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Friday, Jan 04, 2013

  

The Showdown Effect Trailer

This trailer provides the opportunity to "meet the cast" of The Showdown Effect, the upcoming action game from Magicka developer Arrowhead Game Studios. Here's a rundown on the showdown: "In a combination dev-diary/preview/feature/explosion video, fans can meet Dutch McClone, a time-traveling Austrian searching for his identity; Lance Koboldski, a grizzled cop with only one day until retirement; Hailey Skye, a plucky girl genius who'll stop at nothing to uncover her father's killer; and Shur Foo, a gentleman who seems to believe there's no problem you can't solve by punching it." Continue here to read the full story.

Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Kickstarter

This Kickstarter Campaign seeks funding for Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, a stylized action/RPG from American McGee's Spicy horse Studios. A crowdsourcing effort from an established developer is no longer unusual, but there's another twist here, in that this game is actually already complete, and set to enter open beta testing this month, and the kickstart is to fund improvements. The major features they list that would be added if they raise $200,000 include tablet versions, co-op support, equipment crafting, and improved community support. You can find a gameplay trailer on the Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Website, which is also where to sign up for the beta.

Bond Games MIA

007 Legends can no longer be found for sale online from Steam or the Activision Download Store, and previous James Bond games 007 Blood Stone and Quantum of Solace. VG247 contacted Activision for comment for some time ago, but no statement about this mystery has been released. Thanks Neogamr.

On Sale

  • FIFA Soccer 13 on Gamefly. Save 50%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Steam Sale Encore This Weekend

Steam News announces that this weekend will be an encore for their 2012 Holiday Sale, where they will reprise some of the best deals offered during the annual extravaganza. The encore weekend kicks off at 1:00 pm EST tomorrow and will run through 1:00 pm EST on Monday. They also announce the daily deals for day sixteen of the sale:

THQ Investors Call Shenanigans

THQ's recently announced one-two punch of declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy while arranging a sale to a "stalking horse bidder" for a Section 363 sale has hit a snag, as Gamasutra reports investors have raised objections to the plan. The complaint focuses on how this seems to protect THQ management jobs, but not their investments. The investors aren't the only ones with raised eyebrows over this, as Distressed Debt Investing notes the U.S. Trustee overseeing the THQ bankruptcy has also filed an objection to the proceedings, noting problems with the accelerated timing of asset sales and excessive fee/expense reimbursements.

The War Z at War

The War Z Forums reveal that the embattled survival/horror shooter has been the subject of a denial of service attacks, though there's no word if these are being ironically facilitated through zombie computers. There are several updates showing the measures taken to address this, but the ultimate conclusion is that none of these worked, and they are now seeking help from Valve with this. Thanks MCV.

Take-Two Stake Taken

An outfit called the Citadel Investment Group has increased its investment in Take-Two Interactive, and now owns a six percent stake in the publisher/developer, reports GameSpot by way of The Motley Fool. They discuss how this investment relies on the fortunes of the upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto V.

Square Enix Testing Brower RPG in Japan

Siliconera has details on a browser-based RPG being tested in Japan that includes a mashup of Final Fantasy monsters. There is no word on whether there are plans to bring this to the west as well.

Console BioShock Bundle

2K Games announces BioShock: Ultimate Rapture Edition, an upcoming package that will bundle BioShock, BioShock 2, and the add-ons for each waterlogged shooter, as well as an exclusive "collectible" sticker pack for the upcoming BioShock: Infinite. PC gamers and those outside of North America are being left on the sidelines for this, as this page shows that this is coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America on January 14th, but is not coming to PCs, though they do say the console bundles will be released in other territories "at a later date."

Op Ed

Reason.com - 38 Studios: Curt Schilling's Crony Capitalism Debacle.
Former Gov. Carcieri hoped 38 Studios would be the cornerstone of a new video game tech hub in Rhode Island. Instead, the fallout from the collapse and squandered taxpayer dollars will make the state unlikely to cut any more of what WPRI's Ted Nesi describes as "special, one-off deals with individual companies...picked by a certain group of people in state government."

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Last week concluded the NFL regular season, I'm sad to say the Giants will be home watching the playoffs on TV with the rest of us. Here are our week 17 results: Blue 14-2, Mag 13-3 (fixed, sorry), Batman 12-4 (also fixed, and I'm assuming Batman's second pick of the Texans was the Titans), Creston 11-5, Verno and Jivaro 10-6, and Cutter 7-9. Extra props to Batman as the only prognosticator who saw the Bucs beating the Falcons in Atlanta.

I'm running a little behind to tally the regular season results right now, so for the meantime, here are my playoff picks. As much as I've been trying to convince myself this is a terrible idea, I'm going to pick the visiting team in each game.

Visiting Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Snoring 2: Winter Edition.
Snake Squad.
Links: THE LEGO STAR WARS ORGAN. Boggling. Thanks nin via Dubious Quality.
Stories: George Lucas, Mellody Hobson Engaged. Thanks nin.
Science: Big Space: There are at least 100 billion planets in our galaxy alone.
This Robot Vomits So You Won't Have To. Thanks HARDOCP.
Finding the neuron that makes your sweater itch.
Media: The Imperial Recruiter.
All the ColecoVision Games in Fifteen Minutes.
The Many D'ohs of Homer Simpson.
The Funnies: Brevity.

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013

Guild Wars 2 Bans

Massively has word on permanent bans that have been handed out in Guild Wars 2 for users taking advantage of a way of exploiting snowflakes during their Wintersday event. They point to the Guild Wars 2 Forum and Reddit for details on this, but we can only find the relevant post on the latter, while VG247 points the way to this post with more on the topic. In the post on the GW2 Forum there is also a promise of a long-term roadmap for ArenaNet's MMORPG. Here's what they are saying for now:

To set expectations accordingly, the January release will be a relatively small release that sets the table for the stories and features we plan to roll out with the Feb/March releases and beyond. Also, there will be no new race, profession, or new region with these larger Feb/March releases. One of our major goals with these releases is making our existing world as strong as possible, ensuring there are reasons to go to all the locations in the world we’ve already built, and strengthening the core game we’ve provided. In saying this will be an expansions worth of stuff in these releases, we’re talking about the number of new features that will be rolled out across PvE, WvW, and PvP in early 2013, which usually you’d only find in an expansion for a traditional MMORPG.

GarageGames Game Development Kit Kickstarter

GarageGames announces a Kickstarter campaign for 3 Step Studio, planned as a free suite of tools for the development of video games with no programming experience. The Torque engine developers seek a half-million dollars for this, and here is part of the pitch:

The 3 Step Studio suite includes free genre-specific templates and tools that help aspiring game designers create and share their game for iPad, iPhone, Windows and Mac in three easy steps: Select a template, customize the game play and art – or upload your art to ‘make it your own’, and then publish the results for others to play. The basic tools and templates will be available for free to use, with advanced tools, templates and additional content available through micro-transactions.

AoE Online Content Development Ceasing

The Age of Empires Online Blog announces that Ensemble is ceasing the development of new content for the multiplayer RTS game, though there is a small amount of new stuff still in the pipeline that they will complete before shutting off the tap. They stress that nothing else is changing, and that the game will continue to operate as before, and will be fully supported. They explain the reason for the change in a brief FAQ: "Because creating top-tier content, as we have been for the last year and a half, is very expensive—too expensive to maintain for long, as it turns out. We can no longer afford to keep creating it. AOEO already has a very large amount of high-quality, hand-crafted entertainment, and adding more is no longer cost-effective." Thanks Massively.

On Sale

Op Ed

1Reason - In The Base Case by Kim Swift (thanks GamesIndustry International)
So, I have a secret wish. Whenever I’m in the public eye, whether it’s doing PR or giving a talk – and this is going to sound amazingly corny — I hope that there’s a little girl out there that sees me and thinks to herself, “Oh look! Girls make games too.” I say this because this problem isn’t going to change on a dime. A grown adult isn’t going to change their mind about their inherent beliefs or their personality because someone gave them the stink eye (or an Internet reaming).

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: FAILs of 2012. Thanks nin.

Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer Soon?

A post on All Games Beta shows tweets from Evolve PR dude Tom Ohle revealing his excitement over a Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, saying this look at CD Projekt RED's upcoming cyberpunk RPG will be released for all to see 'next weekish.' As far as we can see, there are no longer the tweets in the feed corresponding to what they posted, but there is a conversation that refers to a trailer using nearly the same "Next week. Ish" phrase, which suggests the AGB story may be based tweets that were deleted after this became news. Ish. Thanks VG247.

Defiance Beta Weekend This Month

Trion Worlds announces a weekend beta event for Defiance to run from January 18-20 in their upcoming open world MMO first-person shooter. The event, which they call "Advanced Mission Beta 1," will include full access to the tutorial along with the following content: "the expansive terraformed terrain of Mt. Tam, the Waterfront competitive multiplayer map, and the fierce Shadow War open world competitive multiplayer and Arkfall massive co-op boss battles." Those hoping to participate should sign up on the viral Von Bach Industries Website.

World of Warcraft Patch on PTR; To Include MOBA?

The World of Warcraft Website announces the promised version 5.2 patch for World of Warcraft is now live on the Public Test Realm for the MMORPG. They offer a series of notes on the new version, though they warn that these are not final. Here's an overview: "By logging in you can help us test a massive new raid dungeon, a multi-faceted new quest hub, Pet Battle improvements, new world bosses, significant class balance changes, brand new pets and mounts, assorted bug fixes, and more." On a related note, VG247 notes a post on WoW Serbia pointing to a trailer showing "Defense of the Alehouse" to feature some sort of MOBA gameplay, which they suggest will also be part of this version 5.2 patch, though this is just speculation at this point. Continue here to read the full story.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 in March

The Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Product Page now reflects a new March 12th release date for this CryENGINE 3 stealth shooter sequel. The game was originally due last year before being delayed until the middle of this month. No reason for the setback is offered. Thanks Videogamer.com.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct Trailer Not Official

Giant Bomb has an explanation of the origins of the new trailer for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. It turns out the clip uses in-game footage from an IGN feature on the upcoming shooter. Hand-wringing over having been fooled ensues, but as they note, the footage is genuine. Thanks VG247.

Humble Indie Bundle 7 Reaches $2.7MM

The Humble Bundle Website shows that sales of Humble Indie Bundle 7 have concluded, raking in over two and a half million dollars: "Humble Indie Bundle 7 is over, with 395,940 bundles sold for a total of $2,650,507.68. Type in your email address below and be among the first to know about our future projects!"

Digital Paint: Paintball 2 Reunion

The Paintball Website has a recently released patch for Digital Paint: Paintball 2, the standalone paintball shooter that started off as a Quake II modification. The last we heard of this was over five years ago, but a build 36 was released in September and a newer build 37 came out at the end of November. They want to celebrate this with a reunion for players on Saturday, going full on old-school by organizing on IRC.

New Sven Co-op

The Sven Co-op Website offers a new version 4.7 that was released on Christmas for this Half-Life modification as support for this old-school shooter mod continues into a third decade (or second century if you want more drama, or second millennium if you want full-on hype). They say they are not running out of steam, as plans for version 5.0 are already on the boards, which they say will represent a "major stepping stone for the mod." Here's word on the new release: "This release includes fixes and improvements to Half-Life co-op, Opposing Force co-op, They Hunger Co-op, etc., as well as Linux server support, new and updated maps, new features, fixes etc."

Op Ed

Wall Street Journal - The Year Video Games Became Art.
2012 was an important year for video games. Prime examples of the form were curated for the first time by museums such as the Smithsonian, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Museum of Modern Art—with the MoMA even going so far as to add video games to its permanent collection. This is not to say that videogames were not art beforehand, or even to accept that “art” is the best term to use in describing video games. Video games are still, on some level, “ones and zeroes.” And they always will be. But it’s nonetheless culturally significant that a curator from an institution as hallowed as the MoMA finally said that they are also “ones and zeroes that get to form whole spatial structures and whole experiences.”

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Metacritic bemoans 2012's lack of quality.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, the cautious part of my cautious optimism about our car turned out to be more accurate than the optimism part, as it refused to start after having a couple of days to drain the battery. It spent the night at the mechanic: He found a problem with a dome light that stayed on when the door was closed, but he's not sure that's the entirety of the problem (and I'm pretty sure he's right that it isn't), so he's taking some more time to suss it out.

R.I.P.: Patti Page, R.I.P.

Charged Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Mutant Alien Assault.
Operation Elephant.
Links: The Biggest Box-Office Hits Of 2012.
Stories: 'Oompa Loompas' sought by police over Norwich assault. Thanks Dark Horizons.
Science: Going To Mars Could Damage The Brains Of Astronauts. Thanks Slashdot.
Quantum measurements on one island determine behavior on another.
New-generation pacemaker could be powered by the heart.
Images: Dead Space 2: Isaac Clarke and Ellie Langford Cosplay.
Media: HE'S THE COMPUTER MAN! Thanks Reddit.
Best Urination Joke Ever in the Free Photo Booth Prank.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
How To Train Your Cat 3.



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