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Thursday, Dec 01, 2011 World AIDS Day

  

BRINK Free Weekend

The Steam Website is now offering a 75% off sale on BRINK, kicking off a free play weekend for Splash Damage's first-person shooter. Here's a refresher on the game:

Brink is an immersive first-person shooter that blends single-player, co-op, and multiplayer gameplay into one seamless experience, allowing you to develop your character whether playing alone, with your friends, or against others online. You decide the combat role you want to assume in the world of Brink as you fight to save yourself and mankind’s last refuge. Brink offers a compelling mix of dynamic battlefields, extensive customization options, and an innovative control system that will keep you coming back for more.

South Park: The Game Announced

THQ and South Park Digital Studios announce South Park: The Game, which is coming to Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in the second half of next year. Word is this is "an epic role-playing adventure that will allow the user to befriend Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny and explore the quiet little mountain town like never before." More details are promised in the January issue of Game Informer magazine, and in the meantime they have an online tease saying the game's developer is Obsidian Entertainment.

StarDrive Announced

Indie developer Zer0sum Games announces StarDrive, a 4X action/strategy game for Windows PC where the player starts with a single planet and a small number of space-worthy vessels with the goal of building a space empire. Word is: "The heart of StarDrive is its ship design and combat engine. StarDrive takes a module-based approach to ship design, allowing the player to create custom ship designs where the composition and placement of ship modules really matters to the performance of a ship in combat. In combat, if your portside armor is taking a beating, then rotate around and show them the starboard side! Hide behind a friendly capital ship's shields, warp into and out of the fray, launch fighters, lay mines, and so much more." The game is being supported by this Kickstarter campaign. Here's a feature list:

  • Customize your Race by selecting from a large list of physical traits, socioeconomic traits, and traits relating to your history and tradition
  • Deep, module-based ship design as described above
  • Lead your forces into battle with your own flagship that you control like an arcade shooter; command your fleets like you would in a real time strategy game with simple mouse commands
  • Tactical ground combat to take over enemy planets
  • A deep research tree with many dozens of technologies
  • Alien Artifacts to find and collect, which give bonuses to your empire
  • Rich diplomacy options, allowing you to make and break treaties with alien races; trade technologies and artifacts, sell ships, declare wars, and design joint operations with your allies.
  • Finally, MULTIPLAYER. Do this all with your friends online

Syndicate Trailer

The Syndicate Website now features a new Syndicate Deep-Dive: Agent Tools trailer showcasing some of the tools of the trade in the upcoming Syndicate shooter. Word is: "Along with the latest prototype chip (DART6), see all the agent tools you have in your arsenal as you fight through this brutal world of corporate governance and violence. Using Starbreeze's expertise in the first person shooter and action genres, Syndicate provides a brutal and futuristic through-the-gun experience with visceral weapons and best of breed AI." Continue here to read the full story.

Modern Warfare 3 Trailer

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 The Vet & The n00b Trash Talk trailer (NSFW) is online as Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington return as everyone's favorite screen couple talking about trash talk in the military shooter sequel.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Free Christmas mp3s from Amazon.com.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Skyrim Creation Kit Next Month

The Bethesda Blog has word on future plans for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which include mod tools with Steam Workshop support as well as continued game updates for Bethesda's RPG sequel. The Creation Kit is described as the same tools that were used to develop the game, and it is expected in January as a free release . The Steam Workshop support will allow new content to be uploaded at the push of a button, though uploads and downloads from third-party sites will also be permitted. Here's word on an imminent incremental patch and beyond:

Continued Game Updates – This week we released update 1.2 across all platforms, and we’ll be releasing an incremental update next week. We anticipate it will be up on PC first, and then hit PS3 and Xbox 360 later in the week. Among other things, the update will fix issues like magic resistance not calculating properly and the rare, amazing backwards flying dragon. Once the update is released, we’ll share the full release notes.

After the holidays, we’ll continue to release regular updates for the game — through full title updates, as well as incremental “gameplay updates” to fix whatever issues come up along with rebalancing portions of the game for difficulty or exploits. We plan on having a lot of these, not just a few. Overall, you should expect updates to be hitting the PC and Steam earlier and more often, as that’s a process we control. Console updates will follow, as they must be certified and processed by those manufacturers.

We all know this is a huge game, and everyone has a different experience. We’ll continue to do everything we can to make the game better and better for as many people as possible every day. We’ve also realized that with the millions upon millions of people playing Skyrim, we need to treat our updates with greater care. If we get too aggressive trying to fix a minor issue, we run a risk of breaking something larger in a game like this. To be safe, we are prioritizing code side fixes right now over data fixes. Quest and balance issues are usually data, and those will start rolling in a large way with the January updates.

Assassin's Creed Revelations Patch

A new patch is now available for Assassin's Creed Revelations to update the just-released Windows PC edition of the stealth/action sequel to version 1.01. A couple of the mirrors list this as a European patch, so we're not certain which editions of the game it is for. The download is available on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying. Here are the patch notes: Continue here to read the full story.

New ATI Catalyst Performance Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 11.11c Catalyst performance drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards. There seems to be just one new item in the patch notes: "Delivers AMD CrossFire performance scaling for the AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series" for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Steam Daily Wishlist Giveaway - Terraria Sale

Steam News announces a Daily Wishlist Giveaway, a new promotion beginning today to run through the holiday season. Every day 10 gamers will each win the top 10 items on their Steam wishlists. Anyone with a Steam account and at least 10 games on their wishlist will be entered upon visiting their featured daily deal page, beginning with today's first entry: Terraria for 75% off.

QUAKE No Longer Indexed in Germany

German publication heise online has word that QUAKE is now legal to publicly sell in Germany after being cleared by the BPjM, Germany's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons. The game was previously "indexed" as being harmful to minors, but the article notes that such decisions can be appealed after 10 years, and id's 1996 first-person shooter was apparently cleared due to the historical significance of some of its technical breakthroughs. If our understanding of the translation is correct, Zenimax is also seeking to appeal the in indexing of the Scourge of Armagon and Dissolution of Eternity QUAKE expansions. Thanks Joystiq.

IO Interactive's New IP Plans

A feature on Gamasutra outlines IO Interactive's "ambitious" plans for the next Hitman game as the company addresses the recent news that Square Enix Montreal will contribute to the series. "We have very ambitious plans for Hitman," says studio head Niels Jorgensen. "We really look forward to having a close partnership with the Montreal studio." They also highlight a statement that following Hitman: Absolution, IO Interactive will turn its attention to a brand new IP: "When people work on the same IP for some time, I believe that there's a sort of creative drain," he says. "Thankfully we managed to make sure we keep focusing on different IPs and keeping people fresh." He also mentions they have a skunkworks for this: "We've built an incubation department whose focus is work on new IP and prototypes, and all sorts of things for existing and new IP," says Jorgensen. "And that's a really interesting sort of secret place where they cook up a lot of new things."

Dead Space FPS Plans?

EA is working on a first-person shooter based on Dead Space, is a new rumor on Kotaku, citing a report from "one insider." They say this does not mean that Dead Space 3 is cancelled, and the third installment in the original series will conclude a trilogy centered around engineer Isaac, and will feature co-op support. Apparently ambitions for the franchise do not end with these two games, as they say EA also has ambitions for a Dead Space flight game and an "an Uncharted-like game," both of which are in early planning stages.

Counter-Strike Global Offensive Beta Footage

Beta testing is now underway for Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Valve's upcoming new installment in the teamplay shooter series. This trailer offers a look at the beta in action, offering over three minutes of gameplay. Thanks VG247. Continue here to read the full story.

Grand Theft Auto IV Event Tomorrow

Rockstar Games announces an official Social Club multiplayer event tomorrow to celebrate the third anniversary of the release of the Windows PC edition of Grand Theft Auto IV:

Get ready for our next official Social Club multiplayer event - happening this Friday December 2nd with a three hour PC session of Grand Theft Auto IV plus Episodes from Liberty City from 4-7PM Eastern time on Games for Windows LIVE. The occasion happens to fall on the 3rd anniversary of the release of Grand Theft Auto IV for PC so we're stocking the event sweepstakes Rockstar Prize Packs with original collectible GTAIV foam fingers, lapel pin sets, license plates, t-shirts and large character stickers. We're also inviting some special guest players from the GTA fansite community to join us (and you) as we get down and dirty from Cops n' Crooks to GTA Race to Team Deathmatch and also playing modes by request from the episodes The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.

City of Steam Trailer

The City of Steam Website now offers a Classes & Combat Trailer showing off the four classes from this upcoming free-to-play steampunk MMORPG. There's also this recent developer journal on the game's art and design. Thanks Cutter. Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

Cryptic Sea - F**k the GDC. Thanks Morris.
Since the email didn't specify any reason why it wasn't accepted I can only speculate, but I suspect part of the reason was that I'm not famous enough. There's been some really mediocre talks at the IGS, with people literally phoning it in, but they're well known indies so they get accepted. If Notch wanted to do a talk on potato chips it would probably get in. Since I've spent the last few years working on various projects that haven't been completed for one reason or another, and I haven't tried to be part of the "indie scene", I've missed out on the indies are cool wave.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today marks World AIDS Day: "World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today - you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding. Click here to find out the facts."

PSA Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Zipzip: Secret Dimension.
Zombie Boom Games.
Links: The Call of Cthulhu. A la Seuss. Thanks Cutter via io9.
11 Facts You Might Not Know about Battlestar Galactica.
Stories: 'Game of Thrones' scoop: DVD release date, details, photos.
Images: Santa Claus and His Machine Guns.
Lush Labyrinth. Thanks nin.
The Blues 5.
Media: That trickshot frisbee guy goes to Australia.
Blackboard War.
"Still Alive" played by four floppy disk drives.
Auction: The Math That Saved Apollo 13 Just Sold for $388,375.
The Funnies: Dilbert.



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