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Friday, Apr 19, 2013

  

SimCity Patch Monday

The SimCity Blog outlines plans to release version 2.0 of the urban planning simulation on Monday at 4:00 pm EDT (1:00 pm PDT), saying they concluded this was the time that taking the servers offline would have least impact. They outline a bunch of bug-fixes for what they call the "first significant update" to the game, as well as the following list of new features, which seems a little sparse for a point release:

  • Mayors Mansion: Mayors will now drive their fancy cars to work. Mayors will take their helicopter, limo, or sports car if the modules are present.
  • HUD: Now color-corrects when in a colorblind mode.
  • Data map: Data maps show the filtered color when a color filter is enabled (unless in a colorblind mode)

Steamships Ahoy - God Mode

ATLUS announces the release of God Mode, saying this first-person shooter from Old School Games' is now available for Windows and Xbox 360, with the PlayStation 3 on April 23rd. Word: "God Mode pits players against waves of demonic hordes as they use plenty of death-dealing instruments such as plasma cannons, miniguns and what's affectionately known as the 'buzzsaw' to claw through the depths of hell one corpse at a time." The Windows edition is up on Steam, and here's word from their announcement:

Do you like running? How about gunning? What if special abilities are thrown into the mix? Upgradable weapons? Let's say there’re dozens of on-screen enemies to unleash this firepower on, and as your reward for dispatching them you get experience and gold to collect that can be used for character customization and new equipment--all the while playing alongside friends in 4-player cooperative play! If you like the sound of all this, then you'll love God Mode.

Edge TM Revocation Complete

The Two Tribes Website has word that the process of stripping Edge Games founder Tim Langdell of the "Edge" trademark is complete, after being set into motion by a court decision back in 2010 (thanks nin via Joystiq). They announce they are celebrating this with a 50% off sale on EDGE, their no-longer litigated game:

Today marks an important day for the trademark EDGE as the trademark held by Tim Langdell has been “Cancelled by Court Order”!

In case you missed it, the original creator of EDGE, Mobigame, has been in a long legal battle with a guy named Tim Langdell regarding the usage of the name “EDGE”. Long story short Tim couldn’t trademark the name EDGE, since he basically didn’t do anything with it. Want to know more?

This is what David of Mobigame has to say about it:

“It took us 2 years to create EDGE from scratch, then we waited 4 additional years for this day to happen. This story represent 6 years of our lives but now the road is totally clear for EDGE. We are so happy for all the victims of this trademark troll, truth and justice finally won! We feel that we have to celebrate this major event in some ways, and we hope all the good people we met along the road will celebrate with us.”

So, let’s celebrate by having a discount of 50% on all versions of EDGE!

Steam
Mac AppStore
iOS
Android

The EDGE Trademark Victory sale ends on Monday (April 22th)

BlizzCon 2013 Ticket Sales Next Week

The BlizzCon Website has a reminder that BlizzCon 2013 tickets go on sale on Wednesday:

Remember, tickets usually go fast—so if you want to attend this year’s show, it pays to be ready prepared on the first sale date. If you miss out, you’ll get a second chance when the second batch goes on sale Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT. In addition, tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children's Hospital of Orange County go on sale Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. PDT. Visit the BlizzCon Ticket Information page for more details.

BlizzCon 2013 will take place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and tickets cost $175 USD each. Tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner cost $500 USD each and include BlizzCon admission. Even if you can’t join us at BlizzCon in person, in-depth coverage will be available at home through the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket; further details will be announced at a later date.

On Sale

  • BioWare Games on Gamefly. Save up to 75%. Save 10% more with code from Dealzon.
  • The Debut 2 Bundle on Indie Royale. Save up to 75%.
  • Ridge Racer Unbounded on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Telltale Crazy Sale on GOG.com. Save 85%.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

  • Call for GDC Europe 2013 talks closes on Monday - submit now!

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Bert Kreischer is the Machine (NSFW). Incredible story. Thanks to who sent this (I lost track).

March NPD Results

The March report from the NPD Group is out, offering the latest guestimates from this trade group on video game hardware and software sales. GameSpot has a summary of the results, showing the now-expected year-over-year 10% slide, which is accompanied by the now-expected disclaimers of how their methodology may not be keeping up with the rapid pace of the transition to digital distribution. Here's word from NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan: ""When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in March such as used and rentals at $190 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $670 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in March to be just under $1.9 billion." That said, after talking of "deep declines" of lame duck console hardware, they actually report an uptick in software sales, saying they were up two percent in March 2013 across consoles, portables, and PC, called "the first month of positive growth since November 2011." They also list the top 10 selling games for the month:

  1. BioShock Infinite (X360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
  2. Tomb Raider (X360, PS3) - Square Enix
  3. Gears of War: Judgment (X360) - Microsoft
  4. God of War: Ascension (PS3) Sony
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, PC, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
  6. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) - Nintendo
  7. MLB13: The Show (PS3, PS Vita) - Sony
  8. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
  9. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (X360, PS3, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
  10. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (X360, PS3) - Namco Bandai Games

Just Cause 2 Multiplayer Beta Tomorrow

The Just Cause 2 Multiplayer website is counting down the approximately 17 hours until the next round of public beta testing commences for this multiplayer modification for Just Cause 2, Avalanche's open-world action sequel (thanks PC Gamer). The update includes word that this will now use Steam authentication to ensure participants have a legitimate copy of the game: "This beta test will be the first to make use of our Steam authentication, therefore requiring all beta test participants to own a copy of Just Cause 2 and also have an account registered on our website. Along with this comes our new launcher which streamlines the process of finding the server you want to join on our website and getting into game without a hassle." They also announce they are now accepting donations, and provide a change list updated for the latest version of the mod.

Bethesda Unveils The Evil Within

The Bethesda Blog announces The Evil Within is the game they've been teasing all week, making winners of all those who speculated that this was about a new survival/horror franchise from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks, the developer Bethesda purchased in 2010. There's an The Evil Within Debut Trailer on IGN, a live-action clip showing we are dealing with an entity so evil it hand-crafts its own barbed wire, and word is IGN will have further details on this on Monday. No gameplay is shown (unless this is an FMV game), and no system logos are included. The game has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, an Instagram account, and a blog on tumblr, the last of which reveals this is coming to PC as well as consoles next year:

Shinji Mikami, the father of survival horror, is back to direct The Evil Within – a game embodying the meaning of pure survival horror. Highly-crafted environments, horrifying anxiety, and an intricate story weave together to create an immersive world that will bring players to the height of tension. The Evil Within is in development for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, PC and next generation consoles and is slated for release in 2014.

Homeworld IP Sold; Kickstarter Refunding Pledges

An update to the Kickstarter that was launched last month by indie developer teamPixel in an effort to fund the purchase of the Homeworld IP announces they have been outbid for the rights to the sci-fi RTS series (thanks GameSpot). It is not known at this point who now owns the property, but since it isn't them, they say they will be refunding the over $50K in pledges they received. They also say that those who supported their efforts will get credits in their upcoming Homeworld-inspired RTS game, which will now obviously center on a new IP. Here's word:

Homeworld will escape the THQ bankruptcy to a new home, however, that home will not be with teamPixel, LLC. The auction for the Homeworld license ended April 15, 2013, and while we reached qualified bidder status for the bankruptcy auction, we were unable to raise the necessary funds to remain competitive against the other parties at the auction. We hope you will join us in supporting Homeworld's new owners in building a future for the franchise. We anticipate an announcement of the new owner to be made within a couple weeks and for the sale to be finalized around mid-May. Words cannot describe how honored we are to have been supported by so many in the community.

As promised, we are offering full refunds to all of our generous donors. To facilitate this process, we've established a website where you can verify that we have properly recorded all of your contributions, supply us with any special instructions for your donation, and track your refund. As a special thanks, we would like to offer each and every donor a special credit in our upcoming space RTS game. Yes, this means we will still be moving forward with our own Homeworld-inspired space RTS, but under our own intellectual property. We hope all of you will stay in touch and follow us during the production of our game.

Monaco Preorders; Trailers; Interview

Steam News announces that preorders are now being accepted for Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine at a 10% discount between now and next week's release of this single-player and co-op heist game. Preorders are also still being accepted on the Pocketwatch Games Website, where they promise a Steam Key, a DRM-free copy of the game's prototype, two tracks from the soundtrack, and sheet music (which seems apropos from a company named after the pocketwatch). The site also serves up an official launch trailer for the game, and there's a video on IGN where they play the game and offer their comments, and there's also an interview on Gamasutra talking with Andy Shatz about the history of this game, which began as an XBLA project with a six-week development schedule. Continue here to read the full story.

Something Fragile Kickstarter

Here's a Kickstarter for a game called Something Fragile, a puzzle game planned for Windows and OS X that's graphics will be created using stop-motion photography of game assets created from physical media like fabric and paper. They are seeking $15K, and are almost halfway there with about six days remaining. Here's the premise:

In Something Fragile, you are a creature created for the sole purpose of protecting the heart that you were given. As this creature, you must progress through the levels and overcome the puzzles in order to carry the heart past the obstacles and through the environmental threats. The challenge of the game is to keep the heart safe throughout all of the puzzles, which will require the heart to be placed in harm's way in order to get it through each level safely. The moment the heart is placed on the ground, it is immediately vulnerable to the environment, and similarly, the moment the creature gets too far away from the heart, both it and the heart perish.

Lex Laser Saves The Galaxy, Again Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter explains developer Defiant Mouse's need for $65,000 to create Lex Laser Saves The Galaxy, Again, a tactical RPG they say is specifically designed for busy people who may need to tend to a crying baby or answer the bat-signal at a moment's notice. This team of MIT Game Lab hopes to release the game for Windows, Linux, and OS X by the first half of next year. Here's a description:

Lex Laser is turn based. There are no twitch elements to this game.

Most tactical games rely heavily on numbers to express their core concepts. A tough creature will have more hit points, and the only way to deal with that is to do more damage. In Lex Laser, most foes just take one hit, but there are lots of them.

Lots and lots of them.

Your challenge is to deal with your enemies quickly, before they overwhelm you. At higher difficulties, your challenge is to deal with your enemies efficiently, before you run out of ammo. You do this by choosing the right weapon for the situation, and placing your shots carefully. If you are only destroying one enemy per turn, you are probably falling behind.

The result is a blend of tactical combat game and puzzle game.

Morning Interviews

Morning Patches

Op Ed

IncGamers.com - IndieGala, Mass Effect 2 and the pitfalls of political affiliation.
Never mind that the latest IndieGala bundle includes the decidedly non-indie Mass Effect 2; the strangest thing about this latest multi-game, pay-what-you-fancy package is the pledge to divert revenue raised from its sales to the election campaign of Canadian politician Matt Toner.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, we've certainly been getting our share of the joys of home ownership lately, as our furnace seems to have stopped working. We're not sure what's wrong (I've expended my own meager ability to troubleshoot this), so we have the plumber coming to look at it on Monday. The good news is that this waited until the weather turned, so at least we're not freezing as a result of this.

R.I.P.: Pink Floyd album designer Storm Thorgerson dies. Thanks Acleacius.

Cold Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: War Zomb Avatar.
Links: Why Superman is still interesting on his 75th birthday. Not sure I agree with the premise.
Thanks to Arduino, man knows that 37,112 impressions wear out a LEGO brick.
Stories: Michael Jordan was poisoned before 'flu game,' trainer says.
Science: Ammonium nitrate fertilizer isn't really a dangerous explosive (most of the time) (was invented for bombs).
Moore's Law predicts life originated billions of years before Earth.
Why Marriage Is Good for Your Health — Until You Get Sick.
Images: Funny detention slips. Thanks Cutter.
Media: Harrison Ford Won't Answer Star Wars Questions.
What happens when you wring out a washcloth in space.
Kitty Om Nom Vacuum Cleaner. I dare you to keep a straight face.
The Funnies: Navigating the Maze Cartoon - Savage Chickens.



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