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Saturday, Feb 16, 2013

  

SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny DLC

Steam now offers Faith in Destiny Scenario 3: The Last Stand, a new DLC pack for SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny, the strategy/RPG sequel. Here's a description of the new release:

The Last Stand is the third DLC to be released for the fantasy RPG, set in the dangerous world of Dun Mora where The Nameless has launched a ferocious attack against the elves and Queen Sansha. Players must assume the role of Caine and use their tactical skills to help defend the precious land.

Dun Mora has become too dangerous for Professor Twiddle to journey through carrying parts of the Twiddlium Compensator. Leaving the parts with Queen Sansha to look after, the attacks become more frequent and are taking on a new dimension that players will need to battle through.

Open Source Natural Selection 2 Lua Toolkit Released

The Unknown Worlds Website heralds the open source release of the toolkit used to build Natural Selection 2, their action/strategy sequel. The game is written in Lua, and to assist in developing the game they created their own IDE for Lua, including a debugger, which they have previously license to other project, but are now giving away as a gift to the community. Here's word:

Although it was initially an internal tool, we quickly realized that other developers would benefit from Decoda as well. To help fund our company, we productized Decoda and began selling through our website. Over the years we’ve licensed Decoda to many game studios and its revenue helped keep our company on stable ground even in some of the rockiest financial times.

Today, after the successful launch of Natural Selection 2, we have the opportunity to re-evaluate our business strategy. As a tool, Decoda is just as important for us as it was when we wrote the first line of code — our programmers use it every day in the continuing development of the game. In fact, it’s so important to us that we want it to improve faster than ever.

We intend to keep on developing Decoda, but we are most excited about what *you* can do to help make it the best IDE out there!

Star Trek: The Video Game Trailer

This trailer offers a new look at Star Trek: The Video Game, the upcoming Kirk and Spock co-op action game. The clip features gameplay footage, and commentary from Paramount's Brian Miller, executive producer on the game. "Kirk is this brash cowboy character, whereas Spock is the exact opposite – and when you break down Star Trek to those elements, you had to make a co-op game," Miller explains. "There was no other game we could possibly make." Continue here to read the full story.

DayZ Update

The DayZ Blog has an update on what the team behind the upcoming standalone zombie game based on the Arma II modification has been up to over the past couple of weeks. Word is Bohemia Interactive has expanded the development team, that internal closed multiplayer testing continues, and that their lead programmer continues the process of revising the game's architecture to use the client/server model. They also discuss the inventory system and art, and in looking forward to the game's release, and in answer to questions about clothing choices, say users should expect new content releases every week.

Saturday Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Friday, Feb 15, 2013

Blood Revival Shelved

A post on The Postmortem has word from former Monolith CEO Jace Hall that hoa proposal to update the original version of Blood to work on modern PCs and other operating systems has been quashed by rights-holder Atari (thanks Polygon). Here's word on the fate of the old-school shooter:

Dear Blood Community:

I just got an unusually short, one sentence e-mail from Atari, letting me know that given the current set of circumstances, they are choosing to decline to proceed.

Obviously, I am disappointed. Particularly given Atari's continued encouragement along with the amount of time, effort and correspondence that I have put into this venture.

The only thing that can be done at this point is to wait and see what happens with ATARI, and hope that they find themselves in a position and mindset to allow my efforts to continue on this matter at a future date.

Tears and Sadness, Jace Hall

Mass Effect 3 Operation: HEARTBREAKER

The BioWare Blog announces this weekend is Operation: HEARTBREAKER for Mass Effect 3 players. Apparently this does not involve Pat Benatar:

Operation: HEARTBREAKER (Feb 15th-17th)

Event Description: The number of Banshees on the battlefield has suddenly increased. We believe the Reapers are improving their means of creation, and we need to recover as many Banshee bodies as possible for analysis. Use cautious tactics – and try not to get your heart ripped out.

Individual Goal: Earn 20,000 points killing Banshees.

Reward: Commendation Pack

Crysis 3 Preorders Soar

In advance of the release of Crysis 3 next week, Electronic Arts announces the shooter sequel has racked up 35% more preorders than Crysis 2:

The countdown to the launch of Crysis 3 has begun! In just four days, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) and award-winning developer Crytek GmbH will unleash Crysis 3 to gamers worldwide. Anticipation has been building for months, as press and fans praise the gorgeous visuals and unparalleled power of the Nanosuit. More than three million gamers worldwide downloaded the Crysis 3 multiplayer beta propelling pre-orders to new heights, now reaching 35% over Crysis 2. Gamers are also devouring YouTube videos of Prophet, the Nanosuit and the 7 Wonders of the New York Liberty Dome, with more than 16 million video views on the official Crysis YouTube channel.

Star Wars Fighting Game Prototype Footage

This trailer offers a look at a prototype of a Star Wars fighting game that was proposed by Studio Gigante, a developer comprised of former Mortal Kombat developers that created another fighting game called Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus. They were apparently pitching this as well as a Kill Bill game before they closed up shop in 2005. Thanks Polygon. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • The Amazing Spider-Man on Steam. Save 60%.
  • RPG Weekend on GOG.com. Save 50%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Assassin's Creed 3 Patched

The Ubisoft Forums offer details on a new patch that's now available for Assassin's Creed 3 to update the stealth/action sequel to version 1.03 (thanks Computer and Video Games). The new version includes some fixes and changes while also paving the way for the upcoming release of The Tyranny of King Washington DLC for the game. They also have a note for players experiencing PunkBuster problems in the game on how to try to clear these up. Here are the patch notes:

We’ve just launched another patch for Assassin’s Creed III which repairs a few remaining single-player issues, many known multiplayer issues and prepares the game data for the release of our first single-player DLC: The Tyranny of King Washington: The Infamy!

NOTE: If you are a PC player and encounter incompatibility with Punkbuster, please see the following link for details on how to manually update Punkbuster: http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...ch-1-03-Forums
If problems persist, please refer to this thread for updates:
http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php...=1#post8922341

Continue here to read the full story.

StarCraft II Patch Plans

The StarCraft II Website has details on a new version 2.0.4 patch that's on the way for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, saying this is due within a few days. This will include a bunch of enhancements Blizzard says will also be part of the imminent release of the Heart of the Swarm expansion on March 12th. Here's the outline of what this is about:

  • An all-new user interface with new menu screens.
  • The launch of in-game Clans and Groups.
  • New Replay features, such as Watch with Others and Take Command.
  • A multitude of Editor improvements.
  • New matchmaking options: Training Mode, Vs. AI Mode, and Unranked Play.
  • All-new AI Options, including AI Communication.
  • Players Near You, so you can find other StarCraft II players on your local network.
  • New customizable Observer UI.

BioShock Infinite Trailer

Irrational Games now offers Columbia: A Modern Day Icarus: Part 2, a continuation of the pseudo-documentary discussing the events surrounding the formation of the floating city of Columbia that serves as the setting for BioShock Infinite, the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. This touches on the legend of the "Songbird," and the sinister implications of it being the guardian of the "Lamb of Columbia," which may just end up playing into the game. Continue here to read the full story.

January NPD Results

USA Today reveals NPD Group's reporting $834.7 million in North American physical game sales figures for January 2013. Sales are up nine percent over the same period last year, but this is attributable to their accounting methods, rather than an actual uptick, as the results include a "leap week" that's added every few years, presumably to keep calendars in sync. Word is sales would be down 13% if this was tabulated as a typical four-week month. Likewise hardware sales are up four percent, rather than down 17%. Word is: "an additional $141 million was spend on used and rented video games, while $382 million went toward sales of digital video game content such as mobile games and downloadable content."

New Unigine Benchmarks

The Unigine Website now offers a new version 1.0 of the Valley GPU benchmark for Windows, Linux, and OS X. Here's what they have to say about this: "Valley Benchmark is a new GPU stress-testing tool from the developers of the very popular and highly acclaimed Heaven Benchmark. The forest-covered valley surrounded by vast mountains amazes with its scale from a bird’s-eye view and is extremely detailed down to every leaf and flower petal. This non-synthetic benchmark powered by the state-of-the art UNIGINE Engine showcases a comprehensive set of cutting-edge graphics technologies with a dynamic environment and fully interactive modes available to the end user." They also are offering a new version 4.0 and an "extended edition" of their Heaven Benchmark.

Wargame: AirLand Battle Website

A new Wargame: AirLand Battle Website is online as an official home to the upcoming sequel to Wargame: European Escalation that escalates the war to the expanses of AirLand (hey, if you're going to make up a word, we're going to have fun with it). Word is this offers details on the game, media (including some new screenshots), a home for user-created videos, and more.

Morning Patches

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • Dungeonland on IGN.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

We ended up laying low last night, and will go out to celebrate Valentine's Day over the weekend (after being married for a while, practicality starts to influence the romance). This weekend is also the President's Day weekend, so hopefully we won't have trouble getting into a restaurant amid all the celebrations this will inspire.

Inspired Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Steampunk Tower.
Links: The pleasure of finding things out about Richard Feynman.
Stories: Ex-mayor's $1 billion gambling woes stun San Diego.
Golfer Picks Out Black Widow Venom with Tee, Finishes Round. Thanks theAntiELVIS.
Science: First bionic eye gets FDA blessing.
Anti-anxiety drug found in rivers makes fish more aggressive.
Images: 'Groundhog Day' Cast: Where Are They Now?
Media: Beercade: The Last Barfighter.
Robot Chicken: A Critical Component.
How Single Cats Are Spending Valentine's Day.
Follow-up: Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks.



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