Warhammer 40K MMORPG Revealed at E3 (TenTonHammer.com)

While we’re currently experiencing a strong sci-fi MMORPG showing (Firefall, SWTOR, Defiance, Marvel Heroes, several new announcements for Xbox One and PS4, etc.), it’ll be interesting to see the niche War40K: EC can carve out for itself by the time it launches “End of 2015”. End of 2015? Two-and-a-half years? Dang. That’s longer than I have to wait for an Asian MMORPG to be Westernized and released in the US. Insert sad face here.

Currently the official website shows development is on “Phase 1: Game is Announced” and there are eight more phases to go, with Phase 2 “coming soon”. Thus far, you can choose one of four races (all shown below) and enroll, posting to Facebook or Twitter to show your support and the race you selected. War 40K: EC will offer “3rd Person, Persistent Online Action in the first MMORPG of the 41st Millennium”.

Read on for the full scoop about Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade!

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IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE
THERE IS ONLY WAR

Chaos

Chaos

If your hopes for a Warhammer 40k MMO were extinguished with THQ’s fire sale of Dark Millenium Online, one of the first announcements of E3 (that’s E3 proper, not pre-E3 Xbox One day or the other jump-the-gun events) may get you fired up.

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade marks the first MMO for Behaviour (that is, unless we’re counting Sims 3), and the first game since Wet (which, coupled with the possibly orgasmic female on the cover, never fails to bring out my nerd giggles) that has my immediate attention. And even without a glitchy presentation at yesterday’s Microsoft circus, it is apparently coming to the Xbox One.

The show floor hasn’t even been open for 30 minutes and this might qualify as the MMO surprise of the event. While our E3 away team wrangles for an appointment, here’s the full press release:


Join the Eternal Crusade™ starting in 2015

A new Warhammer® 40,000® MMORPG revealed.

Space Marines

Space Marines

Montreal, 11th June, 2013 – Behaviour Interactive and Games Workshop® proudly announce a new online game in the Warhammer® 40,000® universe: Warhammer 40,000: Eternal CrusadeBehaviour Interactive has obtained the rights to create a wholly new MMORPG persistent war experience for PC, PS4 and Xbox One set in Games Workshop’s universe of the 41st Millennium. In the game, players choose a Warhammer 40,000 race and fight directly as one of their warriors in massive conflicts for territory. It will be up to each faction’s community to determine their own destiny as they vie for control of an entire planet.

“I am thrilled to announce what will finally be the first MMORPG based on the “Warhammer 40,000 license,” said Miguel Caron, Head of Studio, Online at Behaviour Interactive.“ Eternal Crusade’s team are all MMO development veterans and with the support of Behaviour’s 20+ years of experience this is going to be the online Warhammer 40,000 universe game that fans have been dreaming of for years!”

Eldar

Eldar

“Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is the second milestone in Behaviours new online strategic positioning after last year’s Star Citizen Announcement.” said Rémi Racine, President and Executive Producer of Behaviour. “We are very happy with the progress of the online studio and you should expect more similar announcements to come.”

“The depth, breadth and sheer level of detail that the Warhammer 40,000 universe has after 26 years of continuous development makes it one of the great fantasy settings of our times.” said Jon Gillard, Head of Licensing at Games Workshop. “Experiencing the thrill of first hand combat in this world of eternal conflict, with thousands of other players beside you, will be fantastic.”

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is currently in development for PC, PS4, and Xbox One and will release in late 2015.

Main features of the game include:

    • Experience the gameworld with 3rd-person, behind the shoulder action featuring precision gunplay and brutal melee combat with excruciating finishers;
    • Participate in a persistent online war to conquer the planet, its fate completely in the hands of the players;
    Orks

    Orks

    • Become a warrior from one of four initial factions, each unique and opposed to one another: Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orks and Eldar.
    • Participate in truly massive conflicts that simultaneously bring thousands of players to bear over territories and other strategic resources.
    • Get behind the controls of Space Marine Rhinos, Predators, Ork Battlewagons and other iconic vehicles of the 41st millennium;
    • Hack through genuinely challenging procedural content alongside your battle-brothers and never have the same experience twice;
    • Earn the right to customize your builds in a deep progression system drawing on the rich Warhammer 40,000 universe.
    • Found a Battle Squad with friends and prepare for conflict from your customized shared space in orbit – then drop down to the planet together and seek out glory!

    Original TenTonHammer.com Article

Amazon Launches Indie Game Store (InformationWeek.com)

This is pretty interesting, mainly because “Other app store operators, namely Apple and Google, also take steps to help game makers market their titles, but Amazon’s effort appears to be the most promising for indies because it excludes the big companies that tend to claim the lion’s share of attention.” The Amazon site already has a few hundred games you can download and play.

Given PAX has been a thriving venue for indie games and gamers, it’ll be great to see how Amazon can expand that over the next couple of years, especially since they’re both headquartered in Seattle, WA.

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Amazon Launches Indie Games Store

By helping emerging gaming studios find an audience, Amazon is buying itself goodwill in the developer community.

Attempting to address one of the largest obstacles facing independent game developers, Amazon.com on Thursday launched an Indie Games Store to help game buyers discover the work of emerging game makers.

“Discoverability” has become a major issue for small game studios, which typically do not have the marketing resources to build public awareness that their games exist amid the hundreds of apps being released in app stores and on the Web every day.

“Powerhouse game studios don’t hold a monopoly on inventiveness or creativity, and some of the best games of all time were created on a shoestring by two or three people with a shared vision,” explains Peter Heinrich, technical evangelist at Amazon.com, in a blog post. “It’s hard to get noticed, though. If you’re an indie game developer, it’s usually a headache to get your game in front of people, both gamers and reviewers. Amazon recognizes this.”

The Indie Games Store itself could be a bit more discoverable: It’s visible from the Digital Games menu on the Amazon.com website, but not from the higher level section, Video Games. It’s accessible directly from a fairly obvious URL, however: www.amazon.com/indiegames.

The Indie Games Store exists, as Heinrich puts it, “to specifically help indie game developers with promoting their PC, Mac and browser-based games while helping gamers discover a large and growing selection of innovative indie games.”

Mobile games need not apply, which is probably for the best since there are so many of them — filtering and discoverability may just be two sides of the same coin.

Valve’s Steam already does a pretty good job of providing exposure to titles from smaller game companies. But perhaps there’s room for competition.

Some of the game companies represented in the Indie Games Store aren’t exactly the sort of shoestring operations described by Heinrich. Double Fine, for example, was founded more than a decade ago and has about five dozen employees. It’s a bit beyond the indie stereotype of a programmer or two working out of an apartment, fueled by credit card debt and caffeine.

But there are also companies that hew closer to the traditional indie image: Gaijin Games and Subset Games, for example.

An Amazon.com spokeswoman said the following factors are considered in determining whether a game studio qualifies for the Indie Game Store: 1) whether the studio refers to itself as an indie; 2) the size of the studio — indies typically have less than 50 and more likely less than 10 people; 3) the price of the game, typically under $20; 4) financial backing, which indies usually don’t have; and 5) the publishing model — indies usually self-publish.

In conjunction with the launch of the Indie Game Store, Amazon is introducing several promotions to encourage customers to consider indie games. These include:

— Indie Spotlight, a Web page Q&A that promotes one indie developer every week;
— Indie Bundles, packaged sets of five, six or 10 games for $9.99, which are likely to do more for recognition than revenue;
— Gift with Purchase, through which buyers of indie games will receive codes to redeem for three pre-selected titles, for free; and
— Indie Gamer’s Choice, a contest in which game players vote on which of two competing game makers should be featured in the store.

Other app store operators, namely Apple and Google, also take steps to help game makers market their titles, but Amazon’s effort appears to be the most promising for indies because it excludes the big companies that tend to claim the lion’s share of attention.

Original Article at Information Week

Flight of the Mind Controlled Robot: University of Minnesota

Okay, this is really nerdy and techy and AWESOME! 🙂

http://www1.umn.edu/news/features/2013/UR_CONTENT_444147.html?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=uofmn&utm_campaign=social-media

How thoughts can control a flying robot

It’s a staple of science fiction: people who can control objects with their minds.

At the University of Minnesota, a new technology is turning that fiction into reality.

In the lab of biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several young people have learned to use their thoughts to steer a flying robot around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring.

The technology, pioneered by He, may someday allow people robbed of speech and mobility by neurodegenerative diseases to regain function by controlling artificial limbs, wheelchairs, or other devices. And it’s completely noninvasive: Brain waves (EEG) are picked up by the electrodes of an EEG cap on the scalp, not a chip implanted in the brain.

A report on the technology has been published in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

“My entire career is to push for noninvasive 3-D brain-computer interfaces, or BCI,” says He, a faculty member in the College of Science and Engineering. “[Researchers elsewhere] have used a chip implanted into the brain’s motor cortex to drive movement of a cursor [across a screen] or a robotic arm. But here we have proof that a noninvasive BCI from a scalp EEG can do as well as an invasive chip.”

Mapping the brain

He’s BCI system works thanks to the geography of the motor cortex—the area of the cerebrum that governs movement. When we move, or think about a movement, neurons in the motor cortex produce tiny electric currents. Thinking about a different movement activates a new assortment of neurons.

Sorting out these assortments laid the groundwork for the BCI, says He.

“We were the first to use both functional MRI and EEG imaging to map where in the brain neurons are activated when you imagine movements,” he says. “So now we know where the signals will come from.”

The brain map showed that imagining making fists—with one hand or the other or both—produced the most easily distinguished signals.

“This knowledge about what kinds of signals are generated by what kind of motion imagination helps us optimize the design of the system to control flying objects in real time,” He explains.

Tapping the map

Monitoring electrical activity from the brain, the 64 scalp electrodes of the EEG cap report the signals (or lack of signals) they detect to a computer, which translates the pattern into an electronic command. Volunteers first learned to use thoughts to control the 1-D movement of a cursor on a screen, then 2-D cursor movements and 3-D control of a virtual helicopter.

Now it’s the real deal, controlling an actual flying robot—formally, an AR [augmented reality] drone. He’s computers interface with the WiFi controls that come with the robot; after translating EEG brain signals into a command, the computer sends the command to the robot by WiFi.

Future directions

The journal article describes how five men and women learned to guide the flying robot. The first author is Karl LaFleur, who was a senior biomedical engineering student during the study.

“Working for Dr. He has been a phenomenal experience,” says LaFleur, who plans to put his knowledge to use when he enters the U’s Medical School next year. “He has so much experience with the scientific process, and he is excellent at helping his students learn this process while allowing them room for independent work. Being an author on a first-person journal article is a huge opportunity that most undergraduates never get.”

“I think the potential for BCI is very broad,” says He. “Next, we want to apply the flying robot technology to help disabled patients interact with the world.

“It may even help patients with conditions like stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. We’re now studying some stroke patients to see if it’ll help rewire brain circuits to bypass damaged areas.”

Contact the writer at morri029@umn.edu

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