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Saturday, Oct 03, 2009 Happy German Unity Day.


Big Huge Games RPG Hints

The digital detectives at superannuation point the way to three different job openings posted by 38 Studios that suggest something is underway that hasn't been announced at the developer founded by former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling. 38 Studios' announced project is an MMORPG codenamed Copernicus, but these openings don't seem to fit in with that, and are all listed under the heading of Big Huge Games, the developer purchased by 38 Studios earlier this year. They are advertising for a Senior PS3 Programmer, a project art director that has "Shipped titles as a Senior and/or Lead Artist on PC or console (PS2/ PS3/ Xbox/ 360/ Wii). RPG or open-world experience a huge plus," and a Narrative Designer, listing "Design and script game encounters, scripted events, and cinematics" among the requirements.

Clover to PCs

Blitz Arcade announces they have signed Xbox LIVE game Clover for release on the PC under the title Clover: A Curious Tale (thanks Big Download). There's currently no release date for the project, but here's a bit on what it is:

The new and enhanced version of Clover - now Clover: A Curious Tale - updates the hand-crafted watercolour political platform puzzler and invites players to put their puzzle-solving skills to the test by confronting the mysteries of its fascinating medieval world.

Players must help orphaned teenager Sam find out more about the events surrounding a shock attack on the proud nation of Sanha, which resulted in his mother's tragic death. Be warned though, even if Sam works out the mysteries that surround him, the answers he receives may challenge his beliefs forever.

Featuring a fully remastered piano score, new puzzles, voice acting, localisation and a plethora of new ambient effects, Clover: A Curious Tale is a relaxing yet immersive experience that will keep players pushing to find out more.

Level R Adds English, French, and Spanish

Level R now offers English, French, and Spanish versions in addition to the original German-language support in Gamigo's subscription-free racing MMOG. Here's a bit on the game: "Players can discover the maps in explorer mode, engage in realistic races in simulation mode and even play games of capture the flag. As well as the high- octane drag racing mode there’s the bread and butter of the game: Arcade mode. Playing any of these modes earn players points that can be exchanged for improvements to their car and, in later levels, brand new ones."

2Moons Goes Global

Acclaim announces 2Moons is now global, so players from around the world can join this subscription-free fantasy-themed MMORPG. In addition, the latest content update for the game, titled "She is Aloken," is now live. Word is: "The update will include the new majestic Aloken class. Alokens are tremendously skilled hunters and their strengths are focused upon dexterity and spirit (They’re also pretty hot). Wielding spears with crushing accuracy, this class of character should strike fear throughout the community with their impressive assault and attack skills."

New UT3 Renegade-X

A new beta version 0.35 of the Renegade-X modification for Unreal Tournament III is now available. Renegade-X seeks to created an updated first-person shooter based on the Command & Conquer universe in the vein of C&C Renegade.

Left 4 Dead Video Interview

There's a Left 4 Dead/Left 4 Dead 2 video interview on the YouTube where Valve's Kim Swift answers questions about the zombie shooter series at the Tokyo Game Show. In an interesting twist, the questions are in Japanese and Kim's answers are in English (to the seemingly amused mystification of her interviewer). The clip also features some fancy Japanese-style production values (clap clap clap).

Audiosurf Patched

Steam News announces another new automatic update is available for Audiosurf, addressing a bug in the music game that provoked an error for some players had after the Websurf update, and also fixes the game icon.

Saturday Screenshots

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Mobilization


Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I've mentioned in the past Hudson the wonder dog's hatred for mail coming through the slot on the door, which has caused us to tape the slot shut to prevent its destruction. The thing is that occasionally we would still find an envelope or other piece of paper that was left within doggie reach shredded on the floor. I always assumed this was Huddy destroying some paper out of irritation when the mailman arrived, and would scold her a bit to deter this. Then the other day I heard a tearing noise from the next room and discovered the Gunnar-man lying their calmly, methodically turning a piece of scrap paper into confetti. It turns out I was accusing the wrong dog of this minor crime, and had the wrong motivation too, as he was obviously just a little bored, and not irritated at anyone at all. Who knew?

Shredded Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Valkyrie Battlefield.
Bomb Diggity.
Links: 10 worst ways to spend your time in a game.
How Much Is Inside? Thanks Boing Boing.
No Chuck Norris.
Story: Force rescues Darth Vader on M1. Thanks Digg.
Science: Half of babies 'will live to 100'.
NASA Is Running Out of Space Fuel, No Refills In Sight.
Images: Wrong End Bosses (Part 2 of 2).
Media: High-Speed Robot Hand. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Skateboard trick fail!!....wait..... WIN! WIN!
Cats have epic 3-way steak battle.
Auctions: Palin-Tagged 360 Back on Ebay.
Follow-ups: Gas mask bra traps Ig Nobel prize.
Eyeborgian Filmmaker Rob Spence.

Friday, Oct 02, 2009

Ships Ahoy - Risen

Today is the launch date for Risen, the new action/RPG from Piranha Bytes. The game is available from digital distributors Direct2Drive and Steam and presumably a retailer near you. Also, for those who missed the update to yesterday's release of the Risen demo, the first versions of the demo were corrupted, so here is a list of mirrors with known working copies: AtomicGamer,, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, PixelRage, and The Patches Scrolls.

Borderlands Preorders

Preorders of Borderlands are now underway for Gearbox Software's upcoming role-playing shooter, as the "remaining work items until gold" countdown on is down to 74. Direct2Drive and Steam are each now accepting preorders/pre-purchases, and are offering a 10% discount to reward the advance commitment.

Rogue Warrior December 1

Rogue Warrior will be released on December 1 Big Download has confirmed with Bethesda Softworks, after noticing that release date in GameStop's listing for the game. Rebellion's upcoming first person shooter will feature actor Mickey Rourke as the voice of Richard “Demo Dick” Marcinko in a game loosely based on his exploits as a Navy SEAL.

Dragon Age Character Creator Nears

The Dragon Age: Origins Forums announce Character Creator from Dragon Age: Origins will be released on October 13, giving players three weeks to experiment with character creation before the action/RPG goes live (thanks IGN). As the following states, this will be accompanied by beta testing of their new community website:

The Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator will allow you to create numerous different characters before launch and experiment with the different classes, races, and create multiple faces for the 6 Origin stories and save them to your hard drive for safe keeping until the game is released.

As you may be aware we are extending the BioWare community with a new social community site for Dragon Age: Origins. The great news is when we launch the Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator we will also be launching an open beta of the new social community site. You will be able to log into the new Social community site with your existing BioWare forums account name and password, and update it to the new social site account. Characters created with the Dragon Age: Origins Character Creator can also be uploaded to your account from within the Character creator. Once logged in to the social site, one of the first things you will be able to do is use one of your uploaded characters as your social website avatar for your profile on the new social website forums (yes we got that in!!), exciting stuff! Stay tuned for more information on the social website from now through launch.

The Old Republic Sith Warrior Details

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Developer Blog now has a new update filling in details about the Sith Warrior class from BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG. They offer a couple of images and a description of this class centered on "domination and control" that will allow those who have embraced the Dark Side to "express your inner Vader."

RailWorks Update, New DLC

Steam News announces a new automatic update for RailWorks to address a couple of bugs in the transportation simulator. Also now on sale is the latest in the large collection of DLC for the game, a new Class S-2 Berkshire RailWorks Add-on, offering two locomotives and a free roam scenario.

CD Projekt Follow-up

Develop follows up on this morning's news of an odd stock-swap buyout that would take Polish developer/publisher CD Projekt public, confirming with the company that such a deal is in the works, but has not yet been finalized. They do stress that such a deal would be a positive move: "This means money for future development of [the] whole company," a spokesperson tells them. "This is very good news for us."

On Sale

  • Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales on GoGamer. Save 50%.
  • ANNO 1404 on GoGamer. Save 30%.
  • Borderlands on Direct2Drive. Save 10% on preorders.
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood on GoGamer. Save 14%.
  • Champions Online on GoGamer. Save 20%.
  • City of Heroes Architect Edition on GoGamer. Save 10%.
  • D2D Best of Girls of Gaming on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Fallen Earth on GoGamer. Save 10%.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on GoGamer. Save 74%.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic V on GoGamer. Save 50%.
  • Oddworld Games on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Painkiller Black Limited on GoGamer. Save 85%.
  • Premier Manager 2010 on GoGamer. Save 44%.
  • Raven Squad on Steam. Includes a free copy of Legendary.
  • Shaun White Snowboarding on GoGamer. Save 75%.
  • Stronghold Legends on GoGamer. Save 90%.
  • Tex Murphy Series on Save 30%.
  • Tropico 3 on Direct2Drive. Preorders save 10%.
  • Ultimate Flight Collection on GoGamer. Save 84%.
  • WWII Battle Tanks- T-34 vs Tiger on GoGamer. Save 58%.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
  • AudioSurf on Steam. Save 50%.
  • All Aspect Warfare on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Angle of Attack on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum on Save 10% for PC, 12% for 360, and PS3. Thanks nin.
  • Bridge Construction Set on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Cities XL: Pre-Purchase on Steam. Limited Edition for the standard edition price plus in-game bonus items.
  • Cogs on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Company of Heroes Gold on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • CrimeCraft on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Dark Void Preorders on GameStop. Outlines the preorder bonus.
  • Dark Void Preorders on Game Crazy. Get a limited edition Trexi.
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Europa Universalis Rome Gold on Impulse.
  • Gish Download on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Grand Ages: Rome on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Light of Altair Download - Buy Light of Altair on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Machinarium on Direct2Drive. Save 25%.
  • Making History Gold Edition on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • MDK on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Mount and Blade on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Nemesis of the Roman Empire on Impulse. Save 47%.
  • Officers on Steam. Save 50%.
  • The Path Download on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla on Direct2Drive. Save $5.00 with the code 5OFFREDFACTION at checkout.
  • Risen Prepurchase on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Risen on Save $10.00. Thanks Big Download.
  • SFI Mission 4-Pack on the Strategy First Website. Four games for $19.99.
  • Spiderweb Software Store. All games 10% off through October.
  • The Spirit Engine 2 on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Sword of the Stars on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Tropico 3 Pre-purchase on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Warlords Battlecry III on Impulse. Save 47%.
  • Wolfenstein on Amazon. Save 41%.
  • World of Goo on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Zatikon on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: 25 Hilarious Roller Coaster Photos. Thanks Ant via Digg.

Zombie Driver Announced

Polish developer EXOR Studios announces Zombie Driver, "an action driving game with a top down perspective and a dynamic helicopter chase camera" planned for digital distribution next month. The title is (sadly) deceptive, though, as you play a driver, but you are not a zombie, though you get to run over, shoot, and blow up epic numbers of the undead. The Zombie Driver Website is online, there's a gameplay movie on the YouTube, here are some screenshots, and here's a bit from the announcement:

SZCZECIN, POLAND - OCTOBER 2, 2009 - EXOR Studios, an independent game development company is proud to announce its first commercial PC title - Zombie Driver™ - an action driving game with a top down perspective and a dynamic helicopter chase camera. Fight your way through the streets of a zombie infested city to save the survivors of a disastrous chemical accident that changed most of the city's population into mindless brain hungry monsters. Time is your enemy and your car is your weapon as you race through the streets smashing everything on your way including fences, phone booths, street lamps and hordes of zombies. When the gruesomely mutated zombies become too much to handle, buy a new car or get more guns and upgrades installed. You can earn more money for finishing side quests, making kill combos and searching for hidden prizes. Game play is unrestricted and the player can freely roam through the dark streets, alleys and backyards searching for the best shortcuts or hidden power ups.

CrimeCraft Free Mode & New Subscription Options

Vogster Entertainment announces a new subscription-free mode for their online shooter CrimeCraft (they are calling this an "unlimited free trial"), a new "enhanced subscription model" for the game, a "loyalty program" for their current subscribers, and the first content update for the game, all expected to launch later this month. Word is: "CrimeCraft will introduce a new Standard Subscription for $4.99/month in addition to the current $9.99/month Premium Subscription option. The major differences between the subscription levels is the extent of customization, skill slots, speed of experience gain and inventory capacity. Standard and Premium subscription features will also be showcased behind “velvet rope” areas to allow players to make a fully-informed subscription decision."

Majesty 2 Patch

The first patch is now available for Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, updating 1C:Ino-Co's real-time strategy sequel to version 1.0.97. The new version adds an automatic update function for future patches, a "safe mode" to make it easier to optimize graphics settings, enhanced communication features in the chat lobbies, as well as a number of bug-fixes. The full patch notes are posted on the Paradox Interactive Forums and downloads can be found on the Paradox Interactive Forums, AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. Digitally distributed copies should be updated through their respective services (the Impulse one is now available).

Queen DLC for Rock Band

Harmonix announces a 10-pack of Queen songs as DLC for Rock Band for release on October 20, offering one of the most requested classic rock bands heretofore missing from the music game. This bit of console news is being passed along here because we don't see it amid the news of next week's DLC on more console-centric sites, and because it makes us very happy. Here's the track list:

Another One Bites the Dust
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
One Vision
Fat Bottomed Girls
I Want It All
I Want To Break Free
Killer Queen
Somebody To Love
Tie Your Mother Down
Under Pressure

Left 4 Dead 2 Preorders Begin

Valve announces preorders of Left 4 Dead 2 are now being accepted, revealing that preorders on Steam get a 10% discount off the MSRP of the co-op zombie shooter sequel, and they are also discounting the Left 4 Dead four-pack and the Left 4 Dead bundle. The rest of the announcement repeats what we already know about early demo access and the exclusive baseball bat weapon: "Starting now, those who pre-order L4D2 from participating retailers (PC, Xbox 360) or via Steam (PC) will receive early access to the Left 4 Dead 2 demo (currently targeted for October 27) plus an exclusive in-game item - the American baseball bat, one of the 10 new melee weapons included in the game."

S.H.M.U.P Demo

Independent developer Aaron Styles announces that his game S.H.M.U.P has been nominated as a finalist in GDC China's Independent Games Festival, and to celebrate, a playable demo for the side-scrolling shooter is available on his Charcoal Styles Website. There's a trailer showing off the game on the YouTube, here are three screenshots, and here's a bit: "S.H.M.U.P puts you in command of up to fifteen independent ships, defending your wall against a never ending collection of enemies and massive bosses. To aid you in your defence, you have access to a plethora of upgrades and awesome exploding, homing missiles. S.H.M.U.P features chip tune inspired music from Bart Klepka and Multifaros. The game also features a Twitter integration (which was included months before any commercial game announced it!) and extensive modding capabilities."

WRC Announced

Black Bean Games announces WRC, a game based on the FIA World Rally Championship racing series, to be released for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 next year. The announcement doesn't add much detail about the game, as it focuses more on how the rights to the World Rally Championship were secured, though one quote says this "will be the most realistic and playable rally game of all time." Here are a pair of screenshots. Update: Looks like those "screenshots" are actually photos.

Empire: Total War Patch & Map Plans

Creative Assembly announces plans for an upcoming patch to update Empire: Total War to version 1.5 and add four free new maps to the real-time strategy sequel:

We're pleased to announce that we'll be releasing five new multiplayer maps with the upcoming 1.5 Patch.
These maps are to mark the release of Warpath on the same day and are a thank you for the communities continued support.

To be clear these maps are free with the 1.5 patch, you don't need to purchase Warpath to enjoy them.

The maps are:

• Grassy Flatlands - This is a flat, balanced map designed for competetive/tournament play.
• Austrian Pinnacles - A maze like European landcape with plenty of opportunities to outflank and maneuver around your opponent(s).
• Syrian Ridge - A desert map with several oasis scattered around and a large sandy hill near the centre to dominate the opposition.
• Siberian Plateau - A balanced flat snowy tundra map, heavily forested to allow for ambush and conealed fighting.
• Homestead - An American plains map with several cabin dwellings and low rolling hills with oportunities to seize elevated positions.

All the maps will be enabled for all team sizes - 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4, allowing them all to be played by any number of players.

We hope you enjoy these new additions to Empire's multiplayer experience and we welcome your feedback.

CD Projekt Buyout? (Sort Of)

Polish site reports that CD Projekt is in the process of being acquired by Optimus S.A., a publicly traded company that builds PCs. The twist on all this is that Optimus is nearly out of business, and the purchase is being paid for with Optimus stock to the CD Projekt ownership in what is described as a backdoor way for privately held CD Projekt to enter the stock market without going through the paperwork and other formalities this would normally involve. If this deal is completed, the current ownership will actually still own the company, but its stock will then be traded on the Polish stock market. Thanks Develop.

Battlefield 1943 Preorders

The EA Store is now accepting preorders for the Windows edition of Battlefield 1943, DICE's World War II shooter. As they tweet: "BF1943 coming to PC featuring 32 players, joystick support, server browser, & more PC goodness! Reserve your copy now at"

Spore Film Plans

The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog reports that the film rights to Spore have been picked up by 20th Century Fox to create a CG animated feature based on EA Maxis' evolutionary game. Word is Ice Age and Robots director Chris Wedge "is attached to direct" and a screenplay is being penned by writers Greg Erb and Jason Oremland.

More Warcraft Film Details

IMDB has updated details on the Warcraft movie, which is now titled Warcraft: The Rise of the Lich King. The movie is slated for a 2011 release, and hashes through some of the other revelations.

Transmission Games Follow-up

IncGamers has a follow-up to yesterday's unconfirmed reports of layoffs at Transmission Games. They quote a purported Transmission employee describing the company's tight finances, saying that 30 full time staff and a few contractors were let go bringing their headcount down to around 60. The story describes pitches to publishers for flying games that never got off the ground, but on the bright side, the studio apparently has a deal in place to create a new cricket game following the success of Ashes Cricket 2009.

Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Wars Footage

BattleCast Primetime Season 2 Episode 3 is now live on the YouTube. The clip is co-hosted by Joe Kucan and thankfully seems to feature less shouting. The show includes some brand-new in-game footage of the Crawlers in Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Wars.

Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising Trailer

There's a new Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising trailer on the YouTube offering commentary from the developers at Codemasters' as they discuss the "look and feel" of the upcoming military shooter. "Every vehicle in Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising has its own characteristics: look, handling, turnout, weaponry and so on," says Executive Producer Sion Lenton. "Everything from the smallest jeep to the largest chopper has a completely different handling experience."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits


Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Odd thought that popped into my head for no reason in particular. Why are remotes called remote controls, rather than remote controllers? I can't figure that out, and I also can't figure out why I'm trying to.

Controlled Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: The Insanity.
Magnets. Thanks Jay is Games.
Links: Magic Dots. Thanks Neatorama. More oddly addictive than bubble wrap.
How It Should Have Ended. Thanks Digg.
Fox unveils 'Virtual Echo' for 'Dollhouse' fans.
Stories: Tarantino Promises Kill Bill Vol. 3. Thanks Digg.
'MythBusters' ready to storm fall TV season.
Denver Westword IS Hiring A Pot Critic To Review Marijuana Dispensaries. Thanks Acleacius.
Science: Cosmic-Ray Concentrations Highest in Half a Century. Thanks Slashdot. Dibs on Human Torch.
Nanotech could make humans immortal by 2040, futurist says. Dibs on Captain Scarlet.
MESSENGER Went Into Safe Mode Approaching Mercury. Thanks j.c.f.
Images: Vintage Nimoy. Thanks Neatorama.
In The Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Kindle. Thanks Digg.
Jawas On The Death Star. Thanks Digg.
Media: Once Upon A Pixel: Bioshock.
Inception theatrical trailer. Thanks nin.
Slide Fail. OMG. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Auction: UK girl stopped from selling granny online.
The Funnies: PHD Comics- Vacation v. Stress. Thanks Neatorama.
Abstruse Goose » Bee. Thanks Kxmode.
xkcd - - Surgery.

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