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Thursday, Nov 12, 2015


rFactor 2 Demo

There's a playable demo for rFactor 2 on Steam, surprisingly racing in more that two-and-a-half years after the initial release of the motorsport sequel. They don't outline what's in the demo, so here's the brief description of the game: "rFactor 2 is a realistic, easily extendable racing simulation from Image Space Incorporated. It offers the latest in vehicle and race customization, great graphics, outstanding multiplayer and the height of racing realism. rFactor 2 features mixed class road racing with ultra realistic dynamics, an immersive sound environment and stunning graphics." Thanks Frans.

2Dark Beta Access with Preorders

Frederick Raynal announces the formation of Gloomywood, the studio developing 2Dark, the crowdfunded horror game coming from the man described as "the creative force" behind the survival/horror classic Alone in the Dark. They are offering access to the game's closed beta to those who preorder via this page, saying the game is set for full release early next year. They also offer a recent trailer with some gameplay footage to give a sense of how this will play out. Here's word: "Set for a PC release in early 2016, 2Dark challenges players to rescue groups of children who have been captured by a pack of demented serial killers, each more frightening than the last. Featuring a unique look and a twisted storyline, 2Dark will ensure players never rest easy while scouring the game’s dark environs." Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 4 Free DLC Plans

EA's Battlelog has details on Battlefield 4: Legacy Operations, a free DLC pack coming soon to Battlefield 4 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. At the center of the release is Dragon Valley 2015, an updated version of the Dragon Valley map from Battlefield 2, saying this "opens up for vehicular mayhem on land, air, and sea, with a massive number of flags, and destructible and repairable bridges." This trailer shows off some play testing of the map, and here's a bit on how the original had to be changed:

If you played Battlefield 2, you likely remember the map – it was huge, with a massive number of flags, and destructible and repairable bridges. Our goal for this map is to make a great, large vehicle map for Battlefield 4 but at the same time modernize the original where appropriate.

Some things had to change when reimagining the map. Battlefield 2 featured a poor draw distance (how far you can see in the game world) by today’s standards, and the original map was built around those limitations. We tackled this in several ways: first we increased the terrain verticality to closer mimic a real life Chinese river valley – and to give us more terrain occlusion for long distances, especially on the central island. We also added a dynamic cloud layer, which not only adds a welcomed air-to-ground separation in terms of gameplay, but also helps shroud far distances at ground level. This has the added bonus effect of allowing you to have intense aerial firefights above the cloud level, which looks really, really cool in Battlefield 4.

Continue here to read the full story.

Space Engineers Adds Planets

Marek Rosa's dev blog discusses the latest patch for Space Engineers, which adds planets to the space game, "because you wanted them." He explains "Space Engineers now has the largest, fully destructible, volumetric and persistent planets in the universe," pointing the way to this forum post with patch notes for the new version 01.108 and this trailer showing off the new version in action. There are even more videos in the blog post, and here's a bit on what to expect:

Planets are fully destructible, volumetric and persistent. You can drill a hole from one pole to the other, but you will have to put a lot hours into it. Planets have up to 120 km in diameter, which is a surface of 45 238,93421 km2! Even with planets this huge we had to apply smart visual tricks so they appear nice and round from afar. That’s why mountain ranges goes flat once you hit a critical distance from the planet.

Every object on a planet surface is affected by its gravity, which is why we added a new option for station grids - the Station voxel. By enabling this option a station will be static only when touching the voxel (one block build “inside of it”). When you cut some parts of the station away it will become a dynamic object and could break apart. And since you will be building stations on a spherical surface from now on, buildings can't be axis-aligned, but you can orientate the block so that it’s aligned with the landscape surface.

Continue here to read the full story.

Klei Entertainment Free Weekend

Steam News announces a weekend celebrating the 10th anniversary of publisher Klei Entertainment, offering a sale and the chance to play all Klei's games for free:

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Klei Entertainment, save up to 85% on their catalog of titles including Don't Starve, Invisible, Inc., Mark of the Ninja and more*!

Additionally, all of their titles are available to play for free starting now until Sunday at 1PM Pacific!

If you already have Steam installed, click here for the list of participating titles. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

Rainbow Six Siege Season Pass Details

Ubiblog offers details on the Season Pass for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. This trailer illustrates plans for this year-long content subscription to the shooter sequel, and here's an outline:

Rainbow Six Siege is almost here. If you listen closely, you might even be able to hear the clicking of heavy boots up by the chimney as Operators prepare to breach. And after Siege launches on December 1, waves of fresh content will come rolling in for a full year. New goodies like maps, modes and operators will be free for all players, but with the Season Pass, you’ll get your hands on some of this of this stuff a little earlier. You’ll also get access to some weapon skins and other bonuses. Take a look below for a full rundown of what the Season Pass has to offer.

The Rainbow Six Siege Season Pass includes:

  • Seven-day exclusive early access to the eight new operators, which you can instantly add to your roster upon their release
  • Permanent 5% Renown boost that will allow you to unlock content quicker
  • The exclusive Season Pass Porter weapon skin
  • The Safari Bundle of five weapons skins
  • Two extra daily Renown-earning challenges (giving you a total of five)
  • 600 R6 Credits that can be used to purchase additional in-game content, like weapon skins

Continue here to read the full story.

Paragon Trailer

The Paragon website now offers another of the promised weekly character reveals from Paragon, Epic's upcoming PC game. This video introduces Steel, though any resemblance to Shaq are purely coincidental. The cinematic just shows the character's appearance, as they continue to be cagey about revealing too much of what this game is about. Continue here to read the full story.

The Pillars of the Earth Video

This video offers a look at progress on The Pillars of the Earth, the upcoming video game adaptation of Ken Follett's novel of the same name. The clip shows a 2017 release date, and comes with the following description:

Daedalic Entertainment presents the first video material for "The Pillars of the Earth", the game adaption of Ken Follett's bestseller. The video shows first scenes of the game's characters and gives some insight to its development process. The focus will be on the presentation of the involved artists and writers, as well as the fate of the games protagonist, Aliena. One of the original's key moments will be brought to life through interactive literature.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

  • Beyond Eyes on Steam. Save 40%.
  • Goat Simulator on Steam. Save 66%.
  • I am Bread on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars on Humble Store. Save 25%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: This Guy Loves The McRib More Than You Love Anything. NSFW. Thanks nin.

System Shock Remake Plans; System Shock 3 Possible

There are a couple of System Shock tidbits we missed in the Fast Company interview with Night Dive Studios we mentioned earlier this week, as the developer discusses plans to remake the action/RPG from the ground up, following up on their recently released Enhanced Edition (thanks All Games Beta). And perhaps of greater interest, it turns out that Night Dive now owns the rights to the series, and it's not out of the question that they will eventually turn their attention to creating System Shock 3. This excerpt conveniently covers both topics:

One example: Night Dive is developing a full remake of the original System Shock, going well beyond the basic rerelease that launched a couple months ago. Night Dive has acquired the full rights to the franchise, and Kick says he’s been working with Robert Waters, the game's original concept artist, to reimagine his designs from the early 1990s.

"Seeing the difference between his artistic abilities back then compared to now, and his ablity to reinterpret those ideas, it's just been really exciting for us," Kick says.

Part of the plan for this remake also includes a console version, which would be a first for Night Dive. Kuperman believes much of the company's future growth will come from creating console adaptations for more PC games, along with some ports for mobile devices.

We may even see a System Shock 3 someday, though Night Dive would need a larger publisher to take on the task. Kuperman says the company is "having some conversations" on this front. "To really do another game in that series is going to take resources and time and commitment that we don't have, and it's really not our core business," Kuperman says. (Until now, 2K Games’ Bioshock series has stood in as a spiritual successor.)

Mordheim: City of the Damned Campaign Trailer

A new "campaign" trailer from Mordheim: City of the Damned highlights the four separate campaigns in Rogue Factor's tactical/RPG that's gearing up to graduate next week from early access on Steam. Here's word:

Rogue Factor's tactical-RPG Mordheim: City of the Damned showcases its four independent campaigns in the new Campaign Trailer. With a campaign for each Warband, the Human Mercenaries, the Skaven from Clan Eshin, the Sisters of Sigmar and the Cult of the Possessed, explore a unique story and meet the Dramatis Personae!

These battle-hardened heroes of Mordheim will chaperone you through each of the campaigns. They are powerful and unique warriors who can completely turn the tide of battles with unique abilities and skills.

Introduce yourself to Luther Wolfenbaum, Bertha Bestraufrung, Fylch Sharptail and Merga Ottweiler in the trailer below, sampling a taste of their aptitude for combat with new debuff skills, powerful single-target heals, area-of-effect dodge buffs, and a powerful mage spell, Forsake, able to shutdown enemy magic users by increasing the chances of spells backfiring.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

My Herman Miller Aeron chair is now over 15 years old, so it's been at least that long since my last chair-related backache. Last year I replaced the arms, which had developed cracks in the padding over time, but otherwise it's held up very well until recently. Another problem popped up, however, as the tension screw to adjust the height of the left arm started slipping, causing the arm to gradually lower itself under any weight. The arm slides up and down in a channel, so I started looking for something that could be placed in there to prop it up, frustrated that the thin 6" steel dowel I found in my MacGyver kit seemed way too long to serve this purpose. After failing to dig up something smaller to try, I gave the too long dowel a shot, and it turns out the bottom of this channel is much deeper than I imagined, and holds this at the exact perfect height I wanted, with the possibility of it slipping completely eliminated. I love it when a plan comes together. No wait, that was a different 80s show.

MacGyvered Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Climb or Drown 2.
Bomb The Mountain.
Story: Why TV Networks Are Cutting Back on Commercials. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: Single course of antibiotics can mess up the gut microbiome for a year.
Media: Micro-Mann [Saxxy 2015].
I Made A Mistake I Bought A (Lemon) Jeep.
Penguin Always Returns From the Sea to Visit Man.
Follow-up: License renewed: Air Force says it needs A-10 a bit longer, thanks.
The Funnies: What Everything Looks Like To Dogs.

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