Demo Blog

Steam holiday gives you games for playing games

by Michael Arsenault on Friday, December 30, 2011 , under

Massive holiday promotions kick off on Valve's store.
Steam has started its big Holiday Sale promotion, and you might as well tell everyone you know to stop calling you for the next few months.

There are more discounts than you could ever need in a lifetime, in addition rewards for completing tasks in games.
Steam will update with six challenges every day from now until January 1. Completing these challenges gets you either a gift - ranging from coupons to full games - or a piece of coal.

Coal can then be traded in for more gifts or saved up for entry into a giveaway on January 2 which will see one lucky winner get every game on Steam. All of them.

Hundreds more will win their top wish list entries and other freebies.
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/330276/steam-holiday-gives-you-games-for-playing-games/
2 comments more...

Dead Island banned in Germany

by Michael Arsenault on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 , under

Dead Island has been well and truly banned in Germany.  Developers Techland join everyone else in expressing their lack of surprise at the decision. "This isn't unexpected," they told Eurogamer. "Germany has its unique regulations regarding video games and violence and the industry can only comply"

Turning the blood green won't help them with this one. Dead Island has been put on the "List B" by Germany's Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young Persons. It's a list reserved for media that contains extreme torture or Nazi content. It's probably best not to think about what gets onto "List A."

"Both Deep Silvers and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning," say the publisher. The reasons for the ban haven't been revealed publicly, but it's likely something to do with Dead Island's vast amounts of gore and dismemberment.

A place on List B makes it illegal for stores to sell the game in Germany and shipments heading into the country risk being seized at customs.
http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/11/30/dead-island-banned-in-germany/
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Apple iTV probably launching next year

by Michael Arsenault on Thursday, October 27, 2011 , under

Steve Jobs believed he'd "cracked the code" on how to build a TV as well as Apple makes phones.


Apple is likely to launch its own range of televisions next year or in early 2013, according to Gene Munster, managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray.


Munster, who's billed by Business Insider as the most widely trusted Apple analyst in the industry, says Steve Jobs revealed in Walter Isaacson's newly released biography that he finally "cracked the code" on how to build a TV as well as Apple makes phones.

"Our thesis is based on meetings with contacts close to Asian component suppliers, industry contacts, Apple's patent portfolio for television technology, and recent product launched (iCloud, Siri)," Munster said.

"Based on Jan-11 meetings in Asia (not with component suppliers), we believe Apple is investing in manufacturing facilities and securing supply for LCD displays. These displays could range from 3.5" mobile displays to 50" television displays.
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/324062/apple-itv-probably-launching-next-year-report/
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Playstation 3 hacked again?

by Michael Arsenault on Friday, October 21, 2011 , under

Reports suggest the PS3 has been opened up to piracy again via a new hack which takes the form of a successor to the original PSJailbreak.

Dubbed JB2, Digital Foundry says the device is a USB dongle that plugs directly into the PS3 and circumvents its security measures, giving users access to a number of features only available on developer consoles and allowing for the installation of illegal or copied code.

Newer games released after the PS3 firmware 3.60 update that locked out previous piracy methods reportedly can't be played from the hard drive using JB2. Instead, they have to come in the form of burned Blu-ray discs, which the machine reads as authorised.

With most of the evidence surrounding JB2 based on internet videos and unverified claims from sources, all talk of the device and its abilities remains speculative.

However, the report goes on to say that JB2 is believed to have undergone a small launch in Indonesia - witha  number of pirate games including PES 2012, God of War Collection Volume II and FIFA 12 made available - in preparation for a global rollout.

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/323334/playstation-3-hacked-again/
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Are ultrabooks the future of PC gaming?

by Michael Arsenault on Sunday, September 04, 2011 , under

How powerful does a laptop need to be? It's a pertinent question. Last week Razer unveiled a laptop it proclaimed the "saviour of PC gaming". But the big laptop news is that we're about to be deluged by 'ultrabooks' - thin and light Macbook Air clones which weigh just over a kilo, but pack powerful Core i5/i7 processors.

Earlier in the year, Intel demonstrated its commitment to ultrabooks by setting aside a $300m fund to support laptop manufacturers trying to build affordable lightweight laptops. The Macbook Air is very nice, but it isn't cheap. The chip maker is keen on the idea because it's hoping that potential tablet buyers will be tempted to get a real laptop that's very nearly as portable.

There's absolutely no reason to buy an Intel-based tablet right now, as they're power hungry, heavy and run Windows. The iPad and Android tablets are all doing much better with processors derived from ARM's architecture. As tablets eat into one of Intel's core markets - netbook shipments fell by over 50% in Europe last quarter - it's clear they have to do something.

Over at IFA in Berlin this week, quite a few manufacturers have been showing off ultrabooks. Toshiba's Portege Z830 (pictured above) looks fantastic , as does ASUS UX31, and Acer's Aspire S3 packs a (duel core) Core i7 chip into machine that's thinner, lighter and cheaper than an Air. Samsung's Series 9 and Sony's Vaio Z have both been out for a few weeks now, although they're a bit pricier.

As far as gaming goes, most of these ultrabooks feature the higher specced option from Intel's Sandy Bridge hybrid GPUs, the HD Graphics 3000. It's not great, by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not entirely useless either. I've been playing aorund with an ultrabook - although I can't say which one - for a couple of days. It's obviously very limited for gaming, but Dues Ex: Human Revolution is just about playable at its lowest detail settings. Even there, it looks better than most Xbox games.

I wouldn't recommend buying an ultrabook for games just yet, but next year's models with better GPUs should be really interesting. With the Steam Cloud syncing save games between your desktop PC and an ultraportable laptop so you can fill in a few puzzles or levels while you're on the train, the convenience more than makes up for the temporary loss in resolution and details.

As much as I like the look of Razer's LED laptop touchpads, I'd be willing to bet that there'll be more ultrabooks figuring in the future of PC gaming than there will be Blades.
http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/09/02/are-ultrabooks-the-future-of-pc-gaming/
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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive trailer reveals cross-platform play, Valve to host official servers

by Michael Arsenault on Friday, August 26, 2011 , under


The first trailer for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has landed on Gametrailers. In between messages mentioning the new weapons, maps and game modes, one pop up confirms that CS:GO will have cross platform play, giving us an opportunity to playfully shoot Playstation 3 and Mac players in the face.

Kotaku have spent some time with CS:GO, and can confirm a few new facts.  Global Offensive will have a "casual mode" which will give players funds to buy whatever they like between rounds. This mode will also support cross team chat and let you spectate enemy team members. "Competitive mode' will provide a more traditional Counter-Strike set up.

Valve are also planning to host their own servers for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Players will still be able to set up and host their own dedicated servers outside of Valve's systems, but official servers will come with their own skill-based matchmaking system, and aim to provide a consistent experience for competitive play.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is being shown at a number of trade shows over the next few weeks, including PAX, and will go into beta in October.  Valve haven't said much about new maps and modes, but told Kotaku that one of them would cast some players as bank robbers. CS:GO is out next year.
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DOTA vs Dota 2: Valve and Blizzard go to war

by Michael Arsenault on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 , under

Never mind the fuss over Scrolls/The Elder Scrolls - if you want trademark confusion, look to DOTA.

To recap. There's the original DOTA, aka Defense of the Ancients, a Warcraft III map. There's Valve's Dota 2, which doesn't actually stand for anything, acting as a direct commercial sequel.  Next year, we can expect Blizzard's official take, with a Starcraft map combining heroes from all of its units.  And then there's League of Legends, the same game at heart, whose creators want everyone to use the term MOBA - Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Sound fair? Perhaps, except that even if you ignore that about 99% of online action games could qualify as that, the likes of Funcom's Bloodline Champions apparently don't, at least not in the eyes of the players... because they're not DOTA.

That pain in your head is a migraine no amount of Neurofen will shift.

What's interesting about this fight is that it's set to be primarily one for the hearts and minds of players rather than a duel of lawyers. There's still time for them to get involved, but so far all sides are holding back. Speaking with Eurogamer at Gamescom, Blizzard provided comments like "I don't think it's critical [to have the name DOTA] to delivering that experience to the fans, personally", with Valve's Gabe Newell responding "I haven't had any customers or gamers react negatively to it. They seem to be pretty comfortable with it." Maybe both sides are hoping to score that all-important last hit bonus?

Hopefully this continues when the games actually launch, with the companies all furiously building the same basic game accepting that at the very least, they can afford to be gentleman if the community ultimately opts for the version with Diablo in it instead of free Team Fortress hats, or vice-versa. If not, Valve currently has by far the strongest hand, having registered the Dota trademark and hired one of the original map's maintainers, while Blizzard merely made the game other people used to create it.

Both games are expected next year.  Valve's Dota 2 arriving first as a standalone product, Blizzard's DOTA around the same time as Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. To get your DOTA/MOBA on now, look to League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth, or the new kid on the block, Rise of Immortals.
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Diablo 3 game director on lack of offline mode: “the game’s not really being played right if it’s not online”

by Michael Arsenault on Monday, August 22, 2011 , under


We met up with Diablo 3 game director, Jay Wilson at Gamescom to discuss Diablo 3′s always-online requirement and some of the issues that PC gamers can face when playing online-only games.

Some players might not have access to a stable internet connection. What should a player do if, say, the internet wiring in his house is flawed?

“Erm… upgrade the wiring in his house?” suggests Wilson. “I mean, in this day and age the notion that there’s this a whole vast majority of players out there that don’t have online connectivity – this doesn’t really fly any more.

“I mean, at our hotel, there’s nine wi-fi networks that I can access. Just from the hotel! And they’re all public – they’re all paid – but they’re pretty cheap, and they’re all publicly available. So the notion that there’s just tons and tons of people out there that aren’t connected – isn’t… I don’t think is really accurate.”

Wilson also told us some of the philosophical and practical reasons behind the decision not to include any sort of offline mode.

“There’s two basic problems with us doing that,” said Wilson. “One is players default immediately to that. So, they basically unintentionally opt out of all the cooperative experience, all the trading experience, and the core of Diablo is a circle-trading game. So for us we’ve always viewed it as an online game – the game’s not really being played right if it’s not online, so when we have that specific question of why are we allowing it? Because that’s the best experience, why would you want it any other way?”

Wilson admits that the decision will alienate some players, but also suggests that it’s impossible to please everyone.

“You’ve got to make choices about what you want to do, and sometimes those choices are going to make some people unhappy, but if you feel like it’s what is the right thing to do to making a better product then you have to do it,” he says.

“An online experience is what we want to provide for this game. Every choice you make is going to omit some part of the audience. Some people don’t like fantasy games, so should we have not made Diablo a fantasy game, because some people don’t like that? Some people don’t like barbarians. Should we not have put a barbarian in the game because some people don’t like it?”


From a practical angle, piracy was also a concern for Blizzard when they made the decision to make Diablo 3 require an internet connection.

“If we allow an Offline mode, it changes the structure of the data that we have to put on the user’s system. Essentially we would have to put our server architecture onto the client so that it can run its own personal server. Doing that essentially is one of the reasons why Diablo 2 was a much easier game to hack than obviously any other game you’d mention and so it’s what led to extensive cheating and item dupes and things like that.”

“I would never guarantee that we’re never going to have those things in Diablo 3, but it’s one of the things that our community has been the most vocal about, wanting this fixed, and if we essentially are putting the server out there…we’re not really going to be able to better than Diablo 2.”
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Garry’s Mod sells one million copies

by Michael Arsenault on Thursday, July 28, 2011 , under


Back in 2004, Garry’s Mod turned Valve’s Source Engine into a toybox. Its intuitive UI, straightforward controls and building tools removed the programming barriers needed to be creative with Source. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have used the mod to attach rockets to the G-Man’s head, build a giant robots or mess around with the physics system. The community has created hundreds of new game modes, mods and machinima using the tools.
Today, developer Garry Newman posts on his his site to announce that Garry’s Mod has now sold more than a million copies since its launch on Steam in 2007.

“This is a pretty big deal for me considering this all started off as a tiny tiny modification about 6 years ago,” writes Garry. “This is more than I could have ever expected or wished for!”
“Even though my name is on the Mod there are a lot of people that have helped out over the years – and GMod wouldn’t be where it is now without them. Particularly Valve & Steam – which made Garry’s Mod technically feasible”
Garry’s Mod is available to buy on Steam now for £6 / $10. Garry’s Mod 9, an older version with less features, can be downloaded from Steam for free.
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Cowboys and Pokemon spoof trailer

by Michael Arsenault on Saturday, July 23, 2011 , under

So I came across this video on my Saturday morning and I thought this was hilarious!  Coming from one of my favorite shows xplay, it's always a good laugh, Enjoy!
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EA CEO: Consoles now just '40% of the games industry

by Michael Arsenault on Thursday, July 21, 2011 , under

Consoles don't dominate the games industry as they once did and their standing continues to decline as new platforms steal market share.
Click to view larger image
That's the opinion of EA top dog John Riccitiello, who told IndustryGamers: "Consoles used to be 80 percent of the industry as recently as 2000. Consoles today are 40 percent of the game industry, so what do we really have?

"We have a new hardware platform and we're putting out software every 90 days. Our fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn't exist 18 months ago."

Riccitiello also said the notion of five-year platform cycles is completely outdated and that future hardware is likely to be driven by social experiences and cross-platform play rather than supercharged graphics.

"I would argue that one of the least interesting things about the games industry was that every five years you'd see a new console or platform from everybody at about the same time with about the same or similar upgrades or services... But it's not a particularly smart way to run an industry... bulges in technology investment followed by harvest."

He said of Wii U: "Nintendo is bringing out a new platform that brings together some of what we're learning from new media and new platforms like the iPad and then integrating that with a console. It's the perfect time for that in the industry."

Riccitiello added: "I would argue that there's more to be provided in terms of value for the consumer in micro-transactions and social experiences and driving those better in cross-platform gameplay between a console and a PC and a handheld device and a social network than there is supercharging graphics... I always liked the power, but I don't know if it's the story 
anymore."
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/312269/ea-ceo-consoles-now-just-40-of-the-games-industry/
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Explosive Half-Life 2 fan-film emerges

by Michael Arsenault on Friday, July 15, 2011 , under


In the fast-paced world of PC gaming, Half-Life 2 may be considered ‘getting on a bit’, but its fan base still stands strong. No better evidence could be found than this great fan-film, telling the story of a resistance fighter opposing the rule of the Combine.
Found by the guys over at RPS, Singularity Collapse features some spectacular looking props and costumes that perfectly capture the atmosphere of Valve’s iconic shooter, as well as some great CGI work using assets from the game itself. Gunfights and aesthetics aside though, it’s really the gunship vs buggy chase that makes this a must-see.
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And in other PC gaming news…

by Michael Arsenault on Thursday, July 14, 2011 , under

Tim Schafer has pitched to a lot of executives in his time, but this one looks like a really tough cookie. He’s dealt with Activision and EA, but now he’s in the big leagues, meeting with the Cookie Monster. “Zombies kinda 2007?” Hasn’t Mr Monster seen Dead Island? Still, Tim comes out on top in the end with a characteristically unusual idea. He works hard too, he’s already got a tech demo running.
http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/07/13/and-in-other-pc-gaming-news-115/
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Battlefield 3 not coming to Steam?

by Michael Arsenault on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 , under

EA has reportedly published a list of digital retailers expected to distribute Battlefield 3 - with Valve's Steam platform a notable absentee.

Click to view larger image
The list, which EA has now pulled from the internet and replaced with a fetching all white 404 error page, is said to have included the likes of Direct2Drive and GamersGate with EA's own Origin topping the list.

There has been some perceived conflict between the well established Steam platform and EA's new kid on the block, since Crysis 2 was removed from Valve's digital distributor last month.

EA's David DeMartini clarified the position saying that it was Steam's decision to remove Crysis 2 from its library, not EA's.

He also said that there had been some jarring between the two companies but dismissed it by saying that was normal in any relationship and EA intended to make its games available on as many platforms as possible.

It's not clear whether that approach will apply to Battlefield 3.
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/311095/news/battlefield-3-not-coming-to-steam/


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Female developers need to 'put themselves out there

by Michael Arsenault on Sunday, July 10, 2011 , under

An independent female developer has argued the way to tackle gender imbalance in the games industry is to change perceptions in school.
Click to view larger image
In an interview with Develop, iPhone game developer Quinn Dunki claimed peer pressure at a young age is steering talented females away from jobs which are typically thought of as male roles.

"The only difference between me and my maths-inclined, game-loving friend - who does advanced needlepoint instead of engineering - is that she succumbed to the peer pressure," Dunki told Develop.

She argued that gender imbalance is a problem that is too big for the industry to solve all by itself: "The outreach needs to go down to the [early] school levels. That's where the research shows girls stop studying maths and science due to pressures from peers and other sources."

Develop reports that 42 percent of all game players are women, according to recent ESA data, but it's believed that only one tenth of game developers are female. 

If efforts are made in schools now, Dunki thinks we will see results in the industry in a couple of generations. "In the meantime, the best thing we can do is provide role models. If you're a female engineer or scientist, put yourself out there," she added.

Dunki's words echo those of LucasArts' creative director Chris Hocking, who said on Wednesday that the industry needs to attract more women and become a little less obsessed with fart jokes.


http://www.computerandvideogames.com/310898/news/female-developers-need-to-put-themselves-out-there/
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On a personal note...

by Michael Arsenault on Friday, July 08, 2011 , under

So it seems that something rather unfortunate has come up.  During a casual game of Team Fortress 2 my computer suddenly froze up and then all of a sudden my power supply exploded.  It seems the PSU couldn't take on the intensity of TF2.  Smoke filled my computer and left several burn marks all over, thus ending the life cycle of my power supply which was said to last me 7 years rather lasting me 2 years.  Anyways this kind of sucks, it will probably be about $100 for a new one.  Anyway just thought I'd share another one my downfalls, this also brings up something I should mention, when it comes to purchasing hardware it's probably best to check which company your buying from.  Some companies receive a lot of positive feedback and others don't.  Oh well story of my life.
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Gamers will spend $74 billion this year

by Michael Arsenault on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 , under

Consumers will spend $74 billion on games worldwide this year, a figure expected to rise to $112 billion by 2015, according to technology analyst firm Gartner.


If you have a hard time putting that kind of figure in to context, think of 74 billion one dollar notes piled high. There you go.


Software sales are forecast to account for $44.7 billion of 2011's total spend, hardware for $17.8 billion and online gaming for $11.9 billion.

In 2015, software will account for $56.5 billion of the $112 billion total, hardware for $27.4 billion, and online gaming - the fastest growing sector - for $28.3 billion.

Gartner research director Brian Blau said: "We find that subscription fees are giving way to 'freemium' models, in which the game is provided for free to gamers but is monetised through advertising (both in-game advertising and display advertising) and in-game microtransactions, such as the sale of value-added services or virtual-good purchases.

"This trend is prevailing given the rise of social gaming, in which online gaming is connected to social networking sites and social networking platforms."


http://www.computerandvideogames.com/310549/news/gamers-will-spend-74-billion-this-year-report/
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PlayStation 4 will feature Kinect-style controls, out 2012 - report

by Michael Arsenault on Monday, July 04, 2011 , under

Sony is planning to start manufacturing the PlayStation 4 at the end of this year, for a planned release in 2012.
Click to view larger image
That's according to a new Digi Times Report, which even more surprisingly claims Sony's to have Taiwan-based partners begin production of PS4 complete with body movement-based controls, similar to Microsoft's Kinect.

Taiwan-based component manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron Technology, assemblers of PS3, will undertake assembly of PS4, according to the site's sources.

The planned shipment volume of PS4 in 2012 is at least 20 million units, they indicated.

The report follows another from reliable US news site IndustryGamers, which claimed last month that it's heard from "industry sources at a top developer" that the Playstation 4 will become a real thing in the next 18 months.

Prior to that, a similar story pointed to an Xbox 720 reveal next year, with developer Crytek cited as the source of the rumour.

The PS4 2012 claim, which is looking more and more likely as the rumour reports pile up, would be quite a surprise considering only a few weeks ago Sony reaffirmed it's 10-year cycle strategy for the PlayStation 3.

Newly-promoted CEO of PlayStation worldwide, Andrew House told CVG at E3 he "still characterised this as the early period" for PS3, and noted that Sony had "only really just begun to explore what the potential is for 3D".

But it's the first we've heard of Sony jumping on the motion-sensing camera bandwagon. Are Sony and Microsoft about to go head-to-head in the 'no controller' stakes? Will the PlayStation firm do a better job? What does it mean for Move? 

It looks like we're in for an exciting 12 months. We'll be the first to remind you of the old phrase, 'There's no smoke without fire.'


http://www.computerandvideogames.com/310125/playstation-4-release-date-2012/
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Seriously, Microsoft? GFW Marketplace moving to Xbox.com

by Michael Arsenault on Friday, July 01, 2011 , under


Remember not too long ago when Microsoft claimed there’d be a new push into PC gaming by the software giant? Well, they’re kicking that bold initiative off by relocating the freshly relaunched (and actually respectable) Games for Windows Marketplace. PC game store to…wait for it…Xbox.com. Because when you think of PC gaming, the first place you look is Xbox.com. That’s quite a slap in the face – how much more out-of-touch with PC gamers could they get? Was the crushing cost of maintaining the domain registration of www.gamesforwindows.com really dragging down Microsoft’s bottom line?
The details on the merge listed on the site read as follows:
“Games for Windows Marketplace will fully transition over to Xbox.com. Now you can get all of your gaming needs in one place. It’s convenient, it’s concentrated, and it’s a whole lot of great games.”
There are so many things wrong with that statement it’s hard to know where to begin. We’ve reached out to MS for comment.
Update: Microsoft responds with a predictably uninteresting statement. Hit Read More to be underwhelmed. We’re pushing further, but 4th of July festivities mean we probably won’t hear back until next week.
Statement from Microsoft:
“On July 11, GamesForWindows.com will merge with Xbox.com to create a single destination for LIVE gaming experiences across Windows and Xbox 360. The decision was made to create a single destination for LIVE gaming experiences across Windows and Xbox 360, and with the recent release of “Fable III” for PC, and the upcoming launch of “Age of Empires Online,” we are dedicated to delivering a great Windows PC gaming experience. Members of our passionate communities across Xbox 360 and Games for Windows can now purchase and get details on their favorite games, all in one place. All user account information will remain the same and community members can still take advantage of their Xbox LIVE profile in their Windows games and stay connected to friends who are playing on the PC.”
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Call of Duty sales slip could cause FPS 'panic' - Bodycount dev

by Michael Arsenault on Thursday, June 30, 2011 , under

Codemasters' Bodycount game director Andy Wilson has warned that the Call of Duty franchise is only as good as its last effort, and a slip-up in quality for the series could see Activision's dominance come crumbling down.

Click to view larger image
When we asked Wilson whether he thought gamers were growing tired of Call of Duty he said that yearly updates were risky when it comes to story-driven games. 

"Possibly. That's the danger when you get into yearly updates," he said. 

"I've never really been a fan of it - I don't think you do yourself any favours by getting into a cycle that's not a sports licence. 

"With something like F1 of course you do a yearly update - I'm a massive F1 fan and I would buy an F1 game every year just to get new cars and drivers. That for me is a valid thing. 

"When you're doing it with a story-driven action franchise, you can tire people out really quickly I think, and you just get to the point where it's like, 'What are we going to do next?' because we've seen it all before."

Wilson continued by suggesting that the integrity of the FPS genre as a whole seems to rest on whether or not the COD franchise can maintain its quality:

"I don't know with Call of Duty. I think we'll see by how well the next one does. It's always 'how well the next one does'. If it continues to be all the way up there, then fine. 

"I think the year it slips below, the year it doesn't do quite as well as it did last time, is when you're going to start to see people panicking a little bit about the FPS genre having the bottom fall out of it.


http://www.computerandvideogames.com/309724/news/call-of-duty-sales-slip-could-cause-fps-panic-bodycount-dev/
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Minecraft adventure update to add NPC villages

by Michael Arsenault on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 , under


Yesterday Notch revealed that the upcoming adventure update for Minecraft would be split up. Pistons will be hitting soon with the 1.7 update, but the major, game changing additions will be polished up and released as patch 1.8.
Today Notch announces that he’s going to be slightly less secretive about the contents of the adventure update, but just secretive enough to keep us guessing. He is becoming wise in the dark arts of marketing. While the precise contents of the new update remain sort-of under wraps, the aim is clear.

“The update is pretty big,” says Notch “and will change a lot of how Minecraft is played, focusing on making exploration and combat much more rewarding, and bringing in a bigger sense of adventure to the game.”
So what do we really know about the adventure update? Notch promises “new complex terrain features, at least one new mob, some interesting new combat mechanics, a new lighting engine, and some experimental new gameplay ideas.”
“To come is more interesting farming, bigger incentives to explore,” he adds, before casually dropping a bomb shell, adding “and npc villages.”
NPCs in Minecraft? With their own towns? Will we be able to talk to them? Trade with them? Kill ten boars for them? Only time will tell. There’s no release window for updates 1.7 or 1.8 just yet, but “1.8 is still a significant time away,” according to Notch.
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Battlefield 3 two player co-op mode will span ten missions

by Michael Arsenault on Monday, June 27, 2011 , under


A sliver of light has been shed on Battlefield 3′s co-op mode in the latest issue of PSM3. The mode will support two players side by side, will span ten missions and will be a standalone section, separate from the single player game. Apart from that, DICE are keeping a tight lid on things. Hopefully they’ll will show more as we get closer to the October 25 release date.
It’ll be going head to head with Modern Warfare 3′s Spec Ops mode, which offers its own series of co-op missions for four players at a time. The Modern Warfare 3 spec ops mode was recently demonstrated live on US television, while Battlefield 3 got plenty of screen time over the course of E3, with footage of a single player mission set in a tank, and action from the Operation Metro multiplayer map.
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Team Fortress 2 Über Update: Meet the Medic

by Michael Arsenault on Saturday, June 25, 2011 , under

Between the update nearing release and the free to play announcement, it’s TF2 mania on Steam! The servers are currently getting hammered, so watch this while you wait.
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Google gearing up games division

by Michael Arsenault on Friday, June 24, 2011 , under

Google looks to be moving into the games industry with a brand new division called Games at Google.The search giant has put out a job ad for a product manager in the new business. The responsibilities of the role include driving feature requirements for "Google's gaming platform."

Back in October last year it was suggested that Google TV could eventually be set to take on WII and Kinect as the family game platform of choice in living rooms across the UK.

Google said that it "makes sense" for its new platform to offer video game apps to the family consumer in future.

Here's the full product manager job description for Google Games: "Rare opportunity to grow a brand-new business - Games at Google! We are looking for a strategic, technical and game-loving Product Manager to drive Google's gaming strategy." 

"You will design strategies for game distribution and discovery, player identity, game mechanics, and more. In addition to designing a great user experience and building out key partnerships, you will be significantly influencing Google's social platform as you work directly with a critical set of early adopters, game developers." 

"Interesting and impactful decisions involving social gaming, privacy, virality, business, and technical APIs await you and the strong, passionate team of gamers you will work with."

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