The ManiaPlanet Website reveals plans to launch TrackMania2 Stadium, a new environment for NADEO's racing sequel familiar to players of TrackMania Nations Forever. This is coming early next year, and will utilize ManiaPlanet features as well as their improved game engine. This site offers details, media, and beta signups. ManiaPlanet News also announces TrackMania² Valley, a further continuation of the racing sequel that began with TrackMania² Canyon, saying this is also due for Windows early next year (thanks Frans). A TrackMania 2 Valley sub-site is online, and they offer some screenshots, a launch trailer, and the following fairly brief explanation:
Some of you have waited for it for a while, and we’re now happy to announce the coming of TrackMania² Valley in ManiaPlanet in 2013!
This time, no canyon on the horizon, but a more bucolic setting where crazy drivers will race through mud roads as well as highways. The coming of a new environment of course means a net set of blocks for the editor, but also a brand new gameplay for the driving experience.
NADEO plans to release ShootMania Storm on January 23rd, 2013, announcing this on ManiaPlanet News where they also have word that beta two for their first-person shooter will take place next month. They say the new beta adds "lots of improvements to the game, including new gameplay mechanics and new blocks," which are all shown off in this trailer. The beta is open to preorder customers, and for you bargain-hunters, they provide a reminder of the financial implications of this release date: "This means that if you haven’t pre-ordered the game yet, you have until that date to benefit from the pre-order exclusive 20% discount on the purchase of ShootMania Storm here." Here's word on what the second beta will add to the game:
New moves (Laser Jump, Wall Jump, Grappling Hook and more)
New Game modes: Victory and Fortress
Opening of the "Welcome Build": The "Welcome Build" is a specific game build especially designed to offer an easy introduction to ShootMania Storm for newcomers, giving free permanent access to the Royal and Elite game modes. At launch, it will be free and available to all, but from October on, it will allow all ManiaPlanet existing players to send invitations to their friends who will then be able to download that client. This experience will remain on invitation until ShootMania Storm launches.
GuildWars2.com has a tease for "The Lost Shores," an update coming to Guild Wars 2 later this month. There are just a few screenshots, and the following dramatic tease: "Something stirs in the Sea of Sorrows… Unravel a mystery of monstrous proportions in The Lost Shores, a massive one-time world event that will change Tyria forever!" Thanks sauron.
The 2K Games Forums have details on a new patch for Sid Meier's Civilization V that went live yesterday for the turn-based strategy sequel. The version 126.96.36.199 update is described on Steam News as a balance patch, and the accompanying notes are far to extensive to reproduce here. Thanks Shok.
There are two new beta patches for Drox Operativeon this page, updating the Windows and OS X editions of Soldak Entertainment's action/RPG to beta version 0.929. Here is the change list, and here's a summary: "This patch adds Bounty Hunters, fixes some higher level quests not showing up correctly, and as usual fixes a bunch of small things."
Sony Online Entertainment announces Twitch integration in PlanetSide 2, offering the chance to broadcast your exploits from within the MMO shooter sequel over the web to the waiting millions. "With the Twitch community now in excess of 20 million gamers, live broadcasting has evolved from a niche novelty to an integral part of the gaming experience," said Matthew DiPietro, VP Marketing of Twitch. "By partnering with Sony Online Entertainment to allow gamers to stream titles like PlanetSide 2 directly to Twitch at the click of a button, the community to will continue to grow since the biggest barrier to entry has been removed. There is no easier way to broadcast game play to the Web than this."
The World of Warcraft Website has a new list of hotfixes applied to Blizzard's MMORPG between October 26th and yesterday. As usual, these balance changes were applied on the servers, and clients do not need an update.
This Kickstarter looks to pound out some more pounds from the newly launched U.K. arm of this crowd-funding site for a project called Sir, You Are Being Hunted from Big Robot, the developer founded by Jim Rossignol, who also serves as a gaming journalist on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The game follows the them of human hunting, a concept that's been explored in literature and a mixed bag of movies. Here's word on what they would do with the £40,000 they seek:
Sir, You Are Being Hunted gathers up elements of our favourite things: exploration, non-linearity, AI interaction, survival, robots, sinister butlers, and hot drinks, and blends them into a rich pixelly pulp.
Combat is a big part of the game, but choose your battles wisely. This is primarily a challenge of brainy stealth: so flee across the countryside, hide in dense woodland, and sneak into villages to loot the haunted buildings for biscuits and shotgun shells. The approach you take in escaping the island is up to you.
A Spud's Quest Kickstarter seeks just £5,000 for this retro-inspired puzzle adventure game. Word is: "It started off as a homage to the once popular Dizzy series, but over time elements from other games found their way in- most notably The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Tomb Raider." The project has been underway as a side hobby for a decade, and now that it's on Kickstarter, it's picked up backing and an endorsement from none other than Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson.
Here's a Kickstarter for an old-school RPG called Antharion from Orphic Software. It's over half-way to its $15,000 goal, and it looks like a fun project, but there's not really a hook to distinguish it from other Kickstarters other than our amusement of the complimentary way they thanked us for mentioning it last week. We didn't actually then, but we did now. Good luck guys! Here's their pitch: "Antharion is a hard-core dungeon crawler set in a vast and interactive fantasy world that encourages player exploration. What sets Antharion apart from other RPGs is how faithfully it recreates the experience of classics like Ultima, Wizardry and Pool of Radiance. Antharion combines an immense open world, deep tactical turn-based combat and a rich character creation system, with the distinctive look and feel of a traditional Western RPG."
Wired.com - Disney Buyout Could Be Death Blow for Lucas Videogames. Star Wars 1313 may determine its own fate. Sometime in a short while from now, the following will almost certainly happen: Like Darth Vader arriving on the Death Star, Disney executives will visit LucasArts and get a full rundown of the studio’s activities. Its sharpest gaming guys will pick over 1313 and get a sense of whether it’s a project worth proceeding with, or another boondoggle.
If 1313 looks like something really special, perhaps Bob Iger will bend on his “licensing rather than publishing” strategy and it will come to fruition as planned.
Well, things are getting back to normal here after the storm. I mentioned we feel fortunate to have our power back, and reinforcing that was an update we got from our village yesterday saying that some folks may remain without power for "weeks," so we feel extra lucky to be restored (perhaps there's some reason for this, like we live on the same grid as the mayor). And just this morning we took a big step back to normalcy as the uprooted tree in front of our house was removed, so our walkway is clear once again. Oddly, this was a tree we think was planted by mistake on our curb, as we have plenty of trees, and we think it was supposed to be planted along the more barren curb across the street, so it's likely they won't even try to replace it.