Updated: Nov 26, 2022 12:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Saturday, Nov 26, 2022

Steam Passes 31M CCUs

Steam Charts reveals that Steam has hit another highwater mark in concurrent users (thanks Reddit). The previous reported peak was last month was when Valve's online store/service first surpassed the 30 million mark. The new record is 31,328,262, well over a million more simultaneous users.

Far Cry 6: Lost Between Worlds Announcement Tuesday

A teaser trailer from Ubisoft reveals the announcement trailer for the Lost Between Worlds add on for Far Cry 6. This is quite the nothingbuger for now, as the clip is only 19 seconds because it repeats its brief message twice. This will payoff on Tuesday at 1:00 pm EST, so mark your calendars. Or jump into the chat and discuss this for a few days. Here's word:
Something big is coming to Yara! Tune-in on November 29 at 10AM PT / 7PM CET for the debut of the Far Cry 6: Lost Between Worlds Announcement Trailer. Click the "notify me" button to set a reminder.
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The Sims 4 Gallery Profanity Filter Update

A post from EA details a new patch that's now available for The Sims 4 on PC and consoles. This describes changes to address "instances of wholly unacceptable content that has been uploaded to The Sims 4 Gallery." This does not go into specifics, but according to Eurogamer, this addresses an "increase in Nazi propaganda and anti-Semitic content." Here's the official description of the update:
We are aware of and have seen some select instances of wholly unacceptable content that has been uploaded to The Sims™ 4 Gallery. Our team has reviewed, and made critical updates to, the profanity filter to help prevent this from happening again in the future. We are grateful for the community’s vigilance in helping us identify these inappropriate uploads so we can maintain a safe, creative environment for our players. We will continue to do our part by quickly taking down objectionable content that surfaces, identifying and removing repeat offenders and regularly reviewing the profanity filter in case any updates need to be made.

We encourage players to continue to use the “Flag This” button on The Gallery to report any offensive uploads or comments.

Quake: Ray Traced

GitHub now offers Quake: Ray Traced, a modified version of the Quake source code, adding a path tracing renderer to the classic first-person shooter. Eurogamer offers a trailer showing off how this looks with comparisons to the original game. Word is: "Beyond image reconstruction, gamers actually get two different RT implementations with this mod - a 'classic' option that looks more like the original game with some very nice ray-traced upgrades, alongside a full path-tracer, radically transforming the aesthetic of the game." Here's more:
The classic renderer uses ray tracing for all the primary rendering of geometry, but the lighting is still processed through texture-based light maps like the original game, meaning you get similar lighting and ambience, with some intriguing RT effects: water surfaces are completely different, with RT reflections that show the full surroundings. You also get RT-specific view distortion effects when under water too. A really nice upgrade comes from the teleporters, which now show you the area you'll arrive in when you travel through, Portal-style.

The path-traced option offers a more radical transformation by leveraging path tracing for all of the game's lighting, full replacing light maps and the other tricks Quake used to simulate the look of light back in 1996. Indoor scenes are lit by torches and other small light sources, casting dynamic shadows from appropriate objects. As a part of this system, all muzzle flashes from gunfire cast light and shadows as well, leading to some pretty awesome moments in the dark, reminiscent of Doom 3. One of my favourite RT elements is the lightning gun, which casts light all along the surface of the lighting trail as it leaves the weapon's muzzle.
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Out of the Blue

So yesterday I found myself wondering why there are three NFL games on Thanksgiving Day, but none on Black Friday. The league avoids Fridays while the High School season is underway, but that's been over for a while, so this seemed like a missed opportunity. Turns out that it was missed news on my part that had me pondering this. It was already more than a month ago that it was announced that Prime Video to stream 'Black Friday' NFL game in 2023. Of course with the quality of games on Amazon, this doesn't completely rule out a High School game, but maybe this will be worked out better by then.

Obituary: Irene Cara, ‘Fame’ Star and ‘Flashdance’ Singer, Dead at 63.

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Friday, Nov 25, 2022

Get Terroir for Free

You can now collect Terroir for Windows, macOS, and Linux completely free on GOG.com. This is the promised second giveaway that's part of the Black Friday Sale on GOG.com*. Along with a free copy of this tycoon game, the store has also begun offering "insane insomnia" deals in three-hour batches, just to keep us on our toes. Here's the news:
We hope you managed to grab the Narita Boy giveaway, as we have another free game to claim. Terroir, an atmospheric 3D tile-based tycoon game where you manage your vineyard, is free for 72 hours, till November 28th, 2 PM UTC. You can claim it via the giveaway banner on the front page.

But we do not stop at just that. To make the sale even better we're launching our insane Insomnia deals. From now on, every 3 hours there will be a new great deal on a single title, starting with Train Valley at a whopping -87%. These special offers will continue to appear for the next 54 hours, so there are 18 games to catch on amazing discounts, including Songs of Conquest, SCORN, or Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. But you need to act quickly - each offer lasts only for 3 hours and the amounts are limited.
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TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 3 Announced

RaceWard Studio announces TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 3, an upcoming new installment in this motorcycle racing simulation. This is expected to pop a wheelie and peel out on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch in May 2023. A Teaser Trailer is here to get everyone revved up about this. Here's more on this (presumably) safe way to experience "the most dangerous motorbike race in the world":
The TT Isle of Man takes place on a 60km (37 miles) circuit where riders and their overpowered bikes take incredible risks to try and win the ultimate prize: being crowned champion of the TT Isle of Man. TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 3 includes the official content of the 2022 TT (teams, bikes and courses) and offers a unique and authentic experience. Thanks to the power of the KT Engine and the team's extensive experience (already put to good use in RiMS Racing), RaceWard Studio recreates all the tension and passion of the iconic race. The realism of the TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge series is such that multiple professional riders trained on the previous game to prepare for the official race!

TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 3 features 32 different circuits, including current and historical courses, nearly 40 Superbike and Supersport motorbikes and riders, and upgraded physics. Controlling cornering and braking requires more precision than ever, and motorcycle upgrades gives players the tools they need to achieve maximum performance.
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On Sale

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Out of the Blue

We had a fine old time with our quiet Thanksgiving celebration. The turkey and fixings came out great. MrsBlue was disappointed with the aesthetics of our potatoes, but they were fine too. I did suffer a fail along the way, as I never managed to pick up a pumpkin pie, so one tradition went unfulfilled. I think I'll try to make up for it by searching for pies that are on sale now that turkey day is over. That makes today Black Friday, but you probably don't need any reminders about that. The good news is this annual celebration of consumerism has become a mostly online event. Nobody ever got trampled to death over the internet. Though I'm sure there's someone somewhere working on making that happen.

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