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Wednesday, Aug 28, 2019

  

Infinite Falls Fires Designer & Cancels Game Over Abuse Allegation

Night In The Woods Twitter has a series of posts saying that developer Infinite Falls is cutting ties with Alec Holowka, who was coder, composer, and co-designer on Night In The Woods, following the allegation he abused Zoë Quinn (thanks IGN). They say they agonized over this, but take such allegations seriously. As a result they are postponing a planned limited run edition of Night In The Woods and cancelling an unannounced project. Here are the tweets with all the details:

This week, allegations of past abuse have come to light regarding Alec Holowka, who was coder, composer, and co-designer on Night In The Woods. We take such allegations seriously as a team. As a result and after some agonizing consideration, we are cutting ties with Alec.

We are cancelling a current project and postponing the Limited Run physical release. The iOS port is being handled by an outside company and supervised by Finji and will remain in development.

We’ve received a lot of emails and messages in the past few days, often very hurt and angry. That’s also how we feel. This has been very, very tough.

I should say that I’m Scott. Hello. I run this account. I was the artist, lead animator, co-designer, co-writer, and the guy who wrote almost all of that dialogue in the game. Bethany’s here too, she was co-writer and researcher.

Much of Night In The Woods is pulled pretty directly from our lives. Bethany is from a tiny valley in central PA. I’ve lived out here in Western PA for about 20 years. The characters are us, and people we’ve known. The places are ones we know.

Thousands of people have connected with Night In The Woods in a very personal way. We can’t tell you how to feel about any of this. Whatever you’re feeling is valid. Your experience with art is yours. What it means to you is yours, regardless of anything else.

Going forward, Night In The Woods will be handled by Bethany and I. We’re not sure what that all means yet. This stuff takes time.

Thanks for your support over the years. We’re sorry to even have to say any of this. That’s all I can say at the moment. Thank you for your patience.

World War Z Proving Grounds Update and Biohazard Bundle Released

A new Proving Grounds Update is now available for World War Z, rounding out the first season of free content for this four-player co-op zombie shooter. This comes alongside some paid content, as Focus Home Interactive and Saber Interactive also now offer the Biohazard Bundle on the Epic Games Store, which features three weapon skins and a tomahawk axe. A post on the Focus Forums discusses the release, and offers a Proving Grounds Update Trailer with a look. Here's the news:

Saber Interactive, in partnership with Focus Home Interactive, has released the free Proving Grounds update for World War Z, the action-packed co-op shooter inspired by Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster film. The update features Weekly Challenge mode, a separate playlist with unique gameplay modifiers (e.g., “all weapons are replaced with crossbows” or “players take damage if they’re too close to each other”) designed to dramatically change your play style and keep the struggle against the undead dangerous and exciting each week.

Completing the weekly challenge rewards players with a new currency that can be spent on character customization options like color schemes, headgear, backpack attachments and more. The update also includes the new FN FAL battle rifle, as well as a variety of game fixes and quality-of-life improvements.

In addition, players can now purchase the “Biohazard Bundle” DLC bundle for $4.99, featuring three new weapon skins and a tomahawk axe.

The Proving Grounds update rounds out the first season of free content for World War Z, which included “The Undead Sea” Tokyo mission and the six-skulls extreme difficulty setting for all chapters. Season two, coming soon, will add a new survival mode, PvE maps, special zombie, gameplay updates, and even more skins.

Continue here to read the full story.

Din's Legacy Released

Soldak Entertainment announces that Din's Legacy has graduated from Early Access, and their action/RPG sequel is now officially available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. This is available wherever Din's Legacy's are sold, which is the Soldak Store, Steam, or the Humble Store, and each site offers a 10% launch discount for the next week. Here's a video showing the game in action, and here's a full description of what this is all about:

Soldak Entertainment today announced Din's Legacy has been released.

Din's Legacy is an action RPG with mutating characters, set in a dynamic, evolving, fantasy world for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

During the Orc Schism, the entire Orc race was violently split into Dark Orcs, Zombielords, and the Mutated. The Mutated are tainted with Orc blood, a zombie parasite, and necromancer magic. This makes people seriously mistrust and even fear them. The fact that they slowly mutate over time makes it even worse. Who is going to trust you when you grow horns overnight?

Despite all of this, the Mutated are actually more closely related to the Elves, both their behavior and physically. They want to prove this to the world, but they are facing a tremendous uphill battle.

The trickster god Din was intrigued by their chaotic mutations and burning desire to prove themselves to the world. Always in need of champions, he made a pact with the Mutated. Each volunteer would become one of his champions trying to save the world wherever Din sends them. In return, each time they die in his service he resurrects them to continue their service.

Din's Legacy, as well as the Mutated's and yours, are all in your hands! Can you be the Champion that is needed?

Features:

  • Experience your character mutating over time for good and bad
  • Guide your character's evolution (choosing/improving skills, suppressing unwanted mutations, etc)
  • Use mutation points to mutate your character towards another character or sub-class
  • Uniquely created worlds for every game, with different scenario, win/lose conditions, areas, monsters, items, and quests, give the player a new experience every time
  • Explore a dynamic, evolving, living world
  • Your choices truly impact the game
  • Co-op multiplayer to adventure with friends

Continue here to read the full story.

Hunters Arena: Legends Cinematic

The time for new MOBAs may arguably be passed, and the market for battle royale games may be oversaturated, but what about a MOBA and battle royale combination? That's the pitch for Hunters Arena: Legends, an Unreal Engine 4 game described as a MOBA/battle royale/RPG hybrid. Word is this is about to enter alpha testing, and Korean developer Mantisco now offers a new cinematic trailer "which highlights the stylish actions in PvP and PvE combat." The game has a Steam Listing which has the following description:

They say that after the battle between the gods & demons, the gods won and sealed the demons inside the Demons Tombstone. Humans were no longer a pray.
But as you probably guessed, that didn’t last long. Those who were in favor of chaos, destroyed the tombstone and the demons came back to hunt mankind once again.

But every hunter is also someone’s pray and so, demon hunters around the kingdom decided to combine their strength to rebuild the Demons Tombstone.
Their plan is simple yet deadly. They plan to gather a large group of demons in one place and activate the Demons Tombstone's trap: a deadly magical wall that kills anything that stands in its way. No one is safe. The magical wall needs victims in order to work. Only the last survivor can harness the wall’s magic, re-build the tombstone, seal the remaining demons & bring a new era of hope. The question is, what is YOUR fate?

Unparalleled fighting style
Enjoy the movie-like martial art combat system, and outsmart your enemies using attacks/blocks and other amazing moves the game has to offer.

Battle Royal Mode
Survive among 60 players and 10,000 monsters!Farming, Upgrading, Raiding, Dungeons and PvP action - try this MMORPG-like experience within just a 30 minutes game session!

It’s not just a Battle Royale with an RPG combat system, it’s a full-scale RPG available in a Battle Royale mode.
Utilize teamwork in party play and backstab your enemies!

Character
Over 10 Different characters with unique skills. Combat system that rewards kiting and utilizing different play styles that have their strengths and weaknesses against each other.

Continue here to read the full story.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Next Week

Activision announces the Spyro Reignited Trilogy will make its way onto Windows on September 3rd, when this remastered three-pack of Spyro games arrives on Steam. Here's a bit on the release that includes word on a livestream that will celebrate the occasion:

To celebrate Spyro’s 21 years of saving the Dragon Realms with a remastered twist, lead developer Toys For Bob is inviting fans to tune in to a special live stream on Games Done Quick’s Twitch Channel at 10 a.m. PT on Sept. 3. During the stream, fans will get a dragon’s-eye view into how the studio is commemorating the launch of the game on these two platforms and how players can join in on the fun.

The Spyro Reignited Trilogy features the memorable and exciting gameplay that fans will remember from the ‘90s but in beautiful, HD graphics. The trilogy features over 100 levels, enhanced reward sequences, Spyro’s crew of eccentric pals (including Sparx the Dragonfly, Hunter, Sheila, Agent 9 and Sgt. Byrd) and much more! The trilogy also provides players an enhanced experience with beautifully rendered environments, enhanced controls and awe-inspiring cinematics for added flare in these epic adventures.

Continue here to read the full story.

Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and the Lion King This Fall

Publisher Nighthawk Interactive and developer Digital Eclipse announce they are bringing Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and the Lion King to PC and consoles on October 16th, offering upscaled graphics and other improvements for both of these old-timey 16-bit games. Here's an Announcement Trailer with a look-see, and here's word:

On Oct 29, the 16-bit magic of Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King games, complete with new features and enhancements, will be re-released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and PC. Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King will include the fan-favorite versions of each original title, featuring upscaled graphics to support high definition displays and additional upgrades to enhance playability on current consoles. The collection also includes a brand-new “final cut” of Aladdin and an original Aladdin “tradeshow demo” that has not been publicly available since 1993.

Fans will be able to revisit these beloved games and take advantage of a variety of modern support options, including instant save states, a “Rewind" button to jump back up to 15 seconds, level select, invulnerability, infinite lives, and an “Interactive Game Viewer.” The Interactive Game Viewer enables players to view full game playthroughs, with the ability to skip forward, jump in, and start playing at any point.

In addition, Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and the Lion King features:

  • Authentic Game Content with Modern Improvements – Fans old and new can enjoy the original game builds, upscaled graphics, customizable controls, special filters for visual enhancement and more.
  • Variety of Game Versions – The collection includes multiple playable platform versions of the games including their Sega Genesis, Game Boy and Super Game Boy releases, as well as The Lion King Super Nintendo Entertainment System version.
  • A Helping Hand – Players who want to experience the Disney magic in true “Hakuna Matata” fashion can use the Interactive Game Viewer, Rewind feature and cheat codes to aid gameplay progression.
  • Curated, Explorable Museum – A treasure trove of behind-the-scenes development assets including interviews, an art gallery and a music player shares the rich history behind the Aladdin and The Lion King 16-bit games.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Multiplex

Evening Crowdfunding

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

The Surge 2 Combat Trailer; Play The Surge for Free

Publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Deck13 offer a new Combat Trailer for The Surge 2 showing off the hardcore action/RPG sequel in, well, action. The game is expected on September 24th, and they are offering preorders on their website. To help inspire interest, they are offering the chance to play the original The Surge on Steam today and tomorrow, and are offering a 75% off discount between now and Thursday. Here are the details:

The Surge 2 shows off its blood-pumping combat in the Combat Trailer

The Surge 2 brings hardcore action-RPG combat to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 24 – less than a month to go!
Depth, challenge, and choice of playstyle define the combat in The Surge 2, highlighted by Deck13 and Focus Home Interactive in today’s Combat Trailer. Start your path to mastering The Surge 2 by honing your skills in the original The Surge, available for free on Steam until August 29. The game and its DLCs can be purchased at up to 75% off until August 30.

In The Surge 2 you are thrust into Jericho City, a dystopian sci-fi megacity under quarantine
, where several factions vie for dominance over the various districts. In this urban jungle, you will be hunted by everything from religious cultists to nanomonstrosities, so you must embrace the oldest law known to humankind – evolve to survive. When faced with an enemy, target specific parts of their body and slice off tech you need to upgrade your exo-rig.

The combat is intense. With 80 weapons to choose from, a directional parry system, dodge mechanics, drones, and a huge range of brutal execution moves, you can approach combat in the way that suits your playstyle. Charge in and pound your enemies into submission with punching gloves or sting like a bee using the spear.

Pre-orders are now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and come with the URBN Gear Pack, which includes a new armor set, two new weapons, and other cosmetics and equipment. The Surge 2 releases September 24. The original The Surge is free to try until August 29 on Steam and can be purchased at up to 75% off until August 30.

Continue here to read the full story.

Telltale Games Revival

A holding company called LCG Entertainment announces the purchase of the assets of defunct developer Telltale Games, saying they will rerelease some of their previous titles and to create new titles under the brand. The purchasing group comprises familiar game industry names, including Jamie Ottilie, Brian Waddle, Chris Kingsley, Lyle Hall, Tobias Sjögren, and publishing partner Athlon Games, along with "several additional partners." They also say that "key talent" from the original company has been hired or contracted for the new Telltale. The Telltale Games Website now brandishes an LCG Entertainment copyright notice, and they are planning a conference call later today from Gamedaily Connect USA to discuss the news. Here are all the details:

LCG Entertainment, a holding company that will be doing business as Telltale Games, today announced that it has purchased the defunct studio’s key assets, trademarks, technology, and select intellectual properties with the intent of re-releasing select games from the studio’s back catalog and developing new games in some of the company’s best-selling brands. The purchase, led by Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, was made possible by a pool of investors and advisors comprised of well-known names in the games industry including Chris Kingsley, Lyle Hall, Tobias Sjögren, Athlon Games (as a shareholder and publishing partner), and several additional partners.

Originally founded in 2004, Telltale Games became synonymous with storytelling, pioneering the episodic game format, and changing the way the games medium embraced narrative. Following a string of successful and award-winning game series based on television and film licenses and original IPs, the game developer and publisher shuttered in October of last year, leaving disappointed fans in its wake.

“All of us were big fans of the games Telltale created, as we strongly believe in games as a storytelling medium and nobody did it better,” said Jamie Ottilie, CEO of the new Telltale Games. “Even now, when you see a game with strong narrative, it’s always compared to Telltale, so it’s no surprise that players and industry colleagues alike mourned the studio’s closure. We believe there is still so much life to the brand and its franchises, and we look forward to building upon the company’s storytelling legacy.”

The new Telltale Games will be headquartered in Malibu with a satellite office in Corte Madera, California. Day-to-day operations will be handled by Ottilie and Waddle, with Ottilie responsible for studio management and technology, and Waddle running business development, finance, and operations. Both will work closely with Athlon, who will serve as the marketing and publishing partner on most of the company’s back catalog and new releases, freeing up Telltale to focus on development and studio growth.

Key talent from the original company has been hired or contracted by the new Telltale. The new company will be based on a streamlined structure with plans for strategic growth and a focus on its core and new IP’s. No further details are being released about the Telltale assets purchase price. News regarding the reissue of specific back catalog titles and new games in existing IP’s will be announced in the coming weeks.

“There is still a huge fanbase of Telltale players and that’s one of the main reasons we decided to make this investment,” said Brian Waddle, chief revenue officer for the new Telltale Games. “It’s hard to see your favorite games disappear or not get the sequels they deserve, so we thank everyone for their patience and support. We’ve got some exciting things to share soon. We’ll try not to keep them waiting too long, but we think fans will be pleased.”

GameDaily Connect is hosting a fireside chat with Jamie Ottilie discussing the relaunch of Telltale Games today at its conference at 4:30 pm in the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. To learn more about the new Telltale Games, please visit www.Telltale.com.

Borderlands 3 Includes Free Fortnite Content; Reveals System Specs

A post on the Epic Games Store announces the Fortnite Psycho Bundle that's part of the just-launched Borderlands-themed Fortnite x Mayhem event will be included for free along with purchases of Borderlands 3 between now and the end of 2020. On a related note, post on the Borderlands Website outlines complete system specifications for Borderlands 3 along with details on PC-specific graphics features and settings for the action/RPG sequel. Word is:

No matter which platform you use to play Borderlands 3, all the on-screen mayhem is going to look fantastic, with plenty of chaotic carnage and flashy Action Skills fighting for your attention during the heat of battle. But all you PC players out there can fine-tune the visuals even further via Borderlands 3's extensive graphics settings, letting you perfectly match the visual fidelity to your personal preferences and the power of your rig. If you want to get the most out of your machine and maintain smooth framerates with tons of graphics settings turned up, here's a handy list of recommended specs, featuring AMD Ryzen and AMD Radeon hardware:

MINIMUM SPECS 1080p Gaming

  • OS – Windows 7/8/10 (latest service pack)
  • Processor – AMD FX-8350 (Intel i5-3570)
  • Memory – 6GB RAM
  • Graphics card – AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB)
  • HDD – 75 GB

RECOMMENDED SPECS 1440P Gaming

  • OS – Windows 7/8/10 (latest service pack)
  • Processor – AMD Ryzen™ 5 2600 (Intel i7-4770)
  • Memory – 16GB RAM
  • Graphics card – AMD Radeon™ RX 590 (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB)
  • HDD – 75 GB

Once you've got your spec sorted, it's time to tinker with the many graphics settings available in Borderlands 3. Here's a complete list of the in-game visuals options on PC, so you can plan ahead for your ideal setup, adjusting everything from Vertical Sync and Field of View to Ambient Occlusion and Screen Space Reflections. With all these visual options at your disposal and the freedom to adjust them to your liking, your PC can deliver the best Borderlands 3 experience possible.

BASIC
General

  • Graphics API: DirectX 11, DirectX 12
  • Display: (varies by setup)
  • Display Mode: Full Screen, Windowed Borderless, Windowed
  • Resolution: (varies by setup)
  • Vertical Sync: Off, On
  • Resolution Scale: 50% - 200% in 25% increments
  • Limit Frame Rate: Smooth 22-62 FPS, Capped 30 FPS, Capped 50 FPS, Capped 60 FPS, Capped 72 FPS, Capped 120 FPS, Unlimited, Custom
  • Custom FPS Limit: default 90, minimum 15, maximum 300
  • Calibrate Display: Brightness and HDR
  • Calibrate Safe Area: Adjust the boundary of the UI
  • Field of View: default 90, minimum 70, maximum 110
  • Vehicle Field of View: default 90, minimum 70, maximum 110
  • HUD Scale: default 1, minimum 0.6, maximum 1.3

ADVANCED

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Boreal Blade Announced - Beta Available

Frozenbyte announces Boreal Blade, a team-based melee fighting game they released today along with a demo on Switch, and will come to PCs later this year on Steam. This is already in beta, and they are handing out keys to those interested in testing it through the Boreal Blade Discord. Here is the Announcement Trailer, and here is word on the game:

Boreal Blade is a team-based melee fighting game with a focus on player vs player combat and gameplay consisting of both reactive and proactive elements. The game features various weapon types and three distinctive fighting styles, allowing players to choose between two-handed weapons, a shield and a weapon combo, or long thrusting weapons like spears and pikes. Three armour classes with their strengths and weaknesses are also included to guarantee a varied, everchanging fighting experience.

Boreal Blade strikes an excellent balance between realism and gameplay. The game turns away from the rock-paper-scissors approach where weapons and shields matter only when the player presses the corresponding button to use them for attacking or blocking. Actually, there is no block button at all, but the passive blocking featured in the game allows players to block attacks by simply positioning themselves wisely and timing their attacks with care. Pre-determined attack key combinations and complex counter moves have been abandoned in favour of the beautiful simplicity of only a single attack button - and hundreds of ways to variate every attack. Players can move their weapon and character around freely, turning an attack into a block - and back to another attack just in a blink of an eye. Strikes and blocks meld into a seamless continuity. Weapon movement feels very natural, allowing players to create and modify their signature moves and distinctive fighting styles. More seasoned warriors can spice up their game with dodges, sprints, blocks, powered attacks, feint attacks and weapon throws to confuse opponents and make the battle more unpredictable and exciting.

Boreal Blade gives competitive players the chance to hone their prediction of attacks, counter-attacks, timing and the use of different stances to defeat their enemies on the battlefield and to hack them into pieces!

Continue here to read the full story.

Broken Lines Breaks Out This Year

Broken Lines is a story-driven tactical RPG set during World War II coming later this year to Steam and consoles. The Broken Lines Website is home to the project, and a Gamescom 2019 trailer offers a look at gameplay, The description of the clip provides a concise overview of what to expect:

The squad has crash-landed behind enemy lines, in the heart of Eastern Europe. With no officers, no leaders, and no intel, they must find an unbreakable resolve if they are to survive.

But with only their training and instincts to guide them, survival becomes a difficult goal. First of all, they need to learn to work together to have any hope of coping with the challenges ahead.

Each survivor has their own views on what to do, and their own principles on what is acceptable. Some want to investigate what caused their crash, others want to stay low and avoid detection by the enemy. There are even whispers of desertion.

It is your task to be the unseeing hand that will guide this ragtag group of soldiers through their struggles. Make your decisions wisely, for they will have real consequences on the fates of the survivors.

Key Features:

  • Tactical RPG with diverse characters. Experience the story through the eyes of each soldier as they fight for survival in an alternative WW2 setting
  • Turn-based planning with simultaneous execution
  • Authentic tactical choices: suppression, destructible cover, realistic ballistics, and camouflage are at your disposal.
  • Rogue-like campaign structured with different narrative paths, resources, and permadeath
  • A challenge for even the most experienced gamer. A far-reaching moral system means that the soldiers may desert at any moment if you prove to be incompetent
  • An emotional story, tense atmosphere, and multiple endings based on the decisions that you make

Continue here to read the full story.

Population Zero Closed Beta Next Month

Enplex Games announces closed beta testing will begin next month for Population Zero, a story-driven multiplayer sci-fi game. This will be a free-to-play MMOG, so hopefully its title does not turn out to be an omen. You can apply to be a tester on the Population Zero Website, and they are selling a few different flavors of founder's packs that guarantee access. Here's a Closed Beta Announcement Trailer, and here are the details:

Enplex Games is thrilled to announce that it is ready to take its story-driven multiplayer sci-Fi epic Population Zero to the next level when closed beta kicks off on September 19th. Everyone is invited to sign up for closed beta testing opportunities for the groundbreaking multiplayer sci-fi exploration game. In addition, Enplex has revealed a number of Founders Packs that guarantee access to closed beta, but that are not required to be selected. At the time of Open Beta launch in 2020, Population Zero will be a Free to Play MMO experience.

Players of all stripes will love the uniqueness of Population Zero as it takes familiar features and gives them a unique touch. Whether it’s the action-based combat system, the tech trees and building systems, the PvP/PvE environment, the robust multi-disciplinary crafting system, or the unique perk system, players will find a lot to love in the game.

Freedom is key in Population Zero as players land on Kepler, a single planet hosting alien species that can be examined, befriended, or fought. While there are two factions, they can be swapped out at will simply by completing quests for one or the other. The Perk System provides tons of player agency to create a unique character using the skills they want. In short, there are no rules when it comes to playing Population Zero the way you want.

Key Features:

  • Action-based PVP and PVE MMO with exploration and discovery at its core
  • A deep character building RPG system with loads of player choice
  • In-depth crafting, tech trees, and building systems
  • A perk system that gives player agency to create the character and skills they want
  • 2 Factions that a player can switch between by completing quests, these also affect the player's physical biology
  • Explore Kepler, teeming with life you can hunt, adapt to, or befriend

Continue here to read the full story.

Wreckfest Gets Free Update & Season Pass Preorders

With the console versions of Wreckfest now hitting the road, Bugbear and THQ Nordic turn their attention back to the Windows edition of the demolition derby game with a major update with improvements and new content. They also announce a Season Pass now available for preorder for the game with a 20% discount until its initial launch on September 10th. The Steam Listing for this shows it includes 20 new vehicles, 20 new roof decorations, and more car customizations, which will be spread across eight DLC packs. Back to today's free update, here's word on what it includes:

4 NEW RACING TRACKS + 1 NEW DERBY ARENA

  • Clayridge Circuit
  • Deathloop
  • Northfolk Ring (two routes)
  • Dirt Devil Stadium (Speedway)
  • Dirt Devil Stadium (Derby Arena)

5 NEW VEHICLES

  • Venom (career reward)
  • Stretch Limousine
  • Couch Car
  • Motorhome
  • Big Rig

CAREER ENHANCEMENTS

  • Several new career events and challenges featuring new tracks and vehicles. Check each Championship for new events – for example the first championship Regional Juniors now has the Couch Craze challenge to unlock this vehicle.
  • There's now more variation in the computer-controlled AI cars, and they will also make use of the upgrade parts to make your life so much more miserable.
  • Many events have been changed and tweaked to offer more engaging, balanced gameplay experience.
  • Also, achieved bonus targets are no longer reset when restarting a career series.

GAME IMPROVEMENTS

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Pagan Online Released

Steam News announces that Pagan Online is now out of Early Access and officially available on Steam, offering a fast-paced hack-and-slash action/RPG for Windows. Here are the full release patch notes. Sadly this is unconnected with the antagonists from Dragnet, the immortal film send-up from 1987 that co-starred Dan Aykroyd and a pre-Oscar Tom Hanks, but we can't have everything. That's what it doesn't offer, so here's what it does:

Revisit your grandma’s fairy tales with a two handed battle axe. Quest for glory and the treasures of the absent Gods in this brutal fast-paced hack and slash game, which you can play solo or co-operatively.

COMBAT – HARD AND FAST
Pop in and out of the Pantheon easily for quick bouts of satisfying combat, which is easy to pick up but difficult to master – good to keep in mind after your 108th death. Alongside the eight acts of story campaign, there are five other game modes to wreak havoc in, either lone wolf style or with a fellow Pagan. Normal, Hard, and Master difficulties await you. How confident are you feeling?

Control fate however you like – whether it be WASD, click to move, or using a controller.

LOOT – WIELD WICKED WEAPONS
We all love it and enemies love to drop it (they don’t). Further tailor your builds with items you pry from dead demon hands and the unique crafting and reforging system of the Drevna Kutia. Utilize set bonuses from the different Schools of Magic and Legendary and Fabled weapons of unbridled might.

PROGRESSION – 10 FLAVORS OF COMBAT
Play and master up to 10 heroes, each with their own unique playstyle and sprawling ability tree; from a God-touched blind kid with a beary powerful best friend, to a cult escapee who consumes blood to continue living a life of sleeping with one eye open, to a rebel gunslinger whose pet rats help him set up turrets on the battlefield.

CUSTOMIZATION – SLAY IN STYLE
Here, we’re firm believers in doing things with a bit of added flair, so suit up in your favorite skins, bring your best pet along for the ride, and collect item sets for boosts to your kit and your wardrobe.

Ubisoft: Steam Business Model "Unrealistic"

There's an article on The New York Times where the gray lady takes on the battle between the Epic Games Store and Steam for the hearts and minds of gamers. They discuss the high stakes involved in the almost $36 billion PC gaming market, and talk to several developers and publishers about the business. This includes a quote that seems to be making the biggest splash, as Ubisoft's Chris Early deems Steam's business model as "unrealistic." Here's that bit:

Many publishers and developers of computer games, large and small, are eager to do business on the new platform.

For years, Ubisoft released blockbuster titles like Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell on Steam. But it decided not to sell the sequel to its hit game Tom Clancy’s The Division on the platform because Valve would not modify its revenue-sharing model, said Chris Early, Ubisoft’s vice president for partnerships and revenue. The game is for sale on the Epic Games Store and Uplay, Ubisoft’s store.

The move was part of a broader business discussion at Ubisoft about releasing titles on Steam, Mr. Early said. “It’s unrealistic, the current business model that they have,” he said. “It doesn’t reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution.”

Other developers declined to discuss contractual details of their exclusive deals with Epic, citing nondisclosure agreements, but they said money was a factor in their decision-making.

To draw players, Epic is offering lower prices and exclusive release windows. With the money flowing from Fortnite, Epic has been able to pay several developers for exclusive distribution rights on the Epic Games Store. Titles like Metro: Exodus and Borderlands 3 will not be found on Steam for at least six months after their release.

Epic said in March that its store had 85 million accounts, although it was unclear whether they were used to purchase games. Anyone who plays Fortnite on a computer must log in through the Epic Games Store. By comparison, Valve has said that 90 million people visited Steam monthly in 2018.

Gearbox Accused of Contempt in New Court Filing

The Hollywood Reporter has an update on the legal battle between Gearbox Software and former Gearbox general counsel Wade Callender (thanks Neutronbeam). Earlier this year it was learned that Callender was suing over contract violations, alleging multiple improprieties from Randy Pitchford, saying the Gearbox co-founder illicitly pocked a $12 million bonus and lost a thumb drive with sensitive company documents as well as underage porn. Gearbox, in turn, sued Callender for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty (this new report says Gearbox's lawsuit came ten days after Callender's suit, as opposed to the Kotaku report from January saying the Gearbox lawsuit came a month before the Callender suit). The Hollywood Reporter story says Callender's legal team is requesting sanctions and accusing Gearbox of contempt for hiding documents:

In February, Callender served Gearbox with a set of eight interrogatories, to which the company in response issued a "one-page document" in March. In April, Callender claimed a deficiency in Gearbox's response and requested the company amend its response. A week later, after a lack of response from Gearbox, Callender filed a motion to compel Gearbox to respond to the deficiency letter. Gearbox then agreed to provide amended interrogatory responses by July 3, though it later asked for a 30-day extension, pushing the deadline to Aug. 2.

When the Aug. 2 deadline arrived, Gearbox "provided their 4th amended responses" and "produced certain documents," one of which was a text correspondence between Pitchford and a "member of the press that he had podcast with" in which the two discuss the USB drive.

"In response to 'Is the USB stick falling out or has the internet moved on now?', Pitchford replied 'Internet is fine. All they care about is if my next video game is good or not.' It comes as no surprise that GBX did not want to disclose this very telling document," the filing claims.

In December, Pitchford discussed the USB drive on an episode of the Piff Pod with host John van der Put, a comedian and fellow magician (Pitchford is a well-known magician and frequently patrons Hollywood's Magic Castle). During the conversation, Pitchford mentioned the USB contained "barely legal pornography."

On Monday, ahead of Callender's official filing on Tuesday, the Dallas County Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Gearbox's request for relief, in which the company claimed the "trial court abused its discretion by overruling numerous objections to requests for production of documents and compelling production of certain documents." The appellate court stated that Gearbox "have not shown they are entitled to the relief requested."

"It is obvious that [Gearbox] intends to continue its clear pattern of discovery abuse for which it has already been sanctioned," Callender's Tuesday filing read.

Morning Patches

Morning Multiplex

Op Ed

PCWorld - WoW Classic is a step back in time—and a step back for World of Warcraft. Thanks Ant.
"But World of Warcraft Classic also feels like a rejection of everything that has kept WoW a relevant cultural phenomenon in the first place. On Blizzard’s end, it slightly looks like surrender, or at least the partial closing of a door. Now that the original “Vanilla” (as we called it) game is hosted on the official game itself—instead of on rogue servers like Nostalrius Begins, which helped spur the creation of WoW Classic—it diminishes WoW’s status as a successfully versatile cultural force."

VG247 - Anthem doesn’t need an overhaul, it needs to be put out of its misery.
"And here’s the thing – even if the game was stable, the core gameplay loop just isn’t very good to begin with. The enemies aren’t exciting, the loot is uniformly uninteresting, and the mission designs are dull. The first time I flew a Javelin through the air, I was surprised by how perfunctory it felt. I’d heard repeatedly that this part of the game, at least, was pretty exhilarating. But honestly? I don’t get it. It’s just not that fun. Pin me to the ground and ask me to hunker behind cover any day of the week. The whole experience of actually playing Anthem is barely worth even talking about for how unenthusiastic it feels. And honestly, at this point, talking about playing Anthem feels like flogging a dead horse – except the horse hasn’t been allowed to die yet."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS ROG Swift PG35VQ Monitor on TweakTown.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super vs. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT- 37 Game Benchmark on TechSpot.
  • Periodic Audio Ti (Titanium) In Ear Monitors on Nikk Tech.

etc.

Out of the Blue

I'm trying once more to make the first update of the day come earlier by getting some stories online before trying to cover everything happening this morning. I succeeded to a small degree, but it turned out to be a surprisingly news-heavy morning, so it's not as early as I would have hoped. But it is still an improvement, so there's that. There are more stories to follow, so I'll try to get to them as quickly as possible.

Early(ish) Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: The Incredible Realism Of ‘Control’ Gives Players The Ability To Make Characters Walk In Whatever Direction They Want And Interact With The World Around Them.
Stories: TSA bans Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ‘thermal detonator’ Coke bottles from checked and carry-on luggage.
Science: Adding Graphene to Fabrics Turns It Into a Perfect Force Field Against Mosquitoes. Thanks Neutronbeam.
No, the Amazon fires won’t deplete the Earth’s oxygen supply. Here’s why. Thanks Max.
Study Suggests Link Between Air Pollution & Psychiatric Disorders - Study Finds. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: When your Apex team just wont stay together - Bad teammate
Mr. Robot: Season 4 Trailer.
People Compete In A Beat Saber Challenge (VR180).
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.



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