Archived News:

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Gold - Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Gearbox Software announces that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is gold, with the completion of the in-betweenquel shooter putting it on track for its planned release a fortnight hence. Here's the news with a little sales pitch:
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has gone gold, which means it's ready to be manufactured on all platforms!

In case you need a reminder, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be out on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 14th in North America and October 17th worldwide.

If you haven't pre-ordered yet, you can still do that right here. Anyone who pre-orders will get free access to the Shock Drop Slaughter Pit, so act fast!

The Sims 4 Content Update Adds Ghosts; Pools Coming

The Sims blog announces a series of three free updates for The Sims 4 that will take place between now and the end of the year, the first of which is available right now. This first update is a Halloween-themed pack with actual ghosts based on dead Sims, and on a less creepy note, this also includes Star Wars costumes. Intriguing word is: "if you dare, you might even find a way to bring your ghosts back to life." The November update will include swimming pools, as the technological hurdles preventing them have been overcome, and the December update will add new career paths and rewards. Here's a new trailer showing off the ghosts in the October update. Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Trailer

This trailer from Dragon Age: Inquisition features crafting and customization options in the next installment in the action/RPG series. Word is: "Personalize your Inquisition by customizing your followers’ gear and combat tactics. Collect recipes used to create powerful upgrades and potent items. Explore the world and gather ingredients to craft one-of-a-kind items!" Likewise another recent trailer shows off character customization in the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Screenshots

Star Citizen's $55M Sets Crowdfunding Record

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website announces that Star Citizen has now surpassed $55 million in crowd-sourced funding (thanks 88fingers), proudly proclaiming: "Today, we’re in the Guinness Book of World Records, and not as the largest crowdfunded game of all time, but as the largest crowdfunded anything of all time!" Chairman Roberts goes into detail about how this money is being used, saying: "Star Citizen isn’t a normal game. It’s not being developed like a normal game and it’s not being funded like a normal game. I’ve had to toss aside a lot of my knowledge from the old way of developing and embrace a completely new world." On a related note, he also addresses concerns that the game's endless fundraising is leading to endless feature creep, though explaining they will continue to push out builds "well before Star Citizen reaches what anyone would consider a 'finished' stage is arguably an outline of the problem, rather than the solution. Here's a bit:
If we had raised the original amount and no more, we wouldn’t be able to deliver involved capital ship systems or the level of FPS gameplay that we are now planning for planets in the Persistent Universe. Nor would have the time or budget to continually upgrade the game with new features like Physically Based Rendering (PBR), or continually strive to make the art assets better. Just compare the Hornet from October 2012 to the current PBR Hornet in Arena Commander. Our ability to iterate in Arena Commander, to try different flight or targeting schemes, or add new game modes that are test beds for future Persistent Universe gameplay is all due to our increased funding, as is the ability to deliver FPS, Planetside and Squadron 42 as modules or episodic content for the community all before the game is “done.” And in the process, you’re giving us the time to get it right, and you’re giving us more opportunities to share our work with you.

I know some people are afraid of “feature creep” and the game never being finished as we keep adding functionality and content to the mix with increased funding. I would say that this would be fair criticism if we were delivering this game at retail and on disc. However, we are online and already pushing out builds, well before Star Citizen reaches what anyone would consider a “finished” stage. Just because we haven’t implemented a planned feature or built a certain asset yet doesn’t prevent us from sharing the game with everyone right now. It’s this evolved process which gives us the Hangar and Arena Commander and so many modules yet to come. We’re sharing the game as it’s being built and it’s an amazing opportunity for everyone who has backed, to have input on the direction the game is going. You just don’t get this in the traditional game business.

Civilization: Beyond Earth Trailer

A new "Discovery" trailer from Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth offers gameplay from the upcoming sci-fi strategy game. Here's word:
Learn everything you need to know about successfully colonizing a new alien world in this extensive gameplay preview.

Viewed best in HD with annotations turned on. To select a specific chapter of the trailer, click the respective bookmark at the bottom of the video.

A New Beginning for Mankind is coming Friday, October 24, 2014.

Pre-order Civilization: Beyond Earth to receive the Exoplanets Map Pack for free:
Continue here to read the full story.

Falling Skies Rises

Little Orbit announces the release of Falling Skies, a tactical RPG for Windows and consoles based on the TNT television series of the same name. A new launch trailer offers a look at what this entails, and complete details can be found on the game's official website. Here's word:
Set in the tense, gritty world of the critically acclaimed series from Amblin Television, Falling Skies: The Game is a turn-based, tactical strategy RPG set between the epic events of the TV show’s third and fourth seasons. Falling Skies: The Game is now available at retail and via digital download for a suggested price of $39.99 USD and is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. Players can check out the new launch trailer HERE.

After the destruction of the Espheni’s Boston Tower in the third season of the hit TNT series, the 2nd Mass stumbles onto the wreckage of an ambushed convoy. Among the survivors is an engineer who claims he can create a destructive weapon that will aid in the human resistance against the Espheni invaders, but it will require them to undertake several risky operations to collect all the components he needs. What sounds at first to be a simple salvage mission becomes more than the team has bargained for… the aliens are everywhere.
Continue here to read the full story.

Wrack Wreleased

Final Boss Entertainment announces the release of Wrack on Steam, offering a 10% release week discount for the first week out of early access for this arcade first-person shooter. Here's a launch trailer, and here's an explanation:
Introducing the arcade shooter - Wrack! Combo your way to victory in this addictive single-player adventure. Slaughter countless enemies as you build up long kill chains, and wipe them out with powerful chain finishers. Plus, with Steam Workshop and extras like Time Attack, the action never has to end!
Continue here to read the full story.

Ryzom Forge Announced

The Ryzom Community Forum announces Ryzom Forge, a "collaborative project" to update Ryzom, jumping on the open-source release of the source code for the MMORPG over four years ago. They lay out a roadmap for creating an improved version of the game, and also explain how those who are interested in this community project can participate. Here's what they hope to accomplish:

  • The first step (on going), the simplest, is to enrich available apartment items.
  • The second step (also ongoing) is to take advantage of the mastery of adding objects to create new equipable items.
  • The third stage, more elaborate, and also requiring a good deal of work on the tribes "level design" side, will be to create new weapon patterns available through tribe rites.
  • The final stage, called New Zone project will be the creation of a new game area.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Op Ed

Polygon - Why Oculus Rift and the latest attempts at virtual reality are bound to fail.
I'm not saying that virtual reality and the Oculus Rift are for computers what 3D was for televisions, but the over-amplified buzz certainly feels the same.

And I'm not the only one down on the possibility of Oculus Rift becoming a mainstream hit.

Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities' managing director of equity research, is also skeptical of the tech taking off now, at least without more major investment from owner Facebook.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Ran off a early yesterday to attend a small function in Manhattan, thanks for your indulgence. This was at the Harvard Club of all places, which was as weird a throwback as it sounds, and definitely interesting to take in. On the other hand, the recent addition of culinary arts to Harvard's curriculum has not yet trickled down to the club, as the food was the worst sort of wedding-style catering. To borrow from Rodney, the steak still had marks from where the jockey whipped it, and I didn't know it was possible to ruin baby potatoes, but it turns out if you boil them for more than 20 hours straight, they get a little soft.

Ivy League Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Steel Jack Level Pack.
Triple Adventure.
Link: A client's energy bill tripled for two months with no apparent cause.
Story: Bravo Raw Dog And Cat Food Recalled. Thanks nin.
Science: What It Takes To Make A Decent Cup Of Coffee In Space. Until Star-Starbucks arrives.
Media: Enhance Your Lighting. Thanks David.
The Best News Bloopers From September. NSFW.
Puppy flees from heart-warming reunion. Thanks nin (and Anderson Pooper).
Follow-up: First US Ebola diagnosis confirmed by CDC [Updated].
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