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Friday, Nov 10, 2017

  

Decksplash Grinds to a Halt

The Decksplash website has word from Bossa Studios that their experimental free first-week launch of Decksplash was not a success. They offered a no-cost early version of the skateboarding game with the goal of getting 100,000 players to download it to prove there was enough interest for them to continue with the project. The game didn't face-plant, but they did not hit that mark, so they are staying true to their word and ending development:

Decksplash unfortunately didn't hit it's target and production on the game will now stop.

We always knew that 100k was a big target, but it was the only way to make sure the game was a viable product for both yourselves and us in the long term, now we've gotten our answer.

We want to thank everyone who supported us during the Free Week and let you all know that while this is the end of our story, we're glad we got to share it with you.

The team working on Decksplash will now move onto other projects, taking the knowledge gained from the past year to build an even better game.

At Bossa Studios we believe the best way to make games is to fail fast and move on to bigger, better things rather than sinking time into a project without a bright future.

So from all of us here in the Decksplash team, Thank you for your support and we'll see you on our next big adventure!

Love Decksplash.

The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs Expansion Released

EA and Maxis announce The Sims 4 is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next month. They also announce human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria, as the Cats & Dogs expansion is now available for the Windows and macOS editions of the wee people simulation. Here's a launch trailer and here are the details:

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) announced that The Sims™ 4 Cats & Dogs Expansion Pack* is available worldwide on PC and Mac, and that The Sims 4 is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation® 4 consoles on November 17th.

“Our team has been working hard to develop The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs and The Sims 4 on consoles, and we’re proud to offer rich and rewarding experiences across multiple platforms to our incredible community,” said Maxis General Manager, Joe Nickolls. “Providing fans with a variety of entry points into The Sims universe is a huge priority for us, and we’re optimistic for the opportunities it provides us to grow.”

With The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs, players can design their perfect pet with unique features and personalities, while discovering new activities to enjoy in the charming coastal shores of Brindleton Bay.

“We know how much the community loves their real-life cats and dogs, and we’re so happy they can now bring their beloved four-legged companions into their Sims’ world,” said Lyndsay Pearson, Executive Producer on The Sims. “Cats and dogs have always been such a huge component to any Sims installment, and we’re so excited to finally bring these lovable friends into The Sims 4.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Has-Been Heroes Free Expansion

Frozenbyte announces a new free expansion is now available on Steam for the Windows edition of Has-Been Heroes, their lane-based roguelike. They provide this as a gift to fans, and perhaps to draw attention to Nine Parchments, their upcoming "magical blast'em up," which is being developed by some of the same team that created Has-Been Heroes. They provide this trailer to celebrate the release along with the following details:

The expansion adds tons of new content for players to discover and includes the Trine heroes – Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya the Thief – as playable characters once you have unlocked the Epic Quest mode. The Epic Quest mode will be a true test of skill for the most veteran players as the heroes have no starting spells! Complete with custom animations (Amadeus attacks with a box!) and beautiful 2D visuals in the style of Has-Been Heroes, the Trine heroes definitely need to perform some heroic deeds to complete this quest from another universe!

The expansion also adds a new region to the main game called the Sky Temple. Each Sky Temple run will include unique twists, new enemies and new bosses!

Updates to the main game include:

  • 8 Young Heroes to unlock
  • New "Sky Temple" region
  • 120+ new spells
  • 150+ new items

For players looking for another challenge, the expansion pack also brings two new game modes: “Challenge Mode” and “Seed Mode.” Challenge mode is a single difficult battle with pre-set loadout of characters, items, and spells. By completing a Challenge players unlock a new Young Hero. Seed mode allows players to share a seed number with friends and play the exact same game/run with a timer upon completion. Use this to host a competition between you and your friends and compare strategy.

Continue here to read the full story.

LITTLE NIGHTMARES: The Hideaway Released

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment now offers The Hideaway, the second chapter in the three-part Secrets of the Maw expansion for LITTLE NIGHTMARES, adding more adventures to the adventure game. The Windows edition is available on Steam individually, or as part of the Secrets of The Maw Expansion Pass. This announcement offers this trailer and these details:

In The Hideaway, the second story of Secrets of The Maw, The Runaway Kid wakes up in the engine area of The Maw, a dark and grimy place populated by Nomes.

Highlighted in an all new video revealed today, the Runaway Kid will have to find and rescue the Nomes, to escape from this gloomy place. These curious creatures have a secret but they can help as well to overcome all obstacles! Where are all these Nomes coming from? What secrets are buried in their nest? This second story introduces more complex puzzle mechanics that will require you to work with the Nomes and a hub-like layout to let you have more freedom for exploration.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Need for Speed Payback Peels Out

Electronic Arts announces the launch of Need for Speed Payback for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. This launch trailer offers a look at the game's high-octane, open-world action, and the announcement fills in lots of details:

Today, Ghost GamesTM and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) announced Need for Speed Payback, one of the world’s bestselling video game franchises, is available worldwide on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Origin for PC. With deeper customization, a diverse open world and blockbuster action moments never-before seen in the franchise, Need for Speed Payback delivers an edge-of-your-seat experience that will have players living out their ultimate action driving fantasy.

“Two years ago, we reinvigorated the franchise by listening to what our fans wanted and built a game that returned to the Need for Speed core tenets- fast cars, deep customization, and epic cop chases. With Need for Speed Payback, we’ve raised the bar by adding Hollywood-style, adrenaline-fueled action, a huge open world, even more customization options, and a narrative that drives gameplay forward,” said Executive Producer Marcus Nilsson. “We’re excited to deliver a new driving experience that not only delivers everything our players love about the series but also pushes the boundaries of what they’ve come to expect from the genre.”

Set in the gambler’s paradise of Fortune Valley, players can drive as three different characters: Tyler, the racer, Mac, the showman, and Jess, the wheelman, each with their own distinct driving style. Together, they go up against The House, a nefarious cartel that runs the city’s underground. Drift up and down mountain roads, tear up the desert terrain, speed through the city, complete insane heist missions and earn enough of a reputation on the streets to get revenge in the ultimate race to take down The House.

With cars at the center of everything in Need for Speed Payback, Derelicts bring all-new and unique customization options. Take a scrap chassis found on the side of the road and turn it into a supercar dream machine. Five unique car classes bring endless tuning opportunities for players to specialize their ride and leave challengers in the dust during Racing, Off Road, Drifting, Drag or Runner missions.

Epic cop chases bring even more heat to the road in Need for Speed Payback. Smarter police mean it’ll take more skill to escape and fend off new reinforcement vehicles like Rhinos and Helicopters. Feeling confident? Take a chance on Bait Crates in the open world, which award players mysterious performance upgrades if they can escape an on-the-spot cop chase.

Need for Speed Payback is rated ‘T’ for Teen by the ESRB and is available today for $59.99 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Origin™ for PC. For more information please visit www.ea.com/games/Need-for-Speed.

Continue here to read the full story.

Football Manager 2018 and Demo Kicks Off

Steam News announces that Football Manager 2018 is now available on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux, offering the latest installment in this sports management series, which had been in early access beta. There's also the chance to kick this around for free, as a playable demo is also offered (thanks Frans). Steam also offers the separate release of Football Manager Touch 2018 for the same platforms, offering a simplified approach to the game. This carries a lower price, but is also included in the full game, and there's a playable demo for that as well. Here's word:

They say football is a game of opinions and everyone has theirs, but it’s only yours that counts around here.

You make the decisions now, from who you sign and who you sell, to how you manage your budget. Will you build tactics around the players at your disposal or train them in your vision of how the game should be played? Who you pick and who you bench will affect squad harmony, and it’s up to you to manage it. Every decision comes back to you.

Get it right and you’ll be the star of the show, grabbing the newspaper headlines and dominating trends on social media. They’ll write your name in footballing folklore…if you succeed, of course.

With unparalleled choices both on and off the pitch, all within the immersive footballing world, it’s time to decide what kind of manager do you want to be?

  • Try your hand in 50 of the biggest footballing countries
  • Win the title with any one of world’s top 2500 clubs
  • Play the transfer market with over 600,000 real players and staff
  • Watch your football vision come to life before your very eyes

All purchases of Football Manager 2018 also include a free copy of Football Manager Touch 2018 for PC/Mac and Linux.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Released

THQ Nordic announces the release of Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy for Windows, macOS, and Linux on GOG.com or Steam with a 34% launch discount. It's been a long road out of the desert for this title, as it originally came out in 2003/2004 for PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. While we're sure details of this 15 year-old action adventure remain fresh in your mind, we'll offer a trailer and a refresher just in case: "Sphinx and The Cursed Mummy is an original 3rd person action-adventure inspired by the mythology of ancient Egypt. Travelling the world via magical portals to foil the evil plans of Set. Sphinx's Journey will require all his wits, agility, and special powers. He will also rely on his reluctant hero friend, The Mummy, to help when being inconspicuous is the only solution. By finding the stolen magical crowns of Egypt, Sphinx can stop Set and save the world." Here's word on the overhaul this has received for modern systems:

Full list of things that have been worked on for this release:

  • Support for arbitrary resolutions and widescreen (HD, 4K and beyond), native multi-sampling anti-aliasing (MSAA) and anisotropic filtering (AF) for crisp details at 60 frames per second.
  • Rewritten 3D graphics engine in portable and modern OpenGL 3+, based on the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions, supporting volumetric soft particles.
  • Rewritten audio subsystem for cross-platform reverb and realistic distance scaling, together with stereo, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 and HRTF sound output thanks to the new OpenAL Soft back-end.
  • Optional support for Xbox-style controllers with force feedback.
  • Plug-and-play; the player can switch between mouse/keyboard and controller during gameplay at any given time.
  • Full keyboard and mouse support. Added support to the interface so that buttons can be clicked and lists can be scrolled. The camera can be controlled with the mouse.
  • The game is based on the PAL version of the original game, fixing the notorious savegame bug of the NTSC version.
  • Fixed several graphical and collision-related issues that weren't previously visible at lower screen resolutions.
  • Restored HD textures, carefully repainted several GUI elements to remove pillar-boxing and cover the widescreen areas while respecting and following the original artwork.
  • No GUI or HUD stretching.

Continue here to read the full story.

Nexon Acquires Mobile Studio, Announces "Record" Results

Nexon announces the acquisition of Pixelberry Studios, a "leading developer in interactive narrative mobile games." They also announce "record breaking" third quarter results. Here are some details that also touch on their new studio:

NEXON Co., Ltd. (“Nexon”) (3659.TO), a global leader in online games, today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2017. Today, Nexon also announced the acquisition of Pixelberry Studios, a California-based mobile game developer and the industry leader in interactive narrative games. In addition, Nexon has extended its publishing relationship with Electronic Arts (“EA”) to bring EA SPORTS™ FIFA ONLINE 4 (“FIFA Online 4”) to Korea, marking the fourth partnership between the companies following EA SPORTS™ FIFA Online 3 (“FIFA Online 3”) / EA SPORTS™ FIFA Online 3 M (“FIFA Online 3 M”), Need for Speed™ Edge and Titanfall™ Online.

“Nexon had another very strong quarter with consistently strong performances in our core markets,” said Owen Mahoney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nexon. “Long-running successes like MapleStory and Dungeon&Fighter, along with sustained engagement on FIFA Online 3 and FIFA Online 3 M, validate our model of making games that last for years and decades.

“Looking forward, we’re pleased to work with EA on FIFA Online 4, the sequel to FIFA Online 3, which has continued its growth and success since it launched in 2013,” Mahoney added. “Our western mobile studios continue to grow with our strategic acquisition of Pixelberry Studios – a developer which leads the interactive fiction category and expands our reach with the deeply underserved female audience. Our continued goal is to build and launch new experiences that are not just highly engaging to keep players coming back for years, but also creative and unique, separating our games from a saturated marketplace. We are also very excited as we look ahead to our robust pipeline for the fourth quarter, which will see the full launch of MapleStory2 in China, where we already have strong early indicators, as well as launches of OVERHIT and others.”

Painkiller and Painkiller: Battle out of Hell No Longer on German Index

THQ Nordic announces that Painkiller and Painkiller: Battle out of Hell are no longer indexed in Germany, and can be sold there in their uncensored forms. Both first-person shooters had been deemed too violent for the country's strict standards, but they are no longer considered menaces to society They offer this trailer with 14 seconds of hype on the news, and say they are continuing to battle the authorities to free up other games in their catalogue:

After we were able to remove Red Faction I to III from the German list of media harmful to young persons (aka "ZE INDEX") in late 2015, early 2016, respectively, THQ Nordic celebrates yet another success. Last month already, our application to waive the blacklisting decision of the first Painkiller game (demo version) was successful. However, by yesterday’s decision of the regulator, the uncensored version of Painkiller (full version) and Painkiller Battle out of Hell have also been shoved off ZE INDEX in a totally non-violent manner.

Numerous discussions, a team of relentless lawyers, perseverance and a dash of black magic (OK, who are we kiddin', the Stake Gun came in quite handy, too) were required to achieve said result.

After the incredible news of yet another removal from the list, THQ Nordic is (again) in (youth-free) party mode knowing that the Vienna-based team will be having further discussions with the BPjM (Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons): “We will of course still be nurturing our extensive games portfolio, and will do what it takes to ensure that gamers can play our games in the future.” says everyone here at THQ Nordic. "We can still celebrate “small” successes like this, even if more than a decade later!"

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Things have been very mild around these parts so far this fall, but that seems about to change. The forecast is calling for it to drop well below freezing tonight, which will be the first frost since spring. This seems awfully late in the season for this, but I don't keep track of such things, so it may actually be normal. Anyway, it's a little odd, since it hasn't been as low as 32ºF before now, but it's possible tonight it will reach below 20ºF.

R.I.P.: John Hillerman, 'Magnum P.I.' and 'Chinatown' actor, dies at 84.

Cold Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Doodle God: Rocket Scientist.
Links: Deadpool 2 Good Housekeeping Issue Teases Sequel, Recipes. Thanks RedEye9.
Story: Little girl’s stolen puppy returned by 'remorseful' thieves after appeal. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: Wolves Know How to Work Together . Thanks j.c.f.
Dinosaurs Might Not Be Extinct Had the Asteroid Struck Elsewhere.
Mysterious object 13 times the size of Jupiter found.
Media: (1) KILL MY FRIEND!? - PORTAL - Part 3.
Koenigsegg World Record Speed Run.
So Meta.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.



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