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Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Happy National Day (Norway) Hurra, hurra, hurra!

  

Overwatch Anniversary Event; Free Weekend; GotY Edition Coming

This trailer is a year-in-review that introduces an anniversary event coming to Overwatch on May 23rd to celebrate the first year of Blizzard's multiplayer first-person shooter. To ensure there's enough fresh meat to go around, this will overlap with a free trial weekend that gets underway on all platforms on May 26th. May 23rd will also see the release of a Game of the Year edition of the game with some bonus loot boxes and extra goodies. Finally, in this video Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan answers some tech support questions that Overwatch players posed on Twitter. We're not sure if this means he would take to Twitter to answer questions from YouTube, but there are bigger mysteries about social media to ponder before we get around to that one. This format has the advantage of allowing him to blow through the 140 character limit, so there's that. The description says: "Game designer Jeff Kaplan uses the power of Twitter to answer some common "Overwatch" questions. Why is Widowmaker blue? Why is Symmetra support class? Watch to find the answers!" Continue here to read the full story.

Destiny 2 Livestream Tomorrow

An official Destiny 2 global livestream gets underway tomorrow at 1:00 pm EDT, offering a first look at gameplay from the upcoming shooter sequel. You can tune in to see this on Bungie's Twitch channel or on the Destiny website, where there's a timer counting down the seconds to when this begins. Word is: "Broadcasting from an airplane hangar in Hawthorne, California, Destiny 2’s developer, Bungie, joined by special guests, will debut gameplay of the blockbuster sequel."

South Park: The Fractured But Whole in October

Ubisoft reveals an October 17th release date for South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the upcoming RPG sequel based on the animated TV series. They also announce four different editions of the game, Standard, Gold, Steelbook Gold, and Collector's. As was previously announced, all four include a limited time offer of a free copy of South Park: The Stick of Truth, and depending on your vendor, you may be able to play the predecessor immediately if you pre-purchase the sequel. Finally, The Farting Vigilante is a new trailer from the game. This is fairly indistinguishable from the show itself, as it includes authentic art, voice acting, and flatulence. Here's the description:

Play "South Park: The Fractured But Whole" on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on OCTOBER 17.

Evil is rising in the town of South Park. A mysterious vigilante prowls the night defending the innocent using amazing fart powers.

As the New Kid, become a super hero and unleash your vigilante justice on the enemies of South Park. Will your time-bending farts be enough to save the day?

Continue here to read the full story.

Quake Champions Duel Mode Revealed

Bethesda.net introduces Duel Mode, a one-on-one game variant that will be part of Quake Champions, id Software's upcoming first-person shooter that's currently running an open large-scale tech test. The post includes this trailer showing off the mode, and here are some of the details:

Duel mode introduces an additional layer of strategy to Quake Champions, incorporating multiple Champions with differing Abilities. To start, players will select three Champions in a snake-style draft before heading to the Arenas. In choosing their roster, players will have to consider which Champions are better suited to their unique playstyle and which are effective counters to their opponents’ choices.

Taking a cue from fighting games, Duel is played as a best-of-three match. There are three total rounds, and in each round, a player has to defeat all three of the opponent’s Champions. When a player is fragged, they will respawn as another of their chosen Champions. When one player has eliminated all three of the opposing Champions, a winner for that round is declared.

Continue here to read the full story.

Cossacks 3: Path to Grandeur Released

GSC Game World announces the release of Path to Grandeur, a new DLC pack for Cossacks 3 introducing new nations, units, and campaigns to the real-time strategy remake. To celebrate the game is on sale on Steam for 40% off. This is part of the Deluxe Edition, and they offer this explanation of how it will roll out: "Hungary and Portugal would be available to all our players in two weeks after release of the DLC. Owners of Deulxe [sic] Edition or DLC would be able to use them since 16th May, while other players will get access to these nations for free on 30th of May." Here's the overview:

Path to Grandeur will allow you to participate in glorious wars, marching through half of the Europe and battling the greatest empires of an era. DLC would introduce two new nations, 8 unique units, amusing campaigns and more!

XField Paintball 3 Announced

XField Paintball Studio announces XField Paintball 3, calling this "the first real-time multiplayer paintball game for PC," which suggests it shouldn't have a "3" in the title, but what do we know? This is a first-person shooter featuring five-on-five matches with authentic tournament layouts and sponsored gear. This trailer offers a look at actual paintball matches and gameplay footage, explaining more of what to expect. Here's part of the announcement:

Paintball is third-most popular extreme sport worldwide, with over ten million players participating per year. There are six major leagues worldwide, including NXL in the US and Millennium in Europe, and all six are exclusively licensed in the game. XField Paintball Studio is actively involved in the sport, and top players on the development team include Lead Community Manager, Loic Voulot, a two-time world champion who is Technical Director of the French Federation of Paintball and holder of seven European championship titles and nine French titles as captain of les Tontons, one of the greatest European paintball teams in history.

In the sports-based FPS game, players will use coordination, communication, and marksmanship to win matches. Winning takes not only individual skill but team dynamics, strategy, and tactics—as well as an understanding of the parabolic arcs of paintballs that give the game an entirely different physics model from most shooter games. Paintballs curve as they move toward their target, allowing players to rain down shots on players even with cover, allowing for different strategies. How the team covers the map to dominate key routes and allow cross-fire attacks is critical, as is situation assessment, speed of both movement, and decision making.

Continue here to read the full story.

Endless Space 2 Exploit Trailer

EXPLOIT trailer is now available for Endless Space 2, showing off yet another of the Xs in the 4X strategy sequel (so called since 4E just sounds awkward). There are no details to share about the clip, which comes with little fanfare, and just has some boilerplate links in the description. We assume the fourth and final "exterminate" video will come pretty soon, as the game is due to emerge from early access in two days. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

PES 2018 Announced; PC Version Catches Up

Konami announces details about Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, saying the sports sequel is due on September 14th. They offer all sorts of details on improvements over previous versions, including a note for PC owners that their edition of the game will use the current game engine and will offer the same features as the console editions, which has not been the case in the past. Word is: "PC Steam version undergoes substantial enhancements in graphics and content, meeting quality standards and ensuring parity across all current gen platforms." They are already accepting preorders. Here's more on the plan:

The world renowned gameplay quality has been finely tuned and refined to recreate the authenticity of the beautiful game, including a more realistic game speed.

Strategic Dribbling gives the user significantly more control in possession, with the addition of contextual shielding to protect the ball, as well as simple stick controls triggering realistic, subtle movements to wrong foot defenders.

Real Touch+ adds a new dimension to ball control, with full body touch allowing various parts of the body to control the ball based on the unpredictability of the ball movement.

Set pieces have been reworked with a new Free Kick and Penalty Kick system, alongside the option to choose the new one player kick off.

F1 2017 in August

Codemasters announces an August 25th release date for F1 2017, the next installment in their Formula One racing series. They accompany the news with a new make history trailer showing off three of the historic F1 cars the game will include. Here's word:

“For the first time ever F1 2017 fully integrates the classic experience into the main career mode,” said Lee Mather, Creative Director at Codemasters. “As part of your career you will be invited to race in modern day, invitational events in the different classic F1 cars throughout the season. We’re also adding to the variety in F1 2017 with the inclusion of four alternative circuit layouts, as well as numerous new gameplay types. The classic cars will also be available to play in a range of other game modes, including online multiplayer modes and time trial.”

The 2017 season has seen a huge number of changes to the sport itself, with the stunning new car designs not only looking great, but having lap record breaking performance levels to match. The opening races of the season have further thrilled fans with the increased competition on the grid, as Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport’s Lewis Hamilton and Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel battle it out at the top of the Championship, and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen continuing to excite fans around the world.

Continue here to read the full story.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Trailer

A new trailer from Middle-earth: Shadow of War shows off the open world in the upcoming Tolkien-inspired sequel that's expected on August 25th. They explain every environment in the new game will be larger than in its predecessor:

The video introduces viewers to the vast environments within Middle-earth, stretching beyond Mordor, and giving fans the first glimpse of various new environments to explore, including the Island of Nurn, Cirith Ungol, Gorgoroth and more. Through the innovative Nemesis System, every player experiences a unique world to explore and share and every area of the world is larger, more varied and more dynamic than ever before.

Set between the events of The Hobbit™ and The Lord of the Rings™, Middle-earth: Shadow of War™ is an open-world action RPG that continues the original narrative of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor™. Players will be engrossed in a richer, more personal and expansive world full of epic heroes and villains, iconic locations, original enemy types, more personalities and a new cast of characters with untold stories.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gorescript Next Month; Demo and Trailer Released

A Steam Community Group Announcement says to expect Gorescript on June 15th, offering a throwback-style first-person shooter with back-to-the-future voxel graphics. You can get a look at the fast-paced gameplay and offbeat appearance of this project in this new trailer. The description of the clip includes word that you can get a playable demo by signing up on this no-frills webpage. Here's word on the game:

Gorescript is a tribute to the best of FPS games and takes place in a pixel universe dominated by relentless monsters looking to destroy you. Grab your pixel-guns and immerse yourself in 18 levels of chaos. Levels are guarded by endless horrors you must face and kill. For a thrilling experience, explore the game in total darkness, your only source of light being your guns blazing! Featuring Masochist and Blackout gameplay modes, Gorescript is packed full of fun and ready for action. Lock and load, baby!

KEY FEATURES:

  • 18 hand crafted levels (2.5D)
  • 6 weapons (5 ranged, 1 melee)
  • 5 difficulty levels, Permadeath and Blackout modes
  • Global leaderboard rankings according to your total performance
  • Secrets are not optional but necessary to upgrade your armory
  • Levels can be finished with or without jumps (Jumps available only when you find the Anti-Grav Boots)

Continue here to read the full story.

Steel Division: Normandy 44 Trailer

The Art of Making History is a new trailer from Steel Division: Normandy 44. This offers a look at the upcoming World War II strategy game, and hears from the developers at Eugen Systems, who share thoughts on the project. The audio is a trifle muddy thanks to the background music, so the French accents can make it hard to follow, but the closed caption will offer an English to English translation if this turns out to be a problem. Here's more on the clip:

Two giants of historical strategy put their love of the past on display in Steel Division: Normandy 44. The World War II themed real-time strategy game from Paradox Interactive and Eugen Systems is rooted in a deep appreciation of history and an understanding of the limits and possibilities of games.

In a new behind-the-scenes video from Eugen Systems, Creative Director Alexis Le Dressay and his team expand on the research that went into the development of Steel Division: Normandy 44. Division battlegroups, unit design and map choice are all based on attention to period detail and historical accuracy.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • HYPERNOVA- Escape from Hadea - Indiegogo. "Combining classic resource management and civilization building with intuitive tower-defense gameplay, Hypernova: Escape from Hadea is a charming sci-fi and fantasy RTS with quirky characters, beautiful planetary design and a healthy dollop of humor. Coming in July 2017 … There are lots of multi-player, MOBA, MMO, co-op, strange-op and other online games but this one is just for you. A story-driven, single-player experience to enjoy!" Also on Steam Greenlight. Here's the official website and here's a trailer.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Ableconn PEXM2-SSD M.2 NGFF PCIe SSD to PCI Express 3.0 x4 Host Adapter Card on ModSynergy.
  • AMD Ryzen R5 1400 Quad-Core AM4 CPU on eTeknix.
  • AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2 GHz CPU on techPowerUp.
  • ASUSTOR AS1004T NAS Server on Nikk Tech.
  • Corsair VENGEANCE LED DDR4-3200 32GB Memory Kit on ThinkComputers.org.
  • Drobo 5N2 Five-Bay NAS on TweakTown.
  • In Win 301 Case on ocaholic.
  • Lexar JumpDrive S75 USB 3.0 Flash Drive on Mad Shrimps.
  • MSI Z270 Krait Gaming LGA 1151 Motherboard on HARDOCP.

Out of the Blue

Knicks draw eighth pick at NBA Draft lottery. Damn has this become a cursed franchise. There's a legend that there was cheating involved in the Knicks getting the Patrick Ewing pick all those years ago, and the article mentions this, saying, "It’s like 32 years of payback for the rumored frozen envelope." I knew it was bad, but they say the team has not managed to move up in the draft lottery once in the 32 years since then. Talk about bad karma. Owie.

R.I.P.: Nicholas Sand, creator of famous 'Orange Sunshine' LSD, has died at 75.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Training Race.
Stories: Man sues 'first date from hell' for texting during movie; director chimes in.
What's The Likelihood Of Dying From Too Much Caffeine?
Science: 3-D printed ovaries help mice get pregnant, show promise for fertility treatments.
Remarkably preserved dinosaur fossil.
Media: Honest Trailers - Aliens.
Bear Problem Solved.
How 90s Movies Trained You To Hate Adults.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ubisoft Financials Reveal Far Cry 5 and The Crew 2

Ubisoft's Full-Year 2016-17 Sales and Earnings figures are online, reporting a third consecutive year-on-year rise in non-IFRS operating margin, record-high digital revenue and back-catalog sales, saying this reflects "the Group's transformation toward a more profitable and recurring model." This mentions four games from them are planned for the coming year, saying to expect the "exciting returns" of Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, The Crew, and South Park. The Far Cry Twitter account confirms the Far Cry game will be Far Cry 5, offering a Far Cry 5 logo along with a rhetorical question about the next installment in Ubisoft's shooter series: "Are you ready for a hefty dose of new Far Cry adventures?" The only other thing they offer for now is a link to subscribe to the Ubisoft YouTube Channel for future updates. And Polygon notes the Ubisoft Forums have a logo for The Crew 2, saying, "Beyond the road... Stay with us for more high octane thrills!" Here's more on their from the earnings announcement:

Today, Ubisoft released its sales and earnings figures for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, stated: "The execution of our strategic plan fully paid off in 2016-17, with further very strong growth for the digital segment - which now accounts for 50% of total sales - and an ever-more recurring profile."

"With 44 million unique registered players, the size of the Tom Clancy community has increased by almost 150% in less than 18 months. This impressive performance for a brand created almost 20 years ago clearly illustrates the strong popularity of Ghost Recon Wildlands, Rainbow Six Siege and The Division. Our Live titles continue to beat records for player engagement and have seen a sharp rise in player recurring investment. Our results for 2016-17 demonstrate the success of our new model, with record high operating income and outperforming the target announced a year ago, and operating margin up for the third consecutive year."

"Over the last three fiscal years, Ubisoft has - with remarkable success - created numerous new brands and rebooted Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. These successes have strengthened our visibility for the coming two fiscal years, with a line-up of releases principally comprised of established franchises. In 2017-18 we will see the exciting returns of Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, The Crew and South Park.

Free Phantom Dust for Win10

The Microsoft Store now offers the re-release of Phantom Dust for Windows 10 as a free download. This offers various improvements over the original console action/strategy game with cross-play support between Windows 10 and Xbox One. Here are more details:

Phantom Dust for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC is a re-release of the original Xbox classic, now returning with full Xbox LIVE support and a host of enhancements, including Xbox Play Anywhere, cross-device multiplayer, achievements, and 16x9 presentation. It features new gameplay enhancements including multiplayer starter decks that let you jump straight into multiplayer, improved frame rate, and adjustments to overall game balance. Experience the cult classic that’s kept a passionate community playing to this day and a unique multiplayer experience that’s never been duplicated.

Phantom Dust is a blend of third-person arena combat and collectable card game. Collect 300 unique skills and build your arsenal of powers, taking them into battle online with up to three other players. You’ll compete in highly-destructible arenas and unleash a wide array of powers and tactics to defeat your enemies, including orbital particle cannons, flaming swords, barriers of ice, flight, cloaking, attack reflection, and many other abilities.

The game features over 15 hours of solo player content through an engaging story that explores the ideas of isolation and faith, and full Xbox Live multiplayer support for up to four players in a variety of match types.

Steam Trading Card Changes

A Steam Blog update outlines changes Valve is making to Steam Trading Cards to curtail fake developers taking advantage of the system to farm trading cards for profit. Here's part of the explanation of the problem:

Farming Trading Cards for profit as a developer isn't rocket science. The primary difficulty is that they need to get a game up on Steam. For a while now, we've been engaged in an escalating war of disabling their latest method of gaming Greenlight's voting mechanisms, where each time we succeed, they circle around and come up with a new way. Unfortunately, this approach isn't terribly sustainable - they continue to get smarter and more large scale in their methods of generating tons of data, and we're spending more and more time fighting it.

We could restrict the ability for developers to generate Steam keys for their games, but we hate to degrade tools that legitimate developers are using to make their players happy. We're also not certain it would actually solve the problem - there are many ways a bad actor could try to get their game owned by all their bot accounts, and they just need to find a way to do it that costs less than they're making from selling their Trading Cards.

You might wonder why this is really an issue. After all, if no real players are buying their games, and their cards are being traded in the marketplace to players who want them, where's the harm? Isn't Valve making money from the marketplace fees on their Trading Cards? While there's truth in both of these points, the problem is that these games damage something we care about a lot, because it affects all our players - the Steam Store's algorithm.

As we mentioned in our last post, the algorithm's primary job is to chew on a lot of data about games and players, and ultimately decide which games it should show you. These Trading Card farming games produce a lot of faux data, because there's a lot of apparent player activity around them. As a result, the algorithm runs the risk of thinking that one of these games is actually a popular game that real players should see.

For Honor Season 2: Shadow and Might Released

UbiBlog announces the launch of For Honor – Season 2 Shadow and Might. They offer details on all that this adds after the following overview:

Season 2 of For Honor starts today, which means a new round of the Faction War as well as two new maps, new gear, and more. Two new Heroes also join the roster for the new season: the Samurai now count the nimble Shinobi among their ranks, while the Knights get the powerful Centurion. Both of the new Heroes are available now for Season Pass owners, while other players will be able to unlock them for 15,000 Steel each starting May 23.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown Delayed

There's a Letter to ACE COMBAT Fans on the BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America website revealing a delay to Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, saying this is now expected to take off in 2018. Here's most of it:

I wanted to take this opportunity to speak directly to you, our loyal ACE COMBAT fans, and give you a first-hand update on the launch timing for ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN. The Project ACES team and I have been working hard on ACE COMBAT 7 and we’re determined to achieve the vision we have set for the game. In order to reach that vision, we have decided to move the launch of ACE COMBAT 7 to 2018.

We would have loved to launch ACE COMBAT 7 at the end of 2017 as we originally intended, but doing so would compromise our goal for the game. We take our art very seriously and that means we have instead chosen to devote additional time and effort to perfect and optimize this newest chapter of the ACE COMBAT saga.

The combination of the Unreal 4 Engine and the power of current generation consoles and PC hardware have literally opened the “skies of opportunity” to us to develop the best ACE COMBAT experience to-date. At no other time in ACE COMBAT’s 20+ year history has gaming technology allowed us to deliver the minute details of flight combat - such as cloud cover and air currents – or give players a new way to experience dogfights and attack sorties through hardware such as the new PlayStation VR.

Empathy: Path of Whispers Released

Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Pixel Night announce the release of Empathy: Path of Whispers, a first-person adventure game for Windows. This is available on Steam with a 20% launch discount, and they are also offering the game's soundtrack as free DLC. A launch trailer for this came out a couple of weeks ago, offering a look at the game world, which they describe as surreal. Here's the announcement:

Developer Pixel Night and publisher Iceberg Interactive announce the release of their first-person adventure game, Empathy: Path of Whispers. Players can now purchase this surreal and atmospheric experience at a SRP of $19.99, through Steam and other digital retailers. To celebrate, Empathy: Path of Whispers will have a 20% discount for the week of launch.

In addition, the soundtrack to Empathy: Path of Whispers, composed by Nicolai Patricio and featuring 16 tracks, is available as free downloadable content through Steam.

“With Empathy we set out to seamlessly integrate environmental narrative storytelling into a first-person adventure game.” says Anton Pustovoyt, lead developer at Pixel Night. “You actively need to find, decipher and experience memories left behind by people long gone, in order to unlock the secrets and mysteries of this strange and monumental world that once was. As a player you’ll be led through a rabbit hole and end up more curious than Alice was.”

Pustovoyt continues: “We especially focused on building Empathy’s surreal world, creating multiple areas with a distinct look and feel to get lost in. We want our player to feel charmed, unsettled, intrigued, haunted by their own theories of what could’ve happened. Experiencing a beautiful and evocative environment that’s completely and utterly devoid of life is something we sought to highlight and, hopefully, accomplished with Empathy: Path of Whispers.”

In Empathy: Path of Whispers, players must explore a seemingly abandoned world through the emotions and memories of the people who once inhabited it, trying to restore the world’s lost balance as you journey through its past. With a strong focus on storytelling and exploration, players will find themselves in a strange world created from people’s emotions and memories, which can be manipulated and explored. Those lost memories are the key to rebuilding the crumbling world back to its former state, discovering its mysterious past and halting an impending apocalypse. Through its innovative narrative mechanics, the game will challenge the player to explore and gain an understanding of the weird world they are traveling through.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Rise of Mooncrest -- Steam Greenlight. "The Rise of Mooncrest (RoM) is a TRPG inspired by the long running Japanese series Langrisser (the first game was translated and released on Sega Genesis as Warsong). RoM draws on the storytelling elements of modern TRPGs to deliver a rich narrative that follows the early history of Mooncrest and the city's rise to prominence."

Evening Interviews

Evening Patches

On Sale

Op Ed

Polygon - Valve is not your friend, and Steam is not healthy for gaming.
"It seems increasingly unlikely that Good Guy Valve ever existed. Good Guy Valve is a clever marketing conceit, a machine operating on a massive scale and one that can only do so because it is powered by the one thing Valve would later come to exploit above all: the free labor of adoring users and consumer goodwill that often feels both unearned and bottomless.

Valve controls an unprecedented slice of the PC gaming industry, and there can be no doubt that the power behind the throne is, and always has been, us. Good Guy Valve worked hard to make us believe that willingly installing surveillance and control software onto our computers was a morally benevolent, perhaps even righteous act — and we swallowed it hook, line and sinker."

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock Announced

Slitherine and Black Lab Games announce Battlestar Galactica Deadlock, a space combat strategy game coming to Windows and consoles this summer. To be clear this is a rush to cash in on the 2004 version of the sci-fi TV series, not the 1978 original. Here's an announcement trailer, and here are the details:

Slitherine and Black Lab Games, in partnership with Universal Brand Development, are thrilled to announce the upcoming release of Battlestar Galactica Deadlock™ available on PC and consoles this summer. In the exciting new game, based on the award winning sci-fi universe produced by Universal Cable Productions and aired on SYFY for four seasons, created by Glen A. Larson, players will be able to build their fleet, fight tactical battles, and strategically defend the Twelve Colonies during the First Cylon War.

"Everyone at Black Lab Games is a big fan of Battlestar Galactica", said Paul Turbett, managing director of the development studio. “Our main goal is to give the vast community of fans and followers a game that is deeply rooted in the franchise’s values. We are creating a game that tells new stories, but with familiar places, events and characters. And all of it will be captured in the depth that our strategy game will offer".

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock is a deep strategy game that also features a strong narrative with an extensive cast of characters, both new and from the existing lore. Fans will find all their favorite ships from Vipers, Raptors and Battlestars, to Cylon Raiders and Basestars, in addition to a brand-new range of ships designed exclusively for the game.

"Battlestar Galactica Deadlock is one of the most exciting projects we have ever worked on", said JD McNeil, Chairman of the Slitherine group. "The Battlestar Galactica universe has an incredibly loyal following and very high expectations. As a publisher, we understand what it means to work on a project that has to please a specific audience while delivering a deep strategic experience".

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock is set to release this summer on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Check out the official product page for further information and to keep up-to-date with all future announcements.

Continue here to read the full story.

MS Planning Mixed Reality, Cross-Platform MMOG

Microsoft seems to be planning an entry into the MMO space using "mixed reality" (VR and AR) headsets. This is revealed via a Microsoft Careers listing that indicates this will support Windows and Xbox users in the same space (thanks Road to VR via Slashdot via Ant). This may be more about socializing than playing, as word is, this will involve "immersive social systems and experiences." Here's more from the posting:

Do you love MMOs? Are you excited about Virtual Reality? Would you like every Xbox user to experience your design every time they use it? We are embarking on a bold charter and need your help us take the next step. The Xbox Mixed Reality team is looking for an experienced senior design manager with deep expertise and passion around crafting immersive social systems and experiences. We’re looking to build a massively social gaming and entertainment experience for both the PC and the console. Here is an opportunity to join a fun and collaborative team that experiments with the latest toys, works with state of the art tech, and crafts the future of entertainment.

Dreadnought Open Beta

Open beta testing of Dreadnought is getting underway today, offering the chance to play this multiplayer spaceship combat game. This is a soft launch, as this is a free-to-play game, and the optional ship and cosmetic purchases are already underway. This FAQ has all the details and the open beta trailer features a cinematic look, though no gameplay. Here are some details:

Open beta introduces Ixion, Dreadnought’s biggest map yet. Situated in space 60,000 kilometers above Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, this new battleground forces players to maneuver around the colossal orbital ring that dominates its center. Narrow gaps within the superstructure allow ships to cross from one side to the other, but players must be wary of what dangers lurk on the other side. Open beta also adds night variations for two existing maps: Rings of Saturn and Red Sands.

Dreadnought puts players in command of massive capital ships on the front lines of tactical team battles across a variety of competitive online multiplayer modes. Captains must master their vessels and work together to succeed, utilizing their team’s strengths while exploiting the enemy’s weaknesses. There are more than 50 playable ships, spread across five distinct classes, that players can choose from to build their fleets. From close-quarters combat to long-range assault and strategic support, each vessel is designed to bring unique specializations to the fight and can be further customized with an array of weapons, modules, coatings and decals.

Continue here to read the full story.

Sundered Trailer

A new "Resist" trailer from Sundered shows off this upcoming crowdfunded platformer from Jotun developer Thunder Lotus Games. The clip features gameplay, as it "showcases dramatic footage from Sundered's heretofore unseen first gameplay region and boss fight." Closed beta testing will begin today, so if you backed the project, keep an eye out for their email on how to join in, and of course, stock up on sundered tomatoes. Here's word: Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

With a little over a month remaining before summer starts in the northern hemisphere, I have to acknowledge that we've had an actual spring in these parts. This is actually pretty unusual, as I've often shared the joke that the NYC area has but two seasons, winter and summer. Normally we get about a week of transition between too cold and too hot, but we've had a load of Goldilocks days lately where things have been just right, if not a little cool. Here's hoping this isn't a sign of the ecosystem gone off the rails, because it's certainly pleasant.

R.I.P.: John Cygan, prolific video game voice actor, known for Metal Gear Solid 2 role, dies at 63.
R.I.P.: Brad Grey Dies At Age 59 From Cancer, former Paramount Pictures chair.

Pleasant Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Tube Clicker.
Science: Cosmic rays suggest dark matter is a self-annihilating WIMP.
Media: Trailer for Seth MacFarlane's Star Trek Spoof Looks Perfect. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Waiting for the Beat to Drop.
Its a f*ckin emu! NSFW.
Follow-up: Virginia Beach man who died during video game marathon overdosed on fentanyl, medical examiner says.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.



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