PAX East 2014: All the games, all the news, all the kilts

It's time for PAX East 2014, and that means a metric ton of coverage live from the show direct from your pals at Polygon. Stay tuned to this StoryStream and make sure you don't miss a single post!

How Landmark forced Sony Online to change its usual development model

Sony Online Entertainment's Landmark, née EverQuest Next Landmark, left its relatively brief alpha phase for a closed beta less than a month ago. Dave Georgeson, director of development on the EverQuest franchise and a 25-year veteran of the game industry, told Polygon during an interview at PAX East 2014 that for many games, "alpha is a joke" — an almost meaningless internal milestone. Not so for Landmark, the build-anything sandbox title from Sony Online that is also a massively multiplayer online game: Because of the company's decision to give players early access to the project, L...

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AbleGamers Foundation raised more than $33K at PAX East 2014

The AbleGamers Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gamers with disabilities, raised $33,635.07 at PAX East 2014, the group announced today.

It was the organization's largest single instance of fundraising, more than doubling the total from PAX East 2013.

The funds include contributions from players of Pachinko for Charity, a gaming area that the AbleGamers Foundation had set up in the lobby of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Industry partners like Paradox Entertainment and Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos gave matching funds for the first $12,500, and other...

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Why the makers of Guacamelee decided to make a touch game about a one-armed woman

The game, which uses swipes with a finger on a screen in combat, has players on the hunt for body parts and the story of how this unnamed protagonist woke in a desert.

It's a compelling story coming from the creators of Guacamelee. It's also the first game in Drinkbox's history that won't be a platformer.

"We've been making platformers for six years and Guacamelee for three years," said Drinkbox co-founder Graham Smith. "We're going to try something new, something different."

So Drinkbox opened the floor to pitches from everyone at the studio to see what they could come up with.

"When...

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State of Decay's Lifeline DLC is just the start of Undead Labs' 'long-term ambitions'

State of Decay: Lifeline, the second expansion and the first story-based add-on for Undead Labs' hit Xbox Live Arcade title, turns the tables on State of Decay by putting the player on the military side of humanity's efforts to repel the zombie threat. But as we saw during a demo of Lifeline at PAX East 2014, that doesn't mean that the DLC will shy away from what made the original game so special: exploring the psychological effects of dealing with the undead.

Lifeline casts the player as a member of Greyhound One, a small platoon that's attempting to maintain order in the overrun city of...

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See Star Citizen's dogfighting, and more, in action

For those who didn't get the chance to see Star Citizen's dogfighting presentation at PAX East 2014, whether in person or streamed on Twitch, Cloud Imperium Games has released this 30-minute video showing that demonstration and much more for the record-setting, crowdfunded space combat simulator.

The presentation itself begins at 9:30 and lasts to about 22:30. It's followed by another 15 minutes of footage and interviews from the PAX East show floor, which details how to set up a dogfighting match in Arena Commander, the online multiplayer module that will be offered to backers before the...

OlliOlli developer Roll7's next trick, the kill combo-based shoot 'em up Not A Hero

Cover-based shooting is given a retro isometric slant in developer Roll7's Not A Hero, the London-based team's follow-up to skateboarding game OlliOlli.

The PC action game combines shooting, sliding and reloading — and the occasional kitten bomb — for a combo-based affair that sits somewhere between arcade classics Rolling Thunder and Elevator Action and Platinum Games' hyper-fast shooter Vanquish.

In Not A Hero, players lay siege to a building as a gunman, sliding into and out of cover, clearing rooms of enemy henchmen in an attempt to escape. In other missions, you'll have to hack...

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Three indies discuss the future of free-to-play games

The free-to-play model as it's been used in the last few years is divisive. Some see it as a way to lower the barrier to entry, to invite players into games without an upfront financial burden. Others see it used as a crass business model designed to get players to pay to win.

It's not only players who wrestle with the revenue model. Developers we've spoken to are aware of its less than stellar reputation, even as they see its potential benefits. And some of them, particularly independent developers, are looking for ways to invoke the free-to-play model without the baggage associated with...

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Defense Grid 2 and the refinement of tower defense

Hidden Path's Defense Grid 2 builds upon the well-established, but consistently addictive tower defense formula that has engrossed players for more than a decade. The crowdfunding-backed strategy game takes the creep-killing fun of the original game, Defense Grid: The Awakening, and further refines — rather than redefines — it with a bevy of intelligent changes.

Using resources that are doled out over time, Defense Grid 2 tasks players with building a series of defensive towers in an attempt to stop aliens from plundering their base. A variety of towers are available in the game's arsenal,...

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Fantasia: Music Evolved won't support Twitch streaming, but will offer other sharing options

Fantasia: Music Evolved, the motion-controlled music game inspired by the 1940 Disney film, won't support broadcasting via Twitch because of music licensing restrictions, developer Harmonix confirmed to Polygon today.

"We know that sharing with friends and streaming online is an exciting new feature of current-gen consoles, but there are some restrictions when dealing with licensed music," said a Harmonix representative in an email to Polygon. "We will be disabling Twitch streaming for the game, which is not uncommon for applications that might have restrictions on sharing licensed content...

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The unusual game that was born out of the debilitating failure of Retro/Grade

And then it failed, well at least financially failed.

"It was a financial disaster," he said. "We got positive critical response, but it didn't resonate in terms of sales. Or maybe we failed to market it.

"I'm still not sure what the problem was with Retro/Grade."

The two man team that made up 24 Caret Games went their separate ways and old memories came back to haunt Gilgenbach.

"I struggled with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder for a large part of my life," he said. "That sent me down into a depressing episode.

"All of these memories were flooding back about how bad...

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Relativity hands-on: walking on the ceiling

I sat down in front of his MacBook last week on the PAX East 2014 show floor to play his first-person puzzle game and was greeted with an introductory message that told me to press space "to walk into wall."

I didn't know what that meant. Seconds later, in a large white room, I walked up to a wall, pressed the spacebar, and my entire perspective changed. Two virtual feet I couldn't see planted themselves on the wall, and gravity obeyed. The camera position switched and the floor changed color to ground me in my new surroundings. The former wall had become the floor, and I was on my way to...

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Hands-on with Aaru's Awakening's 100 percent hand-drawn platforming

Aaru's Awakening had graphical creativity on lock from the moment its developers started showing it off. At PAX East 2014, we had the opportunity to see if the gameplay could live up to the high bar its designers set.

You play as Aaru, a mythical creature that looks like a hybrid between a human crawling on all four limbs, a long-haired savannah cat and an anteater. In the PC version we played, Aaru moves with standard WASD controls. The mouse serves multiple purposes, the most significant of which is Aaru's teleportation ability.

Aaru's Awakening is a side-scrolling platformer with a...

Tales from inside the Diversity Lounge: PAX's half-baked experiment

The lounge had already become controversial when documents describing the initiative were leaked onto the internet. I didn’t know if I was horrified, proud or somewhere in the middle. Why does PAX need this? Wasn’t the whole show supposed to be safe? There weren’t any actual diversity specialists involved to my knowledge; it was made up of volunteers, who had booths of their own inside the lounge. A bit misleading, but the intent was still commendable.

PAX should be a safe place where people can be themselves and enjoy the things that make them happy, to meet new people or show off their...

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Upsilon Circuit is a game you can play only once, and when it ends, it's gone forever

Imagine a game you can only play once, where, when you die, you can never play again. Imagine an eight-player game that exists on a single server for several months and then, by design, disappears forever. Imagine a role-playing game where you can't upgrade your character, where you can't customize your character, but the people watching you can.

This is Upsilon Circuit. RobotLovesKitty told us all about their ideas for the new game and showed us an early version at PAX East 2014.

Alix Stolzer and Calvin Goble were thinking about permadeath. The everlasting death mechanic is nothing new....

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There Came an Echo's voice controls may be the best way to play

Using voice commands in games isn't something that gamers generally get excited about, usually because the commands fail too often or because speaking at a screen makes players feel silly. Yet Los Angeles-based Iridium Studios decided to design an entire game to be played with voice commands, and it's a real-time strategy title to boot — a genre known for control schemes that tend to be complex and work best with a keyboard and mouse.

Some might think that full voice navigation would force developers to keep their game simple, but we didn't find that to be the case in a demo of Iridium's T...

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Indies don't know everything, and that's good for aspiring developers

Christopher Floyd, an indie developer who also serves as the Megabooth's operations manager, offered a unique brand of encouragement to those in the audience who want to make games.

"My advice would be that, what I've learned over the last millennium (I don't know, however long I've been doing this), is that nobody knows what they're doing," Floyd said. "There is not a single person I've ever met in this industry who's like, 'Yes, I understand completely what is happening right now.'

"If you want to get into the game industry and you're like, 'Maybe I don't know enough,' then you're ready...

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Heroes of the Storm hands-on: learning to MOBA

I know MOBAs, but I have limited experience with the multiplayer online battle arena genre. Developer Blizzard Entertainment calls Heroes of the Storm an "online team brawler," but it's the same idea you'll find in games like Dota 2 and League of Legends. You fight for control of lanes. Players control heroes. Battles ebb and flow as each side whollops other players, their AI minions and towers in a battle of attrition leading to the others' base.

I know these games. I've seen these games. I've watched eSports commentary about these games. I've written about these games. What I haven't...

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Kero Blaster, Astebreed and the difference between 'doujin' and 'Japanese indies'

The sprawling Indie Megabooth at this year's PAX East featured a type of game rarely seen at the collective of independent game developers, a trio of titles — Kero Blaster, Astebreed and La-Mulana 2 — that were developed in Japan.

Osaka, Japan-based publisher Playism brought those games to Boston as part of the first event it attended in the west, exposing the work of indie and hobbyist game developers to a larger audience. It's an opportunity, Playism marketing manager Nayan Ramachandran told Polygon, for the Japanese indie game dev scene to play in the same space that Western game...

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Video games in education doesn't have to mean educational video games

Play is one of the fundamental ways in which humans learn. Video games, like games in general, are inherently educational, but they still haven't quite taken off in the classroom. Many teachers remain dismissive of video games, or outright hostile toward them. They don't recognize the value of video games as teaching tools. But according to the three individuals on the "Educational Video Gaming for the Millennial Generation" panel at PAX East 2014, there are plenty of ways to bring video games into the classroom and use them to augment the traditional curriculum.

Erin Ryan (above right), a...

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Star Trek Timelines creator aims to go where few Trek games have gone before

Disruptor Beam's strategy role-playing game based on the Star Trek franchise, the multiverse mashing Star Trek Timelines, hopes to accomplish what few other games based on the enduring sci-fi series have. Rather than focus mainly on ship-to-ship combat and action-filled away missions, Star Trek Timelines' creator wants to make science, diplomacy and character interaction key to gameplay.

Jon Radoff, CEO of Disruptor Beam, told Polygon at PAX East this weekend that his company is looking to hew closer to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's vision, rather than the action-oriented video game...

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Tackle sexism and gender inequality in games by speaking up, panel says (update)

One of the first questions addressed on the PAX East 2014 panel about gender inequality was whether it's a hot-button issue these days because we're just becoming more aware of it, or because it's actually getting worse. Either way, the panelists agreed that it's a problem, and essentially agreed on the best solution: Everyone has to speak up in order for the situation to get better.

"It was always just something you kind of accepted," said Susan Arendt (second from left above), managing editor for Joystiq, about sexism in the game industry and in games. But now, people are "more willing...

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Create songs on the fly with Alpha Muse

In Alpha Muse, players will create procedurally generated musical compositions along the path they fly. Developer Current Circus released this trailer of the latest build of the game to demonstrate that.

The game, currently in development for Windows PC, was shown at PAX East this weekend. In the game, the player-controlled creature will pick up other beings, which represent different musical elements added to the song they create. Players may then tweak and modify their songs by flying through "abstract audio-reactive spaces," and, when complete, can share their creations with others in...

Where are MMOs going in the next decade?

Massively multiplayer online games are a genre at a crossroads. Development funding, post-launch business models and the gameplay experience itself are a few of the elements of MMOs that are subject to constant experimentation these days. The world is changing, and during PAX East 2014 yesterday, a few individuals who are invested in the MMO market discussed the ways in which MMOs are going to evolve over the next decade to keep up.

The panelists agreed that there's no one-size-fits-all business model for MMOs; whether a game is free-to-play or requires a subscription of some kind has to...

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Homeworld Remastered collector's edition includes a 12-inch spaceship

Gearbox Software revealed the bonus that will be included in the collector's editions version of Homeworld Remastered, the developers's high-definition update of Relic Entertainment's Homeworld and Homeworld 2. It's a USB-powered, light up ship from the Homeworld games.

Steve Gibson of Gearbox announced the ship's inclusion in the Homeworld Remastered collector's edition at the developer's panel at PAX East today, saying that Gearbox is spending "an irresponsible amount" on the ship. Gibson said they expect the collector's edition of the game to be in limited supply and that they hope to...

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Star Citizen's Arena Commander is the first tantalizing taste of a great space sim

They had come to witness the first really playable sign of a game they had so much faith in that they had backed its creation with cash, nearly $42 million in cash. And to this gathering of the space sim faithful, Cloud Imperium Games co-founder and CEO Chris Roberts was an icon.

So when, after several short delays, Roberts introduced the dogfighting module for the hotly anticipated Star Citizen to the crowd, they forgave his backing into an asteroid.

The crowd roared with delight when the minutely detailed space fighter exploded. They watched in rapt attention as the game went through...

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Slice up foes and attach their limbs to yourself in Severed, by the makers of Guacamélee!

The next game from DrinkBox Studios (creators of Guacamélee!) is called Severed, and in it, players will explore an open world, defeat enemies — and attach their foes' body parts to themselves.

Severed is a gesture-based game coming to mobile platforms, but DrinkBox told Destructoid that it is open to the idea of bringing it to consoles that support gestures. DrinkBox is aiming for a 2015 release.

Lead designer Greg Lesky told Destructoid that the upgrade paths offered by absorbing your enemies body parts "is kind of like a Mega Man structure."

For more details on the game, see the...

How you craft Child of Light's story as you play

Ubisoft Montreal's Child of Light looks like a 2D side-scrolling platformer, and most of those games are all about mechanics; if there's a story, it's usually a static tale that doesn't have much to do with playing the game. But Child of Light lead writer told Polygon at PAX East 2014 that when he and creative director Patrick Plourde were designing the title's concept, they wanted story and gameplay to be deeply intertwined.

"I believe that gameplay is central to an interactive experience; otherwise, it should be a movie," said Yohalem. He explained that when Ubisoft greenlit the...

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The continuing evolution of Evolve

The latest game from Turtle Rock Studios, the developer behind Left 4 Dead, features four players controlling four hunters against a player-controlled monstrosity.

The tactically rich first-person shooter came to PAX East this weekend with a substantial change to the way the monster evolves over the course of a match.

When an early build of the game was shown off in February to the press, the sole playable monster at the time, the Goliath, started out by choosing a single one of its three abilities. As it leveled up over the course of the game, the player would be given new abilities.

B...

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Single player could be next for spaghetti western shooter Secret Ponchos

The upcoming Windows PC and PlayStation 4 online combat game can feature as many as eight players fighting it out in a free-for-all, or other modes of play. Players get to choose from five different characters each with unique primary and secondary attacks, movements and moves.

While the game will be released as a multiplayer-only title, Yousef Mapara, president and creative director of developer Switchblade Monkeys, said that the team is looking at adding AI controlled characters to the game following its launch.

"We have AI bots in development," he said. "AI gameplay modes would be with...

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Watch Below from Capy Games in dark, atmospheric, dungeon-crawling action

And then the game sets the player free to explore its plains, caverns and the decaying remnants of the land's previous explorers, with no clear direction, no explanation about why the wanderer is there or what he or she might find in its depths.

Below is a quiet game that communicates much of its narrative and the finer details of its gameplay, like sword-based combat, through visual cues, not prompts and help text. Below doesn't lead you by the hand with tutorials, lengthy dialogue or coddling waypoints.

It is, instead, a brutal but fair game, its creators say, where you play as a...

Why Logitech redesigned a beloved gaming mouse

It's been five years since Logitech has completely redesigned its flagship gaming mouse, as much as 11 years depending on how you define the core design, so it was with immense care that they rolled out a replacement for their popular G500S.

The G502 Proteus Core tunable mouse hits stores this month, replacing the G500s with what Logitech product manager Chris Pate said is the best technology put into a mouse.

"It's replacing the beloved shape of the G500s," he said. "It's designed to feel good to people who have used the G500s, but to also improve the design.

"This is our flagship...

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Cards Against Humanity and the art of hyper-local crowdsourcing

Seven co-creators of Cards Against Humanity spent much of their PAX East 2014 panel soliciting suggestions that would, presumably, make it into future expansions for "the party game for horrible people." It's unlikely, however, that the audience expected to see their ideas realized quite so soon.

Here's a brief primer for those unfamiliar with the game. Cards Against Humanity can be described as an adult-oriented version of the card game Apples to Apples. In the standard version of the game, one player selects a black card, which contains a prompt of some kind — a question to be answered...

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Titanfall's first DLC is called Expedition, hits with three maps in May

Titanfall, Respawn Entertainment's first-person shooter filled with giant mechanical robots, will get its first pack of downloadable content, called Expedition, this May.

The DLC's story will take place after the multiplayer campaign. A map called "Swampland" will be set among the ruins of "archaic alien technology" and include trees for wall running. A second map called "Runoff" includes water. The third map is called "War Games" and is based in the game's training simulator.

The announcement came at a PAX East 2014 retrospective panel that covered the game's development. Respawn's...

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Bottoms up: Kinect-enabled Soda Drinker Pro is coming to the Xbox One

Soda Drinker Pro is coming to the Xbox One in September. And it will be Kinect-enabled.

Joystiq reports that the indie oddity will use Kinect to let players chug actual soda in real life to complete the game's challenges. Various levels exclusive to Xbox One, such as "Drinking Soda Through Time," will also be included.

The game's creator, Will Brierly, confirmed that the game will run at 60 frames per second with 1080p native resolution. "It's important," he told Joystiq. "We need a pixel perfect experience with complete fluid dynamics."

Also included in the release is Vivian Clark, an...

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Mercenary Kings dev bringing Curses 'N Chaos, Ninja Senki DX to Vita and PC

Tribute Games, developer of Mercenary Kings and Wizorb, will release a pair of games for PlayStation Vita and PC later this year: arcade action game Curses 'N Chaos and action platformer Ninja Senki DX.

Curses 'N Chaos is a wave-based action game in which players battle a series of ghosts, goblins and other creatures as they swarm in from the left and right sides of the screen. Playing as either a lightly armored knight or a martial artist, players have little at their disposal in how they can dispatch monsters. You're punching or kicking most of what you see, or double-jumping to get out...

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Hands-on with Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

The sequel to Dennaton Games' top-down, retro-styled, graphically and narratively brutal action game felt and looked just like its 2012 predecessor. This is a familiar, dire universe.

I exited a car, grabbed some weapons from its trunk and entered a building filled with people looking for an excuse to murder me. To be fair, it's a Hotline Miami game, so I had an excuse to murder them, too.

I first played Hotline Miami on PC. Truth? I was terrible. I have no reason to believe that it was the game. I've been a controller guy almost all of my life, and I just don't have the mouse and...

Record Run from Harmonix in development for Android and iOS, planned for May release

Record Run, Harmonix Music Systems' upcoming free-to-play running rhythm game, is in development for Android and iOS, director of publishing and public relations John Drake revealed at a PAX East 2014 panel today.

"If you have a tablet or a phone, we hope we can get this game to you," Drake said, though he joked that a Windows Phone release may be unlikely.

Record Run is "in submission at one of the first parties now" and should be out in the next week or two, but first in Australia and Canada to make sure it works. Harmonix is planning on a wider release in May.

Drake played a demo of...

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Murdered: Soul Suspect strives to strike a balance between narrative and play

Developed by Airtight Games for Square Enix, the game puts players in the shoes of recently murdered detective Ronan O'Connor. The detective finds himself dead on a street after pursuing a lead on a serial killer. When he tries to reunite with his dead wife she tells him he has something to resolve before the two can meet in the afterlife.

That's where the third-person perspective game picks up, with the spirit of O'Connor standing over the body of O'Connor.

"Square came to us wanting to do a collaborative project," said Matt Brunner, creative officer of Airtight Games. "We sat down and...

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See Firaxis' vision for the future in Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Civilization's future lies among the stars, and for that to happen, the developers at Firaxis had to invent the history of the future for Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, rather than draw from a real past.

Firaxis' Lena Brenk and Anton Strenger explain their studio's approach to Polygon's Dave Tach in this video, including the "tech web," which replaces the familiar, linear tech tree of the Civilization series. Players also must choose from three approaches to colonizing the new planet, and each of these "affinities" will have a different outcome for victory.

For more on...

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth will take humanity to space this fall

This fall on Linux, Mac and Windows PC for $49.99, Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth will take the strategy game beyond the confines of its home turf to an alien world that players will colonize and where they will forge a new future of humanity.

Polygon spoke with four of the upcoming game's developers to learn about the game, the challenges a new venture like this poses for those creating it and how escaping Earth's gravitational pull will change the long running series.

THE GREAT MISTAKE

From its very first incarnations, the Civilization series has always been grounded in human...

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PAX South in San Antonio announced for Jan. 23-25, 2015

Penny Arcade is expanding PAX to Texas with PAX South in San Antonio, co-founders Mike Krahulik (above right) and Jerry Holkins (left) announced today during their "Make A Strip" panel at PAX East 2014.

The inaugural PAX South will take place from Jan. 23-25, 2015, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, located on the east bank of San Antonio's famous Riverwalk. Robert Khoo, Penny Arcade's president, teased a new PAX earlier this month on Twitter.

Prior to today's announcement, Penny Arcade ran three PAX conventions around the world: PAX Prime in Seattle, which began in 2004; PAX...

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Indie games, urban minorities and how to mix the two

Shawn Alexander Allen admitted that his PAX East 2014 talk was "a little less tangible" than other gaming subjects, but he came to talk about something he's clearly very passionate about.

In a talk titled "How urban black and Latino cultures can be the next frontier for indie games," the Treachery in Beatdown City developer tried to figure out why there aren't more minorities in the independent game development community and what could be done about it.

"I guess it's not really news that there's a dearth of those people," he said. Even he admits he didn't pay much attention to the...

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Why the future of rhythm games might not be so rigid

At PAX East, a quartet of developers scratched their proverbial chins and prognosticated about the future of music games.

In what directions can they head?

According to Disco Pixel's Trevor Stricker, developer of the rhythm game Jungle Rumble, which combines rhythm and real-time strategy games, in many video games, players make choices and compromises. For example, they might choose [strong] but slow items or fast but weak items. In some rhythm games, you're following a script and being graded on timing.

Harmonix's Jim Toepel said that rhythm games can become less precise. Many rhythm...

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Hitman Go: From tabletop game to slick, addictive mobile puzzler

"The first prototypes were built on paper with printed out little dudes," said creative director Daniel Lutz. "I played the AI and the other person played Hitman."

Eventually that creation became the iOS game set for an April 17 release, but in making the leap from paper to digital, it managed to retain that tabletop feel.

The game takes place across five settings, each delivered in its own boxed set within the app. All told there are 68 levels to play, all of which are included in the $4.99 purchase price.

The game itself is relatively simple, a sleek, stripped down take on the core...

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Gaming is helping to keep the PC market alive, PC gaming panel says

During today's computer gaming panel at PAX East 2014, "The (Incredible) Future of PC Gaming," the topic at hand was — as you may have guessed — a contrarian viewpoint to the conventional wisdom that holds that the PC is on the decline. At the same time, it's not as if the panelists, who came from a wide spectrum of the PC gaming industry, were blind to the realities of the market. They just focused on the gaming segment of the platform. Gaming, they said, will keep the PC relevant for the foreseeable future.

According to the panelists, there are many positive aspects of the PC platform...

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Cosmic DJ is a quirky music sequencer more than it is a rhythm game

Developer GL33k's Cosmic DJ straddles the line between video game and interactive music tool, an application that sends players on an intergalactic mission to make music, repair "jamtennas" and save a space corgi.

Cosmic DJ, according to its creators and publisher Devolver Digital, is a pick up and play musical experience that allows its users to make music even if they don't have much musical know-how. The game presents players with a series of challenges wrapped around a quirky story, asking players to tap along to click tracks in order to craft custom music. Players sequence keyboard,...

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The Evil Within seems surreally horrific at times, and slightly dull at others

Mikami wasn't present at the demonstrations, nor was any member of developer Tango Gameworks, instead the studio let the game speak for itself.

Attendees got a chance to watch someone play through a small section of two areas of the game. The Evil Within, I was later told, is divided into 14 chapters and what we saw were glimpses of chapter six and chapter ten.

Where one chapter had the player roaming the desolated streets of an unnamed city fighting off what appeared to be a sort of zombie with guns and fire, the other was a look at a much darker, twisted, unsettling world of The Evil...

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Boston requests bomb checks, bathroom tweaks for PAX East

For the first time in the show's history, those attending PAX East had to have their bags searched for potentially dangerous items.

The bag search stations set up in front of every entrance to the Boston Convention and Expo center was at the request of the city, said Robert Khoo, president of Penny Arcade.

"I'm fully in support of it," he said. "I consider it to be a minor inconvenience."

Friday morning, the bag searches didn't seem to be slowing things down too much.

The city's bag search requirement was prompted in part by the massive size of the audience attending the annual show and...

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Harmonix announces mobile runner Record Run

Harmonix is moving into the mobile market, and its first foray when it comes to games is a music-based runner called Record Run, studio head Alex Rigopulos announced during his talk at PAX East 2014 today.

It's not Harmonix's first-ever mobile project; the studio released VidRhythm, a free iOS app that allowed players to create brief music videos, in 2011.

Rigopulos began with an explanation of some new technology at Harmonix that allows games to import a song from a player's personal collection and turn it into gameplay. "If you really love the music in the game, you enjoy the game...

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Heroes of the Storm trailer shows off the power of Kerrigan in action

The latest trailer for Blizzard's upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game Heroes of the Storm shows off what playable character Kerrigan, of the StarCraft franchise, looks like in action.

The battle arena game features a collective of well-known characters from Blizzard's roster of earlier releases, which players can select to fight against other users.

Characters include Diablo of Diablo fame, Stitches and Uther of World of Warcraft and Raynor and Tychus of StarCraft 2, among others.

Last month, Blizzard announced that it would be inviting select Battle.net users into the early...

Hearthstone getting single-player Curse of Naxxramas adventure mode

Free-to-play digital card battling title Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is getting a single-player adventure mode, Curse of Naxxramas, Blizzard announced today.

The new content will launch simultaneously on iPad, Mac and Windows PC at a later date.

Players will be sent to Naxxramas, a floating necropolis "filled with the stuff of nightmares" that will be familiar to those intimate with World of Warcraft lore. Using their deck of choice, players will face off against a score of undead bosses across the five different wings of the Naxxramas player-versus-environment scenario.

Along the...

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Robot Entertainment's Orcs Must Die! Unchained unveils multiplayer battles and enters alpha

Free-to-play multiplayer tower-battler, Orcs Must Die! Unchained, is the newest game in the Orcs Must Die! franchise and is now available via alpha access.

A trailer for Orcs Must Die! Unchained was released recently, with the game due to be shown at PAX East this weekend. Today's trailer, which features third-person combat and character selection panels, promises that the game will be "bigger, deeper and meatier." Unlike earlier titles in the tower defense series, Orcs Must Die! Unchained offers 5 vs 5 multiplayer battles, with bots as optional human proxies.

Beginning today, those...

On eve of PAX East, organizers promise to start the rebuilding of trust in Penny Arcade

The show and the brand was tarnished last year by a series of social media storms sparked by insensitive and transphobic remarks by a founder of the more-than-a-webcomic brand.

Penny Arcade's fifth east coast expo, tickets for which sold out the day they were made available, kicks off tomorrow in Boston. The show is their first chance to publicly start trying to repair the damage they caused to their brand and community.

"I really do believe we're done with these incidents," says Robert Khoo, the business manager for Penny Arcade, whose expositions are a uniquely populist force in video...

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Bioware explores Dragon Age and Mass Effect at this year's PAX East

Bioware's PAX East schedule is live, with weekend-long panels on Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises, developer signings and industry representatives discussing how to break into the games industry.

This year's panels will include "Behind the Scenes: Getting A Job at Bioware," "From Relay to Relay: Exploring the Mass Effect Universe" and "Dragon Age Inquisition: The Open World of Thedas".

A number of developers and staff from Bioware will be in attendance this year, including Mass Effect writer Cathleen Rootsaert, Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw and community manager Jessica...

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