Sony Online Entertainment’s G.I.R.L. Scholarship Winner Announced

Alicia Crawford, a game and art design student at the Inland Empire’s Art Institute of California, was recently selected as the winner of the fourth annual competition that Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) hosts for female competitors from around the world. The scholarship, Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.), was created in the hopes it would get more women involved in the creation of video games. It is a $10,000 scholarship that can be used towards tuition and education expenses.

In addition to the scholarship, Alicia has also been offered a 10-week paid internship at the San Diego office of SOE, an excellent opportunity for any aspiring game designer or game artist. Crawford had the following to say:

“It’s such an honor to be recognized for my work by a major video game publisher and I’m extremely thankful to SOE for this opportunity,” said Crawford.”Winning the G.I.R.L. scholarship fuels my desire to work in the gaming industry and my existing passion for video games.”

The entrants into the competition had to submit two pieces of original concept art (in the theme of one of two games, Free Realms or EverQuest II) and an essay about their views about women in the gaming industry. You can view Alicia’s two winning pieces of art below. For more information on the scholarship, visit the official G.I.R.L. website.


The Cursed Crusade “Sizzle” Trailer

ATLUS released a “sizzle” trailer for the upcoming action-adventure title, The Cursed Crusade. Before watching this movie, this game wasn’t on our radar, but after watching it, we can’t wait for its release! Check it out:

The Cursed Crusade uses the Fourth Crusade as its inspiration, but it appears it will be from a very personal perspective, with the protagonist looking for his father. It will have 2-player cooperative gameplay and will release on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC this Fall. Check out the official The Cursed Crusdate website for more information.

Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Live Today

MMORPG Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising has had a bumpy ride. Originally in develop by Perpetual Entertainment, who also at the time owned the Star Trek franchise, it became defunct when Perpetual closed its doors several years ago. Star Trek was sold to Cryptic, who then chucked everything Perpetual had done on the game and made their own version. However, Gods & Heroes sat in limbo for several years until Austin developer Heatwave Interactive took up the reins. Two years ago, they announced development had begun on the title and today, the game finally gets to see the light of day, as it launches across North America. The game will launch in Europe on June 24th.

Many MMOs of today have chucked the subscription model, but Gods & Heroes stays true to its history. After purchasing the initial box or the digital download, players will receive 30 free days to experience the game, after which there will be a $9.99 monthly subscription fee. It’s almost odd talking about a subscription cost, in the current age of free-to-play, but we really do prefer that model rather than getting nickel-and-dimed for all the little extras. Here’s some details of the game from the press release:

Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising is a full-scale action-adventure MMORPG set amid the familiar landmarks and legendary environments of ancient Rome. Each player’s character is a Demigod, a child of both god and mortal, and celebrated Hero who must battle an ancient enemy that has returned to topple the empire and avenge their defeat at the hands of the Olympian gods. Unique gameplay features include:
•Squad-Based Minion System - Players create, customize and command a squad of minions that level up with them in combat. As players advance through the game, they recruit from over 130 unique minions, each with specific roles and powerful abilities.
•Massive Estate System - Unlike any MMO housing system, players are given a huge tract of land to build upon. They must rebuild the structures destroyed by the Telchinist Cultists to recruit and upgrade their army of minions. Only then can a player become powerful enough to hunt down and defeat the evil Telchinists and regain their honor.
•Tandem Combat Action - Wield an arsenal of weapons and the powers of the gods themselves to perform combat moves which can be linked together, including dramatic finishing moves for intense battle sequences.

We look forward to checking the title out ourselves at some point, since it’s a game a long time in the coming and, back in 2005, we were excited for it. For more information on the game and how to buy it, check out the official Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising website.

EVE Online: Incarna Set to Launch Tomorrow

MMORPG EVE Online will be making a significant step towards out of ship activities with the release of Incarna tomorrow. Incarna 1.0 will give each player access to The Captain’s Quarters on the stations. It’s a place for pilots to relax after missions and battles and will serve as a hub for information. There are plans to expand beyond the initial version of The Captain’s Quarters, adding new features to that area and new areas outside of that location. In addition to the first out of ship experience, CCP has also revamped the new player experience, trying to cut down on the learning curve EVE is so famous for. Check out this video narrated by CCP Zulu, giving a tour of the Captain’s Quarters.

Stagecraft: Velvet Sundown

In the file of ‘completely new idea based on very old ideas’, we find Stagecraft: Velvet Sundown. The concept behind this game is that a small group of players get together and play through a pre-scripted story, but because of the uniqueness of each person in the game, it turns out a new experience each time the player goes through it. Not sure what I’m saying yet? Take a look at this from the website - it explains the concept better than I ever could:

Velvet Sundown is a story for 6 to 12 players. The events take place on a luxury super yacht cruising in the Caribbean. You act a character tied to the story through quirks, ambitions and secrets. You find yourself in an environment filled with colorful drinks and tanned people, surrounded by glimmer of gold and flashes of diamonds. As you might expect from such crowd of rich and beautiful, matters might be entirely different behind the practiced smiles and small talk.

Step aboard, get to know the other passengers and work your way into the jungle of ambitions, suspicion and hidden agendas to figure out what really is going on aboard the yacht!

We’re incredibly intrigued. It reminds us of the old Dungeon Master, the person who creates a scenario for his friends, then has them play through it, all the while he’s controlling every element - but he can’t predict what his friends will do, so they impact what is going to happen as much as he does. The game is due out this Summer. You can find more information on the official Stagecraft website. We’ll be checking it out as soon as they let us.

Women in Games Conference 2011 - Coming to London

Women in Games Jobs (WIGJ) announced that there will be a Women in Games Conference held in London on September 22, 2011. Advisory board members include feminine luminaries from companies like Sony Computer Entertainment, Activision, Microsoft Lionhead and Ubisoft Reflections. The focus of this upcoming conference is going to be career development for women within the European market. It will feature keynote and specialist speakers giving women who want to break into the industry sound advice. David Smith, the found of WIGJ, had this to say:

This year’s Women In Games Conference is aimed at both women in games education and women with firmly established careers in games development and games publishing across Europe - a ‘must attend’ event for women seeking to progress their careers in the male dominated games sector.

Further information, such as the where the conference will take place and the schedule of presentations, will be announced at a later date. More information and early bird tickets can be found at

Treasure Seekers 3: Follow the Ghosts Coming to iPad/iPhone

G5 Entertainment has announced release dates for the iPad and iPhone versions of their popular hidden object title Treasure Seekers 3: Follow the Ghosts. The Treasure Seekers titles are solid, and we gave Treasure Seekers 3 a score of 8.3/10. We can only imagine the game will be that much more enjoyable using a touch screen. Here are some details of the upcoming release:

Use your Hidden Object skills to explore a mysterious world, and discover valuable clues. In Treasure Seekers 3: Follow the Ghosts you will help Nelly and Tom release unlucky ghosts trapped by an evil alchemist! Track down the necessary items to free the dead ancestor of Cardinal House, a shaman, and many other characters. Stop the evil alchemist and save the day!

· 48 Fascinating levels
· 5 Chapters
· 2 Game modes - casual and advanced
· Captivating storyline
· Impressive graphics
· Support of multitasking with iOS 4.2
· Game Center Support

Find out more details from the official sites for the iPad and iPhone versions of the game.

League of Legends Tournament Results So Far

For any fans of the action-strategy-RPG League of Legends, Day 1 of the tournament with a prize pool of $100,000 for the winning team has commenced in Sweden. Eight teams are vying for the prize and the day one recap can be viewed on It is currently starting day 3, and today, matches to determine who will be in the finals will take place.

The Championship match will take place at 6 PM Eastern and all coverage, including live footage of that match, can be found on the official site for this tournament - Season One Championship for League of Legends.

League of Legends is free-to-play, so anyone interested in taking it for a test drive, check out the official site.

Psych - the Game in Development

Based on the popular crime show on USA, Legacy Games announced an agreement with Universal Partnerships and NBCUniversal to produce a casual game. Pscyh is about a faux psychic crime detective - that is, he fakes it. What he really is, it turns out, is super observant. This will make a good transition to a hidden object game, since that is all about paying attention to surroudings and seeing the clues others miss. Here’s the important parts of the press release:

“Legacy Interactive is thrilled to be collaborating again with NBCUniversal,” said Ariella Lehrer, President and CEO of Legacy Interactive. “Psych is the perfect TV license for the light adventure game customer, given how its protagonist, Shawn Spencer, uses observational skills to solve crimes. Imagine the opportunities for hidden object game play. Plus, the show has such a great, fun vibe!”

“Humor, mystery, and co-operation are fantastic elements to work into a casual game design, and Psych is chock full of these attributes,” said Bill Kispert, Vice President & General Manager, Digital Platforms, Universal Partnerships & Licensing. “We are excited to bring clever, new cases to Psych fans online, and to partner again with Legacy Interactive with a leading TV brand.”

Psych blends light adventure gameplay with challenging hidden object searches, as players take on the role of Shawn Spencer, who consults with the local police department to solve crimes as a would-be psychic while actually using his heightened observational skills. The game consists of two all-new episodic cases to solve with a cast of quirky witnesses and suspects and no shortage of witty banter between Shawn and best friend Gus. While exploring the beautiful Santa Barbara locales, players must collect inventory items, play mini-games to find previously undetected evidence, solve clever puzzles, and help Shawn and Gus talk their way into and out of trouble. Players must stay alert and watch for clues only an expertly trained investigator, or perhaps even a real psychic, would be able to see in order to uncover the truth.

Sounds exciting!

Twilight Zone on the Way for PC and Mac (do do do do, do do do do)

Legacy Interactive, a leading casual game developer and publisher, announced just a few minutes ago that they will be producing a game based on the popular science fiction television show The Twilight Zone. Legacy has signed an agreement with CBS and the game is currently scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2012. It will be available to PC and Mac users. This should come as no surprise, since Legacy continues to turn TV shows into casual games, with previous titles based on House, M.D., Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds, Psych and Murder, She Wrote.

“Legacy Interactive is thrilled to be collaborating with CBS Consumer Products and developer Spark Plug Games on this amazing franchise,” said Ariella Lehrer, President and CEO of Legacy Interactive.  “Who doesn’t remember episodes like ‘Time Enough at Last’ or ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’? Beloved by baby boomers worldwide, Legacy hopes to bring the same chilling intelligence, social relevance, and supernatural themes to our Twilight Zone video game.”

In Groundhog Day fashion, The Twilight Zone’s story will revolve around an actor who becomes trapped in a TV show he can’t escape. He has to uncover his role in each storyline before he can move on. This title will be an adventure style game with hidden object gameplay.

While I’m definitely a fan of Twilight Zone, I have a beef to air. There is an episode called ‘A Little Peace and Quiet’ that I saw when I was much younger and I have never been able to get it out of my head. Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want it ruined, step back from this post.

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