Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kickstarter - Floating Dice

I know that I normally promote video game crowd sourcing projects, however these things were too cool to pass up. This guy has a metal dice idea that is just awesome. I want a set of these die in my life and I need your help to make my dreams come true. I plan to keep them in a velvet-lined case and produce them at friends houses to inspire fear and concessions.

By the way, why are concession stands called "concession" stands? Who's conceding what? Is it just a misuse and the real word should be "consignment"? Think about it.

[LINK] Kickstarter: Floating Dice

Saturday, March 30, 2013

AMD Introduces Radeon Sky

[LINK] TechRadar Follows the Radeon Sky Announcement

Today in gaming: has an article today about the Radeon Sky -- a new series of cloud-computing graphics cards from microprocessor maker AMD. The new graphics card has been a project that's been in the works for years, but has only recently been announced due to it's inclusion in the Playstation 4. As a result, the designers and developers of the hardware were at GDC this week talking to everyone about their new toy.

You can find more details on Techradar's site.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Today in Gaming, Episode #5

[Friday, Mar 29, 2013] This episode of Today in Gaming contains the following news stories:

  • OUYA Available June 4, 2013 (0:13)
  • Total War: Arena (1:25)
  • Panzer Corps: Allied Corps Signup (1:50)
  • Launch Operation Save Skiz (2:19)
  • Rubberkid: The Anti-Bullying Game (2:44)
  • Beta - Archeblade (3:09)
  • Scullgirls Raises $829,829 (3:38)
  • IndieGoGo: Divergence Online (4:05)
  • Razer Edge Gaming Tablet (4:42)
  • Oculus Rift Pre-Orders for Developers (5:00)
  • Hitman Absolution/GTA4 on Sale (5:48)
  • Final Fantasy V for iDevices (6:11)
  • Blustery Day in Argentina (6:31)
  • Wrath of Heroes Shuts Down (7:37)
  • Gross Toilets in Video Games (7:56)

OUYA Available June 4, 2013

[LINK] OUYA Official Web Site

Today in gaming: after ten years of waiting for the consoles to get their act together and upgrade their systems, it turns out a new-comer has snuck in with a system all her own. Julie Uhrman launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and now her company is shipping out OUYAs to all the people who helped to support her after less than a year.

The company also announced today that the OUYA will be available for the public on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

But what kind of titles will it have? After all, it's a brand new box. The official press release says that the system will have eight titles to chose from, including Final Fantasy III, Saturday Morning RPG, and Puddle.

However, many developers, including an announcement today from Advanced Mobile Applications, have announced that they will be adding their games to the roster.

It's a long time between now and June.

OUYA also released version 1.0.2 of their development kit yesterday. With this software, anyone with Java coding knowledge can build a game for this console.

Finally, I got my hands on the specs for the final version of this thing. It's worth noting that the game console itself is physically smaller than the controller you play it with. They are as follows:

  • Case: Sand-Blasted Aluminum and Plastic
  • CPU: NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core*
    * 1.7GHz speed according to NVIDIA
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB Internal Flash Storage (Expandable via USB Port)
  • USB: One USB 2.0 Port, One Micro USB port
  • Connectivity: WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Ethernet Port, and Bluetooth
  • Output: HDMI (up to 1080p HD)
  • Dimensions: 75mm x 75mm x 82mm (2.9in x 2.9in x 3.2in)
  • Weight: 300g (10.5 oz)

You'll be able to buy this device via Amazon, Best Buy, GAME, GameStop and Target.

Total War: Arena


Today in gaming: strategy game house Creative Assembly -- makers of the Total War series of games -- have announced a new free-to-play MMORPG title, Total War: Arena. This game appears to mix real time strategy with MOBA to allow players to command their own squads of soldiers during a massive battle. I'll keep you posted as more details are released.

Panzer Corps: Allied Corps Signup


Today in gaming: the three-house collaboration of Slitherine, Flashback Game Studios, and Lordz Games Studio has announced a new strategy game title, Panzer Corps: Allied Corps. This game will allow players to command the Western Allies during World War II. This has been a requested feature by fans of the series for a long time. Currently, they are looking for beta testers. You can sign up via the link below.

Operation Save Skiz Launches

[LINK] iTunes: Operation Save Skiz

Today in gaming: AlgoCrunch, an independent games developer, launched a game title for iDevices called Operation Save Skiz. The plot of the games revolves around two waring factions -- the cute and kuddly Skiz and the less than reasonable Lugnuts. There are 19 levels and a unique line-drawing mechanic that will give you hours of fun.

Rubberkid: The Anti-Bullying Game

[LINK] Play Rubberkid

Today in gaming: I found this really clever, free-to-play game that teaches kids about standing up to bullies. It was actually really cool and as you defend your classmates from insults, you unlock their stories and find out how -- by defending them -- you helped make their future lives better. I really think this is a great way to combat bullying and I encourage you to have a look.

Beta - Archeblade

[LINK] Archeblade on Steam

Today in gaming: Archeblade is a game that is currently in development. I found it on Steam's early access page. It's a third-person magic and melee arena combat game made by Korean developers Code Brush. For some reason, all of the weapons in the game are disproportionately humongous and clearly unwieldable by average humans due to the laws of physics -- so you know anyone carrying one of these things must be a superhero.

Scullgirls Raises $829,829

[LINK] Kotaku's Report on Lab Zero's Successful Campaign

Today in gaming: has an article about the final tally for the Skullgirls crowd-sourcing campaign. Lab Zero Games -- the developer of Skullgirls -- used to raise a whopping $829,829 to add a slew of new game features to their title, including four new characters.

IndieGoGo: Divergence Online

[LINK] Indie Go Go Project: Divergence Online

Today in gaming: IndieGoGo has a video game project that I think is really cool and has a lot of potential. It's called Divergence Online and it's the brainchild of creator Ethan Casner. The game has a serious science fiction bent, and allows you to play as one of five human species. The non-sapien versions of people each have a different genetic-engineering-related back story as to how they came into being.

And for $1,000US, you can buy your own island in the game. How about that! You can find out all the details in the link below.

Razer Edge Gaming Tablet

[LINK] Kotaku Reviews the Razer

Today in gaming: has a cool article about the Razer Edge gaming device. This device is being touted as a hard-core gaming PC smashed down into a little tablet.

More details on their Web site, but here are the specs for the thing:

  • Intel Core i7 Dual core w/ Hyper Threading (Base 1.9GHz / Turbo 3.0GHz)
  • Intel Core i5 Dual core w/ Hyper Threading (Base 1.7GHz / Turbo 2.6GHz)
  • 8GB DDR3 (2x4GB 1600MHz)
  • Intel HD4000 (DX11)
  • NVIDIA GT 640M LE (2GB DDR3, Optimus Technology)
  • 10.1” (IPS, 1366x768)
  • Multi-touch HD display
  • Windows 8
  • 128/256GB SSD (SATA-III)
  • Intel WLAN (802.11b/g/n + BT4)
  • Stereo speakers
  • Codec supports 7.1 (via HDMI through optional Docking Station)
  • HD Webcam (front-facing, 2MP)
  • Array microphones
  • Dolby Home Theater v4
  • USB 3.0 x1 (green, SuperSpeed)
  • Audio jack (3.5mm, 4-pole, stereo out / mic in)
  • Approximate Size: 278.5 mm x 178.85 mm x 19.5 mm / 10.9" x 7" x .80"
  • Approximate Weight: 962g / 2.1Lbs

Oculus Rift Pre-Orders for Developers

[LINK] Oculus Rift Home Page

Today in gaming: for game developers interested in designing virtual reality games for the Oculus Rift -- a hands-free VR headset -- the company is now taking orders for it's development kits. This is a great opportunity for designers to get a look at the hardware and test it out using out-of-the-box sample software.

Since the Oculus Rift is being requested from designers all over the world, the kit includes every kind of adapter and cable you can imagine. The cost of the development kit is $300US. If you're not in the US, there may be additional shipping and customs fees.

Finally, the Rift has a free set of integration code for the Unreal Development Kit available to any developer who wants it free of charge and the kit also comes with a Rift-ready copy of UDK.

Hitman: Absolution/GTA4 on Sale

[LINK] Hitman: Absolution on Steam

[LINK] GTA 4 on Steam

Today in gaming: Steam is having a sale on the third-person stealth assassin game Hitman: Absolution. The game is currently on sale for $9.99US -- a discount of 75%.

Grand Theft Auto is also on sale. You can get the complete edition for $7.49US or just the core game for five bucks.

Final Fantasy V for iDevices

[LINK] iTunes: Final Fantasy V

Today in gaming: Square Enix has released their JRPG title Final Fantasy V on the iTunes store for iDevices. The cost is $15.99US. So far the customer reviews have been all aces. If you're looking for a little nostalgia this weekend, this may be the title for you.

Blustery Day in Argentina

[LINK] The Daily Mail's Take on the Hubbub

Today in gaming: in 1982, the UK and Argentina went to war over the Malvinas Islands (known in England as the Falklands). As you can imagine, with almost 1,000 people dead, the war left both sides quite grumpy.

This week, Argentinian game developer released an expansion map for the popular on-line first-person shooter, Counter Strike, which depicted Argentina as heroic patriots and the British as terrorists.

This is actually not a big deal since Counter Strike is a game where two teams of players are always divided into heroes and terrorists. So the game press hasn't been covering it. But the non-game-playing press doesn't know any better. So they've made it a story.

Well, as a result of the press attention, the servers that hold the map have been attacked by hackers that Dattatec claims were based out of the United Kingdom.

No independent confirmation of the origin of the attacks has been given. So far, 15,000 people have downloaded the map pack.

Wrath of Heroes Shuts Down

[LINK] Warhammer News Thread

Today in gaming: after a warning of a little over a month, sadly, the Warhammer Online game Wrath of Heroes has turned off it's servers.

Gross Toilets in Video Games

[LINK] Gizmodo's Take on Video Game Toilets

[LINK] Screenshots of Video Game Toilets

Today in gaming: has an article that addresses the unappealing nature of bathrooms in video games. From Duke Nukem to Assassin's Creed III, it's almost universally accepted that toilets are gross. They then link to a Tumblr account dedicated solely to screenshots of video game toilets as evidence of this disturbing trend.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today in Gaming, Episode #4

[Thursday, Mar 28, 2013] This episode of Today in Gaming contains the following news stories:

  • PC Launch - Tactical Intervention (0:16)
  • Launch - Bridge Project (1:15)
  • Game Launch - Dungeon Hearts (1:58)
  • Telltale on The Wolf Among Us (2:25)
  • IGF Award Results (3:05)
  • GDC Award Results (3:30)
  • Kickstarter - Divinity: Original Sin (3:54)
  • Trailer - The Broken Age (4:34)
  • Frostbite 3 for Dragon Age, Mass Effect (5:02)
  • Wii to Support Unity 3D (5:27)
  • 2012 Tough Year for Game Stop (5:47)
  • Trailer - Dragon's Prophet (6:33)
  • Trailer - eCol Tactics Online (6:58)
  • Trailer - Guacamelee! (7:23)
  • Rumors - Batman: Arkham Origins (8:06)
  • Assassin's Creed 5/New Splinter Cell in Development (8:22)
  • Indie Games: Free Bundle #5 (8:45)
  • Game Group to Sell Ouya (9:14)
  • Macintosh: Grid (9:44)

Trailer - Dragon's Prophet

[LINK] Dragon's Prophet Home Page

Today in gaming: this is a big week for trailers with GDC happening out in California. Sony Online Entertainment -- the makers of Dragon's Prophet -- released a preview trailer today on showing off their online game, which allows you to recruit and train an army of dragons. Some really cool stuff. I signed up for the beta, so you'll be seeing more of this game soon.

Review - Tactical Intervention

So, I had an opportunity to play a PC game called Tactical Intervention today. It's by a company called OG Planet. It's a free game that you can play, provided you download their free game client.

At first, when I loaded up the game and got into my first lobby, there were twelve guys there who were really cool. They told me all about the game, gave me pointers, and helped me and another guy figure out which keys did what.

So let's begin there.

Graphics, Settings, and Keybindings

The graphics in this game were very well done -- especially considering it's a free-to-play game. In fact, I'd say that the art direction was so superb that it's clear they focused on that to the exclusion of gameplay. More on that in a bit.

The settings on this game are well done. You can change the graphics to your liking, eliminate many unnecessary options, and customize which keys do what.

The default key bindings for this game gave me hand cramp. So the first thing I was forced to do was quit the game and then rebind everything so that I could function. In addition, I had to drop down the graphics settings a bit because I was running at less than 60 FPS. I was able to get the settings to a point where I ran at 160 FPS, so that was perfect.


The first lobby I was in was awesome. I was with really helpful guys who understood the game and were able to give me pointers. However, after that first lobby, I then joined seven different lobbies and was destroyed in each lobby by senior members who have been playing the game since beta. That's right, they didn't reset the game after beta. So all they really did was simply stop calling it beta.

All of the default guns that they give you are worthless. I emptied clip after clip into a guy who was AFK, and then finally had to whap him on the head with my uzi to kill him. I took a shotgun and blasted a dog right in the face and it didn't kill the dog. Let me repeat that. A gun... didn't stop a dog... from eating me.

I spent three hours getting absolutely destroyed and one-shot by everybody who had been in the game during the beta. All the new people like me had equal opportunities to kill each other but were slaughtered when they encountered anyone else.

The Pros

  1. Maps are gorgeous and very fun. Even Morning Calm -- which is just a square zen garden -- is fun to roam around in. I particularly like the construction site because it's open and would have made an awesome sniper board.
  2. Parkour is one of the things that I love most about games like this and it always upsets me when there is an invisible wall preventing me from jumping or climbing onto an object. This game has no such problems. I was climbing onto towers, cement trucks, security buildings, and all kinds of stuff. It was great.
  3. Opening and closing doors will allow you to access back rooms and corridors to sneak around behind enemies -- not that you can sneak up on anyone in this game (see below).
  4. Interacting with objects was a real treat. You can shoot fire extinguishers to turn them into makeshift missiles and you can kick over trash cans and clear off countertops easily. I loved that.
  5. Glass is beautiful in this game. When you shoot it, it crazes and then you can burst through it like a hero. Lots and lots of fun. You can even shoot out little bits and pieces if you're careful to make a smiley face.
  6. Auto-roll kicks in if you fall from a second story or something. Basically, when you land you do a roll and then come up firing. It's a little dizzying, but otherwise awesome.
  7. Injuries are shown on the guys as they run. So if you take one in the leg, you'll hobble and if you take one in the arm, you'll favor that side. Very realistic.
  8. Teamwork, or standing anywhere near a team member, will boost your accuracy. I liked that a lot because it has huge potential for squad-based stuff. Sadly, no one wanted to squad because they were busy being Rambo.

The Cons

  1. The people finder allows the enemy to know exactly where you are, run directly to you, and then murder you without compunction. You cannot hide at any time. There's no strategy. No thinking. No going around the long way to kill a guy from behind because he can see you through walls. It's the single dumbest thing I've ever seen in a shooter. Everybody knows where everybody is at all times. So if you're the last guy standing, there is zero chance of a glorious comeback.
  2. Pay to destroy is when you can purchase weapons of amazing power by either plopping down cash or playing the game for weeks and amassing huge point totals to purchase weapons. In this game, you can rent amazing guns that allow you to destroy people while being given "standard" (read nerfed) weapons that don't do crap. I played for three hours and earned 474 points. You'd have to play almost thirty hours to earn enough for an AK-47. So bad. They give you some points to start with, but once those are gone, you're expendable.
  3. Dogs could be such a really cool aspect to the game -- except they can't be killed with a shotgun. So they just destroy you. And the dogs are a terrorist only perk. That's retarded to give only one team huge bonus perks and hope the other team can compensate.
  4. Scoring makes no sense of any kind. We lost a game 2-770. WTF is that all about? It clearly wasn't 770 kills because we were in a game mode where if you died once, that was it for that round.
  5. Shared Sniper Rifle apparently the sniper rifle is a special thing that only one guy is allowed to have at a time. So when you die, the game decides if it's your turn to use it and then gives you a message. Are you kidding me? I'm a sniper. That's what I do. I had to die to get the rifle and then when I died, I couldn't snipe anymore. Who thought that was a good idea? And this was confirmed by the guys in the game who played in the beta.
  6. Spawns are straight up awful. Four bad guys spawned in front of me and -- if I was level 16 -- I easily could have killed them all. I can't count the number of times I was spawn killed. Truly, truly poor planning on the level design team.
  7. Other mode types were talked about, but I was unable to find them. It was team death match and only team death match as far as I could see.
  8. Aiming down sights was a huge problem for everyone and that's all I kept hearing was, "How do I aim?" this game isn't about skill, it's about peppering a room with bullets and killing everyone because you've been playing the game the longest.

Final Thoughts

This game is representative of everything that's wrong with first person shooter games. The game is horribly nerfed against new people coming in and showing people who have been their for a while how it's done. So you are basically fodder for the senior members of the game unless you happen to be in a room with all noobs. I got dozens of assists where I would shoot someone and then the one guy on our team who played the beta would finish the job.

This game is designed for mindless hip-shooters who want to waste a few hours chasing each other around the board. It requires zero strategy. No thought, whatsoever.

Apparently, this game was in a year-long beta and NO ONE caught any of these things or cared to change them. I'm guessing that's why on launch day, there were only seventy people playing this free game. This is without question a pass.

Wii to Support Unity 3D

[LINK] Ausgamers: Wii to Support Unity 3D Development

Today in gaming: according to the Website, Nintendo has announced that they will be offering support for games developed on the Unity 3D platform on the Wii U. This has been a very exciting week for Unity 3D, having earlier been given the same support by Sony for it's upcoming Playstation 4 console.

2012 Tough Year for Game Stop

[LINK] Gamasutra: Game Stop's 4th Quarter 2012 Report

Today in gaming: is Game Stop the last of the buggy whip makers? has an article on the final Q4 2012 report from Game Stop and it's failure to meet year-end expectations. Game Stop has been having serious problems adjusting to a new world of digital game downloads. For the year ending Feb 2, 2013, game sales were down 7% and console sales also took a hit -- though lackluster console sales are to be expected with next-generation consoles getting ready to launch.

Expectations for this year are also grim -- with estimates of as much as 8% down. We'll see if Game Stop can find a way to keep the brick-and-mortar model afloat or if it makes a full conversion to digital downloads.

Trailer - eCol Tactics Online

[LINK] Games Campus: eCol Tactics Home

Today in gaming: eCol Tactics is a turn-based online tactical RPG where you move characters around the board and attack enemy units. The trailer that launched today has an oddly chipper narrator who shows you some of the attack moves. It's a little disturbing, but the game seems nice. The beta is open to everyone, so if you like the game feel free to join in.

Trailer - Guacamelee!

[LINK] Guacamelee! Home Page

Today in gaming: are you in the market for a Mexican-themed co-op multiplayer dimension-swapping Metroid-vania beat-em-up platformer? Sure, we all are. Well we're all in luck. Guacamelee! (exclamation point) will be launching on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in the US and the next day in Europe for the Playstation 3 and the Vita.

The game is developed by DrinkBox Studios -- known for their Vita release Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. This is one of the funniest trailers I have ever seen. I love it! I think the concept of flipping between the world of the living and the world of the dead is very clever.

Rumor - Batman: Arkham Origins

[LINK] Gameblog.FR - Batman Arkham Origins (in French)

Today in gaming: the French site has heard rumors that the next Batman game will be called Batman: Arkham Origins. I don't have any confirmation of that yet.

Next Assassin's Creed in Development

[LINK] Video Assassin's Creed 5

Today in gaming: has posted an article about the next Assassin's Creed game. No, not Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag -- the one after that. Yes, apparently AC5 is already being developed up at Ubisoft Toronto. They also have another Splinter Cell in production. Both are very exciting confirmations.

Indie Games: Free Bundle #5

[LINK] Web Site: The Free Bundle

Today in gaming: there's a Web site called that promotes indie game developers by packaging multiple indie games together and then allowing users to download them all together. Today's bundle includes the games Super Smash Land, Burn & Turn, The Witch's House, Alter Ego, The Battle for Wesnoth, and Slaves of Rema. These are good indie games and... they're free. Can't beat that!

GAME Group to Sell Ouya

[LINK] - GAME to Sell Ouya

Today in gaming: of all the companies in the United Kingdom who would be interested in selling the Ouya -- a crowd-sourced game console that doesn't have any hard-copy games -- GAME is the one that you'd think would be last on the list. This company was within days of going under and has clawed it's way back trying to find a place in the new world for it's brick-and-mortar setup. But they announced today that they will be selling the Ouya at their stores. has full details.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Interview: PS4 Architect Mark Cerny

[LINK] Gamasutra's Interview with Mark Cerny

Today in gaming: has an interview with Mark Cerny -- lead system architect for the Sony Playstation 4 -- about the new system and the behind-the-scenes stuff at Sony that brought the next generation console to fruition.

He also talks about how the limitations of the CELL processor -- which runs the Playstation 3 -- is notoriously difficult to code for and how they're trying hard to avoid these same problems in the newest version of their console. It's a really good article and I highly recommend it.

Gameplay Trailer: Age of Wonders III

Today in gaming: GamesHQMedia posted pre-alpha gameplay footage of the game Age of Wonders III -- a Civilization-esk strategy game -- on their YouTube Page. This game is gorgeous. The game features magical spells that allow you to terraform and magical hero units and armies that you can use to fend off invaders into your land. There's also dragons! I love dragons. Triumph Studios -- the developer of this game and the Overlord games on XBOX 360 -- hasn't released an official launch date yet, only an estimate of autumn of this year.

Terraria Ported to Consoles

Today in gaming: the much anticipated port of Terraria has finally made it to the game consoles. It is available on XBOX Live and the Playstation Network.

DICE Says No Girls in Battlefield 4

[LINK] No Female Soldiers

Today in gaming: posted an article in which creative director Lars Gustavsson of DICE -- developers of the newest iteration of the Battlefield franchise -- expressly stated that you will not be able to play as a female in the multiplayer modes of Battlefield 4.

Battlefield 4 has gained immense popularity after it was revealed that it would be the debut game for the Frostbite 3 engine -- which will allow you to demolish buildings and experience smooth animations and advanced weather. Rumors had been spreading on-line about the possible inclusion of female avatar models, but sadly, those rumors were false.

EA and DICE also released a 17-minute gameplay trailer called "Fishing in Baku" from the single player campaign on their YouTube page -- that looks incredible. The part where the guy is walking through the graffiti hallways with the flooded floors is just phenomenal.

Hotline Miami on the Playstation 3

Today in gaming: the ultra-violent yet ultra-popular video game Hotline Miami is slated to be ported to the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita sometime this spring. While Devolved hasn't set an official launch date yet, they did put out an announce trailer -- which you can see by clicking the link below.

SWTOR to End Australia Servers

[LINK] Ausgamers: SWTOR to Shut Down Servers

Today in gaming: is reporting that Bioware will be shutting down servers in Australia and Oceania due to lack of popularity amongst gamers there. This is a complicated process because all of the user accounts that are on the doomed servers need to be moved to new North American servers so that those few players who were playing don't lose all of their information.

Game Launch: 16-bit Arena

[LINK] 16-bit Arena

[LINK] 16-bit Arena Homepage

Today in gaming: 16-bit Arena is a 9-v-9 turn-based battle arena game featuring old-school Nintendo-style graphics and gameplay mechanics. The game allows players to squirrel away their turns and then unleash them all at once later on once the enemy is effectively weakened and also awards cards and gems in the various other game modes that you can then use in the arena.

You can get this game on,, or via Steam.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 adds DLC

[LINK] Steam: Siberian Strike

Today in gaming: Siberian Strike is a new DLC pack for the first-person sniper game Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2. This new area is a large, open world map with many opportunities for multiple solutions to problems that come up during the game. Unlike in the core game, this area is unguided, so players must fend for themselves using only their wits and their map. The pack is available on XBOX LIVE, Playstation Network, and Steam.

Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdom Wars

Today in gaming: launching on Steam on Monday, April 1, 2013, Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdom Wars is a 3D MMO real-time strategy game with a medieval theme and real-time siege combat. The developers released a gameplay trailer today which shows people being slaughtered by the thousands and flaming arrows so plentiful they illuminate the night sky. This thing is going to be crazy.

Gibeau Refutes "Evil Suit" Opinions Over SimCity

[LINK] EA: DRM is a Failed Dead End Strategy

Today in gaming: GamesIndustry International was at GDC this week and they spoke with EA Labels president Frank Gibeau about the launch of SimCity 5 and always-on DRM, who refuted the idea that EA forced Maxis to use DRM. In fact, Gibeau went on to say that "DRM is a failed dead-end strategy" and acknowledged that EA did a poor job in branding SimCity as an MMO -- the intention of the game from concept.

You can read the entire article on

GDC: Millions from Facebook Games

[LINK] Money from Facebook Games

Today in gaming: is reporting that one of the many surprising facts to come out of GDC this week has to do with Facebook games. Over 100 game development companies have earned over a million dollars in advertising revenues by developing social games on Facebook -- a total of $2.8 billion US in 2012 alone.

Mind you, this is literally game developers farming humans for ad revenue -- roughly 20% of the daily audience who use Facebook, use it to play games.

Currently, Facebook games are based around the causal gamer market, but the powers that be at Facebook have said openly that they're looking to develop relationships and software for core gamers to bolster this system.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today in Gaming, ep 2

[Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013] This episode of Today in Gaming contains the following news stories:

  • Launch Day
  • Blacklight: Retribution on PS4
  • CEO of Square Enix Resigns
  • Trailer - Primal Carnage: Genesis
  • Puppeteer to Launch Sept. 10
  • Details - AC4 Black Flag Collector's Edition/Trailer
  • Kickstarter Review: The Big Blue
  • Magicka Going Online
  • Blackwell's Asylum Interview

[LINK] Watch on YouTube

Blacklight: Retribution on PS4

[LINK] Sony Developer Connection Page

Today in gaming: Sony announced at GDC today that Zombie Studios' Blacklight: Retribution -- a free first person shooter -- and Primal Carnage: Genesis from Lukewarm Media will both be available for their upcoming Playstation 4 console. This is part of their PlayStation Pub Fund project, which helps independent game studios launch their projects based on advance money provided by Sony in exchange for an advance against the royalties.

Sony then went on to list a total of 25 new game titles slated to be available for the Playstation 4 and invited game developers to visit their new developer portal page on their Web site, which directly competes against XBOX Live's developer connection by offering a significantly easier setup and helpful resources at no cost. This new page is part of an overall strategy to minimize the amount of hassle designers have to go through to get their games published.

CEO of Square Enix Resigns

[LINK] Article on Squ-Enix CEO Resignation

Today in gaming: is reporting that the CEO of Square Enix -- developer of games like the Final Fantasy series and the newest Tomb Raider -- is resigning after the company announced what it is calling an “extraordinary loss” for Q1 of 2013.

This is despite Tomb Raider having sold a whopping 3.4 million units over the last four weeks. Though this was an unpleasant bit of news for investors, rest assured that Squ-Enix has plenty of cash on hand to survive this blip, so they won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Trailer - Primal Carnage: Genesis

Today in gaming: for those of you dying to see Playstation 4 graphics and game trailers, Games Headquarters posted a teaser trailer for Primal Carnage: Genesis on their YouTube channel. It features a Tyrannosaurus Rex breaking free from an incubation chamber and running amok inside the lab. This is a really good look at both the Playstation 4 particle physics engine as well as the game.

Release Date - Puppeteer

[LINK] on Puppeteer Release Date

Today in gaming: has published a report listing Tuesday, September 10, 2013 as the launch date of Puppeteer -- the newest project for game director Gavin Moore via the development studio SCE Japan, best known for their most recent releases Tokyo Jungle and Rain.

AC4 Black Flag Collector's Edition

[LINK] Details on the Collector's Edition


Today in gaming: diehard Assassin's Creed fans rejoice! Details about the three collector's editions for AC4 Black Flag have been announced by Ubisoft. The contents of each varies, but the Black Chest edition seems to have all the goods. It comes with a diorama of the main character on a ship, a game book, artwork, the soundtrack, two lithographs, two canvas prints, all of the existing unlockable content, a collector's box, a black flag, and a world map printed on parchment paper.

Sadly, the only way to pre-order the collector's edition is via UPlay, so if you're looking for a sweet pirate's-chest-shaped box at the game store, you're not going to find it.

In addition to all that, they also released a new gameplay trailer.

Kickstarter Review: Big Blue

[LINK] Big Blue Kickstarter

Today in gaming: Ed Annunziata and the other members of the original Ecco the Dolphin team have reunited and launched a Kickstarter campaign to make a new underwater action-adventure video game called The Big Blue. This ambitious project takes you into the ocean one million years into the future to interact with it's creatures.

This is an amazing concept filled with stunning visuals and what will eventually be an epic, fully-scored soundtrack. I highly recommend checking this out.

Blackwell's Asylum Interview

[LINK] Interview: Blackwell's Asylum Director

Today in gaming: Gamasutra published an interview they conducted with student director Claudia Bille Straede, whose student project Blackwell's Asylum -- a first-person escape game that puts you in the shoes of a heavily drugged asylum patient -- is one of the finalists in the 2013 Independent Games Festival. The festival is this week and the article is one of over two dozen in a series called Road to IGF that Gamasutra is publishing for the occasion.

Monday, March 25, 2013

CCP Announces EVE Online Odyssey

[LINK] EVE Online: Odyssey Expansion

CCP Games -- owners of EVE Online based out of Iceland -- announced today that a 19th expansion pack will be released for their popular online MMORPG. This title, called Odyssey, and it will be available on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. EVE Online currently has over 500,000 subscribers. The game features 7,929 explorable solar systems and -- as in expansions of the past -- Odyssey will add even more ships, base improvements, graphics updates, and "a few surprises".

Y8's New Look

[LINK] Check out Y8's New Look

Today in gaming:, the free on-line gaming site, just launched a new look for their Web site. Though I find their "girls" games section offensive, they do have a really good selection of on-line flash games. Just in case you've never seen it before, you need to play Sticky Ninja Academy. That game is awesome!

Kickstarter: Guns of Icarus Online

Kickstarter: Guns of Icarus Online

Today in gaming: The designers of the on-line game Guns of Icarus are looking to add an additional game mode to their title. This game is a crazy steampunk airship game that actually launched last year after a successful Kickstarter and these guys have a great track record when it comes to delivering on their promises.

The actual game mode is pretty in depth. You can click on the link for more information.

My Opinion on Review Embargoes

[LINK] Dan Whitehead on Embargos

Today in gaming: Dan Whitehead wrote an opinion piece about the pluses and minuses of review embargoes that I found on Games In it, he talks about how game journalists know how to do their jobs and how absurd it is that companies have to dictate in writing which parts of the game should be announced to the public and which parts should remain out of their articles.

I disagree with him, though I thought the article was well written -- even if it's a little one-sided. I think it's important to specify which points are important to keep secret for those games journalists (and bloggers and whatever) who can't figure it out on their own and to limit access to those contacts who look to pad their viewership numbers by publishing spoilers.