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DotA 2 has been making some waves in the news lately, with the US government officially recognizing pro-gamers as professional athletes. Now we have a bunch of Swedish pro-gamers, team Alliance, taking out The International 2013 DotA 2 Championship.
Alliance took home US$1.4 million by defeating Ukrainian pro-gaming team Natus Vincere in a huge five-game battle in the Grand Finals. Gamers and fans around the world stayed up late, or early depending on where they lived to watch the game, with The International being the largest DotA 2 event of its kind with prize money of $2.8 million up for grabs.
Thomas "Thompen" Andersson, Battlefield 4's Lead Multiplayer Designer, has explained how the developer is designing Battlefield 4 to "highly encourage" but "never force" team play in the first-person shooter.
DICE's first incentive for players, involves gameplay mechanics, where he continues on the official Battlefield 4 blog: "We want to promote team play by creating great gameplay mechanics such as Field Upgrades, Commander Mode, and a new range of gadgets specifically designed to expand co-operation in the field. We have drastically expanded on the tools and benefits of efficient team play, and as a result we feel Battlefield 4's multiplayer experience is the deepest, most rewarding, and fun experience in the series."
Andersson said he believes EA DICE can "do a better job ... of letting players make more educated choices in their kit loadouts and combat roles" by showing what gadgets do and allowing gamers to compare weapons.
The Kickstarter-funded Virtuix Omni gaming treadmill is now available for pre-order, with the Virtuix Omni Natural Motion Interface coming in at a price of $499, and a shipping date of March 2014.
For $499, you'll receive the Omni platform itself, a pair of shoes, a belt, and the tracking hardware and software. For $1109, you'll receive the Duel Package, which includes two devices, and three pairs of shoes. So if you'd like to step into true virtual reality, pick up the Duel Package, a pair of Oculus' Rift VR headsets, and game your entire life away.
Who needs next-gen consoles when you have this in your home?
XLGames and 2K are currently working on Civilization Online, an MMO title which is being powered by Crytek's very capable CryEngine 3. The new Civilization Online will shift away from the usual turn-based strategy game, into a single character within one of four societies.
Civilization Online is still centered around the ideas and characteristics that made Civilization the franchise that it is today, but Civilization Online just takes it from a new perspective. From the start of the game, player's will slot into one of four societies, where their task will be to conquer the world as it progresses through the ages.
Civilization Online is a massively, real-time, open world title that will see huge environments for gamer's to explore. There'll also be crafting PvP, resource gathering and other elements built-in. Traditional combat will be a part of Civilization Online, as will the ability to conduct research, build structures and even access an auction house to get rid of the items you have crafted.
Saints Row is one of those games you either love or hate, but the game franchise does have some very loyal fans and a very large cult following. Knowing this, UK retailer GAME has launched a pre-order package of epic proportions.
That's right, the price in the image above is $1 million, but in all fairness, you get some pretty sweet perks upon purchase. These include a flight in space courtesy of Virgin Galactic, spy training, a complete wardrobe makeover, a seven night stay at the top of the Burj-Al-Arab in Dubai, a Lamborghini, and a new Toyota Prius. Oh, and I forgot to mention the obligatory free plastic surgery.
Unfortunately, only one of these pre-order packages is available. When tallied up, everything is worth about $800,000. This means that it would actually be cheaper to purchase everything yourself and then spend $59 on the game when it releases. Sadly, there will more than likely be someone who buys this just because they can.
Payday 2 isn't even out yet, but it has already made back the money that publisher 505 Games provided Starbreeze Studios for development. The news comes directly from Starbreeze Studios' CEO, Bo Andersson-Klint.
Payday 2 launches on August 13, with the remaining profits being split down the middle between 505 Games and Starbreeze Studios. In a statement to investors, Andersson-Klint said:
Today Starbreeze has once again demonstrated that our strategy of focusing on our own properties is correct. Not only have we managed to deliver a desirable product in Payday 2 but also executed a promotion that few companies of our size can. We now look forward to the royalty income that can secure the company's development of its own IP in the future. That Payday 2 generates revenue for the company six days before the release is of course very unusual for games of this size and strengthens the long-term nature of our strategy.
This morning Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift, announced a new addition to the team. The company said that id Software co-founder and legendary programmer John Carmack has joined the Oculus team as the company's new Chief Technical Officer. Oculus says that Carmack "is one of the brightest minds of our generation - pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can."
For those of you who might be too young to remember, John Carmack is the brains behind revolutionary pioneer first-person shooter games such as DOOM, QUAKE, RAGE and Wolfenstein. Carmack is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of 3-D graphics and has recently worked as a programmer in the aerospace industry at Armadillo Aerospace. Carmack prepared a statement which I have pasted below.
"I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming - the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer's early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It's certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don't even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It's going to be awesome!"
Call of Duty developers, Infinity Ward, are praising their main competitor's developer, DICE. Yes, praising, and not bashing. Executive Producer, Mark Rubin, explained there's a real camaraderie between all developers.
He said that all developers have the same goal, and that is to push video games into new directions. During an interview with Games Industry International, Rubin said:
On a developer's side it's like, 'Oh, did you see that stuff they're doing? That's so cool! We could do something that's like this and that and we get excited about seeing that kind of stuff. So from a developer's side, it definitely pushes us [to do better]. But it pushes us in a - I don't know if other studios feel this way - but I hope in a sort of camaraderie type sense. 'Oh, those guys are doing awesome stuff. Let's jack up our game.' But not like two opposing teams. Rather, like the same team pushing in the same direction.
During a visit by tourists through Valve's Bellevue-based offices, a member of the DotA 2 Reddit community snapped a picture of what the Internet has now grabbed onto as hope of a tease of Left 4 Dead 3.
You can see in the photo above about "L4D3", and I've also noticed "Source2" which is the next-gen graphics engine that I think Valve will unveil with Half-Life 3. Of course, none of this is total, 100% proof, so for now, this is just a "we hope this is proof" post. There's no mention of Half-Life 3, but I'm sure Gabe and his team have that under serious lock and key this time around.
FEAR was a great game for its time, with its scares and slow-mo goodness, but some of Monolith Productions' former developers have formed a new studio, Blackpowder Games, and announced their first new title: Betrayal.
Betrayal is a colonial-era, first-person shooter, set in 1604 where ghosts and mysteries are in high numbers in a high-contrast world. Betrayal has been made with the help of Unreal Engine 3, and will give players weapons from the era, including crossbows, muskets and axes. Players will be searching the lands for survivors and solving mysteries.
Creative Director of Betrayal, Craig Hubbard, said: "We wanted to get back to crafting games more intuitively. There's a sense of discovery and excitement when you navigate by instinct rather than market research and open yourself up to opportunities that arise during development." Betrayal will hit Steam Early Access on August 14 for $15.