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500 games launched per day on iOS last year (and other digital sales facts)

With digital marketplaces becoming increasingly crowded, Mike Rose, of tinyBuild dug into the current state of indie sales expectations for digital platforms. ...

Narrative and design insights from 80 Days' writing lead

At GDC 2015, Meg Jayanth, lead writer of acclaimed mobile adventure game 80 Days, shared insights into how the team at Inkle created a deeply narrative, highly nonlinear and satisfying story. ...

Shacknews Remembers Leonard Nimoy in Video Games

The world lost a cultural icon when Leonard Nimoy passed away last week at age 83. Not only did he contribute greately to TV shows and movies, and famously encouraged all to "live long and prosper," but he also did some impressive work with video games. Shacknews pays tribute to Leonard Nimoy, whose voice helped these games come alive.

This Week in Video Game Criticism: From the Semiotics of PlayStation to the Pitfalls of Jiggle Physics

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Riley MacLeod on topics ranging from a look back at the first PlayStation controller to the pitfalls of jiggle physics. ...

Unreal Engine Has Been Set Free

If you’ve ever dreamed about making a video game, or even learning more about how they’re made, then there's no better time than now to get on board. Not only are their several “indie” options out there (like RPGMaker), but today one of the biggest names in game engines has made a declaring announcement. Unreal Engine 4 is now free and open to the public.

That’s right, you heard me correctly. There are more details, such as if you manage to make more than $3,000 per quarter, then you have pay out 5% for licensing. But in the grand scheme of things that’s not a half-bad deal, espcially when you're using one the most powerful game engines around. “It’s a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed.” Says Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games.

Check out the video announcement below, and be sure to head over to the Official Blog to check out the full details of the engine’s new price.

Online community and culture wars: What do we know?

What can we learn from the significant community challenges the gaming community faces? Online gaming veterans Raph Koster, Gordon Walton and Rich Vogel share fascinating sociological lessons. ...

Reactive game dev: How Serious Sam 4 became The Talos Principle

Croteam kicks off the GDC 2015 Independent Games Summit with a talk on how the Serious Sam studio taught itself a new way to make games as it embarked on its first puzzle game: The Talos Principle. ...

Google Summer of Code 2015 отправляется в путь

Только что был опубликован список open-source организаций, участвующих в Google Summer of Code 2015. Google Summer of Code (сокращённо GSoC) — инициативная программа компании Google, в рамках которой ежегодно проводится отбор проектов с открытым исходным кодом, в которых могут принять участие студенты. Проекты сами отбирают студентов из всех подавших заявки, а Google выплачивает студентам стипендии за их работу (в размере $5,500 США). Полные правила программы на этот год можно посмотреть здесь: www.google-melange.com/gsoc/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2015/help_page
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3D Realms Returns with Bombshell at GDC 2015

It's been a long while since 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment first announced Bombshell May of last year, but it looks like they've been hard at work. The top-down action RPG features a "Bomb disposal technician turned mercenary for hire, Shelly 'Bombshell' Harrison," who must fight her way across four planets to save the president from an alien threat. The game is expected to release in 2015, with Steam being the only platform revealed so far. A full description and the debut gameplay trailer can be found below.

More information can be found at the official website.

"From the creators of 2013's Rise of the Triad and legendary game maker 3D Realms comes Bombshell, an isometric action role-playing game for PC and consoles. Bomb disposal technician turned mercenary for hire, Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison must strong-arm her way across 4 planets in an Unreal Engine-powered galactic adventure to rescue the president from an apocalyptic alien threat. With out-of-this-world enemies, a never-before-seen arsenal of devastating weaponry and a host of genre-crossing mechanics, Bombshell is set to blow you away."

World of Warcraft will allow players to buy game time using in-game gold

Blizzard has announced a new way for World of Warcraft players to gain game time without having to spend a single penny of real-world money, called the WoW Token.

The WoW Token can be purchased through the in-game Shop for real money, which can then be sold within World of Warcraft’s Auction House for in-game gold at the current market price. Those looking to add 30 days of game time to their subscription can purchase a WoW Token for in-game gold. Once the token is purchased, it becomes Soulbound, which means the buyer cannot then resell the token.

How much a WoW Token costs will vary depending on supply and demand per region. Those selling WoW Tokens will be able to earn the amount of in-game gold the market says it’s worth at the time of the listing, and not what it costs when another player buys a token.

This isn’t a completely new idea as Eve Online has been doing something similar to the WoW Token with its PLEX system. Regardless of the age of this idea, it’s something that will hopefully get more World of Warcraft players back into the game now that game time can be earned by spending gold. I certainly feel the WoW itch coming back just from hearing this news.

No details on when the WoW Token will be available, although Blizzard says it should be expected in an upcoming patch.

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