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Saturday, Mar 09, 2013

  

EA Adds SimCity Servers; Promises Free Game

A post on the EA website by Lucy Bradshaw has the latest word from the Maxis label general manager to discuss the fairly disastrous launch for SimCity, their online-only urban planning game. She explains what's going on with the game, and promises those who have suffered through its launch will be rewarded with a free game. "And to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game," she writes. "I know that’s a little contrived – kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent." Here's word on the current status of the game:

The server issues which began at launch have improved significantly as we added more capacity. But some people are still experiencing response and stability problems that we’re working fast to address.

So what went wrong? The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.

OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent. It’s working – the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.

So we’re close to fixed, but not quite there. I’m hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.

Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstart Update

A fourth update to the Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera has word that now that Brian Fargo owes them $100k for matching 10% of the first million dollars pledged to inXile entertainment's upcoming RPG, "Torment Superfan" Steve Dengler is matching 10% of the game's funding from $2 million to $3 million. And yes, this is already in play, as the crowd sourced funding for the game is already past 2.25 million, so they have also now added a $3 million stretch goal, which adds further MacGuffins, another secret companion, and more (the update gives quite a bit of detail on the complexity this tier will add to the game). Finally, they offer this trailer highlighting the music in the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Shattered Haven Beta Access With Pre-Purchases

Arcen Games News announces that closed beta testing is now underway for Shattered Haven, their upcoming "environmental puzzle game about family, grit, and survival. They are offering access to the beta to those who prepurchase the game, which is offered at a 25% discount off its full release price. Here's a new trailer from the game, and here's a feature list:

  • Solve environmental puzzles under pressure. Figure out how to use the tools, traps, and weapons in each level to clear all the Grays.
  • Nearly 100 hand-crafted levels with multiple difficulty levels ranging between casual and hardcore, developed end to end by two experienced adventure level designers.
  • Complete bonus objectives for higher scores and gold markers.
  • Follow the story of Darrell and Mary as they try to save their family from a new and unexpected threat through in-game storytelling and painted-style cutscenes.
  • Guide different members of the Williams family through branching story paths that result in one of several endings. Depending on your actions, the story may end very poorly, happily, or anywhere in between.
  • Music and sound by composer Pablo Vega provides a chilling atmosphere for players to experience.
  • Included level editor: The same editor used to make the main adventure will let you make your own levels, cutscenes, or even entire adventures.
  • Local 2-player co-op. Using two gamepads, two players on the keyboard, or any combination of the above.

Saturday Patches

Saturday Q&As

On Sale

  • The Debut Bundle on Indie Royale. Save 66% to negative infinity (or something like that).
  • STAR WARS: Knights of the Old Republic II on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Superb Strategy on GOG.com. Save 50%.

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Daylight saving time begins overnight in this area, another sure sign of the impending spring. As I've said before, I'm a fan of DST, as I like the later sunsets, but like everyone, I hate losing the hour of sleep. And I've finally figured out a fix for this! When DST ends, we can still "fall back" overnight and gain an hour of sleep. But for when DST begins in spring, we should lose the hour in the middle of the day on a weekday, cutting it out of the work week. It may work out the same in the end, but I think everyone would feel better about losing one of the worst hours of the week, let's say 3:00-4:00 pm on Wednesday, rather than an overnight hour on the weekend. Not bad, right? Who's with me?

DST Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Cat God vs. Sun King 2.
Links: The Corpse That Fooled Hitler. Thanks nin.
Stories: Two enemies discover a 'higher call' in battle. Thanks nin.
Media: La Vie Sexuelle des Jeux Vidéo. Very edgy. Thanks nin.
Speedrun- Matrix in 60 seconds. Thanks nin via io9.
Man blows a smoke ring and guides it onto a bottle.
The Funnies: Penny Arcade - All Of The Jokes.
Follow-up: Star Trek Into Darkness - NEW (Teaser) Trailer #2. Thanks nin.



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