Archived News:

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2020

Project Nova Goes Supernova

In a post on Reddit, CCP confirms a report that they have officially cancelling Project Nova, their planned first-person shooter set in the EVE Online universe (thanks Eurogamer). This game had already suffered a setback in late 2018 when it was announced they were going to "return to the drawing board." Now word is they are throwing this drawing board away, though they still have ambitions of creating a new FPS in the world of their space exploration and combat game:
We're continuing to develop our sci-fi multiplayer shooter game concept, actively evolving it beyond the original scope for what was formerly codenamed Project Nova. Development efforts on this concept are now the full focus of CCP’s London studio. Project Nova team members based in Iceland have been moved onto other projects at our Reykjavík studio.

This decision was taken because Project Nova’s gameplay experience as presented at EVE Vegas '18 would not have achieved our ambitious goals for this concept. Moreover, it is very common for games in active development to evolve over time, often substantially. We remain committed to offering a rock-solid, action-oriented gameplay experience with stellar visuals, but due to significant changes in the scope and direction of our sci-fi multiplayer shooter game concept, it also made sense to update how we refer to this project internally. So, we are no longer using the codename Project Nova for this game concept.

Furthermore, we are moving away from publicly announcing our internal project codenames and will wait until we’re ready for a full reveal. We want to show you rather than tell you how we have evolved this concept and we’re looking forward to doing so when the time comes to present this concept as a fully-fledged game.

DCL-The Game Launches

THQ Nordic and the Drone Champions League announce the launch of DCL-The Game, a simulation of the high speed action of the Drone Champions League. You can pick up the Windows and macOS edition on Steam or order a physical copy on the DCL website. Here's the Release Trailer and here's word on the game, including how it can be used to remotely control an actual drone, and how they eventually want players to be able to qualify for actual events through the game:
DCL - The Game is a drone racing simulation, where players control authentic drones that maneuver at extremely high velocities through technical tracks in impressive environments. Players can experience a realistic gameplay allowing them to train their actual flight control skills. Players can also qualify for the official Drone Champions League and start their career as a professional Drone Pilot right in the game. It's even possible to connect drone transmitter to the PC for a more authentic experience! DCL -The Game is out now for PC, PlayStation®4, and Xbox One™.
Continue here to read the full story.

SnowRunner in April

Focus Home Interactive and Saber Interactive announce SnowRunner will be released on April 28th, offering more off-roading in their sequel to MudRunner. This is coming to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with the PC edition coming to the Epic Games Store. Here's a new Release Date Reveal Trailer and here's the announcement:
Powered by a new graphics engine and improved physics simulation, SnowRunner puts you in the driver’s seat of powerful vehicles as you conquer wild open environments with the most advanced terrain simulation ever. Drive 40 vehicles from brands such as Western Star, Ford, Chevrolet, and Freightliner as you leave your mark on an untamed open world.

SnowRunner and its all-new snow environments give you unique challenges to overcome! Brave mud, torrential waters, but also snowbanks, ice and frozen lakes while taking on perilous contracts and missions. Expand and customize your fleet of vehicles with countless upgrades and accessories to help you defeat the environment - intake snorkels, chain tires, bumpers, high suspensions, floodlights, and many more upgrades will give you the edge you need.

SnowRunner is playable solo, but also with other players in fully synchronous 4-player co-op. Players will also be happy to know the game releases with full mod support on PC, allowing for a near infinite off-road experience thanks to community-made content! Mods will come to consoles further down the line.
Continue here to read the full story.

Super Chicken Catchers Leaves Early Access: Play for Free

Super Chicken Catchers is now out of Early Access and officially available on Steam, offering a Windows two-versus-two capture the chicken game featuring chickens, aliens, and flying pigs. And to celebrate the news, White Smoke Games is offering us lucky clucks the chance to play it for free through February 23rd. And if you enjoy this fowl play, the game is on sale for 40% off for the next week. Here's a new trailer, and here's word:
Super Chicken Catchers is a 2v2 futuresport with chickens, aliens, and flying pigs, where professional chicken-catchers compete for the galaxy's ultimate prize. Welcome to the Cluckball Championships!

It's not easy being a professional chicken-catcher. You'll need to communicate to trick and flee your enemies. Cooperation is the key to success!
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam's Top New January Releases

A post on the Steam Blog lists the 20 top new games released on Steam in January. This is dominated by Japanese releases, and they offer a little analysis to explain why: "The prevalence of Asian products in January likely comes from a huge variety of factors: change in geographical spending, impact of the Lunar New Year holiday, differences in developer release schedules, and certainly a bit of coincidence." This page has all 20 games on their list in random order, and they also offer the following list arranged chronologically by release date as well as a list of top free games for the month:
January's Top Releases

Continue here to read the full story.

Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders This Month

Blueside announces the PC edition of Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders is coming on February 28th, offering a port of the Xbox RTS/action hybrid with some enhancements for PC players. You can find more on the game on its official website, its Steam Listing, and the following announcement:
The cult action-strategy title has been adapted for modern-day PCs offering full controller support as well as the new keyboard and mouse mode with classic battlefields presented in widescreen HD. The grand world of Kingdom Under Fire is presented on a massive 3D map that players can use to plan their next attack or where to spend their resources to bolster their ranks. Strategy is key in Kingdom Under Fire as players will need to smartly upgrade their forces with powerful spells, special abilities, and equipment, or even change their forces’ classes to better fit their battle plans.

Players will once more be able to control powerful heroes with four unique perspectives and stories with two Dark Legion and two human nations to choose from. Players will need to master their hero’s attacks and combos in order to wade into battle and wreak havoc in fast-paced hack ‘n’ slash combat. Following the unique perspective of their hero, players will be able to turn the tide of battle in epic player-controlled moments and witness the disarray their attacks cause.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dead by Daylight Chains of Hate Next Month

Behaviour Interactive announces new Chains of Hate DLC for Dead by Daylight will launch on March 10th. This major content update will introduce a new killer to the asymmetrical multiplayer horror game. Here's word on this speargun-wielding engineer: "The Deathslinger has an ear for machines and has a powerful, destructive Hex. His speargun is a heavily modified, hybrid rifle that replaces conventional ammunition with a razor-sharp spear affixed to a chain." That is not all they have in store for the game, as this February Developer Update outlines a bunch of changes an improvements they plan for all players. This has word on updates to matchmaking, toolboxes, sabotage, item retention, the addition of breakable walls, and more. Here's a Chains of Hate Teaser Trailer and a bit more on what it will offer:
In addition, the update allows gamers to play as the new survivor Zarina Kassir, a daring filmmaker with a knack for staying quiet and manipulating sound. Also, while full of health, Zarina can instantly heal other Survivors from dying to injured, or from injured to healthy. The Chains of Hate update also launches Dead Dawg Saloon, a new playable map. This early settlement on an unforgiving frontier was once the location of an all-out gang war that resulted in a bloodbath.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Passes

Ubisoft announces that Year 5 passes for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege are now on sale:
Today, Ubisoft announced that the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Pass is now available. This one-year VIP premium membership* will feature the six new Operators released throughout Year 5 with 7-day early access. The Year 5 Pass is available at the suggested retail price of $24.99 USD and includes the following additional VIP benefits:

  • Six Headgear and Uniforms and One Hexagon charm
  • One R6 Aurous Alabaster Signature Weapon Skin
  • One Jager Byte Set
  • 5% Renown Boost*
  • 10% In-Game Shop Discount*
  • Alpha Pack Boost (+0.3%)*

Additionally, the Year 5 Pass will include 30% faster battle pass progression and 30% discount on the premium battle past track.

*VIP perks ends on January 31, 2021
**10% discount only applies to purchases made with Renown or R6 Credits.

Ruinarch in May

Publisher Squeaky Wheel Studio and developer Maccima Games announce Ruinarch will launch in Early Access on Steam in May, offering a fantasy "evil overlord simulator" for Windows and macOS that will launch in full next year. Here's a gameplay trailer with a look. Word is this offers replayability thanks to its use of procedural genaration:
Ruinarch is a devilishly fun simulation game featuring procedural story generation. As an evil demon overlord creating havoc and invading fantasy worlds, a rich and fertile land lies before you; ripe for the picking. Take over regions one by one, spreading your influence inexorably towards the heart of the kingdom. Poison people's food, raise the dead, and inflict endless misery. Turn heroic defenders into pitiful wretches by unleashing an array of demonic spells upon them and create a hellish chronicle for the ages.

Weaving tales of anguish and woe are central to Ruinarch. You could simply summon a pack of wolves to attack the region, but a true evil overlord toys with his prey first. Turn the local village idiot into a cultist that secretly works on your behalf, and watch as he eagerly turns the tables on the villagers that mercilessly mocked him for his deficiencies. Inflict the local hero with lycanthropy and watch as his once loyal followers turn on him when the full moon rises. Or if you’re feeling lazy and don't want to come up with anything creative, just start a zombie apocalypse!
Continue here to read the full story.

Paradox Financials - Empire of Sin Delayed to Fall

The Year-end Report 2019 from Paradox Interactive has full year financial results for the Swedish videogame publisher. They report Q4 revenue of around $39 million USD, an increase by 13% over Q4 last year, operating profits of $16.7 million USD, up 11%, and pretax profits of $16 million USD. For the year they report $131.8 million USD in revenue, up 14%; operating profit of 48.3 million USD, a 4% increase, and pretax profit of $46.5 million USD. In a related note, they also announce that Empire of Sin is being delayed, and Romero Games' upcoming 1920s gangster game is now expected this fall (spring down under), rather than in the spring (vice versa). Here's word from a post on Steam from Brenda Romero, who may not have chosen the best analogy in saying they want to take the time and care with this game that a bootlegger would put into bathtub gin:
As any good bootlegger knows, good liquor can’t be rushed and the same goes for game development. This is why we have decided to move the release of Empire of Sin to Fall 2020.

We appreciate all your support so far, and trust that you understand why choosing quality over speed is important. After all, everyone knows you gotta stay sharp to make it in Chicago.

Pumpkin Jack This Year; Demo Released

Headup games announces Pumpkin Jack, a 3D platform that will come to Windows and consoles in Q4 of this year. But for those who cannot wait to start carving this up before then can pick up a playable demo right now on Steam. Here's an Announcement Trailer with a look at gameplay, and here's a description:
Fans of games like MediEvil and Jak and Daxter will enjoy engaging in an epic battle of evil against good as you jump, dodge, and carve your way through challenging enemies and daunting puzzles. The use of Unreal Engine grants for gorgeously rendered and gruesomely colourful landscapes.

The peaceful Boredom Kingdom, with its happy citizens, monotonous calm... and adorable little bunnies, has sent the Devil himself into a flying rage! With dreams of turmoil, torture, and bloodshed on his mind, he unleashed the dreadful Curse of the Eternal Night upon the land. Not in love with the idea of a change in their peaceful lifestyle, the humans summon their saviour — a mighty wizard with the power to put an end to the evil curse.

In order to stop these party crashers from ruining his fun, the Devil summons the spirit of Jack, the Pumpkin Lord, to fight against the wizard’s army of beasts and destroy the killjoy wizard! You, as Jack, will be tearing your way through fright-filled levels as you punish those who dared defy your master!
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Dreadlands Early Access Next Month

Fatshark announces March 10th as the Early Access release date for Dreadlands, their "turn-based skirmish game set in a living post-apocalyptic shared world." They urge gamers to wishlist the game now on Steam with the following pitch:
Dreadlands is a turn-based skirmish game set in a living post-apocalyptic shared world. Explore Dreadlands by travelling across its many regions with your misfit gang of miscreants and mercenaries. The game is set in a Shared World where players frequently encounter and interact with each other. Sometimes they cooperate, other times they pick fights in bloody PvP battles.

Dreadlands had a beta period throughout the whole month of December 2019 to ensure quality, and get feedback from several gamer demographics.

“The beta was a success in both the number of participants, as well as gathering feedback from the players. This has made it possible for us to fine-tune the game, and we are excited to make it available on March 10” says Peter Nilsson, Founder, and Creative Director Blackfox Studios.
Continue here to read the full story.

Are You a Game Collector?

A post on Fanatical discusses a survey of over 6,000 users on how many games constitute a games "collection." In a technical sense this should probably be two or more, but they were looking for the threshold of considering yourself a "games collector," a hobby they call a "growing trend." You may be concerned (or perhaps relieved) by their conclusion that respondents who considered themselves collectors own an average of 931 games. This seems pretty extreme, but serves their agenda well. since their online games store sells the kind of game bundles that put such a lofty total within reach. Perhaps more surprising was that their survey reported the respondents owned an average of 770 games. Here's more of the data they report:
71% of the people asked considered themselves to be collectors, each owning a whopping 931 games on average. Considering that the average amount of games owned per person works out at 770 each, most gamers are only 161 games shy of earning the ‘Game Collector’ status.

Men are closer to earning the title than women, with men on average owning 179 more. However, that’s not to say that women aren’t serious about their gaming either, 70 of them said they own over 1,000 games with a few having up to 7,000 in their collection.

In fact, 23% of the overall audience claims to have more than 1,000 games, with some boasting an incredible 20,000 Steam and console games to choose from, which takes a portion of gamers past collector status and into the elite category!

Gaming is not just reserved for the young either. The age group which boasts some of the biggest collection sizes is the 35-44s who were kids when popular mainstream gaming found its way into many households in the 1970s and 1980s.

Teenagers own the least amount of games when compared with other age groups - under 18s have on average around 525 in their collection, compared with 907 in the 35-44 age group. Respondents were also asked for their views on the hobby and the industry itself.

Op Ed

  • Gaming Nexus - Bethesda Abandoned Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim VR and It's a Damn Shame.
    "Steam is still selling both Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim VR at $60. There have been a few sales here and there, but these two titles, in their current state and age, shouldn’t be near a $60 price tag. And with their lack of support, it definitely shouldn’t be bought at $60.

    I’m more disappointed than anything that Bethesda abandoned these two titles. While they aren’t perfect, they are still very enjoyable experiences that can offer many hours of great VR gameplay. If only Bethesda would allocate a few developers to fix some of the issues, these two titles could really be something in the VR world.

    A company should stand by their product and support it with fixes when need be. Bethesda is a large enough company that this shouldn’t be an issue in dedicating a few resources to make the game run better for everyone who has bought it. But having just three patches for Fallout 4 VR and two for Skyrim VR, these two titles deserve better and it’s unfortunate that Bethesda has basically washed their hands of them."

Out of the Blue

The water birds around here spend varying amounts of time switching around between the nearby lake and the various ponds in the area. Today the Canada Geese have been hanging around in the pond near us. I can say this with confidence because they are making a raucous party of it, and have been honking and splashing about for hours. A lot of people dislike them for their occasional aggressiveness and their dog-like pooping, but I really enjoy their presence, noise and all. I may feel differently if I ever end up on the receiving end of a chase due to their territoriality, but I've never experienced that, so as far as I'm concerned they are welcome to enjoy as long as they please.

Honking Links: Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.
Links: Fact-Checking 'Contagion,' The Movie About A Global Virus Outbreak. Thanks RedEye9.
What Would It Be Like to Take a Road Trip Across Pluto? Road trip!
The strange quest to crack the Voynich code.
Stories: Airbus' Blended-Wing Maveric Hits the Skies.
Jetman Dubai says they just reached a major milestone in our quest to fly like Iron Man.
Armed men steal hundreds of toilet rolls in Hong Kong as coronavirus fears spread. Cornholio?
Science: Solved: The mystery surrounding dinosaur footprints on a cave ceiling.
As Warm Winters Mess With Nut Trees' Sex Lives, Farmers Help Them 'Netflix And Chill.' Nutflix? Thanks RedEye9.
How to make the best fried rice, according to physics. Thanks Max.
Images: Book nooks, miniature fantasy worlds on your bookshelves.
Media: The Janitor Story From Crucial Accountability. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
(185) Adam Savage's Spot Robot Rickshaw Carriage. We truly live in the future. Thanks Hypothermia.
‘Alien abduction’ caught on doorbell cam (Video). Seems legit.
Follow-up: Hospital director dies in Wuhan, as death toll from coronavirus outbreak tops 1,800.
China is literally laundering its money to contain the coronavirus.
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