Brace all your selves.  This is the one hundred and seventy eighth Buttonmasher Podcast.  Mass Effect 3 may or may not be mentioned.

I know we’re all tired of hearing about the revival attempts being funded through Kickstarter at this point, but I want to post about this because it has me somewhat conflicted. The game is Battle Chess; if you played PC games in the 90s, you may have come across it. The Kickstarter project is headed by Subdued Software and has a target goal of $100,000.

As someone who enjoyed the original 1988 release, and can play Chinese Chess (which was the game for the sequel), I’m interested. On the other hand, as someone who’s old enough to know that the gimmick of animations whenever a piece is taken grows old extremely fast, I feel doubtful that there will be enough meaningful substance for this game to register as a serious chess game for anyone but fans of the original. The “Challenge Mode” could be good, but then again, I could just check out the Puzzle Of The Day at Chess.com.

When AirPrint was first announced by Apple, there was much anticipation in the world of iOS. Along with copy and paste, printing was one of of the core functions that had never been given love and attention by Apple software engineers when developing early builds of iOS. We were made to wait until iOS 3.0 before copy and paste was finally available – it was more than a year later in late 2010 before iOS 4.2 allowed us to finally print from iOS devices.

Then there was controversy when the feature was finally released to the general populous – while beta versions of the iOS update encompassing AirPrint had allowed printing to any printer shared on your WiFi network (via Bonjour), the final release only supported a handful of new “AirPrint enabled” Hewlett-Packard printers. Some accused Apple of a broken promise, with a post-mortem revealing that perhaps Apple’s ambiguous statements concerning AirPrint hadn’t actually explicitly promised printing from any printer after all.

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It’s not very often that I would replace a built-in OS application with one developed by a third party. When it happens it is usually out sheer frustration or repugnance (eg. Internet Explorer), and rarely it comes about due to an application being so remarkable that installing it is the only logical choice.

Apple’s Mail application for OS X Lion has come a long way since version 1.0, and has been a pleasure to use particularly in the full-screen mode which Lion supports. It functions well, with no major annoyances to push me to look for any alternative. However Mail’s days are limited on my Macs, now that Sparrow has arrived with a simple mission – “Get mail done”.

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No images or further details and no apology for a direct copy of the press release, but this is interesting and I’m in a rush…


Sydney, Australia – May 4, 2012  Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced The Elder Scrolls® Online, an MMO in development at ZeniMax Online Studios. The Elder Scrolls Online will be the first Elder Scrolls game to allow gamers to explore the legendary Elder Scrolls world with others.

 The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed for PC and Mac under the leadership of industry veteran Matt Firor, who has spent the last two decades working in online game development. Details about the game are revealed in an exclusive cover story in Game Informer®’s June issue, which ships to subscribers and newsstands this month. Continue reading

I’m going to play some ME3. No time for words.

Not as scandalous as the title implies, but console fashionistas can rejoice, I guess? I suppose it’s just not something that I “get”, but I’m of the opinion that if you’re so discerning as to want a console in a specific colour, you’re probably crazy enough to be bothered enough to paint it yourself. Then again, maybe you’re lazy. So if you’ve been holding out for a PS3 in a rather bold, Kratos-y colour, then Sony’s got your back. For an RRP of $589.95, you can get this 320GB console in “Scarlet” Red. The fact that this is more than the price of the standard version is offset by the inclusion of an extra controller in the bundle. Oh, and the colour thing.

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The concept of a multi-display desk setup has been around for some time now, with the idea being that we can be more productive when we have more screen real estate and separate screen areas to work within. Mostly the benefits tend to come from removing all those non-work related windows away from a dedicated work space, so that we can be productive without having content pop-ups whenever a friend/colleague/family member signs in/updates status/tweets/sends a chat message.

Some of us don’t have a multi-display setup for whatever reason, but what many of us do have these days is an iOS device. Thankfully, there’s an app for that – made by Avatron Software and called Air Display.

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This must be the one thousandth and second Kickstarter campaign inspired by Tim Schafer & Double Fine’s big money project. Jane Jensen is another big name in the adventure games biz — namely for the Gabriel Knight series – and she’s now starting up a new game studio with her husband. They’re calling it Pinkerton Road.

The interesting bit about this Kickstarter is this thing they’re calling the CSG model – Community Supported Gaming. That means you get all the games that studio produces for that cycle. Though to get all the games for that year you need pay up for one of the higher tiers. At this stage Jensen acknowledges to start with they may only be able to produce one game.

And that game is Moebius, a “metaphysical thriller”. The idea was voted on by the initial Kickstarter backers. I myself would’ve voted for a Gray Matter 2, but this new series sounds just as promising. Jensen vows to work on more Gabriel Knight games when their studio grows.

Tim Schafer & Ron Gilbert, Al Lowe, and now Jane Jensen. It certainly is a great time to be an adventure fan.

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