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Saturday, Jan 11, 2020

XO Early Access

XO is available in Early Access on Steam, offering a strategic space fleet defense game for Windows, Linux, and macOS. This was released last month following a crowdfunding campaign in 2015, so thanks JDreyer for bringing this up. This is like a blast from the past, as the graphics are all vector-based, as shown off in this trailer. Here's word on the game:
XO is a relentless strategic fleet defense game blending real-time with pause, political intrigue and a punishing drive to survive.

Take command of the last battleship, gather a fleet and try to unite five hostile factions in a desperate bid to save humanity from an enemy that cannot be defeated.

Rescue survivors when you can, persuade ships to join your fleet if you can -- and force ships to join when you must.

Over 30 different ship types giving you many ways to configure your fleet.

Over 400 unique and challenging events in a procedural universe to maximize replayability.

Original soundtrack by Jim Guthrie
Continue here to read the full story.

GameAssistant Plans

This Steam Listing is for an upcoming project called GameAssistant, which bills itself as "The Tool For Every Gamer." This is planned for release on March 2nd, with the promise of automating tweaking supported games, saying it "automates games tweaking: disable startup videos, set modern resolutions, enable or disable VSync, override FOV, increase visual quality, disable effects, fix crashes, poor performance and other issues." Here's more on the plan:
GameAssistant: The Tool For Every Gamer is a unique program that automates games tweaking.

It allows, depending on game, to:

  • disable startup videos
  • set modern resolutions
  • set windowed mode
  • enable anti-aliasing
  • enable or disable VSync
  • set 120 Hz / 144 Hz refresh rate of FPS limit
  • override FOV
  • increase visual quality (more detailed shadows, max anisotropic filtering)
  • disable some effects (depth of field, bloom, motion blur, chromatic aberration)
  • enable or disable mouse smoothing and acceleration
  • fix crashes, poor performance and other issues
  • enable cheats

All changes can be reverted.

Additionally some hints will be given along with cheats and link to walkthrough.

Out of the Blue

Looking forward to more NFL playoff football. In today's matchups I find myself in conflict with myself. This is because the Titans have won my heart with their plucky play style, but they are playing the Ravens, who I picked to win the Super Bowl in our pool. I'm not sure if that makes this a no-win scenario or a no-lose scenario, so I guess I'll just root for a good game.

Obituary: Sultan Qaboos of Oman, Arab world's longest-serving ruler, dies aged 79.

Win-Win Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Play: Economical.
Links: William Gibson: ‘I was losing a sense of how weird the real world was.'
Myth Busting 'Blind As A Bat' And 'Memory Of A Goldfish.' Thanks RedEye9.
Cashmere country: the perils of making the world's finest fabric. Thanks RedEye9.
Stories: The FDA Announces Two More Antacid Recalls Due to Cancer Risk.
Science: Cuttlefish 3D glasses study had surprising results.
Americans' Body Temperature Has Been Dropping Since the 19th Century, Study Finds.
Images: Artist Creates Amazing Food Carving That Looks Too Good to Eat.
Media: Comedians paint along with Bob Ross to raise money for charity — The Bob Ross Challenge.
BIRDS OF PREY – Official Trailer 2.
Saskatchewan Farm Trucks.
Auction: Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Drove in ‘Bullitt’ Sells for $3.4 Million at Auction.
Follow-ups: Fired Boeing C.E.O. Muilenburg Will Get More Than $60 Million.
Origin of mystery humming noises heard around the world, uncovered.

Friday, Jan 10, 2020

D.I.C.E. Awards Finalists Announced

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) announces the 23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Finalists. The winners will be revealed next month during the 2020 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas. There are a lot of nominees in a lot of categories, but they offer a brief summary with some details:
Sixty-five games released in 2019 received nominations. Control and Death Stranding lead the nominees with eight nominations each followed by Disco Elysium and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, each earning six nods. Tying for four nominations each include Outer Wilds and Untitled Goose Game while A Short Hike, Mortal Kombat 11, Resident Evil 2, and Sayonara Wild Hearts each received three. Finalists for 2019’s top honor, Game of the Year, are: Control, Death Stranding, Disco Elysium, Outer Wilds, and Untitled Goose Game.

VVVVVV Source Code Released

A blog post from Terry Cavanagh reveals that the VVVVVV creator is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of this 2D puzzle/platformer by putting the source code for the game on GitHub (thanks Gamasutra). Here's word on the open source release:
Today is the 10th anniversary of VVVVVV’s release!

Or possibly tomorrow is, depending on who you ask – technically, the game first went live at 3am GMT on the 11th January 2010, after a very, very long day of fixing every last bug I could, making last minute builds, and trying to slowly upload everything on an extremely unreliable internet connection that kept cutting out. But I’ve always gone by “it’s not tomorrow until you wake up” rules, so I still think of January the 10th as the real launch day <3

Gosh, ten years.

VVVVVV is such an important game to me, I barely even know where to start. I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion: so, as of today, I’m releasing the game’s source code!

Capcom Investigating Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Performance

Yesterday's release of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on Steam has caused an increase in the game's player counts. But this is not without its problems, and even after the release of a new patch for the Windows edition of the expansion there are still complaints of performance issues (thanks GamingBolt via DSOGaming). This tweet from Capcom says they are seeking feedback to help them make improvements:
[PC/Steam] We are aware of performance issues that have been reported, and are currently investigating them.

If you have been experiencing any issues with the PC version, please contact Capcom Support and be ready to share more info on your system:
http://capcom.com/mhwsupport/

Get Sundered: Eldritch Edition for Free

Sundered: Eldritch Edition is now available for free on the Epic Games Store, as they resume their weekly giveaways following a run of daily freebies over the holidays. This is yours to keep if you pick it up over the next week, at which time Horace will be their next free game, as they are also returning what's next. Back to Sundered, here's a description of this platformer from Thunder Lotus, the makers of Jotun:
Resist or Embrace.
Sundered is a chaotic hand­-drawn metroidvania where you resist or embrace ancient eldritch powers. Confront hordes of terrifying enemies in an ever-changing world inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Trapped in ever-changing caverns.
You play Eshe, a wanderer in a ruined world, trapped in ever-­changing caverns filled with hordes of terrifying enemies. Harness the power of corrupted relics to defeat gigantic bosses, at the cost of your humanity.
Continue here to read the full story.

New AMD Adrenalin 2020 Edition Drivers

AMD Drivers and Support now offers new Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.1.1 drivers for AMD Radeon graphics cards. These are described as an "optional" update, which offer support for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. These also offer a lengthy list of fixes:
Fixed Issues

  • The audible beeps at game startup from Radeon Chill, Radeon Boost, and Radeon Anti-Lag have been removed. These features now offer audible indicators only when activated or deactivated via hotkey.
  • The Radeon ReLive on screen timer indicator during recordings has been disabled by default but can be enabled in Radeon Software settings.
  • Controls for vertical sync may be hidden or disappear when Radeon Enhanced Sync is enabled.
  • Radeon ReLive may experience freezing or pausing issues during recordings when a high resolution camera is connected and in use.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dota Underlords Early Access Ends Soon

A post on Steam offers patch notes for a new update that's now available for Dota Underlords, Valve's free-to-play strategy brawler. Though it was recently reported that the game is seeing a falloff in player counts, this post includes the news that the plan is to graduate it from Early Access at the end of February, when season one will officially commence. Here's word:
New year, new you, and coming soon – new season. That’s right, the Beta Season is nearing its end, and Underlords Season 1 will ship by the end of February.

In addition to our standard bug / balance patches, we’ll probably have one more update before the big ship date - one more Underlord to round the game out. Otherwise the team will be heads down working on Season 1. This includes work on the Battlepass, City Crawl, Hero / Item rotation, and UI updates.

We’ve said it before, but we want to thank you all again for playing with us during this beta / early access period. The community’s support and feedback has been invaluable to getting the game to where it is. We’re in the home stretch and are excited to ship Underlords 1.0 soon - and get the word out to a wider audience.

Assassin's Creed Ragnarok Rumor

A post on Reddit summarizes a leak from 4Chan purporting to offer details about Assassin's Creed Ragnarok, an unconfirmed next installment in the Assassin's Creed series. This seems to be a sketchy source, but DSOGaming says "Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has stated that some of these details are actually legit," though we can't actually find where he said that. There are the caveats, so if you are interested, you can head over for the details, which are considerately shielded with a spoiler warning, since they cover so much of what the alleged Viking-themed game will involve.

Soviet Jump Game Jumps Out

Comrades! Soviet Jump Game is now available in Early Access on Steam for Windows and macOS. This free-to-play game offers an unusual take on the battle royale concept in the form of a 2D platformer. This was originally released on a Russian console called the Dendy, and here's an official trailer showing off the game's throwback graphics and music. Here's an overview:
Comrade! You hold in your hands a piece of Soviet history: the first ever Battle Royale game! Snag powerups, collect coins, and battle against 49 other comrades to declare yourself the best shock worker this side of the wall. Now is your time. Now is your opportunity for glory. Together, we are one--but will you be the one who is held above all others?

Features:

  • 50 player online multi-comrade combat
  • Action-oriented 2D side-scrolling gameplay: jump on your enemies and show them them your political might
  • Find power ups to give yourself an edge over the redistributed wealth
  • Customizable characters: make the secret police jealous with your new outfits

Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

I received a couple of emails from readers about a new cookie policy modal they encountered here. This is being served by the folks selling our advertising, and is required by law for EU readers under the GDPR. If you are receiving this in other regions, this is due to an error that they are working towards fixing. The notes I got complained about this taking up a bunch of the screen, but I am told it will not reappear on subsequent visits even if you don't interact with it, so his shouldn't be an ongoing problem. Specifically for readers in the EU this message will apparently reappear once every few months as the law dictates, but for anyone else who received it in error, this should not come up again. I hope this alleviates any concerns this causes. Please let me know if this behaves any differently than described above so that can be taken care of. Otherwise, any patience you can muster for the situation is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Stories: This New Subaru Forester Special Edition Has a Very NSFW Name. Thanks Hypothermia.
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Lunar eclipse 2020: How and where to watch the first full 'Wolf' moon and eclipse of the year.
Images: World War II Opacity Images. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
My teacher had this on the first day back from school.
Media: Danny MacAskill's Gymnasium. Amazeballs.
AR-15 Lock Defeated With LEGO Astronaut.
Maybe the greatest airport reunion ever.
Follow-up: 'Designed by clowns': internal Boeing messages raise serious questions about 737 Max. Thanks RedEye9.