Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.

Fugitive campaign lifts off

Posted by Erin Marcon On Wednesday 7 January 2015Comments Off
“I sure hope this next planet has a toilet on it.”

“I sure hope this next planet has a toilet on it.”

While some of the hype surrounding crowd funding has abated, Kickstarter continues to be a popular option for small and medium sized developers. Fugitive Games, which features veterans of the Battlefield, Lost Planet and Shadows of the Damned sagas, is the latest outfit to ask ordinary gamers to bankroll their endeavours.

According to Fugitive, Into the Stars with challenge you to maintain “your ship and lead your crew, mine resources and discover mysterious relics, trade or battle with alien ships all while staying one step ahead of a pursuing force.” Try not to get too attached to your unique crew members as you scour the galaxy. Each is vulnerable to permadeath.

Among the game’s key selling points is an original score by Mass Effect composer Jack Wall.

The developer is asking for US $85,000 to polish the game, which it claims has already “come a long way”. After just a few days of campaigning, the project has already attracted more than half of the required funds.

Into the Stars is due to arrive on PC and Mac in July.

Potential Far Cry futures revealed

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Tuesday 6 January 2015Comments Off
The world’s most badass boy band.

The world’s most badass boy band.

While many developers remain passionate about pursuing their own artistic goals, there are also creative (not to mention financial) incentives to respond to the demands of an increasingly engaged audience. The notion that players have a real role to play in determining the output of major studios was reinforced this week with the emergence of the latest Ubisoft user survey, this time centred around the future of the Far Cry series of open world action games.

Each game in the series has featured a different location and a fresh set of goons to overcome. As revealed by Eurogamer, Ubisoft is seeking user input on future settings and scenarios. If the options presented in the survey can be taken at face value, a future Far Cry game could take place in the old west or even a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Players could even be asked to take on hordes of zombies, vampires or dinosaurs.

The question is: will any of these options be part of a core Far Cry experience like Far Cry 4, or will they pop up in a downloadable spinoff a la Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon?

Xbox now boasting extra grunt?

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 5 January 2015Comments Off
If you look closely, you can almost see the extra power.

If you look closely, you can almost see the extra power.

While the original Xbox was the 400 pound gorilla of the console world (both in terms of graphical power and physical size), Microsoft’s latest hardware offering is considered by some to be a relative lightweight. Industry insiders have long speculated that the machine’s focus on gesture and voice based usability left the Xbox One at a disadvantage. It has now emerged that Microsoft recently took steps to address this issue.

Xbox One developers have traditionally had access to six cores, with a further two allocated to the background operating system. It has emerged, via a Eurogamer report based on leaked documentation, that developers are now able to take advantage of 50-80% of one of the two system cores. In order to make use of the additional power, developers will not be able to incorporate certain gesture and voice based Kinect functions.

Given the lack of attention that the Kinect has received from the majority of developers, this news is likely to be well received by many.

Test Tube – Vainglory

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Sunday 4 January 2015Comments Off


Welcome to Test Tube. Not to be confused with our full reviews, these ‘two hour test’ articles see us tackle remakes, ports, expansions, mobile games and other titles of interest.

Available on iOS l Published by Super Evil Megacorp l Developed by Super Evil Megacorp l Classified PG l Supports multiple players

Vainglory caught my eye while I was idly browsing through the app store. It was in an editor’s choice list and the tag line proudly boasted that it was featured by Apple during their September 2014 keynote presentation. Although I am was not much of a MOBA player, I decided to check it out.

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