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Thursday, May 23, 2013

  

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Free Weekend

Steam News announces a sale on Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, saying the melee combat game is 66% off this weekend. Oddly, they don't mention that this is also a free weekend for the game, and it can be played for free by anyone with a Steam account between now and Sunday afternoon. Here's the pitch for the game: "Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a first-person slasher with a focus on multi-player. Featuring competitive online combat that seeks to capture the experience of truly being on a medieval battlefield. Inspired from the intensity and epicness of swordfighting movies such as 300, Gladiator and Braveheart, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare aims to bring that experience to the hands of a gamer."

FIFA 14 in September

EA announces that FIFA 14 will be released on September 24th in North America and on September 27th in Europe for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. They detail a preorder bonus, though this seems to apply to the console editions: "Fans who pre-order FIFA 14 will receive FIFA Ultimate Team gold packs to help build their ultimate team. Each gold pack is a mix of 12 items, including players, contracts, stadiums, managers, staff, fitness, healing, balls, kits, and badges. Gold packs consist mostly of players rated 75+ in-game, and include one rare item, such as enhanced player attributes, longer contracts, and the most coveted players."

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in August

The Final Fantasy XIV Twitter feed has word that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be released on August 27th for Windows and PlayStation 3. The new version of the MMORPG that hopes to overcome fan disappointment with its initial release is already available for preorder on Green Man Gaming, and Dealzon has a coupon code to get a 20% discount on that or the Digital Collector's Edition.

Second Chance Heroes Announced

Rocket City Studios announces Second Chance Heroes, a co-op action/RPG coming this summer to Windows and OS X this summer. This will offer the chance to take on apocalyptic disasters with a team of cloned historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Queen Elizabeth I. A beta gets underway next month, and those interested can sign up on this page. They are also running a Steam Greenlight campaign. Here's word:

HUNTSVILLE, AL (USA) / ST. JOHN’S, NL (CANADA) – MAY 23, 2013 – Independent developer Rocket City Studios, Inc. today announced their debut video game Second Chance Heroes, a cooperative action RPG slated to release this summer on both PC and Mac.

Second Chance Heroes focuses on fast-paced, action-oriented gameplay set in a colorful, humorous world populated by a wide array of monsters and opponents. Players collect up to twelve unique playable characters based on famous historical figures – from Joan of Arc to Abraham Lincoln - that can be used cooperatively in groups of one to four players.

“We at Rocket City Studios set out to create a fast playing, highly accessible game that will excite every kind of RPG gamer,” said Matthew Newhook, President of Rocket City Studios Canada. “Second Chance Heroes is that game.”

Steamships Ahoy - Skyward Collapse

Steam has the release of Skyward Collapse, offering a 10% discount for the next week on this new strategy game from Arcen Games. Word is this is a god game where you play as a less-than omnipotent deity:

How do you balance -- and indeed encourage -- a war between factions without letting either side obliterate the other? How do you rule over gods, creatures, and men who refuse to obey you? How do you build a landscape of villages when bandits and mythology are conspiring to tear it down? Skyward Collapse places you into the role of The Creator, and frees you to tackle these problems your own way. Brought to you by the developer of the modern strategy classic AI War: Fleet Command, Arcen's second full strategy title is equally unique (but far easier to learn): a turn-based 4x strategic god-game.

Your task is to build and populate the floating continent of Luminith. You create -- but cannot control -- gods, creatures, and artifacts from both Greek and Norse mythology. The power you wield with these is immense: Heimdall's horn causes everyone outdoors to drop dead, for crying out loud. Your task is to keep both factions alive and fighting until The Master calls you home -- but this is harder than it sounds. Bandit Keeps pop up periodically, as do Woes such as floods, serial killers, guild strikes, and vegetarian uprisings. Every game plays out differently, and you'll need even the craziest of your powers in order to survive what lies in store for you.

Empire: Total War MP Beta Keys

The Creative Assembly announces a second chance is underway to score a beta key for the unsupported multiplayer mode they are creating for Empire: Total War. Those who own the game and are interested can register on this page. Here's word:

Shortly after Empire: Total War was released, we added in an unsupported multiplayer campaign beta. Not everyone was able to get hold of a key for this and the application process was eventually discontinued. In response to fan requests we are, for a limited time, offering the opportunity to apply for a key once more.

Empire: Total War’s multiplayer campaign beta is an unsupported release, and as such should not be considered a final released product. As such, we are unable to assist with technical support enquires related to the multiplayer beta.

On Sale

  • Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Retro Game Music Bundle on Bundle Dragon. Starting at $1.00. Thanks nin.

Evening Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Into the Black

Need for Speed Rivals Announced

EA announces Need for Speed Rivals, a new installment in their motorsports series that will race onto Windows PCs and last-gen consoles on November 19th and onto next-gen consoles (not so fast, WiiU) at some point after that. The Need For Speed website has a teaser trailer, more details on the game, and where to preorder. Here's the announcement:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – May 23, 2013 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced Need for Speed™ Rivals, an action/racing game created by an inspired new development team, using a powerful engine and delivering next-generation gameplay. Need for Speed Rivals is being developed by EA’s newest studio Ghost Games, who bring new thinking and innovation to the Need for Speed franchise in partnership with the expert racing team at Criterion Games. Built on the Frostbite™ 3 game engine, Need for Speed Rivals captures the adrenaline and intensity of the street’s ultimate rivalry between cops and racers, in a stunning open road environment. Need for Speed Rivals is coming to Xbox 360® game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC on November 19, 2013 and will also be released on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PlayStation 4 later this year.

In Need for Speed Rivals, gamers play as either a cop or racer, where each side of the law has its own set of high stakes challenges, rewards and consequences. As a racer, the goal is to become infamous for taking risks behind the wheel and capturing your most intense escapes on video for the world to see. The more cops players evade, the more Speed Points they collect, enabling them to unlock new cars and items. Keep raising the stakes race after race to become an ever-more valuable target to the cops – but risk losing it all if busted. As a cop, players work together as part of a team in pursuit of racers, earning prominence and rising in the ranks of the Police Force with every bust. Achieving higher ranks unlocks new police only cars and more powerful pursuit tech.

Continue here to read the full story.

Dying Light Announced

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces Dying Light, a first-person, action survival/horror video game in development at and Techland for release next year for Windows and consoles (both last- and next-gen). We have some screenshots and artwork, and here's the announcement:

BURBANK, Calif. - May 23, 2013 - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announces Dying Light, a first-person, action survival horror video game with a portentous day-night cycle set in a vast open world. Currently under development by Techland, the game will be available in 2014 for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation(R)4, plus Xbox 360, PlayStation(R)3 system, and PC.

During the day, players will traverse an expansive urban environment overrun by a vicious outbreak, scavenging the world for supplies and crafting weapons to defend against the growing infected population. At night, the hunter becomes the hunted, as the infected become aggressive and more dangerous. Most frightening are the predators which only appear after sundown. Players must use everything in their power to survive until the morning's first light.

"We are excited to partner with Techland on Dying Light, which is an original gaming experience for next-generation consoles," said Kevin Kebodeaux, Senior Vice President, Sales and Operations, Americas, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "The partnership with Techland allows us to combine their successful development capabilities with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's one-of-a-kind publishing expertise to deliver on this title."

"The next-gen technology allows us to create a truly dynamic open world that features a game-changing day-night cycle," said Paweł Marchewka, CEO of Techland. "Inventive free running mechanics also allow for nearly unrestricted exploration and weapon-crafting to further enhance the action survival experience."

For the latest news and updates on Dying Light, please visit http://www.Facebook.com/DyingLightGame.

SimCity Patched

The SimCity Blog has details on a new patch Maxis has released for SimCity to update the urban-planning game to version 4.0. This re-enables some of the features shut down when the game was put on life-support after launch woes along with new features and new content. Here are the patch notes:

  • New: SimCity Launch Park, an exclusive new park just for our dedicated fans who were early adopters.
  • New: Region: Edgewater Bay. Seven city sites in one cluster around a beautiful bay with one great work site.
  • New: Your current server will now be shown in the options menu.
  • New: More detailed rollover information on buildings telling player’s if their Sims received happiness from a park or from shopping. Previous to this fix, this information was generic.
  • Re-Enabled Feature: Global Market prices now dynamically change during gameplay.
  • Re-Enabled Feature: Leaderboards will be active on EU West 3, Pacific 1 and Pacific 2 at the release. We will enable them on additional servers throughout the day.
  • Re-Enabled Feature: Region filters are now enabled on all SimCity servers. Players will be able to search for open games by Map Name, Sandbox Mode, and Abandoned Cities.
  • Rain Clouds: Fixed an issue where some cities would not have rain clouds to replenish their water table. If you had a city with this issue, you will start seeing clouds again within a game day.
  • Fire: Improved response time of fire trucks to fires. Improved the time it takes for a fire signal to reach a fire station.
  • Mission updates: Tuned Metals HQ and Community College missions. These were appearing too early, making them difficult to complete. They now appear later in a city’s development.
  • Solar Farm Great Work: Reduced fire risk at the Solar Farm Great work. Local fire engines were spending too much time at the Solar Farm.
  • Messaging: Improved pre-requisite messaging for Trade Port, Casinos, Smelting Factory and Oil Refinery. It should be clearer on how to unlock these buildings.
  • Graphics: Fix for flickering low wealth buildings on NVIDIA graphics cards.
  • Education: Fix for an issue some cities experienced where commuting students did not return from a neighbor’s city. This was causing a problem where students would disappear from a city in some cases.
  • Tuning: Sims will lose a small amount of happiness if they don’t have a place to shop. Cities without places to shop will see complaints and feel the effect of unhappy Sims. This will emphasize the importance of commercial zones.

Payday 2 in August; New Trailer

Here's a new trailer teasing an upcoming web-series that will promote Payday 2, the upcoming sequel to PAYDAY: The Heist, the crime-themed first-person shooter. We haven't heard much about this game since it was announced in March, but the live action clip is the precursor to a series that will launch in just two weeks, and it concludes saying that preorders for the game are now underway and that it will be released in August of this year. Continue here to read the full story.

Square Enix America President Departs

Polygon reports that Mike Fischer has parted ways with Square Enix America, where he had served as president and CEO for almost three years, saying he has taken a new post as vice president of digital Music and Video for Amazon in Japan. Square Enix recently reported "extraordinary" losses, but Fisher did not share details of his departure, "noting only that he left on good terms."

New NVIDIA Drivers

The GeForce Website now offers new version 320.18 WHQL-certified drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards, offering performance improvements as well as support for newly-released GeForce GTX 780 video cards, which are covered in a story below (thanks Eric) Here's word:

The new GeForce 320.18 WHQL driver is now available to download. An essential update for gamers jumping into the latest releases, today’s Microsoft-certified driver increases performance by up to 20% in Tomb Raider, 20% in DiRT Showdown, 10% Metro: Last Light, 8% in Assassin’s Creed III, 6% in Far Cry 3, and 5% in BioShock Infinite. Furthermore, compatibility and stability improvements offered at or before the day of release of Dead Island: Riptide, Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, Metro: Last Light, and Star Trek: The Videogame, are included in today’s WHQL, too, to ensure that gamers who did not download our recent betas have the best experience possible.

In addition to all of the above, 320.18 WHQL also includes SLI profiles for Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Dead Island: Riptide, Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, GRID 2, and Remember Me, as well as updated profiles for Natural Selection 2, Resident Evil 6, and TrackMania² Canyon.

And finally, GeForce 320.18 WHQL is the recommended day-of-launch driver for gamers upgrading to the newly-released GeForce GTX 780 video card, which you can learn about in detail in our GeForce GTX 780 launch article.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Launches

NVIDIA announces the launch of the GeForce GTX 780 GPU, promising "pure performance." To help overwhelm you with reviews, a carefully coordinated embargo has expired, so here are reviews of the new hardware:

Saints Row IV Trailer

This trailer from Saints Row IV appears to be a 30 second TV spot for Volition's upcoming open world action sequel. Here we see the president pulling off this game's version of a drone strike, where (like in Yakov Smirnoff's Soviet Russia) you hit plane! Thanks nin. Continue here to read the full story.

Atari Fire Sale

Develop reports by way of WSJ.com that Atari U.S. is planning to auction off some assets in July in an attempt to raise an oddly specific sum of $22.2 million as part of the publisher's struggles under the bankruptcy reorganization they filed for in January. This follows apparently unsuccessful efforts to sell the company in its entirety, and is said to hold the best prospects for getting some return for Atari's investors. Word is this plan still requires the approval of the bankruptcy court, and if approved they will be putting up assets with set minimum bids, including the RollerCoaster Tycoon IP for $3.5 million, the Test Drive IP for $1.5 million, the Total Annihilation franchise for $250,000, and more. The Atari brand itself will also be offered, starting at $15 million, not that this iconic name has prevented previous entities using it from also going under.

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon Console Editor

Ubisoft UK tweets about the release of the Far Cry 3 Map Editor Pack – MARK IV Style for Xbox 360, offering the chance to create custom content for Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, the retro-styled installment in first-person shooter series. They say: "We've just released the Mark IV Style Map Editor Pack for #FarCry3 for FREE! Make your own Blood Dragon themed maps." Joystiq notes that this is also available for the PlayStation 3, but there's no indication yet that there is a version of this for Windows PCs yet, and it's not clear if one is in the works. Thanks nin.

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Shadowfell Conspiracy Preorders

The Dungeons and Dragons Online website is now accepting preorders for the Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion that's coming to Turbine's D&D MMORPG on August 19th. They have two pre-purchase deals, one for the Standard Edition and the other for the Collector's Edition. They also promise guaranteed beta access to those who act on either of these offers before June 5th. "We’re excited to share our launch date with the world and introduce the new Iconic Classes system that will be available immediately to anyone that pre-purchases Shadowfell Conspiracy," said Erik Boyer, Senior Producer of DDO. "We’re also making new Forgotten Realms content that will enable players to create a level 15 character in the Forgotten Realms and play all the way to level cap."

Wargaming's Open Source Support

Developer/publisher Wargaming announces their plans to provide financial support to three open-source development foundations: the Linux Software Foundation, the Django Software Foundation, and the Wikimedia Foundation. Here's the deal:

23rd May, 2013 - Wargaming, the leading free-to-play developer and publisher, today announced that the company will be financially supporting three key open-source development foundations, including the Linux Software Foundation, the Django Software Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation.

While primarily known as a video game publisher and developer, Wargaming utilizes a wide array of open-source technologies to power their successful gaming titles. Corporately, Wargaming strives to support those technologies that the company regularly leverages, not only to support existing development, but also to help grow and evolve those technologies for future use.

"Wargaming relies heavily on a number of different open-source technologies to help us create our legendary MMO universe, whether it's using Linux to power our servers, Django to build our web project frameworks or Wikimedia to help us in our research efforts," said Maksim Melnikau, Solution Architect at Wargaming. "As a company, we'd like to say thank you to all the developers, testers and users who've helped create these awesome tools and that we're extremely honored to hopefully help them continue their great work moving into the future."

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Antec Mobile Products A.M.P. dBs Headphone on eTeknix.
  • ECS A970M-A Deluxe Motherboard on Pure Overclock.
  • Netgear XWNB5201 500Mbps Powerline WiFi Access Point on eTeknix.
  • PQI Air Drive External Wireless Storage Device Product and Video on Technology X.
  • SanDisk Ultra Plus 256GB SSD on eTeknix.
  • Shuttle OMNINAS KD20 on techPowerUp.
  • Sparkle Calibre X660 on Technic3D. In German.
  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition Graphics Card on Hardware Heaven.

etc.

Out of the Blue

I got my new glasses yesterday, and am very happy with the outcome. They have an anti-glare coating that my old pair did not have, and thus offer an even clearer view than my previous glasses before they got all scratched. They also are supposedly more scratch resistant, so it may be that when I'm ready for a new pair I'll need to sandpaper them or something to get the same dramatic improvement.

Clear Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Forest Guardians.
Gravity Duck 3.
Links: Anatomical pinball table.
Stories: 7 Lessons We Learned from the 2012-2013 TV Season.
Pocket-dialing 911 leads to Fla. murder charge.
Media: Water Bowl Prank Backfires.
GoPro fall at Garden of the Gods (NSFW).
Europa Report - Movie Trailer. Or sans QuackTime. Thanks Fantaz.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
Life Cartoon - Savage Chickens.



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