All posts by Kaushik

A mobile technology lover and a Strategy and RPG-game fanatic. I also enjoy astronomy and programming. I am a biotechnology engineer learning through this fascinating subject while poring over computer science. Hit me up on Twitter for more

GOG beta users will get a free game just for being with the site!

So, you’re still sore about that little fun that the people over at GOG.com had at the expense of the thousands of DRM-free gaming fans? Well, fear not, because the administrators of GOGaland have decided to give away a free game to all users who had registered before 20th September, 2010 the day the old GOG shut down to reveal the new beta-less GOG. Yes, Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games is what you, loyal GOG user, will get over the next few days.

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According to the site:

The buzz around GOG’s closure and re-opening has slowly fade away and we wanted to sum up the beta stage with a special gift for all those who have been with us during that period. Two years ago we began our revival of all-time PC-gaming classics for all you fans of good old games. Through ups and downs we’ve received a lot of support from the best community we could ever imagine (that’s you!) and we want to thank everyone who’s been with us through our beta stage with a special gift.

So, they have chosen what is widely regarded as a tactical masterpiece for their giveaway! Already bought Deadly Games? Fear not, they do have an alternative gift cooking hot for you!

Wacky Twitter Video of Will.I.Am’s Song is Awesome

If you knew about Whirled Creative you wouldn’t be sitting here, reading blogs. You’d be out there with the cool folks, mashing art with technology and putting the rad in non-traditional. They created the Google Instants music video, and now they have made a video about #newtwitter. How cool is this video? Well, the folks at Whirled Creative have taken Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am and Nicki Minaj’s pop-rap song Check It Out and given it the #newtwitter twist.

The song starts with the group logging inas Will.I.Am (@iamwill), and works around as he tweets and clicks around #newtwitter.

With the song lyrics appearing in hashtags, searches @replies and inside maps, the video itself is an absolute must for anyone who feels like watching the super-rad mashup of current gen songs and current gen web technology.

It will, however, be very confusing for the old twitter user. It will also irritate users who have been wishing for a taste of #newtwitter for a long long time now. Why? Because the moment Will.I.Am asks for a redesign, he instantly gets the preview bar at the top of his bar. Guess the celebs get their wishes fulfilled everywhere, eh?

Check out the video here (Mild NSFW warning for language):-

Sony Ericsson Unveils LiveView™ for Android Phones

So which one of you saw the strikingly built-for-a-watch-strap iPod nano and exclaimed I WANT!before realizing that it’s not all that great an accessory in real life? How about something similar that is actually a great accessory and works with your Android phone?

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Enter Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ a Bluetooth enabled 128×128 OLED mini-display that does a host of things such as announcing the number of unread messages, RSS items and other such notification while managing to look sleek and tidy. It also has four touch-enabled areas:-

The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ uses Bluetoothâ„¢ connectivity to wirelessly pair up to a compatible handset. The LiveViewâ„¢ features a 128×128 pixel, 1.3 inch organic LED (OLED) display with four touch areas. LiveViewâ„¢ also has two additional keys for on/off and select. By default, it can function as a remote control for the music player, display messages and feeds from the phone and social networking services, and also display call information and calendar reminders

The size of the Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ is 3.5 cm x 3.5cm x 1.1 cm, and the battery will last up to four days during normal usage. The LiveViewâ„¢ will work with most phones running Androidâ„¢ 2.0 and above. A list of compatible phones will later be available on www.sonyericsson.com/liveview.   LiveViewâ„¢ is compatible with Bluetoothâ„¢ 2.1 technology. The Sony Ericsson LiveViewâ„¢ will be available in selected markets from Q4, 2010.

Made specifically for Android phones, Sony Ericsson will also release the SDK to make the device work with many applications that can be accessed by any phone running Android 2.0 or up.

Considering that the XPERIA Android line of SE phones are to update to 2.1 in October, it is safe to assume that the device will be released after October, perhaps in the Christmas season. Keep a look out!

Planescape: Torment Arrives on GOG.com

It is the second most wanted game on GOG.com. For me, it has always been the first. To relive such an experience with its haunting dialogues, beautiful music and an epic storyline set in one of those little-used campaign settings of Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, the beautiful and epic Planescape: Torment is on our favorite DRM-free digital distribution center, GOG.com.

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As GOG itself puts up, what is exactly so awesome about this game?

  • An enthralling story, considered by many to be the best one ever told in a cRPG!
  • Professional voice acting, superb music, complex and gripping dialogue that covers over 5000 pages.
  • Travel through the planes of the enormous and bizarre Planescape universe.

Greatest story ever told in a cRPG? Yes, yes and an emphatic YES! Being one of those games I grew up with, Planescape: Torment reinforced my love for good ol’ Dungeons and Dragons gaming that was first introduced to me by Baldur’s Gate. Considering that this game was one of the few things missing in my collection of RPGs that enthralled me so much that I decided to go and buy an original copy (when I was a little kid, not now), this just completes an entire cycle.

However, since I had forgotten much of the original story (ironically) it’s great to see it up for download on GOG along with an assortment of downloadable stuff available after buying the game. For $9.99 this game is a definite buy.

GOG.com Re-Launches with Hasbro in Tow.

Before you ask yes GOG.com’s apparent shutdown was a joke/PR stunt. They’re jerks, but they apologized well in robes, so we forgive them. End of discussion. They got what was due in the online press conference that they arranged and everyone eventually agreed that although it was a very stupid thing to do, we all love GOG.com too much to stay away from them.

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Now, onto fairly better news GOG.com is re-launching. They are finally out of their beta stage and have quite a few publishers signed up for the no-DRM, no-client digital distributor. The service has quite a few changes afoot with one of the greatest RPG games coming up on the site. As the PR email sent to gaming writers spoke:-

it’s [GOG.com] coming back even better and stronger than ever with great new features and huge new releases.

We know some of you might felt deceived by us playing jerks and the whole action and we sincerely apologize for this, as that was not our intention. Hopefully the new GOG.com and the upcoming releases from Hasbro will make it up for you. Yes, you read that well, we have Hasbro on board and our first release is Baldur’s Gate: The Original Saga with Tales of the Sword Coast expansion for only $9.99, DRM-free and with lots of free goodies.

The site currently hosts a countdown to the reopening which is scheduled to be at 5:30PM IST. Until then they have quite a few teaser videos on store along with a hilariously robed apology video:-

Update on the GOG.com Situation

Well, it seems that our initial reactions (as well as most of the internets’) regarding GOG.com’s sad demisewere greatly exaggerated. Apparently, GOG.com isn’t completely dead. It’s just taking a new avatar and (hopefully, hopefully) still retaining its DRM-free nature.

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Directly from their wall-of-text landing page:-

UPDATE 21.09.2010
We confirm that the official statement from GOG.com’s management concerning the ongoing events will take place on Wednesday at 12 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. CET)
Thanks for being with us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDRvuKjissQ


UPDATE 20.09.2010
First of all, we apologize everyone for the whole situation and closing GOG.com. We do understand the timing for taking down the site caused confusion and many users didn’t manage to download all their games. Unfortunately we had to close the service due to business and technical reasons.
At the same time we guarantee that every user who bought any game on GOG.com will be able to download all their games with bonus materials, DRM-free and as many times as they need starting this Thursday.
The official statement from GOG.com’s management concerning the ongoing events is planned on Wednesday. If you want to receive further information about GOG.com, please send an email to [email protected] if you’re a media representative or to [email protected] if you’re a user without a GOG account.

If you have a GOG.com account you’ll be informed about all the news concerning GOG.com.

Watch that teaser of the new GOG.com and then view this thread for clarifications. Apparently lots of new things are in store.

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If you guys at CD Projekt are reading this: thanks for screwing with us. Can we get back GOG.com now?

Steam Wallet is Out on Public Beta

I can totally see one fine day when this happens:-

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings releases on Steam for a blowout pre-order price an offer that lasts just one day. I do not have any money on my PayPal account or on my debit card, and I desperately want that game yes more than food or the other bare necessities (I’m a fanatic gamer, you know?). So, do I run around begging people for money for a game (instead of for sustenance) or do I invoke the power of the almighty god [insert supremely powerful Entity name here] and somehow put in money into my bank account? Neither! Being a well prepared gamer, I put in money on Steam’s Wallet (around $50 should cover it, am I right?) and merrily click on the Buybutton and all is well.

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Steam Wallet? Yes pre-paid wallets like what they get on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. Instead of using your credit/debit card, you put in some currency to Steam’s Wallet and let it ferment there (without interest, of course) until your favorite game is released. It can also be made into a gift cardfor those of us who are not old enough to pay for themselves. Let the flame barrage begin!

steam wallet

You can either add funds via the web link or directly from your Steam client. While you’re at it, could you send some funds along my way? I just opened my Steam wallet and a couple of moths flew away from it…

LOTRO Joining the Free-to-Play Horde

The moment there is a Lord of the Rings in the title, you know that the word hordehas to be around here somewhere, don’t you? Joining its predecessor MMO’s footsteps, Turbine Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings Online has decided to go the free to play way.

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This means, like Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, you can play the Tolkien-based online game for free. All you need is a free account at official site then you can download the official client and start questing around and about Middle Earth!

Featuring an epic storyline and gorgeous landscapes that any self-respecting Tolkien fan would keenly compare with the original map of Middle Earth, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) also features a unique PvP (Player vs. Player) design called Player vs. Monster Player in which players control Orcs and Uruk Hai from the world of Tolkien’s imagination.

Although the main game is free to play, several quest packs and other premium content can be purchased for a fee. Players also have the option to opt-in for a paid VIP membership that unlocks all the paid content for the duration of the membership.

So, gamers, do you think this is a successful business model?

Hack is Wack, y’all! Snoop Dogg + Symantec = Rap Contest On Anti-Cybercrime

Fo’ shizzle under my nizzle, yo yo! Alright, alright my rapping skills are subpar in that I believe even Shakespeare with his iambic pentameter can give me a run for his money with rapping skills. But this is not about my rapping skills it’s about yours dear wannabe rapper! (Not you, Hopesh)

Snoop Dogg, the West Coast hip hop MC and protégé of Dr. Dre has teamed up with security software specialists Norton (Symantec corporation) to announce Hack is Wack! a rap video contest where users can upload their best 2 minute rap video against cybercrime. Winners get to meet SNOOP DOGG’S MANAGEMENT TEAM Y’ALL! (Also probably a Toshiba laptop).

Fo’ real mah homies!!

snoopsecuritydogg

No, really. The internet is filled with lame attempts to capture the essence of rap in a nerdy blogpost, so you can’t really blame me for trying (and failing).

According to the SecurityWeek, the contest which runs till the 30th of this month will be quite a ball:-

“If you have the skills and bust out the phattest rap, you’ll receive round-trip airfare for two to Los Angeles along with two days and two nights hotel stay to meet with Snoop’s management and learn more about his business. You’ll also get two tickets to a Snoop Dogg concert and a new laptop pimped out with Norton Internet Security 2011.”

So… get started right away with this friendly wikihow page that tells you how to write a rap song, promote yourself, develop your own style, and more.

Portal 2 Co-op Screenies!

Do you have a thing for robots? Specifically robot cuddling? No? Well, Valve does (click for more screenshots!). After releasing quite a few Portal 2 videos Valve has decided to tease gamers a bit more by releasing screenshots of the upcoming game’s cooperative gameplay-ish-ness.

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While the original Portal was, simply put, a puzzle first person platformer, Portal 2 wishes to ante up the awesomeness bar as a sequel by introducing more psuedo-physics-based gadgetry and newer gaming modes to keep interest levels high. Cooperative play was a much desired addition to the Portal series and Valve has showered their fans with this goodie-goodie multiplayer mode to their much touted sequel.

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The robots in question are the Personality Core endowing robot along with a Sentry Gun robot (or so it seems) and each carries one half of the Portal gun. Players take control of either one of the robots while their pal controls the other and they have to work together to leave the room. I can already see myself dying over and over and over at the hands of my co-op partner. Sigh.

So, what do you think, gamers? Will Portal 2′s cooperative multiplayer increase the longevity of the game, or will it just bring down the sequel entirely?