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Wednesday, Dec 01, 2010 World AIDS Day

  

Ships Ahoy - Field of Glory - Swords and Scimitars

Field of Glory - Swords and Scimitars is now available via digital distribution, offering the fourth add-on for the Field of Glory wargaming system. Word is: "This essential add-on covers the armies fighting for and against The Crusades in Outremer in the 11th to 13th centuries AD. Outremer (“overseas”) was the general name given to the Crusader states established after the success of the First Crusade. As well as being a clash between two opposing religions and cultures, the Crusades were also a clash between two very different but equally potent military systems. The Crusaders (termed “Franks” by everyone in the East) relied on armoured knights on heavy horses, charging in close order with couched lances. This contrast between the equipment and tactics of the opposing sides makes for interesting and challenging wargaming. Remember you need Field of Glory to play any of the add-on packs!" The game is for sale through both the Slitherine and Matrix Games stores.

Asheron's Call Patched

Though it goes unmentioned on the Asheron's Call Website, the game's December update is now live, adding a new race, playable Olthoi, a new school of magic, a new hunting area, new quests, and more to Turbine's MMORPG. According to this forum post the associated scheduled downtime should be complete, and a list of the new features follows. Continue here to read the full story.

CosmicCommander Alpha

CyberStep announces alpha testing is underway for CosmicCommander, offering the chance to strap in and check out this browser-based mecha strategy game. They say the alpha will run for two weeks and a beta test will begin on December 16 to pave the way for the game's launch in the Spring. There will be a tournament with prizes, and word is in addition, "all participants in the CosmicCommander Alpha Test will receive a limited edition Zero Fighter robot and other cool prizes for use in CosmicBreak." This trailer shows off some gameplay.

Ryzom Linux Client & Competition

The Ryzom Website announces the availability of a native Linux client for this MMORPG. To celebrate this, they are conducting a competition between now and January 10 offering the chance to win a Linux netbook or a one-year subscription to the game. Word is: "You can participate in the contest with both the Windows or Linux client, and you don't need to have a paid account to join; just create a 21 day free trial account."

On Sale

On Direct2Drive 1-in-5 orders is free. Also, there are a bunch of strategy games on sale on Matrix Games.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Clash album London Calling to spawn rock biopic. Could be awesome. Wonder who they'll cast? Thanks Acleacius.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Viral Website

A Sarif Industries Website is online, as a viral dealie to promote Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Given the nature of the Deus Ex series of action/RPGs and the presentation of the Flashy site, it seems safe to presume there are some clues about the game hidden within. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Alpha Protocol EU Patch

A new patch is now available for the EU, Czech, Polish, Russian and Digital Download versions of Alpha Protocol, to update Obsidian's role-playing game to the same version 1.10 as the U.S. edition. Among other things, the new version apparently removes the game's DRM. The patch is available from SEGA, and it is mirrored on Gamer's Hell and WorthPlaying.

The Sims 3 Patches

The Sims 3 Website now offers six new patches for The Sims 3 and the quintet of expansions for EA's lifestyle simulation. There is a version 1.18 update for the base game, which is mirrored on The Patches Scrolls; a version 2.13 update for The Sims 3: World Adventures, mirrored on The Patches Scrolls, a version 3.9 patch for The Sims 3: High-end Loft Stuff that is also available on The Patches Scrolls; the version 4.6 patch for The Sims 3: Ambitions is mirrored on The Patches Scrolls; a version 5.4 patch for The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff mirrored on The Patches Scrolls; and a version 6.1 patch for The Sims 3: Late Night, which is also available on The Patches Scrolls. There are separate change lists for each patch, which can be a bit overwhelming, so thank you to Meredith for pointing out what has to be the highlight of the whole shebang from the Late Night patch notes: "Fixed a tuning issue so that Sims now vomit at acceptable levels."

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Map Pack

The Battlefield Blog announces the availability of VIP Map Pack #7 for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, adding the maps Harvest Day, Heavy Metal, and Cold War to the military shooter sequel. There are posts to the forums suggesting some folks have not been able to get the pack yet, so your mileage may vary. There are also posts from players complaining of being temporarily banned even after updating Punkbuster, so it's possible there's a problem with that. The comments stopped updating hours ago, so it's not clear where this all currently stands.

Civilization V Map Packs

Steam News announces the release of four new map packs for Sid Meier's Civilization V. These are the Asia, Americas, Mesopotamia, and Mediterranean map packs, which are also available together in the Cradle of Civilization DLC bundle. Word is: "The Cradle of Civilization map packs are Firaxis-designed maps of real-world locations. You can play random leaders in these settings, or choose leaders appropriate to the history of these areas."

CrimeCraft: Bleedout Starter Kit

A CrimeCraft: Bleedout starter kit is now available, announces Steam News, where they explain what this purchase brings to the free-to-play persistent-world multiplayer shooter CrimeCraft, including a two-month premium subscription. Bleedout is the first major content expansion for the game, offering "10 consecutive weekly episodes featuring story content from a lineup of comic book industry superstars. Conspiracies will blossom and explode in an epic campaign that examines the cause of the global collapse, and the nightmarish consequences that loom on the dark horizon." The contents of this "starter kit" follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Puzzle Agent Patched

Steam News has word on a new patch now automatically available for Puzzle Agent with bug fixes, rules updates, and puzzle updates. The change notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Diablo III Date? New Blizzard Game Revealed?

A post on MMOGameSite.com offers what is purported to be a leaked product slate from Blizzard, though this not confirmed to be genuine, and the leak is attributed to a "gamer, speaking on condition of anonymity," which raises the question of how such a document fell into the wrong hands. Questions about its authenticity aside, the image says the schedule is "as of 04/02/10," and it includes release windows (presumably tentative, even if they are accurate) for a number of projects, including a Q4 2011 release for Diablo III followed by expansions in Q2 2013 and Q4 2014. It also lists a Q4 2011 window for StarCraft II expansion 1 as well as SC2 Phoenix and a Q1 2013 window for the second expansion for the RTS sequel. There are two World of Warcraft expansions listed, one in Q2 2012 and another in Q4 2013, as well as listings for a WoW TCG (Q3 2012) and the WoW movie (Q4 2012). Finally, there is also a listing for an unannounced project called Titan in Q4 2013. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

Air Conflicts: Secret Wars Announced

bitComposer Games announces Air Conflicts: Secret Wars, a World War II combat flight simulator due for Windows and consoles in Q2 of next year. The game will include a solo campaign as well as multiplayer support for up to eight players over internet or LAN, and there will be both arcade and simulation modes to accommodate pilots of various skill levels. Here's word:

In Air Conflicts: Secret Wars players can relive the most famous battles of the First and Second World War right up close. The game provides plenty of variety, as players can fly 16 meticulously detailed and accurate aircraft in nearly 50 exciting missions in the seven campaigns. The mission tasks are diverse and range from air space clearance operations to the bombardment of targets on the ground, attacks on enemy convoys and reconnaissance, escort and patrol flights. After each successful mission players can upgrade their skills to enable them to control their aircraft more expertly, make their aircraft more robust and select better co-pilots. There are two control modes for the combat aircraft: the controls are simplified in arcade mode and simulation mode offers a realistic control system that is true to the original.

Stuart Black's City Interactive Shooter

Stuart Black has landed at City Interactive following the Bodycount developer's departure from Codemasters, reports Gamasutra. Word is he will head up a new U.K.-based studio to create a World War II shooter, which will likely use the CryENGINE 3, which City has recently licensed for a couple of projects. They add a short description of the project, calling it "an exciting new story-driven WWII shooter that will emphasize high adventure in a genre that's become bogged down in reverence and historical accuracy."

Inception Game Confirmed?

In an interview with EW.com director Christopher Nolan seems more decisive about his previous indications he has plans for a movie follow-up to Inception, his science fiction heist movie. Though he still indicates this is a long-term project, it sounds like it's really happening. "I always imagined Inception to be a world where a lot of other stories could take place," says Nolan. "At the moment, the only direction we’re channeling that is by developing a videogame set in the world." Thanks Computer and Video Games.

Op Ed

BitMob - Why Humor in Games Fails and How to Make It Succeed.
It's not enough just to have well-written dialogue or jokes. These days, you need voice talent that can make them sound funny. And even if your actors are solid, you need the right rhythm, cadence, and inflection -- a hard thing to pull off when many games still have tiny pauses between each character's lines. It's especially difficult in role-playing games, where you wait as you choose a line of dialogue from a conversation tree. It breaks the timing of the joke. And as any comedian will tell you, timing is everything.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Chanukah, as the festival of lights begins at sundown today. On a far more somber note, today is also World AIDS day, dedicated to raising awareness of the disease. As noted in the Wikipedia: "Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Super Mario Goomba Mode.
Escape From Castle Dragonstone.
Stories: US military unveils 'smart gun'.
GM hiring to push electric effort beyond Volt.
Science: Physicists replicate a supernova in laboratory.
Images: IRL Mario Kart.
Giant Transformers Ice Sculpture.
Captcha The Flag.
Media: Fail Compilation November 2010. NSFW.
Duck Hunting Skillz.
Y Dis Guy No Die Wen Ai Attaks Him?!
Follow-up: Stem cells give sight to blind mice, raising hope for aging humans.



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