Torment: Tides of Numenera lives!

Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2013 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: planescape, torment, numenera, gaming

Planescape:Torment 2, aka the Tides of Numenera now has a website to whet your thirst for this project.  It will not be a direct sequel or clone of the first game, it will not even use AD&D rules, instead being an adaptation of the existing Numenera RGP which you can check out here.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has been following the early development of this game, from its first crowdfunded inception to the latest and greatest news from the developers.  Check out the new webpage and news at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.

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"Numenera’s Ninth World is a fantastic vision of a world in which massive civilizations have risen and fallen – disappeared, transcended, overwhelmed, or destroyed – and left their cities, monuments, and artifacts behind. As each rose and fell, their achievements became part of the accumulated detritus of eons… but much of it did not decay. And now this assortment of ancient power is there for the taking, ever-present, underfoot. The humans of the Ninth World take and use what they can. They call these wonders (and horrors) the numenera."

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Gaming

Finally SHODAN rides again

Subject: General Tech | February 13, 2013 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: gaming, system shock 2, GOG, steam, kick ass

It has been a long drawn out battle but gamers can finally claim a victory as Good Old Games and Steam finally get the rights to distribute System Shock 2, one of the best FPS games ever released.  Not only were the mechanics, (can you say leaning?) and the AI but the story and atmosphere were the scariest around at the time and still compete well with similar modern games such as Dead Space.  The team at Night Dive has been working hard on stability and option improvements as well as adding in soundtracks, interviews and other historical documents from the games inception.  You will be able to pick up the game 16.5 hours from the writing of this post for $10, well worth the investment and much more fun and probably less buggy than Colonial MarinesCheck out Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN's interview with the team that has finally been allowed to provide the most requested old game around.

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"RPS: You have updated the Night Dive website to read: “System Shock franchise to resurface with GOG/Steam release”. What is your involvement in the release and is the digital version an update, with high-res textures etc, or a straight re-release?

Kick: Night Dive Studios secured the license to distribute the game, and made the initial modifications to allow the game to run on most current operating systems.

Rambourg: There are some user-made mods out there which do phenomenal work on the game’s stability, but none of them were quite perfect, so we took the game to our expert techninjas to analyse and swat the remaining bugs. It was some work to get it done, but as this is a game that we’ve wanted to release for four-plus years, it was also definitely a labour of love."

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Gaming

WINEing about the profitability of selling games for Linux

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2013 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: carmack, linux, gaming, wine

John Carmack has been stirring the pot recently, from the questionable launch of the PC version of Rage, to poking at consoles remaining capped at 30fps to his disappointment in iD abandoning mobile game development.  More recently he has gone on record stating that there is little to no money to be made developing games for Linux.  His company has tried, Quake Arena and Quake Live both proved to be difficult to create and to have limited adoption as a test for the amount of possible sales.  This does not mean he has given up on Linux users completely, instead as he told The Inquirer he sees a different solution to the difficulties involved in designing games for Linux; improve WINE.  With a faster and more stable Windows (not an) Emulator for Linux iD and other companies wouldn't have to worry about parallel development, it would come closer to compile once and run anywhere.  Even better for game developers, there is already a dedicated group of programmers improving WINE so they would not lose man-hours better spent designing games.  You can also catch his comments about Steam appearing on Linux.

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"LEGENDARY GAMES DEVELOPER John Carmack has questioned the business model of porting Windows games to Linux, saying that using Windows emulation might be a better approach."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Antichamber; there's an odd one

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2013 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: gaming, surreal, antichamber

Antichamber is hard to describe, simply defining it as Portal-like misses just how strange the physics are in this game.  Switching to a walk from your normal movement speed might just allow you to walk up invisible stairs which are intangible otherwise is certainly different than Portal as are the parts where looking through an object or simply looking at an object can change your position or a portion of the mazes position.  Progress is mostly kept track of through the various pictures you click which will reveal clues which might or might not be useful.  On the other hand the 'gun' you get which places and removes cubes is a little like Portal.  Confused?  Read on at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN and be prepared to be even more baffled and head to Steam to pick it up.

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"Truth be told, Antichamber felt nearly finished the first time I ever laid hands on it. That was nearly a year ago. But creator Alexander Bruce insisted that – even after multiple years of near-obsessive fine-tuning – his non-Euclidean, Escher-ish, other impressive words that start with E puzzler needed more. So now here we are. But is it actually, truly finished? And was it worth the interminable, largely radio silent wait? Here’s wot I think."

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Gaming

New 3DMark Benchmarking Suite Release Is Imminent

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 2, 2013 - 03:29 AM |
Tagged: gpus, gaming, Futuremark, benchmarking, 3dmark

Futuremark, developers of the popular 3DMark and PCMark computer hardware benchmarks has announced an official release date for the next version of 3DMark. The company has teased gamers and reviewers with screenshots as well as hinted that the name would no longer have the release year tacked onto the end of the name, but now the benchmark is finally official.

The new 3DMark will come in several different flavors aimed at Windows PCs, iOS, Android, and Windows RT devices. It will continue the trend of offline benchmarking and scoring paired with a web interface where users can see detailed benchmark run analysis.

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The new 3DMark benchmark will include feature tests, a DX10 benchmark called Cloud Gate, and a DX11 benchmark called Fire Strike. Once the benchmark has completed, users will be able to dig into the web interface to access charts and graphs that cover the benchmarking runs from beginning to end. The graphs will track CPU clockspeed and utilization as well as temperatures for both the processor and graphics card(s).

On the mobile side of things, 3DMark will use a graphics test called Ice Storm that is more suited to ARM SoCs with integrated graphics processors. No DX11 goodness here, obviously.

The PC version of 3DMark will be available for download on February 4, 2013 at 18:00 UTC. Unfortunately, there is no official release dates for the mobile versions. Futuremark has indicated that they will be released over the next few weeks as they are finalized.

You can find more information on the next 3DMark benchmark on the Futuremark website.

Source: Futuremark

AMD Releases Catalyst 13.2 Beta GPU Driver With Optimizations For Crysis 3

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2013 - 08:04 AM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, amd, graphics drivers, gpu, Crysis 3, catalyst

The Crysis 3 beta was launched January 29th, and AMD came prepared with its new Catalyst 13.2 beta driver. In addition to the improvements rolled into the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL graphics driver, Catalyst 13.2 beta features performance improvements in a number of games.

Foremost, AMD focused on optimizing the drivers for the Crysis 3 beta. With the new 13.2 beta drivers, gamers will see a 15% performance improvement in Crysis 3 when using high MSAA settings. AMD has also committed itself to future tweaks to improve Crysis 3 performance when using both single and CrossFire graphics configurations. The driver also allows for a 10% improvement in CrossFire performance in Crytek’s Crysis 2 and a 50% performance boost in DMC: Devil May Cry when running a single AMD GPU. Reportedly, the new beta driver also reduces latency issues in Skyrim, Borderlands 2, and Guild Wars 2. Finally, the 13.2 beta driver resolves a texture filtering issue when running DirectX 9.0c games.

For more details on the driver, AMD has posted the change log on its blog as well as suggested image quality settings for AMD cards running the Crysis 3 beta.

Now watch: PC Perspective live streams the Crysis 3 Multiplayer Beta.

 

Source: AMD

Return to Neverwinter

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2013 - 07:14 PM |
Tagged: neverwinter, hero of teh north, gaming, beta

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has information on how you can try to get into the Neverwinter beta which will take place in February and March.  For those of you screaming "shut up and take my money", you can invest in a Founders Pack which apparently for those of you who can't make up your own character and have to pretend you are actually Salvatore's famous Drow.  If you fork over your cash you will get swanky outfit, a pseudo-Guenhwyvar and strangely a giant spider mount which is just odd to ride above ground in daylight.  Still, if that is your cuppa, head on over.

As well, it is likely we will be trying out the Crysis 3 Multiplayer open beta after the podcast tonight, so fire up Origin and download it if you want to join in on the action.

"I’ll retreat there, probably around February 8-10, March 8-10, and March 22-24, which is when Neverwinter‘s beta will take place. With its user-generated content and D&D trappings, it should be a healing sort of environment for discombobulated old nerd-wraiths like me. The more excitable among our kind – and those with wallets full of platinum – will like invest in Founders Packs, which are fashionable pre-order garments of the online-gaming catwalk. Or something."

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Gaming

So you want in on a little Elder Scrolls Online beta action?

Subject: General Tech | January 23, 2013 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: gaming, bethesda, elder scrolls, elder scrolls online, mmorpg

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has the link you want to click on to apply for a role in the beta testing of Elder Scrolls Online, taking the world of Tamriel onto the web.  There are a limited amount of spaces so as it says on the application page, make sure to fill out everything you can as it could help your chances of being picked.  As for the release date Bethesda is still claiming we will see it sometime in 2013 but are not being more specific than that.  You can also catch a new trailer at RPS on the same page as the application link.

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"SWTOR got it wrong – oh so very wrong – but here we are once again, looking at a mega-bucks MMO that could make World of Warcraft wriggle around uncomfortably, like it’s wearing underwear a size too small. Like it or not, Skyrim is a game which crossed to The Other Side, that strange and terrifying world of people who play games but don’t follow gaming. Y’know, Normals. As such, Bethesda’s upcoming massively multiplayer monster-stabber The Elder Scrolls Online has at least a chance at a very big audience, not purely the MMO-educated. We shall see!"

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Gaming

Razer's Ultimate keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2013 - 06:18 PM |
Tagged: input, mechanical keyboard, gaming, razer, blackwidow ultimate

With a name like Razer Blackwidow Ultimate, this new mechanical keyboard has a lot to live up to.  It comes with the Razer Synapse software familiar to many, which allows you to program the LED lights behind the keyboard for mood typing as well as programming up to 10 profiles with different keys and macro key settings.  It has headset and microphone jacks for those not using a USB headset and USB-Passthrough for those that do.  R&B Mods like the overall performance and look of the keyboard but were a bit taken aback by the $135 asking price.  It also seems strange that Razer does not advertise the type of mechanical switch this keyboard uses.

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"Mechanical keyboards are high demand these days as more and more people have realized how nice they are to game on with their quick response time and keys. Today we are going to review the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate mechanical keyboard, it will be tested in various situations and also see if it is better than the competition that we have tested in the past."

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Tech Talk

Couch surfing gamers take note

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2013 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: usb 3.0, peripheral, nerdytec, gaming, couchmaster premium

It has been a while since we have seen a review of living room furniture, long time readers may remember a certain gaming class beanbag chair from 2008, but with the advent of Steam's Big Picture perhaps it is something we shall see more of.  In this case it is more of a gaming class TV Tray, called the Nerdytec CouchMaster Premium with interchangeable wrist and palm rests, Velcro wire management loops, a 4 port USB 3.0 powered hub and a 5m USB 3.0 extension cable.  This should allow you to get your mouse, keyboard and any two other USB peripherals set up on the CouchMaster with you comfortably sitting on the couch.  It also sports a pocket where you can store some items but open containers of liquids are not going to be safe in it.  Read on at Kitguru to see if this is an idea with potential or if you should pass this one by.

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"In days gone by, it was rare to see PC gamers sitting anywhere other than at a desk when enjoying their favourite titles. With the emergence and widespread adoption of big-screen TVs and floor-shaking surround sound systems, PC gamers’ desks have a competing entertainment area – the couch."

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Source: Kitguru