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Friday, Mar 23, 2012


Legend of Grimrock Gold

The Legend of Grimrock Blog has news that Almost Human's dungeon crawler is gold, and will presumably soon be released for Windows and OS X. The announcement speaks of their plans for an editor, an iOS version, and being destitute: "It’s been a long and challenging journey but we have finally reached this important milestone. But we don’t think it’s the end of the road, more like a fork in the road with ways branching into all sorts of interesting directions: iOS, Mac, map editor, sequel, new IP, living in a dumpster totally broke…"

Mass Effect 3 N7 Bounty Weekend - Operation Fortress

BioWare announces the opportunity to level up faster this weekend in Mass Effect 3, their action/RPG sequel:

Last weekend, Mass Effect 3 fans joined forces to push back the Reapers in Operation Goliath. With over 3 million brutes killed, their numbers have been decimated and the Reaper forces have been beaten back.

As a reward for that outstanding performance, the team is inviting you to join your friends online to participate in the N7 Bounty Weekend by taking advantage of Operation Fortress between 5 PM PST Friday, March 23 and 5 AM PST Monday, March 26.

Prey 2 Cancellation Rumors

Dutch site PSFocus reports hearing from multiple reliable sources that Bethesda Softworks has cancelled plans for Prey 2, Human Head's first-person shooter sequel. Game Informer contacted Bethesda and were told they had no comment. They also note that Game Developers Conference talks about the game were cancelled months in advance.

Mass Effect 3 Face Fix Found

The BioWare Social Network has the good news that the face import bug in Mass Effect 3 is solved, though the bad news is they are not certain when the patch with the fix will be released (thanks Computer and Video Games). Here's word:

Ok, I have what I hope is some good news.

We have fixed the issue of faces not correctly importing into Mass Effect 3. It will be included as part of the next Mass Effect 3 patch.

The not completely good news is that I do not yet have a confirmed date for when the patch will be available. A new patch gets heavily tested by BioWare, EA, Microsoft and Sony before it can be released to the public. We all want to be sure that it fixes the issues it is supposed to fix and doesn't start any new issues (this is called testing or certification testing ). If a patch fails during testing, it is sent back, fixed again and retested until it passes. Then it is released to gamers. Until we know that the patch has passed certification testing, I don't want to give even a rough idea of the date, to prevent disappointment should it need further testing.

So I'm sorry I don't have the full answer you all want and are waiting for yet. When I can give you the date when the patch will be available I will.

Indie Royale Ninja Pack

Indie Royale now offers The Ninja Pack, with Ancients of Ooga, Cloning Clyde, A Kingdom for Keflings, and Outpost Kaloki. As always, you can pay a low minimum which rises as time passes or pay more than the minimum and lower the price for other users.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Adam's Venture Episode 1: The Search For The Lost Garden on Steam. Save 20%.
  • Atari Array on Save 50%.
  • J.U.L.I.A. on GameStop PC Downloads. The artist formerly known as Impulse.
  • King's Quest Collection on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Tomb Raider Series on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Ubisoft's DRM Stance Softening?

An interview on talking with Ubisoft's Chris Early offers hope that Ubisoft is taking a different view on digital rights management from the outlook that inspired them to create the strictest DRM scheme in the game industry. Chris talks about the addition of value as a way of combating piracy, though some of his comments on this value seem focused on the cloud, which doesn't seem that separated from online DRM. He does, however indicate a shifting position, and while he doesn't promise DRM-free titles from Ubisoft just yet, he doesn't rule them out for the future:

"Is it fair for someone to enjoy our content without us receiving some value for that? I think at the core of that is, no," he said. "Otherwise, other than works of charity, there would be few games made. The balance, however, is, how do we do anything about that and not harm the person who is giving us value for that?

"That's been the delicate balance that the industry has walked over time. It continues to be one that we grapple with as an industry. How do we create content and receive good value for that, and at the same time, not inconvenience the player who has given us value there?

"I don't know that there is a perfect answer today. There are some technological answers. There are some design answers. There have been different approaches from different publishers at times, some doing no DRM and just assuming it's the cost of doing business. Some are doing a very strict DRM. Some doing an on-going content revision. I don't think we have a single, good answer yet. The interesting thing will be, how do we create enough value that that need for DRM goes away?"

Linux and OS X Wasteland 2 Funded

The Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Page shows that the proposed RPG sequel has now surpassed the $1.5 million plateau, which they have maintained is the point at which they can guarantee Linux and OS X editions of the game. The site also now adorns a Kicking it Forward logo as a follow-up to recent comments by inXile entertainment's Brian Fargo about sharing community support. This is outlined in further detail in the story below.

More on "Kicking it Forward"

An update to the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Page has more from inXile entertainment's Brian Fargo on his recent suggestion that developers who successfully fund their games through Kickstarter find a way to share their largess. He points the way to a new Kicking It Forward Website which outlines the proposal. Here's a segment:

Any developer that puts the "Kicking it Forward" badge on their Kickstarter project page is agreeing that they will put 5% of their finished product profits back into other Kickstarter projects. To be abundantly clear, this is only money that the developer earns as profit AFTER the project ships and AFTER they have paid their expenses. This is NOT a suggestion to invest money they received from people who invested into their project via Kickstarter.

Once a project in this program has become profitable, the developer is going to spend this 5% profit, which is their own money, on whatever Kickstarter projects they want to support. They can determine unilaterally who they want to give it to and when. Neither myself nor a committee is going to tell successful developers what projects to invest in. Ultimately, this is an honor system at the end of the day. No one is going to audit their books to make sure they complied. In many ways Kickstarter is an honor system too, so this is no different. Of course some unscrupulous developer may not follow through with their promise but I believe the development community sticks together.

Rockstar: We're Getting the Band Back Together

An article on IGN hears from Dan Houser of Rockstar Games, who explains their plans to help players stay connected with crews created on the Rockstar Social Club starting with Max Payne 3. They specifically mention how this functionality exceeds Xbox and PSN friends lists, so it's the familiar mystery over whether this is a PC feature as well, but in the meantime they do offer an interesting vision of persistent rivalries this can create:

Multiplayer is an ever-more important part of all our games moving forward. And by creating crews through Social Club, the crews that you create in Max Payne 3 will be ready and available for you to play in Grand Theft Auto V from day one. It's all part of our larger approach to make multiplayer deeper and richer than what's currently available, much more easily accessible to the newcomer and rewarding for the hardcore."

The ultimate goal is to nurture the same embittered rivalries across its forthcoming games then? "We made a promise not to talk too much about forthcoming games until a little further down the track but, yes, crews will feature in Grand Theft Auto V multiplayer," reveals Houser. "We are firm believers in the potential of third-person multiplayer and the attachment it can create to character, stories and worlds. This is at the heart of what we're doing with crews, and we think it opens up limitless new possibilities for the future. It's right at the heart of our goal to bring greater weight and context to multiplayer games while still staying true to what competitive multiplayer does so well."

Solar Struggle Next Week; New Trailer

The Solar Struggle Website announces a March 29th release date for the Windows PC edition of this arcade space shooter. In the meantime you can check out the site for more details and this trailer showing off the project from indie developer Z Software.

The Secret World's Character Progression

A new video developer diary from The Secret World spills more of the secrets from Funcom's upcoming conspiratorial MMORPG. This covers the game's character progression, as word is: "Let Lead Designer Martin Bruusgaard and Lead Content Designer Joel Bylos enlighten you on how to develop your own unique character through an imaginative and strong new role-playing system without classes and levels." On the same topic, there's an article on that goes into further detail on developing characters. Continue here to read the full story.

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

We're doing a little tidying up as WalterEgo is bringing our nieces down for a visit. This will be a little different for me than dealing with the Smurfs, since I'm just an overgrown boy myself, so it will be interesting to see how it's different entertaining girls. I wonder if there's a tea party in the works?

Tea Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Pocket Creature.
Stories: The Man Who Broke Atlantic City. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Solar Storm Dumps Gigawatts into Earth's Upper Atmosphere. Thanks brother19.
Coldest, Deepest Ocean Water Disappearing. Thanks dakslf.
Images: Cosplay Samara is Eerily Accurate.
Media: The Fringe Team's Favorite "Walterisms". Thanks Dave.
Breitbart reporter ambushes Bono impersonator by mistake.
Bollywood Version Of Assassin’s Creed.
Auction: Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine for Sale.
Follow-up: Flying Bird Man Admits Hoax On TV.
Whitney Houston's cause of death- Accidental drowning, cocaine use, heart disease.

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