Fancy a real Fallout sequel?

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2013 - 04:24 PM |
Tagged: mod, gaming, fallout: new vegas, fallout 3, brazil

Project Brazil is a total conversion mod for Fallout: New Vegas which claims to carry on the original spirit of the Fallout series, a harsh post apocalyptic wasteland filled with competing groups all of whom want to see themselves in control of all they survey and you to either be with them or decomposing somewhere.  While there were moments in Fallout 3 which reached the level of absurdity or terror veterans of previous Fallout games reached, there was never really a point when you realized you were a drug addicted murder seriously considering slaving as a good way to bring in more income.  While we are a ways away from seeing Project Brazil finished, you should follow Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN's advice and keep your eyes on the progress of this mod.

projectbrazil.jpg

“The vision of Fallout 2 will be honoured by Project Brazil. Project Brazil is a quieter, more harsh and severe world than Fallout 3 or New Vegas. It feels like a real place spotted with rare moments of absurdity and fear, split between multiple rising civilizations all trying to fight for what they want or need in a world recovering from the Great War.”

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Gaming

 

CES 2013: Thermaltake Shows Off Volos Mouse With Xbox-Style Side Buttons

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2013 - 08:17 AM |
Tagged: xbox, volos, thermaltake, gaming mouse, gaming

Peripherals are not usually items that I pay much attention to at CES, but the Volos mouse from Thermaltake managed to pique my interest. The prototype mouse was spotted at the company’s CES booth amidst several new Level 10 GT mice in various colors. 

Thermaltake Volos Gaming Mouse.jpg

The Tech Report spotted the prototype Volos mouse at the Thermaltake booth.

The Volos is a right-handed laser gaming mouse clad in matte gray with glossy black accents. The interesting bit though, lies on the left side the mouse: four colored blue, yellow, red, green Xbox-controller-style buttons and one A and B button. There is a seventh thumb button on the top-left edge of the mouse, two DPI selection buttons in the middle beneath the scroll wheel, and three additional buttons on the right side in reach of your little finger. LMB, RMB, and a white scroll wheel complete the package.

Reportedly, the mouse is not yet ready for retail, but it does suggest some interesting possibilities for gamers. Many modern games available on the PC are ports of console games, and that means that a number of games retain the Xbox controller tool tips and suggested controls. While it is possible to simply plug in an Xbox controller to pay such games, Thermaltake’s Volos mouse opens the door to a possible compromise. PC gamers would be able to keep the mouse look ad precision of their gaming mice while also being able to use Xbox-style button controls. At present, the buttons are likely used for macro activation, but it would be neat to see games auto-detect the other buttons and assign them the Xbox controls like the games do when an actual Xbox controller is recognized.

I think that I would have to actually try it out in person to determine how viable it is as a Xbox controller stand-in (ergonomically), but it at least appears to be a good idea! Tech Report has the full scoop on Thermaltake's new peripherals at CES if you are interested.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Tech Report

Ignore the Numenera part, Planescape is coming back!

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2013 - 03:55 PM |
Tagged: planescape, torment, gaming, kick ass

Monte Cook worked for Wizards of the Coast and one of the major contributors to the Planescape: Torment game, way back in the ancient days of brilliant RPGs on the PC.  He recently succeeded in a Kickstarter project to create a new universe called Numenera in which to base future RPGs and he has announced that the first game in this universe will be a spiritual successor to Torment.  Part of the reason for that is the continued idiocy of what was once TSR, they not only declined Monte's attempts to license Planescape but also declined his request about Baldur's Gate 3.  Instead he is going to design a game with the same features which made Torment such wonderful game, like a story more focused on your characters personal journey as opposed to making you feel like a cog in a much bigger story as well as offering NPCs who are more than just a body to absorb damage and cast spells.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has two stories up today, a discussion specifically about Torment as well as a more general discussion about Numenera.

MorteACC.jpg

"Rumours have been swirling for years about a possible sequel to Black Isle’s legendary and powerful roleplaying game Planescape: Torment, but the closure of the original studio and the jealous guarding of the Planescape rights by owners Wizards of the Coast seemed to have put paid to any comeback. But with original Interplay boss Brian Fargo very much back in the RPG business with current studio inXile’s wildly successful Wasteland 2 crowdfunding, everything changes. He and his team have come up with a way to make a new Torment game: this is really happening.

And there was much rejoicing."

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Gaming

FarCry follows the Star Trek rule, only it is the odd ones to watch

Subject: General Tech | January 2, 2013 - 04:23 PM |
Tagged: gaming, far cry 3

While the rule of thumb for the original Star Trek movies was to only watch the even numbered sequels, it seems that odd numbers are the way to go with Far Cry.  While the second instalment was a bit of a let down, the third has come much closer to capturing a "Skyrim with Guns" feel.  Techgage takes you on a brief look at what they learned in the 48 hours it took them to complete the game as well as the technical challenges they encountered along the way.  Read on if you don't have the game yet, or just fire it up and play through on your own or with friends.

farcry3_17_thumb.jpg

"When Far Cry first brought us to its shores in 2004, PC gamers were given a real treat: open-ended gameplay and a highly-detailed world. Far Cry 2 brought us an even bigger world, but never hit cruising speed with most people. Does Far Cry 3 have what it takes to return us to paradise, or should it have remained at sea?"

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Source: Techgage

Valve Opens Steam for Linux Beta to General Public

Subject: General Tech | December 28, 2012 - 03:32 AM |
Tagged: valve, ubuntu, steam, opengl, linux, gaming

Gamers were given an early holiday present last Friday when Valve announced it would be opening up its Steam for Linux beta to everyone. For the past few months the company has been testing out a version of its Steam client software intended to run on Ubuntu 12.04 Linux. Valve initially performed internal testing, and then proceeded to invite users to a closed beta. And now (finally), it seems that the company is comfortable enough with the applications stability that it can release it to the general public. While it is still very much beta software, it is actively being developed and improved.

Along with the move to a public beta, Valve is transitioning to GitHub to track changes and bug reports. Further, an apt repository is in the works, which should make installing and updating the Steam beta client easier, especially on non-Ubuntu distros (like Ubuntu forks). From the documentation available on the Steam website, it seems that apt-get install gdebi-coreand gdebi steam.debis still the preferred command line installation proceedure, however. 

Steam For Linux Beta.jpg

Further, Valve has fixed several issues in the latest Steam for Linux client. (Users that were in the closed beta will need to update). The company has improved the back navigation arrow placement and added discount timers and other UI tweaks to Big Picture Mode, for example. Valve has also fixed a bug concerning high CPU usage when playing Team Fortress 2 and an issue with the Steam overlay crashing while playing Cubemen.

Right now, the game selection is very limited, but the client itself is fairly stable. The traditional and Big Picture Mode UI are identical to the Windows version that many gamers are familiar with, which is good. Installation on Ubuntu was really easy, but I had trouble getting it to work with the latest version of Linux Mint. In the end, I was not able to use the CLI method, but the GUI instructions that Valve provides ended up working. At the moment Valve is only officially supporting the beta on Ubuntu, but it is likely to be expanded to other Debian forks as well as used in Valve’s Steam Box console.

The full announcement can be found on the Steam Community site, and the repository files are located here. Another useful resource is the getting started thread on the Steam forums, where you can find help getting the client installed (especially useful if you are trying to install it on an alternative distro).

Have you used the Steam for Linux client yet? I’m excited to see more games and engines support the Linux OS, as that will be what will make or break it.

Source: Valve

PC Version of DMC: Devil May Cry Will Be Available In January

Subject: General Tech | December 26, 2012 - 09:28 PM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, dx9, dmc, devil may cry 4

DMC: Devil May Cry is coming next month. The latest entrant in the Devil May Cry series, the game is published by Capcom and is being developed by Ninja Theory. Further, Ninja Theory has outsourced the PC version of the game to QLOC. DMC: Devil May Cry is a gothic-themed hack ‘n slash game set in an alternate reality in the Devil May Cry universe.

Devil May Cry 4.png

The game is coming out on PC, PS3, and the Xbox 360, with the console versions being released as early as January 15th, 2013 and the PC version coming January 25th, 2013. The PC version will, of course, bump up the graphical quality as well as allowing frames per second rates above 60 FPS. The PC version will also support keyboard/mouse, Xbox 360 controller, and direct input gamepad input.

When purchased on Steam (it is available for pre-order now), DMC: Devil May Cry will utilize cloud saving, achievments, friend support, and leaderboards. The specific release schedule is as follows:

Release for: PC Consoles
North America 1/25/2013 1/15/2013
Europe 1/25/2013 1/15/2013
Japan 1/25/2013 1/17/2013

The game will be available on the PC starting January 25th in both retail and digital versions across Europe and by digital distribution services in North America. Currently, that means Valve's Steam and EA's Origin stores. There is no word yet on if it will be available at retail in Japan or what other digital distribution services will offer the title. The game is already available for pre-order on Steam, however. Additionally, Capcom has released the minimum and recommened system requirements for the PC version. The specifications are listed below for reference.

Minimum PC Requirements:

  • OS: Windows Vista®/XP, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Processor: AMD Athlon™ X2 2.8 GHz or better, Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.4 Ghz or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 8 GB free hard drive space
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon™ HD 3850 or better, NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800GTS or better
  • DirectX®: 9.0c or greater
  • Sound: Standard audio device

Recommended PC Requirements:

  • OS: Windows Vista®/XP, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Processor: AMD Phenom™ II X4 3 GHz or better, Intel® Core™2 Quad 2.7 Ghz or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 9 GB free hard drive space
  • Video Card: AMD Radeon™ HD 6950 or better
  • DirectX®: 9.0c or greater
  • Sound: Standard audio device

The game is based on the Unreal 3 engine, and while it is not going to push the upper boundaries of gaming PC hardware, it should look fairly good on the computer. If you are interested in the game, the Capcom-Unity website has a number of screenshots and videos showing off the game that are worth checking out.

Source: Capcom-Unity

John Carmack Believes Next-Gen Consoles Will Continue Targeting 30FPS Games

Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2012 - 12:06 PM |
Tagged: xbox, ps4, gaming, games, consoles, carmack

While Nintendo has continued to pump out new gaming consoles, both Microsoft and Sony have been sitting on the current Xbox and PlayStation hardware for years. For example, the Xbox 360 is seven years old, and yet the Redmond company does not appear to be in any hurry to advance to better hardware with a new console. Sony is in a similar mindset with its PlayStation road map.

There have been rumors for the past couple years on the next Xbox and PlayStation, but there is one thing that is certain. Once gamers do (eventually) get a new console though, it will have substantially better hardware than the current generation. And considering that the latest games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have started to push the hardware to its limit, developers are clamoring for better hardware as their engines outgrow the consoles. Visuals are still increasing on iterative console games but the frame rates are starting to slip as a result. PC gamers have Eyefinity, multi-GPU, AA, AF, higher resolutions, and unrestricted frame rates. Meanwhile, developers that want games on both console and PC platforms have to contend with the fact that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are limited to a frame rate target of around 30 FPS. (And the latest games are jast barely able to achieve that target.)

Unfortunately, while many console gamers likely expect the next generation of consoles to set the frames per second bar higher, a statement by John Carmack suggests otherwise. On Twitter the id Software founder stated that “unfortunately, I can pretty much guarantee that a lot of next gen games will still target 30 fps.”

Carmack_30FPS.jpg

It is an interesting statement from the mind of a game developer. When next generation consoles do come out, they will likely push more than 30FPS on average as games built on (tweaked) existing engines will run faster on the updated hardware. However, it seems that developers are more concerned with pushing visual quality instead of framerates. As developers start pushing the new hardware, the framerates will fall towards the 30 FPS target, much like the current generation of consoles are experiencing. I suppose gamers that want unrestricted fram rates will have to stick to PC gaming for the forseeable future. 

Carmack_120FPS_On_PCs.jpg

Carmack is much more optimistic about higher framerates on PC games.

Do you think gamers care about higher framerates on their consoles?

Source: Shack News

... but will it play Far Cry 3?

Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2012 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: gaming, far cry

[H]ard|OCP took the GTX 680 and HD 7970, both alone and in pairs, to see how they performed in the newest game to come with an extra serving of eye candy, Far Cry 3.  At 2560x1600 with NO AA and Ultra settings the game looks spectacular but in order to get to that resolution you will need CrossFire or SLI as the frame rates are quite low on a single card.  For single card players 4X MSAA at 1080p is a much better target if you want the Ultra settings.  As for a winner it is hard to say, while the Radeon peaked higher than the GTX 680 the NVIDIA card provided much more consistent frame rates.

H_FC3_settings.gif

"Find out what to expect in Far Cry 3 with a GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and also with SLI and CrossFireX performance. We look at several comparisons of quality settings, and let you know about the important graphics eye candy to get you going in your Far Cry 3 gaming experience. "

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Nintendo Sells 425,000 Wii U Consoles, 1.75 Million Hardware Units In November

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2012 - 04:42 AM |
Tagged: Wii U, Nintendo, gaming, engadget, console

Nintendo recently unveiled its next generation console with the Wii U. While Ryan managed to get his hands on a couple of consoles, I still have not been able to get a hold of the elusive 32GB black SKU because they have been sold out at the retail stores in my area since launch day. Specifically, new data uncovered by the NPD Group puts into perspective just how popular Nintendo's new hardware is by the sheer number of units purchased in the first week of sales alone!

According to a press release by the NPD Group (available here), Nintendo managed to sell 1.75 million units of hardware in the US from October 28th to November 24th. The 1.75 million total units is further broken down between mobile and console hardware. For mobile, Nintendo sold an impressive 910,000 mobile gaming handhelds. On the console side of things, the results are not record breaking but still notable. Nintendo sold 845,000 consoles during the entire month of november.

Nintendo Wii U Game Console Black.jpg

Surprisingly, the majority of those 845,000 sales are comprised of Wii U sales over a one week period. During the first week of the Wii U being launched, Nintendo sold 425,000 consoles.  That is in comparison to the original Wii’s 475,000 consoles sold in its first week. Another interesting console number is that Nintendo has managed to sell 40 million total consoles since its launch, so the new Wii U still has a long way to go before it can topple the original motion-controlled console.

The NPD Group attributes the successful sale of 1.75 million units of gaming hardware to Black Friday sales and the initial launch excitement surrounding the new Wii U. It will be interesting to see if the Wii U will surpass its predecessor in popularity, and how long it will take to do so.

IMG_8529.JPG

I'm sure he broke the warranty on this torn apart Wii U so it is a good thing he didn't brick it with a failed firmware update! (heh)

Overall, it does appear to be a decent system with DRM, a 2GB firmware update, and retail (un)availability being the only major gripes from the Internet that I’ve picked up on. I look forward to getting my hands on some games to see how well the asynchronous gameplay works with the new gamepad in particular.

Are you excited about he Wii U?

See a full tear down of the Wii U with photos, video, and leftover screws at PC Perspective.

Source: Engadget

Crysis 3 PC to Ship with High Resolution Textures and Advanced Graphics Options

Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2012 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, Crysis 3, crysis, CryENGINE 3

Crysis 3, the third major installment in EA’s popular sandbox nanosuit-toting FPS is just over two months away. And unlike Crysis 2, this iteration is one that PC gamers should look forward to as much as the original. In an interview with Crysis 3’s Technical Director Marco Corbetta, PC Gamer was told that Crytek has made several optimizations and improvements to CryENGINE 3 that take full advantage of the horsepower offered by today’s high-end gaming PCs. Reportedly, with Crysis 2, there was a focus on delivering a console title, but with Crysis 3 PC gamers will get advanced graphics options and the high resolution textures on launch day that they deserve (my opinion there).

PC Gamer quoted Corbetta in stating that Crysis 3 improves upon the “AI navigation system, animation system, water, fog volumes, cloud shadows, POM, AA, cloths, vegetation, particles, lens flares, and grass.” Basically all of the little details that PC gaming is known for. On the topic of grass, the technical director expanded in saying that Crysis 3 is able to model each blade of grass which the player and NPCs will interact with, allowing movement to be spotted in the brush (and now I’m having flashbacks of Jurassic Park and it’s tall grass...). In essence, Crysis 3 is reportedly returning to its PC roots with a vengeance.

Crysis 3 explosion.png

As far as advanced graphics, users will be able to adjust a number of features to tweak the graphics details to get the most out of their hardware (or at least make the game playable until the next generation of cards?). From the top down, the advanced graphics menu has the following options: Game Effects, Objects, Particles, Post Processing, Shading, Shadows, Water, Anisotropic Filtering (AF), Texture Resolution, Motion Blur Amount, and Lens Flares. There are no sliders, but you will be able to choose from low, medium, high, and very high (for most settings). And if the previously announced PC system requirements are any indication, you will need a rather beefy multi-GPU system in order to crank these settings to the maximum.

You can find more details and the full interview over at PC Gamer. If you’re interested in the upcoming Crysis title, it’s worth a read.

Source: PC Gamer