Dear Esther Developer Dives Into the Post-Apocolyptic


Dear Esther Developer Dives Into the Post-Apocolyptic

A few months ago, I wrote about the illusion of choice in thechineseroom’s  mod/interactive story/game, Dear Esther. As a fan of atmospheric adventure games, Dear Esther struck me in a way that other games generally haven’t, but it also left me feeling uncomfortably cheated from an actual game.

Lucky for fans of Dear Esther‘s concept, thechineseroom’s David Pinchbeck has announced a new atmospheric game: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.

Rapture is a (beautiful) game about the end of the world. Ostensibly the game is about six characters and their interactions with the world, but the player doesn’t actually need to do anything to progress the story. For the most part, you play as an observer, deciding whether or not to follow a specific character, sit in the middle of the town, or try to take everything in during the course of your game.

Whether you choose to or not is a different matter. It’s perfectly feasible to play Rapture by standing still in the middle of the world. The game’s characters will continue to follow their own path, and their actions will still change the world, so you’ll still get to experience a story even if you decide not to participate in it.

Of course, thechineseroom is set out to improve upon Dear Esther, not recreate it. Rapture is a purely story-driven game, but the variation Rapture provides comes from interaction, not discovery. The game is designed to produce different experiences each time you play it, as you’re only allotted an hour of play time each game. What you do with that time is up to you.

 “By definition, in a post-apocalyptic world you can’t save the world… because it’s already ended. You’re basically dead and trying to eke out as much time as possible,” says Pinchbeck. “The world’s ending, so there are no heroics any more. It flips our normal understanding on its head. So why is this bleakness so appealing?”

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is due for release this summer. Pay attention to http://www.thechineseroom.co.uk/rapture.html for more details.

Rinse and Repeat: Aeria Games Announces Starlight Story, Closed Beta Underway 


Rinse and Repeat: Aeria Games Announces Starlight Story, Closed Beta Underway 

Sometimes I think there is a big conspiracy going on between developers of browser based MMOs. How else do you explain the apparent “freeze” on innovation from foreign browser MMOs? The list of features most browser MMOs carry are the same features we saw when they were first introduced years ago.

At first glance Starlight Story, Aeria Games latest browser MMORPG seems to unfortunately be following along the same footsteps as its predecessors. 2D anime style graphics? Check. Ability to transform into other forms for increased damage and new abilities? Check. Combat Pets? Check. Typical fantasy storyline involving the savior of your doomed planet? Check. I am the Nostradamus of 2D browser MMOs.

Beyond the features listed above, Starlight Story aims to offer players a wealth of content for both PvE and PvP. This includes a wide variety of dungeons and challenging world bosses as well as PvP arena matches that reward players with prizes and bragging rights. The game is currently in closed beta, but I suppose the term “closed” isn’t really applicable since everyone can access it here right now without a beta key.

Street Fighter V Exact Download Size For PS4 Revealed, It's A Lot More Than 6.4GB


Street Fighter V Exact Download Size For PS4 Revealed, It’s A Lot More Than 6.4GB

We have finally received a clarification on Street Fighter V file size on PlayStation 4. According to the recent rumor/report on the internet, Street Fighter V download size on PlayStation 4 is going to be pretty small, just 6.4GB download, but this is not the case as per the new update we recently received from one of our readers.

Street Fighter V

The actual download size of Street Fighter V on PS4 is 12.4GB. There will be a 7GB download first, and then an additional download will begin straight after that downloads the game data. The initial report of 6.4GB download created a doubt in the minds of Street Fighter franchise fans and they took this small size as a result of some last minute change from developer removing some content. Thankfully, this is not the case with a 12.4GB download which is a normal download size for current-gen games.

You can check out the screenshot below confirming 12.4GB download size of Street Fighter V.

street-fighter-v-ps4-download-size.jpg

Diablo III God Mode Exploit: Steps on How to become Invincible in Diablo III revealed


Diablo III God Mode Exploit: Steps on How to become Invincible in Diablo III revealed

A sneaky gamer Diablo III gamer has discovered a way on “How to Become Invincible while Playing Diablo III”. This gamebreaking exploit was posted on official Diablo III forums.

Diablo III God Mode ExploitDiablo III God Mode works only for Wizard class and has few flashy effects disabled, but with the help of this exploit gamers can play any mode they like and collect rewards in just few simple steps.

Here are the steps: How to Become Invincible while playing Diablo III

  • Step 1: Select Teleport – Fracture. Bind it to a key
  • Step 2: Select Archon, tested with Improved Archon
  • Step 3: Hover your mouse over or near your charcter
  • Step 4: Press Teleport
  • Step 5: QUICKLY(!) Press Archon

No sure whether it works or not, we haven’t tried it yet. But the advantage of this is, if gamers didn’t die, they can run around and pick up more and more loot.

Take the collected loot to Auction House and sell them for real world money.

Hearthstone Nerfs A Dozen Cards In Advance Of Format Change 


Hearthstone Nerfs A Dozen Cards In Advance Of Format Change 

Hearthstone Big Game HunterHearthstone Big Game Hunter

Blizzard took a bold step today, announcing the nerf — I mean, rebalancing — of 12 classic Hearthstone cards, in an effort to provide a better environment for Standard play, which will start up when Whispers of the Old Gods launches on April 26.

Many of the changes are being made in the effort to make larger minions less vulnerable by making it costlier to silence or kill them easily. Charge effects, such as on Force of Nature and Arcane Golem are also still a thorny issue in one-turn-kill decks, so those have been removed, and if you liked getting free Molten Giants, you’ll have to take a bigger risk to do so, as their base cost has risen to 25. You can read the full list of changes on the Hearthstone site.

As is the case any time cards are altered, these will undoubtedly going to be controversial and will have a significant effect on decks that love to use these cards, but they’re probably the right thing to do in the long run to improve deck variety and combat degenerate strategies. What do you think of these Hearthstone changes?

IDC: Android, iOS benefit from tablet sales surge – but not Windows 8


IDC: Android, iOS benefit from tablet sales surge – but not Windows 8

Improving Windows 8 is Microsoft’s best bet for grabbing a larger share of tablet sales over the next four years, but there doesn’t seem much it can do to accelerate the projected slow growth of Windows RT over the same time period, IDC says.

“Microsoft’s decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far,” says Tom Mainelli, IDC’s research director for tablets. “Consumers aren’t buying Windows RT’s value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road.”

[ HELP: 12 essential Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

INNOVATION: 6 of the very coolest new Microsoft lab projects ]

Windows 8 runs on x86-based machines and Windows RT runs on ARM chips bundled with locked-down hardware.

The current IDC prediction calls for Windows-based tablets — including Windows 7 and Windows 8 — to capture just 2.8% of the market this year, third behind Android at 48.8% and Apple’s iOS at 46%.

IDC’s revised projection is good news for 2013 Android tablet sales which have been revised upward from 41.5% last year. Apple is paying the price, slipping from 51% in 2012.

By the end of 2017 Windows tablet share will increase to 7.4%, chipping away at both Android and iOS tablets, which will command 46% and 43.5%, respectively.

IDC has boosted its projection about the number of tablets that will ship this year from 172.4 million to 190.9 million, a 10.7% jump. This is based on increased popularity of low-priced devices, half of which have a screen size smaller than 8 inches, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Shipments of tablets in 2017 will be more than 350 million, IDC says.

Those smaller tablets will continue to grow in popularity, says Jitesh Ubrani, a research analyst for IDC’s tablet tracker. “Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits,” he says.

The growing popularity of small tablets will undercut sales of dedicated e-readers, which will decline permanently starting in 2015, IDC says.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.

Read more about data center in Network World’s Data Center section.

See also:

Samsung and Microsoft try to swipe pinch-to-zoom patent from Apple

Where’s Apple’s next OS X?

UK police arrest teen from Lulz Security for DDOS attack


UK police arrest teen from Lulz Security for DDOS attack

U.K. police arrested a 19-year-old on Monday for allegedly attacking a police website earlier in the day, in what is the first arrest connected with the rogue hacking group Lulz Security.

The Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) said the teenager was detained following an investigation into network intrusions and distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks against “a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group.”

Police did not release more details in the statement or name the hacking group, but a Scotland Yard spokesman said Monday afternoon that the arrest was connected with the DDOS attacks on Monday on the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), a national police unit that tackles organized crime. The arrest was characterized as a “pre-planned, intelligence-led operation,” the statement said.

On Monday, Lulz Security took credit for the SOCA attacks: “Tango down — soca.gov.uk — in the name of #AntiSec,” the group said on its Twitter account.

Lulz Security has led an intensive hacking campaign over the last several weeks, attacking websites belonging to the CIA, PBS.org, Fox.com and when possible, stealing data such as passwords and logins and then releasing the information on its website.

The DDOS attacks against the SOCA website stopped after the arrest, the spokesman said. Since the arrest, police have been examining material seized from a residence in Wickford, Essex, to the east of London.

The teenager, who is still in custody, could face charges under the Computer Misuse Act and fraud-related offenses.

Knock Out for 10


Knock Out for 10

Procreate has announced KnockOut 2, the latest version of its award-winning image-masking software. Procreate is Corel’s subsidiary company, devoted to bringing creative solutions to market.

KnockOut 2 can create precise masks of complex objects in a fraction of the time it takes using tools supplied in dedicated image-editing applications, according to the company. It’s capable of masking challenging materials, such as liquids, glass, ice, hair, smoke and fire. The application maintains the transparency and detail of the object masked.

The application now functions as a plug-in for smoother integration into a designer’s workflow. It integrates with Painter 7, Photo-Paint, Photoshop and more. KnockOut 2 is also Carbonized, so it’s ready to roll in Mac OS X.

New features include improved masking tools and CMYK support. KnockOut previously supported only RGB colour information. The product also integrates new touch-up tools, including an eraser and brush. It also supports 99 levels of Undo and has a revert to last Save feature.

Ian LeGrow, executive vice president in charge of procreate development, said: “Every Photoshop professional should have this plug-in. It preserves fine image details that were once impossible to mask. Forget about missing strands of hair, picking up remnants of the original background or cutting off original shadows – you can create picture perfection with KnockOut 2.”

The product will be available late November and cost £242. The upgrade cost is £97. Prices include VAT.

Hey! You got a bit of Halo in my Killer Instinct! | Killer Instinct Season 3


Hey! You got a bit of Halo in my Killer Instinct! | Killer Instinct Season 3

4  

Not quite Master Chief. I’m not complaining!

That’s right. One of the most iconic characters of the Halo franchise is joining the roster of Killer Instinct Season 3. 

To be honest, I’m surprised it took the developers so long to do something like this; especially considering how many fans had been asking for it. Since other fighting games like Mortal Kombat X have pulled iconic characters from movie franchises, this seems like a natural move…unless it’s some sort of troll. (I really don’t think it is.)

There isn’t much to take away from the teaser, although we can expect the Arbiter to be wielding the Energy Sword and/or the Carbine in fights. We’ll just have to wait and see if there will be more guest characters pulled in from other gaming franchises. But for now, this is more than welcome news for fans of Killer Instinct and the Halo series alike. 

If you’re a fan of both — well — this is a match made in heaven, right? 

Saints Row IV Ends the Saints Row Saga | Saints Row 4


Saints Row IV Ends the Saints Row Saga | Saints Row 4

Saints Row IV will be the last installment in this story arc for the Saints. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see them again.

Scott Phillips, design director at Volition, told Gillen McAllister at E3, “We’re definitely considering Saints Row IV sort of the end of that saga of this character and the Saints as they are.” Phillips goes on to say that if we see the Saints again that they will probably go in a new direction.

Unlike Saints Row III, the team won’t redesigning the engine or the systems, Phillips said, noting that they will make improvements, “but we’re going to add a ton of content.” But what exactly are they adding?

“Let’s do superpowers.” Phillips said, “You know fighting aliens came out of that because we needed an enemy that properly fights you, and then being the President felt like the next logical step from being a celebrity.”

Volition bought the Saint Rows license from the THQ bankruptcy auction earlier this year in January. Volition has planned to put the power of the Saints world in the players hands instead of focusing on tech and Phillips said “we wanted it to be in there, in your hands. Everything is more fun, and there’s more of it.”