Category Archives: News

An Early Look at The Order: 1886

With the success of Playstation 3 exclusives such as Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us, Sony is developing a market strategy focusing on the creation of exclusive new intellectual properties in direct opposition to Microsoft’s tendency to utilize multi-platform sequels, and Nintendo’s predilection for the reproduction of intellectual properties from close to thirty years ago. And, since the Playstation 4 will soon be dropping opposite the Xbox One (with the Wii U sitting in the corner eating paste), gamers are owlishly watching to see which console (if any) is the smarter buy.

Cyberpunk 2077 Preview: Welcome to Psycho Squad, Rookie

For those unfamiliar with the subject material, the upcoming video game Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the pen and paper game system Cyberpunk 2020, combining high-tech and low-life elements and a noire style of storytelling in the infamous metropolis Night City. The cyberpunk genre in general focuses on examining the increasingly blurry lines between man and machine in a world where technology has advanced but humanity has not. There is espionage, there is intrigue, there is betrayal, violence, and the longstanding staple: Greed.

Texas Hold’Em Poker: an ace in the Wii’s pocket?

A wistful look back at Nintendo’s fascinating foray into the world of online poker

A wistful look back at Nintendo’s fascinating foray into the world of online poker

Remember all those smooth and sophisticated adverts promoting online poker, the ones that used to feature suave-looking male models filmed in black-and-white strutting around with packs of cards while an American- sounding voiceover talked about how cool and grown up playing card is?

Nintendo clearly didn’t or at the very least chose to ignore them and it’s a good job too, because otherwise a game like the addictive, yet predictably-titled Texas Hold’Em Poker would never have been made.

By now you are probably well aware what the game revolves around – the world’s most popular poker format – but what you maybe don’t realise is just how much fun playing cards can be on Nintendo’s activity-focused magic-wand-waving console the Wii. That’s because this particular incarnation of poker for the gaming generation got somewhat lost among the other big releases of its time – and the growth of Full Tilt poker among others – and it’s a crying shame too.

Debuting in retail outlets way back in September 2009, Texas Hold’Em poker promised to deliver gamers an arcade simulation of the game that captures all the intensity of a real tournament. Whether it achieves this particular aim is debatable – I for one have never found myself waving a white-coloured remote control during a session at the green felt – but one thing is certain: it’s a fun way to play the game.

If variety is the spice of life, then consider Texas Hold’Em Poker as the gaming equivalent of a very, very good chilli con carne chocked full of different gameplay options that are sure to have everyone from newcomers to seasoned card sharks salivating. Whether it’s getting involved in a high-stakes tournament, playing a cash game or opting for the special Heads-up mode also available, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll probably win a few dramatic hands here and there to boot.

Those new to the world of cards are happily catered to as well, with special tutorials available on everything from the rules of the game and betting to bluffing – that’s right, they’ve really covered everything! 

What I love most about this game is the imaginative venues players travel to within the virtual reality world that the various characters occupy. These include everything from the James Bond-inspired casinos of Monaco to the bright lights and big city sentiment of New York, with each ‘venue’ adding to the fun and excitement of this arcade outing. You can choose from one of six preset characters on the game, or better yet import your very own Mii character to use in this most fascinating of settings. Throw in the presence of ‘real’ competitors who will look to gain any mental advantage over you (as is the norm in the world of cards these days) and it’s easy to see why the less-cynical poker fans out there could fall in love with this understated classic.

And I haven’t even gotten to my favourite element of this game yet – online mode. This canny addition to Texas Hold’Em allows you to play against up to five friends from the comfort of your sofa. Then it’s just a choice of either organising your own online tournaments or joining one of the many bigger games taking part online. At the time it represented the dawning of a new era for online poker play, but ultimately this was one deal that many fans opted to fold on.

If only they had persevered, then perhaps now we would all be enjoying internet poker from the comfort of our very own living rooms. Oh wait, I forgot about Full Tilt

Paradox Now Sells Books On Amazon!

I was sitting in my office (well, alright, it’s just my room) and I received an e-mail about something most curious. Paradox has decided to sell books now, through Amazon! Some of the books are alternate histories (as is usually the case with most Paradox games) and there is even one story-guide, based around Crusader Kings 2. Now, these are all E-Books, meant for the Kindle, so before you rush off to buy any of them make sure you have got the hardware/software to read them. I did not have a chance to read them myself, so I cannot vouch for how good or bad they are but based on the quality of Paradox Video Games they might have a good hand in writing Alternate History books.

Below is more information, provide by Paradox, enjoy!

Paradox Books

The Developer of Homesick Needs Your Help

UPDATE: The Campaign page was closed down due to the campaign being “High Risk” (according to IndieGoGo). While I am trying to keep tabs on the whole situation there are as of yet not enough facts to post a full conclusive update.

With so much happening on the internet it is hard to keep track of everything happening around you. In this case only today did I discover the story of Chloe, the Developer of Homesick. I did not hear of Homesick or of Chloe until I decided to check the news on Project Zomboid. Turns out that Chloe, an active member of the Indie community has had a serious Car Accident. While the doctors managed to patch her up and get her walking and moving again the procedure was not flawless. A piece of metal shrapnel is still stuck in her and it is causing serious poisoning. The campaign she started on Indiegogo was frozen when a lot of very skeptical people asked for an analysis of the campaign, whether it was a scam or not. After a few days the results of this investigation proved that the Campaign was genuine. A message from Chloe may be watched below.

The Developers of Project Zomboid and Thomas was alone organised a small campaign to donate to the campaign and help Chloe recover. Today (5th of April 2013) already a third of the money was gathered for the whole campaign so with a month still left I strongly believe that the campaign will be a success. However, if you can help out, do so. The sooner Chloe gets the money she needs the better. So if you have a bit of spare change, or are willing to help out a bit more follow the links below to the different sites providing information and campaigns to help you keep on track.

Spread the news if you can, it is the least one could ask for.

Project Zomboid Campaign (posted on the 3rd of April 2013)

Indiegogo Campaign Page

More in-depth article from Indie Statik

The Homesick Indiestone Forum Topic

Thank you.

Alex “WriterX” Bielski

Cross-Medium Copyright Infringement and Intellectual Property Concerns

There are currently three kinds of property. The first can be referred to as real-estate or lands owned. The second a delightfully antiquated word such as chattel, or moveable property, encompasses. It is the third which is rapidly becoming more complex and variegated in our society: Intellectual property. Intellectual property is intangible, and therefore difficult to establish a concrete definition for. Intellectual property and its protection made up 34.8% of the American gross domestic product for 2012 alone. And that percentage is projected to keep increasing.

There are a number of subdivided laws designed to regulate intellectual property: Copyright, Patent, Trademark, and Trade Secret to start with. The problem we are experiencing is that creativity does not begin in a vacuum. For one invention to be made, it must incorporate other patented inventions. For one book to be written, it must incorporate character archetypes and story concepts that have been presented countless times before in other copyrighted books. Where then does one draw the line?

WarZ is Back on Steam

You can imagine my surprise when I was looking over my Steam page and the very first thing that caught my attention was a recent News Feed from Steam titled, “The WarZ Now Available for Purchase“. Since I was already sitting I could not fall down into my chair and wonder just how short a time-span does Steam think people have? It has been only two months since the WarZ Steam Scandal with false advertisement and right now it is back. The question that crawled on my mind was, “Did anything change?”.

WarZ

It is back.

Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is officially in the saddle

Geralt of Rivia is back, more battle-scarred, jaded, and STD-ridden (probably) than ever. The Witcher series has collectively won in excess of 200 awards and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. And now the third installment is looming on the horizon, slated to drop the second quarter of 2014, though one can’t help but wonder how optimistic that is considering developer CD Projekt RED hasn’t actually found a publisher yet. Feels like I’m announcing the success of my next book before I’ve even found a literary agent.

But we’re neck deep in the grit-stone-and-bone fantasy world of The Witcher; we don’t have time for rational solutions in the face of all the grim gory glory being thrown our way. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features Geralt having regained his long-lost memory and finally found purpose to pick up his sword again: SEX! He remembers his sorceress lover and is intent on finding her. As one can expect when you’re on a quest to save the princess, shit happens in the meantime, most notably involving looking for the land’s rightful king in the Skellige archipelago in order to fend off the impending Nilfgaardian invasion. It’s all very cloak and daggery while your back is turned.

Why is a hero never shown in full sunlight?

Why is a hero never shown in full sunlight?

Studio Head Adam Badowski has gone on record as saying that they’re ready for the next step and are choosing to abandon the linear main quest supplemented by numerous side-quests archetype which has gotten them this far. What they’re after is the huge freedom of open-world games. Translation: “We’re making Skyrim 2.”

Rudimentary in-game economy, riding everywhere on horseback, using your own personal boat, crafting your own gear, open-world dynamics, and turning one enemy against another while either taking local quests or skipping them as you move from one grim-grey Northern landscape to the next is gist of what several dozen pages worth of interview material and buzzwords boil down to. But there’s one thing these guys are doing that sounds even remotely different from Skyrim: long-term storage stashes from inns so you don’t have to keep moving your stuff from one house to the next like a bad example of George Carlin’s monologue, “A place for your stuff.”

Am I speaking ill of The Witcher? Not at all. CD Projekt RED has demonstrated an exemplary ability to establish a compelling story and meld it with gameplay that takes a couple hundred hours before it gets old. Aside from the fact that their games always require the sort of top performance machine that costs the average player an arm, leg, and nut to own, Geralt’s saga treading the boards where all the world is his stage is definitely something to be excited about. The problem is that we’re jaded and have come to expect this high level of quality from them. And since Skyrim had the jump on them in terms of open-world adventure, that’s the benchmark they must meet and exceed come Q2 2014.

Sad that it took some of our competitors upwards of a dozen pages to say the same, isn’t it?

Shadowrun Returns: Soon

You wait your habitual long count of twenty after the door slams, staring up at the crazed ceiling with the odd bullethole and the deep, scorched scar leftover from the Maiden Handgrenaten case. Licksy’s signature mélange of BO and nicostix still assails your nostrils when it’s done. The air exchanger where the lower lobe of your left lung used to be does its job finally. You’d been mentally willing it not to wheeze while the dwarf fixer was in your office—for someone with such delicate feelings you’d think he’d do more to keep in clean clothes.

Cold, hard nuyen in the bank. Time to celebrate.

You tip your size 25 boots off your pre-fab desk and reach for the bottom drawer. The creak that erupts from your straining chair is echoed by the creaking of bones. Goblinization hit you harder than most. When the other juves in school were worrying about getting hair on their wedding tackle you were worrying about hiding the tusks and 80 kilos of extra muscle. Humanis policlub had ties with Shatogunda Corp back then, and the best you could hope for was Dad’s contract being terminated when they found out. That didn’t much matter when Dad turned out to be an ork too. You’d think a megacorp headed by a millennia-old dragon would be more willing to tolerate those caught in the fallout of magic returning to the world.

No synth-drek for you this time. Real bourbon. The hard stuff, still in the vacuum-sealed cylinder, is your reward. It glistens like red gold as it eases into the shot glass. That glass is smaller than your yellowed thumbnail, but the night is still young, the fires out in the Sprawl and gunshots closer to your little stomping ground have only just begun—take your time savoring it.

“Seems a little out of your price range,” a wry, feminine voice says.

In a flash, your Ares roomsweeper is out from under the desk, the bottle protectively in your other hand. Only then does the shot glass shatter against the bare ferrocrete floor. A willowy figure is standing in the corner, inspecting the hung pictures and clippings that are all you have to show for twenty years beating the harsh pavement as if the fragging mammoth of a battle shotgun isn’t even there. Long, silky black hair sweeps down a synthleather overcoat. High-heeled jackboots and slender, delicate hands are all you can see protruding from its folds. Too stiff to be decorative. Too scarred to be a corp-brat slumming it. Armored.

You hadn’t heard her come in. And that just didn’t happen. Not good.

“Dish,” you rumble, and set the bottle back in its protective sheathe. It’s meant to be disarming, but the smile out of the corner of her high-boned face tells you she knows you’re freeing your hands for action.

Blinding fast, she turns. Wired reflexes. You flick the shotgun into full-auto mode and let the ominous hum it emits speak for you.

“You’re Jack Hardt? Private investigator?” she asks, moving her hair out of her black, almond eyes. The chrome of a datajack glistens at her temple, but you’re more wary of the chrome peeking from the end of her left fist. Flick razors. She’s too high tech for a lowlife razorgirl.

“And you’re no five nuyen and a hit street samurai,” you return.

You stumble over your chair to keep her out of blade range as she sweeps forward to drop ceremoniously in front of your desk. Her eyes are looking for weakness, laughing and roving over the beaten up 2.5 meter rawboned body that fate deemed fit to bless and curse you with. She tips her head slightly in respect when she finds none.

“Feel free to speculate on what I am not,” she says, then switches to Navajo, a language from a past no one living knew of. “But it would be better for us if you did not think on what I am.”

The words sink in, and the controlled tension eases from your frame just as your heart grows heavier. The roomsweeper is placed carefully on the desk between you two, and you right your chair to sit down.

“So you’re putting together a run?” you sigh.

Her graceful head dips, and you see the tips of her ears peeking through her hair for the first time, confirming your suspicions.

“How much?” you ask.

The Christmas Spirit Arrives to World of Tanks

Hello tankers, you might recall how last Christmas World of Tanks celebrated with all the different bonuses and free gifts? This year will be no different. This time around however we are not looking at just “a thing”. The entire Christmas period is spread out over a period of time, and every few days you may expect something different! The full list of details is available on the World of Tanks announcement, but if you cannot force yourself to click, then scroll down for the details.

World of Tanks