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Saturday, Apr 13, 2019


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in November

Respawn Entertainment has revealed the promised first details about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, saying their upcoming Star Wars game will come to Windows and consoles on November 15th. They promoted the presentation on Twitch, but that stream crapped itself pretty quickly, so luckily this was also on YouTube. Word is this will is a Jedi fantasy story game with no multiplayer and no microtransactions. Combat is melee-oriented, and requires you to identify an exploit your opponents' weaknesses. The player is Cal, a padawan who survived the slaughter of the younglings after Order 66 from Star Wars Episode 3. This sets the game during the "dark times" that requires Cal to avoid detection by the Empire, which is seeking to wipe out the last vestiges of the Rebellion. They also confirm your character will be accompanied by a little buddy droid called BB-1, who will assist you with your missions, and, of course, enchant you with plucky droid charm. The presentation included the premier of an official reveal trailer. Word is this is uses in-game assets and is rendered with the actual game engine, but does not show gameplay, as they want to emphasize the storytelling aspects of the game. Here's the description of the clip:

Cal Kestis—one of the last surviving members of the Jedi Order after the purge of Order 66—is now a Padawan on the run. Experience this all-new single-player Star Wars™ story from Respawn Entertainment and EA Star Wars on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC this holiday season, 15 November 2019.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an action-adventure game set after Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith™. Develop your Force abilities, hone your lightsaber techniques, and explore the ancient mysteries of a long-lost civilization—all while staying one step ahead of the Empire and its deadly Inquisitors.

Continue here to read the full story.

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series Announced

Oculus reveals Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series, a three-part episodic Star Wars story from ILMxLAB for Oculus Quest and Rift headsets. This trailer shows off what looks like an interactive storytelling experience where you end up taking part in the action, including dueling with a lightsaber. The Verge has some more details on this, saying: "From a gameplay perspective, ILMxLAB is clear that this isn’t just a simple VR movie — it’s a fully interactive title, which the trailer showcases as players climb the side of the citadel and use tools. The main storyline of Vader Immortal — Episode I is said to take between 45 minutes to an hour to play through, but the title will also include a standalone 'Lightsaber Dojo' mode for more open-ended gameplay." Episode One is coming soon, and here's more:


You will need the Force to survive the journey ahead.

Step into a galaxy far, far away and experience the first Star Wars story designed exclusively for virtual reality. Descend into Darth Vader's mysterious fortress alongside new allies and encounter fearsome enemies, including the Sith Lord himself. Be at the center of a story in which you hold the key to the galaxy's salvation... or destruction.

Continue here to read the full story.

Twitch Sings Released

Twitch Sings is now available, offering a free Karaoke game that allows streamers to share their singing gifts for their eager fans. While you are warming up your vocal chords and waiting for your download to complete, you can read on for more details on how this works:

See How Twitch Does Karaoke.
Twitch Sings is built from the ground up for streamers. With live singing, multiplayer modes, and features that let chat direct the show, our first game lets you and your community make one-of-a-kind performances together.

Sing and stream live
Choose from a huge library of songs and go live on Twitch. Like classic karaoke, Twitch Sings is best with a crowd.

Connect with your community
Show off the power of co-op singing by inviting your friends and community to join you for duets.

Give chat the controls
Fans can get involved by requesting songs and choosing fun challenges to tackle while you sing.

Show off your style
With tons of outfits and hairstyles, whether your avatar is on stage or in the crowd, the show will be perfect for you.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS Rampage VI Extreme Omega Motherboard on TweakTown.
  • ASUS TUF Gaming K7 Optical-Mech IP56 Gaming Keyboard on eTeknix.
  • Razer Goliathus Control & Speed Mouse Mat on TechPowerUp.


Out of the Blue

Normally Saturdays are quiet one-update affairs in the gaming world, but here's a reminder that Twitch is about to begin an EA Star Wars presentation with details on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, so there's at least one more new story to come today. May the Force be with you.

Forceful Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Rummy Card Game.
Stories: Electric scooters may not be around for long. Thanks RedEye9.
Switzerland wants to declare coffee nonessential for human survival. But the real story is even more dire.
The world's largest plane just flew for the first time.
Science: Source of Mystery E. Coli Outbreak That Sickened Over 100 May Be Ground Beef.
Doctors Use Electrical Implant to Aid Brain-Damaged Woman.
Media: Heroes Ep56 Volley Ball Lightning.
Skateboard Magic.
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Lands All Three Boosters.

Friday, Apr 12, 2019

Assetto Corsa Competizione Next Month

Assetto Corsa Competizione is set to take the green flag on May 29th. Publisher 505 Games and developer Kunos Simulazioni say that is when their Windows racing simulator will be officially released out of Early Access on Steam. They offer a new trailer with the announcement, showing off some of the high octane action from the game. They say: "Assetto Corsa Competizione will allow players to experience the real atmosphere of the FIA ​​GT3 homologated championship, including official drivers, teams, cars and circuits, reproduced in-game with the highest level of accuracy. Developed using Unreal Engine 4 to ensure a visual treat, Assetto Corsa Competizione sets a new standard in driving realism and immersion, including the introduction of variable weather conditions and night races to influence challenge and racing strategies." Here's more on the game, and what will distinguish the official release from its Early Access roots:

Virtual drivers will experience a simulation of the Blancpain GT Series by taking the wheel of one of the game’s featured luxury motorcars including Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins, or choose from a number of other prestigious GT racing cars, all replicated with an outstanding level of detail. Using LaserScan technology, every official circuit has been recreated with precision with the utmost accuracy, a level of detail appreciated by the real-life drivers of Blancpain GT Series who actively took part in the development process and use Assetto Corsa Compatizione to train before the actual races.

“We are well aware of the advantages given by the Steam Early Access program and with Assetto Corsa Competizione we have further improved interaction with the community during this essential phase,” said Marco Massarutto, co-founder, brand & product manager of Kunos Simulazioni. “This synergy allowed us to make changes, additions and improvements during the development stage, guaranteeing an even better driving and gaming experience at launch. The gallery of images that we’re sharing with this announcement was not realized by our studio, but was created directly by our players, to highlight not only the visual quality and the obsessive attention to details, but also the essential contribution and support that our community has been giving us for years now.”

The final version of Assetto Corsa Competizione will include the following key features:

  • MULTIPLAYER AND SINGLEPLAYER MODES: Assetto Corsa Competizione will have an advanced ranking system which will evaluate both individual performance and driving behavior, rewarding the most virtuous drivers and promoting fair play in online competitions. The effective matchmaking function will make sure that users can compete with opponents of similar skill level and easily find online races to join, while the leaderboards will allow the players to compare single-lap performance with drivers from all around the world with the same car, circuit and weather conditions. Career, Championship and Free Play modes will offer a complete and customizable gaming experience, suitable for players of every skill level.
  • CHAMPIONSHIP AND CAREER MODES: Assetto Corsa Competizione will include a brand-new Career Mode designed in collaboration with Lamborghini Squadra Corse and official driver Mirko Bortolotti – Blancpain GT Series champion 2017 – who will introduce players to the first driving tests, giving them precious suggestions to start their adventure in the Blancpain GT Series. This mode will allow users to create their own racing team to take on all driving tests and racing weekends with an astonishing level of realism and with the main objective of any professional driver: to win. Championship mode will allow to virtually reproduce the Blancpain GT Series Season in the shoes of one of the official drivers.
  • REALISTIC WEATHER CONDITIONS: Assetto Corsa Competizione will include competitions of different durations - from Sprint 60’ races to the famous Spa 24H Endurance race - which will give to players the chance to experience variable weather conditions during the whole race, influencing the track’s visibility and car handling. The possibility to set different weather conditions will help create races that are always different, with outcomes that are never given for granted.
  • THE MOST ACCURATE CIRCUITS: Thanks to LaserScan technology, every official circuit is recreated with the utmost accuracy: All curbs and details perfectly replicate their real counterparts, granting a gaming experience as faithful to reality as possible.
  • ADVANCED VISUAL AND AUDIO EFFECTS: Unreal Engine 4 will guarantee photorealistic rendering and an accurate representation of scenarios, car materials and weather conditions. Thanks to the multi-channel audio sampling of real GT cars, the game conveys captivating and immersive acoustic surroundings and realistic environmental effects.

Continue here to read the full story.

Warhammer: Chaosbane Trailer

A new trailer from Warhammer: Chaosbane paves the way for the release of the Warhammer action/RPG on June 4th. The clip introduces Elessa the Wood Elf, the last of the four playable characters in the game. Here's a bit on Elessa and her role:

Elessa the Wood Elf is a scout who proved herself in Magnus' army thanks to her mastery of long-distance combat and exceptional mobility.

Elessa has an arsenal of spells based on persistent damage, able to injure and poison a large group of enemies. She can also summon Forest spirits known as Dryads to help her in battle. Even when surrounded, her wide range of skills lets her turn the situation to her advantage: spells to slow down the hordes, dodge, or entangle.

Warhammer: Chaosbane offers a unique game mechanic, which can be activated by all 4 playable characters: by massacring the Chaos hordes, heroes can charge their Bloodlust meter by collecting red orbs. Once it’s full, the player can unleash their rage and activate new ultra-powerful skills. And for Elessa, that means a literal rain of arrows descending from the skies.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Op Ed - "Accessibility" and "difficulty" aren't the same thing.
"At the heart of what's become a completely unnecessarily contentious issue is a core distinction that many people are failing to make; the difference between 'accessibility' and 'difficulty.' Those most upset at the suggestion that Sekiro's difficulty excludes people unfairly are conflating those two ideas; they dismiss the entire argument as being about unskilled players demanding an "easy mode." Many treatises have been written and god knows how many hours of YouTube videos recorded to mock the idea of an easy mode in a From Software game -- an outright invasion of disingenuous and ill-informed straw man arguments, petulantly 'taking down' some imaginary legion of Bad Gamers who are trying to ruin Sekiro."

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Anno 1800 Open Beta Underway

The Anno 1800 open beta weekend is now underway. You can pick up a copy of the beta client through the Epic Games Store or the Ubisoft Official Store and play the game for free between now and Sunday. This post on Anno Union has all the details, including word that save games will not carry over, but there is an exclusive reward awaiting those who participate. There's no NDA, so players can feel free to share their experiences. Here's the open beta trailer and here's more:

Let’s talk Open Beta
The Open Beta is the perfect opportunity for you to test the game prior to its launch. Starting on April 12 and running until April 14, it will give everyone in the community a final chance to test Anno 1800 prior to its release on April 16.

Open Beta Game Content
You will be able to test a near-final version of the game and see the improvements since our Closed Beta for yourself, including access to the Multiplayer mode. Moreover, while game progression will again be capped at tier 3, we will for the first time invite you all to get your hands on Anno 1800’s story-based campaign, as the complete first Act will be part of the Open Beta.

There’s no NDA, so stream away
With this being an Open Beta, there won’t be a NDA. Therefore, you are not only allowed, but also in fact highly encouraged to share your experiences and to create content, whether it is streaming, videos or resource calculators!

Continue here to read the full story.

Conan Unconquered Gameplay Video

Conan Unconquered is due on Steam on May 30th, and publisher Funcom hopes to build anticipation for the survival/real-time strategy game with a new video. This is called "A Deeper Look at Gameplay," and it also features a deeper look up nostrils, as it features some webcam shots of the developers from Petroglyph playing their game. They also offer their thoughts, revealing a real love for the genre, and in some cases, Red Bull. Here's more:

Conan Unconquered is now less than 50 days away from launch! The real-time survival strategy game developed by the Command & Conquer veterans at Petroglyph and published by Funcom will crush its way onto the PC platform on May 30th. Today, Funcom and Petroglyph are releasing a brand-new video that goes in-depth on the gameplay in Conan Unconquered, with key developers explaining how the game is played and just what it takes to withstand the invading hordes.

Conan Unconquered is a fast-paced strategy game where players face wave after wave of enemies in ever-increasing numbers and difficulty. To withstand the savage hordes players must build an unconquerable stronghold and put up walls and other defensive measures to avoid utter destruction. While the game can be played entirely in single-player, two players can also play together online to build a shared stronghold while fending off the enemy hordes allowing for a unique, cooperative multiplayer experience.

Continue here to read the full story.

ENCODYA Announced

Chaosmonger Studio announces ENCODYA, a dystopian cyberpunk point-and-click adventure game expected for release late next year. This marks their entrance into the world of game development, as their previous work centers on film production. ENCODYA is based on their animated movie ROBOT WILL PROTECT YOU, which is shown off in this trailer. They offer this trailer from the game, which is from a gameplay test, and shows the influence of ROBOT WILL PROTECT YOU. They also say to expect a playable demo in late May or early June. Here are more details:

The sweetness and creativity of Studio Ghibli in a Blade Runner alike setting, with the humor and game style of Monkey Island…

Those are the ingredients for ENCODYA, an indie point’n’click adventure game under development, set in a dystopian cyberpunk world.

The game is developed by Nicola Piovesan and Chaosmonger Studio. It’s the first big game project for what is usually an award winning film production company. Coming from the world of cinema and animation, however, is a quality statement for important elements that should identify a video game, such as the story line, visual aesthetic, acting, music and sound immersion.

The adventure is inspired by a short film made by the same company and director, the award winning “Robot Will Protect You”, the trailer of which you can see from this YouTube link.

ENCODYA has the same main characters and setting. It’s 2062. Tina – a 9 years old orphan – lives with SAM-53 – her big clumsy robot guardian – on a rooftop makeshift shelter in Neo-Berlin, a dark megalopolis controlled by corporations. The protagonist is an urban jungle kid, which has learnt to live alone, scavenging dumpsters of the dystopian city, eking out a living of scraps. Her funny robot always with her, programmed to protect the girl no matter what. One day the little girl discovers that her father left her a very important mission: to finish his plan and save the world from its grayness! The two then start an incredible adventure, jumping into different realities, full of bizarre robotic creatures and grotesque human beings. Through lot of puzzles and exciting dialogues, they’ll find out the true meaning of being alive.

A first game play video – still incomplete and without voice acting – is visible from this YouTube link.

A free demo is planned to be released by end of May / early June 2019, while the full game is expected for late 2020.

Continue here to read the full story.

World War Z Launch Trailer

World War Z is will break out next week on April 16th with the release of World War Z, a new co-op third-person shooter based on the 2013 zombie movie and its now-cancelled sequel. The launch trailer is now online, showing off all sorts of swarming and shooting, and confirming they did not spring to license Brad Pitt's image for this (though they did pay for the rights to Edwin Starr's anti-war anthem War). You can preorder the game for all platforms through this page. Word is: "All pre-orders come with the free Lobo Weapon Pack, featuring three golden weapon skins and the dual-bladed Lobo spade." Here's more on the trailer and the game:

Discover World War Z's launch trailer before it releases on April 16 for PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC Saber Interactive and Focus Home Interactive have just released the new launch trailer for World War Z, the highly anticipated action-packed co-op shooter inspired by Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster film. Take a look at the explosive Launch Trailer, set to the song “War” covered by Black Stone Cherry, and prepare to outlive the dead in only four more days.

Powered by Saber’s dynamic Swarm Engine™, World War Z unleashes hundreds of fast-moving, bloodthirsty zombies – able to move and strike as one collective herd as well as break off into individual attackers – at a time on players. Choose from six distinct classes and an arsenal of deadly weapons, explosives, turrets and traps. Outlive the dead through intense four-player co-op campaign missions around the world, including New York, Jerusalem, Moscow and Tokyo, and battle both zombies and real human opponents in competitive, team-based Players vs. Players vs. Zombies (PvPvZ) multiplayer.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

This morning I did something I have not done since childhood, though it inspired far more pain than nostalgia. When I got up I realized we were out of coffee, so I popped off to the supermarket to pick up a bag of beans. Of course the danger of this mission is that it required operating a motor vehicle while under-caffeinated. I did drive carefully enough to avoid mishaps en route, but when I got out of the car, I managed to close my pinky in the door. This could have been so much worse, as if I really "slammed" it in the door, I'd be in the emergency room right now. As it is, I didn't manage to break the skin, much less any bones, so I guess lack of coffee left me in a weakened state. I do have a nasty near-black bruise as a badge of honor (badge of stupid? badge of clumsy?). It also hurts like crazy, so hopefully this instilled a lesson in me about being more careful in the future about closing car doors. Or at least about being more careful not to run out of coffee.

Under-Caffeinated Links: Thanks Ant.
Stories: A 7-Eleven owner caught a teen thief. Instead of calling 911, he asked him why. Thanks Kxmode.
Alaska's Ice Roads Are Melting Early This Year, With Devastating Consequences. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: Biologist Exposes Sushi Restaurants For False Labels For Their Ingredients. Thanks Max.
A private spacecraft from Israel crashed into the Moon Thursday. Here's a photo.
Reversing Cognitive Decline by Blocking a Single Protein. Thanks Max.
Media: Porcupines Give You 30,000 Reasons to Back Off.
How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole.
Stop with the nightmare fuel, Australia.
Umpire booed mercilessly for impeding 'bat dog' duties.
The Funnies: Keyboard Clicks - Dilbert.
Savage Chickens.

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