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Monday, Nov 04, 2013

  

Star Citizen Passes $26 Million

The Roberts Space Industries has a new Letter from the Chairman commemorating the news that Star Citizen has passed the $26 million mark, triggering yet another stretch goal for the space combat game. The new feature is an enhanced capital ship system, which will now work FTL-style: "Lead a damage control team to fight fires and repair key systems during battle, control internal bulkheads to slow boarders and man a number of consoles, like navigation and engineering, that will make commanding a capital ship feel even more immersive." The feature creep is not over yet, as they outline a new ship company and starter ship as $28 million stretch goals, saying (presuming this is reached) those backers who prefer the new Mustang ship to the original Aurora starter ship can choose it instead.

Company of Heroes 2 Maps & Editor Next Week

SEGA announces that next week they will release a free content update for Company of Heroes 2, Relic's World War II real-time strategy sequel. This will include two new multiplayer maps, four new multiplayer commanders, and the World Builder that will allow players to create and share their own maps for the game. There are details and images on the SEGA Blog, where they say the release is scheduled for November 12th. "We are excited to provide such a large content update to Company of Heroes 2 players," said Greg Wilson, Executive Producer at Relic Entertainment. "We are particularly proud to offer our community the much sought-after World Builder and are hoping to provide Steam Workshop integration and other mod features in the near future." They also offer a new trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Linux Metro: Last Light Released

Steam News announces the Linux version of Metro: Last Light is now available along with the Windows and OS X editions of the first-person shooter sequel. Here's a rundown on the game:

It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. But rather than stand united, the station-cities of the Metro are locked in a struggle for the ultimate power, a doomsday device from the military vaults of D6. A civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from the face of the earth forever.

As Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour…

On Sale

  • Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Guacamelee! Gold Edition on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Journey of a Roach on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Majestic Indie Bundle on Bundle Stars.
  • Weeklong Deals, November 4 on Steam.

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Bus Driver Saves Woman From Jumping Off Bridge. Thanks JDreyer.

Steam Box Previews

There are hands-on impressions of Valve's prototype "Steam Box" PCs on Engadget, The Seattle Times, and The Verge, and there are separate articles on the new Steam Controller on Engadget and IGN (thanks nin). There are also impressions along the way of the nascent SteamOS running this all. Here's a bit on the hardware crammed into a box "a little bigger than an Xbox 360 and smaller than any gaming PC of its ilk:"

The secret is actually quite simple, it turns out: Valve designed the case so the parts can breathe individually. The CPU blows air out the top, the power supply out the side, and the graphics card exhaust out back, and none share any airspace within the case.

That might sound like common sense, but it’s remarkably hard to find a case that does so while still making it easy to drop components in. Here, the key component responsible for dividing those three zones is a simple plastic shroud which unscrews in a jiffy. The box we touched was already surprisingly cool and quiet, but Valve's still tweaking the design: we saw Valve printing a couple of the shrouds as we walked through its rapid prototyping lab.

Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Conquest of Paradise will be the first expansion for Europa Universalis IV, saying this will come to the Windows, OS X, and Linux editions of the real-time strategy game on December 11th via digital distribution. The Paradox Forums has the first developer's diary for the add-on, and they are planning a livestream via Twitch on November 7th at 2:00 pm EST. Also, we failed to note it at the time, but last week a new patch was issued to update EU4 to version 1.3, and the full patch notes can be found in this forum thread. Here's word on the upcoming expansion:

Paradox Interactive, a publisher of games that never settles down, today revealed details on the first expansion to Europa Universalis IV, the award-winning empire building game developed by Paradox Development Studio for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Are you ready to explore a brave new world? The new expansion, Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise, allows you to send your ships off to the west to discover a new world, unlike any you’ve seen before. For the first time ever in a Paradox Development Studio game, players are given the chance to discover a completely randomized American continent, where no playthrough will ever be the same.

Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise makes it possible for you to play as a Native American nation and master the federation mechanics, as well as unique national ideas, buildings and events. You may also take command of a Colonial Nation, declare colonial war, or even strive for liberty from your motherland.

Tekken PC Possibility

Katsuhiro Harada laughingly tweets about the possibility Tekken will come to PCs via Steam. When asked "Can you release Tekken to PC through Steam?" he replied: "I'm ancient steam user hehhehe, I'll consider about that." Thanks Siliconera.

Battlefield 4 Known Issues

A large thread on Battlelog lists known issues with Battlefield 4, and what DICE is doing to clear up problems users are experiencing with the just-released military shooter sequel. These include missing perks, lost progression, file corruption, and other bugs. A few updates have been added since the post went up, the most recent explaining new server updates are live to address some of these issues. Word is: "Since the launch of Battlefield 4, some fans playing online have been experiencing various issues with the game. Thanks to your feedback, many of these problems have been resolved, but there are still a number of bugs that we are actively working on. Below you will find a list of some of the resolved issues, as well as some of the issues we are prioritizing at the moment and what we’re doing to address them."

LEGO Minifigures Beta Signups

The LEGO Minifigures website is now accepting registration to the upcoming closed beta test of this LEGO MMORPG to help prepare for its launch next year. Word is: "The Closed Beta will be an ongoing process leading up to launch next year, and over time Funcom will invite a growing number of testers to participate as more content and more gameplay features are introduced to for players to test. Funcom will also hold an Open Beta test with an extended number of participants prior to launch, and anyone registering for the Closed Beta will also be eligible for access to the Open Beta."

Bungie on Lack of PC Destiny Plans

An interview with Bungie on IGN touches on why there are no concrete plans for a PC edition of Destiny, Bungie's upcoming first-person shooter (thanks NowGamer). Just as four out of five dentists recommend sugarless gum, community manager Eric Osborne explains that shipping on four out of five platforms is what's keeping development of this project manageable:

"It’s a huge challenge to ship four platforms and a massive opportunity to reach a new audience," said Osborne.

"We know there are a lot of people out there asking for PC and we know that there are a lot of gamers that would willingly give us money, but what we have to do is make sure we’re focused enough to bring a good experience to any platform that we ship on," Osborne continued.

"What we 100 percent are not going to do is spread ourselves so thin that it negatively harms the other platforms. So right now we have the four platforms, which is a lot to focus on."

Limit Theory Video

This video is a tenth development update for Limit Theory, a procedurally generated space simulation coming from a one-person developer thanks to a successful Kickstarter. Here's the latest on the project: "Well folks, what can I say - sometimes when you reach into the old dev hat, you pull out a squirrel instead of a rabbit. I was looking for more of an artificial intelligence rabbit this month, but I ended up pulling out a graphics-and-engine-tech squirrel. Stuff happens :D I gotta say, the engine has grown an immense amount in one month. You can see some of that technology manifested in the data editor, but there's at least as much new tech that you can't see - and it's going to be hard at work helping me build the best game possible in less time and with less code." Thanks JDreyer. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The cold weather is starting to roll in around here, indicating mother nature noticed the calendar turning to November. I don't think we've actually had our first frost yet, but I see 31 °F in the forecast for tonight, so that may change soon. No complaints here, though, New York is pretty notoriously a two season area, with winter and summer running right into each other, but we've had a couple of months of genuine autumn this year, which is nice.

Autumnal Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Chu Rescue 2.
Links: Meet the American Nomads of Walmart's Plentiful Parking Lots. Thanks nin.
Stories: ‘Missing’ NYU student actually wedged between buildings for 36 hours.
Leaked Climate Change Report Predicts Violent, Poorer, Sicker Future.
Science: Scientists believe lasers could help cure Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Thanks Digg.
How to program unreliable chips.
Researchers gain new insights into brain neuronal networks.
Immune turbocharger: In mice, bone-loss drugs boosted the power of vaccines.
Images: A Tale of Two Walter Whites.
Fake Science: Don't Waste A Good Pumpkin.
Media: Smoke alarms put to the test.
The Funnies: xkcd: Encryptic.



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