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Monday, Sep 09, 2013

  

Derek Paxton Overseeing All Stardock Development

Stardock announces a changing of the guard, as Derek Paxton has been promoted to vice president and will be overseeing all future games development and production at the studio. This is a role previously held by Stardock founder Brad Wardell, who clarifies for us: "I'm not retiring or anything. We're just in the process of expanding in a big way." Here's part of the announcement, which says we should expect new game revelations next month:

A modder-turned-studio-leader, Paxton was most recognized for his work on the Fall from Heaven mod for the popular Civilizations IV strategy game prior to joining Stardock as lead designer in 2010. Derek joined Stardock after a decade-long career working with Fortune 500 company Novell in the technology sector. Since joining Stardock in 2010, Paxton successfully brought to market the last two titles in the Elemental franchise – both of which earned positive critical receptions from top international games media and fans.

"Derek has really transformed the game studio," said Brad Wardell, President & CEO of Stardock. "His experience at managing multiple projects combined with his amazing design skills has resulted in not just better games but a better working environment for our teams."

As part of the company’s 20th anniversary this October, Paxton and Stardock Entertainment will announce a series of new projects from the studio which will include new titles and more.

"I'm looking forward to the incredible opportunity to lead a studio with a legacy of creating award-winning strategy games," said Paxton. "Games are a passion for everyone who works at Stardock Entertainment and it's an honor to be able to work with such talented developers, artists and designers. I look forward to continuing the tradition of creating incredible games with the amazing team at Stardock."

Battlefield 4 Beta Access and System Requirements

A tweet from the Battlefield word that beta access for Battlefield 4 is to be had with preorders of the Digital Deluxe edition of DICE's upcoming military shooter sequel. They also offer a graphic with system requirements for the game:

U55 - END OF THE LINE Kickstarter

A Kickstarter from developer Effective Evolutions is looking to raise at least $115,000 to fund development of U55 - END OF THE LINE, an "innovative horror game" set in present-day Berlin steeped in the lore of H.P. Lovecraft. Here's a trailer and here's word:

The sole focus of U55-END OF THE LINE is survival. Desperately seeking for help, the player traverses through Berlin's widely ramified subway system. Armed only with your smartphone display as your only source of light, you have to push your way through the dark tunnels, looking for an exit. While confronting an malevolent force below ground, little does the player know that they‘ve become a cog in a mechanism that will inevitably change the fate of mankind once and for all.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Interviews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

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Into the Black

Space Engineers Announced

Indie Czech developer Keen Software House announces Space Engineers is their second game, following up 6DOF shooter Miner Wars 2081 with a sandbox game that allows players to construct space stations, pilot spaceships, and mine asteroids. This trailer offers alpha gameplay footage, this developer blog has some background details, and here's a bit from the announcement:

Space Engineers is a sandbox game about engineering, construction and maintenance of space works. Players build space ships and space stations of various sizes and utilization (civil and military), pilot ships and perform asteroid mining.

Space Engineers utilizes a realistic volumetric-based physics engine: all objects can be assembled, disassembled, damaged and destroyed.

Space Engineers is inspired by reality and by how things work. Think about modern-day NASA technology extrapolated 60 years into the future. Space Engineers strives to follow the laws of physics and doesn't use technologies that wouldn't be feasible in the near future.

Continue here to read the full story.

HARDWARE: Shipbreakers was F2P; Homeworld: Shipbreakers Isn't

Last week it was revealed that Gearbox Software has picked up the rights to HARDWARE: Shipbreakers for release as Homeworld: Shipbreakers, a new installment in the space-based RTS series. Kotaku notes a tweet by Randy Pitchford we missed at the time (thanks nin) where the Gearbox honcho reveals that this means this is no longer planned as a free-to-play game:

NeonXSZ Early Access

Corridor shooter NeonXSZ is now available on Desura, offering Descent-inspired 6DOF gameplay for Windows, OS X, and Linux. This early release of the alpha version of the game carries a 50% discount, providing players the chance to influence development going forward, and giving reason to support their Steam Greenlight campaign. This recent trailer offers a nice look at the game's high-resolution graphics, and this changelog has all the details on the new version. Thanks Ant via LinuxGames. Continue here to read the full story.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Boxed Edition Possible

GameInformer has video interview with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot talking about Ubi's publishing strategy as next-gen consoles approach. As noted on Joystiq, he gives an outlook on sales of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, saying the "mini-AAA" title has sold more than one million copies since launch. This was all via digital distribution, but Guillemot allows for the possibility of a retail edition of the game, saying "maybe we'll go retail at one point so we'll be able to achieve a bit more." Given the 1980s throwback style of the game, we can only hope this is in a huge box, and will include a 100-page manual, and maybe a cloth map, though 5¼" floppies are probably out of the question. Thanks nin.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track offers their latest tabulations of U.K. game sales. Total War: ROME II (or as they call it, Rome: Total War II) debuts at number one on the full-price PC chart and the bargain bin shuffles itself a bit on their budget PC chart. On the big all platforms/all prices top 40 the new Total War game is number two as Saints Row IV retains the top spot, with the console release of Diablo III coming in at number three. Here's their write-up:

The sequel to 2004’s ‘Rome: Total War’ tops its predecessor by over 4,000 sales for week 1 and is the first of two event titles (Tuesday release) in our All Formats Top 10. Originally released by Activision, Sega have taken over publishing duties for the much anticipated sequel.

The second Tuesday release shows as a re-entry at No3 with Activision Blizzard’s ‘Diablo III’ making its first outing on Xbox 360 and PS3 following the PC release in May last year. Ubisoft’s ‘Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist’ (-51%) drops two places to No4 while ‘Disney Infinity’ (-22%) slips a place to No5. ‘Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition’ (-23%) slips to its lowest position since launch at No6 but stays ahead of ‘Payday 2’ (+51%) which continues an impressive week-on-week climb to No7. New at No8 is Sony’s ‘Killzone: Mercenary’ which becomes the 5th best launch week for a PS Vita title. It’s also the second outing on a hand-held for the Killzone series following the launch of ‘Killzone: Liberation’ on PSP in W44 2006. Ubisoft’s ‘Rayman Legends’ (-16%) slips from No6 to No9 although it does receive a slight boost in the form of the PS Vita version which arrived this week. The final new entry in this week’s Top 10 is a first for home consoles as ‘Farming Simulator 2013’ arrives for both Xbox 360 and PS3.

Outside the Top 10, last week’s new releases ‘Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’ (-80%) and ‘Madden NFL 25’ (-51%) dip to No11 and No19 respectively. There’s also a debut in the Top 40 for ‘Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate’ at No35 from Tecmo Koei.

The Evil Within Trailer

A new trailer from The Evil Within is available from Sony in conjunction with the upcoming Tokyo Game Show. The clip is mostly cinematics, though it also offers a couple of glimpses of in-game skulking about. There is visible hitching in the clip, and the fade at the end suggests this may have been cammed off a monitor, though if this is the case, it is remarkably well-framed and steady. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

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Morning Metaverse

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Morning Safety Dance

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Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

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Out of the Blue

Okay, my PC is bugging me with a crashing problem that's so intermittent it's almost not a problem. I get a full on BSoD about once every week or ten days or so. There's no warning for this, and there's no pattern that leads up to it that I've been able to notice. This has happened since I upgraded the machine to Win7, so it's a fresh software install, and I've since replaced the video card and cleaned out the case, so it's not the card and it's not heat. The one hardware element I may be able to identify is that the Win7 upgrade also included new RAM, so it's possibly related to that, but I would think at some point this would be identified by a log or something. One other thought is perhaps I have a memory leak, which would explain the rate at which these occur (since I hardly ever reboot/shut down). I think I'll investigate this further today, but if I can't make any progress this may be my excuse for a Haswell upgrade. It's not an emergency, only happening so often, but this is bothering me a lot that I can't track it down.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Zombie World.
Stories: Tuition Aid From a Zombie Elf Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: Dutch vegetarian butcher takes on the 'Frankenburger'.
Unraveling the origins of life with mathematical chemistry.



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