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Friday, Mar 28, 2014

  

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Trademark

The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market website shows a new trademark filing in Europe for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. There are no details about what this is for besides covering a video game and related materials. Those who don't want to get their hopes up for a new full installment in the Deus Ex action/RPG series can be forgiven, after the last two such stories resulted in an April Fools joke and a mobile game. We'll have to wait and see what comes of this. Thanks IncGamers.com.

WildStar Bonus Beta Weekend

The WildStar website announces this is a "Bonus Beta Weekend" for Carbine Studios upcoming MMOG, meaning they are offering beta access to everyone who has preordered the game, simultaneously raising the level cap from 17 to 20. Word is: "This is our way of gathering the feedback we cherish and saying thank you to all of our loyal testers. Which is why we would love it if you logged in this weekend, enjoyed the extra 3 levels and the bonus game time because it will greatly help us be that much more prepared come launch day June 3rd."

Raven's Cry Delayed Again

A new Raven's Cry website announces a new October 14, 2014 release date for Raven's Cry, TopWare's upcoming seafaring RPG. This is the latest delay for a game that was announced for release in Q2 2012, then delayed to October 2013, and delayed again to this May following a developer switch before this latest setback. They explain that the game "has doubled the amount of cargo in her holds," and list the following new features it will include:

  • New skills for the captain (a skill tree with over 25 options)
  • The personal story of Christopher Raven (more than 25h of main storyline)
  • Additional adventures and skirmishes (open-world setting and side quests)
  • An economic system with a wide variety of tradable goods and simulated price adjustments
  • Realistic naval combat
  • Depictions of the dark life of pirates (cinematic cutscenes)

TUG Early Access

Steam now offers early access to TUG, a "multiplayer, open-world, sandbox-RPG using social sciences to allow players to impact how the game evolves." They will be adding features (and raising the price) as time goes on, and here's an outline of where the Early Access alpha currently stands:

The game currently features two gameplay modes: Creative Mode and Survival Games. In Creative Mode, players can unleash their creativity on the landscape of TUG by digging and building the terrain and exploring the near-infinite procedurally generated world. In the Survival Games, players spawn on a multiplayer map and must race to collect resources, craft weapons and tools, and battle it out to the last Seed standing. Players must utilize the environment to forge tools and weapons, create traps, and sabotage opponents.

Currently in alpha testing, the game will have new features and gameplay systems continuously being added, upgraded, and expanded on. New modding tools will be released periodically so players can create their own maps, tools, and weapons and share them.

Stronghold Crusader 2 Skirmish Mode Trailer

A new Rezzed 2014 trailer shows off Stronghold Crusader 2, Firefly's upcoming besieged RTS sequel. The clip shows off the game and reveals it includes a skirmish mode, and this blog post fills in details on how this will operate. Here's a bit:

This includes eight AI characters and the ability to take your castle siege online, which extends to eight players and the option to play in teams or co-op. It simply wouldn’t be a Crusader game without a skirmish mode and the kind of replayability that offers. This is what we intended to deliver from day one and it’s fundamental to the game’s design. Skirmish mode will be included in the game at launch alongside two single player campaigns, one from each side of the conflict between the invading Crusader hordes and Arabic freedom fighters.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Dog gets caught red-handed. Thanks Ant.

Michael Abrash Joins Oculus

The Oculus Rift website announces that Michael Abrash has joined the company as Chief Scientist, just days after Facebook acquired Oculus for a reported two billion dollars in cash and stock (thanks Shaul and TechCrunch). Abrash had previously been at the forefront of Valve's efforts at exploring the same sort of virtual reality setups as Oculus, and this also represents a reunion of sorts with John Carmack, as the pair worked together at id Software back in the day. Here's a bit on the news from the post in Mike's own words:

The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday. A lot of what it will take to make VR great is well understood at this point, so it's engineering, not research; hard engineering, to be sure, but clearly within reach. For example, there are half a dozen things that could be done to display panels that would make them better for VR, none of them pie in the sky. However, it's expensive engineering. And, of course, there's also a huge amount of research to do once we reach the limits of current technology, and that's not only expensive, it also requires time and patience – fully tapping the potential of VR will take decades. That's why I've written before that VR wouldn't become truly great until some company stepped up and invested the considerable capital to build the right hardware – and that it wouldn't be clear that it made sense to spend that capital until VR was truly great. I was afraid that that Catch-22 would cause VR to fail to achieve liftoff.

That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR – and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can.

It's great to be working with John again after all these years, and with that comes a sense of deja vu. It feels like it did when I went to Id, but on steroids – this time we're working on technology that will change not just computer gaming, but potentially how all of us interact with computers, information, and each other every day. I think it's going to be the biggest game-changer I've ever seen – and I've seen quite a lot over the last 57 years.

Call of Duty: Ghosts- Devastation Features Predators?

A video tease in Instagram shows a snippet of gameplay from Call of Duty: Ghosts- Devastation, which will make it's timed exclusive debut on Xbox LIVE next week. The short clip has some pretty clear clues that this will include something akin to the Predator from the predator movies, as it features a nigh-invisible opponent, signature Predator clicking noises, and the movie quote "if it bleeds..." At no point, however, does the player character sing any of Long Tall Sally... Thanks GameSpot.

Flockers Trailer

A new Meat the Flockers trailer is an introductory clip for Flockers, showing off the upcoming new IP from Worms originators Team17. Word is this is coming soon to Steam Early Access:

Team17 recently lifted the wool on its brand new IP, Flockers, during its global unveiling at PC and indie gaming show, EGX Rezzed.

Flockers is a twisted blend of Lemmings’ inspired gameplay and Tim Burton style macabre, all topped off with a dose of that classic Worms humour!

Set hoof into this sinister, steampunk inspired world as you navigate the hapless sheep through a plethora of dark, heinous puzzles in an attempt to save them from their impending doom. Flockers will be coming to PC via Steam Early Access in Q2 2014.

Continue here to read the full story.

LEGO Minifigures Online Trailer

Here's a trailer from LEGO Minifigures Online, revealing a pirate world in Funcom's upcoming toy-based MMORPG. Here's the description, straight out of talk like a pirate day: "Ye think yer a proper pirate, aye? Well, then! Head over to Volcano Island and battle the terrible ghost pirate Dreadleg, or mark yer maps for Treasure Island and best the most terrifying o' sea monsters: Crikey the Kraken! This be what separates the scallywags from the swashbucklers and the bilge rats from the buccaneers!" Continue here to read the full story.

Women In Video Games Initiative

The Fine Young Capitalists is a game project looking to increase the presence of women in video game development, embracing anyone who identifies themselves as female. Here's their pitch for your pitch:

Any person who identifies as a woman can prepare a proposal of up to 1,500 words in length explaining their concept for a video game. Each pitch will be judged on originality, financial viability, level of immersion, fun, aesthetic and feasibility with the require budget. The top 5 proposal will be given to professional concept artists and writers to create a fully realized pitch document that they can use to sell the concept to 3rd parties.

These pitches will be placed online and voted on by anyone interested in supporting women in video game design, with the pitch that receives the most votes being made into a real game and digitally distributed for the entire world. Profits from the sale of game will be given to charity.

Gatherings & Competitions

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

A couple of photos relating to this site popped up on social media yesterday... My towering buddy Redwood posted a photo of us from QuakeCon 1998 that also prominently features Robs and esses, bringing back lots of fun memories (this was marked private, so I've posted it locally). Also, a twitter post shows a Blue's News t-shirt that has seen its share of service. I know there have been lots of requests for new ones, which I guess I have to look into, as the condition of that one proves.

Sepia Tone Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Warlords: Epic Conflict.
Super Bike Racer.
Super Sneak.
Link: 60 Things You Probably Didn't Know About New York City.
Science: Homeopathic remedies recalled for containing real medicine.
Astronomers find two rings around asteroid Chariklo.
Bacteria with “memory construct” snoops on our colon.
Media: If Bane Were a Cat.
Awesome dog rescue dude.
Ninja Turtles (2014) Trailer.
Follow-up: 5 Reasons 'Ghostbusters 3' Will Never Ever Happen.



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