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Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013

  

Prey TMs Extended

Though development of Prey 2 is said to be in limbo, GameSpot notes that Zenimax has filed three applications to extend their Trademark for the first-person shooter series into other areas including television shows and online games / magazines and comic books and feature films. They inquired about the significance of these filings, and say a company representative declined comment.

QuakeCon 2013 Preregistration Next Week

The Bethesda Blog announces preregistration for QuakeCon 2013 will begin on April 15th. As always, the show is free for attendees, but they have packages that include selections of SWAG packs, seating reservations, and guaranteed spots at the panels and presentations. They say these will sell out quickly, so note they should begin selling at 8:00 pm EDT on Monday.

Cross-Platform SimCity OS X in June

The SimCity Website has word that Maxis plans to launch the OS X edition of SimCity on June 11, saying the this will be offered as a single purchase with the Windows edition, and confirming this will support cross platform play (thanks Polygon). They have a full FAQ, and this overview: "Good news, Mac Mayors – today we can officially confirm the release date for the Mac version of SimCity is June 11, 2013. If you already own SimCity on PC, you will also receive the Mac version at no additional cost (and vice versa). If you don’t already own SimCity on PC and just wish to purchase the Mac version, you will be able to pre-purchase your copy on Origin starting April 10th."

Last Months of LucasArts; Star Wars Battlefront III Footage?

An article on Kotaku called "The Last Months Of LucasArts" offers purported details from purported insiders about the run up to Disney closing the developer after acquiring LucasFlim. They describe receiving assurances from Disney's Bob Iger that it would be "business as usual" at the studio six month before the closure, and the slow motion train wreck of the intervening period. They also have video showing all sorts of ground and vehicle combat in the Star Wars universe, showing speeders, AT-ATs, X-Wings, TIE Fighters, Walkers, and more. The clip starts saying Star Wars Wingman and they say it was internally called Version Two, but that multiple sources tell them this was actually the cancelled Star Wars Battlefront III.

Star Trek: The Video Game Footage

VG247 offers a video preview of Star Trek: The Video Game with a look at some new footage from the upcoming co-op Trekkie game and hearing from Digital Extremes' Brian Miller about what to expect. Here's what they say about their experience with the game: "Since it is a third-person shooter, the game will contain all the conventions players are used to: cover, run in stealth, and other tenants. However, the game is more tailored to co-op so while Kirk really wants to rush into battle guns blazing, Spock will advise to take things more stealthy, which will give players experience points to upgrade their weapons should they choose a particular way of handling a situation." Continue here to read the full story.

Dark Souls 2 Gameplay Footage

A Dark Souls 2 Gameplay Reveal on IGN offers screenshots and a pair of videos, one offering 12 minutes of gameplay footage from the action/RPG sequel and the other a Q&A session. Word is: "Start with our a 12-minute demo, then check out our Q&A session below, both of which feature FromSoftware director Yui Tanimura and Namcobandai global producer Tak Miyazoe, both hosted by IGN's Marty Sliva."

Prime World Closed Beta Signups

Nival announces they are now accepting signups for closed beta testing of Prime World, their upcoming role-playing strategy game. This page is where to apply, here's a new gameplay trailer, and here's word on the game:

Prime World merges MOBA battles, persistent RPG hero development and castle building. You can equip and train your hero between battles using collectible and upgradable talents, build a thriving economy in your city, and play together with your friends. You can even start your own clan and fight other clans!

Prime World steps beyond the classic three lane map of modern MOBAs – there are currently six game modes, with more to come: from fast and fierce 3v3 Outpost to dark and moody 4v4 Dragonwald.

Prime World is more than a game in its country of origin. In Russia, several books based on Prime World have been published, some from best-selling authors Vadim Panov and Alexander Zorich. Over three million gamers have enjoyed Prime World’s battles in Russia since April 2012 and it continues to grow.

Evening Interviews

Evening Patches

Op Ed

PC Gamer - Ultra-widescreen- can 21-9 be a new standard for gaming?
I’ve used multi-screen displays to create a wraparound image in-game for some work I’ve been doing recently, using stereo drivers from both AMD and Nvidia. The extra width that offers gives you peripheral vision for FPS games and an extra sensation of speed in driving titles too. These 21:9 screens simply don’t offer the same benefits. The image is flat in front of you so there is none of the positives from the wraparound peripheral images, and you’ll still suffer from lower frame rates as the extra resolution width makes greater demands on your hardware.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Stardock Plans "At Least" Two Game Announcements

This document (Adobe Acrobat format) offers Stardock's 2012 Consumer Report, an annual look behind the curtain at the company's business, offered as a goodwill gesture, since they are not publically traded and thus not subject to quarterly public financial reports. They outline a very successful year, noting this was spurred by them releasing three titles when they would typically release one. They then proceed to indicate they plan on announcing "at least" two games this year and also announce that Derek Paxton is now in charge of their development studio:

I suspect we will have at least, two new game announcements in 2013.

We have continued to follow-up on bringing in top-tier game designers to evaluate, tweak and enhance future titles. This process started with Derek “Kael” Paxton who developed the popular Civilization IV mod “Fall from Heaven”. His work has been transformative both in terms of how games get designed here but in how they get produced. As a result, I’m pleased to announce that Derek Paxton is VP of Stardock Entertainment and in charge of the studio.

After Derek Paxton joined us, Jon Shafer joined us to help on Fallen Enchantress and help design an unannounced game. After Fallen Enchantress was completed, he founded his own company (Conifer) to work on a new strategy game called At the Gates.

This year, with the “next generation” of Stardock games in pre-production, we’ve brought Soren Johnson (designer of Civilization IV) to work on the designs for our new titles for the next few months. The emphasis on dedicated game design has resulted in greater confidence that new franchises will not have to go through the rocky experience that Elemental: War of Magic went through.

Ships Ahoy - ShootMania: Storm

Ubisoft announces the release of ShootMania: Storm, the first-person shooter from TrackMania developer Nadeo. To celebrate they are holding ShootMania 4 All, a worldwide release party for the game's first players. Details on how to join in the festivities can be found on this page. The game is available through ShootMania.com and Steam and they say Uplay, but the site says it is down for maintenance, which GameSpot says is to clear up security issues which lead to the leak of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. They inform those who participated in the betas that their accounts have been converted to trial accounts, but add that new players cannot create trial accounts at this time, saying: "Free trial accounts with access to Elite and Royal will come back in the future along with more updates of the game." Here's the launch trailer and here's word:

SAN FRANCISCO – April 10, 2013 – Ubisoft® and Nadeo have released ShootMania Storm, an online multiplayer first person action game built from the ground-up for fast-paced competition and endless variation via intuitive content creation tools for users. ShootMania Storm is now available for personal computer via the game's official web site and the Steam digital distribution service for $19.99.

“ShootMania Storm delivers on two fronts: incredible, fast-paced competition for newcomers and pros alike as well as easy-to-use creator tools that empower users with the ability to imagine, design and build their own worlds,” said Joshua Milligan, Senior Director, Online Strategy, Ubisoft. "ShootMania Storm revives the pure, skill-based competitive gameplay that help give birth to professional gaming as it is known today. And with its familiar controls and balanced playing field, anyone at any level can jump in, have fun and instantly compete against the best in the world."

The release of the game follows a wildly successful open beta period in which hundreds of thousands of players from around the world competed for global domination on the game's ladder ranking system. In addition, players took advantage of the intuitive game editing tools, creating more than 35,000 custom maps and dozens of unique modes.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam and DRM-Free Shadowrun Returns in June

A new update to the Kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns says the release of Harebrained Schemes' upcoming cyberpunk tactical RPG will be release in June, and that those interested in the Collector's Edition should get their preorders in by April 28th. They also mention another deadline, saying the Harebrained Account Website is now online, and that backers should soon begin receiving emails with login information, stressing that it is essential that backers login and fill in their information by April 22nd in order to receive their backer rewards. They also announce the game will be distributed through Steam and support the Steam Workshop, noting that Steam will make it easier for them to support it across Windows, OS X, and Linux. This does not, however, mean they are going back on their promise of a DRM-free game:

We realize that for some of you, releasing on Steam isn’t your first choice but there are a lot of really great things we get from this decision that allow us to focus on the game rather than on making things like backend servers to deploy and manage shared content. From the start, we’ve had to make practical decisions like this one to ensure we get the most out of the support you’ve given us. We consider this to be the best option for everyone.

Now, that may prompt the question, “What about DRM-free?” To honor our original promise of a DRM-free version of the game, the Harebrained Account Website will also contain a downloadable version of Shadowrun Returns that does not include Steam integration. While this version will include the Seattle story (and Berlin, via a one-time update), without Steam integration, it will be unable to browse and play community-created stories from within the game. Any future DLC will only be available through Steam.

Aliens Colonial Marines Patch Patched

The Gearbox Software Forums have a thread about the new update that went live yesterday for Aliens Colonial Marines, eventually reporting it was fixed to sort out the user complaints the new version generated. In spite of the patch notes containing only two entries ("Added toggle for film grain filter" and "Increased security to address cheats and exploits"), the patch caused problems for many users, including missing downloadable content and an inability to use legitimate ini tweaks, attributed to the anti-cheating changes. This lead to Gearbox pulling it from Steam entirely, saying: "The update will be temporarily removed from Steam while the team investigates the corrupt DLC error and works to resolve that. More details as I have it." This is followed by a wee hours update saying a new version of the update was rolling out, and the subsequent posts indicate this has solved the reported problems. Thanks Guille.

Dishonored Patch Plans

The Bethesda Blog has details on a patch deploying this week for Dishonored to update Arkane's stealth/action game to version 1.3 and pave the way for the upcoming The Knife of Dunwall add-on. Here's the change list, which is almost entirely comprised of bug fixes: Continue here to read the full story.

Project Eternity Environment Trailer

The Obsidian Forums now offer an update about environments in Project Eternity, offering a new trailer showing off the environments in the upcoming RPG (thanks PC Gamer). Word is: "The Infinity Engine games were known for their art, and we wanted to hit the high standard of visual quality established by games like the Icewind Dale series. We also wanted to introduce dynamic elements into the environment that were mostly absent from the classic games, like dynamic water, movement in foliage, and dynamic lighting of the scene." Continue here to read the full story.

Grimlands "Making Of" Trailer

This trailer offers insights into the making of Grimlands, DRAGO Entertainment's upcoming MMOFPS/RPG that is the subject of a new Kickstarter. The clip kicks off a three video series where the game's developers discuss their sandbox design, lack of classes and item requirements, the minimal use of instancing, clan support, and more. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Interviews

Morning Patches

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I would so watch a show about ‘Better Call’ Saul Goodman. I can't think of many things that will help ease the regrets over Breaking Bad wrapping up, but that is about the best way I could imagine.

"I'm gonna get you a second phone call, OK? You're gonna call your mommy or your daddy or your parish priest or your boy scout leader, and they're gonna deliver me a check for $4650.00. I'm gonna write that down on the back of my business card. Four, Six, Five, Zero, OK? And I need that in a cashiers check or a money order, doesn't matter. Actually, ah, I want it in a money order and ah, make it out to 'Ice Station Zebra Associates.' That's my loan out. It's totally legit... its done just for tax purposes. After that we can discuss Visa or Mastercard, but definitely not American Express, so don't even ask, alright? Any questions?"

Better Call Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Steel Clash.
Links: Neil Blomkamp Talks "Halo," "District 10".
Stories: Sea 'too loud' among complaints from cruise ship passengers. Thanks reddit.
Bears In Russia Are Addicted To Jet Fuel.
Circus elephant shot in drive-by. Ringling Bros. says animal is OK. Huffing bears suspected. Thanks Dave.
Science: Daydreaming while driving more dangerous than texting, study claims.
Climate science once again finds itself fighting with hockey sticks.
Images: Pr0n Wonder Woman an improvement over NBC's. Thanks Thermight via Ain't It Cool News news..
Media: BATMAN vs SUPERMAN - INJUSTICE MUSIC VIDEO.
Tetris Stop Motion Chalk Art.
Pothead Truckers.
Game of Thrones Cello Cover.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
xkcd: All Adobe Updates.



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