A new Kickstarter Campaign from Tom Hall's Pieces of Fun is attempting to raise $400K to develop Worlds of Wander, a planned as a program to allow gamers to create their own platform games. Word is this is to include Secret Spaceship Club, a game called a "spiritual successor" to Commander Keen, the platformer Hall designed in the dawning days of id Software. Interestingly, this project seems to be separate from Loot Drop, the studio Hall co-founded with John Romero, and was the brand on the Tom Hall/Brenda Brathwaite Kickstarter that was cancelled due to lack of interest. Here's word on this project:
Commander Keen’s creator, industry veteran Tom Hall, is announcing his return to fun, funny sci-fi platforming, and he wants to bring you ALL with him! Not just to play but to CREATE A GAME EASILY yourself! WORLDS OF WANDER is a PLATFORM GAME CREATION TOOL that lets you build and share levels, worlds, and whole game experiences with other players. But making a game can be daunting, so it starts with a COMPLETE GAME for you to mess with -- the spiritual successor to Commander Keen -- SECRET SPACESHIP CLUB!
Tom is making SECRET SPACESHIP CLUB with this tool and then giving you the game to play, AND all the data to play with! This game will return to the quirky, funny, clever Tom Hall universe in style, and give you lots of concrete, useful data to start with. It's easy to make a game when you start with one! You never leave the game environment -- the editor is built in! Start in easy mode and just mess with something already made for you. It’s that simple!
The Anodyne Website announces the release of Anodyne, a new indie adventure game that took an honorable mention in the Independent Games Festival Student Competition. A playable demo was released last September (which, like the game, requires Adobe AIR 2.6+), and the game is the subject of a Steam Greenlight campaign. Here's word: "In Anodyne, you explore and fight your way through nature, urban and abstract themed areas in the human Young's subconscious, evoked by a 16-bit-era visual style and a moody, dream-like soundtrack. The gameplay is reminiscent of Link's Awakening, with world design influenced by games such as Yume Nikki."
This new trailer offers a new developer diary with a further look at Silent Hunter Online, Ubisoft's upcoming multiplayer submarine combat game. Here's the latest on the game: "Silent Hunter Online is a free-to-play, browser-based multiplayer submarine simulation game developed by Ubisoft Blue Byte. For the first time in the Silent Hunter series, players will command multiple submarines at the same time. Manage your fleet, construct new U-boats and replenishing supplies are all important aspects of your duties as a fleet commander, and you can access the bunker and depot of your home base at any time to do this." Continue here to read the full story.
This Kickstarter from Triptych Games seeks $50K in funding for Fuzzy Slaughter, a co-op beat-em-up that would be the first original IP from this developer that created the Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty and Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt DLC packs for Borderlands 2. Here's the premise:
It's a proven fact: the cuter they are, the better they taste. But the test subjects of the PITA! Sandwich cute-meat breeding program have had enough. It's time to bust out of the labs, grab some friends, and wreak havoc on the murder machines.
But PITA! isn't going quietly. They've hired an army of Rats, Armadillos, and other guys too ugly to put on bread. The Fuzzies will need every ax, chainsaw, and flamethrower they find to fight back. Fight through forests, farms, city streets, and across the globe to get to PITA! Sandwich headquarters. Throw baddies into wood chippers. Free your fellow Fuzzies and a host of Sexy Bunnies before PITA! can put them on a plate!
The Kickstarter for Akaneiro: Demon Hunters has concluded, just barely hitting the $200K funding goal for enhancing this action/RPG from American McGee and Spicy Horse Games. The game is currently available through the Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Website, but the kickstart will help enhance the game's support for co-op and other platforms such as Linux. Here's word from the announcement:
The $204,680 pledged means that the Spicy Horse team can speed development time and devote more resources to features like co-op gameplay, crafting, Linux support, and the much-anticipated iOS and Android versions of the action RPG.
"We spent most of the weekend on the Akaneiro launch and helping push the Kickstarter over the finish line, so we haven't had a chance to work out an exact roadmap yet, that's something we'll be looking at in the next few weeks" said American McGee, CEO of Spicy Horse Games.
"However, during the Kickstarter, we asked the players what they wanted and they decided: They want co-op and crafting now and Linux and tablet (iOS/Android) support as soon as possible. While we didn't make our stretch goal, we heard the 'don't forget us!' from Ouya supporters loud and clear."
McGee added, "Over the coming weeks, we'll be taking a look at what it takes to implement these features and get them out in a timely manner. We've also still got contributions coming in on the Paypal page, which may influence which features wind up where on the plan."
A new version of the 3DMark benchmark program is now available for Windows, and coming soon to other platforms, as this is designed to allow cross-platform testing, in case you want to compare the performance of your PC to your smartphone. The new version is also available on Steam for 25% off (remind me to tell you whippersnappers about the old days when benchmarks were free), and there is a free version available to demo the program. There are also write-ups about the new version on Legit Reviews, MajorGeeks, PC Perspective, and TweakTown.
Breaking into the calm before the Swarm, Battle.net announces the Heart of the Swarm Launch Page is now live as home to the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion for StarCraft II, Blizzard Entertainment's action/RPG sequel. The site is ticking down the 35 days until the pack launches on March 12th, offering the following explanation of the festivities it will host:
Blizzard Entertainment will be preparing for the onslaught with a worldwide broadcast spanning 24 hours leading up to the launch of the game. StarCraft players are invited to join us at official events in Melbourne, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; Versailles, France; and Irvine, California; or catch the celebration online. Top StarCraft II pro-gamers will play Heart of the Swarm show matches with your favorite casters narrating the action. We'll also feature live demonstrations of new features in Heart of the Swarm, showcase videos and community content, and give away great prizes.
Developers will also be present at other official launch events – check the list of locations for information about all these events, and stay tuned to this page for more details about the global launch celebration, coming soon.
Paradox Interactive announces Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, an expansion for the strategy RPG Crusader Kings II. This is expected in Q2 of this year, and will include a number of user-requested enhancements. This trailer offers a look at the add-on, and there are details on The Crusader Kings Website. Here's a feature list:
Religious Turmoil: Restore the Old Gods to prominence through sacrifice and divination, or force the pagans to convert through new missionary missions
Earlier start: 200 years of more gameplay with the special 867 AD bookmark
Rebels With a Cause: Rebels are no longer faceless rabble, but led by defined characters with specific agendas
Adventurers: Watch as landless younger sons and charismatic warriors raise armies
Pillage and Prosper: Loot provinces and burn cities to the ground – lest your warlike people grow angry during extended peacetime!
Heathens: Convert them or play as them and survive, reforming your faith to stand the test of time
Prepared Invasions: Declare your intent to invade a rich target, and watch adventurers and opportunists flock to your banner
Unholy UI: A new pagan interface is available alongside all-new events, decisions, and units
The latest listing on GfK Chart-Track counts off the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending February 2nd. One through three remain the same, with Football Manager 2013 continuing to kick ass, while StarCraft II re-enters at #19 and the sole new entry is Omerta: City of Gangsters at #18. Things are more dynamic on the all-platforms chart, where Hitman HD Trilogy enters at number five and there's a new sheriff in town, as Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch enters the chart in the number one position. Till next week, I'm Casey Kasem. Keep your feet on the ground, and keep on reaching for the stars.
Happy Groundhog Day! No, wait. that's not right... Okay, congratulations to the Ravens (except Ray Lewis) and their fans for winning the Super Bowl. It turned out to be an exciting game, though not as exciting as it would have been had the 49ers completed that comeback, especially with the conspiracy theories that would have provoked based on the wacky power outage. Oh yeah, and that last play was holding, if not pass interference. As Steve Mariucci would say, "bummer."
Okay, on to next season: The Giants pick 19th in the draft, which kicks off in late April. Kansas City Chiefs, you are officially on the clock.
Kotaku has a running summary of an discussion taking place over twitter over whether the Tiny Tina character in Borderlands 2 is racist, based on the white character's use of clichéd African-American slang. Some have expressed the opinion that this is "verbal blackface," and after originally resisting, lead writer Anthony Burch moved on to try to expand the discussion to see if he needed to re-work the character's dialog in future releases. Randy Pitchford's take on this is that it's not racist as long as it was not written by a racist: "@reverendanthony tina is not racist because you are not racist. You're a pillar of tolerance and inclusion." Thanks nin.
Happy Groundhog Day! Neither of the local celebrity rodent weathermen, Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck, saw their shadows, a harbinger of early spring. Actually I assume it's other people looking for their shadows, as who can really see into the mind of a groundhog? And I don't know how it worked out like that, because it was sunny around here, but I'll take an early spring.