We've seen our share of Humble Indie Bundles over the past year or two—independent developers who gather under the "Humble" brand and release a bunch of their games priced at whatever people want to pay.

The latest one, Humble Bundle #4, might be the best one yet—for any price you want, you can get Super Meat Boy, Bit. Trip Runner, Jamestown, Shank and Nightsky. Pay more than the average price (currently tracking at $4.61 on the Humble Bundle site), you get Cave Story + and Gratuitous Space Battles as well.

There's no shortage of gaming to be done this December, but these are all great games, for a great price. And not only will you be supporting indie devs, you'll have the option to give money to either the American Red Cross or Child's Play.

Check out their (endearingly cheesy and reference-laden) trailer above. It's funny, I was quoting that bit from The Rock all last weekend for some reason.

Humble Indie Bundle #4 [Humblebundle.com]

PC Gamer
Alan Wake
Some inquisitive fellows on NeoGaf have been raiding the Steam content registry for clues, and seem to have come across some entries suggesting that that Alan Wake may be heading to PC.

In further support of the Alan Wake PC release rumours, Just Push Start spotted an interview on Finnish site YLEX in which Aki Järvilehto from Remedy said "we have received feedback from a lot of PC gamers, and I have to admit that yes, we somehow ignored that. Let’s see if in the near future we could have some positive news to tell you about dating!" We love positive news about dating!

Way back in 2006, Alan Wake was the poster boy for Intel's Core 2 Duo CPU, and was regularly demoed on PC to show off its multi-threading tech. Then, all of a sudden, it became an Xbox 360 exclusive, and the PC version vanished. As a PC version was worked on heavily in the run up to its release, it theoretically shouldn't be too hard to resurrect it for a Steam release. It'd coincide nicely with the downloadable Alan Wake follow up story, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, which is heading to the Xbox 360 early next year.

It's not just Alan Wake haunting the Steam registry files. DIY Gamer have spotted evidence of a very tasty new Humble Bundle. The registry entry suggests that a new bundle may include Super Meat Boy, BIT.TRIP.RUNNER, Jamestown, Nightsky and Shank as a starting lineup, with Gratuitous Space Battles and Cave Story+ to be added after the bundle has kicked off. If accurate, that's a fantastic collection. How much would you pay for that bundle, and would you like to see Alan Wake come to Steam?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

He approves. Of meat.

Details of the next Humble Indie Bundle have once more leaked, because Steam’s Content Description Record Viewer Thingamie is so ludicrously easy for people to spy. And it looks like it’s going to be a bit of a corker, as spotted by DIY Gamer. In the pay-what-you-want collection it seems there will be Super Meat Boy, BIT.TRIP.RUNNER, Jamestown, Nightsky and Shank. That’s the first wave, and then there’s even better to get added in.


PC Gamer

What would the word be like in a hundred years time if the leaders of the major nations in The Great War never called it a day. There would be gratuitous giant robots, of course, tanks, trenches, laser beams and huge flamethrower towers at strategic intervals. See all of these in action in the latest trailer for Gratuitous Tanks Battles, spotted over on RPS.

It's predecessor, Gratuitous Space Battles almost destroyed Tom Hatfield's brain with its build-focused brand of strategy. GSB was all about tailoring the set up of each of your ships. Once they were in battle, they acted on their own, and all you could do was sit back and see how your carefully laid plans played out. Gratuitous Tanks Battles will require more involvement. As a defending player, you must place and upgrade your defensive towers sensibly to repel the waves of enemy tanks. As an attacker, you have to choose set up your forces, choose their routes through the battlefield and focus their fire.

Creator Cliff Harris also mentions on the Gratuitous Tank Battles site that "a built-in map editor will allow easy sharing of custom maps and defensive challenges with other GTB players in a similar fashion to GSB's challenge system." Which is great news unless you happen to be Hatfield's brain. The trailer says it's out "soon-ish," the site says it'll be out before the end of this year.
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Gratuitous Space Battles have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

- Bug Fix; Fixed campaign crash bug where you fought a battle with multiple fleets, captured enemy ships but your first fleet was lost.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Lots of people think ivy is a parasite. It isn't.

Observant eyes may have noticed that there’s a new expansion out for Gratuitous Space Battles, the fleet building slice of indie goodness from Positech. While this fresh bit of DLC doesn’t add any new game modes, it does add 10 new ships, three new pieces of equipment and a new scenario. The new ships belong to the titular Parasites faction, who sound very unpleasant indeed. Swanning around the galaxy looking for host species to grow their larvae in? It’s not on. There’s a trailer showing some particularly gratuitous space battles below and a new pic from Positech’s upcoming Gratuitous Tank Battles for your eyes to look at.


Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% off Gratuitous Space Battles. DLC and the Gratuitous Space Battles Complete Pack!

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

PC Gamer
Positech Games, the one man studio behind Kudos, Democracy and Gratuitous Space Battles, has announced its newest title, Gratuitous Tank Battles. Set in an alternate future where a war has been raging for 200 years, the game promises "It'll all be over by Christmas 2114."

“I suppose what I really want is Blackadder Goes Forth with lasers,” said Cliff Harris, the man behind Positech, speaking to RockPaperShotgun. The official website claims "Soldiers still fight in the trenches of the Somme, although rifles have (mostly) become laser rifles and giant armored mechs stride across no-mans land."

Gratuitous Space Battles saw players customising a fleet of ships with instructions and loadouts before seeing how they would perform in a hands off battle. Gratuitous Tank Battles looks set to build upon the previous game's successes while offering a significantly different experience. GSB's emphasis on customisation and sharing your unique fleets with other players will return. Positech are also planning to introduce visual customisation to units and editable maps. Significant differences include asymmetrical warfare. Players can switch between defending - which will play a bit like a tower defence game, and attackers who will outfit and direct the men attacking.

Above all Gratuitous Tank Battles promises to involve games on the same massive scale as it's predecessor, with Harris telling RockPaperShotgun “I hate how usually these games start so slowly, with just a couple of units, or one tower. What you want is hundreds of units right away, and therefore hundreds of explosions. That just makes for a better game.”

Gratuitous Tank Battles is slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Product Update - Valve
An update for Gratuitous Space Battles has been released. The update will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

  • Performance: Freed up memory usage of challenge list now once you quit the challenge list screen.
  • Bug Fix: Hopefully a final fix for the unclickable buttons and occasional flicker at the top of the screen in fullscreen mode on certain video cards.
  • Mod Support: You can now have a comma-separated list of randomly picked weapon sounds in module files.
  • Mod Support: Module stacking effectiveness can now be positive values (>1.0) and this value is no shown in the GUI alongside everything else.
  • [campaign] Support for extra maps for the campaign.
  • [campaign] Rebalancing of campaign game to make it easier overall and start with higher resources
  • [campaign] Fixed corrupt data in new ships log entries. Existing entries may remain corrupt though.
  • [campaign] Added 3 new maps!
PC Gamer

Gratuitous Space Battles provides a hands-off take on massive space battles. You customise your entire fleet, right down to the weapons and shields on each ship, and then set them up in formation and set them loose on the enemy. It combines chin-stroking strategic planning with explosive space-blam on a massive scale. The latest expansion adds new graphics, a single player campaign that lets you fight fleets designed by other players, and the ability to capture enemy ships.

Here's a list of the new features added by the latest expansion.

Mid-battle fleet-wide 'retreat' option
Post-battle repairs
You can scrap ships to reclaim the crew and a part of the construction cost
Shipyards, in 3 different sizes
Factories produce cash, academies produce crew
Repair yards fix your ships after battle
Enemy ships can be captured once victory is declared
Loyalty and threat levels modelled for each of your worlds
Attack and move fleets between systems only through established hyperspace wormholes
Three difficulty settings, to suit all levels of player
New campaign-specific manual to instruct would-be galactic conquerors
New campaign music
'Massively singleplayer' feature pits you against fleets designed by other players
Lots of new background graphics and planets to fight over
Spatial anomalies force you to fight some battles in adverse conditions, or with limited ship choices

The expansion's available now on Steam and from the Positech Games site. For more on the game, head over to the Gratuitous Space Battles site. If you like the idea of massive space battles without fiddly mid-battle micromanagement you might want to check out the demo.

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