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Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017



Just days after PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS set a new Steam record for concurrent players, DualShockers has word by way of SteamSpy that the battle royale game has now sold more than 15 million copies (thanks It was on September 6th that we learned the game had sold 10 million copies, so it's moved an additional five million in just five weeks.

Free DRM-Free Torchlight 1 & 2 for Owners announces the chance for owners of Torchlight 1 and Torchlight 2 to get DRM-free versions of the game. Those who bought either game through can redeem their product keys for a copy. For those who purchased through Steam, they announce this is covered by the return of their GOG Connect program. It seems like the offer for purchases through is indefinite, but Steam owners must act soon, as that deal ends on October 14 at 9:00 am EDT.

Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth Released

The Grim Dawn website announces the release of the Ashes of Malmouth expansion, which adds two new chapters to the Windows action/RPG. This can be picked up on and Steam, and each site has the base game on sale for 70% off. Here's word on the add-on:

Ashes of Malmouth picks up where Grim Dawn leaves off, expanding the world and story with two new chapters in the epic struggle to free humankind from the horrors of the Aetherials. Deep within the fallen city of Malmouth, the Shaper of Flesh crafts grotesque living weapons that could deal a final blow to the human resistance. You must forge new alliances as you push forward through deep forest, the void and into the city itself in a heroic effort to end the Aetherial terror. Venture into dangerous new parts of the world as you discover unique items, empower your characters and make difficult choices that have a lasting impact on the people of Cairn.

Star Control Creators Plan Unofficial Sequel

Two-man development team Toys for Bob celebrates the 25th anniversary of the release of Star Control II -- The Ur-Quan Masters by announcing they are "early, early in development" of a new spiritual successor to their Star Control series (thanks Gamasutra). This is an unofficial sequel, however, as Stardock now owns the rights to the series, and have their own Star Control game in the works. Here's word on the new project:

It was almost exactly 25 years ago that we released Star Control II® -- The Ur-Quan Masters for DOS PCs. We poured our hearts into the game, blending our love for classic science fiction, Spacewar!-style action gameplay and our own quirky sense of humor. We had tons of help from many talented friends and collaborators, but even so getting the game across the finish line was a herculean effort -- both the exciting, hydra-fighting kind, as well as the exhausting stable-cleaning kind. Pretty much ever since then, fans have been politely asking us to create a sequel, sometimes begging for a sequel, even threatening us if we don’t make a sequel. Our answer was always, “We really want to do this, we just need to wait until the time is right” -- kind of like Cthulhu awakening, but less end-of-the-worldy. Well, the stars have finally aligned -- we are now working on a direct sequel to Star Control II® -- The Ur-Quan Masters, called Ghosts of the Precursors™.

This is a passion project for us and we have committed to dedicating some of our own time to creating a true sequel. We are early, early in development, but rest assured, the game will include genuine Ur-Quan, Precursors, Super-Melee, Umgah, VUX, Supox, THE ULTRON!, Druuge, Arilou Lalee'lay, Orz, Androsynth, Rainbow Worlds, Ilwrath, Syreen, Mmrnmhrm, Yehat, Shofixti, Spathi (including the ever-terrified Fwiffo), Umgah, Melmorme, Chmmr, Earthlings, Mycon, THE MARK II!, Slylandro, Utwig, Thraddash, Zoq-Fot-Pik, VUX Beast, Pkunk, the Keel-Verezy, and of course all new alien races to discover, befriend ...and/or be annigilate... I mean annihigate.. Damn! Well, you get the idea.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Steam VR Room Space Getting Roomier

Valve announces they are ramping up production of SteamVR Tracking 2.0 base stations for OEMS, and they expect to start shipping them early next year (thanks Ars Technica). There's lots of information in there, including word that these will cover a vastly larger area once they introduce the ability to use four of them together, though it's also noted that this is not compatible with existing Vive headsets. Currently you can set up a Vive to cover a square about 11.5 feet per side, or about 130 square feet, but the new four-tracker setup should eventually support a 10 meter by 10 meter area, or over 1000 square feet. They also say they are exploring the advantages to adding even more base stations to the setup. Here's more:

Here are some technical details to plan around for SteamVR Tracking 2.0:

  • At launch the base stations will work in configurations of up to 2 base stations.
  • In early 2018, we’ll expand that functionality to 4 base stations that should cover a single room play space of roughly 10 x 10 meters.
  • We’re evaluating adding functionality beyond 4 base stations as part of our product roadmap but do not have a current timeline we can share.
  • For more information, please see our SteamVR Tracking Technology Update post from June 5th.

CS:GO Dust II Revamp

Counter-Strike blog points the way to this post on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map Dust II, calling this "one of the most balanced and iconic CS:GO maps around." This sounds like something that isn't broken, but Valve outlines their efforts to fix it nonetheless. This involves some visual upgrades and changes, some of which impact gameplay beyond aesthetics. They also say they are planning more polish once the dust settles:

Dust II has evolved over the years into one of the most balanced and iconic CS:GO maps around. With this in mind, we set out to refine it further rather than performing a wholesale redesign. Your beta feedback will help us check if our initial goals were appropriate, have been realized and what the next steps are. After getting feedback on the visual upgrade, what would you like to see next as the map continues its evolution? We want to hear from you.

World of Warplanes 2.0 Tomorrow

The World of Warplanes website has details on a new version 2.0 update coming tomorrow to Wargaming's multiplayer aerial combat game. There will be downtime tomorrow to install this, and they expect this to take off at around 10:00 am EDT. They also note that they will offer some progression boosts between the launch of this update and the release of version 2.0.1 early next month. Here's the overview of what's new:

World of Warplanes 2.0 drops you right into the action with this massive update combining fierce 20th-century aerial battles with tactical teamwork, all for territorial control.

A new mode lets you respawn if shot down, and where victory depends on your team’s ability to capture and hold key territories on the battlefield below. Each territory has its own function and defenses, creating dynamic new air battles. Also you can fly a new class of Bombers!

Rugby League Team Manager 2018 Friday

Alternative Software announces Rugby League Team Manager 2018 is coming to Windows and macOS on October 13th. Here is the reveal trailer and here are all the details on what they call "the most technically advanced and feature-packed release in the series to date":

Rugby League Team Manager 2018 for PC and Apple Macintosh will be released on October the 13th, both as a retail boxed version, and via digital download on Steam.

Rugby League Team Manager 2018 is the most technically advanced and feature-packed release in the series to date. With a large array of enhancements and improvements over the successful 2015 version, RLTM 2018 will prove to be the most realistic simulation of rugby league management there is.

Gamers will find that the whole game has been reworked from the ground up, with a hugely improved user interface; indeed the whole game is now far more polished in all departments, than the previous version.

The game will be released with the current 2017 season data, and graphics, so that gamers will be able to see how what they could have achieved for their chosen team had they been “in charge”, and then early in 2018, the game will receive a free full update of data and graphics for the new 2018 season.

“All here at Alternative Software, are sure that that all Rugby League fans throughout the World will be delighted with the progress we have made with “Rugby League Team Manager 2018”, said Roger Hulley Managing Director Alternative Software Ltd.

Rugby League Team Manager 2018 features include amongst others:-

Continue here to read the full story.

Abandon Ship Exploration Trailer

A new trailer (okay, it's actually a week old) from Abandon Ship shows off this simulation of the age of sail. The game is due on Steam by the end of this year, and this clip shows off exploration mode, and reveals what happens to the crew of a ship that's destroyed. Accompanying the clip is an extensive explanation:

In the trailer, we see that when players navigate around an exploration map, they uncover the canvas-like fog of war, finding events and ports. Each map is bordered by a picture frame, drawing inspiration from the Classic Naval Oil Painting style the games art is based on.

Players can travel along Sea Routes that allow Captains to move to new areas for a Supplies cost. These are behind locked gates that can be opened by completing a set number of events, so players need to balance how much they take on before they are forced back to port to repair and upgrade their ship before venturing out again.

When moving to new areas, a destination is chosen from the Region Map. This shows information on adjacent areas such as the weather or if there are ports to be found. Because each exploration map can only be reached through Sea Routes, Captains must choose how they unlock paths through the world.

While each region contains many individual exploration maps to explore, the trailer provides a glimpse of the World Map, with over a dozen regions. Thus viewers should begin to understand the scale of the world and how much there is to explore.

Procedural generation determines the placement and routes of exploration maps within a region, while the islands, ports, events and environmental modifiers are also procedurally generated, ensuring the world is different for every player.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I'm starting to feel inspired to make some chili. Normally this is prompted by the onset of cold weather, but it was nearly 80ºF here yesterday, so that's not it. This is just prompted by a couple of recipes I saw recently which were also presumably inspired by the calendar, rather than the weather. I've long wanted to try to create a version where the meat was less falling apart than my long-time method, which would be more in line with how competition chili turns out. I don't actually plan on entering any chili cookoffs, but I guess one can never predict how one thing will lead to another.

Competitive Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Dragon: Fire and Fury.
Nightmare Runner 2.
Stories: Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen.’ Thanks Slashdot.
Scientists say 43 kilos of gold is flushed through Swiss sewers each year.
Chicago's soda tax fizzled after 2 months. What does it mean for the anti-soda movement?
Science: Ten times more children and adolescents obese than 40 years ago.
Media: STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT 2 (React- Gaming).
Skins - Epic NPC Man.
A beetle bit my finger.

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