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Thursday, Dec 21, 2017

  

Steam Winter Sale and Steam Awards Underway

The Steam Winter Sale is now underway, offering seasonal discounts until January 4th. Word is: "The Steam Winter Sale has begun, on now through January 4th!* Save big on thousands of games for Windows, Mac and Linux!" They are also offering up to 90% off on Steam hardware. This also marks the kickoff of The Steam Awards 2017, and today's voting category is "Choices Matter." The finalists for this are Dishonored 2, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Psychonauts 2 Delayed

Double Fine productions takes to FIG to announce to backers that Psychonauts 2 will not be shipping in 2018 as originally planned (thanks GameInformer). They start out with a discussion of rewards and a new Aquato Family video to make the bad news go down easier, but eventually get around to this admission of the setback:

We have now ramped up into full production mode! We have five full level teams working on the real world locations and brand new mental worlds, as well as our full gameplay team working on powers, platforming, puzzles, and combat.— all kinds of great stuff!

Now we are in full swing, we know a lot more about the size and scope of the game we are going to make, how long it will take us to make it, and the amount of time we need to make it be great. From those projections we know that Psychonauts 2 will not be shipping in 2018, like we originally estimated when we published the Fig campaign two years ago.

We love the game we're making and we want to make sure that Psychonauts 2 is something you’ll love too — a game that carries on the legacy of Psychonauts in a meaningful and special way. We’re making great progress, but we want to make sure the game has the time it needs to shine.

We’re sorry that you’ll have to wait a little longer than we first estimated, but we’re also hopeful that you’ll understand it will mean being able to deliver a better game. We’re really excited about the things we’re making, and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Continue here to read the full story.

Wild Terra Online Launches

Steam now offers Wild Terra Online, a "hardcore sandbox RPG" for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The release trailer features a look at gameplay, concluding with the tagline "you can become anyone and do whatever you want." This motto is repeated in the description:

Wild Terra Online is a hardcore role-playing sandbox game, in a completely player-controlled medieval world. You will not need to complete a chain of tasks and kill a thousand wolves to create equipment. Everything is much more interesting! You will have to understand the actual production stages of manufacturing hardened leather, steel, and other materials. You will have to survive in a forest full of predators, build a shelter and improve your crafts skills, develop a farm, tame animals, and explore new territories and fight for treasures. In Wild Terra, you can become anyone and do whatever you want!

Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes of the Storm Adding Firebat Next Month

A new live action video reveals the next character coming to Heroes of the Storm. The clip features a humorous encounter between Jaina and "Blaze" the firebat (get it?). They promised long ago that a hero would come to the MOBA based on the firebat units from StarCraft, and now word is they are on their way to warm your heart (and everything else) in January. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Op Ed

Please Bring Back Star Wars Space Shooters - Kotaku Australia. Thanks Darth Guybrush.
"Hello. Are you a Disney executive, passing a few minutes downtime between acquisitions and layoffs? Maybe you work at EA, and are trying to work out how to salvage your brand's Star Wars efforts after the disaster that is Battlefront II. Here's a free idea: make another space shooter."

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

PUBG Launches

The countdown is up, and PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS version 1.0 is now officially available on Steam following an extremely successful early access run that saw this battle royale game sell more than 20 million copies and set records for concurrent users on Steam. This Steam post covers the release, revealing a special "winner winner, chicken dinner" in-game t-shirt all players will get for free for logging in over the next few weeks. They say balancing and polishing the game will continue past this point, and talk about other improvements coming to the game:

We’ve implemented two waves of adjustments to deal with server stability issues since PC 1.0 test build #3 hit our test servers. We estimate that there was around 50% decrease in stability issues experiences by players. However, we understand that this is not enough. We have identified various causes for the stability issues and are expecting progressive improvements going forward.

As we announced earlier, we are considering limiting maximum ping depending on user network status in order to establish a smooth gameplay environment and enhance server stability. Before applying the measure to all regions, we will need to fully investigate its feasibility and analyze the outcome, so we will be running a limited test. After implementation, players with a high ping difference from average ping range for the region or players connecting over long distance will not be able to connect to a match. As a result, only players in a certain ping range would be able to enjoy the game together in the same server which leads to a more stable and smooth environment. We will keep you updated on our progress as we continue looking into this method and analyzing our results.

We’ve strengthened cheat prevention measures and continue to reinforce them. We’ve also implemented various automatic and manual anti-cheat measures and thanks to all these actions have seen an estimated reduction of 65.7% in the number of players trying to use cheats. We are also continuing to actively remove banned players from our leaderboards. No online multiplayer game can remove all cheaters but we will continue to direct our best efforts towards reducing the number of cheaters as much as possible and maintaining a fair play environment.

Origin Winter Sale

The Origin Winter Sale is now underway, beating winter to the punch by several hours. This offers discounts of up to 75% on a wide range of games from the Electronic Arts library. Deals include Battlefield 1 and Need for Speed Payback for half off, and Star Wars Battlefront II for 40% off.

Sword Legacy: Omen Trailer

Publisher Team17 Digital offers a new trailer from Sword Legacy: Omen, showing off this tactical RPG based on the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur. The clip is called "The World of Broken Britannia," as it shows off the environment and various regions you will encounter on your quest. This Steam post provides these details:

As we near the end of 2017, we couldn’t leave without giving you one last sneak peek at Sword Legacy: Omen.

If you've been following Sword Legacy: Omen for a while then you'll know that it's set in the "candlepunk" realm of Broken Britannia. What in the world is candlepunk? And what does a Broken Britannia look like? Get an idea in the new trailer below…

Sword Legacy: Omen is coming to Steam in 2018. If you like what you see, feel free to drop into the forums or our Discord channel at discord.gg/team17 to chat to us and find out more.

Continue here to read the full story.

TINY METAL Released

Steam News announces the release of TINY METAL on Steam, offering an Advance Wars-style turn-based strategy game for Windows and macOS, disappointing those who assumed the title referred to AC/DC's diminutive Young brothers. Now that we've covered what this is not, here's more on what it is:

A turn-based strategy game of intrigue with a distinct Japanese flavor that takes place in the aftermath of your king's assassination. Roll out the tanks, create more troops, expand your squad, and struggle for territory with war-room levels of control!

It's WAR in TINY METAL, the revival of Japanese arcade war gaming!

Outfight the enemy with your own army of foot soldiers, tanks, helicopters, tactical vehicles, and fighter jets. Capture rival territories and extend your military power over the sprawling map of Zipang. Follow the gripping story of Nathan Gries and answer for yourself what is -- and what isn't -- worth fighting for.

Stayin' Alive Early Access

"Well, you can tell by the way I use my chair, I'm ready to go, done that, been there." Early access to Stayin' Alive for Windows is now available on Steam, offering a falsetto-free "frantic multiplayer game about life and death." If you enjoy dark humor, this may be up your alley, as gameplay hinges on four wheelchair-bound retirees who are eager to die pitted against four nurses dedicated to keeping them alive at all costs. This trailer shows how this plays out, and here are more details:

Indiegala, publisher and developer of the top-selling voxel shooter Blockstorm and the thrilling survival horror Die Young, releases their new project today, Stayin’ Alive, the only first-person multiplayer team-based game in which retirees try to kill themselves as their nurses try to prevent them from committing suicide. The game is out on PC.

In Stayin’ Alive you can join 4 tired-of-life old geezers in their struggle to commit suicide and escape the joy-killing clutches of 4 life-loving nurses. Choose your side –patients or nurses– and compete in teams to see whether the will of dying is stronger than the efforts made to preserve life. As a retiree, you will need to craft lethal weapons of self-destruction out of ordinary items and find a suitable place to commit suicide. If you pick the nursing squad, you must find the correct life-saving tool for any situation and use it on whoever is dying.

Stayin’ Alive offers online multiplayer contests to be enjoyed by 8 players at a time in 4v4 matches. Cooperation between team members is very important to earn as many points as possible. The game includes bots so you can compete against non-human rivals too.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy winter to the northern hemisphere, as the solstice arrives today at 11:28 am EST. This involves a short day's journey into night, as we're due for around nine hours of daylight today, but thankfully we'll start getting more and more daylight every day beginning tomorrow. And happy summer to those in the southern hemisphere, I'll try not to feel jealous as I work through the last stages of my cold and try to figure out how to get the salt off my car.

Salty Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Robot Dog City Simulator.
Stories: Winter solstice 2017: Five things you should know about the shortest day of the year.
Australian navy submarine AE1 found after being lost since World War I.
It's Christmastime, and that means dogs are now at peak risk of chocolate poisoning.
Science: Give Thanks for the Winter Solstice. You Might Not Be Here Without It.
Media: Dog hugs his owner after undergoing surgery. Your moment of Zen. Thanks Kxmode.
Periodic Videos has fun with Chromium.
Screaming Marmot.



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