Archive for April 2010

Age of Conan introduces "offline levelling" system
Age of Conan introduces "offline levelling" system

Funcom has introduced an optional "offline character progression" tool in the latest update to Age of Conan. With this new toy, a player will accrue bonus levels every four days that can be applied to any of their characters over level 30. The bonus levels are granted regardless of whether or not a player even logs in once during that four-day period, but an active paid subscription is a requirement to get them in the first place. Once your character reaches max level, the bonus ones still sit in their progression pool and accrue normally, ready to be applied to a new character once it reaches 30.

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29 April 2010
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Experimentals
Experimentals

You may have noticed some rearrangements around here. First and foremost, I'm trying out running a banner ad up at the top of the website (and within the RSS feed). Knowing how this stuff works I am assuming that most of my readership is actively blocking them, but I tried to make the banner ad as unobtrusive as possible. This is just something temporary as an experiment; having worked at Yahoo! in the past I have a moral predisposition against internet advertising, so I'm only giving it a trial run for a month or two.

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26 April 2010
Belated news: Microsoft finally reverses policy against saying you're gay on Xbox Live
Belated news: Microsoft finally reverses policy against saying you're gay on Xbox Live

Completely escaping my attention, in the beginning of March, Microsoft reversed a long-standing policy against the inclusion of qualifiers for sexual orientation within Xbox Live profiles. Though there were several cases of players having their accounts suspended over this, the issue really came to a head last February when The Consumerist ran a story about "Teresa" who allegedly had her account banned following habitually abusive behaviour by other players because she said she was a lesbian in her profile.

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23 April 2010
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Quickie: drone
Quickie: drone

drone is a short freebie game by David Wilson. Mixing ideas, drone is a hybrid top-down shooter combined with a tower defence game in a way that works really well. Your character is a little sprite, the titular "drone," who has to kill enemies to collect money– this money is used to finance the weapons and ammo you need to go on and kill bigger and badder enemies. However, there's more than one way to play the game.

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11 April 2010
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Diversity, and the obligations of game developers
Diversity, and the obligations of game developers

BioWare is again being questioned about the lack of same-sex love interests in the Mass Effect franchise. When 1UP writer Tracey John spoke with project lead Casey Hudson and BioWare head Ray Muzyka, she just wanted to know, in a game built so much around choice, why couldn't her female Shepard have a romance with the female quarian Tali'Zorah vas Neema. This is the paradox that studios like BioWare find themselves in: the more choices you give players, the higher expectations those players have that more and more diversity will be available as a choice.

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10 April 2010
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Review: Plain Sight
Review: Plain Sight

When it comes to multiplayer death-match games, the typical goal is to avoid getting killed for as long as possible, taking out hostile players along the way. You run around closed maps collecting power ups and avoiding your enemies, sneaking up on them to kill them before they can kill you. Plain Sight, a new indie release by Beatnik Games (available now on Steam and other digital-distribution retailers), takes this traditional concept and twists it around to create an innovative experience– instead of avoiding death, the objective is to suicide yourself on your own terms in your own time.

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9 April 2010
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ctrlclick.com interview with Love's Eskil Steenberg
ctrlclick.com interview with Love's Eskil Steenberg

Love is a MMOG that has piqued my curiosity ever since the first hints of its future existence began to trickle down the internet. Eskil Steenberg, the sole developer behind the procedurally-generated game, managed to release a full MMOG with a budget and time frame smaller than what takes teams of hundreds substantially more effort. While I am still meandering around the luscious and alien environment he has brought to life, preparing a more in-depth review of the title, Eskil graciously allowed me to give him a brief interview over email about the game he's created.

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8 April 2010
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