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Wednesday, Jun 08, 2011

  

Duke Nukem Forever Dedicated Servers

The 2K Games forums have the announcement that dedicated server support is confirmed for Duke Nukem Forever (thanks Shacknews), though this will be unsupported. Word us:

Got some good news for you today - Duke Nukem Forever on PC will have dedicated servers for our experienced users.

(Side note: This will be an unsupported features, but it will be there for those that want to use it.)

Respawn Making Sci-fi Shooter

EA Games president Frank Gibeau confirmed at E3 that the upcoming project from Respawn Entertainment is a sci-fi shooter, reports Computer and Video Games. The first game from this startup developer formed by former Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella was previously confirmed to be a new IP coming to Windows, Xbox 360, and PS3. Gibeau spoke with them about spotting games from Respawn and Insomniac in their annual first-person shooter release schedule. "Titles like Respawn - and I think the Insomniac title is a little bit more of an action game than a pure shooter - we'll sprinkle those in where we see opportunistic gaps, either in a release schedule or in a genre standpoint," he tells them. "Those typically are more sci-fi oriented shooters, where as the Medal of Honor and Battlefield brands are obviously more modern military oriented. So it allows us to pick and choose the best of the sci-fi shooters. It allows us to compete with things like Gears and Halo and put them on places in our release calendar where they're not cannibalistic to the core business and that's the essential strategy going forward."

Storm – Frontline Nation This Month

Publisher Just A Game announces plans to release Storm – Frontline Nation this month, which is a little unexpected, since this is the first we've heard of this action/strategy game from Swedish developer Colossai Studios since it was announced with the title Frontline Nation over five years ago. Screenshots and further information can be found on the official website, and here's a bit on the game:

In turn-based battles the PC game created by Swedish developer Colossai Studios deals with the imminent collapse of the world due to a lack of resources. With the adequate mix of diplomacy, research and fighting spirit players control the fate of their countries in order to win last reserves. Tactical ingenuity and far-reaching freedom of action on an extremely large playing field guarantee perfect entertainment and a permanently fascinating gaming experience for digital generals.

id Happy to be Done with Engine Licensing

Gamasutra quotes id Software's John Carmack and Tim Willits talking about their happiness at no longer being in the engine licensing business since being purchased by Zenimax. According to Carmack, this is not a business he ever was fond of in the first place:

"It's interesting when you look at our technology licensing -- it was never really a business that I wanted to be in," he said. "In the very early days, people would pester us, and we'd just throw out some ridiculous terms, and we were surprised when people started taking us up on it."

"I didn't want to be in the process of supporting a lot of outside teams, because you feel beholden to not make radical changes when it's going to pull the rug out from lots of other people," he explained. "When it's your own team, you can make the sensible decision that [a big change] is going to be worth it, that it's going to suck for a while, but we make our way through it. But you don't want to do that to other people."

Brink Patched

Steam News has details on a new patch that's now automatically available for Brink, Splash Damage's first-person shooter. The new version has bug fixes, changes to the user interface, balance tweaks, and updates to the game's dedicated server. The complete patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Serious Sam 3 BFE Interview

Machinima's Devolver Digital video interview talks with Nigel Lowrie about Serious Sam 3 BFE, the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. They introduce the series, discuss specifics about the new installment, all illustrated by a bunch of gameplay footage. He says the Windows edition is still on-track for release this summer, with the console variants to follow sometime after that. Thanks Seriously!.

Take On Helicopters Trailer

Here's the E3 trailer for Take On Helicopters, the helicopter-based flight simulator in development at Bohemia Interactive Studios. The clip is pretty placid, showing an uneventful takeoff and flight. Word is: "The upcoming all-new helicopter game is built on 10 years of experience with the development of complex military simulators. Immersing players in beautifully rich landscapes and an authentic helicopter experience, players will prove their flight skills in exciting challenges while mastering authentic rotor-wing flight dynamics and creating their own missions." Here's the embedded trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website now offers a new trailer showing off Eternity Vault, an operation (raid) from BioWare's upcoming MMORPG. Here's the description: "A terrible threat has been uncovered on the ice world of Belsavis; a danger so grave that it could make the conflict between the Republic and the Empire irrelevant. Groups of heroes must band together to venture into the ancient and deadly Eternity Vault—where an enemy older than both the Republic and the Empire has been contained… until now."

Defenders of Ardania Trailer

This is the E3 trailer showing off gameplay from Defenders of Ardania, Most Wanted Entertainment's tower defense game coming to Windows, consoles, and tablets in the third quarter of this year. Here's a reminder about this game, which is set in the same fantasy-themed world as the Majesty series: "Besides the addictive core mechanics of placing towers to stop advancing enemy units, Defenders of Ardania also allows players to take on the role of attacker and defender simultaneously, giving fans of the genre a challenge they’ve never seen before." The clip is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Crusader Kings II Trailer

The Crusader Kings II E3 trailer offers a look at Paradox Interactive's upcoming strategy/RPG sequel. The clip is all gameplay, which in a game of this sort, shows off a lot of the interface. Here's a summary of the game, which is due early next year: "Starting in the year 1066 and encompassing 400 years of European history, Crusader Kings II explores one of the defining periods of world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy. Take on the role of a Christian nobleman in the age of the Crusades as Medieval Europe is brought to life in this epic game rife with strategic and tactical depth." Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Digital Eel Interview

This interview on indiePub Games talks with the folks from indie developer Digital Eel, hearing from Rich Carlson, Ikka Keränen, and Bill "Phosphorous" Sears on a variety of topics, including their outlook on game development, their fierce independence, their aversion to DRM, and specifics about their various games.

OnLive Tablet Apps This Year

OnLive announces applications to use their cloud-based gaming service on iPads and Android tablets, saying this is being shown off at E3 and will launch later this year. Here's a little time traveling hype from the announcement suggesting OnLive on a tablet will out before the current generation of next generation systems: "Their current iPad or Android tablet and current HDTV will not only provide this experience in 2011, but will provide it with far higher performance, richer gameplay and deeper social integration than any console announced for 2012, with more than 100 games available today."

It Came from E3 2011, Part 5

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony on Direct2Drive.
  • Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony on Steam.
  • Trainz Simulator 12 on Steam.

Patches

On Sale

  • Din's Curse: Demon War on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • Din's Curse: Demon War (Mac) on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • Cities in Motion on Direct2Drive. Save 30%.
  • Hacker Evolution: Untold on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony on Direct2Drive. Save 10%.
  • Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Mafia II on Direct2Drive. Save 75%.
  • Rise of the Triad: Dark War on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Trainz Simulator 12 on Steam. Save 10%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

MechWarrior 5 Update

A tweet by Bryan Ekman of Piranha Games clarifies we should not expect news about their plans for MechWarrior 5 at E3, saying: "To all our #MechWarrior5 fans, no public news at #E3Expo this year. You guys are troopers for sticking with us. It will be worth the wait!" He also adds a clarification that the report from a couple of years ago of a legal conflict with Harmony Gold is not a factor in all this: "Just a small update. Harmony Gold has nothing to do with any delays. There is no legal battle." Thanks Hump.

Infinity Ward on Dedicated Servers & PC MW3

After interviewing Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling at E3, GameFront posted what he had to say about PC support in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, as he describes sessions with PC gamers to discuss the direction of the upcoming military shooter sequel. His comments include the possibility of support for dedicated servers, which was not included in Modern Warfare 2, though he could not be pinned down when asked if dedicated servers were confirmed, saying: "We’re having those discussions now. I don’t want to confirm, but we’re looking to support that as much as possible." Here is a bit on their plans for PC support:

That stuff comes a little later. I can’t confirm anything yet, but right now we’re having conversations about dedicated servers, mod tools and post launch support. I can’t give you an answer yet on what will be included. In Modern Warfare 3 we added IWnet, which was all about matchmaking–with the plan to eventually add in dedicated servers. My ideal philosophy on the PC is to have matchmaking for the “mass.” Have matchmaking for the guys who just want to jump in, hit “play game” and start playing. But let’s not lose that dedicated core audience that wants the dedicated server experience. We’re looking at ways to on how to incorporate that into Modern Warfare 3. We’ve been listening a lot to our PC guys who have been very vocal since Modern Warfare 2 about what they want to see come back to our versions of the franchise.

Free Games Coming to GamersGate

A new FreeGames section on GamersGate has a timer counting down to the launch of a new service that will offer the ability to play Windows and OS X games for free thanks to advertising support. This is still a ways off, as the counter currently stands at 84+ days, but they are offering signups to beta test the project. Here's word on how this will work: "FreeGames allows users to play and enjoy both PC and Mac titles free of charge after watching a short advertisement at the launch of the game. Gamers will be able to have up to five games available for free on their account at any time with the capability to add additional games." Here's more: "With over 3,000 titles, GamersGate has the largest catalog of games available for download on the web. The company expects that a large portion of them will be available in the ad-supported model for the September launch."

Consoles Lead Skyrim Development

A video interview on Computer and Video Games discusses The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with Craig Lafferty, lead producer on Bethesda Softworks' upcoming role-playing sequel. He talks about the console editions of the game, saying that they are actually the lead platform for Skyrim: "we develop toward the consoles and then porting to PCs is not too bad, actually." He goes on to discuss their added emphasis on accessibility compared with previous installments in the series, and Apple's inspiration in creating user interfaces. He also touches on gameplay, including bigger boss battles, the main campaign, side-quests, and more. Thanks Reddit via GamersMint.

Battlefield 3 Thunder Run Trailer

This trailer from Battlefield 3 offers Patrick Bach's E3 presentation of the Thunder Run mission from DICE's upcoming military shooter sequel. Word is the mission "follows new character Marine Sgt. Miller as he takes part in a large-scale tank assault on the outskirts of Tehran." Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action In October

Kalypso Media and bitComposer Games announce a release date for Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, saying the military-themed tactical-RPG remake for Windows is due in stores on October 18. Here's part of the accompanying description of the game:

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is a contemporary remake of the latest title in the much-loved Jagged Alliance series of turn-based mercenary-themed strategy games. Designed from the ground up to offer a modern gaming experience, Back in Action showcases an updated isometric 3D look and interface, highly detailed character models and a variety of new gameplay features.

Back in Action takes players to the fictitious country of Arulco, where a ruthless dictator has seized power and only a small group of rebels stand to resist him. Tasked with freeing the island from the dictator’s iron grip, players will command rebel and mercenary forces while using tactical, diplomatic and economic tools to keep troops supplied and ready for the next flight, all while commanding them directly in nail-biting battles.

RIFT Sells Nearly 1 Million

Gamasutra speaks with Trion Worlds' SVP of publishing David Reid about the launch of RIFT, their fantasy-themed MMORPG. He tells them that the game has sold nearly a million copies in three months of availability, stressing that this figure represents sales, rather than units shipped to retailers, and that they have something "special" planned for their one-millionth customer. He also implies that they have taken a bite out of Blizzard's mammoth World of Warcraft business:

"We're really pleased with what we're seeing. And beyond that, it was a pleasure to see that in the latest Activision Blizzard earnings call, they inquired about Rift when Blizzard announced that their subscriber numbers went from 12 million to 11.4 million," he said.

"You can do some math... we know very well where those 600,000 people are," he said coyly.

id on RAGE PC Controls

PC Gamer has word from id's Tim Willits on RAGE controls, stressing the game's PC support allows the player to carry more weapons than, say, Duke Nukem:

Rage doesn’t follow the trend for letting you only carry two weapons at once. Instead, you can carry all your weapons at all times, and they’re mapped to the traditional number keys. “We were kind of back and forth on whether we keep to four buttons that you map to your favourites,” explained Willits. “But on the PC you’ve got a key for every weapon. And we follow the Half-Life control paradigm, where you can press the button twice to select the weapon.”

Alganon to Expand

The Alganon website announces plans to expand this free-to-play MMORPG this winter with an add-on called Rise of the Ourobani. The expansion will add a new playable race, a new continent, flying mounts, and more. Word is: "Very soon the world of Alganon will be expanding and with it will come major change. As the Ourobani stake their claim to the continent of Aeon, the Asharr and Kujix have a new threat to contend with. Will they be friend or foe? Only time will tell, the gods themselves cannot say." Thanks ML.

It Came from E3 2011, Part 4

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, it's not summer yet, but the forecast calls for mid-90s today, and near 100 tomorrow. Makes me fear for what August will bring.

Hot Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: The Kid Spectre.
Play Astrophysics.
Zombus.
Links: The World's Most Unique Headphones. Thanks Neatorama.
Shape-Shifting Cuttlefish Can Mimic Pictures. Thanks Neatorama.
Stories: Stinky souvenirs! Prague Zoo sells elephant dung. Thanks Neatorama.
New Zealand mourns Shrek the sheep. Thanks brother19.
Science: Risk, probability, and how our brains are easily misled.
Images: Space Core Astronaut.
Core 2 Toaster.
Expedition 27 Departure Photos. Thanks Jim.
Media: Pranked: Car Horn Wired to Brake Pedal.
Ouch compilation.



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