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VideoGameGeek News

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VGG June 2015 Report

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So we had two posts of these over on my 'private' blog but then I decided to put them on the VGG News Blog since after it's after all about VGG.

So what was new last month? What did you miss or did you join?

The 12 events: we featured a week long salute to AAA games.
VGG Event: AAA Games Week 19.06 - 26.06

We got 25 participants which is again a bit lower then when we first started, maybe the genre or concept is going a bit out of style but on the other hand, summer is here so that might be it as well.

We also got another side event, for people who didn't get all the other events: D-Day (12 events side event). With june we featured D-Day as the beginning of operation Overlord who freed us all these years ago. We got two participants.

Video Game Geek Review Contest - June 2015 is our monthly review contest and this month the optional theme was 'The 90's'. Wondering who will win, well read the reviews and vote! We have 10 entries this month.

And we announced it last month, N/A was coming and indeed in June four browers games were let loose on the VGG crowd: Dojo of Death, Pel, Love and 10 Bullets.

Overall winner is:

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We also got a nice VGG cover on our twitter account, thanks to user

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Go check it out and subscribe to our Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/videogamegeek

And we also got Summer Sales on Steam and Gog which means we are getting a big deal of loving by other users who are giving away free games! Summer Giveaway 2015!
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Wed Jul 1, 2015 6:00 am
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E3 2015 Shedule Day 3

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Day 3 and the final day of E3 2015. There are still a ton of clips I need to take a look at so that I can finally talk about some games and it doesn't look good for today either as more games are being featured on E3.

As always you can go to E3 Insider to learn more. These are the games that are featuring today:

* XCOM 2
* LEGO Dimensions
* Batman: Arkham Knight
* Shadow of the Beast (PS4)
* StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
* What Remains of Edith Finch
* Street Fighter V
* Rock Band 4
* Below
* Below
* Mother Russia Bleeds
* Oculus VR Palmers Lucky
* Sid Meier's Civilization - Beyond Earth: Rising Tide

And we have still 6 unannounced games that are shedulded.

Full program can be found here:
http://www.gamespot.com/e3/live/

Check it out!
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Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:10 pm
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E3 2015: Games Sheduled on Day 2

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Day two of E3 2015 is going on as we write this. A lot of new games will be presented today as it has been in the last two days. What games are we expecting on the shedule of E3 today, the 17th of june 2015.

* Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
* Forza Motorsport 6
* Just Cause 3
* Skylanders: Superchargers
* Dark Fall 3: Lost Souls
* RIGS
* Madden NFL 16
* FIFA 16
* Genei Ibun Roku #FE
* Destiny
* Rise of the Tomb Raider
* For Honor
* Tom Clancy's The Division
* Tearaway
* Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
* Fortnite
* Mad Max (2015)
* Disney Infinity 3.0
* Yoshi's Wooly World
* No Man's Sky
* Alienation
* Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
* Divinity: Original Sin

Have fun watching and don't forget to discuss what you have seen!
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Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:39 am
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E3 2015

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From the 16th to the 18th of june 2015 E3 is going on. If you are a noob, who is still learning a lot. E3 is one of the biggest trade shows concerning videogames and related products. It happens over in the U.S. more specific in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

During this show there are exhibitions about all the new major games and consoles that are coming our way in the near future.

Even if you are not there you can check out a lot of the show thanks to E3 Insider who shows a some of the presenations online. It's easy, just surf to: https://www.e3insider.com/ and start looking.

For tomorrow the 16th there are a ton of games are presented at E3 including these:

* Call of Duty: Black Ops III
* Battleborn
* Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
* Halo 5: Guardians
* Guitar Hero Live
* Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
* Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
* Assassins creed syndicate
* Star Wars: Battlefront (2015)
* ...

If you are quick you can also take a look at conferences by these companies as they are already today:

* Microsoft (watch it now, as it's live)
* EA
* Ubisoft
* Sony

Tomorrow you are able to see the Nintendo and Square Enix conferences.
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Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:58 pm
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VGG Admin Gazette - News update May '15

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So, back with a new News overview, as seen through my VGG admin glasses...

VGG Community Geeklist
geeklist: VGG: Building a better community!
VGG now has a community geeklist to introduce yourself and get to know other VGG users.

VGG new forum: Multiplayer
forum: Multiplayer
Since VGG has a community which does a lot of gaming together online, we've introduced the Multiplayer forum to make it easier to find people and set up games.

VGG twitter account
thread: VGG@Twitter
Thanks to Barad_the_dwarf VGG now has an active (revived) twitter account! Become a follower and claim that microbadge!

Image policy changed
thread: VGG image policy changed. Upped to 24 screenshots limit
We've made a numer of changes to VGG Image Policy. More to come, but for now most notably we've upped the screenshot limit from 12 to 24 and we're accepting press kit images.

Canceled and Unlicensed games
Due to recent experiences we've changed the policy of not taking pics for unreleased games to "Please only submit images if you own a copy or have legal access to this item." - yes, that does happen, apparently. We also felt we should allow pics of unlicensed games. We don't make judgment calls. We merely acknowledge their existence.

DRM gone from "Create Videogame" form
As this field was barely used and did not add any value to the user experience (in sort of info which people want to look up) we decided to hide that field and no longer use it.

Hall of Fame updated
page: Hall of Fame
I recalculated the list of Ultimate VGG Uploader microbadge owners. The only change in ranks was LostDice (now 5th) overtaking celiborn. Most active was Forbidding, rising another 233.6 points since January.

New Geekmod
thread: GeekMod v2
Not so new (Feb) but new since last Gazette, so still mentioning this one. It's been tweaked since on several issues and bugs and I believe most already got used to it.

That's all newsflashes I could think of. Till next! cool
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Wed May 27, 2015 4:37 pm
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VGG Admin Gazette - News update January '15

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Hi there! My first blog on the entire *GG-domain. It seemed like a good idea to use the VideoGameGeek News for my 'Gazettes'. So, without further delay, what's New on VGG from the admin point of view? :

Barad_the_dwarf became admin
thread
Jan joined our admin team, to focus on community events. He already had solid ideas before he became admin, now he's starting those up!

Hall of Fame updated
Hall of Fame
The list of Ultimate VGG Uploader microbadge owners is still 12 long. Most remarkable item: Forbidding took over first place! And drove Ncik to second. On average these Ultimate uploaders amassed 39 points since last calculation, with frumpish leading with +214,5 points since last time.

Fire OS added as new platform
thread
Since Amazon has announced the release of a few titles which will only run on Fire OS, this new platform has been added. The platform is meant for games on the Fire Phone and Kindle Fire range of tablets.

Amazon ratings added
The rating which Amazon uses in its app store are added to our list of rating:
Amazon - All Ages
Amazon - Guidance Suggested
Amazon - Mature
Amazon - Adult

MOBA added as genre
Genres
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), also known as action real-time strategy (ARTS) has been added to our Genres.

Review - play rules changed
Monthly VGG Review Contest Subscription Thread
VGG featured reviews post
Lastly, about written reviews of video games submitted to VGG: VGG has the monthly Review Contest. The rules of that contest have been changed per 1/1/2015: the theme is no longer mandatory, but optional for extra geekgold. Meaning everyone can now participate with any review(s) written in the current month.
Secondly, we now have a fixed post in the announcement section, specifically for featured reviews. The winner of last month's contest winner is listed. And if a review is about a game which was released in the last 12 months, that review will also be listed for a month.

That's it! For now cool
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Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:54 pm
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E3 Recap Site

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I don't have much to report but the best site I've found to catch all the E3 stuff is here: http://www.e3recap.com/

Also, the Giant Bomb Live! with developer interviews are quite interesting. The one with Ed Boon is very good.

http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/latest/
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Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:18 am
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Goats, Squids And Other Squishy Things: VGG News for 02-12-2014

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News:

• There have been persistent rumours that Amazon was planning on entering the console market. Their recent acquisition of the game development studio Double Helix (known for their work on high profile IPs such as Matrix, GI Joe or Silent Hill) adds another piece to the puzzle. According to Amazon the studio will keep on working on existing projects. With console gaming entering a new generation, newcomers to the console market (OUYA, Steamboxes) trying to make a place for themselves in the living room and the interest in all-in-one boxes able to deliver both games and digital media, 2014 looks set to be an interesting year on the console front.

• Goat Simulator is a thing, and you have the internet to thank for that. Swedish developers Coffee Stain Studios (of Sanctum fame) originally intended their alpha video of a goat running around a city wrecking havoc as a joke, but the footage went viral (more than 2 million views as I write this), and it has now become their new IP. Goat Simulator promises to be "like an old school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you're a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff. It brings next-gen goat simulation to YOU." Preorders have opened, it will be available on Steam (but no word yet on which platforms beside windows).



• Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight event (their in-studio game jam) is on again. You have a little less than two days to contribute your dollar(s) to charity in order to vote on which prototypes will actually get made by the studio in the coming two weeks, and get access to them. This year has a guest of honour, Pendleton Ward who will team with Double Fine employees to work on a game of your choice. Head over to the Humble website for details.


Indie News

• Old-school isometric shooty action is back with Matador, a game where a giant stompy robot (you) lays waste to hordes of enemies (everyone and everything else). Matador will feature permanent death (but each playthrough will net you points which can be used to make new weapons, chassis and power-ups available for your next games) and semi-random levels (the layouts will be fixed but the locations and strength of enemy waves will be different each time). Matador is currently in development by Stellar Jockeys and has a Steam release date of Summer 2014 for Windows, Mac and Linux.
[Trailer]

• Notable releases:
- rymdkapsel: the abstract space building/strategy game has been ported from the Vita to PC/Mac/Linux. This new incarnation has new content (additional missions and game modes as well as extra music tracks), which will be backported to the mobile and Vita version later this year.
[Trailer]

- Octodad: Dadliest Catch: Octodad is a father, a husband and a squid. Though proud of the first two, keeping his cephalopod nature hidden from his family is an everyday challenge. Dadliest Catch is the newest installment of the saga of the eight-limbed daddy, and it's available now on Steam for Windows/Mac/Linux.
[Trailer][Theme song]

- The Floor Is Jelly: The bouncy, spongy puzzle platformer (developed by Ian Snyder, with a soundtrack by DisasterPeace) is now available for Windows and Mac.
[Trailer]

- Jazzpunk: the "adventure comedy game and poorly made word processor" is finally out. The IGF 2014 nominated game mixes spoof comedy elements with open world exploration and gadget usage in a world best described as cyberpunk meets 1950s Cold War.
[Trailer]



Nevermind, currently on Kickstarter, is one of those experiments in gamemaking that if done right can move the medium forward. Nevermind, a horror adventure game, is built to incorporate biofeedback (using an off-the-shelf heart rate monitor) into its mechanics, using data on the player's stress levels to modify the game world. More stress means more difficulty in navigating the game world. Interestingly, one of the stated goals of the developers is to create a version of the game usable for treating anxiety, and they are already working with medical researchers on it.
If successful, the game will be available on Steam (it's been pre-approved by Valve) for Windows and Mac, and there are talks with Microsoft about a possible XBox One version.

• According to this blog post, The Witness will have Oculus Rift support (and possibly other VR hardware).


Around the web

• If you enjoy seeing developers work, turn to the Omega Jam, a real-life event in which 6 indie teams hosted by Double Fine motivate one another to reach their development milestones. Expect livestreams, videos and blog posts from devs working on Overgrowth, Escape Goat 2, A Spire To The Gods and more.

Indievelopment, the yearly Dutch indie game development conference has unveiled some of its guest speakers: Jonathan Blow (Braid, The Witness) will deliver the keynote, and Paul Weir (Discworld Noir, Joe Danger) will discuss generative sound techniques and design. The conference (which will also feature an exposition area this year) will take place on April 7th at Zijdebalen Theater in Utrecht, and tickets are available.

• Yes, videogames about snot exist.

Around VGG

How mainstream are you?

• Tell us about your Favorite Arcade Machines.


Recommendation of the week



Env is about survival. Stranded on an abstract island being meticulously destroyed by a Giant Sky Laser Thingy, you must brave the landslides and dodge the geysers of bricks for 6 minutes in order to win. Don't forget to eat, and don't forget you don't know how to swim. Good luck!

Downloads: [Windows][Mac][Linux]

All game images in this post come from their respective press kits.
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Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:12 am
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Early Access Success Stories, Survival Games Galore, And More: VGG news for 01-29-2014

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News:

• PS1 and PS2 emulation may be coming to the PS4 according to this eurogamer article. The first iteration of the PS3 design had hardware dedicated to emulate older consoles, the hardware was phased out in later designs but Sony developed software-based emulation (which you can see at work on the Vita when playing downloadable PS1 titles). It's not clear whether it will allow players to use PS1 and PS2 discs or if the software will just be made available to publishers to repackage their back catalog of PlayStation games in order to sell them on the PSN.

XCOM and Laser Squad creator Julian Gollop has been hard at work this past year on a modern reboot of one of his first games, the fondly remembered Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, a turn-based game of dueling wizards published in 1985 for Spectrum machines. Now that he has a working prototype, he plans to start a kickstarter campaign soon for Chaos Reborn. According to the prefundia page, the game will include a single-player campaign, as well as several multiplayer modes (coop, asynchronous or live) for 2 to 6 players.

• Early access (where players can buy and play a game as it is developed) is becoming more and more popular. We mentioned DayZ selling hundreds of thousands of copies during its first month on Steam early access in a previous news post, Rust (a multiplayer survival game set on an island, by Garry's Mod devs Facepunch Studios) is seeing similar success: according to Garry Newman Rust has already sold more than 250.000 units, bringing in in one month more than half the money the studio made with GMod in 9 years.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the medieval first-person roleplaying game is now on Kickstarter. Warhorse failed to find a publisher (according to them because their game was too niche) and turned to crowdfunding. They're asking for £300,000 Pounds (and have already reached 150% of their goal as I write this), which would cover about 10% of the costs of development, and convince the private investor who funded their tech demo to fund the rest of the game.
[VGG discussion thread]

Broken Age is out! At least half of it. Part one of Double Fine's point n'click kickstarter success has been released today on Steam, the second part will follow later on this year.


Indie News



• If you've ever wondered what it would feel like to awaken alone in a dilapidated hospital, only to find out the world has changed beyond recognition, have a look at NEO Scavenger. The game (currently in development by Blue Bottle Games) mixes survival and RPG elements, tasking the player with dealing with hypothermia, hunger, thirst and all that fun stuff, as well as finding out what happened to the world and who the protagonist is. Blue Bottle Games takes preorders (which include a Steam key as the game is on Early Access), and a demo is available.
[Trailer][Demo]

Don't Starve, the game of survival in procedural landscapes will receive a DLC in August. It will be called Reign of Giants, has a trailer, and that's all we know for now. Don't Starve has also been ported to the PS4, where it launched earlier this month.
[Trailer]

Tengami is part puzzle game, part esthetic experience. The game invites you to explore a world in the form of a virtual pop-up book. The developers want to deliver "an atmospheric adventure game, full of wonder and mystery, set in Japan of ancient dark fairy tales". It's too early to tell if they've succeeded, but it sure looks pretty:



Tengami will be available in early 2014 on iOS, and later in the year for the WiiU, Windows and MacOS.

• After five years of development and an avalanche of awards Nidhogg has finally been made available to the masses (well, those masses with a PC, that is). The game of stabbing friends in the throat with a longsword for the privilege of being eaten alive by a dragon is available on Steam since Jan 14.
[Trailer]

Tempest is back, and it's on the PS Vita. Llamasoft (developers of the fondly remembered Tempest 2000 for the Atari Jaguar) have been hard at work on this modern take on the classic vector shooter, the result is called TxK and will launch on February 11. Llamasoft's Jeff Minter promises "a modern extrapolation of one of the best shooters ever made on hardware that’s just perfectly suited for it, and in a way that retains the purity of the original design".

• Edmund McMillan has posted a huge Q&A on his tumblr chock full of information about Rebirth, the Binding of Isaac remake. We already knew the engine would be remade and the game given the 16bit GBA art style it was originally planned to have, what's new is the amount of new content ("the game will be almost doubled"), target platforms (PC via Steam, PS4, Vita, possibly iPads), Spelunky-inspired daily runs and a local coop mode. The game will be released sometime in 2014, "when it's done". In the meantime, here's an enjoyably creepy trailer:




Around the web

Psychedelic pong!

• For those who are interested in conferences and festivals, gameconfs.com looks like a useful resource.

#screenshotsaturday is happening every Saturday on twitter, indie devs from all around the world share images of their works in progress. screenshotsaturday.com pulls all the images from twitter for you to feast your eyeballs on.

• Some of us have a (probably unhealthy) love for crappy games. The One Screen Cassette 50 game jam going on over at retroremakes.com is all about making terrible games in the tradition of Cassette 50 or Action 52, minus the outrageous price tag. There are already plenty of gloriously awful games posted in the submission thread, and you have until February 17 if you want to contribute.


Around VGG:

• Playing Starbound? Looking for a server to meet and play with fellow VGGers? Head over here!

• The theme for next month's monthly review contest is Boss Battles.

• Interested in improving the VGG database? We are still missing a lot of games, and more come out everyday, Todd's game-a-day initiative aims to solve just that. The discussion thread is here, the participation geeklist is here, and I'm told there are prizes for your troubles.


Recommendation of the week



No One Has To Die starts as a simple puzzle game, with a number of people trapped in a building fire, your task being to save them from the growing blaze. Unfortunately losses are unavailable, and you'll have to make hard choices about who to sacrifice. But that's not all there is to it, and soon you'll be revisiting previously hopeless situations and try new strategies in order to uncover what is really happening. I can't say more without spoiling the story, I'll just say it has a few interesting twists.

All game images in this post come from their respective press kits.
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Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:03 am
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Pixelated Boardgames or Cardboard Videogames? VGG News For 1-12-2014

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The VGG news blog is back after a short holiday break, lengthened a bit by unexpected side effects of the 2014 polar vortex. A belated Happy New Year to you all, let's move on to the


News:

Sony has announced Playstation Now, a cloud-based game streaming service which will allow subscribers to play a selection of PS3 and PS4 (and Vita later) games "on the electronic devices gamers use most". The announcement itself is remarkably short on details, but this blog post and its comments section has more information, including minimum connection speed (at least 5Mbps), availability (a closed beta test will begin this month, the service will be available in the US this summer, no specific dates yet for other countries) and platforms (Sony hardware at first, more platforms to follow).

• The first part of Broken Age will be made available to Kickstarter backers this Tuesday. Tim Schafer posted on twitter it has been 16 years since he last released an adventure game. Tuesday will also see the announcement of the date at which the first part will be made available to the general public on Steam early access. The second part will follow a few months later.

Rayman Legends will be making the jump to next gen consoles on February 21st. The XBox One and PS4 versions will each have exclusive content (10 extra challenges for the Microsoft console, extra features involving the DualShock 4's touchpad for the Playstation 4 version). And because obviously the first person you think about when hearing the name Rayman is Snoop Dogg, he features prominently in the new trailer.

• The DayZ early access is a huge success (more than 800k copies sold in a month according to this reddit post by the game creator Dean Hall), but there is still a lot of work to do: this post on the official tumblr states the game probably won't reach beta status until very late in the year. Among other things, the roadmap for 2014 published with the post includes player customizable vehicles, permanent player constructions, support for user mods along with general improvements to the game.


Indie News

Yes, it's a chess game, and yes, it has tigers and elephants. No platypuses though.


• Creating the "next iteration of Chess" has been the goal of many game designers over the years. Chess 2: The Sequel is David Sirlin's take, and its computer adaptation is making its way to the OUYA, with a release date of Tuesday Jan 21st. The game features local and online multiplayer with matchmaking and a practice AI. The official word of the developer on ports to other platforms is "Available first on Ouya", though the existence of an unofficial PC port for OUYA-less game journalists suggests the possibility of a PC release at some point in the future. In the meantime, the Chess 2 ruleset is available for download on Sirlin Games' website if you want to get some practice in.

Midwinter is one of many groundbreaking designs by the late Mike Singleton. It put the player in charge of recruiting for and organizing a resistance network in a snow-covered, post-apocalyptic Azores island invaded by the forces of General Masters. Chilli Hugger Software, the studio behind the remake of Lords of Midnight has announced work has started on a Midwinter reboot. The game will be created using the original design document and the technical lead is Dave Gautrey, who was the lead programmer of the 1989 game. A kickstarter campaign will soon be launched to secure funding, if successful the updated version of one the grandfathers of open world games will be available in early 2015.[VGG discussion]



Continue?9876543210 is out for Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS. The game, which pits you as a dead videogame character awaiting deletion from the computer memory has been described by the developer as "inspired by existential road trips into nowhere, Peruvian jungle drugs, and a brush with death while hopelessly lost in the mountains of New Mexico. It's one developer's attempt to translate his own quest for wonder, contemplation, and peace into the language of his craft." The protagonist tries to fend off their inevitable demise at the hand of the CPU by exploring fragments of game memories chosen randomly from a pool of levels. While the game is difficult to describe properly, the trailer below gives a rough idea of some of the things to expect:



• We reported last year on the harassment Zoë Quinn suffered after putting her game Depression Quest on Steam Greenlight. The game is among the latest batch of greenlit titles, along 50 others.

• The finalists of the 2014 Independent Games Festival competition have been revealed, if you're wondering what it is the point of having different categories if their finalist lists are quasi-identical, you're not the only one.

• Heavily pixelated 3d graphics is a trend in indie games aesthetics, Barony is a proud member of the club with it's Ultima Underworld-inspired blocky environments. The first-person RPG will include multiplayer support and semi-randomly generated levels, it's in closed alpha but will soon be looking for beta testers, hop on to the website if you're interested, and there's a developer log going on at TIGsource.




Around the web

• While videogame adaptation of boardgames are legion now thanks to the ubiquity of internet and mobile devices, successful boardgame ports of videogames are less common. One such series of games which will see a plastic and cardboard implementation is The Witcher. The Witcher boardgame is a partnership between CD Projekt Red and the well-known US boardgame publisher FFG. Details about game mechanics are few but according to the marketing blurb on the website we can expect cooperative features, character development and lots of questing and monster slaying.

• BGG user Joseph Propati sure loves Ultima, to the point of designing a fan-made boardgame as close to the videogame experience as possible. The results can be seen on the BGG page for the game, which includes all the files you need to make your own copy.

• Another variation on chess: chess meets sokoban in Jim McCann's Chesskoban prototype. There are only twenty levels so far, enough to exercise your brain cells for a few hours and to demonstrate the potential.


Around VGG:

• If you haven't done so yet, you have three days left to play Geist - An Interactive Geek Horror, the interactive fiction game designed by a team of RPGGers and collect the microbadges. Head over there for details!

• New year, new lists: the Games Beaten by VGGers geeklists are one of the highlights of VGG, the 2014 versions are already up and running: Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2014, Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2014 and the new addition, Video Games Ambivalently Continued by VGGers in 2014 for games which don't quite fit the other two categories.


Recommendation of the week



Four Scepters is one of the many wonderful creations coming out of game jams. This puzzly dungeon exploration game tasks you with collecting four scepters, which are of course guarded by an assortment of monsters. Each of your party members has specific talents, success depends on making good use of them and exploiting the layout of the level to engage monsters and collect items in the optimal order. Be sure to check out the Ludum Dare entry page for some more information about how to play the thief.

All game images in this post come from their respective press kits.
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:22 am
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