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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013

  

Drox Operative: Invasion of the Ancients Demo

The Drox Operative website now offers a playable demo for Drox Operative: Invasion of the Ancients, the first expansion for Drox Operative, Soldak's sci-fi action/RPG, along with an updated version of the main Drox Operative demo. Word is: "Drox Operative: Invasion of the Ancients is the first expansion for the unique action RPG Drox Operative. Adds ancient invasions, space stations, persistent galaxies, Scavenger race, Drox Guild quests, new Talon, Legion, and Overlord monsters, 19 playable subraces, and much more."

Ships Ahoy - Redshirt

The Redshirt Website now offers online sales of Redshirt, the comedic game based on the humdrum life of a lowly space cadet. The game is available from Steam and Positech, and purchasing from either provides both the Windows and OS X editions. Here's the turbolift pitch for the game:

Redshirt is the comedy sci-fi sim about social networking aboard a space station, starring the station's most ambitious low-ranking peon: you! Navigate the professional and interpersonal politics of the ubiquitous "Spacebook" to curry favor among friends and colleagues. As intense intergalactic conflict rages around you, it's up to you to accrue those all-important "likes" on your status updates! Whether you're looking for love, opportunities for promotion, or even a chance to play Zero-G golf with the captain, you can schmooze your way through social circles and claw your way up the career ladder. Perhaps you too can finally achieve the dream of an off-station transfer, or even the Redshirt's opportunity of a lifetime: being sent on an away-mission!

Ships Ahoy - Blood Knights

Blood Knights is now available for Windows PCs and Xbox 360 via digital distribution, with the PlayStation 3 edition of the fantasy-themed hack 'n' slash to follow next week, and a retail edition for certain territories expected the week after that. The release is punctuated with the release of a "Jeremy" trailer showing the game's protagonist vampire hunter, who spoke in class today. Here's word:

Blood Knights is a hack ‘n slash action - RPG, where the age-old war between humans and vampires is out-of-control and threatens to plunge the world into the abyss. The game combines spectacular combat with RPG elements in single-player or co-op mode. Blood Knights is developed by Deck 13 interactive, who have made a name for themselves with such titles as ‘Venetica’, ‘Jack Keane’ and ‘Ankh’. Set in a mystical version of the Middle Ages, Blood Knights is an exciting story about the Knights Templar and a legendary Vampire Hunter who finds himself bound by blood to the powerful vampire Alysa during a daring mission. The two must work together to break the blood spell and defeat the hordes of evil creatures who stand between them and their goal.

Continue here to read the full story.

Cyan's Obduction Kickstarted

The Kickstarter for Obduction has hit its initial goal of $1.1 million in funding for Cyan's upcoming follow-up to Myst and Riven, their artsy point-and-click adventures. With around 60 hours to go in the campaign, they are now making the push for their stretch goals, the first of which is Occulus Rift VR support at the $1.3 million mark.

X Rebirth & Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition Preloads

The EGOSOFT website has word from last week that preloads of X Rebirth are underway in advance of the release of the space combat sequel on November 15th. Likewise, the Baldur's Gate II website is now offering preloads of the PC edition of Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, which will allow those buying the RPG remake to get going more easily on the game's release date of November 15th. They celebrate the news with a new launch trailer. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Help Ana Kessel with medical bills. Insomniac Games graphic arts intern lost her leg in a hit-an-run. Thanks nin via Kotaku.

World of Warplanes Takes Off

Wargaming announces that World of Warplanes is out of beta, and the free-to-play aerial combat game is now officially live. Players can get into the game through either the North American World of Warplanes website or the European website, and here's a bit from the announcement, which also kicks off their Unified Premium Account program:

WoWP currently features five nations (USA, USSR, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan) and over 100 different warplanes, with many more to come in future updates. You can choose to fly iconic aircraft such as the Supermarine Spitfire, Messerschmitt Bf. 109, and the P-51 Mustang across a wide variety of landscapes.

The release of World of Warplanes also marks the introduction of the Unified Premium Account. This means that if you purchase Premium account time in World of Warplanes, it will also be valid in World of Tanks, and vice versa.

In addition to sharing Premium account time, your Gold will also be shared between both games. You'll be able to make all of your World of Warplanes and World of Tanks in one convenient place, the Premium Shop!

We're also celebrating the release with a special contest: First to the Top. Race up to tier X and you could win some amazing prizes, including a whole ten years of Premium account time!

VoidExpanse Announced

AtomicTorch Studio reveals plans for VoidExpanse, a sandbox action/RPG set in the expansive void of outer space coming to Windows PCs early next year. The AtomicTorch Studio website has updates from the past couple of months tracking the game's development, saying that they are now prepared to share their progress with the world, having passed their first major milestone. Here's a rundown on the project:

With robust skill-trees, multiple factions with their own agendas, and extensive customization of your ships, VoidExpanse allows you to truly shape your journey to defeat the alien threat and restore the galaxy. Will you be the stalwart savior of humankind, the opportunist playing every angle for financial gain, or the down-and-dirty renegade?

A single-player campaign with a masterfully crafted story of open-exploration and difficult choices is only a small portion of VoidExpanse. With moddable sandbox modes, you can create your own procedurally generated galaxy to discover, and create persistent multiplayer worlds to band with other players – or destroy them.

Prominence Trailer

This trailer offers a narrated introduction to Prominence, Digital Media Workshop's upcoming sci-fi point-and-click adventure, hoping to inspire support for the game's Steam Greenlight campaign. Word is: "The 7-minute narrated preview video is packed with new in-game footage and for the very first time reveals art for several of the game characters. Digital Media Workshop also opens a window on the development process, discussing how key design and feature decisions for Prominence were inspired by some of the most beloved point-and-click adventure classics, and demonstrates new features that are less conventional to the genre, including options that players will have to customize their game experience, and the unlocking of character skills as the story develops." Continue here to read the full story.

Omerta - City of Gangsters Expansion Next Month

A new expansion called The Japanese Incentive is coming on December 5th for the Windows edition of Omerta - City of Gangsters, the strategy game set in the boardwalk empire of 1920s Atlantic City. Here's word on the add-on, which will come to the Xbox 360 edition of the game early next year:

‘The Japanese Incentive’ expansion offers budding mobsters a brand new and exciting single player campaign with new characters, storyline, weapons and cut scenes as well as unlocking new areas of Atlantic City, all ripe for the taking. There’s no time to let your guard down as there’s a new enemy AI gang in the city and they are looking to muscle in on your turf. It’s a story from a time when love was more important than keeping your cool, but sometimes losing your cool is the only way to get the job done.

Crossover 13 Released

Codeweavers announces the release of Crossover 13, a new version of their emulation software that allows Windows games to be played on OS X and Linux computers without even having Windows installed. The new version promises a significant performance improvement:

The centerpiece of release 13 is a dramatic improvement in graphics performance, particularly for games. According to CodeWeavers’ CEO Jeremy White, “Even though it’s been shown in many studies that frame rate isn’t the only measure of game play satisfaction, the truth is that many gamers do measure their success by their frame rate. With Performance Enhanced Graphics, now they can play their games any time the moment’s right.”

The reaction from CodeWeavers beta testers has been euphoric. Though user’s mileage may vary depending on their individual… hardware, frame rate increases of between 40-60% (or more) have been noted on titles such as Torchlight 2. One tester noticed a 2x-3x improvement in StarCraft 2. According to another, "With CrossOver 13, I can re-live all of the greatest moments of my misspent gaming youth, with excellent, near-native performance. I can once again be a nano-augmented resurrected Viking warrior working for the NSA, while mowing down innocent civilians in a four-wheeled death machine! Thanks, CodeWeavers!”

Dex Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter seeks £14,000 for Dex, a 2D cyberpunk RPG that's just an "eus" away from a copyright infringement letter. Here's an announcement trailer and here's developer Dreadlocks' pitch on the game, which they hope to release by next summer:

The most innovative aspect of Dex, both from a story and a gameplay perspective, is that it takes place in two planes: physical reality and cyberspace (which is presented as a sort of augmented reality). Cyberspace is omnipresent - you can go there anytime for an alternate take on things - and it is up to you to choose how to overcome all obstacles and enemies. More than one solution can work - pure action, stealth, or cutting through intrusion countermeasures in cyberspace.

Dex will be distributed DRM-Free. Confirmed platforms are PC (Windows, Linux), Mac, and OUYA.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

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

PS4 mania abounds. The new consoles are only available in some territories, but the news today makes it seem like they are everywhere. This raises the question of whether a simultaneous worldwide launch might have been more desirable, but I can't even begin to imagine the logistics of a staged release, much less a more completely coordinated one.

Desirable Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Good Daddy 2.
Furtive Dao.
Science: Stephen Hawking: physics would be 'more interesting' if Higgs boson hadn't been found.
'Killer robots' ban must be part of Geneva talks, says campaign group.
Media: Why Are So Many Violent Criminals Walking Free?
Are Videogames Too Violent? 1993 Edition. Celebrating two decades of asshattery.
Heavy smokers cut down or quit after magnetic brain stimulation, study finds.
Follow-up: Typhoon Haiyan- Before and after photos of storm's damage.
Cybersecurity expert John McAfee still ‘a person of interest’ in Belize murder. Thanks Slashdot.



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