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Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012

  

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage Demo

A playable demo is now available for Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage to provide a test drive of this game of motoring mayhem. The download is available on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell, and here's the description of the game:

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage is a fast-paced addictive combat racing game for the PC. The game features many different vehicles, weapons, upgrades, on-track bonuses as well as distinctive and astonishing environments. Player starts with low performance vehicle and gradually works his way up by earning money in a series of challenging races. Along with developing his driving and fighting skills, player has to invest his hard earned money wisely to grab the chance for driving on the road to glory.

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage features unique type of humor that adds additional value to the game.

Black Ops II Multiplayer Footage

This video on IGN features around eight minutes of multiplayer combat from Call of Duty: Black Ops II, accompanied by commentary from a couple of their editors who share their impressions of the upcoming military shooter sequel. Thanks Batman. Continue here to read the full story.

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Patch

The Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Website now features a new patch to update the just-released action remake to version 1.02. The patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls, and here's the change list:

  • Save game corruption bug fixed.
  • Improved stability.
  • Various Walrus AI improvements.
  • Numerous Localization fixes
  • Various campaign script fixes and improvements.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: How to save those people in the elevator in Black Mesa. Thanks Acleacius.

Non-Gaming Apps on Steam

The Software on Steam Store is now open, a bit later than expected (right on Valve Time), allowing customers the chance to buy non-gaming applications through Valve's digital distribution service. At launch they offer six titles (and the previously released free Source Filmmaker), noting that many take advantage of Steamworks features such as easy automatic updating and saving to the Steam Cloud, giving the example that GameMaker Studio features integration with Steam Workshop to allow users to share their work via Steam. For the first week all of these applications are on sale for 10% off: 3D-Coat, 3DMark 11, 3DMark Vantage, ArtRage Studio Pro, CameraBag 2, and GameMaker: Studio.

Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord Announced

TaleWorlds has a brief teaser trailer up for Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord, an upcoming sequel to Mount&Blade, their action/strategy/RPG. We have no explanation for failing to note this at the time it was posted last week, but thank dj LiTh for rescuing it from falling between the cracks completely. There's not much to go by in the trailer, but its description includes a little information:

TaleWorlds Entertainment is proud to announce the next installment in the acclaimed Mount & Blade game series, entitled: Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This sandbox action-RPG strategy hybrid will take players on a journey into a fictional world of up-close and personal medieval combat on a huge scale, bigger, bloodier and more intense than ever before. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will build upon the popular Mount & Blade franchise bringing in many exciting and highly requested new features.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier DLC Announced

Ubisoft announces Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Khyber Strike, a DLC package coming to the console editions of the military shooter sequel on October 9th and to Windows PCs at some undisclosed point after that. Here are a few screenshots, and here's the announcement:

Today, Ubisoft announced the Khyber Strike DLC pack, the third Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier DLC package. Khyber Strike will feature three new multiplayer maps, a new multiplayer game mode called "Takeover," a new Guerrilla Mode co-op map, new achievements, and an increased level cap. Khyber Strike will be available for download on October 9th on Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the Sony PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. It will be available on Windows PC on a later date.

Khyber Strike DLC features:

  • 3 new multiplayer maps
    • Switchback: Step off the main road leading down into the city and into a maze of ancient buildings and narrow alleys. The twists and turns of the alleyways turn every corner into a close-quarters deathtrap.
    • Palace: There's no time for reflection even in this magnificent relic. What once was a museum dedicated to showing the glories of the past is now a battlefield, with a massive courtyard at the heart of its contested ground.
    • Transit: A Moscow metro station makes for close quarters and close-range combat. Trains pulling into and out of the station add to the danger as Ghosts and Bodark slug it out underground.
  • 1 new multiplayer game mode: "Takeover"
    • Similar to a classic team deathmatch, score points for your team by eliminating enemies. Tip the scales by taking control of the enemy's objective and earn a score multiplier to your team. Defend your team's objective to prevent the enemy from gaining the same advantage. Choose to split your team to defend and attack at the same time, or move as a group and overwhelm your enemy. When the mission ends, the team with highest score wins.
  • 1 Guerrilla Mode map "Village" (4 players online / 2 players in local split screen)
    • A peaceful country village finds itself transformed into a battleground, as fighting rages around its central bus station. Long alleyways that run between war-damaged buildings make a perfect hunting ground for snipers, and a shootout near the town's gas station could turn explosive.
  • New Achievements
  • Level cap increase of +10

Chris Roberts Interview

GameSpot has a chat with Chris Roberts in advance of the game announcement we're all presuming will follow the recently discovered countdown on the Roberts Space Industries Website that's set to run out on October 10th. While the Wing Commander creator is still holding his cards pretty close to the vest, he discusses his lack of desire to make a mobile or social game, and how he has secured private funding so he can forgo working with publishing partners like Activision or Electronic Arts. He also doesn't discourage the presumption (supported by this teaser trailer) that this new project will be the type of space combat game he helped pioneer. "A couple years ago, I came to the point where I was playing stuff and I was feeling like the technology was getting to the point where I could do some stuff that I was interested in again. The level of immersion and realism that you can do [today] is significantly higher," Roberts said. "I want to get back to the roots of what I did in the old days with Wing Commander, which was, if you've got a really badass PC, this is going to show it off."

Guild Wars 2 Patched

The Guild Wars 2 Website has details on a new patch that's now live in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet's MMORPG sequel. The notes outline a bunch of bug fixes and class-specific balance changes, as well as a couple of changes to address OS X issues.

More Project Eternity Goals

The Kickstarter for Project Eternity announces further goals for Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming role-playing game. With the fundraiser passing the 50,000 backer plateau, they reveal a new backer reward: "a new dungeon experience" for the game called The Endless Paths of Od Nua. They also reveal a new $2.4 million stretch goal as well as new add-on aspects of the campaign, including the ability for backers to separately add an early access beta code or a digital strategy guide to their reward package.

Ships Ahoy - War of the Roses

Paradox Interactive declares a War of the Roses, announcing Fatshark's multiplayer melee action game is now available via digital distribution. At noon Eastern time today the Paradox Interactive Twitch TV Channel will host a live stream where senior producer Gordon Van Dyke and guests will celebrate the game's launch, and here's word:

The king has fallen with no clear successor and two powerful English houses are vying for the coveted crown of England. You step into armor donning the vibrant, albeit tarnished, colors of your liege lord and march alongside your fellow knights into a battle frayed with confusion and the clash of steel on steel. With arrows and bolts grazing past your cheeks, you head deep into the skirmish in an attempt to show your enemies exactly which rose is the most powerful. Sharpen your blades and prepare yourself for War of the Roses, where skill is not an unlock.

Ships Ahoy - NBA 2K13

2K Sports announces the release of NBA 2K13 in North America, saying the latest installment in this basketball simulation is now available for Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and PSP. Most of the announcement touts the game's celebrity mogul: "NBA 2K13 represents the greatest year-to-year leap we have made in the franchise’s history," said Greg Thomas, president of product development for 2K Sports. "Our partnership with JAY Z brought a new dynamic to the game, and really elevated it to new heights." The Wii U edition will launch in North America along with the new console on November 18th, and the console editions are expected to launch in Europe on November 30th. The new installment also includes new mobile options:

2K Sports recently announced NBA 2K Everywhere, giving fans the opportunity to experience NBA 2K virtually anywhere via an all-new mobile companion application, a social game on Facebook, and a full-featured mobile version of NBA 2K13 for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. NBA 2K Everywhere will extend the NBA 2K experience by offering players greater flexibility, more variety and new ways to play, at home or on the go, with these all-new social and mobile games. Additionally, both the mobile companion app and Facebook game enable players to feed data and experience right back into NBA 2K13 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, introducing a new level of connectivity and continuity to the NBA 2K experience.

Saga Kingdoms Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter is underway for Saga Kingdoms, an MMORTS game set in the world of SAGA, Silverload Interactive's still-operating MMORTS, and Captains of Darktide, an MMORPG that's been temporarily offline for a couple of years now. The new project is planned as an MMORTS for Windows, OS X, and Linux accompanied by an RPG for iOS and Android that will integrate with the game. Here's a bit:

In Saga Kingdoms each player will control a capital city that will serve as the seat of their power, however we have greatly expanded on this concept by giving each player a full Island as a starting point. In addition we plan to allow players to take over both resources and outposts on the main continent as their empire expands.

Similar to SAGA, Saga Kingdoms will feature hundreds of quests to test your skill. While some quests do have prerequisites that you must best, you can always go back and do old favorites for loot and XP.

The power of our new engine means we can create much grander quests that can be enjoyed by large groups of friends. These epic battles will be much more difficult but we promise the rewards will be worth it.

The Repopulation Status

An End of September 2012 Update on The Repopulation Website fills us in on the status of this upcoming MMORPG, admitting the that the game being that much closer to completion makes for a leaner post than usual. That said, this is still a substantial essay, outlining details on the instanced player housing system, social aspects of the game, a new custom camera system, and much more.

Guns And Robots Customization Trailer

This new trailer offers a "garage walkthrough" for Guns And Robots, showing off the robot construction and customization options in the upcoming free-to-play shooter. Word is: "The whole action takes place in the garage where players can assembly their fun, yet lethal creations. The video footage shows players a robust variety of in-game combinations which result in making a robot. The personal construction site or Burn – In Garage (BIG) provides players with weapons and robot parts. The creation process starts with assembling modules from parts and then combining all the modules in one." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Somebody in the forums joked about this yesterday, but it may indeed be true that the secret ingredient in my coffee has been coffee grinder, as when I glued the broken pieces of our broken grinder back together, there was a small portion of plastic missing, and the most logical conclusion is that it was ground up and mixed with the coffee along the way. Here's hoping the filter caught most of it. Undeterred by this revelation, I managed to get the grinder fixed, and it no longer requires something pressing down on it to get it to work, so the break must have been the cause of that. Oddly, the hardest part of the job was cleaning it all up, as the oil in the grounds created a sort of coffee cement in various areas that required an amazing amount of work to clean out.

R.I.P.: Babylon 5 Star Michael O'Hare Dies.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Orange Gravity 2.
Stories: Seth MacFarlane to host 85th Academy Awards.
Oregon farmer eaten by his pigs. Hannibal Lecter still at large.
Texas Driver Accused of Crashing $1M Bugatti for Insurance.
Science: Former Apple, NASA engineers wed to brew up insanely-great coffee.
The $1 billion mission to reach the Earth's mantle. Thanks Slashdot.
Scientists ask for legal safeguards to keep their work out of court.
Media: The Taiwanese Animation of Justin Bieber Vomiting Is Amazing. Thanks nin.
Hexaflexagons. Thanks Max-Ray.
Level 99 Skater.
Drifting With Female Senior Citizen.
The Funnies: Dilbert.

Monday, Oct 01, 2012

Ships Ahoy - Strategic Command WWI Breakthrough

Battlefront.com now offers Strategic Command WWI Breakthrough, an expansion for the turn-based strategy of Strategic Command WW1 1914-1918: The Great War. The add-on is available by itself or as a bundle along with the original game, and for those still on the fence about this (or in a trench, to follow the World War I theme), they say a playable demo is expected soon. Word is:

If you think that WWI gaming is all about trenches, stalemate and pointless attacks, think again! Strategic Command WWI Breakthrough! comes with no less than 20 exciting and action packed campaigns (30! in total with the base game), offering you the best in WWI grand strategy.

Lorne Lanning on Micro-Publishing

Oddworld: Spending $30m on games, not Ferraris and private jets on GamesIndustry International features a conversation with Lorne Lanning of Oddworld Inhabitants, who shows a defiant independence when he says his answer was "F-ck you very much" to Electronic Arts at the prospect of being acquired (an offer EA says they cannot recall making). He goes on to describe how EA pulled marketing dollars from Stranger's Wrath and offered to buy them because of the money they lost on the project. "That's not a sustainable model, that's a hostile acquisition," he explains. "That's why we had to strive to get independent. Rather than get into bed with someone we knew was a horrible bed partner we said 'let's stay virgins for longer'." Here's how he describes his outlook on being a micro-publisher since he returned to gaming:

"On the micro-publisher level it's very simple. We fund our own products," he says. "We weren't able to do that in the boxed product days, we're only able to do that in the digital distribution landscape.

"Rather than having to have 1.5 million units in the opening week or suffer death, now if we have 50,000 sales and we're still in business. People are still employed and we're able to keep making content. When we released box product we would get 20 per cent of the revenue. After that 20 per cent paid back the entire development budget, if it was still selling at $60 we would start seeing $7 a unit. Because of the bricks and mortar, the plastic, the manufacturing, the gas involved in taking games to the store, the store itself and all those extra costs - not one of those costs makes a better game for the player."

"If you're the gamer, where do you want the money of the game you're buying to go?" he asks. "I want it going to help make more games. But the majority of that money is not going to games in the boxed product market.

He continues: "Now we're on a digitally distributed landscape, instead of a $60 price point we can offer a $9.99 price point. At $9.99 we get $7 per unit. At this price you're getting a game for one sixth of the price and we're still getting money to make more games. The player is truly funding our games. We have a few hundred thousand people we can depend on as fans of Oddworld who will buy our games. If we can get that number up to 3-5 million and with the increase of what that brings to the developer, then we can start funding our own $20 - $30 million triple-A games. That's our goal."

New Morrowind Overhaul

Ornitocopter now offers version 3.0 of Morrowind Overhaul, a collection of individual mods for The Elder Scrolls IV: Morrowind. Word is: "Basically MO is a 'compilation' of the best mods out there, packed together with care for detail and user-friendliness. In fact you will be able to install hundreds of beautiful mods at once, with a simple installer designed by us with simplicity in mind. Another thing that I have to mention is the attention to create something that keeps the Morrowind’s feeling intact. That’s why we tried to choose only the mods that were really well made and faithful to the original colours and environment." Thanks Shacknews.

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: NASA Starts Work on Real Life Star Trek Warp Drive. Thanks scorcese.fan.

A Valley Without Wind 2 Announced; Free for Owners of Original

Games By Design announces plans for A Valley Without Wind 2, a sequel to their procedurally generated side-scrolling action game. This was spotted on VG247 after being posted on Friday, but the site clarifies why this has not been formally announced (apologies to them for whatever undesired hype mentioning this provides): "We're now reversing that stance, however. We actually don't particularly want major news coverage about this in advance of it being playable, we decided. Why? We don't want it to be over-hyped, and we don't want to run up against potential skepticism for people who didn't like the first game. We're still in the process of getting the art assets together to where we could really do a true announcement, and so we haven't even contacted any of the press just yet about it." Word is the sequel will be free to owners of the first game, and here's word on what it will involve:

Is this really a sequel?
Make no mistake, Valley 2 is a true sequel -- it's a lot more different from the first game than many sequels are compared to their original. There are a lot of changes I've been wanting to make for a while to the game, but these changes were too deep to do without angering players who bought one game and then had us change it on them to that degree. This way players can keep playing the original in its current state (though we won't be doing much more of anything to update the original game from here on out), and they can also enjoy the awesome sequel for free as well.

And I get this for free if I already have the first game?
Yeah. Basically everyone will be getting both games whenever they buy either one. Kind of like what Zeboyd Games does with Breath of Death 7 and C Saves the World. You get both for the price of one.

XCOM Shooter Going Third-Person?

Kotaku has some screenshots claimed to be from a marketing survey that suggest that the upcoming shooter based on the X-COM series may now be a third-person shooter after being announced as an FPS. According to their unverified source, these shots came along with questions about the appeal of such a game as a $30 download for Xbox 360 and PS3, with no mention of a PC edition, suggesting a downgrade from a AAA game to a downloadable console title. They received the following no comment from 2K: "We have not made any new announcements regarding the XCOM title currently in development at 2K Marin, and it is our policy not to comment on rumors or speculation."

EVE Online Retribution in December

The EVE Online Website announces Retribution, the 18th expansion for CCP's freewheeling space MMORPG, which is expected to launch on December 4th. They offer preliminary looks at what this will bring to the game, including Bounty Hunting, New Ships and New Roles, and a way to keep tabs on the game's signature malfeasance called Crimewatch. Thanks Shock Fuel.

Borderlands 3 Mentioned

Gearbox Software lead writer Anthony Burch mentioned they are already toying with ideas for Borderlands 3 on The Totally Rad Show. This is noted on MP1st, where this relieves their concern that Gearbox "will ever let the fans of Borderlands get to see a third installment of this franchise," since Borderlands 2 shipped almost a full two weeks ago. Thanks VG247.

U.K. Sales Charts

A post on GfK Chart-Track has the list of 20 bestselling full-price PC entertainment titles, updated for the week ending September 29th. There's some action at the top as FIFA 13 enters at number three and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the new number one. FIFA 13 is number one on the all platforms chart, while Mists of Pandaria joins the chart at number four.

Miner Wars 2081 Trailer

This trailer shows off gameplay from the just-launched closed beta of Miner Wars 2081, the upcoming Descent-style space shooter. Here's the description of the clip, which shows a four-player co-op mission: "It's Arrr-guably the best trailer we've put out yet, and you'll hear some finalized voices as well as some storyline progression, and you've guessed it... Pirates! So don't scallywag and get yourself an eye-full of this motion picture. It's nothing to give a wide berth over..."

Iron Grip: Marauders Patched

ISOTX announces a new update is now live in Iron Grip: Marauders, their MMO turn-based strategy game. Here's word on what's new:

  • Level 24 Unlocked, with new tech and higher level units!
  • Hero training is back and better than ever before!
  • New perk stores offering more choice!
  • Better friend invite rewards - get up to 10 Gems per invite!
  • Improved tutorials - your friends will find it easier than ever to get into the game!

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I discovered the plastic innards of our coffee grinder are cracked, and the tube that passes the beans onto the burrs is now in two pieces. Amazingly, this inexpensive Cuisinart grinder still actually works in spite of this, continuing to show a surprising will to live after taking beatings to get it to grind beans, which has lead to it needing a weight sitting on it to work. For a long time I was looking for an excuse to replace this with something a bit spiffier, but it's been cranking along for over four years, which is longer than the cool KitchenAid grinder it replaced lived, so I'm starting to take it as a point of pride to keep it running and want to repair it and give it one more lease on life. And yes, it's crossed my mind that it's sad that four years seems like a great lifespan for one of these electric grinders, as I bet there are manual hand-crank grinders out there that are still operating fine after 100 years.

Ground Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Go Robots.
Science: Mandelbrot: art, math, science, and works in progress.
Images: Snuggly Chestburster.
Media: Deer Tackles A Downhill Going Skateboarder. Compassion FTW.
Mark Morrone - World's Worst Petkeeper.
Dog Watching Himself On Laptop.
Auction: Bonnie and Clyde guns fetch $0.5m in New Hampshire. Thanks brother19.
The Funnies: Dilbert.



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