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Homefront acquired by Deep Silver for development

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Clearly tired of Crytek’s “transitional phase,” publisher Deep Silver’s parent company has acquired the Homefront intellectual property and related assets from Crytek. Homefront: The Revolution was under production at Crytek UK, with recent reports declaring production had halted and the game’s director resigned.

“We strongly believe in the potential of Homefront: The Revolution and trust in the new team to continue the path they have been walking in the last years,” said Deep Silver CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz.



The game will now be completed by the newly founded Nottingham-based Deep Silver Dambuster Studio. We’ve followed up with Deep Silver about whether staff from Crytek UK is transitioning over and will update with any further details.

Koch Media and its publishing arm Deep Silver have acquired the rights to the Homefront franchise, including rights to the in-development title Homefront: The Revolution and all of its assets.  Homefront was originally developed by Kaos Studios (deceased) and publisher THQ (deceased). It was then purchased by Crytek (currently in trouble) for a half-million dollars and given to Crytek UK, formerly known as Free Radical, which itself was a studio with a troubled past - remember Haze?

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Hatoful Boyfriend coming to Linux, Mac and Windows PC

The English language remake of bird-dating simulator Hatoful Boyfriend is coming to PC, Mac and Linux via Steam on 21st August, publisher Devolver Digital has announced.

It will usually be priced at £6.99, but early birds can get 10 per cent off if they pre-order it prior to release.

Furthermore, there’s a wonderfully titled Hatoful Boyfriend Summer of Dove Collector’s Edition that comes with a digital soundtrack, exclusive digital comic from series creator Hato Moa, a digital St. Pigeonations 2014 Yearbook, and exclusive wallpapers. All this for £11.99.

For those unfamiliar with Hatoful Boyfriend, it puts players in the role of the only human girl in a school for male pigeons. Naturally, your heart’s aflutter.


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This is, unequivocally, the best title screen ever.



Hatoful Boyfriend was originally a Japanese release, but its outlandish premise caught on and the English speaking world demanded it not be left out of this surreal creation. As such, developer Mediatonic (Amateur Surgeon, Foul Play) took it upon themselves to collaborate with Moa on a remake.

This won’t be a straight English language adaptation, however, as Moa has added an all new scenario along with a new ending.

“You nerds can keep your virtual reality headsets and your haptic feedback,” said Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker. “Pre-pubescent bird love games are the next big growth category.”

To get an idea of how Hatoful Boyfriend works, here’s a video of someone playing through the original release with English subtitles:



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Another mode added for Dragon Fin Soup roguelike JRPG

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Roguelike Japanese role-playing game hybrid Dragon Fin Soup will include an Endless Labyrinth mode designed to push players’ skills and patience to the limits, developer Grimm Bros. announced this morning.

Endless Labyrinth mode features just that — an endless labyrinth packed with high-level bosses and traps that can take players out for the slightest misstep. Players can share how long they survive with their friends, competing for high scores in this arena designed to test their mettle.

Additionally, Dragon Fin Soup will be featured in Cologne, Germany, next month at Gamescom’s first-ever Indie Megabooth. The show runs from Aug. 13-17.

Dragon Fin Soup, which was funded through Kickstarter earlier this year and approved through Steam Greenlight, tells the story of Red Robin — a boisterous and alcoholic take on Little Red Riding Hood — as she fights her way through a world of dark and twisted fairy tales. Red Robin’s story is slated to launch on Linux, Mac and Windows PC. As well as PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

This is the first game from former-Human Head COO Ashe Monif and veteran League of Legends and Magic the Gathering designer Randis Albion — whose company Grimm Bros. was launched to create games that offer unusual spins on traditional fairy tales.

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Action Henk gets seven new levels and tricky challenges

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The first update for RageSquid's Early Access “toystalgic speedrunning platformer,” Action Henk, adds seven levels and harder challenges for players seeking something a little more difficult, the developer announced via Steam.

In Action Henk, players must master their momentum to successfully race against a collection of ’90s action figures. The new levels, which include “The Drop,” “Pro Skater” and “Leap of Faith,” range from easy to hard; those seeking more of a challenge can also try for Rainbow Medals, challenges RageSquid say feature “extreme difficulty for the die-hard players.”

The update brings the game’s total level offerings up to 25. Other updates include interface and control tweaks, which you can view in full on Steam.



Action Henk is currently available for Linux, Mac and Windows PC via Steam Early Access.

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Retro-style game Bik available for Linux, Mac, PC

After launching on PC, Mac, Linux, and Android two weeks ago, the old-school style adventure game Bik has announced an upcoming App Store and Google Play release, slated for August 14th.

An adventure done in the same vein as King’s Quest, Monkey Island, and other classic point-and-clicks,” and it features “tons of puzzles, quirky characters, and humor to drive the story.”

The game drops you in the role of Bik, a young boy who, after being abducted by aliens during a camping trip, must team up with two alien mercenaries to return home.



Bik will launch for £1.99 / $2.99 on Google Play and the App Store on August 14th.

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If you prefer your point-and-clicks on the desktop, or if you’re an Android user and don’t mind installing an APK, Bik is purchasable now for PC, Mac, Linux, and Android on its official website for £2.49 / $3.99.



Bik
also boasts a 90 minute, original electronic soundtrack, which is available for purchase on Bandcamp.To see the game and music in action, check out the trailer below. Or, download the free demo for PC, Mac, and Linux.

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Stikbold dodgeball game now on Steam Greenlight

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Originally prototyped at Nordic Game 2013, Stikbold! has since then evolved into something more than the product of 48 sleep-deprived hours of game jamming, and is now set to take on the world in a full-fledged game featuring an humorous storyline playable together with a friend plus hilarious couch-centered multiplayer for a total of four players.

The trailer below, which it turns out marks its launch on Steam Greenlight. A nice ninety seconds of colour and sound. Most recently won ”Best Game Created Using the Unity Engine” in the CREATE competition.



From the game’s site:
Stikbold! is a light-hearted and fun take on the classic game of dodgeball, mixed with the distinct and classic groove of the 1970’s. Duke it out in several arenas in a glorious local multiplayer showdown or join Björn & Jerome, two friends set on unravelling the mystical disappearance of rival love interest, the night before the big game.

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Features

  • Local 1-6 Multiplayer – Duke it out in epic 4 player matches while dodging the original angry bird; The Swan
  • Story mode – playable alone or with your favorite buddy. Beat the story, then beat your friend.
  • A handful of unique arenas, each with their own set of player-driven events. How far can you throw a whale? We’ll show you.
  • Groovy soundtrack with unique tracks for every arena. We didn’t drop the bass, it’s there.
  • Team based or Free For All mayhem – Friendly fire included
Stikbold began as a 48-hour project for the Nordic Game Jam in 2013, where it was awarded “Most Fun” by the other 400+ participants at the event. Now it’s on Greenlight and a nominee for the PAX10, which shows that dreams can come true, with just months of hard work, skill, experience, a little luck, and friends.



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Breach And Clear: DEADline coming to Early Access

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Breach & Clear was a reasonably well-received tactical strategy shooter released in 2013. Developed byMighty Rabbit Studios and helmed by former Call of Duty creative strategist Robert Bowling, the series has already revealed their new title Breach & Clear: DEADline. Set to release this Fall via Steam Early Access for Linux, Mac, and Windows PC for the low price of $19.99, foregoing Android and iOS this time around.

The sequel sees a special forces squad moving through a city to the source of the infectious parasitic worms. Along the way, engage in tactical shootouts, level up, complete quests, collect weapons and equipment, and generally kill a lot. The announcement says it also “adds real-time strategy elements to the tactical combat”. Awesome

From the Press Release

A deadly new breed of human monster is on the rise in the sprawling metropolis and it’s up to you to stop it before the infection spreads. Mighty Rabbit Studios and Gun Media today announced Breach & Clear: DEADline, the all-new follow up to the critically acclaimed and commercially successful 2013 tactical action title for iOS, Android and PC, Breach & Clear.

Hitting Steam Early Access for PC, Linux and Mac this fall for $19.99, Breach & Clear: DEADline adds real-time strategy elements to the tactical combat action fans loved from the original, and mixes up a radical array of enemy types to test combat skills to the limit. As the commander of an elite Special Forces squad, players will venture far into the sprawling urban expanse of Harbor City to uncover the source of the infectious parasitic worms turning average citizens into horrifying monsters.

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Breach & Clear: DEADline gives players full control over their entire squad, allowing them to issue orders to squadmates via the all-new Command Mode feature, allowing for greater on-the-fly decision making during enemy encounters. A variety of combat scenarios emphasizes the need for different approaches to survive the chaos. Plan and execute detailed strategies in dynamically generated situations to overcome enemies, move through the open world, and get closer to the source of the nefarious worm.

Gain experience, level up the squad’s core and tactical abilities, and take on numerous side quests in order to gain rare ammo, weapons and gear. Get in, clear the area and get closer to solving the mystery of the spreading sickness or die trying. With world-class development teams behind the title, Breach & Clear: DEADline is a do-not-miss title hitting Steam Early Access this fall.

To learn more, visit the official Breach & Clear: DEADline website.

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The future of Crytek and recent financial trouble

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Crytek has released a statement addressing its recent financial troubles, claiming that capital has been secured to assure the company’s continued existence.

Crytek, best known for CryEngine and its Crysis franchise, is a company undergoing a complete paradigm shift. In 2012, it announced plans to release all future titles as free-to-play, and earlier this year announced Linux support and the launch of a subscription-based licence for CryEngine for games developers on a tighter budget.

Over the past few months, reports coming out of the company have suggested the transition isn’t going well. Crytek has been claimed to be on the verge of bankruptcy, with staff going unpaid for months at a time. Its deal for a sequel to the Xbox One exclusive Ryse has fallen apart, and key staff have been jumping ship. Throughout, Crytek itself has remained silent; a decision that has not helped stem concern about the company’s future.

A Crytek spokesperson has finally broken the company’s silence, sending a statement to GamesIndustry that claims all has been resolved. ‘Internally, we have acknowledged that the flow of information to employees has not been as good as it should have, however we hope you understand that communicating details of our plans publicly has not always been possible,' the statement reads. 'Like the games industry as a whole, Crytek has been in a transitional phase. Our evolution from a development studio to an Online-Publisher has required us to refocus our strategies. These challenges go along with an increased demand for capital which we have secured.

‘[i]We can now concentrate on the long term strategic direction of Crytek and our core competencies,’ the statement continues. ‘Ultimately, with our organisation, capitalisation, portfolio and technologies we have now laid the foundations for securing Crytek’s future - not just in the short term, but also long term.'

Crytek has indicated that no more statements on the matter are to be forthcoming, stating ‘we kindly ask for your understanding that we won’t be communicating further details about our developments and progress.'

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Mulitplayer FPS Screencheat coming to Linux, Mac and PC

Multiplayer etiquette may have demanded players refrain from looking at one another’s screens to deduce to locations of opponents in splitscreen shooters of yore, like GoldenEye or Halo, but that certainly does not mean it was yet to be a common strategy.



Riffing on this old-school tactic comes Screencheat, a splitscreen multiplayer FPS where everyone is invisible so players are forced to look at each other’s screens to win.

In Screencheat, out of Melbourne, Australia-based studio Samurai Punk in conjunction with indie games publisher Surprise Attack, players will need to familiarise themselves with the uniquely coloured parts of each map, along with any distinctive landmarks, in order to track down their invisible opponents.

Screencheat, which will feature two-to-four player splitscreen (local and online), was born out of the 2014 Global Game Jam where it nabbed the ‘Jammers Game of Choice’ award and picked up a trio of honourable mentions for ‘Best Accessibility’, ‘Best Use of Theme’ and ‘Judge’s Choice for Best Game’.

A free beta period for Screencheat will commence on August 4. You can sign up here for access.

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Screencheat is scheduled to arrive on PC, Mac, and Linux in October 2014.

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Director’s Cut expansion coming for Shadowrun Returns

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A standalone version of Shadowrun Returns expansion Dragonfall is set to launch this September, developer Harebrained Schemes confirms.

The new release is being described as a Director’s Cut by its creators, although the exact changes that have been made are still yet to be revealed.

The studio promises more information to come next month. The good news is, if you already backed the game on Kickstarter or own its currently available expansion, then Dragonfall is yours for free.



Shadowrun: Dragonfall, previously known as ‘Berlin,’ first launched in January for Windows PC, Mac and Linux. A bundled packaged with the original game was also made available.

Shadowrun Returns was made by the original tabletop game’s creator Jordan Weisman, following a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over a million dollars. The futuristic exploration-and-combat game was launched in July, when plans for an expansion were announced.

Set in Berlin in the year 2054, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is a story of conspiracies, technology and magic, which Harebrained Schemes said is a full-length campaign.

“Berlin is the perfect setting to show off all the new gameplay and features we’ve added in this expansion,” said Weismann prior to the game’s launch. “Our design team has done a fantastic job of building on the work we started with Shadowrun Returns. I couldn’t be happier.”

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Crowntakers launching for Linux, Mac and Windows PC 2014



Kalypso's digital-only label Kasedo Games announced that it will release the procedurally generated tactical RPG Crowntakers for Linux, Mac, Windows PC, Android, and iOS platforms later this year.

In Crowntakers, players hire a party of mercenaries with unique abilities and travel through eight randomly generated environments, fending off enemy soldiers and wildlife in turn-based battles. Crowntakers also includes crafting and character-leveling components, and the quest features multiple endings, giving players an incentive to finish their battles quickly as they rush to save a kidnapped king.

Crowntakers will launch for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS and Android tablets in 2014.

Kasedo Games Announces Brand New Title Crowntakers for PC
Leicester, UK, 28th July 2014 – Kasedo Games is excited to announce the release of Crowntakers: a brand new Strategy RPG for PC, Mac, SteamOS and iOS/Android tablets. Developed by Bulwark Studios, Crowntakers places you into a beautiful medieval fantasy world that utilises procedurally-generated environments and enemies to create a different adventure each time you play. Face the unknown, assemble a brave troupe of fearsome mercenaries and embark on a quest to banish evil from the world.

Crowntakers features intricate turn-based combat that can be adapted to your strategy. Hire powerful new allies, upgrade your equipment, craft useful items and level up your companions in order to overcome powerful threats and challenges through tactical ingenuity.

In an ever-changing world, heroes are the only constants.

Dark times are imminent: the king’s abduction throws a once peaceful land into turmoil. Being the chosen one elected by the king himself through one of your dreams, you embark on an adventurous journey to free him from the hands of the evil duke and go down in history as the kingdom’s greatest hero. But time is of the essence…

Crowntakers combines turn-based strategy with RPG elements and takes you at the behest of the crown into a medieval fantasy world full of challenging encounters and epic adventures. With its randomly generated world, Crowntakers offers a varied gaming experience every time you set out to fight evil. As a hero on a mission, you’ll have to assemble a group of brave mercenaries to take on cruel enemies like barbarians, ferocious animals or deceitful thieves. Embark on challenging quests, gather vital resources and finally banish evil from the world.

Features of Crowntakers

Turn-based strategy meets RPG in a beautifully created fantasy world

On every game start the world is rebuilt with different environments and encounters; encouraging players to try different strategies

More than 8 diverse and procedural environments ranging from mountain passes to shadowy castles

Hire 9 individual mercenaries to take on bandits, wildlife and malevolent knights on a hexagonal battlefield. Utilise the unique class skills of the archer, wizard, scout and others

Gather resources, level-up your companions, collect mighty equipment and craft helpful potions to survive until your quest is complete

Alternative endings: will you save the king before time runs out?

Crowntakers will be released for PC, Mac, SteamOS and iOS/Android tablets in 2014 – for more information follow Kasedo Games on Facebook

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Kickstarter Jenny LeClue available for Linux, Mac and PC

Most gamers are familiar with the “choose your own adventure” concept, where critical choices made during play change the course of the narrative. Jenny LeClue, indie developer Mografi's newly-announced 2.5D point-and-click title, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter and aspires to bring some traditional adventure gameplay and a collaborative “metanarrative” element to the traditional gamebook mechanic.



Planned as a trilogy, the game follows titular protagonist Jenny LeClue, a young gumshoe who’s tired of her boring cases in the city of Arthurton and longs for a tougher case to crack. She’s granted this wish in dubious fashion when her mother is accused of murdering the Dean of Gumboldt University, and Jenny is the only one with the detective chops to come to her mother’s defense and uncover both the truth behind the killing and the dark secrets lurking in Arthurton.

Although the focus of the game is to be the mysterious plot, players can expect to see some typical adventure gaming tasks, such as interrogations, inventory puzzles, and minigames such as guiding Jenny from one location to another on her bicycle. However, there are a few innovations that Mografi hopes will spice things up, such as the ability to upgrade items, like Jenny’s trusty flashlight, or purchase new items like x-ray glasses, in order to gain new abilities that will aid Jenny in her quest to solve the crime. Interrogations will also have a twist, with Jenny able to observe the subject for visible clues that might reveal their guilt or innocence that would otherwise go undetected.

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The standout feature of Jenny LeClue, however, is the developer’s approach to the story. The “author” of Jenny’s adventures, Arthur K Finkelstein, is available to help if you are stuck, but his presence also allows you to change the story to a degree. At various points during the game, you will have to make a choice as to what action Jenny takes next on her journey. Instead of being limited to your own game, though, the decision you make will be fed to a database containing the choices that all the game’s players have made. According to the developers, this will enable players to permanently influence subsequent chapters of the story, essentially “writing” the story collaboratively. Although Mografi indicate that “bits of the less-popular choices” may be brought back in future episodes, for the most part they will “go away.”

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Mografi is currently seeking $65,000 on Kickstarter to fund the first episode, though stretch goals may allow additional episodes to be financed by the campaign. Gamers have until August 21st to grab their $15 copy of “every episode” that receives funding. The game is scheduled to be released in December 2016, on PC, Mac, and Linux, with support for other platforms planned after launch. More information can be found at the official Kickstarter page.

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