Archived News:

Monday, Jun 20, 2016

Offworld Trading Company Toolkit DLC

Stardock has released a new Map Toolkit for Offworld Trading Company as premium DLC for Mohawk Games' strategy/sim set on Mars. This page has details and links to pick this up, and here's the announcement:
Stardock and Mohawk Games released the new Map Toolkit DLC for Offworld Trading Company today. The downloadable content allows players to build their own maps to share with friends and rivals using the new map editor and adds dozens of new maps based on real locations, many of which enhance the campaign.

“Players can have a great time creating their own maps from scratch,” said Soren Johnson, lead designer of Offworld Trading Company, “but we also wanted to give players some maps of real Mars locations, just to get them started.”

The Map Editor allows players to explore plenty of different options when creating a map. From larger design details such as creating deep canyons or huge plateaus, all the way down to the finer details of where resources can be found and how abundant they are, players will be able to create a unique map that they can then share with others.

Offworld Trading Company is a new direction for real-time strategy where money is both your deadliest weapon and your toughest defense. With a campaign, skirmishes, and daily challenges, players can enjoy a game by themselves at their leisure. If they want to connect with their friends online, the multiplayer mode can host up to eight people for a knock-down, drag-out economic brawl, or they can join in ranked ladder games to see who the world’s best businessman or woman really is.

Offworld Trading Company’s Map Toolkit DLC is now available on Steam or through Stardock. For more information, please visit

Civilization VI's Unstacked Cities

2K and Firaxis Games offer new details on Civilization VI, explaining how cities will be "unstacked" in the next installment in the beloved strategy series pioneered by Sid Meier. This two-minute video helps explain how this works, and here's part of the article:
In Civilization V, you simply queue up a build order, construct your buildings and they all live as one enormous stack within the city screen. With Civilization VI, we’ve unstacked the cities, removing all of that clutter within the city screen. So not only do you need to weigh build order in Civilization VI, but you also have to consider district adjacency bonuses and what terrains around your city center are compatible with certain Wonders. There isn’t one template for success in Civilization VI, and players need to react to the environment around them. No two games will play the same.

Combat is also affected by the Unstacking Cities mechanic in Civilization VI. As cities spread across more territory and become more exposed, adept warmongers may target specific tiles to cripple a city’s infrastructure before going after the city center. Additionally, passive players who would choose to fortify cities in the past must now consider their city’s full perimeter when deciding to pursue this same tactic in Civilization VI. A city is so much more than just its city center now.

Finally, from a visual standpoint, Unstacking Cities presents great aesthetical changes to the Civilization experience. Cities now look more diverse and reflect their growth in more distinct ways. We’ve found this change goes a long way, not only in making players feel more connected to their choices and progress, but also in keeping players immersed in the beautiful world of Civilization VI.
Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr Videos

Neocore Games now offers the E3 2016 trailer for Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, offering a look at "pre-alpha" footage from the upcoming Warhammer 40K action/RPG. This page has this video, as well as an IGN showcase from the show and an eight minutes Gamespot video with more of the game. They conclude by stressing that they are interested in what potential customers have to think about what they have planned: "And a last word: we’d really like to hear your opinion, as feedback in this phase of development can still have enormous impact on the game, for the better. Please tell us what you think so far, what’s good, what’s to be improved – your opinion matters and will be taken into account in further developments." Continue here to read the full story.

It Came from E3 2016, Part 6

New Turtle Rock Studios IP

The Turtle Rock Studios Careers Page indicates the Left 4 Dead and Evolve developer is working on a new unrevealed project. They list open positions for an "Unannounced new IP," including a Narrative Director, programmers, and artists. There's a hint at the scope of this from the descriptions. Here's word: "We are searching for a Narrative Director to help shape the entire narrative structure of our upcoming new AAA game for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The Narrative Director will work closely with our Creative Director and Head Writer to create and oversee compelling stories, characters, and content that form the backbone of the game’s story." Thanks VG247.

Screeps Early Access

Early access to Screeps is now available for Windows, OS X, and Linux on Steam, offering first crack as this MMORTS game that relies on actual programming skills to play. Here's a trailer showing off how this works. While this will limit the potential audience of this game, it is an interesting new approach to things, as outlined here:
It is a MMO RTS sandbox game for programmers, wherein the core mechanic is programming your units AI. With all the attributes of a full-fledged strategy game, you control your colony by writing real JavaScript which operate 24/7 in the single persistent world filled by other players on par with you.

Your colony can harvest resources, build units, conquer territory, trade with another colonies. As you conquer more territory, your influence in the game world grows, as well as your abilities to expand your footprint. However, it requires a lot of effort on your part, since multiple players may aim at the same territory.

Screeps is developed for people with programming skills. Unlike some other RTS games, your units in Screeps can react to events without your participation – provided that you have programmed them properly. And, unlike other MMO, you do not have to play Screeps constantly to play well. It is quite enough just to check once in a while to see if everything goes well.
Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

DOOM takes over the top spot on the GFK Chart-Track top 30 chart of the bestselling PC games in the U.K. for last week. Overwatch drops to number three on that list, and Overwatch falls to number two on the all platforms top 40, here DOOM also lands at number one. Here's word:
‘Doom’ puts an end to Overwatch’s three week run at the top of the chart.

It jumps two places from No3 to No1 with retailer promotions pushing the ASP down by £5 to £31.20. Sales of ‘Doom’ are up 57% on last week giving Bethesda their first All Formats No1 since ‘Fallout 4’ and developer ID Software their first No1 since ‘Doom 3’ on PC topped the All Formats Chart in W34 2004. ‘Overwatch’ drops to No2 with sales down by 24%, remaining ahead of ‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’ (+1%) which climbs one place to No3. Older titles ‘FIFA 16’ (+21%) and ‘GTA V’ (+20%) still prove popular, also rising by one place to No’s 4 and 5 respectively. ‘Mirror’s Edge Catalyst’ (-62%) slips from No2 to No6, while retailer promotions boosts ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops III’ (+52%) back in to the Top 10, up from No12 to No7. As Euro 2016 is now well under way, Konami’s updated Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (+24%) title on PS4 and PS3 enjoys a 24% sales increase, although is a non-mover at No8. More promotions guide ‘Star War Battlefront’ (+63%) back in to the Top 10, up 7 places to No9. ‘Lego Marvel Avengers’ (+4%) rounds off the Top 10 at No10, while ‘MotoGP 16: Valentino Rossi’ is the only new title to break in to the Top 40, new at No19.

Different Steam Top 10

Sometime after we posted the Steam top 10 yesterday the list changed. We're not sure which list is more accurate than the other, but for the record, here's the list as it currently reads:

  1. Dead by Daylight
  2. Total War: WARHAMMER
  3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  4. Arma 3 Apex
  5. DARK SOULS II: Scholar of the First Sin
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Hearts of Iron IV
  8. Youtubers Life
  9. DOOM
  10. ARK: Survival Evolved

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Happy first day of summer for those of us in the northern hemisphere, and happy first day of winter to the southern hemisphere. This is often erroneously called the longest day of the year (pretty sure it's still just 24 hours), and if you view it that way, it seems sort of cruel to have it fall on a Monday. There's apparently some sort of full moon involved as well, and I saw somewhere this is the first time a full moon has fallen on the solstice in 80 years, which is a considerable defiance of odds.

R.I.P.: 'Star Trek' Star Anton Yelchin, Dead After Freak Accident.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Floppy Frog.
Science: Two catalysts efficiently turn plastic trash into diesel.
Media: Westworld: Teaser Trailer (HBO). Thanks nin.
Squirrel Outsmarts Playful Pup. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Follow-up: Anton Yelchin Death: Jeep Grand Cherokees Were Recalled for Rollaway Risk. Thanks nin.
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