Tag Archives: xbox360

FORCED Action RPG for Linux – a Diablo Meets Left 4 Dead Game

More and more games that make their debut on Kickstarter have Linux support, and FORCED is one of them.

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The avalanche of games that propose the Linux platforms as a goal in the Kickstater project only strengthens the fact that Linux is becoming a major player in the entertainment business.

FORCED is a cooperative arena combat game, but it has no rival when it comes to the gameplay. It’s a mix of several genres, but at its core it is an action role-playing game.

“You work together with your friends to succeed in ever more dangerous trials over a diverse set of arenas. As your team racks up victories, you’ll get to level up and customize your skills with the 4 different weapons. If you enjoy fast-paced combat, skill experimentation, and game systems that promote teamwork, then FORCED might be the game for you,” states BetaDwarf, the developing studio.

The game can be best described as a Diablo 3 meets Left 4 Dead. It focuses on teamwork and has a lot of features promoting this angle: the Spirit Mentor, the combat mark system, arenas balanced for 1-4 players, and the knockback system that rewards players for combining their attacks as it results in enemies being thrown to the ground.

One of the new mechanics introduced in FORCED is the Spirit Mentor/Orb. This is an extra party member with special powers and an ethereal form, which the players must control in unison.

The successful control of the Spirit Mentor/Orb will be key in ensuring the victory in a map.

FORCED also features boss battles, 30+ unique trials, four classes (Spirit Blades, Volcanic Hammer, Thunder Bow, and Frost Shield), a new a combat mechanic, and online, LAN & local co-op.

The Official word form the Kickstarter campaign:

FORCED is a fast-paced cooperative arena combat game. In it, you work together with your friends to succeed in ever more dangerous trials over a diverse set of arenas. As your team racks up victories, you’ll get to level up and customize your skills with the 4 different weapons. If you enjoy fast-paced combat, skill experimentation, and game systems that promote teamwork, then FORCED might be the game for you.

We are among top 3% on Steam Greenlight now. We’re confident that FORCED will be Greenlit. But your votes will definitely speed it up.


FORCED has a heavy focus on teamwork. There are so many features promoting co-op; the Spirit Mentor, the combat mark system, arenas balanced for 1-4 players, and the knockback system that rewards players for combining their attacks as it results in enemies being thrown to the ground.

Forced The Spirit Mentor

A completely new and innovative cooperative mechanic. The Spirit Mentor/Orb is essentially an extra party member with special powers and an ethereal form, which the players must control in unison. They do so by calling him over, and if he touches a shrine while traveling – it will unleash its power. Controlling the spirit mentor is key to success, and he makes every trial unique as his immaterial essence must be used to bypass obstacles and unlock the devious contraptions of the arenas.

Forced is challenging

FORCED is challenging; there are no difficulty levels or short cuts to victory. If you complete FORCED you can be proud! Success is totally up to you, as there are no random values or damage you have to endure. The game will feature many boss battles and 30+ unique trials, each designed to test the limits of your skills and creativity. Enemies make use of a special tactical AI system, which enables them to work together. They will make use of each other, either by enhancing the strength of their allies – or using them as fleshy shields.

Forced is highly customizable

With 4 classes: Spirit Blades, Volcanic Hammer, Thunder Bow and Frost Shield, each with 16 unlock-able skills, players have millions of team combinations to experiment with. Combine abilities and plan choices to create a unique killing-combo-style. No skill choice is permanent, but they must be unlocked, and players can freely change both weapon and skills to counter the ever-changing trials.

Forced combat system

Marks are a combat mechanic and players have skills that add or spend marks. This allows for great creativity regarding co-op combat and responsibilities. For instance, let the bow mark a few targets and the hammer spend them with his powerful volcanic strike.

You have been marked as heroes for your entire life. When you come of age, ancient tradition dictates that you travel down a mysterious tunnel. The tunnel is the only exit out of your village, surrounded as it is by massive cliffs. No one has ever returned from the tunnel, and no one knows where it leads. However, you have realized that you won’t solve the mystery of your village’s fate unless you uncover where the tunnel leads.

FORCED Action RPG Specificatons
  • DRM free version
  • Intended platforms: Pc, Mac, Linux, Xbox360, PS3 (see risks and challenges)
  • Online, LAN & local co-op
  • Controller support, works well with Steam Big Picture
  • Up to four players on the same computer/console.

Original Source: softpedia.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game News

EA 4th Generation Games Console on the Way: $80 Million Investment

There could be a trade-off with Linux.

Electronic Arts are looking to branch out of being a pure gaming software company. They now want to be a major player in the hardware market, by investing heavily in their own 4th generation console, which will make them the fourth major player. They are doing this, as they see the console market as being a strong growth area. The other three major players are Microsoft (Xbox 360), Sony (PlayStation 3) and Nintendo (Wii).

To achieve this, EA CEO John Riccitiello made a prepared statement that his company will be investing $80 million to develop a competing console, “We intend to invest $80 million in gen-4 console development in fiscal 2013. We are strong believers that console will return to strong growth, representing great opportunity, one that is in lockstep with our digital plan.” Note that EA are not fazed by the drop in retail sales of boxed games, because online services such as Steam are taking off, making this a strong growth area.

This ties in with previous news that EA are to start making games for Linux. This makes even more sense for consoles, because their new console will need an operating system and by using Linux they avoid licensing fees that a proprietary OS like Microsoft’s Windows would demand.


Of course, with the top AAA titles exceeding $80 million in overall development costs for a title, the $80 million commitment may not actually translate into very many next-gen titles. EA would not go into detail about the platforms, the number of titles or when we might expect them.

When EA is ready to dive fully into next-gen development, Epic Games would love to “help” them. We observed a tweet from Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski regarding EA and next-gen titles: “We have just the engine for them!” Bleszinski is no doubt referring to Unreal Engine 4, which was already being demonstrated to some developers behind closed doors back at GDC.

So what good news do you think this potential union could bring to Linux?


Sony, Microsoft Battle Hackers Over Right to ‘Jailbreak’ Video Game Systems: Hackers ask the U.S. Copyright Office for the right to modify powerful video game consoles

Another high-tech and high-stakes copyright battle is brewing—this time between video game console manufacturers such as Microsoft and Sony and the hackers who like to tinker with the devices’ inner workings, allowing them to perform new and socially responsible functions, but also perhaps to play pirated media and games.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 pack an exceptional amount of graphics and computing power at a relatively low price. As tech-savvy consumers and scientists realized this, they began to circumvent the “walled garden” the companies created, using the consoles as cheap computers or number-crunching machines.

University professors, amateur hobbyists, and big-time scientists realized the potential of the Playstation 3’s computing power. The United States Air Force networked 1,700 PS3’s to form one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. A researcher at the University of Massachusetts used a grid of eight PS3s to simulate gravitational waves. Thousands of amateur game makers began to create “homebrewed” software that could be played on modified Playstation or Xbox systems. Thousands of pirates modified their systems to play “backup” copies of commercial games.

Nearly all of those nonprescribed uses of video game consoles are illegal, according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, an expansive law criminalizing digital piracy and the development or modification of devices to allow machines to play pirated media (the USAF has a special agreement with Sony).

A new push by amateur hackers and digital rights activist groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, could make “jailbreaking” video game consoles legal under a similar exemption afforded consumers who jailbreak iPhones (a process that allows users to turn their phones into wireless hotspots, install unlicensed software, and achieve a level of customization Apple doesn’t provide). The copyright office is taking public input on the subject until Friday, and will likely make a decision soon after.

Andrew Huang, who wrote about modifying an Xbox while studying electrical engineering at MIT and later turned it into a book, argues that jailbreaking allows users to “gain full administrative access” to a video game console to “innovate and take advantage of the device’s full potential.”

His book includes more than 250 pages detailing how to reverse engineer and modify an Xbox to run homebrewed software developed by amateurs, add USB ports, exploit security holes, and run alternative operating systems such as Linux.

[Sony Says it Has Sold 1.2 Million Playstation Vitas]

The EFF argues the exemption is needed to allow consumers to “use lawfully obtained software of their own choosing,” even if it isn’t licensed by Microsoft or Sony.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft and Sony are pushing back hard. In a statement to the U.S. Copyright Office, Sony said jailbreaking “will enable—indeed, may often be intended to facilitate—the unauthorized copying and commercial piracy of a large number of valuable copyrighted works.”

It hasn’t always been this way. When the Playstation 3 was released in 2006, Sony touted it as an inexpensive computer replacement, and even included a feature that allowed users to run the Linux operating system.

Phil Harrison, then a vice president at Sony, said at the time that the company hoped “that the PS3 will be the place where our users play, watch films, browse the Web … the Playstation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC.”

In 2010, hackers found a vulnerability in the company’s sanctioned Linux environment that allowed users to play pirated games. It appears that hack soured Sony on the idea of the Playstation-as-computer. It shut down the Linux environment, locking users out from playing homemade games and researchers from modifying the PS3 in the process. In its statement to the copyright office, Sony had a message for homebrew gamers and researchers: Go elsewhere.

Homebrewers “have other options” and “are not doing anything that is qualitatively different from developing games for the PC,” they argue. As for research, the company argues that the “console is not intended to be a general-purpose computing platform and it is not necessarily well-suited for research applications.”

The EFF and hackers argue that modifying their consoles for purposes other than piracy is a “fair use” of the technology. In a letter to the copyright office, Huang takes a “once you buy it, it’s yours” approach. He and the EFF argue that hackers often dream up new and unintended features and uses the manufacturers never thought of, and that manufacturers sometimes embrace.

Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect camera was designed to be for motion gaming only. Soon after its release in late 2010, hackers reverse engineered the $99, high-tech camera. It’s now widely used in medicine, education, and robotics.

At first, Microsoft cried foul, telling CNET that “Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products.” The company soon backed off and encouraged alternative uses of the camera.

A Microsoft spokesman puts the company firmly against the proposed Digital Millennium Copyright Act video game exemption.

“Kinect inspired game developers, entertainment brands, hobbyists, academics, and commercial partners to develop exciting new ways to use Kinect in areas we hadn’t planned on when we created it. We support this innovation,” says a Microsoft spokesman. “By contrast, the overwhelming goal of ‘hacking’ the Xbox 360 console is to remove security features in order to play illegally pirated game discs. The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for genuine products.”

Huang says that’s a fundamentally different approach that may have stifled innovation in the Xbox. With the Kinect, it took a more lax security approach and has reaped the benefits. With Xbox, it’s still stifling creativity, Huang says.

“It’s much easier to pirate games than it is to say, boot Linux on the Xbox or run other non-sanctioned but also non-infringing software on the box,” Huang writes in an E-mail. “One may argue that because they made the barriers so high for people to do legitimate activities on the [Xbox], they have constrained innovation and thus the only thing left are illegitimate activities.”

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