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Announcement - Valve
Men of War: Condemned Heroes is now available for pre-purchase on Steam! Pre-purchase and receive a FREE copy of Men of War: Vietnam. Already own it? Gift it to a friend!

Men of War: Condemned Heroes tells the story of one of the infamous Soviet penal battalions during the WWII. These battalions are famous for being formed under Stalin’s "No step back!" order #227. They consisted of court-martialed officers that were given a chance to redeem their crimes, or incompetence, in blood by serving as the lowest enlisted rank in a battalion that was assigned the most dangerous tasks. These battalions’ images are surrounded by many myths, and this game tells the truth about these regiments based on real evidence from their former members.

Take command of one of these notorious companies and lead it to victory against all odds through most of the war on the Eastern front. Fight from desperate battles in 1942 in the area of Volyn in the Ukraine, to the massive operation “Bagration” in the Brest area, Magnush bridgehead and Warsaw area in Poland and finally to attacks on the German Altdam and Stettin near the end of the war.

Eurogamer


PS Vita is - for now - very much a hardcore gaming device for hardcore gamers, the developer behind one of its launch titles has claimed.


Sony hopes to expand Vita's audience, particularly among younger games, but for A-Men developer Bloober Team, this will be impossible as long as it current price remains.


"They are getting too greedy at the moment," creative director and vice-president Piotr Bielatowicz told Eurogamer.


"Their message originally was, this is a hardcore console. Then, as the launched approached, they started thinking, okay, maybe we make this attractive to women and casual gamers.


"But, the market will verify this very quickly, because no casual gamer will buy a £280 device with £40 games."


Vita launched this week in two flavours: the Wi-Fi only model is sold for around £230 and the Wi-Fi plus 3G model goes for about £280, although many retailers have aggressive offers.


SCE UK & Ireland boss Fergal Gara told Eurogamer Sony priced Vita "as attractively as we could afford". He refused to confirm it will cut the price this year, but did say Sony will try to improve it over time.


Sony's Vita game pricing has also come under scrutiny. Uncharted, for example, carries a £45 RRP, although you can get it cheaper from most shops.


Bloober's A-Men is a downloadable 2D platform strategy game inspired by Blizzard's Lost Vikings and Lemmings.


It is the Polish developer's Vita debut, and a game its creators freely admit is aimed squarely at hardcore gamers.


This, Bielatowicz said, suits Vita.


"It's a platform for hardcore players, so it's a perfect fit for us," Bielatowicz continued.


"Actually, I believe our game and Vita will have the same lifecycle. It will have an average start because it's expensive and there aren't many titles in the beginning. But, it will have a solid run and a very long lifecycle. It will be like PS3.


"The Wii was like, this. Now it's over. The games have performed poorly for some time now. PS3 is just warmed up and it still has the best two or three years ahead of it."


Gara said it is important for Sony that Vita gets off to "a strong start", but it is more important the console enjoys "a very strong" first year and first Christmas.


"Week one is important, but it's not the whole story."

Eurogamer


You won't see the texture issues that plague the PlayStation 3 versions of some multi-platform games on Vita, one developer with experience of both platforms has said.


The Vita's impressive amount of RAM means it's better able to produce stable, high resolution textures than the PlayStation 3, the creator of Vita launch title A-Men told Eurogamer.


Vita has more RAM than PS3. Vita has 512MB of RAM and 128MB of V-RAM, compared to the PS3's 256MB of system RAM and 256MB of video RAM. Vita also has the advantage of not having to reproduce HD visuals.


"This is great," Bloober gameplay programmer Jakub Opoń, who worked on Vita launch title A-Men, told Eurogamer.


"This is the main drawback for PS3 versus the Xbox 360, because the Xbox 360 has half a gigabyte of RAM, so the texture quality is better in games on the Xbox 360. You can see when you compare two games.


"Vita won't have this problem. This is a really good solution. It tells developers not to think so much about really hardcore optimisation. They can focus on making the game, and not strip the quality of the assets. This is really important.


"Our artists made some really good effects and we have no problems with game speed."


Bloober's A-Men is a downloadable 2D platform strategy game inspired by Blizzard's Lost Vikings and Lemmings.


It is the Polish developer's Vita debut, but is has worked on a number of platforms, including WiiWare, DSi Ware, PlayStation Portable, iPhone, iPad, and, more recently, PS3.


Opoń said despite Vita's RAM advantage over PS3, it is not as powerful as the PS3, which, through the Cell microprocessor, is a heavyweight when it comes to physics, simulations and AI. "It's not as powerful as PS3, which you can see with Uncharted, which is a great example to compare the hardware power."


But: "Vita has so much power in this small device, every player will be satisfied with the things you can do."


Bloober creative director and vice-president Piotr Bielatowicz added: "There is much more computational power in PS3. Obviously you've seen how Uncharted was supposed to look like, and during the development how it begins to look like."


While Vita's power is attracting programmers to the system, Sony has also tried to make making games for it as easy as possible - certainly easier than it was with the difficult, complex PlayStation 3 when it launched in 2007.


"Vita is very easy to develop for," Opoń said. "It's much easier than Sony's previous platforms. The hardware is much more popular. It's the same type of hardware you can find in iPad 2, but twice as powerful. The core mechanism of working on the platform is the same.


"Sony provides a great SDK [software development kit/devkit]. The documentation is really good. Basically, we came up with a port of our engine in three months. It's fast, rapid development on the platform.


"It's easy even to set up the machine on your computer. You just start the installer. I can't say the names, but on some other consoles it takes a whole day, or two days, even, to even set up or build the game.


"For some devkits you've got three USB cables just to plug into your computer. You've got three cables that connect the same two machines, which is crazy.


"Now we get this beautiful console, which is small, and only has two cables. The only problem is you don't have the battery for that [on the Vita devkit], so you need to use the adapter.


"In all other aspects, it's the best we've worked on until now. The easiest one, the fastest one to start just making the game, not struggling with the hardware, with the software provided."


For Bielatowicz, Vita marks an important change in approach to third-party development at Sony, one that moves away from former Sony Computer Entertainment boss Ken Kutaragi's philosophy when he launched PS3.


"It's great now to cooperate with Sony," Bielatowicz said. "When Kutaragi was in charge it was very technologically oriented. It was, 'we create the best possible hardware and deal with it. Figure out on your own how to program it.' For PS3 it might take two weeks for a programmer to just compile a demo. It was so hard in the beginning.


"Now, I believe Sony is more developer oriented. They reach out to us. They organise seminars to train us, to teach programmers and designers features like Near. The support is very swift. The communication is very good. I would say, at the moment, Sony is by far the nicest format holder to work with."


Vita launches in the US and Europe on Wednesday, 22nd February.

Product Update - Valve
General

• Added IS-2 new 3d model
• Added Cromwell MKVIII new 3d model
• Added T-60 new texture
• Added passenger seats to ISU122/152
• Added ability of all small arms to penetrate armor
• Added additional camera control functions
• Increased arc of grazing howitzers
• Increased arc of light howitzers
• Increased arc of StuH 42
• Increased HE strength of Type99 at-rifle grenade
• Increased stamina of scouts
• Reduced speed of Vickers AA
• Reduced speed of FlaK 37
• Reduced turret speed of M4A3 Calliope
• Fixed that in some occasions the repair marker would not disappear
• Fixed volumes of mines to be larger


Multiplayer

• Added the ability to launch with teammates but no enemies (unranked only)
• Changed rank score to start with 0 instead of 500
• Changed resource distribution curve to increase mid-game duration
• Changed resource distribution to be no longer bound to game time
• Changed Assault Troops special unit to carry new shock troopers on T-34/85
• Changed middle flag buildings in 1v1 Winter Church
• Increased resource distribution length from 22.5min to 25min
• Optimized multiplayer map data
• Reduced price of Cromwell MKVIII from 375 MP to 360 MP
• Reduced "Sturmtrupp" price from 5 to 4
• Removed Panzergrenadiers from "Sturmtrupp"
• Fixed D1 giving no points
• Fixed some Day of Victory flag sizes
• Fixed small map issues
Product Update - Valve
Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades Update 2.2.5 Available

Fixed:
- Crashes during sieges
- Crashes while generating certain castle layouts
- A rare error when mission stayed incomplete when all of its tasks were completed
- A rare error when an army was considered to be located in another region, which led to inability to finish a quest
- Battle with Prussian foragers near Matowy will be generated correctly now
- Error when player info window stayed on screen while playing outro
- Exploit when player could escape from any battle
- Reserve troops are no longer taken into account while calculating army strength
- 'Return' option in some dialogs now works correctly instead of closing dialog window
- A castle will be auto-garrisoned after capturing it in all cases
- Wrong shadows rendering

Improvements:
- Name generation. All units on strategic map now have correctly generated names. They consist of first names, 2nd name parts (for Mongols), last names or nicknames (for brigands and Prussians). All possible names are historically correct for a given nation.
- Tactical AI will react to being under fire more actively
- After completing the story campaign and starting the freeplay mode maps boundaries are expanded
- Handling of negotiations between weak player and enemy lords
- New mouse cursor shows inaccessible map areas

Gameplay changes:
- Maximum AI army size increased to 30 regiments (was 20). If army contains more than 10 professional regiments ("Knights" or "Sergeants" level), it can contain twice the amount of militia troops.
- AI will try to hire roughly equal amount of Pikemen and ranged troops (Militia tier)
- Army spawn points corrected in quest tactical battles (engagement with Pippin brigands and battle with foragers near Chluhov)
- 50% more regiments will be auto-hired to garrison a castle after capturing it
- Chance of finding hireable siege equipment in medium and large towns and castles slighhtly increased
- Chance of having ranged troops in garrisons of towns and castles decreased
- Minimal ransom is now 20. Maximum ransom capped.
- AI armies strength hints are now visible near the player and not on the entire map. New 'Recon' skill that affects this distance will be added in a next patch.

Product Update - Valve
Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades Update 2.2.4 Released

Major
-Several quest errors fixed, mostly in "Intercepting Foragers" and "Reaching the Rally Point".
-Lords in "Reaching the Rally Point" move normally after your conversation with Landmeister.
-Battle statistics window fixed (sometimes it showed wrong enemy army information).
-Game crash after saving on strategic map fixed.
-Possible game crash after saving on tactic map fixed.
-Rare game camera crash on tactic map fixed.

Improvements
-Huge performance increase on certain PC configurations: GTX video cards + Microsoft® Windows® 7 operating system (other cards may benefit from this as well)
-Pathfinding on strategic map is improved, armies will find a way around towns and other obstacles quicker.
-Tactical battle lighting presets were corrected to reduce blur and glare.
-Improved tactical map generation
-High hills are not used when generating northern valleys
-Probability of autumn maps generation increased from 15 to 25%.

Game process and minor changes
-Costs of replenishing losses are reduced for sergeants (-25%) and knights (-16%).
-Bandits aggression is reduced if the player's army is weak.
-Enemy will demand a smaller ransom if the player's army is significantly weaker. Ransom is not increased until player reaches level 6.
-"Destroying the Foragers' Camp" quest improved slightly. Enemy army now heads to Matowy only after you receive a message.
-A dialog screen in "Destroying the Foragers' Camp" can not be closed incorrectly.
-A victory screen after plundering a village can not be closed incorrectly.
-Changes in texts.
-You can't close a start screen incorrectly to avoid battle, and penalty for retreat.
-Before you start the siege, town\castle lord may engage you in the field.
-AI armies replenishing fixed. Winner restores most part of the army.
-Robbers' bands are restored.
-Garrisons of captured towns\castles\settlements are restored.
-Extortion is changed. If you consider opponent is too strong, and close battle window, you'll have to offer ransom.
-Estimate strength of enemy forces in tooltips changed.
-Upgrading costs were changed, upgrade to sergeants and knights now costs more, mounted archers cost much more.
-Icons of settlements added to economy and diplomacy map overlays.
-Army consumes food after a battle.
-Army does not consume food while stationary.
-Prussian lords now can hire more sergeants (since they don't have access to knights).
-Reserves will no longer disappear in assault battles.
-Numerous cosmetic fixes and improvements in the campaign.
-Faction relations changes are now shown in log.
-Retreat penalty added. Retreating army will suffer losses.
-Real price of hiring professional and elite units now matches description.
-Now auto-resolving a plunder engagement will give you trophies.
-Enemy army losses are now taken into account for determining earned experience and trophies after a battle.
-New diplomatic conversation option added to freeplay - "Personal insult".
-Amount of food left is now shown on the main screen (next to commander's level, money and battle experience).
-Commander skill window now appears automatically after gaining a level.
Announcement - Valve
Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades is now available for Pre-purchase on Steam!

Pre-purchase today and receive 10% off plus a free copy of Real Warfare: 1242 to start playing now.

Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades takes place during the key events in the history of the Teutonic Order during the 13th century when they conquered pagan Prussia. The battles form a single storyline campaign. You play a Komtur of the Teutonic Order and relive the battles of the Crusaders against strong resistance of the heathens.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Andrew Smee)
Those men, they do like a good war. But what, if anything, is armed conflict good for? It’s good for modding tool updates, that’s what. 1C Company have just released an update to Men of War: Vietnam, focusing on balance issues and ever-popular mod support. A tough game on release, even the mighty brains of [...]
Oct 28, 2011
Community Announcements - nike-it
1C Company announced today the newest update to Men of War: Vietnam. The new update adds full editing capabilities to this latest addition in the multiple award-winning Men of War series.

Players can create their own scenarios and maps, opening virtually unlimited possibilities for customization and mod support. Players can also share their creations with others freely adding infinitely more ways to play the game.

Additionally, this update lowers game difficulty on Easy and Normal levels, allowing less experienced players a way to conquer Vietnam. Both campaigns will likewise be available from the start of the game allowing new players a choice from the beginning who they want to fight. The update will also eliminate possible de-synchronization issues in multiplayer between different versions of the game to allow for easier Co-op action in the jungles.

Customers who bought or activated the game on Steam will see their hard-earned in-game achievements are now synchronized with Steam’s achievements, while owners of Men of War: Vietnam Special Edition will also benefit from fixes to the bonus missions available in their version of the game.
You can find full list of changes 1C Company announced today the newest update to Men of War: Vietnam. The new update adds full editing capabilities to this latest addition in the multiple award-winning Men of War series.

Players can create their own scenarios and maps, opening virtually unlimited possibilities for customization and mod support. Players can also share their creations with others freely adding infinitely more ways to play the game.

Additionally, this update lowers game difficulty on Easy and Normal levels, allowing less experienced players a way to conquer Vietnam. Both campaigns will likewise be available from the start of the game allowing new players a choice from the beginning who they want to fight. The update will also eliminate possible de-synchronization issues in multiplayer between different versions of the game to allow for easier Co-op action in the jungles.

Customers who bought or activated the game on Steam will see their hard-earned in-game achievements are now synchronized with Steam’s achievements, while owners of Men of War: Vietnam Special Edition will also benefit from fixes to the bonus missions available in their version of the game.
You can find full list of changes here.
Oct 17, 2011
Eurogamer


A new XIII game launches on Mac, PC and iOS systems in November, publisher Anuman Interactive has announced.


It's unclear whether the title, called XIII: Lost Identity, has any connection with Ubisoft's 2003 GameCube/PS2/Xbox "flawed masterpiece".


No gameplay details have been released yet, but we're chasing Anuman to see if we can find out more.


For the uninitiated, XIII started life as a Bourne Identity-esque Belgian comic book series following a mysterious protagonist suffering from amnesia as he attempts to find out what happened to him.

...

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