Archived News:

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015

StarCraft II Automated Tournaments Beta

Blizzard announces details on the automated tournaments in the StarCraft II beta that are eventually coming to the live version of the RTS sequel. Word is: "Please keep in mind that everything you see here is a very early implementation of Automated Tournaments. There are still features to be added, bugs to be fixed, and feedback to be received. Nevertheless, we felt that it was time to offer this feature to our players so that we could gather the testing and feedback needed to ensure that Automated Tournaments ends up becoming the best feature possible. " Here's more on the issues with testing such a feature:
Going forward, we have plans to make it so that you are automatically joined into a private chat channel with players in your tournament. We also are planning to add Automated Tournament rewards that will be visible in other areas of StarCraft II.

Due to the nature of this feature, it is more difficult to get a lot of internal playtesting compared to other parts of the game. Please do your best to try out various combinations and let us know if you find any bugs! Automated Tournaments should provide a gripping experience for those who value high-stakes StarCraft II competition. So if you enjoy the competitive side of StarCraft II, we hope you are as excited to try out the new game mode as we are to hear your thoughts. Thank you very much, please remember to submit your feedback, and we’ll see you in the finals!

Steamship Ahoy - Velocity 2X

Steam News announces the release of Velocity 2X on Steam now offering the Windows edition of this frenetic platformer sequel that first launched on PlayStation 4 and Vita. In addition to the base game, the Windows version (as well as a new Xbox One version also launching today) also includes all the additional content from the game's two DLC packs. Here's the deal:
Abducted by a race of hostile aliens, Lt. Kai Tana must use her quick reflexes and the teleporting power of the Quarp Jet to free her fellow prisoners and find a way home. Swapping back and forth between top-down vertical shoot ‘em up and side-scrolling action platformer, Velocity 2X blends two unique styles of fast-paced, frenetic gameplay into one incredible experience.

Company of Heroes 2 OS X & Linux Next Week

The Company of Heroes website has word that the OS X and Linux editions of Company of Heroes 2 are expected next week:
We are excited to announce that through our partner Feral Interactive, Company of Heroes™ 2 will be released for Mac and Linux via Steam on August 27th, with the Mac App Store version to follow shortly afterwards.

DLC for the Steam version of Company of Heroes 2, including the Theater of War mission packs as well as additional Commanders and Skins, will be available on August 27th via in-store purchase. The Steam version of Company of Heroes 2 will support Mac-Mac and Linux-Linux multiplayer using Steamworks.

DLC for the Mac App Store version of Company of Heroes 2, including the Theater of War mission packs as well as additional Commanders and Skins, will be available post-release, via in-app purchase. The Mac App Store version of Company of Heroes 2 will support Mac-Mac multiplayer using Feral’s own multiplayer matching service.

For more information, check out Feral's website for COH2's Mac/Linux version Here!

Bob Was Hungry Released

Bob Was Hungry is now available for Windows on Steam, offering Shorebound Studios' "challenging precision platformer" which includes multiplayer support. A new release trailer has a look at the game, and here's word on those insatiable bobs:
Bob Was Hungry is a challenging precision platformer with many levels designed to truly test your platforming skills.

Bobs have been scouring the universe for food for millions of years. For the most part, food had been plentiful and easy to acquire...planets made entirely of cheese were abundant, and finding one could leave a bob full for a lifetime. However, time has passed, and food has become scarce. Greedy bobs so carelessly ate two or three cheese planets at a time, and now cheese planets are as rare to find as a bob with a full stomach.

Bobs unable to stumble upon one of the last extremely rare cheese-havens were forced out into the unknown. Now they traverse as many planets as they can in hopes of finding a scrap of food to survive. Unfortunately, their trips are dangerous, and the planets are treacherous. Finding food is not like it used to be.

You play as one of these bobs, and it is up to you to find the meal that will finally satisfy your bob's insatiable appetite.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

Evening Previews

Steamship Ahoy - Planetary Annihilation: TITANS

Planetary Annihilation: TITANS is now available on Steam, offering a standalone expansion to Uber Entertainment's space-based real-time strategy game for Windows, Linux, and OS X (thanks Ken). As noted in this forum post, this is free for all Kickstarter backers and for all who signed up for the Mystery Mayhem tournament before August 18th, and a 66% discount is provided to those who bought the original Planetary Annihilation before the launch of TITANS. Here's a launch trailer and here's more on the release:
TITANS is the huge stand-alone expansion to the already massive-scale RTS Planetary Annihilation, which includes the base game and adds tons of new features:

Devastate your enemies with 5 massive Titan-class super units like the like the earth-shaking Atlas bot and lightning-wielding Zeus airship!

Expand your strategic arsenal with 16 new units such as versatile Hover Tanks, indomitable Orbital Battleships, and voracious Nanobot Swarms!

Elevate your game with new planets that feature multi-level terrain available in both single and multiplayer. Get up to speed faster with a new, streamlined tutorial experience, then take your game to the next level with the new Bounty Mode option for AI skirmish and multiplayer,
Continue here to read the full story.

COH 2: The British Forces Limited Trial Plans

SEGA announces plans to offer a limited free trial of Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces for the few days before the launch of Relic's standalone World War II RTS expansion on September 3rd. They say to tune in to the Company Of Heroes Twitter feed for details on where to snag a key. Here's word:
SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced a limited free trial for Company of Heroes™ 2: The British Forces from Relic Entertainment™ which will begin at 10:00am PDT/6:00pm BST/7:00pm CET on August 31 and end at 2:00pm PDT/10:00pm BST/11:00pm CET on September 2 2015. During the exclusive Steam trial, which is set to take place just before the final game’s release, up to 55,000 players will get hands-on with the British army. The trial includes access to all the content which includes 15 new units, up to six new commanders (three in the base game and three via the War Spoils loot dropping system) and a total of eight new multiplayer maps as well as the four factions and base commanders from all previous Company of Heroes 2 games. Keep your eyes on the @companyheroes Twitter feed for details of where you can grab a key through exclusive media partners or via Relic.

Duke Nukem Lawsuits Settled

A statement on the Gearbox Software website shows that the lawsuits over the rights to the Duke Nukem IP have been settled, and the lawyers for Gearbox, Interceptor Entertainment, and 3D Realms are all now in the hot tub toasting their success. There are statements from all the involved parties, with 3D Realms saying they didn't realize they weren't entitled to license an IP after selling it off, that Interceptor is still developing Bombshell, and that Gearbox has voluntarily ended the litigation, satisfied that they've proven ownership of the Duke IP. There are hugs all around, and the goodwill everyone expresses makes a mystery of how this ended up in court. Here's some of the love:
Gearbox Software appreciates the sentiments from Interceptor and 3D Realms' representatives. Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford said, “I genuinely appreciate Mr. Nielsen’s and Mr. Schreiber’s statement and sincerely offer my best wishes to Interceptor Entertainment and 3D Realms towards their future success and, as someone who was part of the 3D Realms team when Bombshell was first imagined, I am excited to see what they have in store for us with their game.

New TF2 Beta Game Mode

Steam News announces a new update for Team Fortress 2 is now available, adding a new sports-themed beta game mode called PASS Time, to the teamplay shooter along with a new hat, a bunch of bug fixes, and more. This blog post has details on the new PASS Time mode being added to the pastime as part of a rapid iteration collaboration with J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot:
ABOUT PASS TIME
RED and BLU face off in an epic battle to score more goals than their opponents. Coordinated passing, aerial shots, interceptions, team-based formations and plays, defensive lines and the like make for strategically chaotic play.

BALL-CARRYING
The "jack" is a ball that, when carried, replaces your weapons. Teamwork is key in protecting the jack-carrier. Pass and shoot with your primary fire. Pick up and intercept by simply touching the jack. Melee an opponent carrier to steal. Carrying the jack also gives that player the following boosts:

  • Health: regeneration
  • Invulnerability: temporary when you steal (with melee) or intercept the jack
  • Speed: temporary increase when you first gain possession
  • Vision: see both teammates AND opponents on the map

TAKE A KNEE, LET'S TALK STRATEGY

  • Passing
    A critical aspect of PASS Time play. Team-based passing is a surefire way to get the ball away from your goal, and into your opponents', as quickly as possible.
  • Coordinated Team Play
    In PASS Time, it’s vital to play as a team. Lone wolf runs don’t stand a chance against a united front.
  • High-Flying Action
    PASS Time introduces speed boosts and jump-pads. Nothing beats the rush of a mid-air shot-on-goal or interception.
  • Defense!
    A balance of offensive and defensive strategy is key. Goalies can be the difference-makers in PASS Time.
  • Sudden Death
    As with most sports, try not to die. Especially if the match ends in a tie—'cause that’s when true Sudden Death kicks in.

Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China Early Access

Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China is now available as an Early Access game on Steam. This offers a simulation of the aerial combat experienced by American fliers who volunteered to fly for China early in World War II. This trailer shows off gameplay at 60 frames-per-second, and here's word on the game:
Developer Ace Maddox today announced its air-combat action game FLYING TIGERS: SHADOWS OVER CHINA is available on Steam. The Early Access release offers a polished subset of content and features for both single- and multiplayer modes, and includes a decent number of maps and aircraft (with about a third of the single player campaign already completed).

Swoop the skies of Southeast Asia as FLYING TIGERS: SHADOWS OVER CHINA re-creates a diverse set of historical air-battles including the Japanese Christmas-raids on Rangoon, the Flying Tigers’ first combat over Kunming in China, Battle of the Salween Gorge, flying the “Hump” over the Himalayas, Invasion of Malaya and more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes of Normandie Next Month

This trailer shows off Heroes of Normandie, an upcoming computer game based on the tabletop wargame of the same name featuring "neat tactical game mechanics and over-the-top comical WW2 characters." Here's word on the game, revealing a September 22nd release date:
Winner of the Origins Award in the Best Historical Board Game category last June, the team behind the board game Heroes of Normandie managed to bring a breath of fresh air in the table top wargame world, thanks to an original combination of neat tactical game mechanics and over-the-top comical WW2 characters.

Developer Cat Rabbit is now close to completing its risky mission of adapting the board game rules and atmosphere to digital platforms. The original game design based on quick and engaging battles is, in essence, a perfect fit for the video game world. So keeping the core mechanics and building scenarios in single-player and multiplayer modes able to exploit all of the subtleties of the numerous units and heroes in the game, became one of the top priorities of the developers. Three story-driven campaigns, a quick battle mode with lots of pre-designed maps and a very challenging Rogue mode come together for a colorful boardgame-ish experience in the bocage of Normandy.

Super villainous field marshall “Von Kamptz”, machinegun lover “The Rock” and the other crazy American, German and UK heroes will have their first virtual fight on September, 22 on PC! They will also use rocket launchers, tanks and plenty of weapons in the near future on iPad. We’ve just unveiled a batch of screenshots and a teaser trailer in order to give you the mood of what’s coming.

A.I. Invasion Early Access

Indie developer GameArt Studio announces the release of A.I. Invasion for Windows on Steam Early Access. Here's word on this futuristic top-down shooter:
A.I. Invasion is set in a post-apocalyptic age and demands lots of strategical skills from trigger-happy players.

The extra-terrestrial A.I. has subdued the whole galaxy with a overwhelming army of machines. In various deadly missions set on different planets of the solar system, players have to face this threat to reclaim the place of mankind in the universe.

He is assisted by a team of special units he has to equip and command and by many special items he has to unlock during gameplay.

Data Jammers: FastForward for OS X

A Mac OS X edition of Data Jammers: FastForward is now available on Steam. This announcement covers the news:
Despite the (futile) efforts of the NSA to cover it up, Data Jammers: FastForward is now jamming on the Mac! Yep, it's true! Thanks to Henry K's efforts beyond the call of duty, Jammers is finally available for Mac gamers via Steam (with other groovy game portals to follow - watch the skies). So let's get jammin'!

Get Data Jammers: FastForward on Steam

Data Jammers: FastForward is a continuously moving three dimensional driving and destruction game set within a retro wireframe world of impossible race tracks. Prowl twisting bitstreams amidst bizarre geometrical environments enhanced by otherworldly soundscapes as your nimble avatar encounters more dangerous denizens, hazards and boss guardians along the way!

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

There was a bad smell in the kitchen that took a couple of days of sniffing around before it was traced to an aging bag of potatoes in a cabinet that had ceased being food anymore. Emptying the cabinet and airing it out for a couple of days with bowl of baking soda inside may have helped some, but it's still unpleasantly stinky, so I'm looking to accelerate the process by investigating other suggestions for ways to absorb the stench. Of course one of the suggestions is that this can be accomplished using potatoes. Maybe I'll ignore the potential irony here and try that... it's like the old saying, set a thief to catch a thief.

R.I.P.: Paul Goldenberg dies at 87; 'King of Big Screen' founded Paul's TV. Thanks Ant.

Stinky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Kill the Plumber 2.
Henrys Zeppelin - The Last Cup of Tea.
Monkey Go Happy Samurai.
Media: Mad Max GoKart Paintball War. Thanks Ryan.
Napoleon, give me some of your tots.
Discovering the Doorstopper.
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