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Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011

  

Propaganda Games Closed

The Los Angeles Times has news that Disney has closed Propaganda Games, the Vancouver-based developer of TRON Evolution, the movie tie-in that the article notes has not set the world on fire since its release (they say it's sold under 200K copies, according to NPD Group). They quote Disney CEO Bob Iger saying this part of a general platform shift: "We've seen a pretty big shift in games from console to what we'll call multiplatform, everything from mobile apps to social networking games," Iger said during a recent earnings conference call. "By putting John Pleasants in to run games, not only will he focus on turning those businesses to profitability, but diversifying our presence in the business." In the interest of full disclosure I'll note that MrsBlue recently accepted a job with Disney, though she has not yet begun working there.

DRM-Free D&D RPGs

The catalog of Atari games on Impulse has grown a bit, as they have added five classic D&D RPGs to the mix. They now offer Neverwinter Nights Diamond, Icewind Dale Complete, Icewind Dale II, Baldur's Gate Complete, and Baldur's Gate II - Shadows of Amn + Throne Bhaal. Each sells for $9.99, and none of the five includes any DRM.

A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda and Demo Released

Extend Interactive announces the release of A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda, the first installment in an episodic series of side-scrolling action games. Here's word on the game: "In the traditions of retro classics, you play as Ares, an advanced combat robot sent on a mission to rescue taskforce members who were trapped while conducting an investigation to find out the extent of damage sustained by the space station. Annihilate countless robots, recycle their parts to make incredible items and take on gigantic bosses in this 3D environment side-scroller." A playable demo is available on this page, where the full version can be purchased as well. The game is also available on Desura, Direct2Drive, GamersGate, and Steam.

On Skyrim Mod Support

The Bethesda Blog has a mention of the new modification tools Bethesda plans to release in support of the new Creation engine in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, their upcoming RPG sequel. Word is: "Accompanying that engine will be the Creation Kit, our suite of level-building tools that we’ll be releasing to the community, much like the Elder Scrolls Construction Set for Morrowind and Oblivion. The Kit was recently mentioned in the Game Informer article on the tech behind Skyrim. While we have nothing further to announce regarding the Kit at this time, give that article a read for more details on just how powerful these tools will be."

Tidalis Patches and Tidalis Lite

The Arcen Games Website now offers patches for Tidalis, updating the Windows and OS X puzzle game to version 1.016. In addition to the new version, they also announce the launch of Tidalis Lite, a web-based sample of the game that uses the Unity web player.

Din's Curse Beta Patch

The Din's Curse Patches Page offers another new beta patch for Din's Curse, this time updating Soldak Entertainment's action/RPG to beta version 1.015. In a nutshell: "This patch has some pretty big balance changes, mostly armor and resistance related, and a number of fixes as usual." Their Changes Page has complete details.

Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok Trailer, Diary

A new Baron Wittard Trailer shows off Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok, an upcoming adventure game in development at Wax Lyrical Games. On a related note, the Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok Developer Diary Part 1 on Just Adventure has some details on this "creepy, fascinating and intimidating" game.

World of Starcraft Modder Gets Job Offer

A story on Pixelated Geek about the recently revealed World of StarCraft modification for StarCraft II reports that the trailer for the mod has been taken down due to a copyright claim by Activision. Though Slashdot (thanks Ant) has word that the mod has received "a cease and desist from Activision/Blizzard," this is actually just a YouTube takedown notice, and from our experience, these are often generated automatically, and at times can be completely unwarranted, so it may not mean the mod (which is being created using Blizzard-released mod tools, after all) is in trouble. That aside, the mod's future may be in doubt anyway, as the article has been updated with word that League of Legends developer Riot Games is interested in offering Ryan, the mod's author, a job.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The Evolution of Nicolas Cage's Hair. He's not just the president, he's also a member. Thanks Ant.

R.I.P.: Wilfrid Sheed, critic and novelist of great moral wit, has died.

Activision Recommends Bizarre Closure

Activision is recommending the closure of Bizarre Creations, the developer of James Bond 007: Blood Stone as well as several racing games, reports Develop. This comes just a couple of months after it was announced that Activision was seeking a buyer for the studio. Activision "explored a lot of leads – pretty much anyone you can imagine in the industry," says Activision Worldwide Studios CEO Coddy Johnson. "But unfortunately, so far we’ve not been able to find any interested parties. So we’ve made as a last resort, a recommendation to the team for closure."

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Hotfixes

Battle.net announces more hotfixes that are now live in World of Warcraft, listing the updates made between January 7 and yesterday as Blizzard continues to rebalance their MMORPG following the release of the Cataclysm expansion and the version 4.03a patch (thanks Ant).

World Supremacy Patch

The World Supremacy Product Section now offers a new patch to update Malfador Machinations' strategy game of global conquest to version 1.06. The primary purpose of the new version is to address a handful of multiplayer issues. Here are the complete patch notes (Adobe Acrobat-format), which are also reproduced below. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The freezing rain yesterday created some treacherous driving conditions, but I had to brave them to get a replacement for the halogen bulb in my desk lamp to avoid sitting in the dark. On my return trip I saw proof of how scary this could be, as there was a traffic tie-up to get around an SUV that was flipped on its side. From what I could see they drove partway up the embankment, and while this was in a 30 MPH zone, it's certainly possible they were speeding, as I've observed a tendency for drivers to operate their SUVs in the reckless (which in this case is wreck-full) manner depicted in commercials. Luckily no one seemed injured, but it was still a chilling sight.

R.I.P.: Rock promoter Don Kirshner dies.

Reckless Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Goblin War Machine. Thanks Boing Boing.
Robot Clashes.
Links: The 5 Greatest Things Ever Accomplished While High.
Best Sci-Fi Effects of All Time, as Voted by You. Thanks Digg.
Ten 80s Movies that Will Remind You of Your Geek Roots.
Stories: Australian Teens Rescued After Using Sex Doll as Raft. Thanks theAntiELVIS.
Black Out: German Police Pick up Drunken Owl. Thanks Joker961.
Former Wheel of Fortune Contestants Shocked to Learn of Regis What’s-His-Name’s Retirement.
Science: How’s the Hip Replacement? Woof! Woof (registration required). Thanks Boing Boing.
Images: 404 Error.
Media: Top Gun, Japanimationized (including Asian Tom Cruise).
Superman's Dark Secret- An Unaired Episode of Super Friends. Thanks Digg.
Lightning from 330 miles up.
The Funnies: Boots - Savage Chickens.
Follow-up: Policy disputes, uncertainties pose safety risks for NASA.
TRON: Disney sweeps the original under the rug? I noticed that.



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