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Naughty AmericaA new online game, a MMOG called “Naughty America: The Game” let’s players do everything, including have virtual sex or even choose to meet in the real world. The game will retail in adult stores as well as be available for download online. The download option is causing some controversy, as some worry about the techniques being employed to verify that a downloader is not a minor. The game developers insure that the game is only targeted to a mature audience and that appropriate age validation techniques are in place. Still, some child-protection agencies, like “Enough Is Enough,” aren’t buying it. Those in the industry seem to feel the self-policing works. It will remain to be seen however, whether the controversy and associated publicity will translate into an increase in game subscribers.

Read More | ABC News

Gallery: Naughty Adult Game Debuts


ThrillvilleThrillville, an amusement park-themed simulation game from Frontier Developments and Lucas Arts has been announced. The game will allow players to build their own completely outfitted amusements parks, and interact with guests. The game’s roller coaster building interface has been specifically designed for console gaming platforms. Thrillville includes dozens of midway minigames (which visitors can play at the amusement park), over 100 attractions (a full day’s worth of virtual fun), and the ability to build roller coasters just as in “RollerCoaster Tycoon” – a well-known Frontier title.

Read More | Thrillville Product Page via XboxSpace

Gallery: Thrillville Announced

Reservists in Nova Scotia may soon be training in Canada’s largest virtual battle lab known as Gagetown Labs.  The training features games such as Steel Beasts, First to Fight and SWAT 4.  In the article Major Tim Workman points out the flaws in training troops with video games which were made for retail shelves.  The problems include unlimited ammo, no fatigue, and the ability to be shot and continue fighting.  These all add together to reinforce the Rambo mentality which is deadly in the real battlefield.

The LAN Party headquarters of Canada is currently trying to tweak Virtual Battlespace to allow for more realistic situations.  In other attempts to impart realism into video games Gagetown has started requiring half of the 8 man squad complete a mission alive in order to pass and by removing a soldier from play after one hit.  While the training is not yet in widespread use Gagetown envisions SWAT 4 which requires players to warn hostiles and use non lethal force first to be helpful in urban combat situations present in Iraq.

Read More | Chronicle Herald

Gallery: Nova Scotia Troops Trained By Video Games

Star Trek Legacy

We had a chance to speak with Eric Krasnauskas, a designer with Mad Doc Software, the developers of Bethesda Software’s newest Star Trek title – Star Trek Legacy.

The variety of ships at your disposal comes from the entire Star Trek series starting with the recently departed Enterprise, and includes The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.  Not only are the original ships available, but ships can also be customized to suit your every whim.

You’ll re-live epic battles from the Star Trek universe, and one example we were shown was a battle from ST: The Wrath of Khan.  Instantly recognizable by any ST fan, your point of view shows the unsuspecting Enterprise approaching the Reliant, with Spacelab Regula One in the background.  True to the movie, Khan quickly gets the upper hand by launching a surprise attack, and it is at this point you take control of the Enterprise.  Severely damaged, the Enterprise needs a helping hand and the nearby Mutara Nebula can help even the odds.  We were concerned about being “forced” to follow a pre-determined course of action, but Eric reassured us that sticking to a movie’s plot wasn’t a requirement for winning a battle.  Although it will be more difficult, it is possible to defeat your opponent without adhering to “historical” precedence.

Click to continue reading Star Trek Legacy Impressions

Gallery: Star Trek Legacy Impressions

Mouse VRIf you have ever wanted a chance to take on your hamster in one-on-one combat, this might be your chance. According to Wired.com, the Researchers at Emerging Art and Architecture Research Group, or RASTER, and Singapore’s Mixed Reality Lab are working to build integrate virtual worlds with reality to make this happen. RASTER’s technology in development allows a human to control a digital character that maps to the location of a piece of bait for the hamster. The hamster, chasing after the bait, is mapped through a specialized environment so that its movements are translated into the digital arena. Wired states that the group hopes to have a functioning prototype by November, with other games in the works as well. Game interaction is very rudimentary right now, but future applications could give insights into animal behavior as well as more complex mixed-reality games. For the time being, virtual reality gamers will have to content themselves with fighting it out with rodentia.

Read More | Wired.com

Gallery: Man Versus Mouse

Outpost Kaloki X InterviewWe had the opportunity to talk with Steve Taylor of NinjaBee and Wahoo Studios. If you own an Xbox 360, you may know these guys as the creators of the Live Arcade hit Outpost Kaloki X. We talk with Steve about Outpost Kaloki, the process of shipping a game for Xbox Live, and the importance of Xbox Live Arcade to an independant game producer:

Steve, thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. To start out, can you give our readers a rundown of who you are and what your position entails?
I’m the president of NinjaBee and Wahoo Studios, but we’re a small company, so in practice I just manage projects and write code.

Give us some background on NinjaBee/Wahoo Studios.
Wahoo Studios is about four and a half years old.  We got started as a contract development company, doing work for hire for game publishers and other developers.  When we released Outpost Kaloki for the PC, we decided we needed a separate name for the “Indie” side of the company.  NinjaBee is the name we use for anything we develop and release on our own.

Turning to the Xbox 360, you guys developed the hit Outpost Kaloki, which later hit the Xbox Live Arcade as Outpost Kaloki X. Can you give us some insight into how you go on board with Microsoft, and the process of virtually shipping a game for Live Arcade?
Originally, we designed what we thought was a pretty cool tycoon game for console play.  It was aimed specifically for the console player in control and other gameplay elements.  We pitched that idea to a ton of publishers, and while they were very complimentary of the game, nobody was willing to risk a traditional development budget to get the game on a console system.  So we eventually redesigned the controls for the PC and released the game on our own in the PC downloadable market.
We later had the chance to show the game to Ross Erickson at Microsoft and explain our original vision for the game.  He believed in it enough to get us signed up for doing Outpost Kaloki as an Xbox Live Arcade game.  For us, this meant a return to the original vision we had, but also an expansion into a bunch of new areas including a ton of Xbox 360 specific features, new gameplay, new technology, new graphics, new stories, and more…

Click to continue reading Playfeed Interview: Outpost Kaloki X Creator Steve Taylor

Gallery: Playfeed Interview: Outpost Kaloki X Creator Steve Taylor

The Sims 3Well, after the tremendous successes of The Sims 1 and 2, it’s only expected that EA would release another sequel in the franchise. Details are still very slim on the new game, but according to Kotaku, the game is coming. Hopefully the game will see some big changes so it grabs our attention. Look for more soon hopefully; otherwise, we’ll hope for a blowout at E3.

Read More | Kotaku

Gallery: Sims 3 On The Way

Sim CityDon’t like all the graphical wiz-bang of all the new videogames? Looking for a classic but solid, fun game to lose countless hours of sleep to once again?

Maxis posted the original Sim City game on its website - so you can play it right now. For free even. For when the game was released, Sim City was top of the line and its gameplay surprisingly enough still shines. Sure, the original may no have as many features as the newest iteration of the series but the core is certainly present. Build a power plant, build up some industrial, commercial, residential properties and you’re on your way to being the mayor of a booming metropolis. Just don’t forget to build roads and power lines - otherwise your citizens aren’t going to be very happy.

Read More | Sim City

Gallery: Play Sim City Classic Free Online

The MoviesLooking to make a political statement? Why, look no further than Activision’s The Movies. Currently available for the PC, The Movies lets players run their own movie studios and create movies. Recently, an Alex Chan created a short film through the game entitled “The French Democracy.” The film is a commentary on the recent riot that took place in cities throughout France.

Chan’s film has received media attention since its release on November 22nd - and now its received the attention of Lionhead Chief Peter Molyneux. Molyneux said:

“With The Movies we wanted to make a game that allows anyone to easily express themselves by making a short film and posting them online to share with the world.  Alex’s film, which is absolutely terrific, really demonstrates the potential power and impact that these films can have.”

If you’re disgusted with a certain politician, or a party in general, The Movies may just be your platform to make a statement. And hey, maybe one day we’ll see the president address the American public through a game. No? Not yet? Well one can dream…

Read More | Business Week

Gallery: Gamer Makes Political Statement

The first patch for Civilization IV is now available - version 1.09.  The file is huge - 24,834,449 bytes - it took about a half an hour to fully download it on my high-speed cable modem connection.

To update your game, click on the Advanced button in the Options menu, then click on Check for Updates.  The patch will download, then the updater will pause to request permission to exit out of the game to install it.  Installation takes a few minutes, and apparently does not require a re-boot.  At the end of the process the program asks if you want to use an application called XFire, which is supposed to facilitate easier multi-player games.  I haven’t tested it yet and therefore can’t vouch for it, but I installed it.
Here’s an excerpt from an official release by Dennis Shirk of Firaxis Games:
Some of the highlights include multiple AI improvements and tweaks, worker behavior tweaks, MANY game play improvements (ex Animal Husbandry reveals horses), promotion tweaks, a softer pillage sound (requested by many, many people), fixed diplomatic exploits (gold for gold, peace treaty exploit), multiplayer tweaks (Hot seat, Lobby, etc.), memory, caching and performance improvements, etc. There were also a number of video card specific fixes.

Gallery: Civilization IV Patch 1.09 Released