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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017

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LawBreakers Free Weekend

Steam Community announcement has word that a free weekend for LawBreakers will get underway on Thursday, offering the chance to sample this first-person shooter from Moss Key productions. Word is: "It's time to gear up with the weapons available to you. Free weekend on Steam is coming Sept 28 - Oct 2." This comes along with a new trailer that has more details in the description: "In life, fortune favors the prepared mind. In LawBreakers, victory favors the prepared player. The first step of being prepared is knowing the weapons available to you. To help, we enlisted a seasoned member of the Law to walk you through weaponry and approach." Continue here to read the full story.

Fortnite Battle Royale Launches

There are new release notes on the Epic Games website for a new version 1.6.3 patch that's now live in Fortnite, their early access survival game. This adds the game's new Battle Royale mode, which they admit is inspired by PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, though this confession has not prevented backlash over the similarities. Here's word on this free mode:

It’s time for everyone to drop out of the Battle Bus and into Fortnite Battle Royale as the mode goes free on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac with the release of the 1.6.3 patch tomorrow (Sept. 26). Gather your squad: four-player and two-player groups are here. Along with squads, we’ve added three new weapons and supply crates that drop from the sky during the match containing valuable items and weapons. This patch also includes a full Battle Royale balance pass, bug fixes and more.

For those out there Saving the World in PVE, we fixed a number of campaign bugs among other improvements. We’ll be talking more about the Horde Bash update for Save The World later this week, but if you missed the early look at the update, you can check out the latest dev video here & Zak’s roadmap forum post here.

Check out the full release notes below and let us know what you think on the official forums and Discord.

Ruiner Released

Devolver Digital announces the release of Ruiner, saying this psychological horror game is now available through most digital distributors. A new launch trailer offers a look at the game, and the announcement fills in some details:

Developer Reikon Games and the publishing androids of Devolver Digital have launched the brutal cyberpunk action shooter RUINER on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Accompanied by a flashy new launch trailer, RUINER is available for download via Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Steam, GOG, and Humble for £14.99.

RUINER is a brutal action shooter set in the year 2091 in the cyber metropolis Rengkok. A wired psychopath lashes out against a corrupt system to retrieve his kidnapped brother under the guidance of a secretive hacker friend. Combine preternatural reflexes, augmented tools, and the arsenal of fallen foes to tear down and dismantle the corporate titans of virtuality dealers at HEAVEN.

Reflexes will be put to the test as players take aim at HEAVEN, the monolithic corporation behind the entertainment networks bringing people real sensations in virtual worlds. The masked hero will utilise a fantastic array of weaponry and gadgets in concert with fluid movement and tactical strikes to save his kin and discover the hidden truths of Rengkok.

If you or someone you love is looking to become an unstoppable psychopath with a super sweet video helmet strapped to their face, please visit ruinergame.com and follow @RuinerGame on Twitter.

Continue here to read the full story.

Cities Skylines Green Cities Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces an October 19th release date for Green Cities, the upcoming ecology-themed expansion for Cities Skylines, Colossal Order's urban planning game. This comes in a new video which includes a new tune from "in-game folk pop legend, Lily la Roux." There will be a bunch of new content in the expansion, and a patch that also brings new material to the base game:

Time to clean up your city’s act! Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order today announced that Green Cities, the latest expansion for the (soon-to-be super sustainable) city-builder Cities: Skylines will be released on October 19 for Windows, MacOS and Linux PCs for a suggested retail price of $12.99.

Also topping the charts today, the new Green Cities trailer doubles as the latest hit from in-game folk pop legend, Lily la Roux, fresh out of Cities: Skylines Concerts:

Cities: Skylines - Green Cities will add 350 new assets to the core game, including a massive selection of new visual options, complete with eco-friendly buildings, organic stores, new parks and services, all at the mayor's disposal to dispose of pollution once and for all. Players can go completely green as the urban population grows, and create more diversified cities with new specialized options for all zones, such as a combustion engine ban in the inner city or waste filtering requirements for industrial buildings. New in-game services, scenarios and policy options will arrive alongside revisions to noise and ground pollution.

The Green Cities expansion will be accompanied by a free content update, which will supplement the base game with electric cars, road modding, a noise pollution overhaul, and more beautification options in the form of parks and trees, among other things.

Continue here to read the full story.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Inhumans Trailer

A new trailer from LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 offers a look at how the upcoming superhero action/adventure will depict the Inhumans, the super group that is one of the MCU's few genuine bombs on the small and big screen. Here's word:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today released a NEW vignette for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, spotlighting members of the Inhuman Royal Family, including Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Karnak, Gorgon, Maximus and the lovable canine, Lockjaw, all in LEGO form. Also showcased is their ancestral home, the Inhuman city of Attilan, which is one of 18 different iconic Marvel locations featured in the game, all ripped from time and space to form the expansive Open Hub World of Chronopolis.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

In preparing to move, we are getting to the bottom of our huge pile of junk, which includes stuff in pretty long-term storage in our basement. This included a joyous rediscovery of all my old softball jerseys, which were misplaced for the longest time. The bad news is they are kind of musty after 17 years in the basement, but I think this will wash out fine. Among them is the shirt I was most upset when I thought it was lost, my Friends O' Clyde shirt. This may not be immediately familiar, but the team was immortalized on Seinfeld, where they even mentioned one of our actual players, Phil Bender. This is because the show's co-creator was one of our players as well, a part-time outfielder named Larry David. I see now that you can get reproductions of these shirts based on the show, so ironically, mine looks less authentic than the fakes. But they are pretty close as it is, as the show used the same shade of Daredevil red for their shirts as we had on the originals. Here's hoping it doesn't fall apart in the wash.

Friends O' Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Leader Strike.
Science: Using Google Street View to help dementia patients with memory loss. Thanks [H]ardOCP via RedEye9.
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life- the new sleep science. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: "Alternative Math" - The confusing times we live in.
Train Blasts Through Flooded Station, Drenching Everyone.
Primitive Technology: Mud Bricks.

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Monday, Sep 25, 2017

Tentative SAG-AFTRA Deal

SAG-AFTRA announces a tentative agreement to end their strike against 11 video game companies, saying the union's National Board will review this in a couple of weeks. When this strike was called around 11 months ago they said they sought residuals, stunt pay for "vocally stressful" parts, and limits on long recording sessions, and they say the deal "contains an employer commitment to continue working with SAG-AFTRA on the issue of vocal stress during the term of the agreement." Here's more:

“The bonus payments we have now are significantly larger now than what we had 11 months ago. And the existence of additional payments beyond your session fee is in the video game world for good, both in our high-budget and independent promulgated agreements,” said Farley. “Those are the victories that this strike has brought us.”

Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez, who was the lead negotiator on the new contract, said that the deal includes significant improvements in the area of transparency.

“The new transparency provisions will enhance the bargaining power of our members’ representatives by requiring the companies to disclose the code name of project, its genre, whether the game is based on previously published intellectual property and whether the performer is reprising a prior role,” said Rodriguez. “Members are also protected by the disclosure of whether they will be required to use unusual terminology, profanity or racial slurs, whether there will be content of a sexual or violent nature and whether stunts will be required.”

Call of Duty: WWII Beta Preloads

Activision is now offering preloads of the Windows client for the Call of Duty: WWII multiplayer beta in advance of the open beta commencing on September 29th. This post has details and system specs, and says player feedback will shape the final multiplayer experience. Here's word on what the beta will and will not include:

These are the PC-specific features included in the PC Open Beta:

  • Native 4K Support
  • Framerate Cap Slider (up to 250FPS)
  • FOV Resizing
  • Keyboard/Mouse Fully Re-mappable
  • Controller Support
  • G-Sync Monitor Support
  • Ultra-Wide Monitor Support
  • High-resolution Mouse Support
  • Advanced Video Settings

We’ve worked hard to tune the gameplay experience to PC, and throughout Beta and after, we’ll continue to optimize gameplay for PC. For this reason, we have disabled Aim Assist during the PC Open Beta. It’s important that we ensure the optimal gameplay experience natively for PC players, and we made this decision with that objective in mind. We believe this will help us to deliver the most helpful performance data possible so that we can fully optimize for launch.

The content for the PC Open Beta will mirror the final weekend of the previous Multiplayer Beta on console. Here’s an overview on what you should expect in the PC Open Beta:

Maps – Four Multiplayer maps: Pointe du Hoc, Ardennes Forest, Gibraltar and Aachen
War – Operation Breakout
Modes – Four Multiplayer modes: Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint and Kill Confirmed
Divisions – Five Divisions: Infantry, Expeditionary, Airborne, Armored, and Mountain Division. Players aren’t limited to any single Division, so try them all!
Progression – Players will begin at Soldier Rank 1. Over the weekend, the level cap will increase to 35, including progression to unlock weapons, scorestreaks, and equipment.

Similarly, there are features that we continue to work on internally that will not be present in the PC Open Beta. Here’s what you should not expect this week:

HDR Support – We are working to support HDR for launch.
Multi-Monitor Support – Not included in the Beta, but will be ready for launch.
Headquarters –This is an all-new social experience coming to PC players at launch.
Supply Drops, and Loot – These customization features will not be included in the Beta.

Additional content not in the PC Open Beta includes: full progression, remaining maps and modes, additional War Mode maps, and the full armory of weapons, scorestreaks, Basic Training, and equipment.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Intel's "Best Gaming Processor Ever"

Intel officially unveils their 8th generation Core processor family, saying the new Intel Core i7-8700K will be their "best gaming processor ever" as if this is not something we should expect. "Our 8th Gen Intel Core desktop processors deliver tremendous improvements across the board," explains Anand Srivatsa, general manager of the Desktop Platform Group at Intel. "And – for gamers, in particular– offer an unbeatable experience." Here are more details on the new CPUs, which should be available starting October 5th:

Powerful, Fluid and Vivid Gaming
Gamers will revel in the powerful and fluid experience of gaming. Compared with 7th Gen Intel Core, gamers gain up to 25 percent more frames per second3 on popular and demanding games like Gears of War* 4. As gaming continues to expand to include a social audience while playing, performance while mega-tasking is critical so game + stream + record is now up to 2 times faster5 compared with a 3-year-old machine.

Advanced Content Creation
Save time and create more. The 8th Gen Intel Core desktop processor family positions Intel as the choice for speed, accuracy, power, format compatibility, and high-quality graphics creation and consumption. Edit 4K 360-degree videos with ease – up to 32 percent faster6 compared with the previous generation – plus, edit content up to 65 percent faster4 compared with a 3-year-old PC.

Better Overclocking1
Performance matters with overclocking. The 8th Gen Intel Core unlocked1 “K” processors will overclock to higher levels than prior generations. Intel has added new features to enhance the experience, including per core overclocking, max memory ratio up to 8,400 MT/s, real-time memory latency control, extended PLL trim controls, enhanced package power delivery, and updated Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility and Intel® Extreme Memory Profile.

Enhanced Platform
For the platform, the new Intel Z370 chipset provides improved power delivery needed for the new 6-core processors to reach their maximum performance as well as enhanced package power delivery for overclocking and memory routing support. More than 50 new motherboard and system designs will be available from a variety of leading providers.

Launch games and load media projects faster. Add Intel® Optane™ memory to desktop computer with an 8th Gen Intel Core processor to gain additional accelerated system responsiveness, up to 2.1 times faster7 compared with a 5-year-old desktop with HDD alone.

Attack on Titan 2 Announced

KOEI TECMO America announces Attack on Titan 2, saying the a sequel to their 2016 action game will come to Windows and consoles. The Attack on Titan 2 website has more details and a previously released trailer which concludes saying to expect this early next year. In the meantime, here are the details they offer:

ATTACK ON TITAN 2 delves deeply into the fascinating narrative of Attack on Titan’s second season and offers players versatile action and new challenges, as it introduces the newly improved omni-directional mobility gear offering advanced freedom of movement and targeting precision to counter enhanced Titan movements.

Players will be able to try their new moves against these fearsome Titans as they control characters from a Titan-sized roster! Outside of battle they will be able to deepen their relationships with their fellow squad-mates while gaining greater insight into life within the walls thanks to more advanced RPG elements.

While more information about the game’s release date, narrative, and new mechanics will be unveiled in the coming weeks, KOEI TECMO released a new selection of in-game assets which further showcase famous scenes from the anime and character interactions outside of battle.

Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

GFK Chart-Track is back with their new charts tracking last week's game sales in the U.K. Destiny 2 continues to tempt fate with a third straight number one on their all-platforms chart. There's a new king on the PS top 30, where Project CARS 2 pulls out of the garage at number one. Here's their summary off all the action, and here's the top 10 from the PC chart:

LW TW Title Developer Label Publisher

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

After a couple of semi-predictable weeks in the NFL, yesterday was one of those upset specials, which completely blew up my picks for the football pool. It was pretty rough on many of us, so I guess some of it will come out in the wash. My Giants losing was not an upset, but they were considered a contender coming into the season, and their 0-3 record puts their season on life support, as teams with that record historically almost never make the playoffs. Time to start hoping for miracles.

R.I.P.: Kit Reed, brilliant giant of science fiction.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Life - The Game.
Link: Can an axe really cut a chain in half?
Stories: Doomsday Conspiracy Theory: David Meade Reschedules Apocalypse for October After World Didn't End.
Officials say swine flu detected in 11 pigs at Maryland fair - The Washington Post
Woman at LongHorn Steakhouse bit several times by copperhead snake. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: The Post-Antibiotic Era Is Here. Now What?
Media: A Movie Trailer goes: BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
Why You Didn't Want to Fly On The Soviet Concorde-The TU-144.
For the song's 40th anniversary, Depeche Mode covers David Bowie's 'Heroes.'


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