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Friday, Aug 23, 2013

  

Total War: ROME II Free and Paid DLC Plans

The Creative Assembly announces plans for both free and paid DLC to follow the imminent release of Total War: ROME II, their upcoming strategy sequel. "ROME II will be the biggest game we’ve ever released, in terms of scope, gameplay features and sheer weight of content," explains James Russell, Lead Designer. "But even then we’re just scratching the surface of the Roman period, an era so rich in diversity that it’s easy to foresee releasing relevant content for years after ROME II has shipped." Here's the outline:

Alongside paid-for DLC, Creative Assembly also plans to support players with regular free content and feature updates. “As with SHOGUN 2, we will continually improve the game’s compatibility, optimization and integral features such as AI and gameplay balancing post-release, and plan to add to that with new control schemes and additional free formats on other operating systems,” continued Russell. “We are also very proud of how SHOGUN 2 is our most moddable Total War to date with over 500 user-made mods on Steam Workshop alone. We hope to support ROME II in a similar fashion.”

“In addition to free content, gamers can expect to see Culture Packs that add more playable factions and unique units, Feature Packs that add gameplay or wide-ranging aesthetic changes, and Campaign Packs that add entirely new story-based campaign expansions.”

While the Greek States Culture Pack DLC and free Pontus playable faction update will arrive day one; by October players will be able to add the Seleucid Empire to their playable faction roster for free, and the Nomadic Tribes Culture Pack featuring the Royal Scythians, Roxolani and Massagetae as paid-for DLC.

Total War: ROME II will be released on September 3rd and includes the Greek States Culture Pack for free when pre-ordering from participating retailers.

Victor Vran Revealed

Haemimont Games is working on an action/RPG called Victor Vran, reports Joystiq, who learned of this at a Gamescom meeting with the Tropico developer. They offer some first-hand impressions, saying the game is reminiscent of Diablo, noting that this includes jumping, something that brings out the Woody Harrelson in Blizzard's series. They offer a few more first impressions: "Victor Vran will support both single and multiplayer, where players will always take on the roll of Victor Vran, with their companions reskinned. Vran's arsenal includes scythes, normal guns, lightning guns and much more." Thanks Shacknews.

id Hiring a Design Director

Gamasutra notes their job board now includes a listing for a Design Director position at id Software. Tim Willits has served for several years as the company's Creative Director, but to our knowledge, Design Director is a role that nobody has filled before. Here's how the job is described:

Managing a team of designers through every phase of development – from concept and prototyping, through full production Working with producer to determine tasks and schedules while meeting milestones Collaborate with other team leads to design and build game systems and logic Head design meetings and group game review sessions Continually review the game and provide feedback to designers and artists Collaborate on game design documentation, writing proposals, and final docs for all aspects of the game’s design

Dead Island Epidemic Beta Signups

The Dead Island Epidemic website is now accepting signups from those interested in beta testing Techland's upcoming zombie MOBA. This application is where to register your interest, and applicants must be at least 13 years of age and willing to abide by a non-disclosure agreement. Thanks Shacknews.

Blizzard No Longer Listing Titan Jobs

The Blizzard Entertainment Jobs Directory no longer lists positions for their next-generation MMOG, aka Titan, reports GameSpot. In late May, Blizzard confirmed that the game was being rethought and delayed, and that the development team had been significantly scaled back. GameSpot has not yet received an official response to their inquires about this.

Blizzard on WoW F2P Prospects

There's a brief World of Warcraft Q&A on Polygon where lead designer Tom Chilton spoke with them at Gamescom about how embracing more casual players was a key element in the phenomenal success of World of Warcraft. They discuss if this will ever extend to making the game free-to-play, and he says they are not closed to the idea, though he expresses quite a bit of uncertainty about the prospect:

"For Blizzard it makes sense [to go free-to-play] at some point. But a lot of the risk is in making that transition. You her stories about developers going free-to-play and getting double the number of players, but you don't always know it works out that way and how long it stays that way. We really don't know what the rate is before people drop off and lose interest."

Evening Interviews

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  • Fallout Collection on Steam. Save 75%.
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Into the Black

Link of the Day: The 50+ Greatest Tweets about Ben Affleck's casting as Batman. Thanks Neutronbeam. LOL: "I've just seen Christian Bale going to Affleck's apartment with some Huey Lewis records and an axe."

Steve Ballmer to Retire

The Microsoft website announces that Steve Ballmer will retire from his post as Microsoft CEO within the next 12 months, and will take the Long Walk into the Cursed Earth to bring law to the lawless (thanks Verno). Here's word:

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 23, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.

Guild Wars 2 Free Trial & Heroic Edition Launch

ArenaNet announces the promised free trial for Guild Wars 2 kicks off today, coinciding with the release of a new Heroic Edition of the game:

BRIGHTON, UK – 23 AUGUST, 2013: NCSOFT® and ArenaNet™, developer of the smash hit Guild Wars 2, commemorates a record-breaking first year with a free trial of their critically acclaimed game on 23-25 August, 2013. The Seattle-area studio has also released the Guild Wars 2 Heroic Edition, which includes the base game with the Heroic Pack, which is loaded with useful digital items for new players.

The free trial, which is open to all players in Europe and North America, starts 09:01 CEST (08:01 BST) on 23 August, 2013 and ends at 07:59 BST on 26 August, 2013. Players can register for their free trial accounts at https://register.guildwars2.com/trial.

The Guild Wars 2 Heroic Edition includes the award-winning MMORPG, which IGN.com called “one of the best MMOs ever made,” as well as the Heroic Pack, which includes a number of digital items ideal for new players:

  • One Legacy Armour – Players can adventure in style with this classic armour
  • 18-slot Mithril Box – This huge storage box will increase loot carrying capacity
  • 10 Experience Boosters – With these boosters, players can level up faster

The Guild Wars 2 Heroic Edition is available for £34.99 / €39.99.

The Elder Scrolls Online Also Features Microtransactions

German site ESOHUB.de has word from Bethesda's Matt Firor that The Elder Scrolls Online will feature an in-game store, in spite of the recent announcement the game will feature subscriptions. In a mantra learned from F2P developers, he explains how this is a chance to buy things irrelevant to the actual game. The site is German, but the interview is offered as a video, so Matt explains this in English: "There won't be anything like 'bonus points,' but we'll have a shop to buy kind of fun stuff, and services too, like name changes and things like that. But it's not part of the core game. Like, anything in the core game is included in the subscription price." Thanks AusGamers via Reddit.

Hotline Miami 2 Getting New Difficulty Level

Dennaton Games will be adding an higher difficulty mode for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Dennis Wedin explains to Polygon. This will be unlockable by achieving a C+ rating on a level in hard mode. This is still in the works, but he promises them it will be very hard. "In normal mode, it's pretty much the same [as Hotline Miami]," Wedin told them. "We will add a hard mode to the game, like in the way Super Meat Boy works. We added this because some people said that the first game was too easy. So we wanted to give them something more. Also, all the players trying to beat the world record or top the leaderboards — we wanted to give them more stuff to be good at."

Broken Sword -- the Serpent's Curse Trailer

A new trailer offers a "pre-alpha teaser" for Broken Sword -- the Serpent's Curse, using alpha footage of Revolution Software's upcoming Broken Sword sequel. The clip shows off the game's art style, some puzzles, and more. Thanks Eurogamer. Continue here to read the full story.

Champions of Demah Early Access

GamersGate now offers early access sales of Champions of Demah, where players can get the real-time strategy/action game hybrid for 57% during alpha testing, getting the chance to play the game first, and to also influence the direction of its development, and following that theme, they are also running a Steam Greenlight campaign. The game is expected for full release later this year, and here's the deal:

Gävle, Sweden - NRD Studios Ab has today released an early access version of Champions of Demah. The game is available through GamersGate and is priced at $12.99/?9.99/£8.99.

The early access version of Champions of Demah allows players to get hold of the game before its general release at a discounted price. Additionally everyone who purchases will have a part to play in the development of the final build by helping to beta test and shape the overall direction.

Champions of Demah is a hybrid real-time strategy (RTS) and third-person action multiplayer game. Players can play the game in either mode. In the RTS mode, players can command troops, construct buildings and manage resources. In the third-person mode, players take direct control of their customisable character to fight against enemies on the battlefield.

Featuring hundreds of abilities and skills, multiple game modes, interactive maps, 32 player multiplayer, nine playable classes, and deep customization options Champions of Demah promises to be an exciting release in late 2013.

Altitude0 Takes Off

Gugila announces the launch of Altitude0: Lower and Faster, their aerial racing game that is free-to-play, but has some features only open to supporters. The "Lower and Faster" part refers to how the game rewards players for flying as low as possible. Here's a gameplay trailer, and here's word:

This game is about speed, skills and competition. It's really up to you and not about a predefined in-game character, whether you improve your flying skills and become a flying ace. You will feel like an air race pilot, thinking about how to shave off fractions of a second at each corner and curve, and how to fly at best angles. Dance in the air!

Altitude0: Lower & Faster has a single player mode where you compete against replays of others and also an online multiplayer mode. A special "Freeway" multiplayer mode makes it possible to join the race at any time and a big number of players (30 and more) can participate in the same race. If there aren't enough real players present in the race, replays of random pilots will be spawned to spice it up. Freeway race will always be alive and kicking no matter how many players are around at the same time.

Continue here to read the full story.

Game Dev Tycoon Steam Preorders

Indie game developer Greenheart Games announces Game Dev Tycoon is coming to Steam for Windows and OS X on August 29th. The game originally launched on the Windows 8 marketplace, and them jumping off that gravy train may be a meta-lesson for would-be game developers. The Steam Store is now accepting pre-purchases of the game, offering a 20% discount through the first week of availability. The game can also be purchased directly from Greenheart Games, where they also offer playable demos for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Here's a new trailer and here's word:

The game, which was initially launched on the Windows 8 Store in December 2012, was successfully re-released on Greenheart Games’ website in early 2013, and received praise from both critics and fans alike. The developers were most recently discussed worldwide when they purposely uploaded a cracked build of their game that had players' studios failing due to piracy (causing hilarious and sad results). Game Dev Tycoon, which was updated for this release to respond to player feedback, will soon be available on Steam with a launch price of $7.99 (USD), 20% off the normal Steam price of $9.99.


In Game Dev Tycoon, players get to start their own game development company and play through the history of game development. Players will start their humble business in a garage in the 1980s. As they research new technologies, create best selling games, hire and train staff they will grow their business and their impact on the industry. Players get the ability to make their own virtual games, choose the genre and what platform to release on. As they grow they will get opportunities to move into bigger offices and unlock secret labs, become the leader of the market and gain worldwide fans.

Continue here to read the full story.

AVGN Adventures Preorders

Cinemassacre Productions announces that those who preorder Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures have a chance of being included as a character in the upcoming platformer, though of course, the real draw here is to live the high life as the Angry Video Game Nerd Himself. The details on their Facebook page actually indicate no purchase is necessary to be eligible. The game can be pre-purchased on Steam for a 10% discount. Thanks Ant.

F1 2013 Trailer

A new trailer from F1 2013 shows work-in-progress gameplay footage from the upcoming Formula One racing game showing a hotlap on Spa Francorchamps along with expert commentary on how this track should be attacked. This celebrates this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix by showing off the course on which it's run. We also have a batch of new Gamescom screenshots from the game. Continue here to read the full story.

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Out of the Blue

Ben Affleck Is Batman (thanks nin). Really? I'm not feeling this. I like Ben and all, but he was a pretty crappy Daredevil, and I love Marvel and all, but DD is the B-list Batman. I think we've seen that these superhero movies tend to do better with unknowns, too. All-in-all, a weird choice.

Weird Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Mass Mayhem 2099 AD.
VoDoCI.
Links: 30 Great Movie In-Jokes You Probably Didn’t Notice. You probably actually did.
Stories: A "Rambo" TV Series Coming With Stallone.
Dentist Wants to Clone John Lennon Using DNA Extracted from a Tooth. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Computer can read letters directly from the brain.
Investigation reveals birds on roads adapt to speed limits. Not for George.
How sleep helps brain learn motor task.
Images: Borderlands 2 Pixel Art. Thanks reddit.
Blimey! An Epic History of Britain As Shown Through Lego. Thanks brother19.
Media: Flula Does Terrible Yet Brilliant Recap Of Game of Thrones.
Russian Navy Hovercraft Lands on Busy Beach.
Follow-up: Toxic nanoparticles might be entering human food supply, study finds.



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