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Thursday, Apr 04, 2013

  

Neverwinter Open Beta This Month

Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios announce that open beta testing for Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter will begin on April 30th, offering access to their upcoming free-to-play MMORPG. They also announce a fourth closed beta session will take place starting April 12th for founding members: "As an added thank you to the committed Founders who have helped make Neverwinter possible, beginning 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, April 12, Founders will get the first opportunity to experience Neverwinter's professions system as part of a newly added 60-hour Beta Weekend 4. Founding members may simultaneously pursue four different professions: Leadership, Mailsmithing, Platesmithing and Leatherworking." There's still the chance to become a founder on this page. Also, here are some new Neverwinter screenshots.

Creative Assembly Australia Closing - Updated

Sega is closing their Australian development studio, formerly known as Creative Assembly Australia, reports Kotaku, saying they've confirmed this with SEGA, who tell them the closure will happen "later this year." Not to be confused with the main U.K. branch of The Creative Assembly, the primary maintainer of the Total War series which is apparently unaffected by the move, Creative Assembly Australia is most noted for some ports of some Sonic games. Update: This studio did actually work on the Total War series, and was the main developer on Medieval II: Total War.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Uprising DLC Announced

Activision and Treyarch announce Call of Duty: Black Ops II Uprising, new DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops II they call one of their "most creative & ambitious DLC offerings to date." This will come first to the Xbox 360 on April 16th, and a release schedule for the Windows and PlayStation 3 editions is not yet offered. The DLC will include a Mob of the Dead scenario that pits famous movie monsters versus zombies on Alcatraz. That's right, Night of the Living Goodfellas on The Rock. These mobsters will be voiced by Hollywood talent known for their gangster roles: Ray Liotta, Chazz Palminteri, Joe Pantoliano, and Michael Madsen. This is one of five multiplayer maps this will offer. Here's word on the others:

Uprising also delivers another four new, exotic and diverse multiplayer maps set around the globe for fans to jump into. “Magma” is a modern Japanese village with volcanic eruptions carving multiple paths throughout the town. “Encore” takes place in the aftermath of a deserted London music festival and leaves numerous opportunities for run-and-gun, close quarters combat. “Vertigo” is a futuristic high rise in India housing a high-tech lab featuring dizzying vistas and multi-tiered pathways. Finally, “Studio” is a contemporary remake of “Firing Range,” a fan-favorite multiplayer map from the original Call of Duty®: Black Ops. “Studio” is a Hollywood movie back lot with a variety of cinematic themes that range from Sci-Fi to the Old West.

Red Orchestra OS X Edition & Maps Released; Free RO2 Weekend Underway

Steam News announces that Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 is now available for OS X. In related news, Steam News also announces a few other bits of news about Tripwire Interactive's World War II shooter, saying four of the winning community maps from the Counterattack Map Contest are now available and that the game is currently on sale for 85% off its regular price. If you're tempted by the bargain but still on the fence, they are also currently conducting a free weekend which will run until 4:00 pm EDT. Update: It's the original Red Orchestra that's now available for OS X, not RO2, as the headline for this story originally stated. Apologies for the confusion.

Remember Me Trailer, Screenshots, and PC Specs

Capcom Unity has a new trailer from Remember Me, their upcoming action/adventure starring old whatsername. They have another post about the upcoming PC edition of the game, offering a set of new screenshots along with these minimum and recommended hardware specifications: Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Divinity Anthology on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Omerta : City of Gangsters on Steam. Save 50%.

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

I'm suffering from a little self-inflicted computer issue that's preventing me from accessing my email at the moment. I hope to work through this soon enough, but didn't want to hold up the news any longer.

R.I.P.: Roger Ebert, renowned film critic, dies at age 70. I know a lot of gamers remain irate over the whole "art" thing, but he was about the only critic I was a fan of, and I'm sad about his death.

Link of the Day: Roger Ebert Hails Human Existence As 'A Triumph'. Thanks loonyboi.

BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales This Month

Blizzard announces that BlizzCon 2013 tickets will go on sale this month in two separate batches, offering complete details in this press release. Here's word on how to score a ducat to the show:

Mark your calendars—a Blizzard is coming to Southern California! Tickets for BlizzCon® 2013 will go on sale in two batches on Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. PDT and Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT through the official BlizzCon website. In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner will go on sale Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. PDT.

BlizzCon 2013 takes place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, and tickets to the two-day show will be available at $175 USD each. Tickets to the Benefit Dinner (which includes admission to BlizzCon) will be priced at $500 USD each, with proceeds benefitting Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Tickets to previous BlizzCon events have sold out within minutes, so be sure to synchronize your hourglasses.

Paladins, demon hunters, and Ghosts who can’t make it to the show in person will once again have the option to enjoy BlizzCon from home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multi-channel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.

Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy Source Code Released

Raven has released the source code for Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy, the pair of Star Wars shooters they crafted for LucasArts, the now closed game development arm of the Darth Lucas empire. Kotaku Australia has an official statement on this: "Raven is sad to hear about the closing of LucasArts today, we respected them and enjoyed working with them over the years. We wish the best for all the talented people who were let go and hope they find good work in studios in the industry," the studio told the site. "We loved and appreciated the experience of getting to make Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy for LucasArts. As a gift to the persistently loyal fanbase for our Jedi games and in memory of LucasArts, we are releasing the source code for both games for people to enjoy and play with." Here's the Jedi Outcast source code on SourceForge.net and the Jedi Academy source code on SourceForge.net. Naturally, no support is offered for either release. Thanks VG247.

Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter is underway for Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars, a third installment in Digital Eel's wacky Infinite Space series of sc-fi roguelikes. They seek $30K for the project, which will include an expanded game universe, 3D support, a game editor, and Digital Eel's signature humor. Here's word:

At its core, Sea of Stars is a single-player science fiction roguelike similar to Strange Adventures and Weird Worlds. Turn-based star map navigation is combined with a real-time combat system. The game provides a randomly generated open world for you to explore, and will only reveal a fraction of its secrets each time you play. There is no going back to a saved game - everything you do has a permanent effect. Death is frequent, but only makes you want to try again.

Although Sea of Stars builds on the universe you visited in the earlier games, it is expanded with fresh new material and gameplay. Discovering the interactions between items, alien races, characters and random events will keep you busy for years - yet each session of the game is a complete adventure that you can finish in one sitting. To extend the game's longevity even further, we encourage people to make mods and even provide tools for it!

One thing that has advanced since Weird Worlds is technology. I wrote a 3D engine for our previous game, Data Jammers: FastForward, and a lot of the code will now be reused to expand the Infinite Space universe into the third dimension. Other games and projects have resulted in a variety of subsystems, from procedural texturing to mundane data file handling. All kinds of fun and useful stuff.

Continue here to read the full story.

38Studios.com  Oddness

Oddly, 38Studios.com sprang back to life overnight, and there are some old articles there now carrying today's date. A WHOIS doesn't reveal who currently owns the site, but does say its record was last updated yesterday, so this may be an indication the domain has changed hands as part of 38 Studios' high-profile bankruptcy. Interestingly, the company's two games, Kingdoms of Amalur and the never-completed Project Copernicus are tagged in a "flashback" section, though the descriptions have not been updated, making Project Copernicus seem like an ongoing concern.

Morning Interviews

Morning Patches

Op Ed

Gamer Horizon - In Defense of Tomb Raider.
While I can understand the disappointment regarding how the game is not like the Tomb Raider of yesteryear, allow me to put it into some perspective. In 2005, a relatively unknown director with 2 indie films and one moderately successful remake undertook a reboot for a once popular and successful franchise. The reboot was a critical and commercial success, so much so that most people see them as the definitive version of the franchise. The filmmaker was Christopher Nolan and the film was Batman Begins. Hard to believe, but there are still people who prefer Tim Burton’s version.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

As many of you noticed, the site started spitting out server errors last night, making the forums inaccessible. The timing of this was unfortunate, as there are a couple of current topics that have spurred lively conversations, so apologies to those frustrated by this. And thanks to Frans, who I believe bravely jumped into the fire in the wee hours to set things right again.

Erroneous Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Heroes of the Sword.
Stories: Fallon Will Replace Leno in 2014. Gerald R. Ford responds.
Audi Wants to Change a 45-Year-Old U.S. Headlight Rule.
"Game of Thrones" Renewed For S4.
Science: Scientists find antibody "roadmap" to AIDS vaccine.
Low Melatonin May Boost Diabetes Risk.
Images: BioShock recreated with CryENGINE. Thanks Sempai.
Media: Honest Trailers - Jurassic Park. Thanks Videosift.
Post-It Note Arcade.
Hotline Miami IRL.
That Wasn't So Bad. Not a future astronaut.
Lava Kayaking Near Hawaii Volcano. Photos.



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