Warsaw, Poland – July 13. Flying Wild Hog announced its debut game, the dark sci-fi first-person shooter, Hard Reset. The PC-exclusive title transports players to a haunting, dystopian future, with humanity on the verge of extinction, confined to its last standing city and under constant threat from the robotic hordes that aim to annihilate mankind. Hard Reset is scheduled for release in September 2011.
In the only remaining human city of Bezoar, Major Fletcher, an Army Combat Veteran and soldier of the CLN, is dragged into a conflict between two of mankind’s greatest enemies. He is to discover that nothing is what it seems to be.
The Gaslamp Games Website announces that Dungeons of Dredmor is now available on Steam, where they are offering this roguelike dungeon crawler for a 10% savings for the next week. Here's word: "Long ago, the Dark Lord Dredmor was bound in the darkest dungeons beneath the earth by great and mighty heroes. Centuries later, the magical bonds that hold him in place are loosening and his power grows ever stronger. The land cries out for a new hero, a powerful warrior or a mystic wizard like those spoken of in the prophecies of yore."
As noted on the Zeboyd Games Website, Cthulhu Saves the World is now available along with a free copy of Breath of Death VII: The Beginning on GamersGate and Steam (thanks nin). As promised the game is all of $3.00 USD, though Steam currently has it for 10% off. Here's word:
The lord of insanity, Cthulhu was all set to plunge the world into insanity and destruction when his powers were sealed by a mysterious sorcerer. The only way for him to break the curse is to become a true hero. Save the world to destroy it in an epic parody RPG journey of redemption, romance, and insanity!
Dark Horse is offering all its digital Mass Effect comics for free in honor of the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con. The comics are offered through the Dark Horse online store (which is currently hard to reach) or the Dark Horse app on iPad and iPhone, but they are only free through 3:00 pm EST tomorrow. Thanks Joystiq.
Battlefront.com now offers a new patch for Combat Mission Shock Force to update the military strategy game and its Marines, NATO, and British Forces modules to version 1.32. The download is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.
Battle.net announces a new version 1.35 patch is now live on the Public Test Realm for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Blizzard's RTS sequel. Included are editor improvements and a sneak peek at new ladder maps, as detailed in the following patch notes. Continue here to read the full story.
"We're playing a much bigger game [than Zynga]. We're going after the $40 billion dollar digital market, where Facebook is just a segment. We're diversifying ourselves and putting ourselves in a better position to go after that. If you look at the way we're set up, our digital revenues range across MMOs, free-to-play, social, mobile, DLC, and PopCap now adds greater franchises. At the end of the day, Facebook is just one segment." -- EAi Executive VP Barry Cottle.
Hi-Rez Studios announces that they will be bringing Tribes: Ascend to QuakeCon to allow the public the first chance to go hands-on with the continuation of this shooter franchise. QuakeCon kicks off on August 4 in Dallas, TX. Word is:
Although the game is still in Closed Alpha, conference attendees will get the first public hands-on with Tribes: Ascend at Booth 333 of QuakeCon, held in Dallas, Texas from August 4th-7th 2011. Attendees can also register to win a limited number of keys to the Tribes: Ascend Closed Beta.
“QuakeCon has been called the Woodstock of gaming and we're thrilled to introduce Tribes: Ascend at this show”, says Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios COO. "QuakeCon has always delivered exceptional, competitive multiplayer gaming... for free; and that’s our mission with Tribes: Ascend.”
The QuakeCon Website outlines a recent hacking incident on the old QuakeCon forums:
In recent days, a hacker carried out an unlawful intrusion of the old forums.quakecon.org site, compromising usernames and passwords. While we have taken appropriate steps to protect the new forums from attack, we recommend anyone using their old credentials on another site to change their passwords immediately.
We regret any inconvenience this may have caused, and suggest you migrate to the new forums — which will be live shortly — to discuss QuakeCon 2011.
Focus Home Interactive announcesCities XL 2012, saying the next installment in this urban-planning series will be released exclusively for Windows PCs in October of this year as a standalone game as well as an upgrade for Cities XL 2011 owners. Here are the first screenshots from the project, and the Cities XL Website reflects the news. Here's a snippet:
Cities XL 2012 allows players to become real urban planners, balancing economic & energy developments of their cities while managing transportation, housing, social services and recreational activities. Content is key to the new game, as Cities XL 2012 offers a staggering number of unique structures with over 1,000 in total.
The 60 huge 3D maps are entirely constructible and sport incredible detail. Cities XL 2012 offers more variety than any other city building-game. At the request of its fast-growing community, Cities XL 2012 is now open to modding and even features a special guide within the game to get players started. With these new tools, dedicated players can build and share their creations to their hearts’ content!
Black Prophecy is now live in North America, announces gamigo, saying the space-based free-to-play MMOG has completed a successful open beta test. Here's a bit on the game:
Players can choose to join one of the two factions: the genetically-perfected Genides or the cybernetically-optimized Tyi. Whichever side they choose, there's lots to be done in the vast endlessness of space. Besides the story missions that unveil the plot, players can also complete hundreds of action-packed PvE and PvP missions or group up to form clans. Together they can collect resources and build their own clan station, which can then be expanded upon with a variety of different modules. Ships can also be customized to suit each player's preferences using some of the countless building parts available.
The John Smedley interview on PlanetSide Universe talks with the SOE CEO at Fan Faire 2011, talking about various topics, but focusing on the recent announcement of PlanetSide 2. They make a separate note about his explanation of microtransaction plans: "There will be a cash shop for the game however the goal is not to sell power. For example we would sell things like customization because we would like there to be a massive amount of ways to customize your characters. So people could recognize you or your outfit out of a group. We will not sell a more powerful gun or vehicle."
Gamasutra - The Hidden Evil Of The Microtransaction. The problem with all this is this it is an ambiguous, gray area. The real kicker is that gray areas are always green-lit by greed. In the interest of a 'little more', so much wrong has been done. So many ideas ruined, communities broken, and teams overstretched by wanting that little bit more. The old sustainable farming arguments come into play here.
The massive problem is that you as the Games Designer or other development members do not always have the final say, but you can still fight your corner. You can build your arguments and try to provide some strong research and data to help your money people see the long term view.
Last night in the early evening the Gunnar-man started howling from downstairs. Since the last time I heard this cry was to alert me that Hudson the wonder dog had escaped the backyard (where she was supposed to be), I came downstairs to see what was up. When I arrived I saw the car pulling in the driveway, so I assumed he was signifying the return of MrsBlue, who is the apple of his eye. When I let him out to greet her, I could see that Hudson had already done so, as she was out of the yard, looking quite dirty, but also quite self-satisfied. A little investigation shows she had actually created a hole in one of the gates on the fence with her giant choppers and rock-hard skull... it could only have been more comical had the hole been an Airedale silhouette like in a cartoon. I don't know what was so enticing out there that she needed to get out, but I am greatly thankful it wasn't another dog, as that could have resulted in a dogfight, and obviously am also quite relieved she stuck close to home and didn't wander out into traffic.