Tuesday, 30 April 2013

OnLive WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship Community Tournament Round 2


The results for Round 1 of the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament are in and the winning drivers have advanced to Round 2. Below are the results of Round 1 with the winners in bold:

Below are the pairings of contestants in Round 2:
The Round 2 stage in WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship is Rallye Monte-Carlo: Luceram. Contestants in Round 2 have to share the Brag Clip of their best time on that stage with WRC3 Contest before the submission deadline of Wednesday, May 1st, 12:00pm PDT. Only one submission per player, per round, will be accepted. The racers who will advance to the Quarter-Final will be announced on Friday, May 3rd by OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament.

The prizes for the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament are:
Here are the official rules of the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament.


Friday, 26 April 2013

OnLive Released Gish and Gardenscapes to the PlayPack

This week's new games in the OnLive PlayPack are Gish and Gardenscapes. The OnLive PlayPack is now at 247 games in the US, 246 games in the UK and 246 games in Belgium, and counting.

Gish

Gish is a 2D indie platform game published by Chronic Logic and developed by Cryptic Sea.



A Sunday stroll with his lady friend, Brea, goes awry when a shadowy figure emerges from an open manhole and pulls Brea below ground. Following Brea's calls for help, Gish suddenly finds himself in the subterranean sewers of Dross, a long forgotten city filled with twisting corridors, evil traps, and some of the most demented creatures imaginable.

With his gelatinous structure as his only means of defense, Gish must follow the echoing cries of his damsel in distress deep within the earth below. What freakish creatures dwell in this subterranean land? Who is Brea's captor? And just how far down does the rabbit hole go?

Life isn't easy when you're a 12 pound ball of tar...

Features:
  • Dynamic physics and lighting.
  • Destructible environments.
  • 34+ story levels.
  • 20+ collection levels.
  • Six unique VS. modes.
  • Unlockable game modes.
  • Over 15 animated enemies.
  • Six deranged bosses.
  • Five "super secret" levels.


Metascore: 80

You can subscribe to the PlayPack and play the free demo of Gish for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Gardenscapes

Gardenscapes is a casual puzzle game published and developed by Playrix.



Create the perfect garden! Comb the rooms of a gorgeous mansion for hidden items and restore a once stunning garden to its former glory. Choose from tons of garden accessories to customize the garden to your taste. Become part of the city's community and compete in the "Best Garden" contest. No worries if you are a garden design novice - an amusing and witty butler, Austin, will always be of assistance. Become an outdoor decor pro in this cutting hedge Playrix game!

Features:
  • Over 1000 cool items to find.
  • 15 rooms to comb for hidden objects.
  • Tons of garden accessories to choose from.
  • Immersive storyline presented in beautiful animation.
  • Interactive and customizable environment.
  • Fully-animated amusing butler as your right-hand man.



You can subscribe to the PlayPack and play the free demo of Gardenscapes for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

OnLive WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship Community Tournament Round 1


The results for the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament qualifier are in and the qualified drivers have been seeded to Round 1. OnLive did not specify the qualifying times of the contestants, but they did confirm that times will be included during the regular tournament. Below are the pairings of contestants in Round 1:

The Round 1 stage in WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship is RallyRACC - Rally de Espana: Santa Marina. Contestants in Round 1 have to share the Brag Clip of their best time on that stage with WRC3 Contest before the submission deadline of Wednesday, April 24th, 12:00pm PST. Only one submission per player, per round, will be accepted. The racers who will advance to Round 2 will be announced on Friday, April 26, 2013 by OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament.

The prizes for the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament are:
Here are the official rules of the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament.


Friday, 19 April 2013

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD and Farmscapes Joined the OnLive Marketplace and PlayPack

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD and Farmscapes were added to the OnLive marketplace as PlayPasses and to the OnLive PlayPack. The OnLive PlayPack is now at 245 games in the US, 244 games in the UK and 244 games in Belgium, and counting.

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD

The game is priced at $9.99 in the US ($6.99 PlayPack discount), £7.99 in the UK (£5.59 PlayPack discount) and €9.99 in Belgium (€6.99 PlayPack discount).

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD is an action adventure game published and developed by Oddworld Inhabitants. The old non HD version of the game was released to the OnLive PlayPack back in June of last year, but was later removed from the PlayPack. Now we know that it was removed becuse of the impending release of the HD version that features 720p visuals, remastered dialogue, updated character models, environments that boast better poly-counts, textures and reflections, and bonus material.

The first two titles of the Oddworld series, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus are already a part of the OnLive PlayPack. The third title in the series, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee was also a part of the PlayPack, but was later also removed which is a pretty strong hint that the HD version of the game could come to OnLive.



In the dusty, undeveloped wastelands of Western Mudos, cantankerous townsfolk find their settlements besieged by belligerent outlaws. Along comes Stranger, a tall, dark and enigmatic bounty hunter with a mission to capture troublemakers and scoundrels and return them to civilized townships for incarceration.

But Stranger is keeping a secret and needs expensive surgery to survive. In his quest to earn enough Moolah, Stranger reluctantly accepts the ultimate bounty from the owner of the Mongo River and suddenly his adventure takes a very different turn.

Features:
  • Fire Live Ammo! Launch critters at your enemies. Distract them with Chippunks, encase them in Bolamite webbing, or destroy them with Stingbees and explosive bats.
  • Accept missions from the Bounty Store and talk to neurotic townsfolk to learn where your bounty can be found.
  • 1st/3rd Person gameplay.
  • Easter eggs.
  • Unlockables.
  • Three modes of difficulty.


Metascore: 82

You can subscribe to the PlayPack and buy Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Farmscapes

The game is priced at $13.99 in the US ($9.79 PlayPack discount), £8.99 in the UK (£6.29 PlayPack discount) and €13.99 in Belgium (€9.79 PlayPack discount).

Farmscapes is a casual puzzle game published and developed by Playrix.

In Farmscapes you help Joe restore his ranch. Earn money by selling fresh veggies, juicy fruits, eggs, flowers and honey from his old farm to the townspeople, and spend it on restoring the landholding back to its grandeur and beauty. Breathe in new life into a formerly prosperous farm complete with clucking chickens, mooing cows and buzzing beehives. No need to make this lawn story short - indulge yourself in sun, color and blue summer skies! Get ready for this green-fingered game!

Features:
  • Unique blend of match-3, hidden object and sim.
  • Fully interactive and customizable environment.
  • Bonus Hidden Object levels.
  • Tons of accessories and styles to choose from.
  • Witty dialogues and immersive storyline.
  • Vivid and charismatic characters.



You can play the free demo, subscribe to the PlayPack and buy Farmscapes for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Monday, 15 April 2013

OnLive Removed Saints Row: The Third, Saints Row 2 and Metro 2033 from the Marketplace and PlayPack

On behalf of publisher Deep Silver, OnLive had to remove Saints Row: The Third, Saints Row 2 and Metro 2033 from the Marketplace and PlayPack. They also had to remove the Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package and Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package Upgrade from the Marketplace. As with any game removed from the OnLive marketplace to date, people who purchased Saints Row: The Third and/or Metro 2033 as a PlayPass are still able to play them from their My Games tab, and as Saints Row 2 was a PlayPack only game it's gone for good. Unfortunately it's not possible to buy add-ons for a game that has been pulled from the OnLive service and that you still own, and Since Saints Row: The Third was the game with the most DLC content on OnLive this is quite a misfortune for those who own it.



After the removal of Metro 2033 and Saints Row 2, the OnLive PlayPack is now at 243 games in the US, 242 games in the UK and 242 games in Belgium, and counting. Saints Row: The Third was not in the PlayPack and was a PlayPass only title.

Saints Row: The Third, Saints Row 2 and Metro 2033 were all former THQ games, and THQ was the strongest supporter of OnLive. But THQ recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and auctioned off most of their assets like games studios and game IPs, and is currently in liquidation. One of the purchasers of said assets was Koch Media, which publishes games under the Deep Silver label, and they acquired Volition, the creator and developer of the Saints Row series, and they also acquired the Metro franchise.

One of the highest caliber games that was removed from OnLive to date is Dead Island, a property of Deep Silver. It was supposedly removed along other games because of a GameSpy issue on October 2nd of last year. The other games resurfaced the next day as the GameSpy issue was fixed, but we still don't know what happened with Dead Island. The only response from OnLive was a brief comment on their Facebook page, "We are aware of the Dead Island issue and are working on fixing it." Looks like there was nothing to fix, not only that, Deep Silver now also took their newly acquired THQ games from OnLive and I wouldn't count on them releasing the upcoming Saints Row IV and Metro: Last Light games on OnLive.



Removals of other former THQ games that are on OnLive could follow, though the new owners of those properties might not be so negatively inclined towards OnLive as Deep Silver is. Former THQ games that are still on OnLive are titles like Darksiders and Darksiders II, Homefront, the Warhammer games, the Red Faction games, Frontlines: Fuel of War, MX vs. ATV Reflex and Titan Quest: Gold Edition.

OnLive also had to remove other high profile games following their ABC bankruptcy and the start of their reorganization. They lost support of Warner Bros. which took away the Batman games, the LEGO games and the F.E.A.R. games among others. There was also the removal of 4 Konami games in the US, the removal of 3 of these Konami games that were still on OnLive in the UK and Belgium, and the removal of Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 from the OnLive Marketplace. The removal of GREED - Black Border from the PlayPack was also part of this large wave of OnLive game losses.

Let's hope that in the future OnLive will make more news with game releases. Some signs are certainly bewitchingly pointing that way.

OnLive is Hosting Another WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship Community Tournament


Back in December of last year OnLive was hosting a racing contest in WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship. The event was a great success and a lot of fun for OnLive gamers so OnLive decided to bring the contest back, this time bigger with multiple tiers and better prizes.

The new OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament is a 6 week community event, complete with qualifier and 5 round tournament bracket. The qualifier round is happening now and the cutoff for qualifier submissions is Wednesday, April 17th, 12:00pm PST. The top 32 racers will be seeded in the tournament and begin the head to head competition, leading to the championship face off on May 22.


The prizes for the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament are:
Below are the instructions for entering the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament:
  1. Log-in to the OnLive Cloud Gaming Service and add WRC3 Contest to your friends list.
  2. Launch WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship (UK, Belgium) from the OnLive PlayPack (UK, Belgium) or as a free trial (UK, Belgium) in the OnLive Game Service. Once in the game menus, navigate to "WRC Experience" and to "Single Stage". Select the car you'd like to race with. Selecting a car from the WRC group is recommend.
  3. Race the qualifier stage Neste Oil Rally Finland: Evo and take a Brag Clip of the finish of your best run. Be sure to capture the final standings board in the BragClip after you cross the finish line.
  4. Share your Brag Clip with WRC3 Contest of your best time on that stage before the submission deadline of April 17, 2013 at 12:00PM PST. Only one submission per player, per round, will be accepted.
  5. Check the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament standings on Friday, April 19, 2013, to see if you qualified, and check back OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament every Friday to see if you advanced to the next round of the contest and see the next assigned track.

Each week, qualified racers in the competition will be racing against another OnLive member to achieve the best time on a given Stage. Every Friday, for the duration of the tournament, OnLive will be updating the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament standings and revealing the next stage for the competition. Be sure to check back each week to see if you're still in the race and who you're up against!

Here are the official rules of the OnLive WRC 3 Community Tournament.



OnLive wishes all contestants happy racing and good luck!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

OnLive Released Vanguard Princess to the Marketplace and PlayPack

Vanguard Princess was added to the OnLive marketplace as a PlayPass and to the OnLive PlayPack. The game is priced at $9.99 in the US ($6.99 PlayPack discount), £6.49 in the UK (£4.54 PlayPack discount) and €9.99 in Belgium (€6.99 PlayPack discount). The PlayPack is now at 245 games in the US, 244 games in the UK and 244 games in Belgium, and counting.

Vanguard Princess is an indie 2D fighting game published and developed by eigoManga.



Government experiments on a young girl triggered a cosmic shock wave that gifted many young girls with mystical powers. She re-emerges into the world and vows to destroy all of mankind in an act of revenge. A brave group of girls who embraced their powers head to the battlefield to confront her; not just for the sake of the world, but to pursue their own personal motives and dreams.

Choose from a roster of ten girls with unique fighting skills and pair them with a powerful partner to form an unstoppable team.




You can play the free demo, subscribe to the PlayPack and buy Vanguard Princess for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Monday, 8 April 2013

OnLive Upgraded Their Streaming Bandwidth to 12 Mb for the PC and Mac Clients

To date OnLive gamers were able to stream their games from OnLive's data centers with a speed of up to 6.5 Mb. Many were complaining that they could stream with a higher speed and that way have a better picture quality if OnLive let them. Well, OnLive has now listened to those complaints and upped the streaming speed up to 12 Mb which comes with a noticeable increase in picture quality.

To enable the higher speeds and change other options OnLive gamers have to select the 'more settings...' option on the OnLive sign in screen. Those new options are only available on the PC and Mac clients. The OnLive Game System, the OnLive Android client and the OnLive Google TV client will have to wait.


From there they can select from a bandwidth speed of 3 Mb up to 12 Mb. The default option is automatic. They can also select window modes like Low Latency Fullscreen, Fullscreen and Windowed.


There are even more options like netbook mode, optimize for Wi-Fi, play audio in background, and you can even turn on and off vertical sync. Those are all great options. With the play audio in background option enabled you can now finally hear the audio from the OnLive cloud gaming service even when you have the OnLive application in windowed mode and use another application, that way not missing what's happening in the OnLive service. By turning off vsnyc the streamed frames get displayed as soon as they are decoded which can reduce latency, but the danger is of course that screen tearing can happen.

The Mac client lacks the Low Latency Fullscreen and vsnyc options.


There are still some nagging problems like occasional lag spikes and game crashes. But they are not all OnLive's problems as the higher bandwidth options require sustained internet speeds to run them stable. For that OnLive has included a performance test that runs each time you start up the OnLive client and displays latency, bandwidth, and packet loss to OnLive's servers. They also measure the video decode time on your PC or Mac.

Interestingly the performance test only measures a maximum bandwidth speed of 8.2 Mb no matter if your connection is faster, though the OnLive client does use up to 12 Mb.



OnLive is using those options to gather performance data from users and improve the service. Below is what OnLive senior manager of customer relations Nathan Barsetti posted at OnLive Fans:

Let me address a few things. First off, this community's feedback is invaluable for prepping my team for customer inquiries around the new features. While we are very much aware of the intended benefits, how they impact the experience in the broader community gives us great clarity in what to expect. We've already received some tickets from you guys which we very much appreciate. We are investigating the reports of increases in lag to determine what might be happening there.

As Tig reported on my discussion with him, the quiet release of these features is intended to put it out into the wild and gather settings vs performance data. As for the difference between Low Latency Fullscreen and Fullscreen, I'm allowed to say that it makes use of some advantages in Windows to, as you'd guess, reduce latency in the interaction with the Service. You'll likely notice that Alt-Tabbing is a little rougher with Low Latency Fullscreen selected. If you deselect Vertical Sync, you may see some tearing in the image. If you do, simply re-select it and that artifacting will go away. These are options only available on the PC Client. Currently, there is no info on when we plan releasing the settings on the MC client.

I'm really glad to hear that for most of you, there seems to be a marked improvement in the visuals. The new client provides OnLive Tech Support with invaluable info in getting unadulterated figures on the reality of speeds, latency, packet loss, and decode time.

Keep tinkering!