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Thursday, September 12, 2013

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New Studio Hinterland Announces The Long Dark
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Raphael van Lierop has announced the formation of independent developer Hinterland Studio as well as the company's first title, The Long Dark. Members of the company include veteran developers who have collectively worked on over 40 triple-A games. The Long Dark will feature a storyline set in a post apocalyptic future in which players must struggle to survive the aftermath of a geomagnetic storm responsible for the destruction of North America's technology infrastructure.

The Long Dark is a first-person post-disaster survival simulation, set in the aftermath of a geomagnetic super storm that has destroyed North America’s technology infrastructure. In the first season of this episodic series, players experience this grim new reality through the eyes of bush pilot William Mackenzie, isolated with other survivors in the Northern wilderness as a result of the event. Gameplay emphasizes exploration to gather resources and knowledge about the world, while mastering a deep survival simulation to overcome the myriad natural and man-made hazards of the new frontier. Players will also face difficult moral choices that will affect the outcome of gameplay, story, and ultimately, the course of humanity’s recovery.

Van Lierop brings 13 years of experience to Hinterland in his role as founder and creative director. He has been instrumental in launching multiple successful game franchises including Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Company of Heroes, which have sold 7.5 million and 4 million franchise units, respectively. He has contributed to several critically acclaimed games, including directing the action blockbuster Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine at Relic Entertainment and as narrative director at Ubisoft Montreal on Far Cry 3. Van Lierop has also worked extensively in cross-platform IP development with more than a dozen major entertainment companies, including Activision, BigPoint, Radar, GameForge, CI Games, and Blacklight.

Joining studio founder van Lierop is a core team that includes:

    Technical director Alan Lawrance, with 16 years of experience from Volition Inc., including technical director, lead programming, and design roles on the best-selling Saints Row and Red Faction series.
    Veteran art director Hokyo Lim, with 20 years of experience as a game and film artist and animator. His most recent work includes art director at Riot Games on the massively popular League of Legends, as well as for Giant Sparrow’s The Unfinished Swan, after several years on the Sly Cooper series at Sucker Punch.
    BAFTA-award-winning and WGA-nominee Marianne Krawczyk, writer of Sony Santa Monica’s God of War series. Her 15 years of game, film, and TV writing experience includes writing for L.A. Noire, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and Star Trek (2013).
    Audio director David Chan, with 14 years of sound design and dialogue work, whose work as audio producer and lead can be found in BioWare’s Mass Effect, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, the Baldur’s Gate series, and more.
Hinterland has also secured the talents of renowned game composers Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan, whose music can been heard in some of the world’s biggest games franchises, from Mass Effect, Borderlands, and Quake.

Hinterland is focused on creating story-driven gameplay experiences that feature mature themes and an element of social awareness. In addition, The Long Dark has been conceived from the ground-up to exploit cross-platform storytelling, with the core experience driven from the game but expanding across other media. To that end, Hinterland is currently in discussion with multiple unannounced parties to translate The Long Dark across other media.

The Long Dark is supported by the Canada Media Fund, and Hinterland will be launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter on September 16 to raise additional funds for the game’s development, and to launch its community-outreach initiative.

“We want to be part of the incredible crowdfunding revolution, and create a direct relationship with our players,” said van Lierop. “This new model allows us directly engage our community, to expand on our existing resources to help achieve our ultimate vision for the game. Through this additional support, we can add richness to the experience in line with our backer’s expectations, while also maintaining the creative independence that is core to our identity.”

Follow the links below to learn more.

The Long Dark
Hinterland Studio

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The Sims 3 Movies Stuff Available
6:00 AM | IMG News | Comment on this story

EA has announced the release of The Sims 3: Movie Stuff a new themed collection of fashion and décor accessories for the popular life sim, The Sims 3. The Movie Stuff collection includes a variety of Hollywood inspired items including new clothing, new hairstyles, and a variety of new items for decorating homes.

Bring all of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood straight into your Sims’ homes with The Sims 3 Movie Stuff! Set the stage for more unique stories with distinctively themed décor, furnishings, and clothing inspired by iconic movie genres. With a wide range of items from a creepy crypt bed to a ten gallon hat, tell the tales of masked vigilantes, western cowboys (and cowgirls), and be inspired to create quirky horror stories. Deck out your Sims as silver screen legends as their town meets Tinseltown!

Comic Book Blockbusters

  • Fashion—Whether you’re creating a caped do-gooder or a nefarious über-villain, your Sim is going to look absolutely super in a range of tight-fitting, over-the-top costumes—including the mighty and mysterious Super Justice Llama!
  • Décor—Create a lair or hideout fit for a masked hero or even their arch nemesis with sculptures, memorabilia and more inspired by the greatest comic-book hero movies. Your Sims can even feel like they’re about to resume their secret identity in their new phone-booth shower!
Western Epics
  • Fashion—Time to rustle up some new duds, I reckon. With frilled chaps, smart vests, and ornate Victorian dresses, your Sims will look like they’d be right at home in some dusty Western saloon.
  • Décor—Give your Sims’ home a folksy frontier attitude that says, “Howdy, partner.” Old-timey furniture like a wooden vanity and a homey rocking chair will add some classic Western style to your Sims’ world.
Creepy Features
  • Fashion—Terrify your Sims’ neighbors with playfully horrific costumes. Gothic garb includes selections in macabre colors like black and crimson with features such as prominent stitching, and lots of rips and tears for that just-risen-from-the-grave look.
  • Décor— Your Sims are in for some scare … with flair. You’ll have a frightfully good time decking out your Sims’ homes in cheeky horror décor including a nightmarish bookshelf, a spider web door, and jars of who-knows-what.
New Hairstyles, Hats, and Helmets
  • Top off your Sims’ cinematic look with a selection of show-stopping headgear and hairdos. From a winged hero helmet to an expertly tangled gothic ‘do to a ghostly bridal veil, your Sim will look ready for their close-up.
The Sims 3: Movie Stuff is available now for $19.99 (USD).

Electronic Arts
The Sims 3: Movie Stuff
Buy The Sims 3: Movie Stuff

New Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect Trailer Unveiled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Big Finish Games has released a second trailer for Tesla Effect. The game is the first installment in the Tex Murphy adventure game series since it was brought back to life in a successful Kickstarter campaign. Players will take the role of the private investigator in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, once again searching for clues, solving puzzles, and investigating crimes.

Tex Murphy is the last of the hard-boiled gumshoe detectives living in dystopian post-World War III San Francisco in the 2040s. Tex is an honest and good-natured private investigator with a penchant for bourbon, cigarettes and getting himself into trouble. He runs his P.I. (and dance instructor) business from his apartment/office on the top floor of the Ritz Hotel, located on Chandler Avenue in Old San Francisco. In stark contrast to the sparkling, futuristic New San Francisco, Old San Francisco is a run-down part of town known for its high concentration of Mutants – a section of the population disfigured by post-war nuclear fallout. Tex has found several friends and allies among the Mutants on Chandler Avenue. His talents as a detective are matched only by his knack for putting his foot in his mouth and bumbling his way into the path of danger. However, using his wits, creativity and a bit of luck, Tex has managed to save the world on several occasions.

Tex Murphy first appeared in the game Mean Streets in 1989. Developer Access Software broke new ground with gaming technology, followed shortly afterwards by Martian Memorandum in 1991. In 1994, Tex Murphy had a profound effect on the computer gaming industry with the release of Under a Killing Moon. Dubbed an "Interactive Movie," the multi-award winning Under a Killing Moon was a trailblazing accomplishment, introducing full motion video and real actors into a game environment. Access Software's proprietary "Virtual World" engine also enabled full freedom of movement in a completely explorable 3D world. This same groundbreaking technology would be used in 1996's The Pandora Directive. Another multi-award winner, The Pandora Directive is often regarded as one of the finest adventure games of all time. In 1998, Overseer was the last title released featuring our favorite gumshoe detective...until now!

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Tex is back and ready for his next big adventure: Tesla Effect. Building on a history of over 20 years of pioneering game design, Tesla Effect is set to redefine expectations of what is possible in a game. By taking full advantage of technological advancements in both gaming and film production, Tesla Effect will deliver a truly cinematic gaming experience that will leave you speechless.

Check out the trailer at the site below.

Tesla Effect Trailer
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure
Buy Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

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Feed To Survive In Cosmic Predator
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Steel River Games has announced the release of its latest project, Cosmic Predator. The side scrolling shooter drops players into the void of space where they take the role of a monstrous squid-like creature struggling to save its race by finding the mysterious Life Stone.

In the game, players control the Cosmic Predator, one of the last surviving members of its species. Born in the depths of space, this monstrous squid-like creature is on a mission to recover the mysterious Life Stone to save its race from extinction. Since it’s still just a baby, the Cosmic Predator must feed continually to sustain itself. In order to replenish its ever dwindling health meter, it must drink the blood-clouds of its fallen prey.

Consuming blood also allows the player to power up his/her Cosmic Predator at the end of each stage. A defensive-minded player can focus on putting blood toward protective shields or a larger health meter, while a more aggressive player chooses abilities that increase the number of directions the Cosmic Predator can fire, or focus on obtaining a powerful charge shot. The style of the gameplay depends on the choices the player makes. And the wide variety of challenges (from squishy alien invertebrates to planet-stealing cosmic whales) ensures the player will need all the upgrades he/she can get.

The game also features a wide array of interstellar environments: galactic junkyards, floating asteroid gardens, and space-age cities. The Cosmic Predator must fight through these alien domains and more to recover the Life Stone and get revenge on the creatures who drove its species to near extinction.

Head over to the site below to learn more.

Cosmic Predator

Pro Pinball: Timeshock! Ultra Edition Kickstarted
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Barnstorm Games recently announced that its Pro Pinball Kickstarter campaign, launched on July 31 2013, has reached and exceeded its £40,000 goal with a few days to spare. The aim of the campaign is to fund the creation of an ULTRA Edition of the 1997 classic, Pro Pinball: Timeshock!. The new edition will feature graphics and gameplay updated to take advantage of modern personal computers and mobile devices.

“We are delighted to have hit our target with a week left on the clock. The support we've had from pinball fans worldwide has blown us away. The opportunity for my team to take pinball simulation to a whole new level is fantastic.” said Adrian Barritt, creator of the original games.

The Barnstorm Games team have now launched a series of stretch goals for the last week of the campaign from £42k to £65k.

“We are so thrilled to be able to announce stretch goals and hopefully fulfil the many requests from fans and backers for the games to made available on additional platforms. As it stands we are planning on a number of additional platform versions and if we hit our stretch goals it really would be the cherry on the cake!” Barritt said.

If the campaign reaches £42k Pro Pinball: Timeshock! will be made for Linux, £50k will also see XBLA supported, £55k will mean the title will be available on PSN, £60k will mean 3DS is supported and if £65k is reached a Wii U version will also be made.

“Also a massive 'thank you' to all of our backers we have taken the decision to immediately reward anyone who pledges with the original version of the game, without having to wait for the Kickstarter to end.” Barritt explained.

Pledges of just £1 will immediately receive a download link to access the original 1997 PC version of Timeshock!, £5 pledges will receive the ULTRA Edition for iOS or Android upon its December release, while those who pledge £10 will receive it on a platform of their choice.

So far, Timeshock! is in development for PC, Mac, iOS and Android, but if the stretch goals are hit in the next 8 days the Linux, XBLA, PSN, 3DS and Wii U releases will be added to the development plans.

“The ultimate plan is to go on to create ULTRA Editions of the other classic Pro Pinball tables; The Web, Big Race USA and Fantastic Journey before creating some brand new tables from scratch.” Concluded Barritt.

This project is set to be a major milestone in the world of pinball and in light of the team’s passion for pinball games and the dedication of the fans of the original series, Barnstorm is confident that with the backing given through Kickstarter, fans will not be disappointed.

The team behind the development of the project are the very same that created new pinball games; Mario Pinball Land, Metroid Prime Pinball, Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon and Frogger Pinball.

The Pro Pinball Kickstarter campaign ends on September 14. Learn more at the pages below.

Pro Pinball: Timeshock! Ultra Edition
Pro Pinball: Timeshock! Ultra Edition Kickstarter

Mac Games News for Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Experience The Horror Of Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs6:00 AM
Franchise Hockey Manager 2014 Updated6:00 AM
IMG Reviews Q.U.B.E.6:00 AM
Metro: Last Light Now Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, September 11, 2013 on one page

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