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Friday, Mar 01, 2013

  

Deus Ex: Human Defiance Likely a Film Title

A tweet by supererogatory deflates hopes that the recently discovered Trademark for Deus Ex: Human Defiance signifies a new installment in the action/RPG series by pointing the way to a domain registration for DeusEx-HumanDefiance.com (or as they humorously parse it, DeuSex-HumanDefiance.com) and another for DeusExhumanDefianceFilm.com, each of which is registered to CBS Films. These seem to be a pretty strong indication this all relates to the upcoming Deus Ex film rather than a game.

Baseball Mogul 2014 This Month

The Game Designer Blog announces that Baseball Mogul 2014 will go on sale on March 22nd, offering the new installment in this sports management series. The post outlines what the new version will include besides the obvious roster, stat, and schedule updates, including real minor league stats going back to the 1880s, lefty/righty batter and pitcher breakdowns going back to 1951, new animations, new GM AI, and a new scouting and player rating system.

J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition Crowdfunding

A new Indiegogo campaign looks to raise funds for a J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition to update the point-and-click sci-fi adventure to match the vision of two-person developer CBE software. They planned to fund an Enhanced Edition using profits from the original game, but word is these ultimately only served to cover their legal expenses after a payment dispute with their former publisher. In explaining the campaign's goals, Jan Kavan, CBE software director harkens back to the old days: "When we've released J.U.L.I.A. back in 2012, the response especially from the adventure gaming community was amazing. Even if we knew that this is a new video game format, we've been well accepted and especially the story, music and game flow was generally praised," he explains. "J.U.L.I.A. is for me an extremely personal game and regardless of what happens next, I want to have the game really polished. I also perceive the crowdfunding process as something more than just getting some cash. We want the community to actively participate through polls, voting and feedback. We’ve set us very modest and realistic goal for this campaign as we want to eliminate the worst problems stemming from our former zero budget situation. That’s why it’s now too early to speak about other exciting possibilities this campaign could open for J.U.L.I.A. One of our primary goals is to let Rachel Manners climb out from the uncanny valley, where she’s now settled in."

Tomb Raider Steam Preloads

Steam News announces those who have pre-purchased Tomb Raider can now preload their game data to prepare for its release next week. The game is on sale there for 10% off, and they remind us it also includes the pre-purchase bonuses of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Tomb of the Lost Adventurer DLC, and the Shanty Town multiplayer map.

TACTICAL INTERVENTION This Month

OGPlanet announces plans to launch TACTICAL INTERVENTION on March 28th in North America, offering the chance to check out this free-to-play team-based first-person shooter from Counter-Strike co-creator Minh "Gooseman" Le. Those who can't wait can head over to Joystiq to request an exclusive closed beta key and the game's website says open beta testing will commence on March 14th. Here's word on what to expect of the game:

Developed by the legendary FPS designer, Minh Le and FIX Korea, fans have long-awaited the release of TACTICAL INTERVENTION since Le's departure from Valve years ago. Learning from his previous work, Le was able to implement all-new features that he had always wanted to work into an FPS. With the infamous Highway Mission, players will climb into the driver's seat, shoot hanging out of vehicle passenger windows, all while chasing after the same target. Players can also call in attack dogs to come to their aid, and even make use of tactical rappel ropes to gain the upper hand on the opposing force. They will also have to be conscious of civilians who can be taken as hostages and used as human shields. It is up to you and your team to strategize, execute, and eliminate your target. TACTICAL INTERVENTION places team-based tactics and hardcore, fast-paced gameplay at the forefront of battle.

On Diablo III's Future

A post to the Diablo III forums by game designer Travis Day responds to a thread about Blizzard's action/RPG sequel titled "The Salvation of Diablo 3" with some frank insights into how the game came to its current state, and their approach to supporting it going forward. Travis discusses the rewards of a challenging game and how they overdid the challenge in the shipping version of the game, item diversity and reliance on the auction house, character customization, item glut, get hunting, skill diversity, and more. The takeaway is that they are still listening to feedback about the game, and still working at revamping things to better match the expectations of themselves and the community. This excerpt explains plans for addressing complaints about gear, which will be further explained in a blog update next week:

Too many items

I cover this topic in some depth in the upcoming Item Blog that community is in the process of getting ready for release next week. I will briefly say that we agree that too many items drop and we have plans to eventually reduce the rate that players see items, while also taking measures to improve the general quality of items you do see. The end result should be fewer items that are better instead of tons of items you don’t want.

Legendary and Set items

This is a topic I’ve touched on some in this thread and it is also a talking point of the upcoming Item Blog, so I’ll just say that we agree and we want Legendary items to feel game changing.

Finding your own gear

Whenever we talk about what the fantasy of Diablo is and what we want the core gameplay to be, never do we say “we want players to farm gold and go buy items off the auction house”. The AH definitely has made an impact on Diablo 3 and we talk about it constantly, but our conversations are usually in the context of “how can we get players to find their own loot instead of just buying it”. The new crafting recipes and Demonic Essences were added to provide a little bit of this gameplay but we have a lot of ideas for the long term about how we want to go about addressing this. At the end of the day, it is our intention that players are able to find their own items, because we feel the game is just more fun that way. There are several reason why it might not feel that way right now. One is the inherent randomness of our loot system. Another is the fact that the AH completely removes all friction between player trades. And another is when players DO find items they should be excited about, they are often disappointed because this items are not very good. All of these are very important and we hope to address them over time.

Evening Patches

Evening Q&As

On Sale

  • Cave Story+ on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Daedalic Adventures on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Dead Space Series on Origin. Save up to 50%.
  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty on Blizzard Store. Save 50%.

Op Ed

Clifford Unchained - Nickels, dimes, and quarters. By Cliff Bleszinski.
If you don’t like EA, don’t buy their games. If you don’t like their microtransactions, don’t spend money on them. It’s that simple. EA has many smart people working for them (Hi, Frank, JR, and Patrick!) and they wouldn’t attempt these things if they didn’t work. Turns out, they do. I assure you there are teams of analysts studying the numbers behind consumer behavior over there that are studying how you, the gamer, spends his hard earned cash.

If you’re currently raging about this on GAF, or on the IGN forums, or on Gamespot, guess what? You’re the vocal minority. Your average guy that buys just Madden and GTA every year doesn’t know, nor does he care. He has no problem throwing a few bucks more at a game because, hey, why not?

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Russian Road Rage and Accidents (Week 1 - February - 2013). Thanks nin. Best I've seen, if just for the road rage at the one minute mark.

R.I.P.: Bonnie Franklin, 'One Day At a Time' star, dies.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Details and Screenshots

CD Projekt RED sends along some new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt along with some official details about their upcoming RPG sequel to supplement the recent unofficial info dump about the game. They say the game is due next year for "all high-end platforms, including PlayStation 4." Here's word on the screenshots: "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt announcement screenshots present the chilly islands of Skellige, one of the lands the players will visit during their adventures. Today CD Projekt RED has released a set of in-game images from this archipelago, which you can grab on the FTP below. The images come from an early version of the game as the team develops a new renderer, which will be used in the final game." Here's more:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an unprecedented combination of story-driven RPG and vast, living, open world. CD Projekt RED talks about how the studio achieves this union of different RPG approaches.

“The Witcher 3 is full of impactful decisions, and gamers will choose between storylines that exclude one another in a single playthrough, ensuring extensive replay value. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt crowns the trilogy with the main narrative, revolving around Geralt’s search for his loved ones and his conflict with the Wild Hunt. As players travel through the game, they visit lands with their own unique atmosphere, communities and memorable characters. CD Projekt RED didn’t create an open world with a singular theme, but concentrated on delivering diversified and engaging environments, 30 times larger than those in The Witcher 2,” said Adam Badowski, head of CD Projekt RED studio.

This setting changes depending on gamers’ actions not only when completing Geralt’s personal storyline, but also because of his involvement in major local plotlines in each land visited and many other carefully-designed side quests. All threads of this player-crafted tale interact with each other and the world, creating an even more nonlinear experience than ever before. The main narrative accounts for around 50 hours of gameplay in one playthrough, and the additional stories add another 50 hours of role playing, giving around 100 hours of total gaming time.

Heroes & Generals Open Beta

Square Enix announces the launch of open beta testing of Heroes & Generals, a World War II strategic MMOFPS from Danish developer Reto-Moto. This free-to-play game also offers a mobile app to help the busy general on the go the chance to stay in touch with the war. Here's word:

Heroes & Generals is a new Free2Play Massive Online FPS with a Strategic Multiplayer Campaign, set in the midst of World War II Europe, where Axis and Allies fight for control. The game uniquely merges epic first-person shooter action with a rich strategic layer, where your decisions have the power to turn the tide in a battle among thousands of online players. Players can choose to play as 'Heroes', fighting in the trenches, flying planes, commandeering tanks and other vehicles, or take control of the Battlefield as ‘Generals’, determining the strategic direction of the war and supporting fellow players by managing battlefield assets, army units and reinforcements.

Never miss out on important developments in the campaign while you are not actively playing. Stay updated on the progress of the war by downloading the free companion app Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command (available now for iOS and Android).

Heroes & Generals: Mobile Command gives you access to a live overview of your active campaign. Observe Battlefields, Supply Lines and Assault Teams in real-time, and with the help of a built in chat-client, you can stay in touch with your brothers in arms 24/7 from virtually anywhere.

Heroes & Generals will also be fully localized and soon available to play in Russian, German, French, Spanish, Czech and Polish.

Assassin's Creed IV in October?

The Assassin's Creed website is counting down the four-plus days until the debut of the world premier trailer for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the just-revealed next installment in the stealth/action series. In the meantime, the intrepid folks at darkzero report discovering some details about the release by simply adding a "v" to the end of the URL (which no longer works). They have a screen they say this trick revealed showing the game is also coming to "next-gen consoles" (everyone playing the "next-gen" drinking game, take a shot), offering an October 29, 2013 release date, and the opportunity to preorder for a "collectible Todd MacFarlane poster." Thanks Joystiq.

Metro: Last Light Dawns in May

Deep Silver announces a May 14th North American release date for Metro: Last Light, saying the first-person shooter will follow in other territories three days later. Deep Silver acquired the game earlier this year as part of the breakup of bankrupt THQ, where it was last scheduled for release this month. Here's word:

1 March 2013 - Hampshire, UK/... Deep Silver today announced the release date for Metro: Last Light. The first person shooter and highly anticipated sequel to the extraordinary Metro 2033 will be available from May 14, 2013 within Northern and Latin America and May 17, 2013 across Europe for PlayStation®3, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows PC.

“The new release date is the ideal way to strike the balance between bringing the best out of Metro: Last Light and not keep the fans waiting longer than necessary.” , said Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media. “We won’t leave that time unexploited and will work closely together with 4A Games to make the game even better. It will receive all the attention it deserves.”

"Since it has been made public that we took over the Metro franchise, the fans keep asking for a release date. Now we can finally announce when they will be able to get their hands on the game! We would like to thank all of the Metro fans for their patience. And we can assure them that we have a lot more coming their way with the franchise.”, said Menno van der Bil, International Commercial Director, Deep Silver.

Continue here to read the full story.

Hybris Announced

Developer Monsters announces Hybris, a psychological puzzle/platformer thriller "about a boy trying to survive after entering the forest to escape his parents' fight." The debut project from this indie studio seems to have taken life later last year, but now they are showing it off, saying it is expected in Q2 of this year for Windows and OS X as the start of a planned trilogy. Here are some new screenshots, and here is brief word on the game: "The world of Hybris is dangerous, claustrophobic and frightening. You will play the most important night of Kevin’s life and discover how far you would go to survive; and that some truths should remain hidden."

Beta Access With Trials Evolution: Gold Edition Preorders

RedLynx announces preorders for the windows edition of Trials Evolution: Gold Edition, saying those who buy the game in advance will get instant access to the beta test of the racing game. They celebrate this reverse demo with the announcement of a Beta Track Competition to reward the best movie shot within the game.

Morning Patches

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

Some recent flaky behavior from my mouse has gotten worse, as the left button has gone from occasionally releasing in spite of being held down to frequently double-clicking on a single click. This Logitech G500 isn't that old, I dug around and see that I got it barely a year ago to replace another Logitech mouse which also started demonstrating flaky left-click behavior. I guess I have discovered their point of weakness, at least for someone who uses the mouse button a million times a day, though the amount of rodent abuse I tend to commit has me wondering whether or not I'm entitled to be disappointed at having to replace this so soon (my previous mouse lasted a few years). I love the action and ergonomics of this one, so I'll probably go for another and hope it survives better. I recall once having mouse drivers that recorded a history how far the mouse has been moved. It would be interesting to see the results if they still did that.

Mousey Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Lazerman.
Stories: Parachuting poison mice combat Guam tree snakes. Thanks Laurence.
FX Renews "Archer" For A Fifth Season. Sploosh! Thanks nin.
Images: Arcade Wisdom. Thanks ThinkGeek.
Media: Russia: A car takes off. Dashcam video.
How to Make a Homeless Man Cry.



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