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Friday, Apr 05, 2013

  

Ships Ahoy - Signal Ops

Signal Ops is now available on GOG.com, offering Space Bullet Dynamics' futuristic first-person stealth/action game. A new release trailer offers a look at the game, and here is the description of what this is all about:

As an officer in the shadowy halls of Facility 7C, you remotely lead a squad of operatives on daring espionage missions. Plant evidence, steal secrets, assassinate targets, and performing sabotage for the glory of the Dark Father. Do you have enough faith to follow orders unquestioningly?

Take advantage of multiple simultaneous first person views to stealthily evade enemies or get the drop on them. With the shoddy equipment and dubiously trained agents provided to you, you’ll need all the advantages you can muster. Signal Ops blends elements of a tactical shooter, stealth, and strategy to serve up a concoction that will satisfy your refined gaming palate. With open levels, old-school sensibility, and a monitor bank blasting a full spectrum of possibilities onto your retina, Signal Ops is unlike anything you’ve played before.

Torment Kickstarter Concludes

The Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera has concluded, showing inXile entertainment has attracted almost $4.2 million in crowdsourced funding for the role-playing game. This is a record for the service, though Star Citizen surpassed $6 million in funding when PayPal donations are included. Word is that in addition to being wealthier, they are also humbled and excited:

We are both humbled and excited that you have given us this opportunity. The team we have assembled is pretty unbelievable and I have full faith that together we will create a true classic. I never stopped working to get Chris Avellone aboard to make sure we had the band back together. But it only got better when we brought on guys like Pat Rothfuss and Kevin Saunders to take the game to new heights. The trick is always to surround ones self with brilliant people and to create an environment in which creativity can flourish.

Warframe Registers 1M Players

Digital Extremes announces they have enlisted over one million registered players into Warframe less than a fortnight into open beta testing of their free-to-play shooter. Here's word:

April 5, 2013 - London, Ontario - The sci-fi Free-to-Play game Warframe® attracted over 1 million players spanning 100+ countries worldwide in less than two weeks after its Open Beta started the week of March 18th. Currently available on PC and Steam, an astounding number of gamers have discovered the highly stylized 'space-ninja' action game developed by Digital Extremes.

Warframe has been gaining momentum as the next gen Free-to-Play title to watch since October when its Closed Beta began. Bringing a AAA quality gaming experience to the Free-to-Play market has been one of the goals for the development team from the outset. Between the impressive graphics, solid fine-tuned gameplay and regular content and feature updates, Warframe has more than exceeded fan and team expectations to date.

Attributing to its quick success, Digital Extremes has viewed the emerging Free-to-Play segment as a true opportunity to reconnect directly with gamers. Maintaining development transparency and regular interaction with its community is part of the team's design philosophy that has truly paid off in establishing a solid, loyal fan base that is growing in droves alongside the game. Warframe is currently in Open Beta and available on PC and Steam. Visit www.warframe.com to register for an account and play the game for free.

Harmonix Websites Breached

Harmonix is notifying those with accounts on their websites of a security compromise, saying they've disabled all passwords while they investigate the extent of the breach, and suggesting a precautionary change for those who are using their Harmonix password on other sites:

We're sending you this message because you have an account on RockBand.com, DanceCentral.com, and/or Creators.RockBand.com. We are investigating an apparent attack on our servers that we detected this week.

The security of your Harmonix user information is very important to us. We’ve taken the sites down while we investigate this incident and determine how our systems and the information we maintain may have been compromised. At this time, we have not found that any of our users’ information has been published or misused. None of our sites maintain any credit card information, social security numbers, or financial account numbers for any of our users.

As a precaution, we have disabled your Harmonix password. We’ll send you a notification when the sites are back up. When you log back in, we will require all users to reset their passwords. If you have been using your old Harmonix password on other sites, we recommend that you change those passwords too.

Wesp5's Patches And Kickstarter - Updated

Here's a flurry of news from Wesp5, who has released several of his unofficial patches for unsupported games and is also launching his own also sends word on a Kickstarter that's semi-Bloodlines-related (we thought he was part of this project at first, but that is incorrect: apologies for any confusion). Mod DB and The Patches Scrolls now offer the latest unofficial patch for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, updating the Source-engine action/RPG to version 8.6. Likewise, there's a new Precursors patch on Mod DB and The Patches Scrolls to update Deep Shadows' shooter to version 1.7. Rounding out the patch-fest, a new version 1.7 patch is available on Mod DB and The Patches Scrolls for White Gold: War in Paradise. Though it doesn't seem explicitly noted anywhere, Wesp tells us these are non-beta patches. As for the Kickstarter, that can be found here, looking to raise $75,000 for a Unity game engine multiplayer action/RPG called Sanguine Nights – Darkest Blood. The game is somewhat inspired by Bloodlines, as evidenced in this video interview and this description:

Their many differences result in a perception of racial and cultural clash of a Darwinian nature, regulated by Victorian ethics and Machiavellian concerns for security and self-preservation. Each race perceives others as “savage”, “dangerous” or “inferior” and gracefully plans its dominance over the rest, while carefully manoeuvring around traps set by Inquisitors, Slayers and other supernaturals carrying out their ancient feuds with the Undead.

Where Sanguine Nights truly shines is in the empowerment of players over the game's content. Stretch goals aside, the single-player experience will include many quests throughout New Tenebra which will immerse players in the mythos and cosmos of the setting. For multi-player, we will be building a set of content creation tools which will allow players of the game to enrich their experience and give their own, unique flavour to the world in which Sanguine Nights is set.

Apart from player-driven multiplayer, the game will also feature quests that can be undertaken by one or more characters, sandbox play and, upon reaching Stretch Goal VII, an immersing single-player mode.

Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition

Steam now offers a 20th Anniversary Edition of Another World (aka Out of this World) for Windows and OS X. The original version of this action/platformer is one of the games on display in the prestigious Museum of Modern Art, but as this description shows, this is not your MOMA's game:

Today, thanks to the combined efforts of visionary conceptor of the original game Eric Chahi, and developer DotEmu, this mythical game that has enthralled a whole generation of gamers is being given new life on PC and Mac, with Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition, through the Steam digital download platform!…

Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition offers new, high-definition graphics that stay true to the original style of the game, and the sound effects have also been totally remastered. You will be able to discover - or re-discover - an incredible adventure in a whole new light!…

Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition also offers a few bonus surprises: 3 difficulty modes so players can play the game in its original difficulty, in an easier mode, or for the most skilled gamers, in a mode even more difficult than the original! Hardcore fans of Another World, rest assured, this edition will allow you, if you wish so, to play the adventure with the original graphics! Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition is also comes with the Development Journal and the Video Making-off, that will let you discover how this edition has been created.

Evening Interviews

On Sale

StormPowered Easter Sale extended one more day.

Op Ed

The Tech Report - Modern shooters and the atrophy of fun.
Since the days of Doom and Quake, we've seen shooters take quantum leaps in graphics, writing, voice acting, and just about everything else—except for gameplay. Somehow, gameplay hasn't evolved. It hasn't gotten more fun or more engaging or more interesting. Instead, it's atrophied into a bland rut, to the point where big-budget shooters feel just like old light-gun arcade games (Virtua Cop, House of the Dead, and so on). Players are still stuck on rails, still made to gun down easy target after easy target, pausing only to reload and to watch cut scenes. Today's visuals and stories might be Oscar-worthy, but the interactivity still feels like tasteless filler.

Shooters could be so much more. Instead of trivializing combat, they could make fights less frequent, longer, and more memorable. They could reward players for acting rationally when outnumbered—hide, flee, or die. Shooters could, when appropriate, encourage problem-solving and exploration over brute force. Hell, why couldn't they have players decide how the story plays out? But no, that's all too much to ask. Studios and publishers seem to have forgotten that games are supposed to be games, not CG films with playable action scenes.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Ride to Hell Lives; Coming This Summer as Two Games

Ride to Hell lives, is the surprising news on MCV, where word is Eutechnyx's biker-themed game will be released for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on June 25th in North America and on June 28th worldwide under the title Ride to Hell: Retribution. The game was announced by Deep Silver in 2008 for release in Q2 of 2009, and a trickle of previews in January 2009 were the last we saw of this, so it seemed this project had already ridden of to some sort of hell of its own. Even more surprising is that after all that silence, this comes with word of two additional Ride to Hell games, one being a mobile game called Ride to Hell: Beatdown for which there are no details, and the other called Ride to Hell: Route 666, a downloadable title also coming in June for Steam, XBLA, and PSN from Black Forest Games. They say this will be more arcade-styled than Retribution.

Raven's Cry in October

TopWare's Raven's Cry website now offers a release date for Raven's Cry, as publisher lists October 24, 2013 as when to expect Octane's upcoming piratey action/adventure to arrive for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 (thanks GBase.ch). Here' a refresher on the game, which apparently does not feature anyone resembling Jack Sparrow or Captain Hook:

Raven’s Cry is a dark action-adventure that will challenge the image of pirates in popular culture. Game events are seamlessly interwoven with historical ones to create an authentic, thrilling narrative. The game begins when Christopher Raven embarks on his vengeful quest to track down and kill the men who murdered his family.

Raven’s Cry thoroughly immerses players in a lavishly detailed world rich with treachery and adventure. The sinister beauty of the 17th Century Caribbean is revealed in the rolling emerald waves and their secrets, kept far beneath; in the dark alleys and curved, cobbled roads, all teeming with murderous miscreants and loudly drunken braves, the prophets of the bottle, the blade, and the flintlock gun. The historically accurate architecture and in-game events will flavor the three major cities found in Raven’s Cry with the atmosphere players crave, as they traverse from the unsavory pirate holdfast of Port Royal to the elegant avenues of luscious Havana, to a lost Aztec City deep in the jungles of the Spanish Main.

Company of Heroes 2 Preorders

SEGA announces global preorder incentives for Company of Heroes 2, the upcoming World War II real-time strategy sequel from Relic Entertainment. In a welcome change from the recent trend, they do not seem to be offering different sets of bonuses depending on where the game is purchased:

SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced that customers who pre-order Company of Heroes™ 2, the eagerly anticipated strategy game from Relic Entertainment, Inc., from participating retailers will receive additional in-game bonus content for free.

“We are pleased to be able to reward our most loyal fans for pre-ordering the game with this pack. These items will give them bonus single and multiplayer content to enjoy.” Eligible customers will get access to a ‘Theatre of War’ mini-campaign when it becomes available post launch, allowing them to experience a new single player story from another part of the war. They will also receive the Winter Ambush and Voronezh Front skin packs to customize the look of their multiplayer vehicles.

As well as the single player content and multiplayer skins, eligible pre-order customers will receive two new multiplayer commanders to customize each army. The German army will receive the Joint Operations Doctrine, specializing in precise artillery strikes and the Offensive Spearhead Doctrine for players who want to use heavy armor and airstrikes to crush their opponent. The Soviets will unlock the devastating Anti-Infantry Tactics Doctrine, enabling units like flamethrower tanks and the Conscript Support Tactics Doctrine which allows for rapid reinforcement in the heat of battle.

Rhode Island Alleges 38 Studios Deception

The Providence Journal has more on the legal wrangling surrounding the bankruptcy of 38 Studios, as Rhode Island sued studio founder Curt Schilling and others over possible improprieties involved in loaning the developer millions to move to the state (thanks GameSpot). The report indicates Rhode Island is claiming 38 Studios knew they needed more money than they were borrowing to complete the project:

The people running videogame company 38 Studios apparently knew before moving here they didn't have enough money to finish their ambitious initial project and relied instead on speculative financial projections to run their studio, according to documents recently filed in R.I. Superior Court. Monday's court filings:

Whether the company's true financial picture or doubts raised by some people were communicated to then-Gov. Donald Carcieri or the R.I. Economic Development Corp. board is the central battleground of a lawsuit filed against company founder Curt Schilling and 13 other defendants.

Filings Monday by the state's lawyer show 38 Studios needed a full $75 million from Rhode Island, and then some, to have a chance to succeed. The company netted $50 million from an EDC bond sale. The lawyer, Max Wistow, alleges the shortfall was actively masked.

Minecraft PC Sells $10MM; "Subtly" Teases Horses

Mojang's Jens Bergensten tweets about the sales success of the PC edition of Minecraft, as the indie sensation continues to perform sensationally. He says: "Minecraft (PC) has hit 10M! As promised, a subtle hint on the main 1.6 feature (thanks @ebbakier): http://imgur.com/qAuCLex :D" The "subtle hint" is a photo of a pleasant lady with a horse, so obviously they plan to add pleasant ladies to the sandbox construction game. Thanks GameSpot.

Pro Cycling Manager 2013 Announced

The Cycling Manager website has the announcement of Pro Cycling Manager 2013, the next installment in the PC bicycle racing series, as well as Tour de France 2013, a new console edition. They offer some screenshots, and word the game is due in July, so you'd better start doping your blood now. Here's word:

We are pleased today to unveil the 4 first screenshots of Pro Cycling Manager 2013 and Tour de France 2013 - 100th Edition, showcasing the richness and variety of scenic locations that will be seen in these 2 remarkable games. From Corsica to the Champs-Elysées, exceptional races will be featured this year in these cycling games developed by Cyanide Studio.

While Pro Cycling Manager 2013 will be sure to please all fans of simulation with its many new features and improvements, Tour de France 2013 - 100th Edition will offer players on PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles a fully renewed and overhauled gameplay and an improved graphics engine, in response to players' expectations and requests.

We will unveil much a lot more information on both games in the months to come. In the meantime, we invite you, through these 4 images, to project yourself in July, at the heart of this legendary summer race which will go down as a milestone in the history of the Tour de France!

Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness Video Diary

This video is a developer's diary for Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness, the upcoming Africa expansion for Paradox Interactive's 19th century strategy sequel. Here's word: "In this first video developer diary, project lead Dan Lind introduces you to the upcoming expansion’s newspaper system, as well as the new feature International Crises." Continue here to read the full story.

MMO Patch Plans

Morning Interviews

Morning Patches

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

Well, my "quick" wrap up of my problems had me up past 4:00 am, so I'm glad I didn't let that hold off last night's update, especially since that was just when I finally solved my BSOD problem, but still hadn't imported a ton of mail messages to get fully on track. I'm off to a slow start as a result, but at least I have my techie problem worked out.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Super Mechs.
Links: Roger Ebert's Favorite Movies Over The Past Five Decades.
Roger Ebert quotes- 10 films he hated.
Roger Ebert Wins the Cartoon Caption Contest. Thanks nin.
Stories: Scottish SF master Iain M Banks reveals he has less than a year to live.
China culls birds as flu deaths mount; airline shares fall.
Science: Japan lab claims its software can read dreams.
Media: Resident Evil: Down With the Sickness.
Diablo Fan Film Teaser. Thanks Rhialto.
Videogame Dialogue Options IRL.



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