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Monday, Apr 08, 2013

  

America's Army Beta Signups

Facebook page for America's Army announces that this America's Army: Proving Ground page is now accepting signups to beta test the next installment in the first-person shooter created as a recruiting tool by the U.S. Army (thanks Joystiq via GameSpot). Word is:

Wanted: Beta Testers

We bet that got your attention, huh? That’s right, we’re looking for volunteers for our Beta Tester team to help test the next version of America’s Army which is due out this year!

Let’s say that again, THIS YEAR!

Go to http://portal.americasarmy.com/ to register your Soldier name for a chance to be selected as one of our new Beta Testers!

Good Luck Soldiers!

BioShock Infinite Alternate Covers

Irrational Games now offers the promised alternate box art for BioShock Infinite, Irrational's first-person shooter sequel. Word is:

A few months ago, we asked our fans to vote on your favorite alternative cover that would come with all copies of BioShock Infinite. Design #4 ended up winning with 38% of the vote, and can be seen upon opening up your very own case. As originally promised, though, we’re now making every cover from the original voting process available for download and printing, along with a few more custom designs.

To view them all, and to choose your platform of choice, click here. Please remember to read the printing instructions before downloading, since we would hate to see our fans waste a few nice sheets of glossy paper from a misprint.

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Make Something Unreal Live 2013 Results

The Unreal Engine Twitter feed has results of the 2013 Make Something Unreal Live competition, offering Facebook photos of the festivities. Here's word from the official announcement: "Epic Games, Inc., creators of award-winning games and game technology, announced from the Gadget Show Live, that Dead Shark Triplepunch, the winning team at Make Something Unreal Live 2013, has won a host of hardware prizes in addition to the main award of a commercial Unreal Engine 4 licence. The team, from Belkinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, blew away MSUL judges with their game Epigenesis, which was developed with Epic’s Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of the award-winning Unreal Engine 3." Epic also announces the top two finalists will receive an additional Unreal Engine 3 license specifically for the publication of the games they developed for the competition, which must be packed with action, since this year's theme was "Mendelian inheritance: genetics and genomics."

Grimlands Kickstarter

A Kickstarter is now underway in an effort to fund Grimlands, the post-apocalyptic FPS/MMORPG announced in 2011 before being cancelled last month. The game has actually been in development for five years now, "Grimlands is the MMORPG we always wanted to play," says Lucjan Mikociak, the game's head of development. "We strive to mix the shooter- and RPG-gameplay inspired by Fallout 3 and Borderlands with the social dynamics and freedom of choice like in Ultima Online." They outline their plans for what they would do with the $650K they seek and how the game's hybrid subscription/free-to-play model will work.

Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarted

The Kickstarter campaign for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues has concluded, having collected nearly double the $1 million target set for the upcoming RPG from Ultima creator Richard "Lord British"" Garriott. Here's word on what follows:

A sincere thank you goes out to all our backers for pledging your support to “Shroud of the Avatar” and helping us raise almost double our Kickstarter goal! This game would not be possible without your dedication and feedback – what a fantastic experience it’s been to interact with all of you, learning what is most important and desired in our new world.

And we very much look forward to continuing that interaction, so please follow us to our official site at ShroudOfTheAvatar.com and join us in our continuing discussions and efforts. We’ll have regular updates and information for friends old and new. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter, or tweet us with #LBSOTA to keep the conversation alive!

U.K. Sales Charts

The new GfK Chart-Track Listing of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending April 6th. SimCity has returned to the top spot in a chart that's always been Sims heavy (40% of the chart is Sims games, supporting the franchise's infinite SKU approach). BioShock Infinite falls to number two this week on that chart, but retains the number one position on the all-platforms chart, where Tomb Raider remains number two and Defiance debuts at number three.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Uprising Replacers Trailer

This clip features live action performances from Peter Stormare and J.B. Smoove to promote the upcoming Uprising map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Stormare reprises his role as "the Replacer," who has enlisted Smoove as a new partner so the pair can fill in for your "regular" life as you play the military shooter sequel. The clip shows several examples of the replacers at work replacing, but also concludes with some footage of gameplay from the add-on. Continue here to read the full story.

Distance Gameplay Trailer

This trailer offers a look at Distance, the recently Kickstarted arcade racing game in the works at Refract Studios. The footage is pre-alpha gameplay that was shown off to attendees at the just-concluded Game Developer's Conference. To accompany the clip, here's a refresher on the game:

Distance is a Windows/Mac/Linux survival racing game that combines the intense action of arcade racing with the exploration of an atmospheric world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly through a chaotic and twisted city. The world has a mysterious history, and as you explore you'll be able to uncover pieces of its past.

The roads are treacherous and unpredictable with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, you'll be trying to survive to the end in the quickest time. Since your car has several abilities, it allows you to not only drive fast on the track but also upside down and on buildings and walls! You can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths.

Continue here to read the full story.

Thunder Wolves Trailer

A new trailer from Thunder Wolves offers a look at this upcoming helicopter combat game from Most Wanted Entertainment. The clip's description is in German, but a translation shows it touts "hard-hitting action and massive explosions," which are indeed included. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Interviews

Op Ed

Gamasutra - VGVN Touts 500k Members- Does It Really Mean Anything?
For many months, the ESA openly claimed support of SOPA. They claimed it was necessary to protect their members’ interests and profits from online piracy. However, many consumer groups opposed the legislation as it would have had severe unintended consequences for free speech online. Many consumer organizations were in opposition of SOPA except the VGVN. Throughout the whole debate and the site blackouts all over the internet, the VGVN never once spoke up in support of its members. It never once said a single thing in regards to SOPA. Despite many attempts to contact someone at the VGVN, I never once heard back from them. This event showed that those 500,000 members it claims to represent don’t matter when the interests of its publisher controlled master clash.

So what should you do if you are a “member” of the VGVN? That’s up to you ultimately. However, my suggestion is to unsubscribe. I have no idea if that will delete you completely and you will no longer be counted when it touts its numbers, but at least it sends some kind of message. My other suggestion is to join a gamer organization that actually cares about you. One that is independent of any corporate masters. A group like the Entertainment Consumers Association. (disclaimer, I am a member and work with them over at Game Politics as well as other aspects) This group has done wonders over the years to protect the rights and interests of gamers. Yes it costs money to be a member and to stay a member, but the benefits you get in return far outweigh the costs.

Don’t be fooled by big numbers like those touted by the VGVN. Those are mere distractions from what really matters, its record. What does it really stand for and who is it really speaking up for. That is what matters in the end. If it is not 100% on your side, then you should not be on its side.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

My rack of lamb was a success last night. The tricky thing with lamb is how small the window is before it starts to overcook, and I hit medium rare on the nose, which was pretty awesome. And to all of you who pointed out that grilling is actually the more traditional method than the oven, I grant you are correct, but to see your ball-busting and raise it: For those who say grilling would be the most traditional method, I'll point out eating the lamb raw probably pre-dated that. So there.

R.I.P.: Acclaimed documentary maker Les Blank dies at 77.

Medium-Rare Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: ButtonX20.
Links: Boy With Brain Cancer Adopted by Husker Football - Scores TD.
Science: Jupiter Moon's Volcanoes Are in Wrong Spot, Scientists Say.
Images: Great "do not disturb" status message.
Media: Val Kilmer Batman Warwick Davis Ricky Gervais Life's Too Short. Thanks nin.
Unibrow Discrimination: Social Experiment.
How Actors Cry on Cue.
The Funnies: Dilbert.



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