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Archive for the ‘Online Gaming’ Category

Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014 #E3Live #E3

Posted by Yogizilla on June 10, 2014

Geeky Antics has dat #E32014 #E3Live coverage.  Come join us at GeekyAntics.net and meet the Gaming Death Podcast.  Special show airing LIVE tonight on Twitch!

http://twitch.tv/GeekyAntics

GDP is about to hit 100 episodes.  It’s kind of a big deal.  Show some love with some comments, even if it is just “awesome” – celebrate with us and bring some friends! #GeeksUnite

 

Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014.

via Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014.

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Posted in Game Updates & Announcements, Online Gaming, Podcast, Video Games | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hearthstone iPad App Now Available – Not Just In Canada!

Posted by Yogizilla on April 18, 2014

It’s official – the Hearthstone iPad app is now available in the Uninted States app store.  Now you don’t have an excuse.  Everyone come join Clan NoF and the Geeky Antics / AllGames communities for some Hearthstone.  It’s FREE, easy to learn, and fun!

Do the happy chicken dance!

Hearthstone iPad App Now Available – Not Just In Canada!.

via Hearthstone iPad App Now Available – Not Just In Canada!.

Posted in Game Updates & Announcements, Online Gaming, Strategic Gaming | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Marvel Puzzle Quest R42 – Power Packs and EPIC Improvements

Posted by Yogizilla on November 19, 2013

Sexy update meets the world’s greatest puzzle adventure!

20131119-124805.jpg

Yes, this is not mere marketing copy – Puzzle Quest just got better!

Release 42 brings Power Packs, which seem to be the collective updates described on the handy splash screen and mini release notes. The highlights of R42 include easier ability use through a new firing panel (instead of flashing tiles) and higher drop rates from missions. The full list of release notes can be found at d3pforums.com if you are curious.

Possibly the biggest tweak is the return of power training via the cache. This means you can train powers using cached covers. This feature is a must because it sucks when you have to grind for points or sell your covers to make room for your core team.

This update is very encouraging as it shows us Demiurge is catering to paying and non-paying players alike, which only makes us want to support the game further. Storage was the biggest issue for me and the increased mission drops now multiplies replay value threefold. If you have been away from PQ, now is the time to bring your toons back into action!

The sad part is that I dumped some copies of Iron Man Model 35 because I was at the power cap. When that happens, you need to level up your units, which gets increasingly more expensive at higher levels and higher rarities. Bag Man Spider-Man is another under-appreciated unit that I recommend holding on to. Using him with Hawkeye, Storm, Juggernaut, and/or Dark Avengers Black Widow is highly effective in missions where countdown tiles present huge threats. Be wary of high-level Muscle, Pyro, Grenadier, and Flamethrower types.. they really hurt!

Back to R42, the UI improvements are not just nice eye candy. The roughly 125MB update does a lot to improve the UX. The game glitches a lot less and the need to click/tap lots has been vastly reduced. This is a complete overhaul.. it’s something a big deal.

Now, let’s hope they bring back some lightning rounds because this three-star event sucks hairy donkey balls. Amirite?

Posted in Free Games, Freemium Games, Game Updates & Announcements, Online Gaming, Tips Tricks & Strategies | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SteamOS Announced – What’s Next For Valve And Next-Gen Gaming?

Posted by Yogizilla on September 25, 2013

Today, the gaming world got a wonderful surprise from Valve when they announced that they are releasing SteamOS to make their games more portable and bring the PC gaming experience to your living room.  This comes at a perfect time as it is clear that the big three consoles aren’t doing much to innovate and drive value to the consumer.  That’s right, I said it!

As much as I am curious about the XBox One, I know that the only reason I will get it is to play games with my friends.  The other stuff I do not care about as I have devices that cover my other entertainment needs.  The same goes for PS4 and Wii U, except I would rather buy the latter than anything from Sony as a personal preference as it comes down to peripherals, games, and online play to me there.  Microsoft still dominates in my opinion there.

SteamOS will be a great thing for the marketplace for countless reasons but here are a few:

* You can enjoy the games you already own in more places.
* You can play these same games with more devices and peripherals.
* It will force the consoles to offer more value and innovate tons more.  Competition keeps people more honest!
* Smaller developers will have easier distribution channels, better tools, and greater market share to work with.  More variety and competition!
* Games will run more smoothly on a Linux based operating system built strictly for gaming and nothing else.

The implications of the news I have come across would have me believing that this will make Steam more valuable than ever for gamers looking for great deals and fresh content.  I also see that Valve is committed to creating their own ecosystem for gamers by gamers in many ways.  What’s more exciting is that we will see games natively supported for optimal performance and everything else played in a streaming or virtual machine format for portability/accessibility.  Awesome!

Valve has two more huge announcements this week.  It’s fairly obvious that the second one will be the expected hardware component.  But what is the third announcement?  It’s time for some predictions and wishlists!

SteamDrive: Official SteamOS Hardware?

There are a few things that can happen here.  The easiest opportunity would be to enter the home console market and make Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft step their game up.  The implications here are:

* Nintendo likely will not release another console after the Wii U.
* If so, Nintendo may go the Sega route or enter exclusive deals for leading platforms.
* Any hopes of Microsoft-licensed games on Steam may be shot.

There’s more but that is what comes to mind.  With the cost of home consoles, it’s hard for the market to really support more than three major platforms unless the gaming console in question offers a niche experience like Nintendo has been doing since the Gamecube.  Of course, we see what lack of third-party support can do to you there.  You can only milk exclusive franchises for so long, Nintendo.  We gamers demand fresh content to justify our investments!

With all that in mind, Valve may decide to simply release a thin client device along the lines of ChromeCast or Roku.  If such a device would be upgradeable, then gamers would have the option of streaming from their PC or installing/running locally.

Whatever route Valve takes for hardware deployment, I reckon PC gamers are ready to pony up more money and finally divorce home consoles if they haven’t already.  Just look at the Stem System Kickstarter project, where they set the goal at 250k and are close to 1MM in less than a month.  We PC gamers generally don’t blink when it comes to investing in our gaming rigs because we know they will last us a long time.

Even if Valve goes the safe route with a set-top box and peripheral(s) for SteamOS, it’s gonns be awesome. This also means the chances of a Half-Life 3 announcement are the least probable. After all, their focus here seems to be on living room gaming…

But Isn’t PC Gaming Already In The Living Room?

Some of us more cynical gamers may not be impressed yet. I mean, we have our gaming rigs hooked up to large TVs using HDMI or we’re using multi-monitor configurations so it’s not like we are missing out. Fair enough.

SteamOS seems to be more geared towards first giving existing users easier ways to enjoy their favorite games wherever they want. From there, I see Valve starting to tap into the gaming console market and converting people over to computers, not mere toys. Conversely, home consoles are becoming more media centers than anything else so it would be nice to see a more pure, dedicated gaming environment.

Steam has come a long way from it’s humble origins. It went from being a platform for curbing piracy and distributing Valve games in digital format to something much bigger. The only thing plaguing it now is having an OS that consistently runs games at acceptable quality and performance levels right out of the box, which is where gaming consoles have shined most.

Needless to say, I see great potential here!

Steam Channel Partners & How Consumers Benefit

I can see Valve pairing up SteamOS with established gaming hardware manufacturers as well as new players in the market. Razer, Sharkoon, Alienware, and even Asus come to mind. Of course, don’t doubt that Google won’t jump in somehow. What this all means is that smart businesses here will see the potential and jump in early. It also means better support for our favorite hardware because developers will have a vested interested in compatibility: more ways to play, more people buying!

I know I would love to see Valve team up with Razer. Razer peripherals have always showcased great engineering in terms of look and feel. There’s no arguing that their stuff is responsive but the software is always a hit-or-miss proposition. Valve can help there and rally third party form developers.

Imagine having your favorite peripherals and accessories supported natively. No more messing with macros/mappings, clunky drivers, third-party tools, and messy configurations. Just plug the stuff in and get some gaming in!

This approach will make PC gamers less on the fence about where they will focus their resources and playtime. The more native support and out-of-box functionality we get with an official SteamOS device, the more convenient it is for us.. and the less relevant gaming consoles as we know them become.

Of course, open source means we will still see finer performance tweaks and streamlining for the power users who want to squeeze out higher bit rates, consistent frame rates, and stutter-free gameplay. Mods and user-generated content will reach a larger, more dedicated audience. Yes, PC gamers are generally more hardcore but this will seal the deal for those of us that have become more casual due to the headaches involved with getting computer games to play nice.

What’s Next For Valve, Steam, And Gaming?

Now there’s the third and final huge announcement Steam/Valve has under wraps. Considering all that we have discussed, I think the smartest move would be to expand the Steam Workshop to make it more accessible to small dev shops and the average user. I’m talking about rapid development tools and training resources that will ensure Steam content never goes stale and every title has a real shot at developing a captive audience.

If Valve succeeds at opening up the Steam and SteamOS framework enough that updates are more steady and more quality games are released (and not abandoned), this would be a huge game changer. Think RPG Maker or any extensive object editor from a game like Hammerwatch, Scribblenauts, Starcraft II, or Warcraft III. In fact, I can totally see Valve pulling a Google by buying out or at least partnering with the developers behind RPG Maker, Blender, Physx, Unity3D, etc.

Imagine a complete software RDE, not just a simple SDK, with seamless integration with Steam and SteamOS. Steam Greenlight and Microsoft Indie Games are great indicators of this bake a bigger pie (thanks Guy Kawasaki) approach. We see that smaller developers can produce better games than Triple A developers when given the tools. We also see the mod community is going strong as well.

There are people with great vision out there but no means to really materialize those things without jumping through hoops. The Steam ecosystem will provide the development tools and the monetization and funding paths as well. I think Valve had this planned all along, just based upon the evolution of Steam itself. It’s become an ecosystem for game distribution, support groups, community events, and so much more.

So the third announcement could very well be that they are releasing a cross-platform agile development programming suite. Perhaps that is wishful thinking but this would complete the trifecta of development, distribution, and delight for me. If it’s not this, then what else?

The only logical choice that is left is attacking the mobile space. Seeing Steam co-exist with Google Play and iTunes is likely a tall order to fill so that leaves me to think that there is a chance we will see a gaming-optimized tablet running SteamOS. It may not play today’s high-end games but there is still great value here:

* Using mobile devices to enhance core experiences, much like Dreamcast VMUs and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles did (and how Wii U promises to do, if Nintendo ever gets online play right).
* Offering a dirt-cheap alternative to the major tablet computing devices (i.e. Samsung G-Tab, Google Nexus, Apple iPad, and Windows Surface).
* Playing games like Scrolls, Magic the Gatherinf: Duels of the Planeswalkers, and Scribblenauts, which likely will work better with touch screen devices anyway.

It may seem a bit grandoise to think this big but that’s just the kick to the arse the gaming industry needs right now to get back on track. We’re seeing too much of a focus on regurgitated content and dollar bills. It’s time for change!

Other things Valve may announce are still floating about the interwebz. Perhaps we’ll see a full-scale loyalty/rewards program with tons of freebies and perks, further incentivizing supporting smaller developers and clocking in more gaming hours. There’s also the pay-what-you-want and support-your-favorite-charity trends to consider but perhaps Humble Bundle should be left alone to rock out what they do best there.

Whatever Valve has in mind, we know it will cause great ripples in the gaming industry. I know they have the collective gonads to take some big risks and they also have the money to reinvest into massive projects. Things are looking mighty encouraging as we approach 2014 and the next generation of gaming.

Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft: take notes!

Posted in Game Previews & Industry News, Mobile Gaming, Online Gaming, Valve & Steam, XBox LIVE | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Black Ops 2 (XBox 360) – Double XP Weekend – Friday, September 20th 2013

Posted by Yogizilla on September 19, 2013

It’s that time again.  That’s right: the time when you return to CoD just because you can level up faster (if you don’t boost like a lamer).  Double XP weekend for Black Ops 2 starts Friday at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT.  If you’re on on the East coast or West coast, the time will be somewhere in between. =oP

I’m sure this applies to all platforms but I hope to clock some hours doing clan ops and goofing around with my NoF brothers and sisters on XBox LIVE.  Feel free to add me on XBL, Raptr, Steam, Twitter, and Twitch.  My name’s Yogizilla all over the interwebz.  Hopefully, everyone can pry themselves away from Diablo III and GTA V.  Lulz

I should be streaming on the Official Yogizilla Twitch TV Channel to show off my epic newbness too.  I’ve had a great response to my Scrolls and GTA V videos so I hope you will join us in the chat room.  I will be checking into the chat room periodically but you can always ping me, Yogizila, on Twitter, which notifies me on my tablets and smartphone.

Happy Hunting, fellow XBLers!

Posted in Community Events, NoF, Online Gaming, w3rd, XBox LIVE | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rage of Bahamut: Holy Wars XII, Craptastic Features, and Freemium BS

Posted by Yogizilla on April 16, 2013

I am back with a vengeance!

After wasting a good year with a startup called Social Prize and some bean-counting, vision-less partners, I have decided to return to my roots: gaming, writing, game design/development, and a little dose of cartooning.  So much catching up to do!  As of late, League of Legends has taken a backseat to Rage of Bahamut, where I have finally fully established the Nipples of Fate (N-o-F or “nawph”, for those new to this site).  Now, I will say this straight-up: League of Legends is by far the better game but I go where my clanmates are and, well, all my LoL friends are slackers!  LOL

Rage of Bahamut - Pseudo TCG - For Android and Crapple iOS Devices

Rage of Bahamut – The Mobile Game You Will Love And Hate!

I’ve been meaning to write a series of R.O.B. related posts with full reviews and wishlists in the mix (I’m a slacker too, apparently) but here is the skinny for now: Rage of Bahamut is a pseudo TCG where you buy or, if you’re lucky, obtain virtual cards to build powerful decks and battle other players or raid bosses.  The game isn’t much to look at, is rather buggy, and can be frustrating for newbies but, once you get past all that, it is very satisfying.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anime, Deckbuilding Games, Free Games, Freemium Games, Mobile Gaming, Online Gaming | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Look At The Gaming Industry, Gamer Motivation, And Social Media Marketing

Posted by Yogizilla on February 2, 2012

For those not interested in the business side of gaming, skip this..  But I will say this: we gamers RULE!

I’ve been working on some projects lately with heavy social media and game mechanics involved.  Thing is, the majority of online marketers, brands, and businessses still do not see the massive opportunity here.  I think these numbers speak for themselves:

”]ESRB Video Game Industry Facts & Figures

What’s interesting to me here is that the data hints that socializers are the biggest group of gamers.  I look at everyone as a player, though not all players are necessarily gamers (being a gamer, in the more traditional sense, is more of a lifestyle choice, a conscious commitment)..  Yet we all play games in our lives: reward programs, social influence scoring platforms, sweepstakes, blogging, etc.

Socializers are driven by the interaction and engagement between others.  There is endless opportunity here for thought leaders, inbound marketers, brands, and, well, everyone.  I think the major paradigm shift here is in value propositions.  We’ve always thought of value and ROI in terms of dollars and cents (or traffic and visibility, the mass marketing, noise-making ways of old), yet Nexon, Zynga, FourSquare, and countless others have shown us that a virtual economy can ultimately be profitable, while keeping your overhead costs down.

These market leaders have also shown us that players may not be driven by achievement, high-level competition, or even curiousity.  As human beings, we are driven to feel connected, if not validated and accepted, even if we may be tagged as socially-recluse.  There is power in feeling like you’re a part of something bigger than you, a community, and networking with like-minded individuals..  even more so when we can meet our goals together!  Social is beating the pants off traditional marketing, especially for small businesses and start-ups trying to stay lean.

Zynga was valued at over 7 BILLION, last I checked..  their games are free and very similar to the myriad of mobile and Facebook games out there.  I’d say that should create urgency for us all.

Have you considered implementing game mechanics and design into your online projects?  How about now?

Posted in Game Mechanics & Design, Game Previews & Industry News, Online Gaming, Online Marketing, Social Media | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Brink: Is It The First Person Shooter You’ve Been Waiting For?

Posted by Yogizilla on May 10, 2011

Now that I’ve logged a good amount of play time in the first two days of “Brinkdom”, I’d like to preface my excitement with a bit of a reality check…

Replay value and the length of a video game are certainly key elements that add value to an offering. In the case of Brink, jaded gamers may say it’s too short. If you want to be overly-critical, the game doesn’t have a very deep story nor does it have plenty of gameplay modes upon release. I think it all works well and, if I know Splash Damage well enough, they’re going to find ways to keep Brink fresh and fun.

If you’re like my cousin and Brink reminds you of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, good observation! That’s arguably Splash Damage’s most well-known work. We won’t talk about Quake Wars so, really, this is their first real console entry. They’re going to want to do some big things here and Brink is set up to be expandable and user-driven. I’d say any shortcoming cited on this article are purely first impressions and not final in any way. Brink definitely feeds a very real need in a marketplace littered with clones and crap…

It’s been yet another busy day for me but I did manage to log a couple of hours on Brink. In a few words, it is well worth the money as far as I am concerned. Brink is Bethesda’s take on the FPS genre and, thanks to their experience with the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series (and teaming up with Splash Damage), there are some very welcomed RPG elements.

I’d compare Brink with some of my other favorite XBox 360 shooters: Borderlands, Team Fortress 2, Gears of War 3, and Rainbow Six Vegas 2. I’d say it is more akin to the foremost than the latter. While the game stands out on it’s own, the deep character customization, class-based obejctiive focus, and team-focused game mechanics should be familiar to the seasoned shooter veteran. Bethesda has done the impossible by weaving the Brink story into virtually every gameplay option.

I’m really excited about Brink but let’s dig deeper because, really, this game is not for everyone… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Game Reviews, Geeky Reviews, NoF, Online Gaming, Strategic Gaming, Video Games | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

The Economy of Gaming: Why Paying To Play Is A GOOD Thing

Posted by Yogizilla on May 8, 2011

Hello Yu-Gi-Oh! fans, video game geeks, and strategy buffs!

Today’s article will be a bit of a break from the very Yu-Gi-Oh! and Japanese-centric stuff we tend to have here on DPO (I think Rin should keep every geek out there very happy). I want to discuss an issue that affects all of us, yet very few of us truly grasp: the economy of gaming.

A while ago I read a very moving article about how used games hurt the gaming industry. Thing is, used games only represent only one facet of what is really a much greater issue. That issue is that games are becoming more expensive to make as games are made with high production value (i.e. nice eye candy) in mind. With the cost of publishing, distributing, marketing, and all sorts of overhead on top of it all, it’s not just about developing a good video game: you need a massive budget or at least a really good plan to have significant market penetration. The costs of putting out a game can sneak up on developers, especially the small and indie shops, which means that the cost needs to be passed on to the consumer or off-set somehow. Developers have mouths to feed too, you know!

Sadly, there are gamers that do not understand basic economic rules such as supply-and-demand and marketing overhead. They want games to be cheap and, sometimes, free. Surely, we all like free stuff so I ain’t knocking you bargain hunters out there. As a gamer, I love when I can find a great game that I can involve my gaming group, The Nipples of Fate (NoF), in without having to pay a single red cent. It makes easier for everyone to jump on-board or at least try it out.

The issue here is that, as games become more expensive, many online gaming experiences are becoming more exclusive. Video games are reaching more of a luxury status as next-gen systems become over-priced and, at times, scarce. If you’re old like me, the price points we’ve grown accustomed to have gone from $39.99-49,99 to $59.99-69.99 and, when you’re on a tight budget, that extra $20 can be better spent on gas, public transportation, or lunch money, depending on your needs. Of course, you have to factor in inflation, which really makes video games costs about the same for the past three decades.

Used games form the PS2-XBox-Gamecube generation, thanks to GayGamer.net

Apparently, used games were not enough to keep Circuit City afloat. (Courtesy of GayGamer.net)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in DPO News, Duelpass, Duelpasses, Geeky Reviews, Online Gaming, Video Games, Yu-Gi-Oh Online, Yugioh Online | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Coming Attractions: Spellcaster Deck, Pokemon Pearl, Yu-Gi-Oh Championship, and YDP-DPO Customer Perks

Posted by Yogizilla on May 12, 2007

If you haven’t been very active on Yu-Gi-Oh! Online you may have missed the release of yet another awesome themed duelpass. The Spellcasters Union Deck seems to be yet another response to the growing demand of the community. The E-Hero Deck was a huge success and I can see this deck being an even bigger success. While the previous duelpass deck provided an experience for the newer duelists and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX fans, this deck promises to offer more old-school flavors, fused with some newer cards.

Dark Magician and Dark Magician Girl - Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime Screenshot

Dark Magician and the girl of similar title.. Now THAT'S kicking it old-school!

If you are a big fan of Yami Yugi’s style of dueling, this new theme deck will definitely be a nice addition to your trunk. Like the previous E-Hero Deck, this duelpass gives you an entire deck (in much the same manner Structure Decks offer duelists vital cores for their recipes) upon first use. Each additional duelpass, if you can get your hands on more than one, gives you additional cards in the series…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Deckbuilding Games, Game Reviews, News Flash, Nintendo DS, Online Gaming, Strategic Gaming, w3rd, Yugioh Online, Yugioh Picks | 7 Comments »