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Monday, Feb 11, 2013

  

Tomb Raider Trailer

This trailer offers almost 11 minutes of gameplay from the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, showing combat, exploration, and environments featuring the new more anatomically correct Lara Croft. The clip is accompanied by narration from Noah Hughes, as the creative director on the upcoming action/adventure reboot walks us through what we're seeing. Continue here to read the full story.

Linux Half-Life and Counter-Strike Released

The Half-Life and Counter-Strike listings on Steam now include Tux the penguin icons along with Windows and OS X logos, indicating Linux support is now retrofitted into both games. Thanks PC Gamer.

Indies vs. Mamba Games and Lace Mamba Global

Jakub Dvorsky's Blog on Gamasutra offers "An open letter from Amanita Design, Colibri Games and Daedalic Entertainment" offering a cautionary tale based on the experience of these indie studios working with Mamba Games and Lace Mamba Global, saying they have failed to receive contractually required payments. They say they are in the process of pursuing their legal options in this area, and in the meantime, want other developers to be wary of repeating their experiences. This recalls an incident earlier this year when CBE Software cancelled its agreement with Lace Mamba Global over missed payments, which Lace Mamba claimed was a "misunderstanding."

BioWare Founders Honored by GDC Awards

Game Developers Choice Awards announce that BioWare founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk will be honored at the 2013 GDC Awards with an honor for their lifetime achievement in video games. Word is Double Fine's Tim Shafer will return as host:

SAN FRANCISCO — Feb. 11, 2013 — The 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs), the leading peer-based awards celebrating game development, will honor Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, co-founders of the award-winning BioWare™ studio, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to the art and science of games. The Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony takes place Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center during the 2013 Game Developers Conference® (GDC) in San Francisco.

Both Choice and IGF Awards will see the return of industry-favorite hosts with Tim Schafer, the LucasArts veteran and President and CEO of Double Fine Productions (Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, The Cave), hosting the Choice Awards ceremony and Pocketwatch Games’ Andy Schatz, creator of 2010 Independent Games Festival Grand Prize winner Monaco, returning as host of the Independent Games Festival awards.

Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Muzyka and Zeschuk, known throughout the game development community as the ‘BioWare Doctors’, met while in medical school at the University of Alberta where they learned they shared a passion for video game development. They each continued to moonlight as doctors during the early years of BioWare but then transitioned to the videogame industry full time as they and their passionate teams at BioWare went on to create some of the industry’s most influential, highly praised and critically acclaimed role-playing games such as Baldur's Gate™, Neverwinter Nights™, Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire™, Mass Effect™, Dragon Age™ and Star Wars™: The Old Republic.

On Sale - Steam Adds Weekly Deals

Steam News announces the addition of weekly deals to the array of sale offerings on Valve's online service.

  • Alpha Prime on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • FlatOut on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Karateka on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Steel Storm: Burning Retribution on Steam. Save 50%.
  • World of Warcraft Games on the Blizzard Store. Save up to 75%.

Evening Patches

Evening Q&As

Op Ed

Cliffski's Blog - The psychological value of ownership, and how free to play games use it.
Free to play works because it doesn’t ask you to value the game until you already feel you own it. How much would you pay for farmville to buy it outright? maybe $5? But play the game for free for a month, build up your farm, invest it, and then hit a plateau in the game where you really need to buy coins to continue…. and suddenly YOUR game is worth a lot more than $5. You value the game you already own very highly, and so buying add-ons for it is just common sense. I suspect this is why DLC works so well, and sells so well. You have already made a commitment to valuing the game, by investing your time. Only a fool could try to rationalize NOT spending money on it now…

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Esquire's Interview with Megan Fox Is the Worst Thing Ever Written (ironically, beating out a VICE article). Thanks loonyboi.

Wildman Kickstarter Cancelled

The Kickstarter Page for Wildman now shows a cancellation of the fundraising effort for this proposed hybrid of action/RPG and RTS gameplay from struggling developer Gas Powered Games that was just short of halfway to its $1.1 million goal with four days remaining (thanks Bob and nin). The game proposal came just ahead of layoffs, and this project was to save jobs and the company itself. This is indirectly addressed by the update about the cancellation:

We have some news today. We are canceling the Wildman Kickstarter.

At this point, it makes sense for us to focus our attention on other ways to keep Gas Powered Games running. Unfortunately, we are unable to share any specifics in public. When we have news to share, we will be posting it on our site. If you want status updates, or if you want to continue discussing Wildman and/or this Kickstarter, please consider migrating over to forums.gaspowered.com.

We are profoundly grateful to those of you who backed this project and Gas Powered Games. Your passion and hard work put us in a position to write this exciting new chapter in the history of GPG.

Games for Windows LIVE Issue

An issue with Games for Windows LIVE has prevented some customers from playing games that rely on Microsoft's online services for a few days now. This forum thread has collected reports about this since Friday, most mentioning either Dark Souls or Age of Empires Online, which Joystiq notes (thanks nin) may be because these are the most popular games using GFWL. A reply from Microsoft support on Friday said: "As stated we are aware of this issue and are looking into what is causing it and for a resolution." That post was updated today with some new information:

Users are still experiencing this issue, there has been some progress; the Games for Windows Marketplace should now be correctly showing the Games Activation Keys and Live Access Codes.

We are still looking into the connection issues with various games. Some users are reporting success by running the following four commands in an admininstrator command prompt (right click on the command propt and select run as administrator)
- bitsadmin /reset
- ipconfig /flushdns
- netsh int ip reset
- netsh winsock reset

then restarting their computers, starting their game up and selecting "Sign-in with another account" and re-entering their log-in information.

This is not working for everyone and we are looking into a complete resolution for all of our users.

Diablo III Community Q&A - Patch Tomorrow

Battle.net now offers the promised first installment in their new "ask the devs" Q&A series for Diablo III. This points to this page with the answers to community-submitted questions about the upcoming version 1.07 patch for the action/RPG sequel, divided into sections concerning Brawling, new item crafting, gems, and classes, including first concrete discussion of proposed changes for the Monk "One With Everything" skill. Additionally, this post discusses how Blizzard is discontinuing the practice of reviving Hardcore characters as part of their account rollback service, so softcore hardcore players will no longer be able to perform CPR on their dead characters by calling Blizzard support. This change takes effect with version 1.07, and the post says the new version is expected to go live tomorrow in all regions.

ShootMania Beta Updated

ManiaPlanet has news that beta 3.0 RC1 is now available for ShootMania: Storm, adding some big changes to the testing of Nadeo's upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter. A number of new features are mentioned, including a new conquest-style gameplay mode called Realm that involves controlling key map areas to secure victory. They also outline other changes and fixes, and this forum post offers the complete patch notes for the new version, which is a 1.3 GB download. Thanks Frans.

Legacy of Kain Returning?

A tweet by supererogatory reveals a new domain registration for WarForNosgoth.com that the internet sleuth says was registered by Square Enix, though the registrar listed is "CSC Corporate Domains." Nosgoth is the setting of the Legacy of Kain games, so this becomes a hint that something new might be brewing for the action/adventure series. The last we heard about Legacy of Kain was a couple of years ago when clues surfaced suggesting Ritual Entertainment was working on a new installment in the series that was cancelled in 2004. Thanks VideoGamer.

U.K. Sales Charts

A new GfK Chart-Track listing reveals the 20 bestselling full-priced PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending February 9. Football Manager 2013 maintains its toehold on the number one spot, surviving an assault from Dead Space 3, which debuts at number two. The horror shooter sequel does that one better on the all-platforms chart, where it lands at number one, dropping Ni No Kumi: Wrath of the White Witch to number six after a brief visit to the penthouse.

Morning Q&As

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show kicks off this evening. I mentioned several years ago this is something MrsBlue and I enjoyed watching, though I have to admit we don't actually catch to much of the broadcast any more, as it is just mind-bogglingly similar every year, with the same announcers saying the same things year after year, which combines with how the appearance of the dogs never changes to create this creepy feeling you've watched the exact same show before (though if you've seen Best in Show, this eventually inspires a lot of laughter). Anyway, watching or not, we will be rooting as hard as we can for the Airedale Terrier, in Honor of Hudson the wonder dog. Not that it will help: Airedales have won best in show at Westminster four times, but the last time was when FDR was president, and World War I was still "The Great War" because we had not yet had a World War II.

Best in Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Commando Rush.
Stories: To win at Westminster, dogs campaign like presidential candidates.
Adventurers re-enact Shackleton's Antarctic voyage.
Science: Window-washing Winbot. Thanks HARDOCP.
Media: ‘SNL’ mocks Super Bowl blackout.
Fix Your Own Digital Camera.
Two leopards encounter a mirror. Thanks brother19.

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013

Axl Rose's Activision Lawsuit Dismissed

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge has dismissed what remained of Axl Rose's lawsuit against Activision over Slash and Welcome to the Jungle appearing in Guitar Hero 3, reports The San Marino Tribune. Rose objected to the way this associated Slash with Guns N' Roses, even though Slash played guitar for the band for 11 years, including on that song (most of his comments on the situation were hard to understand). An earlier portion of this suit was dismissed because Rose filed his court papers too late, which may not come as a surprise to fans who waited 15 years for the release of Chinese Democracy. Thanks TheWeaponeer.

Steam Top 10

Here are the 10 bestselling games on Valve's Steam service for the past week:

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
  2. Borderlands 2
  3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  4. Anitchamber
  5. Aliens: Colonial Marines
  6. Arma II: Combined Operations
  7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  8. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  10. Far Cry 3

Rise of the Triad Podcast & Diary

A new podcast for Rise of the Triad discusses Environmental Art and Design in the upcoming shooter remake, hearing from some of the artists involved in the game's production. Podcast #3 is accompanied by Developer Blog #3 which covers the same topics, and offers some concept art as a visual aid. The main topics include the concepts behind modular environmental design, and the challenges of recreating classic ROTT maps for the modern remake. Continue here to read the full story.

Sunday Q&As

Sunday Consolidation

Sunday Mobilization

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Tech Bits

Sunday Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Chinese New Year! That's right, today is the first day of the Year of the Snake, though knowing myself, I'll still absent-mindedly be writing Year of the Dragon on my checks for a couple more weeks.

Traditional Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Renegade Racing.
Science: Um, What's This Weird Hunk of Metal We Just Found on Mars? Thanks HARDOCP.
Wind tops U.S. sources of new electricity generation in 2012.
Images: Lego Death Star versus Lego Alderaan. Too soon?
Media: Faces of Gaming.
Too much snow for scooter. Thanks reddit.
Driving In Russia (Week 1 - January - 2013). Thanks nin.



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