Today’s video of the day is Lady Soliloque’s ‘The Doctor is Extra-Terrestrial’, a mashup remix of Doctor Who composer Murray Gold’s ‘I am the Doctor’ and Katy Perry’s ‘Extra-Terrestrial’.
Dozens dead in the Moore, Oklahoma tragedy where a tornado took out a schoolhouse with a direct hit. Help if you can.
Deathstroke is confirmed as playable character in Batman: Arkham Origins challenge mode pre-order now for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC for exclusive early access to the Deathstroke pack.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars retires in favor of new series, Star Wars: Rebels
Join the methodical and intrepid Erasmus Drake of Scotland Yard, and the irrepressible, unsinkable Dr. “Sparky” L. McTrowell, airship pilot and adventurer in steampunk stories of mystery and intrigue in a London that never was!
I had heard about virtual reality as early as 1989. The headsets were horribly low resolution and used little glass CRT’s in a headset that was so heavy it required a counterweight in the back to keep the thing from snapping your neck like a twig. My first experience with them was a virtual reality platform at a night club in Detroit, Michigan in 1990. It was a player versus player two person shooter. The graphics were terrible, the movement was floaty and strange, and you didn’t run so much as glide. Yet, your gun aimed where you pointed, you saw your virtual arm with its weapon in your hand, and you could duck down behind barriers to avoid getting shot by your opponent.
The idea has been around a long time – the first head mounted display, though, was built in 1968 by Ivan Sutherland with the help of his student Bob Sproull. It was primitive as you can imagine, and was so heavy it had to be suspended from the ceiling. You didn’t wear it so much as stick your head into it from underneath. The graphics were simple wireframe models.
Time and Moore’s Law have chipped away at the problem though. And so have the people at Oculus VR. With the help of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, they’ve created an HMD that is actually light enough to be worn and used for gaming. And it’s not vaporwear. Developer’s copies of the device are now shipping.Continue reading »
Covering the week of 3/18/2013, the Fanboy Comics staff reviews the top geek stories from the popular daily e-newsletter, The Fanboy Scoop.
In this episode, we discuss whether an asteroid apocalypse is in our near future, Spawn‘s Angela moving to the Marvel universe, the future of DRM-free digital comics, George R.R. Martin’s concerns as to whether the Game of Thrones TV show will catch up to his writing, and the impending death of Green Lantern John Stewart.
In addition, our special guests (who happen to be voiceover actors from the popular videogame Red Dead Redemption) lend their amazing talents to Fanboy Comics’ infamous opening skit, Game of Asteroids!
*SPECIAL NOTES: Fanboy Comics is now on iTunes! Be sure to subscribe on iTunes to the new Fanboy Comics Network in order to continue receiving the latest podcasts and interviews.
Cast members: Bryant Dillon, Sam Rhodes, Drew Siragusa, Kristine Chester, and Barbra Dillon
Special guests: Steve J. Palmer (Moonbound24, Red Dead Redemption) and J. Harrison Sweeney (Red Dead Redemption, Undead Lovers)
Studio: BioWare, Electronic Arts (EA), Funimation, Production I.G.
Writer: Henry Gilroy
Director: Atsushi Takeuchi
Review Rating: 7
Based on the wildly popular Mass Effect video game franchise, Paragon Lost is a prequel to Mass Effect 3, wherein Alliance Marine James Vega leads an elite special forces squad to a remote colony to learn more about the mysterious new threat known only as the Collectors.
You must be a fan of the Mass Effect video game franchise and storyline, in order to get this film. I cannot stress that enough. However, if you like the blue gals (the Asari) or the war-like Krogan, the rich storytelling and environments and attention paid to detail, the cartoon film is worth a try. Given intense detail by a glorious collaboration between BioWare and Production I.G., known for their work on Ghost In the Shell, the latest Mass Effect story springs to glorious life.
So the human colony of Fehl Prime, producers of pharmaceuticals for the Systems Alliance, comes originally under attack by the Krogan Archuk and his Blood Pack mercenaries. Delta Squad, led by Lieutenant James Vega, is dispatched to the planet to handle the problem. Soon enough, Delta Squad discovers the source of the problem isn’t the Krogan at all, they’re being executed gangland style right along with the resisting humans. The mysterious beings known as the Collectors have taken to scooping up the human colonists with no explanation, and Delta Squad is determined to stop them, even at the cost of their own lives!
There is plenty more that goes on, but it wouldn’t mean anything unless you know the ME world, things like Seeker Squads and biotics, Prothean archives and Praetorian warriors. Yes there is a traitor working from within Delta Squad, but whom he’s betraying and why, is a big involved storyline that you need to have played at least one of the ME games to really get. The stress and sacrifices Lieutenant Vega has to go through makes him a completely believable character; you really feel bad for him at what you think is the end of the film, yet his journey continue whether he likes it or not!
Haarlem, The Netherlands – Zero Sum Games and publisher Iceberg Interactive have announced that their 4x space strategy game StarDrive has launched as a Beta (pre-order & play now) on Steam as of March 8. Throughout the Beta stage, StarDrive will be available with a 15% discount on Steam.
4X games are a genre of strategy video game in which players control an empire and “explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate“. The term was first coined by Alan Emrich in his September 1993 preview of Master of Orion for Computer Gaming World. Since then, others have adopted the term to describe games of similar scope and design.
StarDrive claims to set a new benchmark for the ‘4X Space Strategy’ genre. Starting with a single planet and a small number of space-worthy vessels, you venture forth into the galaxy, conquering new worlds, building colonies and defend yourself from others who are trying to do the same thing (possibly at your expense). You can be either a warrior or a diplomat – there’s a galactic economy, technology to research, it’s pretty much all there.
The heart of StarDrive is its ship design and combat engine. StarDrive takes a modular approach to ship design, allowing the player to create custom ships where the composition and placement of ship modules really matters to the performance of a ship. In combat, if your portside armor is taking a beating, then rotate around and show them the starboard side! Hide behind a friendly capital ship’s shields; warp into and out of the fray, launch fighters, lay mines, and a lot more. The level of detail in the simulation looks promising, and you’d think that this would mean less attention to the macro aspects of the universe in which the game is set, but not so, according to the creators. Here’s the feature list we got:
• Real time gameplay with a seamless zoom from a grand strategic view to a close-up action view
• Choose from 8 beautifully rendered alien races or design your own to lead into the stars; interact, negotiate and forge allegiances on your way to victory
• Expand your empire and colonize all kinds of planets, terraform and populate them and build them into specialized centers of trade or industry
• Research and unlock an array of technologies to improve your military and industrial capabilities
• Control your ships with classic real time strategy commands or jump into the fray by taking direct ‘arcade’ control of any ship in your empire
• Create your unique ship designs with the modular ship design system and determine your own fate in battle
• Create custom fleet formations and set rules of engagement in the easy-to-use fleet editor
• Steal technologies, incite rebellions, or rob your enemies blind with a rich agent-based espionage system
• Deploy ground troops from orbit to defeat the enemies’ last planetary defenses in ground combat
• Explore the rich universe that comes alive with random events, remnant elements, hidden treasures, deep space terrors and late-game threats
The game was in QA testing for over four months, and recalls the golden age of grand space strategy games. Iceberg Interactive CEO Erik Schreuder calls the game “a masterpiece”. Gameplay is primarily top-down, 2D style, which gives a layer of abstraction that allows for strategic combat and fleet management rather than ship-on-ship gameplay as a primary focus.
Iceberg Interactive’s previous titles include Killing Floor, Wings of Prey, APB Reloaded and Endless Space.
Catalyst Game Labs, publisher of the Shadowrun tabletop RPG, and Cliffhanger Productions Games, developers of the upcoming Shadowrun Online MMORPG will be cooperating on an unprecedented level to give Shadowrun fans a new roleplaying experience. Now, players will be able to directly affect the ongoing tabletop storyline through their game play of Shadowrun.
The first series of books and box sets to be released by Catalyst Game Labs– Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, Shadowrun: Crossfire, etc,– will contain a unique one-time-use code that will allow players of Shadowrun Online to obtain items found only in the tabletop RPG.
“We have been very lucky in getting a chance to add to the great experience that is Shadowrun and working closely with the immensely creative talent at Catalyst,” said Jan Wagner, Managing Director of Cliffhanger Productions. “Being able to take the convergence of digital gameplay further and create a truly interactive connection between games has been our dream from the get-go and we are eager to come up with more ways to collaborate with the folks at Catalyst.”
And even though Shadowrun, Fifth Edition won’t launch until this Spring and Shadowrun: Online isn’t scheduled to be released until this Winter, players will still have the opportunity to sign up early at shadowrun.com to receive the unique items they’ll get to use in the game once it’s live. The items will be connected to a player account and will also be available for backers of the Shadowrun Online Kickstarter project once the game is released for beta testing.
“It’s been fantastic to work with Jan to come up with cool, new ways to create a real desire for Shadowrun players of all stripes to dive into different ways of experiencing the Sixth World,” said Randall N. Bills, Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs. “I think this level of continued cooperation is ultimately going to create something really fantastic between the tabletop and online play.”
About Cliffhanger Productions Games: “Cliffhanger Productions Games is an interactive entertainment company that creates free-to-play games for a new generation of players. Cliffhanger Games combine the accessibility of mobile and browser games with the depth and excitement of traditional games. We care about graphics and immersion. We care about story. We care about deep and satisfying gameplay. We care about what gamers want. Our first online product Jagged Alliance Online was critically acclaimed for raising the bar on the quality of browser games and we aim to do even better on Shadowrun Online.”
Leading video games retailer GAME is teaming up with gaming technology provider Razer and global games service provider Multiplay to launch a Starcraft II tournament for UK gamers. The Farewell to Wings of Liberty tournament is a chance for gamers to say goodbye to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in style ahead of the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
UK gamers who fancy testing their StarCraft skills can sign up for one of 512 places from today until the 24th of February on http://binarybeast.com/xSC21302072. Two weeks of intense online competition will follow, with three nights of tournament knockout action whittling the field down to two finalists. The finals will take place in London on the 11th of March at London Barcraft’s Heart of the Swarm launch event. The final battle will be played out on the night in front of a live crowd before celebrating the launch of Heart of The Swarm with the UK StarCraft community watching Blizzard’s official live stream!
The two finalists and top placing players will walk away with prizes ranging from Razer’s officially-licensed StarCraft II: Heart of The Swarm range, GAME reward points and more, with additional spot prizes available for both sportsmanship and plays of the tournament.
For a blow-by-blow account of the action, fans and spectators can follow the action on GAME’s Facebook and Twitter accounts with the hashtag of #GAMESC2Swarm at https://www.facebook.com/GAMEstore and https://twitter.com/GAMEdigital. Each week will have live video content commentated and streamed on GAME’s new Twitch TV channel, and video highlights will also be available on GAME’s YouTube channel at http://www.twitch.tv/gamedigital and http://www.youtube.com/game respectively. The hosts for live coverage will be popular UK Starcraft casters Adam “Madals” Simmons and Robert “Pughy” Pugh, both bringing their many hundreds of hours of Starcraft 2 commentating experience to the occasion to add extra insight and excitement to the proceedings.
To find out more about this and other events that are happening throughout the year, please visit www.game.co.uk/events.
StarCraft II: Heart of The Swarm is available for pre-order at GAME in Standard and Collector’s Editions both in-store and online via this link.
To learn more about StarCraft II and Heart of the Swarm, visit the official website at www.StarCraft2.com. To set up a Battle.net account and to opt-in to Blizzard Entertainment beta tests, please visit the official Battle.net website at www.battle.net.
GAME Retail Ltd. is the UK’s leading high-street videogames retailer. Formed in April 2012, GAME is committed to delivering for the gaming communities of the UK online, in-store, on mobile and through their app. With a market-leading reward proposition, incredible exclusive content and great deals, GAME is the number one destination for all gaming needs. For more information, please visit www.game.co.uk.
Multiplay (UK) Ltd is a UK based family company which was incorporated in May 1997 by Craig Fletcher. They have been running gaming events for over a decade. They have achieved mass exposure as the producers of the UK’s largest Games Festival – Insomnia and as the Events Producer behind Minecon – the Minecraft convention held in Disneyland Paris. Multiplay is also known as a worldwide Games Service Provider. Their servers host players from 195 different countries and hold a PCU (Peak Concurrent Users) of over 25,000.
Razer™ is the world leader in high-performance gaming hardware, software and systems. Founded in 1998, with its headquarters in Carlsbad, California, the company has offices in nine cities around the globe. Used by the most demanding professional gamers who compete in global tournaments, Razer provides gamers with the unfair advantage of cutting-edge technology and award-winning design. We live by our motto: For Gamers. By Gamers.™
The Topps Company and Catalyst Game Labs have announced long term license extensions for Shadowrun and MechWarrior/BattleTech, securing the growth of both brands and, Topps and Catalyst promise, continuing to produce high quality role-playing games and fiction.
“The folks at Catalyst have a passion and enthusiasm for these brands that is hard to match,” said Adam Levine, Topps’ Licensing Manager. “Our continued association illustrates our commitment to our most important partners as well as our renewed focus on the MechWarrior/BattleTech and Shadowrun brands.”
Catalyst Game Labs continues to support its BattleTech line through numerous, already announced book titles, while 2013 has been declared The Year of Shadowrun, with Shadowrun: Fifth Edition due out this summer along with Crossfire, a deck-building game, Sprawl Gangers, a miniatures game of gang warfare, Shadowrun Returns, the highly anticipated PC relaunch of the popular 1990′s Super Nintendo game, and still more.
Catalyst Game Labs offers a variety of online sources for further information.
There are some pretty wonderful things out there that we geeks geek out over. There are novels, movies, games of both the electronic and non-electronic variety, cosplay, music and video blogs and all manner of great things produced for – and sometimes by – the world of fandom.
We often don’t think about where these things come from, or when we do it’s to applaud the people who make them. Every now and then, though, it becomes apparent that the people who promote and manage the stuff don’t have the same spirit of sharing that the people who create it do. What do you do when you earn your living on creative works of others, but can’t actually create anything yourself and don’t have a sense of ethics or responsibility?
You squabble over it and try to take things that don’t belong to you – and you do the calculus on how much ill will you’ll generate if you proceed, and you do it anyway.
Games Workshop is the creator of the Warhammer series of tabletop miniatures games. Back in December they had Amazon pull M.C.A. Hogarth’s Spot the Space Marine novels, claiming that they had a trademark on the term “Space Marine” – a term which dates to the 1930′s and has been used by authors like Robert Heinlein and many others. Amazon complied, even though there is no rule of law compelling them to do so, and Games Workshop could not provide them with proof of their registered trademark. Here’s the really jaw-dropping part: there is no registered trademark, and Games Workshop never actually asserted that they had one.
What they’re trying to assert is that they have an exclusive trademark on the term “Space Marines”, because they’ve now begun publishing electronic books and they think that gives them a common-law trademark. A common law trademark. That means they think that we the public, when we hear the term “Space Marines”, we think of Games Workshop’s Warhammer games and nothing else. Believing this and actually going to court over it takes some serious pot metal hand-painted miniature clangers.
M.C.A. Hogarth has no choice but to comply, as he can find many lawyers who would take the case, but so far none that will do it pro bono (“payment deferred and conditional on actually winning the case”). Yet if this goes unchallenged, they’ll keep going and start attacking other people with these specious arguments and winning.