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Tuesday, Jan 03, 2012


Firefly and Buffy MMOG Developer Closed

The Multiverse Website has word that this developer of a planned Buffy the Vampire Slayer MMOG and a delayed/cancelled Firefly MMOG has ceased operations. Word is: "Although thousands of developers showed interest in the Multiverse Platform, Multiverse wasn't able to achieve a profitable business model. As a result, Multiverse ceased operations in December 2011 due to lack of funding." Thanks Ten Ton Hammer.

Crystal Dynamics IP Reveal This Year

A post to the SQUARE ENIX Members Website has word that Crystal Dynamics will unveil its upcoming new IP sometime this year. They say: "2012 will prove to be a very exciting year for Crystal Dynamics, more so than any in recent memory. Not only will our team be eating, sleeping, and breathing Tomb Raider, but we’ll also be hard at work preparing to reveal exciting new intellectual property to the world." Thanks VG247.

Syndicate Co-op Trailer

The Syndicate Website offers a recent deep-dive trailer showing co-op play from the upcoming Syndicate-based shooter. Word is: "The corporate landscape of 2069 is a dangerous one, and some missions just aren't possible to tackle alone. Enter an elite squad of 4 Agents, where working cooperatively with your team and an array of weapons and breaching applications is a necessity for success."

X-Motor Racing Patch & New Demo

The X-Motor Racing Website now offers a new version 1.33 of X-Motor Racing, along with a corresponding updated demo for this indie racing simulation. Existing copies of the game can be updated via "Update Master." The full version is available on this page while the updated demo can be found here. Here's the change list for the new version: Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • King Arthur II- The Role-Playing Wargame on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Post Apocalyptic Mayhem on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Puzzle Chronicles on Steam. Save 66%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Controlled Quantum Levitation on a Wipe'Out Track. Thanks Cythrawl.

Horizon on the Horizon

The L3O Forums announce the resumption of development of a 4X space strategy game called Horizon, not to be confused with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, Lost Horizon, Shattered Horizon, Beyond the Horizon, Dark Horizon, No Horizons, New Horizons, or just plain Horizons. Word is:

I have been working to put the development of Horizon back on track. That means most of my focus and our resources are back on re-building the L3O team and completing the game. It's a risk with the current economy but I believe strongly about both the game and the 4X gaming community to support us.

To that end we are looking to add a couple of experienced game developers to the team. If you happen to be a game programmer or 3D artist looking for work in Toronto you can contact us here.

With regards to "When will the game be ready?". With a little luck the game could be ready before the end of 2012. This is not an announcement just my best estimate for now.

Thanks Space Sector.

Bethesda & Interplay Settle Fallout Lawsuit?

Duck and Cover reports a settlement in the ongoing legal dispute between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay over Interplay's rights to make a Fallout MMORPG after selling the rights to the RPG series to Bethesda. This comes by way of an observer at the court proceedings, and while they have no word on the actual outcome, they say details on the settlement are expected at some point this month.

Will Wright's HiveMind

Will Wright announces HiveMind, an upcoming game project described like so: "a group of cross-platform, cross-media online applications, is designed to turn a gamer's everyday life into part of the interactive experience by building upon Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) and tapping into streams of personal information on phones, tablets, social networks and computers." Word is some of the underlying technology for this is already in place, but this does not yet have a release date. Here's a bit from the included Q&A:

Q: How would a game experience work?

A: "If we had that much situational awareness about you and at the same time we were building this very high-level map of the world, and I don't just mean where Starbuck's is, but all sorts of things like historical footnotes and people you might want to meet. I started thinking about games that we can build that would allow us to triangulate you in that space and build that deep situational awareness. There will be all types of games, but the key will be focusing the experiences, including multiplayer, within the real world and away from the fictional world that games currently invest in."

Q: What are the personal privacy challenges that exist with creating a game around players' personal data?

A: "That's something that obviously they would opt in for, so it's not like you'd be stealing the info. They would want to play the game. It's the same thing with the ARGs that are out there. We need to get the players on our side. Every time we gather some data about them, we need to reflect it back to an experience that got much better so they understand. Once we get them on board, hopefully they're very forthcoming and they get more involved in terms of how they're feeling and what they're doing. The system can actually be used by them and benefit them with the more accurate data it collects."

Star Wars: The Old Republic Bans Follow-up

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has a follow-up to the report that some users in BioWare's MMORPG were being sanctioned for visiting areas intended for higher level characters (thanks Joao via Rock, Paper, Shotgun). As it turns out, none of these users was banned, they simply received warnings:

First, action was taken against a number of accounts for what's commonly known as 'gold farming' - or in our case, credit farming. These accounts were found to be exploiting the game in a variety of ways to maximize their credits in order to sell them to other players. Our Terms of Service team took action against these accounts and removed them permanently from the game.

Second, a smaller number of accounts were warned or temporarily suspended for exploiting loot containers on Ilum. To be completely clear, while players may choose to travel to Ilum earlier than the recommended level (40+) and may loot containers if they can get to them, in the cases of those customers that were warned or temporarily suspended, they were systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced.

None of these accounts were banned for their actions and no accounts have been banned for travelling to Ilum while still relatively low level. By comparison, the number of accounts that were warned or temporarily suspended was considerably lower than the number of accounts banned for 'credit farming'.

It's important to remember that our Terms of Service team is extremely careful and thorough in their investigation of any potential exploit or unusual activity in-game. Working closely with the development team and using extensive metrics based on player activity, they are able to determine what is normal player activity, what is unusual and what is exploiting. Our goal is always to ensure a fair game experience for all players while also protecting the rights of individuals, and if people are disrupting the play experience for others action will be taken.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Cosmos: Billions and billions of reviews.


Out of the Blue

Thanks Ant for sending along a link to a Reverse Color Blindness Test, perhaps recalling my previous mentions of being color blind myself. I found a couple of tidbits in this article particularly illuminating: I have always have excellent night vision and an immunity to camouflage, and never before realized that these are likely positive side effects of my condition: "Color vision deficient people have a tendency to better night vision and, in some situations, they can perceive variations in luminosity that color-sighted people could not. It might also be worth mentioning how U.S. Army discovered that color blind people could spot “camouflage” colors that fooled those with normal color vision!" Go figure!

R.I.P.: Sword Master Bob Anderson Dies. Thanks Matthias.

Colorful Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Neo Circuit.
Isoball X - Level Pack 01.
Links: Midseason 2011-2012 TV Schedule.
13 Simpsons Jokes That Actually Came True.
Stories: After missing for seven years, tsunami victim finds way home. Thanks reddit.
Man charged with making a fake $1 million bill and trying to spend it. Thanks Neatorama.
Scotch In A Can: Whisky Maker Scottish Spirits Adds Aluminum Siding To Liquor.
Science: Apes 'gamble like humans by calculating odds'. Thanks Neatorama.
4 Amazing Powers of Chili Peppers.
Why tornadoes and hailstorms are more common during the workweek.
Images: The Ultimate Gift For An Arrested Development Fan.
Pictures of the Year. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: NYE Party FAILS.
Steven Tyler, Alice Cooper, Weird Al - Come Together. Thanks nin.
Lego Contraption WIN.
The Funnies: Brevity.

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