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Tuesday, Jul 05, 2011

  

PlanetSide 2 Announcement This Week

PlanetSide2.com has a countdown timer at about two days and counting, and a new PlanetSide 2 Facebook Page saves us any math issues by promising an announcement on July 7 (Thursday) at 7:00 pm PDT. The meta description on the website offers more: "PlanetSide 2 is the only first person shooter that delivers truly epic, massive combat on a scale never before seen in stunning, breathtaking detail. Be a part of explosive action in a futuristic world with forces ranging from tactical squads to thousand player armies all taking place in real-time on enormous open-world continents." Thanks PlanetSide Universe.

Ships Ahoy - Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition

Capcom Unity announces the Windows edition of Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition is now available. Here's the description from the Capcom Store: "Super Street Fighter® IV Arcade Edition, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Super Street Fighter® IV, further redefines the fighting game genre with classic 2D Street Fighter® fighting action, a host of new and returning characters, beefed up online modes and more."

Fallout New Vegas Patch This Week

The Bethesda Blog has new screenshots from the upcoming Old World Blues DLC for Fallout New Vegas. They also announce a new patch will roll out for Obsidian's action/RPG between now and Thursday for all platforms. A very lengthy changelist for the patch is included, and this is reproduced below. Continue here to read the full story.

No Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Planned

This Battlefield 3 video Q&A features GameStar's interview with EA/DICE's Patrick Söderlund talking about Battlefield 3 (thanks GameSpy). One of the community questions they ask is about whether they plan to release mod tools with the game, to which Patrick says no: "Well as of now we're not going to make any modding tools, no." Here's his reply when asked why: "'Cause if you look at the Frostbite engine, and how complex it is, it's going to be very difficult for people to mod the game. Because of the nature of the set up of levels, the destruction, and all those things, it's quite tricky, so we think it's going to be too big of a challenge for people to make a mod."

Harpoon - Commander's Edition "Special Demo"

The U.S. Naval Institute and Advanced Gaming System now offer a "special demo" for Harpoon - Commander's Edition, saying this is "designed for those who are interested in modern air/naval wargaming but haven't had an opportunity to try their hand." The demo is available on this page, where word is: "This demo version features five scenarios highlighting the US actions in Libya in 1986, Attain Document III and El Dorado Canyon. This special bundle also includes a special quick start guide and two YouTube(TM) videos showing how to install the game and a quick walk through of the scenarios."

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • Atlantis: The Lost Tales on GOG.com.
  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition on Steam.

Patches

  • Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam.

On Sale

  • AI War: Fleet Command on Steam. Save 85%.
  • Assassin's Creed Revelations GameStop Signature Edition on Impulse. Pre-purchase and get extra content, soundtrack, and more.
  • Assassin's Creed II Deluxe on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • Beat Hazard on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Deus Ex Franchise on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Dragon Age: Origins on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition Deluxe Download on Direct2Drive. Save 75%.
  • Guild Wars Franchise on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Hammerfight on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • King Arthur Franchise on Steam. Save 85%.
  • Monday Night Combat on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Monkey Island: Special Edition Bundle on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Need For Speed Franchise on Steam.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • Resident Evil 5 on Direct2Drive. Save 40%.
  • Sid Meier's Civilization V on Steam. Save 50%.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Franchise on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Total War: SHOGUN 2 on Direct2Drive. Save 40%.
  • Wings of Prey on Steam. Save 85%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Rub-a-dub-dub, This Grill is a Tub. Bet you that works great. Thanks Ant.

Fortune Summoners Coming West This Year

GamePro has word to expect a westernized version of Fortune Summoners: Secret of the Elemental Stone by the end of this year, which will offer a Windows-based side-scrolling platformer being translated by independent localization studio Carpe Fulgur, who also localized Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale. Siliconera has a recent report on this including the game's Japanese trailer, and they say the game's western release was previously delayed by disagreements about DRM, but word on GamePro is that it will be 100% DRM-free.

Trion on Free RIFT Transfers

With RIFT version 1.3 adding the promised free character transfers, Ten Ton Hammer has a conversation with RIFT Design Producer Hal Hanlin about how this is going, and he explains why Trion is not charging for the service. "It’s easy for us to do this, I don’t know about those other companies who seem to make a production about it, but for us it’s a simple process," he tells them. "Our main focus is for players to have fun playing the game, and if that means moving to play with their friends, or simply moving to a more lively shard – then we’re all for that."

Insider: Rockstar/Team Bondi Split

A post on GamesIndustry.biz (registration required) follows up on reports of development woes as well as worker complaints at Team Bondi, developers of well-received detective game L.A. Noire. This new story, by author of the original whistle blowing article, reproduces a number of emails showing an ever-deteriorating relationship between Team Bondi and publisher Rockstar Games, and includes indications that Rockstar will not be publishing Team Bondi's next game, and the Aussie developer will not be crating the next L.A. Noire game. Here's the overview:

It's pretty well reported now that the working conditions were bad. What hasn't been discussed yet (from what I've seen) is the relationship between Team Bondi and Rockstar. I've heard a lot about Rockstar's disdain for Team Bondi, and it has been made quite clear that they will not publish Team Bondi's next game. Team Bondi are trying to find another publisher for their next title, but the relationship with Rockstar has been badly damaged - Brendan treats L.A. Noire like a success due to his vision but I think Rockstar are the ones who saved the project. They continued to sink money into LA Noire, and their marketing was fantastic. Without their continued support, Team Bondi would have gone under several years ago.

Rockstar also made a huge contribution to the development; their producers were increasingly influential over the last two years of the game's development, and overruled many of the insane decisions made by Team Bondi management. At a lower level, Rockstar also pitched in with programmers, animators, artists, QA, etc. Part of the conflict between Team Bondi and Rockstar was due to Rockstar's frustration with Team Bondi's direction, and eventually Team Bondi's management in turn resented Rockstar for taking lots of creative control. It's also worth pointing out that Rockstar used to be very keen on making Team Bondi something like 'Rockstar Sydney' - the more they worked with Team Bondi management, the more they came to understand that this was a terrible idea. I have a few logs that show the relationship souring – see below.

Microsoft Considered Crytek Acquisition

Microsoft at one point was considering attempting to acquire Crytek and make the German developer a first-party developer, reports Official Xbox 360 Magazine. "And the relationship with Crytek is a perfect example. The first time we met with [Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli] and the team was around seven or eight years ago, and we started talking about what it'd mean for them to become first party," says MS vice president Phil Spencer. "And it was a process of what do you guys want to do, what's unique for us, and they were just going to do Crysis, and they'd just come out of Far Cry, and we said we've probably got enough military future shooters, so go do that." Thanks Develop.

UbiCollectibles Announced

Ubisoft announces plans to launch UbiCollectibles, a line of game-based merchandise, which will include "apparel, figurines, lithographs, jewelry, and replicas from Ubisoft’s best-selling brands." These will be available exclusively through UbiShop, which is now accepting pre-orders from European customers. Here are images of two of the items, and here's a bit more:

The first UbiCollectibles are inspired by fans of the Assassin’s Creed®, Might & Magic® Heroes® and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon franchises. More than 29 million people have purchased an Assassin’s Creed video game, and now a fortunate 2,000 will have the chance to buy a highly detailed, hand-crafted statuette called “Ezio’s Fury.” The figurine shows Ezio in a combative stance as he moves in for the kill.

In Might & Magic® Heroes VI, Michael, the legendary Archangel, is one of the most charismatic characters, and 500 fans will now have the opportunity to own an intricate polyresin figurine of Michael, wings spread and sword drawn for battle. UbiCollectibles is using a design chosen with fans on Facebook to create this unique offering.

Windows Ms. 'Splosion Man?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an image they say is from Steam showing a Windows edition of Ms. 'Splosion Man, Twisted Pixel's XBLA platformer. The image is no longer available, and has been replaced by some sort of placeholder, but they speculate that this means a PC version of the game is in the offing.

New Galactic Warfare COD4 Mod

Mod DB now offers an updated version 1.0 of the Star Wars-themed Galactic Warfare modification for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The mod has come a long way since it was first unveiled in September 2009, and this trailer shows off the latest edition, and here's word: "This version contains seven maps ('Mos Eisly', 'Bespin', 'Bestine', 'Not A Cave', 'Jundland', 'Jundland Dusk' as well as the new 'Anchorhead'). There is also a new killstreak called 'viper droid'. The Y-Wing and Tie-Bomber are now part of the killstreak 'airstrike' (finally!). We have also fixed some bugs of course. With version 1.0 you will also get an installer which makes your life a bit easier." Thanks Computer and Video Games.

Grand Theft Auto IV Graphics Mod

GTA4-Mods.com has the release of a new version 1.2 of iCEnhancer, an "ENB Graphic Mod" for the Windows edition of Grand Theft Auto IV. The clip adds all sorts of graphic enhancements to the game engine. Thanks VG247.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

We had a quiet fourth of July, as planned, though the fireworks were way too intense for Hudson the wonder dog, who spent the evening cowering. My rack of baby back ribs turned out to be excellent, so apart from Hudson's terror, a fine time was had by all.

Rack of Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Bomber at War.
Snailiad.
Links: The 13 Most Common Brain Farts in Human History. Thanks Neatorama.
Stories: Kobayashi Sets World Record With 69 Hot Dogs, Joey Chestnut Wins 2011 Nathan's Contest.
NY motorcyclist dies on ride protesting helmet law.
Doctors debate changes to clocks.
Science: Global warming lull down to China's coal growth.
Antimatter Tevatron mystery gains ground.
Sleeping longer 'helps athletes reach peak performance'.
Images: Mid-Game Nap.
Terrible Fantasy-Sci-Fi Book Art!.
Media: GTAIV No-Friction Car Mod Returns for the Lulz: Car-Mageddon.
Setting off 5,000 lbs of fireworks.
Smoke Prank.
Auction: Maths powers Google auction strategy.



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