BortQ writes: Indie gamedevs Sillysoft have released Castle Vox, a turn-based strategy game that combines elements of Diplomacy, Chess, and Axis & Allies. The game is free to play and comes with a map editor built-in that you can use to create your own boards. It also has an AI SDK that programmers can take advantage of to create computer AI players. The game is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Stoobalou writes "Microsoft's Kinect motion controller isn't due to ship until November 4th, but one retailer has jumped the gun, leaving a number of gamers with a bit of a quandary. The un-named distributor has sent what Microsoft describes as 'a very small number' of Kinect systems to lucky buyers who might not consider themselves quite so lucky if they try to use the device and its bundled games. Installing the games will require a firmware upgrade, which is nothing out of the ordinary, but in this case the upgrade hasn't yet been released. Attempting to install the non-existent update seems to fool the console into thinking you are trying to play a pirated game and locks the user out of Microsoft's Xbox Live on-line service."
donniebaseball23 writes "Oral arguments for the California games law are set to begin on November 2. It's a hugely important court case for the industry, and if the Supreme Court sides with the legislators it could lead to an exodus of talent from the games business, says one attorney. 'Certainly less games would be produced and there would be a corresponding job loss,' said Patrick Sweeney, who leads the Video Game practice at Reed Smith LLP. 'But I expect the impact will likely be significantly deeper. I believe the independent development community would be severely impacted. Innovation, both from a creative and technological aspect, would also be stifled. The companies, brands and individuals that we should be embracing as the visionaries of this creative and collaborative industry will migrate their talents to a more expressive medium.' Meanwhile, Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, author of Grand Theft Childhood, notes that even if California gets its way, it could backfire."
Check out The Making of VIKTORY II, one guy's tale of creating and self-publishing his strategic board game. He is crazy persistent (and has some past experience) and manages to knock out a pretty professional final game.