Minimum offers multiplayer shooting without the frills

Minimum has the look of a shooting prototype; boxy, skinless models leaping about in a plain, undecorated world.But it's actually a work of intense design. Getting something simple to look sophisticated is the magic trick of minimalism. In Minimum, various shades of gray and beige work with stark, straight lines and tiny splashes of color to produce that rare thing, a combat world that looks fresh and interesting. The game itself borrows from classic multiplayer team-shooters of the 1990s as well as more modern MOBAs, creating frenetic but tactical gunplay along barrier-dotted lanes. There is a heavy emphasis on power progression inside individual games. Minimum is due to be released for Windows PC on Steam Early Access in the next few weeks. Published by Atari, it's been developed by...

Minecraft Realms now available in North America

Minecraft Realms, Mojang's private-server service for Minecraft, is now available in North America, the studio announced today. The service gives Minecraft players the opportunity to pay a subscription fee for Mojang to host a private server for a small group of people, like family and friends — as many as 20 individuals. Minecraft Realms servers are available 24/7, and owners have the ability to roll back the world to an earlier restore point in the case of a catastrophe. Subscriptions start at $13 per month, and the service is currently available only for the Windows PC version of Minecraft. Mojang debuted Minecraft Realms in Sweden last December. With today's launch in North America, it is now available in the Åland Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Croatia,...

Investors put up millions for a virtual reality treadmill and now it could come to consoles

Virtuix raised $1.1 million on Kickstarter to release the Omni virtual reality treadmill, but the company isn’t finished raising capital. Virtuix has just completed a $3 million seed investment round, which will be used to expand the company size, enhance distribution and make sure the company has enough stock to meet possible demand. The investors include Mark Cuban, who originally declined an investment when the product appeared on the popular television show Shark Tank. It’s an interesting situation; investors are interested in virtual reality due to a single massive investment from one of the most powerful companies in tech, not the sales of any released product. "The Facebook acquisition of Oculus was great news for our industry, and validated all the work we’ve been doing and...

Moebius: Empire Rising review: remedial history

Moebius: Empire Rising was difficult for me to get through. It's not difficult in the traditional sense — any determined player with an eye for adventure game logic will be able to complete it. No, I found it hard to get through because of its unlikable lead character, dopey writing, uneven puzzle design and omnipresent sexism. There were times during my playthrough where I caught glimpses of what writer/producer/designer Jane Jensen (famous for her work on the Gabriel Knight series) was going for — but Moebius utterly failed to recreate the charm of a 1990s-era adventure game. Moebius stars Malachi Rector, a genius art appraiser with a cold, misanthropic demeanor courtesy of a difficult past. Throughout the game, Malachi traveled the world, appraised rare artifacts, solved...

The latest Evolve trailer lets you control what you watch

A new trailer for co-op shooter Evolve gives you six different perspectives that can be switched between by viewers. The Evolve — 4v1 Interactive Trailer shows off the entirety of an Evolve match from the perspective of Griffin the Trapper, Markov the Assault, Hank the Support, Val the Medic, The Goliath Monster, along with a sixth channel combining each perspective while adding a commentary from the studio's co-founder and design director Aaron Chambers and Chris Ashton. Turtle Rock's previous works include Valve's Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and the Left 4 Dead games. The studio was originally developing Evolve to be published by THQ, but the IP went up for sale when THQ collapsed in December 2012. Evolve was purchased for $10.8 million by publisher Take-Two last January during...

H1Z1 lets you loot items bought with real-world money

Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming zombie-centric release H1Z1 will allow players to loot items you purchased with real-world money — but only temporarily. Company president John Smedley took to Reddit this week to explain how microtransactions will work alongside the game's PvP gameplay, stating: "We've also come up with a pretty awesome idea to let players who kill other players loot stuff."So if a player has a black ski mask and gets killed by another player, that player can wear the ski mask for a few deaths (we have durability in the game. Station Cash wearables won't degrade at all but when you loot something.. it will degrade. Please note the original player always keeps their SC purchased wearables. "This gives the great feeling of whacking some unsuspecting fool who decided...

How Call of Duty: Ghosts' new Chaos Mode perks will level the playing field

A new developer diary from Call of Duty: Ghosts studio Infinity Ward details the new Chaos Mode added to the alien-centric Extinction campaign. The guide gives you an idea of the perks available to players when racking up combos against the ever-increasing number of enemies. Chaos Mode, described as a throwback to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's Spec Ops mode, was added to Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360 hit games via a patch earlier this week. This follows the first Call of Duty 2014 screenshot released this week from developer Sledgehammer Games. A full list of combo perks is available below, which includes helpful bonuses to increase the speed of health regeneration, freeze players and gain unlimited ammo for 15 seconds, among other perks designed to balance the playing field. ...

Zuckerberg tried out PS4 VR headset a week before Oculus VR acquisition

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg went hands-on with Sony's virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus, a week before buying VR headset manufacturer Oculus VR, Gamespot reports PlayStation marketing executive Guy Longworth as saying. Speaking during a Games Marketing Summit 2014 session, Longworth recalled how Zuckerberg asked, "Can I have a tech demo?" for Project Morpheus and how he was curious why Zuckerberg was interested in seeing Sony's headset. Facebook announced in late march its intention to acquire the Kickstarter-funded virtual reality headset creator for $2 billion. The Federal Trade Commission granted a request from the acquiring party, listed as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to purchase the virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus VR on April 22. "I wish he bought...
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Botanicula ready for iPad on May 1

Charming point-and-click adventure Botanicula will be available for iPad on May 1, according to its developer Amanite Design. To mark the news, a new trailer was released today, featuring the game's central insect-like characters, which are seeking to rid their garden-home of an unwelcome infestation of spiders and other bugs. Players help the heroes by exploring environments and picking up useful items. Created in the Czech Republic by the makers of Machinarium, the Windows PC original picked up various awards, especially for its audio work, which won an Independent Games Festival Award in 2012.

Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion Galactic Strongholds delayed

Galactic Strongholds, the upcoming expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, has been delayed from its June release for subscribers to August 19, senior producer Bruce Maclean announced via the game's official site. With the delay, BioWare will have time to add more features, including conquest events, expanded functionality for guilds, more strongholds, stronghold storage and decorations. "We have been listening to what you, our players, were hoping to see from the Galactic Strongholds expansion," Maclean wrote. "When playing early builds of Galactic Strongholds it became that clear that our June Early Access date was simply not enough. For this to truly feel like an expansion, it needs to include the full set of features, including those originally coming later in the year." In G...

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is 'coming soon' to Android

XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis Games' turned-based strategy game that pits a human resistance against alien invaders, is headed to Android "soon," according to a recent tweet from the series' official Twitter account. The game will be available through Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, according to the tweet. XCOM: Enemy Unknown arrived on iOS for iPad and iPhone last June where it's available for $19.99. You can check out the launch trailer for the game's first mobile incarnation below. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is also available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac and Windows PC. XCOM: Enemy Unknown - The Complete Edition, a version that includes its major add-on content, was released last month for Mac and PC for $49.99. For on the game's original incarnation, be sure to read Polygon's X...

World of Warcraft designers offer 30-minute deep dive into Warlords of Draenor's changes

In the latest episode of WoW Source, lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas, lead class designer Kris Zierhut and senior game designer Brian Holinka discuss the upcoming player-vs-player and class changes for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion to the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The new content takes players to Draenor, home of the orc and draenei races, in addition to raising the game's level cap and adding new content. Speaking about the game's PvP, Holinka explained that adjusting crowd control effects from the previous expansion was a "very high priority." "There's a couple of big problems that we had in PvP [in Mists of Pandaria] that we really want to address," Holinka said. "Things that players...

Watch Dogs multiplayer video explores hacking and stalking other players

A video walkthrough of Ubisoft's upcoming action-adventure, open-world game Watch Dogs demonstrates how players can face off against others through hacks and more in multiplayer. The video is narrated by animation director Colin Graham, who explains that Watch Dogs' multiplayer takes place in the same world as its single-player options. Players will be able to connect with others through online hacking, a mobile companion app or through competitive decryption combat. As players explore the game's world, they'll have the opportunity to accept contracts and enter the games of other players. When players themselves are being hacked, they'll be notified that they're currently "being invaded." It's worth noting that when other players enter a world, targets will look like NPCs, rather than...

Project Cars trailer touts photorealism and reveals a November release

A trailer released today for Project Cars, the upcoming racing game from Slightly Mad Studios, shows some photorealistic in-game footage. Press play above to see the game, which, according to the final seconds of the YouTube video, is headed for a November 2014 release. Project Cars is in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U and Windows PC. Its developers announced late last month that it will support Sony's Project Morpheus virtual reality headset. You can watch our hands-on impressions of the headset below and read our interview with Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, to learn more about how Sony hopes to court indies with the technology. <img src='/images/manage/video-placeholder.png' width=640 height=360...

How to achieve long term goals by changing how we think about short ones

Life is always a balancing act: in addition to planning for the future, we need to focus on our immediate environment. Many short term goals — like saving money and dieting — are ultimately beneficial for our personal futures. But in the present we may be too absorbed in the short term, for example not eating food we like or buying things we want, to see the long-reaching benefits of sticking to them. Professor Dan Ariely, who teaches psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, believes that understanding why we focus on our short terms goals and changing how we think about them could ultimately help us achieve our long term ones — and why we sometimes fall short. Speaking at the 2014 Games for Change festival, Ariely said that in principle we know what the right behavior...

Zynga founder Mark Pincus steps down as chief product officer amid executive shuffle

Mark Pincus, the co-founder and former CEO of social game maker Zynga, is making another transition at the company, leaving his role as chief product officer to focus on serving as chairman of Zynga's board of directors. Pincus' role change is just one of many happening at Zynga, according to a note from current CEO Don Mattrick. In a letter to employees, Mattrick said he and Pincus "will continue to be close partners and work together" to lead Zynga. Pincus stepped down as CEO last year when Zynga brought Mattrick on board. Mattrick also announced a handful of new hires and new appointments, including Alex Garden, former general manager of Xbox Live and Xbox Music at Microsoft. Garden, who was previously CEO at Nexon Publishing North Ameica and founded Relic Entertainment, will serve...
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