Category Archives: Gaming

Rock Out with Instant Jam – the flash based Guitar Hero clone!

Remember Frets on Fire the open source Guitar Hero clone? Also, remember InstantAction? The embeddable gaming client? Well, put those two together, and you have Instant Jam! The embeddable and totally awesome rhythm game that lets you play to music from your own library.

Yes, you read that right from your own library. That is epicly awesome, thank you InstantJam.

instantjam

So what is so blatantly awesome about it, apart from it being a Guitar Hero clone lookalike that you can play on your own website? (As long as it supports iFrames, of course)

For starts, it marries social networking with half-decent gaming. (At least much better than Farmville or Mafia Wars). Secondly it allows you to use either your keyboard or a standard guitar controller. Also, it’s something like Grooveshark, with loads of songs being added daily for you to play.

Of course, it’s compatiblewith Facebook:-

Play along with your favorite songs from your own music library for free. Fully integrated with Facebook, Instant Jam combines the very best elements of rhythm gaming with social media: challenge friends, show off achievements, share in-game gifts and more.

Oh, you want to play it? Well, why didn’t you tell me? It’s right here!

19% of Facebook Gamers are Addicted, and other factoids.

Of course, it’s all PC Gaming, at the end of the day, right guys?

Facebook has an abnormally large amount of users playing games. Games such as Farmville or Mafia Wars. The annoyance factor of all these games on other peoples’ walls ranges from terrible to depressing. However, just how many of those daily Facebook loggers play games?

facebook

According to unofficial Facebook fan-site All Facebook, about 50% of Facebook log-ins are specifically for playing games, with over half of Facebook’s users playing these games.

However, out of these 250 million plus users, about 19% say that they are addictedto these games. A very loosely used term, I’m afraid for addiction, as a medical term, is really serious business. It’s exactly the kind of thing that is overused in the media while debasing video games as a whole. However, since it concerns Facebook, I do not mind it all that much.

Nevertheless, the other statistics are most interesting. 56 million people play such games daily which is most of the UK’s population. The average time per month spent playing games is around seven hours! That’s probably a little less than the amount of time I spend playing every week. Considering that Facebook is a social networking site, this is pretty big.

More facts here.

Farmville privacy leak leads to Zynga fighting a lawsuit

Well, everyone demands a catchy headline so don’t complain!

Lots of people play Farmville, constantly bombarding their friends and enemies with a trail of Farmville and Mafia Wars updates such as I just found a pink cow that can ride tricycles!and My pal here is gonna kill your pal there”, problem?. Apparently, they all value their privacy a lot. Turns out that the top ten Facebook apps, six of them from Zynga, transmit referral URLs to third parties. These referral URLs are tiny parts of the URLs that tell the landing page where the link was clicked. Rapleaf (ironically, since it is also involved as one of the third parties) has a pretty good and detailed blog post about this here.

tom-jefferson-farmville

So, some Facebook user caught wind of this and slapped a class action lawsuit on Zynga:-

This appears to be another example of an online company failing the American public with empty promises to respect individual privacy rights. Companies large and small need to learn to follow through on their privacy promises or risk having consumers decide that it is simply not worth it to use their services,” added Kassra Nassiri of Nassiri & Jung LLP, co-lead attorney for the lawsuit.

So, who did not see this one coming?

(Hilariously apt image credit: Joystiq)

Thinking about hacking in Starcraft 2? Think Again. Blizzard files lawsuit against hackers.

You don’t mess with Blizzard. Earlier this month, about five thousand Starcraft 2 cheaters players were handed permanent bans from Battle.net because they were found using hacks to cheat through the game. Battle.net said over 5,000 StarCraft 2 players who were in violation of the Battle.net Terms of Use for cheating and/or using hack programs while playing.WoW-ie (pardon the pun here).

blizzard

Now, Blizzard took it one step further by actually filing a lawsuit against the developers of the hack. Three hackers from the Los Angeles district were accused of copyright infringement:-

Just days after the release of Starcraft II, Defendants already had developed, marketed, and distributed to the public a variety of hacks and cheats designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the Starcraft II online game experience. In fact, on the very day that Starcraft II was released, representatives of the hacks Web site advised members of the public that our staff is already planning new releases for this game’

When users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer’s RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license, as set forth in the EULA and ToU, and create derivative works of StarCraft II

Not only is Blizzard accusing them of infringement, it’s also demanding payment for damages caused. Ouch, hackers.

Steam grows beyond 30 million accounts.

Valve’s digital distribution service Steam has always been at the forefront of video games and digital distribution. Their store stocks the best in AAA games as well as indie surprises with a a discount sale almost every week. In the eight years that it has been operational, Steam has seen phenomenal growth especially in recent times, due partly to the addition of Mac OSX as a platform for many games.

steamlogo

Said Gabe Newell, president of Valve:

Steam is on track to record the biggest year in its six year history. The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment

To meet the demand of sales, which grew by about 200%, Steam upgraded its infrastructure thoroughly-

Steam sales during the trailing 12 months increased by more than 200%, putting it on track for a sixth straight year of realizing over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales. To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400Gps, enough bandwidth to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.

That is great work, Valve. Kudos!

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.

gogjagged

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!

Free Game – Secret Maryo Chronicles

Are you an old time gamer like me? I still remember playing the old platform games on Nintendo and Super Nintendo systems. I still like playing them now and then. However, I don’t need to get my old system out of the garage to play them. There are plenty of free games that look and feel just like the old ones.

One of my recent downloads is Secret Maryo Chronicles. As the name suggests, it’s very similar to the Super Mario games. I found the game at Penguspy, which is a good place to find great games for Linux, as well as Windows systems.

One good point in the game is that it’s available for Windows and Linux both. Now I’ve got something fun to do in Ubuntu 10.10.

Here’s a screenshot of the game.

super-maryo-chronicles

I won’t go into details about how to play the game. You can figure out most of it by watching the video.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Secret Maryo Chronicles

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This game is perfect for old timers who miss Mario. It’s also a great game for younger people. Since it’s free, and available for Windows and Linux, I have no problem recommending it.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

With Penguspy, Finding Good Linux Games Is Easier Than Ever

greenshot_2010-10-17_01-54-17

While many claim that gaming on Linux is like playing football in mangroves, the gaming scene for Linux has been changing, the past few years, mostly for good. While many popular games are not available for Linux and GNU based systems, many other open source, free or linux-only games have come up.  So if you’re the gamer guy, it makes sense to keep a tab on a few gaming sites catering to linux exclusively, like Penguspu.

Penguspy is like a gallery of linux games. It has a collection of both free and commercial games which can be easily browsed by category, ratings, views or simply alphabetically.

The website covers various genres like action, arcade, strategy, shooters, sports, FPS, RPGs and MMORPGs. Each game has a page where you can find its rating, description, related video or trailer, a link to it’s homepage from where you can download or buy it, a list of similar games and a comments area.

So if you use Linux and would like to try out some new games, go check out Penguspy

[via DownloadSquad and webupd8]

Medal of Honor Limited Edition on Sale Now

Electronics Arts demoed the new version of Medal of Honor 2010 in December 2009, with the Beta client made available in June 2010. If you are a fan, the game is now on sale in various stores.

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor Limited Edition is now on sale for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows based PCs. Users can buy the limited edition of Medal of Honor for $59.99 on Amazon and other retailers. Click on the links below to make the purchase.

You can also preview the game and watch video trailers at the official site http://www.medalofhonor.com/.

Buy/Pre-Order Microsoft Kinect For $149

Microsoft will be shipping their gaming accessory called Microsoft Kinect on November 2. Microsoft Kinect is a new XBox add-on which will bring motion sensor gaming to Microsoft’s gaming device.

Microsoft-Kinect

If you are keen to know more about Microsoft Kinect, read our earlier post about What Microsoft Kinect is, Details and more. However, if you have already and are looking to get your hands on the device,   you will have to wait until November 2nd. However, you can start pre-ordering the Kinect bundle for Xbox or also pre-order the Xbox 360 with Kinect bundle.

Amazon is selling both the standalone Kinect bundle and Xbox 360 with Kinect bundle on their site, you can use the links below to pre-order your choice of Microsoft Kinect.

Amazon is also selling several Kinect Games which are available for pre-orders on the site. You can also purchase or pre-order Microsoft Kinect from the Microsoft Store by visiting store.microsoft.com.

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.

PST

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.

gog

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.

gog

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.

BGoG

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

Good Old Games [GOG.com] Shuts Down ? Or Was It Taken Down ?

Gamers have often showered love upon Good Old Games (Gog.com) – for a very good reason. Gog.com is a online computer games sales & distribution service – just like Steam but with a twist – Gog.com specializes in selling some of the classic games of yesteryear at pretty low prices. The icing on the cake was that all the games you purchased were DRM free, with no clumsy authentication clients and what not.

I got a bit of a shock today when Keenan Weaver tweeted about this – and this is what we are shown when you visit gog.com

Truly, a sad day for gamers.

Download FIFA 11 Demo for PC

EA has come out with FIFA 11, the next version of the most popular football/soccer game available out there. The 1.2GB demo download is now officially available at the EA website.

FIFA 11 Demo

FIFA 11 has several new features including new personalization options for players and goalkeepers. In addition to that you can also customize the audience chanting and more. FIFA 11 has over 500 teams and 15,000 players.

FIFA 11 also bring in 360 ° dribble which provides users with more delicate dribbling control. You can watch the  demo video of the FIFA 2011 game from EA below. From the looks of it, it is pretty awesome.

Oh yes, if you loved the video, head over to this site to download the FIFA 11 demo for PC.

(h/t @weemundo)