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Friday, Sep 13, 2013

  

Battlefield 4 Open Beta October 1st (or 4th)

An update on EA News by Peter Moore offers a specific October 1st start date for the Battlefield 4 open beta, saying: "The highly-anticipated Battlefield 4 action starts with the Battlefield 4 Open Beta on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on October 1, then the game lights up on October 29." The beta was already confirmed to begin at some point next month, and at that time it was announced preorder customers would get a three day head start, so it's not clear at this point if this means the general public will get access on the first or three days after that. That August announcement also said "the beta will feature the Siege of Shanghai map in the classic Battlefield Conquest mode." On a related note, there's a new Road to Battlefield 4 feature on the Battlefield Blog offering "The Ultimate Guide to the BF4 Vehicles."

Duke Nukem Royalties Lawsuit Ends

The lawsuit filed in June by 3D Realms against Gearbox Software over unpaid Duke Nukem Forever royalties has been dropped, reports Kotaku. There seems to be a small dispute over how this happened, as they have an email from 3D Realms to Gearbox saying they have "voluntarily withdrawn" their claims against Gearbox, but Kotaku states Gearbox president Randy Pitchford, who forwarded them the letter, says the suit was "dismissed with prejudice," which would mean the court decided the matter. Here's the letter from 3D Realms co-founder Scott Miller:

After reviewing evidence regarding our business affairs, and without any money exchanging hands, we have satisfactorily resolved any and all differences that we perceived against Gearbox.

In all sincerity, we regret the misunderstanding that instigated our lawsuit. Now that we better understand—and appreciate—the actual nature of our business matters, we have voluntarily withdrawn our claims against Gearbox, with genuine apologies to Randy for any damage that our lawsuit may have caused to the relationship.

PAYDAY 2 Sells 1.58 Million Units

PC Gamer has word from Starbreeze that PAYDAY 2 has sold over 1.5 million copies since the release of the heist sequel in August. Before the game was even released it was announced it had made back its development costs. An interesting note is that 80% purchases of the game were digital.

On Sale

  • Square Enix Catalog on GOG.com. Save 60%.
  • Tomb Raider on Steam. Save 75%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Best Fails of the Week 4 July 2013. NSFW.

Stargunner Free Release

GOG.com celebrates the fifth anniversary of their launch with the release of Stargunner for free:

In a distant galaxy of Andromeda an epic struggle between two planets is drawing to a close. The greedy, powerful Zilions are gathering an almighty fleet to destroy, once and for all, a neighboring civilization of Ytimians. When their army takes flight, there is nothing that can stop them from annihilating Ytima. Unless you--one of the elite squad of Stargunners--can cripple their immense forces while they are still stationed at strongholds scattered on the surface of Zile. The challenge, even for a special forces pilot like you, is daunting. So get your laser cannons charged and lead your swift spacecraft to victory!

Stargunner is an exceptionally well-crafted Sci-Fi shooter with fast-paced action and explosive boss fights. You will have to battle over 75 unique, fully-rendered and animated enemy ships in diverse environments: in space, on the planet's Zile mountainous surface, even underwater, with plenty of weapons, shields, and power-ups available to boost your craft. With fitting soundtrack and--for the time of its original release--ground-breaking pre-rendered 3D graphics, which made the game one of the most beautiful and detailed shooters of the 90s, Stargunner is a sure-fire pick for classic shoot 'em up fans!

Shadowrun Returns Berlin Diary

A new developer diary on the Harebrained Schemes website written by Mike McCain, art director on Shadowrun Returns, the tactical RPG reboot. First the game took Seattle, then it will take Berlin, and Mike fills us in on the state of the Berlin campaign offering concept art and all sorts of details on gameplay this will add when it is released. Here's word on the sandbox element this will bring:

We’re focusing on one such neighborhood for the player. Not only do you have a home base in this area, but you can explore and meet people in the surrounding neighborhood – meet a contact at the cafe down the street, or head to that back-alley street doc for some new meds or cyber. While developing this Haven area, I’ve been working with the Shadowrun pen-and-paper team in Germany to make sure we construct a slice of Berlin that’s accurate to the spirit of the campaign setting.

The main campaign of the game will allow you to complete certain missions in the order you choose, and will present you with some different ways to tackle those missions as well as some optional side objectives. To be clear though, Berlin is not a sandbox environment or an open-world experience. What we are working to create is a more flexible story structure and an engaging “hub area” that will give the player some choices and a sense of place and purpose.

Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition Next Month

The Bethesda Blog announces plans for a Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition, which bundles Arkane's stealth/action game and four of its add-ons. This will be released in North America on October 8th. They also announce that Arkane is "ramping up for what’s next" by revealing nothing at all about what the developer is up to now (recent rumors say they've taken over development of Prey 2), but does list a few job openings for those interested in working at the Austin, TX-based studio.

Batman: Arkham Origins PhysX Trailer

This trailer shows off PhysX support in Batman: Arkham Origins, the upcoming stealth/action prequel. The clip shows various scenes from the game both with and without PhysX effect enabled. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Friday the 13th! I have a new idea to celebrate the occasion. When someone mentions the date I'm going to say, "hope you get lucky!" Perfect way to celebrate, imo.

Speaking of lucky, I am fast coming to the uncomfortable conclusion that the issues I've been working through on my system were the result of the bad luck of multiple failures piling up: Bad RAM and some bad settings that could be reverted were the cause of my BSODs and graphics glitches, respectively, and some other mysterious issue is behind my 500 and 501 events. I am also getting 100 and 200 events on boot and shutdown, and all these events seem(?) hardware related, and the only hardware in the system that hasn't been swapped is the mobo/CPU combo. Most maddening of all, however, is that investigating my problems with Borderlands 2 shows that something is unexpectedly causing crazy CPU spikes. This is one of those nightmares we've all experienced at some point: There are loads of forum posts from those with the exact same problem: processor usage soaring seemingly unrelated to anything happening in the game, causing stuttering and lockups. The nightmare is that there are almost as many "this might work" sort of "solutions" offered as there are people with the problem.

R.I.P.: Ray Dolby dead at 80. Thanks TV.com.

Lucky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Zombo Buster.
Attack of The Mutant Pet Shop.
Story: 2013 Ig Nobel Prize winners: from opera-loving mice to stargazing dung beetles.
Science: Toward a truly white organic LED: Physicists develop polymer with tunable colors.
Amoebas farm bacteria and carry guards to protect their crops in the wild.
'Cleaning' boosts solar cell efficiency.
Images: To all my friends who keeps trying to get me to go out...
Media: Getting my dog out of bed in the morning.
Follow-up: In a Breathtaking First, NASA Craft Exits the Solar System. Thanks j.c.f.



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