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Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013

  

Star Citizen Passes $21 Million

The Roberts Space Industries website has a new Letter from the Chairman celebrating the news that Star Citizen has surpassed the $21 million mark in crowd-sourced funding. Now that the Salvage Mechanic has been unlocked, they reveal a $23 million goal for the space combat game as the Salvage Mechanic career path. Here's a bit:

I’m proud to announce that the Star Citizen community has brought us to $21 million in crowd funding just shy of our first anniversary! Your support is now allowing the project to expand on ideas in ways we didn’t originally think possible. Every additional pledge makes Star Citizen a better experience. At the $21 million, you unlock the full salvage mechanic, which allows us to produce the assets needed to make salvaging an in-depth game mechanic akin to exploration or piracy!

  • Salvage Mechanic: Salvage isn’t an aside: it’s a career, with its own mechanic, story tie-ins and universe-shaping endgames. Search the galaxy for a host of valuable and interesting secrets using both the flight and FPS components. Discover the secrets of the ancient Hadesians, locate valuable components and cargo… or go down in history the first to make contact an entirely new alien race!

In addition, we are unlocking a new $23 million goal: the addition of a Xi’an Scout as a playable asset in the game. We’ve recently begun putting together concept art of Xi’an worlds, which got us thinking about the game’s Xi’an ships: how can we make them play differently than the standard human ships? We have a few ideas and with this stretch goal we can put them into the game! In addition to alien designs and interfaces, the Xi’an craft will feature a totally different maneuvering system.

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag Season Pass Announced

Ubisoft announces details on a Season Pass for DLC for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the upcoming continuation of their stealth/assassination sequel. The DLC will comprise an all-new single-player campaign as shown off in this trailer. Here's word:

Born a slave, Adewale found freedom as a pirate aboard the Jackdaw where he became Edward Kenway’s second-in-command. Now, 15 years later, Adewale has become a trained Assassin who finds himself shipwrecked in Saint-Domingue without weapons or crew. He starts to meet locals in an effort to assemble a crew and steal a ship. The more he helps, however, the more he is drawn into the Maroon slave community. Forced to face his past, Adewale sets out to free the slaves and bring death to their captors.

The Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Season Pass gives you all-in-one access to a new single-player story featuring Adewale, an ex-slave turned Assassin, the exclusive Kraken Ship Pack, plus multiplayer characters and much more! Get all of this for only $19.99, a 20% savings off the individual pack prices.

Key Features

  • All New Single-Player Story – Born a slave, Adewale found freedom as a pirate aboard the Jackdaw where he became Edward Kenway’s second-in-command. Now, 15 years later, Adewale has become a trained Assassin who finds himself shipwrecked in Saint-Domingue without weapons or crew. He starts to meet locals in an effort to assemble a crew and steal a ship. The more he helps, however, the more he is drawn into the Maroon slave community. Forced to face his past, Adewale sets out to free the slaves and bring death to their captors. Over 3 hours of new single-player gameplay!
  • Exclusive Kraken Ship Pack – Only available to Season Pass owners, this pack includes a sail, wheel, and figurehead inspired by the legendary sea monsters known for swallowing ships, men and whales.
  • A Deeper Single-Player Experience – More of what you love – Single-player missions, weapons, skins, and collectibles for Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag.
  • More Multiplayer Mayhem – Unlock new characters for an even more expansive multiplayer experience.
  • Save 20% over the individual downloadable pack prices.

Star Wars: The Old Republic PvP Space Combat Expansion Announced

BioWare announces Galactic Starfighter, a new expansion coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic to add PvP space combat to the Star Wars MMORPG. This will go live for subscribers on December 3rd and will be released as a free-to-play expansion on February 4th. The Star Wars: The Old Republic website has more details and a teaser trailer. Here's the announcement:

AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 8, 2013 – Join the battle and customize the ultimate starship to become a legendary Starfighter pilot in the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ universe! Today, BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), and LucasArts announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic is adding Player-vs-Player (PvP) combat in the Free-to-Play Digital Expansion, Galactic Starfighter. With a variety of unique starships, a wide set of customization and upgrade options, multiple battle zones and gameplay modes, Galactic Starfighter brings the thrill of epic 12v12 space battles to Star Wars: The Old Republic for the first time.

Active Star Wars: The Old Republic subscribers will be offered Early Access starting December 3 and Preferred Status Players* on January 14. Galactic Starfighter will be offered as a Free-to-Play Digital Expansion available to the public beginning on February 4. Each group will also receive special in-game items as part of this Early Access opportunity. As a special benefit, active subscribers as of November 1 will receive an exclusive Galactic Starfighter early Gunship unlock and custom Gunship paint jobs**.

“Our goal with Star Wars: The Old Republic has always been to immerse players into their own Star Wars adventure and huge space battles are a vital part of fulfilling that fantasy,” said Jeff Hickman, General Manager of BioWare Austin. “Galactic Starfighter will be a deep experience that will continue to grow over time. We can’t wait for both our current and new players to get their hands on it soon.”

Teleglitch: Die More Edition DLC; Patch; Sale

A new Guns and Tunes pack is now available on Steam for Teleglitch: Die More Edition, the survival/horror rogulelike-like that happens to be on sale most everywhere for 75% off. The pack includes the extras that were provided to those who preordered the game, here's the outline: "A new DLC pack has also been released for Teleglitch: Die More Edition, entitled 'Guns and Tunes,' which grants players access to eight different starter weapons and utilities for a more varied (but inevitably fatal) game experience. A soundtrack of original music by the Teleglitch developers is also included, providing gamers with extra terror in five haunting tracks that evoke the tension and persistent danger of the game." Developer T3P also announces the game now supports Steam Big Picture thanks to a new patch that also adds 15 new achievements while fixing some bugs and improving Steam Cloud support.

Airscape: Fall of Gravity Announced

An Airscape: Fall of Gravity website is online with information about this indie platformer that carries this delightful description: "AIRSCAPE: THE FALL OF GRAVITY is an upcoming action platformer about an octopus lost in a strange and dangerous world. Created by a team of students from around the world, Airscape combines innovative gravity mechanics, devious obstacles, and questionable physics." The game is coming next year to Windows, OS X, and Linux, but in the meantime they offer this announcement trailer showing off some imaginative game design. Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - Bionic Dues

Arcen Games announces Bionic Dues is now available for Windows, OS X, and Linux through their online store and Steam, with each offering a 25% discount for the first week of release of this mech-themed "roguelite." Here's what this entails:

Robot rebellions should be quelled by the best of the best. When the best of the best are killed... it's up to you. Subdue the uprising in time, or your corporate overlords nuke the city.

Bionic Dues is a tactical, turn-based roguelite with mech customization. Guide multiple classes of Exos through a variety of missions filled with enemy robots that are as buggy as they are angry. This is at least as bad as it sounds. Explore for loot, destroy key robotic facilities, and brace yourself for the final attack by your enemies... just as soon as they can pull it together.

Steamships Ahoy - Gas Guzzlers Extreme

Steam News announces the release of Gas Guzzlers Extreme, which is on sale for 20% off the regular price for the next week:

Gas Guzzlers Extreme is a fast, furious, armed-to-the-teeth, trigger-happy shooter, shifted into top gear! Take a white knuckle ride in this crazily addictive combat racing game that features a ton of vehicles, weapons, upgrades, on-track bonuses and environments. Gas Guzzlers Extreme is an exciting new twist on the car combat experience with the addition of furious team/clan combat battles.

Players start out with low performance vehicles and soon work their way up to high-performance models, by earning money in a series of hi-octane races and arena battles. New game modes, tracks and vehicles are unlocked as players progress through the game. Along with developing their driving and fighting skills, players can spend their hard-fought cash, customizing their vehicle to match their clan members or pimping their ride for the road to glory!

Ships Ahoy - Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition

The Bethesda Blog announces the Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America. In addition to Arkane's stealth/assassination game the GotY edition includes all four of the game's DLC packs, The Knife of Dunwall, The Brigmore Witches, Dunwall City Trials, and Void Walker’s Arsenal.

On Sale

  • Assassin’s Creed III on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Battlefield 4 Preorders on Green Man Gaming. US$8.00 cash or $10.00 credit rebate. Thanks Dealzon
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts Preorders on GameFly Digital.. Save US$12.00 with coupon on Dealzon.
  • Quickfire Indie Bundle on Bundle Stars. ~US$3.50 for Dark Sector, Septerra Core, GTR Evolution, Cannon Fodder 3, Space Pirates and Zombies, 1953: KGB Unleashed, Guardians of Graxia, and $10.00 in Warframe currency.
  • Weeklong Deals on Steam. Save 33-80%.

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Dungeon Defenders II Dropping MOBA Play

Trendy Entertainment announces they are no longer including any MOBA-style gameplay in Dungeon Defenders II, saying based on fan reaction to the idea, they will concentrate on the action/tower defense elements that were intrinsic to the success of the first game. The game is still planned for launch in the spring as a free-to-play title for Windows, OS X, and Linux, but with a new, old focus. "We’ve been listening very closely to our community, getting feedback from fans of the first game on what they want to see in a sequel, and we realized we needed a shift in our development focus," said Philip Asher, Marketing Director at Trendy Entertainment. "We had strayed from making the kind of game fans wanted and the kind of game we wanted to develop. So, we’ve nixed the MOBA-style of gameplay and other ‘extra’ features we were talking about and instead are making the sequel we all want to play. We’re improving everything we loved about Dungeon Defenders, one step at a time. First we’re going through the core gameplay experience; injecting more meaningful decisions and moments into the minute to minute gameplay that you’ll want to share with your friends. Then, in late October we’re going to kick off our first major community initiative to get fans involved in the development of the game, and start working with them to make the roleplaying and item systems as satisfying as possible." There's a new blog update about this with a new teaser trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers Remake Announced

Pinkerton Road announces plans for a 20th Anniversary Edition of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, which is coming to Windows, OS X, and mobiles next year. This does not seem to be the fourth installment in designer Jane Jensen's point-and-click adventure series that is a long-term goal of Pinkerton Road's recent Kickstarter, but rather is a remake of the first Gabriel Knight adventure, modernized for the modern day. There's more on the official website, here are some screenshots, and here's the announcement:

LANCASTER, Pa. - October 8, 2013 - In 1993, a rash of ritual voodoo murders took place in the swamps and back alleys of New Orleans. With local police baffled, only one man was equipped to solve the case: Gabriel Knight, owner of a French Quarter bookstore, struggling novelist, and an unwitting descendent in a long line of shadow-hunting Schattenjägers. Armed with little more than a sacred dagger and talisman, his N'awlins drawl, and his own irresistible brand of charm, Gabriel Knight quickly became a gaming sensation when Sierra On-Line released his first adventure, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers®, in December 1993.

Twenty years later, the charismatic Schattenjäger is making a welcome comeback thanks to the work of Gabriel Knight® creator Jane Jensen's indie development studio, Pinkerton Road LLC, which licensed the Gabriel Knight IP from Activision Publishing, Inc.. The Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th anniversary edition is planned for a mid-2014 release as a digital download for PC, Mac®, iPad®, and Android™. The game is being reconstructed from scratch with all new retina display quality visuals and voice recording, in a development process overseen by Jensen.

"I'm thrilled to be back at work on Gabriel Knight and to bring this classic game to a new generation of players," says Jensen. "It's a designer's dream to be able to enhance the game and bring in more New Orleans flavor than technical limitations allowed us to in 1993. It's going to look and feel like a brand new title. But never fear, 100% of the original Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is here. I hope both existing fans and new players will love it."

The revamped Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers will feature the same mature storyline and puzzle solving as the 1993 version, with research assistant Grace Nakimura, the inept Detective Mosely, and the local color of New Orleans supporting Gabriel's paranormal investigation. Stunning high-res (2048x1536) 3D graphics will replace the original 640x480 resolution pixel art, presenting the authentic New Orleans environments with more detail than ever before. The remake will also have a remastered soundtrack by Robert Holmes, the game's original composer, and will include special edition content.

Pinkerton Road has been working on the Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th anniversary edition under the working title "Mystery Game X" for about a year. The studio also has a brand new adventure game, Moebius, slated for release in 2013.

Wargame Red Dragon Announced

Focus Home Interactive officially announces Wargame Red Dragon, a continuation of Eugen Systems' Wargame series of real-time strategy games that was recently shown off to some press at Gamescom. The Wargame: AirLand Battle website offers a recent developer's blog for Red Dragon and today the first screenshots from the project were released. They don't yet offer a release date, but tease more info to come, saying the game "has many more surprises in store which will soon be revealed in the first game videos." Here's word on the game:

Wargame Red Dragon retains the same core game mechanics that made the series so successful, but the action leaves Europe for the first time and moves to a conflict in Asia between 1975 and 1991.

5 new nations, among which China and North Korea, join the armed forces in Wargame, with over 450 new units. The introduction of naval and amphibian units is a particular highlight, with the maritime and river areas providing fresh strategic opportunities! The full cohort of each army is represented with a phenomenal total of more than 1,300 units and combat vehicles, all reproduced in meticulous detail from real-world models. A new solo campaign plunges players headlong into a hellish war around Korea, while Wargame’s extensive and road-tested multiplayer mode will engage them in some intense and spectacular battles with up to 20 other players simultaneously!

YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z for Windows Announced

TECMO KOEI America announces a Windows PC edition of YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z will be released on Steam next year simultaneously with the release of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of the Unreal-engine third-person action game. "YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z is an impressive project led by the expertise of Team NINJA’s Yosuke Hayashi and comcept’s Keiji Inafune, with the goal of creating a thrilling new experience for fans," says TECMO KOEI America's Amos Ip. "We are extremely pleased to offer YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z on PC through Steam, giving us the ability to reach as many gamers as possible with their action-packed creation." Here are some screenshots, and here's the lowdown on the game:

In YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z, players battle fierce zombies as YAIBA, a cyborg ninja who will do anything to get revenge and stay alive. Cleaved in two, he is brought back to life with cyber-technology. Brandishing his ninja sword and the mecha weapons in his cyborg arm, he slaughters zombies with brutal, over-the-top abandon.

Step into a stylized living comic book where stunning graphics depict a world gone mad. Hordes of undead can only be stopped by YAIBA’s willingness to use any means necessary to get the job done. Will he kill by turning his cyborg arm into a razor chainsaw for slicing up undead—or just rip off an opponent’s arms to use as zombie nunchucks? Both possibilities fill YAIBA’s heart with twisted laughter—and the desire to kill more and more zombies!

YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z comes from the two teams behind the most famous ninja and zombie videogame creations as Team NINJA and legendary producer Keiji Inafune team up to create a new experience. The world of the ninja meets undead warriors, cybernetic weapons, comic books, in an entirely new IP that draws from the NINJA GAIDEN franchise with a host of bold, new features including an original storyline and style of gameplay.

Always intense, never boring, YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z is violent, creative, and daringly different. Sharpen your sword, fire up your cyborg arm, and prepare to GET SOME!

Ships Ahoy - Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition

Gearbox Software announces the availability of the Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition, offering their role-playing first-person shooter along with all its first Season Pass content as well as the two additional player classes, and more. Here's the deal:

The Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition gives players the ability to take each of the six playable Vault Hunters to new levels, enjoy hundreds of hours of shoot-and-loot mayhem, and play each of the four highly popular add-on campaigns, all in one action-packed bundle. The Game of the Year Edition includes:

  • Borderlands 2 main game;
  • Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty;
  • Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage;
  • Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt;
  • Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep;
  • Creature Slaughter Dome;
  • Premiere Club Content:
    • Gaige, the Mechromancer Character Class;
    • Gearbox Gun Pack;
    • Golden Key;
    • Vault Hunter's Relic;
  • Krieg, the Psycho Character Class;
  • Collector’s Edition Heads and Skins;
  • Contraband Sky Rocket Grenade;
  • Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 1.

Ships Ahoy - Tropico 4: Gold Edition for OS X

Applications Systems London announces the release of the retail OS X edition of Tropico 4: Gold Edition, a boxed version of this outside-the-box world builder for those who think different [sic]. The previous announcement of the Windows Gold Edition specifies that it includes the Charlie Chaplin-free Modern Times expansion. Here's more: "Whether you choose to rule as benevolent chairman, clever technocrat or corrupt despot, it's up to you to transform Tropico from amusing banana republic into a 21st century world power worthy of your grand vision in this witty combination of city builder and political simulator."

First 5 Minutes of BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Trailered

Irrational Games offers a new trailer showing off the first five minutes from BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea Episode 1, showing off how the underwater world of the original BioShock is recreated with the BioShock Infinite engine for the add-on. The clip begins with a smoking Elizabeth doing some smoking before allowing us to see the original vision of Rapture before things went awry. Continue here to read the full story.

DICE on BF4 Solo Play Improvements

ComputerAndVideoGames hears from DICE's Lars Gustavsson about Battlefield 4, as the creative director of the military shooter series tells them they are working on improving the single-player campaign in BF4 over the exceedingly brief, QTE-filled solo portion of Battlefield 3.

"We got a lot of feedback from the Battlefield 3 singleplayer, and based on what we intended to deliver the team did a great job, but given that it's a Battlefield product there were a lot of expectations that it would be more open.

"What we promised ourselves [with Battlefield 4] was to unify the product more, so we infused a lot of the things from multiplayer - from being able to use your squad - into multiplayer, so now you can use them in single player to engage enemies. First and foremost we're opening up the encounters more to give you the freedom to decide how to tackle them, whereas in Battlefield 3 it was more 'pick up that one and kill that one', which I can agree is not the most exciting way. Players want to feel smart doing what they're doing."

Ships Ahoy - Creeper World III

The Creeper World 3 website now offers Creeper World III: Arc Eternal, the third installment in this real-time strategy series for Windows and OS X. The game is available via digital distribution, and they offer a playable demo and this trailer to help you decide if you want to commit to a purchase. Here's a bit on the game:

Flowing liquid-like enemies, digital creeping enemies, and custom scripted opponents are a few of the challenges that face players in this genre-altering expansion to the Creeper World series. Creeper World 3 once again shocks strategy gaming by refining and significantly expanding the core game play of the prior highly successful Creeper World titles.

Players engage a compelling story across countless missions fighting back a fluid enemy that literally flows over the dynamic terrain. Players employ terraforming tools, advanced weapons, orbital drops, and other devices as they engage on variable size and shape maps.

Also featuring a full map editor with support for advanced scripting, players are armed with the tools to create an infinite variety of user generated content. Maps can be shared on-line and include game play that spans casual to serious.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

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Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

NDA Expiration time.

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Out of the Blue

A New York sports columnist (I think it may have been Steve Serby) used to write a weekly column during football season called "Mr. Loser Laments," that was filled with tales of woe of all the football bets he lost over the weekend due to improbable circumstances. I used to think this was just picking weird upsets after the fact to create a fiction of having bet on the loser, but after the late lead changes turning so many of my winners to losers lately, I'm starting to see the plausibility of it all. Watching the Jets beat the Falcons in Atlanta with the two-minute drill is just the latest, but it really brought home that this is really one of those seasons where I can do no right. Just call me Mr. Loser.

Lost Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Motowave.
Awesome Zombie Exterminators.
Science: Dogs Are People, Too. Thanks Brandon.
The Human Brain Project. Thanks Slashdot.
Someday, your Ikea furniture might assemble itself.
Media: Numberphile - Unboxing Calculators.
BATMAN: DRIVER'S TEST.
Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise.



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