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HaloFest to stream Halo 5 multiplayer, Nightfall's premiere next month


Halo devotees can get an early glimpse at Halo 5: Guardians' multiplayer mode during HaloFest, an upcoming live broadcast event that will also host the world premiere of the digital series Halo: Nightfall.

Starting at 8 p.m. PST on November 10, players can tune in at Xbox.com and Twitch.tv/Halo to see exclusive beta footage, developer interviews, and the first episode of Nightfall as part of HaloFest. On November 8-9, Microsoft will additionally host coverage of The Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational, a global multiplayer tournament in which 32 top Halo 2: Anniversary players compete for $50,000 in prizes.

Microsoft's streamed event leads up to the launch of the Xbox One series compilation Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which hits retail on November 11.

[Video: Microsoft]

Rob Riggle cast as Frank West in Dead Rising: Watchtower

Frank West, Capcom's favorite zombie-killing photojournalist, will be portrayed by former Daily Show correspondent Rob Riggle in Legendary's live-action Dead Rising: Watchtower film.

"But he's a comedian," we hear you shout. "What does he know about jamming a Servbot helmet on the undead?" Granted, Riggle's not the most obvious choice, but he does have the right lantern-jawed look for the character and Riggle's one of the few candidates who can say that he, like his video game counterpart, has actually covered wars.

As for what he'll be doing in Dead Rising: Watchtower, that remains unknown. Legendary's vague synopsis claims the film focuses on the survivors of a zombie outbreak who begin to suspect government involvement. That should be familiar ground for anyone who's played a Dead Rising entry, but does nothing to differentiate the film from its source material.

So far there's no release date for Dead Rising: Watchtower, but it will debut exclusively on the Crackle digital video network.
[Image: Capcom]

Titanfall update gets cooperative, adds ranked play

The next major update for Titanfall will land tomorrow on Xbox One and PC, Respawn announced today. The patch is the "biggest update ever," according to the developer's blog, which revealed the inclusion of new modes in the update. For starters, Titanfall players will have a new "Frontier Defense" cooperative multiplayer mode in which teams of four stand their ground against waves of AI enemies, getting assistance from stationary turrets and loadout crates.

The other major addition is ranked play, which will be in beta through the end of the month. Respawn's dedicated discussion on its ranked play system for Titanfall notes that players will receive "Rank Chips," which act as "expensive pedometers" that measure players' prowess in the game. Players will have the ability to turn off their Rank Chips as well, so ranked play in Titanfall won't boil down to a separate set of maps or playlists. The update will introduce a multitude of other fixes and improvements, such as the ability to go full-screen with the mini-map, a "sudden death" addition to Capture the Flag mode and seven new Titan insignias.

Warner Bros. working on new Mortal Kombat live-action series

To coincide with the 2015 launch of Mortal Kombat X, the Warner Bros. media empire is planning a new live-action series based on NetherRealm's bloody fighter.

A joint production from publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros.' new digital series production arm Blue Ribbon Content, the untitled series will reportedly "[showcase] some of the franchise's most storied characters, while introducing a new generation of fighters." At least, that's the official description. It does little to tell us who are what might appear in this series, though the mention of a "new generation" suggests that the show will mirror the latter-day setting of Mortal Kombat X.

There's no word on when we can expect this series to launch, where it might launch, or if any notable actors are involved. It does not appear that this new series has any ties to 2011's Mortal Kombat: Legacy, though that's to be expected given creator and director Kevin Tancharoen's departure.

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Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley trailer talks farmlife fantasies


Natsume gets chatty in this narrated trailer for Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, giving a detailed overview of what players can expect from the latest entry in its long-running farming simulation series. The Lost Valley puts players on a quest to restore the seasons to a forgotten town, and features new world-building elements and customization options inspired by Minecraft. The Lost Valley hits retail and the 3DS eShop on November 4.

[Video: Natsume]

Developer bike gang rides across the US to de-stress

William Stallwood is burned out.

In 2008, Stallwood and Dain Saint co-founded independent studio Cipher Prime in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and they've since built a reputation for creating stylish games rich in music and dreamy visuals, such as Auditorium, Splice and Intake. Cipher Prime hit success on Kickstarter before it was cool. Stallwood is heavily involved in the local game dev scene, and he helped found Philly Game Forge, Philly Dev Night, and he's Creative Director of the Philadelphia Geek Awards. Right now, he and three friends are taking a break from normal life – and from Philadelphia – to ride across the country on bicycles.

"Cipher Prime is down to just Dain and myself again, and I needed to sort of run away and collect myself," Stallwood tells Joystiq in an email. "I've taken on a bit too many management roles and my recent work on the Philadelphia Geek Awards has pushed me a little over the level. I'm hoping to refuel my creativity and process all the things I love."

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Pew Research: Online harassment rife among young, women

Western grey kangaroo
A recent study by the Pew Research group finds that online harassment is exceedingly common, with forty percent of adult Internet users claiming they have been the target of some form of harassment.

The study differentiates between "less severe" and "more severe" forms of harassment. While the former includes things like name calling, the latter includes stalking and death threats. According to the study, of those who claim to be victims of harassment, 45 percent claim to fall into the "more severe" category. Those rates are especially high among young women, the study finds, as 26 percent of female Internet users polled claimed to have been stalked online, while 25 percent claim to have been the target of online sexual harassment.

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Gabriel Knight and starvation wages at Pinkerton Road

Twenty-one years ago the world was introduced to the mysterious universe of Gabriel Knight from prolific games industry creative Jane Jensen. This month marks the celebration of that anniversary, with the release of the Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers remake – enhanced with new visuals, audio and, in some cases, tweaked to preserve the original game's intended emotional resonance.

One sequence, in particular, stands out to Jensen, she tells me: the police station.

In the original 1993 release, the scene plays out light and even campy: "When Gabriel goes to the police station and breaks into Mosely's office [...] in the game there was a puzzle sequence that had to do with cops and doughnuts and distracting them. It was all very silly," Jane Jensen admits.

The sequence, she says, has been changed in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers – 20th Anniversary Edition (one year late, but close enough), to better parallel Jensen's original novelization.

"I wrote a book about Gabriel Knight, I mean I wrote it as a novel after I had written the game, and so there were a few things that I had put in the novel that were new that we ended up rolling back into the remake," Jensen adds. In the novel, the police station sequence was written to be "much scarier," and given the opportunity to better convey the story's suspenseful hooks with the remake, the sequence was changed to better mirror the novel. It was the first of a few tweaks made in Gabriel Knight's return.

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Joystiq Deals: Name your own price game design bundle

For those who have always wanted to learn to make their own games, but don't want to shell out big bucks for training comes the Joystiq Deals name your own price game design bundle.

The bundle includes four training modules, with topics ranging from the Unity graphics engine to art design to gamification. At retail this bundle would be priced at $800, but Joystiq Deals users can name their own price. Visit the Joystiq Deals website, pay more than the current average (it currently stands at a very reasonable $6.07) and you'll walk away with all four training modules.

Best of all, 10 percent of your purchase will be earmarked for one of three charities, either the World Wildlife Foundation, Child's Play or Creative Commons. For more information and all the fine print, visit the Joystiq Deals website.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Lords of the Fallen dev addresses complaints about slow-moving characters



Lords of the Fallen, the Dark Souls-ian role-playing game from Deck 13 and City Interactive, has had trouble communicating what it's all about to potential players ahead of its release on October 28. Looking to better explain his game, Tomasz Gop of City Interactive released a video detailing the different ways Lords of the Fallen can be played.

Following a number of YouTube videos and live streams of the game, Gop moved to address criticisms that characters move too slowly. "The first thing I wanted to talk about it movement speed," said Gop. "We don't believe the game is too slow or too fast for anybody because you can adjust quite easily the way that you move."

He goes on to explain how weapon and armor choice significantly change the speed with which your chosen character can dodge and block attacks. Gop also reiterates that the game will take approximately 50 hours to complete, and that as with nearly all role-playing games characters change dramatically over that time.

Joystiq's own time with Lords of the Fallen during preview sessions at E3 demonstrated how difficult it is to get a sense of the full range of character options with just a short time with the game.

[Images: City Interactive]

Halloween Horror Streams: All along the Clock Tower 3



Halloween songs are misleading! "Monster Mash" implies good times at a graveyard bash. "Thriller" doesn't encourage caution; Vincent Price always sounds like he's kidding. "Don't Fear the Reaper" explicitly says not to fear the reaper. And since Ray Parker Jr. ain't afraid of ghosts, why should you be? Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by these crunchy jams, dear friends. When you do that, a giant freak wielding an enormous pair of scissors will sneak up behind you and cut you in half. It happens. Clock Tower 3 tells me so.

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Joystiq will kick off its Halloween Horror Streams extravaganza with Capcom's Clock Tower 3. Little known fact: Clock Tower 3 was conceived in part by Kinji Fukasaku, the film director behind Tora Tora Tora and Battle Royale. That is a very different sort of graveyard smash.

We'll have horror streams on Joystiq.com/Twitch almost every day until Halloween. If you want to catch them all, make sure to follow us on Twitch! Tomorrow's stream: Slender: The Arrival with a ton of free Xbox 360 and PS3 copies to giveaway. Be there.
[Images: Capcom/Clock Tower Wikia]

Ghost ship mystery Return of the Obra Dinn waves in a demo

Return of the Obra Dinn is the first-person ghost ship mystery game with 1-bit rendering from Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope. Whatever else it is, you can find out right now with an early demo, downloadable for PC and Mac.

The demo covers the first 15 minutes of the game. "It's still very rough and very untested," Pope says. "For such a low-res game, performance is not great on a 2011 Macbook Air running BootCamp. Hopefully it runs OK on most machines. The core mechanic is only lightly touched on, but you should be able to mentally extrapolate out what's here to a full game."

Papers, Please, Pope's breakout game, swept the IGF awards this year, and Pope had planned to submit Return of the Obra Dinn to the IGF for 2015, but he says the game isn't quite ready: "That deadline was pretty useful in getting me through these past few weeks of crunch, but in the end I've decided not to submit the game as it is. Maybe next year."

In Return of the Obra Dinn, a ship declared missing in 1802 suddenly returns to a London port six years later, badly damaged and with no visible crew. Players are the insurance adjuster for the East India Company's London Office, and must board the ship and recover the Crew Muster Roll book. It wouldn't be a game from Pope if it didn't involve official documents, after all.
[Image: Lucas Pope]

Trion removing illicit gold from ArcheAge

Trion is serving notice to gold buyers that some of their ill-gotten gains are being removed from ArcheAge. "If you bought or were gifted gold from [a gold seller], you may see it disappear," the company wrote on its official forums. "We do have the ability to trace coin, and that's the gold that's being cleaned up right now."

[Thanks Direpath!]

Nanako learns new swears in faux Persona 4 Platinum

Image Persona 4 Platinum might not be real, but that doesn't mean Atlus can't borrow a few ideas from this biting fan-made spoof. Spending Chanukah with President Tanaka sounds delightful. [Image: Faulerro]... Continue Reading

Brutal Legend PC limited edition coming soon from IndieBox

Indie game distributor IndieBox revealed that it will soon ship a Limited Edition version of Double FIne's heavy metal action-RTS Brutal Legend to subscribers, celebrating the game's fifth anniversary and marking the first time its PC version has seen a physical release.

Launched earlier this year, IndieBox ships out physical versions of standout indie games to subscribers on a monthly basis, bundling featured titles with exclusive bonus material. The contents of Brutal Legend's Limited Edition were not announced, and will not be revealed until the package hits subscriber mailboxes.

Buyers can reserve a Limited Edition package for Brutal Legend by placing an order with IndieBox by 11:59 p.m. EST tonight. New subscribers can enter the promo code ROCKTOBER25 for a 25 percent discount. If you miss out on getting Brutal Legend via IndieBox's subscription service, standalone copies will be available soon at the company's official store.

[Image: IndieBox]

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