Archived News:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Unreal Engine 5 and Epic Online Services Unveiled

A post on the Unreal Engine Website offers a first look at Unreal Engine 5 running on PlayStation 5 hardware (thanks g-man). Here's the video showing off Epic's next-gen engine running on Sony's next-gen console. Epic also announces an even more developer-friendly royalty structure for using their engine, saying they are waiving royalties on the first million dollars of a game's gross revenue. There are more details on this in the FAQ. They also announce the launch of Epic Online Services with new tools for cross-play and other developer support. Here's word on the new engine:
Unreal Engine 5 empowers artists to achieve unprecedented levels of detail and interactivity, and brings these capabilities within practical reach of teams of all sizes through highly productive tools and content libraries.

Join Technical Director of Graphics Brian Karis and Special Projects Art Director Jerome Platteaux (filmed in March 2020) for an in-depth look at "Lumen in the Land of Nanite" - a real-time demonstration running live on PlayStation 5 showcasing two new core technologies that will debut in UE5: Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry, which frees artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see, and Lumen, a fully dynamic global illumination solution that immediately reacts to scene and light changes.

Also present in the demo are next-gen features already available in Unreal Engine 4.25, such as Niagara VFX improvements, Chaos physics and destruction, animation system enhancements, and audio advancements. Unreal Engine 4.25 also includes support for next-gen consoles.

Indie Live Expo 2020 Announced

The Indie Live Expo Board announces Indie Live Expo 2020 a livestream for indie games, developers, and gamers that will take place on June 6th. The official website has the links to where this stream will take place. Here's word:
We aim to bring in 1 million viewers worldwide, and will be broadcasting live in Japanese, English, and Chinese. Indie Live Expo 2020 will be streamed live with cooperation from a wide range of media outlets and streamers around the globe. We aim to reach an audience of 1 million viewers throughout the world in order to promote both awareness of and excitement for the latest products from various indie game creators.

*Efforts are currently being made to broadcast the livestream in other languages as well.

All the latest info on current and upcoming happenings in the indie game industry!

Indie Live Expo is set to deliver the latest information on both published and not-yet-published indie titles. We will also be presenting discussions and presentations on masterpieces of the indie genre for newer gamers as well as our own carefully selected recommendations.

Europa Universalis IV: Emperor Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces a June 9th release date for Emperor, the new expansion for Europa Universalis IV, their grand strategy game. Word is: "This expansion opens up three central game systems, offering new gameplay opportunities for the Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire and Revolutionary movements, as well as a host of other changes." Accompanying the news is a new trailer highlighting the expansion's story. Here's a feature list:
Features in Europa Universalis IV: Emperor include:

  • A Powerful Pope: Appoint cardinals, publish Papal Bulls and gather tithes. The Vatican and Papal Controller now have new abilities to sway the souls of Christendom.
    New Holy Roman Empire Systems: Imperial Incidents provide new challenges to the Emperor's power and authority. Will your empire follow a course to a centralized monarchy or decentralized federation?
  • Revolutions Revamped: The spirit of Revolution is a contagion that must be either embraced or vigorously opposed. Use the zeal of revolutionary guard units to fight reactionaries at home and abroad.
  • The Hussite Faith: Bohemia has an early game chance to embrace heresy and stand alone against the Pope until The Reformation.
  • Hegemonies: Seize the mantle of global leadership if you accumulate great wealth and armies, but be prepared to face great opposition from those who question your right to rule.
  • New Missions: Over 20 new unique mission trees for a variety of European nations
  • Defender of Faith: With great responsibility comes great power. Defending a major religion should be different from defending an insignificant one. Now it is!
  • The Council of Trent and Counter-Reformation: Join other Catholic rulers to slow down the spread of the Reformation by making concessions to the unruly mob or harshly imposing the will of God.
  • Provoke Rebellions: Risk a larger rebellion now while you think you can manage it instead of waiting for discontent to take its course

Continue here to read the full story.

Super Mega Baseball 3 Released

It's opening day for Super Mega Baseball 3 as the arcade baseball sequel is now available for Windows on Steam. There is also a playable demo to check out and a recent Gameplay Trailer with a look at this in action. Here's the pitch:
Super Mega Baseball 3 refines the series’ formula with the deepest on-field simulation yet, comprehensive online and offline game modes including a brand new Franchise mode, and vastly improved graphics. New content includes revamped UI plus tons of new audio, team/character content, and stadiums with variable lighting conditions.
Continue here to read the full story.

Danger Scavenger Next Month; Demo Released

Star Drifters announces a release date for Danger Scavenger, saying this cyberpunk skyline crawler will arrive on June 17th. There's also a playable demo for the next couple of days on Steam as part of the ongoing Digital Dragons Indie Celebration. Here's a new trailer celebrating the news, and here are some details:
Danger Scavenger is an intense cyberpunk-themed roguelike where evil corporations immersed in a dystopian setting bring doom upon the world. The Scavengers – a group of outcasts once rejected by fate, now glorified and admired – decide to overcome the status quo. Become one of them and set out on a risky adventure where you get to choose your destiny. Choose your path wisely though, as big rewards come at a price and often mean even bigger risks.
Continue here to read the full story.

Digital Dragons Indie Celebration on Steam

Steam announces the Digital Dragons Indie Celebration is now live. They promise demos, live-streams, and a collection of hand-picked games. Here's word:
The Digital Dragons Indie celebration is now live on Steam, with dozens of demos, live-streams, and a collection of games, hand-picked by the Digital Dragons jury and available on Steam.

Get ready to explore 50 indie games, as the event is planned from 13th to 15th of May. Live-streams will be held in Polish, English and Russian! You can witness the greatness of #indiegames curated by Digital Dragons.

Mafia: Trilogy Announcement Next Week

Following their one-word tease, the Mafia Twitter Feed has renamed itself Mafia: Trilogy, as it offers a new tweet teasing the announcement of Mafia: Trilogy next Tuesday. They offer an Official Teaser Trailer that concludes with logos for both Steam and the Epic Games Store as well as consoles. The announcement will come to the official Mafia Website where they suggest signing up for a 2K account for more details, but they are not actually squealing at this point. Here's the plan:
Live the life of a gangster across three distinct eras of organized crime in America. Discover the #MafiaTrilogy Tuesday, May 19 at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm BST at http://MafiaGame.com.
Continue here to read the full story.

Robot Cache Beta Begins

The open beta for Robot Cache is now underway, offering the chance to try out this game marketplace first announced in January 2018. This is the brainchild of Interplay and InXile founder Brian Fargo, and it makes use of blockchain technology to allow customers to buy, earn, and resell digital video games. Users can also mine cryptocurrency on their PCs, which can be used for "IRON," the digital currency used on the site. This post explains how to earn "mining boosts" which increase your cut of mining, including bonuses for founders, AMD owners, and more. Here's the previously released video on the service and here's more on the beta launch:
We’re experimenting with a radical new concept that allows gamers to sell their digital games after they’re done playing them. You’ve probably sold your old game discs to a retailer before, but now Robot Cache is extending that concept to the digital world. This is only possible with the help of the publishers and developers, and we’re thankful for their trust.

This has never been done before, so bear with us as we experiment with a completely different type of digital PC game store. We plan on doing things like rotating our top 10 lists to give more games visibility, having a section devoted to international developers, distributing blockchain games, and eventually opening some of our source code allowing you to expand this concept further than we could ever imagine.

With your help we hope this starts a whole new paradigm for buying not only digital games, but eventually all forms of entertainment. Enjoy!
Continue here to read the full story.

PC Halo 2: Anniversary Released

This announcement on Steam confirms that Halo 2: Anniversary for Windows is now available as DLC for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. A post from Halo Support has all the details on the release, noting it is also available on the Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta). Here's what the master chefs at 343 Industries and Saber Interactive have reheated for the Master Chief:
Halo 2: Anniversary comes to PC as the next installment in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Now optimized for PC, experience the impeccably remastered edition of the original Halo 2 game. Following the destruction of Halo, humankind experiences a short-lived victory. Eager for revenge, the Covenant launches a surprise attack on Earth, but they find themselves ill-prepared to defeat the UNSC’s home fleet and are forced to flee into slipspace. When the Master Chief pursues his overzealous enemies, they discover yet another Halo ring, uncovering long-buried secrets, including an unlikely ally, that will dramatically alter the course of the Human-Covenant Conflict forever.
Continue here to read the full story.

Deep Rock Galactic Leaves Early Access

Deep Rock Galactic has officially launched out of Early Access on Steam for Windows, and the co-op first-person shooter is also now available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Word is: "Since the Early Access launch, Deep Rock Galactic has been updated with tons of new features and content, such as enemies, weapons, missions, perks, assignments, deep dives, through to vanity items, beard physics, dwarven shouts, and a multitude of beers in the Abyss Bar. Deep Rock Galactic will launch with two cosmetic DLC packs, Dark Future and Megacorp including new sets of armour, weapon skins, as well as the official Deep Rock Galactic soundtrack, expanded with 50 new minutes of space-dwarf synth anthems." Here's the Launch Trailer showing off gameplay, and here's a deep dive into why this game rocks:
Deep Rock Galactic is a 1-4 player co-op FPS featuring badass space Dwarves, 100% destructible environments, procedurally-generated caves, and endless hordes of alien monsters.

1-4 PLAYER CO-OP
Work together as a team to dig, explore, and fight your way through a massive cave system filled with hordes of deadly enemies and valuable resources. You will need to rely on your teammates if you want to survive the most hostile cave systems in the galaxy!
Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Warzone Adds 2FA

Infinity Ward Tweets that they've added two-factor authentication to Call of Duty: Warzone. They say this offers an additional layer of security for PC users. Presumably this will help impede banned players from making new accounts to prevent battle royale with cheese:
Security Update: We have initiated two-step SMS authentication for new #Warzone PC users, who log in as free to play as another step to provide an additional layer of security for players.

Portal Knights Legendary Edition Released

Portal Knights Legendary Edition is now available for Windows on Steam as well as on consoles. This bundle offers the fantasy adventure game along with both of its expansions and all 10 of its DLC packs. Here are all the details:
Portal Knights Legendary Edition debuts digitally today for Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation 4, Steam for PC and Xbox One offering the definitive experience of the award-winning fantasy sandbox game in a single package for £24.99/€29.99/$29.99. With Portal Knights Legendary Edition, publisher 505 Games compiles every fan-cherished expansion, including the recently released Druids, Furfolk, and Relic Defense, bundled into a single offering alongside the original base game, packaging years of paid content and updates for one low price from Steam, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store and the Nintendo eShop.
Continue here to read the full story.

Skully Announced

Publisher Modus Games and developer Finish Line Games announce Skully, a new 3D platformer where you play as a reanimated skull ("Dad, this is the way it has to be. The upshot is you won't be killed because you're already dead"). This is planned for release for PC and consoles on August 4th. Here's an Announcement Trailer that looks at gameplay, here's the official website, and here's the Steam Listing. Read on for the heady details:
Indie publishing label Modus Games and developer Finish Line Games today shared a first look at Skully, the story of a reanimated skull’s second chance at life. The action-adventure platformer that sees Skully on a quest to stop a simmering war between feuding siblings, rolls onto Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam and Xbox One on August 4, 2020.

Summoned by a local deity desperate for peace among his kin, Skully can sculpt new abilities from pools of magical clay found throughout the lush island he has washed up on. Gameplay in Skully’s debut trailer shows just a few ways the headstrong hero’s clay-boosted forms can open up new areas of the unpredictable landscape. Get a peek of the challenges ahead by viewing the full trailer here: https://youtu.be/hcTaaE8CAyM
Continue here to read the full story.

Causa, Voices of the Dusk This Month

Indie developer announces Causa, Voices of the Dusk, will enter Early Access on Steam on May 26th, offering the first chance to play their collectible card strategy game. They say the release will be preceded by a Streaming Event on Twitch on May 21st. An Early Access Launch Trailer takes a look at what's in the cards for early adopters of the free-to-play game. Here's more on what players will deal with:
Causa, Voices of the Dusk is a deep free-to-play CCG for PC, consoles, and mobile, with complex strategic options and tactics set in an exotic and grim fantasy world. Choose between multiple powers, factions and leaders, sacrifice cards to raise your Cause, and bring them back later to achieve the most strategic plays.

With versions for PS4, Xbox One as well as for mobile to be released later in 2020, players will be able to play across all available platforms. Causa, Voices of the Dusk will be available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

With the Early Access release on Steam, Niebla Games enters the last phase of development that is meant to intensely cooperate with the players. The Early Access version already includes almost all major features that will be in the full release version, but as with every multiplayer game with live-ops, there’s much balancing, refining and polishing yet to be done - “we need the players to help us with their feedback and ideas to improve Causa,” says Nicolás Valdivia, Creative Director at Niebla Games.
Continue here to read the full story.

Nexomon: Extinction Announced

PQube and VEWO Interactive announce Nexomon: Extinction, a monster hunting game coming to PC and consoles this summer. The official trailer is online, offering this trailer which, like the game's title, does little to hide the game's Pokémon aspirations. Here's word:
Nexomon: Extinction is a return to classic monster catching games, complete with a brand new story, eccentric characters and over 300 unique Nexomon to trap, tame and evolve.

As the name implies, the world of Nexomon: Extinction is under a colossal threat. A raging battle between mighty Tyrant Nexomon for dominion over humans and monsters alike has caused chaos and destruction!

To help fix this, you choose your first Nexomon, leave the orphanage you grew up in and set out on your journey to become a master tamer. Meet a vibrant cast of characters, complete side-quests, explore the beautiful world of Nexomon and help save it from the brink of extinction!
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Following the recent launch of our responsive forum update, Frans has remained busy implementing new touches and clearing up small issues. This post from last week and this one from yesterday have the details on what he's been up to. Yesterday he added a gentle reminder for ad block users that they can now support the site to block ads should they so choose. Some sites use pop-ups for such things, and some even go so far as to prevent access until you either turn off your blocker or subscribe. But ours is just a text box in place of one of the blocked ads outlining the situation. However, I am personally seeing a bug with this on my phone. Viewing the site with Chrome on my Galaxy, I am seeing the "about that ad blocker" message right below the ads, even though I'm not blocking them. Frans is not seeing this on his phone and so far no one has mentioned it, so I can hope that maybe this problem is particular to me. If that's the case it's no big deal. But if any of you are seeing a message about using an ad blocker on your phone (or your desktop for that matter) when you are not, please drop me a line with as many details as you can provide so we can track down what's happening. Thanks very much!

Obituary: Paul Vasquez, The Viral Sensation Known As 'Double Rainbow Guy,' Dies At 57. Thanks RedEye9.

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