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Thursday, Mar 21, 2013

  

CD Projekt RED Roadmap

This document (Adobe Acrobat format) offers a roadmap of the next couple of years for CD Projekt RED, explaining (in Polish) the Polish developer's plans. A post on The Witcher forums translates some key points from this, which includes word on a couple of unannounced smaller (20 hour) games based on one of their properties (thanks Zak). Here's word:

2013

  • open REDkit beta and further support of the modding community
  • premiere of the first non-computer game set in the Witcher world
  • launch of a local branch of CD Projekt RED in the United States, focused on marketing and PR for both Americas, especially the US.

2014-2016

  • launch of The Witcher 3 for at least three strong platforms including PC and PS4
  • launch of Cyberpunk 2077
  • two smaller (about 20 hours of gameplay) but top-quality games supporting one of the product lines
  • a cross-platform mobile game based on one of CDPR's brands
  • start of license sales for REDengine
  • long-term Witcher 3 support involving completely new mechanisms
  • launch of the full version of the REDkit and further modding community support
  • launch of further local CDPR branches in key territories

Counter-Strike Global Offensive Adding Paid Community Support?

PCGamesN has details on a patch which they say accidentally went out briefly today via Steam for Counter-Strike Global Offensive before Valve was able to un-patch the teamplay shooter. This was too late to prevent some folks from getting the chance to check out what it includes, and besides gameplay changes, they found a string in the code suggesting some sort of season pass will be offered to allow players to support community map authors, saying the pass "grants access to Season One's featured community maps on Official Servers. Proceeds are divided among the featured map creators!" Thanks VG247.

March of War Revealed; Beta Next Month

Dutch developer ISOTX (Iron Grip series) announces March of War as the title of their upcoming strategic MMOTBS game previously known as "game x" (we're just going to play it off like we knew about that). The game is set in an alternate-reality dieselpunk version of the 1940s, and will feature six factions with co-op, PvP, and PvE gameplay. We have some concept art, and here's the announcement, including word that open beta testing will commence on April Fool's day, which probably makes sense to someone:

Utrecht, Netherlands – March 21, 2013 – ISOTX unveils the name of their new turn-based strategic MMO designed for PC and tablet play; March of War. The game, previously code-named “Game X”, will enter beta on April 1st (seriously).

Decide where your loyalty lies between six ferocious factions ruling in a 1940s dieselpunk world. Grow your character inside your faction and lead them to supremacy. Take advantage of your faction's special units and abilities to gain territory on the battlefield, or organize thousands of other players to rally behind you in a greater strategic effort. As a leader of your faction, negotiate peace, wage wars, build thermonuclear weapons or conduct terror to liberate yourself from others. Your country needs you, and you can rewrite history!

March of War started releasing details on their six factions. Choose and develop dieselpunk technologies unique to each faction. The sheer size of the walkers of the European Alliance is enough to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies or pick the retro-futuristic war planes of the United Republic that never miss their target. Combining elements of dieselpunk and pulp fiction each of the six factions in March of War allows you to have the most outrageous war machines at your fingertips.

Continue here to read the full story.

War of the Roses: Kingmaker Released

Paradox Interactive announces the release via digital distribution of War of the Roses: Kingmaker, the recently revealed gold edition of Fatshark's melee combat game. This trailer shows off this version, and here's word on the additional content included:

NEW YORK — March 21, 2013 — Paradox Interactive, a publisher of games and a supplier of boiling oil, today unleashed a new premium version of War of the Roses, the medieval squad-based knight combat title from Fatshark. War of the Roses: Kingmaker arms players with a wide variety of arsenal and armor from the Knights Hospitaller, Gallowglass Mercenary, Winter Has Arrived, and Outside the Law updates, as well as three new maps and Pitched Battle mode added since launch and the newly released Assault mode, launched specifically for this latest version of the multiplayer action title. War of the Roses: Kingmaker will separate the nobles from the rabble and put knights on the fast-track to glory, ready to fight and die for York or Lancaster – and go down in history as true heroes.

Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers Announced

Wizards of the Coast announces Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers, the next installment in the videogame version of the collectible card series, saying this is coming to Windows, Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network, iOS, and (for the first time) Andrdoid this summer. They are showing it off this weekend at PAX East, and here's word on what's new:

Magic 2014 – Duels of the Planeswalkers builds on the success of previous games in the franchise and adds all new features including an immersive storyline, 10 brand new decks, 15 new encounters, 10 new puzzle challenges, and an all-new play mode in addition to other exciting features. Magic 2014 players will get the first look at cards from the Magic 2014 - Core Set in Duels of the Planeswalkers, creating even more seamless integration between the online and offline games.

Dead Island Riptide Trailer

A new trailer from Dead Island Riptide sets the scene for the upcoming zombie sequel by stating "they thought wrong" as the response to the feeling that the survivors of the first Dead Island were safe. Here's word, with apologies to Rescue from Gilligan's Island: "They thought they had escaped. But instead the survivors of the first Dead Island find themselves on a ship with a newcomer, John Morgan. As the ship is overrun by zombies, they have to fight to survive, only to find themselves shipwrecked on a new island..." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Steam's Indie Spring Sale is underway between now and March 29th, offering "hundreds of games, including IGF winners and finalists."

  • Bridge Project on Steam. Save 20% on prepurchases.
  • Crysis 3 on Gamefly.com. Save 40%.
  • Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition on Steam. Save 50%.
  • FIFA Soccer 13 on Gamefly.com. Save 60%.
  • Hearts of Iron 3 Collection on Steam. Save 75%.
  • POSTAL on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods and Kings on Gamefly.com. Save 75%.
  • Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gold Edition on Gamefly.com. Save 75%.
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed on Gamefly.com. Save 50%.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Today is the seventh anniversary of the launch of Twitter. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Twitter, happy

Link of the Day: Truck Unloading Bamboo Taiwan Style. Thanks nin.

Battlefield 4 Teaser Trailer

A new trailer for Battlefield 4 follows the recent mini-tease with an actual tease, as the clip runs a full 20 seconds (break out the popcorn) and concludes with word once again to expect the full version of this trailer on March 27th. In the meantime the clip shows a ship's propeller spinning up, which goes with the trailer's title, "Prepare 4 Battle: Sea," to further suggest the next installment in DICE's military series will feature an increased emphasis on naval combat. Continue here to read the full story.

Might & Magic X Legacy Announced

Ubisoft announces Might & Magic X Legacy, a new tenth installment in the Might & Magic RPG series in development at German studio Limbic Entertainment (Might & Magic Heroes VI Danse Macabre) for release this year. They send word that this page will be their official home for the project, but this is not working as this is being written. We also have an announcement trailer with glimpses of gameplay and the tagline: "Old School, New Rules," and a "Coming 2013" release date. Here's word on the game, which is set following the events in Might & Magic Heroes VI, the latest installment in the strategy M&M series:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - March 21, 2013 - Today, Ubisoft announced Might & Magic® X Legacy, just in time to showcase the game at PAX East. Developed by Limbic Entertainment, a team of devoted Might & Magic fans, Might & Magic® X Legacy brings a new chapter to the Might & Magic RPG series, with both the unique core formula and a new set of improved and fine-tuned features.

In the wake of the spectacular events in Might & Magic® Heroes® VI, you will play in a party of four adventurers entangled in intrigue and political machinations unfolding in and around Karthal. The city, on the verge of secession, is prey to competing factions vying for its control. Your actions will determine the fate of the city. Might & Magic X Legacy is an authentic solo experience in the classic first-person RPG genre. Create and lead your group into an exciting world and battle powerful mythical creatures while collecting ancient magical treasures. Through a turn-based gameplay system, defeat creatures and bosses to accomplish unique quests and make your way through dangerous dungeons, cities and labyrinths full of traps. Dive into vintage Might & Magic and play old school, new rules!

Continue here to read the full story.

Warframe Open Beta Begins

The GeForce Website announces that open beta testing is now underway for Warframe, Digital Extremes' free-to-play multiplayer shooter. They offer a new Warframe PhysX Trailer showing how the game favors their hardware, and explain how the open beta works, since it's not yet announced on the Warframe website.

Today, Warframe enters into open beta, which is generally regarded by gamers as a free-to-play game’s official launch as all can play without invitation or the need for a beta key. “If you want to be a super-powered space ninja,” says Dave, “you should join. If you like frantic third-person action, you should join. If you like to see sci-fi take a unique visual direction, if you like guns, or if you like swords, you should join.”

If you do join you’ll discover a highly entertaining co-op shooter with advanced graphics, topped off with a variety of hardware-accelerated PhysX effects, like those shown in our video below, which add to the sci-fi spectacle.

Continue here to read the full story.

Natural Selection 2 Free Weekend

Unknown Worlds is celebrating this weekend's PAX East gathering by kicking off the first free weekend for Natural Selection 2, their action/strategy sequel. This will begin today at 1:00 pm EDT (17:00 UTC) and the game will go on sale at that time for 50% off as further temptation to purchase it for those who enjoy the free weekend. They celebrate the news with a Natural Selection 2 Free Weekend trailer showing off the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Trials Evolution: Gold Edition

Ubisoft announces the release of Trials Evolution: Gold Edition, the motorcycle racing sequel that's now made its way back to the Windows PC platform. The game is available for purchase from the Ubisoft Online Store and Steam (the former seems to be now live, while Steam says the game will unlock this afternoon). A new Trials Portal is live as an online home to the series, and here's word:

Trials has finally returned home with the release of Trials Evolution: Gold Edition exclusively on PC.

RedLynx's signature franchise, the Trials series first made its mark in gaming with the 2008 release of Trials 2 SE for the PC. That breakout indie hit led to further success on the Xbox, and ever since, PC gamers have been clamouring for more Trials.

That wait is now over, as the competition begins all over again in Trials Evolution: Gold Edition, the biggest Trials game ever released with 129 tracks and mini games from Trials Evolution and Trials HD.

The game also includes all of the features of its forerunners, from the in-game editor which brought more than 300,000 tracks to the Xbox LIVE version of Trials Evolution, to the global Leader Boards and four-player Multiplayer, in both local and online modes.

Skyrim Patched

An updated post on the Bethesda Blog announces the version 1.9 update for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has emerged from beta testing, and is now available for the Windows version of the game (thanks Joystiq). They say this release came a couple of days ago, though it's not noted on Steam, and word is they hope to release this patch for the console editions "later this month." Here's the change log:

NEW FEATURES

  • Legendary difficulty setting
  • Legendary Skills – Skills of 100 can be made Legendary. This will reset the skill to 15, return its Perks and allow the skill to affect leveling again. This effectively removes the overall level cap.

Bug fixes after the break…

Continue here to read the full story.

WildStar Trailer

A new What is WildStar trailer outlines the storyline in WildStar, Carbine's upcoming science fiction MMORPG. They have been accepting beta signups for the game since last October, and word is they are preparing to begin testing soon: "NCSOFT and Carbine Studios are excited to share the ‘What is WildStar’ with you. As we head into Beta, lots of people still want to know: What is this WildStar game? Why should I care about it? Is it nutritional? Will my dog enjoy it? Well, we can't promise to answer all of those questions, but we're pretty sure we've covered the basics in this video. Enjoy!" Continue here to read the full story.

NVIDIA Face Rendering Demoed

A GTC 2013 trailer from NVIDIA shows off "Face Works," some new technology they have created to render more realistic human faces. Word is: "NVIDIA Co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang shows a demo of Face Works technology running on the GeForce GTX TITAN GPU. It includes a must be seen to be believed, amazingly realistic simulation of a face in this second segment of the opening day keynote at GTC 2013." Thanks GamesHQMedia. Continue here to read the full story.

Fantasy Village TMed

Siliconera notes that Square Enix has Trademarked the title Fantasy Village in Japan. They note the increasing popularity of lifestyle simulations in the region, and speculate this will be some sort of cross between Final Fantasy and The Sims (hopefully not a cross between FINAL FANTASY XIV and the new SimCity, which could be a compound disaster that could wipe out all virtual life on earth).

OnLive: 'Tis But a Scratch!

OnLive chairman Garry Lauder invokes Mark Twain in saying reports of the death of the OnLive streaming game service "are greatly exaggerated," taking some responsibility for that: "When the restructuring of OnLive happened in August, many misunderstood it to mean that the service and company were shutting down," explains Lauder in the OnLive Blog. "Neither occurred, nor did we go bankrupt. We should have communicated better" (thanks Polygon). What was communicated at the time was that a majority of the company's staff was being laid off, and that the company was being sold in a form of bankruptcy known as an "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors." He talks of how their technology can be useful for enterprise applications, but also indicates they still have gaming ambitions:

We have already delivered some significant milestones for the OnLive Game Service, in particular, being incorporated into our first third party device, the VIZIO Co-Star, and into Google TVs, starting with the impressive LG G3 Series—with more to come. We continue to bring new game publishers and games into the mix, and released Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced release from CD Projekt on Thursday, February 28 with a special promotion, which includes a free digital download copy of the game for PCs with purchase of a Full PlayPass. This is an important paradigm shift towards enabling our users to get their games in as many formats as they’d like, even if they are not delivered by our platform. We are busy exploring other new ways to serve our users’ and publishers’ interests capitalizing on our unique abilities.

Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear Demo Updated

Matrix Games announces the release of an updated playable demo for Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear, updated to version 1.18. Here's word on this new sample of the World War II turn-based strategy game:

The 1.18 Demo includes all the improvements from the v1.18 official update, bringing the demo fully up to date with the full game and incorporated more improvements focused on the “Classic” boardgame AP system. Most importantly, it fixes a critical multiplayer issue with the previously released demo that caused multiplayer to stop working as a result of a change in third party software that was previously included with the game. This new demo is fully multiplayer-enabled, allowing demo players to play each other as well as owners of the full game, within the limits of the scenarios included with the demo.

Morning Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

IGN granted exclusive Bioshock review and ‘BioShock Infinite’s First Review Goes To IGN, Rest Of Us Pretty Irritated. Thanks Gipson. They should have kept all those other sites running for better camouflage.

Hardware Reviews

  • ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 Wireless Storage Device on TweakTown.
  • Antec High Current Pro Platinum 1000W Power Supply Unit on Nikk Tech.
  • be quiet! Dark Rock 2 CPU-Kühler on Technic3D. In German.
  • Ducky Zero DK2108 Mechanical Keyboard on eTeknix.
  • Kingston DataTraveller Ultimate 3.0 G3 64GB USB3.0 Flash Drive on eTeknix.
  • Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary Edition 2400 MHz 16GB DDR3 Ram Kit on Testfreaks.
  • Noctua NF-S12A PWM 120MM Cooling Fan on Testfreaks.
  • OWC Mercury On-The-Go™ Pro USB 3.0 Portable Enclosure Kit on Mad Shrimps.
  • PowerColor PCS HD7870 MYST Video Card on Legit Reviews.
  • QNAP TS-469L on Legion Hardware.
  • Razer Ouroboros Elite Gaming Mouse on Benchmark Reviews.
  • Thermaltake Dr.Power II ATX Power Supply Tester on Modders-Inc.
  • Top 5 best gaming keyboards on Examiner.com.
  • Zalman FX100 CPU Cooler on Hardware Secrets.

etc.

Out of the Blue

The NCAA tournament is underway, so happy March Madness to all who are so afflicted. As usual, I am not one of them, since my affection for professional sports is almost matched by my indifference to the collegiate variety. Apologies for not being into this enough to put together a bracket to compete with those of you who grok college hoops, but I would just be picking by uniform color or cool mascots or something.

R.I.P.: Rats author and ‘giant of popular fiction’ James Herbert dies. Thanks Lorcin.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Resort Empire.
Links: Punxsutawney Phil Beheaded For Inaccurate Prediction. Justice! Thanks brother19.
Stories: NBC prepping Jimmy Fallon for 'Tonight Show' takeover.
Science: Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have Left the Solar System (Updated). Thanks nin.
Moon rocket engines recovered from bottom of Atlantic ocean.
Lost Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain.
Media: Downton Zombey.
Real Life Speeder Bike.
Shotover Jet Boat Ride - Queenstown, New Zealand. Thanks Hoop..
The Funnies: Dilbert.
Follow-up: Latest Star Trek Into Darkness trailer promises an intense battle of wills. Thanks Neutronbeam.



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