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Monday, Oct 14, 2013

  

Ships Ahoy - Democracy 3

Positech Games announces the release of Democracy 3, saying the election and governance sequel is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux. The game is available on Steam and directly from the Democracy 3 website, with the later providing the DRM-free version of the game as well as a Steam key. Here's word:

Democracy 3 is the third in the series of complex and deep political strategy games where the player takes on the role of President or Prime Minister, charged with the task of keeping the population happy, the economy booming and preventing society collapsing around them.

Democracy 3 is the only game of it's kind. Not an election-simulation, but a government-simulation, built around a custom-programmed neural network and unique iconic user interface that represents the thousands of simulated voters, pressure groups, policies, laws and statistics that make up a detailed model of a western democracy.

As president, you decide what laws to set, which taxes to raise (or cut) which government programs to expand, introduce or cancel, whilst keeping one eye on the countdown to the next election. All political careers end in failure, and Democracy 3 is thus a game that cannot truly be won, only eventually lost.

Democracy 3's release comes at a curious time, when the US government is actually shutdown, the political parties engaged in a stalemate where passionately held arguments about the right to affordable health care, state-provision of public services and the need to balance a country's spending against it's income are in danger of bringing the US economy to the brink of implosion. There may not be any governing going on in Washington right now, but all the more reason for gamers to pick up where the politicians have left off. Can they avoid triggering the games 'debt crisis' situation and do a better job than the republicans and democrats? Can you?

Undead Overlord Kickstarter

This Kickstarter is for Undead Overlord, a real-time strategy game that will put players in control of a horde of zombies. The campaign has a pretty modest $60K goal, as the indie developers have already completed much of development. Word is: "It's worth noting that JumpCore is already incorporated. Software and hardware are already in place. So all funds raised through Kickstarter will go directly towards finishing the game and towards sending out fun backer rewards. In fact, we've already brought Undead Overlord to a playable state that is just about ready for backer testing. We're not shambling around mindlessly here, and we want you to know it!" The website has more on the game.

AR/VR Headset Kickstarter

Here's a Kickstarter for a new system called castAR described as "bridging the physical world with the virtual worlds; 3D holographic like projections in AR, fully immersive environments in VR" (thanks Eurogamer). Developer Technical Illusions includes Jeri Ellsworth, who worked on Steam hardware betas before being let go by Valve earlier this year, and they are seeking $400K to pursue developing this eyewear:

castAR's projected augmented reality system is comprised of two main components: a pair of glasses and a surface. The frames of the glasses contain two micro-projectors—one for each eye. Each projector casts a perspective view of a stereoscopic 3D image onto the surface. Your eyes focus on this projected image at a very natural and comfortable viewing distance. A tiny camera in-between the projectors scans for infrared identification markers placed on the surface. The camera uses these markers to precisely track your head position and orientation in the physical world, enabling the software to accurately adjust how the holographic scene should appear to you. The glasses get their video signal through an HDMI connection. The camera is connected via a USB port on the PC. We are still experimenting with communication options on mobile devices.

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Happy Bartolomé Day. Thanks JDreyer.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes Demo

LEGO.com now offers a playable demo for LEGO Marvel Superheroes. They don't say much, here's the entire description: "Here you can download and play a demo of LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes™. It might be a good idea to get your parents to help with this. This demo is available for PC and needs to be installed for you to play this awesome level. The demo works for Windows (8, 7, XP, Vista) but not for MAC." Thanks Clever Caviar.

Star Citizen Hits $21M; Video & Hangar Patch Released

The Roberts Space Industries website reflects the continuing flurry of activity surrounding Star Citizen, the upcoming space combat game that looks to return to the glory days of games like Wing Commander and Privateer. The game's crowdfunding campaign is hurtling along, and has surpassed the $22 million mark, triggering the new stretch goals of a Facial Capture System and a Public Transportation System. They add: "In addition to this immersion-enhancing design upgrade, we’re also going to dedicate some of the additional funding to making next year’s CitizenCon a bigger event! Thank you for making this all possible. Keep spreading the word!" Here's the summary of the latest happenings, which includes the release of a patch for the game's hangar module and the commercial for the 2944 Aurora:

Two pieces of great news: after a long night of hard work, the promised Hangar patch is available! You can check out the Avenger, the privateer outfit, the Aurora LN, the fish tank… and a few other surprises. The second piece of news is that in just four days, we’ve hit $22 million in crowd funding! Between the hangar patch, the bomber reveals, the Aurora LN, CIG Manchester and the start of The Next Great Starship, this has been a big anniversary week… and the best is yet to come!

Ethan - Meteor Hunter This Month

The Ethan - Meteor Hunter website announces an October 22nd worldwide release date for the Windows edition of this indie platformer. Seaven Studio celebrates the news by releasing this debut trailer showing off the game and its story. Word is:

This also mean that players who have bought 'Early Adopter' and 'Supporter Edition' on http://www.ethan-game.com will enjoy the game 5 days before release on Friday 18th October, perfect for the week end : )

Ethan: Meteor Hunter will also be available on GoodOldGames and many other stores. We're not giving up on Steam so please upvote Ethan Greenlight page here! http://www.seaven-studio.com/greenlight

Spice Road Demo

The Aartform Games website now offers a playable demo for Spice Road to introduce this trade simulation set in the 18th century. There's also this trailer to give a pre-sample. Here's word on the game:

ABOUT SPICE ROAD:
Strategy trade empire building on the old Silk Road. Town building, social and ecomomic simulation game.

Deep in the mountains and deserts of central Asia, where life is hard and death is sudden, thin trails of gold, silk and spice trace a web between the industrial forges of the West and the exotic climes of the East.

You are a colonial governor in the 18th Century, building a town on the Spice Road in a time of war and discovery. More than spice travels your roads – musket armies, philosophies, and power plays that span the globe are at your control. From palace to monastry, trade post to smugglers den – your town is worthless without the nobles, monks, merchants and rogues that chose to live in it – and keeping them all happy at the same time is never simple.

Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

The new GFK Chart-Track list of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending October 12th. Total War: ROME II retains the number one spot amid all the Sims game. On the all-platforms top 40 Pokemon X & Y join the top five and GTA5 steals back the top spot from FIFA 14. Here's the overview:

Having debuted 4 weeks ago at No1 as the biggest selling game of all time (week 1 sales), Rockstar/Take 2’s ‘GTA V’ re-takes No1 (-53%).

EA’s ‘FIFA 14’ (-66%) drops to No2 – both titles have now had 2 weeks at No1. Nintendo’s new fully 3D 6th generation Pokemon titles debut at No’s 3&4, with ‘Pokemon X’ at No3 and ‘Pokemon Y’ at No4. Sales on these 2 products are around double last year’s Pokemon Black2/White 2 opening week (W41-2012). Pokemon X and Y are the first major headline Pokemon releases to be coded as 3DS titles (after ‘Super Pokemon Rumble’ and ‘Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Infinity’) and X/Y are the first major Pokemon releases to launch in the same week as a Nintendo hand-held console (2DS launched this week) – we’ve come close before with 3DS hardware (W12-2011) released 3 weeks after Pokemon Black/White and DSI XL (W9-2010) released 3 weeks before Pokemon HeartGold/Soulsilver.

Debuting at No5 is Sony’s PS3 exclusive ‘Beyond Two Souls’ from Quantic Dream, last seen 3 and a half years ago with ‘Heavy Rain’ (W8-2010) which debuted at No1. The final new releases this week are NIS America’s ‘Dragon’s Crown’ at No19 and the third Moshi Monsters title, Mind Candy’s ‘Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed’ at No28.

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

"In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Today is Columbus Day here in the U.S. As usual, I can't say if that will impact anything, because this holiday seems to generate lots of sales, but not necessarily a lot of time off, though I think schools may be closed today.

Exploratory Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: 10 Game.
Links: What was Columbus's deal, anyway?
Concept Art- Avatar's Pandora At Disneyland.
Stories: Columbus Day 2013: Hero, Villain or Both?
"Clone Wars" Final Season Coming Early 2014.
Media: Thief Gets Shot Trying To Steal Motorbike. Real GTA! Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Teens React to Happy Wheels.And bonus footage.



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