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Monday, Sep 17, 2012

  

Gratuitous Space Battles Adding Direct Control

Cliffski's Blog has a post outlining how the long-requested ability to directly control spacecraft in Gratuitous Space Battles that will be added as a free update to the game soon. Here's a trailer showing off new features in the new patch, and here's word:

Essentially, I have added an option to singleplayer GSB battles that lets you play the game like an RTS. For all those people who hated one of the central elements of the game (no control during battles), you now have that as an option. If you have played the game before, you might enjoy giving it a spin with the new option. (Sorry, the demo isn’t updated with this feature yet). If you were always on the fence about buying the game (which you can get here) because of the lack of control, now is the time to buy :D.

This is patch number 60, so it took me a while, but I thought ‘what the hell’. I demonstrate how it works, along with some new visual effects added in this patch, in this video below. Please upvote it, or retweet it, or do what ever trendy things you socially-enabled gamers do these days. It’s much appreciated. And tell me what you think of it, too. BTW it’s a free update, not DLC. This update *will* make it to the steam copy, I just need to get them to update it.

Combat Mission: Fortress Italy Demo

Battlefront.com offers downloads of playable demos for Combat Mission: Fortress Italy, allowing Windows and OS X gamers the chance to sample this recently released World War II strategy sequel. Word is: "This free demo version contains limited functionality and content to showcase the full version of the game, which can be purchased at www.battlefront.com." Here's an outline of those limitations:

  • only three scenarios are playable.
  • QuickBattles are disabled (but the QB setup screen is visible)
  • multiplayer modes (PBEM/TCP) are fully enabled
  • the Scenario Editor is enabled and fully functional, but it will not allow you to purchase units, load, or save any maps
  • contains nag screens during launch end exit of the demo.

Anno 2070 Patch

A new patch is now available for Anno 2070 to update Ubisoft's strategy sequel to version 1.06. The patch can be found on AtomicGamer; Gamer's Hell; and The Patches Scrolls, while the automatic Steam update is live, as well. The patch notes have all the details, which are reproduced here: Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD Catalyst CAP for Borderlands 2

AMD now offers a new version 12.8 CAP 3, an updated set of Catalyst Application Profiles for AMD/ATI graphics cards, saying this is something AMD/ATI owners will want to play Borderlands 2, Gearbox Software's role-playing shooter that's due in North America tomorrow. As the notes indicate, this has improvements for other games as well:

 New profiles added to this release:

  • Borderlands 2 – New CrossFire profile
  • Guild War 2: Resolves grass texture corruption observed when changing graphics settings in a CrossFire configuration
  • World of Warcraft(DX9): Fix the flickering observed when view distance is changed to fair in graphics settings when CrossFire is enabled
  • Depth Hunter: Resolves shadow flickering seen when running in CrossFire mode
  • Dirt Showdown – Resolves flickering seen in CrossFire mode
  • Stalker Call of Pripyat – Resolves flickering seen in CrossFire mode
  • War of Roses – Fixes flickering seen in CrossFire mode

Chaos Chronicles Interview

An interview on Gamers.de is an English translation of a German discussion with developers at Coreplay about Chaos Chronicles, their upcoming turn-based role-playing game. Here is an outline of their goals for the project: "Coreplay is a Developer Studio, which was created in 2007 by the branch veterans Peter Ohlmann and Andreas Drude. In addition to a few rather commercial projects, we also created titles like “Jagged Alliance: Back in Action“ and “Ion Assault”. The motivation behind “Chaos Chronicles” originated back in our childhood. We made our first contact at this time with computer RPGs like “Bard's Tale”, “Pool of Radiance” and “Phantasie.” Unfortunately, modern RPGs are way different than these old games. Therefore, we decided to set this kind of games up again. We simply missed this classical kind of games with party-based role-play, a great world map and tactical turn-based-combat."

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track has their list of the 20 bestselling full-price PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending September 15th. This week Battlefield 3 premium appears at number six following a top five unchanged from last week. There's more action on the all-platforms chart where Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ends up at number two, while Sleeping Dogs continues to lie at number one.

Project Eternity Hitting Stretch Goals

Obsidian's just-launched Project Eternity Kickstarter has already met its initial funding goal of $1.1 million and its first stretch goal of $1.4 million, which means this upcoming RPG will include an additional playable race. They are also right on the verge of their second goal, as $1.6 million in funding will ensure an OS X version of the game. Looking past that, they plan on adding another race at $1.8 million, player housing at $2 million, and a bunch of features and Linux support will come if they hit the $2.2 million mark. Since this has been such a roaring success, they are already working on additional stretch funding goals if their pile of money continues to outstrip their plans for it.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: My dog: the paradox. Sums it up perfectly (except both our dogs know both our names). Thanks nin.

On The Secret World's F2P Potential

There's an interview on GamesIndustry International talking with Ole Schreiner, the new CEO of Funcom, discussing The Secret World and the MMOG's subscription model versus the free-to-play scheme that many feel is the only viable future for such games. He says they considered F2P, and while a lot of how the game was created was based on subscriptions, they have the "tools" to make the switch should the decide it's necessary:

The Secret World was developed as a subscription-based game and the decisions made during planning and production was based on that business model. If we had designed The Secret World as a free-to-play offering we would have made some different decisions along the way, for example in terms of how the in-game store works and how our post-launch content plan would play out. We tried leaving our options open during development so that we could launch with a different model should we have decided during development that's what we wanted, but eventually we did settle on the subscription model and that's what informed much of the game's design.

That said we definitely have the tools to turn The Secret World into a free-to-play game - or even hybrid - should we decide to do that somewhere down the line. We did that with Age of Conan with significant success. We all know that trends and expectations in the gaming business, and perhaps particularly the MMO genre, is evolving quickly, and we're regularly re-evaluating our business model against the changing currents of the marketplace and our own player base as well. Not only in terms of The Secret World, but also our future games.

Dragon Age III Inquisition Announced

The BioWare Blog is written by Mark Darrah, who introduces himself and Dragon Age III Inquisition, the next installment in the Dragon Age series of action/RPGs. They've been working on this for a couple of years now, and while they are not prepared to share details at the moment, Mark says they will be as open as they can along the way. There are a few tidbits to get us started, including word on a new game engine:

I am pleased to confirm that we are, in fact, working on the next Dragon Age game. Not a big surprise to most of you, I know. We have been working on it in some way for about two years now with the bulk of our efforts ramping up about 18 months ago.

Part of that effort has involved you, our fans, and the feedback you’ve provided for Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and their DLC. We’ve visited message boards, read reviews, and we’ve gone to events to have direct face to face conversations with some of our most passionate fans. We’ve been listening, and we will continue to listen.

Recently, I said that we didn’t want to talk about Dragon Age III unless we had something to show. I’m trying to stick to that plan and won’t be revealing much today. That said, a lot of information and rumors have surfaced recently and we don’t want to hide from them. There are a BUNCH of things that I really want to share with you but I want to do this right, and doing it right requires some more time.

So here’s what I can confirm for now:

  • The next game will be called Dragon Age III: Inquisition.
  • We won’t be talking about the story of the game today. Though you can make some guesses from the title.
  • This game is being made by a lot of the same team that has been working on Dragon Age since Dragon Age: Origins. It’s composed of both experienced BioWare veterans and talented new developers.
  • We are working on a new engine which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization. At PAX East, we talked about armor and followers… Yeah, that kind of customization. We’ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.

There’s much more to talk about, of course, but it will have to wait until it’s ready for the prime time.

We are going to be as open as we can. We will continue to have a dialogue with you and answer what questions we can. Keep providing us with your feedback. I’m excited about what we are working on and I hope that you will be too. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but it is just as hard for me not to tell you stuff as it is for you to wait.

With thanks for your enthusiasm, and your patience,

Borderlands 2 Launch Trailer

A launch trailer for Borderlands 2 is now online, as Gearbox gears up for the release of their role-playing shooter sequel tomorrow in the U.S. and on Friday elsewhere. Word is: "The time is now to take out Handsome Jack. Gather up your friends as you run rampant through the world collecting bazillions of loot and guns in an effort to save Pandora from the evil grips of the Hyperion Corporation." Also, those in the London area on Sunday can snag a free copy of the game if they are willing to take a leap of faith with a bungee jump. Continue here to read the full story.

BIS Espionage Charges Follow-Up

Bohemia Interactive has issued a full statement on the recent arrests of two of their employees for espionage in Greece. Also, Kotaku notes that this website is online to support the pair, and VG247 has the full text of the statement, which claims the co-workers were taking a vacation together during crunch time. Here's a bit that says they "hope" (as opposed to know) "that the whole situation is no more than an unfortunate and deep misunderstanding.":

Having travelled there, and after meeting personally with them both, as well as their lawyer who is fully acquainted with the Greek authority’s investigation file in detail, we can assure you that these insinuations are completely false and without substance. These employees – our friends, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar – visited the island as tourists. Their holiday was a product of their interest in the island, triggered by their work on Arma 3 over the past two years of development.

They took photographs and videos in public areas, as countless tourists arriving to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of Greece may well do. These included a short video as they drove through the main road passing around the international airport, where in one short part of the video off in the distance some hangars and other buildings of the complex can be seen. It’s very likely that many tourists may have pictures similar to those taken by Ivan and Martin in their own family albums, without being aware that they put themselves or their families at risk.

We sincerely hope that the whole situation is no more than an unfortunate and deep misunderstanding. The in-game Limnos is close to completion, and it’s far from an identical replication of the real place. It was heavily modified to fit the game’s backstory, a purely fictional 2035 setting. It was rescaled to only 75% of the real island, and it does not attempt to display any real world military installations situated on the island of Lemnos.

Steam Top 10

Here's Valve's list of the 10 bestselling games on Steam for the week:

  1. Borderlands 2
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  4. Arma 2: Combined Operations
  5. FTL: Faster Than Light
  6. Torchlight II
  7. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
  8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard
  9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 3 Chaos Pack
  10. Borderlands 2 Season Pass

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Welcome to the NFL to Greg Schiano, who in his rookie season has already established himself as the chippiest coach in the league. That stunt his team pulled at the end of the game was really embarrassing, and I expect the unapologetic punk will be getting a call from the commissioner this week to discuss how professionals conduct themselves, as he obviously has a lot to learn in that regard.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Puzzle Cannon.
Links: If the Final Season of Breaking Bad Was Written by Dr. Seuss.
Science: Japanese invention could end tooth decay.
Images: Rejected iPhone 5 Designs.
Media: Trees cut down so shuttle can pass. Thanks Slashdot.
Frisky Monkeys Interrupt Reporter.
Cheeky Seagull.



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