Updated: Dec 03, 2020 7:46 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Thursday, Dec 03, 2020

Get Cave Story+ for Free

Cave Story+ is now available for free on the Epic Games Store as their latest giveaway. This is for keepsies for all who grab a copy over the next seven days. After that Epic's new freebies will be Pillars of Eternity - Definitive Edition and Tyranny - Gold Edition. In case you've been living in a cave plus, here's word on this week's gratis game:
Arguably the most well-known indie game of all time, Cave Story+ features an original story brimming with personality, mystery and fast-paced fun. Run, jump, shoot, fly and explore your way through a massive adventure reminiscent of classic 8 and 16-bit games!

Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah Leave BioWare

Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah are parting ways with BioWare where they had served, respectively, as General Manager and Executive Producer. There are three big posts on the BioWare Blog to hash out the news and what it means to the future of both individuals, to BioWare, and to upcoming game projects. Here's the post from Casey Hudson and here's the post from Mark Darrah. For the big picture, there's also a Message From Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer, Electronic Arts. Here's part of that:
When I think about BioWare’s future and the next generation of talent in place, I could not be more confident or optimistic. As we look to the studio’s future and the projects currently under development, the next generation of BioWare talent is leading the studio forward and working on some incredible games that I know you will be excited to experience in the coming years.

Samantha Ryan, who came to Electronic Arts after leading Warner Brothers Games, is one of the strongest leaders in the industry. She will continue to oversee the studio. I’m also excited to announce Christian Dailey, who joined BioWare from Blizzard, will be leading our Dragon Age project currently in development. Christian is a fantastic creative leader and I look forward to you all getting to know him in the coming days. We recently announced Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition and Mike Gamble is leading a team hard at work on that franchise’s future.

The search for a new GM is underway and we are already talking to some great people. We will find the right leader who has a deep love and respect for this studio’s heritage, who embodies the values of this team and who will help carry on the incredible legacy of BioWare

Cyberpunk 2077 Launch Party

CD PROJEKT RED tweets about plans for a Twitter launch party next Wednesday for Cyberpunk 2077:
No matter if you have been Tweeting since day one or just recently joined us - we are thankful for our community here.
That is why we’ve teamed up with @TwitterGaming for something special #CyberNight
Dec 9th 3pm PT | Midnight CET

Per Aspera Launches

Per Aspera is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam offering a Martian base-building game with hard sci-fi roots. Here's the Release Trailer and here's what to expect:
A challenging combination of hard science fiction and base building, Per Aspera takes players to the hostile surface of Mars and tasks them to colonize the planet on a scale never before seen in the genre.

Mars’ surface is littered with humanity’s failed attempts at colonization, but this time has to be different - there is no room for human error. As AMI, an artificial consciousness with the prime directive of terraforming Mars for human colonization, you’ll explore a sprawling map based on real geographical data from NASA, harvest valuable resources from the surface, and experiment with various colonizing strategies to transform a dead world into a new home for life in our solar system.
Continue here to read the full story.

Phoenix Point: Year One Edition Released

The Phoenix Point: Year One Edition is now available on the Epic Games Store and now that a year has passed the game's exclusivity is over and it can be purchased on GOG.com, and Steam, as well. Snapshot Games calls The Year One Edition the definitive version of this turn-based strategy game from X-COM creator Julian Gollop. It includes all the game's previous DLC along with a "massive" new Polaris update that adds new content and features. Owners of the Epic Games Store version can update at a discounted price for a limited time. Here's the Release Trailer and here are details on the Polaris update:
Phoenix Point: Year One Edition’s launch today coincides with the game’s massive new Polaris update, which adds new content and features driven by community feedback, including:

  • A brand-new tutorial prologue that introduces new characters, cinematics, and maps while teaching the core gameplay fundamentals.
  • New weapons and equipment with their own research tracts, including a riot shield, shotgun, grenade launcher and heavy cannon.
  • A new contextual pop-up help system integrated throughout the entire game.
  • New menu screens with updated info, plusa wide range of gameplay improvements, balance updates and more.

Continue here to read the full story.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Launches Operation Broken Fang

Valve announces Operation Broken Fang is in full effect in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, introducing new gameplay modes, maps, a points shop, and more to their competitive first-person shooter. A full briefing is on this page and here's a brief briefing:
CS:GO's Operation Broken Fang, the 10th Operation in the series, is now available via Steam and introduces new gameplay modes, maps, a points shop, and more.

Operation Broken Fang features a new competitive mode, a detailed personal statistics display, all-new agents, weapon collections, stickers, and more, available exclusively to Operation pass holders. Additionally, the update introduces the fast-paced Retakes Mode which is available for all players.

CS:GO's 10th Operation highlights seven new maps that can be played in a variety of game modes, along with weekly missions that allow players to earn stars that can be redeemed for rewards in the new Operation Shop.

Total War: WARHAMMER II - The Twisted & The Twilight Released

The Twisted & The Twilight Lord Pack is now available on Steam, adding two new Legendary Lords to Total War: WARHAMMER II, Creative Assembly's fantasy strategy sequel. This comes alongside a free content release for everyone who owns the game along with a patch with various improvements. This post has the patch notes, and here's a bit on the characters in the new DLC:
The Twisted vs The Twilight
The Sisters of Twilight, known individually as Naestra and Arahan, are twins of unusual circumstance and are as different as night from day. Equally devastating with a bow or spear, they stalk the battlefield atop a Great Eagle or Forest Dragon, inflicting wrath upon those who threaten the forests.

Throt The Unclean is the most twisted and ingenious Master Mutator of Clan Moulder. A mutated and bloated beast, he excels at ensnaring large characters and using his trusted Creature-killer and Whip of Domination to break them to his will.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dauntless Reforged Released

The Dauntless Reforged expansion is now live, offering the largest content update yet for Phoenix Labs' multiplayer action/RPG. Here are the version 1.5.0 patch notes and undaunted, we'll press on with an overview:
Dauntless Reforged launches on December 3, and is the largest Dauntless expansion ever. Reforged introduces new open-world gameplay systems and reimagines the progression and story of Dauntless.

  • New way to hunt: Hunting Grounds. Hunting Grounds is Dauntless’ biggest and most ambitious hunt type yet, designed from the ground up to provide players with an endless amount of content and activities to take part in. Hunting Grounds offers 18 handcrafted islands to explore, brimming with flora, fauna, treasures to discover, and fearsome Behemoths.
  • New progression system: Slayer's Path. The Slayer's Path is an all-new branching progression system that lets you determine your path through the Shattered Isles.
  • Upgrade your weapons using the new Reforge system to unlock new passive bonuses. Further upgrade your weapons using a Power Surge. Power surging lets you take a single weapon or piece of gear and push it beyond its normal power limits — permanently.
  • Soar through the skies with gliders, arriving in the Hunting Grounds when Dauntless Reforged launches.
  • Explore the Cold Front Hunt Pass, filled with Frostwarden-themed items including two armour sets on the Elite Track.

Immortals Fenyx Rising Released

Immortals Fenyx Rising is now available for Windows and consoles, allowing you to wield the power of the gods in Ubisoft's new action/adventure based on Greek mythology. The Windows edition is available directly from Ubisoft and on the Epic Games Store. Here's the Launch Trailer with a look, and here's more of what to expect:
YOU ARE THE GODS' LAST HOPE
Play as Fenyx on a quest to save the Greek gods from a dark curse.
Take on mythological beasts, master the legendary powers of the gods, and defeat Typhon, the deadliest Titan in Greek mythology, in an epic fight for the ages.

CONFRONT MYTHOLOGICAL ENEMIES
Face off against legendary beasts like Cyclops, Medusa, or Minotaur, and confront them in fast-paced aerial and melee combat, combining your god-given abilities and weapons.

WIELD THE POWER OF GODS
The gods of Olympus have blessed you with gifts. Use them to fight mythical monsters, solve ancient puzzles, and explore the vast open world.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tropico 6 DLC From New Developer This Month

Kalypso Entertainment announces that German developer Realmforge Studios is taking over the Tropico series going forward. Their first contribution to the banana republic simulation is a new add-on for Tropico 6 called Caribbean Skies that will arrive on December 16th. Tropico 6 was originally developed by Limbic Entertainment, another German studio. They explain the change is part of a shift towards more internal development, as they took full ownership of Realmforge at the beginning of this year. "The expansion and complete takeover of the shares is a logical consequence of our strategy to expand our own development resources not only in Germany but internationally," explains Kalypso Media Managing Partner Simon Hellwig. "We are offering the highly qualified, motivated team in Munich the opportunity to focus exclusively on the further development of exciting franchises such as Tropico, Dungeons and Spacebase Startopia in the future." A Steam Listing for Caribbean Skies is now online, and here's a bit of what it has to say about the DLC:
The beloved dicta…uh, leader El Presidente sets out to conquer the Caribbean Skies! The biggest DLC for Tropico 6 to date takes the fun to new altitudes with - drones. Prepare to play a dedicated scenario-driven campaign with 5 new missions, each unlocking different play styles and features. Caribbean Skies takes you on a journey to save the world and with it, your dear Tropico. Throughout the campaign, meet new characters like eccentric scientists and a new antagonist, who means nothing but trouble for El Prez and his endeavors.

The skies above Tropico have never been busier. Put the teamsters to one side and use air delivery to take logistics to the next level. Make use of multiple new buildings revolved around the features of Caribbean Skies – such as the Cargo Airport which lets you transport and export goods between different islands of the Tropican archipelago via cargo planes. With the Drone Delivery Service, set up a drone delivery route between two buildings and use your buzzing new helpers to deliver goods. Meanwhile, the Drone Taxi offers Tropicans a new way to get around. Maintain absolute control and set up a Central Intelligence building to deploy Security Drones to ensure that no scheme goes unnoticed. Finally, the new Balloon Tours lets you provide hot air balloon rides to tourists. Make them happy by choosing scenic routes that show off the beauty of Tropico.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem Bloodtrail Released

The promised Bloodtrail update is now available on Steam for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem. This addition to WOLCEN Studio's action/RPG is extensive enough to require two posts for the patch notes, here's part one on all the new content and here's part two on bug fixes. This post has an overview along with a trailer. Here's word:
We’ve added a new Game Mode: Chronicles.

Chronicles allows you to play with a new character in a completely fresh economy, and access the seasonal events during the campaign and in the endgame. This specific event will require you to successfully track a Prey and make decisions during your hunt to make it more or less challenging depending on the choices you make. This will allow you to customize your hunt in order to earn even more powerful rewards!
Continue here to read the full story.

Sea of Thieves Adding Seasons & Battle Pass

A new video from Rare explains what's on the horizon for Sea of Thieves. This includes plans to introduce seasons for free to all owners of the piracy game, supported by premium Plunder Passes, their version of those battle passes that are all the rage. They will be moving away from their pattern of monthly updates in favor of updating every three months or so with the launch of each new season. They also discuss the Festival of Giving update which is expected to set sail next week. Here's an overview of the clip:
The final Sea of Thieves News for 2020 is here, and we're setting our spyglass on 2021 as we detail a change to our update schedule and the introduction of new goals and rewards with Seasons! Plus, a tease for next week's Festival of Giving update. Grab a grog and listen well.
Continue here to read the full story.

Tinkertown Early Access

Early Access to Tinkertown is now underway on Steam, offering a chance to dip your toe into the sand of Headup's multiplayer sandbox game. The Early Access Launch Trailer takes a look at the game 16-bit graphics and the announcement explains more of what to expect:
Come to Tinkertown - A refreshing new Multiplayer Sandbox Experience! Grab your shovel, your pickaxe, and your sword and enter the realms of Tinkertown. A magical place awaits filled with loot, danger, and creativity. Build your own village - from small shacks to impressive castles and townships.

Gather resources as you explore this procedurally generated world either by yourself or with friends! Need some extra challenge? While the surface world is mostly peaceful, only the most courageous explorers will enter the sinister dungeons scattered around the world, and defeat the horrors that live within. Epic loot awaits those who dare to face the underworld.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

I'm planning on taking a trip to our old hometown to visit my buddy Jedi the Jindo and take him for a walk. This is sort of a proof of concept on whether this is practical enough to do more regularly. I miss my buddy and my waistline misses the exercise, so if this works out it will be a way to kill a couple of birds with one stone.

Walkabout Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020

Sam & Max Save the World Released

The Freelance Police are back in action, as Sam & Max Save the World is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a remastered anthology of the first season of Telltale's episodic series starring Steve Purcell's classic characters. Owners of the original game from either store are entitled to a 50% discount on the remake between now and the end of the month. A previously released trailer shows off the game's new graphics and this FAQ has all the details. Here's a bit:
Join canine detective Sam and his hyperkinetic rabbity-thing sidekick Max to solve a baffling mind-control mystery. Upgrades to this 2007 point-and-click classic include higher quality graphics and sound, dynamic lighting and lip sync, widescreen and gamepad support, five new musical tracks, and a number of tweaks to make the aesthetic and overall experience smoother and more enjoyable by 2020 standards.
Continue here to read the full story.

Project Wingman Takes Off

Project Wingman is now available for Windows on Steam, offering the chance to ride into the danger zone in this aerial combat action game from Sector D2. The game supports virtual reality headsets, but VR is not required. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's the flight plan:
Project Wingman is a combat flight action game with an emphasis on polished and refined gameplay, true-to-its-roots inspirations, and an engaging single player experience. Perfect for those who aren't looking for a simulator experience, with the ease of pick up and play, all the way to those who want a fast-paced challenging flight action game.

Dogfight, strike, and fly through combat zones based off an alternate history of Earth. Either over the cold waters of the Bering Strait, attacking tanks in the brutal environments of Yellowstone magma fields, or diving through the Redwoods to strike targets of opportunity in the Pacific Northwest, across the oceans, above the scarred lands of the world, this war will take you from exotic battlefield to exotic battlefield, all while going up against odds way above your pay grade.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Division 2 Season 4 Plans

Ubisoft News has details on Title Update 12 for Tom Clancy's The Division 2, which will kick off Season 4 for the action/RPG sequel. This will come on December 12th bringing updates for the base game as well as some special features for owners of the Warlords of New York expansion. Specific changes for expansion owners include the return of Faye Lau and improvements to The Summit. Here's an overview:
The Division 2 is bringing back a familiar face for Season 4. Faye Lau, former Division commander and current Rogue Agent, is the Prime Target of a new Manhunt, and that’s just the start of what’s in store when Title Update 12 comes to The Division 2 on December 8. All Division 2 players can expect to see new weapons, gear, and quality-of-life improvements, and Warlords of New York expansion players can also look forward to updates to The Summit and the events of Season 4.

Empire of Sin Update and DLC Plans

A tweet from Brenda Romero discusses Romero Games' plans for updates for Empire of Sin, their just-released gangster game. They will be seeking redemption for some of the sins the release suffers from and releasing DLC as well. Here's the confessional:
Thank you so much for playing Empire of Sin! We're so excited to finally to let you loose on the streets of Chicago and look forward to hearing all about your criminal empires and exploits going forth. But first, I would like to take a moment and talk about what the future holds. It's two things mainly.

First, we have some updates coming your way. We are dedicated to making this game as great as it can be and that's why the feedback we've been getting from you is so important to us. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be working on delivering patches to improve your experience with the game.

Second, it's no surprise that there will be DLC coming down the road! You're going places and meeting new people. I can share much more than that of the moment, but we think you'll enjoy it.

From the entire team, thank you so much for your support of this game.

Ponpu Released

Ponpu is now available for Windows on Steam, offering an action game inspired by Bomberman. This is shown off in the Launch Trailer. Here's what to eggspect:
Inspired by the classic gameplay of Bomberman, Ponpu takes the concept in a new direction, adding new mechanics and features while packaging it in super-slick, hand-drawn graphics.

Play through the epic single-player campaign where you’ll face off against some of the coolest boss fights you’ve ever seen, in a race to defeat the almighty Duck-God and to stop him from resetting the universe.
Continue here to read the full story.

Imperiums: Greek Wars Gets Free Troy DLC

Imperiums: Troy is now available on Steam, offering a new free DLC for Imperiums: Greek Wars, Kube Games' historical strategy game. This comes along with a new version 1.1.0 update for the game. This post has details on the patch, saying the most significant change is a major change to the game's AI. Here are some details on the DLC:
This DLC for Imperiums: Greek Wars, is inspired by the legendary accounts of Homer and the story of love, hurt pride, greed, and personal courage that has immortalized the heroes of this epic. Yet, more than just military excellence will be needed to achieve the goals you’ve brought to Troy. You will need to face the destiny that the goddesses of Fate, have assigned and that no mortal hero can avoid.

Join the greatest warriors on the plains of Troy – this time you will decide how the story ends.

I Am Your President: Prologue

I Am Your President: Prologue is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a free sample of this upcoming game that simulates the job that's often described as the most powerful in the world. Here's a trailer with a look at the prologue along with an outline of what this entails:
We would like to introduce I Am Your President: Prologue - a FREE narrative rogulike serving as a prequel to the full game, in which you take a role of the President of the United States of course! Discover the origins of the story and play as the protagonist’s predecessor. It's also worth adding that there is no similar game in the world! It's unique mix of strategy and narrative roguelike.

The game begins in a time, when you, as a President of the United States, are starting to think about the election's winning. Make good decisions, answer wisely during press conferences and watch out for the public opinion. Even the smallest thing may help you in being reelected! The game is heavily inspired by the real-world events, discusses them or even ventures into satire!
Continue here to read the full story.

BROK the InvestiGator Prologue

COWCAT announces BROK the InvestiGator, a Windows action/adventure featuring puzzles and brawling coming to GOG.com and Steam. The game features cartoony graphics that you can see in this Beta Trailer. But you can also experience this firsthand, as there's a playable prologue that you can pick up from either GOG.com or Steam that offers the first of the game's six chapters. Here's more on the game:
"Brok" is a narrative-driven game that blends action and investigation in never-before-seen ways. Will you use your brain... or your brawn?

In a futuristic "light cyberpunk" world where animals have replaced humans, privileged citizens live under a dome protected from the ambient pollution while others struggle to make a living outside of its protective dome.

Brok, private detective and former boxer, lives with Graff, the son of his deceased wife. Although he could never elucidate the nature behind her accident, recent events may shed some light on an even more tragic outcome... one that may be linked to their own existence.
Continue here to read the full story.

Cyberpunk 2077 Photo Mode Trailer

Get ready for your close-up, as a new trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 shows off the Photo Mode in CD PROJEKT RED's imminent action/RPG. There's not much accompanying explanation, but the game is due a week from tomorrow, so we'll be able to experience this firsthand soon enough. Here's word:
Strike a pose and capture your favourite moments in Night City with #Cyberpunk2077 Photo Mode! See it in action in our newest video.
Ready? Say cheese! 📸
Continue here to read the full story.

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Multiplayer Trailer

A new trailer shows off gameplay from Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. This virtual reality installment in the first-person shooter series is due next week, and the clip offers a first look at multiplayer play. Here's the description of the clip:
In addition to Above and Beyond’s single player campaign, you can hone your skills and teamwork in five robust multiplayer modes on sites across Europe. Master the distinctive handling and reloading of a host of WWII weapons and test yourself against human and AI opponents in high-tempo 12 player matches. With cross-play supported across Oculus and Steam, you can even challenge your friends on other VR platforms. Ready to show the world what you’ve got?

The Modes:

  • Mad Bomber: Score big points with bomb kills and bomb defusals.
  • Domination: Large area zone control.
  • Team Deathmatch: Classic squad-based action. Most kills win!
  • Deathmatch: Every soldier for themselves.
  • Blast Radius: King of the Hill with an explosive twist! Rule the ring with a rocket launcher.

Continue here to read the full story.

New NVIDIA Drivers

NVIDIA now offers new version 457.51 WHQL-certified Windows drivers for their GeForce graphics cards. The patch notes for these are quite brief, as they just list the addition of support for the new GPUs they are selling as of today:
Gaming Technology
Includes support for the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GPU

Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 5

Following the record setting Season 4 finale for Fortnite, Epic now offers details on Zero Point, Chapter 2 - Season 5 for the battle royale/survival shooter. Here's the summary of the new season they are shouting about:
THE HUNT IS ON
THE ZERO POINT IS EXPOSED, BUT NO ONE ESCAPES THE LOOP, NOT ON YOUR WATCH. JOIN AGENT JONES AND THE GREATEST HUNTERS FROM ACROSS REALITIES LIKE THE MANDALORIAN IN A CHAOTIC BATTLE THAT WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE OF THE ISLAND...

NEW HUNTING GROUNDS
NEW HUNTERS MEANS NEW LOCATIONS FROM BEYOND THE LOOP. BATTLE FOR HONOR IN AN ANCIENT ARENA, SHARPEN YOUR SURVIVAL SKILLS IN THE JUNGLE, AND EXPLORE THE SHIFTING CRYSTALLINE SANDS FLOWING FROM THE EXPOSED ZERO POINT.
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Black Friday/Cyber Monday Digital Game Sales Figures

SuperData has published a new report analyzing worldwide digital game sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Noting that games market is on track for record revenues for the full year, they report that this means the impact of the season's big weekend is now lower than it was before. They do note that PC Games are an exception, however, saying sales are up 6% over the same period last year. Here's a bit:
Spending on PC games during the weekend was up 6% year-over-year, but this was more than offset by a 13% decline in console earnings. Unmet demand for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S likely depressed spending on digital console games. The current console transition is more seamless than past ones, with both console families allowing players to purchase a game on an older device and upgrade to the new-gen version at a later point. However, some gamers appear to be waiting to get a new console before starting recent major titles. In order to experience the whole game in the best possible way, they are holding off on purchasing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions entirely.

Another factor in the decline is the rapid growth of subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, whose October 2020 user numbers were up 216% year-over-year. These Netflix-style services provide access to a large library of games at a fixed monthly price, and gamers do not have an incentive to seek out Black Friday deals on older titles they can already play through their monthly subscription.

Forge and Fight! Release and Free Weekend

Forge and Fight! has graduated from Early Access, and Flamebait Games' weapon crafting/combat game is now in full release for Windows on Steam. To celebrate they're making the game playable for free for the next four days. You can see the how the game puts the player in the role of both blacksmith and gladiator in the Release Trailer and there are more details on the game and what's changed since Early Access in the announcement:
The battle of winter has commenced! Step into the shoes of a blacksmith gladiator and choose from a wide variety of weapon parts to forge the most insane weapon to inflict mass destruction on your adversaries and enter the arena. Featuring a variety of different play arenas, a slew of weapon parts and hours of replayability from online multiplayer to the open-ended Sandbox Mode, Forge and Fight! lets your imagination run wild as you send your enemies flying before you like ragdolls. The new revamped matchmaking system makes match wait times a thing of the past, so the only thing you need to do is forge your weapon and then kick some ass!
Continue here to read the full story.

The Longest Road on Earth Next Year

Publisher Raw Fury announces they will be publishing The Longest Road on Earth, an adventure game in development at Brainwash Gang after a successful Kickstarter they conducted last year. The game is coming next year to Steam, where it's now available for wishlisting. The Announcement Trailer shows off the game's distinctive monochromatic pixel art graphics. Here's more:
Raw Fury has announced that it has partnered with the developers at Brainwash Gang to publish their emotionally evocative new title, The Longest Road on Earth. Set to an original soundtrack that is tailor-made to the wistful narrative, TLROE has limited gameplay mechanics to avoid tarnishing the experience, and no punishing fail-states. Players of all ages, levels of ability, and backgrounds can be whisked away by a heartrending soundtrack as they experience stunning pixel-art animation and explore a stress-free world with simple controls.

Play through four chapters that capture the essence of everyday life and leisurely consider moments in time that are both meaningful and mundane. Take time to experience the beauty in the small things like blowing cottony dandelion seeds, collecting seashells, and riding a bike. Meet a collection of characters, each with their own poignant, dialog-free stories.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

I had an experience yesterday that recalls a frustrating story related to my first PC. That happened when I installed an 80286 accelerator card into my 8088-based XT back in the day. This "turbo" XT was capable of running at 8 MHz, and the accelerator would sometimes lock up when it tried to boot into that blistering speed, requiring a reset to get it to properly run at 4.77 MHz. I continued to use this PC for a few years after the upgrade, and when it was time to junk it, I took apart the innards. Only then did I notice the 80286 card had a jumper that would have allowed it to run at 8 MHz. You can imagine my irritation when I realized I was missing out on added performance for years. This brings us to yesterday, when I installed a program tastefully named Blue Stacks that allows PCs to run Android apps. The installer informed me that the program would perform better if I turned on CPU virtualization. So I headed off to my BIOS to enable it. While there I noticed a setting called "Limit CPUID Maximum" that was also turned off. There was an explanation that this should be off for Windows XP, so I turned it on. I was pretty shocked when I booted the machine after those changes and found that this had cleared up an annoying bit of input lag I have experienced since my "upgrade" to Windows 10. I don't think I changed anything else, but it feels like I must have, because what I read about those settings does not seem to explain the performance improvements I've seen. This doesn't seem to be a factor in games, so that's sort of the good news that I haven't been missing out all this time along with the bad news that I'm not getting a free performance upgrade. The other good news is that I discovered this before this PC hit end of life like my 286 card and that I never noticed the lag I'm discussing under Windows 7. This machine is actually over seven years old now(!), but it still handles all the games I play. And now that the bit of lag is gone from my desktop apps I don't have any real reason to upgrade yet. Maybe this outlook will change when Cyberpunk 2077 hits. I'll just have to see.

Performance Enhanced Round-up
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