Showing posts with label Gaming News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gaming News. Show all posts

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Friendship ended with Wooting 60HE

 Friendship ended with Wooting 60HE and friendship started with Wooting 80HE! Well not started yet, but the Wooting80HE is entering it's founders period today and I'm jumping on the buy button if I can snag one!

A picture of the Wooting 80HE keyboard
80% layout!? WTF!

 As I've said before playing with my Wooting 60HE feels like cheating.  I gave up my old Glorious GMMK to my teenager when I moved to the Wooting and the few times I go to use his PC I immediately miss my Wooting.

 While I love my Wooting 60HE I have to admit I am not a fan of the 60% layout.  I really liked the 75% layout of the GMMK.  The good news is Wooting is bringing us a bigger layout with the 80HE with all of the other features I've come to enjoy and rely on to be the l33t gamer that I am (not really)!

 In classic Wooting fashion they couldn't just be like the rest of the world and give us a standard 75% layout and instead landed at an 80%.  It is hard to say what actually makes the up the 5% difference and there was a small uproar in the keyboard community about the placement of the arrow keys (too far to the left).  The arrow keys will be moved to the right slightly in the final version.

 For me I just want my F# keys back and arrow keys.  As much as I've adapted to using customized key settings and the FN key on my 60HE I will be happy to be back to just using an F key or an actual arrow key.  Also delete instead of FN + Backspace will be nice.

 Of course all of the other Wooting goodness will be there and I'll still be legally cheating in all the games I play because of it :)

Friday, January 13, 2023

Smedley leaves Amazon Game Studios

 John Smedley is leaving Amazon Game Studios.  John has a long history in the MMORPG community and people either hate him or love him.  My own feelings are mixed; he was there for a lot my favorites but was also there driving some of them into the ground before failing on some promising prospects.  He also failed to bring anything new to market in recent years; even when he had opportunity with projects like Everquest Next.

 Many felt that John would be the savior of MMORPGs when he joined Amazon Game Studios (AGS) and it was revealed that he was leading the team building a future sci-fi massively multiplayer game (not clear how RPG it was going to be).  Now with John leaving AGS what does that mean for the MMO community?


 As noted in the article I linked the game Smedley was working on was reaffirmed to still be in development.  Also based on other games AGS is getting involved in, such as Blue Protocol, it seems AGS is all-in on MMO games.

 The Bloomberg article that broke the Smedley news is a little more doom and gloom.

"Another veteran executive is leaving Inc.’s video game division, which has struggled to produce big hits since it launched a decade ago."
 It is hard to argue the big hits point, but that is ignoring that AGS have been on an upswing.  New World was a successful launch and continues to go up and down as it pushes content out the door.  AGS brought Lost Ark to the west, which has been a smashing success, and they are also involved with Blue Protocol which is getting buzz.

 Maybe Smedley wasn't the savior of the MMO community and it is actually AGS?  Was Smedley not getting the job done?  I'd argue he has a lot of dead prospects on the most recent road behind him (killed Star Wars Galaxies, failed with Everquest Next, multiple other SOE/Daybreak failures, failed kickstarter project) so not impossible he was failing with anew project.

 Or maybe Smedley is done with big corporate?  While SOE and Daybreak were not Amazon big they were still corporate.  I take Smedley's attempt at a crowd funded game (Hero's Song) to be indicative he wants the smaller scale and more intimate game development that an indie kickstarter offers.  It wouldn't surprise me if the only reason he moved on from Hero's Song is because AGS came in with a big paycheck and a sales pitch that they were here to save MMOs and they needed the legend himself to do it (if it were me that would probably be enough of a reason).

 Will be curious to see his next move.  My history in MMOs is as much Smedley's at this point.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Online Gaming Marketplace Shakeups

 I caught wind of recent news regarding TCGPlayer and BGG Geek Marketplace and wanted to share some thoughts.

First, eBay has announced their plans to buy TCGPlayer. This transaction makes sense as TCGPlayer has really become an eBay-a-like for trading card games.  This news would have been filed away in mind as a blip, but then I saw the amount that eBay spent: $295 Million.  Holy cheese balls!  

I had a short stint as a volunteer writer for TCGPlayer posting articles about the World of Warcraft TCG.  At the time it was very much a fan run site for fans of TCGs.  I did not get the vibe of "we are a future multi-million dollar corporation".  Feels like I missed an opportunity here had I stuck with the freelance writing for TCGPlayer.... giving me vibes of the time I missed out on contributing to WoWHead before it got gobbled up for a million dollars... which makes me lament my younger days and not having the chance to become a streamer (I was an early adopter of Google Video before Google had Youtube).  Apparently my destiny is to always be early to the party!

The next news item to cover is Board Game Geek's (BGG) sudden announcement they were shutting down Geek Market.  This came as a surprise as BGG was in progress testing an updated version of Geek Market so to go from beta testing a new version to shutting down the entire thing (including the original Geek Market) caught the BGG community by surprise.  Since that announcement and uproar from the community the folks at BGG have opted to establish a new classified-style market.  

I don't really have any commentary; just found the news interesting.

More can be read in these three posts at BGG (in chronological order)

  1. Announcement: Classic & Beta GeekMarket Shutting Down | BoardGameGeek
  2. GeekMarket changes update: Classifieds coming | BoardGameGeek
  3. Launching New GeekMarket Next Week | BoardGameGeek

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Gaming Deals

Its that time of year again: Black Friday.
Onto the gaming deals o' the day:

Steam's daily deals:

The Steam sale has been fairly underwhelming up to this point, but that may be due to the fact I own so many games from last years sale that I have yet to get around to playing that I'm afraid to buy anymore this year!  Dawn of War II Gold Edition is on sale now as of 1 PM EST for $13.60 (thats DoW II and DoWII Chaos Rising packaged together) deals: Black Friday Video Game Deals

Amazon has been good if you are a console gamer.  A lot of Xbox360 titles.  Not much in the name of PC games or PC gaming gear.

A few choice picks:

Fable III (Xbox 360) - $29
Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360) - $29
Wii Bundle - $169
World of Warcraft Cataclysm (PC) - $39

Microsoft SideWinder Gaming Mouse - $34 (save $45)
Sennheiser HD555 Professional Headphones - Check back shortly for deal
Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard - $98 (save $3)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Amalur? 38 Studios, you just failed.

Update:  Obviously I missed the fact this article was about the single-player game, but my statements below stand as they are still releasing a fantasy MMOG.

USA Today's Game Hunters are running an article about Curt Schilling's 38 Studios and their upcoming MMO project.  In it, we get word from R.A. Salvatore (an accomplished author) on the lore for the game world:
Salvatore, who has written numerous books based in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, is tight-lipped about Amalur, but says that he has created a Tolkienesque 10,000-year-long back story: "I think we can say that we are talking about a high fantasy world with multiple races."
And with that statement, "we are talking about a high fantasy world with multiple races", 38 Studios has just fucking failed. Really? Another fantasy MMO? Seriously? Really? In a world where we have SW:ToR (Star Wars has always been more Fantasy than SciFi) and Guild Wars 2 and Tera and a hundred other fantasy worlds with multiple races?

Maybe this is a little harsh and premature, but I have this nagging feeling we aren't going to be as "blown away" as they are expecting. I will be amazed if this is received by the MMO blogosphere as anything more than "oh, another fantasy MMOG".

MMO websites are big business

MMO-Champion has been acquired by Curse.  With this acquisition, Curse is now the largeest MMO portal in the world and MMO-Champion will be adding some 7 million eyeballs to their readership (or so they claim).  My initial sneaking suspicion is that Curse won't gain that many new eyeballs, as a large portion of traffic to MMO-Champion probably already visits Curse on a regular basis, especially considering both are very heavy World of Warcraft portals.

Either way, I suspect a lot of money exchanged hands in this deal. sold for a reported $1 million and I would wager its traffic statistics were on par with MMO-Champion.  I would be interested to get the details of the sale.

Fortunately, Curse isn't some scum-sucking company like ZAM (who purchased WoWHead).  And all I know is that MMO websites are big business and I'm sad all the sites I've volunteered for and poured my sweat into over the years missed the money train.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Alright Valve, I see your free game. I raise you

... err wait, I can't raise against a FREE GAME!

Valve is releasing a free game on Monday via Steam. The game is Alien Swarm. Read about it here or see the blurb below:
Two years ago Valve hired the talented team behind the popular top down co-op mod Alien Swarm. Since then they have been busy working on the Left 4 Dead Series, and now Portal 2. However, we never forgot about Alien Swarm and the team has spent a lot of time bringing the game to Source in between their contributions to the other Valve projects.

On Monday, July 19th Alien Swarm is going to be released for free via Steam.

In addition to the game, Valve will also release the complete code base for Alien Swarm. This includes updates to the Source engine SDK and full Steamworks integration. If you’ve ever thought about developing a mod on the Source engine with Steamworks, this release provides more insight and examples for using Steamworks in game production.

Please visit for more information.
Oh Valve, I love you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Holy **** : OnLive on an iPad

This video literally made me shit my pants.  OnLive, the cloud gaming service launching right as I post this, shows off Borderlands.  Now this was only a tech demo, but one hell of a tech demo it was.  I still will not buy an iPad, but come later this year and 2011 when decent Android and Windows 7 tablets start launching I may have to give OnLive a try.

We may very well be looking at the future of PC gaming.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers coming to PC via Steam

From Tobold's blog:
... Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers will be released via Steam to the PC. While DOTP is in a way a "Magic light" game, I am nevertheless highly interested in this.
Like Tobold, I am a long time MtG fan and former hardcore player. However, the days where I have the time to build and maintain competitive decks are gone. What I've needed to spark my interest in MtG again is a more casual approach that is PC based.  That is exactly what DotP delivers. I plan on giving it a try in June.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Civilization 5 to use Steamworks

Quick post to note Civilization 5 is going to take advantage of Valve's Steamworks.  Slashdot has the article:
"2K Games today announced that Civilization V will be using Steamworks for online matchmaking, automated updates, downloadable content and DRM for the game. Steam's Civ V store page is also available now, revealing some new information about the game. There will be an 'In-Game Community Hub' for online matchmaking, communication and for sharing scenarios between players. While including Steamworks might put some people off, it might also indicate better online gameplay than in the previous Civilization games, where it was almost impossible to have a good game without playing with just friends."
Personally, I am more likely to buy a game that features Steamworks than those that try to use something like Gamespy. Steamworks, ironically, works and that is an important feature of any game for me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Old is New Again: Nolan Bushnell rejoins Atari

Apparently we've entered a timewarp: Nolan Bushnell rejoins Atari.
A little more than two years after Phil Harrison left Sony to join Atari in a surprising move, it has been announced that he has left the company. His replacement: Atari cofounder Nolan Bushnell.

"I am very excited to be reacquainted with Atari at a time when it is poised to make interesting strides in key growth areas of the games industry," Bushnell said in a statement. The company and its iconic brands have always been important to me, and I look forward to further guiding them at the board level."

Bushnell was one of two cofounders of Atari back in 1972, but was forced out in 1978 after a management dispute. He went on to architect what parents have come to know as one of Dante's nine circles of hell, the Chuck E. Cheese chain of restaurants. Joining Bushnell on the board of directors is Tom Virden, who Atari describes as "a seasoned executive in the online leisure, technology and travel businesses."
I'm not really sure how to take this news as it comes with no other announcements about any games or upcoming projects. It will be interesting to see if Bushnell has any measurable effect on the once proud company he helped build that has been down on it's luck as of late.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love Release Set for March 25th

Via a tweet, we have been given a release date for Love:
Love has a release date: 25th of march.
Since Love is impossible to explain in words, here are some videos:

Video 1:

Video 2:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Preparing for the Allods Online Launch Tommorow

gPotato has released some information to help everyone prepare for Allods Online open beta launch tomorrow (2/16):
If you downloaded the Allods client before midnight (12am Pacific Standard Time) on Monday, February 15th, you will need to go through the following steps to make your client open beta ready. Also, if you participated in any of the closed betas, this most likely affects your client. You will not be able to update your client through the normal launcher patching process.

1. Download the Allods open beta update here:
2. Run the open beta update from any directory (be sure to close the launcher before running the update!)
3. Re-open the Allods Online launcher
4. Download the latest updates and enjoy the game!
Players can verify their version against this:
Also, the version number to participate in the Allods Online open beta will be
I'm updated and ready to go and just so happen to have the day off from work (not that my kid will let me play that much). Hopefully, I'll be able to grab my favorite names for once!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Star Trek Online Open Beta Jan 12th

From Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
The big news is: Star Trek Online Open Beta opens today (12th Jan) at 10am PST (2am proper time), letting all sorts of riff-raff into the universe.
However, open beta keys are only available to those that have pre-ordered until the "partners" for Star Trek Online are announced tomorrow and start handing out massive piles of keys to everyone else.

So, if you want a guaranteed in, has STO for $46.99.  Live long and prosper.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Holonet Entry Reveals Jedi Knight Class for The Old Republic

BioWare has announced the next class in Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Jedi Knight, on the Holonet page of the SW:ToR official site:
Valiant, Determined, Guardian of Peace

A symbol of hope in dark times, the Jedi Knight stands for the legacy of the Jedi Order—more than twenty-thousand years of protecting the Republic and keeping the peace across the galaxy. Though Jedi Knights have served as generals, guerilla fighters, and warriors for generations, their legendary combat prowess faces its greatest test during this age.

Through years of disciplined training and meditation, the Jedi Knight hones body and mind into perfect harmony. Combining the foresight of the Force with unrivaled reflexes and practiced physical precision, the Knight turns combat into an art form, gracefully executing acrobatic feats in tandem with elegant lightsaber tactics.

A source of inspiration to allies and intimidation to adversaries, the Jedi Knight’s presence is welcome in any confrontation. The Order’s long history of fighting for justice has earned the trust of countless friends and the hate of innumerable enemies. Few, though, are foolish enough to challenge a seasoned Jedi Knight unless they have the skills and technology to even the odds.

Facing the Dark Side

The Jedi’s dark counterparts scored many victories during the war, expanding their Empire, and putting the Republic on the defensive. Since the Treaty of Coruscant, the Sith have consolidated their military might, even while the Jedi have withdrawn to Tython, a move that’s been looked at with suspicion by many of the Republic’s politicians. Nonetheless, the war is far from over, and the Jedi Knight’s resolve remains firm. With unwavering allegiance to the Republic and the light side of the Force, the Jedi Knight fights with valiant determination, wading into the thick of any battle to protect freedom and democracy and hold fast against those who oppose it.

No matter how dire circumstances may become, the Jedi Knight trusts the Force and keeps a cool head. Knowledge and self-control are the critical components of wise decisions, and emotional and mental clarity are an absolute necessity. Maintaining focus allows the Knight to rely on intuition; a right mind leads to right action.

For many, the Jedi Knight is the guardian of a precious dream; a dream of peace, a dream of justice, a dream of a brighter future. The fate of the galaxy depends upon the Knight’s ability to keep this dream alive.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

World of Warcraft Cross-Realm Dungeons

World of Warcrafthas decided that cross-realm PvP battlegrounds were not enough and have gone ahead and added cross-realm PvE dungeon groups.
In the upcoming content patch, a new dungeon system will be added that will take the place of the current Looking For Group system. This will offer great new benefits to both premade and randomly created groups, including:

* Cross-Realm Instances/Grouping
* Instance Teleporting
* Daily Random Dungeons
* Group Disenchanting
Personally, this is something I wanted in WoW a long time ago. The player group that will benefit the most from this change will be those behind the curve, who are still doing the dungeons the majority long ago left behind. As I joined late in the party on The Burning Crusade, I did very few dungeons in Outlands as there was never a group doing the ones I had quests in.

This is another sign that Blizzard knows what they are doing with WoW as a whole. They may have fallen down from time to time with class changes (they are fairly overzealous in that area), but overall Blizzard has managed the WoW juggernaut well.

Every announcement out of WoW entices me to go back. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time (maybe that is fortunate :P ).

Update: 31 Oct 2009 - Edited title (world was spelled wrong).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Borderlands to have DLC

#Borderlands and it's developer, Gearbox, are stirring the pot today by announcing paid downloadable content (DLC):
Gearbox's loot-driven wasteland romp Borderlands ain't even on store shelves till next week--with a PC release following on Steam the week after that--but the developer is already spilling the beans about its post-release plans for downloadable content.

Described as "the first in a series" of add-ons, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned will run you $10 on all three platforms.
This should make players mad, but I think Kill Ten Rats has a better view on it:
After looking at the neat DLC pictures of a zombie isle, I had another idea. Gearbox devs were the good guys here. They were letting me, the customer know, the specifics of their business plan before people shelled out for the game. Players that were interested in Borderlands as a service would now have a more concrete understanding of things to come.
I would type more, but the above quote sums it up perfectly. The only problem that could arise is if the game feels incomplete at launch.

Watch this blog for more information on my plans for Borderlands.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Micro-transactions of The Old Republic

First, Star Wars: The Old Republic has started taking applications for Closed Beta.

Secondly, the Galactic Holofeed blog has dug up some interesting information out of the Terms of Service (ToS) in regards to possible micro-transactions in SW:ToR.
(I) You acknowledge and agree that all items acquired for points during the Game Program are non-refundable and non-tradable.

(K) You acknowledge and agree that BWA reserves the right to change/add/remove points rewarded in the Game store at any time and without warning.

(M) You acknowledge and agree that points acquired during the Game Program cannot be saved up for or used in the commercial version of the Game.
Kill Ten Rats has commentary here.
What are these points that can be traded for items? Earlier in the Terms of Service, they explain that BWA is BioWare Austin, and that “Game Program” refers to the beta test, but the “points” were never explained. Perhaps you get some kind of point-based reward for submitting bugs? I don’t know, but it does sound an awful lot like beta testers will be testing out micro-transactions.
A year or so ago, and I would of have started crying foul right about now, but I'm no longer afraid of micro-transactions. When done properly they can work as a business model. In this case, just like the actual game that will be SW:ToR, we need details and Bioware is sparse (at best) with those.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scribblenauts Is Here! Scribblenauts Is Here! Scribblenauts Is Here! Scribblenauts Is Here!

Ok, Scribblenauts has been out for a little bit now and I still haven't gotten a chance to buy a copy. However, I wanted to throw a post up to let everyone that hasn't heard of this little gem of game that it is now out and about.

Ars Technica has their review up:
Scribblenauts was the darling of E3, rounding up a hojillion awards—including a Golden Ars—and impressing everyone who stopped by for a demo. It was a game that showed very well, especially with a developer on hand to point out any number of interesting situations. The premise is simple, although it hides an abyssal depth: you are asked to either reach a star, or to fulfill the requirements to earn one. The tools at your disposal? The world.

You can type in or write any word you can think of, and get that item or person to help you in your quest. No dirty words, and no proper nouns, nothing copyrighted—but even without those limitations, you're looking at tens of thousands of items. Type in "pirate" to fight a ninja. Type in "bridge" to cross an expanse, or type in "motorcycle" and "ramp" and jump it. You gain currency by using fewer items, and also by using creative solutions, and you use that currency to unlock new worlds.

There are two types of levels: action levels where you simply have to get to the starite item, using your reflexes as well as your wits; and puzzle, where you are given a one-sentence instruction about what to do. It may say "get rid of the rats," and in that sentence are dozens of possibilities. In fact, you only completely clear out a level by finishing it three times, without using any item more than once. Much harder than it sounds.
I'm working on getting my copy still (hopefully before the weekend). Chances are I will hate the game since I'm hyping it up, but that's life.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Next Warcraft Expansion: Cataclysm Confirmed and Detailed

The basics:
Two New Playable Races: Adventure as one of two new races--the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.

Level Cap Increased to 85: Earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to improve characters.

Classic Zones Remade: Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been altered forever and updated with new content, from the devastated Badlands to the broken Barrens, which has been sundered in two.

New High-Level Zones: Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great Sunken City of Vashj'ir beneath the sea.

More Raid Content than Ever Before: Enjoy more high-level raid content than previous expansions, with optional more challenging versions of all encounters.

New Race and Class Combinations: Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.

Guild Advancement: Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.

New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds: Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.

Archaeology: Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.

Flying Mounts in Azeroth: Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms like never before.
Comments to follow at a later date.