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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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