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Wednesday, Nov 09, 2011

  

More A Game of Throne Games Planned

USATODAY has word on further A Game of Thrones game plans besides the recently released RTS A Game of Thrones: Genesis and the upcoming Game of Thrones RPG. Word is Bigpoint is developing a free-to-play Game of Thrones MMORPG and that an A Game of Thrones-based social networking game is in the works that they describe like this: "think FarmVille comes to Westeros." Thanks Gamasutra.

Dead Rising 2 Demo on Gaikai

Capcom announces a demo for Dead Rising 2 is now available through the Gaikai cloud service. Here's the deal:

Great news for zombie lovers (or haters)!

As of today, we are launching Dead Rising 2 Gaikai. “What’s Gaikai?” you ask? It’s Capcom’s next step in our foray into the wonderful world of digital distribution. With Gaikai, you’ll be able to instantly try out Dead Rising 2, right in your web browser. Consider it a cool new way of demoing games.

This is a new venture for Capcom, so we’re seeking lots of user feedback. Let us know how the experience goes for you by commenting here or in the Dead Rising 2 Gaikai thread. If things go well, you’ll start seeing this kind of thing for more Capcom titles in the future.

Go here to play Dead Rising 2 in your browser right now.

Notes:

-Gaikai demo is limited to 30 minutes of play.
-You cannot save your gameplay during this time.
-You can skip in-game movies by pressing “ESC”.

Oh yeah! And don’t forget about Dead Rising 2 Off the Record, which is available in stores now (and super-fun).

MW3 Soundtrack to Benefit Call of Duty Endowment

Activision Publishing and composer Brian Tyler announce that all proceeds from sales of the soundtrack of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will benefit the Call of Duty Endowment:

Santa Monica, CA – November 9, 2011 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) and celebrated composer Brian Tyler announced today that they will donate all proceeds from the Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 3 soundtrack to The Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit, public benefit corporation that seeks to help returning soldiers transition back to civilian life, find work and establish careers.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Brian Tyler onboard for Modern Warfare® 3,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “If you’re an action fan you certainly know his work. It’s a pleasure to partner with Brian Tyler and Call of Duty® fans around the world to assist real-world soldiers in need.”

“I am so excited to be the composer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” said Brian Tyler. “I feel privileged to be able to contribute to the building of the Call of Duty Endowment. It is a true honor!”

Tyler has scored more than 50 films, including Eagle Eye, Fast & Furious and The Expendables. His elemental grasp of the action genre has yielded a stunning 20-track original score for 2011’s most eagerly awaited entertainment release. The soundtrack is now available for digital download at iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and other major digital media retailers for $.99 per track.

Dungeons & Dragons Collections

Atari announces two collector edition bundle packs, Dungeons & Dragons Anthology: The Master Collection and Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter Nights Complete, which will be released for Windows PC on November 15th, , saying they are available for preorder now at GameStop, Amazon, and Target. Here's word:

Dungeons & Dragons Anthology: The Master Collection packages 6 of the most beloved classic RPG video games of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise and their expansions into a single PC Box set – the ultimate RPG package for the ultimate D&D fan. The Dungeons & Dragons Anthology: The Master Collection features some of the greatest D&D titles ever published in a single package including six Game of the Year winners, all for $19.99. Games in The Master Collection include:

  • Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 + Expansions
  • Icewind Dale 1 & 2 + Expansions
  • Planescape: Torment
  • The Temple of Elemental Evil

Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter Nights Complete, a PC gaming classic for the ages, brings together every game and expansion of the critically acclaimed franchise into one compilation. Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter Nights Complete features two Game of the Year winners, every expansion pack, never before collection release of Neverwinter Nights 2, and a limited edition gift, all for $29.99.

  • Neverwinter Nights + 3 Expansion Packs
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 + 3 Expansions Packs
  • Exclusive 18”x21” poster map of Neverwinter,

DDO Update 12

Update 12 is now live in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, the free-to-play D&D MMORPG. This post offers the extensive patch notes, and here's a summary: Continue here to read the full story.

Trainz Simulator Hotfixes

The Trainz Discussion Forum now offers hotfix patches for Trainz Simulator 2010 and Trainz Simulator 2012. In each case the patches address bugs and also pave the way for further DLC releases for the railroad simulations. The Trainz Simulator 2012 patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls, the patch for Trainz Simulator 2010 SP3 is mirrored on AtomicGamer, and the patch for Trainz Simulator 2010 SP4 is mirrored on AtomicGamer. Here are the patch notes: Continue here to read the full story.

The Book of Unwritten Tales Patch; Piracy Plea

The Book of Unwritten Tales Website features a semi-recently released patch to update the retail boxed edition of this adventure game to version 1.03, noting that the digitally distributed editions of the game would update automatically. This forum post has the change list, and the download is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls. While writing this up, I came across a post in the game's forums about pirated versions of the game with an impassioned plea:

For a developer it is sad to see that only one day after the release of a game 50% of the web-site visitors come from warez and torrent sites. We know that we can't do anything about it technologically and we won't try, because we don't want to hurt honest buyers.

If you are somebody who thinks about downloading an illegal copy, please consider: We are not a big publisher or corporation. We are a small indie developer with less than a dozen employers. The Book of Unwritten Tales is our only product. We can't compensate losses with other game sales. So if you like the game, please buy it. It's the only way we could continue making games like that.

You can buy the game on our site. It is twice as long as many other adventure games (about 20 hours) and costs less than most. So please support a fair relationship between gamers and developers.

DCS: Black Shark 2 Hotfix

The DCS Patches Page offers a new patch for DCS: Black Shark 2 as a hotfix that updates the flight simulation sequel to version 1.1.1.0. Word is this returns a missing Russian infantryman model. The download is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

Unofficial Oblivion Patch

A new unofficial patch for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with a lengthy list of fixes and additions for Bethesda's role-playing game is now available on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls. Obviously such a patch is used at one's own risk.

Gatherings & Competitions

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution on Deals.Woot. Save 60%. Thanks nin.
  • Fantasy Wars on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchase and get free Real Warfare 1242.
  • Sengoku on Impulse. Save 20%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

MechWarrior Online Interview, Art

An interview on the official website for MechWarrior Online talks with Alex Iglesias, lead artist on the upcoming multiplayer MechWarrior game. Alex discusses his background, his introduction to the MechWarrior franchise, and how he got involved with Piranha Games. He also talks about the game, and the pressure of redesigning iconic mechs, the fan reaction to what's going on, and mechs he looks forward to rebooting ("the Mechs with bizarre legs that seem to defy physics in some sense, like the Stalker or Black Python") and the one that fills him with the most dread ("Probably the Timberwolf, I know that if I mess that one up, I will never hear the end of it, and will probably have to try to outrun a few pitchfork wielding mobs."). Here is some concept art for the Atlas.

A Game of Thrones RPG Early Next Year

ATLUS announces they will be the publisher for the A Game of Thrones RPG in the works at Cyanide Studio. It was recently stated the game "won't be along for a while," but this announcement says the chance to role-play in a game based on the works of George R. R. Martin will arrive "in early 2012." A new website for the game is online, and the announcement offers further details on the game, which they refer to as an action/RPG:

In this 30-plus hour action RPG, players will enter the gritty and medieval fantasy world of Westeros. As one of two original characters with disparate motivations, both former soldiers of Robert's Rebellion, players will forge alliances and wage battles as they play a pivotal role in the ongoing war for power of the Seven Kingdoms. Their journey will span numerous quests, during which they will interact with many characters and make key decisions that impact the realm.

Standing before the majesty and bitter isolation of the Wall or walking through the streets and alleys of King's Landing, players will not simply pass by locations and characters integral to the series; they will explore and interact with them, meeting and learning about the people and history that defines them and their importance. Key decisions and major events will have meaningful impact on Westeros, allowing the player to witness how the game world evolves over time based on their actions or inactions. Moreover, "Game of Thrones" introduces an innovative "active slowdown tactical combat engine" in which combat mirrors the series' thoughtful approach to war and politics: fighting slows but never stops entirely, forcing the player to make quick, pressured choices before their enemy strikes again.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Take On Helicopters DRM; Demo Plans

A post on the Bohemia Interactive Forums asks for help with a problem causing a watery image degradation in Take On Helicopters, Bohemia's new flight simulator. As it turns out this can be the result of using a pirated edition of the game, as Bohemia explains this comes from their "unique anti-piracy countermeasures," also noting a demo for the game is in the works. Here's word:

Bohemia Interactive deploys various antipiracy countermeasures in its titles and Take On Helicopters is no exception, some users have reported morphed/watery image degradation (see http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?t=126991 ). The original version of Take On Helicopters does not suffer from this degradation of visual quality. Piracy is a big problem for Bohemia Interactive, as an independent PC developer, and we're trying to focus our support as much as possible towards users of legitimate copies. Counterfeit copies of our games may degrade and, moral aspects aside, we certainly recommend only playing the original version. We have a free public demo version of Take On Helicopters in the development pipeline for those that prefer to test it before buying.

Star Wars: Identities Domains

Fusible notes some new Star Wars-related domains registered by Lucasfilm, though it's not clear what sort of project they will be connected with, be it for games, movies, or television. The domains are for Star Wars: Identities, as they registered StarWarsIdentities.com, a typo variant StarWarsIdentites.com, and the abbreviation sw-id.com. Thanks Eurogamer.

Skyrim to Offer "Infinite Quests"

Wired spoke with Bethesda's Todd Howard about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and he described for them how in addition to scripted quests, the Radiant quest system in the imminent RPG sequel will offer an infinite supply of procedurally generated quests. "The vibe of the game is that it’s something that you can play forever," says Howard. He stresses this will not just be random chores, but rather an extension of lessons learned from development of Fallout 3, as they worked on motivating players to explore a vast game world. "With Fallout, it’s not as beautiful a world to everybody. We had to find ways to make exploration of [a destroyed wasteland] interesting," he says. "The world is probably the one thing that sets [Skyrim] apart from other games. It feels really real for what it is … It’s just fun to explore."

Jagged Alliance Online and UFO Online Beta Signups

Publisher gamigo announces they are gearing up for closed beta testing of two of their upcoming projects, Jagged Alliance Online and UFO Online – Fight for Earth, browser-based MMO installments in their respective turn-based strategy franchises. You can register as a tester on the UFO Online Website and the Jagged Alliance Online Website. Here's word on the games:

UFO Online – Fight for Earth is starting today and focuses on PvP battles between the three factions competing for global domination. Territories are conquered by defeating players from other factions or aliens. Another important feature is crafting and enhancing weapons and other equipment. Players will need to keep expanding their headquarters to gain access to better opportunities.

Jagged Alliance Online will follow in a few days and is aimed at players looking for awesome AI with a variety of behavior patterns and exciting missions. Players choose their favorites from a pool of more than 60 mercenaries and then equip and train them in the expandable headquarters. PvP content will be added to the game at a later date.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Breaks Sales Records

There's more from yesterday's Activision post-earnings conference call on PC Gamer, where they relay CEO Eric Hirshberg's comments about Call of Duty sales figures. Word is: "Pre-orders for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 outpaced pre-orders for Call of Duty: Black Ops by a wide margin, setting a new industry record in making it the most pre-ordered game of all time." This lead to the military shooter sequel driving "the largest day one shipments in our history and in the industry’s history." Activision also reveals that they've sold 20 million expansion packs for Black Ops, leading Hirshberg to state: "The revenues generated from map packs alone would make it the third largest console title of the year."

Unveiled: The Supernatural Unveiled

A post from late last month on MMO Culture has screenshots and a trailer from Unveiled: The Supernatural, an upcoming MMORPG in development a Maverick Studios in development since 2009. The "supernatural" aspect of this apparently includes the ability to play as witches, vampires, werewolves, and hunters, leading them to speculate this will be a competitor for The Secret World and World of Darkness. They link to this (gory) trailer which justifies their surprise to learn this is being developed in Korea, as it has a somewhat western feel. Thanks Massively via Gamer's Hell. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

[CodeBoX Media] - Blizzard’s Response to SWTOR: Pandalicious or a Bridge Too Far?
While the Pandaran have been a little seen if beloved creature in the lands of WoW, one has to wonder if they have played this particular card too late. I think we can all agree there may be a short term reinvestment into the game just to check out the new playable race and class, and perhaps that all Blizzard is hoping for. Yet I believe gamers who have by the time of MoP’s release have immersed themselves in Star Wars: The Old Republic will have a hard time going back to a text based quest system. Factor in that once again Blizzard has decided to rewrite the combat systems by removing talent trees altogether, opting to allow players to simply pick a spec and chose a new talent every level. Ghostcrawler has been accused of ignoring the 1-85 game in the past, but seriously, fifteen levels?? People may come to play a Panda for a while, but will they have any incentive to stay?

It staggers the mind to think of how many new features or new game mechanics could have been developed over the years, instead Ghostcrawler and company have chosen an infinite time loop of combat system revamps that never end. One could theorize that ten years from now, in an expansion entitled Arthas is Back, Back Again, that they will still be messing around with a new combat/advancement system.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

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