Archived News:

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2019

Apex Legends Progress Restored

A post on Reddit from Respawn explains that a problem that wiped out player progress in Apex Legends today was due to players being accidentally migrated to the wrong servers. They say this is now all straightened out:
WHAT HAPPENED?
When the 1.1 update went live, players were unintentionally moved to the wrong servers that didn't have their persistence and this caused players accounts to appear reset with all progression lost.

WHAT DID WE DO TO FIX IT?
Fortunately, your progress up until the update was still safe and sound. We shut down all live servers so we could remove players from the wrong place and roll up the correct servers with your progress. Once we confirmed internally that we had fixed the issue we started rolling out the right servers starting with Xbox and staggered the updates to PS4 and PC.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR PROGRESS?
Everything you've accomplished and bought in Apex up until the 1.1 Patch that went live at 10:00 PST today should be restored.

  • Any in-game purchases and progress acquired during the time between 1.1 going live and the fix will be reverted - levels earned, items unlocked, packs opened, and spent currency. If you continued to play and didn't patch then this will not affect you.
  • Any currency purchased, spent or not, will be carried back over to their original account state. i.e. - if you bought $20 worth of coins, and spent $18, then you’ll will get $20 after the fix.

Life's a Breach, Developer QC Closes

A Thank You post on the Breach Website reveals that QC Games is shutting down (thanks Game Informer). They say they this is their last day, and that as of tomorrow the Breach Starter Pack and in-game QC Points will no longer be sold, and sure enough you can no longer buy the Early Access version of Breach on Steam. It sounds like they will try to keep the action/RPG's servers running for a while, but its future is not certain. Here's word:
Thank you for being a part of the Breach community. Thank you for being a part of our Technical Alpha and Early Access stages. Thank you for all the kind words of support and constructive feedback over the months, and thank you for believing in QC Games and Breach.

Unfortunately, today is the last official day for QC Games, as we begin winding down internal operations on Breach. We’re sure you have a lot of questions about Breach, your accounts, and the future of the game. Our team is still working on defining what this means for Breach and for our community, and we’ll post an updated article soon with answers to as many questions as we can cover.

Servers will remain online at this time and we will be turning off the ability to purchase both the Breach Starter Pack and in-game QC Points tomorrow (April 4th) during a maintenance period. Servers will come back online after our Thursday maintenance for those that want to continue to play Breach, and we hope to provide more information soon.

Snooker 19 This Month

Ripstone Games, Lab42, and World Snooker announce that Snooker 19 is cued up for release for Windows on Steam on April 17th. Here's a trailer showing off what they call the first official snooker game in a generation as well as "the most authentic depiction of the sport ever created." Here are the details:
Developed by Leamington Spa based Lab42, Snooker 19 will feature 128 of the world’s top players including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui as they take to the table at iconic venues including The Crucible and Alexandra Palace in countries across the world including China, and Germany. Enjoying the most in-depth simulation of snooker ever, players will be able to compete in every major tournament culminating with the World Championship in Sheffield, either in the robust single-player mode, local or online multiplayer options.

Developed with Unreal Engine 4, Snooker 19 is the most realistic snooker game ever created. Players can expect a full TV-style presentation in the game alongside evocative visual details of the players, arenas and equipment. Player likenesses have been meticulously created using 3D facial scanning technology while the subtle yet detailed wood grain of the cues and tables is rendered impeccably. With the glare of the spotlights reflecting accurately off the polished balls, Snooker 19 sets a new visual standard for the snooker video game. Players can soak up its atmosphere while the advanced physics and AI engines ensure the action remains tense, thrilling, and most importantly, true to real life.
Continue here to read the full story.

Metaverse Keeper Next Week

April 11th will be the release date for Metaverse Keeper, Chinese indie developer Spark Games' dungeon crawler with roguelike elements for Windows and macOS. This will be coming to Steam, where there is already a playable demo to sample in the meantime, while this trailer offers a look. Here's the full pitch:
You've saved your world, and even your universe, many times before -- and now, the whole Metaverse needs you! Eons ago, a cosmic cataclysm tangled the space-time continuum together and created what is now the Metaverse. The creature who started that catastrophe is back, and we need the best warriors to stop him -- and who knows, maybe to restore balance to the Multiverse...

Chinese indie studio Spark Games announces today that its first game, Metaverse Keeper, will release on Steam on April 11th for $14.99 / €12.45. In this intense dungeon crawler with roguelike elements, you have to explore randomly-generated worlds and fight against enemies and bosses to uncover the secrets of the Boss, the creature that started the catastrophe that created the Multiverse. To help you in your quest you can use hundreds of semi-randomly generated weapons (out of 7 general categories) and use Chips, a mysterious forgotten technology, to improve your powers and customize your gear. Or you can call your friends to team up with you in local or online coop!

KEY FEATURES

  • Bring balance to the Multiverse in this fast-paced dungeon crawler with roguelike elements
  • Explore the Bastion, a dimension-traveling ship which is randomly generated: each playthrough will be different!
  • Face over 100 crazy enemies and 8 bosses who stand in the way between you and the evil Boss
  • Play with friends in local and online coop
  • Choose between 4 different heroes, each with their own special skills
  • Customize your powers and weapons using Chips
  • Find your favorite weapon between the thousands of variations with randomized stats of 7 weapon categories

Continue here to read the full story.

Precipice Next Month

Developer Little Red Dog Games announces we are on the brink of the precipice, as they will be releasing Precipice on Steam on May 1st, offering a war and diplomacy game of Cold War chicken for one or two players. This is said to be inspired by Balance of Power and Twilight Struggle and this trailer from January shows off gameplay, while this trailer shows off some extreme wackiness. Here's the plan:
Precipice is unique in that it lends itself to missile-crisis standoffs where the last one to blink wins, but push too hard and the whole world may be lost. It spans forty years of hostilities between the United States and Soviet Union, and forces players to decide when to push their own contentious actions and when to back down from them. The advanced AI observes player behavior and makes assumptions and judgements about their rival’s personality and character, their intended strategy, and develops a plan of its own to counter. Also, it features (adorable) animals in suits.

Drawing loose inspiration from Chris Crawford’s Balance of Power (1985) and GMT Games’ Twilight Struggle, “Precipice isn't a wargame, it's a game of subterfuge," according to lead developer Ryan Hewer.

"You will send agents around the world, protecting your closest allies and changing unfavorable regimes without giving away your long-term ambitions. For that reason, this game is a strategic gem where your success will depend squarely on your ability to misdirect your rival and show bravery when it is needed.”

Features:

  • Tense strategy for one or two players. Face a highly-responsive, unpredictable AI that will attempt to understand your strategy and counter it at every turn, or invite a friend and see if you can collectively work to avoid global catastrophe online.
  • World leaders from 72 countries realized as animals native to the region, all pawns in the dangerous game of nuclear chicken.
  • Manage resources from territories under your control to resolve immediate crises or win over future allies.
  • Recreate history, or forge your own path. Put a bear on the moon. The possibilities are endless.
  • Simple, intuitive gameplay that is also difficult to master.

The third commercial title from developer LRDGames, Precipice will retail for $11.99 for Windows and Linux platforms, with a two-pack offer planned for $17.99 as well. At launch, it will feature Steam lobby integration, player-rank unlockables, multiple map modes, multiple AI settings and the likenesses of seventy-two world leaders caught in the crossfire between two global powers.

Continue here to read the full story.

Alt-Frequencies Next Month

Developer Accidental Queens announces a May release for Alt-Frequencies, their recently announced audio-based mystery game. Word is: "tasks players with unravelling a mystery taking place between multiple radio stations among a disparate group of people, intersecting where interactive investigation meets podcasting." They celebrate the news with a new live teaser trailer and explain how the game's audio nature allows it to support blind and visually impaired players:
Alt-Frequencies supports Visually Impaired players and Blind gamers by utilizing a solid game design that allows players of various disabilities to be included in the game. In Alt-Frequencies players will solve a series of puzzles to progress in their investigation. A radio/audio format is used as the game’s key mechanic, delivering an innovative and original method of non-linear storytelling which has become the signature calling card of acclaimed development studio Accidental Queens.

Players will get an intimate look into the lives of radio hosts, conspiracy theorists, students, politicians, underground activists, train station managers and even a dog as they manipulate and redistribute information between them and impact their lives in various ways.
Continue here to read the full story.

Fringe Planet Teaser

The Fringe Planet Website now offers a first teaser trailer from Fringe Planet a voxel-powered survival game "inspired by Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress and a sprinkle of Factorio." A closed alpha nears, and this is coming to Early Access for Windows and Linux late this year. Indie developer Sigil Initiative also says they are considering a release for macOS. Here's more of a description of the game:
Fringe Planet is a survival simulator inspired by Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress and a sprinkle of Factorio. The game is set in a Lovecraft inspired universe where science and magic co-exist.

Follow the story of six strangers who awake on a frozen landscape with no memory of who they are, or why they are here. It's up to you to help them survive, tame the environment of Fringe Planet and eventually prosper.

Struggle against starvation, harness the power of magic and science and discover the secrets to help the strangers survive, escape or ultimately choose a different fate...
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Op Ed

GamesIndustry.biz - Is it all over for pre-owned video games?
"Nevertheless, you can expect it to decline further and for the focus to switch onto hardware in the short-term. PlayStation trade-ins against the next PlayStation console will certainly still be a big part of retail's efforts to upgrade customers. But with pre-owned unlikely to improve outside of new hardware launches, stores are now switching their attention to more reliable growth areas. GameStop expects growth to come from its collectables business, while GAME is focused on its Belong pay-to-play gaming areas and PC accessories and hardware.

Ultimately, shelf space and promotions for pre-owned games will continue to drop. And the once "great evil in video games" will become little more than a nagging annoyance."

Evening Mobilization

Borderlands 3 on Epic Games Store in September

2K Games and Gearbox Software confirm a recent rumor with the announcement of a September 13th release date for Borderlands 3, also confirming speculation that the PC edition of the shooter sequel will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store until a year from now. The Xbox Wire has a write-up on the game and an Official Announce Trailer, and the game's listing on the Microsoft Store suggests Windows and Xbox One cross-platform support, showing "cross-platform co-op" as one of the game's capabilities. The press release includes box art and a couple of screenshots, but this is still fairly preliminary, as more revelations are planned for next month: "For more details on the story, characters, gear, and everything else you’ll find in Borderlands 3, tune in on May 1 for the extended Gameplay Reveal Event livestream." There are plans for four different editions with escalating perks: A Standard Edition ($59.99 USD), a Deluxe Edition with bonus digital content ($79.99 USD), a Super Deluxe Edition with a Season Pass ($99.99 USD, or $119.99 after September 17th), and a Diamond Loot Chest Collector's Edition with all the preceding bonuses and a bunch of physical goodies ($249.99 USD). Here's word on their partnerships with the Epic Games Store and AMD:
PC Gaming on Steroids in Collaboration with AMD and the Epic Games store:
Developed from the ground up with AMD, Borderlands 3 will take full advantage of the most powerful PC hardware available, and is optimized for top performance and incredible gaming experiences on AMD Radeon™ graphics cards and Ryzen™ CPUs.

At launch on September 13, Borderlands 3 will be available for PC exclusively through the Epic Games store. Borderlands 3 will be available on additional PC digital storefronts in April 2020.

“The PC gaming community has been an important part of the success of the Borderlands series, and we are excited to be partnering with Epic who recognize its worldwide popularity and share in our commitment to bring Borderlands 3 to this rapidly expanding audience,” said Ismailer. “Our mission, in addition to delivering the most engaging and captivating entertainment experiences, is to embrace new distribution platforms that will contribute to our effort to grow the audience for Borderlands 3.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition and Borderlands 2/Pre-Sequel Ultra HD Textures Released

The press release mentioned above also declares that the Year of Borderlands has officially begun with the promised release of the Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition and an ultra HD texture pack for Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. These are both free for owners of the relevant games. Here's word:
To celebrate the announcement of Borderlands 3, the Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition launches today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition is the brand new definitive version of the original game, boasting ultra HD remastered graphics, significant quality-of-life content updates, and all add-on content included. For more information, please click here.

Additionally, Gearbox and 2K also released an Ultra HD Texture Pack that increases the visual fidelity of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection on consoles, and provides a visual upgrade for Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and all the game add-ons for both titles on PC. For more details on the specific visual enhancements, please click here.

Bow Blood: Last Captain Standing Released

Tribetoy announces the release of Bow Blood: Last Captain Standing, saying this procedurally generated airship adventure is now available for Windows and consoles. Here's the Release Teaser, and here are the details:
Independent developer Tribetoy is proud to announce that Bow Blood: Last Captain Standing, the procedurally generated airship adventure, is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC priced at $19.99/€19.99/£15.99.

Bow to Blood: Last Captain Standing is a single-player action-strategy roguelike where you take command of an airship in a multi-stage competition being broadcast as a deadly reality TV show. The aim of the game is to keep your ship afloat by managing the crew as you defend yourself from enemy ships, forge allegiances, and plot betrayals, all while searching for treasure. Just like any good reality show, you're not here to make friends - being a cutthroat captain is serious business.

Also featured is a Ready Player One inspired community event wherein the first player to uncover a secret treasure will be immortalized forever in the game. Will you be the first to find the booty and become a legend?
Continue here to read the full story.

Dreadlands Announced

Indie developer Fatshark announces they are wearing the publisher hat for Dreadlands, an online turn-based game with a post-apocalyptic setting. This is in the works at Blackfox Studios, a new developer formed by Peter Nilsson, formerly Senior Programmer at Fatshark. This game will be shown off in London at EGX starting tomorrow, and it is due for release this year according to its new Steam Listing, which also offers details and screenshots. The new Dreadlands Website is another home to the project, and it offers the official announcement:
Independent developer Fatshark are proud to announce Dreadlands, a game developed by Blackfox Studios and published by Fatshark.

Dreadlands is a new turn-based skirmish game set in a living post-apocalyptic shared world. Explore Dreadlands by travelling across its many regions with your misfit gang of miscreants and mercenaries. The game is set in a Shared World where players frequently encounter and interact with each other. Sometimes they cooperate, other times they pick fights in bloody PvP battles.
Continue here to read the full story.

World War Z Trailer

A new trailer for World War Z offers a look at the way the zombies dynamically swarm in this survival game, which is due to swarm gamers in just a couple of weeks. Word is: "The World War Z swarm is dynamic: it moves as one, then splits off as it acquires targets. Learn how they move if you want to survive!"

Op Ed

Polygon - Bioware, the press is not your enemy.
"Management more or less has to do something to improve the conditions under which it makes games, or else talent will become even harder to find and retain. Who wants to work themselves to death making a game that doesn’t deliver on its original creative goals? A game that is met with disappointment?

Kotaku’s piece — and reporting like it — absolutely helps to make gaming a better place. It’s the reliance on crunch and dysfunctional management on the part of companies like BioWare that hinder the long-term success of the big budget games industry. And, as BioWare has shown, this development strategy doesn’t always lead to good games.

Which means everyone loses."

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Acer Predator Triton 500 Laptop on PC Gamer.
  • D-Link EXO AC2600 (DIR-882) Wi-Fi Router on Vortez.
  • Dr Zaber Sentry 2.0 Case on LanOC Reviews.
  • ECS LIVA Q2 Mini PC on TechPowerUp.
  • HyperX Alloy Core RGB Keyboard on AusGamers.com.
  • Intel Bean Canyon (NUC8i7BEH) Coffee Lake NUC on AnandTech.
  • Steelseries Arctis 7 Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset on eTeknix.
  • Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W RGB Sync Edition Power Supply Unit on Nikk Tech.
  • WD Black SN750 1TB Solid State Drive on ThinkComputers.org.

Out of the Blue

This spectacular Official Line Rider Music Video is from a few months ago, but I missed it at the time. Word is it was created with a special version of the program, but they say it includes no post-production. I'm not a techno/EDM fan, but it certainly fits the clip well. I think my best Line Rider creation involved a jump, and the landing still looked like an Evel Knievel accident.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Farscape Anniversary: Henson's Sci-Fi Show Influenced Guardians. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Stories: "Bond 25" Sees 007 Return To Jamaica.
Science: Anti-evolution drugs could keep gambling bacteria from developing antibiotic resistance. Thanks Max.
There really is something unique about Tennessee whiskey, study finds.
'Molecular surgery' reshapes living tissue with electricity but no incisions. Thanks Max.
Media: Tourists flee wave from glacier collapse. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Sound on.
Dog Helps Man In Wheelchair.
Follow-up: Martin Shkreli placed in solitary confinement.
Elizabeth Holmes Recognized by Deep Voice in San Francisco.
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