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Behind-the-scenes 'Final Hours of Titanfall' app now available

The Final Hours of Titanfall, an in-depth look at the development of Respawn Entertainment's first game, is now available to download on iPad, Windows Surface as well as PC and Mac via Origin for $1.99. Versions of the app are also planned for Android and iPhone, and both a text-only version for Kindle as well as an audiobook version are being considered.

Created over a four-year span by Geoff Keighley, the app is a 25,000-word deep-dive on Titanfall's development and the legal issues that Respawn co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella settled with Activision in May 2012 pryor to West's departure from the developer in March 2013. Keighley conducted interviews with over 80 people to chronicle Respawn's beginnings, which cover the "toxic mix of office politics and creative struggles the build the next great videogame franchise." It also features concept art and videos from the early days of the game's development.

This isn't Keighley's first foray into longform app development, as the behind-the-scenes "Final Hours" series includes an episodic webseries on Square Enix's Tomb Raider reboot, an app for Portal 2 and one detailing the creation of Mass Effect 3.
[Image: EA Games]

The latest Rocksmith 2014 DLC is Garbage (in a good way)



You're not paranoid, Rocksmith 2014 owners: Ubisoft does indeed have more DLC coming your way, and this time it's three hit singles from '90s grunge band, Garbage. Those looking to relive the glory days of Clinton, Beanie Babies and denim overalls can learn to play "Only Happy When It Rains," "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "Stupid Girl."

Songs are available for $2.99 purchased individually, or for $7.99 when purchased as a pack. And don't worry, you don't need to be a '90s kid to get this - everyone with access to Xbox Live, the PSN or Steam can download the songs now.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Ransack Steam for War of the Vikings

Those of you who woke up this morning with a craving for blood and glory will be happy to learn that publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Fatshark have officially launched War of the Vikings.

Normally this is where we'd outline the historical action game's features, but in this case we can do you one better. Last week our own Richard Mitchell and Anthony Agnello were joined by War of the Vikings producer Gordon Van Dyke for a Joystiq Stream. Don't worry if you missed the initial broadcast, you can find an archive of the entire thing by visiting our original post.

If that hour-long glimpse at the blood-slicked chaos of battle has piqued your interest, you can pick up War of the Vikings from Steam at a price of $25. Alternately, those of you with deeper pockets can spring for the $35 "Blood Eagle" edition of the game which offers an art book, soundtrack and special in-game gear, or the $175 "Valhalla Edition" which features all content found in the Blood Eagle version of the game, along with all future DLC content, a strategy guide, a digital novel, and quite a bit more.
[Image: Paradox Interactive]

Steam's Daily Deal offers System Shock 2 at half price

If your life is painfully lacking in malevolent AI and angry, telekinetic monkeys, today is your lucky day: Steam is currently offering survival horror classic System Shock 2 at a 50 percent discount.

Co-developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios, and designed by BioShock maestro Ken Levine, System Shock 2 drops players into the dark corridors of a faster than light spaceship where a routine rescue operation has gone horribly wrong. Armed with scavenged weaponry and a handful of special powers, players must battle the twisted denizens of deep space, all the while being mocked by SHODAN, a once helpful AI that has started to lose her virtual marbles.

Despite being a "Daily Deal," System Shock 2 will remain at its current $5 price point until Monday, April 21 at 10AM PT. Would-be players need not worry about system compatibility, as Steam offers System Shock 2 in PC, Mac and Linux flavors.
[Image: Night Dive Studios]

Broken Sword 5, Episode 2 out today on Windows, Mac, Linux


The second episode of Revolution Software's classic-styled point-and-click adventure game Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is out today on Steam, Good Old Games and Get Games, finishing up heroic duo George and Nico's latest globetrotting journey.

The first episode of The Serpent's Curse launched late last year for PC and mobile platforms. Broken Sword 5 exceeded its Kickstarter goal in 2012 during a boom period for crowdfunded point-and-click adventure game projects, earning nearly $800,000 in backer pledges.

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 2 is due to hit the PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android devices soon.

[Video: Revolution Software]

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Chaos Reborn funded, births in 2015

Julian Gollop, the creator of X-COM: UFO Defense, has hit the $180,000 goal for Chaos Reborn, an update to his 1985 strategy game, Chaos: The Battle of Wizards. Unlike many, many projects seeking funding on Kickstarter, this game is already in a solid prototype state. We know, because we streamed it with Gollop as our adversary.

The prototype of Chaos Reborn is accessible through the game's Kickstarter page. The game itself now has the funding to gussy up the graphics and hopefully make its May 2015 launch on PC, Mac and Linux.
[Image: Gollop]

Indie Royal Bundle 12 says you are not a banana

The Debut 12 Bundle from Indie Royale is live. The pay-what-you-want bundle features eight independent titles looking for Steam Greenlight campaign support: Yrminsul, Selknam Defense, Luna's Wandering Stars, Rot Gut, Storm over the Pacific, You Are Not A Banana: Chapter 1, Pester and GEARCRACK Arena.

At the time of publishing, the bundle's average purchase price is $2.92. By raising the minimum of $5, Indie Royale is offering a bonus album of independent music.

All games in the bundle are available for Windows via the Desura distribution. The sale ends in less than seven days.
[Image: Indie Royale]

Bethesda under fire from barbed wire industry, reports The Onion

Image The Evil Within publisher Bethesda Softworks is under fire from the barbed wire lobby for its portrayal of the industry's spiked resource, The Onion has learned. Remember: The Onion. [Image: Bethesda]... Continue Reading

Obsidian gives your ears a taste of the Pillars of Eternity soundtrack



Just because we can't play old school-inspired, Kickstarter success Pillars of Eternity right now doesn't mean we can't experience it. Developer Obsidian has released a score from the game's soundtrack to give anxious adventurers a taste of what to expect when the game releases later this year. The music is an ambient background tune for the Dyrford Village area.

Audio Director Justin Bell noted in a forum post that he looks to the Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale) for inspiration, blending "tropes found in European folk and pre-Renaissance modal music" with modern techniques. Bell also wrote that he listens for inspiration during his daily commute to work, and that he reads Johann Sebastian Bach daily.

Video games: classy stuff.
[Image: Obsidian]

Pre-order Wolfenstein: The New Order, earn Team Fortress 2 hats

Alternate history Nazi shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order is now available for pre-order via Steam, and Valve has opted to sweeten the deal by offering free Team Fortress 2 hats to anyone who plunks down early cash for the PC game.

Though Valve's announcement makes no mention of what exactly these hats will look like, it does describe them as both "exclusive" and patterned after some element of Wolfenstein: The New Order. Whether that means historically inaccurate pickelhaubes or the combination helmet and gas mask worn by the grunts in this trailer remains to be seen, but, again, these are free bonuses so try not to look this gift horse in the mouth.

Alongside the newly-revealed gratis chapeaus, a pre-order of Wolfenstein: The New Order also grants players access to a beta of id Software's next entry in the hallowed DOOM franchise. However, as we mentioned earlier this month, that beta will only be available to those who pre-order Wolfenstein: The New Order on PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

Tackle 'Son of the Crawmerax' in final Borderlands 2 DLC

Developer Gearbox Software has released its final piece of Borderlands 2 DLC. Headhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of the Crawmerax is available now via Steam, PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace for $2.99.

The content sends players to Wam Bam Island to partake in the largest Headhunter DLC mission released, according to a 2K blog post. "At the end of your adventure, you will battle a foe that may look familiar – Crawmerax Jr., the son of the great crab worm from The Secret Armory of General Knoxx add-on from the original Borderlands."

The content now shelves the Borderlands sequel, giving developer Gearbox ample time to focus its efforts on the next installment of the game: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

Successfully completing the Headhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of the Crawmerax DLC (boy, that's a mouthful) will allow players to wear a shrunken version of the final enemy's head like a hat. If swanky travel duds are more of an incentive, each character will net a beach-themed skin as part of the content. Taking on Handsome Jack in an "Aloha shirt"? Say no more.
[Image: Gearbox]

The Blackwell Epiphany demo launches ahead of April 24 release



A demo for The Blackwell Epiphany is available now, just ahead of the independent adventure game's April 24 release date. Developed by Wadjet Eye Games, Epiphany is the fifth and final game in the Blackwell series, which first began in 2006.

As a guest on a special PAX East edition of the Super Joystiq Podcast, Wadjet Eye's Dave Gilbert discussed the upcoming game, remaining independent since his development career began and the engine that powers his studio's projects. Wadjet Eye is also well known for the adventure titles Gemini Rue and Resonance.

At launch, The Blackwell Epiphany will be available for $14.99 via the developer's site, GOG.com, Steam and other online distributors. Pre-ordering the title from Wadjet Eye's website includes a DRM-free copy of the game, redeemable Steam key, soundtrack and exclusive behind-the-scenes development videos.
[Image: Wadjet Eye Games]

You can now buy Nuclear Throne straight from Twitch

Developer Vlambeer is offering the option to purchase its latest game, Nuclear Throne, through Twitch, a first for the video game broadcast company.

Purchasing Nuclear Throne through Twitch gives players access to the game via Steam Early Access, specialty Vlambeer emoticons, and a subscription to the official Vlambeer Twitch.tv channel, which offers exclusive streams and subscriber-only chat throughout the week.

"If you're interested in learning about game development, this is where you should buy the game. 60 percent of revenue goes to us," Vlambeer's website says.

Gamasutra points out that the revenue split through Steam is 70 percent to developers, while 90 percent of revenue goes to game makers when titles are purchased via GOG.com.

Vlambeer continues to evolve its latest release. During PAX East the developer added a two-player co-op mode, which co-founder Rami Ismail said was "so crazy and insane that we're not so sure it's a good idea to have four." The crazier, the better!

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn surpasses 2 million registrations

This week's PS4 launch of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn helped the MMO pass the 2 million mark for registered accounts. Square Enix didn't reveal any hard figures for how many players are exploring Eorzea on PS4, but we know six months ago the number of registered accounts was at 1.5 million. Meanwhile, a trailer from February proclaimed the second-iteration MMO had "over 1.8 million adventurers."

It's worth noting registrations do not equate to active subscribers, although the base game does require a purchase. According to a translated 4Gamer interview with Director Naoki Yoshida, in March around 500,000 people were logging into A Realm Reborn each day.

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Games so bad they're good: Far Cry 2

I was invited to be on the "Games So Bad They're Good" panel at PAX East, but a scheduling conflict prevented me from taking part. Fortunately, my Editor in Chief, Ludwig Kietzmann, was ready and willing to take my place. His selection, Far Cry 2, took more than a few people by surprise - the reaction on Twitter went something like "Are you crazy? Far Cry 2 is awesommmmeeeeee!" His reasoning was ... unusual, to say the least, so we're reprinting his argument. These are the notes he used for his presentation, exactly as he used them, thus the atypical format.

For the record, my choice was going to be Phantasy Star Online. I think Luddy won this one.
--Susan

I tried to be considerate about this, and cognizant of why bad qualities can lead to pleasure.

The thing about bad movies like Plan 9 is that you're looking at an event so awkward and terrible for the people involved that you want to instinctually stop them and protect them, but you can't because it's already committed to film.

It's too late to stop the tragedy, so now you are allowed to enjoy it.

In a game, if your actions don't align with your expectations or what the game is about, it's frustrating.

Most games are good despite their bad qualities, like story and controls, and not because of them.

At first I thought: Okay, what about games that give the player all the power and then back away?

Is that bad game design? Is God of War so bad, because they let you rip out a monster's medulla oblongata and then bash their head in with it and then you're like, "This violence is a bit mindless isn't it?"

Or, what about games that overcomplicate and abstract simple, physical actions, like QWOP, Surgeon Simulator and Octodad?

Then I had an epiphany, I yelled, "Eureka! "and someone said, "Shh, this is a library, keep your revelations to yourself."

I'm going with Far Cry 2, and here's why.

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Twitch funds chat-driven game Choice Chamber


Twitch matched funds pledged to Studio Bean's chat-driven Kickstarter project, Choice Chamber. The developer's crowdfunding campaign ends Sunday evening and raised nearly half of its $30,000 goal, and Twitch's contributions put it near the finish line. According to the project's reward tiers, the game is expected to launch in December.

Following up the success of Twitch Plays Pokemon, Choice Chamber is a PC and Mac game that is designed to be played while streaming live on Twitch. Described as a "real-time, crowdsourced, procedurally generated game," it allows stream viewers to use Twitch's chat functionality to either aid or hinder the progress of the game's primary player by voting on game-changing polls.

The player, who can choose to go the single-player-only route with offline mode, navigates an "endless series of dangerous chambers" while wielding a variety of weaponry with which to defeat enemies. In the prototype version of Choice Chamber, viewers vote on said weapons in addition to powerups, abilities and special maneuvers, though Studio Bean plans to add many more modifiable elements.
[Image: Studio Bean]

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Trials Fusion review: Lean to live


We've all had our secret victories in the war against wobble: freely standing in the shower on one foot while washing the other, or rejecting the easy-mode handrails of a jostling train. Trials Fusion is about those quick, instinctual corrections you make – or fail to make – when there's a bump in the road.

Balance is divine in Trials Fusion, and mastering it makes you a god on a motorcycle. But that's jumping ahead to the conclusion of the journey; this story of a tenacious man driving with abandon over hills and valleys, trying not to fall his little face off.

There's a lot to think about as you constantly fiddle with your speed and your driver's posture in a world of steep angles and dangerous pits, and yet it feels thoughtless in the moment. You just know it in your gut: You need to lean forward to keep the bike on this incline. Almost there, almost - oh that's too much acceleration, you're lifting up front. You can get out of this, you can bring it back, just wiggle a bit and – nope. You've gone and done the banana peel again. Now your bike is upside down and crushing your bones.

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Wasteland 2 beta update fleshes out Arizona

While "less than half" of Wasteland 2 is currently available in beta via Steam Early Access, an update coming next week will add another major area. After the update, Wasteland 2's beta will feature "most of the Arizona portion of the game."

According to "beta testing metrics and feedback," InXile estimates Wasteland 2 will take about 50 hours to complete for a regular playthough.

Developer InXile Entertainment is also teasing the location for the second portion of the game, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles (also known to residents simply as Los Angeles). The Los Angeles areas in Wasteland 2, teased above, will feature "the ruins of familiar landmarks overgrown with wild plant life, crawling with weird creatures, and dangerous mad cults." So, it's just like the real Los Angeles.

Wasteland 2 is the official sequel to the 1988 classic isometric role-playing game from developer Interplay. Its Kickstarter campaign, which sought a total of $900,000 to bring the series back from the dead, eventually accrued over $2.9 million.
[Images: InXile Entertainment]

MechRunner coming to PS4, Vita, PC, Mac in July

MechRunner, an endless runner/action game featuring mechs and a wonderfully suitable name, is coming to the PS4, Vita, PC and Mac in July, developer Spark Plug Games has announced. To help add additional polish to the game, Spark Plug is turning to Kickstarter with a campaign targeting $25,000. A $10 pledge will net Kickstarter users a copy of the game for either PC/Mac via Steam or a cross-play version for the PS4 and Vita.

"The game is feature complete, fully playable, and in its final stages before we launch in July 2014," the Kickstarter campaign page says, indicating that regardless of the crowdfunding effort's outcome, MechRunner will be released.

MechRunner is a video game adaptation of Jane Austen's seminal work, Pride and Prejudice. Wait, no... the story follows a giant mech that can also turn into a tank with an affinity for destroying just about anything that stands in its way, which sounds more like the story in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

MechRunner is the North Carolina-based developer's second attempt at Kickstarter success. In 2012, the developer canceled a project called Steampunk Bullet Train, which sought the same funding total before the end of its campaign.
[Image: Spark Plug Games]

Reprogram your surroundings in Glitchspace, now on Early Access


First-person puzzler Glitchspace is now available through Steam's Early Access service for PC, Mac and Linux. The alpha version of the game from developer Space Budgie is available for $6.99 on Early Access and $6.49 through the game's official site.

Described as a "first-person programming" game, Glitchspace has players navigating a cyberspace-style world to locate a place that is a "by-product of cyberspace and its various glitches" known, appropriately enough, as Glitchspace. Space Budgie focused on emergent mechanics for the game, as players can identify glitches in the game and "exploit them in various different ways." Objects in the game are both programmable and non-programmable thanks to the "Null" programming system in the game created by the developer. Programmable objects include a "canvas" in which players can add functions to affect them, such as forces to move them, scale them, duplicate them and a myriad of other possibilities.

The game includes a sandbox mode for players to toy around with as well as Oculus Rift support for those that want to immerse themselves in the matrix-like world. Space Budgie expects to launch the full version of Glitchspace in Q2 2014.
[Image: Space Budgie]

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