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Monday, Aug 29, 2011


Deus Ex: Human Revolution Coded Message

A post to our forums relates the Deus Ex: Human Revolution "special message" the action/RPG prequel teased as coming today, though it looks like an extra-strength decoder ring may be required to work through it. Thanks to Shinyreaper for passing this along:


This was apparently followed by the following, passed along by eRe4s3r:

5 - / ! f / f q / x c / q y / d 3 / ? x / t $ / j #

Max Payne 3 Screenshots, More News Nears

The Max Payne 3 Website now offers a couple of new screenshots from Max Payne 3, the upcoming third-person shooter sequel. The Rockstar Website indicates we should expect more news about the game soon, saying: "Prepare for our next big release on both consoles and PC, the long-awaited return of Max Payne. Expect a lot of news in the next few months, but in the meantime check out these two brand new screenshots - also available in high-def at"

The Secret World Beta Signups (For Real)

Funcom announces that whatever conspiracy undermined beta signups for The Secret World on Friday has unraveled, and they are now accepting applications to test the upcoming MMORPG. This also kicks off the first phase of "The Secret War," described as an "interactive online experience." Here's a bit:

Durham, USA – August 29th, 2011 – Funcom today opened the official beta registration for ‘The Secret World’, the highly anticipated upcoming massively multiplayer online game set in our own, modern-day world. Gamers can now register to be evaluated for participation in the upcoming phases of beta that will be running up to the launch of the game in April 2012. During the next months Funcom will be increasing the number of beta participants gradually.

The launch of the beta registration also signals the start of the first phase ‘The Secret War’, an interactive online experience that engages community members in the conflict between the Templars, the Illuminati, and the Dragon – the three factions in ‘The Secret World’ – even before the game is released.

Why Minecraft Isn't On Steam

The Word of Notch has, well, the word of Notch on why Minecraft is not sold on Valve's Steam service. While saying it's the "best digital distribution platform I’ve ever seen," he also explains:

Being on Steam limits a lot of what we’re allowed to do with the game, and how we’re allowed to talk to our users. We (probably?) wouldn’t be able to, say, sell capes or have a map market place on that works with steam customers in a way that keeps Valve happy. It would effectively split the Minecraft community into two parts, where only some of the players can access all of the weird content we want to add to the game.

We are talking to Valve about this, but I definitely understand their reasons for wanting to control their platform. There’s a certain inherent incompatibility between what we want to do and what they want to do.

Valve on the Importance of Not Sucking

The Valve Way on Gamasutra is a conversation with Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson of Valve, who do their best to demystify the developer's ways, explaining they pursue projects like their upcoming Dota 2 because they appeal to them, and "not like this incredibly, deeply reasoned business strategy." This focus (or lack thereof) is highlighted in a separate article with some selected quotes. "But our focus is really much on building something that's cool, and then we'll worry about monetization. So we're not going to worry about that until later. Premature monetization is the root of all evil," Gabe told them. "I think not sucking is way more of an important thing to pay attention to first."

BioShock Infinite Panel

The BioShock Infinite Panel Live Stream from PAX Prime 2011 on features Irrational Games' Ken Levine along with BioShock: Infinite voice talent Troy Baker (voice of Booker DeWitt and Courtnee Draper (voice of Elizabeth), discussing Irrational's upcoming first-person shooter sequel at PAX. Word is: "they discuss the evolution of Elizabeth and Booker as characters, as well as their in-game relationship and its impact on the player's experience."

On Sale

  • Achron on Steam. Save 14% and get the soundtrack free.
  • Dragon Age Bundle on Impulse. Save 70%.
  • Hard Reset on Steam. Save 10% on prepurchases.
  • Numen: Contest of Heroes on Steam. Save 75%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Spider-Man Takes on Hurricane of the Day. Thanks Ant.

Firefall Beta Begins

Beta testing of Firefall is now underway, offering the chance to play Red 5 Studios' free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter. The front page now says "Beta Starts Now." While there's no post associated with that, This prior update outlines the beta process: "There are multiple ways to get into the Firefall beta. The first is to sign up on and wait for an invite from Red 5 Studios directly. This is what many of you have already done. By registering for the beta, you are also already creating your Firefall account, joining the Firefall community, and participating in conversations directly with the development team giving direction and feedback on Firefall." Thanks Gamer's Hell. Also, as noted on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the game's PAX 2011 Trailer is online.

Antichamber (Formerly Hazard) Video

Kotaku has a preview of Antichamber, which Stephen Totilo calls his "favorite game of PAX 2011," describing this first-person puzzle game as being "made for people who like Portal or salivate for The Witness. Or for people who want to play a game that doesn't play by other game's rules nor by the rules of the real world." They offer an eight-plus minute trailer of the UDK game in action, and in keeping with the "not playing by the rules" theme, this may be familiar as the game previously known as Hazard: The Journey of Life, which took fifth place in the best Game Mod category in Epic's Make Something Unreal competition. Somewhere along the way the subtitle was dropped, and there's a post on the blog of developer Demruth from last month outlining the reasoning behind completely renaming the game:

Without the subtitle, just “Hazard” is not only not descriptive of the game now, it’s anti-descriptive. Though it does mean uncertainty, people more immediately refer to it as danger. People were confused, because nothing in the game was dangerous, and the player could never die. I argued against this point with several people (including getting a rather awesome quote from Jim McGinley, who stated “No one plays Crysis and goes “IS THIS THE CRYSIS!?”), but ultimately conceded that just “Hazard” puts the game in the same light as things like “KillZone”, “BulletStorm”, “Total Annihilation”, etc. which is not where I want to be.

Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Using Steamworks

Valve announces that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be available on Steam upon its November 8th release, and that Activision's upcoming military first-person shooter will make use of Steamworks for automatic patches, achievements, and more. Here's word:

The PC version of the product will be powered with Steamworks for both the digital and tangible versions of the game and, as with all Steamworks titles, offline play will also be supported along with Auto-Updating, Achievements, and more. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will also support dedicated servers on day 1.

Hard Reset Date, Preorders, Specs

Polish developer Flying Wild Hog announces a September 13 release date for Hard Reset, their throwback science fiction first-person shooter, and they will begin offering pre-purchases of the game through Steam beginning at 1:00 pm EDT today, which will carry a 10% discount off the game's $29.99 /£22.99/€27.99 price tag. We have some new Hard Reset screenshots, there's a recent gameplay trailer on Giant Bomb (thanks SpectralMeat), the Hard Reset Website now offers more on the game and its developers, and we also have these minimum and recommended system requirements: Continue here to read the full story.

Official Warlock: Master of the Arcane Announcement

Paradox Interactive formally announces Warlock – Master of the Arcane, the turn-based strategy game first revealed last week at PAX. A Warlock: Master of the Arcane product page is online, offering information and artwork for the game, which is expected by the middle of next year. Word is: "Warlock – Master of the Arcane invites players to take on the role of the Great Mage and build a powerful magical empire, giving mighty mages the ability to control armies and wield magic to wage war against one another, as they compete with other wizards for the title of Warlock." Here's more:

Warlock – Master of the Arcane offers a wide range of military units –three different races, along with summons and wild creatures – as well as providing dozens of spells, from which players can discover powerful spell combinations to help attain victory over their adversaries. With epic battles to fight, gods to side with, and an innovative city management system, players must strike a balance between military might and magical prowess to remain the last mage standing.

Borderlands Adding Steam Cloud, Borderlands 2 Interviews

Reporting from PAX, Destructoid has word that a new patch for Borderlands is expected on September 9 to add Steam cloud support to the first-person shooter/RPG, along with the ability for developer Gearbox to gather data on things like the weapons players use and the area they choose to explore that Randy Pitchford says "will allow us to make better games." On a related note, they also offer a video interview with Borderlands 2 Art Director Jeremy Cooke (or as they call him, Jeramy), who discusses the game's stylized look, how the sequel is adding more environments, the addition of a mini-map, and more. They also have a previous interview conducted by a completely different redhead talking about the game's guns with Anthony Burch, who does an admirable job of maintaining eye contact.

Super Monday Night Combat Announced (Last Week)

Super Monday Night Combat was unveiled last Thursday as a free-to-play follow-up to Monday Night Combat, Uber Entertainment's multiplayer shooter (my excuse for missing it at the time is I was filling sandbags for Hurricane Irene. It's not true, but it sounds better than calling it an oversight). Word is the game will launch late this year or early next, with beta testing to get underway soon, and Windows is the only announced platform so far. The new game adds more DOTA-style MOBA elements and switches to a five-on-five format, compared with six to a side in the first game. There's a preview discussing more of what to expect on Kotaku, where they describe the game as a replacement for the original, featuring less lethality and longer matches. They also have some screenshots and a trailer.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta Adding Testers Friday

Weekend beta testing of Star Wars: The Old Republic will begin on September 2 for a selection of invitees, reports Massively from Gamescom. They say everyone has an equal chance of being picked to participate, regardless of whether or not they've preordered BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG, so those interested should apply on this page. Here's word:

Sign up for an opportunity to become a Star Wars: The Old Republic game tester. We will be selecting community members who have completed the Game Testing registration process and meet the specific requirements of the test. Those that are selected will gain access to the game and be able to provide valuable feedback for the Star Wars: The Old Republic Development Team.

Star Sonata 2 Beta Nears

The official website for Star Sonata 2 is accepting signups for beta testing of Landauer Games' upcoming space combat MMO action/RPG sequel, saying testing will commence on September 10 in preparation for the game's release on November 5, 2011. This trailer shows off the game, and here's a bit on the sequel: "Star Sonata 2 improves upon the original with 3d graphics, a greatly improved user interface, RTS-like controls for your ships, drones, and bases, inter-dimensional invasions that the players must cooperatively fight, expanded tech levels, and an amazing new musical score. It transforms the retro-style of Star Sonata 1 into a polished, modern MMORPG."

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Interview

Destructoid offers this video interview from PAX talking with Matt Carofano, lead artist on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim about the upcoming installment in Bethesda's RPG series. They discuss the number of fish in the game, and less pressing topics like vampires, werewolves, same-sex marriages, inter-species marriages, dragons, and much more.

War of the Roses Interview

The Kingdoms/Horses interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talks about War of the Roses with Martin Wahlund of developer Fatshark and Gordon Van Dyke from Paradox, publisher of the upcoming team-based multiplayer melee combat game. Topics include the history involved in this depiction of medieval warfare, the scale of combat the game will involve, classes, gunpowder weapons, the possibility of offering mod support, horses, DLC plans, and more.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I'm trying to get things off to an earlier start here. Actually, I always try, but today I actually succeeded, which is nice. No promises for the future, since I know I probably won't be able to keep them, but I will do my best.

Early(ish) Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Arkandian Legends: Chapter II - Revenant.
Hippo's Feeder.
Links: Rock Timeline: From Classic Rock to Modern Crap.
Media: FPSRussia: Noreen Bad News .338 Semi-Auto Sniper Rifle. NSFW.
Federal Bureau of Manners: Cell Phone. NSFW.
NMA: Hurricane hype leaves the US East Coast all wet. And 21 dead.
Auction: AVGN Custom Made Figurine/Statue.
Drawing of HP Touchpad 16GB, WI-FI, 9.7 - WHITE. Thanks ML.
The Funnies: Kitty vs Puppy Cartoon - Savage Chickens.
Follow-up: Deus Ex, Ragdoll Fun.
Reporter Gives Hurricane Update Covered In Toxic Sea Foam.

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