The Kickstarter for Project Giana has under a week remaining to fund this PC platformer they call "the grandchild of The Great Giana Sisters, a Super Mario Bros clone made by the now-deceased founder of our company in the eighties." They offer a gameplay video to show off the game, and now also provide a playable demo to allow everyone to get firsthand impressions. Here's word on the game:
We’ve stuck to the classic core gameplay, but we’ve also expanded it with something new. Don’t worry – it’s not a random idea out of the blue, but builds on the central theme of our heroine transforming from “cutie” to “punky” within a dream world. You can now switch between both forms at will – any time, anywhere, and each form has its own abilities.
But that’s only half of the story… whenever you transform, you’re actually warping the entire dream world! Cute Giana likes it spooky, thank you very much, and can lightly twirl over obstacles and enemies as long as the dream is sufficiently morbid. Flip to her candyland nightmare, and angry Punk Giana takes over, smashing anything fluffy that dares bar her way. The dream and nightmare worlds look, sound and behave differently, and morph between each other in real time, enabling all kinds of tricky maneuvers and bonus puzzly bits for secret areas.
A new Kickstarter is underway for Armada Online, a science fiction-themed online action/RPG. If that sounds familiar, that's because this is revisiting a game announced seven years ago that has been operating in various forms since. They are looking to fund additional development for the game, and their goals include releasing the original into the public domain, re-writing it as a free PC game, and operating it out of the cloud. Here's word:
Armada Online is an action role-playing game, set in a colorful science fiction universe. You take command of a starship and battle hordes of biomechanical aliens. As you warp to different regions, you will engage in new challenges, such as summoning stations to defend against incoming waves, or fight in pvp arenas, or hunt elite aliens across star systems. Gain levels to allocate skill points, learn special skills, and customize your ship to take on more difficult challenges. An interesting thing about our game is that we started by making what is typically considered “the end game” and made it rewarding for players of different skill levels, so even in its present state, it is highly replayable and welcomes spontaneous/mixed groups with different play styles.
This page has new patches for Drox Operative, updating the Windows and OS X editions of Soldak Entertainment's action/RPG to beta version 0.917. Here are the patch notes, and in short: "This patch makes a lot of balance changes, fixes a bunch of small things, and provides the player with more information."
Radial Games and Dejobaan Games announce they are collaborating on Monster Loves You!, a virtual pet/adventure game in the works for Windows and iOS for release at the end of this year. We should hear more about this soon, as it's being shown off a PAX Prime next week, and in the meantime the Monster Loves You! has the announcement with this overview:
As a Monsterling, your choices are simple ones. Do you have that blueberry pie, knowing it will spoil your dinner and turn your coat blue? Do you play with one bowling ball and become better at sports, or juggle a dozen thereby growing lots of arms? What happens when you win that staring contest with the Thousand Eyed Demon? As a youth, your choices determine your appearance.
But all youngins must grow up. Monsters and humans have been at odds for centuries, and there are human villages on the other side of the enchanted woods. When human children get lost in those dark and winding thickets, do you terrorize them for fun? Do you help return them to Human civilization to prove that not all monsters are to be feared and hated? Or do you fatten them up for succulent human foie gras?
Matrix Games announces the release of Strategic War in Europe, a new World War II turn-based strategy game from Wastelands Interactive. Word is: "Players will be able to select one or more of the 25 nations across three World War II alliances in Strategic War in Europe to command across a large full-scale map. With Strategic War in Europe players won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed with extreme map sizes and sections, perfect for new players and quicker multiplayer games."
Blueside sends details on Kingdom Under Fire II, the first we've heard in a while about the upcoming online continuation of this real-time strategy series. They say development of the game for PCs is well underway, and following the conclusion of the first round of beta testing they are preparing for a second closed beta. They highlight the capabilities of their proprietary graphics engine, saying the FAME tech 2 engine. [It is] "Good for processing massive numbers of units and outstanding rendering techniques to express the Medieval Europe War" says Blueside manager Hyo-Jung Shin. "The function of Procedure Animation will be enforced, and the expression of various natural animations will become possible in the future." Here are a few images, and here's the translated statement:
Between Aug 20th and 22th at the CEDEC 2012 Conference held in Pacifico Yokohama, Japan, Mr. Hyo-Jung Shin/Manager from Blueside had successfully made a speech about their game engine animation functions system that is used for “Kingdom under Fire ll” which is a PC online game under being developed now.
Iceberg Interactive announces Endless Space is now available in European stores for Windows and OS X, except in Germany, where the retail edition of the 4X space strategy game is expected a week from today. The game has been available on Steam since last month, but the retail edition includes a manual and an art booklet.
A new trailer is online for XCOM: Enemy Unknown is titled "casualties of war," showing off more of the action/strategy revival in development at Firaxis. Word is: "As the commander of XCOM, the lives of the world's best operatives are in your hands. Soldiers will fall, but it's up to you to recruit, train, and advance their skills and capabilities to counter the alien attack and minimize your casualties of war." Continue here to read the full story.
The Chaos Chronicles Website is online as home to development of Coreplay's upcoming turn-based role-playing game. They offer a post with the aftermath of their gamescom appearance following the game's recent announcement. They describe showing the game to the press behind closed doors and link to the various previews this provoked, and promise to keep us abreast of the game's progress as the work towards releasing it next year.
I'm very pleased with the results of a little restoration project I just completed on a frying pan I found amid some of my dad's junk. It is a beautiful older Le Creuset omelet pan from the days before they coated the cast iron with enamel. It had a nasty burned-on mess in it that defied all my efforts at scrubbing, in spite of the pride I take in my ability to solve such problems with elbow grease. Knowing there are people out there who have restored cast iron in far rougher shape than this, I took to the Google, and learned spray on oven cleaner can help in such situations, and sure enough, a couple of applications got me down to basically bare metal. It was then a simple matter to unscrew the wooden handle, which I worked on cleaning up while the cast iron re-seasoned in the oven. I now have an as good as new omelet pan for my effort, or arguably better than new, since the non-stick properties of cast iron cookware improve with the addition of a little patina, and this pan seems to fall into the category of "they don't make them like that anymore."