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Saturday, Aug 07, 2010

  

EverQuest Next Revealed

Massively reports from Sony Online Entertainment's Fan Faire 2010, where SOE president John Smedley discussed the future of the EverQuest series of MMORPGs in his community address. In addition to discussing EQII Extended and expansions, Smedley also revealed a new project referred to by the working title EverQuest Next. He didn't offer details, but he apparently hinted that more would be revealed before the conclusion of the event. In the meantime they have a piece of art that SOE says is an in-game screenshot.

On Valve's DotA Game

Voiceover artist Jon St. John, the voice of Duke Nukem tweets of his work for Valve, revealing plans for a Defense of the Ancients game: "Had a great time in Seattle last week recording for DotA. The guys at ValveSoftware are awesome! Going to PAX? Might see you there - Sept3-5." Thanks Joystiq. IceFrog, developer of the original DotA modification for Warcraft III, joined Valve in October 2009, and offered indications earlier this year that a DoTA game announcement was coming soon.

Contagion Revealed

A new Monochrome Games Website reveals plans for Contagion, a commercial game based on the Zombie Panic Half-Life 1 & 2 modification. Word is: "Contagion is a spiritual successor to the hottest Half-Life 2 mod since 2008, Zombie Panic: Source. Eugene and Marcus, icons of the mod return to do what they do best - Survive and stomp out any undead that may cross their path. Contagion will be a story driven, atmospheric experience, throwing you into the middle of a zombie outbreak with a focus on survival. As the player you will not have the luxury of a suitcase of ammo and a trolley to carry along your weapon stash." Thanks Big Download.

Clint Hocking Joins LucasArts

Clint Hocking has joined LucasArts, about three months after departing Ubisoft saying he was "too content." His employment at LucasArts is revealed via this tweet, and GameSpot follows up with a statement from LucasArts: "We are pleased to announce that Clint Hocking has joined LucasArts as creative director on an unannounced project."

Iron Grip: Marauders Beta Next Week

Iron Grip: Marauders Website offers release scheduling for ISOTX's upcoming browser-based steampunk airship game. They say the game will enter an invite-only beta on Monday, and while there's no firm schedule on when this will conclude, they expect the game to open fully in the fourth quarter of this year. Word is: "The 'invite-only' beta is intended to allow a small amount of people to play Marauders at launch. People who had access to the initial beta will be given access to the game, and following that, a splash page will go up for a limited amount of time at varying intervals, allowing players to sign up when it is available. Once this initial 'sign up' period has ended, Marauders will launch into a full-blown recruit-a-friend beta, and more details on that will be available on the game’s official website."

Op Ed

Hellmode - On Morality and Making Choices Matter in Video Games.
Arguably, choices are standard for role-playing games and they function the best in that type of environment. We also expect them from an RPG more than any other genre. But they’re prominent in other types of games as well, with the earlier mentioned sandbox titles serving as good examples. Choices in a non-RPG seem to be less intimidating on the whole. They are not under often false pretenses that they are impactful and deep–they do not provide agency, they only provide entertainment. And they are seldom beneficial to the plot, frequently even contradictory. While they are not overly serious, they tend to focus on the macabre and more deep issues surprisingly. They usually crop up as life and death choices of minor characters and often stem from seemingly innocuous choices like what weapon to use or what direction to walk in first.

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Previews

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

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