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Monday, Mar 07, 2011


GTA5 Details?

A number of posts on the supererogatory Twitter feed center around motion capture and casting information (with a lot of character descriptions) for video game projects called Sao Paulo Knights and Rush, making a convincing case for these being codenames for Grand Theft Auto V. The sleuth says across two tweets: "And among the projects listed in the casting call was an 'interactive project' called 'Rush,' which featured characters that fit with the few details I heard about GTA5; outlandish characters, weed, gangsters, & celebrities fit the profile for a contemporary LA-set GTA game." Recently superannuation also tweeted five domains they say were registered by Take 2 which seem like they fit the type of background content used in the GTA series:,,,, and Thanks Strategy Informer via Scrawl.

20 Years of Blizzard

The Blizzard Entertainment 20th Anniversary Trailer offers "a message from Blizzard Entertainment’s founders, interviews with developers, video retrospectives, and more." There's also an interview on VentureBeat talking with Blizzard CEO Paul Sams on the occasion. Here's part of his look back: "Back in the early days, we didn’t think 20 years out into the future. We didn’t think it was possible to have the type of success we have been fortunate enough to have. But when I sit back and I reflect on these two decades, it’s been an incredible ride for us. We’ve maintained our core mission of making the most out of our games. We focus on making the most epic entertainment experiences ever, and I think we’ve really stuck with our values. It drives our decisions and has allowed us to provide a level of consistency in what we’ve been able to deliver. We have been able to make many of the top-selling PC games in the world for many years. It’s tough to run a successful company for 20 years. We are very proud and humbled by it."

On Mojang's Future

A Day In The Life Of Minecraft Creator Mojang on Rock, Paper, Shotgun spends some time with the Swedish development studio formed by Minecraft designer Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, discussing the success of Minecraft and becoming familiar with the culture of the company and its native country. They highlight what Notch told them about plans for his next project, as the recently announced Scrolls is "being developed by others at Mojang." Saying he has "many games in mind," though he "keeps going back and forth" on which one he wants to do next, Notch discusses the possibility of a space trading simulator ("but that’s going to be lots of work, and be extremely nerdy, and probably won’t sell very well"), a "weird town simulation thing" which would be his "take on what real life is," and a project he was hesitant to mention for fear the idea would be stolen, which would be "like a football manager, but it’s for fantasy heroes. If you have a troll and a goblin in the same team, the troll might eat the goblin. Stuff like that." Thanks Quentin.

CryENGINE 3 GDC Trailer

This trailer has the CryENGINE 3 GDC 2011 tech demo, showing Crytek's next-generation graphics engine's capabilities. The clip shows real-time rendering, live sync with Maya, lighting effects, motion blur, motion capture, stereoscopic 3D, and more. Thanks Ant.

Alice: Madness Returns GDC Trailer

The GDC 2011 trailer for Alice: Madness Returns shows some cinematics and gameplay from Spicy Horse's upcoming sequel to Alice: Madness Returns beyond the clips posted last week. Included is a lot of combat, showing Alice as a bit of a homicidal maniac. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

APB-Reloaded Trailer

This trailer offers footage from APB-Reloaded, showing driving in Gamers First's upcoming open-world crime reboot, which entails a lot of crashing and hitting of pedestrians. Thanks Massively.

Men of War: Assault Squad - Special Edition

Lace Mamba Global announces Men of War: Assault Squad - Special Edition, an enhanced edition of the RTS sequel for the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, "and additional territories." Here's an image of the following goodies this will offer in addition to the game itself:

  • The critically acclaimed, full Men of War: Assault Squad RTS PC game
  • A black, high quality Men of War: Assault Squad T-Shirt
  • The original game soundtrack on CD
  • A unique 52 playing card deck, exclusively designed for the Men of War: Assault Squad Special Edition
  • An A2 poster
  • A full colour printed manual

Starpoint Gemini Patch

The Starpoint Gemini Website now offers a new patch for Starpoint Gemini, updating this RPG/tactical sim to version The new patch, which includes the changes and fixes from all previous patches, can be found on this page, and mirrored on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell. The patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Cities in Motion Patch

The Cities in Motion Website announces a new patch is now available to update the urban mass transportation simulation to version 1.0.13. Word is: "Retail copies will be patched automatically, for digital download copies please use the same provider for patch and game." There are manual patch mirrors on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls, and the change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Star Trek Convention NYC 1973. Thanks Ant via TDW Geeks.

Deus Ex: Human Release Details This Week

Jean-François Dugas tweets one of those announcements of an announcement, saying to expect the release date for Deus Ex: Human Revolution this week, saying: "Of course ! The release date will be announced next week! What about that! ;)" (the tweet is from Friday). The action/RPG sequel was last announced to be expected in the fiscal year starting this April. Thanks

GDC 2011 Record, 2012 Dates

The Game Developers Conference announces record-breaking attendance for their 2011 show, saying over 19,000 industry professionals gathered in San Francisco for the 25th annual GDC. They also announce the dates for next year's convention, which will be held from March 5-9, 2012. Here's a bit on this year's show:

Some of the highlights of this 25th iteration of GDC included an all-star line-up of 'classic postmortems' – discussing the making of some of the most seminal video games of all time. Eric Chahi's talk on Out Of This World/Another World received a standing ovation for its inspirational story. Other postmortems included Mark Cerny on Marble Madness, John Romero and Tom Hall's on DOOM, and Will Wright on Raid On Bungeling Bay – with enjoyable bonus 'Russian Space Minute' diversions.

Other major talking points at the show were a keynote from Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, entitled "Video Games Turn 25: A Historical Perspective and Vision for the Future,” as well as a social game-centric Rant and the Game Design Challenge – won by Jason Rohrer with an innovative Minecraft mod. Standout talks from StarCraft II's Dustin Browder, LucasArts' Clint Hocking, and GDC veterans Chris Crawford and Brian Moriarty were also among the most buzzed-about lectures at the show this year.

MicroVolts Open Beta Thursday

Rock Hippo Productions announces open beta testing of MicroVolts will begin this Thursday, offering the chance to experience this cartoon-styled multiplayer third-person shooter. The open beta will feature two maps and add a new Elimination game-type. Here's a new trailer from the game, and some new screenshots, and here's a bit on the game:

MicroVolts features fast paced, third person shooter action and pits players against each other in a secret battle that has been waged and going unnoticed right in our own backyard for years. No one knows for sure when or where the first toy declared war but rumor has it that the uprising began with four original limited edition figures, code named MicroVolts. Battle lines were drawn when Naomi, Knox, Pandora, and C.H.I.P.--the prototypes --were soon joined by an endless number of modified versions. Now, toy figures around the world are engaged in an all-out war for valuable battery resources and supremacy of the Micro World. All we can do now is stay out of their way and wait for a champion to be declared!

id Software Relocating

id Software is relocating from their Mesquite, TX offices to Richardson, TX in spring of this year. This was actually reported some time ago, and there's a follow-up here saying they are moving 250 employees to a 57,000 square foot space covering two floors. Other developers in Richardson are id collaborator Nerve Software and war game developer Presagis, and the new location is under 10 minutes from the Plano, TX offices of Gearbox Software. Thanks Redwood.

Modern Warfare 2 Patch Plans

Infinity Ward tweets about plans to patch Modern Warfare 2 to address hacking (thanks Joystiq). Word is:

The latest Modern Warfare 2 patch, to address hacking, will release on Playstation 3 worldwide on March 8th. Xbox 360 and PC release pending

Advanced Tactics: Gold Announced

Matrix Games announces Advanced Tactics: Gold, an enhanced edition of Advanced Tactics: World War II, the turn-based strategy game. Here's a bit on the game:

Building off of the enormous success of Advanced Tactics: World War II, the Gold edition gives players a more powerful game editor, much improved random game engine, many new features and abilities, and more. Advanced Tactics: Gold also comes with an updated manual and ever-changing and expanding wiki, a freshly revamped scenario bank, new graphics throughout the game, more troop types, as well as some new scenarios. VR Designs has also been hard at working listening to player feedback, so Advanced Tactics: Gold also comes with many incremental changes and improvements based on community feedback!

U.K. PC Charts

GFK Chart-Track has the list of the top 20 bestselling PC games in the U.K. for the week ending March 5, 2011. Football Manager 2011 actually moves out of its perennial number one spot this week, dropping all the way to number 3. The top spot this week is occupied by Dawn of War - Retribution, and RIFT enters the chart at number two. That's this week's countdown. Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

APB-Reloaded Beta Recap

APB-Reloaded Blog has a recap of the first week of closed beta testing for the upcoming reboot of APB: All Points Bulletin, the open-world multiplayer crime game. They offer details on testing, a reminder this is an actual beta where they seek feedback, and the following overview: "What's scary now is the staggering amount of work that still remains ahead for the rest of the year. But at least now we have proven that the game can be resurrected, and the next chapter is entirely going to be focused on improving the game progression, improving the servers and improving everything else that remotely touches the game in the long term."

Shift 2 Unleashed Trailer

A new trailer from Shift 2 Unleashed shows footage of real-life professional drivers Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and Matt Powers attacking some drift challenges in the upcoming installment in the Need for Speed series and attempting to top each other's scores. The clip concludes with a new release date of April 1, which is a Friday, so that probably applies to the U.K. Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

A Valley Without Wind Trailer

The Games By Design Blog has a new update on A Valley Without Wind, discussing multiplayer in the upcoming procedurally generated side-scrolling survival game. Word is: "Early multiplayer testing has gone well. In our first foray, two players were able to connect and play together on a server across the Internet with all the basics working. The functionality is certainly a great success, and now the focus shifts to putting in smoothing/prediction and more testing with a varying number of players." They also offer a trailer showing off the Energy Lance weapon.

Op Ed

Hooked Gamers - Dragon Age II: The Decline of the Classic RPG.
There is no question about it, the classic cRPG is dying out. So why bring it up now then? The reason is because one of the few big developers who have remained adamant about catering for players who want to play the classic cRPG is BioWare. Their breed of cRPG was popularised with the Baldur’s Gate series just before the new millennium. This consisted of some defining aspects: detailed character creation (not just customisation); immersive character interaction; strategic-based combat that required thought and timing; and a deep, engaging story that was shaped by the player’s choices. This was a game that could only truly be experienced on a PC. It required a fair amount of work on the developer’s part, but players were rewarded greatly for their efforts and paid the developers back justly.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

There are floods and flood warnings all over this area after a weekend of heavy rains. Thankfully this isn't the 'house swept away' sort of flooding that some people have suffered, but more of the cars stranded in waist-deep water sort of flooding. Our immediate vicinity is in pretty good shape, as we're close to the Hudson river which receives more than it gives in such circumstances. Our house in particular, however, suffered a little last night, as the basement started flooding, the first time in quite a while we suffered with this. I had to do some serious bailing to get water out of the WTF hole in the basement floor. The odd thing is the water was spouting up through a thumb-sized hole next to the WTF hole like a geyser. In one of those "it can't be that easy" moments, I jammed a cork in the smaller hole, which actually seemed to stem the flooding. Weird.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: GemCraft Labyrinth.
Rombo Rush.
Links: The Ten Most Perfectly Cast Superhero Roles.
10 Memorable Accidents in Videogame History.
Stories: FBI, Secret Service duke it out on the ice. Thanks brother19.
Overheard [sic] locker tot outrage.
Science: Rock-Paper-Scissors: You vs. the Computer. I was 5-3-2 vs expert.
Ibuprofen 'cuts Parkinson's disease risk'.
Women's lung cancers has doubled since 1970s in over-60s.
Images: Dr. Tobias Manhattan.
Media: POV of Motorcycle Versus Deer at 85 MPH. NSFW.
Archie Bunker Makes Portal Reference in 1974.

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