Updated: Jul 16, 2019 12:38 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019

Ubisoft Responds to Watch Dogs: Legion/HITRECORD Criticism

Ubisoft tweets a response to complaints about their call for community music submissions through HITRECORD for the Watch Dogs: Legion soundtrack. Here is our painstaking translation of their statement from image to text:

The Watch Dogs: Legion Audio team worldwide is already working with professional artists and composers on more than 140 licensed songs, and an original score for the game. The additional contributions - no matter how large or small - from anyone within the HITRECORD community are completely voluntary, and are meant to give them a chance to have their own creative expressions included in the game.

PUBG Matchmaking Plans

A post on Steam has a dev letter outlining plans to change the matchmaking system in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS. They explain how they will attempt to continue to pursue fair matches while reducing the wait times in certain regions. It's a pretty lengthy post, and here is how they sum things up:

The matchmaking experience is crucial to the long-term fun of PUBG. We know there isn’t a perfect solution out there, but believe these steps will enable the majority of players to get into games. Our next step is to deploy these systems to live servers so that we can collect appropriate data while you experience them and give us your feedback. Of course, we will continue to work on new ideas to continually improve these systems, so please always feel free to offer your opinions and ideas. We thank you all for your patience while we’ve been getting these solutions ready. This solution will be coming with the next update, so please give us your valuable feedback once it gets updated.

Rainbow Six Siege Top Issues

The Rainbow Six Website runs down a list of "Top Issues and Community Concerns" for Rainbow Six Siege, offering a status report on their efforts towards remedying these (thanks MP1ST). These cover sound bugs, connectivity issues, smoke clipping, weapon sight misalignment, inconsistent shotgun destruction, echo yokai cloaking, and more. The list includes the two top balance issues they've identified:

We have seen a high ban rate for Blitz, Jackal, Echo, and Caveira in Ranked.
Status: We are discussing how we want to approach topic of balancing around Pick/Ban in Ranked, and the Operators that are affected the most by it.

Adjustments to the damage curve for Smoke’s Gas Canister will move Smoke further towards an area denial role.
Status: [On Hold] We are satisfied overall with how this is developing, but but need to put it on hold until other dependencies are delivered.

Borderlands 3 Happy Together Video

The Borderlands Website now offers this trailer to pay off on a their promise of a "celebration of togetherness" in Borderlands 3. This was taken by many as a tease for an announcement of cross-platform support in the action/RPG/shooter sequel, but a tweet from Randy Pitchford shot this down, saying "Some folks may be speculating that this thing tomorrow may be about cross play. Tomorrow’s thing is awesome, but *not* about cross-play. But, Good News: We are committed to supporting cross-play for Borderlands 3 with our partners as soon as practicable after launch." The awesome that he promised is a music video set to the tune of Happy Together by The Turtles that features dancing and flowers. #awesome. Continue here to read the full story.

Killsquad Early Access

Early Access is now underway on Steam for Killsquad, a co-op, bounty hunting, action/RPG for Windows. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer, and here's word on what you and your squad will be killing: "This is not the future you dreamt of. The Galaxy is in chaos, planets go rogue, and mega-corporations assemble Killsquads to raid whatever riches and bounty are left. Welcome to Killsquad: a hardcore action RPG done by hardcore RPG fans. A game that blends the best of the genre and presents a new universe for you to discover. Set up your team, choose your heroes, weapons and gear, and unleash hell on a fast-paced battle through hordes of monsters and deadly bosses." Here's more:

Killsquad’s quick session-based gameplay means action is fast and intense as players overcome various obstacles in the course of their mission and quest for that big payday. Players can select one of four different heroes to play, each of which has their own distinct capabilities based on their class: Assassin, Warrior, Specialist or Support. These classes have plenty of skill and upgradeable gear options to completely customize the chosen character down to its appearance.

Killsquad introduces a live contract system which players can undertake in real time with other hunters. These contracts allow other players in the Killsquad community to drop in and ride shotgun, enjoying the same experience and grabbing a share of the mission’s rewards. The contract system presents a myriad of challenges and deadly adversaries from automated defence systems to meteor showers and boss characters. The hunt is not without its dangers as players navigate the exotic, richly detailed environments of each planet in search of their quarry.

Killsquad will be continually updated with much more content planned for the game later this year including additional heroes and mission types. Novarama will also confirm more details on console versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Continue here to read the full story.

LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity Launched

LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity is now available as promised for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam as well as for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch. Word is the Terminal Velocity edition improves upon the original game with new mechanics such as the ability to drill through asteroids "to provide players with the best momentum-driven experience possible." A new Release Trailer shows off gameplay, and the announcement has further details:

In LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity players boost, swim, bounce, leap, smash and teleport their way through a myriad of obstacles in a desolate yet beautiful galaxy as they struggle to find their way back to civilization. Armed with only an improvised set of equipment and a relentless spirit, astronauts will need to survive 65 intense levels across 5 systems, and confront not only their mortality, but also what lurks in the darkness. To aid in the travels, survivors must upgrade their abilities and employ fast-thinking skills to complete their interstellar journey alive.

“Terminal Velocity contains so much new and revamped content that those playing it, regardless if they’ve played the original, will find a wealth of entertaining features to challenge themselves with for hours,” said Alex Golebiowski, co-founder of PixelNAUTS Games. “With Terminal Velocity players will get the most robust asteroid dodging experience possible and for Xbox and Switch owners, the chance to test their skills at LOST ORBIT for the first time.”

LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity features a bevy of new content including:

New Mechanics:

  • Drill through asteroids, but make sure to not overheat.
  • Smash into explosives to send them flying in obstacles and space pirates to clear the way.
  • Dodge mines, laser fences, spikes and other space pirate traps!
  • Grind and change rails to easily pass by obstacles.

New Levels:

  • Explore 12 new story-driven levels in a brand-new solar system!
  • Clear a path for an out of control starship.
  • Escape pirates in an intense boss chase.
  • Sneak and smash your way through an old space mine.
  • Try your skills at over 15 new and extremely challenging levels

Continue here to read the full story.

Robo Instructus Released

Robo Instructus is now available on Itch.io and Steam, offering a puzzle game for Windows and macOS where you control a robot to complete tasks through a programming language. This can be seen in action in this gameplay trailer and a playable demo offers the chance to check this out firsthand. In the way a Thermos can both heat or cool, word is this will provide challenges even if you are already a programmer, while being simple enough to be played by those with no coding experience. Here's word:

In Robo Instructus, players will discover a hidden language and explore the spirit of creativity - learning to program a salvage robot on a forgotten alien world. As players unravel the robot's functionality, they will learn new programming commands, allowing them to remotely manipulate the robot through a range of hostile and dangerous environments, uncovering an intricate web of sci-fi storytelling along the way.

As your code becomes more efficient, so too will your strategic options - opening up a multitude of ways to overcome each challenge and delve deeper into the game's intricate world.

Presenting an in-game scripting language, based on existing programming languages, Robo Instructus is designed to provide a fascinating, explorative challenge to coders and non-coders alike. The game, much like the story, is a puzzle that players must unravel as they progress.

Solo developer Alex Butler said: "Each puzzle in Robo Instructus asks you to not only get your robot somewhere, but to properly articulate every step in how it gets there. Succeed and you can embrace a sort of narrative archaeology as you uncover the game’s secrets."

He added: "I've been developing Robo Instructus for two years, the last three months in a beta phase where the game has been polished and improved thanks to the feedback of around 3,000 beta players. So now I'm very excited to see Robo Instructus releasing, and I look forward to the game finding its audience out in the PC gaming wilds."

Continue here to read the full story.

Bakery Simulator in October

Live Motion Games studio officially announces Bakery Simulator, a tycoon/simulation game where the player can make their bread by making bread. This is expected on Steam in October, unless they start loafing, and they are also cooking up console versions that should rise next year. They promise a "high level of realism," so this seems distinct from the Baking Simulator Steam Greenlight Trailer from five years ago which recalls the uncoordinated controls of Surgeon Simulator. This trailer shows off the game, which still seems pretty nutty, what with setting the kitchen on fire and rolling the delivery truck, but maybe that's why bakers get up early enough that we never see that side of the business. Here's word:

In October 2019, Bakery Simulator will debut on PC. The new game will allow you to make a career in the bakery industry. Live Motion Games studio announces that the title will stand out, among other things, with its high level of realism and expanded opportunities for business development. The gameplay is based on work in a bakery and the timely delivery of bread. In 2020, the simulator will also appear on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch...

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

  • Phantom Gear for the Sega Genesis - Mega Drive by Mega Cat Studios — Kickstarter. "Phantom Gear is a new original game for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive. We want to deliver an old school experience that takes inspiration from different games, both modern games or games from our childhood, like Shantae, Kirby, Megaman X, Castlevania, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Ristar, Gunstar Heroes and Monster World IV, to name a few. And we need your help to make it real."

Gatherings & Competitions

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Out of the Blue

It was 50 years ago today that Apollo 11 took off for the moon. The anniversary is inspiring all sorts of retrospectives, and I'm eating it up, as I've had a lifelong fascination with the space program. There's even the chance to Relive Apollo 11 in Real Time on YouTube, though this may be a little much even for me, as the mission lasted roughly eight days.

Over the Moon Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: This Huge Godzilla Collectible Is Only $600. A tail kickstand at that price? Thanks Neutronbeam.
Science: NASA Has Announced The First Fruit They'll Grow on The ISS, And It's Hot. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Media: Cow Caught Outside Of Her Fence.
Mountain of Hell 2019 - Winning Race.
Using Math to Skate On Thin Ice.
Follow-up: Measles is killing more people in the DRC than Ebola—and faster.

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Monday, Jul 15, 2019

Ubisoft and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Draw Fire for Game Music Solicitation

Ubisoft announces another partnership with HITRECORD for game music, soliciting musical submissions from the community for WATCH DOGS: Legions. As explained in this video (NSFW), this is similar to the content they sought last year for Beyond Good and Evil 2. They are offering compensation for music that's used in the upcoming action game, but this is not without some controversy. Although HITRECORD founder Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a union member, GamesIndustry.biz notes a "multitude" of composers and developers are urging players not to take part in what they call "exploitative" and "underpaid" spec work. Gordon-Levitt disputed this complaint last time around in an essay on Medium, but this has not stopped a chapter of the Game Workers Union and other professionals from raising objections. Word is:

Detractors include prominent indie Mike Bithell, Cadence of Hyrule composer Danny Baranowski, Reigns: Game of Thrones composer Ryan Ike, Neo Cab narrative designer Bruno Dias, former RuneScape developer James Sweatman and Game Workers Unite's Los Angeles chapter.

Several also observed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt himself is a union member and does not work for free, and yet is enabling a billion-dollar games publishing to get its fans to do just that (if creators' contributions are not used in the final game, they are not paid for their time).

Continue here to read the full story.

Borderlands VIP Season 2 Rewards

Gearbox Software announces Vault Insider Program Season 2 Rewards are now available, offering the chance to earn powerful weapons for Borderlands 2 and the upcoming Borderlands 3. The Borderlands first-person shooter series is known for an almost infinite number of different weapons, but sadly, most of them are trash, so such external promotions are a way to help tip the odds more in your favor. Here are the details:

A new season of Vault Insider Program rewards is upon us! You can now spend your points on more legendary and effervescent weapons, customization options for Borderlands 3’s Zane the Operative, and other great rewards.

By now you’ve hopefully had a chance to check out the Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary DLC for Borderlands 2. If you have, you know that the new better-than-legendary effervescent weapons can be as elusive as they are powerful. That’s why we’re so excited to include a selection of effervescent items as VIP Season 2 Rewards alongside some fan favorite Jakobs and Hyperion Borderlands 2 weapons. All these items are available to redeem with points and have the same 1-in-10 chance of dropping for you when you use your free spin of the VIP Season 2 Weaponizer.

The weapons added as rewards for VIP Season 2 are as follows:

Borderlands 2

Conference Call
The Bee

Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary

Infection Cleaner
Hot Mama
World Burn

A special legendary Maliwan gun for Borderlands 3 is also available as a VIP reward. To unlock it you need to claim at least eight other VIP reward guns (grenade and shield mods count toward this total); these can include any combination of those that you redeem points for, those that you receive from Weaponizers, and even the special Children of the Vault Borderlands 3 gun that’s included in the Early Adopter Pack. For more information, check the VIP Rewards page.

Continue here to read the full story.

Blue Protocol Videos

A bunch of videos now available on the BLUE PROTOCOL Twitter Feed and this Japanese Website pave the way for the recently announced Japanese Alpha Test for BANDAI NAMCO's upcoming online action/RPG (thanks Gematsu). The videos offer a look at character creation and the four classes to be included in the test. Additionally there's this tweet showing off some gameplay. Word is invitations for this closed Japanese testing for Blue Protocol will go out tomorrow.

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etc., etc.

Into the Black

Antstream Arcade Launches

Antstream Arcade is now available as a streaming service for retro games, offering clients for Windows 7+, macOS, and Android (thanks Indie Retro News via Ant). This offers thousands of officially licensed titles from Amiga, C64, ZX Spectrum, and more. This is currently officially live for the U.K., and word is: "Please note that we are officially launching in the UK in July 2019. If you are trying to sign up from other countries we cannot 100% guarantee that everything will work, although we always do our best to provide an excellent service to everyone!" The cost of the service is £9.99/month, or £7.99/month if you sign up for a full year upfront.

Everreach: Project Eden Announced

Publisher Headup and developer Elder Games announce Everreach: Project Eden, a sci-fi action/RPG coming to Steam and Xbox One in September, with a PlayStation 4 edition expected to follow before the end of this year. Word is: "In Everreach: Project Eden you play as Nora Harwood, member of Everreach’s Security Division, on a mission to secure the colonization process of Eden and investigate mysterious incidents. Explore this vast alien world and descend into the planet’s depths to discover the ancient secrets of a long-forgotten civilization. Packed with intense shooter action, and a compelling level and skill system, Everreach immerses you in its intriguing story and diversified gameplay." This Reveal Trailer offers a look at the concept and some gameplay, and those disappointed with Blizzard's cancellation of StarCraft Ghost may notice Nora Harwood seems to bear a striking resemblance to Nova. The full announcement has further details:

After three years in development, Headup is proud to finally reveal Ede Tarsoly's new masterpiece Everreach: Project Eden, a fast-paced, story-driven 3rd person action RPG set on the visually stunning Planet Eden. You won’t have to wait long as Everreach will release on PC and Xbox One this September, while the PlayStation®4 version will follow a bit later this year.

Ede decided to think big, and for the first time he turned his former one-man studio Elder Gamers into a team of five people, plus over a dozen of external freelancers. Together they created a massive 3rd person adventure packed with tactical ground combat, high-speed vehicular warfare and a compelling level and skill system.

In Everreach: Project Eden you play as Nora Harwood, member of Everreach's Security Division, on a mission to secure the colonization process of Eden and investigate mysterious incidents. Explore this vast alien world and descend into the planet’s depths to discover the ancient secrets of a long-forgotten civilization. Packed with intense shooter action, and a compelling level and skill system, Everreach immerses you in its intriguing story and diversified gameplay.

In addition to his new team, Ede received some help from a group of talented external contributors. For example, Planet Eden's beautiful vistas were co-designed by Mai-Anh Tran, an artist who worked on sci-fi movies such as WarCraft and Star Trek: Beyond. Furthermore, there is Michelle Clough who helped create the game’s enthralling story. She was the former narrative QA and game writer for the Mass Effect trilogy. And even one of the voice actors, D.C. Douglas ("Legion" in Mass Effect 2 and "Wesker" in Resident Evil) adds perfectly to the atmosphere of Everreach: Project Eden.


  • Play as a highly trained security guard specialized in extraterrestrial missions
  • Customize your skills and gear through a classical skill tree with over 80 upgrades
  • Engage in tactical battles, deploy force fields or use the environment against your foes
  • Immerse yourself in 8 hours of story from Michelle Clough, game writer and former narrative QA for the Mass Effect trilogy
  • Explore Eden's beautiful vistas designed by Mai-Anh Tran, an artists who worked on movies such as WarCraft and Star Trek: Beyond
  • Hop onto your hoverbike to engage in high-speed vehicular warfare

Continue here to read the full story.

GRID System Specs

The Steam Listing for GRID now offers PC system requirements for the upcoming installment in the racing series (thanks DSOGaming). Here are the specs for the game, which is expected for Windows on October 11th:



Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: 64 bit Version of Windows 10
Processor: Intel i3 2130 / AMD FX4300
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GT 640 / HD7750
DirectX: Version 12
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 100 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
Additional Notes: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: 64 bit Version of Windows 10
Processor: Intel i5 8600k / AMD Ryzen 5 2600x
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1080 / RX590
DirectX: Version 12
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 100 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
Additional Notes: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

Morning Multiplex

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Out of the Blue

Happy Prime Day, an annual celebration of the primacy of Amazon. For those donning a pith helmet to explore the Amazon today, good luck, and keep a watchful eye out for jaguars, anacondas, and, of course, poison dart frogs. Also, thanks in advance if you happen to do any shopping after visiting through one of our affiliate links, as this will help line my pockets as well as Jeff Bezos'.

R.I.P.: Computer password inventor dies aged 93.

Prime Links: Thanks Ant.
Stories: Four kids, ages 10 to 14, steal parent's car and go on a nearly 600-mile road trip.
Ebola in DR Congo- Case confirmed in Goma.
Science: There’s a slight problem with Russia’s proposed Federation spacecraft.
Images: The Power Came Back On!
Media: Apex Legends in the 1980s.
Balloon Brain Teaser. Thanks Hypothermia.
720 Ton Dragline Excavator Rescue From Island.
Man Pranks People Who Want To Charge Their Phones With A Sticker.
Follow-up: American Airlines extends Boeing plane flight cancellations.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.


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