In the News – 6th March

Mass Effect 3 launched today for the Americans, with the UK release due on Friday.  The game currently has a Metacritic score of 93, while the user score is currently at 2.5.  Political voting?  I think so.

The latest that the multiplayer will have an effect on the ending of your singleplayer game.  As you complete missions and earn the support of different people, you gain them as War Assets: the game takes the number of collected War Assets into consideration when calculating your ending.. and it seems that you need a fairly high number of them.  During multiplayer, you can improve your Readiness rating.  This rating is used as a multiplier against your War Assets, so has a positive effect.

This means if you want the “best” ending, while sticking to fitting choices for your character, you must either chase down every optional quest.. or play the multiplayer.  Personally, I don’t like the idea of multiplayer affecting singleplayer to this extent.  The ending of the singleplayer game should depend on my choices and how well I’ve done, or not, in the singleplayer game.

It is of course, GDC week.. and I spent part of the day picking through some of the coverage on Gamasutra, while being a little envious of the people actually at the event.  I’d have liked to listen to some of those talks 😉

The beta of rogue-like RPG Desktop Dungeons is free to play during GDC week.. games last about 10 minutes, with randomly generated dungeons and a variety of classes, races and challenges.

I was also rather pleased to see the first developer diary for Paradox Interactive’s A Game of Dwarves: the new info here is that Orcs and Gnomes will feature as some of the enemies in the game!

As for developer diaries.. Sauropod Studio‘s recent blog included mention of their Level of Detail system for use in Castle Story, which picks different geometry for an object depending how far it is from the camera.  Objects close to the camera will be displayed with a higher quality model, but those further away will use less complex models, while not affecting the look for the player.  This would save on the rendering per object meaning the engine can support more objects!  I really love how this team explain what they’re doing.. I really appreciate the insight into development 🙂

The Unity 3.5 engine is available now.. with Android and iOS being included free until the 8th April.  This engine is being used in so many indie games lately.. having had a bit of a look it seems to easy to get started with.. why not? 😉

I also noticed a fantastic design contest on Polycount.. the Darksiders II ‘Create a Weapon’ contest!  Competitors are to create their own original Mace, Axe or Hammer to fit into the Darksiders world.. and the winner will see their creation added to Darksiders II for launch!

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