Episode 53: Duo-licious

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intel-core-2-duo-e84001_large Kelly and Andy are again in charge of the show. They talk about the tie between action games and “real world” skills, gears of war 3 maps and minecraft is goin’ nuts! A few great rumors, steam is on sale and our Question of the Week round out a show you just can’t miss!

Don’t forget to email us your questions, comments and reviews to info@polygamerous.com OR call in to our voicemail at 407-584-POLY (7659)

This Week in Gaming

  • Yo Dawg I Heard U Like Minecraft So Here’s 850K Units (Joystiq) Indie game sensation Minecraft has now entered … beta. Consequently, the “pre-purchase” price has been raised from €9.95 to €14.95 ($19 and change). Once completed and “released,” Minecraft will retail for €20 and — if history is any indication — will go on sale through Steam the following week for $5 (okay, maybe it’ll be a month later).

    This past weekend, in the last stretch of its alpha phase, Minecraft surpassed 800,000 unit sales, and the game is approaching 850K as you read this. At this rate, it could easily surpass the million-sold mark before Persson and company craft a gold master.

  • IGF Nominees: The Independent Games Festival has announced the nominees for the 2011 Nuovo Award, a special category within the IGF for “abstract, short-form, and unconventional game development.” In other words, weird art games.

    “I think what we’ve decided now is that even more light needs to be shed on this particular sub-section of the ever-growing sub-section that indie games already occupy in the wider gaming sphere,” IGF chair Brandon Boyer told Joystiq, “the bit where developers are truly pushing at the edges and limits of what games can and probably should grow to encompass, whether that’s videogames that move off the screen and into the playspace of the participants themselves, or games that tackle documentary, more personal and otherwise autobiographical subjects, or games that simply tonally run counterintuitive to the kinds of emotions games usually elicit.

    The eight nominees include the following:

  1. Monobanda’s Bohm, a game in which you control the life of a tree.
  2. A House in California by Cardboard Computer, a “surreal” adventure game about four characters exploring a house.
  3. Nidhogg, Messhof’s two-player, side-scrolling versus fencing game.
  4. Dinner Date by Stout Games, in which you listen in on Julian Luxemburg’s thoughts as you follow him through the agonizing wait for his date to show.
  5. Loop Raccord by UFO on Tape creator Nicolai Troshinsky, a game based on video editing — you have to create “continuous movement” by stringing together clips from archive.org.
  6. The Cat and the Coup by Peter Brinson and Kurosh VaiaNejad, a “documentary game” from the perspective of former Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh’s … cat.
  7. Copenhagen Game Collective’s Brutally Unfair Tactics Totally OK Now, a one-button game for up to eight players, with rules that players must enforce themselves (or choose not to).
  8. Hazard: The Journey of Life by Demruth, an abstract first-person puzzle game in which the world is constantly changing.The winning game will be announced during the IGF awards on March 2. In addition to the eight finalists, five honorable mentions were also named: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Faraway, Feign, Choice Of Broadsides, and SpyParty

    “There’s a number of things that the jury specifically called out as important to the Nuovo distinction,” Boyer said, explaining the distinction between a “Nuovo” game and “normal” IGF fare. “A distinctive personal or authorial voice, techniques that attempt to experiment with the usual ‘language’ of games, or even better, co-opt and subvert well-tread forms like the first person shooter, the point-and-click adventure, or (in previous years) the platformer to elevate them into something that’s never been done before.” You can see this kind of subversion in the illogical first-person landscapes of Feign or Hazard and the soccer-style back-and-forth of the swordfighting in Nidhogg.

    A few multiplayer-only titles found their way onto the list. Asked if he thought this was a growing trend, Boyer cited the arrival of “independent arcades” like New York’s Babycastles, and other “hyper-local” events, which do “amazing work at pushing games back out of the bed- and even living-rooms and cycling us back to where this industry began. Playing together, a foundational part of the history of games themselves.”

Rumor Mill

  • There have been many speculations as to who the 2nd player co-op character will be in Batman Arkham City. Many thought that it could be Robin or even Nightwing. However it appears that the developers went with someone lacking the Y chromosome. Rocksteady’s “purrfect” choice for the game is Catwoman. Which is fitting since Batman will be a fugitive.
  • This Friday’s Wikileaks is going to post Santa’s naught list. Bobby Kotick is at the very top.
  • With Epic Mickey being a success, expect to see more “classic” style cartoons getting a videogame version. Right now we know that Warner Brothers Studio are working with Stephen Spielberg to make an episodic game for PS3 and Xbox. Spielberg’s one contention was that he would be able to choose the writers for the series. As for the game, well, all I can say is:
    “Meet Pinky and the Brain who want to rule the universe. Good Feathers flock together, Slappy whacks ’em with her purse. Buttons chases Mindy while Rita sings a verse. The writers flipped we have no script why bother to rehearse. We’re….”

Question of the Week

What are your top 5 games of 2010?

justicejuice: Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft…..Cataclysm? Honest answer Minecraft, Cataclysm, Red Dead, SC2, Limbo

behemothodan: Mass Effect 2, SC2, Cataclysm, and . . . other stuff.

flawless: cataclysm and fallout New vegas. Only new games I played. Does PvZ Deluxe count? The one with achievements?

redhawksgaze:  1) Starcraft II 2) WoW: Cataclysm 3) Halo: Reach 4) Red Dead Redempton 5) Rock Band 3

krizzlybear: Super Mario Galaxy 2, Rock Band 3, Starcraft 2, Mass Effect 2, Super Street Fighter IV

mrbryo: world of warcraft, defense grid, star craft 2, sol survivor, killing floor

About MikeH

Gamer/Podcaster/Blogger - Mike, who is also known as Fimlys in the WoW community, is the Author of Asleep at the WoW Blog ( http://aatwow.fimlys.com ) and Co-Host on the Twisted Nether Blogcast (http://www.twistednether.net ) and HotsCast a Podcast about Heroes of the Storm. He also produces Polygamerous and does the web maintenance. An avid gamer, he's played since his parents first bought him an Atari 2600.. Back in the stone-age...