You must have heard all about this on the inter-tubes, or at least here on Techie Buzz. Notch (aka Markus Persson, the developer of Minecraft) tweeted to Tim Shafer saying that he was interested in making Psychonauts 2 happen and seeing this, the internet pretty much exploded. Everyone wanted to see the indie darling dev send some of that ginormous bank balance to DoubleFine Studios and make one of the most beloved yet commercially a failure of a game be revived with a sequel.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet tw-align-center”><p>@<a href=”https://twitter.com/TimOfLegend”>TimOfLegend</a> Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen.</p>— Markus Persson (@notch) <a href=”https://twitter.com/notch/status/166838426207924224″ data-datetime=”2012-02-07T10:59:15+00:00″>February 7, 2012</a></blockquote>
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So in an interview, Double Fine lead Tim Schafer mentioned that they wanted to make Psychonauts 2 happen, but that nobody had been willing to fund it so far. Being a big fan of the first one, and thinking a sequel could probably be profitable, I semi-jokingly tweeted Tim about me funding a sequel.
Now Notch has put up a blog post where he explains that at this time it is all conjecture, and that he would be willing to invest in this only because he feels this would be profitable – not as gaming charity or anything of that sort:-
All I know is that IF the numbers work out and IF they still want to do it and IF they don’t decide to self fund a sequel by doing more crowd funding (which is honestly what I would’ve done if I were them), I would be most interested in doing this type of investment.
This is a sort of preemptive blog post in case stuff does not go as planned. We all know how crazy some kinds of fans get, do we not?
However, I really hope it does work out!
Electronic Arts, the publisher of the upcoming Bioware game Mass Effect 3, has decided that for its hype machine the sky is not the limit. To increase publicity and to let more people know that this is a sci-fi game set in space, EA will be attaching copies of the game on to weather balloons and sending it high into the stratosphere. They will also be attaching a GPS tracking system inside the weather-proof (hehe) package and will be putting up live coordinates of each package as it descends slowly back to terra firma. If you are in and around the area, you can get to the cache and take your free copy of Mass Effect 3 back home with you!
That’s right, this is also one of the novel ways of tying up the sport of geocaching, publicity stunts and space battles (well not exactly, but it sure is getting there). I honestly think they are wasting money here, but hey I would not mind it if one of those balloons somehow manages to ride an air current and comes to Eastern India and falls squarely on my lap while I am busy reminiscing about Miranda [or Liara, or Samara].
Mass Effect 3 is scheduled for a March 6 release in North America and a March 9 release in Europe and other countries.
A MMORPG game called Dark Legends is all set to be released for iOS, Android and Google Chrome in 2012 and we have a teaser video trailer of the game for you.
In Dark Legends Players will embrace the secret societies of vampires to challenge the hordes of undead, werewolves, demons and humans that hunt them. Dark Legends opens with the player recently raised and under the direction of the vampire that sired them. The secret existence of vampires has been exposed and angry, misguided humans are uniting to exterminate the undead plague by any means necessary. Players must work with their clan to survive this brutal new world.
I stand weightless at the mouth of Gallows’ Alley. My enemies tremble before me – cornered, clutching their sacred totems, frantic as they load their weapons and stammer their song of hope.
The Thirst rages in my veins… but I remain patient. Eons of training under Sofia and Lord Ulrich keep the bloodlust from consuming me. The Blood is strong. But, in me, the Blood is disciplined. My Blood is a weapon.
The Blood knows when the moment is right. I soar forward, high above the stones. I fly into my enemies’ reach. Defiant. Crimson razor shears in my hands bounce streaks of moonlight onto the stone walls. A shimmer flashes across the Hunters’ faces. They raise their weapons – slowly, like blood crawling through snow.
Dark Legends is set to be released in Q1 of 2012 for iOS, Android and Google Chrome. You can watch the trailer of the Dark Legends game in the embedded video below after the jump.
It seems EA will go to any lengths to make sure that their Origin digital distribution system is widely accepted. Joystiq reported that if you preorder Mass Effect 3 on Origin (that is, only for PC), you will get a free copy of Battlefield 3 right on your Origin game library. Before you pucker up your face and go “ewwwww Orrriiiggiiiiiiiin ewwwwww”, consider this – for the price you get two games – one of which is brand freakin’ new, and the other one which is quite recent.
Origin has been on the receiving end of a lot of bashing from fans of EA games who specifically did not like being forced into yet another digital distribution store. The fact that Origin tracked your computer information, was buggy as hell and that EA had the worst customer support in the entire solar system did not help its case. However, EA’s marketing team is hot in pursuit of its customer’s wallets. They did the same thing with Battlefield 3’s preorder, giving away a copy of Dead Space 2 free with it.
Keep in mind that Mass Effect 3 will need Origin to play even if you buy the box from a brick-and-mortar store. This way, you are not directly contributing to a lot of paper and plastic usage and also get to keep much of your gaming library online. So, will you be preordering Mass Effect 3?
EDIT: This is only for the customers in the USA and Canada. Aw shucks.
It’s been a long wait for Mass Effect fans and the wait is over. At least, for the demo version, that is. BioWare just announced that the demo of Mass Effect 3 is now available for download.
Mass Effect 3 is the final chapter in the Mass Effect series of games which marks Commander Shepard’s fight against against the Reapers. Mass Effect has easily been one of the most anticipated games of the year. Initially slated to be released towards the end of 2011, the game was delayed to “tweak things”.
The demo will feature both single-player and multiplayer options – with some portions of the multiplayer being initially locked.
The single player section features the opening level featuring the Reaper attack on Earth, and a level further into the game where Shepard travels to an alien home world to seek their assistance in the war effort, while the co-op multiplayer section will include 2 maps: Slum and Noveria. This section will be open to players who have qualified for the early multiplayer access as of February 14, and will then open up to all players on February 17.
Demo System Requirements
- OS – Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1, Win 7
- *Supported chipsets: NVIDIA 7900 or better; ATI X1800 or better. Please note that NVIDIA GeForce 9300, 8500, 8400, and 8300 are below minimum system requirements, as are AMD/ATI Radeon HD3200, HD3300, and HD4350. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required.
- CPU – 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)
- RAM – 1GB for XP / 2GB RAM for Vista/Win 7
- Disc Drive – 1x speed
- Hard Drive – 2.5 GB of free space
- Video – 256 MB* (with Pixel Shader 3.0 support)
- Sound – DirectX 9.0c compatible
- DirectX – DirectX 9.0c August 2009 (included)
- OS – Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1, Win 7
- CPU – 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)
- RAM – 2GB for XP / 4GB RAM for Vista/Win 7
- Disc Drive – 1x speed
- Hard Drive – 2.5 GB of free space
- Video – AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB or greater, NVidia GeForce 9800 GT/ GTX 550Ti 512 MB or greater
- Sound – DirectX 9.0c compatible
You can download the demo from this link.
Now while you’re waiting for the demo download to finish, you might want to check out how the demo looks like with this 40-minute playthrough video of it.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is the newest planned Counter Strike game that aims to completely revamp the series from its somewhat outdated setting and places and bring it back into modern day insurgency and counter insurgency skirmishes in and around the world. Valve is looking to add new factions and weaponry as well as new locations for players to battle out in teams in what was arguably the most played team FPS game before Team Fortress 2 became free to play.
Steam Community user 12and4, while poking around with the CS:GO code found a bunch of unusual strings such as this:-
gungame classic gungametrbomb gungameselect gungameprogressive pro competitive casual de_shorttrain de_stmarc de_quarter de_sugarcane de_lighthouse de_safehouse de_generator de_freight de_docks de_depot de_club de_bank de_lake gs_baggage ar_shoots ar_monastery ar_baggage de_vertigo de_balkan de_prodigy de_nuke de_inferno de_dust2 de_dust de_aztec cs_office cs_italy cs_assault
To fans of Counter Strike the map codes of two letters (signifying demolition or counter-strike) followed by a name, quite a few of these names (such as ar_shoots, de_balkan or de_freight) must be new, as are the two-letter codes of ar and gs. In addition, it also has icons for the Xbox 360 controller buttons such as X and Y as well as RB and LB – for tutorial use or something similar, we think.
In addition, 12and4 also extracted a bunch of images from CS:GO (the matchmaking.dll file) and uploaded all of these to MediaFire. A lot of the images are icons for achievements while a good few are concept images for locations as well as factions. Interestingly, there are concept arts for both male and female soldiers from a faction and a lot of new factions. The new factions included are:-
Pirate (Somalian Pirate, that is, not the Capt. Jack Sparrow variety)
In the immortal words of [some anonymous GIF file captioner] “Dis gon’ b gud!”
Well this had to happen, but not in the way it actually did. Blizzard sought to stop Valve from trademarking the “DOTA” name, associated with a custom map for its highly successful Warcraft III franchise that eventually broke off from its parent game and is being developed by Valve as DOTA 2. Blizzard, till now, had no problems with this since Valve was not taking anything that was explicitly its own to use – considering that DOTA was fan-made and fan-enjoyed from start to finish. However, Blizzard does have a problem with Valve trying to trademark the DOTA name.
The gist is that Blizzard never owned or wanted to own the DOTA name. It merely exuded goodwill to its fans and wishes to let the name be open and free for anyone to use. It’s a lot like the name “chess”. If Zynga decided to suddenly trademark the name “Chess” for one of its absurd Facebook games, it would look odd and many people will call foul. That is exactly what Blizzard is doing:-
By attempting to register the mark DOTA Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed in the mark DOTA and in its Warcraft 3 computer game and take for itself a name that has come to signify the product of years of time and energy expended by Blizzard and by fans of Warcraft 3. Valve has no right to the registration it seeks. If such registration is issued, it not only will damage Blizzard, but also the legions of Blizzard fans that have worked for years with Blizzard and its products, including by causing consumers to falsely believe that Valve’s products are affiliated, sponsored or endorsed by Blizzard and are related or connected to Warcraft 3.
This surprising turn of events also had a tow of die-hard Valve fans calling foul on Blizz because Valve Cannot Do Anything Wrong®
The title pretty much sums it up, but the posts here need to have some writing, so I’ll just fill stuff in here. As you all know (or you may not know, so I am telling you now) Mass Effect 3 is the final installment of Bioware’s science fiction action Role Playing Game series set in the far future when the Mass Effect technology is in vogue and humanity as well as its allied races across the galaxy are in danger of being hunted and destroyed by the mysterious Reapers. In Mass Effect 3, the Reapers have set their sights on Earth, the capital planet of the human system. You being the famous Commander Shepard have been called once again to save humanity and restore peace and prosperity to Calradia and bring justice to the Iron Throne bring the reapers to justice.
To increase the hype and hyperbole as well as to make fans of the series generally giddy about the March 6th/9th release of the game, VE3TRO released an exclusive forty minute gameplay trailer of the game. In it, a really indecisive player, walks Shepard through a lot of extremely unimportant areas and shows off the really terrible sprinting animations of Bioware. Also, the forty minute playthrough has some twenty eight minutes of cutscenes (70% of 40), prompting many fans to start polarizing between the “yay story, boo action” and “story sux, action roxxx” camps. However, Bioware has three different ways of playing the game to cater to all kinds of fans of the game – both story lovers and trigger happy soldiers. I hope Bioware knows what it’s doing, otherwise it is going to enrage an entire gaming community. But who am I kidding, I am about as giddy and super excited about this game and really cannot wait for March. Catch the video below.
Valve’s Gabe Newell issued a statement on the digital distribution giant’s news portal regarding the hacker intrusion of its systems last year. Newell, the CEO of the gaming company, stated that amongst other harmless data the intruders may have stolen logs that contain credit card numbers and other such things – encrypted mind – and data of all the transactions done between 2004-2008. He further advises everyone to monitor their credit card statements carefully and change the Steam passwords.
Recently we learned that it is probable that the intruders obtained a copy of a backup file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008. This backup file contained user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. It did not include Steam passwords.
We do not have any evidence that the encrypted credit card numbers or billing addresses have been compromised. However as I said in November it’s a good idea to watch your credit card activity and statements. And of course keeping Steam Guard on is a good idea as well.
Steam Guard is the secondary authentication token provided directly to your registered email ID when you sign it to Steam from a new computer. This is like Google’s authentication and provides a code that you have to enter after typing in your username and password. This is to ensure that unauthorized access to your Steam account is not easy.
As always, we ask our readers to remain vigilant against these threats as well as phishing scams and other things that have been talked about recently on Techie Buzz.
I love Psychonauts. I really really do. It’s one of those things that I remember from back when gaming meant getting lost in a different world completely and utterly and forgetting time or even the concept of it. So when word gets around that Tim Schafer, the creator of one of the finest platformers of all time, says that he is ready for Psychonauts 2, a lot of hearts start racing.
These hearts start racing faster and faster when the creator of Minecraft, Markus Persson, tweets and follows up on Reddit that he will be willing to fund the game and will not be involved in any other way in the production of the game. At least mine did. It’s like watching something beautiful shape up in front of your eyes. It’s like Genesis fruiting in front of you. It’s like the host of other analogies that I cannot remember right now.
Moreover, DoubleFine Studios’ new KickStarter project for a new old school game went way past its needed funding and crossed the $1 million mark in a matter of days. This led to more hinting from Schafer. He said that if the funding goes beyond a certain limit ($20 million), his studio may give fans the “bonus” of Psychonauts 2 with the $19 million surplus.
Are you excited? YOU BETTER BE!