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  • PC News

    by Published on February 23rd, 2011 22:08
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    2. PC News

    Unlike many Ubisoft PC games, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is playable without an active internet connection.
    The publisher has dropped its controversial always-online digital rights management system for the superb stab-em-up, VG247 reports.
    "Ubisoft confirms that the PC version of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, after an initial login, will be playable offline in single-player mode," read a statement issued this morning.
    Ubisoft's controversial DRM launched with The Settlers 7 last April, but was scrapped for the release of the PC version of real-time strategy game RUSE.
    Last year Ubisoft's online verification servers suffered digital attacks, which prevented thousands of gamers from playing their games.
    In January Ubisoft claimed the goal of its then new PC anti-piracy solution was to "provide added value" and "enrich the gaming experience".
    "We know this choice is controversial but we feel is justified by the gameplay advantages offered by the system and because most PCs are already connected to the internet," said the company.
    "This platform also offers protection against piracy, an important business element for Ubisoft and for the PC market in general as piracy has an important impact on this market.
    "Any initiative that allows us to lower the impact of piracy on our PC games will also allow us to concentrate further effort on the creation and expansion of our intellectual properties for the PC - our goal is to deliver the best gaming experience to our customers."
    In January Ubisoft said it will patch out always-on DRM on a case by case basis.
    by Published on February 23rd, 2011 21:44
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    2. PS3 News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Xbox 360 News

    In taking what some see as the brave decision to help the long overdue Duke Nukem Forever come to market, Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford has stated that he feels committed to realise the vision that 3D Realms was unable itself to complete.
    When asked by Eurogamer if Duke Nukem Forever mirrors his own vision for the title, Pitchford responded: "No, it's not my game. My commitment is to make sure that I and you and we all finally get to play the game we've been waiting for all this time. So the commitment that I've made with my studio is to make sure 3D Realms' vision is realised.

    "I was at 3D Realms at the very beginning of the project, so the influence that persisted from that point forward is very high level – the top-line story of how Duke is enjoying the rewards of his successes, and some time has passed since he saved the world, and it's this world that the aliens come back into, and he once again has to rise and be the one."
    Later in the interview, Pitchford seemingly becomes quite irritated when Eurogamer suggests that the title's visuals reflect the game's long development cycle.
    "That's incorrect. That's actually incorrect," Pitchford interjects. "The game pushes the system to its absolute maximum. The thing we're struggling with now is actually performance and memory constraints.

    "If you play a game that doesn't have anything and it's just a shell focused on the scene, yeah you can get higher fidelity, but when you want to put in more simulation, more things to do in the environment, you have to trade off those resources somewhat.
    "If this exact game had come out earlier in the cycle, when everyone else hadn't picked their angles and maximised the hardware, there'd be nothing that looked as good. The game absolutely looks better than the first generation Xbox 360 and PS3 games. In this world, today, there are games that look worse than it and there's games that look better than it."
    by Published on February 23rd, 2011 14:12
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    2. PC News

    Says it's aware of complaints that in-app payments can allow children to spend money

    The US Federal Trade Commission is looking into reports of children blowing their parents' credit cards on mobile social games.
    The FTC says it's aware of complaints that in-app payments can allow children to spend money within mobile social games without their parents' permission, and is looking into the issue.

    In a letter to Democrat congressman Ed Markey, who had asked about the problems, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz reveals that the matter is firmly on its radar.

    by Published on February 23rd, 2011 14:10
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    2. PC News

    'Children will always find a way to access adult content' study says

    Net security firm BitDefender interviewed 1,570 parents from five countries to find out their children’s browsing habits. Using monitoring software, 95 per cent of parents found their children had looked up porn.
    Porn access was popular during homework time, with kids accessing porn for the first time at an average age of 11.
    A high 97 per cent of parents used programs to block porn sites and monitor their kid’s computer usage, but 12 per cent of teenagers managed to uninstall or circumvent the software.
    87 per cent of Mums and Dads claimed they would let their children look for porn on the web once they were 19 years old, while only 62 per cent of parents owned up to accessing adult content themselves.
    “BitDefender believes this sends a clear message to parents - it’s more important than ever to take steps to protect children from exposure to sexually explicit materials found on the internet" said BitDefender's Sabina Dactu, author of the study.
    by Published on February 23rd, 2011 00:32
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    2. PS3 News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Xbox 360 News

    Publishing behemoth Activision won't release NASCAR 2011 in the UK, but developer Eutechnyx has offered fans a glimmer of hope that they may one day play the game.
    How so? By making NASCAR 2011 region free.
    "Ultimately, as the distributor, Activision make the call on which territory the game will be released in," Eutechnyx's NASCAR product manager Gregg Baker told Eurogamer.
    "However, as a developer we can try and ensure that those wishing to purchase the game outside of the US are still given the opportunity.
    "We will look into making sure there is no region locking on the game so fans can import the game and if the demand is high enough we may even look into the possibility of distributing the game ourselves in the UK."
    PlayStation 3 games are not region locked, but Xbox 360 and Wii games often are.
    Still, there is a long list of region free PAL Xbox 360 games, including some published by Activision (Call of Duty: Black Ops among them), so a multiplatform region free release is not without precedent.
    You'd also have thought Activision would have something to say about any plan Eutechnyx had to distribute the game in the UK. Not so: Activision is a distribution partner only for NASCAR 2011. Eutechnyx owns the NASCAR licence.
    Earlier today it emerged that Activision had cancelled NASCAR 2011's projected UK March release.
    However, Eurogamer understands the game was never announced for release on these shores – despite the assumption by gamers and press that it would be.
    Eurogamer has requested comment from Activision on the matter.
    by Published on February 22nd, 2011 22:46
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    2. PS3 News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Xbox 360 News
    Article Preview

    Xbox360, Ps3 and PC gamers will be merrily boshing down buildings in Red Faction: Armageddon as of May 31 in US and June 3 in UK, THQ has confirmed.

    As fans will know, Red Faction is all about those destructible environments, and RFA looks to take it to all new levels. "Built on the groundbreaking Geo-Mod 2.0 destruction engine, players can take advantage of total environmental destruction, collapsing huge Martian structures on their enemies," says THQ.

    "Rebuild all that you destroy with the Nano-Forge's incredible repair ability, creating new gameplay scenarios never before possible."

    The upcoming Red Faction TV movie set for the SyFy channel, Red Faction: Origin, will star none other than Robert Patrick - the Terminator nemesis T-1000 in Terminator 2 - according to IMDB.

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...VG-General-RSS ...
    by Published on February 22nd, 2011 22:40
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    2. PS3 News,
    3. PC News,
    4. Xbox 360 News

    Crytek executive producer Nathan Camarillo has revealed that therecent leak of upcoming shooter Crysis 2 was a dark day for the studio.
    "It was a very traumatic experience because we're really excited about the game and the quality that we were able to get into it and what we were able to accomplish," he told the audience at the Guardian's Gamesblog Live last night (as attended by The Average Gamer).
    "We're at the end and we're really excited about where we're at and your game gets leaked. And it's not even that the final version of the game gets leaked, you know? That build was already from the middle of January. So that version is like a really ugly version that we don't want anyone to see."
    Camarillo was concerned about the possible financial impact on Crytek as a result of the leak. "People were downloading it and putting stuff up on YouTube. There's a real financial concern, there's a real morality concern... ...even some gaming press have posted video links to YouTube for the first 25 minutes. And you know that that's a business.
    "When you go read that story, that they're making money off of the advertising sales that are on that page from readers going to the site to look at content that was from a pirated version of the game."
    Discussing the morality debate around piracy, he claimed that "We tend to talk about it in simple terms – yeah, downloading hurts the industry but how does that hurt the value of IPs? How does that hurt the branding of games? How does that hurt the customer - the first experience of the customer?"
    Camarillo described Crytek as having experienced the stages of grieving in its response to the leak. Following disbelief and anger, "everyone was walking around like Charlie Brown – really sad and shuffling their feet. It was really, really tough."
    The studio retained some optimism, however. "I've asked people, if you wanna support Crytek; we're an independent developer... go out and preorder it because I will see those numbers the next week and then I can tell the team 'Hey, guess what? Our preorders went up by 200% 'cause everybody's really supporting us.' And then I'll see happy faces."
    Nonetheless, "piracy is a real concern. The PS3 has been cracked now as well and people are downloading PS3 games and 360 games... so that's a threat to just the industry in general."

    by Published on February 22nd, 2011 22:36
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    2. PC News

    EA has formed a new internal studio, Victory Games, which is to focus on strategy games for the publisher.
    In a relaunch of its Command & Conquer website – mysteriously now pulled, but seen in full by GamesIndustry.biz last night – the publisher revealed that Victory had locations in LA, Texas and Shanghai China.
    EA's strategy portfolio in 2009 suffered a large round of lay-offs at internal studio EA LA, which had previously handled the publisher's Command & Conquer and Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth titles.
    The new studio will apparently work on a fresh "AAA" C&C title, claimed Victory general manager Jon Van Canegham in a now-removed interview. "We're not just working on a game, though. Our general focus is on the future of Command & Conquer.
    "That means updating a lot of the core technology to create a stable base for future development, and leveraging that work on this first game."
    The new game will be a PC title and, according to the vanished site's About page, plans to "combine classic RTS gameplay with bold new technology, innovative new concepts and, as always, tanks by the dozen."
    Van Canegham has previously worked on Heroes of Might and Magic games for Ubisoft, as well as holding executive positions at MMO publisher Trion Worlds. He was allegedly removed from his position as president and CCO at the latter in 2009.

    by Published on February 22nd, 2011 01:04
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    2. PC News
    Article Preview

    News via AEP

    A new beta version of OpenTTD has been released. OpenTTD is a clone of the Microprose game "Transport Tycoon Deluxe", a popular game originally written by Chris Sawyer. It attempts to mimic the original game as closely as possible while extending it with new features.

    1.1.0-RC1 (2011-02-1
    - Feature: [NewGRF] Test all possible industry layouts during construction and prospecting [FS#4131] (r22012, r22010)
    - Feature: Wheel scrolling in the console (r21982)
    - Feature: Console command to reset the engine pool. It removes the traces of engines which are no longer associated to a NewGRF, and can be used to e.g. ´fix´ scenarios which were screwed up by the author. You can only use it when there are no vehicles in the game though (r21975)
    - Feature: Add a setting to enable/disable funding local road reconstruction (r21974)
    - Feature: Introduce ´minimal´ number of industries as a replacment for the old ´none´ setting in the new game window (r21969)
    - Change: When loading old savegames with long trains set the maximum train length to the length of the longest train (r22061)
    - Change: Always report mammoth trains are disabled to NewGRFs, and allow the maximum train length to be modified in multiplayer as well [FS#4471] (r22004)
    - Fix: Remove invalid keycodes when reading hotkeys.cfg [FS#4510] (r22094)
    - Fix: The server list did not get sorted with one item in it, so the ´position in the list´ variable was never updated causing problems when using the keyboard shortcuts for scrolling [FS#4514] (r22093)
    - Fix: When deleting towns, only relocate objects during DC_EXEC (r22087)
    - Fix: [Windows] If fullscreen fails with current resolution, use desktop resolution [FS#4489] (r22081)
    - Fix: The owner view of the smallmap was not updated after a company colour change (r22079)
    - Fix: Maximum train length interfered with wagon replacement when wagon removal was turned on [FS#4499] (r22078)
    - Fix: NewGRFs with invalid multi-tile houses could cause a valid 1x1 house following it to be seen as multi-tile, causing crashes [FS#4501] (r22075)
    - Fix: Immediately update the train weight when you change the multiplier for train cargo weight (r22073)
    - Fix: Some hotkey names in hotkey.cfg for the scenario editor toolbar were completely bogus (r22071)
    - Fix: Crashes when disconnecting after requesting the map [FS#4503] (r22070)
    - Fix: Delete all savegame packets, not just the first one (r22069)
    - Fix: Return ´connection lost´ instead of ´okay´ when SendPackets closed the connection, so we do not try to do anything else with the closed socket (r22068)
    - Fix: Do not hold a mutex when sending packets and thus possibly closing the connection as that wants to acquire the mutex again (r22067)
    - Fix: Verify we can allocate an Order, OrderList, CargoPacket, CargoPayment, and others before we actually try to do so (all corner cases) [FS#4468] (r22066, r22057, r22047, r22042, r22040, r22033, r22031, r22026, r22025, r22024, r22023, r22022)
    - Fix: Crash when disconnecting and reconnecting while the server is still saving the savegame [FS#4497] (r22064)
    - Fix: Memory leak when saving with LZMA or zlib fails mid-way (r22062)
    - Fix: Make the send chat message window follow the position of the status bar (r22059)
    - Fix: Metric and imperial HP are not the same. As imperial HP are used internally, set a conversion rate for metric HP [FS#4408] (r22056)
    - Fix: [Squirrel] Some invalid squirrel code caused the squirrel compiler to crash [FS#4490] (r22055)
    - Fix: The land area information window was not updated after a language change (r22053)
    - Fix: Roads under road stops would get a wrong owner after overbuilding (r22051)
    - Fix: In ancient savegames, e.g. TTO savegames, non primary vehicles (wagons and such) could have unitnumbers or even orders. However, these orders would not be updated when a station is removed. As such some savegames have wagons with current orders to invalid stations which triggers trouble in the load conversion. So, trash any orders/unitnumbers a non-primary vehicle has [FS#4496] (r22050)
    - Fix: [NewGRF] Company 0 does not always exist, so put temporary vehicles in a valid company (r22048)
    - Fix: Make sure order indices stay in range when copying, sharing, unsharing or deleting all orders [FS#4487] (r22046)
    - Fix: Update the consist cache when a part of a train is flipped in the depot [FS#4493] (r22044)
    - Fix: Invalidate the right windows when a part of a train is flipped in the depot (r22043)
    - Fix: Tab completion in chat did not cycle through all possible options (r22038)
    - Fix: Crash when watching the vehicle view of a vehicle that has multiple sequential nearest depot orders (or consists of a single nearest depot order) when there is no depot with index 0 [FS#4488] (r22034)
    - Fix: The server list got not resorted/redrawn after NewGRFs were downloaded [FS#4482] (r22029)
    - Fix: When paused and having the allowed actions while paused setting on ´no actions´ cheating money would ...
    by Published on February 22nd, 2011 00:40
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    2. PC News

    News via http://www.aep-emu.de/

    The open source Singstar simulator UltraStar was released in a new version.

    Stable UltraStar 0.8.3 edition has been released. The game runs with new skin, uses chessboard mode by default and requires powerful graphics card to play on the high quality settings due to heavy pixel shader usage compared to the previous edition. Enable high quality settings in the game graphics options. The voice pitch detection is also improved resulting in much more dynamic changes in displayed singbars. Song loading, movie rendering and online function are improved compared to the 0.8.2 edition.

    Changes in UltraStar 0.8.3 stable since beta version:
    - New skin
    - Three quality settings: low (default), medium and high
    - Pixel shader on medium and high quality setting profile
    - Very heavy pixel shader usage on highest quality setting profile
    - Improved voice pitch detection technology
    - New high resolution fonts
    - Shift + up/down keys change sorting in the chessboard mode
    - A lot of minor fixes

    Changes in UltraStar 0.8.3 beta:
    - Improved chessboard mode display
    - Page up, page down, home and end keys are working on the chessboard song display mode
    - Plus and minus keys zooms in and out chessboard song display mode
    - Song can be quit with mouse
    - Improved video playback
    - Improved colors
    - Fixed crashing when retrying network connection

    Changes in UltraStar 0.8.3 alpha:
    - Roulette and Chessboard song display mode can be selected in the game options
    - Music is playing after end of singing
    - Movies with over 50 and up to 100 FPS can be played
    - Song sorting speed improved by +100%

    Changes in UltraStar 0.8.3 pre-alpha:
    - Game Mode selection screen
    - Experimental chess song display mode available with -chess parameter
    - Experimental and very buggy Direct3D mode available with -direct3d parameter
    - FPS limiter can be turned off with -nolimit parameter
    - A lot of game engine optimizations ...