Starting today, the downloadable PC version of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available for $7.49. The digital Game of the Year editions of series predecessors Morrowind and Oblivion are currently $4.99 each, and id's Doom 3: BFG Edition is available for the same price.
On December 14, digital PC copies of Arkane Studios' Dishonored will be reduced to $7.49. Other featured PC deals include Fallout: New Vegas for $4.99, Rage for $9.99, and Fallout 3 for $4.99.
This is where Minicore Studios begins The Sun at Night – by imagining a scenario where Laika doesn't die. Instead, she returns to Earth with robotic enhancements – including speech – and joins the fight against Soviet forces, which have conquered the world using a mysterious energy source.
Some people don't like this premise. They're not upset about seeing an animal harmed in a digital world, they don't mind that the true story behind the game is kind of upsetting, and they're fine with the suspension of disbelief required to play as a talking robotic animal who crash-lands on Earth. They don't like how Soviets are portrayed in The Sun at Night – and they want Minicore to know.
Of all the comments that Minicore receives on The Sun at Night's websites and email, 5 - 8 percent are from upset Russian nationals, non-Russian Communists or Neo-Stalinists who believe the game paints Soviets in an unjust light, studio founder John Warren tells me.
"[They've] decided, after being given very little information about the game's premise, that it's a very pro-USA, anti-communism kind of narrative – which it really isn't," Warren says. "I mean, the Western countries like Britain and the US don't even really factor into the narrative at all. The game itself isn't really an indictment of any one political ideology or anything like that. At the end of the day, it's still a sci-fi platformer about a robot space dog."
Amplitude Studios launched its dungeon defense game Dungeon of the Endless on Steam today. The alpha version of the game is available through Steam Early Access through two packs, both currently 25 percent off. The base-level Pixel Pack version is currently $9.74, whereas the Founder Pack is $14.99 and grants players access to additional ships, heroes and 50 percent off coupons for Endless Space and its Disharmony expansion.
Dungeon of the Endless, billed as a roguelike dungeon defense game, is set in the Endless Space universe and has players opening doors, gathering goods and decimating enemies before their equipment is destroyed. Amplitude Studios divulged the game's inception, which occurred during a late-night, drunken brain-storming session, at Gamescom.
Saints Row 4's final DLC mission pack, "How the Saints Save Christmas," is available for download now on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
The DLC includes three new story quests, a Christmas dubstep gun, a Red Rider BB gun (you'll poke your eye out) and some vehicles: the Flying Reindeer and Santa's Sleigh. In the story missions, the Saints aim to help Santa Claus, who has become trapped in The Matrix-like simulation that is the setting for the main campaign.
Owners of the Saints Row 4 Season Pass can snag "How the Saints Save Christmas" as part of that investment. Everyone else can grab the DLC pack for $7.
While Obsidian offers no explanation for the new name, nor how these pillars grew to such a ripe old age, it has issued the above trailer. It describes the clip as a teaser, and while technically that might be true, there's far more footage of actual in-game content here than we normally see. Combat, spellcasting, biologically improbable huge spiders; it's all here, and the game's aesthetics look like a modern take on the Western roleplaying games of the late 1990s, typified by such classics as Baldur's Gate 2. Obviously that's by design as Obsidian's website is currently running a poll asking fans which late-90s RPG they'd most like Pillars of Eternity to resemble.
Additionally, if you happen to have put down some cash to fund Pillars of Eternity, you can now pay a visit to the game's backer's portal. This allows you to make further donations to the project, earmark your donations for specific purposes and select which backers' rewards you'd like to receive in exchange for your optimistic contribution.
Though Daily Royale only sells digital games, it does so using redeemable codes, and the site usually only has a limited number of codes to work with. The inaugural offering from the service is space shooter Strike Suit Zero at $5 (instead of its normal $20 price point), and with just under 67 hours left, Daily Royale has 942 codes remaining. Expect those to go quickly once word spreads of this site.
Despite its name, Daily Royale plans to offer two new sales a week initially, with more frequent sales appearing once the site has established itself. If you'd like to make sure you're up to date on what Daily Royale has on offer, signing up for the site's newsletter is the fastest way to get updates on new sales. For those of you unwilling to leave the warm, soothing cocoon of social media however, there are also Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep tabs on.
Non-profit computer science advocacy group CODE.org promotes its ongoing "Hour of Code" campaign by giving students an audience with Gabe Newell, managing director of Half-Life creator Valve Corporation. The full half-hour talk is archived for public viewing in the video above.
"Hour of Code" challenges students to spend an hour learning the basics of software coding, with CODE.org offering several online tutorials helping to jumpstart a career in the field of computer science. Over three million students have completed the organization's "Write your own computer program" tutorial, which is available in 20 languages and features characters from Rovio's Angry Birds and PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies throughout its lessons teaching the fundamentals of coding.
Electronic Arts announced this week that elementary and middle school students who complete CODE.org's 20-hour training course are eligible to receive a free PC game via Origin. Available games include Bejeweled 3, FIFA Soccer 13, SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition and Plants vs. Zombies.
The Elder Scrolls Online officially unravels onto Windows PC and Mac on April 4, before scrolling to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sometime in June. The launch date represents the culmination of some six to seven years of development by Zenimax Online Studios, and the beginning of the first MMO in the nearly 20-years-old RPG franchise. As momentous as that all is, it's sadly 10 years too late for the even neater 4.4.4 - it's a bit on the impossible side to have 14.14.14, but there we are.
Bethesda didn't accompany today's announcement with any further details on pricing. The publisher is shirking the growing trend of free-to-play MMOs by opting for the more traditional subscription model, with the monthly fee set to be $15 (€13/£9). TESO will come with 30 days of free play, but the price of the game itself has yet to be disclosed.
In the "Hit List" from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the video game industry's top talents describe their current gaming addictions, their most anticipated releases and more. This week: Steve Gaynor, co-founder of 'Gone Home' developer The Fullbright Company.Gone Home. Prior to this, he worked for a number of years as a designer on the BioShock franchise.
At the 2014 DICE Summit, Steve will deliver a talk entitled Strangers in a Strange Time:
"We live in a strange time. Is it a golden age, or a gold rush? The landscape is changing – because we're at the crest of the wave of first-generation indie success, and the indies that made those breakthrough games are now about to release their second titles. What does this mean for new indies now entering the field – and for the rest of the games industry?"
Those that pick up the Indie Capsule Bundle will receive Steam keys for the following seven games: side-scrolling adventure/shooter Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, creepy horror game Slender: The Arrival, Blood of the Werewolf, And Yet It Moves, Snuggle Truck, Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time and Plain Sight. Three of the seven games, And Yet It Moves, Doc Clock and Snuggle Truck, are Mac compatible. The savings amount to $55, or 93 percent off the combined retail price of each game.
Bundle Stars has a few other money-saving packages that are ending sooner, such as the Plains, Trains and Automobiles Bundle and the Outer Limits Bundle for $4.01 each, as well as the Ultimate Sci-Fi Bundle and the FPS Warriors Bundle for $3.50 each.
All games come with Steam keys. The Humble Jumbo Bundle has already raised more than $2 million benefiting a mix of the developers, Humble itself and two charities, Child's Play and Watsi. The sale is on through December 17.
Those who spend nothing will receive two new multiplayer maps, "Hill 331" and "Don River," alongside an unspecified list of "several improvements to the game." Further, the update also adds Steam Workshop integration to the recently-launched Company of Heroes 2 World Builder construction suite.
As always in life, those who spend a bit of cash will be receiving more stuff. This "Two Fronts" DLC promotion includes all of the above content, as well the "Southern Fronts" Theater of War pack, which you can see in the above trailer.
The Southern Fronts pack adds 10 new scenarios to the game that drop players into the boots of either German or Soviet soldiers as they slowly grind toward victory through a number of battles that feature new tweaks to the Company of Heroes 2 formula. For example, deep mud may inhibit vehicle movement in these maps while also exposing their soft flanks to explosives. The Southern Fronts DLC will set you back $5.
Owners of the original Company of Heroes aren't left out of today's announcement. According to Sega, the original tactical strategy game will be adding improved "Steam functionality, such as secure leaderboards, battle and arbitration servers." This update, like the first we mentioned, is utterly free, and should be downloaded automatically the next time you fire up Company of Heroes.
In an excerpt of the English translation of Daniel Goldberg's Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus 'Notch' Persson and the Game that Changed Everything, posted by AllThingsD, Notch explains that at the time Valve was either interested in buying Minecraft or offering Notch a job. It ended up being the latter.
Notch visited Valve that September, took part in a programming exercise and even met Gabe Newell before being officially offered a job, which he ended up turning down. Despite being a dream offer for Notch, he was much more interested in starting his own company than working for Valve. Soon after, Mojang – which he co-founded with Jakob Porser – was formed. "Somehow, I felt that Minecraft was maybe my chance to create a Valve, rather than work at Valve."
You can pick up Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus 'Notch' Persson and the Game that Changed Everything on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
In The Novelist, you play a ghost inhabiting the summer home of the Kaplan family. You must watch them, learn about them and make decisions ultimately affecting their relationships with one another. Every choice has a cost and "there are no easy answers," the game's description reads.
The Novelist, which is compatible with both PC and Mac, supports Steam Play – so if you pick it up for one platform, you own it on both.
In a bid to prove that it's not just a one-hit wonder, King announced that it will bring its Facebook hit Farm Heroes Saga to iOS and Android devices in 2014. Boasting match-three gameplay in the same vein as King's Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga will sync save data with Facebook, allowing players to resume their progress and unlock new levels on any supported platform.
Rival social game publisher Zynga began public trading on Nasdaq in 2011, but faltered when it failed to follow up on the success of its Farmville games. Rovio faced similar concerns with its Angry Birds series, announcing recently that it has no plans for an initial public offering.
Teknopants' stylish Bushido brawler, Samurai Gunn, has launched on Steam and through the developer's website today. You can grab it for $12 up until December 17, at which point it'll revert to its full price of $15.
Samurai Gunn is a 2D deathmatch-style game for two to four players. Each samurai, armed with a blade and gun, must duel to the death because that's just how samurais solve disputes. The game is characterized by its quick-paced combat and pronounced retro art style.
Samurai Gunn was an IGF 2013 stand-out and was also a featured game in the EVO 2013 Indie Showcase. PS4 and PS Vita versions are due sometime next year.
Hack 'N' Slash started out as an idea during Amnesia Fortnight, Double Fine's internal game jam, and was then chosen by the public to become a fully-realized game. It stars a young elf who uses her hacking skills to cheat at an action/adventure game. We're also told there are algorithms, which we hope is shorthand for dancing alligators.
Funding for Hack 'n' Slash was achieved through a joint effort between Double Fine, Indie Fund, Humble Bundle, Hemisphere Games, make all, AppAbove Games, Adam Saltsman, The Behemoth, Morgan Webb, and Rob Reid. It's part of a two-game financing deal that also includes Spacebase DF-9, Double Fine's Early Access space station management sim.
Among the other fixes introduced in this week's patch is the issue of grenades bouncing back from containers with open doors. Additionally, DICE fixed a bug that awarded teams a win in a round of Defuse mode by killing every attacker without disarming the bomb, providing it was disarmed in the previous round. The developer issued patches for Battlefield 4's PS4 and PS3 versions last week following EA's statement of commitment to fixing the game's numerous issues. DICE already patched up a one-hit-kill glitch in the game on both PS4 and PC.
Update: Additionally, DICE rolled out a Battlefield 4 issues tracker thread in its official forums. The forum post includes a rather large list of problems in the game, the platforms each issue affects and their statuses. The status sections include three levels: "investigating," "fixing" and "fix live." The developer noted that the issue tracker is not a comprehensive list of problems in the game, and that while it has always maintained such a tracker behind the scenes in its projects, this is the first time it opted to make it public.
In All That Remains, the first episode of season two, protecting Clementine is still important, but there's a twist: She's the main, playable protagonist. Her life is at the mercy of your fingertips. All That Remains director Dennis Lenart tells Joystiq that this is a unique, emotionally charged position for players.
"We're all coming in still being really protective of her, and now that the controller is in your hands, there's a weird thing where half of you is playing as her, and then half of you is also still kind of protective of her. It's a really interesting thing. It's so hard usually to get people to really care about the characters they're controlling, as far as getting them injured or killed, because you can just go to the restart screen. So far it's been really cool – people feel that she's in genuine danger and feel very protective over her. It's still kind of a similar thing [to season one], except now the controller is directly in your hands, protecting her," he says.
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