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Release date announced for Metro Redux

Metro Redux launches on 29th August 2014 in Europe and 26th August in the US for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Deep Silver has #announced.

Metro Redux includes #remastered versions of 4A Games shooters Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light alongside all previously released add-on content.

The legendary Ranger Mode is included in both games.

Metro 2033 Redux and Metro: Last Light Redux are also available separately as download titles.

The Redux versions of the Metro games are reasonably cheap, for those who missed out on these games the first time around or want to relive them in their definitive edition. Both titles come with all of their DLC packed in for a total of £15.99 / €19.99 / $24.99 each digitally, or they can be purchased together in the boxed Metro Redux compilation for £34.99 / €39.99 / $49.99.

Additionally, the Steam versions of both titles can be pre-ordered for half off if you already own the original game.

[Note: This doesn’t work with the bundle, so you will have to purchase the games separately.]

Reblogged from:  eurogamer.net

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Costume Quest 2 adventure coming for Linux, Mac, PC, and consoles

Double Fine does Costume Quest 2 sequel for Linux, Mac, PC, and consoles

Double Fine‘s first real sequel, a follow up to 2010’s #CostumeQuest, is coming this Halloween. The trick or treating #roleplaying game is essentially more of the same, another sweet adventure that seems aimed at treating fans of the first to what they’ve been asking for: more Costume Quest.

In Costume Quest 2, players once again take control of twins Reynold and Wren as they set off on a trick or treating adventure. They’ll fight evil Grubbins in Halloween costumes that grant them superhuman powers. This time, however, the action moves to a new suburb in Louisiana. How they get there, we’re not sure yet, as Double Fine is keeping story details under wraps for now, only explaining that the story takes place immediately after the downloadable add-on, Grubbins on Ice. But Costume Quest 2 is playable and still as charming as ever.

During a recent demo of the game, played on PC — the game is coming to Linux, Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Windows, Xbox 360 and Xbox One — we got to see what Double Fine is doing for Costume Quest 2.

“It’s probably our most requested sequel, besides Psychonauts,” said Greg Rice, Double Fine publishing manager. “People have been asking for it forever. I think it’s that every Halloween you’re reminded about the game. We have a lot of people who are coming back to us saying they replay it every year.”

The vibe of the original Costume Quest, Rice believes, that nostalgic throwback to trick-or-treating as kids, is what resonated with players. For the sequel, Double Fine is looking to give fans of the original more of what they loved, while addressing some of Costume Quest‘s shortcomings.

One of the common criticisms of the first was its turn-based battles and how quickly they became repetitive. For the sequel, Double Fine is refining the battle system to keep players more engaged by adding attack combos and slightly changing the timing button presses in battles — players must now press the action button as their character strikes with their attack, not beforehand. The same is true for defending against enemy attacks. It’s a small change, but an important one.

If players nail the timing on their attacks, they’ll get an opportunity for a follow-up attack. And then a third.

In Costume Quest 2, players will have access to a wider variety of Halloween costumes. Some fan favorites from the first game are returning, but Double Fine is expanding the dress up options with at least four new playable costumes: the Clown, the Superhero, the Pterodactyl and the Candy Corn.

The Clown is a healer and can replenish the hit points of his or her teammates with a move called Laughter is the Best Medicine. The Superhero, styled to look like the superman of Double Fine’s Middle Manager of Justice, attacks with big punches and can throw a bus for an area of effect attack. We’re not sure what the Pterodactyl does, as it wasn’t playable in our demo, but the Candy Corn does absolutely nothing.

Costumequest2_screen_02

While the Candy Corn costume made an unplayable appearance in the first game, in the sequel it’s one of your options. It’s essentially useless, as the player wearing the Candy Corn get up simply sits out his or her turn — every single time. The only action is a message explaining the character’s inaction, something along the lines of “Candy Corn has nothing to prove” or “Candy Corn decides to sit this one out.” Double Fine hopes to have somewhere around a thousand variations on that line that explains why Candy Corn just stands there idle.

In fact, Double Fine has an achievement built into the game for players who wear the Candy Corn costume the entire game, limiting your party to two members, instead of three. “It’s hard-corn mode,” Rice said.

There are two other big changes coming to battles in Costume Quest 2.

First, your party’s health won’t automatically regenerate after each battle. You’ll have to find water fountains to replenish your hit points between skirmishes.

Second, Double Fine is adding cards that players can use to enhance their battle abilities. Rice described them as a combination of the Battle Stamps — modifiers that each character could equip — and the collectible Creepy Treat Cards from the first game. Players will be able to purchase cards from vendors or earn them by completing tasks, and they can be used in battle to give you an advantage, but with limited uses. Some cards, Rice said, may take a few battles to recharge before they can be used again, forcing players to make some tougher decisions about using them.

In addition to tweaking how turn-based battles play out, Double Fine is working to improve the moments in-between, as players explore the world of Costume Quest 2 and undertake side quests. One big improvement is movement. In the original, most players opted to wear the Robot costume, as the outfit’s roller shoes let players glide around at high speed. In Costume Quest 2, all the kids wear heelys.

As for side quests, Rice says that in the first game “a lot of those were a bit fetch quest-y, but in this one they’re a little more [tied to] game mechanics.”

One side quest we completed involved using the Clown’s horn. The kids wanted to join a group of street musicians as they played some New Orleans-style jazz in the game’s version of the French Quarter. But the band demanded that we rustle up an audience if we wanted to play, so, horn in hand, we chatted up a few tourists milling about. After drawing an audience with an ear for brassiness, the band acquiesced and let us toot along with their street jazz in a simple rhythm game. The reward? Candy, of course, and maybe a little street cred.

Costumequest2_screen_04

Between battles, players will also be able to hunt down hidden pinatas that are stuffed with candy. Rice said that if you beat up those pinatas rhythmically, they’ll unleash more candy.

There are a bunch of little touches like that, mostly smart polish on the Costume Quest formula, that make the sequel look like a much stronger game. It’s also a much prettier game, taking advantage of improvements to Double Fine’s in-house engine that will draw upon the extra horsepower of new-generation consoles and modern PCs. In practice, that means much better lighting — crucial for a game set during Halloween, where luminarias and jack-o’-lanterns provide atmospheric lighting — and surprisingly nice looking water in the game’s bayous.

Costume Quest 2 appears to be giving fans of the first everything they wanted: more Costume Quest, more warm-hearted nostalgia, better role-playing game mechanics and more sweet treats. It’s also an important step in Double Fine’s development history, where the developer feels comfortable and confident in treating fans to a sequel.

Reblogged from: polygon.com

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Paradox Interactive unveils Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations DLC

+paradoxinteractive, a publisher of #games that practices fair trade, and Paradox Development Studio recently announced Wealth of Nations, the second expansion to Europa Universalis IV, the award-winning empire building game for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Wealth of Nations will bring several #newfeatures to the game, focusing on trade, including the ability to secretly provoke trade conflicts, hire pirates to steal goods from your competitors, establish the East India Company and create a bustling trade capital for your nation. With several new possible ways to direct the wealth of the world into an empire’s coffers, Wealth of Nations will serve the needs of every gamer’s inner plutocrat.

Wealth of Nations expansion will feature:

  • The Invisible Hand of the Market: You can act covertly to instigate trade conflicts among the competition, stifling income and leaving yourself atop the economic heap.
  • Seize the Seas: Hiring privateers can damage enemy shipments and cripple their trade, but risks retaliation in the form of open warfare if you are caught.
  • Capitalize: Empires can designate a specific port as their trade capital, separate from their national capital, and strengthen local trade routes through the use of inland trade nodes.
  • Monopolize and Mobilize: Form an East India Company and reach faraway trade partners with an unstoppable shipping concern.

Cold hard cash is king, may the richest empire win. Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations will be given the (trade) stamp of approval for download from digital portals in Q2 2014.

Reblogged from: gameindustry.com

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The story of Ridiculous Fishing and game development

Ridiculous Fishing was stolen. That’s what you and I would call it. In game development (particularly in the Wild West of #mobile #game development), they call it “cloning.” Basically, someone took the guts of the game, made it look different, then sold it as their own. This is a common practice. And it’s legal, in short, because it is not yet illegal.

Here’s what happened, in a nutshell:

Vlambeer made a Flash-based game it called Radical Fishing. In it, you control a tiny fisherman sitting in a boat, with a fishing line. Your line falls into the water, you pull up fish and then you shoot them with guns to earn points. It is rough-looking, and not quite perfect, but it is undeniably fun.

The idea for Radical Fishing came from Nijman, who, while watching a television program about tuna fisherman, wondered what might happen if he were to mix the slow-motion photography and drama of hauling big fish out of the ocean with the mechanics of a shooting game like Duck Hunt.

“These guys were sitting in the boat, whipping in loads of tuna and it was all beautiful, HD, slow-motion footage of fish floating through the air, and it sorta clicked,” Nijman tells Polygon in a 2012 interview. “And basically I took a piece of paper and I wrote that entire design of Radical Fishing and it hasn’t changed since.”

Vlambeer sold Radical Fishing as a Flash game to a web gaming hub in 2010, retaining the rights to produce its own version for Apple devices.

Exactly one year later, the game appeared on Apple devices as planned. Only it wasn’t Vlambeer’s port of the game. Ismail and Nijman hadn’t yet made it.

Vlambeer Ridiculous Fishing

Earlier this year Polygon published “Cloned at birth: The story of Ridiculous Fishing.” Reported over the course of two years, the story chronicled the long, painful journey of Dutch game developer Vlambeer as it struggled to finish a game that had already been released — by someone else.

Vlambeer’s story highlighted the recurring issue of “cloning” in mobile game development. While international laws provide protection for works of art, visuals and other pieces of games, it’s impossible to copyright video game mechanics. This lapse in the law makes it possible for someone to make a game that looks just different enough from someone else’s game to not get sued, but may play and behave exactly like that game. This happens more than you would think.

When Vlambeer got cloned it spread the word about cloning. It launched an all-out PR assault. And it didn’t give up, even though the cloning of its game (and the success of the clone) emotionally devastated the Dutch developer.

“Clones are free marketing,” Ismail intones, reciting the most offensive argument in favor of cloning. “Um, yeah, no.”

“When we release our game, we’re going to get a lot of shit from people saying, ‘You ripped off that game,'” says Nijman. “That’s not free marketing. That’s like murdering yourself.”

Vlambeer won out in the end. Ridiculous Fishing was released to glowing reviews and quickly became a top-seller in the iOS App Store. Just last week the game was named by Apple as its iOS Game of the Year and also made it’s Android debut in the Humble Mobile Bundle 3

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