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Sunday, May 06, 2012

  

Risen 2 DLC Already on Disc?

A forum thread on GameFAQs has indications that Risen 2: Dark Waters may be the latest game to ship with what's supposed to be future DLC included on the retail disc. The thread outlines the discovery, and spawns one of those heated discussions over the ethics of making content on the game disc dependant on a future. Thanks Blend Games.

Steam Top 10

Here's Valve's accounting of the ten bestselling games on Steam for the past week:

  1. Sniper Elite V2
  2. Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 3
  3. Arkham Bundle
  4. The Walking Dead
  5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  6. Torchlight II
  7. Bastion
  8. Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants
  9. Toy Soldiers
  10. Risen 2 Dark Waters

On Sale

  • Chime on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Double Fine Bundle on Amazon. Thanks nin.

Sunday Previews

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Safety Dance

Sunday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook on t-break.

etc.

Out of the Blue

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo in a non-traditional way, by attempting to get ahead of our decrepit lawn before we become the Malcolm in the Middle house of the neighborhood. If the (crab) grass had gotten any taller I'd probably start contemplating the move Anthony Hopkins' character pulled in The World's Fastest Indian of just dousing it all in gasoline and tossing a match to it. Hey, now I have a vision of cooking sides of beef on a lawn-sized fire. From Manstovia to Mantopia!

Utopian Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Portal Panic.
Bobby Nutcase and the Acrobat Smashers.
Stories: Robber convicted after pants disguise fails. Thanks Neatorama.
Massive rise in Asian eye damage. Thanks
Drunk grandparents tow child in toy car. Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Aspirin is as 'good as warfarin' for most heart failure patients.
Two blind British men have electronic retinas fitted.
Nature-inspired materials could help camouflage.
Media: Fun Day at the Boat Launch.. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Water Oscillations In Zero Gravity With Sound Waves.
Collie Herds Deer out of Town.
The Funnies: Brevity.
FoxTrot.
Follow-ups: Tomari shutdown leaves Japan without nuclear power. Thanks HARDOCP.
Bigger and brighter 'supermoon' graces the night sky.
Supermoon 2012.
Microsubmarines could clean oil spills, researchers say.

Saturday, May 05, 2012 Cinco de Mayo. Happy Birthday Wolfenstein 3-D.

Free Radical on LucasArts and Battlefront III

A lengthy feature on Eurogamer looks back at the rise and fall of developer Free Radical games. The article's into states it was once to be called "Did Haze Kill Free Radical," but their research resulted in more of an indictment of mainstream game development in a piece ultimately titled "Free Radical vs. the Monsters." One interested contention, highlighted by GameSpot, is that LucasArts actually wanted their ambitious plans for Star Wars: Battlefront III to fail. Here's what he says about the sequel where the idea was that "players could seamlessly transition from a small-scale gunfight into a space battle simply by climbing into a ship and taking off":

But LucasArts began to press hard on other, less quantifiable, issues. "Stalling tactics," says Graeme Norgate. "If a publisher wants to find something that is wrong with a milestone, it's very easy for them to do so as there are so many grey areas within a deliverable. If the contract says, 'Graphics for level X to be release quality,' who can say what's release quality? And there you have it."

"LucasArts hadn't paid us for six months," says Norgate "and were refusing to pass a milestone so we would limp along until the money finally ran out. They knew what they were doing, and six months of free work to pass on to Rebellion wasn't to be sniffed at." Part of the eventual agreement between LucasArts and Free Radical saw certain assets passed on to Rebellion Studios. For a time LucasArts was tempted by the thought of a hastily put together Battlefront 3, but nothing came of it. When presented with the allegations put forth by this investigation, LucasArts said simply that it does not comment on rumour and speculation.

On EA and Indies

An interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talks with Nels Anderson of Klei about working with EA's Partners program. After EA took some heat for offering an "indie" bundle, Anderson explains that a lot of those games could not have been created without EA, which some would say is the reason this all doesn't qualify as "indie." Here's one of his comments:

First, all the games in this bundle were published via the EA Partners program. It’s the same group that Valve uses to release their games on consoles. It’s actually a very small group of people within EA and the people that run it are separate from EA’s internal studios.

And it really is a partnership. I never saw anything that could even be vaguely considered creative pressure. EAP got on board with the games because they liked the concepts and the developers! I think they understood that total creative freedom was very important to all the developers involved in these projects.

Saturday Previews

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Cinco de Mayo! And happy birthday Wolfenstein 3D, as id Software's seminal first person shooter was released (brace yourself) 20 years ago today.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Undo The End.
John Citizen 2.
Links: The 6 Greatest Video Games We'll Never Get to Play.
Stories: 'Cinco de Mayo' _ plenty of beer, little history.
Connecticut Senate passes medical marijuana bill.
Company’s ‘LaserSaber’ looks just like ‘Star Wars’ Jedi weapon.
Images: Underwater Dogs. Thanks Devicer.
Media: Star Wars: The Old Republic - "Hope" Fan Film.
Freeman's Mind: Episode 41 (Half-Life Machinima). NSFW.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
Brevity.
Free Bird Seed.



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