Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The future of Dota 2?   Leave a comment

The issues surrounding Dota 2 are news to few and Valve have done something very unusual in creating this game. While it is the case that Valve have taken what were essentially mods and created full-blown games in the past, a practice now often seen in the indie movement, in this case they have taken a mod so deeply entrentched in a specific game and its world that controversy was bound to follow.

And, to an extent, I can understand the backlash by Blizzard, original DotA fans, Riot Games and others over this. It does seem a bit strange for Valve to take Dota 2 like this without getting a more workable response from the community as well as Blizzard. They only ever recruited the lead developer from the past 7 years, there were two developers before IceFrog, one of whom was the creator of what is the almost exclusively played version of the map. That creates a pretty strong case against Valve’s claim that they can register Dota 2 as a trademark.

Valve have a problem as it seems Blizzard are very willing to take them to task over the Dota 2 trademark claim and I think, as much as I dislike anything part of the great beast that is Activision, Blizzard are in the right about this one. The disappointing thing is that I have played the Dota 2 beta and Valve have a great products on their hands but I can’t help and wonder whether Valve’s aggressive push forward in developing and trademarking this while these issues remain was a bit more shrewd and manipulative that it might appear to some. Valve don’t normally have a reputation for developing something so polished, so quickly.

Certainly, Valve’s Dota 2 will come out in some form even if Blizzard wins its case and I have lost all ability to see Valve as the little guy fighting the big bad beast here because, as small as they are compared to what they now go against, they aren’t little and they should have forseen these problems. I just don’t trust Valve to throw straight dice in this. The questions I wonder are, if Valve wins this upcoming battle, will it affect Blizzard’s own DotA efforts or any continued development of the original Defense of the Ancients? With Team Fortress, Valve hired anyone and everyone who was part of the modding team and it wasn’t tied into one game’s world or mythology so deeply. IceFrog’s claim to the DotA trademark is suspect at best and the game is so bound up with Warcraft III that I can’t see Valve winning this one. At the end of it all, though, I am cheering for Blizzard on this one and I think it’ll be a good thing if Valve don’t get that trademark.

Rock of Ages pre-order “Rolling Through the Ages” trailer (PC trailer)   Leave a comment

By the same folk who gave us the excellent indie title Zeno Clash. It’s quite a different game, all things said. Available for pre-order now, out last day of August.

Posted 11/08/2011 by expandingfrontier in News, Trailer

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Humble Bundle #3   Leave a comment

Ever since the first Humble Bundle came out, I’ve been a big fan. First of all, I’m always pleased to see increased availability of games on Linux (hopefully so I can abandon Windows entirely at some future date) as well as the high revenues from Linux relative to the desktop share. Secondly, it’s always good to see this market model working and generating income for charity to boot. The third Humble Bundle has raised over $13 million USD and has a few days left with the added incentive of the second Humble Bundle pack thrown in as a bonus if you donate more than the average (which is a slim $5.20 at time of writing). As I already had the first five games of the Bundle, I donated and gave the bundle to my girlfriend. This is technically the fourth Bundle done as there was also a special Frozenbyte bundle that came with several of their games (Trine included).

The first original games are Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVVV, Hammerfight and And Yet it Moves. All of these are solid reasons to get the pack, but Steel Storm was added as a sixth later.

More than that, donate higher than the average and you get spare copies of the second bundle (Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos and Revenge of the Titans) to boot. The cost of all eleven of these games would be a lot higher than ten times the average at time of writing and some of it goes to charity too.

What’s more, you can customise the share of the donation between developers, Wolfire (who pay hosting and promotions) and the two charities (Child’s Play and the EFF). You gain access to DRM-free copies for Windows, MacOS X and Linux as well as keys to redeem them on Steam or Desura.

There is simply no reason not to indulge in this great deal. Get the Humble Bundle #3 today here.

Team Fortress 2 “Meet the Medic” trailer (PC trailer)   Leave a comment

I saw it coming that they would go free to play a long while ago. They’ve been gearing up to it with the in-game store and the earlier F2P burst on Steam was a precursor. I feel ambivalent about it for the moment, but we’ll see what happens.

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm teaser trailer   Leave a comment

Sorry about the lack of a weekly summary last week, it’s been a busy week again.

I don’t like this whole “Kerrigan redemption” line they’ve seemed to have pulled. I think I preferred her portrayal as a wilful malevolence to what will inevitably be a much more sentimentally-portrayed and ultimately forgettable character.

Terraria official trailer   Leave a comment

The popularity of this game is quite immense at the moment. It looks to become another gem of the indie movement.

Posted 23/05/2011 by expandingfrontier in News, Trailer

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This week in gaming.   Leave a comment

* SquareEnix are speculated to soon unveil a new Carmageddon game, after the cancellation of the series in 2005.

* The Witcher 2 will require an NTFS-formatted HDD (with 16 Gb for the game) due to the file size limitations of FAT32 and the large size of some of the game’s files.

* Dragon Age 3, despite the poor reception from gamers of Dragon Age 2, is on the horizon as BioWare starts looking for environmental artists.

* Gameloft’s CFO has argued that incorrect evaluation of market value has inflated the social gaming market and created an unsustainable bubble.

* The eagerly awaited open beta of APB Reloaded, set to start on the 18th May, has been delayed due to an unforeseen bug.

* On the subject of MMO Betas, Guild Wars 2 will have its own coming in the second half of this year.

* Despite the partial reversal of fortune for the beleaguered studio, Champions Online and Star Trek Online developer Cryptic Studios is to be sold by Atari.

* On the subject of decline, NCSoft has attributed limited marketing to its own decreased sales.

* CD Projekt Red have announced that The Witcher 2’s upcoming DLC will be free.

* THQ now argues that it rivals EA and Activision-Blizzard in size following the success of Homefront. Homefront’s mediocrity evidently didn’t damage it’s sales too badly.

* Sony Online Entertainment is offering free identity protection services to European customers who might have been affected by the recent hack.

* Honest Hearts, the first of three recently announced DLC packs for Fallout: New Vegas, has been released.