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Doctor Who game starring Capaldi teaches kids to code

The Doctor and the Dalek is a web-based game intended to teach kids age 6 to 12 how to code, starring a friendly Dalek and The Doctor as portrayed by Peter Capaldi. Capaldi lends his voice to the game and it's written by series writer Phil Ford.

The Doctor and the Dalek is part of the BBC's Make it Digital initiative, which aims to inspire youngsters to get creative with coding and digital technology. For those in the UK, the game will be available for free at bbc.co.uk/cbbc beginning Wednesday, October 22. See a video of the game in action at the BBC.
[Image: BBC]

Space Engineers assemble a million sales

Space Engineers touches down on Steam Early Access
A million people have picked up their Space Engineers license, according to developer Keen Software House. The game celebrates the sales milestone in conjunction with its one year anniversary of availability on Steam Early Access, where it still resides.

"Looking to the future, Space Engineers will remain in development for a while longer," Keen Software noted today. "Focusing on adding new features and bug fixing and also continue taking feedback and suggestions from the community who is helping to further improve and expand the game."

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UK considers quadrupling prison terms for Internet trolls

In an effort to "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob," lawmakers in the UK will soon debate an amendment that could quadruple prison terms for Internet trolls, from the current six months to a maximum of two years.

"These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life," Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Daily Mail. "No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence." Grayling's comments come in direct response to the recent online harassment of television presenter Chloe Madeley, who was subjected to rape threats after her mother appeared on the ITV network talk show Loose Women to discuss soccer star and convicted rapist Ched Evans.

"As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion," Grayling added. "This is a law to combat cruelty - and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: If you troll you risk being behind bars for two years."

Unfortunately, online harassment is a global epidemic. Recent harassment campaigns against Anita Sarkeesian have also included both rape and death threats, and in one instance forced the outspoken critic to cancel a major public appearance.
[Image: Wikimedia]

Far Cry 4 season pass offers yetis, drugs and prison breaks

For those who want to spend a bit more time in Kyrat than Far Cry 4 offers on its own comes the $30 season pass, which offers a handful of new missions and an additional player vs player gameplay mode.

At launch, those who've purchased the season pass will receive exclusive access to The Syringe, a mission in which players must keep a potent drug from falling into the hands of warlord Pagan Min. Escape From Durgesh Prison, as its name suggests, sees players attempting to escape from one of Min's prisons, either solo or with a friend playing as series mainstay Hurk. Speaking of Hurk, the lovable explosives expert brings with him an five additional missions that introduce a number of new weapons, including a harpoon gun.

On the more supernatural side of things, we have Valley of the Yetis, a mission that drops our hero onto a frozen mountaintop populated both by a mysterious cult and the mysterious, hairy creatures of its title. The Overrun multiplayer game type likewise dips into the arcane as players assume the role of either Rakshasa or a member of the Golden Path in a battle to wrest control of map locations from your opponents.

Unfortunately lacking from Ubisoft's announcement is word on when these downloadable additions will become available to season pass holders. The Syringe is slated to debut alongside Far Cry 4 on November 18, but otherwise Ubisoft has yet to reveal when the $30 season pass will pay off.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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What happened to all of the women coders in 1984

In 1984, women stopped pursing Computer Science majors at American universities. From 1970 onward, women had composed an increasing percentage of Computer Science majors, but something happened in 1984 and that number began to drastically fall, an occurrence at odds with other tech fields. This trend has continued into the 2000s, and today women make up roughly 20 percent of Computer Science majors, as opposed to the 1984 high of about 37 percent.

NPR's Planet Money team of Caitlin Kenney and Steve Henn dove into the data to uncover what went down in the mid-80s to drive women out of the field.

"There was no grand conspiracy in computer science that we uncovered," Henn said. "No big decision by computer science programs to put a quota on women. There was no sign on a door that said, 'Girls, keep out.' But something strange was going on in this field."

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Galactic Civilization 3 gets diplomatic in Beta 2

Developer Stardock has announced the launch of Galactic Civilizations 3 beta two, a pre-release test that adds diplomacy options to the upcoming 4X strategy game.

The full scope of diplomatic options in Galactic Civilizations 3 is currently unknown, but Stardock offers a handful of images detailing the game's new features. Players will now be able to set up treaties with computer-controlled characters, and can officially declare war without having to gun down nearby enemy units. Additionally, the beta expands the game's trading options, adds the new Krynn faction and implements four new victory conditions.

A full list of the beta's additions is too lengthy to appear here, so visit the game's forums for a full rundown. If you're hoping to join the beta test, you can do so at the Galactic Civilizations 3 website, though be aware that early entry requires a $45 pre-order of the final game.
[Image: Stardock]

Minecraft's 'Titan City' took two years, 4.5 million blocks to build

Image What you see here is a labor of love -- emphasis on labor. 19-year-old Delaware student Duncan Parcells spent two years hand-building "Titan City" in the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft, releasing finished versions this week for Microsoft's console and for PC platforms. Titan City's furnished... Continue Reading

343: Halo Collection's launch patch negates a second disc

Following outrage at a 20GB day-one update planned for the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection, head of Halo franchise development Frank O'Connor took to NeoGAF to defend the design decision.

According to O'Connor, that 20GB of data is not a fix for in-game issues, but is instead game content that would have otherwise required that the game ship on multiple Blu-ray discs. "The game is designed to run as a single, unified product, digital is seamless obviously, but we also wanted disc users to have the same experience, without swapping discs," O'Connor told one irate fan. He then added that a title update (read: patch) would be included in the 20GB update, but that it is a "tiny fraction" of the total download. "We realize that this isn't ideal for everyone, but it's the path to the smoothest eventual experience."

While we won't know for sure what's included in the update until it arrives, O'Connor's claim that the game was simply too large to fit on one disc has merit. As we've explained, Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes remastered versions of the first four Halo games, as well as over 100 multiplayer maps.

Joystiq Deals: Android phone giveaway

This edition of Joystiq Deals wants to hook you up with a gratis Android phone, yours to choose from a selection of five high-end Android devices.

Entering the drawing is simple: Pay a visit to the Joystiq Deals website, enter your email address and click the giant "Enter Now" button. If you'd like to make the odds just a bit more in your favor, you can spread the word about the contest on your favorite social networking outlet. Each time an online acquaintance signs up for the drawing using your referral link, you'll automatically earn another entry.

You have two months to submit those entries before the drawing will be held, at which point one lucky winner will walk away with a choice of one of five Android phones. Available models include the Galaxy Note 4, the Moto X, the HTC One M8, the Galaxy Note Edge and the LG G3. For full details, see 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.

A Golden Wake review: The City Beautiful

PC, Mac, Linux

Unlike other tales, Grundislav Games' A Golden Wake is a piece of historical fiction, dipping its toe into a deceptively hopeful economic period following the first World War. Being that the game is deeply-rooted in American history, players also have the luxury of knowing the gist of how the story ends; the market crashes, hurricanes hit the coast and the Great Depression sets in. Even with that knowledge on hand, A Golden Wake remains a delightful trip through the best and worst of times for its cast.

The point-and-click adventure game skips through the era and its protagonist becomes a sympathetic symbol for a rough economic time. It stars Alfie Banks, a smooth-talking New York real estate agent that travels to Florida to cash in on the 1920s land boom. Banks is one fictional character in a very real setting, but A Golden Wake is as much about the Roaring Twenties as it is about the man that's looking to make a name for himself in the business world.

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Fist of Jesus is an over-the-top, historically inaccurate brawler

It's probably historically inaccurate, at least. Recording of events back then was pretty hit-or-miss.

In Fist of Jesus, players take on the role of Jesus Christ and Judas as they fight off hordes of zombies with a swordfish, pulled-off body parts, a big cross and ... did Jesus just fart and explode all of those zombies? Seriously? Well, if you're going to do wacky, you might as well go all the way.

Fist of Jesus comes from developer Mutant Army and it's a beat-em-up with RPG elements, 60 levels, upgrades, and an accompanying live-action short film. You can probably guess the movie's premise. See the short film below, along with the game trailer.

Fist of Jesus is out now on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux, 20 percent off ($8) through October 24.

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Ubisoft Toronto founder Jade Raymond departs to pursue 'new opportunities'

Longtime Ubisoft producer and collaborator Jade Raymond has left the company, citing a need to "pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities."

Raymond joined Ubisoft as a producer of the Assassin's Creed series in 2004, and went on to found subsidiary Ubisoft Toronto. Raymond's recent credits include Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Fellow Ubisoft Toronto founding member Alexandre Parizeau will fill Raymond's vacated position as managing director.

"I've spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games," Raymond said. "This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I'm confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities. Stay tuned for more on what's next for me, but for now, I'd like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavors."

[Image: Jade Raymond / Wikipedia]

Guild Wars 2 teases upcoming festivals, living story season conclusion

gw2
ArenaNet's Colin Johanson has penned a new Guild Wars 2 dev blog teasing just what the remainder of the fall season will bring for the two-year-old MMO.

Outside of ANet's e-sports push, the game's buzz has been relatively subdued since the second feature pack released in early September. That will change tomorrow, October 21st, with the arrival of the much-loved Halloween festival; Wintersday, the winter festival, is scheduled to kick off on December 16th. "Both of these releases," Johanson says, "will feature the same content as last year but with refreshed rewards, giving you fun new festival-themed items to earn."

Season 2 of the living story itself returns from intermission on November 4th, having been on hiatus for just under two months. Johanson promises the plotline will feature "stories with roots deep in the very heart of Guild Wars lore" and an "unforgettable" final episode for the season.

Editor's Note: We Are Always Fighting

We are always fighting.

The first video game I ever played, Space Invaders, rendered fighting in a sickly green hue, with squid-like aliens descending down the bulbous surface of a beige monitor. As much as I admired their patient and orderly see-saw attack pattern on our planet, it made it easy to blow them away from below. You see, it's not about the violence, but timing and pattern recognition.

My other starting game was some kind of Mad Libs program, which accepted a list of nouns and verbs and then spat out a boring or comical story, depending on how creative your input was. The key to playing this game well, I determined, was baking a well-timed "pie" into the plot. The archer reaches into his quiver and removes ... a pie! Help, the sheriff's been shot in the pie! The crowd sucked the air out of the room as the boxer fell to a critical blow from his opponent ... the PIE. You see, a video game lets players control (and probably ruin) the story.

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The Borderlands timeline unfurled

With the recent release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Gearbox knows it may have some fans with questions on how the series' timeline is organized. That's understandable when your latest game is sub-titled "The Pre-Sequel." To bring order to the chaos, the series developer offered an "ultimate Borderlands timeline" on its blog late last week.

The comic-style timeline divulges major plot points from before the original Borderlands through its direct sequel, Borderlands 2. Viewers beware: Gearbox didn't shy away from spoiling those major events in the timeline, including that of The Pre-Sequel. Our review of the latest game noted that the game is "missing just a bit of soul," but still "has the makings of a pretty great Borderlands game." The series' overarching story will continue with The Walking Dead developer Telltale's adventure game, Tales From the Borderlands, which is expected to launch this year.

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Super Joystiq Podcast 117: The Evil Within, Far Cry 4, Bayonetta 2

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