Archived News:

Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018

Persistent-World Alien Shooter Plans

FoxNext announces the acquisition of developer Cold Iron Studios, giving the gaming arm of Twentieth Century Fox Film and Fox Networks Group a AAA developer to create games based on their properties. They reveal that the first project for Cold Iron under the Fox aegis will be a new persistent-world PC and console shooter based on the Alien franchise. Formed by veterans of Cryptic in 2015, Cold Iron emerged just over a year ago and boasts developers from projects such as Neverwinter, Metroid Prime 3, BioShock Infinite, and City of Heroes. A story on has quotes on the news from FoxNext Games president Aaron Loeb, who stresses Cold Iron's MMO experience along with their shooter acumen. "Cold Iron adds a whole dimension of game development and play to our arsenal: long play-session MMOs targeted to PC and console gamers," explains Loeb. "The kinds of games Cold Iron develops will enable us to deeply explore the worlds of our franchises, starting with the Alien universe." Here's the announcement:
FoxNext Games has acquired Bay Area-based game developer Cold Iron Studios, known for its expertise in massively multiplayer online games. The studio’s first game will be a shooter for PC and consoles set in the cinematic universe of the Alien franchise, expanding FoxNext’s catalogue and footprint across all platforms. The acquisition represents FoxNext Games’ commitment to deliver new AAA offerings across numerous fan favorite properties and original games.

“Cold Iron Studios has amazing design, craftsmanship and development talent that we are excited to welcome at FoxNext Games as we pursue our goal to build a multi-platform, multi-genre portfolio of great games,” Aaron Loeb, President of Studios, FoxNext Games, said. “I am a personal fan of Cold Iron’s previous work and all of us at FoxNext Games are thrilled to be working with them as they create an action-packed persistent world, steeped in the mysteries of this beloved Alien universe.”

Cold Iron Studios is comprised of industry veterans with a strong record of leading large-scale projects such as Neverwinter, Metroid Prime 3, BioShock Infinite, City of Heroes and many others. Cold Iron leadership includes Chief Executive Officer Craig Zinkievich, Chief Technology Officer Shannon Posniewski and Creative Director Matt Highison.

“We believe in FoxNext’s vision and we are thrilled about the opportunity to explore an amazing and rich universe,” Zinkievich commented. “Our background in building online worlds and taking established franchises to the next level in interactive entertainment is a precise fit with our product roadmap ahead; we can’t wait to share more information soon.”

Star Trek Online Anniversary Plans

Perfect World Entertainment announces plans to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the launch of Star Trek Online, the MMORPG that started its eight (plus) year mission in February 2018. Word is: "PC captains can help celebrate this milestone throughout the month, by joining daily giveaways leading up to the anniversary and participating in a brand new featured episode and special events for rewards, which begin January 23. Anniversary events will also be available on Xbox One and PlayStation®4 at a later date." The news includes this trailer where some of the developers reflect on the journey. Here's more:
Captains who visit the in-game C-store from now through January 23 can participate in server-wide giveaways, which allow them to collect a new reward each day, including uniforms, starships and other items. Giveaway items will be revealed on Star Trek Online’s blog.

Beginning January 23, captains face their final battle in the war against the genocidal Tzenkethi. In the new featured episode “Scylla & Charibdis,” players must find a way to stop a new escalation by the Tzenkethi fleet that puts the entire quadrant in immediate danger. While warping from system to system in pursuit of the enemy, captains receive communication from Captain Geordi La Forge (voiced by LeVar Burton) that an unexpected ally has offered to help finally put an end to these deadly attacks. The update also introduces a new modification feature and special events to celebrate the game’s anniversary. A full list of new features and planned festivities includes:

  • New Featured Episode – Captains must rally the fleet to stand in the way of the Tzenkethi’s path of destruction through the Alpha Quadrant in the new episode “Scylla & Charibdis.”
  • Re-Engineering – This new feature allows players to change the mods on their existing items, including weapons.
  • Omega Molecule Stabilization – Back by popular demand, players can join this event to collect Omega particles that Q has hidden across space. Stabilizing these molecules will yield prize vouchers, which can be redeemed for this year’s anniversary ship, the T6 Denorios-class Bajoran Interceptor.
  • 8th Anniversary Party Poppers – Captains can meet up with Q to score a special event party popper, which allows them to generate exciting new effects!
  • LootCrate Giveaway – Players can follow Star Trek Online on Facebook and Twitter to find out how they can enter to win a one-year subscription to the Star Trek Mission Crate from Loot Crate, which offers exclusive Star Trek apparel and collectibles every two months. Starting at the end of this month, each crate will also include codes to unlock in-game items for Star Trek Online, including starships, Bridge Officers, gear and exclusive emotes.

Continue here to read the full story.

Full Metal Furies Released

Steam News announces that Full Metal Furies is now available on Steam, offering a co-op action/RPG from the creators of Rogue Legacy. Here's the deal:
From the creators of Rogue Legacy comes a "true-cooperative" action RPG. FULL METAL FURIES puts an emphasis on team play with a unique combat system where everyone is important. Work together to defeat special enemies, string organics combos to deal massive damage, and save a wartorn world that is battling itself to extinction. Play on the couch or online with friends, and make it a party for up to four players! Or go solo in single-player, and show off your skills through a Pick 2 quick-switch system that retains all the nuances of multi-play.

PAST CURE Past Due: Coming in February

Developer Phantom 8 announces PAST CURE will launch on February 23rd for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, a little later than they promised when they said it would be out during 2017. They celebrate the news with a new behind-the-scenes trailer where the developers discuss the project. Here's a refresher:
PAST CURE puts you in the role of Ian, a former elite soldier, whose story begins at his brother’s safehouse where he’s hidden himself away from the world and his nightmares. After years of experimentation, coupled with years of torture in prison, Ian is now telekinetic and can also manipulate time. These powers take their toll on Ian, whose mind is fractured; often drifting between reality and hallucinogenic states. With the help of his Brother, Ian sets out on a path of revenge and discovery, not knowing what lies around the next corner.

Simon Gerdesmann, Managing Director, Phantom 8, said, “Developed by a team of only eight, we aim to showcase that desire, talent and ambition can help you deliver a title that stands apart from what’s traditionally expected from an Indie studio. PAST CURE is our first title, and having secured multiple awards throughout its development, the team is excited to finally have the game out in the wild.”

An all-new behind-the-scenes developer video from Phantom 8 is available here:
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

Evening Previews

Into the Black

Link of the Day: A Star Is Born- Betty White turns 96 today. Thanks RedEye9.

Fable Return Rumor

Eurogamer reports Microsoft is planning a new Fable game, saying they are tapping Forza Horizon developer Playground to continue the RPG series. This is unconfirmed, as Microsoft has responded by saying they do not comment on rumor or speculation. They get responses to this news from Lionhead and the series originators express mixed feelings about hearing their project is moving on without them. Here's what they say they've learned about this:
We've heard the new Fable is planned as a story and character-focussed open-world action RPG. A significant investment in its development is also planned, with some 200 people set to work on the game at Playground's newly-established second office in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

Don't expect to play this new Fable any time soon, however. We've heard it's early days in terms of development, with Playground currently staffing up the team from double digits to its triple digit target.

Epic on the Future of Paragon

An Open Discussion On Where We're At on the Epic Forums, eschews grammar to kick off a conversation about Paragon, the MOBA that was the apple of Epic's eye before the release of Fortnite and its trendy battle royale support (thanks PC Invasion). They express interest in continuing the game, and say to expect a new patch this week, but note that progress is slowing, as they admit that they have not yet found a way to retain enough of the users the game attracts. They say they will continue to work that problem over the coming weeks, but in the name of transparency, they wanted to let everyone know they are conscious that Paragon's "release cadence" will be slower for now:
We know you have a lot of questions about the future of Paragon. We care deeply about this community and we know this is important to you, so here's a summary of where we are.

Going from Legacy to Monolith to a new card system and all of the changes in-between, our efforts have always been focused on growing the game. While each of these incarnations has been beloved by a core community, none has been large enough to achieve mainstream success. This, combined with the humbling success of Fortnite has caused us to question if we have a good path to grow Paragon and make it thrive.

Work on Paragon continues. V.45 ships this week with both Hero and Card balance as well as stability improvements.

However, progress has been slower lately for two reasons: First, the team’s time is split between immediate improvements and longer-term efforts, so there’s less visible progress. Second, a number of Paragon team members jumped onto Fortnite to help sustain the game as it has grown far larger than anything in Epic’s past.

Here inside Epic, we’re talking about the future of Paragon in pretty much the same terms as you’re talking about it. The core challenge is that, of new players who try Paragon, only a small number continue to play regularly after a month. Though Paragon has evolved, no iteration has yet achieved that magical combination of ingredients that make for a sustainable game. (As an aside, the problem isn’t marketing or how to make money with Paragon. We have good ideas that would solve those problems if we can find a way to make Paragon grow.)

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be figuring out if and how we can evolve Paragon to achieve growth and success, and trying some things internally. In the meantime, Paragon’s release cadence will be slower.

We welcome your thoughts on what we should do. Like you, the team is deeply passionate about Paragon. Like you, we would love to find a path that works. And like the community at large, we are not all in agreement on what could place Paragon on a fundamentally better path for all.

We will always be transparent with the community, and this is where we are right now. As we have more information, we will share it with you.

BATTLETECH Multiplayer Changes; Linux Edition Delayed

A state-of-the-game update on Kickstarter from Harebrained Schemes says they've hit all their year-end goals for BATTLETECH, and although they do not have an official release date, they say they feel good about the mech game's state, and are set to release it this year (thanks Neutronbeam). They do announce some changes to what they promised during the game's crowdfunding, downplaying this by saying the game will be "surprisingly close" to the vision they originally pitched (apparently they assumed we wouldn't believe them). Elements that will be added after the game's launch include Linux support, as they say some features need more focus development and testing. They also reveal a fundamental change to multiplayer, which will now focus on playing with friends, rather than competitive play and tournaments. Here's word:
By and large, BATTLETECH is surprisingly close to the vision we originally pitched in the Kickstarter in September 2015. As anyone who’s made a video game can tell you, it’s incredibly rare to finish a game with all the features you envisioned when you start making it. So while we’re surprisingly close, we’re not perfect.

With release in sight in the next few months, we want to tell you about a few features that were part of our Kickstarter Campaign, but need to be delivered post-launch in order to focus development and testing as we move towards release.

  • Linux support
  • Legendary 'Mechs and MechWarriors
  • Ability to play different types of missions in Skirmish mode (The campaign itself still has plenty of mission types though.)
  • Some Valhalla-tier reward items (specifics TBD)
  • Famous character cameos in the campaign (a Social Mission Bonus from the Kickstarter Campaign.)
  • Famous AI Lances in Skirmish mode (another Social Mission Bonus from the Kickstarter Campaign.)

Rest assured that we are still committed to delivering these features after the game’s initial launch and at no additional charge to Backers.

One other change - instead of a multiplayer experience focused around competitive tournaments & leagues, we've opted for a more friend-focused model of multiplayer functionality. Players can invite each other to matches via Steam/GoG, create private games, and browse public games from the lobby.

Because of this change in direction, we also won’t be delivering a Solaris-themed multiplayer experience at launch. Instead, the game will ship with a diverse set of multiplayer maps across all the game’s biomes to battle on. We recognize that Solaris VII is a great setting for BattleTech experiences, and in success, we still hope to explore different ways to bring Solaris VII to life.

And finally, a feature that wasn’t a Kickstarter commitment but that we talked about online a bunch is Ironman Mode. Unfortunately, that won’t make it in for launch but we’d love to add it later.

Hyper Universe Launches

Steam now offers the official release of Hyper Universe, the free-to-play, side-scrolling MOBA. They celebrate the news with this trailer showing real people getting hit in the face with things, as well as gameplay footage showing game characters getting hit in the face with things. This post has the version 4.0 patch notes covering the release. Here's an outline of what's changing from early access:
Emphasizing individual skill and coordinated teamplay, Hyper Universe unleashes traditional fighting-style elements in a vertical, side-scrolling battlefield. With today’s launch, Hyper Universe boasts a roster of 41 total playable Hyper characters and nearly 90 pieces of equipment and consumables to implement the best builds for any combat situation. Check out the new trailer here!

With the official launch of Hyper Universe comes:

  • Six New Hypers: Introducing one new Hyper per class, the game is refreshing its character pool with Gulunba (Tank), Camilla (Support), Perseus (Specialist), Han (Striker), Sonya (Bruiser) and Tae’guk (Assassin);
  • Achievement System: Players can participate in weekly and monthly missions to earn rewards including Hyper Cubes and Game Points (GP). Mission requirements range from winning matches to ranking first in various individual match performance stats, and some missions can be repeated multiple times after scheduled refreshes;
  • Game Shop: Housing Hypers, item slots, and cosmetic skins, the shop allows players to customize their experience in the Universe by spending GP or NX credit purchased through the player’s account;
  • New Equipment: Available to use with any Hyper, four new pieces of common equipment are now available, including the War Horn, Star Stalker’s Dagger, Executioner’s Scythe and Highwayman’s Helm;
  • Login Rewards: Up to a week after launch, players who log into Hyper Universe and compete in one regular or AI match receive 30 Hyper cubes, 6 Hyper Coupons and 1 Hyper Skin Coupon.

Continue here to read the full story.

Underworld Ascendant Trailer

The PAX South trailer from Underworld Ascendant offers a behind-the-scenes look at OtherSide Entertainment's upcoming RPG for those who could not attend the show. Word is: "Check out the behind the scenes video featuring Paul Neurath (Ultima Underworld, Thief), Warren Spector (Deus Ex, System Shock) and Tim Stellmach (Thief and System Shock), who talk about the history and inspiration behind Underworld Ascendant." Continue here to read the full story.

Mimic Hunter Next Week

Angry Cat Studios announces a January 23rd release date for Mimic Hunter, their crowdfunded, hardcore puzzle/platformer. This will be available on Steam, where there's a post from a few months ago that we missed at the time revealing the availability of a beta demo to sample. They also offer a new video they call a theatrical trailer promoting the project. Here's a refresher on the game:
Unsheathe your sword and your hardcore platforming skills to climb forsaken towers, fight nefarious Mimics, and solve unforgiving puzzles in an attempt to uncover the grim truth behind the nature of the Unbound and stop an ancient demonic force from devouring the mortal world. En garde!

Escape from Tarkov Bans Explained

A post to reddit from Battlestate Games discusses bans in Escape from Tarkov. They explain the reasoning behind ban waves in the first-person shooter, and reassure players that no one is being banned for the use of legitimate third-party programs while playing. According to Google Translate, the Russian phrase in the opening sentence means "whoever starts bombing" in English:
I see folks are getting nervous, а у кого то вообще бомбить начинает. And all of this is old as this world.

Right now we are having situation of a newborn cheats and cheaters as well as modified cheats. You are suffering from them right now. We are taking action. We do ban waves. Many times we said that the Clean game is one of our top priority. They evolve - we are evolving too. We engage new algorithms and the madness begins - every single big ban wave we got the same reactions. ALL of banned users are banned for the reasons. But they try to make it like we ban them intentionally, like we love this and we want their money. This is not true.

And I say the same statement again, which I said earlier to banned player.

"You were banned for using cheat from one of the major cheat developer, which I can't name for obvious reasons. This is exact and clear cause of a ban. We have all technical info on this and we can use this in any official legal process if it's needed." Why can't we name the cheat name in public? For example cause they will know that we started to detect their new version.

You will not be banned for use of NON-cheat programs. We can't provide you the list cause it's cheats only list. There is NO typical, well-used and known program in this list. You will NOT get banned for rain meter. You will not get banned for memory cleaner. You will not get banned for visual studio, resharper and other programs.

Every time when the banwave hits, we get messages - cool stories, that "it was my brother" and "I was only downloaded it and you banned me". We get threats and curses from sons of famous lawyers, criminal bosses and so on. And we get this JUSTICE posts of banned. Lots of them. Every. Single. Time.

So. The last thing - Cheat Engine, running in background. CE running in bg can do memory scan of a processes, you can learn about specific info that later you can use in hacks. Do we want to give cheatmakers such ability undetected? No. Why do you need running CE with running EFT? Maybe you want to cheat? No? Nevermind.

Don't believe any post of any player who is saying that he was banned for no reason. We have clues and we can use them in any official legal process if it's needed.

Haters gonna hate, but we, BSG, and I personally here for you - honest players. We are all for you. Thank you for your attention.

Hero Academy 2 Early Access

The Hero Academy 2 website now offers early access to the Windows and macOS editions of this deck-building strategy sequel. Here's a new trailer and here's word:
Developed in partnership with BonusXP, Hero Academy 2 embraces the original's signature tactical gameplay while adding such fan-requested features as:

  • Real-time PvP duels
  • Card collection and deck creation
  • Single player campaigns
  • Cross-platform play across iOS, Android, PC, and Mac

Hero Academy 2 players collect cards of heroes, powers, and spells, and then create their best teams to battle it out one-on-one in tactical PvP Duels. Play loads of single player content in Campaigns and Challenges to improve play and prepare for battle. Discuss and compare strategies with guild-mates and climb the Academy rankings!

Morning Previews

Hardware Reviews

  • Arctic Freezer 33 eSports One CPU Cooler on Overclocked Inside. German.
  • ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex Z370 Motherboard & Intel Core i3-8350K CPU on Play3r.
  • Creative Omni Portable Multi-Room Wi-Fi-BT Voice-enabled Speaker on Mad Shrimps.
  • Drevo Tyrfing V2 Ten Keyless Keyboard on Play3r.
  • Noontec Hammo Wireless Headset on TechPowerUp.
  • SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX VEGA 56 Limited Edition 8G HBM2 Graphics Card on Overclockers Club.

Out of the Blue

We're getting some snow this morning, a pretty steady downfall, but nothing too dramatic. I'm actually a little pleased by this, because while I continue to resist the easy solution of a snow blower, I recently upgraded my shovel. This bad-boy has a much wider blade than the old one, with taller side walls and a general funnel shape. This makes it pretty efficient, though there's the potential to get enough snow in there to make it impossible to lift, so I'm looking forward to testing it out. Here's hoping my back is a strong as this shovel.

Shoveled Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Pixel Wars of Hero.
Stories: Parts of Russia Are Experiencing -88.6°F Weather.
New California declares independence from California in statehood bid.
Chris Christie did not break a leg during his term as governor, and that's a big deal.
Science: Black Death: Plague Was Spread by People, Not Rats. Thanks RedEye9
Media: Bruce Lee Lightsabers Scene Recreation. Thanks Hypothermia.
Nile Rodgers shares unreleased, bare bones demo of Bowie's 'Let's Dance.'
Follow-up: Private submarine builder charged with murder of journalist.
The Funnies: Adult Children.
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