News
6 Comments

The Elder Scrolls Online's guild bank disabled

The Elder Scrolls Online developer Zenimax Online Studios disabled the game's guild bank feature today on European and North American servers, according to a post on the game's official forums. The developers did not explain why the guild bank feature was disabled in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game or when players might expect it to return. The halt could be in response to a bug that Reddit user Mistress-Rarity described earlier today. "Some of you may already be aware," Mistress-Rarity wrote, "but a game breaking bug has hit ESO that allows characters to duplicate stacks of materials in their bank. It is so simple, in fact, that it is possible to do it by pure accident. I will not explain this exploit, but it is the first result of googling 'ESO Item Dupe.'" The...
News
0 Comments

Chroma Squad gameplay video shows you everything you missed at PAX East

A video from Chroma Squad developer Behold Studios shows off 30 minutes of gameplay featured during the demo at PAX East, which took place last weekend. Chroma Squad is a tactical role-playing game in which players control a Power Rangers-esque squad for a TV show. When the cameras aren't rolling, players will cast actors, purchase equipment and craft Mechas. In the video above, game designer Mark Venturelli walks players through creating a studio, recruiting actors and putting together a squad. Once in battle, Venturelli also briefly touches on the role of the audience, how to take out enemies and more. Alpha access to Chroma Squad is currently available to Kickstarter backers and those that pay $25 through the game's website for the Beta Tester Edition. The game is expected to...
Opinion
72 Comments

Blizzard silenced Hearthstone players, and it made the game amazing

A well-constructed Mage deck in Blizzard’s free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone has the satisfying ability to take the enemy’s figurative arm over your knee to snap the bone in two.The Polymorph card allows you to turn any minion on the board into a sheep that can only hit for one damage, with one unit of health. It can take out some of the biggest threats from your opponent. The Fireball card costs four mana and deals six points of damage to whatever it hits. But the Mage's holy terror of doom is Flame Strike. It’s not a complicated card. You don’t have to set it up in order to bring destruction on your enemy. You don’t have to build your deck around it. It costs seven mana to cast, and deals four damage to every enemy minion on the board. It all but destroys...
Report
6 Comments

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

The phrase itself conjures up emotions.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 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 it. The free-to-play model is evolving, and the developers at Carbon Games, FrogDice and RobotLovesKitty showed us how. CARBON GAMES: AIRMECH ARENA O...
News
5 Comments

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, from long-range cannon towers to low-cost gun towers to lasers, which quickly fire but deliver a continued burn. The goal, as in most games in the tower defense family, is to build the smartest...
News
8 Comments

JetGetters dev cancels successful Kickstarter, No Time To Explain to launch for Xbox One

The Kickstarter campaign for tinyBuild's "fighter hi-jacking game," JetGetters — which successfully completed funding earlier this week — was canceled by its creators due to a "delay" in the game's development cycle. TinyBuild announced the news officially via Kickstarter. The 517 backers that pledged money will get their funds back, as well as access to the tinyBundle — a promotion that gifts seven of the developer's games, of which three have been released. The game will still be released for Linux, Mac, Ouya, Windows and SteamOS, though it's expected next year, rather than this holiday season. Speaking about the cancellation, tinyBuild explained that it wanted to be "up front and honest." "During the Game Developers Conference (GDC) and the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX East)," the...
News
9 Comments

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

Eighty hours a week for four years. $70,000 out of pocket. Matt Gilgenbach, like many indie developers, poured his heart, soul, life and finances into one single, all-encompassing passion project: 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...
News
3 Comments

Hide-and-seek horror title The Flock coming to Steam

Dutch indie developer Vogelsap will release its hide-and-seek based survival horror title The Flock through Steam as part of an agreement with Valve, the company told Polygon this morning. The Flock is an asymmetrical multiplayer title designed for three to five players. These players because the Flock, deformed humanoid monsters with gnarled limbs and protruding bones, roaming a barren and dark world in which all life has perished. Gameplay is similar to red-light-green-light in that players must catch each other while they are unaware in order to take them out of the game. Players must become a being called a Carrier by gaining control of the Light Artifact, a mirror that shines a beam of light wherever it is pointed. The Carrier is slower and weaker than all other Flock, making...
News
33 Comments

Why Square Enix uses DRM

Square Enix uses digital rights management to earn profits and protect its intellectual property, Square Enix America's senior manager of business and legal affairs Adam Sullivan told TorrentFreak. Square Enix has "a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs," Sullivan said, and it employs DRM to further that goal. "The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit," he said. Though he acknowledged that some players have problems and there is "no perfect solution yet," DRM also has other benefits that help developers. "When F2P began trending, lots of people thought it would be the death of DRM. I remember talking with one F2P developer who couldn't imagine why hackers would want to attack his game, since it was free and all. Two months later they...
News
2 Comments

Chaos Reborn Kickstarter surpasses crowdfunding goal

The crowdfunding campaign for Chaos Reborn surpassed its funding goal, according the game's Kickstarter page. As of this writing, the campaign has received $193,695 in pledges of its $180,000 goal from 4,721 backers with 11 hours remaining. "Chaos Reborn has been funded with just 34 hours to go on the clock," developer Julian Gollop wrote on the Chaos Reborn's Kickstarter blog. "Thank you to everybody who backed the project and promoted it. Thanks to my team for working after hours to make the prototype possible, and providing all the art and publicity material during the campaign. And thanks mum for being such a vocal supporter!" The designer of XCOM: UFO Defense launched the turn-based strategy game's crowdfunding campaign last month. It's planned for a spring 2015 release on...
News
7 Comments

Relativity hands-on: walking on the ceiling

Relativity's hook is difficult to explain, and developer Willy Chyr knows it.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 solving my first puzzle. In Relativity, everything is relative. This is Willy Chyr's first game. Last week, he brought it...
News
4 Comments

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

When Reykjavik, Iceland-based Lumenox Games revealed Aaru's Awakening last year, its hand-drawn aesthetic was its most defining feature. 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 twist: You're often forced to traverse terrain that you can't...
News
10 Comments

Twitch donating to help fund Twitch-powered Choice Chamber

Developer Studio Bean and Twitch are teaming up to fund the Kickstarter campaign for Choice Chamber, a "real-time, crowdsourced, procedurally generated game where your fate is in everyone else's hands." According to a representative from Twitch, at 12 p.m. ET today, the organization will "donate half of the remaining amount needed to reach their goal." Studio Bean launched Choice Chamber's Kickstarter campaign last month. As of this writing, it's received $14,861 in pledges of its $30,000 goal from 475 backers with four days remaining. Choice Chamber, a side-scrolling platformer for Mac and Windows PC that puts players in an endless enemy-filled dungeon, is designed to be played alongside a live Twitch video stream. Viewers can vote to change game elements like the shape of enemies...
News
6 Comments

Phishers get creative with bogus offer for World of Warcraft's new expansion

Phishing scammers are targeting World of Warcraft players with a tempting but bogus pre-order offer tied to the Warlords of Draenor expansion, warns the security firm Malwarebytes. The bait, says Malwarebytes, is in the subject header: "Gift-Boost a character to Level 90 when you pre-purchase Warlords of Draenor!" The email body, purportedly from Battle.net, tells the recipient they're one of 50,000 selected to receive the expansion for free, and provides a code. Then they're directed to a phishing site that Malwarebytes credits as being very believable in appearance. It's all a big lure to funnel them through to a "redemption page" that asks users to give their Battle.net security question and answer. The email originates from a Gmail account and the link goes to "an already known...
News
13 Comments

Jane Jensen's Moebius: Empire Rising now available for Windows PC and Mac

The latest story trailer for Moebius: Empire Rising, third-person mystery adventure game from Gabriel Knight series designer Jane Jensen and her Pinkerton Road Studio, is available now for Windows PC and Mac for $29.99. The title can be purchased from online distributors such as Steam, GoG and GamersGate. Those who purchase the game through the Phoenix Online Studios Store are eligible for 20 percent off using a discount code. iPad and Android versions are due for release shortly. The game centers on protagonist Malachi Rector, an antiques specialist, genius and sleuth with a photographic memory. He gets caught up in a worldwide government conspiracy when he is sent to Venice to investigate the murder of a young woman. Running at 15-20 hours, gameplay in the puzzle-centric Moebius c...
Culture
8 Comments

Swedish politicians compete in StarCraft 2 tournament ahead of election

A group of politicians in Sweden took part on a StarCraft 2 tournament this past weekend to "raise awareness about eSports in politics, and politics among gamers," The Daily Dot reports. The tournament, called Politikerstarcraft, was created by Jonathan Rider Lundkvist in 2010. Lundkvist was a member of the Swedish Pirate Party, which formed in 2006 to focus on issues like net neutrality, censorship, copyright and patent reform. Politikerstarcraft is held just for fun, but the 2010 winner Mathias Sundin coincidentally won the tournament for his party, which ended up winning the election that year. This year's tournament was the second Politikerstarcraft held, and featured commentary from Swedish StarCraft 2 casting duo Living on the Ladder. Participants included candidates for local...
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