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The Foxhole Week (2011-1) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Starfox   
Friday, 07 January 2011 19:24

Welcome to the first issue of The Foxhole Week. As obviously the concept of independent daily news hasn't worked in ages for us (remember this is a hobby, not a real life job and real life has ways to remind you that other things need to be done rather than playing games and writing game related news) I decided to go with a new form of news. No more independent article for each news item available daily but rather a weekly edition featuring the more prominent (or amusing, or delirious or whatever pleases us) news. That should help with keeping things easier to manage in the spare time schedule. So here we go for the first issue of The Foxhole Week during which:

Bioware unveil the first DLC for their upcoming Dragon Age 2, Ubisoft start to scrap their awful DRM scheme, Eidos developers are about to reveal the worst kept secret of the company during the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and I had my place electricity redone (yay!)


The Exiled Prince, First DLC for Dragon Age 2

Bioware announced today The Exiled Prince, first DLC for their upcoming sequel to Dragon Age: Origin, Dragon Age 2. Why know would you ask as the game release is scheduled only for March 8, 2011 (North America) and March 11 (Europe)? The reason is pretty simple. Those customers who pre-order their copy of Dragon Age 2 before January 11 will get the DLC for free. Others will have to pay 560 Bioware points. This offer is cumulative with the current pre-order package deal that includes a free upgrade from the standard edition of Dragon Age 2 to the Bioware Signature Edition including additional goodies. I assume that people who already pre-ordered their copy before this bonus offer was presented will receive the free DLC as well.

We already knew that DLC is a subject that Bioware is mastering pretty well now (sure they completely screwed it up with the first Mass effect but they learned their lesson since then). Dragon Age 2 will be no exception, obviously.


If you're willing to pre-order Dragon Age 2 for the freebies, you can crawl to the Dragon Age pre-order page where Bioware guys will be more than happy to direct you to a relevant retailer. And remember, to be eligible to both the free upgrade and the free DLC pre-orders must be placed *before* January 11. Don't blame me, I'm not the one making the rules.

Bye bye Ubisoft DRM?

First introduced in Splinter Cell: Conviction and Silent Hunter V the latest of Ubisoft DRM schemes, the one that forced gamers to have an active internet connection during their *whole* gaming session otherwise the game would stop working, this same DRM that automatically placed Ubisoft on my personal publisher Blacklist, is being scrapped as I write. Ubisoft decided to go and update their games to revert the offending DRM to a more basic one time per session authentication. These updates concern for now Splinter Cell: Conviction, Silent Hunter V and Assassin's Creed 2. Ubisoft maintain however that this decision is made on a *per case* basis and that it doesn't mean that this form of DRM will be abandoned in the future or that the update will concern all games currently including it.

Maybe it's not yet time for me to abandon my boycott, then. Time will tell.

Eidos have a big secret they are about to reveal and which goes with the letter T

Next month, the annual Game Developers Conference will open its doors. According to the schedule, Eidos Montreal developers should have a little bit of talk regarding one of their upcoming games in which audio plays a vital role. The bit of talk is titled: "Stealing sound: Generative music in Thief". Wow! Big secret! Like if it was something we didn't already know six months ago. To be fair, even Eidos acknowledge that the development of a new Thief opus by their Montreal division is one of the worst kept secret ever in gaming history. However the GDC event will give ground, according to the schedule, to the very first official introduction to the world of the new game in the Thief franchise. Here's the bit from the schedule table:

Innovative audio has been at the heart of the original THIEF titles and Eidos Montreals new THIEF is no exception, this presentation will mark the first time that the game has been spoken about publicly. This talk will argue for the benefits of using generative music in games and will present a theoretical framework for its justification. Developers should more enthusiastically embrace alternative music models to resolve ongoing issues with linearity and to create a musical aesthetic that pushes away from the shadow of film. I will show our custom generative system (GRAMPS), demonstrate its key design features and suggest some best practice techniques. Ill also discuss how using a single person as the composer, sound designer and audio director on a AAA title can help create a unified sound field, blurring the lines between sound design and music.

All Thief fans across the world are anxious... No, I mean: *really* anxious.

By the way, one of our oldest members, Gramps, will be happy to find that his nickname has now a very official place in the gaming industry, thanks to Eidos.


I had my place electricity redone

But seriously... Who cares?

See you next week.

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