Like X-COM meets Freelancer with bloody great space worms; Solar Warden

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2018 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: gaming, solar warden, Kickstarter

Solar Warden is a Kickstarter project running for six more days with a fairly low target of $40K US and it has a demo out which you can load up to try.  It is still very much a work in progress but gives you an idea of the overall scope of the game.  There are financial mechanics similar to X-COM in that you have to keep the various countries of the world happy so they will continue to finance your war against outer space Kinder eggs of the worst kind.  These falling rocks often contain some nasty silicon-based enemies seeking to devour the Earth while you seek to stop them, either through letting the AI handle your ships or by taking direct control of them for Freelancer style dogfights.  

You can check out the launch trailer at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN, install the demo to see if what you think or just head to Kickstarter to back it as I have.

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"The Solar Warden demo is still pretty early and unoptimised, and drops you right in at the deep end with little to no tutorial so brace yourself for a rough ride unless you’re a combined X-Com and X-Wing veteran."

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Need to cool off? Get naked with the Ncore V1

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 5, 2018 - 03:09 PM |
Tagged: ncore v1, watercooling, NudeCNC, Kickstarter

[H]ard|OCP offered a preview of NudeCNC's frameless waterblock, the NCore V1 before it launched it's Kickstarter.  Since that preview, the Kickstarter has launched and perhaps more importantly [H] got their hands on a V1 prototype to test. They compared it to the XSPC RayStorm Pro, without springs, so they could get a comparison on performance and flow rates. The cooling results were almost exactly the same, both the flow rate and temperature which was a little disappointing considering the performance NudeCNC has claimed.  Read through the article for their thoughts on why this is and what the future holds for the NCore.

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"The Ncore V1 is a prototype CPU water block for custom built PC cooling loops. It has a couple of big draws when it comes to enthusiast features, namely it is a direct-die cooler, and the other feature is that no mounting hardware is required. We have put the Ncore V1 through some cooling and have results to share."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Terra Invicta; X-COM gone intergalactic, planetary

Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2017 - 01:54 PM |
Tagged: Terra Invicta, x-com, long war, Pavonis Interactive, Kickstarter, gaming

Pavonis Interactive, the development team behind the wonderfully torturous Long War mods for the new X-COM series sat down with Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN to talk about their current project, a full game entitled Terra Invicta.  It will encompass the defence of Earth against an alien invasion force, similar to X-COM but will be their first game designed from the ground up with a Kickstarter campaign soon to get underway.  With two huge and impressive mods under their belt, the team should have what it takes to make this game very interesting.  For instance, they plan to have the battlefield encompass not just Earth, but to allow you to eventually take the fight to the stars.   Check out the full interview here.

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“It’s a little like what you might imagine the XCOM spokesman’s job to be,” Pavonis head John Lumpkin tells me, “trying to unify Earth’s nations against an alien threat.” And then it moves to cover the entire solar system."

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Automagically round up your weeds with Tertill

Subject: General Tech | June 14, 2017 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: irobot, automation, tertill, Kickstarter

While the level of enjoyment that gardening instills in a person varies there is one thing we should be able to agree upon; weeding sucks.  The team that brought you the Roomba has a solution in mind and they have launched a Kickstarter for Tertill, the robotic weed destroyer.  You can contribute to the project and pick up this solar powered robotic weed eater for as little as $225 for delivery in time for next years gardening season.  Instead of using robotic vision, which can have some interesting interpretations of objects, it will munch anything short enough to pass underneath it with its spinning string trimmer, unless it has one of the provided collars around it to protect it.  The collar in the video seems to be easily replicable with some wire and pliers if you have enough baby plants you need extra.  Drop by to take a look at the campaign and the Tertill in action.

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"iRobot veteran and Roomba co-inventor, Joe Jones is a modest man with a big mission: to create robots that make agriculture more efficient, less tedious, and yes, maybe even one day feed the world. After a decade at Harvest Automation building greenhouse robots, his new team at Franklin Robotics has developed Tertill, an affordable, waterproof, solar-powered robot that continuously whacks weeds around your yard."

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Source: Slashdot

Good news Battletech fans, Paradox will publish Harebrained Schemes new game

Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2017 - 02:56 PM |
Tagged: battletech, paradox, gaming, Kickstarter

The Kickstarter for the new turn based Battletech gaming was wildly successful with 41,733 backers pledging $2,785,537 and now we have even more good news.  Paradox Interactive, they of the continual updates and addins to published games have agreed to publish the new Battletech game.  Not only does this ensure solid support for players after release but could mean we see a long lineup of expansions after release, Paradox just added another major expansion to EU4 four years after its release.  For backers there is even more news, the closed beta will kick off in June and there is a new video of multiplayer gameplay you can watch.

"The long life of these internally developed games is a core part of Paradox’s business model, but the company is also expanding as a publisher. That includes not only third-party originals like Battletech, but ports of existing titles such as Prison Architect on tablet."

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The System Shock Reboot is Unreal

Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2017 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Kickstarter, system shock, unreal engine 4, Nightdive Studios

It was just announced to backers and the public that the System Shock reboot from Nightdive Studios has moved from Unity to Unreal Engine 4 and they have a pre-alpha video that shows off what that will look like.   The reasoning they gave was perhaps poorly worded, suggesting that this is because the choice was solely to make the game look good in the console version.  They gave backers, such as myself, reassurance that "PC is the main target for everything we do" and that the console version was already planned in Unity.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN feels the change makes the quality of the visuals better, but perhaps not as true to the original as the previous example they showed using Unity.  Check out the pre-alpha video below to see for yourself.

"In this matter at least, I am confident my sanity is unaffected. For as well as an apparent shift in its art direction to something more traditionally sci-fi/horror, SSR has hopped from Unity to the Unreal engine, resulting in a very different-looking game."

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If you can’t open it, you don’t own it - Macchina opens up your car's hardware

Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2017 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: M2, Arduino Due, macchina, Kickstarter, open source, DIY

There is a Kickstarter out there for all you car enthusiasts and owners, the Arduino Duo based Macchina M2 which allows you to diagnose and change how your car functions.  They originally developed the device during a personal project to modify a Ford Contour into an electric car, which required serious reprogramming of sensors and other hardware in the car.  They realized that their prototype could be enhanced to allow users to connect into the hardware of their own cars to monitor performance, diagnose issues or even modify the performance.  Slashdot has the links and their trademarked reasonable discourse for those interested, if you have the hardware already you can get the M2 interface $45, $79 or more for the hardware and accessories.

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"Challenging "the closed, unpublished nature of modern-day car computers," their M2 device ships with protocols and libraries "to work with any car that isn't older than Google." With catchy slogans like "root your ride" and "the future is open," they're hoping to build a car-hacking developer community, and they're already touting the involvement of Craig Smith, the author of the Car Hacker's Handbook from No Starch Press."

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Source: Slashdot

I see there's still an insect loose in my station ... Terri Brosius returns as SHODAN

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2016 - 02:40 PM |
Tagged: gaming, system shock, Kickstarter

The System Shock reboot kicks off today in the usual place for such things and a pre-alpha demo has appeared on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store.  Chris Avellone will be a part of the project, along with several members of the Fallout New Vegas team and as mentioned, Terri Brosius will be reprising her role as SHODAN.  The $900K goal is halfway finished already but it will take $1.7M before the real game can be realized with ammo types, RPG elements and other fun things such as dismemberment.  You can take a peek at the gameplay over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN before you grab the free demo, if you so desire.

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"A modern take on System Shock, a faithful reboot; it’s not Citadel Station as it was, but as you remember it. Many improvements, overhauls and changes are being implemented to capture the spirit of what the original game was trying to convey, and bring it to contemporary gamers."

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Source: Kickstarter

Video Perspective: Retail Oculus Rift Day One - Setup, Early Testing

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 28, 2016 - 11:24 PM |
Tagged: pcper, hardware, technology, review, Oculus, rift, Kickstarter, nvidia, geforce, GTX 980 Ti

It's Oculus Rift launch day and the team and I spent the afternoon setting up the Rift, running through a set of game play environments and getting some good first impressions on performance, experience and more. Oh, and we entered a green screen into the mix today as well.

"Imagine the original Deus Ex combined with the film Die Hard."

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2016 - 01:42 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Kickstarter, consortium

That is a hell of a tagline which will be hard to live up to as trying to live up to the fond memories of the original Deus Ex while figuring out how to make Die Hard playable is not a trivial task.  The original ($2.99 on GoG right now) had mixed reviews, some loving the way you are dumped into an immersive story with no introduction and others frustrated by a lack of tutorial.  It was certainly different than your usual game in 2014.  The second game in the developers planned trilogy is Consortium: The Tower and seems to be more focused on being a single person stealth/action game than the team based experience of the first but the trailer does seem to have some of the same flavour as the first when it comes to the story and dialogue.  You don't often see a player choose to drop his weapons and then attempt to dialogue with the bad guys, except in cut scenes of which there will be none in this game.  Check out the trailer, read what the gang at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN had to say about it and see if you think it is worth tossing in on the Kickstarter campaign.

We could have talked about FarCry Primal but Ubisoft is too busy being themselves by  taking down trailers and generally making it hard to have nice things.

"As pitches go, Consortium: The Tower has a bloody good line up its sleeve. Like its predecessor, it’s a science fiction game set in a single environment. You can talk, fight or sneak your way past or through encounters, and many events will happen even if you’re not there to see or influence them."

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