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Thursday, Nov 01, 2012 All Saints' Day

  

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Free Weekend

Steam News announces that a free weekend is now underway for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, saying: "Play Counter-Strike: GO for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup CS: GO at 33% off the regular price! "

Lord of the Rings Online OS X Client

The Lord of the Rings Online Website now offers downloads of a beta OS X client for Turbine's free-to-play MMORPG. "We are really excited to open up the world of Middle-earth to Mac," said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. "We’ve just launched our biggest expansion yet and we’re happy to welcome gamers to play the game natively on Mac OS X for the first time ever."

Avery to Write/Direct Wolfenstein Film

Deadline.com has word that Pulp Fiction scribe Roger Avery will write and direct an action/adventure based on the Castle Wolfenstein games (thanks nin). Word is:

Panorama Media and Samuel Hadida announced that they will produce an action-adventure film inspired by the World War II-set video game franchise. Pulp Fiction writer Roger Avery will write and direct the pic, described as in the vein of Captain America and Inglorious Basterds, about a young U.S. Army Captain and a British Special Agent on a top-secret mission to Castle Wolfenstein where Hitler will be for the unveiling of a new secret weapon. After reaching the castle, the heroes are confronted with Himmler’s SS Paranormal Division and must fight not only for their survival but for a mission that could alter the course of the war.

Rhode Island Sues Schilling and Others over 38 Studios Deal

The R.I. Economic Development Corporation filed suit in R.I. Superior Court today against some of those involved in the deal that loaned 38 Studios $75 million in taxpayer money, reports WPRI (thanks VG247). This document offers the full complaint, and this video lays it out further. Here's a portion explaining that part of the problem was the developer not explaining clearly enough they were borrowing this money because they needed money, and another issue is an alleged conflict of interest:

The complaint says 38 Studios officials failed to disclose that the company was "undercapitalized by many millions of dollars" and therefore "was likely to run out of money in 2012." It also warns that EDC board members who approved the deal could be liable themselves if the legal discovery process uncovers evidence that they knew the risks and signed off on the $75 million loan guarantee anyway.

It quotes an email from an unnamed EDC loan analyst who told his bosses: "I don't think I can support a $75 million loan guarantee to any single company in this industry," referring to video games.

The EDC never ordered an independent assessment of whether 38 Studios would be able to finish the game after the board voted to approve the deal on July 26, 2010, even though board members were told the agency would do so, the complaint alleges.

It says Wells Fargo earned nearly $500,000 "in hidden commission from 38 Studios" that were not disclosed to the EDC board at the same time the bank was also supposed to be looking out for the agency's interests.

Sine Mora PC Plans

Kalypso Media Digital announces plans for a Windows PC edition of Sine Mora, the side-scrolling shooter that's already available for consoles. This will be released next week on November 9th via digital distribution, and we have some screenshots of the PC version along with the following details:

Kalypso Media Digital is pleased to announce they will be bringing the highly rated console shooter, Sine Mora, to Windows PC. Sine Mora, the much lauded side scrolling shooter that won rave reviews for its earlier console release, will be available on Steam and other digital portals on 9th November. The Windows PC version of Sine Mora features stunning 1080p visuals and frantic 60FPS “bullet hell” gameplay combined with a unique time-bending elements.

Sine Mora is a horizontal shoot'em up (shmup) that provides a unique take on the genre as now time is the ultimate factor. Mixing classic shooter sensibilities with contemporary HD presentation, Sine Mora is a gorgeous shooter that offers a Story Mode that weaves an over-the-top tale and an Arcade Mode that provides deep, satisfying gameplay to challenge fans of the genre. With many ways to manipulate time, Sine Mora features over 50 weapon combinations to complete each beautiful stage that adapts to the player's skills with scaling difficulty.

Stronghold HD Games & Patches Released

Firefly Studios has released the promised HD versions of the Stronghold series, launching a Stronghold HD Website and a Stronghold Crusader HD Website with details on each, as well as links to where these updated castle simulations can be purchased online. Also, each site has the promised patch to allow owners of the original Stronghold games to update to the HD versions for free.

Serious Sam 3 Steam Workshop Support

Devolver Digital and Croteam announce the launch of Steam workshop support for Serious Sam 3: BFE, the first-person shooter prequel. This recent update paved the way for this, and here's word: "Available now, fans can get to modding until their little violent heart is content. Use Serious Editor to create mods like character skins, multiplayer maps, gameplay mods, and weapon mods in the game and distribute through Steam Workshop. There are already over 60 mods available on Steam Workshop for the game." This is accompanied by the following totally serious FAQ: Continue here to read the full story.

Far Cry Film

This traier is the first of a four part live-action mockumentary series related to the Far Cry series of first-person shooters. Here's word on the clip, which stars Christopher 'McLovin' Mintz-Plasse: "This web series was designed to give fans the opportunity to experience and interact with the Far Cry 3 world in an original and innovative way and was created internally by Ubisoft. The idea behind the project was not to create the movie adapted from the game, but rather to expand the game experience by offering a different perspective on the Far Cry universe. From the very beginning, Far Cry Experience was thought of as a big gift to fans. In its execution, the series is aimed to play with the codes of gaming, transcribing its violence while maintaining a humorous tone." Continue here to read the full story.

Gone Gold - Chaos on Deponia

Daedalic Entertainment announces Chaos on Deponia is gold, and second part of their adventure trilogy will be released next week on Steam for Windows and OS X:

Daedalic Entertainment has successfully completed the work on the Steam version of the second game in their "Deponia" trilogy. It will be available with a full English localization and Russian text localization on November 6th on Steam for both PC and Mac.

Rufus, the main character in the "Deponia" trilogy, has grown wiser since his adventures in the first game. He wouldn't even dare to dream wreaking havoc for selfish reasons. reasons. But he accidentally splits Goal's mind, thereby losing his only chance to leave the junkyard planet on which he is stranded. The mind must be restored and, incidentally, must also save Deponia from the coming chaos.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

The Longest Journey Sequel Plans

Funcom announces plans for Dreamfall Chapters, a sequel to The Longest Journey, their highly regarded 1999 point-and-click adventure and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, the game's 2006 follow-up. The game is in pre-production at Red Thread Games, a new studio founded by The Longest Journey creator Ragnar Tørnquist, who will also continue in his role as advisor on The Secret World. Here's the deal:

Funcom is excited to announce that 'Dreamfall Chapters', the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning adventure title 'Dreamfall: The Longest Journey', has gone into pre-production at Red Thread Games, a new studio founded by Ragnar Tørnquist, creator of 'The Longest Journey' saga.

Red Thread Games has licensed the rights to 'The Longest Journey' universe from Funcom, and Mr. Tørnquist will spearhead development of 'Dreamfall Chapters', while continuing in an advisory role as Creative Director on Funcom’s recently launched modern-day massively multiplayer online game ‘The Secret World’.

Last month Joel Bylos stepped into the position as Game Director on the myths, legends and conspiracy themed online game, allowing Mr. Tørnquist to devote more of his time to 'Dreamfall Chapters', which recently entered pre-production.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Ship Sequel Kickstarter

This Kickstarter seeks £128,000 of crowdsourced funding for The Ship: Full Steam Ahead (thanks Shacknews), kicking off a new arm of the Kickstarter service focused on the U.K. (still located on the same domain and, as far as we can tell, the same Internet). If the title of this project is familiar, it's because this is an attempt to revive a sequel to The Ship, a game that began as a Half-Life modification, and was released five years ago via retail. A sequel was announced shortly after the game's release, and developer Outlerlight eventually released Bloody Good Time considered to be a spiritual successor. Now the plan is to create a full sequel, which will involve turning the game's setting aboard a steamship into a steampunk ship:

In the spirit of the original, 1920’s game, The Ship: Full Steam Ahead will let you dress up in your Steampunk finery, travel on Victoria’s finest shippage, and ‘drub’ the enemies of the Empire, while those self-same scoundrels, attempt to murder you. You’ll get to play in an evocative, Victorian environment, where eating, sleeping, and promenading (as well as unmentionable ablutions) are just as important as murdering your shipmates. After all, one must have some sense of decorum, don’t you think?

Going beyond this ‘hundredweight’ of original gameplay, we’ll be embracing the rather risqué craze of ‘open development’, waving our merry kerchiefs with much hulabaloo, and setting sail for gameplay unknown. We have plenty of ideas for new features, but most importantly, we want to create something new and rather daring with input from YOU -- our most noble players.

Miner Wars 2081 Next Month

The Miner Wars Website has word that Miner Wars 2081 will be officially released in about a month, and they will narrow that down to a specific date as it nears. This is accompanied by word of a new beta build of this 6DOF space/shooter:

We just got confirmation on the official launch date – Miner Wars 2081 is scheduled to launch in a month from now. More detailed date will be announced in advance.

On this occasion we just released an update to the beta build – 31 missions, 100 hand-crafted space cities and billions of procedurally generated sectors.

SMITE Adding New Mode

Hi-Rez Studios announces the next patch for SMITE will add a new game mode to the MOBA. Here are some details on Arena mode:

The new mode, called Arena, is a very action-oriented, team death match and takes place on a brand new map with a Colosseum setting.

Arena is played 5 versus 5 with minions and side-objectives including buff camps and Gryphon Guardians. But rather than a single end objective, in Arena your team earns points for killing enemy players and minions with the first team to deduct 500 points from their opponents being crowned the winner.

Diablo III Hotfixes

The Diablo III Website has an updated list of hotfixes applied to Blizzard's action/RPG as of October 31st. This entirely consists of bug fixes, as outlined in these patch notes: Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

Wings over Sealand - The players and the game. Thanks ASeven.
Games journalism is terrible because gamers are getting what they're prepared to pay for. As said a year ago, games journalists are merely serving the people who pay the bills, and that that isn't the readers any more, because they demand all their journalism for free. If you're not even prepared to pay peanuts, you're going to get something less than monkeys. Though on the upside, you'll at least get a near-infinite supply of them, prepared to hammer away at their infinite typewriters for the sheer thrill of a review copy and a free t-shirt or two until they either get their own PR job or burn out, to be replaced from a willing cast of millions of fresh faces.

(Those last two links, incidentally, come from a poorly-written fanblog that somehow got nominated for a GMA. It's difficult to imagine how it found itself elevated to such dizzy heights, at an event mainly voted for by PR people. Oh, wait, no it isn't.)

Until that changes, Intent Media and their ilk will control games journalism, and no criticism from naive outsider idealists like Robert Florence will be permitted.

Gatherings & Competitions

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

We had an incredible turnout for Halloween last night, as the trick-or-treaters were undeterred by unlit streetlights, possible electrocution, and a tree lying across the walkway to our house. The kids we get are so sweet and polite I want to rush out and put them all in charge of the world before they lose any of that.

Speaking of being king of the world, I went all Leo DiCaprio on the NFL picks last week and ended up at 11-3. Verno, Cutter, and Jivaro were 9-5, Creston and Batman were 8-6, and Rigs paid the price for some bold picks with a 5-9 record. Here goes for this week: Chargers, Packers, Lions, Bears, Broncos, Redskins, Ravens, Dolphins, Texans, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Giants, Falcons, and Saints.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Red Ball 4.
Links: Apollo Flight Controller 101: Every console explained.
Mark Hamill on Star Wars: Episode VII.
Images: This Cat Wins The Internet.
Media: Tesla and Twain: The Original Odd Couple. Thanks Cutter.
Top 10 Ways To Smash A Pumpkin. Today is the greatest day I've ever known.
Hobbit inspired aircraft safety video.
Follow-up: George Lucas Will Use $4 Billion to Fund Education. Thanks Kotaku.
Premature babies' story of survival in superstorm.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie postpones Halloween due to Hurricane Sandy.
New York City Marathon to Go On, Stirring Debate.
Storm unearths very old skeletons in New Haven park. Go into the light!
Sandy Frees 2 Panthers in Fla.



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