Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nintendo Needs to Stop Being Nintendo Quite So Much

Nintendo these days finds itself in a bit of a pickle. Rather, they would find themselves in a pickle if they were paying attention. The company’s remarkable and unforeseen successes these last several years - starting with the original DS in late 2004 and then really kicking into high gear with the gamechanger that was the Wii - have reshaped the industry, leaving their traditional competitors in the dust, scrambling to catch up to varying degrees of success. Yet even now, with their latest and greatest hardware release, the 3DS, hitting the market to strong sales, I fear that Nintendo needs to watch its step going forward. When I look at Nintendo’s behavior recently, I see a company overly content to operate in their own little world, ignoring their competitors and the realities of the market in which they are competing. In other words, I see the Nintendo of the N64 and GameCube eras, and I fear if they don’t start paying attention, they might in a few short years find themselves, once again, in the position from which they have only recently escaped.

L.A. Noire Actually A Film?

Well, well, well. Would you look at that? L.A. Noire, Rockstar's next title due out on Xbox 360 and PS3 on May 17, has just become the first game to ever be named as an Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival (which was cofounded by Robert De Niro). What, exactly, is L.A. Noire doing at a bona fide film festival? According to Geoff Gilmore, the chief creative of Tribeca Enterprises, "[L.A. Noire is] an invention of a new realm of storytelling that is part cinema, part gaming, and a whole new realm of narrative expression, interactivity, and immersion." It's certainly the case that L.A. Noire promises to be a unique game and employs some exciting new methods for its narrative (and facial animation), but I'm still not sure how to feel about this. Head below for my ruminations.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Preordered: Sanctum

Swedish developer, Coffee Stain Studios are close to releasing their second title, Sanctum. It's a UDK constructed FPSTD, or first person shooter tower defense game. Sorry folks, genre mashups make for long acronyms.

Sanctum has a slick sci-fi art style and features two player cooperative mode. First there is a setup / building phase and is subsequently followed by the attack phase, which lets you jump right into the action alongside your oh-so-upgradable towers. Hit the jump for a little more info and their first instructional video.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"The Story Of How We Made Doom"

This is a real gem folks. If you've ever wondered how Doom, the "father" of all first person shooters came into being, look no further. The below link leads to a session at GDC 2011, led by Tom Hall and John Romero, both formerly of id Software. They were two of the main forces working on the development of Doom. In this video / slideshow amalgam, they give a talk and feature alpha footage from the early development process. If you are as curious as I was about how they pieced the most renowned FPS of all time together, then close your door and tell your friends and family that you'll get back to them in an hour. Hit the jump for a few of my favorite points from the talk and the link itself.

The First 9 Seconds Of This Trailer Make Me Want To Give These People All Of My Money. No Time To Explain

Below is the announcement trailer for No Time To Explain. Originally a flash game of the same name, Tiny Build Games has expanded upon and beefed up the upcoming release, turning it, in their words, “into a HOLY MOTHER OF GOD INDIE GAME!

The core mechanic is that your weapon is a giant laser cannon, one which has a substantial kickback. You can use this to extend jumps or slow falls by firing it at a certain angle. The game very quickly ramps up the difficulty, so mastering the unique properties of this weapon will be crucial to success. Also, time travel.

Tiny Build Games hopes to have No Time To Explain out for PC and Mac(!) this summer, with the other usual platforms (XBLA, PSN) at some point thereafter. There’s even rumor of a Linux version!

[via Kotaku]

Mars Is Waiting. Bring Your Friends.

Final Form Games have released a trailer from their upcoming neoclassical vertical shoot-em-up Jamestown, which received an honorable mention at the 2011 IGF. This beautiful pixel art game is definitely worth checking out. Don't believe me yet? Read on.
  • Blast your way through historic Mars with a crack team of up to 4 friends
  • Marvel and rejoice at vast expanses of lovingly handcrafted pixels
  • Brave the hostile Martian frontier armed with 1619’s finest steam-punk weaponry
  • Master innovative co-op mechanics paired with classical top-down shooter gameplay
  • Climb the online leaderboards in single-player classic arcade mode

Mars? Check. Steam-punk? Check. Cooperative mode? Check. Well, that's all of my criteria for Game of the Year. Still require more proof? Hit the jump for the trailer and watch on.

Randy Pitchford Just As Pissed As You Are: Duke Delayed

I'm not even going to bother saying anything. Watch the video.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tech Brief: Ninite

This is the first of a series of short tech focused articles.  These are bits of info that don't necessarily merit a full post that I hope will be useful for you PC gamers out there.

My mission today is to spread the word on a nifty little service called Ninite.  The folks at Secure by Design have put together a site where you can pick and choose downloads of the latest versions of common software and utilities from one place.  The chosen downloads are all bundled into one big installer that runs without requiring user input.  Let's say you bought a new laptop and don't have flash player, firefox, java or antivirus software on it yet.  You can go to Ninite and grab all 4 utilities at once and won't be prompted to install bloatware or browser toolbars you don't want (looking at you, Adobe).  Best of all it's free.  Check it out at

Arcade Woes Pt. 3

Click on the strip for full size

If you like what you see, please check out Scott's hilarious book on called "101 Dumb Dog Deaths". And swing by his new deviant art page at It's brand new, so give him a while to get some content up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Twofers: Man vs. Beast

Let me start by saying that neither of the games featured in this Twofers will allow you to wrestle a horse. Sorry. Despair not, dear reader, for what I do have is even better! The first game, Depth, pits divers against sharks in a mad treasure hunt. The other game is Dino D-Day and allows you to see what World War II would have been like if the Nazis had a dinosaur unit. Which they did. Hit the jump for details on both games, beyond the fact that they pit Man against Beast in deadly combat.

New Trine 2 Footage

If you have never gotten around to playing Trine, you should grab a couple friends and do so immediately. As one of the better, if not best, current local cooperative games out there, in 2009 Trine offered a memorable adventure for up to three players. I highly recommend the group experience with this game, as each level requires teamwork and offers many laughs. Think the New Super Mario Bros minus one player and plus puzzles, swords, magic and a randy wizard in an Alice In Wonderlandish type world.

It's worth it to check out Frozenbyte's newest footage of the upcoming sequel, even if you haven't played the first Trine. So feast your tired eyes on the delicious candy that is Trine 2!

Trine 2 is to be released on Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network and PC in 2011.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Like Father Like Son: A 31 Year Age Gap That Means Nothing

I am intrigued by the generation gaps between modern gamers and how these age barriers break down as we team up together. I often wondered, “Is my teammate 15 years old or 50?” But as long as he or she is mature, has my back and knows how to communicate with other people, does age truly matter? I had a lot of questions that I needed answered, but didn’t know who to ask.

Some time later I found out that two guys I regularly play Team Fortress 2 with are actually father and son. Suddenly I found myself with more questions. How do they get along? Does the son hear his father curse when he loses and how does the son take that? How do people with such an age gap deal with online games and the people that occupy them? Does the father monitor who his son associates with? How do they feel about each other when they're playing games? Are they bitter rivals or best friends?

So, with these questions in mind, I plugged in my microphone and sat down (virtually) with Jeff, the father, and Colby, his son. Hit the jump for the interview that followed.

Deus Ex at PAX - Dev Panel and Gameplay

There's a good reason why they held the Deus Ex: Human Revolution dev talk in one of PAX's largest auditoriums.  It's been a decade since the acclaimed original released and the game is more popular than ever, sitting atop PC Gamer's Top 100 list.  Its many fans have never been able to find another game with its unique depth and the sequel is not considered a worthy successor.  In the packed hall, a legion of gamers listened to the Lead Gameplay Designer, Artist and Community Manager talk about the game.  The highlight of the panel was when they played through one of the game's early levels.  Fans of the first game will be pleased to know the developers are committed to the many-solutions-to-one-problem approach that made the original game so dynamic.

Response: It's Not The Length, It's The Mirth - Game Length Versus Value

On Sunday at PAX East, I attended a panel that aimed to address issues of pricing of games and how it relates to game length, titled "It's Not The Length, It's The Mirth - Game Length Versus Value. The panel was moderated by Christopher Grant (Editor-in-Chief of Joystiq) and sitting on it were Michael Wilford (CEO of Twisted Pixel) Chris Hecker (designer and developer of Spy Party), Albert Reed (Studio Director at Demiurge Studios), and Justin McElroy (Reviews Editor of Joystiq). It turns out all five of them are Smart Dudes with Interesting Things to say. Hit the jump for some the points made and issues raised at the panel, my thoughts on them, and some bonus musings.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Steam Guard is Live

And there's an FAQ! The best bits? "Is there a limit to the number of machines that can be authorized at once?" "No, there's no limit. Steam Guard is aimed to protect the value that is yours, not limit your access to your stuff. As always, you can access your Steam account and library from as many machines as you'd like." Second, Steam Guard doesn't yet leverage Intel Identity Protection Technology. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that means no hardware requirements. I'm double-protecting my some-odd 150 games as I write this. Here are instructions if you want to, too.

Guild Wars 2: Things You May Not Know

I must admit, at PAX East I was nervous that the Guild Wars 2 panel would not be divulging any new information about the game. As someone who has been following Guild Wars 2, I was certain I wouldn't be hearing or seeing any new content. However, I was incredibly wrong. Hit the jump for a wealth of new information as well as new footage of the Thief class. Also, if you missed the panel and are interested to see what some of the key players of ArenaNet have to say, the entire panel can be found below.

March Mayhem: Madness is for Nerds

The Escapist doesn't like Basketball. Okay, that's probably not true, but they're much more interested in games. So, in this traditional month of bracket-based competition, they're hosting a bracket for game development studios, called March Mayhem: Developer's Showdown. The winners are decided purely by fan voting (already missed a round--sorry folks, but I don't think you'll see any big surprises there).  You'll need to be logged into an Escapist account or grant them access to your Facebook in order to vote. The divisions seem to be arbitrary (Blizzard is in Irvine, CA while Irrational is in Quincy, MA.  Yes, those are pretty much opposite corners of the country.), but there are already some interesting match-ups, and it will only get more intense from here. Post in the comments and let us know who you are choosing! Me? I'm picking Valve, all the way.

inFAMOUS Planet 2 Beta Registration Open

inFAMOUS 2, due out June 7, is going to be bigger and badder than the original in a number of ways. The most interesting one, I think, is that Sucker Punch is bundling a level editor with the game. They're starting a closed beta on April 12 for the UGC (User Generated Content). You can still register, but only until March 21.  They're looking for mission designers to help them test out their level editor. If you liked inFAMOUS and want to build your own levels, or wish that Little Big Planet had more electricity and explosions, head on over and register.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What About This Game, Fox News?

Recently, Fox News got themselves mixed up in a little debacle about games causing rape. You might've also heard some hub-bub about a game called We Dare, developed by Ubisoft for the Wii. The game, self-termed "a sexy, quirky, party game" isn't about to cause any rapes, but its much-talked-about trailer is on the spicier side (watch it below). Now, here's the irony: PEGI awarded the game a 12+ rating. PEGI then requested that Ubisoft take down its "misleading" ad, as they felt that the "content of the game and the interaction that the game itself implies" weren't quite mature enough. Ubisoft countered by pulling the game from being released in the UK, saying, "We Dare is intended for a mature audience and Ubisoft created its marketing campaign accordingly." How are games ever going to be taken seriously if, on the one hand we have games that are obviously not serious being accused of causing rape, and on the other, games insisting on their sexiness and begging for more mature ratings than they receive?

Tribes: Ascend Revealed

Although we have Tribes-meets-MMO coming soon in the forms of Firefall and Tribes Universe, it seems we'll be getting some good, old-fashioned capture the flag Tribes soon, too. Sometime this year, Hi-Rez Studios will be filling a gap long felt by Tribes fans: more. Not having gotten a new Tribes game since Tribes: Vengeance in 2004 (nevermind that die-hards discount this title and claim that Tribes 2 was the last one), I'm already aching to play Tribes: Ascend. It will be a downloadable (read: hopefully cheap-ish) title on XBLA and PC powered by Unreal Engine 3. Hi-Rez has already brought us Global Agenda--they get it, on some level. Tribes: Ascend will give players a sense of what's coming in the MMO version that Hi-Rez is also developing, Tribes Universe. In fact, that seems to be a lot of the impetus for developing it: Todd Harris, the COO at Hi-Rez, says, "Before Halo, before Modern Warfare, and before Battlefield, there was Tribes. Tribes fans appreciate the game's essence--athletic FPS combat combined with teamwork and strategy. As we began development of Tribes Universe, we focused first on capturing that essence--refining and modernizing iconic elements like jetpacks, skiing, and vehicles. We've had tremendous fun play-testing and realized the potential of a multiplayer focused title ahead of Tribes Universe. The community has been waiting for a multiplayer shooter that is the modern successor to T2. Tribes: Ascend is that game." You can see the reveal after the jump. Crank it up to 720p for great victory.

Firefall: Hands-On

Over the weekend at PAX East 2011, I had the chance to (briefly) get some hands-on play time with Red 5's new free-to-play shooter Firefall. I continue to be hopeful about the MMO-FPS genre taking off, especially given the success of titles like Global AgendaFallen Earth, and of course Call of Duty, but as of yet I'm not sure we've found quite the right game yet. While we're currently seeing a huge change in the way FPS games are designed with the trend in modern shooters leaning toward CoD style unlocks and leveling and Team Fortress 2 item customization, it's going to take a developer with a lot of experience, good ideas, and perhaps most importantly, balls, to take it to the next level and really make a product that stands out. Is Firefall that game? Can Red 5 make money off a F2P shooter in the U.S? Does that logo use the Starcraft font?

An Open Letter to the Octodad Team

Starting shortly after the Kinect launched, people have been using the hardware for all sort of interesting things. The most recent one I have come across is the work of a certain John Boiles. He has used the Kinect to allow him to control a ragdoll actor with his body in the popular Half-Life 2 mod, Garry's Mod. I've posted the video demonstration of the tech after the jump, where you can see John kick, swing, kick, and dance.

EDIT: A couple weeks ago at GDC, Sony unveiled (and then announced on their blog), which is a tool that allows developers to leverage the Playstation Move on a PC. It is due out sometime this Spring on PSN, but developers can apply for early access if they want to get a head start. John McCutchan, Senior Engineer on the SCEA Developer Support team, writes, "[] allows anyone with a PS3 to experiment with motion controls and is officially sanctioned and supported by Sony Computer Entertainment... [It] sends the complete state of the Playstation Move and navigation controllers to the PC, giving you the exact same data that licensed developers typically have access to."

At PAX East, I attended a panel being given by a handful of the students from DePaul University who brought us Octodad. Just to be clear about what Octodad is, the tagline for Octodad is "Loving Father. Caring Husband. Secret Octopus." Need I say more? Probably. Instead, though, I'll let the developers do the talking:
Octodad is a third person adventure game about desctruction, deception, and fatherhood. The player controls Octodad, a dapper octopus masquerading as a human, as he goes about a day of his life. His existence is a constant struggle, as he must master mundane tasks with his unwieldy boneless tentacles while simultaneously keeping his cephalopodian nature a secret from his human family.
Someone asked if they would be porting to the Kinect at the panel, which got a laugh. I am here to second that, and recommend that they team up with Mr. Boiles (or at least take note of his work). Until now, I was fairly confident that eventually something good would come along for the Kinect. Today, I realize that the Kinect was made for Octodad. I can no longer be satisfied to become father, husband and octopus only with my hand on the mouse. My whole body must become Octodad. Please, Octodad team, make it so. The world needs this.

EDIT: I added a section above about Sony's plans to make the Move a more open development tool. While it remains to be seen what sort of non-gaming applications the might have and what sort of licensing issues might be involved, this sounds like another ripe opportunity for motion-controlled Octodad. It might even lend itself to Octodad even better, as the presence of buttons would allow for switching control between leg-tentacles and arm-tentacles. Then again, "Movectodad" doesn't have quite the same ring as "Kinectodad."

Reader, if you're at all confused as to why I'm so adamant about this, head over to the Octodad download page and give this hilarious and charming game a whirl. It's free and takes less than an hour to play.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fallen Frontier: PAX Impressions

This weekend at PAX, I had the opportunity to check out Fallen Frontier, the new co-op action shooter/platformer from Moonshot Games. While you may have never heard of Moonshot, they are a team of ex-Bungie employees with a very impressive collective resume indeed, including a former Halo lead producer, AI programmer and design lead. While this new game is certainly a departure from Halo, the team’s obvious talent definitely shines through on this new project.

Brink: Hands-On

This past weekend at PAX East, I got the opportunity to go hands-on with Splash Damage's upcoming shooter, Brink. Though it will also be released on PC and XBox 360 on May 17, the demo stations were outfitted with PS3 setups. Brink, if you've missed our previous coverage, is set in a dystopian future where everyone is massively athletic and can scale walls and slide under fences (this system, which is called Smart Movement Around Random Terrain, or SMART, is one of the game's main selling points). The teams are 8 a side and players can choose if they want to play for the Security or the Resistance. Brink features highly customizable and upgradeable character models and weapons, based on an experience system that should be familiar if you've played any multiplayer military FPS in the last, oh, four years. The objectives are dynamic and players can go at it solo (with the rest of the teams being filled out by AI), co-op, or full 8-on-8 multiplayer action. That's the what. Now it's time to talk about my feelings.

Monday, March 14, 2011

When I Say "Apple," You Say "How high?"

I'll be honest, I didn't wait for Valve's Portal 2 booth at the Penny Arcade Line Expo this weekend.  I heard that it was not playable--since our media registration somehow got lost in the stack, so we opted not to go see the videos being shown, which were sure to surface on the internet shortly.  And surface they did!  In the comfort of my own home, they are very much worth watching.  We get to spend a little bit more time with Wheatley and we meet Aperture Science founder, Cave Johnson (voiced by J.K. Simmons).  Clips are below.

Red Cross PSA

Today, in the absence of our normal comic we bring you this important message. This is a good time to step up and help our fellow human beings.

Click on the strip for full size

Thanks Scott.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

DoTA Clones: Improving on the Original

I hate Defense of the Ancients.

So much in fact, that I marathon'd all of Half Life at a LAN party rather than play it with the rest of the group.  The graphics are outdated, the interface is poor, the learning curve is steep and the community is unforgiving.  Being out of position for half a second means death and respawn times are long.  I could never understand why all my friends loved it.

Recently however, the popular Warcraft 3 custom map has become its own genre of game.  It's surprising that it took so long for someone to monetize the DoTA format.  I know people who bought Warcraft 3 just to play it.  Developers have come out with their own takes on the classic format - addressing many of the issues that plagued the original.  Here's why you should give DoTA a second chance, even if you loathe the original as much as I do.

Twofers: Winners are Indies

This will probably be the shortest Twofer.  Brace yourself, it's going to be a wild ride!  Indies!  Winning awards! Last week, the Independent Games Festival announced the winners of the annual contest.  Coming out on top was--wait for it--Minecraft!  Well, no great surprise there, I suppose.  And you know how we feel about that game.  Bravo, Mojang Specifications!  Other winners: Fract, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Desktop Dungeons, Helsing's Fire, Bit.Trip Runner, and Nidhogg.

A bit older and less "official" Gamasutra also announced its Top 10 Indie Games of 2010, as selected by editors at  There is certainly some overlap, but they've done a fine job of highlighting various indie efforts that didn't get a nod from the IGF.  Receiving top honors is actually a game I hadn't heard about: Give Up Robot 2.  It's a fantastic little web-based platformer with a grappling hook and a sinister robotic voice that is probably a cousin of GLaDOS.  Other games that made the cut: Hero Core, Desktop Dungeons, Super Meat Boy, Super Crate Box, Joe Danger, Hydorah, Minecraft, Shoot First and Limbo.

Quoth Andy Schatz, developer of Monaco, "The IGF is not intended to make small things big, it's a reminder that there is beauty hidden in the shadows of the big things."  I'd say that goes for Gamasutra's Top 10 list, as well.  You can bet your precious whatever-you-want-to-bet that each of the above games (and nominees!) are beautiful or excellent in some way and totally worth checking out, especially since they're all free or cheap.  You can find details and links to the games' homepages etc on the IGF site and in the Top 10 list.

Twofers: Bind Steam to your PC and then Put it on your TV

Two Valve announcements about Steam hit recently.  Both are significant and potentially game-changers, but it remains to be seen if they work when it comes down to it.  The first, and probably less exciting, is a new service called Steam Guard which will allow users to semi-permanently link their accounts to a particular PC.  The second announcement packs a wallop: "big picture" mode for Steam that will, in short, allow your PC to be a console for your TV.  Details for both after the jump.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Not Hectic Enough for Fire Hose Games

Fire Hose Games, who you may remember, decided that they were a little bored this month between GDC and PAX East the week after.  So, they decided to crank things up and release their first game, Slam Bolt Scrappers, on March 15!  Slam Bolt Scrappers will be exclusive to PSN.  Self-described as a 
"slamtacular mash-up of brawling and building," I have said before that Slam Bolt Scrappers is really a game that you have to play to have any clue whatthefuck.  Well, it turns out I was dead-wrong.  Fire Hose presents, along with their official announcement, a release trailer that actually shows you a thing or two about what the game is.  You can see it below, as well as (most of) the contents of their official announcement.

RAGE: Really Abandoned Gray Environments

No, no I'm mostly kidding about the title of this post. Sort of. Regardless of the color palette (which is actually more brown than gray, but that doesn't fit the acronym, does it?) this trailer looks fantastic, if but a tad familiar. Hit the jump to check it out and a brief look at this setting in pop culture.

Twofers: "Social" is not a Naughty Word

As I've been woefully behind in getting splendid gaming news out to you, dearest reader, may I present the first in a series: Twofers.  Twofers will be posts where I lump two vaguely similar stories under one heading because I can't be bothered to click "publish post" twice as many times.  Don't worry, I'll make it work.  Truly.

Without further ado, today we're going to learn about how social games are not automatically evil (not that I necessarily feel that the bulk of them are, I just don't feel compelled to play them) by taking a look at 8 Realms and Ecotopia.  From Jagex, the makers of Runescape, 8 Realms is an empire building game that "has been developed from the ground up to appeal to players with a passion for strategy gaming but who have been left underwhelmed by the social games available today."  Ecotopia, on the other hand, is not necessarily looking to break the mold of what we have come to know as social games.  Backed by Harrison Ford (vice chairman of Conservation International) and being developed by Talkie, Ecotopia is a Facebook city building game that cares: it's focused on going green.

Moonshooting Galore

Moonshot Games is a new outfit (currently 4 veteran astronauts developers) that has been furiously working in secret on a project which they revealed yesterday with a precious few juicy details and a juicier trailer.  Three of the four spacemen are fresh from Bungie and worked on a few titles you might recognize: Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3.  Their maiden flight has a clear and simple mission: explore and develop high-quality downloadable games.  The first one will be called Fallen Frontier and you can buy it in the first half of 2012 (no platforms settled on yet).  However, if you happen to be going to PAX East this weekend, Moonshot will be bringing a playable version of Fallen Frontier along, and you can check out the 2D sidescrolling shooter.  We will be there and can't wait to report what we find at the Moonshot booth.  According to their announcement, Fallen Frontier will offer players "fast-paced tactical combat, vast interconnected worlds, and original hard sci-fi universe.... [it] features both single player and co-operative play and leverages the very best design principles learned in our years at Bungie."  Below you'll find that the trailer for Fallen Frontier has crash-landed on our little website, which we're watching over and over again until we can play this weekend.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Roundtable: Bulletstorm

You've all seen the side-splitting commercials. The hilariously offensive ads show off Epic Games' newest addition to their science fiction combat games that feature steroid-guzzling angry-men (think Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3). Does the game live up to the hype, both positive and negative? Does the violence make us want to rape people? The answers all lie below. But be warned, similar to the game, the talk that follows is a bit R-rated. But we're mostly just quoting, so it's socially acceptable. Mostly.

Before we begin though, a PSA from this guy.

We have just finished a multiplayer session, which is a cooperative wave-based combat mode. There is a big focus on skillshots and teamwork for earning enough points to advance to the next round. Skillshots are the various ways in which you can use your weapons and surroundings to kill enemies. We couldn’t get past wave 13. Minor spoilers to follow.

PlanetSide Next Sci Fi MMOFPS

We've already got Firefall and Tribes Universe coming down the pipeline and rumors abound regarding Bungie's next big project.  Who's next in line?  Why, PlanetSide Next, of course!  A few months ago, John Smedley (President of Sony Online Entertainment) let slip that they had a big FPS launch coming in 2011 (we are now in March of 2011, for those of you who neglect conventional measures of time), specifically "a big first person shooter franchise that [they're] really happy with."  Between his claim that beta testers would be pulled from the pool of current PlanetSide subscribers and Paul "Virrago" Williams', the Senior Community Relations manager, casual mention in a thread: "We’re excited to confirm that we will be continuing the PlanetSide franchise with an all-new FPS action game next year. More details will be coming soon," I'd say it's a pretty safe bet to say that we'll be seeing more PlanetSide sooner rather than later.  Indeed, Smedley has since said that they are looking at late first quarter/early second quarter for their launch.  PlanetSide Next will be meeting some stiff competition from the aforementioned titles, both of which will be employing a free-to-play model.  SOE has been quiet so far, but is starting to ramp up their efforts.  You can check out some concept art and screenshots they've been releasing exclusively to fan site PlanetSide Universe below.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Arcade Woes Pt. 2

Click on the strip for full size

If you like what you see, please check out Scott's hilarious book on called "101 Dumb Dog Deaths". And swing by his new deviant art page at It's brand new, so give him a while to get some content up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Clean Up Running Processes and Free Up Gaming Resources

We've all encountered programs that, by default, run or load components at Windows boot time.  Often, these are applications that go unused during a gaming session.  These running programs can use up memory and processing power.  If you're gaming, especially on an older rig with low RAM, you don't want this happening.


Here are some techniques for identifying what is loading at boot and how to disable things if needed.