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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013

  

Steam Greenlights 37 More Games

This Steam Community Announcement reveals a new batch of titles to be distributed through Steam, adding another 37 games to the total that have been greenlit by the community. Word is: "These titles were selected on the same criteria we have been using in the past: Votes in Greenlight give us a hugely valuable point of data in gauging community interest along with external factors such as press reviews, crowd-funding successes, performance on other similar platforms, and awards and contests to help form a more complete picture of community interest in each title." Here's the detailed list of newly approved games.

Battlefield 4 Beta Changes

The Battlefield Blog offers thanks to Battlefield 4 beta testers for the feedback they've been providing DICE on what is and isn't working in the prerelease edition of their military shooter sequel. The post puts forth a lengthy list of changes they are making for the launch version based on user reactions, promising to address gameplay issues and bugs as well as technical problems like low framerates, high CPU usage, and more.

Contrast Preorders

Focus Home Interactive announces preorders are now being accepted for Contrast, their upcoming puzzle platformer that involves shifting between 2D and 3D modes. Preorders are being accepted on the Contrast website and on Steam, where they are offering a 25% discount on the Collector's Edition, which includes an art book and the soundtrack (both of which are available right away). A new trailer celebrates the news, and here's word on the game:

Delivering a captivating ambiance of the brilliance of film noir mixed with the tease of burlesque and infusing a sultry jazz soundtrack, CONTRAST enthrals with every plot twist. A unique game mechanic allows players to shift in and out of the shadow dimension playing light against dark as you make your way through a mysterious adventure. Today’s trailer reveals one of the tracks from the original soundtrack of the game, House on Fire performed by the talented jazz singer Laura Ellis. The lyrics were written by Compulsion Games and the music was composed by the talented audio team from WaveGeneration Audio, all originally scored for CONTRAST.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Ace of Spades: Battle Builder

Jagex announces a new Battle Builder update is now live for Ace of Spades on Steam, adding the ability to build your own battlegrounds for the Voxel first-person shooter. This is not your typical map editor, as it is designed to allow up to 24 players to rapidly collaborate to complete a design. This is available as a free update to those who own the game, and is included in new copies anyone purchases going forward. "The release of Ace of Spades: Battle Builder is huge step forward in the evolution of this unique game," explains David Cobb, the game's producer. "The Map Creator offers long-awaited functionality that massively enhances player collaboration, while combat in the game has been refined and further balanced. Jagex has listened to the game’s player community and kept Ace of Spades: Battle Builder true to its roots to ensure it delivers engaging and fun action." Here's more on how this works:

Maps can be built on one of nine templates based on themes including urban; mountain; lunar; grassland; and temple, before being populated by similarly themed prefabs. Using these structures, such as mountains, trees and ruined buildings, allow players to quickly craft a wide variety of battle maps. Further customisation is on offer through tools that provide players with the power to individually carve out blocks and paint objects – or the entire map – in an array of colours. In addition to the map editor, Battle Builder includes the previously released downloadable content, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, featuring Multi-Hill and VIP game modes.

Spacebase DF-9 Early Access

Spacebase DF-9 is now available for Steam Early Access, announces Steam News, saying Windows, OS X, and Linux gamers can purchase access to Double Fine's upcoming sci-fi construction game and help influence its development going forward. Here's the quick pitch on the game:

In Spacebase DF-9, you'll build a home among the stars for a motley population of humans and aliens as they go about their daily lives. Mine asteroids, discover derelicts, and deal with the tribulations of galactic resettlement in Earth's distant future. Meteor impacts! Explosive decompression! Unbearable loneliness!

Civilization V: Scrambled Continents Map Pack

Steam News heralds the release of the Sid Meier's Civilization V: Scrambled Continents Map Pack DLC for Sid Meier's Civilization V. Word is this shakes up the turn-based strategy sequel by randomizing territorial inner-workings, though the outlines of the continents will remain the same. Word is:

The Scrambled Continents map pack includes real geographic locations with special scripts that produce randomized interiors each time a new game begins. While the familiar outline of the continent’s geography stays constant, the inner heart of the world changes each time you play for endless replayability on countless plausible worlds. Maps include Africa, Eastern Asia, North and South America, Western Europe, the Middle East, a thawed Antarctica, new scripted maps for Small Continents and Oceania, plus one map including all of Earth’s continents.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified DLC

Also on Steam News is word on the release of two new DLC packs for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. There is a The Bureau: XCOM Declassified - Code Breakers, which adds new content to the XCOM action game, and the Light Plasma Pistol, to enhance your pew-pew powers. Here is the description of Code Breakers:

A top secret government communications facility responsible for intercepting and decoding the enemy’s transmissions has gone radio-silent. In a desperate attempt to turn the tides of the secret war, Special Agent Carter and his squad must investigate the incident, eliminate any threats, and make contact with personnel in order to bring the facility back online and make sense of the mysterious code.

Shadowrun Returns Linux Beta

Harebrained Schemes announces a new version 1.1 patch for Shadowrun Returns is now available in beta, offering improvements for the game, as well as Linux support for both the game and the editor. Here's word on how to participate:

Beta Process

Beta Process: We’re doing things a bit differently than the previous patches we’ve released. We’ve pushed a version up to Steam in a special opt-in “public beta” channel before releasing it to the general public. We will be monitoring this build and the forums closely for any bugs or issues that people may encounter, and if things go smoothly, we expect to promote it to the main release after a week or two.

So if you’re interested in helping the community by reporting bugs, or just need to play with the new toys right away, you’ll want to head over to the Steam forums to learn how to join the Beta and help out. If you’d rather wait for the main release, that’s fine, too!

Just a quick note here: we do not plan on providing DRM free versions of Beta builds during this process. We will of course be putting up final builds in the Backer site when the patch is ready for prime time, but while we work through any last minute issues, Steam will be the only place to get the bleeding-edge (possibly slightly buggy) version of Shadowrun Returns.

Linux

Patch 1.1 will see the Linux port of Shadowrun Returns sit alongside its Mac and PC brethren as a first class citizen at last. We now have a couple of Linux machines in house, and have been busy ironing out the major kinks internally as fast as we could. We know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for this bad boy, and after we give it a bit of time to cool off in the Beta period (again, the Beta is only available through Steam), we’ll be pushing it live with the rest of the 1.1 goodness. From that point forward, it will receive updates on the same schedule as the Windows and OSX versions.

Borderlands 2: TK Baha's Bloody Harvest Next Week

Gearbox Software announces the TK Baha's Bloody Harvest "Headhunters" DLC for Borderlands 2 is coming to the role-playing shooter on October 22nd on all platforms. Here's word on the pack and the whole Headhunters thing:

These Headhunter add-ons offer additional adventures that set you off on a series of missions in new areas that culminate with you taking down some rather unique bosses and claiming their heads to wear as your prize. They can be played in a single sitting either by yourself, or with friends (though we recommend bringing friends), and are appropriately priced at just USD $2.99 / GBP £2.39 / EUR 2,99 € each.

In TK Baha’s Bloody Harvest, you’ll be tasked by the eponymous zombified corpse to discover the pieces of a key that will lead you into the heart of the Pumpkin Kingpin’s pumpkin patch (try saying that 3 times), where you will confront the Kingpin himself in an epic battle to claim his giant pumpkin head as your own.

Oh yeah, and there’s augmented candy all over the place. As you make your way through TK Baha’s Bloody Harvest, candies will drop from enemies and provide all sorts of temporary buffs, ranging from faster movement speed to increased damage and more, so be sure to pay attention to them!

Op Ed

Eurogamer.net - Has EA Sports broken FIFA 14 by trying to fix it?
Reviewers - myself included - encountered the same issue EA Sports presumably did: it was hard to identify this stuff without the help of millions of players. I played FIFA 14 for around 25 hours before reviewing it, largely in isolation or in offline multiplayer games, and although I noted that some of these elements were more successful than they had been in FIFA 13, where driven shots and pace brought the most success, I didn't realise they would skew the online experience completely. As the game went into the Early Access pre-release period, though, the stats and YouTube compilation videos piled up. Suddenly everyone you played was sprinting down the wing, worming their way into five yards of space 40 yards from goal or falling back and then launching the ball over the top.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Thanks for the feedback the other day on the question about a front panel for my PC. Two themes emerged in the responses, which I think are equally valid. One was that since CF support is not really something that ever comes up, I can probably safely ignore the possible issues with that. The other is that there are few enough occasions to use the other media support in a card reader that it can probably be skipped altogether. I'm still considering this, but I'll go with one or the other: Either I'll get that NZXT unit that matches my case, or perhaps forego a panel altogether.

Thankful Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Hardventure Into the Duat.
Zombies in Space.
Stories: 'Railroad puppy' Hudson gets new artificial paw after being abandoned. Another wonder dog! Thanks Matthew.
Hillary Clinton slapped with parking ticket in London. Thanks brother19.
Science: Pot Smokers- why are they skinny? Thanks Digg.
Media: Banksy set up a stall, selling 100% authentic paintings for $60. Thanks Cutter.



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