November release dates!

[intro] This year’s November is a very special month. Why? Because of the release of the next generation console of Nintendo, the WiiU! Here is a list of all releases for PC, MAC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Playstation Vita, Nintendo DS and 3DS, Wii and the WiiU in November. [/intro] 1. WWE ’13 PlayStation 3, … Continue reading “November release dates!”

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This year’s November is a very special month. Why? Because of the release of the next generation console of Nintendo, the WiiU! Here is a list of all releases for PC, MAC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Playstation Vita, Nintendo DS and 3DS, Wii and the WiiU in November.

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1. WWE ’13
PlayStation 3, Xbox360 Wii

2. Football Manager 2013
Mac, PC

Just Dance 4
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Need for Speed: Most Wanted
PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

6. Halo 4
Xbox 360

7. Karateka
Xbox 360

8. Angry birds Star Wars
Android, ipad, iPhone, PC

9. LittleBigPlanet Karting
PlayStation 3

13. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

14. Wonderbook: One Book A Thousand Stories
PlayStation 3

16. Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed
PlayStation Vita, 3DS, Xbox360, Playstation 3, PC

The Sims 3: Seasons
Mac, PC

18. Epic Mickey 2: Power of Illusion
3DS

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii

uDraw Studio
Xbox 360

20. Hitman Absolution
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

PlanetSide 2
PC

23. Assassin’s Creed 3
PC

Rise of the Guardians
PlayStation 3, DS, 3DS Wii, Xbox 360

26. Lego Lord of the Rings
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, DS, PlayStation Vita, Wii

27. Battlefield 3: Aftermath
PlayStation 3

30. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
Mac, iPad, PC

Far Cry 3
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

WiiU consoles and game releases on 30th november:

+ WiiU basic pack

+ WiiU Deluxe Edition

Assassins creed 3

Dark Siders 2

Epic Mickey The power of Two

Fifa 13

Mass Effect 3: Special Edition

Nano Assault NEO

New Super Mario Bros. U

Nintendo Land

Rayman Legends

Sonic All Star Racing Transformed

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 WiiU Edition

Transformers Prime: The game

Trine 2: Director’s Cut

Toki Tori 2

ZombiU

Game on!

The Game Mistress

Featured Kickstarter Project: Distance

[intro] I’m more of the racing game fan than any other game really (that’s not true, I love also fantasy mmo’s, sandbox crafting games such as minecraft and strategic games such as Transport Tycoon deluxe and Starcraft and the like). Not that I am good at playing them, but I just love the look and … Continue reading “Featured Kickstarter Project: Distance”

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I’m more of the racing game fan than any other game really (that’s not true, I love also fantasy mmo’s, sandbox crafting games such as minecraft and strategic games such as Transport Tycoon deluxe and Starcraft and the like). Not that I am good at playing them, but I just love the look and feel of racing around tracks or through diverse landscapes.

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I started with games like Pitstop on the Commodore64, followed up by Formula 1 Racing on the PC (the 1997 one).
Later on it was Need For Speed which was ultimately followed up by Trackmania and the perhaps slightly unknown “AudioSurf”. There were also numerous other racing games that I played, either alone or with friends, but I am unable to put them all up.

No, instead I should talk about a new game in development and as a project on Kickstarter at the moment. A very interesting one, this team created a very popular (but until today it was unknown to me) game named “Nitronic Rush”, which you can download for free here.

Now they are developing a follow up called Distance. It will feature a unique car that can boost, jump, rotate and even fly through the game world, with unpredictable roads with obstacles. You won’t be doing any classic loops, but instead you will have to find your way around the obstacles to the finishline. It will be a fast paced survival racing game that combines arcade racing with exploration of an unknown world. Your car can, next to driving fast, also drive upside down and on buildings and walls.

This game will, on special request by backers, now also feature multiplayer mode with various different playmodes available at release. I’m pretty excited about this game, not only because it is an indie game developed by former students that have the creativity prioritized over the monetization (and can think outside of the box), but also because it will be possible to get the game we want from this as the backers can basicly comment their thoughts about the game directly to the developers on Kickstarter. Try that with a game like Need for Speed! Also I think that this game can be an excellent refreshment over Trackmania.

I’m quite sure that I cannot keep the car on the road as much as a pro player, but it will surely entertain me with the neonlike atmosphere, the high speed racing and the several different game modes on- and offline. But I think this game is going to be fantastic and can’t wait for the guys to succeed their Kickstarter campaign and publish their game.

Distance Teaser Trailer:

If you think that this game is great aswell, then you should perhaps back them up on Kickstarter!
Also you can vote for the game to come to Steam, by upvoting their game on Steam Greenlight.

Early Alpha Gameplay Video:

Game on!

Steven

BFG Interview with level designer Stefan Schmitz about Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams

[intro] I would like to thank the team from Black forest games for taking time to answer these questions. A big Thank you to Stefan Schmitz The Level designer of BFG [/intro] 1. What was the Development time spent on Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams? Stefan Schmitz: We spent about 12 months developing the game. 2. … Continue reading “BFG Interview with level designer Stefan Schmitz about Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams”

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I would like to thank the team from Black forest games for taking time to answer these questions. A big Thank you to Stefan Schmitz The Level designer of BFG

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1. What was the Development time spent on Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams?

Stefan Schmitz: We spent about 12 months developing the game.

2. What was your motivation and Inspiration in creating Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams?

Stefan Schmitz: For our new Giana game, we really wanted to bring something fresh and new. Doing another clone wasn’t an option for us. So Jean-Marc, our Creative Director, started by thinking about what made The Great Giana Sisters outstanding and different from SMB. He came up with her transformation into the punkie girl that was really defining. Expanding on that concept should be the approach – so he came up with the idea that not only she should be able to transform, but her whole dream, with even more impact on the gameplay. We started prototyping the environment morphing and thought about switching Giana’s abilities, the enemies and obstacles.

With the first playable version, we realized that it turned out being really fun. It was also exciting to explore the meaning of Giana’s experience a little further. She is a teenage girl who is trapped in a twisted dream. She can transform her dream because she is in a stage of her life that implies transformation, with all the inner conflicts between rage and self-confidence.

This haunting dream tries to keep her in her childhood, while she desperately wants to grow up. In one layer of her mind, the dream tries to remind her how scared she was from monsters lurking in the darkness. Getting wiser, she is now much more able to keep her composure and rather amused than frightened by it. Which in turn let’s her jump and twirl lightly over her demons. The other layer overwhelms her with candies and plushies in that bright “princessy” world she used to love so much. Now, however, she can’t stand that anymore and goes on a rampage!

3. Could you please share with us some of your fun moments while the game was under development?

Stefan Schmitz: We had several memorable moments during the development of GSTD. One of it was when we saw the first time the morphing world working. It was really a doubtful bet before checking if it wouldn’t be annoying to switch back and forth during the game. When we finally had a prototype, which was a real milestone for us!

The Kickstarter campaign was also a lot of fun through the interactions with the backers. All the communication, through videos and live streams, was an exciting experience and we discovered so much fantastic people! Recently, when the game was finished, one of our backers asked us if he can come to our place to pick it up! He took his car and covered 150 km around midnight! Isn’t that mind blowing?

And there was that one infamous level nicknamed LoLa. I wrote a design card for that level and Sarah burst into laughter when she saw it. Since then we have a poster on our wall telling “I don’t have a dirty mind, I have a sexy imagination” – jokes about this level are always on me.

4. Any plans to bring Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams to the WiiU?

Stefan Schmitz: We have been tempted by and put some thoughts into a Wii U port. With a handful of core third party titles that are already confirmed for Wii U, the console positioning seems perfect Giana and it would be reasonable for us to release it there. It goes without saying it would be great honor for us to stand shoulder to shoulder with these great Nintendo platformers. Right now, however, we concentrate on PC, XBLA and PSN.

5. On kickstarter you had long term goals for the game, are there any plans to develop them still?

Stefan Schmitz: Of course. We still want to deliver the additional content that was promised in our stretch goal. While we were not able to fully implement them in the first release, we will deliver them in DLCs. And as promised – the first DLC will be available for free to all our backers.

6. What is your favourite level in Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams? (Both developing and playing)

Stefan Schmitz: I guess my favorite level is 1-6, the Amethyst Mines. It was the first boss level for the game and ate about a man month production time, not to mention the polishing afterwards. In the beginning it was supposed to be a level centered about the dropped mine cart feature. I like to improvise a lot when confronted with Design challenges, so working around the missing feature and adapting the level was no problem. Boss levels were supposed to be challenge peaks, so I reflected this within the design – I guess I have overdone it a bit Laughing

7 Are you guys planning to work on other games for the future?

Stefan Schmitz: I hope Giana 2 will happen and I would be glad to direct the Level Design again. As a big Mega Man fan my dream would be to work on a Jump’n’Shoot platformer in the future – let’s see where things are going.

Above that we do have a lot of ideas and projects up our sleeves. As of yet we haven’t decided which one to follow next. Looking back at the experience we had with Giana so far, we will definitely consider crowd funding as part of the project funding. A large part of our heritage is our proven open-world-streaming technology, which we intend to enhance and develop further. You can rest assured that everything we release will have a great art style, state-of-the-art tech and game play and always something special.

8. What is your favourite video game out there?

Stefan Schmitz: Mega Man X (SNES 1993), is the best game Ever! … Oh, you mean today? Hmm… today Borderlands 2 is my current favorite game Laughing, the Mechromancer class pretty much reminds me of Punk Giana, lol.

Thanks again for your time!

Game on!

The Game Mistress

Guild Wars 2 – Mad King Halloween Event

[intro] Earlier today at 8pm (Sunday 29th October 2012) Guild Wars 2 organised a special one-time-only event ingame starring the Mad King. Here’s our report. [/intro] It started with me putting my graphic setting all the way down, as to be able to get enough framerate to see the event. We are running, as you … Continue reading “Guild Wars 2 – Mad King Halloween Event”

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Earlier today at 8pm (Sunday 29th October 2012) Guild Wars 2 organised a special one-time-only event ingame starring the Mad King. Here’s our report.

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It started with me putting my graphic setting all the way down, as to be able to get enough framerate to see the event. We are running, as you know, not on the most newest hardware anymore and the game itself takes quite the amount of memory. Especially when the whole world suddenly joins in on the same square in Lions Arch.

Right before the event people were spamming mapchat, spamming emotes, fighting Halloween brawls and throwing fireworks around, so you can imagine the amount of particles being generated, or the lag that I received. I had a framerate of 12-13 when the event started. The ground started to shake..and… well see for yourself.

After this it’s about defeating the Mad King as you could see. I didn’t manage to get into a group and join the event in the same instance as the rest of the group, as well as that we got several other old and new bugs. People from different servers that were in the same overflow server couldn’t join each other and in the end I got messages that the login server couldn’t log me in any longer. Guild and party chat even went offline and it said I wasn’t in a guild any longer. Joining each others overflow didn’t work either. Krystal (our Game Mistress) got in in the end and defeated the Mad King with a group of 3 (the other 2 couldn’t get in either). After Krystal finished the event, the servers couldn’t handle it any longer and the whole system went offline, servers, forums, everything a complete blackout on the datacenter.

And then it got back online, perhaps even patched and fixed.. and suddenly everything worked again. I compiled the video here and was allowed to use the machine where The Game Mistress plays on. So I also finally managed to finish the event and did slay the Mad King. Unfortunately we do not have that covered on ‘tape’ for you. But I am sure that tons of others did do so on youtube.

A great event, but I do hope that ArenaNet will take the hint of testing stuff better before they release it. Many other things on the Halloween event have been bugged the past few days too and still are. The Halloween event will still run until the 31st of October, so come and join us!

Happy gaming!

Transport Tycoon (Deluxe)

[intro] It’s been rather a long time ago I played Transport Tycoon (Deluxe) last. It’s one of the games that I started with in the beginning of my time with PC’s. [/intro] Name: Transport Tycoon (Deluxe edition) Platform: PC (nowadays also linux, mac) Year: original edition: , deluxe edition: Developed by: Chris Sawyer Publisher: Micropose … Continue reading “Transport Tycoon (Deluxe)”

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It’s been rather a long time ago I played Transport Tycoon (Deluxe) last. It’s one of the games that I started with in the beginning of my time with PC’s.

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Name: Transport Tycoon (Deluxe edition)
Platform: PC (nowadays also linux, mac)
Year: original edition: , deluxe edition:
Developed by: Chris Sawyer
Publisher: Micropose
Music: John Broomhall

My connection to Transport Tycoon
My parents weren’t really so much up for new technology and wanted us mainly to play with friends outside. So my time with PC’s started much later than what would be usual nowadays. The only person in the family that got a little further with this was my grandfather, who worked at some point in his lifetime at IBM in Canada and thus was a little more ahead than his own children. He bought a PC early in the 90’s and when we came over for visit we were allowed to play games on it. But that is for another story, as this game named Transport Tycoon couldn’t run on this old machine. Perhaps it even didn’t exist at the time yet. Later on we got a commodore 64 from friends and even later my uncle gave his old IBM machine away for us to play around with (DOS games).

My parents didn’t buy a PC until december 1996, right half a year before I had to end my college degree with a lot of reports and stuff. So you could say from somewhere in 1997 I started playing Transport Tycoon along with games such as Diablo 1, Warcraft 1 and 2, Starcraft, Sim City, Command & Conquer, Civilization and Alpha Centauri.

So, Transport Tycoon.. and I did get the deluxe edition, so I had no clue what the normal edition would have been like.

Gameplay
The game starts in 1950 (Deluxe Edition, 1930 in the original game) and ends in 2050, although it actually never ends. You start out by choosing your name, avatar and colour for your transport, followed by borrowing a lot of money from the bank.
Then you look up two things: a resource and a factory that can produce something of that resource. And then you start building a transport between them. This isn’t just about ordering a truck from one place to the other, but completely building the roads between the two places, complete with truckplace and workshop. When you’ve build and connected the roads and workshop and truckplaces, you have to build a truck and give the truck orders. When that’s all done you can start the truck on its route. It will then go automatically to the first place and fill up to a certain point in time and then go to the destination to unload.

Next to trucks you can also build railroads with trains, build boats for transport over water and build airports for transport through the air. Trains get in later years upgraded to monorail and later on even Maglev. You can also build busses and mailtrucks and build truck and bus stations in cities to deliver people, mail and goods. Also can you check out the subsidies window, which means that the local community will subsidise your transport between these focused areas as a bonus. When you’ve build a road between them and your truck has delivered at least once, you will earn a bonus, which means you will earn twice or triple as much per delivery.

How to start out
I usually start out by finding a forest and a sawing mill. Or a coal mine and an electricity factory. They are usually far enough from each other so that it doesn’t cost you more than it delivers and they give good money on delivery. You create the roads or trainrails between and build two stations and a depot and connect all the roads/rails. Then you click on the depot to buy a transport unit such as a truck (or a locomotive + wagons) and route them from A to B wherafter you can start them. It’s probably adviced to start with trucks and roads as they aren’t as expensive in building costs. Also trucks can drive over existing roads, while trains will only go over your tracks. Boats and planes are simply out of the question at the beginning.

Depending on the configuration, you will have opponent (AI) companies starting in your world that will build their transport empire and will try to beat you in the game.

The detail in this game is amazing. You can get reports on financial level, on company level, you can build and show your house that slowly is getting upgraded to a palace and that means you can also see that of your oponents.
You can start marketing campaigns at cities to get more people using your transport, you can build a statue in the city to get more fame. Your reputation is also very important. If you have a bad reputation with a city, they will less likely allow you to build a station in their city.
You can even buy out your opponents when you have made enough money and build a company value.

I believe I am unable to tell you everything that this game has, as I perhaps haven’t discovered all of it yet myself. You also can fund factories to build a new factory so that you can build transport between them.

I started playing it, learned much from the built-in tutorials and then played by myself. So one winter day I started at the morning at 7am and a bit later it was suddenly 3pm. I was shocked that I got sucked up in that game! And I am not the hardcore gamer type (similar situations that I have nowadays with Minecraft).

Graphics
Transport Tycoon is in isometric 2D, meaning you see everything from the 45 degrees on the side. The animations are amazing for that year. Every factory, city, airport and transport unit has it’s own animations. Grass grows, farms grow crops and harvest crops, trees grow and water sparkles. This game has an amazing level of detail.

Sound/Music
The music is made by ‘John Broomhall’ and have a funky jazzy style. I always loved these songs and managed to sing them by heart in the end. The sound effects are also very true to each object in the game. Every train, truck, plane and boat have their sounds. They don’t make that sound the whole time, but usually only when they are leaving. You can hear the wind blowing, the money coming in, the pings and whoops from new financial journals coming in and people applauding when a unit arrives for the first time on their station. So the sound effects are not disturbing you, but just helping you hear what is happening.

Retro or something one still can enjoy?
Ofcourse Transport Tycoon doesn’t run by itself on newer operating systems and the old company who made this game doesn’t exist any longer. Luckily the opensource community started working on an improved version that would work on all OS’s but would require the original game. So basicly it’s like a patch that can run your old Transport Tycoon on a newer machine. It’s called OpenTTD and you can check their website out here.
So for writing this article, I ofcourse started playing again. I once got the tip of a friend that I should try to start with building a railway around a couple of cities in a circle. The train(s) will just go from one station to the other and every station will make you money. So I tried that out and I must say that it works actually very well. But just with one or two train circles you don’t earn much company value.

I believe that the original version didn’t come with a multiplayer version, but the version that you can play nowadays does come with it, although in my experience very buggy.

Conclusion
It’s strange, but this game is still a difficult game with an enormous amount of strategic thinking in it. It’s fun every time again. I still enjoy playing it and I can still easily lose a whole day playing it. More information? There’s a fanatic guy that made a huge page with information about this game, check it out!