal Development Kit, an updated version of the toolset to create standalone Unreal-engine games. A number of bugs and other issues are cleared up in the new beta. The download is mirrored on Worthplaying.

Free MechWarrior 4 Status

The MekTek.net Development Page has a status report on the planned free release of MechWarrior 4 (thanks Hump). There have been some complications, but there still is optimism that a release nears:

The Mechwarrior4 FREE release is still currently to be announced. MekTek had hoped to gain permission for the release while visiting Smith and Tinker, Inc. in Seattle this week. However, we have learned that Microsoft has endured several administrative changes which currently impede the release. The good news, however, is that a meeting to finalize the release is scheduled near the American Thanks Giving Holiday. Smith and Tinker said that it will only take 1-2 more days before permission is granted. From MekTek, we are happy to report that the release is ready and awaiting permission to push that big shiny green release button at MekTek headquarters.

Saboteur Specs

The EA Forums has system specifications for The Saboteur, Pandemic's upcoming World War II action/stealth game (thanks Big Download). Word is:

REQUIRED SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS:

OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7
CPU: Core 2 Dual Core 2.4GHz or AMD equivalent
RAM: 2GB or more
DISC DRIVE: Dual Layer 1x or faster DVD Drive
Hard Drive: At least 7GB of free space
Video: Nvidia Geforce 7800 GTX with 256MB of VRAM or ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro with 256MB of VRAM
Sound: Direct X 9.0c compatible sound card

Suggested Configuration:

OS: Windows XP - SP3 or Windows Vista - SP1
Processor: Quad Core running at 2.8 GHz or equivalent
Memory : 2 GB RAM (Windows XP) or 3 GB RAM (Windows Vista/7)
GPU: nVidia 8800 GT graphics card
VRAM: 512 MB

Dawn of War 2 - Chaos Rising Diary

A new Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 - Chaos Rising video developer diary discusses the upcoming expansion for Relic's sci-fi RTS sequel. The diary discusses the subtle motivations of the chaos forces, the abilities of Jonah the Librarian, the corruption system, multiple endings, environments, and more. The clip is posted on ActionTrip, GameTrailers.com, and WorthPlaying.

Mass Effect 2 Trailers

Gametrailers.com has three new trailers from Mass Effect 2, BioWare's upcoming RPG sequel: Scientist Mordin, Vanguard Class Reveal, and Illusive Man, featuring the voice of Martin Sheen.

Brink Interview

The Brink interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun chats with Ed "Bababooie" Stern of Splash Damage about Brink, their upcoming first person shooter. Topics include the escape from Enemy Territory, gamepad support in the shooter, exaggerated art styles, cinematics, the game's setting, multiplayer support, and more.

Steam Top 10ish

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Nexus NX-5000 PSU on RBMODS.

Out of the Blue

Something went amiss on the server at some point, causing the forums and other sub-pages to misfire, though the maIn news page still worked. Apologies for that. Frans was unavailable this morning, so I took the brute force approach and rebooted the server, but that only made things worse. Frans has fixed things up once again, and hopefully I haven't screwed up something else with my ham-fisted approach to problem solving.

Ham-fisted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Creeper World Training Simulator.
Links: 73 Year Old Has Wrecked Over 10 Exotic Cars. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Thousands shun colour television. Thanks Digg.
Never-before-seen 'Star Trek' pilot found.
Science: Koalas 'could face extinction'. Thanks Boing Boing.
Images: Who needs modern war when there's Modern Warfare 2. Thanks Digg.
Media: Extremely lucky knife throw in Modern Warfare 2. Thanks Ralph.
Top 10 Beards in Gaming.
Follow-ups: For Marijuana, a Move Into the Open in a Ski Town. Thanks j.c.f.
The Funnies: FoxTrot.



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