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Friday, Jul 12, 2019

The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut Next Month

The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut is an updated version of inXile's RPG sequel that's coming to Windows, Linux, macOS, on August 27th and to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 6th. This trailer celebrates the announcement of these launch dates, and this page has the details on what distinguishes this from the standard edition of the game:
Hidden in the shadows, an evil has waited patiently. Until now. Who will face the darkness if not you? A heroic adventure featuring 50+ hours of gameplay, 350 speaking parts, a Legacy Mode for returning fans, and over 100 pieces of incredible music!

Customize How You Play
Define the way you play, using sliders on numerous options such as saving (including “save anywhere”), the mini-map, waypoint markers and many more. Whether you seek a hardcore challenge, a lighter experience, or something in-between, the choice is yours.

Create the Hero You Want To Be
Play as Bard, Fighter, Practitioner, and Rogue, each featuring 60-70 skills and collectively unlocking 21 unique classes. Build an array of characters to make every playthrough a unique experience.

Craft your Party, Your Way
Start your party with a single character, recruiting or creating new heroes to bolster your ranks. Build a party that suits your play style!

An Adventure Around Every Corner
Explore towns full of quest givers, fight your way through dark and deadly dungeons, and navigate beautiful rolling hills, dense forests, ancient tombs, and icy wastes.

Outsmart Evil
Battle your enemies in dynamic, intuitive turn-based tactical combat, that rewards clever thinking. Use superior strategies, thoughtful positioning, and deadly combos to bring down your foes!

Unlock the Secrets of the Past
Unravel challenging mysteries. If your enemies don’t get you, the devious riddles and dangerous traps just might.

Elven Puzzle Weapons
The sense of discovery and mystery doesn’t stop with the environment. Gain ancient Elven weapons containing hidden powerful skills which you’ll need to uncover by carefully examining them.
Continue here to read the full story.

Streets of Rogue Released

Streets of Rogue is now out of Early Access for Windows, Linux, and macOS on Steam, and is also now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. Publisher tinyBuild is at no loss for words and genres in describing this as, "a rogue-lite co-op stealth shooter RPG brawler mega-game. It's like Nuclear Throne meets Deus Ex, mixed with the anarchy of GTA. Rogue-lite meets immersive sim, and goes completely insane." This post on Steam announces the release, and offers patch notes to outline what's changed following the conclusion of Early Access. We also have a launch trailer with a look at gameplay, and there are even more genres and comparisons in this description:
Streets of Rogue is a rogue-lite about player choice, freedom, and anarchic fun. The game takes inspiration from fast-paced top-down rogue-lites like Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne, and adds free-form, experimentation-driven, emergent gameplay elements of RPGs like Deus Ex.

Rather than taking place in a dungeon, the game is set in a functioning, procedurally generated city, where complex AI informs denizens from all walks of life, who are just trying to get by in their daily activities.

In order to progress, the player will need to accomplish specific mission goals in any way they see fit through use of their special character traits, items, and the environment.

  • Will you play as a soldier who shoots first and asks questions later?
  • A stealthy doctor who uses chloroform and tranquilizer darts to silently take down the opposition?
  • A genial bartender who can talk his way past the most intimidating of guards?
  • Or how about a hyper-intelligent gorilla, rescuing other caged gorillas to form a small mobilized gorilla army?

The Mighty Feature-List

  • Play the game YOUR way! Don’t want to kill anybody? That’s cool! Want to hack computers? Got ya covered!
  • Random world generation and TOTALLY EXTREME gameplay variety means you can play for 600 hours and not get bored! Seriously though, go outside!!!
  • Super-advanced artificial intelligence that won’t put up with your crap! Outsmart these virtual humans and feel superior to your computer!
  • Play as over 20 (and growing!) wildly different types of characters! Bartender, scientist, hacker, gorilla — hey, your job is probably in there too!
  • Stupidly huge variety of items! Shrink rays, hypnotizing devices, boomboxes, bear traps, food processors.. Oh, and guns too.
  • 4-Player online and local cooperative modes lets you brutalize goons AND loneliness!
  • Lead a gang, free slaves, drink beer, gib ghosts, become a vampire, shrink people and stomp on them. The most insanely varied game ever made.

Continue here to read the full story.

When I Was Young Demo

When I Was Young is a side-scrolling action/adventure set during the Vietnam War that's planned for release on Steam in Q4 of this year and to Switch at some point after that. Word is: "When I was young is the story of an ordinary American guy who went to the Vietnam war to find his lost in action brother. You have an exciting and risky journey into a world full of deadly dangers, whether it is a painterly jungle or charming city streets." If you can't wait to check this out you're in luck, as a playable demo is available to sample. Here's more on what this will offer:
When I was young is the story of an ordinary American guy who went to the Vietnam war to find his lost in action brother. You have an exciting and risky journey into a world full of deadly dangers, whether it is a painterly jungle or charming city streets. Help the hero go from a recruit to an experienced marine in search of the truth.

Key features:

  • Setting of the Vietnam War
  • Exciting storyline
  • Original pixel graphics
  • Exclusive soundtrack
  • Dynamic time changing
  • Realistic shooting
  • Different types of enemies and traps
  • Entourage of the 60s period
  • Full gamepad support

Torchlight Free on Epic Games Store

Torchlight is now available for free on the Epic Games Store as their latest promotional offering. This can be picked up gratis to keep for the next week, after which time Limbo will become the new freebie. Here's a refresher on this colorful action/RPG:
Legions of twisted creatures, emboldened by Ember, have begun to swarm up from the caves below the sleepy enclave of Torchlight. In this critically acclaimed Action-RPG, you’ll choose from three powerful heroes to adventure the depths for endless treasure and glory. Your adventure is unique, through randomly generated environments with new monsters, treasures, puzzles, and items each time.

G2A Proposes Key-Blocking Tool

Game key reseller G2A proposes a key-blocking tool for developers as a possible solution to the problem of review keys and giveaway keys being resold through their service. This is their promised follow up to developer backlash over their practices that spawned a petition asking them to stop selling indie titles. Their proposal involves developing a tool to allow developers to designate game keys as not eligible for resale. They say they will absorb the expense of programming this provided 100 developers sign up to show them the effort will be worthwhile. They say they are aware that some developers want them to stop selling keys altogether, but they try have the last word on that, saying, "Both sides have valid points and should respect each other’s arguments." Here's their proposal for a tool to prevent the unauthorized resale of review and giveaway keys:

Both issues can be solved using the tool we’re proposing. Here’s how it would work:

  • You, the developer, only need to get verified. All you have to do is prove that you can act in the name of the studio you’re representing, so that we can deter any impostors. Once your identity is confirmed, you will gain access to two separate sections.
  • The first of these is the “Review keys” part. Once you generate keys to be sent out for a review to various sources, all you would need to do is select your game in our panel and paste the keys you don’t want to pop up on our marketplace.
  • Once that’s done, each time anyone tries to sell a key for your game, our algorithm will check the keys you have provided us with. If there is a match, the seller will get a notification that the key has been blocked so that they can’t sell it.
  • The second section would be the “Giveaway” part. This panel works in the same way as the previous one – just fill in the keys you will be giving out that you don’t want sold before you start the giveaway.
  • If a seller tries to sell more than 3 keys that match the ones in the giveaway database, our system won’t allow that.

We have already made some calculations, and the development of such a solution will be time-consuming and expensive. We will cover all the costs, of course, but we just need to know that you, the developers, are going to use it. That’s why we ask you to register using this short form:

If at least 100 developers sign up within a month (until 15th of August; to assure transparency, the list will be public), we’ll start working on the key-checking tool, and of course let you know about the timeframe and other important details.

Please keep in mind that even without such a tool, we’re always ready and willing to help everyone on a daily basis through the means of a less technical approach. In other words: just write to the G2A Direct team and let them know if there is a problem.

We are aware that this proposal doesn’t solve all the issues. Many developers would like to permanently remove their games from the free market. While we understand their point of view, it’s not a black or white situation. Both sides have valid points and should respect each other’s arguments. G2A, like any other marketplace in the world, is to assure that independent sellers can offer the products they own for others to buy. This results in lower prices on games, electronics, gadgets and everything else gamers need.

Emberlight in Beta

Quarter Onion Games announces beta testing is underway for Emberlight, "a roguelike dungeon crawler that combines classic PC gameplay with a novel twist" that they plan on releasing on August 13th. They illustrate the news with this video showing off gameplay, though this features no commentary. Here's word on the game and that promise of novelty:
Emberlight is a true roguelike dungeon crawler, set in a world where the Gods have given you a great gift - and a great curse. Explore procedurally generated dungeons as a Knight of the Ember Order. Conquer the quests set out before your party, and uncover the lore of the land.

ABSORB
As a Knight of the Ember Order, you have the ability to absorb the abilities used by your enemies. Every ability used by enemies has a chance to be learned. This allows customization of each character towards whichever goals you have. But each absorbed ability has a cost...

CORRUPT
Every absorbed ability will corrupt your soul. You will slowly lose yourself to evil as the quest progresses. This expresses itself in unstable corruption traits which leads to metamorphosis into an evil being (such as a lich). And you will lose yourself to the corruption...

REPEAT
Each run will last between 30-60 minutes. After completing the quest, the most corrupted will kill off his former allies in an epic battle. This corrupted being will then begin attracting evil around them and will act as a boss in a future quest once their influence has expanded enough. They will have all the powers you have provided them during the run, providing a never-ending challenge in future runs. For every corrupted boss, a stronger party is required to defeat them. And the cycle repeats......forever?
Continue here to read the full story.

Taste of Power Next Month

Developer OneOcean announces an August 27th release date for Taste of Power, the medieval real-time strategy game currently in Early Access for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam. They accompany the news with this previously released video and the following details:
Taste of Power introduces a fictional confrontation between Europe, China and the Middle East for continental dominance. The game allows you build cities, recruit troops, study technologies, and fight large-scale warfare.

Each side in Taste of Power have their own particular skills, defensive tactics, artillery, and means of transport. In addition, the game features three different game modes –Art of War, Skirmishes and Survival.

Taste of Power appeared in Early Access in December, 2018. The Full Version of the game will contain new maps and more modes such as multiplayer and campaign. The interface, the graphics and the music will also be improved overall.
Continue here to read the full story.

Lightstep Chronicles Next Month

Eipix Entertainment announces Lightstep Chronicles will be released on Steam on August 1st, offering an "atmospheric narrative adventure" based on a series of Dark Horse Comics. This trailer offers a look at gameplay, and there's also a playable demo for Windows with the game's first chapter on Game Jolt. Here's a full description:
Lightstep Chronicles is a dark sci-fi text-based adventure set on the alien vessel with an insane AI as your captor.

You play as a military captain exploring an off-world underground crashsite. You discover an ancient spaceship of alien technology and imperial livery, and are then whisked away on an intergalactic adventure of trying to stay alive and relevant in a spaceship that clearly has a hidden agenda. At the heart of Lightstep Chronicles is a text-based adventure, allowing you to communicate with the ship's AI, a manic creature that seems to be at war with itself.

Lightstep Chronicles is set in stunning futuristic art deco off-world locations, sharing the universe of the Dark Horse Comics series Lightstep. The game focuses on the thin line between humanity and artificial intelligence, and the very nature of transcendence.
Continue here to read the full story.

Starbase Videos

Frozenbyte continues to crank out videos from Starbase to show off more of this upcoming space combat and exploration game. This video is called "The Beginning," as it offers a chance to look into the void and have the void look back into you. The description of this is five words: "At first there was nothing..." Then there's this clip, called "Rental Lots," as it illustrates some of the outer space real estate options the game will include. Here's word on that:
This episode focuses on what you can do with your hard earned money if you start feeling like getting yourself a place to call home... whether it be a lot at a megastation, or your very own starbase!

Having your own place allows for many other practicalities. Your can get your own landing platform to keep your ship safe, build storage space for storing items or create a place to set up your own business, whatever it may be.
Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

  • VG247 - Game developers, it’s time to stop listening to the fans.
    "There’s a quote that’s often attributed to Henry Ford around the dawn of commercial motor vehicles: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” People are generally afraid of change. New ideas always get a bit of pushback – it makes me worry whether this environment of fan feedback development is holding back triple-A game development from reaching its true potential."

Hardware Reviews

  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 and Radeon RX 5700 XT Graphics Cards on LanOC Reviews.
  • ASUS ROG STRIX X570-E Gaming Motherboard on Vortez.
  • Cooler Master MASTERAIR Ma620P CPU Cooler on TweakTown.
  • Cooler Master MasterKeys MK730 Keyboard on Overclocked Inside. German.
  • Corsair NightSword RGB gaming mouse on Guru3D.
  • GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTER Motherboard on Vortez.
  • Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset on WIRED.
  • MSI GE75 Raider Laptop on AnandTech.
  • Noctua NH-U12A CPU Cooler on AnandTech.
  • PC Specialist Vulcan PBA PC on Vortez.

Out of the Blue

MrsBlue and I will head off today to get new driver's licenses with our new address. When we planned to move we knew there would be some arduous tasks involved, including buying, selling, packing, unpacking, and more. But if we realized it would involve a trip to the DMV, it might have been a show-stopper. Oh well, the die has been cast. Wish us luck!

Lucky Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Amidst the Sky.
Idle Monster Frontier.
Links: Who Is Ace Watkins? 2020 Candidate Hopes to Be America's First Gamer President.
Stories: The Day the Music Died. Thanks Digg.
Science: An 'EpiPen' for spinal cord injuries. Thanks Max.
Savage tick-clone armies are sucking cows to death; experts fear for humans.
The trillion-dollar taboo- why it’s time to stop ignoring mental health at work. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: Where does NASA keep the Moon Rocks?
Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House.
Watch Bed Bugs Get Stopped in Their Tracks.
Follow-up: Waltz's Blofeld Returning For "Bond 25."
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