Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars Available Via Steam Early Access

April 18, 2014 - GamePolitcs Staff

Indie developer Digital Eel let us know that its crowd-funded 3D space exploration game, Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars is now available via Steam Early Access.

"Even as development continues, we're very excited to be able to share Sea of Stars early with Kickstarter backers and the gaming community at large," the company said today. "Steam's Early Access allows you to play work-in-progress versions of the game (new build updates are automatic), provide critical feedback and actually help shape its creation."

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Unsung Story Within Striking Distance of Meeting Funding Goal

February 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Playdek has released a brand new update on the Kickstarter page for its game Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians. The latest update, answers a lot of questions fans have about this game being made by several principles that worked on such hit Japanese tactical strategy titles as Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre. More importantly, Playdek is almost near its funding goal of $600,000, but the campaign only has a little over two days to raise the $90,669 it needs to get fully funded.

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Research: Games That Require Strategic Thinking Offer Important Benefits

November 26, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New research from the Netherlands finds that young people who play games that require fast-paced strategic thinking and planning may improve learning, health and social skills, and strengthen cognitive abilities including problem solving, reasoning, memory and perception. Researchers say that these benefits can occur even when a game contains violent content. The research from the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands was recently published in the journal, American Psychologist.

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The Resurrection of Battle Isle

September 6, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Blue Byte Software's Battle Isle series is making a come-back, but it won't be handled by Blue Byte Software and it won't happen (at least as quickly) without some of your money. A new game is being developed by Stratotainment and Thomas Hertzler, the co-founder of Blue Byte. Hertzler sold the company to Ubisoft in 2001. Blue Byte is best known for the Battle Isle series, the spin-off Incubation series, and it's most popular franchise, The Settlers.

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Double Fine Raises Over $1.2 Million for Massive Chalice

June 28, 2013 -

Double Fine's latest crowdfunding efforts on Kickstarter for the fantasy strategy game Massive Chalice ended with a total of $1.2 million raised. The company created the Kickstarter page in May with the hope of raising $725,000. That goal was surpassed in early June, and as of this week Massive Chalice raised almost double what Double Fine was seeking. With funding secured, Project lead Brad Muir is putting together a separate team within Double Fine to create the game.

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Double Fine's Massive Chalice Hits Funding Goal

June 4, 2013 -

Double Fine's latest Kickstarter campaign, Massive Chalice has been fully funded. The developer was seeking $725,000 for the new fantasy-themed strategy game. after less than a week of going live the Kickstarter has managed to raise $743,919 from 20,264 backers with 23 more days to go. Obviously you can expect to see some stretch goals popping up very soon so that they can continue to raise funds for the development of the game.

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Double Fine Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Massive Chalice

May 30, 2013 -

Double Fine has launched a new Kickstarter campaign for a game called "Massive Chalice," which it describes as a tactical fantasy strategy game for PC (Windows, Linux, and Mac) from the creators of Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, and Iron Brigade. The project is being headed up by Brad Muir, who created the excellent Iron Brigade.

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Slitherine Secures Warhammer 40K License for Upcoming Strategy Title

March 14, 2013 -

Indie strategy developer and publisher Slitherine has signed a licensing deal with Games Workshop to develop a new strategy title set in the popular Warhammer 40,000 universe. While Slitherine says that details of the deal (including the content and features of the game) have not yet been announced, development is already underway on multiple platforms.

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Zerglings Have Feelings, Too, Says PETA

March 11, 2013 -

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are now protesting the treatment of aliens. Yes, they have decided that they will hand out fliers at the launch event of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm in Irvine, Calif. tonight. The launch event, which will have several members of Blizzard Entertainment on hand at the Irvine GameStop, will be treated to the kind of ridiculous protests that only a group like PETA can put on. So what will they be doing at the Heart of the Swarm event?

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Gas Powered Games Raises Nearly 10 Percent of Wildman Funding in One Day

January 15, 2013 -

Chris Taylor's and Gas Powered Games' Kickstarter for their MOBA-style action RPG strategy hybrid Wildman is well on its way to raising the $1.1 million it is seeking on the crowd sourcing site from the community. Yesterday after the announcement I posited on Facebook that they would need to raise at least $50,000 a day to be well over their goal in the time remaining (around $1.6 million).

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Gas Powered Games Launches Kickstarter Campaign for 'Wildman'

January 14, 2013 -

Gas Powered Games founder Chris Taylor today launched the official Kickstarter campaign for his next big game called Wildman. Taylor and GPG are seeking $1.1 million in funding for the development of what he calls an action game that combines some of the best elements of his previous titles including Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander and Demigod. Taylor is best known for creating the ultra popular real-time strategy game Total Annihilation while at Cavedog Entertainment.

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Indie Strategy Game Developers Form Super Group

December 5, 2012 -

Three independent game companies have decided to work together to develop and publish independently developed strategy and war games. The Slitherine Group, Ageod, and Matrix Games have merged. The new super group will continue to develop and publish niche war and strategy games online and through other channels. The Slitherine Group released 30 titles in 2012 for a variety of platforms including PC, Mac, PS3, X360 and tablet platforms. Its games include Battle Academy on iPad, Commander- The Great War, Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog for PC, and many others.

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Easy Mode Gets Easier in Upcoming XCOM: Enemy Unknown Update

November 2, 2012 -

Apparently some XCOM: Enemy Unknown players have declared to 2K Games' Firaxis that easy mode isn't all that easy and that they wouldn't mind something done about it. Firaxis has listened to the community (as detailed in this forum thread) and plans to tone things down a bit with a second patch - release date to be determined.

Besides making the game a lot easier in easy mode across all platforms, the patch will deal with a number of other issues that have cropped up:

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Strategery 2012 is Ready for a Presidential War

October 8, 2012 -

A new game infuses the concept of the popular Game Boy Advance game Advance Wars, with the antics of the 2012 presidential elections in what developer Silverware Games calls "Strategery 2012." Strategery 2012 is a web-based game offering Advance Wars mechanics that feature the top two factions in politics today: those of President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

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Stardock Sues Former Marketing Manager for Elemental Fiasco

August 16, 2012 -

Stardock Systems has filed a lawsuit against a former employee claiming that her actions damaged the launch of its strategy game Elemental: War of Magic. The company filed the lawsuit last month in Michigan Eastern District Court. Their complaint contends that when former marketing manager Alexandra Miseta resigned, she "deleted, destroyed, and/or stole promotional materials, analytics data, and trade show information" that was vital to the game's launch.

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The Political Machine 2012 Released

July 31, 2012 -

Stardock Software has released the 2012 edition of The Political Machine. Political Machine 2012 is a strategy games that lets players choose their favorite past and present political candidates in a bid to win the most prized position in U.S. politics: the presidency of the United States. Players can choose to play as President Barack Obama, Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, or former Republican primary candidates Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich. If you think all those choices are horrible you can create your own candidate from scratch.

Castle Story Finds Early Funding Success on Kickstarter

July 27, 2012 -

Today Sauropod Studio pitched its game Castle Story to the public for some much needed funding on Kickstarter. In the early hours of the campaign, the game has already met its goal. Sauropod Studios was looking to raise $80,000 to bring the game to the PC and Mac, but with the help of 3,348 backers it has already raised $95,055. If you watch the video (embedded to your left) you will quickly understand why this project has gotten early buzz.

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Tanks in EA's Tiberium Alliances Look Eerily Similar to Tanks in Warhammer 40K

April 13, 2012 -

Two Reddit users have compared the tanks from Games Workshop's tabletop game Warhammer 40,000 with tanks in EA's free-to-play online strategy title Tiberium Alliances. The side-by-side comparison shows that the tanks in EA's games look suspiciously similar to the tanks from Games Workshop’s popular game universe. 

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League of Legends Hits Major Milestones

July 26, 2011 -

Riot Games announced that its popular online strategy game League of Legends has hit a major milestone: more than 1.4 million players log on and play the game every day. The game currently sits at the 15 million registered players mark, with an average of ten games of League of Legends starting every second of every day. The first season of competitive play recently completed showing that the number of active players each month has grown to over four million.

"We are extremely proud and appreciative of the devoted League of Legends community which has grown substantially over the last year and a half," said Brandon Beck, CEO of Riot Games. "We’re committed to continuing to match their dedication with our relentless focus on ongoing enhancements to the player experience with great new features, content, and polish – and we have some very exciting surprises in store just around the corner."

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MIT Researchers Tell Game Playing AI to RTFM

July 13, 2011 -

According to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab has found a way to improve the performance of game-playing AI by enabling it to read the manual prior to play. According to RPS, the AI was able to improve its performance in Civ by reading the manual considerably. Here's an excerpt from MIT's web site:

"When the researchers augmented a machine-learning system so that it could use a player’s manual to guide the development of a game-playing strategy, its rate of victory jumped from 46 percent to 79 percent."

A 30 percent increase in performance is pretty impressive, as is the AI's ability to translate the written instructions in the manual into actual gameplay. You can read an exhaustive report on this little experiment at MIT.

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2K Games President Inserts Foot In Mouth

July 13, 2011 -

A new interview with 2K President Christoph Hartmann over on MCV makes the top executive at the Take-Two label look a little foolish - not that it's MCV's fault. In that interview Hartmann degrades strategy games and Ray Charles among other things. His comments come about as part of a discussion on X-Com, the popular strategy games series that the company is reimagining as a strategy-themed shooter. Here's the first quote, about 90's strategy games:

"The ‘90s generation of gamers all love Xcom and we own the IP, so we thought OK, what do we do with it? Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had its own spin on it. But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing – strategy games are just not contemporary."

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World of Starcraft Mod Renamed Starcraft Universe

February 11, 2011 -

Ryan Winzen's Starcraft II mod, World of StarCraft, has been rebranded as "Starcraft Universe," and Blizzard apparently approves of the name change and the direction of the mod after lawyers for the company talked to Winzen at length.

The focus of the mod remains the same, though Winzen has said that many misunderstood the multiplayer aspect of it, calling it an "MMO." That confusion did not help Winzen win any affection with Blizzard. Thankfully, all of that - including the name of the mod - is now water under the bridge.

It has been interesting journey for Winzen, who in the process of defending his modification, gained the favor of Blizzard and got a job offer from Riot Games (makers of the DOTA-like online game League of Legends). Blizzard has even offered to fly Winzen out to its headquarters to meet the StarCraft II development team.

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Research: Predicting Video Game Skills Through Brain Imaging

January 14, 2011 -

New research from the University of Illinois unearths a technique that can predict "with unprecedented accuracy" how well a subject can perform on complex tasks simply by analyzing a certain part of the brain. University of Illinois Beckman Institute director Art Kramer and colleagues have developed a way to predict how well study subjects would do on a strategic video game using established brain imaging techniques.

Using magnetic resonance imaging and multivoxel pattern analysis, researchers found differences in patterns of a "particular type of MRI signal, called T2, in the basal ganglia of study subjects." Analyzing these differences enabled researchers to predict between 55 - 68 percent of the differences in performance among 34 subjects who later learned to play a game developed by the university.

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Stardock: Elemental Will Lose Money

January 10, 2011 -

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says that the company's strategy RPG Elemental: War of Magic will end up costing the company money in the long run. This will happen, the company says, despite the fact that the game managed to break even on pre-orders.

"Elemental made its money back on day one and has continued to be profitable to this point," Wardell told Gamasutra in an email. "However, based on our projections we anticipate by the end of second quarter 2011 that Elemental will end up losing money overall as our objective is to spend what is necessary to ensure that the game meets the expectations of our customers."

Wardell did not disclose how many units the game has sold to date or how much money the company made off initial sales. While the company will lose money on the game, Wardell sees it as an investment in its PC customer base, who were very dissatisfied with the launch of Elemental.

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CIV V Lead Joins Stardock

January 5, 2011 -

According to a report on Big Download, former Civilization V lead designer Jon Shafer and science fiction writer Dave Stern have joined Stardock to work on Elemental: War of Magic.

Shafer, who recently left Firaxis, will eventually oversee his own development team. For the time being though, he will be focusing on the continued development of Stardock's current flagship title Elemental - including the development of the two upcoming expansion packs.

Source: Big Download via Blue's News

2 comments

RUSE using Kinect on PC

January 3, 2011 -

German multi-touch display manufacturer Evolouce has been mucking about with Kinect and has managed to create a hack that allows PC gamers to play Ubisoft's RUSE the way it was meant to be played.

Using this hack, the user's right hand controls cursor movement, while the left hand acts as the left mouse button command for unit selection, giving orders, and more.

The video to the left shows it all off. Xbox 360 developers may want to pay close attention to how these developers use Kinect to make a real-time strategy game work with a special input device.. Perhaps this new application of the technology can be ported back to the 360 to make strategy games suck less on consoles?

Source: VG247 by way of RPS


StarCraft 2 Pirated 2.3 Million Times

November 17, 2010 -

According to data gathered by TorrentFreak earlier this month, StarCraft II is the most pirated game of 2010 - to date, anyways. StarCraft II: The Wings of Liberty has been downloaded more than 2.3 million times since the game released in July. According to TorrentFreak, the total number of data downloaded as it relates to StarCraft II is a staggering 15.77 Petabytes. This data is based on torrent downloads, and does not take into account downloads from other non-file-sharing sources.

Around 3 million legitimate copies of the game have been sold to date. Of course, those 2.3 million copies can't be used to play online, so that's something.

Source: Softpedia

43 comments

Relic Dumps Games for Windows Support in Dawn of War II: Retribution

September 15, 2010 -

Relic revealed via its blog that the party is over for Games for Windows and its upcoming Warhammer 40,000 titles. The general consensus among PC gamers is that GFW support in earlier Warhammer 40K games was more of a hindrance than a help when it came to playing multiplayer.

Nevertheless, the horror seems to be abating: the upcoming Dawn of War II: Retribution will only use Valve's Steamworks. THQ and developer Relic seem to prefer Steamworks because it provides Steam community features such as groups, achievements, and Steam chat. THQ said that, in addition to Steamworks support, it is working on new matchmaking and ranking built specifically for Retribution.

The bad news is that Relic has changed the game from a regular expansion to standalone, which means that Dawn of War II owners are stuck with Games for Windows. Here is more on the decision to make the game a standalone expansion:

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Three Moves Ahead Featuring Brad Wardell

September 8, 2010 -

On Episode 81 of Troy Goodfellow's popular strategy podcast, Three Moves Ahead, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell talks in-depth about the disastrous launch of Elemental: War of Magic. The podcast, which runs for about an hour, is dedicated entirely to Elemental's less than stellar launch, what went wrong internally at Stardock and what the future holds for the game.

The good news for those fans that are willing to give Stardock a chance to redeem themselves can expect a lot of changes including a global mana pool to rebalance the game, a more blatant tutorial that spells things out for new players, better general in-game documentation, and lots of game balancing.

You can check out Episode 81 here.


Upcoming Strategy Game Designed to Show Islam in a Positive Light

January 28, 2009 -

A Syrian developer is creating a game that it hopes will boost the image of Islam, reduce tensions with the West and encourage pride among young Muslims.

That's a pretty tall order for a computer game.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Al-Quraysh, due for a September release, is being developed by Damascus-based Afkar Media. From the CSM's description, it sounds like the type of build-and-fight game that will be instantly familiar to Western fans of the historical strategy genre:

Al-Quraysh is a strategy game that tells the story of the first 100 years of Islam's history from the viewpoint of four different nations - Bedouins, Arabs, Persians, and Romans.

One can choose to command any of the armies of the four nations or lead the army of the main character, Khaled Ibn Waleed, a Muslim warrior who defeated the Roman and Persian empires and never lost a battle. Or one can play the role of the Bedouin sheikh, who must earn the respect of his tribe. The player has the task of building and protecting trade routes and water sources, building armies, conducting battles, and freeing slaves.

Akkar Media exec Radwan Kasmiya commented on the game:

Al-Quraysh is going to help people in the West better understand the people who are living in the East. We want to show that this civilization was a sort of practical and almost heavenly civilization...

I get very embarrassed by the way we [Muslims] are showing our civilization. There were rational laws that were governing Muslims at that time [on which the game is based]. This allowed this civilization to last for a long time and to accept the other civilizations that they came in touch with...

 

Most video games on the market are anti-Arab and anti-Islam. Arab gamers are playing games that attack their culture, their beliefs, and their way of life. The youth who are playing the foreign games are feeling guilt... But we also don't want to do [a game] about Arabs killing Westerners.

Via: Inside Arab Gaming

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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
 

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