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Archived News:

Monday, Jan 13, 2020

GFWL Caused GTA4 Steam Delisting

There's a statement from Rockstar on USgamer explaining the disappearance of Grand Theft Auto IV from Steam. GFWL met its demise several years ago, but apparently Microsoft's online service has reached out from the grave to strangle the game's Steam release with its icy fingers. Here's word:
"Grand Theft Auto 4 was originally created for the Games For Windows Live platform," reads the statement. "With Microsoft no longer supporting Games For Windows Live, it is no longer possible to generate the additional keys needed to continue selling the current version of the game. We are looking at other options for distributing GTA4 for PC and will share more information as soon as we can."

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Roadmap

A Community Update from Infinity Ward lays out a roadmap for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. They also point the way to a Trello Board to help keep tabs on progress in updating the military shooter. Here's a bit on their plans:
What’s Coming?
Gunfight 3v3: Aside from the Gunfight 1v1 playlist we rolled out this week, we’re working on another version of Gunfight, 3v3!

Additional loadouts: 5 loadouts aren’t enough, so we’ll be adding more loadout slots over the coming weeks!

Gunfight Tournament: It was incredible to see so many people jumping into the Gunfight Tournament Beta back in November and we plan on bringing tournaments back once we’ve squashed a few bugs and added in new rewards.

MORE 2XP, 2X Weapon XP, and 2X Tier events!

That’s just a taste of things we’re working on, so keep an eye out for these and more in future updates!

Known Issues
Below is a short list of issues we’re currently tracking…

  • Lighting flickering on various maps
  • Mission collision on containers on Cargo
  • Platinum skins not unlocking properly
  • Out of map exploits in Ground War
  • Platinum and Damascus camos glare while ADS

Darwin Project Evolves Out of Early Access

Steam News announces that Darwin Project is now officially available for Windows on Steam following its Early access run. Word is: "In Darwin Project, ten inmates must survive the elements, track each other, fight, craft tools, and use their social skills to be the last one standing. It's a unique take on battle royale with a Show Director to influence the match and Spectator Interactions to create a one-of-a-kind game show." Here's a trailer and here's more on this free-to-play battle royale/survival game hybrid:
Darwin Project takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic landscape in the Northern Canadian Rockies. As preparation for an impending Ice Age, a new project, half science experiment half live-entertainment, is launched. It's called "Darwin Project" and it challenges 10 participants to survive the cold and fight to the death in a treacherous arena.
Continue here to read the full story.

Not For Broadcast Early Access this Month

Publisher tinyBuild and developer NotGames announce Not For Broadcast will come to Early Access on Steam on January 30th. This may be confusing as it was announced this morning that the similarly titled Ministry of Broadcast is being released that very same day. Not For Broadcast is described as a live-action newsroom version of Papers Please with "a bit of Black Mirror sprinkled on top." This trailer shows off what that means, and you can go hands-on with this in the free Not For Broadcast: Prologue released last month. Here's word on what to expect:
In an alternate 1980s where the nation stumbles towards dystopia, join the National Nightly News team as they document the latest political scandal, the rise of a radical government, and which celebrity has for some reason written a book about it all.

You only came in to clean the studio - but in a bizarre twist of fate, it's now up to you to determine exactly what goes on air.

Not For Broadcast is an immersive, narrative-driven propaganda sim that lets you set the agenda. Mix four camera feeds, choose the headlines, bleep the bad language - all under the pressure of a live broadcast. Will you censor the news and be rewarded, or expose the truth and live with the consequences?
Continue here to read the full story.

Legends of Runeterra Open Beta Next Week

Riot Games Tweets that open beta testing of Legends of Runeterra will begin on January 24th. This will allow everyone to join in on the testing of this upcoming League of Legends-based card game. They are offering pre-registration for the beta on the official website and illustrate the news with this trailer on "what to expect in the beta season and beyond." Here's the tweet: "The PC Open Beta starts January 24 and we’re letting you all in! Ranked, friends list and friend challenge, guardians and boards, and no more resets. We're also sharing some of our plans for the rest of this year. Check out our video to learn more." Here's the elevator pitch on the game:
Face off in dynamic, alternating combat full of opportunities to adapt and outplay. Make your move, but be ready to react, because your opponent has a plan of their own. It all comes down to this—can you outwit them and win?
Continue here to read the full story.

Ministry of Broadcast This Month

Developer Ministry of Broadcast Studios announces a January 30th launch date for Ministry of Broadcast, their eponymous platformer based on our surveillance society. This is described as a blend between reality TV and George Orwell's 1984 and note that the release is coming very shortly after next week's 70th anniversary of Orwell's death. The game will first come to Steam and Utomik and a version for Switch will follow down the road. This trailer shows off gameplay and some throwback graphics (think Prince of Dystopian Persia), and here's a description:
Inspired by games such as Prince of Persia (1989) and Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus, Ministry of Broadcast revives the spirit of classic cinematic platformers where players need nimble run-and-jump reflexes as well as a healthy aversion to falling from precarious heights. To reach freedom and family, you must lead the protagonist through each of the Arenas while under the ever-watchful mechanical eye of the Regime. The variety of hazardous, dilapidated environments hold an array of obstacles for you to manage—leg-shattering drops (scared of heights?), flaming barrels of garbage (extra-smelly, extra-flamey), inconveniently-placed spike pits (of course), hanging steel beams (so much rust)—but none of this is to speak of the fates of those you meet along the way.


  • Cinematic platformer: Run, jump, crash, and climb your way through each Arena as the narrative unfolds around you. Much of the story is unveiled via smoothly integrated animation sequences, within the environment, or from NPCs muttering bits of dialogue as you dive and dodge around them.
  • Environmental HUD: Rather than having a screen cluttered with overlaid indicators, HP bars, and minimaps, any information the player will need is incorporated into the environment. Hints and clues are meshed into the game’s art, subtle and specific, players will need a keen eye if they want to survive each Arena without breaking their legs.
  • Puzzle-solving: Use your wits, and at times a dash of ruthlessness, to advance through the Arenas. You’ll have to interact with the environment itself to solve most of the puzzles: use the protagonist’s momentum to move platforms, flip the occasional lever, and sometimes you might have to sacrifice an NPC or two to cross a particularly spiky pit.
  • Story and Personality: Featuring lots of impish humor, Grade A sarcasm, and comic mischief, all balanced perfectly with the dark, heavy themes presented in this dystopian world.

Continue here to read the full story.

Terraforming Earth This Month

Also due on January 30th is Terraforming Earth, a side-scrolling puzzle/platformer with split-screen co-op support from Lost Robots coming to Steam as an Early Access release. But they promise "it should be treated as a full release in terms of polish and functionality," with the final release to include additional content. In this game the player takes control of three robots to negotiate procedurally generated levels, tackle procedurally generated boss fights, all set to the sounds of procedurally generated music. You can see this in action in this trailer, and read on for more details:
Unique Situations Every Time You Play
Terraforming Earth is the first game ever to apply procedural generation in platform puzzle level design. It is infinitely replayable as it puts you in new situations every time you play. The focus is on creative problem-solving and planning instead of rote memorization.

Use Different Skills Together
Play alone by switching between three quirky robots. Using their different skills together, you must guide them through infinite obstacles as you restore life on Earth. You can also play with your friends in local multiplayer co-op mode or over the Internet using Steam Remote Play.

Curated Levels
Terraforming Earth has a curation system similar to Mario Maker's. On the world map, you can choose between missions that are freshly generated for you or missions starred by other players in the community. Your starred levels also appear on other players' maps.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

I had a dream that involved a shootout with plastic guns using real bullets, a pointless train trip, and other oddities. Perhaps due to how weird it was I awoke, and called a friend to describe to him what happened. While I was on the phone I wandered outside and the landscape was all haystacks sprouting giant (house-sized) mushrooms in a Van Gogh-style color scheme. It immediately struck me that I was actually still dreaming, at which point I woke up for real. I don't know how uncommon this is, but it's the first time I've had a double-dream, much less a double lucid dream. It was no double rainbow, but I still found it to be a remarkable experience.

Lucid Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Links: How do I stop wrist aiming and start arm aiming?
The 2020 Oscar Nominations.
Stories: ABC told 'Batman' actor Burt Ward to take pills to shrink penis. Thanks Boing Boing.
Yusaku Maezawa: Japanese billionaire seeks 'life partner' for Moon voyage. Thanks Hypothermia.
Science: Is Hikikomori (Extreme Social Withdrawal) a Global Epidemic? Thanks Max.
Dying Fish Revealed Congo Is World's Deepest River. Thanks Max.
Media: When you are a bus driver and think you are alone.
Things Not To Say To Scottish People. Thanks RedEye9.
Lock Makers, Please Stop!
Follow-up: "Westworld" S3 Set For March 15th.
The Funnies: FoxTrot.
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