Archived News:

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 International Women's Day

GeForce Driver Beta

NVIDIA now offers version 364.51 beta windows drivers, presumably to address the issues with their latest drivers reported earlier. They don't actually say what these do, but offer a description that seems ironic in light of this being a hotfix for a day one driver release: "Prior to a new title launching, our driver team is working up until the last minute to ensure every performance tweak and bug fix possible makes it into the Game Ready driver. As a result, you can be sure you’ll have the best day-1 gaming experience for your favorite new titles." You can find these through the NVIDIA Driver Downloads page. Thanks DSOGaming.

Riot Acquires Radiant; Closing Rising Thunder

The Radiant website announces the developer has been acquired by Riot Games, saying they will continue development of Stonehearth, but that the alpha for fighting game Rising Thunder will close later this month (thanks GamesIndustry.biz). The implication is that they may be creating a similar project for the League of Legends developer and publisher. Here's word:
We are delighted to announce that Radiant Entertainment has been acquired by Riot Games. At Riot, our developers will continue their mission of building incredible games that speak to us personally as players. You’re probably wondering what this means for our games.

First and foremost, Stonehearth will go on, full speed ahead. We’ll continue delivering Alphas at our current pace, with the aim of delivering the final game “when it’s ready.” We’ll continue keeping you up to date on our progress through things like our Twitch streams and Desktop Tuesday blog posts.

As for Rising Thunder, the team will start work on a new game that we’re incredibly excited about. We wish we could say more now, but rest assured you’ll hear more when the time is right. For now, we will be permanently closing Rising Thunder on March 18th. Thanks to everyone who participated in the Alpha!

And more broadly, to everyone who has helped support us by playing Stonehearth and Rising Thunder, backing our Kickstarter, telling your friends, and giving us your feedback: Thank you for helping us make these games as good as they can be. You have been a consistent source of motivation and inspiration for us, and we look forward to continuing to talk and work with you in the future.

Hearthstone Expansion & Deck Recipe Plans

Blizzheart has word that the next expansion for Hearthstone will be announced on the PlayHearthstone Twitch Channel on March 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm EST. That's not all that's new, however, as Battle.net has an outline of plans to introduce deck recipes to help ease the process of playing your cards right in the strategy game. Here's the overview:
Deck Recipes are a new feature coming to Hearthstone to help budding deck-builders get a head-start on quickly crafting a solid deck to play in the Tavern. They’re great for both new players who haven’t built many decks, and experienced players who don’t want to create a deck entirely from scratch. To access the Deck Recipes, simply go to your Collection Manager via the “My Collection” button, select the “New Deck” option under “My Decks,” and pick your class; then you’ll see the Deck Recipes on the left-hand side. Three are available for each class, including one classic recipe, and two themed recipes. If you want to quickly jump into a game and need a deck, classic recipes are the way to go. If you’re more experienced and want to try something different, themed recipes may provide some inspiration.

Total War: WARHAMMER Delay; Specs

Creative Assembly announces a new release date for Total War: WARHAMMER, saying to expect the fantasy strategy game on May 24th, a month later than previously planned. "This could be the best Total War game we’ve ever made. We don’t want to rush it," explains Mike Simpson, Creative Director for Total War. "It’s an enormous game and we also want to make absolutely sure reviewers have enough time to play it thoroughly before launch. Many thanks to the huge number of people who have pre-ordered and are eagerly awaiting release day. We’re pulling out all the stops for you." They also offer the following system specifications, though they say these remain subject to change:
Further details on graphics settings under each preset are at http://wiki.totalwar.com/w/Total_War_WARHAMMER_Specs

PC Minimum Specifications:
[Expected around 15-25 FPS on campaign map and in a 1v1, 20 units vs 20 units battle, default graphics preset set to “Low”]
Operating System:
Windows 7 64Bit
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 3.0Ghz
RAM: 3GB*
Hard Drive: 35 GB
Video Card: (DirectX 11) AMD Radeon HD 5770 1024MB | NVIDIA GTS 450 1024MB | Intel HD4000 @720P
*PC integrated graphics chipsets require 4GB ram, e.g. Intel HD series

PC Recommended Specifications:
[Expected around 45-55 FPS on campaign map and in a 1v1, 20 units vs 20 units battle, default graphics preset set to “High”]
Operating System:
Windows 7/8.1/10 64Bit
Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4570 3.20GHz
RAM: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 35 GB
Video Card: (DirectX 11) AMD Radeon R9 270X 2048MB | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2048MB @1080P

PC 60fps+ Specifications:
[Expected 60 FPS+ on campaign map and in a 1v1, 20 units vs 20 units battle, default graphics preset set to “Ultra”]
Operating System:
Windows 7/8.1/10 64Bit
Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-4790K 4.0 GHz
RAM: 8 GB
Hard Drive: 35 GB
Video Card: (DirectX 11) AMD Fury X or Nvidia GTX 980 @1080P

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 Free DLC

EA announces the release of the Graveyard Variety Pack, a new batch of free DLC for Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, the action game sequel. The Windows version is available through Origin, while the console versions are on their respective marketplaces. Here's a trailer showing off the new content, and here's an outline:
The biggest, baddest, craziest battle in the PvZ universe just grew even bigger! PopCap Vancouver announced today that the Plants vs. Zombies™ Garden Warfare 2: Graveyard Variety Pack, the first free content update to Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, releases on March 8 for all players on Xbox One, PlayStation®4 and Origin™ on PC. This free content update delivers a new map, missions, gameplay features and balancing improvements, including the brand new Zomburbified Garden Center map: Aqua Center. First appearing in the original Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, the Garden Center has since been taken over by zombies and Dr. Zomboss has rebuilt it to become the Aqua Center.

  • The all-new Aqua Center map.
  • New quests located throughout the Backyard Battleground offering up exciting challenges.
  • New gameplay and control options.
  • Character tweaks, improvements, and balances.
  • A nighttime version of The Great White North map.

Continue here to read the full story.

StarDrive 2: Sector Zero Launches

Iceberg Interactive announces the release of Sector Zero, the first DLC for StarDrive 2, the Windows, OS X, and Linux 4X space game, which not coincidentally happens to be on sale on Steam for 75% off at the moment. This post covers the release as well as plans for the future, as they call this "the start of a new era" for the game. Here's a portion of the description of the new DLC:
This baby takes the base game of StarDrive 2 and overhauls it with massive changes to the structure of the galaxy. First and foremost, the galaxy is now divided into Hexagonal Sectors, providing new resources, terrain features, chokepoints, and reasons for you to commit genocide on the friendly plant people. New deep space construction mechanics allow you to fortify sectors with battlestations, mining outposts, science stations, and more. Sectors are jam-packed with new anomalies to explore, quests to unlock, and dangers to bravely run away from.

Sector Zero now features several new ways to win the game, including a technology victory, a story-based victory, and a score victory. You can view your progress towards your victory goal on the brand new victory screen. Dozens of new technologies have been added to support these new mechanics and the AI has been given some serious upgrades to help them win the game too!

Shardlight Released

Wadjet Eye Games has released Shardlight, a new Windows adventure game which is now available on GOG.com, Steam, and their own online store. The Shardlight trailer can acquaint you with the game's throwback style, and this description introduces its story:
Amy Wellard is dying. Twenty years after a cataclysmic disaster leveled her city, Green Lung is wiping out the population at an alarming rate and vaccine is in short supply, rationed by a government that favors the rich. Amy may not have money or status, but she has something more important: hope. And if there's a cure out there, she's going to find it.

Wadjet Eye Games is proud to announce their new adventure Shardlight has released for PC on Steam, GOG, and the studio's online store (http://www.shardlight-game.com). Step into Amy's worn shoes to explore a dying city, navigate its social hierarchy, and expose the secrets that plague a community still suffering from the devastation of war. With old-school pixel-art graphics, classic point & click gameplay, and high production values all around, Shardlight is an ambitious game from the studio behind the Blackwell mysteries, A Golden Wake, and many other acclaimed indie adventures released over the past ten years.
Continue here to read the full story.

Angry Video Game Nerd II Preorders

A Steam Community Group Announcement has word that preorders are now underway for Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation, a sequel to this side-scrolling metagame. The game will be released for Windows at the end of this month, and pre-purchasing between now and then gets you a 10% discount. Here's word on what else this gets you:
Hey Everyone! Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation is now available for pre-order! The Nerd is back for an all new adventure in Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation! With all new weapons, armor and abilities the Nerd is ready to prove this game is anything but ASS! Pre-order before March 29th on Steam and receive 10% off and a FREE soundtrack! Releasing March 29th 2016 for PC and MAC.

Want to check out the first game? You can find it HERE

Valve on Virtual Reality

What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality is a video of a 2013 GDC presentation from Valve on the topic. Here's word on what this is about from the good old days of VR:
This 2013 talk from Valve's Joe Ludwig describes lessons learned from Valve's experience porting Team Fortress 2 to virtual reality. Topics covered include an overview of what stereo support entails, rendering 2D user interface in a 90 degree field of view display, dealing with view models and other rendering shortcuts, and how mouselook can interact with head tracking in a first person shooter. In addition to the lessons that apply to Team Fortress 2, there are also several lessons that would apply to any new virtual reality game.

GDC talks cover a range of developmental topics including game design, programming, audio, visual arts, business management, production, online games, and much more. We post a fresh GDC video every weekday. Subscribe to the channel to stay on top of regular updates, and check out GDC Vault for thousands of more in-depth talks from our archives.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Blue Angelo - The remake of the 2004 Action RPG by VETASOFT — Kickstarter. "You are creature 331, a genetically modified, super strong creature able to eliminate any threats, monsters and demons. You will encounter various secondary characters that will help you in this unique and exciting adventure. The strength of Blue Angelo 2016 will be the use of 2D technology. We really want to focus on this while significantly improving the gameplay from its 2004 version. The fighting techniques and monsters will be drastically improved."
  • March of the Living -- Steam Greenlight. "The world is crumbling and the dead are roaming, but a glimmer of hope remains. A safe place where humanity can start over, protected from the hell this world has become. This is your destination. Along the way you'll meet allies, defeat foes and battle through the infected. Manage your resources and make the tough decisions necessary to ensure the survival of your group. In this march for salvation, your choices matter."
  • Silence - Steam Greenlight. "Silence is a thrilling and adventurous sci-fi puzzle game where anyone could be at risk while you move forward. Keep as close an eye as you can and try to match their moves! And don’t lose your head, because you might not be prepared for the mysteries that are hidden from us." There's a Windows, Linux, and OS X demo on itchi.io.

On Sale

Into the Black

Link of the Day: British drivers swearing. NSFW. Thanks Boing Boing via devicer.

Tom Clancy's The Division Released

Ubisoft announces the release of Tom Clancy's The Division, calling it an open-world action/RPG this time, and saying it should now be available for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This post on the game's official website covers what to expect from a day one patch with a list of changes since the open beta. There's a post about the release on the UbiBlog that features the previously released launch trailer, and the following details:
Have you been itching to take to the streets and restore order to an epidemic-ravaged Manhattan? The Division is ready for you, and you can now explore its online open world on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Casting you as an elite sleeper Agent equipped with realistic weapons and futuristic tactical gear, The Division invites you to match wits with deadly roving gangs and other players while you fight to reclaim New York from chaos.

An action-RPG, The Division gives you not just the chance to freely roam Manhattan with up to three other players, but to customize your Agent to suit your play style and/or preferred role on the team. You’ll also encounter other teams in the quarantined Dark Zone, where – amid battling other threats – you’ll have the choice of working together or turning on other Agents for a chance at snagging rare weapons and equipment for yourself.

The Division arrives alongside its companion book, The Division: New York Collapse, which takes the form of a survival guide filled with scribbled notes and removable clues left by a survivor as she investigated the mystery behind the pandemic. To see excerpts from The Division: New York Collapse, take a look at our previous coverage.
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Wars Battlefront Adds Content

A new patch is now available for Star Wars Battlefront, adding new content to the Windows and console editions of the Star Wars action game. There are details on the Star Wars Battlefront Forums, and here they are:
Below are the patch notes specific to PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One for the March Update.

Additional Content/Functionality

  • New Mission: Rebel Depot on Tatooine added as a new Survival Mission.
  • New Map: Survivors of Endor added to Walker Assault, Supremacy, and Turning Point.

Day of the Tentacle Remastered This Month; Preorders Underway

GOG.com is now accepting preorders of Day of the Tentacle Remastered, a revamped version of the classic LucasArts adventure. They offer this video featuring Tim Schafer to reintroduce the game, and promise a livestream with Tim later today on Twitch. Preorders will carry a 10% discount until March 22nd, and the game's product page says that's when we should expect the release. Here's word:
Day of the Tentacle Remastered is all the adventure you may remember with an optional layer of sweet improvements on top. You can mix and match between the unmistakably 1990s pixely art and a fresh high-res coat of paint, remastered audio, and an all new interface. There are extra goodies in the Remastered release as well, including in-game developer commentary and a fully playable version of the original Maniac Mansion. Your pre-order also comes with three exclusive Day of the Tentacle wallpapers, available right away to fuel your anticipation.

But don't take our word for it. Take it from the guy behind it all:
Continue here to read the full story.

The Solus Project Part 2

Part 2 of The Solus Project is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam, greatly increasing the amount of content in this early access space exploration game. This trailer features a look at what part two adds to the game, which is a spiritual successor to The Ball, the previous adventure game from developer Hourences. They say part two more than doubles the length of the game to 6+ hours, and offer the following outline of what that includes:
The story heats up in this second episode. Dark secrets lurk in the depths of this seemingly deserted alien environment and as you venture deeper into the underground you can't shake the feeling you are being watched and followed.
One large new island along with the biggest cave system have been added, giving players an estimated 3-5 hours of additional gameplay and many dozens of new secrets and items. Continue your journey and explore the massive alien world!

As with Part 1 we aim for a classic first person game feeling. Large and complex levels with tons of secrets. Little hand-holding. And a magical but deadly sci fi world to explore at your own pace.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Next World Released

The Next World is now available on Steam for Windows, OS X, and Linux, offering what's described as "a visual novel/strategy hybrid" they liken to games like The Banner Saga, King of Dragon Pass, and Oregon Trail. This involves managing a "doomed" stranded space colony. A launch trailer introduces the game's hand-drawn style and its story, which originated as a comic book inspired by Outpost 2, a classic RTS released by Dynamix back in the day. Here's word:
The Next World is a visual novel/strategy hybrid in the vein of The Banner Saga, King of Dragon Pass and Oregon Trail. Your colony ship has crashed on a barren world. A mere 758 colonists survive. The captain is dead and all eyes are on you - will you keep the human race alive by making the tough decisions that no one else can?

Choose their strategy - starvation, sabotage and even black market moonshine will compete for your attention as you build new structures, salvage the wreckage for valuable resources, and try to squeak by another day. Live their story - the relationships you forge along the way lend real weight to the outcome of your choices as you lead this desperate band of survivors towards one of several possible conclusions.
Continue here to read the full story.

GeForce Driver Warning

The GeForce Forums have feedback from users experiencing problems with NVIDIA's just released version 364.47 drivers. Issues include crashes, black screens, and reboot cycling, so it seems prudent to hold off on installing the new drivers until someone figures out what's going wrong. Thanks PCGamesN.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Grab - Steam Greenlight. "Grab is a top-down intensive and competitive shooter. Inspired by the classics of its genre, Grab reproduce a skill based game while adding a missing feature : network co-op."
  • Midnight at the Celestial Palace: Chapter I - Steam Greenlight. "Join Greg, a 37 year old manchild and professional underachiever, as he is whisked away to a magical dreamland hidden beyond the stars. Befriended by the dutiful otter Sir Squiggles, the two embark on a harrowing journey through the whimsical realm of Dreamania in a quest to reach the wondrous Celestial Palace. But from the shadows, a great peril looms..."

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