Archived News:

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Crucible Launches

Crucible is now available for North America on Steam, offering Amazon's free-to-play shooter for Windows. Users reported problems at first, but these seem to be cleared up now. Word is: "We’re continuing to work on opening up Crucible to other regions. We’ll continue to keep you updated." Though this is free, there are also three levels of Founder's Pack for sale to support the game: A Tracker Founder's Pack for USD$14.99, a Predator Founder's Pack for $24.99, and an Alpha Hunter Founder's Pack for $49.99. These each include a Pre-Season Battle Pass along with escalating selections of character skins, Credits, and battle stars. As explained here there are also some early adopter gifts for everyone who logs in and plays the game before the end of this month. This post welcomes new players while this one explains the pre-season and the battle pass. Here's a Launch Trailer and here are the details on the game:
Welcome to Crucible
Crucible is a team-based action shooter driven by the choices you make. Each match in Crucible is a fight for survival and control. Not only will you be going toe-to-toe with your fellow competitors, but you’ll have to adapt and overcome all the challenges the planet itself throws your way. You and your teammates will need to work together to take down alien creatures, capture objectives, and pursue your opponents in search of victory.

HUNT LEVEL ADAPT
Whether you prefer to bring an axe to a gunfight, think that the best way to solve problems is by lighting them on fire, or want to keep your options open with multiple weapons, there’s a hunter to suit your playstyle. Crucible's 10 hunters each come with their own unique set of abilities—how you use them is up to you.
Continue here to read the full story.

Take-Two Financials

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Reports Strong Results for Fiscal Year 2020. They report: GAAP Net revenue grew 16% to $3.089 billion, GAAP Net income increased 21% to $3.54 per diluted share, GAAP net cash provided by operating activities was $685.7 million, Adjusted Unrestricted Operating Cash Flow (Non-GAAP) was $615.4 million, and Net Bookings grew to $2.990 billion. Here's more whys and hows on all these big numbers:
GAAP net revenue grew 41% to $760.5 million, as compared to $539.0 million in last year’s fiscal fourth quarter. Recurrent consumer spending (which is generated from ongoing consumer engagement and includes virtual currency, add-on content and in-game purchases) increased 40% and accounted for 54% of total GAAP net revenue. The largest contributors to GAAP net revenue in fiscal fourth quarter 2020 were NBA® 2K20 and NBA 2K19, Grand Theft Auto® Online and Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online, Borderlands 3, Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI, Social Point’s mobile games, and WWE® SuperCard and WWE 2K20.

Digitally-delivered GAAP net revenue grew 54% to $634.7 million, as compared to $413.5 million in last year’s fiscal fourth quarter, and accounted for 83% of total GAAP net revenue. The largest contributors to digitally-delivered GAAP net revenue in fiscal fourth quarter 2020 were Grand Theft Auto Online and Grand Theft Auto V, NBA 2K20 and NBA 2K19, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online, Borderlands 3, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, Social Point’s mobile games, and WWE SuperCard and WWE 2K20.

Kerbal Space Program 2 Delayed

Included in the Take-Two financials above is the news that the countdown to launch Kerbal Space Program 2 will be longer than previously expected. The game's previous setback put its release date at some time before the end of spring 2021, but now it is expected by fall 2021. They attribute the delay to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic:
Announced that Kerbal Space Program 2 is being moved to Fall 2021 and will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC due to delays from COVID-19, in order to provide the development team with the time they need to create the best Kerbal Space Program experience possible.

DOOM Eternal Removing Denuvo Anti-Cheat

In a post on reddit, id Software announces they are backtracking on the recent addition of Denuvo Anti-Cheat to DOOM Eternal in update 1 for the first-person shooter sequel. This move met with controversy, so executive producer Marty Stratton explains why they added it and why they are reversing the decision in a patch they hope to release within a week. He notes that some of the performance issues users are seeing are not actually related to Denuvo, but to other bugs that they are also addressing:
Despite our best intentions, feedback from players has made it clear that we must re-evaluate our approach to anti-cheat integration. With that, we will be removing the anti-cheat technology from the game in our next PC update. As we examine any future of anti-cheat in DOOM Eternal, at a minimum we must consider giving campaign-only players the ability to play without anti-cheat software installed, as well as ensure the overall timing of any anti-cheat integration better aligns with player expectations around clear initiatives – like ranked or competitive play – where demand for anti-cheat is far greater.

It is important to note that our decision to include anti-cheat was guided by nothing other than the factors and goals I’ve outlined above – all driven by our team at id Software. I have seen speculation online that Bethesda (our parent company and publisher) is forcing these or other decisions on us, and it’s simply untrue. It’s also worth noting that our decision to remove the anti-cheat software is not based on the quality of the Denuvo Anti-Cheat solution. Many have unfortunately related the performance and stability issues introduced in Update 1 to the introduction of anti-cheat. They are not related.
Continue here to read the full story.

Wube Software Gets $40K from G2A in Chargeback Dispute

GamesIndustry.biz has word that G2A and Factorio developer Wube Software have settled their chargeback dispute with Wube collecting just under $40,000. Last summer Wube Software said they were seeking a chargeback refund from game key seller G2A after G2A vowed to pay back developers tenfold on the sale of illegal keys. Now they've actually cashed in on this, as word is:
The two companies have worked together on an internal audit and found that 198 of the 321 codes Wube queried were sold through G2A. According to the press release, "both parties assumed that the remaining 123 illegitimate keys were sold via other marketplaces or online stores."

The 321 keys were sold between March and June 2016.

GamesIndustry.biz understands from Wube that each order was approximately $20, putting the potential chargeback fees for the 321 keys at $6,420 -- slightly lower than the $6,600 Wube initially estimated last summer.

The tenfold settlement will be based on the 198 keys found to be sold through G2A, making for a final payment of $39,600 to Wube Software, which the company tells us it has received.

Tencent Confirmed as New System Shock 3 Developer

OtherSide Entertainment confirms the recent indication that Tencent is taking over development of System Shock 3. Word is: "We are happy to announce that Tencent will be taking the System Shock franchise forward. As a smaller Indie studio, it had been challenging for us to carry the project on our own. We believe Tencent’s deep capabilities and expertise as a leading game company will bring the franchise to new heights." In a related note, A follow-up tweet from Stephen Kick (thanks VG247) confirms that despite this change, Nightdive Studios still retains the rights to the System Shock franchise, saying  "Nightdive owns the System Shock franchise and IP, please don't spread misinformation."

Neversong Released

Neversong is now available for Windows, offering an action/adventure platformer that at one time was known as Once Upon a Coma. This can be picked up on Game Jolt, GOG.com, Neversong, and Steam, and is coming soon to Humble as well. Here's the Launch Trailer and here's word on the game:
Neversong is a psychological narrative game all about the death of youthfulness, but more importantly, the redemption one can achieve after the loss of that innocenece. Through Peet's mysterious and terrifying adventures, Neversong grapples with not only the sneaky nature of depression, but also the tremendous value in remembering who we are despite our circumstances or present mental state.

Classic Beautiful Simplistic
Upon waking from a coma, Peet's best friend is nowhere to be found. Investigate the screams coming from the heart of Neverwood, the increasingly bizarre behavior of the zombie grownups, and the strange truth about Peet's past in this hauntingly dreamlike fable.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Emotional post-quarantine donkey reunion. Thanks Mashable (*sniff*).

Serious Sam 4 in August

Croteam announces a release date for Serious Sam 4, saying this prequel to the madcap Serious Sam series of first-person shooters will be released in August. The Serious Sam Website currently redirects to Steam where they are accepting preorders for the Windows version and offering the previous installments in the series with some serious discounts. Word is: "Serious Sam 4 is scheduled for release in August 2020 via Steam and Stadia. Digital pre-orders are open now on Steam, and include a classic Tommy Gun in-game weapon skin, as a throwback to the series’ early days." They also serve up several videos: A cinematic trailer and gameplay/interview videos showing Serious Battles, Serious Enemies, Serious Weapons, Serious Music, and a new Legion System. Here's more on the game:
Humanity is under siege as the full force of Mental’s hordes spread across the world, ravaging what remains of a broken and beaten civilization. The last remaining resistance to the invasion is the Earth Defense Force led by Sam “Serious” Stone and his heavily-armed squad of misfit commandos.

Croteam returns with a high-powered prequel to the Serious Sam series that scales up chaos to unprecedented levels. The classic Serious Sam formula is revamped by putting an unstoppable arsenal up against an unimaginable number of enemies that requires players to circle-strafe and backpedal-blast their way out of impossible situations.
Continue here to read the full story.

PUBG Ranked Mode Launches

A post on Steam announces that version 7.2 is out of testing and officially live in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS. This marks the launch of ranked mode for the battle royale shooter, and this Dev letter discusses the news, covering goals, seasons, rules, cheating, and rewards. They conclude with: "Ranked mode is an important feature, and there are a lot of different opinions globally. We appreciate all of the discussions, ideas, and feedback on the topic. Ranked rules, settings, maps and perspectives will continue to evolve and we look forward to continuing to expand the feature." Here's a bit more:
Introducing: Ranked Mode
As many of you know, we’ve been working to add a skill-based ranking system to PUBG for quite some time. Ranked Mode provides an additional challenge for experienced players, allowing them to climb the ranks and see where they stand among other players. Ranked will be an ever-evolving core feature of the game going forward and comes with many things to understand, so let's go over some of the design goals and launch features. We plan to dive deeper into specific pieces in the coming weeks and months.

Goals

  • Provide an official way to measure skill in PUBG that shares inspiration and direction with PUBG Esports
  • Provide new ways for players to show off their skill and status to each other
  • Provide an environment specially tuned for serious PVP only competition
  • Provide a new queue that divides ranked from normal play, allowing their rules and settings to evolve independently and with separate purpose
  • Provide a different atmosphere for Ranked play by introducing a special Ranked lobby and additional post game details
  • Provide new unique seasonal rewards, reserved for Ranked players of a given season
  • Introduce new systems that aim to help protect the integrity of Ranked games and leaderboard

More on the Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War Rumor

We gave brief mention last night to the latest rumors from Twitter and YouTube saying Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War will be the title of the next CoD game, which meshed with previous rumors about the game's setting. Now Eurogamer says this is backed up by their "sources." They do not describe the bona fides of theses sources, and say Activision has declined to comment on these unconfirmed reports.

Gaming XPRIZE Announced

XPRIZE announces XPRIZE Connect, "a new learning initiative that will democratize access to learning through technology, and allow a new generation of innovators to follow their interests and develop needed skills for the oncoming, fully digital world." They kick this off with Code Games: A Global Game-Making Challenge for younger people. Here is the Code Games Website and here are some details:
Entrants can win a prize package featuring one of multiple $1,000 USD cash prizes when taking on the challenge to design and develop an original video game about any topic made with a variety of freely available creation tools as well as written game designs. Grand prizes of $2,000 USD will be awarded to the best games in the following topic areas: Equity, Exploration, and Environment. Entry is free and submissions of one of the following are due by October 14, 2020:

  • A playable game made using any tool provided that tool is consistent with the requirements of the guidelines.
  • A written video game design document that provides a clear description of the overall vision for the game, target audience, genre, core gameplay, timing/pacing of play experience, visual style, and (if applicable to the game) characters and storyline.

Following the submission deadline, a panel of independent judges consisting of video game experts and leaders in culture will identify the competitors whose submissions qualify to move forward to phase two, which will include a formal review and scoring process based off of the following criteria: Creative Vision, Engaging Gameplay, Balance, and Technical Execution.

Scott Warner to Lead Tencent's TiMi

TiMi Studios announces veteran game designer Scott Warner has joined this North American subsidiary of Tencent Games. Scott will not be TiMi's Lord of the Underworld, but he will serve as the studio's new director to lead its operations. They say he had been working on an "unannounced project" at Ubisoft up until now, but it's not clear if this is the AAA game mentioned in Ubi's recent financial report. TiMi's focus has been on mobile games until now, but Warner's resume includes PC console games, and the announcement says he "will help TiMi develop new games and IP for passionate players on multiple platforms." Here's more:
Warner brings more than two decades of professional experience, starting his career as a game designer on the legendary role-playing games ‘Planescape: Torment’ and ‘Icewind Dale.’ He’s since worked on some of the most popular franchises in gaming, including Halo and Battlefield. He joins TiMi from his former position as game director at Ubisoft on an unannounced project.

TiMi welcomes Warner as a new studio director to expand its presence in North America with a development team. This will add to a stronger global perspective of TiMi, which employs more than 2,000 game developers, artists and designers and is known for being a leader in developing multiple genres including racing, MOBA, strategy, RPG, shooters and casual games in China.
Continue here to read the full story.

Brimstone Brawlers Early Access

Early Access to Brimstone Brawlers is now underway on Steam, offering the chance to try your hand at this Victorian-era arena brawling game. This post from developer/publisher Ategig welcomes new players, while this trailer shows off what to expect. And while the first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club, hopefully Tyler Durden will forgive us for sharing these details:
The era of enlightenment that had once fuelled new innovations and scientific discoveries has now turned to a time of onslaught from a new industrial age. Grotesque scenes of supernatural happenings are emerging with glimpses of ghastly figures in the shadows, monsters roaming the streets and dark powers dwelling in the citadel. With the city on the brink of chaos, a cast of strange characters, each fuelled by their own motives, have taken to the streets and are ready to Brawl!

Choose from an initial cast of 12 Brawlers with unique abilities and playstyles, ranging from the soul-chasing Wraith to the explosives wielding Bomber to the Traveller that carries a suitcase around with a strange tentacle creature inside (or is that actually the Traveller?). With more strange and peculiar Brawlers coming in the future!
Continue here to read the full story.

Westmark Manor Next Month

Toadman Interactive announces a June 18th release date for Westmark Manor, a Lovecraftian puzzle adventure developed by one of their staff. This will be released on GOG.com and Steam, and the celebrate the news with a Final Trailer showing off some of the puzzles and eldritch horrors you will face. Here's word:
Discover what lurks in the darkest corners of the mansion. Westmark Manor is a chilling survival horror puzzle game inspired by the formidable H.P. Lovecraft, where players must journey into the occult and survive a nightmarish mansion. Solve mind-bending puzzles and explore terrifying rooms filled with traps and demonic dark entities to unfold the mystery of the Westmark Estate.
Continue here to read the full story.

Curved Space This Fall

Curved Space is an arcade shooter planned for release this autumn by husband and wife development team Only By Midnight. This is coming to Steam and consoles, and they say they will be launching a PC-only beta test this summer. Word is: "It is a dizzying modern take on the classic arcade shooter set across a surreal universe of space-bending arenas. Bullets, beams and bizarre alien energy spiders alike curve and warp around the surface of asteroids, space stations and physics-defying mobius strips. All of this accompanied by a pounding ‘80s-inspired synthwave soundtrack courtesy of FiXT." The Curved Space Website is where to keep tabs on this, and it currently offers a Reveal Trailer showing off gameplay. Here are more details:
In the far future, mankind has taken to harvesting energy from gigantic spider monsters from another dimension. Curved Space teaches the player the tricks of this hazardous trade through the mind-bending Story Mode. Players will blast, lash and leech power from the invaders while trying to hold together their own rapidly fracturing reality. Story choices will take players down unpredictable new timelines, and upgrade picks alter how battles play out against enormous boss monsters from beyond.

Players looking for a more arcade-styled challenge can dive into Survival Mode. Power-ups need to be wisely chosen and every ship ability mastered in order to hold off the endless, escalating hordes. For those after bragging rights, there will be a daily seeded challenge run with online leaderboards for that authentic arcade challenge.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

My efforts at fighting pandemic-induced inactivity got a welcome boost when someone in our community offered up a free giveaway of a home elliptical machine in a Facebook post. I laid claim to this, and after being told it was light enough to carry, walked over to collect it. The giveaway must have been because it could no longer provide exertion for someone who thought a 50 lb machine was something I could carry home for a quarter-mile. So I went back in my car to pick it up. I dutifully cleaned it off with disinfectant, and it now sits near my desk in the BlueCave where it has already provided more exercise than I've had in quite some time.

Obituary: Annie Glenn, widow of astronaut John Glenn, dies at 100.
Obituary: US bluesman Lucky Peterson dies aged 55. Thanks Neutronbeam.

Elliptical Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Mafia: Trilogy Announcement; Mafia II & III: Definitive Editions Now Available

After a tease and some leaks, 2K officially announces the Mafia: Trilogy, revisiting this trio of organized crime games. They are working backwards with an increasing level of reworking. Therefore a "re-introduction" to Mafia III and a remaster of Mafia II are now available, while a "built-from-the-ground-up remake" of the original Mafia will follow on August 28th. They call the remake of the original the centerpiece of the collection, and offer this trailer with a look at what to expect from that. The trilogy is currently available for 17% off on Steam and word is this will also come in the future to the Epic Games Store and Stadia. Here's the Steam Listing for Mafia II: Definitive Edition for Windows, which also includes Mafia II (Classic). Here's the Steam Listing for Mafia III: Definitive Edition, which also includes a playable demo. Owners of either game are being automatically updated to the Definitive Editions for free and those who try the Mafia III demo will have their progress carry over if they purchase the full game. The announcement also promises preorder bonuses for the trilogy as well as additional bonuses for those who sign up for a 2K Account. Here's more on this offer they hope you cannot refuse:
Mafia: Definitive Edition, Mafia II: Definitive Edition, and Mafia III: Definition Edition are also available for purchase individually. The Definitive Editions for Mafia II and Mafia III are available today within the Mafia: Trilogy and as standalone purchases on Xbox One, PlayStation® 4, and PC via Steam, and will be coming to the Epic Games Store and Stadia at a later date. Both Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition feature all original bonus add-on content, plus completely remastered 4K compatible visuals for Mafia II.

Mafia: Definitive Edition – the centerpiece of the collection – launches August 28 as a comprehensive, rebuilt-from-the-ground-up remake of the original Mafia, complete with an updated script filled with rich new dialogue, expanded backstories, and additional cutscenes; all-new gameplay sequences and features; the same stellar game engine that powered Mafia III’s best-in-class cinematics; and other enhancements. It’s the Mafia players remember, only much more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Overwatch Anniversary Update

A new patch is now live in Overwatch, updating Blizzard's competitive shooter to version 1.48 and adding a bunch of new skins in celebration of the game's fourth anniversary. Despite the incremental version number this is a significant update they call a "rebase" which "will require a relatively large download for all platforms." This also kicks off Competitive Deathmatch Season 3, and through June 10th players can compete in competitive 8-player free-for-all Deathmatch to earn a rank and rewards. Here's word on the anniversary:
Overwatch turns four this year and we’re celebrating with brand new items, including new Legendary skins like Masquerade Reaper, Dragoon Mercy, Little Red Ashe, and more! Participate in the weekly anniversary Challenges for even more epic rewards, such as Carbon Fiber Sigma, Fleur de Lis Widowmaker, and Masked Man McCree. Did you miss any Overwatch festivities over the previous years? Don’t worry—you’ll be able to unlock items from past events using credits (or by opening Loot Boxes)! Relive the thrill of previous seasonal brawls in the Arcade, with a brawl of the day rotating throughout the Anniversary celebration.

Thank you so much for playing Overwatch with us over the past four years! Your continued support and enthusiasm help drive us to keep creating. We look forward to celebrating with you in-game!

More VALORANT Bans

The VALORANT banhammer is still getting a workout, as Riot Games anti-cheat chief Phillip Koskinas tweets the latest on rooting out malfeasance in their beta shooter (thanks The Loadout). Here's the bodycount:
1600 VALORANT accounts just went missing and we're still geeked up off the ban juice

PC Phantasy Star Online 2 This Month

SEGA announces May 27th is the North American release date for the Windows edition of Phantasy Star Online 2, the free-to-play online action/RPG. The announcement mentions the version coming to the Microsoft Store, but earlier this year it was also revealed this is coming to Steam, and it's not clear if that edition is due at the same time. Here's more on the game and its support for cross-play:
The North American version of Phantasy Star Online 2 includes fully localized text and character voices in English, spanning three years of content. In addition to the immersive original PSO2 story, the NA version also features the most-up-to-date balancing and quality-of-life improvements from the Japanese service. Players can choose from four races and nine classes while tackling various missions. They can also take a break from questing by playing one of the many Casino mini-games, chilling in the Alliance Quarters, competing in the new ARKS League or attending all-new live stage events. And for the first time they will be able to do all of this with friends on both PC and Xbox One thanks to cross-platform play.
Continue here to read the full story.

Iron Meat Demo

Iron Meat is a side-scrolling arcade shooter coming to Steam from Russian solo developer Ivan Suvorov. Word is: "Iron Meat is a classic run-and-gun platform shooter, with graphic pixelated violence, plenty of horrifying enemies and bosses, mixed with old-school SNES-era charm." Here's a Teaser Trailer showing off gameplay. If this retro action appeals to you, head over to itch.io where there's a playable Windows demo for your sampling pleasure. Here's a description of the demo: "Players will be able to blast through the first two levels of the game, as they encounter the horrors of the ‘Forest’, or the nightmare climb through the industrial ‘Shaft’." Continue here to read the full story.

Going Medieval This Year; Beta Signups

Publisher The Irregular Corporation and developer Foxy Voxel announce plans to get medieval on your ass with Going Medieval, an upcoming alternate-history simulation of the bad old days. This will be set in 1346 in the aftermath of the Black Death, and if life after a pandemic subsides sounds appealing, you can sign up on this page to participate in a beta coming later this year. Here's an Announcement Trailer, and here's a bit on the game:
Going Medieval transports players to the year 1346, just as the known world began to recover from the calamity known as Black Death. Survivors emerging from society’s ashes migrated and re-settled areas reclaimed by nature. Players will guide their villagers and protect them from outlaws, barbarians, and religious fanatics in a classless, borderless, lawless post-calamity age.

Plan, create and build your settlement using a variety of materials at your disposal, protect your villagers from the elements, including hunger, enemies and even the weather, and defend your village from rival factions by building impenetrable, multistory fortresses or strategically placed archers and traps. Observe your villagers, all with unique histories and agendas, to figure out how to best serve them - happy villagers are productive villagers, after all.

Going Medieval’s single-player experience puts you in control in one of the darkest and dangerous periods of humanity’s history - navigate the dangers or perish like so many before you. With almost infinite replayability options, no playthrough is the same.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

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Dark Souls III Sales Top 10M

BANDAI NAMCO announces Dark Souls III has sold more than 10M copies on all platforms since the release of From Software's action/RPG sequel (or soulslike, if you prefer). Here's word this milestone for which most developers and publishers would sell their dark souls:
Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe is proud to announce that DARK SOULS III sold more than 10 million units worldwide, marking the global success of the title on PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC.

“DARK SOULS III has fast become one of our most successful games to date. We can’t thank our players and fans enough for the trust they put in our game,” said Hervé Hoerdt, Senior Vice President Marketing, Digital, Content at Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe. “DARK SOULS community has been incredible since the release back in 2016, and it is amazing to see players still being involved and showcasing our game!”

GWENT Went to Steam

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game is now available for Windows on Steam. This free-to-play turn-based strategy game is from CD Projekt RED, so it's naturally made a home on CDPR's own GOG.com, but it is now available on Valve's storefront as well. Here is the Steam Launch trailer, and here's word the release, cross-play support, and how to earn rewards playing Thronebreaker:
The Steam release of GWENT features full cross-play and synchronization functionality with other versions of the game, meaning Steam players can compete with players on iOS, Android, and GOG.COM, as well as carry over all items and progress between these platforms. In addition, the release also includes Steam achievements and Steam Trading Cards integration.

Additionally, thanks to an update to Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales on Steam, from today, players can now earn rewards to use in GWENT by making progress in the Thronebreaker campaign. These rewards include premium cards and vanity items, and will unlock automatically once requisite conditions are met. More information on Thronebreaker rewards in GWENT is available here.
Continue here to read the full story.

SKYHILL: Black Mist Special Editions

SKYHILL: Black Mist is due for release on Steam on May 28th, offering a second installment in this action/adventure series. Publisher Klabater and developer Mandragora offer a new Story Gameplay Trailer from the action adventure along with details on an Enhanced Edition and an Ultimate Supporters Bundle that will come alongside the standard edition. The former includes an elite skin pack, a graphic novel, and an artbook while the latter has all three of those bonuses along with the soundtrack. Here's word on the game:
SKYHILL: Black Mist, the second installment of the series, is a combination of classic horror and gameplay straight from survival games. The game loosely parallels the original concept, but gameplay-wise it’s a revolutionary step forward. This time the developers moved from 2D to 3D, presenting the action in an isometric view. The game mechanics have been significantly enhanced with stealth elements and solutions known from metroidvania-like games, including the ability to re-explore already visited locations to find previously inaccessible items and information. An important element of the game, also improved compared to the original, is the crafting system that allows players to craft items that will help them survive in the most difficult conditions. The story in SKYHILL: Black Mist is inspired by the classic horror cinema, while also introducing mysterious and paranormal elements that we associate with such series as Stranger Things. The player cannot be sure what is true and what is an illusion. Locked in a haunted luxurious building complex owned by the mysterious corporation Skyhill Inc., he tries to understand who or what stands behind the eponymous Black Mist that turns people into mindless monsters.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dark Nights with Poe and Munro Released

Dark Nights with Poe and Munro is now available on Steam, offering supernatural adventure for Windows and macOS in the near-forgotten FMV genre. The previously released Official Trailer has cinematics, which of course is also gameplay in this type of game. Here's more on this project that recalls the glory days of the CD-ROM drive:
The game, which focuses on two local radio hosts as they encounter a series of supernatural happenings in the small town of August, will be available at a 10% launch discount for one week and can also be purchased in a discounted bundle with The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, the studio’s first game.

Dark Nights with Poe and Munro stars Klemens Koehring as John ‘Poe’ Pope and Leah Cunard as Ellis Munro. Aislinn De’Ath guest cameos as guesthouse owner Violet while voiceovers are provided by Justin McElroy (The Adventure Zone, My Brother My Brother and Me), Jesse Cox (Monster Prom), David Homb (1995’s Phantasmagoria), and many more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

  • War of Ashird by Igrasil Studio — Kickstarter. "War of Ashird is a unique combination of classic turn-based and grid-based RPGs. In it, you can command your soldiers in strategic battles, conquer enemy kingdoms' territories, and live as a ruler! The game also has a cast of more than 20 playable characters for you to recruit—each with their own unique personality. "

Out of the Blue

The aftermath of our UTF-8 conversion was pretty short. I mentioned a problem displaying some characters after Frans converted the site to the new character encoding. But he managed to track down the conflict at the root of this and fix things very quickly. This means we don't expect that any problems remain, so if you happen to notice any character glitches when reading older stories, or new ones for that matter, please bring them to our attention so they can be looked into.

Unicode Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Stories
Thanks RedEye9.

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