PAX Australia 2013: Games and gaming down under with Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade Expo Australia premiers in Melbourne, Australia this weekend and we'll be there to bring you all of the news, the interviews, impressions and, if international law allows, a sleeping Koala or two. Polygon's on the scene, so stay tuned to this StoryStream for all the news.

Dragon Age 2 decisions will carry across to Dragon Age Inquisition

The decisions made by a player in Dragon Age 2 will carry across to Dragon Age Inquisition, developer BioWare confirmed during a PAX Australia panel captured by GameSpot Australia.

"We know, we are not going to talk about it yet. We know what we want to do. It will absolutely come across, your decisions will carry [across], it will matter," writer Cameron said in response to an audience member's question asking how BioWare is going to take into account players save files across next-generation and current-generation systems. "But yeah, we can't go into details on how it is going to work."

...

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Constructing Magic: The Gathering

Classic role-playing fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering has been through numerous editions, expansions and video game adaptations. Wizards of the Coast unveiled a couple of new cards for the latest upcoming expansion at a PAX Australia panel, to the impressed cooing of the audience.

After the panel, senior director of R&D Aaron Forsythe told Polygon that developing a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards involves extensive market research, more than 80 freelance artists and talent poaching.

"We'll make up new characters, we'll make up new cards all the time," Forsythe said, who went on...

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Gearbox candidly shares story of Homeworld's acquisition

Gearbox Software, the developers of the Borderlands series and Aliens: Colonial Marines, shared the drive behind wanting Relic Entertainment's real-time strategy Homeworld IP and the tight bidding process involved to snatch it away from two publishers

"One of the brands in the THQ stable that they didn't really do anything with, for as long as they had it, was a brand called Homeworld," Randy Pitchford told the audience at the PAX Australia Gearbox panel. "And when THQ started to evaporate, Brian [Martel] kept coming to my office everyday and saying, 'Hey Randy, you got to get Homeworld.'...

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Fruit Ninja developer will destroy the world through color with Colossatron: Massive World Threat

Halfbrick announced its next game at PAX Australia over the weekend, Colossatron: Massive World Threat, an action mobile game that draws inspiration from anime, games and cartoons of the '80s. We got some hands-on time with Colossatron: Massive World Threat on iPad at the gaming expo.

Colossatron thrusts players in the role of a pissed-off giant robotic snake called Colossatron, which has crash-landed on Earth. The aim is to decimate the planet, while building the Colossatron with red, blue and yellow-colored weapons and power-ups called Powernodes. These can be combined to create stronger...

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Triumphs and tribulations of PAX Australia 2013

The first Australian Penny Arcade Expo was held in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend, the first international PAX since the Expo's conception in 2004. Despite controversy leading up to the event and being held in a remote country, its Australian debut was a huge success, the founders and organizers told Polygon.

HOW IT WENT

"It was incredible," Penny Arcade co-founder Mike Krahulik told Polygon just before the show's conclusion. "It is not over yet, but it was really amazing. It is just like any other PAX except a bit smaller."

"I mean judging from what people have told us they seem...

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Xbox One needs simultaneous Japan launch, says industry vet

Microsoft needs to launch its next-generation console in Japan at the same time as its North American release in order to see a successful uptake in the region, industry veteran and Dynasty Warriors 8 director Atsushi Miyauchi told Polygon at PAX Australia.

"I think Microsoft gave up promoting and presenting the Xbox 360 in Japan, it didn't keep the momentum there," Miyauchi said about the Xbox 360's relatively small footprint in Japan. "And if they can release the Xbox One as close as possible to the North American release date, I think that would make a really big difference this time...

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Magic: The Gathering director addresses player gender disparity

Women's alleged dislike of competition and the hostile nature of the Magic: The Gathering's competitive environment could be a contributing factor to the gender skew of Magic players, senior director Aaron Forsythe said at the game's panel at PAX Australia today.

During the panel's Q&A, Forsythe was asked if he knew why there was a big gender skew in Magic players. The audience member asked: "There is a large disparity in the gender of Magic players, and while that might not have anything to do with the actual game and what you do, I'm very curious as to why that may be?"

"That's a tough...

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Borderlands 2 devs talk lack of personality in playable characters

The biggest annoyance for the creators of Borderlands 2 was the lack of personality in the playable characters, writer Anthony Burch and creative director Paul Hellquist told Polygon at PAX Australia.

When asked about what he would change in Borderlands 2, Burch replied that he would "probably add more personality to the player characters."

"That was a big one," agreed Hellquist, who previously told Polygon that working on Borderlands 2 allowed him to fix what annoyed him about the original Borderlands.

"We didn't know that anybody wanted personality in the characters until super late...

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Gearbox releasing remakes of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 for Windows PC

Gearbox will release high-definition remakes of Relic Entertainment's real-time strategy series for Windows PC, the original Homeworld and Homeworld 2, the company announced at its PAX Australia panel today. The company will also release the original two titles to digital distribution platforms for Windows PC.

Gearbox bought the Homeworld IP for $1.35 million in April, following the approved sale of publisher THQ's games and studios for $72 million in January. At the time, Gearbox issued a statement saying that Brian Martel, Gearbox Software's chief creative officer, only had great love...

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Borderlands 2 DLC Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2, new level cap coming this fall

New Borderlands 2 DLC, Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 and a new level cap of 72 is coming this fall, Gearbox announced at its PAX Australia panel today.

The Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 DLC will be released this fall for $5.00. It includes 11 more levels and Digistruct Peak Challenge, which is a new map, loot and the "ability to 'over level' your game for extra challenges." The DLC will not be part of the Season Pass.

DLC Headhunter Pack:T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest is coming this fall. The Headhunter Pack: T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest DLC includes a new mission and a themed...

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Dragon Age: Inquisition dev tweaking dialogue choice system

Dragon Age: Inquisition developer BioWare is making some changes to the dialogue system seen in the studio's previous games but isn't getting rid of it, said Inquisition's developers during a PAX Australia panel today, as reported by one of the attendees on the BioWare forums.

Inquisition will still contain the moral choice system BioWare is known for, but writer Patrick Weekes said he thought that over the years, Mass Effect turned into a pick-the-red-or-blue-option-to-win experience. For Inquisition, the studio is looking to include elements aside from the player's decisions that...

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How Wargaming is making the Xbox better and what the future holds

Wargaming is actively working with Microsoft to streamline its "unacceptable" and long QA and certification process in order to bring World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition to the console, Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming told Polygon at PAX Australia today.

"The good thing is with online games, sometimes if you screw up, you can do frequent updates," Kislyi said. "But one of the biggest challenges with Microsoft was the frequency of updates because the QA process and certification process takes an extremely long time. Totally unacceptable for a meaningful free-to-play. We are working with them...

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More than 100 Xbox One consoles playable at EB Games Expo 2013

For the first time in Australia, the public will be able to get hands-on with Microsoft's Xbox One at EB Games Expo 2013, Microsoft announced during its Xbox One presentation at PAX Australia tonight.

According to Microsoft, approximately 100 consoles will be available to public at EB Games Expo so they can get hands-on with the hardware. The company's presentation at PAX Australia tonight...

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Halfbrick threw out 20 prototypes before arriving at Colossatron

Jetpack Joyride developer Halfbrick went through more than 20 prototypes before finally arriving at its latest title Colossatron: Massive World Threat, the developer said during a PAX Australia panel today.

"Getting to the point of having this awesome game was really hard," Ben Vale, executive producer at Halfbrick Studios. "So we actually went through 20 or more prototypes on the Colossatron team. Just prototyping ideas, just all lots of crazy stuff.

"We come in and say we got this insane idea and we'll try out for a week and it'll turn out to be crap. And we'll kill it," he continued....

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Halfbrick's next game inspired by 'craziest anime'

Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride developer Halfbrick announced its next game today — Colossatron: Massive World Threat.

The action mobile game draws inspiration from anime and cartoons of the 80s and centers around "the biggest and most powerful being to every wage war against mankind," the studio said in a statement.

Playing as a giant robotic snake called a Colossatron, players crash-land onto planet Earth and must proceed to do as much damage as possible across the globe. Players will build and shape the Colossatron by attaching red, blue and yellow Powernodes, with each color...

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