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PAX South in San Antonio announced for January 23-25

PAX Prime, PAX East, PAX Australia and now ... PAX South. The new show will take place in January 2015. The announcement was just made at PAX East by Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins. PAX South will run from January 23-25 at an undisclosed venue.

"We've been hearing for years that those in the south had a tough time making it to the northern corners of the country," Penny Arcade President Robert Khoo explained during the conference. "PAX South has always been a matter of 'when' rather than 'if.'"

This announcement makes us feel like we should start predicting future expansions to the PAX tour, since extra shows don't seem entirely out of the question. Anyone care to take a bet that PAX Antarctica is next on the list? What about PAX Atlantis, where Bioshock franchise owner 2K Games co-hosts the event in a recreation of Rapture, complete with splicers? Talk about untapped markets!

Update: The location of PAX South is the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center.
[Image: Penny Arcade]

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Spearhead Games hosting first Project Cyber tourney at PAX East

Are you at PAX East this weekend? If so, you might want to stop over at the Unreal Engine Epic Booth #1447 to check out the first ever tournament for Tiny Brains developer Spearhead Games' upcoming Project Cyber. The game is a 3-on-3 take on soccer, with a distinct cyberpunk flair and aesthetic.

Spearhead has intimately tied Project Cyber to livestreaming; the studio streams the game's development weekdays on their Twitch channel, takes suggestions on features to implement from their audience, and features in-game livestreaming as well. Those who tune in for a match of Project Cyber can even trigger in-game events with their votes, according to studio co-founder Malik Boukhira. "The possibilities for this technology are endless, and we'll be soliciting more thoughts about it at the Unreal Engine Epic booth," he said in a press release.

There's no expected release date for Project Cyber, but even if you're not at PAX East, you could potentially get in on the action early by requesting one of Spearhead Games' free Steam keys via their website. Thus far, more than 50,000 people have requested such keys.
[Image: Spearhead Games]

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Super TIME Force arriving 'late May, early June'

Capybara Games co-founder and president Nathan Vella tells Joystiq that its next game, Super TIME Force, should be available in either late May or early June for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

"It's in QA, going into cert soon," Vella told Joystiq when we asked about the oft-delayed game's release. "It's out of our hands until Microsoft certification is done with it, but it's not the hardest game to certify because it doesn't have any multiplayer and it only has a single leaderboard."

Vella tells Joystiq that the game's numerous delays were to enhance the game's original design, turning a good idea into a great game.

"I hate the idea of gamers wasting their time on a game. Buying something because they believed it was one thing and having it turn out to be something else, and with Super TIME Force that could have happened in a weird way. It was always cool, the original game jam game was cool, but what we've turned it into is what I think people expected when they saw the very first trailer."
[Image: Capybara Games]

The first public demo of Star Citizen

Ever wonder what $41 million looks like? It's a lot more blue than we would have thought.

This is the first public demonstration of Star Citizen, Chris Roberts' interstellar crowdfunded project. It's 14 minutes of pretty planes and space battles in a very early build. The yelling isn't part of the game – that's the crowd at PAX East. Chances are, a lot of those people are cheering because they're finally seeing their money in digital, playable form.

Star Citizen has raised more than $41 million in crowdfunding.
[Image: Roberts Space Industries]

Batman: Arkham Knight scored by Call of Duty: Ghosts composer

David Buckley, composer for Call of Duty: Ghosts, signed on to write the music for Batman: Arkham Knight. Buckley will co-compose the game's soundtrack with Nick Arundel, the composer that scored the other two games in Rocksteady's Arkham triology: Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.

Aside from Call of Duty: Ghosts, Buckley's work in the video game space includes Metal Gear Solid 4 and Activision's Shrek Forever After game. He also composes music for the CBS TV show The Good Wife and the Ben Affleck-directed film, The Town, and provided additional music for Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia film.

Announced in March as the final game in the series from Rocksteady, Batman: Arkham Knight will prominently feature the Batmobile as a primary gameplay element. The game is set in a section of Gotham City that's said to be "five times larger" than that of Arkham City, and will include "traffic-friendly streets" to accommodate for the Dark Knight's favorite ride. It will also spotlight the aptly named Arkham Knight, an arch-villain created from scratch by Rocksteady and DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns. The game is slated to launch later this year for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
[Image: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment]

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More players means more crashes in Trials Fusion trailer

Image Trials Fusion: Come for the camaraderie of four-person multiplayer races, stay because your pelvis was atomized by an oncoming tree. [Image: Red Lynx]... Continue Reading

The Art of Naughty Dog from Dark Horse celebrates dev's 30 years

The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog has teamed up with publisher Dark Horse Comics to produce The Art of Naughty Dog, a compendium featuring rarely seen character designs, renders and concept artwork from the studio's back catalog.

The Art of Naughty Dog will cover the studio's early days – back when it was founded as JAM (Jason and Andy Magic) Software – up to its recent work with The Last of Us and the Uncharted series. Artwork from the Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter franchises will be showcased throughout, and with any luck, the team's lesser-known efforts for the Sega Genesis and 3DO will also get their dues.

Naughty Dog will host a launch event for the book later this year. A release date was not announced.
[Image: Naughty Dog]

WRUP: PAX to the future

Busy, busy weekend. No time. Go play games!

What's everyone playing this weekend?

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Dragon Age: Inquisition has Kinect voice commands a la Mass Effect 3

BioWare is building Dragon Age: Inquisition with voice controls via Kinect on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, similar to the voice commands in Mass Effect 3, Creative Director Mike Laidlaw told Xbox The Official Magazine.

"We're expecting that Xbox 360 and Xbox One editions will ship with a Kinect-enabled voice command feature, just like Mass Effect 3 did," Laidlaw said.

BioWare is also planning to use SmartGlass in some way, Producer Cameron Lee said: "It needs to make sense, of course. But we want Inquisition to be an experience you can take with you everywhere - to work, the commute home, the living room, bed."

Laidlaw also revealed that Dragon Age: Inquisition won't feature any character DLC because it would have to be partly on-disc, and BioWare doesn't want to inspire criticism from fans.

"Because of how deeply enmeshed in the system companion characters are, we can't just add them on the fly – part of them has to be shipped on the disc," Laidlaw said. "Which has led to criticism that we're forcing people to pay for content they already own. It's not the case, but we've decided this time to not go that route. There will be no DLC party members."

Report: Mercenary Kings runs, guns toward Vita release

Mercenary Kings, the recently-released retro 2D shooter with surprisingly complex crafting mechanics, is currently available only on the PC and PlayStation 4, though according to Destructoid, we can soon add Sony's Vita handheld to that list.

The site spoke with developer Tribute Games at the ongoing PAX East conference, and the team said it was working on a Vita port of Mercenary Kings, as well as ports of Ninja Senki DX and Curses n' Chaos. There's no solid timeframe for any of these handheld releases, but Tribute plans to release the games once the studio has finished development on each.
[Image: Tribute Games]

Star Wars game from Visceral, EA adds writer Todd Stashwick

Hollywood writer and actor Todd Stashwick is Amy Hennig's co-scribe on the Star Wars game coming from EA and Visceral Games. Hennig tweeted today, "Thrilled to announce that my friend @ToddStashwick will be joining me as co-writer on the Star Wars project for @VisceralGames @EA!"

Stashwick has acted in Heroes, Justified, Supernatural, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and a host of television shows and movies. This appears to be his first foray into video games, though his biography reads, "He is an avid gamer and lover of comic books, sci-fi and horror."

Stashwick tweeted about the news, saying he was "beyond humbled and excited" to work on Star Wars with Hennig.

Visceral announced Hennig as creative director and writer of its Star Wars game earlier in April.
[Image: Bjoern Kommerell]

Strategy game There Came an Echo voices PS4 support

Voice-controlled RTS There Came an Echo is headed to the PlayStation 4 alongside previously announced ports for Xbox One and PC, developer Iridium Studios announced this week.

In There Came an Echo, players control an armed squadron using voice commands, issuing orders to the group and to individual teammates amid hectic firefights. Players can fully customize the game's recognized commands (allowing your squadmates to respond to a Captain Picard-esque "Make it so!" during combat, as the trailer above demonstrates), and the game features DualShock 4 controller support in addition to the default microphone controls.

There Came an Echo earned more than $115,000 in backer funding when it turned to Kickstarter for support in 2013, and is due for a Steam release later this year.
[Video: Iridium Studios]

EA working to shift older Battlefield games from GameSpy to Origin

Following word that the GameSpy online matchmaking service will cease to be after May 31, EA has revealed plans to move its GameSpy games to the publisher's own online service, Origin.

When asked specifically about the fate of online shooters Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the Origin Twitter account replied with, "We're working on transitioning those games after the shut down so you'll still be able to play them." Later, IGN asked EA for clarification on its plans and were told that work is not yet complete, but more information would appear shortly. "We're working on finding a transition, but still have technical hurdles to overcome," EA said. "We will make an announcement when there is news to share."

In the meantime, those hard up for a military shooter can set their sights on the more recent Battlefield 4. After six months of issues, it now works more or less as it should.
[Image: EA]

Magic 2015 deals in Xbox One, out in the summer

This summer, Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers brings the collectible card game series to Xbox One for the first time, but it looks like the game isn't coming to PlayStation platforms in the near future. Wizards of the Coast announced Magic 2015 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Steam, iPad, Android and Kindle, with PS3 and PS4 conspicuously absent from the deck; previously editions have traditionally come to PS3 at launch. As for the summer due date, that's only specified for Xbox One, and Wizards of the Coast notes its releases may vary from platform to platform.

Talking of decks, you'll be able to build customized ones in Magic 2015, and Wizards of the Coast promises "more robust" deck-building features to boot. Meanwhile, the story pits players as the prey of primal hunter and generally deadly dude Garruk Wildspeaker.

Of course, we might be seeing Magic: The Gathering on bigger screens in the future, after 20th Century Fox's purchase of the series' screen rights earlier this year. We look forward to the inevitable video game based on the collectible card game based on the movie based on the collectible card game.
[Image: Wizards of the Coast]

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The Behemoth's next game is an Xbox One exclusive

Castle Crashers developer The Behemoth is working on an unnamed project for the Xbox One, the studio announced at PAX East today.

No further details were revealed regarding the untitled game beyond the bizarre teaser image seen above. The Behemoth notes that "Game 4" will be playable this year, and further information will be announced at San Diego Comic Con in July.

The Behemoth is currently hosting a catalog sale on Xbox Live, discounting Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater to $5 apiece.
[Image: The Behemoth]

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The Joystiq Show - 018: Game of the Year Talk 04

Latest episode: Friday, December 23rd, 2011

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