A post on the Roberts Space Industries Website
announces that Star Citizen
has attracted more than $4 million in funding from fans eager for a new space combat game from the creator of Wing Commander. The post outlines additional stretch goals beyond that point, and a follow-up
announces another system is unlocked, and says they now have stretch goals all the way to the $5 million mark. Finally, the latest update
announces that having passed $4.2 million, they have climbed to the top of the crowd-sourcing mountain:
$4.2 million! Which means that Star Citizen is now the highest crowd-funded game project ever! You’ve earned this star system, and a lot more! Let’s go for $4.5! By the way: you guys are now unlocking systems faster than our artists can finish them… we promise we’ll add the missing concepts in the near future.
A post on the Steam Users' Forums
from a couple of weeks ago offers a distressing overview of Windows 8 from Croteam (thanks Gamer's Hell
), as Alen Ladavac says: "I would very much like to clear this one thing. I think that this is very important as there are 'under the hood' motions related to Windows 8 that are hidden and not well understood even by many developers (yet), and certainly not by most gamers." Saying "Gabe Newel did not overreact," he goes on to describe how "under the hood, the new tiled UI is a means for Microsoft to lock Windows applications into a walled garden, much like the one on iOS." Here's more:
There is this "small detail" that Microsoft is not advertising anywhere, but you can find it dug deep in the developer documentation:
One cannot release a tiled UI application by any other means, but only through Windows Store!
I cannot even begin to stress out just how horrible this idea is! There is no side-loading, except for corporate use inside one company, and that works only on the enterprise edition of Windows 8. Do we all understand what that means? You cannot download an application from the Internet and run it on your computer. You have to get it from Microsoft's store. Even if it is a free app!
If it was just about "being downloaded from Windows store", it would not be a problem. It would be nice to have a common hub to download things from. But to get an app onto that store, it has to be certified by MS. This means bringing the "console experience" onto your desktop. Each app that you will get through the Windows Store will have to adhere to certain requirements imposed by MS. So far, we know that they've banned mature games, like Skyrim, CoD, and Serious Sam.[*] They have forbidden modding. They could very well forbid Open Source if they want. But even if these terms were not there, this is still a certification system. With all of its downsides, including uncertain release dates, rare and late patches, and everything turning out to be more expensive and sucking more.
While, theoretically, desktop applications are exempt from these requirements, it looks more and more like just a foot-in-the-door technique. A large number of developers have expressed their concern with possibility that, probably in Windows 9 or something like that, the ability to get even desktop apps in any other way than through Windows app store may very well be removed. When that happens it will be too late.
I would not invest into supporting the tiled UI apps (which MS now conveniently calls "Windows Store apps" - does that ring a bell?), until MS removes the requirement that they have to be shipped through Windows Store on desktop at least - and thereby remove the requirement of certifying them with MS. Certification is a broken concept and should be abolished.
Now, while in current state Windows 8 do look like they support plain desktop apps seamlessly, the removal of start menu and use of "charms" even on the desktop looks like a pretty blunt attempt to force users to "get used" to the tiled UI. It would be fine by me if it wasn't for the aforementioned certification issue.
So, it is a vicious circle. And not an accidental one. This one was carefully designed to be that way. I say: no thank you, I'll skip on that one.
* (Our footnote, not Alen's): He seems to have missed this story).
Nordic Games announces
the release of a new hotfix patch for Painkiller: Hell and Damnation
, the recently released shooter sequel. Here's the simple explanation: "We just pushed a hotfix fixing some problem with the server browser and adding a graphic that shows how long it takes to get the server list. We hope the overall multiplayer experience is better and we will continue to update Painkiller." Thanks Gamer's Hell
The Retro City Rampage Blog
has details on a new update now available for this throwback action/driving game, saying the makes the well received game "even better." There is an extensive explanation of what the new version does, and why, accompanied by the following concise rundown: "The update includes faster cars, tips screens, shop icons on the map, additional tutorials, checkpoints, level balancing and more. Some missions have even been completely overhauled for the better." Thanks nin.
- Antec High Current Pro Netzteil HCP-1000 Platinum on Technic3D. In German.
- ASUS Matrix HD 7970 Platinum Video Card on Legit Reviews.
- Corsair Dominator Platinum 4x4GB DDR3-2666 MHz CL10 Memory on ocaholic.
- Enermax Hoplite ST Mid-Tower Chassis on TweakTown.
- Fractal Design Define R4 on Hardware Heaven.
- Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD on HotHardware.
- Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Midi Tower on Nikk Tech.
- NZXT Hue LED Controller on RBMODS.
- Spire TME III (TherMax Eclipse III) CPU Cooler on eTeknix.
Sad about Hostess Brands closing
, since it seems to be the result of an insoluble labor conflict, and while strikes often result in threats that they will result in the closure of a company, that rarely seems to actually happen as it has in this case. I find it interesting how many people are going all Tallahassee
over the pending Twinkie shortage, however, as they are the poster child for crappy junk food, and I don't know anyone who has eaten one in recent memory, much less actually savors them (labor strife aside, I think if everyone saddened by this actually bought Twinkies, Hostess would be fine). In my opinion, Hostess only ever made one really good product, which was their fruit pies, which I have not seen in a store in over a decade if not longer. I assumed they stopped making them, but I see them on eBay at seemingly exorbitant prices, so I'm not sure if that's due to the Hostess closure, or perhaps they are working off old stock, since these babies are half preservatives anyway (I think it's the latter, as the labels all seem to feature Fruit Pie the Magician, and Wikipedia
says he was removed from the packaging in 2006).
offers more on Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
DLC, the upcoming DLC for Borderlands 2
, Gearbox's RPG/shooter sequel. The update includes a new Torgue Weapons Trailer
with lots of attitude and some NSFW language, and there are new previews of the pack on Eurogamer
, and Kotaku
. Here's word on the add-on:
Continue here to read the full story
2K and Gearbox Software are excited to announce “Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage,” the second add-on campaign content pack for Borderlands 2. Available on November 20th, Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage is available on all platforms, is included with Season Pass purchase and is also available a la carte for 800 Microsoft Points/$9.99. This brand new content challenges players to conquer all that Mr. Torgue has waiting for players within his Badass Crater of Badassitude.
Packed with unforgettable battles and an engaging storyline, this must-play content includes new loot drops along with a new currency specific to Torgue weapons. Also included with this content are new heads and skins to further customize your vault hunter’s appearance. An assortment of new bosses, including Pyro Pete, Motor Momma and Badassaurus Rex make this the most challenging Borderlands add-on content campaign yet.
If you’re craving more of your favorite Borderlands 2 NPCs (as well as new characters), you’re in luck! Along with returning favorites Tiny Tina and Mad Moxxi, all-new characters like Piston and expanded roles for Mr. Torgue are a huge part of Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage.
has word from a Czech news report
that the pair of Bohemia Interactive developers arrested in September
in Myrina, Greece for Espionage have been refused bail. They are now awaiting trial, and word is this process is being delayed considerably by strikes in Greece, though apparently "strike season"
is over. The pair's families are now apparently attempting to get the Czech president and prime minister to step in, claiming their foreign ministry has let them down. "Our boys no longer tell us on the phone that it's alright, that they're handling it," one of the mothers said. "After the court's decision we only hear from them something that no parent ever wants to hear: Mom, dad, please save us."
now offers an updated Catalyst reference drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards running under Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Linux. The new drivers, offered "as-is," are up to version 12.11 beta 8, which offers the following improvements:
- Improves performance up to 5% in Max Payne 3
- Includes single GPU performance updates for Far Cry 3
- Improves CrossFire scaling for Planetside 2 (Crossfire scaling is still limited to ~30% at 2560x1600)
- Resolves the Skyrim lighting issue (missing a lighting pass) for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series
- Resolves the hang encountered playing Dishonored on the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
- AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 8 for Linux includes significant performance improvements for Left for Dead 2
- Digital Combat Simulator: Black Shark on Steam. Save 75%.
- THQ Sale on Get Games. Save up to 75%.
- USSR Invades! War & Strategy Games on GOG.com. Save 60%.
There are some details on IGN
about the Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
DLC for Borderlands 2
that was officially revealed yesterday
after being outed last month
. They offer some concept art from the pack along with a trailer where artist Scott Kester shows off some gameplay and discusses Gearbox's goals for the DLC. Word is this will launch next week, and they have details on what to expect:
Borderlands 2’s second expansion -- Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage -- will launch on November 20th. Like Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty before it, Campaign of Carnage offers new areas for players to explore, three new achievements, a new currency and plenty of new missions for players level 15 or higher, with enemies scaled to your level.
The basic story of Campaign of Carnage revolves around a new vault discovered in Pandora, buried in the center of a large crater that will only open “once the champion of Pandora feeds it the blood of the ultimate coward.” Your introduction to Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage comes via Mr. Torgue himself, screaming at you like a terrifying mix of Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage with a deep love for explosions.
As Mr. Torgue describes the new vault, “we at the Torgue Corporation sincerely believe this is f**king awesome -- so awesome that we're going to set up a tournament to find this number one badass.” That tournament takes place in an arena that will serve as the centerpiece of the expansion, built around the Badass Crater of Badassitude where the vault is buried. You’ll need a sponsor to participate, and one of the first new characters you’ll meet is Piston, a scarily-large brawler with engine pistons for hands.
has word from trade group NPD on third quarter game sales in the U.S. While spending on physical games dropped 16% during the third quarter, the industry is faring better than that statistic would suggest, as spending on games on digital platforms jumped 22%. They offer the following overview, which shows when normalized for digital and used sales, this year's results seem to be within the margin for error when compared with last years: "During the third quarter (from July through September), total spending on video games -- new and old, purchases and rentals, physical and digital -- totaled $1.07 billion in the U.S., according to research firm NPD Group. That's down only 1% from a year ago."
Paradox Interactive announces a new End of Flesh
add-on is coming at the end of this month to expand Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter
, Kerberos Studios' space strategy sequel. To compensate for what Paradox admits was a game that "didn't quite meet expectations," owners of Sword of the Stars II will receive the expansion for free, while going forward, the add-on will be incorporated into a new Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition
. Here's a trailer
, and here are the details:
The “End of Flesh” expansion to “Sword of the Stars II” introduces players to the Loa, a shape shifting artificial intelligence that can settle some of the most foreboding of landscapes. A former slave race, they now have freedom and an incentive to use their powerful and unique vessels to teach their old masters a lesson.
Features of the Sword of the Stars II Enhanced Edition include:
- The new Loa race with a new drive for their ships – the Neutrino Pulse Gate
- Over 25 new technologies including a new tech tree for cybernetics
- 10 new weapons and attack systems
- Expanded ship building options for all six original factions, including new Leviathan class ships
- 2 new independent races to seduce or bludgeon into your imperial orbit
- New random encounters and mission types
- All previously released faction based DLC – the voices, the badges, the avatars, the skins...all of it.
The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website
announces BioWare's sci-fi MMORPG is now officially free-to-play, though subscriptions are still supported by the game's new hybrid business model. The F2P era comes with a new patch to update the game to version 1.5, so here's word on both changes:
BioWare™, a studio of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and LucasArts announced today that the new, Free-to-Play option for the critically-acclaimed, massively multiplayer online game, Star Wars: The Old Republic is now live. Now players can experience the complete storylines of all eight iconic Star Wars classes, all the way to level 50 for free. This new option complements the existing subscription offering, providing players with maximum flexibility in how they choose to experience Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“We want to give our players the freedom to enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic when and how they want,” said Matthew Bromberg, General Manager of BioWare Austin. “There has never been a better time to start playing with us.”
Also today, BioWare released Game Update 1.5: HK-51 Activated, which adds new areas to explore, a new Companion character and more, including:
- Get ready for an action-packed adventure to earn control of one of the galaxy’s most deadly Assassins, HK-51. Submerged beneath the icy surface of Belsavis lies a derelict ship and if you are brave enough to venture through the wreckage, you will embark on a mission that ultimately rewards you with a powerful new, yet familiar, ally the ruthless Assassin Droid, HK-51.
- Explore Section X, a previously untouched area of the prison world of Belsavis. The Dread Masters’ servants are searching for a powerful and ancient weapon. Fly to Section X and secure the target of their search to be richly rewarded.
- Travel to Denova to take on Operation: Explosive Conflict – now with a Nightmare Mode! Teams who complete in this new mode can earn the final pieces of the Dread Guard gear set and a brand new mount that will be sure to cause tank envy!
Activision Publishing proudly announces that Call of Duty: Black Ops II
raked in about a half-billion dollars in its first 24 hours of availability, saying they believe this is the fourth consecutive year their annual shooter franchise has achieved the biggest entertainment launch of the year.
Continue here to read the full story
Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), today announced that for the fourth consecutive year, the Call of Duty® franchise has delivered the biggest entertainment launch of the year. The highly-anticipated Call of Duty®: Black Ops II has achieved an estimated sell-through of more than $500 million worldwide in the first 24 hours of its release, according to Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates.
"With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row," said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard, Inc. "Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars," the two most successful movie franchises of all time. Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013."
Focus Home Interactive announces Magrunner
, an "action/reflection" physics game from 3AM Games for Windows and consoles they say "technology meets Cthulhu," as it seems to answer the question of what a Lovecraft character would do if armed with Half-Life 2
's gravity gun. Here are some screenshots
, and here's the announcement:
Magrunner will put your brain and your reflexes to the test! Magrunner is an original Action/Reflection game developed by 3AM Games (Frogwares) for PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and PC, based on the use of physics and magnetism.
Developed on Unreal Engine 3, Magrunner transports players into the near future, where technology will confront the Cthulhu Mythos as it was imagined by the author of fantasy novels, H.P. Lovecraft. The game unveils today 4 exclusive screenshots, taking us in 2050, at the heart of the Magtech competition, a grand tournament for which you and 6 other brilliant competitors have been selected. This tournament, organized to promote a new technology based on magnetism, puts your reflexes and brain to the test, with simple yet exciting mechanics: with the Magtech glove, you can load objects with a positive or negative charge. Two items loaded with the same charge will attract each other, while two items loaded with different charges will repel!
With these simple mechanics opens a broad range of possibilities. Upon mastering them you will be able to progress along the game, solving puzzles by studying your surroundings, testing possibilities and analyzing their effects. However, you will soon understand that the sporting event you have entered is hiding a darker secret…. Quickly, the high-tech installations that host the competition will plunge into a foreign, perilous parallel universe: the world of Cthulhu, a strange land filled with strange creatures imagined by H.P. Lovecraft.
In this dangerous world, your skills will be tested more than ever. Do not falter, for that your very life is at stake… and the fate of mankind is in your hands.
The Mac App Store
now offers online sales of an OS X edition of CARGASM HD
. Here's word: "Cargasm HD heralds the return of the classic arcade racer. All the race tracks are set in meticulously recreated photorealistic real-world locations such as London, Egypt and Paris."
Following up on reports on Sixth Axis
and the Steam forums
, Blend Games
has word that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is no longer available on Steam
due to an RIAA copyright claim over music licensing. They have word from Rockstar that the open-world action game would return "as soon as possible." They also have an unconfirmed report that this is over licensing of Wanna be Startin' Something
, a Michael Jackson song featured on the game's Fever 105. Seems like they should be able to charge extra for a version of the game without that song. #notafan.
I was starting to suffer from some performance issues on my desktop PC that were starting to grow irritating. Noting a lot of disc thrashing, it occurred to me that I may have been a little behind in my hard drive maintenance. Sure enough, the drive was pretty darned full, and just as surely, clearing some space made all the difference in the world. On the one hand, it's always fun to contemplate the upgrades that would come with deciding to get a new machine, but on the other hand, it's nice when problems can be solved so simply.