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Friday, September 26, 2014

09/26/2014 - Oakland Video Game Museum Ressurects First MMO
Oakland Video Game Museum Resurrecting First MMO “Habitat”


Oakland, CA – September 26, 2014 - The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (The MADE) will be spending Sunday, September 28th, attempting to resurrect the world's first massively multiplayer online game, Habitat. The project seeks to relaunch the Habitat server on original Stratus Technologies hardware from 1989, and to allow users on the Internet to connect to the game server for free using a Commodore 64 emulator.

The MADE is the first videogame museum to attempt such a relaunch. In fact, there has never been an attempt to relaunch a 28 year old, dead MMO before, primarily because MMO's are mostly a phenomenon that has existed only over the last 15 years.

As the first MMO, Habitat invented a lot of the terms used today, such as Avatar. The game was hosted on the Quantum Link service, which eventually became America Online. Other companies involved in our Habitat resurrection project include Fujitsu, which owns the rights to the game, KIXEYE, the leader in online and mobile combat strategy games, which is sponsoring the effort, and Stratus Technologies, which donated the vintage server.

Habitat will remain online and playable, provided the hackathon to bring it online on September 28th is successful. Given a successful relaunch, Habitat will remain online until we are able to replace it with a modern code base and modern server hardware. More information about the technical efforts involved in this work are online at:
http://themade.org/posts/552
http://themade.org/posts/732

“Lucasfilm Games, and the work of Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer on Habitat were extremely far ahead of their time. In an era where the online service that hosted the game was only available on evenings and weekends, these two men built a completely new type of online interaction, and they built it in such a robust way that we anticipate, almost thirty years later that this 1989-era server hardware can support up to 10,000 users,” said Alex Handy, founder and director of the MADE.

Henry Lowood, Curator for History of Science & Technology Collections at Stanford University Libraries and founding member of The MADE's board of directors, said that "Digital games without a doubt have become one of the central creative media available for entertainment, art and other forms of expression. So much so that contemporary cultural history is difficult to talk about without including digital games. As a result, not only will the history of this medium be lost if we do not preserve the history of digital games, but there is more at stake: we will be unable to provide a complete cultural history of our times.”

Donors interested in supporting the MADE can donate at
http://www.themade.org

About The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE)

Founded in 2010, The MADE is an all-volunteer organization, entirely open to the public. The MADE features free programming and technology classes for adults and children, and hosts an all-playable videogame exhibition on the history of the medium. The MADE is an IRS recognized 501c(3) not-for-profit organization. It’s EIN number is 26-4570976 .

Submitted by: E. Thomas


10:17 pm pdt          Comments

Thursday, September 25, 2014

09/25/2014 - Hyrule Warriors Arrives Friday
BATTLE MASSIVE ARMIES WITH LEGENDARY CHARACTERS IN HYRULE WARRIORS FOR WII U

For the First Time, the Worlds of The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors Unite


REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 25, 2014 – It’s time to fight alongside more than a dozen recognizable characters from The Legend of Zelda series to save Hyrule from a menacing new force. It’s time to dive into a crossover unlike anything Nintendo has ever done before, combining the vast universe of The Legend of Zelda franchise with the breathless fast-paced action perfected by the Dynasty Warriors games. On Sept. 26, it’s time for Hyrule Warriors.

Launching exclusively for the
Wii U console, Hyrule Warriors lets players unleash the full power of iconic characters like Link, Zelda and Ganondorf, as they cut down legions of enemies on massive battlefields in familiar settings from The Legend of Zelda series like Hyrule Field, Death Mountain and Skyloft, as well as new locations created specifically for the game. The frenetic action of the Dynasty Warriors franchise blends beautifully with The Legend of Zelda series to create a unique hybrid that feels as seamless as it does bold.

“By combining The Legend of Zelda universe with the game play of the Dynasty Warriors games, Nintendo and Koei Tecmo have created a legendary pairing,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Even fans who aren’t familiar with both series will have a great time playing this action-packed Wii U exclusive.”

In the game, players are tasked with defending and reclaiming massive battlefields from hordes of enemies. To do this, players take control of different characters familiar to fans of The Legend of Zelda series – many of them, like Impa, Fi, Darunia, Zant and Princess Ruto, playable for the very first time. Each of these playable characters is equipped with unique weapon types and ferocious special moves that work with his or her strengths. Zelda wields a razor-sharp Rapier to defeat foes, Sheik uses a magic Harp to vanquish enemies and Link brings his massive Hylian Sword to battle. Mastering all of the characters’ moves and basking in their flashy animations is part of the fun and appeal of the game.

Throughout Hyrule Warriors, players can collect critical items that will help them defeat tricky enemies, solve puzzles and access new places on the expansive maps. These useful items come in the familiar forms of classic tools from The Legend of Zelda series, and are used in similar ways. For example, when bombs are found, players can use them to blow away blocked passages or even help bring down a giant lizard-like creature that longtime fans will instantly recognize. Other items like the Hookshot, bow and boomerang can also be found in treasure chests, accompanied by that classic sound effect upon discovery.

In addition to the robust single-player adventure, Hyrule Warriors offers additional modes that expand the game-play possibilities. Adventure Mode features a map visually inspired by the overworld of The Legend of Zelda for NES. In this mode, specific challenges can be completed, which allow players to unlock additional playable characters, collect hard-to-find materials and upgrade character features. Two warriors can also take on Hyrule Warriors together in a local co-op mode. Instead of a traditional split-screen, one player plays on the TV, while the other can play with the Wii U GamePad controller, providing each player with his or her own screen.

Nintendo plans to support Hyrule Warriors for the long run with more content to help players expand their adventures even further, kicking off when the game launches on Sept. 26. People who buy the game will receive access to a free download that adds a new mode, a new weapon and the option to select music during a stage to add to the Hyrule Warriors experience. People who pre-order the game at select retailers will receive a free download code for alternate in-game costumes for Link and Zelda. Additionally, anyone who registers the game by Oct. 23 with Club Nintendo will receive a free download code for a set of alternate in-game costumes for Ganondorf. All of these additional costumes will become available for purchase in the Nintendo eShop in the near future.

Hyrule Warriors launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U on Sept. 26 at a suggested retail price of $59.99. For more information about the game, visit
http://zelda.com/hyrule-warriors/.

Remember that Wii U features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit
http://www.nintendo.com/wiiu.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U™ and Wii™ home consoles, and Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.2 billion video games and more than 670 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™ and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at
http://www.nintendo.com.
Submitted by: E. Thomas

3:24 pm pdt          Comments

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

09/24/2014 - ESA Foundation Awards Three Schools with Education Challenge Grant

ESA FOUNDATION AWARDS THREE SCHOOLS WITH EDUCATION CHALLENGE GRANT

Grant Enables Teachers to Deploy Educational Technology in the Classroom

September 23, 2014 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESAF) today announced the winners of its 2014 Education Challenge Grant. With ESAF’s support, Bronx Compass High School in Bronx, NY; Dunlap Community Schools in Dunlap, IL; and Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson, WI, will leverage video game technology to create engaging learning experiences for their students.

“Educators increasingly use video games to create new and exciting ways for their students to learn and to foster their development of valuable 21st century skills,” said Jenny Lai, vice president of ESAF. “We are proud to support these schools and look forward to seeing the results of their innovative programs.”

This year’s Education Challenge Grant winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, who chose schools based on the creativity of their proposals to integrate video games and technology into their curricula.

Now in its third year, ESAF’s Education Challenge Grant is the result of a partnership between the Federation of American Scientists, the Association for Middle Level Education, and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The grant is part of ESAF’s efforts to help promote video games and game technology as educational tools.

2014 ESA Foundation Education Challenge Grant Recipients

Bronx Compass High School
Location: Bronx, NY
Project Title: Serious Video Games Development
Students in grades 9-11 will work with mentors to design and produce computer games that address real world issues. By integrating humanities and technology curricula, the program will challenge students to communicate and empathize with the daily challenges faced by inner city youth.

Dunlap Community Schools
Location: Dunlap, IL
Project Title: Simulating STEM with SimCity
Students in grades 7-8 at Dunlap Middle School and Dunlap Valley Middle School will useSimCity to understand the core elements of science, technology, engineering, and math topics by conceiving, designing, building, destroying, and eventually rebuilding a virtualcity. Students will work in small groups to identify problems that arise during the design process and develop solutions, leading to a successfully operating city. The game will be fully integrated into the class, and students will be evaluated based on the number of achievements earned throughout the game.

Jefferson Middle School
Location: Jefferson, WI
Project Title: Minecraft Government and Economics
Eighth-grade students will use Minecraft to construct their own civilization while developing a greater understanding of American government and economics. Throughout the course, students will blog about their settlements and attempt to persuade their fellow classmates to adopt certain economic ideas.

About ESA Foundation 
Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation (ESAF) works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology to create educational opportunities. ESAF is primarily supported by proceeds from its signature annual fundraiser, “Nite to Unite – for Kids” and other charitable initiatives. For more information about ESAF, please visit www.esafoundation.org
or follow us on Twitter: @ESA_ Foundation.

Submitted by: E. Thomas


2:39 pm pdt          Comments

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

09/23/2014 - World Series of Video Games, Vooble and TyRanT Anounce Tournament
World Series of Video Games, Voobly and TyRanT announce $120.000,00 USD Tournament

September 23, 2014 - Newark, DE – The World Series of Video Games (WSVG), in partnership with Voobly, a leading gaming software provider and TyRanT, a premier e-Sports organization, proudly presents a new major online tournament, for Age of Empires II game, called “War is Coming” which will feature a total prize money of $120.000 USD (one hundred and twenty thousand dollars).

This is without a doubt one of the biggest prize pools ever in an online gaming tournament, especially when we are talking about just one game: Age of Empires II. An event of this magnitude will certainly make fans rejoice. A part of the total prize money, about $10.000 USD, will be distributed to the community in the form of Prediction Contests, Stream Giveaways, Vouchers, Merchandising, and much more.

The chosen prize pool distribution will allow more teams to be awarded prizes. This means that a team does not need to be a top contender in order to enter the prize pool, making it more appealing to all players and teams.

The World Series of Video Games, Voobly, TyRanT and the community website AoCZone.net, all share the same vision and passion for the electronic sports, and have the same desire to improve the gaming scene, by giving to the players and teams free-to-enter tournaments, featuring not only a lot of prizes, but also creating a bigger and better competitive environment with the help of the community and their sportsmanship.

This mega tournament featuring the total prize pool of $120.000 USD, is scheduled to start on 3rd of November. The sign-ups for the tournament are already open at
http://wsvg.net/ and the deadline will be 27th October.

ABOUT WSVG (www.wsvg.net):
With the increasing importance of electronic sports today, the World Series of Video Games (
wsvg.net) is invested in bringing something innovative to a market that has much untapped potential. A major part of that innovative side will be their brand new gaming software called WSVG BattleRoom®, which features proprietary technology and a powerful multi-game anti-cheat system.

As part of the new corporate strategy, the World Series of Video Games will also be sponsoring championships and events around the globe and will mobilize infra-structure to improve and assist eSports organizations.

ABOUT VOOBLY (www.voobly.com):

Voobly is a free online gaming client run by volunteers, who have also provided regular updates & patches to games and client, and are proud to have one of the most sophisticated anti cheat systems for the games they provide. 

Voobly has thousands of active users that play daily, and offers in Game Moderators, expert Game Advisors and Live Technical support with multiple gaming lobbies. All available for free to help you improve your game play and make your online experience enjoyable.

Submitted by: E. Thomas

4:39 pm pdt          Comments

Monday, September 22, 2014

09/22/2014 - Magicmaker Now Available on Steam and GOG
Magicmaker, the ultimate spellcrafting/wizard-security-guard adventure, is now available on Steam, GOG, and Shiny Loot for only $9.99!

Magicmaker is powered by an amazing Spellcrafting system that can make nearly anything. Have you ever wanted to shoot poisonous lightning lasers? Throw freezing fireballs? Build turrets that fire waves of miniature suns? Or summon hordes of adorable jelly minions? How about firing lasers that shoot exploding black holes that suck out your enemies' life force?

Because you can totally do all of that in Magicmaker.

Magicmaker is a 2D sidescrolling rpg-platformer with a spellcrafting system that can make nearly anything. With 2,193,360 different combinations, you can be the wizard you've always wanted to be!

Magicmaker also has randomly generated levels, lots of customization options, and a robecrafting system similar to the spellcrafting for passive abilities.

You're a young wizard with no job, a huge rent payment due, and a certificate from 3-week cheesemaking course. But the World of Magic has all kinds of opportunities for magic-users! Just brave the perilous journey to the legendary WIZARD TEMP AGENCY down the street and take whatever career the Job Placement Spell picks for you.

And it thinks you'd make a great Security Guard!

That's right! Now you're a wizard security guard for Dörwall Community College, the preeminent wizarding school of the Greater Dörwall Metropolitan Area. Go on adventures, protect the students, do your co-worker's jobs for them. Maybe save the world, but only once you're off work.

Please look forward to Magicmaker, and to your ultimate spellcrafting/wizard-security-guard adventure!

###
About Tasty Stewdios LLC
Tasty Stewdios LLC is independent developer established in 2014.
Magicmaker started as a side project but soon the company was founded to work on the game full time.

Website: 
http://tastystewdios.com/

Submitted by: E. Thomas

9:53 pm pdt          Comments


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