Shacknews - Jeff Mattas

On this week's episode of Weekend Confirmed, hosts Garnett Lee and Jeff Cannata are joined by "Indie" Jeff Mattas and Machinima's Andrea Rene. This time out, everyone heads up a segment of the show. Andrea kicks things off with some Disney Infinity discussion, Garnett talks about CES 2013 and the magic of 4K televisions, Mattas starts a chat about the recent legislative action surrounding video game violence, and Cannata shares some positive impressions about the Path of Exile closed beta. Finishing Moves puts a bow on it all, and is followed by another playoff edition of the post-show NFL TailGate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 148: 1/18/2013

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 148 directly.

Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 - 00:00:34 - 00:28:37

    Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1 - 00:29:58 - 00:59:30

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 01:00:11 - 01:30:18

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News - 01:30:56 - 02:04:03

    Tailgate: 02:04:47 â€" 02:12:00

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Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

Andrea Rene @andrearene

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, Club Tipsy on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter @delriomusic.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Zany bosses are a hallmark of the Metal Gear series, so while Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may spin-off in a wildly different, stabby direction, rest assured that you'll still get to duff up some right proper weirdos. A new Japanese trailer from publisher Konami shows off a selection of the bosses Raiden will be cutting up, including a very handy lady, a pre-sliced chap, and some big fella wot hit things wiv swords.

In addition, developer Platinum Games, of Bayonetta and Vanquish fame, shared armfuls of concept art for Mistral in a recent blog post, showing the evolution of her design.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance comes to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on February 19. The demo will be opened up to all and sundry next week, after months as exclusive bonus in the Zone of the Enders HD Collection.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The long-coming indie game Antichamber has scored a release date. The game is coming January 31 on Steam. The title is a "psychological exploration" game, in which perception can't always be trusted.

The game features Escher-like visuals with impossible physics that wrap around themselves. Navigating your way through with a gun that can create, destroy, or manipulate matter makes for some unique puzzles. It comes from indie developer Alexander Bruce, and has been the recipient of more than 25 awards and honors from various festivals. Last April it scored Indie Fund backing.

"Creating Antichamber was a journey that took me around the world and deep within myself, through an emotional rollercoaster with the highs of award ceremonies and the lows of going a little bit insane," Bruce said in the announcement. "After several years of obsessively watching people play and trying to get inside their minds, refining and then watching some more, this is what I've discovered, and it's finally time to share that with the world."

Shacknews - Steve Watts

As the political dialogue on video game violence continues in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, state representatives are starting to propose and draft legislation that would place restrictions on the game industry. One proposal would tax violent video games, while a drafted House bill would ban the sale of Adults Only or Mature-rated games to minors.

The AP (via Joystiq) reports that Representative Diane Franklin (R-MO) is proposing a 1% sales tax on violent video games, the proceeds of which would then be put towards law enforcement. This is similar to an Oklahoma bill that was defeated in a state house subcommittee last year.

Meanwhile, a new bill from Jim Matheson (D-UT), HR-287 (PDF), would require ratings labels on games, and restrict retailers from selling AO or M-rated games below their respective age recommendations of 18 or 17. Failure to comply with any part of the law would result in a fine up to $5,000 per violation. While the ESRB already exists to voluntarily rates games as a bit of self-regulation for the industry, the bill would make it a legal requirement.

If this all sounds incredibly familiar, it's because the Supreme Court struck down a similar state law from California in 2011. The state law would have imposed its own standards for what qualified as a violent game, so HR-287 wouldn't have that problem. But the SCOTUS' ruling was couched in the First Amendment, stating outright that "the basic principles of freedom of speech do not vary" based on the medium. So if this bill passes into law, it would likely be challenged in court.

To some extent the game industry is battling public perception. A NBC/WSJ News Poll (PDF) released last night showed 62% of respondents claiming violent media like movies and video games hold at least "a good amount" of responsibility for shootings like the ones in Tuscon and Newtown. By comparison, availability of guns and other weapons in general was only believed to be responsible at 53%, and availability of assault firearms was at 59%. This echoes Vice President Biden's recent comments that public opinion may be against the game industry.

Shacknews - John Keefer

It's been a long time coming, but it appears that DLC for The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is finally coming to PlayStation 3 next month, at a discount no less, starting with Dragonborn. Oh, and PC folks will get Dragonborn in February as well.

While the PC version will be coming on February 5, no date has been associated with the PS3 release except February, according to the Bethesda Blog. The order of the content will be the 1.8 patch first, then Dragonborn, Hearthfire and finally Dawnguard. All are due next month, pending localization and approval from Sony.

To ease the pain of the long delay, all of the DLC will be offered at a 50 percent discount during the launch week on the PlayStation Network.

Now you PS3 folks can really get excited by this trailer:

Shacknews - Steve Watts

SimCity isn't coming until March 5, so you'll have to wait for the flowers to bud before you can start your urban layouts. But you might get your chance to play a snippet of the game as early as next weekend, when the beta kicks off.

You can register for the beta now. According to an SimCity's Twitter, the beta will start next Friday, January 25, and last through Monday, January 28. It will feature a "one hour slice" of the game, but the announcement isn't clear on just how many eager city planners will get in on this round of beta invites. March is still quite a while away, though, so it seems likely we'll see more waves coming leading up to launch.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

One day, you'll be able to download groceries through Steam, ingesting the nutrients through a Steam Port at the base of your spine. While Valve is forever expanding the platform in pleasing ways, it's not quite there yet. Still, you can now read and write game guides on Steam, hosted on the Steam Community. This'll likely tie into the hints we've seen of in-game Dota 2 guides, then.

Everyone Steam accounts can write Steam Guides for any software on Steam, jamming in images, videos or tables to make it all shiny like. The Steam Overlay now has a section for guides so you can quickly check things in-game, or you can casually browse from any game's Community Hub.

It seems Valve will tie guides in deeper to some games, though. Dota data digger Cyborgmatt's latest patch rummage shows hooks for pop-up guides with tabs for skill builds and suggested items. Given how complex the game is, it's a fine idea to help players learn 'new' heroes. It's not hard to imagine this being rolled into the Steamworks API for all developers to use if they fancy.

In this rapidly-changing guide environment, I just don't know what to do with my million-dollar idea of having Shakira write a video game tips column named My Tips Don't Lie. Gutted.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The new Tomb Raider reboot takes Lara back to a simpler time when she was less self-assured and getting regularly shot at and impaled. Developer Crystal Dynamics doesn't want to tip its hand on any of those foundational moments, so it won't be offering a demo for the game.

"There are no plans to release a demo of the game pre-launch," global brand director Karl Stewart said on Twitter (via IGN). "We don't want to spoil the story." He also noted reservations in having players experience a little bit of story in the demo, then wait a while before being able to continue.

Later, responding to fan questions, he also dispelled any notion of an online pass for the game. This will be the first Tomb Raider title to feature multiplayer, which lends itself to downloadable content, but apparently Crystal D doesn't plan to ask fans to pay a bulk sum for all of it up-front.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Now that Dota 2 is up to a whopping 96 characters, it's a fair bet that a good proportion of them are something of a mystery to most of its 3 million players. To help introduce you to a few more, without the fear of being stomped by people playing their best heroes, Valve added a new mode in yesterday's weekly patch that forces everyone to choose one of their least-played Doters.

'Least Played Mode' disables each player's top 20 heroes with the most wins so they have to pick a character they don't play very often, or at least are not very good at. "Having an even playing field for everyone in the match will hopefully encourage players to break out of their comfort zone and try new heroes," Valve said in a blog post.

The patch also brought goodies including bug fixes and bots for Warlock and Drow Ranger. It adds a lot to the Dota 2 Steam Workshop tools too. Industrious community creators can now make couriers and wards, and items for Centaur Warrunner, Batrider, Mirana, Keeper of the Light, Shadow Demon, and Slark, with a shot at getting them into the game.

Dota 2 is still technically in closed beta, though it's a pretty large-scale one as Valve also revealed yesterday that it sees "over 3 million unique players every month." If you know someone in the beta, they probably have a spare invite or two, or you can buy an early access package which includes loads of cosmetic items for the free-to-play game.

Shacknews - Tyler J. Smith

Thursday, January 17, 2013 ends on a quiet note with Late Night Computing.

Yeah, yeah, it's only Thursday and I've already run out of things to discuss. You'll have to excuse my brain, I guess, since its decided to take the day off. It's out running errands in the snow while I sit here and stare at my screen like a zombie for some reason.

News bits:

  • Next Media Animation discovers the Manti Te'o story, and does what they do they best. [via Youtube]

  • San Jose State University will partner with Udacity to provide low cost, online accredited college courses. [via SFGate]

  • The inside story of the development and future of the Raspberry Pi, which has sold over 700,000 units since its debut. [via ZDNet]

  • Nate Silver looks at the forces driving the government's monumental debt. The results are pretty much what you'd expect. [via New York Times]

  • Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is grounded at airports around the world, all thanks to a faulty battery. [via Wired]

Chatty posts of the moment:

Make sure you log-in and check your filters if you can't see the following:

  • "I keep seeing Planescape: Torment on everyone's best game list and whatnot. I've never played it.

    Is it something that will stand up to the test of time or is everyone running on nostalgia?

    If I started today, would it be awful on a modern computer?" [by boarder2]

  • "One thing I dislike about Fallout: New Vegas which I think someone posted about here recently: it really discourages exploration in the early stages of the game. Every time I try to wander away from the main storyline, I end up in a cave full of deathclaws or something equally nasty and my companions will die before I can get away.

    Also, the inventory management in this game is terrible.

    Those are really my only two complaints however, I'm really enjoying the game otherwise." [by Captain Loco]

Nightly file:

  • One Late Night free game 1.0. "One Late Night is a short immersive horror-game experience, starring an unnamed graphic designer employee, working late one night at the office, until strange things start to happen. The basic idea is that players who have been in similar situations, and worked with similar office jobs, will relate themselves to the game setting and scenario and become immersed. Even if you can't relate to the game storyline, you will still get a good experience. The storyline is presented with short monologues, displaying the thoughts of the player, as you need to perform certain tasks to proceed in the game to continue discover new clues about what's going on. Use your surroundings to your advantage and hide under desks and in corners to avoid being taken by the ghost which haunts the office. Survive the night and find as many clues as you can about the threat." Download the free game for Windows here, or DirectX 11 version for Windows here.


The Showdown Effect movie trailer-trailer:

Blow stuff up with a few of your new favorite action heroes in The Showdown Effect from Paradox and Arrowhead.

MLB 13: The Show reveals changes to its Diamond Dynasty mode in a new trailer, Wargame: European Escalation comes to the Mac in a celebratory trailer, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist unveils its Inauguration trailer.