News
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Double Fine lays off staff as unannounced project falls through

Double Fine today laid off a dozen staff members, blaming the loss of a deal for an unannounced project, according to GamesIndustry. "One of our unannounced projects was unexpectedly cancelled by its publisher, forcing us to reduce our staff by 12 people," said company founder Tim Schafer. "Our remaining projects, Broken Age (pictured), Massive Chalice, and Grim Fandango Remastered, were unaffected." San Francisco-based Double Fine is best known for the likes of Costume Quest and The Cave, released through traditional publishers, but also self-published and crowd-financed projects like Broken Age and Massive Chalice.
Analysis
114 Comments

Sony and Microsoft are giving you games, and GameStop isn't happy

Generally speaking, hardware manufacturers and games retailers are natural partners, seeking to create order and control in the universe. The console companies make the machines and the retailers sell the machines and both profit from the sale of games for the machines. But as the nature of retail shifts, so too does the relationship between the retailers and the hardware companies, a ripple that threatens the harmony tying these powerful forces together. As the digital era gets into full swing, it's Sony and Microsoft which become the chief beneficiaries, selling games directly to consumers without the need for mall store-fronts or even online retail hubs. The console companies become retailers. This puts them in direct competition with their chums at companies such as GameStop. And...
Hardware
11 Comments

Dell's Alienware Alpha 'PC console' ships today

The "PC console" era doesn't officially begin until the arrival of the much-vaunted Steam Machines in 2015. But in the meantime, Dell today launched its own under-the-TV PC games machine. The Alienware Alpha shipped out to customers today, with an entry price of $550, rising to $900. It comes with an Xbox 360 controller and uses its own user interface called Alpha-UI, designed around Steam Big Picture and controller-enabled PC games. It also comes with Windows 8.1, for those inclined. The cheapest model is based around an Intel Core i3-4130T dual-core processor, a 2 GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU, 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive, making it a fairly basic machine, unsuited for the most demanding PC games, for which the more expensive models are designed. Dell is offering a bundle...
News
6 Comments

Eve Online's amazing new trailer focuses on the players and their stories

Eve Online is, at its heart, a sandbox. It's a completely open world, and in fact the game often spills out into the real world as players try to work angles between player-created corporations and organizations. To show off that sense of dramatic, player-driven content CCP Games sent out a call for samples of in-game voice chat. The company received a large number of submissions, and went through the best, or at least most interesting snippets and combined them with work from the team's cinematics department to create a trailer that tries to explain what EVE Online feels like to play. The trailer is fascinating. It's partially cinematic, partially overwhelming and with a good dose of humor. Much like the game itself. Check out our feature if you'd like to learn more about the...
News
4 Comments

Telltale's Game of Thrones requires six episodes due to its 'scope and scale'

Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series will span six episodes, a decision made early, in order to properly tell an epic story, writer Andrew Grant recently told IGN. "As we got into it, we realized the arc was well-suited to a six-episode arc, with the first episode doing a lot of heavy lifting in introducing who these playable characters are," Grant said. "Let's give you a chance to know them, and grapple a little bit with the initial dilemma." Telltale, which is responsible for episodic games such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us and Tales from the Borderlands, typically favors five episodes per season; only a handful of its titles go above or below that mark. Game of Thrones is expected to take place near the end of Season 3 of the HBO TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin's...
News
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Even your horrible death by starvation and zombie bites is adorable in MiniDayZ

DayZ is such a painfully difficult game that even turning it into a cutesy, pixelated, 2D version of itself doesn't change how soul-crushingly hard it can be. MiniDayZ, a bitsy remake of the open-world survival horror MMO DayZ, was created by CannedBits, a Russia-based fan of the game. The single-player demake was picked up and officially published by Bohemia Interactive today as a freebie for fans of the title. Like its undead big brother, MiniDayZ has players roaming a desolate landscape in search of the bare minimum in hopes of surviving. You still need to worry about food, water, bleeding or freezing to death, and of course other survivors and itsy-bitsy zombies. It's all so cute ... and horrible. Even when you die, you won't be stop yourself from both muttering and saying...
Culture
44 Comments

Feminist hacker Barbie doesn't need your goddamned help, Steven and Brian

In response to the uproar over Mattel's sexist Barbie I Can Be a Computer Engineer, in which Barbie declares that she needs male assistance in order to make her game idea a reality, the internet has responded in the most wonderful way. With memes. A quick search of the Twitter hashtag #FeministHackerBarbie will bring up the goods. The Barbie in these images doesn't need some dude to help her code. Barbie knows it's best to avoid office romance AND weighing in on vim or emacs. #FeministHackerBarbie pic.twitter.com/ROHnzMT0sw— Andrew Vestal (@avestal) November 20, 2014 #FeministHackerBarbie is also a #UX ninja. pic.twitter.com/Lz9ZJpiVZW— Dan Lovejoy (@danlovejoy) November 21, 2014 Look out... If you don't know. Now you know. #...
14 Comments

Yes, GameStop's 10-year-old Super Smash Bros. prodigy was a publicity stunt

The world of competitive Super Smash Bros. went crazy with the news of "Karissa the Destroyer," a 10 year-old kid who showed up at a West Hollywood tournament thrown by GameStop and destroyed all the competition. That competition, it should be noted, included Smash player D’Ron "D1" Maingrette, who tweeted about the event in amazement. Sitting at lunch in bewilderment. A random 10 year old girl was destroying everyone in Smash 4 at the Gamestop!!! BRUUUHHHHH!!!! — Apex | D1 (@xD1x) November 8, 2014 The rumors that this was all some sort of stunt began immediately. It takes a significant time investment to become this good at Super Smash Bros., which means Karissa would have had to have begun her training at an almost impossibly young age. This wasn't just a kid who...
News
37 Comments

How to create Daenerys Targaryen in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Designing a great character in Dragon: Age Inquisition is the first step to kicking off a successful game, but why settle when you can play as the Mother of Dragons? Reddit user killerewok added a Game of Thrones twist to Inquisition by recreating Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke in the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin's novels. Not only is killerewok's recreation stunningly accurate, but it's also available to players everywhere, thanks to screenshots of the customization sliders. Check out the album on Imgur for directions on how to make your own Daenerys. Does your Inquisitor have a familiar face? Show us in the comments below. For more on Dragon Age: Inquisition, check out our review.
News
4 Comments

Riot wants to pay for your League of Legends security hacks and exploits

League of Legends is arguably the most popular game in the world, but Riot lacked a quick and easy way for individuals to share weaknesses in the game's security. One security researcher found a vulnerability, emailed Riot and then a week later the message finally reached Riot's security team. He did the right thing, but Riot didn't have a system to react to him or to reward his work. Riot's latest idea? Put the security pros to work. If you find a weakness in League of Legends, they'll pay you for it. "No software connected to the internet can be considered 100 percent secure. We know that smart people all over the world poke at our software, websites and infrastructure, looking for weaknesses. Some will successfully find security vulnerabilities," Riot stated on an official blog...
News
52 Comments

Here are the nominees for The Game Awards 2014

The Game Awards 2014 creator Geoff Keighley announced the nominees for the awards yesterday, and there's an eclectic mix of titles up for the top honor: Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. No game was nominated more than three times, with four titles tied for that number of nods: Dark Souls 2, Hearthstone, Shadow of Mordor and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Nintendo was the most-nominated publisher, with 12 selections. Staff members from a group of 28 publications, including Polygon, voted on the games of 2014 to put together the list. Games had to have a release date of Nov. 25 or earlier in order to be eligible. While Keighley is producing The Game Awards himself, without the involvement of Spike...
News
4 Comments

Oh, the Pokémon you'll meet in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

There's a new animated trailer for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and this one wants you to meet just a few of the many Pokémon you'll encounter on your journey. The trailer kicks off with this generation's starters — Mudkip, Torchic and Treecko — before moving on to the Mega-Evolutions introduced in the remake. Watch the trailer above to see them in action. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are available today on Nintendo 3DS. For more on the game, check out our review.
News
45 Comments

Play Sunset Overdrive for free this Saturday

If you haven't had a chance to check out Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive yet, this weekend is your chance. Specifically, Microsoft is inviting all Xbox Live Gold members to play the game for free for 24 hours starting Nov. 22 at 12:01 a.m. ET. Players will earn, and be able to keep, achievements, and be able to save their progress in the game. The game's eight-player cooperative multiplayer experience, Chaos Squad, will also be playable for free to Gold members tomorrow. Next week, Insomniac Games' All-Star team will showcase several new weapons coming soon to the game on the Xbox Twitch channel. You can watch the stream on Monday at 10 a.m. PT.
News
15 Comments

Happy 10th anniversary World of Warcraft, thanks for these awesome presents

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary for Blizzard's massively multiplayer, massively popular online game World of Warcraft, and to celebrate, the developer is handing out some neat in-game goodies and play. All of the anniversary content hits today and will remain available until Jan. 6, 2015 at 10 a.m. PT, according to Blizzard officials. Here's what you can get if you drop in on the game, which most recently received the Warlords of Draenor expansion: Everyone who logs in during the anniversary celebration will receive a Molten Corgi. Yes, that's right, a cute, cuddly dog made of pure lava. Keeping with that theme, the classic 40-player raid Molten Core will be available in Raid Finder for level 100 players. Completing the raid successfully will reward players with a Core Hound...
Report
1 Comment

One man's journey from LucasArts to a bicycle to Telltale Games to interactive radio drama

In the early 90's, after several years at LucasArts working on now-legendary adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, Dave Grossman traded his desk job for a bike."I was burning out both kind of personally and professionally in about 1994," Grossman told Polygon. "And I went on a bicycle ride from here to Canada, which is probably about 1,500 miles, I would say. It was kind of like a, 'Let's figure out what's really important to me about what I do and how I actually want to do it.' By the time he rode back home, he'd found his path. No matter where he was going, the tug of narrative would guide him. "And then I came back and quit my job and took a lot more writing gigs and that kind of thing. I was mostly interested in this whole area of...
News
13 Comments

Microsoft Store's Black Friday deals include Xbox One AC Unity bundle plus extra game for $329

The Microsoft Store's Black Friday deals aren't that spectacular, mostly matching what the big retailers will have available come the end of next week, but they do have a bunch of games on sale. That includes drops on bundles, games and accessories, all starting on Thanksgiving Day. I've written them all up for you below. The store has two Xbox One bundles and four Xbox 360 bundles for sale. You can pick up the Assassin's Creed Unity Xbox One bundle, which includes both Unity and Black Flag, for $329.99, or the same bundle with Kinect for $429.99. Both of these come with an extra game. You can get a 4 GB Xbox 360 console plus a game for $129.99, a blue or black Xbox 360 500 GB system with Call of Duty: Ghosts, Black Ops 2 and a month of Xbox Live Gold for $199.99 or an Xbox 360 4GB...
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