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Friday, Jan 10, 2014

  

Banished Next Month

Shining Rock Software announces a February 18th release date for Banished, their upcoming city-building strategy game (thanks IncGamers). We've apparently been living under a shiny rock, because this game hasn't been mentioned here, so here's a trailer from last year showing an alpha build, and here is a rundown on the game:

The townspeople of Banished are your primary resource. They are born, grow older, work, have children of their own, and eventually die. Keeping them healthy, happy, and well-fed are essential to making your town grow. Building new homes is not enough—there must be enough people to move in and have families of their own.

Banished has no skill trees. Any structure can be built at any time, provided that your people have collected the resources to do so. There is no money. Instead, your hard-earned resources can be bartered away with the arrival of trade vessels. These merchants are the key to adding livestock and annual crops to the townspeople’s diet; however, their lengthy trade route comes with the risk of bringing illnesses from abroad.

There are twenty different occupations that the people in the city can perform from farming, hunting, and blacksmithing, to mining, teaching, and healing. No single strategy will succeed for every town. Some resources may be more scarce from one map to the next. The player can choose to replant forests, mine for iron, and quarry for rock, but all these choices require setting aside space into which you cannot expand.

The success or failure of a town depends on the appropriate management of risks and resources.

Continue here to read the full story.

On SimCity Modding

A post from yesterday on the SimCity website discusses modding the most recent addition to EA Maxis' urban planning series. In October EA solicited suggestions for their User Generated Content Guidelines, and true to that, almost everything in the post covers the rules governing what you can and cannot do in modifying the game, and in noting this news, PC Gamer tries to parse what all these regulations mean, noting they are potentially even more restrictive than they appear at first, which is saying something.

Marathon Indie Gaming Stream Begins Tonight

A Supershow Collective Twitch stream is set to get underway this evening at 7:00 pm EST (a pre-show gets underway at 6:30), hosted by Greenlit Gaming and indie developers Robot Loves Kitty. This 48+ hour marathon has two components, beginning as an Indie Showcase which will morph into an Indie Dev Super Show at 7:00 pm EST tomorrow. Each program will show off some indie games that can use some additional exposure. Here's word:

The Supershow Collective Marathon is a 48+ hour event that showcases over 60 indie games and their developers. Tons of gameplay, special guests, Q&A's, giveaways, sneak peaks, cake, and more!

The first 24 hours Greenlit Gaming's "Indie Showcase" will treat you to games on Steam and Greenlight, then for 24 hours Robot Loves Kitty's "Indie Dev Supershow" will intrigue you with indie games you might not have heard of, but really should have.

This event was put together to help bring devs and players together in an unprofessional fun-time bonanza.

Valve Talks About Lack of Communication

There's an interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talking with Valve employees Jan-Peter Ewert, Jeff Cain, and Louis Barinaga. Whatever the pretext of the conversation, RPS chose to focus on communication, which they suggest is often a one-way street, noting the company is often silent on questions about topics like the delayed Diretide event for Dota 2, company layoffs, and the long-overdue Half-Life 2: Episode 3. When asked specifically about the lack of information about whether there would be a Diretide this year, Ewert and Cain defend their silence, saying:

Jan-Peter Ewert: I don’t think there is a lot of improvement to be made there. The thing is, if you feel something is wrong and your customers tell you something should be fixed, the right response is to fix it – not to tell them, “Yeah, at some point in time we’ll fix it.” Because that’s expectation. And if you’re ultimately not able to fix it, then that only makes people even more angry.

So I think the right response around SteamOS or anything we do will be what we did with Diretide, which is to bring out the thing people want [if it works out behind-the-scenes], not just tell them we’ll fix it.

Jeff Cain, business development: Reactions start even if people don’t hear anything. We’re listening. Things happen.

On Sale

  • 3079 -- Block Action RPG on Steam. Save 30%.
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  • Adventures NOW! on GOG.com. Daedalic Entertainment and Telltale Games titles up to 85% off.
  • Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy on Steam. Save 80%.
  • Sanctum series on GamersGate. Save 75%.
  • The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut on GamersGate. Save 75%.

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

I'd be lying if I told you I believed myself that I'd post this early three evenings in a row.

Broken Age Part 1 For Backers Next Week

Double Fine's Tim Schafer tweets excitedly about the January 14th release of Broken Age: Part One for the game's Kickstarter backers, saying: "Haven't shipped a game of my own in 4.5 years, an adventure game in 16, a point-n-click in almost 20. Next Tuesday is going to be exciting!" As Double Fine announced over the summer the game was split into two parts, with profits from Early Access to the first part to help fund completion of the second. Thanks Joystiq.

QUAKE LIVE Standalone Client Released; Linux and OS X Support Ends

The Bethesda Blog announces the standalone QUAKE LIVE  client is now available, removing the web-browser interface to this free-to-play online game based on QUAKE III Arena. As revealed when this was first announced, this means that Linux and OS X support for the multiplayer shooter has come to an end. They provide a FAQ on the topic, which explains that no changes are being made to their subscription service "at this time," player stats will carry over, and what to do if your machine no longer meets their system requirements. They also say the QUAKE LIVE website will remain online, but many of the game functions it provided are now integrated into the game client.

MXGP in March; New Trailer

PQube and Milestone announce a March 28th U.K. release date for MXGP: The Official Motocross Videogame, their upcoming dirt bike simulation. No corresponding North American date is offered, but the game's official website says the game "will be available from March 2014 on PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC®." That note is in their news of a new official wallpaper pack they are offering, and for a further look at the game, there's a new gameplay trailer which also confirms the game is due in March. Scheduling aside, here's a bit on the game itself: "MXGP: The Official Motocross Videogame is the official game of the World Motocross Championship - authentically simulating the emotion, the mud, the amazing jumps and fierce competition of this incredible sport. Including a redesigned career mode, MXGP features all the riders, teams, bikes and rules from the official MXGP 2013 calendar. Experience the intensity of these adrenaline-fuelled races first hand, as a new generation of riders fight it out, to claim the World Championship title race by race." Continue here to read the full story.

Rambo Trailer; Game Release Next Month?

The Rambo the videogame website now offers a new gameplay video with the upcoming game adaptation of the Rambo movies. The first and second trailers for the game showed some peculiarities in skin reflections and character proportions, and while these do not seem nearly as pronounced in the new clip, it's not without its visual oddities. Also, Strategy Informer reports a tentative February 21st release date for the game, which they learned from a "development source," though they are also told this is "not completely fixed yet." Continue here to read the full story.

Energy Hook PC Plans Intact

Recent stories about Energy Hook coming first to PS4 and PS Vita seem to imply this means the swinging Spider-Man-inspired action game will come to consoles before PCs, in spite of the game's Kickstarter being for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Rock, Paper, Shotgun clears up this confusion, saying this PlayStation talk covers the game's console debut, and that the game's PC plans are unchanged, noting that those who preorder from the ENERGY HOOK website get immediate access to the alpha version for Windows, OS X, and Linux, which includes Oculus Rift VR support.

2K Czech Restructures

Following a report on Eurogamer.cz outlining a rumored shakeup at 2K Czech (rumored to be working on Mafia 3), Eurogamer.net has a confirmation from 2K that some employees of 2K's Prague facility have been centralized in Brno, also confirming that part of their operation is being relocated to the U.S. Here's the official statement from 2K:

"We have relocated and consolidated our 2K Czech team from our Prague facility to centralise resources in our location in Brno. Additionally, we are transferring some development resources from Prague and Brno to 2K headquarters in Novato, CA. This transition will both strengthen the integration of the 2K Czech team with our award winning development teams, and better align cross-functional business practices. As part of this realignment, we are adjusting our staffing levels, resulting in the elimination of some positions."

METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE DRM Issue Fixed

Yesterday's release of METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE included always on DRM that required being connected to the Internet to play the Windows edition of Konami's action game. It seems this stealthily snuck into the game, as Konami tweets that it was not intended, saying: "We are aware of the offline play issue for Metal Gear Rising for Steam and are working on a fix. Please stay tuned for more updates!" There is no follow-up tweet on the topic, but according to CVG the fix has now been implemented.

Drunken Robot Pornography Early Access and Weekly Competition

Drunken Robot Pornography is now available via Early Access on Steam, offering the chance to be among the first to play Dejobaan's bullet-hell first-person shooter. In this video Dejobaan also announces a new competition called Drunken Robot Battle Royale that will involve the release of a new challenge map every Friday for the next six months, which should include the game's official release, which is currently planned for this quarter. Here's word on the game: "DRP is a bullet-hell first-person shooter for Windows. You battle giant robots—called Titans—as they try to slice you apart with their lasers. Armed with a jet-pack and a gun, you pick off their missile launchers, fry away their carbon fiber armor, and tear off their claws, leaving them writhing." Continue here to read the full story.

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 Next Month; Preorders Underway

1C Company announces a February 20th 2014 release day for the digital edition of Men of War: Assault Squad 2, the upcoming World War II strategy sequel. Preorders are now underway on Steam where the game or its Deluxe Edition variant are both offered for 20% off, with an additional 10% loyalty discount for owners of the original Men of War: Assault Squad. Here's an outline of how the sequel improves upon the original:

This new Assault Squad game brings significant game engine and visual improvements as well, with special attention paid to ones that were highly requested by the players. These included items such as advanced multi-core support, advanced shader technology, interface and AI improvements, as well as added camouflage depending on season/map, fully updated inventory items with new graphics and updated vehicles, sound improvements, Steam multiplayer and much more.

Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin Charity Greenlight

A Steam Greenlight campaign is underway for Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin, the PC edition of this side-scrolling action game that's already available for mobiles. The samurai rabbit character is the creation of award-winning author and illustrator Stan Sakai, and word is that 100% of the game's profits for the first 47 days (in honor of 47 Ronin) after it goes live will be donated directly to Sakai to help with his family's medical bills. "Stan Sakai and his family have had a tragic year, and we want to help him out as much as we can," said Michael Levine, HappyGiant President. "We hope to use this as a 'Kickstarter-like' event, except in this case, the game is already done. We just need people to spread the word and vote for it on Steam!" This article shows other ways to support Stan and his family in their time of need as his wife struggles with a debilitating condition. Here's more on the game itself:

The title is a “2D side-scrolling hack-and-slash game”, done in the comic’s art style, and in the vein of the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade game, to which Usagi is often linked, as the characters have appeared in each other’s comics and TV series over the years. The game features over SIXTY (60) different enemies, over 13 boss monsters and several of Usagi’s friends who fight along his side as companions in 13 action packed levels. The characters were all animated in 3D and the animation was brought into Unity3D in a proprietary method.

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

My cooking project last week was pretty successful, as I made my best batch of Bolognese sauce yet, though perfecting my technique and recipe for this remains a work in progress. I'm now faced with a greater challenge, as I have a couple of pork chops I'm tasked with preparing, but the weather (and my aversion to cold) do not make cooking them on the man-stove very appealing, so I am going to have to stoop to cooking them indoors. Please don't rat me out to Steven Raichlen.

Chopped Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Deep Sea Hunter 2.
King Epico's - Epic Adventure.
Link: Last Alan Moore Interview? Thanks The Escapist.
Stories: Teen dies stopping suicide bomber at school in Pakistan.
Food, beverage companies cut 6.4 trillion calories from products in past five years.
HBO sets Game of Thrones April season 4 premiere date.
Science: Nanoparticles catch cancer cells that make it into the blood stream.
Scientists to create controlled nuclear meltdown in Japan. Thanks Slashdot.
Take LSD, stay out of prison?
Media: Muppets Trailer Nails the Ridiculousness of Quoting Tweets.
Stupid Game Show Answers - Things Fall Apart.
This Woman Just Set The Record For Fastest Time Eating An Entire 72 Oz. Steak.
Auctions: Insomniac Games auctions signed Xbox One console to help injured artist.
Follow-up: US to extend the International Space Station funding to 2024.
The Funnies: The Adventures of Fallacy Man.



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