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Tuesday, Jun 18, 2019

  

They Are Billions Released

Steam News announces the release of They Are Billions on Steam, saying the Windows post-apocalyptic steampunk strategy game carries a 10% launch discount. This is set on a distant planet, reminding us that our universe contains billions and billions of stars. The game was previously in Early Access, and this trailer shows off the new campaign that's part of its official launch. Here's the pitch:

They Are Billions is a strategy game in a distant future about building and managing human colonies after a zombie apocalypse destroyed almost all of human kind. Now there are only a few thousand humans left alive that must struggle to survive under the threat of the infection. Billions of infected roam around the world in massive swarms seeking the last living human colonies.

Lead the campaign under the orders of Quintus Crane, ruler of the New Empire, and reconquer the lands devastated by the infected.

  • 48 missions with more than 60 hours of gameplay.
  • Build fortified colonies to survive in infected territories
  • Destroy the swarms of infected with the Imperial Army.
  • Make your colonies evolve with more than 90 available technologies.
  • Explore the ancient human fortresses with your Hero.
  • Discover the story behind the apocalypse... how did the pandemic start?

Continue here to read the full story.

Espire 1 – VR Operative Announced

Tripwire Interactive announces Espire 1 – VR Operative, a VR stealth simulator "with a focus on player volition" coming to most VR systems in August. The Espire 1 Website has details on this along with a trailer showing what to expect, promising full freedom of movement without motion sickness. Here's the pitch:

Designed to deliver the definitive VR stealth experience, Espire 1: VR Operative drafts players as drone operators of the future. Players become “Espire Agents” and use cutting edge Virtual Reality hardware to remote-operate the Espire model 1 from the safety of their “Control Theatre.”

The technology behind the “Control Theatre” and the game’s approach to movement lie at the heart of Espire 1: VR Operative’s gameplay and intuitive VR control system. Any time a player performs any artificial locomotion, the game world shrinks down to the size of a floating tablet, with the Control Theatre visible in the player’s peripheral vision. This “VR within VR” system allows for precise, full freedom movement, while maintaining immersion, and eliminating “VR motion sickness” for almost everyone. The Control Theatre is fully customizable to suit the player’s level of comfort, and can be fully disabled for those already comfortable moving in VR.

This unprecedented freedom of movement allows the title’s stealth and action gameplay mechanics shine. Make sure to check out our press kit for series of curated gameplay gifs, showing an Espire Agent stealing a guards gun to neutralize him, using the voice command “Freeze” to immobilize a guard, throwing a spare ammunition clip to cause a distraction, and activating bullet time to headshot multiple guards while dropping down from the ceiling.

Espire 1: VR Operative Key Features Include:

  • The definitive VR stealth experience: Espire 1 brings the stealth genre to the exciting medium of Virtual Reality, delivering gameplay mechanics for the stealth and action genres that have yet to be explored.
  • Full freedom of movement: Espire 1 allows players the freedom to move anywhere within their virtual environment, moving, climbing, and falling with full comfort and no motion sickness for almost all players.
  • Complete single-player story, rich in detail: Espire 1 is being developed as a dedicated single player VR experience with individual story missions and scenario missions that use the story mission environments for short challenges.
  • Voice control: Using the VR headset’s onboard microphone, you can make commands and perform actions simply by speaking. The noises you make could draw the enemy to your location – use this to your advantage.
  • Arsenal of weapons and gadgets: As an Espire 1 VR Operative you will have access to dozens of unique gadgets and weapons such as a tranquilizer pistol and deployable spy cameras in order to complete your mission objectives.
  • Global Leaderboard: A worldwide tally awards players a competitive score based on mission time, movement, stealth, ammo conservation, takedowns and other factors.
  • Intuitive controls that mimic real life: Interaction in this game aims to be natural and intuitive. Instead of memorizing dozens of button combinations for every action, you perform them as you would in real life. You can crouch and enter cover by physically using your body.
  • Smart AI: Enemy combatants in this game actively hunt the player. The AI responds to sight, sound, and other stimuli and will react to with varying levels of suspicion based on your physical stance, movement speed, cover and relative location.

Continue here to read the full story.

ARK: Survival Evolved Valguero Expansion Released

The promised free Valguero expansion for is now available on Steam for ARK: Survival Evolved, the Windows, macOS, and Linux survival game (which is currently on sale on Steam). Here's word on the new map that this introduces:

Survivors, come explore a vast and diverse 63 km map with a multitude of new land to build on! Witness familiar ARK creatures in an expansive environment and meet, Deinonychus, ARK’s newest feathered theropod, found only in Valguero.

Explore new heights and hidden depths; whether it’s creating your foundations in the White Cliffs or unearthing the secrets of the Aberration Trench, Valguero offers a new experience in the ARK universe. With new biomes, challenging dungeon bosses, and mysterious ruins to discover, there’s always something exciting — and dangerous — on Valguero. Among its more than 60 kilometers, you’ll find everything from lush jungles to environmental hazards, snowfields to lava flows, and savannahs to hot springs.

Step into a brand new ARK experience where the classic ARK gameplay melds with a new adventure - Valguero!

Citizens of Space Launch

SEGA announces the release of Citizens of Space, the promised sequel to Citizens of Earth. This is available for Windows and consoles, with the PC edition offered on Steam. The Launch Trailer offers a look at the game's goofball style, and the description outlines what to expect:

As the former Ambassador of Earth, you find yourself out of a job after Earth suddenly goes missing. Unite your galactic Citizens and lead the charge across the galaxy to find out who is responsible and bring them to justice so you can get back to your cushy job as an Ambassador. Find out more by checking out our launch trailer!

Citizens of Space Features:

  • Citizens Unite!--You have access to 40 recruitable Citizens, each with their own role to fill in and out of combat. Everything has been streamlined so you'll spend a lot less time managing and more time leading your Citizens!
  • A Brand-New Battle System--Put your skills to the test in a newly-designed combat system where your ability to leverage timing and reflex-based minigames make all the difference between a landslide victory and a concession speech.
  • New Worlds of Exploration--It's not just Earth in trouble this time! Journey from your home planet to a variety of humorous, wacky worlds, each brought to life with vivid art and organic environments.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Man straps GoPro to a turtle and gets some incredible footage. Now I want to play a turtle simulation.

R.I.P.: Bluepoint co-founder Andy O'Neil dies.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Dawns

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam, offering a Windows side-scrolling action/RPG from Koji Igarashi (Iga), father of the Igavania genre. Versions are also out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with a Switch edition expected next week. This project raised over $5.5 million on Kickstarter, breaking Pillars of Eternity's Kickstarter funding record for a game project. A new Launch Trailer accompanies the release, offering word from Iga in Japanese, but with English subtitles. Here's word on the game:

Conceived by the legendary Koji Igarashi, the renowned godfather of the beloved Igavania genre, and featuring music by Mirichu Yamane (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) and Ippo Yamada (Resident Evil), Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a modern, side-scrolling action RPG experience that will satisfy long-time fans of Iga’s previous work, as well as entice players new to his legacy. Everything in Bloodstained is rendered in loving 3D detail on a 2D side-scrolling environment that evolves as players progress through the biggest game map of his career, giving them more to explore and enjoy.

Set in 18th century England, where a paranormal force has summoned a demon-infested castle, revealing crystal shards infused with tremendous magical power, players of Bloodstained take on the role of Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist curse which slowly crystallizes her body, enabling her to use spells, weapons, special items and abilities to tailor the game to their playstyle. To save humanity and herself, Miriam must fight through the castle while collecting, crafting and unlocking a vast array of weapons, equipment and loot to defeat the summoner Gebel and the countless minions and bosses of hell that await.

Continue here to read the full story.

PUBG BP Currency Rework Plans

Dev Letter on BP Ecosystem Improvement discusses plans to change this in-game currency for PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS. They discuss how changes to the BP system last year have triggered inflation, saying they plan to offer new options for spending BP to help the currency "regain its diminishing value." Here's the thrust of the plan:

Direction of improvement
We want your time spent in PUBG to be valuable and thus wanted BP to be able to purchase some cool new items on all platforms. The goal for these items is to provide something everyone can work towards, from smaller items like costumes, all the way up to a couple bigger items that won’t come cheap, but celebrate the skill of a player with that much BP lying around. The first of the new BP items will start to appear with the June patch for PC version and there is no planned time for removal from the store, meaning you can take your time and save up for what you want! In addition, we’re planning on letting you use BP in some other ways as well. For example, we’re exploring changing out some of the upcoming Survivor Pass missions more often at the cost of BP.

Of course, we’ll continue to look at additional ways that we can let you get the most out of your hard earned currency. If things go well as our dev team envisions that BP would become more effective, our next step would be considering how to diversify channels through which both our PC and console players can acquire BP beyond only earning it as gameplay rewards in the long-term.

Diner Bros - Sushi Bros Released

Diner Bros - Sushi Bros is now available on Steam, offering the promised new DLC for Diner Bros, the Windows restaurant simulation. This offers the chance to serve your hungry customers some poison poison tasty fish and other exotic delights. This will also bring you new customers to serve and beat up, as shown in the announcement trailer, as well as a new competitive game mode that's now part of the base game. Here are the details:

Japanese food is all the rage now, and that’s why you've decided to expand your diner after your burgers and pizzas became the most famous in town. How difficult can sushi be then? It’s just raw fish and rice after all! You thought it would be easy, but now your restaurant is full of wannabe kabuki actors, divas in kimono dresses and even hungry sumo wrestlers. Your cousin is late with his delivery, and you just found out you have to catch your own fish… Where’s all that Asian mindfulness when you need it? Welcome to Sushi Bros!

KEY FEATURES

  • Cook brand new Japanese recipes: rice, edamame, maki, sashimi, nigiri, grilled fish, yakitori, soy sauce… and of course, sushi!
  • Serve new drinks: tea and sake
  • Expand your restaurant with a fishing pier…
  • …and catch your own fish!
  • Attend to 4 new special customers, including Mr. Kabuki and Princess Hime
  • New equipment and items for your kitchen
  • Play against your friends with the new split-screen versus mode! (Included in the base game for free!)

Continue here to read the full story.

SUCCUBUS Trailer

Madmind Studio offers the Official Selfie Trailer (NSFW) for SUCCUBUS, their upcoming spin-off for Agony, their action/horror game. This introduces Vydija, the game's titular Succubus. The selfie part refers to plans to promote the game through Vydija's NSFW Twitter Account: "Along with the new trailer, we are launching a social media campaign in which players will be able to make direct contact with the main character of the game. Thanks to the phone that went straight into her cave, Vydija has a connection with our human world and is running her own account on Twitter, sharing additional bits of information from the game's world as well as her thoughts on various topics." Here's more:

The main character of the game is Succubus Vydija. Wild and evoking the desire in her victims' demon, whose story started in the original – Agony and Agony UNRATED, where she received her own single-player campaign.

With the disappearance of the rightful rulers of hell, the remaining demons have chosen their new ruler – the only soul who could dominate the mind of the mighty Beast. Raising their new empire from the corpses of sinners helped the new king, Nimrod, and his queen Vydija, to control the chaos left by the former overlord.

However, the new, honorable title of the queen of hell proved not to be the best match with the savage nature of Succubus. She gave up the luxury of walking on carpets sewn from the skins of martyrs, choosing to live her life in the wild instead, finding her simple pleasures in hunting.

When satisfying her primal instincts, the new queen crosses her roads with the powerful Baphomet who, along with his army, is pursuing the soul of King Nimrod. Being humiliated and betrayed by her own species, the heroine regains her strengths with only one clear target – REVENGE!

Continue here to read the full story.

Esports Life Tycoon Launch Trailer

Esports Life Tycoon is set to launch on Steam in two days, and the Esports Life Tycoon Launch Trailer is now online to raise the hype for this simulation of "the exciting day-to-day of professional esports players." Here's more on the game:

In Esports Life Tycoon, players will have to manage their own esports team, hire the best players, train superstars and deal with distractions and critical events before every match. This is a tycoon that will let players explore esports from a very different perspective. Esports Life Tycoon will let you focus on more than gaming. You'll have to take care of your players' needs, expand your team and gaming houses to win major tournaments around the world with only one goal in mind: to become the greatest esports team ever.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce on Modders-Inc.
  • Apacer NOX RGB DDR4 RAM on Vortez.
  • ASRock Z390 Steel Legend Motherboard on Guru3D.
  • ASUS AX92U Wi-Fi 6 Mesh on TweakTown.
  • CORSAIR M55 RGB PRO Ambidextrous Multi-Grip Gaming Mouse on Nikk Tech.
  • MSI GE75 Raider Laptop on TechSpot.
  • Reolink Argus Eco WiFi Camera on OverclockersClub.
  • Seagate Backup Plus Portable 5TB & Backup Plus Slim 2TB on AnandTech.
  • VicTsing MM057 Wireless Mouse on TechPowerUp.

etc.

Out of the Blue

It seems we finally have set dates for moving the BlueTower. According to the plan, we will sell our current home a week from today and buy our new one a week from Thursday. But the process has been so fraught with setbacks, this is one of those I'll believe it when I see it dealies. Presuming this all does go off as planned, it will make for a complicated week, which will involve packing up and moving out the remainder of our stuff on Monday, spending a couple of days in the middle of the week in a hotel, moving some of our stuff in on Friday, but probably having to wait a few days or more to get whatever else we already have in storage delivered. It certainly will be a relief when all the dust settles, but it's still seems like a long way to go before we get to that point.

Mobile Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Exit 84.
Stories: Warners Wins Bidding For Bad Robot.
Science: Astronomers Have Spotted a New Crater on Mars That's Like Nothing They've Ever Seen. Not even a TV logo.
Can Marijuana Help Cure the Opioid Crisis? Thanks j.c.f.
'Flesh-Eating' Bacteria May Be Spreading to Beaches Once Thought Off-Limits. Here's Why. Thanks RedEye9.
Media: The Boys - Official Trailer (NSFW). Thanks Neutronbeam.
DANGEROUS Road to Munsiyari, Uttarakhand - Himalayan Roads. Thanks Boing Boing.
Crazy Cricket Commentary, Animated.
Follow-up: Can gut bacteria cause autism (in mice)? Thanks Max.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.



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