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Mass Effect: Andromeda Single-player Support Ends

The BioWare Blog offers an update on Mass Effect: Andromeda, saying there will be no more single-player updates for the latest installment in the sci-fi RPG series. Overwatch be warned, however, they still plan further multiplayer content, and promise more details on that in the coming weeks. Here's word:

Since the release of Mass Effect™: Andromeda, we’ve worked hard to address feedback from our community. From improving animations to expanding customization options, we looked to respond to your concerns, and build on what you loved.

With each patch, you let us know we were heading in the right direction, and we’re grateful to everyone who joined us on this journey. We’re proud of what we created, and we hope you enjoyed it as well.

Early in development, we decided to focus Mass Effect: Andromeda’s story on the Pathfinder, the exploration of the Andromeda galaxy, and the conflict with the Archon. The game was designed to further expand on the Pathfinder’s journey through this new galaxy with story-based APEX multiplayer missions and we will continue to tell stories in the Andromeda Galaxy through our upcoming comics and novels, including the fate of the quarian ark.

Our last update, 1.10, was the final update for Mass Effect: Andromeda. There are no planned future patches for single-player or in-game story content.

In the coming weeks, our multiplayer team will provide details of their ongoing support and upcoming content, including new multiplayer missions, character kits, and what’s in store for N7 Day.

We appreciate all the millions of people who came with us to the Andromeda galaxy. We hope to see you again in the Mass Effect universe.

Deep Sky Derelicts Announced

1C Company announces Deep Sky Derelicts, saying this combines elements of turn-based strategy, role-playing, virtual cards, and roguelikes, all in one game. This is due in Q1 of next year, but they will be showing it off to the press this week at Gamescom and plan an early access run starting in October. For further details we can refer you to the game's Steam page and deepskyderelicts.com, which actually resolves to the website of developer Snowhound. This teaser trailer offers a look, and this announcement provides more details:

1C is proud to announce that Deep Sky Derelicts, an original combination of turn-based strategy and RPG, enriched with tactical card combat and popular rogue-like elements, will be released in Early Access on SteamTM in October 2017. The final release date for the full finalized game is scheduled for Q1 2018. A playable hands-on demo of Deep Sky Derelicts will be available to both the press and the general public at the upcoming Gamescom expo.

“We have come up with a very distinctive and quite precise idea of how the game should look like and how it should play, taking the basic inspiration from such games as Darkest Dungeon and FTL: Faster Than Light. Yet we are very much looking forward to pushing the game further with the aid of the community during the Early Access period and implementing the players’ best suggestions for the perfect Deep Sky Derelicts experience,” said Dmytro Zhovtobryukh, CEO & Co-founder of Snowhound Games.

Deep Sky Derelicts will bring the players into the burdensome life of a society outcast, a scavenger trying to make a living, while aspiring for a better life of a full-fledged citizen. Players will be exploring derelict alien ships, fight, loot, hire mercenaries into their team, buy new weapons and upgrade their gear. The game’s retro-futuristic comic book aesthetic style creates a distinctive dark atmosphere of deep space, unknown locations and lost dystopian society. Rogue-like elements featuring such popular mechanics as procedurally-generated dungeons, turn-based combat with card-based actions and lethal threat lurking around every corner, are here to draw the players into an unforgiving, yet fascinating world with its own unique lore.

Continue here to read the full story.

Hurl VR Next Month

Developer Rusty Oak announces Hurl VR, saying this will be released for HTC Vive owners this summer via Steam. The title sounds like a play on virtual reality induced nausea, but it's a pinball game of sorts, so named because it's also part "ball throwing simulator." There is a teaser trailer with a quick glimpse at this that narrows the game's release window to September. Here's the official website, and here's the announcement:

Independent developer Rusty Oak today announced that their debut title Hurl VR, a Pinball-like puzzle game, is coming to Steam for HTC Vive this Summer. Hurl VR is a ball throwing simulator in virtual reality with a touch of tactical puzzler, requiring skill, logical thinking and precise timing.

“We like to call Hurl VR the pinball machine of the 21st century“, said Petras Malinauskas, Co-Founder at Rusty Oak, “We took the simple gameplay mechanics of pinball, added a level of tactics and skill that requires a level of physicality and wrapped it in a mysterious virtual reality world with futuristic music and visuals.”

Hurl VR begins as a simple ball throwing simulation and quickly grows into a tactical puzzle game by putting the players’ own technique and reaction to the test as they progress through the levels. Players advance in the game by hitting multiple platforms with a ball in correct patterns to unlock and reach the gateway platform. Each of the platforms has its own unique properties from boosting the speed of the ball to teleporting it to another platform in a new angle. The game has 30 levels with new types of platforms and challenges added every few levels, utilizing a 360-degree environment.

Continue here to read the full story.

Debris Announced

Moonray Studios announces Debris, calling this "an atmospheric co-op / single player adventure game set in a surreal frozen ocean" (which sounds like ice, but what do we know?). This is set to launch in October for Windows and macOS, and the game's Steam page is already online. This trailer offers a look at first-person gameplay where the player carries a gun, but doesn't seem to shoot anything, and the description indicates this is more about psychology than action. Here's word:

Today Hamilton-based Moonray Studios introduces Debris, an atmospheric co-op / single player adventure game set in a surreal frozen ocean. Trapped in the depths, you and your companions must reach the surface to survive. Power is scarce, unusual creatures lurk in the darkness and one player is losing touch with reality. It’s a simple choice - escape together or die alone.

What’s different?
Debris combines breathtaking graphics, a professionally voiced branching narrative and vast network of underwater ice tunnels to create a terrifying, claustrophobic and immersive world.

And, for the past two years we've worked with physicians and mental health advisors (McMaster University, Canadian Mental Health Association) and our work on mental illness has been presented at the DiGRA-FDG 2016 conference.

Players will discover they can swim freely in a an undersea environment the size of Manhattan. The icy waters are filled with AI-powered bioluminescent creatures, the pulse of a haunting soundtrack and danger at every turn. Players will question everything, discover deep mysteries and explore what losing touch with reality feels like.

Beauty, danger and a mind bending story. That's Debris.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Top 10

Valve offers the following accounting of the bestselling titles on Steam for last week:

  2. No Man's Sky
  3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  4. Prey
  5. Total War: WARHAMMER II
  6. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. H1Z1: King of the Kill
  9. Football Manager 2017
  10. LawBreakers

On Sale

  • Full Throttle Remastered on Steam. Save 40%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Sunday Interviews

Sunday Consolidation

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Safety Dance

Sunday Legal Briefs

Out of the Blue

I went over to pick up Jedi the Jindo dog to walk with the Gunnar-man yesterday when Cocoa, Jedi's neighbor dog came bounding up to the gate. Cocoa is a German Shorthaired pointer who loves both dogs, and she's a similar size to both of them, so her owner "offered" to let her walk with us. I actually have a third lead for my multi-dog leash, so we decided to give it a go. This worked really well for the most part, and they made a nice little pack (I even got a solicitation from someone who hoped I was a dog walker). Then Jedi found a spot of dirt to root at a bit. Then he snapped at a flying insect. Then he yelped. Then Cocoa yelped. Then I got stung on the arm. Since I am super-quick on the uptake, it eventually dawned on me that Jedi had aggravated a bunch of wasps. and they were now expressing their displeasure in a very effective manner. So they chased us down the block, with the normally silent Jedi regularly screeching, since he took the brunt of the attack (the wasps seemed quite aware of who the main trespasser was). They eventually gave up the chase, and the only one of us who may not have been stung was Gunnar. I got it once, Cocoa got it at least once, and Jedi was easily stung a half-dozen times. Everyone seems to be recovering, my biggest complaint is my wound is insanely itchy, and Gunnar-man is fine. As for the aftermath, Jedi's owner knows this was his fault, but we'll have to see if Cocoa's owner ever trusts me with her again...

R.I.P.: Dick Gregory Dead at 84.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Military Wars: Athena.
Stories: Wreckage of U.S.S. Indianapolis, Lost for 72 Years, Is Found in the Pacific.
Star Trek's Terry Farrell Engaged to Leonard Nimoy's Son Adam Nimoy.
Science: Tips for Safe Eclipse Viewing…from Someone Who Learned the Hard Way.
Media: UnderWatched Ep 7 - Nano Boost: The Match Maker.
How a recording-studio mishap shaped '80s music.
Metal Rooster.
Auctions: 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 sells for record-breaking £17.5m.

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Saturday, Aug 19, 2017

The Norwood Suite Announced

Alliance Digital Media announces The Norwood Suite, an adventure game coming to Windows on October 2nd. This is from Cosmo D, and set in the same universe as their Off-Peak. Alliance calls this "offbeat" and "dream-like," and they offer this trailer with a look at why. Here's word:

Set in the same dreamlike universe as Cosmo D’s debut cult-hit, Off-Peak, The Norwood Suite takes players to the secluded Hotel Norwood on a simple package delivery that quickly unfolds into something much more. Filled with bizarre characters and objects, this mysterious resort is a dense, open-ended world teeming with hidden passages and secrets to discover.

Peer into the lives of the hotel’s guests and staff, explore and interact with surprises behind every door, and piece together a non-linear narrative that rewards your curiosity. The Norwood Suite features surreal art design, as well as an original atmospheric score, composed by Cosmo D, that’s integrated directly into the game world.

Continue here to read the full story.

Project CARS 2 Trailer

BANDAI NAMCO is racing to Gamescom to show off Project CARS 2, the upcoming racing sequel in the works at Slightly Mad Studios. For those of us not close enough to get a whiff of Cologne, they offer the Gamescom trailer showing off some gameplay. Here's what they say about the clip:

Project CARS 2 is poised to wow racing fans attending Gamescom 2017 next week in Cologne, Germany. To give everyone around the world a sneak peek at what Gamescom attendees will be experiencing, we’re sharing a brand-new Project CARS 2 trailer showcasing the world’s most exotic and highest performing sports car brands – and now including… Lamborghini.

Founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, the mark has been responsible for building some of the most exotic and highest performing cars on the planet. Today’s Project CARS 2 trailer puts these “alpha-predators” of the track on proud display, each vying for players’ virtual seat time when Project CARS 2 launches in the Americas on September 22, 2017 for the PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and PCs via STEAM®.

Continue here to read the full story.

Team Fortress 2 Case Changes

The Team Fortress 2 blog has details on changes coming to Valve's multiplayer shooter. These will be part of the planned Pyro update, but this post concerns itself with the game's case system rather than gameplay. Here's the plan:

We've been working on ways to improve our case system and want to share some changes that are coming with the Pyro update. Our two primary goals are to simplify the case-opening process, so it's easy to determine the specific content (unusuals, bonus drops, etc.) that come out of cases, and to add more value to the player each time a case is opened. Crates will not be affected by these changes.

  • These changes will be applied to all existing cases released from the Gun Mettle Update forward (and to all subsequent case releases).
  • Cases will share a list of effects for the Unusual items received from the cases. Specialty cases that have community-created Unusual effects will continue to have those community effects but will also use the shared list of effects when determining which effect to grant for an Unusual item. For example, if you open the Quarantined Collection Case or the Confidential Collection Case from the Invasion update and receive an Unusual item, the effect for the item will be picked from the combined Invasion-themed Unusual effects list and the shared list of Unusual effects that all cases share. Weapon cases and cosmetic cases will have separate lists for Unusual effects, but will operate under the same system.
  • All cases will have a chance to receive bonus drops when opened. Bonus drops will come from a shared list that all cases use. All cases will use the same bonus chances to determine if bonus drops are received. For example, a bonus drop item might be a taunt Unusualifier.
  • The shared lists of Unusual effects and bonus drops will be cycled periodically to change the combinations of items being received. This may include special limited-time versions of the shared lists for holiday events.
  • We're also working to improve case descriptions so it's easier to determine exactly what can be received by opening a case (Strange items, Unusual items with which effects, bonus drops, etc.).

We don't have a date for the Pyro update that we can share yet, but we're working to finish it as soon as possible. If you have feedback about the case changes or anything else you'd like to share with the TF2 team, send it to us using the Contact Form on the right taskbar (under "Contact Us").

Quick note about the Balance Changes blog post: We've had lots of great feedback from the community about the changes and we really appreciate it. Thanks!

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Previews

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Until we get moved, Gunnar and I are on our own for most of the week, as MrsBlue spends Monday through Thursday in Pennsylvania. We've adjusted to this as well as we can, but it's a little disruptive. This week it goes a step further, as my better half is also out-of-town today on a day trip. This leaves me an my Poodle pal to our own devices, which we're not used to on a weekend. We'll head out for a walk in a bit, but I think we're going to have to lay low today, as we had 96% humidity around here yesterday, and it's supposed to be five degrees hotter today, so if we wait too long to take our walk, it will turn out to be a swim.

R.I.P.: Sonny Landham Dies: ‘Predator’ Actor Was 76.
R.I.P.: AnandTech Parent Company Employee Killed in Terrorist Attack.

Sweaty Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Bolls.
Link: The New ‘Call Of Duty’ Will Penalize Players For Shooting Nazis Who Are Actually Very Fine People. Thanks tAE.
Science: Ready for the Solar Eclipse? ‘Nova’ on PBS Has You Covered.
Peanut allergy cured in majority of children in immunotherapy trial. Thanks Slashdot.
New surface is so slippery, shellfish can’t get a grip.
Media: Watch a quarter million dominoes fall in this delightful game-themed setup.
Ballsieist first pitch ever. Juuust a bit outside.
Fastest trycicle. Notice which of them is wearing the helmet.
Follow-up: Here’s what happens to your retina if you view an eclipse without protection.
The Funnies: Brevity.


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