By Trekkies, for Trekkies: Star Trek Timelines Is in Good Hands

9 hours ago

Star Trek fans are among the most loyal and passionate in the entire spectrum of pop culture aficionados. That makes it all the more shameful that they’ve had their hearts broken by video game adaptations numerous times over the years.

A fan of the property himself, Disruptor Beam CEO Jon Radoff knows that it hasn’t always received the most love and care from game designers.

“Too many games have been made where they take some existing title, re-skin it, add a little Star Trek dust on top to make it look like Star Trek, and they ship it,” Radoff said to Gamezebo at PAX East. “Frankly, I think fans rightfully have some cynicism about these poor licensed products.”

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Awareness of that state of affairs is front and center in Radoff’s mind as his company gets set to boldly go into full scale development of its next game, Star Trek Timelines. The Boston-area studio announced the project recently and has revealed some of the initial details.

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Card Hunter gets its first expansion, Attack of the Artifacts, later this month

Apr 8, 2014

You may think you’ve conquered everything Card Hunter could throw at you, but the truth is that you’ve only bested all the challenges Blue Manchu’s RPG-meets-CCG-meets-tabletop game has offered up so far. An expansion called Attack of the Artifacts is on the way before the end of April, bringing with it new monsters from beneath the Black Plume Mountain to put even the savviest players to the test.

Creatures like Thought Munchers, Umber Bulks, Plant Pygmies and the awesome-sounding Sharkbear are waiting in Attack of the Artifacts’ new adventures. Naturally, there are also new cards and weapons to aid your cause, adding to the strategic options the game already has in abundance.

Fancy more PvP? The expansion introduces organized league play with new multiplayer boards and prizes ranging from Papa Manchu pizza (the in-game currency of the realm) to treasure chests and special figures. Maybe you’ll even earn more grudging respect from Melvin, but don’t get your hopes up.

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Card Hunter left me hungry for more when it debuted last year, so more content is welcome news -- and don’t forget, it’s coming to mobile too. There’s no information on a hard release date or a price (if any, as the base game is free-to-play), but seeing as we’re already more than a week into the month, it won’t be a long wait.

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Star Trek Timelines is the next game from Disruptor Beam

Apr 8, 2014

When Disruptor Beam hinted to us earlier this week that its next game would be based on an IP even bigger than the one featured in the title that put the studio on the map, Game of Thrones Ascent, the natural reaction was skepticism. What could be bigger than the show so popular it crashed HBO Go during its season 4 premiere last Sunday?

As it turns out, what the Boston-based developer really meant is that it’s working with a brand that has withstood the fickle, ever-changing winds of pop culture fandom for decades. Get ready to seek out new life and new civilizations online and on mobile devices, as the company’s next project is Star Trek Timelines.

Described as a strategy RPG like Game of Thrones Ascent – and made possible by a license from CBS Consumer Products – the new game will draw on characters from The Original Series all the way through to Enterprise in a story-driven voyage that challenges players to explore the galaxy the Star Trek way. That means assembling a ship, gathering a crew and determining whether combat, diplomacy or science is the proper solution to any given situation (Kirk may add seduction in there too).

If that’s not enough to pique the interest of your inner Trekkie or Trekker, consider that Disruptor Beam CEO Jon Radoff sounds every bit the kindred spirit.

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How the Games Industry Tried to Fool You Today

Apr 1, 2014

If you haven't already noticed, it's April Fool's Day. Whether you figured it out by now from a bogus news article, a text from your Uncle telling you he's won the lottery, or even or our shenanigans at Gamezebo, the day is celebrated around the world as a day of kind-hearted trickery. Like Halloween but with no treats, April Fool's Day is celebrated by pretty much everyone, —from the science industry to the snack industry, no one is safe.

Gamers are certainly not excluded from the fun, as evidenced by this huge list of pranks seen throughout the games industry today.

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Browser Pick: Lamp and Vamp

Mar 29, 2014

Earlier in the month, between March 8th and 16th to be exact, the Procedural Death Jam saw developers from all around the world come together with the common goal of producing games based around the Procedural Death Labrynth genre, formerly known as “roguelike-likes”. The two core rules involved with the game jam were that the game must feature procedural generation and permadeth. Over seventy games were produced and entered into the jam, and a handful of games walked away with awards.

Lamp and Vamp, developed by Globz, walked away from the jam with both Best Game and Best Art awards, and for good reason. Lamp and Vamp is an enjoyable strategy game where players must navigate a vampire to his coffin through a randomly generated neighborhood, while avoiding the local neighborhood watch, determined to catch them. Movement is based on a tile system, each turn the player can move to any adjacent tile, and the vampire hunters also move one tile. The catch is that the vampire hunters have torches and flashlights, and can see ahead. If the vampire is caught in the hunter's line-of-sight, all the hunters in the neighborhood will converge and attempt to corner the vampire, resulting in death.

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My Girl: The Video Game is a thing, because why not?

Mar 27, 2014

For a child star whose celebrity came and went in the blink of an eye, Macaulay Culkin saw his likeness in a surprising number of movie-based video games. Home Alone is pretty much a give in, and 1994’s The Pagemaster saw a home video game adaptation too.

But what about My Girl?

Somehow overlooked, this horribly tragic tale of young love (and SPOILER: death by bees) never got the video game spin-off it so sorely deserved. But now, thanks to the internet, it has.

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It’s a short experience, and probably in poor taste, but it made us laugh/cringe an equal amount. If My Girl broke your heart when you were 11, this browser game will let you relive your shock and horror all over again.

MyGirlTheGame.com. You’re welcome.

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Is Wall Street wary that King is going to be a one-hit wonder?

Mar 26, 2014

This quote from ever colorful CNBC personality Jim Cramer after King Digital stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier today should give you a hint:

"It's a Stephen King horror story," Cramer said. "It might be Misery, it could be even Cujo."

While there are plenty more (and better) puns that could be made from comparing the King IPO to the works of the master of horror, it’s clearly not been a good first day for the company best known as the developer of Candy Crush Saga. After pricing its stock at $22.50 a share, King Digital has seen its stock price fall to as low as $19.08 in its first morning of public trading. As I write this, it’s currently at $20.06 a share, down 10.8 percent on the day.

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Newsgames Hackathon wants to make journalism an interactive experience

Mar 25, 2014

“Gamification” is a dirty word. Most don’t mind seeing RPG elements worm their way into every genre of game, but mention doing it with fitness, learning, or your diet and those same people will likely roll their eyes.

Europe's first-ever Newsgames Hackathon stands a chance of changing that.

A “newsgame” is a gamified method of presenting journalism – be it a feature, opinion piece or a standard new story. The concept was successfully employed by the New York Times’ “How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk,” an interactive quiz that became the site’s most visited “story” of 2013.

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 A hackathon (aka game jam) is when a group of artists, writers and designers gather in one place and build games in a very limited amount of time. It’s a popular concept in independent development, and now The Good Evil and the Cologne Game Lab are teaming up to bring the concept to journalism.

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5 Games You Can Finish in Under 10 Minutes

Mar 21, 2014

Games today are cheaper and more plentiful than they've ever been. That's great news for players, but finding the time to actually complete something -- to find that sense of finality -- can be a challenge.

Luckily, the independent game scene is often less interested in 20-hour campaigns and repetitive score-chasing. There are plenty of great games out there offering a complete experience in the time it takes to install most big-budget action titles.

These are five such games.

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Card Hunter, the ultimate faux-tabletop experience, is coming to tablets

Mar 20, 2014

Blue Manchu’s Card Hunter, the browser-based, RPG-meets-CCG-meets-tabletop game with a sense of humor and a Richard Garfield pedigree, is really good. So good, in fact, that I sometimes wish I could take it with me when I’m not by my laptop.

DropForge Games must have read my mind. The relatively new Seattle studio funded by Wargaming.net (yes, the World of Tanks folks) is helping Blue Manchu by developing and publishing a mobile version of Card Hunter made with tablets in mind.

“The number one request from the Card Hunter community has been ‘when will this be on my tablet?’” Blue Manchu founder and CEO Jon Chey said in a press release announcing the deal. “The game’s design screams out for a tablet experience.”

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Indeed it does, as the turn-based, tactical battles feel like they’d transfer to touchscreens without too much trouble. It’s also already built on a free-to-play model, enhanced with a sensible option to pay for more content.

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