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.

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

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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At long last! The official Portal 2 map creation tools, dubbed the “Perpetual Testing Initiative”, are coming to Aperture Sciences near you. Come May 8th, you’ll be able to use the streamlined interface to create virtually any testchamber your non-Euclidean imagination can dream up. Share them with your friends! Hoard them to yourself, because you hate your friends! The choice is yours.

The game utilizes the Steam Workshop features of Steam, which seems to preclude any possibility of this DLC reaching the PS3 version of the game. We are sorry, console brethren.

If you’d like a little teaser and a lot of our good friend, Cave Johnson, go ahead and check out the trailer on GTTV. We’d wait, but we kind of ran out of things to say.

Michael Larabel, founder of the Linux website Phoronix, was recently at Valve HQ, his Twitter account allegedly states. He is a well-respected member of the Linux community, and seems highly unlikely to disseminate inaccurate information, but we’re adding the question mark just in case.

He tweets that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Steam is indeed coming to the open-source Linux operating system. Now, it seems nice to write this accomplishment off for the hyper tech nerds only, but remember, Android is based atop of a variant of Linux, so further alterations to get it to run on the mobile OS would seem to be far less of an effort.

Of course, this is no way means that developers are required to port their games to Linux at all, and overall Steam game OSX support is still fairly low, but the future is just a tad bit brighter. Wait, no, it’s not getting bri…did you check the drivers? Okay, boot into kernel mode, we’re going to have to…

Oh, never mind.

Shank is very much like our friend Kratos; he duel wields sharp objects, isn’t afraid of a little blood, and his face wears a big ugly scowl.

While I didn’t manage to check out the first Shank, Shank 2 on its own has a commendable fighting system, smooth controls, and a very pleasing graphic art style. Not to mention blood — lots and lots of blood.

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To be absolutely clear, I’m not being negative here. Ben Kuchera of the newly founded Penny Arcade Report has written an article about his time playing a game called Johann Sebastian Joust, and it sounds totally awesome. Technically I guess it’s not a videogame, as, while it does run on a laptop, it forgoes the “video” part and uses up to seven Playstation Move controllers as a game might use eggs and spoons, if the games objective was to have your opponents eggs fall from the spoon and splatter on the ground by any means necessary. The official site has a few videos of people playing, and all I can say is that I want in.

Did you hear? Tim Schafer & Ron Gilbert are making a point & click adventure game! No joke.

Plus 2 Player Productions are making a documentary of the entire process. They worked on the first season of The Penny Arcade show, on the upcoming Minecraft documentary, as well as some behind the scenes of Naughty Dog & Sucker Punch. If anyone knows how to make a doco about videogames it’s them.

You can support this project on Kickstarter, where for $15 USD you get a pre-order for the game on Steam as well as access to the doco as it develops. Or you can choose one of the more elaborate rewards such as a portrait of yourself from one of the game’s artists.

Unfortunately the lunch with Ron & Tim is sold out, bummer. Anyway, donate now and make this dream a reality.

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A game of contradictions, is Anno 2070. It makes for a strange experience.

The year is the future, God’s green Earth isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders, and you have a civilisation to build. Great. First though, you need to log into U-Play; Ubisoft’s attempt at justifying annoying and unreliable DRM. Since you ask, it’s intrusive and doesn’t work properly. So, par for the course, then. There are some neat little features to go with the mandatory connection to the anti-piracy stormtrooper headquarters, but I could do without all of them if the system itself was good, rather than shitty.

Anyway, there is a game buried under the 14 or so login screens, and it’s not a bad one. You might have to bite the pillow again to get through the early narration, as the voice acting is rather patchy. Not as bad as Supreme Commander 2, though (in the same way the Mussolini wasn’t as bad as Stalin, you understand). One wonders why RTSes seem to be lagging behind other genres in terms of voice acting. Not very hard, but one wonders nonetheless.

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