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John Carmack's 9-year-old son releases first game, Angry Face

John Carmack, arguably best known as the co-creator of Doom, has a nine-year-old son named Ryan. This week, Ryan released his first video game - a variation of Pong that substitutes the simple graphics of white bars and a square with ovals and a smiley face. It's called Angry Face.

"I enjoy video games a lot so I made one," Ryan wrote on his blog. "I feel nervous about my game ... it's rather simple. It's called Angry Face! This is my version of Pong. I wrote the game but my 4 year old brother helped me with sound and testing. He really likes the game. This is the very first game that I've created and I want to make more in the future. I hope I get a good response and that everyone likes it."

Ryan also mentions that he made a "grandma mode" difficulty level at the request of his grandmother, as well as an "expert mode" difficulty for those looking for a challenge. You can play Angry Face in a web browser for free, so long as you have the Unity Web Player extension installed.
[Image: Ryan Carmack]

Destiny takes the Ice Bucket Challenge, Bungie donating store proceeds to ALSA

Here's something you don't see every day: a fictional character performing a meme to fight a real-world disease. Our little buddy Ghost from Destiny has been hard at work helping the Guardians protect the solar system, and as thanks for his efforts, the folks over at Bungie have made him a participant in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Check after the break to see the results.

In case you've been living somewhere without internet lately - the moon, perhaps - you may not have yet heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge. Designed as a campaign to bring awareness to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) and the ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge has participants dump a bucket of ice-cold water onto their heads and subsequently nominate future participants before everyone involved donates to the ALSA (though as with many viral campaigns, the rules change and vary from person to person; some say you don't need to donate if you do the challenge while others say you donate no matter what, etc).

However, since tiny robot assistants from a fictional future can't actually donate money, Bungie is doing things a little different. From now until Destiny's launch on September 9, 20 percent of Bungie Store proceeds will go toward the ALSA.

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The Witcher Battle Arena trailer gets MOBA in your action RPG

It's easy to lose hours to quests and item crafting while following The Witcher series' Geralt of Rivia, but for most adventurers, it's not an on-the-go experience. Thankfully there will soon be an alternative in The Witcher Battle Arena, due for Android, iOS and Windows Phone later this year. We played a few matches in the 3v3 MOBA-flavored battler at E3, but now you can get a glimpse of the action for yourself in the trailer after the break.

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Super Time Force Ultra adds Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2 characters

Capybara Games has turned the proverbial Valve, and now three characters drawn from Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2 are pouring forth into the upcoming game, Super Time Force Ultra. Zoey from L4D uses twin pistols and propane tanks to destroy her foes, while the Pyro and Saxton Hale - both from TF2 - roast baddies with a flamethrower and punch them into oblivion, respectively.

STFU (get it?) is an updated version of Capy's Super Time Force, which released earlier this year for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. We thought it was quite good, though not without flaws. Ultra adds not only the new characters mentioned above, but a new Ultra Force power mode and 50 Helladeck challenge levels.

STFU will complete its journey through time and space and arrive on Steam on August 25.
[Image: Capy Games]

EA banning FIFA Ultimate Team coin sellers from its online games

We're roughly one month away from the launch of FIFA 15, and EA Sports is reminding the series' fans that it won't tolerate cheating, especially in FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), the mode that continues to earn big bucks for the publisher. In a lengthy update on the official FIFA site, the publisher discussed the effects that coin and card-trading bots have on its FUT servers.

In May, the publisher opted to de-activate trading in the FUT web app due to "the severe Transfer Market search issues caused by coin-farming bots," which caused the loss of in-game currency and athletes for other players. In turn, the makers of these bots sell the Ultimate Team goods on third-party websites (when they aren't phishing for account information on social networks). Whether buying or selling these items, EA considers these folks cheaters, and has already taken action in the past: "Since February 2014, we've banned hundreds of thousands of FIFA 14 accounts for coin selling and buying," it said.

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Number-crunching strategy game Calculords out now on Android

After carefully crunching the numbers, consulting with mathematicians and doing a third thing that is a pun on the game's premise, developer Ninja Crime has released its maths-infused mobile game Calculords to Android devices. Calculords is available via the Google Play store for $2.99.

The developer, which is led by Seanbaby of EGM fame, promises Calculords is "the deepest, sweetest sci-fi tower defense collectible card game featuring number puzzles and RPG elements ever designed and drawn by a comedy writer." A bold statement I'm sure the company received legal clearance to make.

In addition to moving the game to a new platform today, the studio has updated Calculords on iOS, which first launched in February 2014, to include full widescreen support.
[Image: Ninja Crime]

PSN Flash Sale knocks DmC, XCOM, P4A, more to $10

Image Surprise! There's a quick little sale happening on PSN right now that bumps the following PS3 and Vita games to $10: DmC: Devil May Cry, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Metro: Last Light, Darksiders 2, BioShock 2 and Infinite, The God of War Collection, The Sly Collection, Prototype 2, Persona 4 Arena and... Continue Reading

Barely Related: Mythbusters break up, Spider-Woman cover

Home again, home again – and then off to PAX Prime next week.

Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.

Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.

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WRUP: Turn on the faucet

tap closeup with dripping water ...
As we make our way to the tail end of August, it's almost time for the deluge of games to begin into the holiday season. Walking Dead finale, Destiny and Sims 4 are all launching in the coming weeks. Then things really get flowing!

What's everyone playing this weekend?
[Image: Shutterstock]

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Oakland's 80-year pinball prohibition ends

Oakland, California, has lifted its long-standing ban on pinball machines, making it legal to play pinball in the city for the first time in almost 80 years.

Oakland's ban stretches back to the 1930s, when several cities in the United States adopted laws restricting the sale and public display of pinball machines due to their ties to illegal gambling. The former game of chance evolved into a skill-based challenge with the introduction of flippers, however, leading many cities to rescind their pinball bans in the 1970s.

Pinball manufacturer Stern commemorates the end of Oakland's ban with an Iron Man table tournament taking place at RadioShack's Fruitvale Station store over the next month. Pinball players have 30 days to rack up a high score on the newly installed machine, and the top 16 players will compete in a final tournament round on September 20.

[Image: Stern]

Chester Cheetah stars in Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare DLC

You can't keep Chester Cheetah away from video games. The Cheetos mascot starred in a pair of 16-bit platformers in the '90s, then was MIA for several years before resurfacing in Just Dance 4 in 2012. He appears when you least expect him; his enemies know all too well that he is both too cool to fool and dangerously cheesy.

And now he's back. Again. Starting this week, players can summon the irrepressible snack food peddler in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, outfitting in-game troop types with new Chester Cheetah-themed character skins.

DLC codes are included in specially-marked Cheetos packages, giving players access to the Dr. Chester and Chester Chomper skins for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS4, or PC versions of Garden Warfare.

[Video: Electronic Arts]

You Don't Know Jack dev's 'Fibbage' now on Xbox One

Jackbox Games launched its party game, Fibbage, on Xbox One this week. The You Don't Know Jack developer launched the "humor-laden trivia party game" that emphasizes bluffing by its players on Amazon Fire TV in April.

Up to eight players attempt to fool one another by using their mobile devices as controllers, logging in to the game's servers and plugging in a room code to play one another. It is hosted by Cookie Masterson, the iconic narrator of the humorous, often irreverent You Don't Know Jack games. Fibbage will arrive on PS4 and PS3 next month, and will be Cross-Buy compatible. The game costs $6.99 on Xbox One.
[Image: Jackbox Games]

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Legend of Grimrock iOS port announced, sequel enters beta

Finnish developer Almost Human Ltd. has two pieces of great news for fans of its classically-styled first-person dungeon crawl Legend of Grimrock: Not only has the game's sequel reached beta testing, but the original Legend of Grimrock is now coming to iOS.

According to an official press release, entering beta means that all content to be included in Legend of Grimrock 2 is now in place and needs only polish and quality assurance testing before the game will be available to the public. "We feel the game is like a raw diamond and now we're concentrating fully on polishing every aspect of the game until everything is perfect and shining," said Legend of Grimrock artist Juho Salila. The developers plan to begin beta testing soon, after enlisting a "carefully selected" group of testers. Almost Human believes this tight-knight testing group will allow for better developer feedback and more fluid interaction between testers and the people building the game. Barring any major problems, Almost Human hopes to launch Legend of Grimrock 2 on PC this Fall.

Unfortunately, information on the iOS version of Legend of Grimrock is currently lacking. Almost Human has yet to confirm a release date for the game, or even which iOS devices will be supported (though the above screenshot indicates the iPad is a very likely candidate). The developer claims that more information on the mobile dungeon crawl will be coming soon.
[Image: Almost Human Ltd.]

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Musical puzzler Sentris brings the funk to Early Access

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, developer Timbre Interactive has released Sentris to Steam Early Access.

Equal parts rhythm game and puzzler, Sentris sees players aligning musical components on a series of rotating disks. Line up the notes and beats properly and you've completed a puzzle, but you may also have inadvertently created a tune. On the other hand, if you'd prefer to focus entirely on crafting new songs, Sentris allows for that too (just don't expect your musical chops to unlock any of the later puzzles).

Those who pick up the Early Access version of Sentris before August 29 will receive a 10 percent discount on the game, which reduces its standard $20 price to $18. As with all Early Access games, Sentris is still in development and may still feature crippling bugs, missing content and all the other problems you'd expect from a game that's not complete. If you buy in to Early Access and encounter issues, don't say we didn't warn you.
[Image: Timbre Interactive]

Joystiq Deals: PS4 Battlefield 4 Bundle Giveaway

Here at Joystiq Deals, we like free stuff. We're only human, after all. If you also enjoy free stuff, you'll want to check out our latest giveaway for a PlayStation 4 hardware bundle that includes a PS4 console, a copy of Battlefield 4, and an extra DualShock 4 controller. A winner will be selected on September 14, so make sure to lock in your entries and spread the word via the #PS4BWIN hashtag on Twitter.

The freebies continue on Steam, where 2K Games is offering a free Borderlands 2 weekend for you and your gun-toting friends through Sunday. If you like what you see, you can pick up the digital Game of the Year Edition of Borderlands 2 at a steep discount through Steam, giving you access to the game's core campaign and all DLC for only $9.99.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.


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Super Joystiq Podcast 109: Madden 15, Akiba's Trip, PS Vita

Latest episode: Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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