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Thursday, Dec 20, 2012

  

New Content Blooms in War of the Roses

Paradox Interactive announces that the the promised new content is live in War of the Roses, Fatshark's melee combat game. Also, the game is half-off right now on Steam as part of their holiday sale. This announcement from the other day has details on the new content and a trailer showing it off. Continue here to read the full story.

Free EA Expansions on GOG.com

A "Holiday Update" on GOG.com announces the addition of some free expansions to some EA games offered on the service:

A while back, we started to sell EA games--great classics such as Wing Commander, Privateer, and Alpha Centauri. A few people--just a few!--noted that we didn't have the expansions and that made them sad panda.

Well, panda, be sad no more! As a holiday gift from us to you, we're bringing everyone who bought (or buys in the future!) the expansions for Wing Commander 1 + 2, Wing Commander Privateer, and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri for you today! These expansions are free updates, so just download the new installers for each game from your account and start playing now! Note that these EA games will not be part of any Daily Deal bundle, so go ahead and pick them up now for only $2.99 each.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The Walking Dumb Ways to Die. Thanks Ant.

Steam Holiday Sale

The annual holiday sale is now underway on Steam, offering a bunch of games on sale, with new additions daily, community choice voting, and flash deals to be announced along the way between now and when the event concludes on January 5th. Today's specials are Save 50-75% on the Borderlands Franchise, Save 75% on Mirror's Edge, Save 50% on the Hitman Franchise, Save 75% on the Prince of Persia Franchise, Save 33% on Scribblenauts Unlimited, and Save 75% on Wargame: European Escalation. Word is the new-and-improved sale features an easier way to see when the games you want go on sale:

The Steam Holiday Sale is on now and runs until January 5, 2012. There are huge savings throughout the store, with daily deals, flash sales, and catalog discounts. Additionally, every twelve hours there will be a chance for gamers to vote on a select game to go on sale.

This year, we've taken some of the guesswork out of when your favorite games will be on sale. You may now organize your Steam Wishlist and be notified via Steam Mobile and/or email when a game from the list goes on sale as a Daily Deal. The Steam Mobile App is available for both iOS and Android.

Complete information on all the savings, daily deals, featured publisher game packs, compilations and more may be found on www.steampowered.com.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Sequel Confirmed?

The Ubisoft Forums have an indication that Ubisoft is moving forward with another installment in the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier series of futuristic Tom Clancy shooters. A user posted a photo of a slide from an internal Ubisoft Kiev presentation saying the "'GRFS: Next' team wants to work with us," seemingly confirming a sequel. The PC edition of the first Future Soldier received lukewarm reviews, which explains the slide's mention of "difficult working conditions," but this does not prevent them from patting themselves on the back for releasing "a really great game," and the "great job" they did on the PC version's DX11, online multiplayer, and UI. Thanks Charliebrownau.

Borderlands 2 Hammerlock DLC Next Month

The Gearbox Software Facebook Page has word that the Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC for Borderlands 2 will arrive on January 15th to add new content to the RPG/first-person shooter sequel. They point to this trailer on the pack, which sports the following caption: "Come out and enjoy an exciting hunt with Sir Hammerlock in the wild continent of Aegris!." Thanks nin. Continue here to read the full story.

Black Isle Fundraiser

The Black Isle Website offers a new trailer (NSFW) introducing their "Mayan Apocalypse Replacement Program," a humorous take on the humorous notion that an ancient civilization would be able to pin down the end of humankind to the precise day. This is all part of a fundraising effort for PV13, the upcoming project from the recently revived developer. The clip concludes with the developers introducing themselves and their pride in having participated in development of Fallout. The campaign differs from Kickstarters by not making any sort of commitment on how user contributions will impact development of the game, as all the backer rewards involve forum privileges. Thanks Eurogamer.

God Mode Announced

Saber Interactive (Inversion, TimeShift) announces God Mode, a third-person shooter coming to Windows and Consoles early next year. There are details about this on IGN along with an announcement trailer which includes the most excruciatingly odd voiceover we can recall in such a clip. That tone supports the quote they provide from developer Matthew Karch saying the game "doesn't take itself too seriously." Here's more:

Playing as the descendant of an ancient-God-turned-mere-mortal by Hades, you and up to three co-op mode friends (online or offline) must blast your way through the Maze of Hades and its denizens in order to avoid eternal damnation. All the while, you'll be egged on by a goofy narrator, similar to a wackier version of the "Double Kill" announcer from Halo.

Ships Ahoy - WarBirds 2103

iEntertainment Network announces the release of WarBirds 2103, the continuation of this long-running series of combat flight simulations. The new version is offered on this page, and it includes a 30 day subscription to the MMOG version of the game as well as a single-player game. They also announce plans to follow this early next year with a free version of the game to be supported by microtransactions. Here's word on the new content in the new version as well as OS X Lion support:

For Apple Macintosh players, a brand new Mountain Lion OS version, with advanced graphics is now available. Thirteen new aircraft have been added to WarBirds 2013 including the two ground attack aircraft, the Hawker Sydney Typhoon and the Ilyushin IL-2 Shturmovik. Other new simulation aircraft include a new Lancaster bomber, the tank busting Hurricane IID, and Mitchell B-25D- “Strafer” low level attack aircraft.

New features added include updated damage models on over 50 aircraft, new weapons loadouts adjusted to more exact historical options, and new fragmentation, incendiary, and tank busting weapons. IENT expects to release a FREE MicroTransaction version of WarBirds 2013 early in 2013. Players get basic aircraft and can win or purchase upgrades with microtransactions.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Asus Radeon HD 7770 DirectCU TOP CrossFire on eTeknix.
  • CM Storm Ceres-400 gaming headset on Examiner.com.
  • Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1050W on Technic3D. In German.
  • Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP 2x8GB DDR3-1600MHz CL9 1.35v on ocaholic and ProClockers.
  • Intel Core i7-3970X Processor Extreme Edition on iXBT Labs.
  • Lenovo Yoga 13 on TechSpot.
  • Logitech Wireless Tablet Keyboard on Technology X.
  • Patriot Gauntlet 320 Wireless Portable Drive on Legit Reviews.
  • Samsung 9-Series NP900X4C-A02 15.1-inch Ultrabook Laptop on PCSTATS.com.
  • Samsung's 840 Pro Series SSD on The Tech Report.
  • Seasonic Platinum 1000W 80 PLUS Platinum Power Supply on TweakTown.
  • Xigmatek Dark Knight - Night Hawk Edition on Technic3D. In German.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Q: How many Verizon customer service reps does it take to change a phone number? A: We don't know, we haven't gone through enough of them yet. After three full working days, Verizon has still not managed to assign the right number to one of our phone lines. Here's a paraphrase of an actual conversation (an hour after I started by asking for a supervisor and getting roped into letting him try): Him: "We have to send another technician to fix this." Me: "If you had to change the number of the line I'm talking to you on, would you have to send anyone?" Him: "No." Me: "Okay, I need to speak to your supervisor." Him: "Mr. Jones will call you back in 24-48 hours." Me: "I need to speak with your disconnection department." Disconnection department: "Please give us thirty minutes and we promise to get this all taken care of." (without having to send a tech). So far they are about 18 hours over and counting on their 30 minute fix. I'd like to think they care that I am recounting their incompetence online, but it really seems like they don't really care much about anything.

Here is what I can piece together of the disorganized postings of last week's NFL picks: Verno 12-4, Creston 11-5, Mag 11-3-? (skipped a pick and selected Dolph Lundgren), Blue and Jivaro 9-7, Cutter 9-6 (skipped a pick), Rigs 8-8, and Batman 8-6 (can't find two of his picks). Here's what my dartboard came up with for this week: Falcons, Packers, Texans, Buccaneers, Redskins, Saints, Chargers, Panthers, Dolphins, Steelers, Patriots, Colts, Broncos, Giants, Bears, and Seahawks.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Berzerk Ball 2.
Science: Squeeze returns breast cancer cells to normal. Thanks Wraith.
Media: A Leap of Faith.
It's All An Illusion.
Are Cats Better DJs Than Dogs? {Scientific Evidence}.
Birds take over Walmart. Seagulls. The universal symbol of hygiene.
The Funnies: Wrong Place, Wrong Time Cartoon - Savage Chickens.

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012

New ShootMania Beta

The ManiaPlanet Blog announces the release of beta 2 of the ManiaPlanet platform and of ShootMania, Nadeo's upcoming first-person shooter. This forum post has the detailed patch notes, showing new features in the game like a grappling hook and major changes to the ManiaPlanet user interface. Thanks Frans.

Steam for Linux Beta Opens

Steam News announces that the beta of the Linux Steam client is now available to all:

The Steam for Linux beta client is now available to all Steam users, so if you've been patiently waiting for an invitation to join us, consider yourself officially invited!

With a growing catalog of Linux-supported games, an active Steam for Linux community group, and a new GitHub bug reporting repository, the timing’s right to jump in and share your feedback.

AIAS Honors Infocom Cofounders

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences announces that Infocom co-founders Dave Lebling and Marc Blank as the recipients of its 2013 AIAS Pioneer Award. Here's part of the announcement:

As innovators, storytellers, game designers and programmers, Lebling and Blank have inspired a generation of gamers and game designers over a broad spectrum of games and genres with their contributions to interactive fiction and text-based adventure games such as the Zork and Enchanter series.

The Pioneer Award is reserved for individuals whose career-spanning work has helped shape and define the interactive entertainment industry with the creation of a technological approach or the birth of a new genre. The 2013 Pioneer Award will be presented by Steve Meretzky, vice president of game design at Playdom, during the 16th D.I.C.E. Awards on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 at The Joint in the Hard Rock Resort and Casino Las Vegas.

“I wouldn't be a game designer today if Marc hadn't given me my first game job as a tester for Infocom back in 1981,” said Steve Meretzky, friend and former colleague of both Lebling and Blank. “And I wouldn't be as good a game designer as I am today, if it hadn't been for Dave's games at Infocom setting such a high bar for me to attempt to reach. It's an honor to try to repay a little of that debt by presenting them with this well-deserved reward.”

Humble Indie Bundle 7

The Humble Bundle Website now offers Humble Indie Bundle 7, a collection of four indie games and their soundtracks, some DLC, and an indie game documentary at a pick-your-own price. There are also two more games and soundtracks to be had for those who choose to beat the average price for the bundle. Here's word:

Humble Indie Bundle 7 is a pay-what-you-want promotion featuring six epic indie games and one evocative, feature-length documentary. This includes:

  • the award-winning shadowy platform puzzler Closure by Eyebrow Interactive, making its Linux debut
  • the stylish 2D side-scrolling brawler Shank 2 by Klei Entertainment, making its Mac and Linux debut
  • the deliciously twisted top-down action RPG shooter The Binding of Isaac + Wrath of the Lamb DLC, making its Linux debut
  • the creative and colorful platform puzzler Snapshot by Retro Affect, making its Linux debut
  • the beloved feature-length documentary, Indie Game: The Movie by BlinkWorks

If a bundle buyer pays over the average purchase price for the bundle, they’ll also get:

  • the vibrant action RPG/tower defense extravaganza Dungeon Defenders (plus a ton of DLC!) by Trendy Entertainment, making its Linux debut
  • and the old school-inspired 3D dungeon crawler Legend of Grimrock by Almost Human Games, making its Mac and Linux debut!

And can you believe it? Dungeon Defenders uses Unreal Engine 3 and is running native on Linux! This signifies a fantastic leap forward for Linux gaming, and we're so excited to be debuting that progress right here in the bundle!

New GeForce Drivers

The GeForce Drivers Page now offers new version 310.70 WHQL-certified reference drivers for NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. Here's word: "This GeForce driver is recommended for the best experience in the blockbuster holiday games. GeForce R310 drivers add optimizations for Far Cry 3, providing up to 38% faster performance. These drivers also include optimizations for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Assassin's Creed III, providing up to 26% faster performance in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and up to 18% faster performance in Assassin’s Creed III, as well as smooth, shimmer-free graphics with TXAA antialiasing in both games." Thanks Iggy.

On Sale

  • Containment: The Zombie Puzzler on Steam. Save 66%.
  • End of 2012 the World DRM-Free Sale on GOG.com.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

THQ Files for Chapter 11; Plans Sale

THQ has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of the process of selling its operations to an investor called the Clearlake Capital Group (thanks Joao via Gamasutra). The THQ Website explains this involves securing interim funding to continue the company's day-to-day operations and the plan for Clearlake to "serve as the 'stalking horse bidder' for a Section 363 sale process, which allows other interested parties to come forward with competing bids." Here's more:

The company is asking the Court for a schedule to complete the sale process in about 30 days.

Consumers and retailers should see no changes while the company completes a sale. The new financing will support business operations throughout the period. THQ does not intend to reduce its workforce as a result of the filing, and employees will continue to work their usual schedules and receive normal compensation and benefits, pending customary Court approval.

As is the case after a Chapter 11 filing, THQ expects to receive notice from NASDAQ informing the company that its shares will be delisted from the exchange within nine calendar days of notification.

Steam Stops Selling The War Z

Kotaku has word that The War Z is no longer sold on Steam just days after the zombie survival game was added to some outcry (thanks nin). They have a statement from the game's developer: "We're making sure that our Store page is 100% correct this is why," Sergey Titov tells them. "Bottom line – our end goal is to have satisfied and not angry customers, so this is more important for us than everything else." Here is the explanation they received from Valve:

From time to time a mistake can be made and one was made by prematurely issuing a copy of War Z for sale via Steam. We apologize for this and have temporary removed the sale offering of the title until we have time to work with the developer and have confidence in a new build. Those who purchase the game and wish to continue playing it via Steam may do so. Those who purchased the title via Steam and are unhappy with what they received may seek a refund by creating a ticket at our support site here.

Gas Powered Countdown

The Gas Powered Games Website now features a countdown ticking off 26+ days to something, presumably a game announcement. The page's URL indicates this is referred to as "Project W," and the timer is accompanied by the following tease: "Ready for Something Wild? Be the first to see the next big thing from the designer of Total Annihilation, Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander, and the team at Gas Powered Games." Thanks VG247.

Medal of Honor Warfighter Support Waning?

A locked thread on the Battlefield Battlelog from a couple of weeks ago deals with news that the community manager for Medal of Honor Warfighter is becoming a CM for Crysis 3. When asked how this will impact EA's military shooter sequel, a moderator admits that future support for the game is uncertain: "This is accurate," he writes, confirming that EA is only committed to the game through December and that some of the Danger Close developers are losing their jobs. "I honestly don't know what kind of support will exist after we go. The moderators will still be around though, and will be able to get information to the CM. Until then, if you've got issues that need answers, you have me for another week!" Thanks Joao.

Need for Speed Most Wanted Ultimate Speed Pack

EA announces the release of the Ultimate Speed Pack for Need for Speed Most Wanted. They provide some screenshots and a trailer showing off the pack, which they describe thusly: "Boom! Here come the Pagani Zonda R, McLaren F1 LM, Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, Lamborghini Aventador J and Hennessey Venom GT Spyder. Take them on in high speed Races and Speed Runs: the perfect showcase for these mind-blowing cars. Beat the absurdly fast Hennessey Venom GT Spyder in an all-new Most Wanted List event and access extra rewards and unlocks in over 70 speed-themed Car Milestones."

Project GODUS Multiplayer Trailer

There's a new update on the Kickstarter Page for Project GODUS, offering a new trailer showing off multiplayer play on a prototype of this upcoming god game from Peter Molyneux's 22cans. Word is: "Today multiplayer in the Godus prototype became a reality and we filmed the first game that took place between Peter and Jack. Being two designers they're both rather competitive...watch the video to find out who won." With just over two days remaining in the campaign, it now appears this game will reach its £450,000 funding goal. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today is day four of our FiOS adventure, which is a bit of a circus. One of our phone numbers is still not working, and I have gotten to experience the startling intricacies of Verizon technical support, where no one seems to actually know what's going on, and there is a complete lack of accountability and follow-up that leads everyone I speak with to attempt to get off the phone with me so it becomes someone else's problem. Every time I am promised they will call back. Every time it's a lie. This morning I got a robo call from them explaining how they have fixed my problem, which is not even remotely accurate. If it sounds like I'm losing patience with this, then I am successfully communicating my internal state, and at some point today this will probably lead to me threatening them with a demand that they come and remove all their expensive equipment, since I think having this residence hooked into the network long-term is the only thing that really motivates them in this situation.

Irate Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Shadez 3: The Moon Miners.
Links: 11 Amazing Facts about the McDonald's McRib. Thanks Cutter.
'Twas The Night Before Scotchmas: A Holiday Guide To Giftable Single Malts.
Stories: 'Game of Thrones' gets super-sized season 3.
Science: Potentially Habitable Planet Detected Around Nearby Star.
Trained Dog Can Detect Superbug with Amazing Accuracy. Thanks nin.
Media: The Glitch. And Behind the Scenes: The Glitch.
Holy COW!!!!
Dad Piggies.
Sneaky pedestrian.
Follow-up: New Plinkett review up now!! Titanic.



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