Metal Assault enters Closed Beta

Aeria Games revealed the Closed Beta date for its latest action shooter title. Metal Assault is scheduled to open its battlefields to Closed Beta participants on April 1. Interested players can still sign up for a Closed Beta invite at Metal Assault’s Official Website .

Metal Assault is a 2D side-scrolling action shooter, similar in style to the Metal Slug series. Metal Assault will be free to download and free to play.

Metal Assault will roll with these features:

  • Multiplayer Modes – Team up with or against your friends in Metal Assault. Play Co-Op missions or battle your friends head-to-head in PvP Deathmatch sessions. Or fight solo in frenzied PvE modes.
  • Vehicle Violence – Maximize destruction with one of four playable vehicles. Don a personal combat suit, hop into a giant cannon, or join up to 3 friends in a multiplayer Helicopter or Tank.
  • Zombie Zones – The City of HERZ is infested with roaming hordes of zombies! Take ’em out as part of your mission in PvE modes. Or play the fast-paced Infection PvP variant and try to escape bites and scratches from your undead friends!

Cosmic Break 2nd OBT announced

The 2nd Open Beta Test of English Cosmic Break will begin on
September 17 (Fri.) at 12:00 noon, PDT, (21:00 GMT+1) and run until October 17!

The GMs will be back too during the 2nd OBT to host more transformation events, UC lumberjack events, GM radio, and other new fun events! We hope to see everyone from the 1st OBT back again, and of course meet some new players too! Although the game server is down until the 2nd OBT starts next Friday, registration is always open, so new players please feel free to pre-register an account for the 2nd Open Beta Test anytime!

Also, here is the promotional video for the backstory between Crimrose and Ivis.

Infinite Space: An Argument for Single-Sharded Architecture in MMOs

In this much-referenced technical piece originally published in Game Developer magazine late last year, the team behind idiosyncratic MMO success EVE Online discusses precisely why sharing a single world between all of its players makes sense.

Most of the larger massively multiplayer online games use separate instances, or shards, of the game’s universe in order to manage player populations and server issues. We feel that a single shard should be the natural choice of any MMO developer, and that’s what we do with EVE Online.

When you ask the question “Why a single-sharded architecture?” it’s also informative to look at the deeper question: “Why have shards?” There are two main reasons why a developer chooses a sharded implementation of a game — lack of content and technical challenges. These are actually inter-related.

Read the full article here.

How Do You Know If Someone’s An Otaku?

The term was popularized by William Gibson‘s 1996 novel Idoru, which has several references to otaku.
The otaku, the passionate obsessive, the information age’s embodiment of the connoisseur, more concerned with the accumulation of data than of objects, seems a natural crossover figure in today’s interface of British and Japanese cultures. I see it in the eyes of the Portobello dealers, and in the eyes of the Japanese collectors: a perfectly calm train-spotter frenzy, murderous and sublime. Understanding otaku -hood, I think, is one of the keys to understanding the culture of the web. There is something profoundly post-national about it, extra-geographic. We are all curators, in the post-modern world, whether we want to be or not.[7]

— Spook Country, April 2001 edition of The Observer

Over five hundred individuals in Japan were polled by the Mobile Marketing Data Labo, providing these insights into how folks can spot otaku:

1. They are using otaku slang, net jargon or 2ch chat
2. They just happen to have anime/manga/game goods about them
3. They respond to otaku type keywords and issues
4. They become very intense when the conversation turns to anime/manga/games, and only then
5. The tunes they hum are all anime related
6. They know excessive amounts about a given anime/manga/game
7. You can somehow just tell intuitively that they are an otaku
8. They talk unconcernedly about anime, manga and games all the time as if it were normal
9. They start talking about a seiyuu (voice actors)
10. They are carrying a bag from an otaku shop like Animate or Tora no Ana

E3 2010 Preview: These Are the Big RPGs, Kotaku thinks

What role will role-playing games play at this year’s E3 expo? A big one, whether you’re a fan of the old-school turn-based brand or the massively multiplayer online way of doing things.

E3 2010 Preview: These Are the Big RPGs, We Think.