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Sunday, Dec 24, 2017 Christmas Eve


Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video

A new video shows off gameplay from Squadron 42, the upcoming single-player half of Star Citizen, the bifurcated, crowdfunded space game (thanks VideoSift via Ant). The clip runs over an hour, showing some day-to-day life on a starship, NPC interactions, a briefing from Davos Seaworth and Luke Skywalker, a visit to Q branch, lots of walking down seemingly endless empty corridors and stairways, space flight, and combat both in space and on the ground. For a progress report on Cloud Imperium's work on the project, a new post covers the release of Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 to all backers. Here's word on where they see this going from here:

With the release of 3.0.0, the Persistent Universe is now shifting to a quarter-based release schedule. This approach means that after each live delivery we can return to the main development branch and pick up all the changes and optimizations that have been worked on in the background and ready them for our next live release. 3.0 has been about completely revamping systems and gameplay as well as adding new content. We will now go back into our development branch, which we need to do for our Q1 release in March and will pick up the latest code and concentrate on optimizing performance, using our new gameplay and systems to the fullest, as well as continuing with the balance and polish of the PU.

Continue here to read the full story.

Black Mesa Update; Sale

This announcement from the Black Mesa team informs us that a new December update is now in public beta testing for this authorized remake of the first Half-Life game (thanks RedEye9). This includes a bunch of technical enhancements, intended to bring the release version closer in line with their internal build. They say this will make the eventual completion of the project simpler, as the release of the Xen chapter will be more like a map release than a game update. They celebrate the news with a 75% off sale, and offer the following details:

We released an update for Black Mesa (currently on public beta) that adds real-time dynamic lights, lens flares, god rays, and a host of other features to the existing earthbound sections of the game. The goal of this update is to get the released version of the game as close to our internal build as possible. This way, the final Xen release can be closer to a simple map drop; with less potential for engine and code issues affecting players on their first time playing Xen. We are hoping to test the engine and solve all feature and performance problems before the real release, so that everyone can enjoy our definitive vision of the game without issues.

We are striving to make sure Xen is fun, well thought-out, and cohesive. Each chapter has its own theme and artstyle, and we are developing them in parallel to ensure they are all at the same high standard of quality. Xen, in its current form, is made up of 14 maps across these final 5 chapters, with each map alone being significantly larger than the originals. We are putting our full effort into completing Xen in a timely manner so that everyone can have the complete Black Mesa experience!

Tom Clancy's The Division Sequel Possibilities

The first rule of The Division sequels is you don't talk about The Division sequels. That's why this IGN interview with Massive Entertainment managing director David Polfeldt dances around the possibility of a follow-up to the Tom Clancy shooter. But it doesn't rule one out. Here's word:

Though no official announcements of a “The Division 2” have been made, and Massive's focus is squarely on The Division and the studio's upcoming Avatar game, Polfeldt indicated the studio does want to tell stories beyond the ones created from the first game.

“I think it's a wonderful, wonderful brand that has so many potential stories in it. There are a lot of things that we didn't do in The Division 1 that are interesting to look at for that brand,” Polfeldt said. “I definitely think there's lots of space for continuation which is beyond just keeping The Division online. But...I can't talk about that too much right now.”

Keeping The Division online and feeling fresh, however, remains very much a focus for the studio.

“I think of [supporting the game and players] as kind of a relationship. As long as you go to another date with your gamers and you feel pretty excited about it, and they seem to be excited too, that's not when you stop dating,” Polfeldt said.

Jurassic World Evolution Video

There's a Jurassic World Evolution preview on IGN that takes a look at the stars of the upcoming Jurassic World game, the dinosaurs (apologies to the former Mr. Faris). This includes a video with a brief look at some creatures in action. Word is: "Get an up-close, in-engine look at the dinosaurs of Jurassic World before playing the new park-management sim this summer." Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Sunday Mobilization

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Safety Dance

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Merry Christmas Eve! We've got some of the makings of a fine old occasion here at the BlueTower, including tackle football on the TV and some choice meat in the fridge for me to make a batch of chili. I have three pounds of it, as the plan is to make a half-batch and not have it take so long to cook. I plan to mess with my recipe a bit further, just for the heck of it, so we'll see how that turns out. I also have the yen for some eggnog, so maybe I'll see if a store is open for that. We already have the rum, which is the important part, but I want to be seasonal. If you are traveling, please stay safe, and if you are celebrating, here's hoping you have a fine old time.

R.I.P.: Jordan Feldstein, Maroon 5's manager and Jonah Hill's brother, dies.

Seasonal Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Space Frontier.
Story: Teams complain to NFL that Green Bay Packers violated IR rule, think Aaron Rodgers should be released.
Science: The lower your social class, the ‘wiser’ you are, suggests new study. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: Bitcoin Is Super Safe, Not Insane Thing to Invest In.
UnderWatched Ep 8 You Mei Die.
The Funnies: Swearables « EXTRALIFE.

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