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Friday, Feb 24, 2012 Happy Birthday Qtest

  

Syndicate Solicits Pirates

New Scientist has details on an interesting overture to software pirates in Syndicate that was found in Starbreeze's newly released first-person shooter by reddit's MikkelManDK. Apparently legit copies of the game include an .nfo file that would normally be found in a cracked copy with two simple instructions: "1) Insert disc 2) Play ;)". This apparently also offers pirates the chance to apply for jobs and asks them to consider the years spent by hundreds of people making the game before stealing it.

Wasteland Kickstart Interview

An interview on No Mutants Allowed talks with Brian Fargo about recent indications inXile is considering a Kickstarter campaign to fund a remake of Wasteland. Brian starts off by catching us up on the history of this project:

Indulge me on a little backdrop for this project first. As you know I have been wanting to make a sequel to Wasteland for nearly 20 years so it seems that it is long overdue and an overnight possibility all at once. We were a small developer when we made the Bard's Tale series and Wasteland but despite their success we just were not making very much money. I had a vision of hiring talented people in their respective areas to work as a team rather than rely on the talents of just a few people. It is quite an obvious idea now but the early RPG's were typically made by just a few people so we tended to get dry writing or little focus on setting moods with art and music. We became a publisher and EA kept those rights so I assembled a team to create Fallout. Fallout had so many ties to Wasteland and did a beautiful job of setting the mood and keeping the tactics interesting. Once we nailed the central vision down that team took Fallout to absolute creative heights.

The whole industry was quite surprised to see Double Fine raise such a substantial amount of money for an Indie project and I'm sure every developer in the world started to think about it. Before I could even speak to my guys I started to have fans pinging me on doing another Wasteland. I dared to get a little excited and think this game might fit the build for a Kickstarter type project. We had already put quite a bit of effort into the story and character design when Jason Anderson was aboard so I wasn't starting from ground zero.

Double Fine Rewards Added

The Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter Page has an update from Tim Schafer outlining new rewards they are offering for various levels of support for Double Fine's fan-funded adventure game. They also offer a short version of a 35 minute "Ron Gilbert's Words of Wisdom to Tim Schafer" video.

PC Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City in May

Capcom offers a new Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City Brutality Trailer along with word on release plans for the Windows PC edition of the survival/horror shooter on May 18th:

Additionally, we are happy to announce that the PC version of the game will be coming this May 18th, featuring NVIDIA 3D support and all the features of the console version, including but not limited to the ability to cram grenades into the enemy's mouth and then shove 'im into a crowd. Oh yes.

WoW Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website has a list of the latest hotfixes applied to the server side of Blizzard's MMORPG (thanks Ant). Here's the list of changes: Continue here to read the full story.

Arma 3 Alpha Release Planned

A post on the Bohemia Interactive Studios Website by Arma 3 Project Lead Daniel Musil outlines plans to release an alpha version of the military shooter sequel after E3 (which will be in June). Here's a bit:

Following E3, we plan to open up the game to our players. This process starts with the release of a playable build of Arma 3. We call it the 'Community Alpha'. It's intended to enable people who'd like to try the game early on in development help us to shape it up - and make Arma 3 the greatest release of the series. Ours is a large and complex game - being developed by a relatively small team - so we really appreciate your opinions, thoughts and feedback.

The Community Alpha will be quite limited in terms of the assets it includes, with the goal of providing enough content to experiment with the brand new bits of gameplay and technology. It also enables our passionate community to prepare their mods for the very latest version of the Real Virtuality engine. Then, later on in the year, we'd like to open up our game up even further with a more extensive beta program. The exact details, however, we intend to set out closer to their launch.

As you may have recently picked up on, we plan to delay the full Arma 3 release. With this additional time, we're focused upon creating a feature-rich, polished, and bug free experience. For us, it all comes down to delivering a quality product. We've achieved a great deal, but we don't want to rush things at the expense of what we finally deliver.

DirectX 10/11 has been implemented. PhysX is working - particularly, rag-doll animation looks really impressive! The UI is undergoing a redesign, with the focus upon improved usability. Indeed, ease of use, and particularly accessibility, has been an entire goal in itself. We've heard your feedback, and we want to make the game easier to learn for those new to the game, without sacrificing anything that makes our game unique. We have reworked our animations using completely new motion capture recordings. The result is the most realistic animations ever achieved in the series, as well as additional gameplay features.

Ships Ahoy - Orbitron: Revolution

GamersGate now offers the promised Windows edition of Orbitron: Revolution. Here's word on the DRM-free release:

Launch into a relentless battle against a robotic horde bent on the destruction of an Orbital Power Station. Blast your way through three intense game modes with one of two selectable space fighters.

Addicting, classic shoot ‘em up gameplay, built upon a uniquely modern structure, featuring beautiful 3d graphics, and a soundtrack by Audio Antics await you in Orbitron: Revolution!

Rewritten for the PC from the XBox Live Indie Games original, Orbitron: Revolution supports variable framerates and resolutions from 1280×720 up to 1920×1200!

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Into the Black

Diablo III Launch Date Announcement Nears

A Message from Jay Wilson offers Blizzard's outlook on expectations for Diablo III, forced to react to a comment by a community manager on the topic that was widely taken as an official statement (thanks Blizzplanet). Jay responds to the idea of lowering expectations by raising them, and also raises expectations of when to expect the release of their action/RPG sequel, saying: "you can seriously expect a launch-date announcement from us in the near future. See, I didn’t say 'soon,' so I’m not taunting you. ;)" Here's word:

Jay Wilson wanted to share a message with the Diablo III community:

Some of you might have seen some headlines or a certain (obviously sarcastic) blue post that implies that we're unsteady about where Diablo III stands, and that you should temper your expectations when it comes to the next installment in the Diablo series.

Let me be clear: Nothing could be further from the truth.

As those of you in the beta have seen, the game is in good shape. Actually, I should say that the beta version of the game is in good shape. The latest full build we've been testing here in the office is in great shape.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Banner Saga Announced

The Stoic Studio Website unveils plans for The Banner Saga, an upcoming tactical RPG with turn-based combat following a Viking theme (thanks LNjr via The Indie Game Magazine). Stoic Studio was formed by couple of former BioWare employees after working together on Star Wars: The Old Republic. Plans for The Banner Saga are not completely clear, as the page says: Free multiplayer combat - Coming soon." This is cleared up in an interview about the game on IndieRPGs.com where Alex Thomas explains:

Our first priority has always been to make a real, story-based, single player campaign with The Banner Saga just like you’re saying. As we developed our combat system we felt that we have something really unique and fun and figured why not release it as a standalone? As a result, the game will have a single player and multiplayer component. We’ll release the multiplayer combat for free later this year and release the single-player campaign soon after that. Rest assured, the single player campaign is our primary focus.

BioWare Explains Mass Effect 3 Day One DLC

A post to the BioWare Social Network addresses reaction to the recent leak of details on From Ashes, a day-one DLC pack for Mass Effect 3. With some suggesting a boycott over the news (thanks Jason via PCWorld), BioWare's Mike Gamble wants it understood that this content was developed after the game:

As most of you know, yesterday there was a leak that revealed the upcoming DLC “ME3:From Ashes” on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. This leak took place before we were prepared to make an announcement about the details of that pack (slated for this Friday). There has been a lot of discussion about the DLC offering but we wanted to clarify a few things...

- “From Ashes” includes the Prothean squad mate, an adventure on Eden Prime, a new weapon, and an alternate appearance for every squad mate. Note that these alternate appearances are in addition to the ones already advertised in the CE.

- The Collectors Edition has been advertised from the beginning as containing a bonus character/mission, but we were not at liberty to provide the details. The Prothean is optional content that is certainly designed to appeal to long-time fans, which is why he is part of the CE offering (the version many fans would be likely to purchase). Mass Effect 3 is a complete – and a huge game - right out of the box.

- The content in “From Ashes” was developed by a separate team (after the core game was finished) and not completed until well after the main game went into certification.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Premier Manager 2012

The Premier Manager Website announces that the PC edition of Premier Manager 2012 is now available in U.K. stores, offering an association football/soccer strategy game described like this: "Premier Manager 2012 packs in a huge player/team database, a brand new tactics system, RPG-style “levelling up” of managers and exhilarating match days. Football fans can choose to watch every match or enjoy the thrills and spills of an entire season in one evening with the instant resolving of matches." Here's a feature list:

  • Manage in any of the top European Leagues
  • Unique RPG-style manager XP points
  • Brand new tactical Unity System
  • Exciting match day experience
  • Huge player and club database
  • Real-time graphical negotiation system (GNS)
  • Edit player, club, manager, stadium and competition names

STELLAR IMPACT This Spring

Meridian4 announces they have signed on as the North American publisher for STELLAR IMPACT, and the game will be released via digital distribution this spring, though the online strategy game is also currently for sale as the premium part of its free-to-play model. Word is this will be a fuller version of the game. "Stellar Impact created an impressive cult following during its beta program and we’re excited to expand the audience with a full featured release across all the major digital portals," said Steve Milburn, Marketing Director of Meridian4. "Strategy game fans will soon get to experience a dynamic new sci-fi adventure and challenging multiplayer experience." They also say the release will be followed by DLC releases.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Antec One Mid-Tower Case on eTeknix.
  • ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Sandy Bridge-E LGA2011 ATX Motherboard on Futurelooks.
  • AZZA Fusion 4000 Case on Neoseeker.
  • Chillblast Fusion Photo Workstation PC on ITShootOut.com.
  • Coolermaster GX Lite-700W PSU on RBMODS.
  • EPICGEAR Meduza Mouse and Pad on Overclockers Club.
  • Gigabyte 7950 Windforce Graphics Card on PureOC.
  • Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3072MB Graphics Card on TechSpot Reviews.
  • Huntkey Jumper 600B PSU on Hardware Secrets.
  • Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Smartphone on HotHardware.
  • Noctua NF-F12 Cooler on XSReviews.
  • Plextor M3 - M3S 256GB SSD on TweakTown.
  • Rosewill Ranger-M MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case on The SSD Review.
  • Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Cards in CrossFire Overclocked on TweakTown.
  • Seasonic Platinum Series 860W Platinum PSU on AnandTech.
  • Siemens Gigaset SL910A on t-break.
  • XFX Radeon HD 7770 Black Edition S Super Overclocked 1GB Graphics Card on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

I cannot thank you all enough for the advice on my smoker question. You've given me a lot to digest, so to speak, but have provided a lot of good information which will surely make my decision easier. And my talk of the impending spring season had its inevitable effect on the weather, as we got a dumping of wet snow overnight, but thankfully this was pretty easy to deal with.

Digestible Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Zombies, Inc. Thanks Daniel.
Cyclop Physics.
Links: da chip. Thanks nin.
Goggie CPR.
5 Actors Who Do The Exact Same Thing In Every Movie.
Stories: "Archer" Scores A Fourth Season. Thanks nin.
Media: Comic-Con Episode IV- A Fan's Hope.
Admiral General Aladeen - Today Show Appearance. Thanks nin.
Auction: Auction of teleportation device proves there's no place like home.
The Funnies: When You Write Your Essays in Programming Languages. Thanks reddit.



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