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VideoGameGeek News

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VideoGameGeek is 5 years old!

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Yes we have finally gotten to our 5th annivesary. VGG was started as the third part of the Geekdo websites on the 1st of august 2010. Since we are 2015 and my calculations aren't wrong that brings us to our 5th birthday!

It has been a bumpy road since there is a lot of other great videogaming websites out there and we could use some tweaks at our database and frontpage as well. But we have steadily been growing over the years and I must say that I'm happy to see that the community is really triving these days.

Come join us in our celebrations:

VideoGameGeek is 5 years old!
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Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away

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The video gaming world is in mourning as we learned that Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, has passed away. He came over from HAL Laboratory and became the fourth president of Nintendo and CEO in 2000.

He helped push the cart to make games available for everyone. In his mind games were becoming to specialized and he thought everyone should be able to play their games. He was a main figure behind the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.

In 2014 Nintendo stated that Satoru Iwata was ill and needed treatment and now the sad news of his death came. He died of Cancer at age 55.
Satoru Iwata has been an important member of the gaming industry and will be mourned.

A memorial thread has been set up here: Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has passed away

As a last note, I will end with a famous quote made by him:

"On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer."

From his keynote speech at GDC 2005
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Video Game Day 2015

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It's the 8th of july and today we are celebrating Video Game Day!

I didn't really know anything about it so I thought I would dedicated a small blog on it. As I came the VGG event manager I was wondering if there wasn't a special celebration day for videogames so I started to search the net. With special days for about anything I guess there had to be one for videogames as well. And you know what? There isn't just one, there are two of these days!

First off all the one we are celebrating today: Video Game Day. It's a celebration for all the great videogames that we can enjoy. It expands to all titles and games we have been playing for years and years.

There also is a second day: National Video Game Day. This one is celebrated a bit later in the year, on the 12th of september, each year.

I did wonder why on earth there are two days so I did some research about it but unfortunatly it seems the internet has no answer to this. Nobody has been able to trace the creator or the reason we have two days. But it seems the National Video Game Day seems to be an US based event. So with this awesome internation community it seems a better idea to celebrate this one as a community and just party crash the Americans second date later this year!

But before we are there let's enjoy this date and have a great Video Game Day! Keep an eye on the geek because we are going to have a celebrational microbadge give away.
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Wed Jul 8, 2015 11:30 am
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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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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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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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Ninja Rabbits, Hyrulean Warfare, Sales, And More: VGG News For 12-23-2013

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News:

• Sales, sales, sales! The winter sales period is upon us, digital games sellers everywhere are trying their best to plunder your wallets. The Steam and GoG sales are on of course, but you can also find bargains on the Humble Store, Green Man Gaming, Amazon and countless other retailers. Of course what would be a sale without a proper thread to brag about your acquisitions and lament about your backlog?

• The DayZ alpha is now available on Steam Early Access. Despite the numerous development delays interest in the game is still high, the game sold more than 175.000 copies in the first 24 hours according to this blog post by Bohemia CEO Marek Spanel. The studio also published a new, quite grim DayZ alpha trailer.

• Here's a sad example of the difficulty of finding a publisher: Czech studio Warhorse has unveiled Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a next-gen open world first-person medieval RPG which looks promising. The beginning of the development has been privately funded by a Czech entrepreneur, the studio managers have been looking for a publisher to fund the rest of the development cycle for months, and their story (detailed in this detailed blog post) is not an encouraging one so far. They still have hope though, and are considering several possibilities (including kickstarter) so it's not canned yet and we may yet have a chance to explore a goblin-free late Middle Ages eastern Europe come 2015.



The trailer doesn't show much (there's a new one on the way), but you can also have a look at these few seconds of leaked footage of the tech demo which has glimpses of the gameplay.

• The PC version of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, aka "the MGS game with a silly name" has a confirmed launch date of January 9, 2014. This version will include the VR Missions and the Bladewolf and Jetstream DLCs (which are already released on PS3 and XBox 360).

• Hyrule Warriors was announced last Wednesday. According to Nintendo and Tecmo Koei the game would combine the world of Zelda with the gameplay of Tecmo's Warrior series. The game is to be released some time next year, and it is not the next installment in the Zelda series but rather a spin-off according to Satoru Iwata. There aren't any more details available, but hey, there's a trailer!




Indie News

• Indiegamestand has chosen to do something different for the sale season with its 12 Days of Christmas initiative: each day they highlight a free indie game and sell it (it's pay what you want), profits go to charity and you get to store the game in the indiegamestand game wallet. Of course you can still download the games from their usual websites.

• If you want to experience what it's like to be a toddler again and have access to an oculus rift dev kit, the Among the Sleep alpha demo now has rift support.

Cowboys Versus Monsters looks a lot like Dune 2 and Command & Conquer, and it's not surprising given the developer is the author of Reprisal, a god game heavily inspired by the gameplay of Populous. The stylish cowboy RTS should available some time in 2014, here's a glimpse at the current state of the game:



• Ninja rabbits! Overgrowth, the sequel of Lugaru HD (which the devs have been working on for the last five years, leading some to call the game "the indie Duke Nuke'm Forever") has been put on Steam Early Access. According to the devs it's still very much in alpha so usual warnings apply. You can preorder Overgrowth on its website, which gives you a discount as well as two other Wolfire games, Receiver and Low Light Combat.


Around the web

• The magic of time lapse videos: A day of work on Gravity Ghost condensed in 2 minutes (part one, part 2).

• An in-depth look at SteamOS.

• The Commodore 64, 31 years old and still going strong.


Around VGG:

• Spread Christmas cheer with games, head over to Rudy's Spreading Christmas cheer 2013 geeklist!


Recommendation of the week



A False Saint, An Honest Rogue is a game of survival and exploration, a roguelike-like set into an undefined location where sub-zero temperatures are common. You start naked and freezing in these inhospitable lands, the only thing you know is the direction in which you have to travel to reach safety. The cold is your deadliest enemy, you'll need to find ways to stay warm and fed as you move through the procedurally generated landscape. This game is like the Siberian winter weather, harsh and punishing, but also rewarding once you start to figure out survival strategies.

All game images in this post come from their respective press kits.
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Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:31 am
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Cat Mech Suits, Yellow Submarines, Gold-Farming Santa, And More: VGG News for 12-15-2013

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Obsidian's Project Eternity is now officially named Pillars of Eternity. The announcement was made in a Kickstarter update and came with a video giving a first glimpse at the gameplay of the Infinity Engine-inspired RPG. In related kickstartered RPG news, Wasteland 2's beta is now opened for eligible backers, and the game will be made available at a later time on Steam early access.



• The Steam machine prototypes have been shipped this Friday. Unfortunately for those not in the USA Valve has decided to ship units to American testers only, invoking problems with unspecified regulations outside the US. If you're an intrepid Linux hacker you can console yourself by testing the SteamOS beta, which has been made available for download. There should be unboxing videos and reviews popping all over the internet in the coming weeks, and if by chance you're one of the lucky recipients, please let us know!

• Fable Anniversary's release date has been announced, the HD remake of Fable I will be available for XBox 360 on the 4th February 2014 in North America, 7th Feb. in Europe.


Indie News

• If a cooperative Jules Verne-inspired FTL-like sounds interesting to you; have a look at We Need To Go Deeper. The self described "4-player cooperative submarine rogue-like" is in pre-alpha and doesn't have a fixed release date yet (the FAQ states "we're hoping to get this baby out the door somewhere around the end of summer come 2014"), but the devs have published a short video teaser, it's very stylish:



• Cats in Mech suits, what more do you need? Vertical Kitten is just that, and High Class Kitsch (who were also behind the first-person Victorian puzzler Pandora: Purge of Pride) are aiming for a late 2014 release date.

• The winners of the latest Game Jolt week-long Game Jam have been announced. There are some really good entries among the more than 140 games entered in the contest, if you have some time and feel adventurous digging through the entries is always worthwhile. And if that's not enough, the latest Ludum Dare game jam ends tomorrow, that should give you at least a thousand extra games to try.

• There's also a trailer for Eidolon, the intriguing survival/exploration game set in a futuristic deserted Washington state. The devs are shooting for a mid 2014 release on PC and Mac.




What's weak this week

• YouTube introduced new copyright infringement detection technology last week, and there have been a number of unfortunate side-effects for youtubers publishing let's plays and video reviews of video games. Gameplay videos (sometimes hundreds) previously approved by the game publisher (or developers) were automatically flagged by the algorithm, resulting in the uploading account being restricted and barred from earning advertising revenue. The problem is compounded by the difficulty and flimsiness of the procedure to have a video unblocked.




AAA publishers such as Ubi or Blizzard as well as indies have been doing what they can to mitigate the problem, publishing legal documents granting permission and adding themselves to a list of Let's Play-friendly developers.

Let's Play and walkthrough videos are widely recognized as part of the videogame marketing ecosystem (especially for indies, for whom exposure is vital), and it's become a business for some. The youtube automated copyright crackdown system illustrates the difficulty of relying on a third-party, especially one which uses automated processes to process content submission. RPS, CVG and indiestatik have articles covering the issue in depth.

Depression Quest developer Zoë Quinn has been the target of a harassment campaign after putting the game on Greenlight. Her crime according to her harassers: simply being a female developer looking to offer her game on a distribution platform. She already had to pull the game from Greenlight once because of the abuse she received, this time she has chosen to make it public. IndieStatik has more details, including screencaps of some of the abuse she's received, and it's not pretty.

Around the web

ASCII-style gold farming.


Around VGG:

• Share your Musings on handhelds,
• discuss the Youtube copyright crackdown,
• or share your week-end videogame adventures!


Recommendation of the week



Save Christmas (again) in Christmas Alpaca Adventure.

Santa needs gold to be ready in time for Christmas, it's your job as Santa's Alpaca helper to collect coins (to the sound of a cheerful 8bit soundtrack), while avoiding pretty much anything that isn't round and shiny. The entire world seems to be against you, you'll need to make good use of the two state of the art jump buttons you've equipped with.

All game images in this post come from their respective press kits.
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Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:20 am
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Telltale's Tales Of The Walking Thrones, Space Narvals, And More: VGG news for 12-09-2013

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Telltale has a lot on its plate, with two new licenses revealed this week-end. The studio will be working on a Game of Thrones series of games, and will collaborate with Gearbox on Tales from the Borderlands. There aren't any more details yet, both series are set to debut in 2014, and there's a VGG discussion thread here. In related news, the second season if the studio's flagship title, The Walking Dead is set to begin on 17th December according to its Steam listing.

• Elijah Wood will be voicing one of the main characters of Broken Age. The Hollywood actor, apparently recruited by Tim Schafer after a chat on Twitter joins an already impressive cast (especially for a kickstarted indie game), which includes Jack Black, Jennifer Hale, Wil Wheaton, Pendleton Ward and Cree Summer. Here's a featurette with some Broken Age gameplay footage.

• The Thief reboot has a confirmed release date: the game will ship on Feb 25th for North America, and on Feb 28th for everyone else.

• The DRM-free digital game store GoG.com innovates on the customer service front with its 30 days money-back guarantee. If you bought a game on GoG and you can't get it to work on your machine despite the efforts of their tech support GoG offers a full refund. They also introduced a 14 days refund policy: should you have second thoughts about a game you just bought, and provided you haven't downloaded it yet, you can ask for a refund. More details can be found on their money back FAQ.


Indie News

• The unveiling of No Man's Sky at the Spike Video Game Awards was the highlight of the show. The trailer for the procedurally generated space exploration sim has since been released on youtube, and it looks gorgeous.



There are more details about the game and the 4 people developing it in this Eurogamer interview. Also of note, Gone Home went on to win the best PC game of the year award.

• The Lovecraftian action roguelike Eldritch will receive a free, "christmas"-themed DLC on 19th December. The Mountains of Madness-themed expansion will contain a 10 levels deep dungeon set under the Antarctic tundra, as well as new weapons, powers, items and enemies (including a ferocious Giant Penguin). Here's the chilly trailer.

Bossa Studios (makers of Surgeon Simulator 2013) have revealed their new game, Time to Live a multiplayer futuristic TV gameshow in which you must outlive your opponents by collecting extra time and money to buy power ups. As in every good gameshow, losers are abruptly decapitated. The game is in alpha, but there's already a playable demo available on Kongregate.

Mode 7 Games' Frozen Endzone replaces the guns of Frozen Synapse with a football and soldiers with robots rushing to put said ball into the endzone. The multiplayer offers the same asynchronous simultaneous turn-based tactical experience as its predecessor, only with less firearms. The futuristic sports game is now in open beta, a minimum of $25 gets you beta access for two (as well as full versions when the game is released). If you want to know more there's an in-depth interview of one of the developers over on gamasutra.




Around the web

Multiplayer space narval combat simulator! Grab a friend (or coworker/significant other/child/mailman) or three and have at it. Oh, and it's also on kickstarter.

• Is procedural generation the silver bullet of indie game development?


Around VGG:

• You've probably noticed the yearly support drive for the *GG websites has started. A big part of the fundraiser is the community-organized giveaways, it's over there and there are videogames to win.

• Are you a Starbound beta-tester, or interested in the game? Come discuss the open beta.


Recommendation of the week



Orbis is an abstract twin-stick shooter. The game's goal is simple (survive the never-ending barrage of geometric shapes as long as possible), but how you achieve this depends not only on manual dexterity but also on the clever use of the turrets and shields you can spawn once you have killed enough enemies. The contrast between the relaxing soundtrack and sound effects and the fast action adds an interesting cognitive dissonance layer to the gameplay. Give it a try!

All game images in this post come from their respective press kits.
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Mon Dec 9, 2013 11:10 pm
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