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Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrr!

  

SimCity Cities of Tomorrow Announced

Maxis announces SimCity Cities of Tomorrow, an expansion coming to their SimCity reboot on November 12th, propelling the game into the future. We have three screenshots and here's part of the announcement:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bring the cities of today into the world of tomorrow. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that the SimCity™ Cities of Tomorrow* expansion pack is currently in development for Mac and PC and will be arriving November 12. Built upon the foundation of the ultimate city building simulation that has more than 2 million players worldwide, SimCity Cities of Tomorrow gives players the ability to transform their cities as they take them on a journey 50 years into the future. Using new technologies and experimental urban planning techniques, mayors will shape the destinies of their cities, thriving in a utopia of clean technologies, or a dystopia of hyper-commercialism.

“Will the world of tomorrow be a utopia powered by clean energy or an industrial society consumed by mass commercialism?” said Patrick Buechner, General Manager, Maxis Emeryville. “With SimCity Cities of Tomorrow, players can build the future as they imagine it. Transport your Sims on MagLev, power your cities with fusion reactors or tidal wave generators, manufacture a legion of drones to serve your Sims and build massive MegaTowers that dwarf modern skyscrapers. We’re giving you plausible technologies to take your cities onto a journey 50 years into the future. What will you create?”

Knock-Knock Announced

Ice-Pick Lodge announces Knock-Knock, a survival/horror game that will be the next offering from the Pathologic developer. This is in development for Windows PCs, but does not yet carry a release date. Here's a stylized trailer and here's word:

A wooden house stands in the forest. A single man lives there.

The house recieves visits from unusual guests that knock on the window inviting this strange hermit to join them in a game of hide-and-seek. To win, simply remain alive and maintain your sanity until sunrise. Approaching the Visitors head-on is a dangerous idea.

As soon as the first Visitor emerges from the forest, the countdown begins. Every passing hour brings them closer to the house, and the house's walls offer no sanctuary. Something is already inside. Something is opening the window and banging around in the kitchen. Something controls the cellar and attic. Floorboards creak softly deep in the bowels of the house.

Continue here to read the full story.

New Tropico 4 DLC

A new DLC pack for Tropico 4 called The Academy is now available, offering a new way for El Presidente to train his troops in the island dictator sequel. The Windows edition is available through Steam and the Kalypso Launcher. Word is: "‘The Academy’ DLC features a new building, an additional mission and much more, all for you to put to use in training new troops as you and El Presidente prepare to quell an uprising on the island of Isla Guerra."

The Showdown Effect Free Weekend

Steam News announces a free weekend is underway for The Showdown Effect and that the multiplayer action game is on sale for 75% off. Here's the deal:

The Showdown Effect is a 2.5D multiplayer action game inspired by 80’s and 90’s action movies. Champions from throughout time fight to death for fun, for glory and for awesome.

The Showdown Effect recreates the outrageous combat found in classic action movies and then takes it one step further. Use weaponry pulled straight from the silver screen's unparalleled arsenal: shotguns, baseball bats, assault rifles, umbrellas, grenades, katanas, rocket launchers and more.

Additionally, The Showdown Effect has just launched new Steam Trading Cards!

Euro Truck Simulator 2 - Going East! and Demo Released

Steam News announces the release of Euro Truck Simulator 2 - Going East!, new DLC for the transport sim. There's also a demo of the full game on The Patches Scrolls and they also have a demo for the new add-on. Here's a description of the DLC: "Going East! add-on expands the original Euro Truck Simulator 2 map with new destinations for cargo delivery across Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary."

State of Decay Early Access Tomorrow

Undead Labs announces a Steam release date for State of Decay, saying their oral hygiene zombie game will go live tomorrow for Early Access (thanks IncGamers). Here's word:

What you’ll see this Friday, if you choose to join forces with us to make the PC version kick ass, is a test version. It’s not ready to be reviewed. It will not be perfect. It may still have crashes. What it won’t have is a keyboard and mouse interface…not at first. Why not? Over the next however many weeks, we will be putting up versions of the keyboard interface and using your comments and feedback to make it awesome. Right this minute, the Early Access version requires an Xbox 360 controller (or a compatible 3rd-party controller, although we haven’t done much testing with those yet).

This process is not for everyone. Casual players, the easily frustrated, and the short of time should NOT get the Early Access version. Hey, I am all three of those things, y’all. Those are not criticisms. It’s just that we want everyone to have the experience that best suits their needs. You all deserve the best, so if you’re not into giving feedback, just wait a few months and play the final version after we make it great.

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller Concludes

Phoenix Online Studios now offers the final chapter in Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, their episodic mystery series. The Windows and OS X game is available through the official website as well as the digital distributors listed on this page. They offer this trailer for the new chapter as well as a new previously on... trailer, which contains spoilers from the previous chapters. Word is: "With three grisly cases solved, Erica finally has the Cain Killer within her reach in Cognition's intense finale. But her colleagues have fallen and she stands alone -- unless she's willing to accept the help of someone she does not trust. In the moment of truth, will she go for justice or revenge? The choice is yours." Continue here to read the full story.

Europa Universalis IV Mini-Series

Frenemies: Part One kicks off a live-action mini-seriesto promote the availability of Europa Universalis IV, Paradox's strategy sequel. The clip includes a fun send up of old toy commercials and a LAN party where we explore cultural stereotypes and foot fetishes. Word is: "The new series, entitled “Frenemies,” showcases the lengths that ordinary people will go to in order to achieve global conquest in a multiplayer game of Europa Universalis IV, including fragile alliances, brutal warfare, and unexpected diplomatic provisos. Also, someone explains what casus belli means!" Continue here to read the full story.

CLANG Kickstarter Goes Clunk

The CLANG Kickstarter Page has word that development of author Neal Stephenson's sword fighting game "has hit the pause button." The post speaks of risk-averse publishers being an obstacle to securing further support for the project, suggesting this was all undertaken without a full understanding of the way publishers tend to operate. The post is very long and says the "project isn't dead in dead-parrot sense," but the outlook seems grim. Thanks Joao via Kotaku.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Zero Charisma Trailer (Theatrical Trailer). Thanks Cutter.

SOE: Twitter Abusers Can Be Banned from Games

An article titled Trolls and Tribulations on GamesIndustry International talks with Linda Carlson, Director of Global Community Relations at Sony Online Entertainment about the difficulties inherent in managing online communities, where the nights are long and the tempers are short. She explains their approach to griefers includes the possibility of banning someone from playing their games if they can determine he or she is being excessively abusive even when this is external to a game, using Twitter abuse as an example:

"Not only will we ban your forum account, but if it's serious enough we'll call up customer service and have you banned from all of our games. We do not need those individuals as customers," Carlson says of the most offensive and anti-social players. "A very influential player, high up in a huge guild - we'll still ban them... In our games, if you are an exploiter we don't care who you are, how big your guild is, how many people you threaten to take with you when you go.

"We can control anybody who's playing our games...[but] if we know who you are and you're abusing somebody on Twitter, we will ban your game account and we will not accept you as a customer ever again. It's not always possible to identify people [in that way], but we take that seriously."

The Inner World Trailer

This trailer offers the first look at gameplay from The Inner World, "a fabulously twisted" 2D point-and-click adventure in the works at Headup Games for release on Windows, OS X, and iOS. Word is the trailer features "Friedrich Nietzsche (or someone at least very similar) sharing highly interesting insights into the most beautiful genre of modern video gaming." Here are some screenshots and here's the description of the game:

Robert is a novice, a bit clueless, but with a heart of gold. He lives a peaceful life as a court musician in Asposia's largest wind monastery. Contrary to the laws of physics, Asposia is an enormous, hollow space surrounded by an infinite expanse of earth. The world's air is provided through three wind fountains, but as one wind fountain after the other petered out and the wind gods came to Asposia, all of the sudden Robert found him in the middle of a whirlwind.

Together with the help of the mysterious thief Laura, his best intentions and no clue whatsoever, Robert sets off on his adventure to discover the secret of the wind's disappearance. Will the young adventurer be able to save his world? And what are Laura´s secret intentions…?

Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD WHQL & Beta Drivers

AMD now offers new WHQL version 13.9 Catalyst drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards running under Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. This is their first certified driver for Windows 8.1, though they note: "AMD Catalyst 13.9 does not include support for AMD CrossFire Frame Pacing or the very latest CrossFire optimizations." Moving right along, they also already offer the first beta of Catalyst version 13.10 on this page, saying this "includes additional performance improvements and fixes not found in AMD Catalyst 13.9."

New NVIDIA WHQL Drivers

The GeForce website now offers new version 327.23 WHQL-certified drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards running under Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.x. Here's word on what they provide in addition to performance improvements over the 320.49 drivers: "This Game Ready WHQL driver ensures you’ll have the best possible gaming experience and is also a recommended driver update for the Windows 8.1 Preview. GeForce R326 drivers also provide performance increases for a variety of different games."

Dark Souls II PCs After Consoles

NAMCO BANDAI announces a release date for the console editions of Dark Souls II, saying the action/RPG sequel will come to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 11, 2014 in the Americas. The Dark Souls II website offers preorder bonuses for those console versions, but not the Windows edition, and word is the PC version will not be released simultaneously with the other versions: "Dark Souls II will be launching in the Americas on March 11, 2014 on the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft with the PC edition to follow shortly." Also, here's a new "Aching Bones" trailer from the game. Continue here to read the full story.

25 More Steam Greenlights

The Steam Community website announces another 25 games have received community approval through the Steam Greenlight process, and these will all be coming to Steam when they are released. Word is: "With this batch coming just three weeks after our last batch of 100, we continue to add games to Steam at an increased pace. Make sure to stop back often to vote; the lineup continues to change quickly and new submissions are posted daily." This page has the list of new approvals.

Morning Patches

Op Ed

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - To Boycott PAX Or Not To Boycott PAX?
To Boycott PAX Or Not To Boycott PAX? That really is the question these days, isn’t it? The saga, up to this point, has been long, turbulent, and ugly. Penny Arcade’s tangled two-headed hydra of a creative force has been at the forefront of some pretty nasty movements over the years – the Dickwolves incident, which saw Mike “Gabe” Krahulik and Jerry “Tycho” Holkins stand resolutely unapologetic over a rape joke that made many fans deeply uncomfortable (instead of saying sorry, they went and sold freaking merchandise), easily stands as the most visible. In the wake of that, similar incidents, and Krahulik acting vocally intolerant of transgendered people, Gone Home developer Fullbright – who we spoke to in regards to this article – went so far as to pull out of this year’s PAX altogether. But others – many of whom absolutely abhor Penny Arcade’s oftentimes turgid stances and values – attended despite all of that. Speaking with developers behind games like Journey, Always Sometimes Monsters, and Child of Light, and other fans and critics from many walks of life, I found out why.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

  • An early version of Zenzizenzic is now available to solicit feedback on this indie twin-stick shooter as they strive towards a Steam Greenlight

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