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Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014

  

Ships Ahoy - Blackguards

Blackguards is now available worldwide for Windows and OS X on Steam and GOG.com, offering the new turn-based RPG from Daedalic Entertainment. Standalone playable demos were recently released for either platform, and demos are also available through Steam. Here's word on the game:

Calling out to all rogues and fans of RPGs: Blackguards - the new turn-based RPG from Daedalic Entertainment is now available worldwide for Mac and PC on Steam and GOG. This final version of the game includes all new features implemented based on the feedback collected during the Early Access Program.

Players who bought Blackguards via the Steam Early Access will receive an automatic update including the final version of the game.

Leading up to the release, Blackguards proved that, with their first venture into the RPG genre, Daedalic Entertainment once again have created a gripping gaming experience.

Gamespot were keen to highlight the detail of the 180+ individually designed battlemaps: "You see it most in the heavy focus on interaction with environmental objects scattered throughout the hexagonal grids, and in its best moments, Blackguards uses them to craft more rewarding battles than we recently saw in The Banner Saga."

Blackguards' is now available for PC and Mac on Steam and GOG. The Standard Edition on Steam is available for US$39.99/ Euro39.99/ RUR699/ GBP29.99 and the Blackguards Deluxe Edition for US$ 59.99/ Euro59.99/ RUR999/ GBP44.99. The Special Edition on GOG is available for US$44.99.

Ships Ahoy - INSURGENCY

Steam News announces that INSURGENCY is now available as a full release following an extended Early Access period for New World Interactive's tactical first-person shooter based on the mod of the same name. Here's word on the game, which is on sale for 10% off for the next week:

Take to the streets for intense close quarters combat, where a team's survival depends upon securing crucial strongholds and destroying enemy supply in this multiplayer and cooperative Source Engine based experience. The follow-up game to the award-winning Source mod, Insurgency is highly competitive and unforgivingly lethal, striking a balance between one-life gameplay and prolonged action.

On Sale

  • Aarklash: Legacy on GOG.com. Save 63%.
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Styx: Master of Shadows Announced

Focus Home Interactive announces Styx: Master of Shadows, an infiltration game in the works at Cyanide Studio for release this year on Windows PCs. Those hoping for an homage to corporate rock will have to content themselves with RPG elements the game will offer, as this is a Dennis DeYoung-free production where Styx is the name of the goblin protagonist, so dōmo arigatō, but no thanks, Mr. Roboto. Here are some screenshots, and here's word on the game:

Styx: Master of Shadows is an infiltration game with RPG elements developed by Cyanide Studio for PC. After many months in development, Styx: Master of Shadows can now reveal the very first official screenshots: here we see Styx, the playable character in the game, progressing through some of the dizzying levels composing the adventure.

Styx is a Goblin two centuries old... the very first of all the Goblins, he's a master in the arts of stealth, theft, and murder. The depths of the miles-high Tower of Akenash, where Humans and Elves hide and protect the Tree, the source of the Amber, are the best chance Styx has of quickly amassing a small fortune and, perhaps, discover more about his true origins along the way.

Battle your way to the top of the lofty Tower of Akenash through immense and vertiginous levels that highlight the vertical perspective. You will complete numerous missions with various objectives as you climb up - murder, information recovery, theft of precious artifacts, etc - and gradually reconstruct the puzzle that provides the key to the mystery of your origins. The levels are open and the objectives can be completed in various ways: you are therefore free to choose the best way to proceed and the most suitable strategy to employ to achieve and complete your mission objectives. But remember you're a Goblin: if your target is twice your size, or more, you're better off eliminating them silently. and in the back!

Continue here to read the full story.

EA Paying for YouTube Love

A post on NeoGAF shows documents suggesting EA ran its own program to pay for YouTube videos promoting their games, similar to allegations that Microsoft was paying for positive Xbox One videos on YouTube. The instructions allegedly from EA on this seem self-conscious about the implications, promising a $10.00 CPM (per thousand views), but warning not to post any details about the incentive online. This secrecy takes a different tone than EA's statement about this to The Verge: "Through EA's Ronku program, some fans are compensated for the YouTube videos they create and share about our games," a company spokesman confirmed for the site. "The program requires that participants comply with FTC guidelines and identify when content is sponsored. User-generated videos are a valuable and unique aspect of how gamers share their experiences playing the games they love, and one that EA supports." They seem to think this doesn't conflict with the NDA they attached to this, contradictorily saying: ""We explicitly state in the Terms & Conditions of the program that each video must comply with the FTC's Guidelines concerning Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising"

Blackguards Demos

The Blackguards website now offers downloads of playable demos for Blackguards, allowing a sample of either the Windows or OS X editions of Daedalic Entertainment's Dark Eye role-playing game in advance of its release this Friday. Here's a refresher: "The first turn-based RPG by Daedalic Entertainment unites the studio’s high standard of a suspenseful storytelling and unique characters with gripping tactical battles in elaborately crafted 3D-environments. In a taxing campaign, the player takes part in a dark story full of doubt, betrayal and loss." Here's word on the demo:

The free demo contains the finalised first chapter of Blackguards incorporating new features that have been implemented as a result of the feedback collected throughout The Early Access program. This will include the advanced character creation announced last month. Players will be able to continue saved games started in the demo in the full version of the game.

WoW Realm Connections and Character Transfers

The World of Warcraft website announces free character migrations are available to help balance realm populations in Blizzard's MMORPG. They are offering transfers from Area 52 or Stormrage to Turalyon, from Tichondrius or Illidan to Blackrock, and from Bleeding Hollow or Darkspear to Korgath. Transfers are available between now and Friday, but they also warn: "Please be aware that, due to the unpredictable nature of free transfers, we may close down any Free Character Migrations at any time and without warning if the target realm becomes full. If you plan to move with friends or your guild, we suggest that you coordinate the effort to reduce the chance of any stragglers being left behind." On a related note, they also offer an update on the previously announced realm connections, showing that many of these are now in place. They also show a few more realms that will be connected tomorrow, and list a few more that will take place at some point in the future.

Star Citizen Hits $37M; Organization System Launches

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website announces that the crowd-funding campaign for Star Citizen has hit the $37 million mark. They outline the Tanga System this goal unlocks, reveal the $38 million goal as an "unexplored natural wonder," and open the voting for their $39 million goal, calling this "the final system stretch goal." Also, Roberts Space Industries announces the launch of the first web-based Organization system for the upcoming combat and exploration game. They outline how this will work, its new live chat system, organization rules, and more (thanks jimnms, who expresses hopes that someone forms a Blue's News group). Here's word on the goals for this:

This is only the beginning of the Organization system. Cloud Imperium remains dedicated to creating an environment for Star Citizen’s squadrons, clans and guilds to flourish, and we have extensive long-range plans for enhancing Organizations as we build towards their presence in the persistent universe. Multiple org membership, visual organization charts and fleet views are among the features we are working on adding now.

Our goal with the Organization system, like the Hangar and Dogfighting modules, is to allow the Star Citizen community to get a foot in the door and start experiencing (and expanding) the Star Citizen ‘verse as soon as possible. Remember: organizations isn’t just about letting you group together with friends and gamers, it’s about backers beginning to shape Star Citizen’s lore!

Natural Selection Source Code

Unknown Worlds announces the release of the source code for Natural Selection, their original Half-Life modification that paved the way for their standalone Natural Selection 2. They say: "You can use the NS source code to make your own version of the original game, fix problems with it, make new problems, or just see how the game worked." However, they somewhat vaguely warn: "Today, we are proud to announce that Natural Selection Source Code is now available to anyone, free of charge. Head on over to GitHub to get it.. It’s not ‘open source’ – There is some legal hoo-ha that prevents that. But it is all there." Thanks Ant.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well, we got socked with that snowstorm they predicted, not sure we got the full foot of snowfall they called for, but it's pretty deep out there. I'll have to tackle that in a bit, but with the temperature right around 2°F and a "real feel" of -29°F I'm not in any rush to head out there. Yeesh.

Deep Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Colonial Wars - Special Edition.
Links: The toll of the anti-vaccination movement, in one devastating graphic.
Grantland Fauxsclusive! Roger Goodell’s Inbox. Thanks Creston.
Story: 8-Year-Old Saves 6 in Fire, Is Killed Himself - Investigators think he died trying to rescue disabled uncle.
Science: Fly like a bird: The V formation finally explained.
NASA: Space station dodged debris 16 times in past 15 years.
Last year ranks among warmest on record (again).



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