Missing Pieces: Rock Simulator, Diablo III's auction houses die, and more games news

Rock Simulator

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Somebody is making a game about rocks. Not rock stars. Not the Hard Rock Cafe. Not the Jack Black film School of Rock.

Rocks. The kind you find on the ground.

Yeah, we've definitely entered the slow summer months. This is all the gaming news you need to know for the week of June 23.

Rock and roll

"For a long time, there has been one game missing from the market, a genuine rock simulator. I am here for you today to introduce you to Rock Simulator 2014. This simulator is a rock enthusiasts dream. You can watch beautiful rocks in any location in the world. From grass plains to salt flats, there are dozens of hand designed BEAUTIFUL environments."

It's real. It's on Steam Greenlight.

Explore Los Santos

Grand Theft Auto V hasn't even hit the PC yet, but we're already seeing mods for it—namely, this first-person script from YouTube user XBLToothPik.

It works pretty well, outside of the points where you turn the camera and see the inside of Franklin's head.

The witch is dead

In case you haven't kept up with your Diablo III news recently, the last vestiges of the Auction House were removed this week (June 24, to be exact). The Auction House has been shuttered for months, but you could still retrieve your old items and possessions from the smoldering remnants. No longer! The ruins have been bulldozed into the ground and buried with cement.

Goodbye, Auction House. We only hated you half as much as you deserved.

Sharing is caring

When the Xbox One abandoned its original utopian vision of an all-digital console future, bereft of used games, it also abandoned some ideas people were really excited for—namely, sharing games with your friends and family. Well, turns out family sharing is maybe not dead. In a recent podcast with Gamertag Radio, via GameSpot, Xbox head Phil Spencer said "I haven't given up on those ideas," and that, "those kind of features are in our roadmap."

Wolfenstein will wolf again

Wolfenstein: The New Order was my biggest surprise of the year—I thought the game would be middling at best, based on demos I'd played, only to find the game is one of my favorite releases this year.

Wolfenstein: The New Order

So hearing that developer MachineGames already has a "very, very clear idea of what we accomplished with this, and what we want to accomplish with a sequel," as creative director Jens Matthies told GiantBomb, is, well, just wonderful.

Good studios gone free

Hot on the heels of a new Titanfall patch, Respawn COO Dusty Welch revealed to CVG that the company is "thinking about how the studio can expand and where the growth sectors are in free-to-play and mobile." Considering Respawn is as "core gamer" a studio as can be, it's...well, it's a bit upsetting to hear this.

And then I found out that the studio that made the incredible Sleeping Dogs, United Front, is also working on a free-to-play game and now my hand is broken because I punched a hole through the wall.

Oakland, free your flippers

Have you ever played a pinball machine in Oakland? Guess what: you broke the law. The history of pinball is long and convoluted, but what you need to know is that in early days many cities—including the Big Apple—outlawed the machines as "gambling devices." Most cities later repealed the bans, with Manhattan recanting in 1976 after Roger Sharpe demonstrated that pinball was a "game of skill" to a courtroom.

Oakland didn't hop on board, and the ban on pinball has remained for 80 years. This week, however, Oakland is expected to decriminalize pinball machines. Time to celebrate by heading to Alameda's Pacific Pinball Museum.

More reading

I'm still playing through Sniper Elite 3, so expect that review sometime next week. In the meantime, I reviewed the polar opposite war game, Valiant Hearts: The Great War.

We also took a look at Orcs Must Die: Unchained this week, YouTube allowed 60fps video uploads, Oculus bought Carbon Design (the team that built the Xbox 360 controller), Razer announced a new games-oriented Android TV microconsole, Intel approached AMD about Mantle, and we rounded up games you can play for free right in your browser.

The Steam Summer Sale ends Monday, so this is your last chance to snag some great deals. Need help deciding what to buy? We have the scoop on Linux-specific deals, the best hidden deals of the sale, and the best games released so far in 2014.

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