Dark Horse Comics SDCC 2012 Signing Schedule!

Dark Horse Comics has released their SDCC signing schedule and it’s pretty awesome with a lot of goodness lined up!

DARK HORSE SIGNINGS – BOOTH #2615

 

Wednesday, July 11 

5:30 p.m.—Dragon Age Signing with David Gaider

6:30 p.m.—Orchid Q&A and Signing with Tom Morello and Scott Hepburn *Ticketed by drawing

8:00 p.m.—Mass Effect Signing with John Jackson Miller

 

 

Thursday, July 12 

11:00 a.m.—Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

1:00 p.m. —Angel & Faith Signing with Christos Gage

2:00 p.m.—Fatima Signing with Gilbert Hernandez

3:00 p.m.—Creator-Owned Signing with Eric Powell (The Goon), Francesco Francavilla (The Black Beetle), Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT), Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander (Concrete Park), and Sanford Greene (Rotten Apple)

 4:00 p.m.—Tarzan 100th Anniversary Event with Thomas Yeates, Ron Ely, Joe Jusko, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. President and Archivist

5:00-7:00 p.m.—Whedonverse Meet-up and Costume Contest with Shawna Trpcic, main costume designer on Joss Whedon’s FireflyAngelDoctor Horrible’s Sing-Along BlogDollhouse, and Cabin in the Woods.

 

Friday, July 13 

10:00 a.m.—Usagi Yojimbo Signing with Stan Sakai

See a preview of the upcoming Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin game for smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

11:00 a.m.—Star Wars Signing with Mike Richardson (Crimson Empire), Dave Dorman (Crimson Empire, Darth Maul), Randy Stradley and Doug Wheatley (Dark Times), Dave Wilkins (Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison), Dan Parsons (Dawn of the Jedi), John Jackson Miller (Knight Errant), Michael Atiyeh (colorist), Michael Heisler (letterer) and Tom Taylor (Darth Maul)

12:00 pm.—Valve Signing with Bill Fletcher  (“Cave Johnson”), Laura Dubuk (“Caroline”), Andrew Wilson, Wade Schin, and Arsenio Navarro

12:00 p.m.—Axe Cop Signing with Ethan Nicolle

1:00 p.m.—HellboyB.P.R.D., and Baltimore Signing with Mike Mignola, Cameron Stewart, and Tyler Crook

1:00 p.m.—Age of Reptiles Signing with Ricardo Delgado  

2:00 p.m.—Berserk Signing with Eiko Tanaka (Studio 4C CEO)

2:30 p.m. – Green River Killer Signing with Jeff Jensen

3:00 p.m.– Domo Signing with Domo creator Tsuneo Goda *Ticketed by drawing

3:00 p.m. – Dragon Age Signing with David Gaider

4:00 p.m. – Empowered Signing with Adam Warren

4:00 p.m. – De:Tales Signing with Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon

5:00 p.m.—Creepy and Eerie Signing with Dan Braun, Angelo Torres, and Christopher A. Taylor

5:00 p.m.—Dark Horse Horror Signing with Steve Niles (Criminal Macabre), Eric Powell (The Goon), and Paul Tobin (Colder)

6:00 p.m. – TNT’s Falling Skies Signing with series stars Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Connor Jessup, Colin Cunningham, Sarah Carter, executive producer Remi Aubuchon and more! *Ticketed by drawing

 

 

Saturday, July 14 

10:00 a.m.—Darksiders Signing with David Slagle and Roger Robinson

10:00 a.m.—Aliens Colonial Marines Signing with Josh Williams

11:00 a.m.—Domo Signing with Domo creator Tsuneo Goda *Ticketed by drawing

12:00 p.m.—Joss Whedon Signing *Ticketed by drawing

1:00 p.m.—Whedonverse Signing with Andrew Chambliss, Georges Jeanty, Christos Gage, Jane Espenson, and Drew Greenberg

2:00 p.m – Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra Signing with Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos, Ki Hyun Ryu, and Gurihiru Studios artists Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano *Ticketed by drawing

3:00 p.m. – Valve Signing with Bill Fletcher  (“Cave Johnson”), Laura Dubuk (“Caroline”), Andrew Wilson, and Wade Schin

3:00 p.m.—Concrete Park Signing with Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander

4:00 p.m.—Dark Matter Signing with Joseph Mallozzi

4:00 p.m.—Exile to Babylon Signing with Domagoj Mazuran, Matt Savelloni, and Helen Darras

5:00 p.m. – Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

6:00 p.m.—The Goon Signing with creator Eric Powell

 

Sunday, July 15 

10:00 a.m.—Beanworld Signing with Larry Marder

11:00 a.m.—Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

12:00 p.m.—The Guild Signing with Felicia Day *Ticketed by drawing

1:00 p.m.—The Strain Signing with Guillermo del Toro *Ticketed by drawing

2:00 p.m.—Emily the Strange Signing with Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner

3:00 p.m.—Doug Sneyd Signing

 

*Events are subject to change.  Some restrictions apply. 

 

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CS: GO DUE AUGUST 21 

Next Gen Console, PC, and Mac Details Revealed

June 4, 201 – Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) is targeted for release on August 21, 2012.   

 

To be available via the Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam (for PC and Mac), CS: GO will expand upon the team-based action gameplay pioneered when Counter-Strike was launched almost 13 years ago (CS beta 1, August 1999).

            CS: GO will be sold for approximately $15 on all platforms.

            CS: GO features new maps, characters, and weapons and delivers updated versions of the classic CS content (de_dust, etc.). In addition, CS: GO introduces new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leader boards, and more.

            Developed by Valve in cooperation with Seattle-based Hidden Path Entertainment, the title will be playable in the Sony and Microsoft booths this week at E3 in Los Angeles, CA.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Valve’s DOTA 2 Beta Holding Its Own On Steam

In the latest Steam Stats PC Gamer discovered that Valve’s DOTA 2 is being played more then Counter-Strike Source and the more popular Skyrim, Tha’t’s surprising news considering Skyrim is regarded as one of the greatest games ever made. While DOTA 2 is still in its Beta stages it’s the second most played game on Steam, ahead of the more popular Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

In September Valve had decided to have IceFrog speed up the work for DOTA 2 after the success of the International Tournament, IceFrog posted: ” Our original plan was to spend the next year or so in beta, adding new features and slowly growing the number of heroes until we reached a level of parity with Dota 1, at which point we’d release Dota 2 to the world. But the feedback we’re seeing everywhere is that people just want to play it, even though there’s still a ton of heroes yet to be implemented. We’ve also seen that the folks who are already in the beta are chomping at the bit to show everyone else some of the fun games they’ve had. So we decided our original plan was dumb.”  Since release of that news the decision to keep the  game in Beta seems to be paying off quite well.

A graph down below was built using Steam Graphs shows the stats over the last few days. At it’s peak time US Counter-Strike Source, Counter-Strike 1.6, have the upper hand, But in those downtime hours Dota 2 overtakes both which hints to the fast strong growing  community.

Source: PC Gamer

Preview: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive | PC

Counter-Strike is back, many have already gotten a shot at the beta builds of Global Offensive during conventions earlier this year but now its time for a larger scale beta on the PC. We were lucky enough to get in on this beta event and report the balance and design of the game back to you guys. The problem of course is that the only levels available are de_dust and de_dust2 with a limited choice of weapons, it will not be a full preview but we’ll do our best to get the points available covered.

Design

We’re still on the Source engine but the difference is simple, every model, level, shader and inch of the map will be honed to utilize the new engine to the fullest. While past maps in Counter-Strike: Source attempted to harness the design of the new engine, de_dust and the rest of the line-up will dump the old blocky designs for HDR and increased poly models of everything in the map as well as new textures to sharpen the final look. Many that have played it so far have referred to the game as a Left 4 Dead Counter-Strike, much of that inspired by the flow and flaming molotov option in each round.

Graphically we’re limited to dust themes, it still has a lot to show off simple because the redesign is so severe. Take a look at the comparison gallery below to help illustrate how far forward Hidden Path Entertainment is taking everyone with the visuals.

 

When playing through Dust and Dust 2 the old plain themes are gone, the color intensity has taken a huge step down as well. What was once a sandy flood of gold is now washed out, filled with buildings instead of walls and a gritty air and scaffolding all over. Inner passages have changed from carved or brickwork tunnels to structures and detailed rooms. If they can flip dust around in such a manner, one only has to wonder what Hidden Path will do with the rest of the Counter-Strike favorites.

Gameplay

When I stepped into the first night of the beta it was a nightmare, the AWP was dominating each map with increased accuracy levels for run and gun and general movement. Instead of the harder weight handicap and no-scope penalty on accuracy it was handling better than a scout in many instances, so often so that it was impossible to play without frustration. After a few days it feels like the game has balanced out, the AWP is still a monster but the balance has shifted and the other weapons tick away at health bars finally this is beta though and Hidden Path Entertainment is tweaking the game along the way.

Offense isn’t the only change in GO, players will notice a balance shift from weapon damage and a slightly longer lifespan in the game, while armor was made of rice paper before there’s now some level of buffer in Global Offensive. If you get caught with your pants down reloading though, no level of armor will stop a Desert Eagle from ripping through you at point-blank as you shuffle for a weapon. In the load out screen they’ve opted to leave out armor / kevlar and shields again which may upset some users but the map design and speed allow for even more effective cover now. Outside of that, the buy system is largely the same, just in a circle form but still allowing for users to fast key their purchases with keystrokes just as in all past versions.

Experienced Counter-Strike players will need to adapt to the adjustments for the hitbox, headshots do require a bit more finesse as they’ve tightened them slightly and long distance pistol one-shots are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Recoil is still a pain on AR and SMG weapons, kneeling still helps tighten the cross hair for a brief moment, I would suggest using short burst fire to control the damage radius if possible.

The game is also limited to 5v5 matches right now, a bit of a nightmare for anyone who played in larger circles but hopefully the next waves of the beta will showcase larger match capacity.

Gallery

Review – Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories

Writer: Various
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming, Various

VALVE has crafted a group of stories in the past years, the Left 4 Dead universe, Portal and even Team Fortress got a personalized story to it. During that time, VALVE also released mini-comics for Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2, showcasing the back story to certain events or releases. Today we got a greater look at the whole picture, starting off with the original Left 4 Dead crew in The Sacrifice.

For many, this is a tense and frustrating map in the DLC released with Left 4 Dead, having to pick a member of the team to go back and them having no hope to return, even worse if that survivor can’t actually make it to all the stops in time. In this case we find out how it really breaks down, a story not just of The Sacrifice, but everything revolving around the survivors and the real state of the world. For fans of the series, this brings some emotional twists and background to the original team, for those who always wanted to know more it’ll give that and so much extra.

Quality wise, the art is a bit wild, very raw but very detailed and keeping to the tone that made the series so eerie. The dialogue expands upon the one liners that guide players through the series including an in depth look into Bill and the limitless optimism of Francis. Everyone gets a moment in the spotlight and we even meet some outsiders along the way.

Team Fortress 2 takes over the reigns as The Sacrifice Wraps up, tackling the friendship conflict announced when the Soldier and Demoman got their new weapon load outs. After a dark passage for the survivors, the Team Fortress crew picks up the pace with some of the most insane moments. The history between the two sides is revealed, the mysteries of Mann Co are blown out and all out war fills the air. If you read the friendship comic, you’ll love how the rest of this pans out as even Saxon Hale sneaks in with his retro themed pages.

Fans of Team Fortress 2 will no doubt eat up all the amazing bits they’ve managed to store in the book, with so much explained it’s a must for any player to have.

Portal 2 wraps up the book, covering many comics already well known to the public, a few chapters do seem to wrap up the loose ends though, we learn about the mysterious doctor behind the scenes and even more on Chell and the battle with GLaDOS. For many this might not be worth the sole investment into the book, for VALVE fans though, this really is the icing on a delicious cake that we finally get to taste. The art is wild as is the story, the pace and control varies in the moment of the story and reads as a tale of madness until we find ourselves at the end.

Hopefully VALVE can incorporate these into continued volumes or at least use the thought put into these to segway their own games into new avenues. Look for it to arrive just in time for the holidays this year. Unfortunately, while amazing, don’t expect it to drop teasers on a certain Mr. Freeman though.

Publication Date: November 16, 2011
Price: $24.99

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Left 4 Dead 2 Suicide Blitz 2 Easter Egg

PC modding is always awesome, today we get a glimpse of how far that can go in Suicide Blitz 2 for Left 4 Dead 2. The mod takes you from the regular map through a series of custom challenges from Portal 2 with GLaDOS dropping motivational quotes to keep you pushing on. To top it off, the maps throw in some good pokes between both series with a number of custom sequences that are fun for all.

Check out the video on youtube of a pair that found this Easter Egg.
Download: Suicide Blitz 2 for Left 4 Dead 2

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[Updated] Stack up bodies in Left 4 Dead 2’s Cold Stream for DLC!

Killing zombies is a tough task, Cold Stream in Left 4 Dead 2 actually makes that to new levels. Valve is trying to sweeten the deal as the add-on is slated for release, if they can get 20,000 people to survive the onslaught they’ll release Dead Air for L4D2 early on July 10th. Players can beat the campaign on any difficulty to earn the new achievement and help everyone enjoy the goods a little earlier.

Check out the official blog post for more information or jump on Steam and lend a hand. I’ll be in the fight in just a bit as well.

[Left 4 Dead Blog]

Update – Playthrough tips:

  • When you can grab a second pistol do so, you’ll have 30 rounds to unleash when your primary weapon goes out of ammo
  • Melee strike as much as possible when reloading, try to maintain the high ground and if you’re playing in SP, grab high range weapons like the sniper rifle to pick enemies off before leading the AI in.
  • The waves rely on users moving forward after the first attack, doing so leaves you open to being surrounded, fight the first flood and then wait for the second before going forward. If your team is tightly held you can last through these waves.
  • Solo players will die, you can’t rush in these maps, trying is pretty much suicide and leaves the team with one less person
  • On the bridge, beware of some glitches in crossing the beams, if someone falls there is a chance they’ll get stuck on the side railing until they die, trying to save them is pointless as they’ll instantly go into falling mode again.
  • In the final map have at least one person get the grenade launcher, save the rounds as much as possible, in the final zone unload the rounds to reduce the swarms to 0.
  • Heal your team often but always try to keep 1-2 med packs in reserve, in some cases the game will ask for a sacrifice, if you survive they’ll have a med pack waiting unless someone hijacks it and leaves you for dead. (Bridge scene has a charger that blows you off the scaffolding if you don’t have grenade rounds).

Xbox 360 users:The L4D team has confirmed that the 360 version of Cold Stream will arrive later this summer.

Completed using: Dual Handguns, Grenade Launcher, M249 SAW, Sniper Rifle (primary)

Hopefully these lend a hand in getting through Cold Stream and get you a new badge. Completed it in 49mins solo on hard, well designed but the boundary boxes need work still and the AI enemies and team often get stuck or make really odd mistakes through the entire campaign.

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Portal 2 gets more goods from The National

The National and Valve announced today the band will be adding a new track to the ever expanding Portal 2. While not a theme song, it will be unique to the game and written directly around the events to make for an interesting bonus to the existing game.

Not much else is being said so instead of talking about their accolades I’ll just note that everyone has about another month to wait until this hits retail and sucks everyone in again. April 18th is coming and none of us can stop it.

Also I’ve included a small gallery of pretty pictures from the game. Enjoy!

The Sacrifice is here for L4D and L4D2 owners!

Yes that might be the creepiest header on the site yet, but ignore that! Today the latest DLC for L4D and L4D2 has arrived with new maps and modes for all players. Check out the full sheet below. PC / Mac players can get the latest addition for free while 360 users will get the game later today for 560 points.

“The Sacrifice” is the prequel to “The Passing,” and takes place from the L4D Survivors’ perspective as they make their way South. In addition to advancing the story, “The Sacrifice” introduces a new style finale featuring “Sacrificial Gameplay” where players get to decide who will give their life so the others may live.

The Sacrifice DLC for L4D1 is a seperate download than The Sacrifice for L4D2.

In The Sacrifice for Left 4 Dead 1 gamers receive the complete Sacrifice campaign with maps playable in Campaign, Versus, and Survival.

In The Sacrifice for Left 4 Dead 2 owners receive “The Sacrifice” campaign playable with the Left 4 Dead Survivors. In addition, those with Left 4 Dead 2 receive L4D’s “No Mercy” campaign. Both campaigns are playable in Campaign, Versus, Survival, and Scavenge modes and both will feature the Left 4 Dead 2 Special Infected, items, and weapons. Yes, Zoey with a chainsaw!

Targeted for release on October 5th, “The Sacrifice” will be available for download on Xbox Live for 560 Microsoft Points and free to all PC gamers.

Team Fortress 2 – Engineer Update

Sentry down! Building a Sentry! Teleporter up! Okay sorry, I am a bit of a fan of the Engineer in TF2, from the start of the game I loved jumping each team further into battle. This week Valve has announced that the beloved Engineer will get a class update including new maps, items and achievements.

For loyalists still working hard in the warzone, golden wrenches will be given out to players creating their arsenal in the field. Anyone cranking out a Dispenser, Teleporter or Sentry will have a chance to score one of these wrenches between now and Thursday.

For every 25th wrench awarded the folks at Valve will dish out a little extra information about the new update. Those who just want to watch the action can track the progress here. For more info about the update check the TF2 website.
Continue reading Team Fortress 2 – Engineer Update