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Co-op is FUN.

 

It just occurred to me that I can tell more about this than simply defending the co-op experience as a valid way to play games, and as an added bonus, advertise a unique game that deserves more recognition. It's a kind of belated random video game news. original.gif

 

Enter Artemis, the spaceship bridge simulator, designed to be a 3-to-6-player co-op experience from the start. There is no single-player or versus multi-player in Artemis, only co-op.

 

Before I heard about Artemis, I played some tabletop co-op games that I enjoyed immensely. The best of the bunch was arguably Space Alert, where the setting is exactly the same as in Artemis, a spaceship and its crew.

 

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It was a real thrill to work together on survival, solving all the problems a CD track's voice sets upon the team. So when I read about Artemis somewhere, I immediately understood what it was all about.  It's a Star Trek LARP. geek.gif

 

Artemis simulates a spaceship bridge by networking several computers together. One computer runs the simulation and the “main screen”, while the others serve as workstations for the normal jobs a bridge officer might do, like Helm, Communication, Engineering, and Weapon Control. Artemis is a social game where several players are together in one room (“bridge”) , and while they all work together, one player plays the Captain, a person who sits in the middle, doesn’t have a workstation, and tells everyone what to do.

 

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There are a number of ways to play Artemis, the scenario is customizable, but one thing is constant: the players need to work closely as a team to succeed.

 

The game has a free demo, try it if you're interested.

 

Co-op is fun.

Co-op has its own color of fun.

 

Edited by Endrosz
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The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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Ken Levine’s New Game Is Open Worldish Sci-Fiish RPG

 

What he’s got planned is an open worldish (“but not necessarily outdoors”) RPG, sci-fi, PC, probably first-person, chapter-like structure, brand new setting, add “ins” rather than add-ons, and a Passion System.

 

It definitely sounds interesting!

 

What is this fascination with open worlds lately? I miss the days of tighter and narrower sprawly environments, like say the Spencer Mansion in Resident Evil, or even more recently, the Asylum in Arkham Asylum. It carries the good parts about backtracking, where familiarity with the environment felt nice and intuitive.. the place environment became home. Most open world settings as of late feel very unforgettable and unnecessarily padded.. to keep it on topic in regards to Levine, I'd say BioShock 1 had it right with Rapture. I hope this open world thing is just another phase the industry is going through before the next big thing arrives.

 

 

You know, Skyrim happened, and now everyone wants slice of this pie. Same like it was with MMOs few years ago. Every single open world game I played was so boring after a while, and as you say, the setting of them and story is completely forgettable.

 

http://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/01/the-jimquisition-we-need-more-spencer-mansions/

 

He might be controversial sometimes, but this episode is exactly taken from my mind... I sometimes wish, that we could again get new Final Fantasy with HD prerendered backgrounds and static cameras. FF IX-2 made this way in collaboration with Sakaguchi-san would satisfy most of my wet dreams... Unfortunately this will never happen :(

 

 

There's a new Resident Evil: Revelations coming up, these games stick to the old formula a lot more (eg. Revelations 1 is set for 90% on a single big ship). I hope Revelations 2 will do the same (and maybe tone down the obnoxious bossfights, or at least give us filthy casuals a way to get past them without too much frustration without making *everything* a walk in the park.

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Sony Online Entertainment has been sold.

https://forums.station.sony.com/soe/index.php?threads/sony-online-entertainment-becomes-daybreak-game-company.11500068269/

 

 

 

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have been acquired by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm well known for its success with its existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies. This means that effective immediately SOE will operate as an independent game development studio where we will continue to focus on creating exceptional online games for players around the world, and now as a multi-platform gaming company. Yes, that means PlayStation and Xbox, mobile and more!
 
As part of this transition, SOE will now become Daybreak Game Company. This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players. It is also representative of our vision to approach each new day as an opportunity to move gaming forward.
"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Daybreak Game Company. This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players

"and is a nod to the passion and dedication"

 

To me this name sounds more like endless crunchtime for the developers. :>

"only when you no-life you can exist forever, because what does not live cannot die."

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Monty Oum passed away. He rose to fame with Haloid and Dead Fantasy, short action crossover fan films. Went on to Rooster Teeth to work on Red vs. Blue and RWBY.

 

He passed from a severe allergic reaction that put him in the hospital on January 30th.

 

Edit: Corrections, he was in a coma for 10 days from the reaction which occurred during a medical procedure. It was only publicly announced on the 30th.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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Monty Oum passed away. He rose to fame with Haloid and Dead Fantasy, short action crossover fan films. Went on to Rooster Teeth to work on Red vs. Blue and RWBY.

 

He passed from a severe allergic reaction that put him in the hospital on January 30th.

I remember seeing his videos and I was blown away by them at the time. Such a shame that he passed away.

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Visitin' Nellis and goin' down the "Long 15" of the Mojave...

 

...in an F-15C Eagle:

 

 

Pre-release footage showcasing the new Nevada Test and Training Range environment and EDGE 2.0 terrain rendering for Digital Combat Simulator.

 

That looks fantastic. I'm sort of jelly of people who can put in the hours to learn those sims. Last one I played is IL-2 and just learning to take off and land in full realism was... hell, I don't think I even learned that properly.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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The current Flaming Cliffs 3 modules for DCS have more simplified controls and avionics than the full-on "study sims" like the A-10C and the upcoming F/A-18C, making them substantially easier to learn. A third-party developer for DCS: World are investigating the possibility of bringing the F-15C to the study sim level (meaning near 1:1 fidelity "to the switch").

Quote
"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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So, GDC 2015 has confirmed sessions on Directx 12, and Valve's Steamos/Steam Machine venture. Now we also will have a session on OpenGL Next Generation hosted by Valve.

 

"The session will also have developers from EA, Epic Games, Oxide Games, and Unity. "

 

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Next-Gen-OpenGL-GDC15

 

EA is part of the talk. Pretty interesting news IMHO. Makes me wonder what EA might announce/discuss.

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The current Flaming Cliffs 3 modules for DCS have more simplified controls and avionics than the full-on "study sims" like the A-10C and the upcoming F/A-18C, making them substantially easier to learn. A third-party developer for DCS: World are investigating the possibility of bringing the F-15C to the study sim level (meaning near 1:1 fidelity "to the switch").

 

Good to know, thanks. I'll have to check it out, when I have time. Playing in anything less than full realism feels like choosing easy mode, though. My manhood feels threatened. :(

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidegames/underworld-ascendant

 

Ultima Underworld spiritual sequel or whatever, kickstarter launched.

 

About this project

 

In 1992, Ultima Underworld changed the rules of what a fantasy RPG could be. It introduced the concept of 3D immersion, a player-authored experience, and a richly dynamic world to explore. Its influence led to a whole generation of games such as Thief, Deus Ex, BioShock, Skyrim, and Dragon Age.

 

Underworld has been hidden away in the deepest vaults of its publisher for two decades. Only now have the original creators unchained the franchise, freeing it to innovate yet again.

 

Backing the game grants you unprecedented front row access to the creation of the next epoch of this storied masterpiece, Underworld Ascendant. With your help, here's a glimpse at what we can together build:

 

Exquisitely Realized Underworld – Plunge into The Stygian Abyss: dark, ripe with dangers, full of ancient secrets to discover. A vast subterranean fantasy world made startlingly real and alive.

Dynamic Factions – Become embroiled in an epic plot, as rival factions vie for dominance in struggles that ebb and flow across The Stygian Abyss. Your choices will alter the outcome in subtle and dramatic ways.

Improvisation Engine – Delight in player-authored gameplay taken to a whole new level, with a suite of technologies that empower you to solve challenges with astonishing ingenuity. Be the ‘MacGyver’ of a fantasy world.

Hero to Call Your Own – Jump right in as a Fighter, Thief or Mage. Then as your Avatar grows, freely mix and match across any skills to develop a unique hero, tailored to your style of play.

Pushing Boundaries – Stretch Goals will innovate on co-op play with a friend; letting you build your own corner of The Stygian Abyss; and more.

 

The labyrinth depths beckon. Dare ye enter? The labyrinth depths beckon. Dare ye enter?

 

AMA and GOG Twitch Stream Today! (2/4/14)

 

The original Ultima Underworld was released in 1992. Players and critics were blown away by this innovative take on a fantasy RPG. It was the first game to have a texture mapped first-person 3D world, pioneering the category of immersive games. Beyond its cutting-edge visuals, it heralded an era of sandbox, dynamic play, giving players the tools to craft their own stories. Far more than simple dungeon crawls, Ultima Underworld and the 1993 sequel Ultima Underworld II, were fully-realized worlds.

 

The Underworld series continues to this day to inform modern game design. Here are a few games that credit it as an inspiration:

 

Here’s what some leading game developers say:

 

Richard Garriott (Ultima, Shroud of the Avatar) – “For those of us lifelong gamers that go back to the early days the Underworld franchise, created by Paul Neurath, represents a watershed event on what an immersive 3D true role-playing game can be. Personally I am as excited about Underworld returning as any game I can imagine.”

 

Ken Levine (BioShock) – “Underworld had a transformative effect on my understanding of what games were. It was the first time I ever felt ‘inside’ of an imaginary world. It was the game that primed all my creative ambitions.”

 

Chris Roberts (Star Citizen, Wing Commander) – “Underworld was the first truly 3D textured first person game… it influenced pretty much all first person 3D games that came afterwards.”

 

Cliff Bleszinski (Unreal Tournament, Gears of War) –"For many folks of my generation the title that sparked their interest in 3d gaming was the classic game of DOOM. However, as impactful as that game was for me as a teenager, there was another game that blew me away that came before it, and that game was Ultima Underworld."

 

CLICK HERE to read more about what legendary game developers are saying.

 

Read below for full description of Stretch Goals.

 

CURRENT GOAL: #1. $600,000. Raise the Underworld. The core, single-player game for Windows PC.

 

Far more than a dungeon crawl, Underworld Ascendant is a next-generation sequel to the legendary fantasy RPG’s Ultima Underworld & Ultima Underworld 2. It not only modernizes the series’ visuals and user interface to take full advantage of the today’s powerful PC’s, it innovates in bold new ways.

 

Here's how:

 

THE UNDERWORLD AS A CHARACTER

 

No other game has such a vivid imagining of an underground fantasy realm as Underworld Ascendant. The Stygian Abyss is a vast world unto itself…

 

Plunder ancient temples, navigate subterranean rivers, gaze in wonder at the masterwork of jade dwarven halls, scale plunging ice caverns, trek through enchanted forests of giant mushrooms, dare shadowy tombs of the undead, and much more.

 

Alive with bustling underground societies: enclaves of human renegades scavenging for survival, villages of the mysterious shambler “mushroom people” performing arcane rituals, dwarven factories producing the finest arms and armor.

 

Face monstrous creatures like the ripper, a vicious, ambulatory plant whose bark is prized by The Stygian Abyss’ intelligent races; stay clear of mass migrations of ravenous rotworms; dodge the giant spider’s sticky webs it casts through the air.

 

Alter the environment to your advantage. Flood an arid plain to help the damp-loving shamblers expand their territory, gaining their favor. Changes you make can ripple across the game's reactive, ever-changing ecology, producing startlingly unpredictable results.

 

The Stygian Abyss makes the typical fantasy game’s above-ground assortment of medieval towns and wilderness seem stale by comparison. The Stygian Abyss makes the typical fantasy game’s above-ground assortment of medieval towns and wilderness seem stale by comparison.

A DYNAMIC, PLAYER-DRIVEN NARRATIVE

 

Get drawn into an epic story with ties to the original Ultima Underworld games. Play as The Avatar, a human newly arrived from our earth through a mystical Rune Gate. As a “stranger in a strange land” you will…

 

Meet shrewd characters, with their own motivations and agendas. Some may be swayed to your cause, while others may manipulate you.

 

Encounter rugged dwarf frontiersmen, fierce dark elf renegades, and strangely alien shamblers. Each faction holds a valid claim to The Stygian Abyss. Which side will you join? Will you unite, or destroy?

 

Entangle yourself in a tale of intrigue and conflict as three fierce, rival factions struggle for control. Your choices will determine the ultimate fate of The Stygian Abyss.

 

The 3 main factions who vie for dominance of The Stygian Abyss The 3 main factions who vie for dominance of The Stygian Abyss

 

 

Rune Gates connect to other worlds as well, including the lands of the Shroud of the Avatar. Over the eons travelers have spanned these worlds, including a band of rogue dark elves who set themselves up in The Stygian Abyss. Discover how these worlds have intertwined over the ages.

 

THE IMPROVISATION ENGINE

 

Do you enjoy the freedom of choice in sandbox games like Deus Ex or Elder Scrolls? The team at OtherSide in large part invented this style of experience with the original Ultima Underworld -- now they intend to take it to the next level.

 

At the heart of Underworld Ascendant's distinctive gameplay is the Improvisation Engine, which gives you an array of tools to think up your own ingenious solutions to challenges.

 

For instance, how to cross a subterranean river guarded by deadly lurker?

Unwise player tries to swim past, meets their watery doom. Unwise player tries to swim past, meets their watery doom.

Clever player tosses rotworm downstream to distract lurker. Clever player tosses rotworm downstream to distract lurker.

Clever player charms giant cave spider to carry them up and over. Clever player charms giant cave spider to carry them up and over.

 

What’s your clever solution?

 

Underworld Ascendant's Improvisation Engine encourages you to experiment and unlock your creative potential. Devise clever techniques that even the game's designers haven't imagined yet!

 

INTENSE COMBAT & INVENTIVE MAGIC

 

Enjoy swordplay and spell casting that are distinctly dynamic and inventive….

 

Experience engaging first-person combat. Launch yourself into fluid, running battles where maneuvering and timing are everything. Utilize your environment to stack the odds in your favor.

 

Collect magical runes bristling with power. Learn to combine them to surprising effect. Discover potent spells like Charm Creature, Hailstones, and Clairvoyant Eye. Experiment to customize and improve their effects.

 

Obtain rare and powerful weapons and armor. Align with the dwarves to acquire masterfully-crafted plate mail. Trade with dark elves to gain access to an arsenal of enchanted weaponry.

 

 

 

CREATE YOUR OWN CHARACTER CLASS

 

Think outside the box of formalized character classes and concoct your own one-of-a-kind adventurer.

 

Jump right into the game choosing from a Fighter, Mage or Thief. But from there you are free to customize your Avatar to your individual play style.

 

Mix and match your favorite skills and perks. Create a mage skilled at stealth, a fighter who can summon spectral allies, or the ultimate thief.

 

Join a faction and gain special perks that improve your abilities to alter the environment, traverse obstacles, or craft traps.

 

 

 

STRETCH TRADITIONAL RPG BOUNDARIES

 

Stretch Goals will allow us innovate even further, adding companion creatures, co-op, user-crafted content, and more…

 

Crave fellowship and a companion creature? Vote for the addition of a vorpal bunny or mini-brain.

 

Use the Underworld Builder Toolkit to craft your own corner of the Stygian Abyss, and share it with friends.

 

Need a fighter's prowess in combat, a mage’s spell craft, or a thief's lock pick skills? Invite a friend to join you online for a cut of the loot. All your buddies’ offline? Use a Doppelganger Gem to borrow a friend's character as an invulnerable ethereal companion AI. Afterward, your friend will receive a message, with video highlights and rewards.

 

Even more ambitious Stretch Goals will be revealed if our fans are up for taking the creative journey far.

 

CLICK HERE to learn even more about the game, and to see more videos, concept art, interviews, and more!

 

Stretch Goals are your opportunity to help expand on the vision for Underworld Ascendant, extending the experience, along with innovations that push the game’s boundaries.

 

Some of the Stretch Goals include exclusive rewards for our Kickstarter backers. Upon achieving these Stretch Goals, all backers at ADVENTURER Tier or higher will receive them for free. While these rewards are fun and exclusive, none provide a competitive edge over players who might not have them, so as to keep the game balanced for all.

 

_________________________________________________________

 

$750,000 STRETCH GOAL REWARDS (Locked)

 

Necropolis of the Ancients – New area of The Stygian Abyss to explore! Darkness upon darkness; ancient beyond reckoning. Only the stout-hearted enter this accursed city. Those who dare may discover arcane treasures.

 

The Haunt – This new monster is ethereal and powerless in the light, but in darkness will doggedly pursue its chosen victim, while its ghostly rattle attracts unwanted attention.

 

Silver Ankh of the Undead – Stand still while wearing it and lessor undead will ignore you, mistaking you for a corpse. A Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE in-game reward item.

 

Mac & Linux versions - We will create Mac and Linux versions of the game.

 

_________________________________________________________

 

$900,000 STRETCH GOAL REWARDS (Locked)

 

Companion Creatures – Players will be able to have a faithful little creature tag along on their adventures. They are not much use in a fight, but they can help in other unexpected ways. And they are cute.

 

Vorpal Bunny or Mini-Brain - To coincide with companion creatures, get one of these rare and exclusive breed to tag along. Which one? Fans VOTE to decide! A Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE in-game reward item.

 

Language localizations - We will localize the game in French, Italian, German and Spanish.

 

Enhanced, dynamic music & SFX – More musical tracks and SFX, and a more sophisticated dynamic contextual in-game audio system.

 

_________________________________________________________

 

$1,050,000 STRETCH GOAL REWARDS (Locked)

 

The Underswamp – Dank and dangerous, The Underswamp is home to some of the odder inhabitants of The Stygian Abyss. For those who know where to look, there is a wild, earthen magic to be found.

 

Lizardmen - These tribal creatures hunt in groups across The Underswamp. They are cunning, and speak a strange tongue of clicks and clacks. Perhaps you can befriend them and learn their ways?

 

Rotworm Skin Swamp Boots - These boots allow for somewhat faster trekking through swamps than usual, and are quite fashionable in or out of the muck! A Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE in-game reward item.

 

Underworld Builder Toolkit – All fans get access to the Toolkit, the essential suite of tools our design team is using to create the areas of the Stygian Abyss. Build your own areas and share them with friends!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

$1,200,000 STRETCH GOAL REWARDS (Locked)

 

Co-Op Play with a Friend - This is a big one, folks! Now bring along a friend on your adventure. Play together online, tag-teaming the challenges. Or if your buddy is offline, a magical spell will bring them in as an ethereal doppelganger, run by an AI.

 

Odoriferous Throwing Net - A small, throwing net that friends can toss back-and-forth to each other. The holder of the net will tend to attract hostile beasts to themselves. What fun! A Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE in-game reward item.

 

Deeper Lore & Backstory – We’ll add design resources to the team to plunge deeper on the backstory and arcane secrets of the Underworld. A lore aficionado’s dream come true!

 

More extensive Avatar customization - Greater variety of faces, hairstyles, tattoos and accouterments to choose from during character creation, and to show off to friends. Can also try out with new looks as your character grows.

 

The OtherSide Entertainment team members have worked on over 25 award-winning games. This includes such standout games as Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Thief, Deus Ex, GEX, Neverwinter Nights, Dishonored, Metal of Honor, Uncharted, Last of Us, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and BioShock Infinite to name some.

 

The team is headed up by Paul Neurath. Paul was the founder of Blue Sky Productions, where he came up with the concept of Ultima Underworld and oversaw its creation. Later Blue Sky became LookingGlass, one of the most renowned indie studios of the 1990’s. Paul continued to innovate, overseeing the development of such beloved games as System Shock and Thief. As founder of OtherSide Entertainment, Paul orchestrated the return of Underworld, and is once again setting the creative vision for the latest incarnation.

 

As with Paul’s prior studios, OtherSide takes an especially collaborative approach to development, with small, tight-knit teams. Joining Paul on the project is a team of superbly talented and proven game developers. A number played key roles on one or more of Ultima Underworld, System Shock and Thief, and/or on more recent landmarks in the genre that have been influenced by these games. All share a passion for bringing Underworld back!

 

CLICK HERE learn more about our team members.

 

Shroud of the Avatar Special Item

 

To celebrate our history with the realms of Lord British, we’re teaming up to prepare a special item for backers who also support Shroud of the Avatar. Watch this space to learn more soon.

 

After many long years we rescued the Underworld series from the publisher vaults. With your help, we can embark on the next chapter with Underworld Ascendant.

 

We got the ball rolling with some funding of our own to get development underway, building a playable prototype over the past 4 months. But to take the project through full production and deliver the core PC game, we will need the base Kickstarter funding from our fans.

 

While the core game will be wonderful, we’d like to go further. We would love you to support the Stretch Goals to fund cool features such as Co-op play.

 

It goes beyond the funding. We’d like you to join us on this creative journey, experiencing first-hand the surprises and fun of genuine innovation. This means having you VOTE on decision around features, items, and creatures. Participating in our forums, livestreams and developer blogs. Depending on your pledge level you will have early access from beta builds to as early as pre-alpha prototype builds.

 

Actually, we have a VOTE for you right now. We’re debating the art style for the shambler faction…

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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