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Monday, Sep 11, 2017

  

Atomega Next Week

UbiBlog announces Atomega, an online first-person shooter in the works at Reflections, Ubisoft's studio behind Grow Home and Grow Up. Though they are just now unveiling this, it is due on September 19th. Atomega will feature eight-player skirmishes and 10 minute matches, and the announcement trailer offers a look at what to expect. Here are the details:

In a world where reality is rapidly dissolving and the universe is coming apart, what’s an advanced post-biological lifeform to do? In Atomega, these lifeforms compete in arenas to gain mass, either by collecting it peacefully or blasting their opponents apart. The more mass you gain, the more your lifeform will evolve along a diverse spectrum from nimble Atom to godlike Omega. Mass is the key to victory in Atomega, a new online first-person shooter from the team at Reflections, the Ubisoft studio that created Grow Home and Grow Up.

Up to eight players can duke it out in 10-minute rounds, gathering mass, losing it, and building it up again over the course of the skirmish. In addition to earning you points which determine the ultimate winner of the round, gaining mass will allow you to change up your strategy on the fly. The dynamic competitive action will be suffused with the lighthearted tone characteristic of the Reflections team.

Continue here to read the full story.

No More Arkham Games?

Batman News has word from Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy saying Warner Bros. has no plans for further games in their Batman/Arkham series (thanks Dark Horizons via Ant. This is not definitive, since they are not obligated to keep him apprised of their plans, so take it as you will. They offer a video of him on a panel responding to a question about the future of the series, where he explains:

“I can’t believe that they’re not going to do another one, but they’re not. Isn’t that amazing?,” Conroy told a fan at Wizard World Nashville over the weekend. “They made literally billions of dollars on those games, but no, there’s no plan to do another one. Sorry.”

Outcast - Second Contact Trailer

A new trailer from Outcast - Second Contact kicks off a series of videos showing off gameplay from the upcoming Outcast remake. The theme of the clip is exploration, as it shows off the game's open-world setting of Adelpha. Here's word:

In Outcast - Second Contact, the action takes place on Adelpha, a vast open world to explore and the cradle of an ancient alien civilization, the Talans. This video shows a bit of the gameplay in Outcast – Second Contact and the depth of its unique world, in which exploration is at the heart of adventure. Sacred portals, called Daokas, let you travel freely to the four corners of Adelpha from the very start of the game, as you search for your crewmates and the lost terrestrial probe.

To successfully complete your mission and the hundreds of side quests, you will need to gain the trust of the local inhabitants. Talk with the people, negotiate with rich merchants, save oppressed farmers, take on dangerous predators and even undergo a mystic ritual with the great Shamaz priests of Adelpha. Each Talan has a unique history and personality.

In Outcast – Second Contact, you explore a wide variety of regions and landscapes that range from the arid plains of Motazaar to the snow-covered lands of Ranzaar. The world of Adelpha is your playground.

Continue here to read the full story.

Freebies with GOG Weekly Sale

The weekly sale on GOG.com is underway, offering up to 85% off on a large selection of DRM-free games. This offers a bonus besides the sale discounts, as they are offering customers the opportunity to get up to three free games with their purchases. You can earn a freebie for every $5.00 you spend, and the choices are Kyn, Tropico Reloaded, and Breach & Clear: Deadline Rebirth, so a $15.00 purchase will come with all three. Here's word:

How do the freebies work?
Choose between Kyn, Tropico Reloaded, and Breach & Clear: Deadline Rebirth.
The more you spend, the more games you get – spend $5 to pick one game, $10 for two games, and $15 to grab all three. Easy, right?

What's worth getting in the Weekly Sale?
There's so many games it can be a tough call but we're here to help. Fans of tactical gameplay should look no further than The Banner Saga series ( up to -75%) or Hard West (-75%). If you prefer building and managing, it's probably a good time to discover the Tropico series (up to -80%), Dungeons 2 (-80%), Port Royale (-80%), or Grand Ages Medieval (-80%). For more outside-the-box experiences, make sure to check out Oh Sir!...The Insult Simulator (-50%), Zombie Night Terror (-60%), Pathologic Classic HD (-75%), and the fiendishly fun Antihero (-25%), and many more.

The free games will be distributed via email starting on Tuesday, September 19th. Just remember that only purchases from this Weekly Sale are eligible! You can also learn more about the sale here.

On Sale

Op Ed

Breaking the outrage cycle - GamesIndustry.biz.
"The result is this same debacle keeps happening again and again, because this perversely works on some level for all parties involved. Publishers and developers can make money hand over fist by cultivating emotionally invested communities they will almost inevitably run afoul of at some point. Angered players can throw a tantrum in the full knowledge that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The worst case scenario for them is that things don't change but the publisher or developer releases a statement praising how dedicated and passionate the fans hurling abuse at them really are. At best, they might actually get what they want. And on the press side, we get a bit of traffic, perhaps a spike in those oh-so-vital engagement metrics."

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: BackFlip Golf Trick. Thanks Ant.

Star Citizen 3.0 "Akin to Early Access"

An interview on Eurogamer.net talks with Chris Roberts of Cloud Imperium Games about progress on Star Citizen, their crowdfunded space game. They ask him if he'd describe the game's current state as beta, and he says considers version 3.0 being "akin to early access." Here's word:

The term beta in terms of Star Citizen - with 3.0 the game is moving into a phase akin to Early Access. It'll build and grow from there, and then you could say 'well, it's not really Early Access anymore'. The price will probably go up a little bit and it will have much more of the features and content going on.

3.0 is the first time you'll have some of the basic game loops and mechanics. It's the first one which has proper persistence for your character, ship and items in terms of what their state is, their location is. When you log off and your ship is damaged, when you come back it'll still be damaged. There are a lot of jobs and options. The AI is still fairly basic - there's a lot more coming, but the AI... the previous 2.63 update was done the old scripted way. Now it's a scalable, modular mission system which designers can build from different blocks. We have procedural missions so there's a lot of 'go deliver something to this place', 'go identify a dead body on a spaceship', 'go after this particular pirate'. It's all templated up. There's a basic buying and selling mechanic, hauling cargo, the ability to earn and spend money on clothes, weapons, ship items or ship weapons. 3.1 will let you buy ships as well. And then from there we'll add more features for specific activities - mining, repair, building out more of the infrastructure for a dynamic universe.

On Windows 10 Game Stuttering

A recent post by Microsoft support engineer Paul "Jesse Pinkman" Aaron confirmed that stuttering issues playing games in Windows 10 were the result of the Windows 10 Creator Update (thanks DSOGaming). A post on MSPoweruser has a note on a workaround, saying: "some gamers are reporting that disabling the Xbox Game DVR feature is fixing the issue for them, but that’s not working for everyone." Here's word on plans to address this further:

Thanks to all of you who provided feedback and submitted traces via the Feedback app. We've been reviewing the traces and have identified an issue that we believe is the cause of stuttering in some of the cases that you've reported. We have a fix in the Windows Insider build that flighted to the "Fast" ring this week (build 16273 and above). If you are already an Insider please test it with any app or game you're having this problem with and let us know how it goes. If you want to test it out and you're not an Insider yet you can find instructions on joining the Windows 10 Insider Program here: https://insider.windows.com/en-us/how-to-pc/.

Again, If its works, let us know here - if it doesn't submit another Feedback item using the same steps as above. You're feedback on this change and the Insiders build will help us evaluate the fix so we that can decide if it should be released for the current version of Windows 10.

And thanks again for everyone who provided feedback and traces - we are listening and you're helping us figure it out.

First Emotion Processing Unit Launches

This press release announces the launch of the first-ever EPU ("Emotion Processing Unit") for gaming. If you're like us, you are curious about what this means. And if you are like us, reading the announcement will not clear this up. Here's word:

Emoshape (www.emoshape.com) is pleased to announce that the company has now become the creator of the first ever EPU (Emotion Processing Unit) for the gaming industry. With their two new plugins, one each for Unity 3D and Unreal Engine for the EPU, Emoshape is looking to make online gaming and AR/VR experience emotionally interactive.

Already a prominent name in the field of A.I and machine learning, Emoshape has recently developed the first POC of a self animated character. A former Character Animation Director from Pixar and Disney was hired for this purpose. Emoshape is currently working on the POC of a new kind of video games with limited GUI, where the game (“Dream”) will be controlled entirely by emotion using a new consumer product named EEE or ExoLife Emotion Engine. Company sources have also informed that their EPU is now 100% compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi.

The two new plugins from Emoshape will allow game developers to make the games sentient and emotionally reactive. The endless possibilities of these plugins include strategies and visuals influenced by feelings, and self-animated characters with emotional intelligence and personality development.

The new and advanced plugins from Emoshape will be unveiled at the upcoming VR Festival, scheduled to be held between September 15 and 17. Patrick Levy-Rosenthal, the founder of Emoshape and the developer of EPU, will join renowned keynote speakers and featured performers from all over the world to demonstrate his groundbreaking creation.

“Emoshape is glad to offer the gaming industry its first EPU. We’ve put a lot of research into it to ensure it enhances the gaming experience. We invite game developers to join forces with Emoshape to create a new generation of games,” says Levy-Rosenthal.

Steam Top 10

Don't want to forget yesterday's list of last week's top 10 games on Steam, which came out while we were celebrating with the children:

  1. PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS
  2. NieR:Automata
  3. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen
  4. Divinity: Original Sin 2
  5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® Siege - Year 2 Pass
  8. H1Z1: King of the Kill
  9. Arma 3
  10. Life is Strange: Before the Storm

U.K. Sales Charts

GFK Chart-Track reports on their latest charts tracking game sales in the U.K. Word is: "‘Destiny 2’ sweeps in to No1, becoming the biggest launch of the year so far. Released on Wednesday 6th September, almost 3 years after the original, Activision Blizzard and Bungie’s online-only shooter pushes ‘Uncharted: The Lost Legacy’ (-49%) off top spot, down one place to No2." Here's the PC top 30 as well as the all platforms chart. The 10 bestselling PC games for last week are the same as the previous week, but in a slightly different order:

LW TW Title Developer Label Publisher
2 - 1 THE SIMS 4 THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
1 - 2 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2017 SPORTS INTERACTIVE SEGA SEGA
3 ˄ 3 OVERWATCH BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
4 ˄ 4 FARMING SIMULATOR 17 GIANTS SOFTWARE FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE
7 ˄ 5 PLANET COASTER FRONTIER DEVELOPMENTS SOLD OUT SALES & MARKETING SOLD OUT SALES & MARKETING
10 ˄ 6 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR NORTH ROCKSTAR TAKE 2
6 ˄ 7 THE SIMS 4 CITY LIVING THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
5 ˅ 8 OVERWATCH: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
9 ˅ 9 THE SIMS 4 BUNDLE PACK 9 THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
8 ˄ 10 X-PLANE 11 LAMINAR RESEARCH AEROSOFT AEROSOFT

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

  • Tyranny - Bastard's Wound on GameWatcher. Gameplay stream.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue



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