| || Diablo III is one of the most-searched terms of the year |
If games were having a popularity contest, then Diablo III just won by a landslide. Google Zeitgeist posted the most-searched-for terms of the year across the world, and Blizzard's action-RPG clicked in at number five.
| || Blizzard running Diablo III on consoles internally |
The good news is that Diablo III is now available to play on consoles. The bad news is that you'd have to apply and get accepted for a job with Blizzard to see it.
| || Star Citizen's Roberts: 'We'll compete with any AAA game out there' |
Star Citizen wasn't always first on Chris Roberts' to-do list as he pondered his eventual return to the video game industry. The Wing Commander guru originally thought he'd need to make some sort of console game to reestablish himself while developing Star Citizen's technology concurrently.
| || See more pics of Star Citizen's Constellation (and its detachable starfighter) |
Last month we reported on Star Citizen's Constellation Mark III, a freighter that boasts its own detachable snubfighter. Today Cloud Imperium has updated the comm-link portion of its website with some additional renderings of both ships.
| || Roberts shows off Star Citizen's Freelancer ship |
Even though Star Citizen's official fundraising drive ended a while back, the title continues to rake in donations from interested space sim fans (over 100,000 of them in fact).
| || Elite: Dangerous dev diary talks about plans for development |
Elite: Dangerous is about halfway to its Kickstarter goal with 21 days left, and it's indubitably time for another dev diary! Frontier Developments founder David Braben took to YouTube to talk about the long-term development plan for Elite: Dangerous.
| || Elite: Dangerous video dev diary discusses roles, demonstrates dogfight |
Last month, we learned that David Braben, founder of Frontier Developments, launched a Kickstarter campaign for the development of Elite: Dangerous, a successor to the deep sci-fi sandboxes Elite and Frontier: Elite II.
David Braben's Elite
and its sequel, Frontier: Elite II,
have passed into gaming history as two of the titles that inspired the sci-fi sandbox genre. EVE Online
might not be around today if it weren't for Elite
, and yet many publishers still refuse to put their money behind sandbox games. When crowdfunding website Kickstarter opened to UK projects last month, David Braben launched a campaign
for Elite: Dangerous
, an ambitious project aiming to create a modern sequel to the iconic Elite
Braben asked for just over two million dollars to fund development, and the initial response was overwhelming. Pledges have unfortunately slowed down since that initial push, and the project its now trending to just 90%
of its goal. Hopefully a burst of pledges at the end will push Elite: Dangerous
over the line, but for now, development is continuing at a rapid pace. In a recent video update below, Braben discussed his development plans in a frank and honest manner.
In celebration of the release of The Hobbit in cinemas, Lord of the Rings-themed MOBA Guardians of Middle-Earth
announced its first DLC: The Hobbit Selection. This DLC includes playable characters based on Bilbo Baggins and Bert the Stone Troll. If playing as Bilbo isn't enough to tempt you, the update also comes with The Shire as a new playable map.League of Legends
has hosted some pretty creative contests in the past, encouraging players to submit everything from costume photos to fan-art, but this year's holiday contest may just be the most adorable one yet. Players are challenged with creating gingerbread sculptures of their favourite League of Legends
champions, maps, or items, and the example gingerbread Teemo
looks just too cute to eat. Head over to the official contest page
for the full rules and entry requirements.Dota 2
recently gave fans the chance to design cosmetic items for the Dota 2
store with its Polycount contest. Valve
has been revealing the winning entries all this week
, including some that are so good that they almost put the official character models to shame. The runner-up winners include complete makeovers of characters Templar Assassin, Meepo, Witch Doctor, Crystal Maiden, Naga Siren, Beastmaster, Doom Bringer, Dazzle, Shadow Shaman, and Sniper. The overall winner is the Rider of the Storm
skin for hero Disruptor.
In unrelated but impressive news, Dota 2
also passed the 200,000 peak concurrent user mark
this week. This follows every Dota 2
player being given invites to send to his or her friends, a move that certainly threw a lot of fresh meat into the grinder.Rise of Immortals
will have its first official game tournament since the Battle For Graxia game update on January 3rd. Full details of the Frozen Battlegrounds winter tournament haven't yet been revealed, but signups are already open
for those who want to throw their hats in the ring. All we know so far is that tournament entrants are expected to be level 25 and the game will be played on a newly updated 5v5 map.
With Battle For Graxia only recently entering beta, players have expressed concern that there may not be enough level 25 players yet to make a compelling tournament. Developers responded that players have over a month to get ready for the tournament and that the requirement will be changed if there aren't enough signups.
Blizzard has been officially hard at work on Diablo III
's PvP arenas recently, but unofficially there's been a side-project to try to get the game running on consoles. The console control scheme was tested and working before launch, but getting the game to run on non-PC hardware is a massive technical challenge. Developers revealed that they now have a prototype of the game actually running on a non-PC platform
in the office. Though it's not official yet, things look good for a future console release.
Lead Game Designer Jay Wilson
has been catching some flack recently
for first promising a devblog on PvP would be released "very soon" and then retracting that promise. Now he admits that
Blizzard is "unlikely to post a PvP update until the end of the month," a statement that indicates that we probably won't be getting PvP arenas until some time next year. PvP arenas were never officially promised by the end of the year, but Jay himself said that he hoped it would be the case.
There's a lot going on behind the scenes at Grinding Gear Games
as developers prepare for next month's Path of Exile
open beta. The team has promoted several more community members to forum moderator status, and all this week has been running load-testing with bots to ensure server stability when the doors open next month. Developers have also scaled up the weekend ladder events to a full week of races, including a hilarious "cut-throat" mode in which players can invade each other's games and kill each other to steal items and experience.Torchlight II
released earlier this year to favourable reviews and a heap of sales, but that's not the end of the Torchlight
story. In a new holiday developer podcast
, Runic Games
took a look back at the past year of development and ahead at what comes next for the Torchlight
franchise. The original plan was to make an MMO, but the devs realised that the team wasn't really large enough or well-funded enough to make that work. Runic decided instead to make Torchlight II
a bigger and better game in the same style as the first.
There are a few nuggets of gold in this podcast
, and it's definitely worth having a listen to if you want to get an inside look into game development. Developers lamented that a console port is unlikely as the current generation of consoles are simply too limited -- Torchlight
I barely squeezed into the XBox 360, and the sequel is bigger in every way. Runic Games has also elected to stay as a small studio so that the developers can keep doing the projects they want. Developers also discuss multiplayer, bug-fixes, babies and beta disasters.Join us every Monday for Not So Massively, our roundup of the top news from popular online games that aren't quite MMOs. If you think there's a game we should be covering in Not So Massively or you've found some interesting news you think deserves attention in the next roundup, please mail the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.