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Saturday, Apr 06, 2013

  

No One Knows Who Owns NOLF

A post on One Of Swords has a new episode of One of Swords TV where "Activision community management team of one" Dan Amrich attempts to sort through the sticky issue of who owns the rights to No One Lives Forever, Monolith's spy spoof series, last known to be the property of Vivendi Games after they acquired with the Fox Interactive catalog. Since Vivendi eventually merged with Activision, he seems like the one to ask, and Dan explains that some of the IP they ended up with as a result of that merger has since been sold off, using the example of Leisure Suit Larry, and that many of the games they retained are now being sold on GOG.com, using the example of the King's Quest series. As for NOLF, he says this is something he's asked about himself, going on to explain:

The person that I normally talk to about this stuff does not believe that we currently the rights. They've never seen it, they've never been given the permission to put that stuff on Good Old Games. He said, basically, 'If we had it, I would love to be able to reissue those old games.' So, that leaves the question if Activision no longer has the rights to No One Lives Forever, who does? Monolith was the developer that handled those games, and they are now part of WB. So I thought, maybe at the time when Activision was saying 'we'll keep these, we'll leave these, we'll sell these, whatever,' maybe Monolith stepped up and took their IP back. So I contacted a friend at Monolith... and he doesn't know. Uh, so, unfortunately, all I can definitively say is that at this time I do not believe that Activision has the rights to No One Lives Forever.

Distant Worlds Expansion Announced

Matrix Games announces Distant Worlds: Shadows, an upcoming third expansion for Distant Worlds to add a new "Age of Shadows" to the 4X space strategy game. Here's word on the add-on, which requires the two previous expansions as well as the base game:

Distant Worlds: Shadows adds new gameplay to the Distant Worlds universe and is set in a new era in the Distant Worlds timeline, called the Age of Shadows.

In this time, when the planetary civilizations have not yet rediscovered hyperspace travel, factions of space-based pirates with remnants of ancient technologies battle each other to succeed in survival and expansion. They struggle to hold back the rebirth of the space empires from the ashes of the first war against the Shakturi while establishing themselves as the new power in the galaxy. It is up to the player to choose a side.

New gameplay includes expanded ground combat, with a full new ground combat tech tree, a ground combat resolution screen and multiple different troop types as well as ship and base boarding and capture. The expanded tech tree also includes Gravitic Weapons and Tractor Beams as well as additional planetary facilities that allow you more customization on character recruitment.

Distant Worlds: Shadows also includes an updated and improved graphical engine, a much enhanced AI and comprehensive difficulty settings that will be challenging even for the veterans of the series and as usual many new modding possibilities.

Lifeless Planet This Year

GBase.ch has word in German of Lace Mamba Global's updated release plans for Lifeless Planet, an action/adventure from indie developer Stage 2 Studios they originally announced for release last year. The latest is to expect the game's full release in the second or third quarter of this year. Also, the Lifeless Planet website has word that official soundtrack preorders are now being accepted. Here's word on the game from its creator: "My goal with Lifeless Planet is to build a game that puts the adventure back into 'action-adventure.' I grew up loving games like Out of this World, The Dig, and ICO, and I want to create a gaming experience in the spirit of these true action-adventure games. Don't get me wrong: 3D is good. Platforming is good. But I love games that combine great graphics with great stories."

Papo & Yo Preorders Include Soundtrack

The Minority website has details on preorders for the PC edition of Papo & Yo, which are now underway. They have links to where to preorder, which carries a 10% discount and entitles purchasers to a free copy of the game's soundtrack. They also offer a FAQ which explains how this will differ from the PSN version:

Purchasers will be delighted to find the following upgrades:

  • Better graphics and new visual effects
  • Improved controls
  • Improved character animation and cinematics (including some facial animations)
  • More robust gameplay – lots of bugs fixed
  • Full controller support for Steam Big Picture mode
  • Multi-monitor support

Sanguine Nights Kickstarter Correction

We have to apologize for causing some confusion, as when Wesp5 included word of the Kickstarter for Sanguine Nights: Darkest Blood along with his patch news yesterday we assumed he was part of the Kickstarter, which is not the case, he was passing that along as related news for another project that makes its virtual home at Planet Vampire. Sorry about that. To end on a positive note, here's a quick refresher on the Kickstarter: "Sanguine Nights – Darkest Blood is a 3D multiplayer, action/RPG hybrid built upon the Unity game engine, available upon release for Linux, Mac and PC. The game itself is set in the dystopian city of New Tenebra, where ancient creatures guilty of the sin of hubris were cursed by God and rejected by the natural order, although the races of Vampirism share little in common."

Battlefield 4/AMD Bundle Plans

A German-language interview on Heise online has word that AMD intends to add Battlefield 4 to some of the bundles of games included with some of their future graphics cards surrounding the upcoming release of the next installment in DICE's military shooter series. Here's a machine translation of a response from Roy Taylor, AMD Corporate Vice President of Global Channel Sales: "It's not official yet. But it was presented at the Game Developer Conference, and the AMD Gaming Evolved logo already appeared online in the context of the game. Your readers can expect that Battlefield will be part of a 4-Never Settle bundles." Thanks X-bit labs via VG247.

Saturday Interviews

Saturday Patches

Op Ed

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Misogyny, Sexism, And Why RPS Isn’t Shutting Up. Also on Pastebin with no ads to make a point.
I want to try to break down why people object to the discussion, why there is a concerted effort to deny the need for the discussion, and to explain how my own tangential role in it all has affected me. I want to do this because I want to dispel myths, raise awareness, and encourage others to speak out. For those who think such articles are “preaching to the choir”, were that true, I certainly want that choir to be bolstered, encouraged to sing louder and truer. Sadly it’s not entirely true, as is evidenced by the responses any such article receives on RPS. I want to speak to those people too.

Saturday Previews

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Okay, I think I have everything back in order on my work PC, which got rewarded for having to endure an OS reinstall with RAM and hard drive upgrades, so it's actually now in a better state than it was before I broke everything. Now let me find something else around here that's not broken so I can "fix" it.

Fixable Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Jim Loves Mary.
Links: Under the Sea with Mister B. Dr. Seuss-style game cover, like the one below.
Some Time to Kill in Silent Hill. Thanks OTLGaming via Laughing Squid.
My Favorite Roger Ebert Stories.
Stories: The next big thing- New beer can goes topless.
Science: Breakthrough in hydrogen fuel production could revolutionize alternative energy market.
Media: SCTV Sneak Previews.
Worlds Coolest Dog.
Bob Barker (Price is Right) can be quite a dick sometimes.
Homeless Man With A Talented Moustache!.
The Funnies: xkcd: Flowchart.



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