Archived News:

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2020

Humble Announces $1M Publishing Fund for Black Developers

Humble announces their support for the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests with the launch of a new $1 million fund to helping publish games by black developers:
We stand in solidarity to condemn racism and violence against the Black community. Humble believes in empowering and uniting communities through gaming and will leverage our platform to help achieve racial equality everywhere.

Today we are announcing a $1 million fund dedicated to helping publish games by Black developers. We will have more updates about the fund and other ways we are actively supporting organizations soon.

In the meantime, the Humble community has always supported worthwhile causes in times of need so please consider donating to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or Race Forward.

#BlackLivesMatter

Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire Broadcast Delayed

CD PROJECT RED tweets the announcement that they are postponing their Night City Wire broadcast for Cyberpunk 2077 out of respect for the Black Lives Matter protests. It was planned for June 11th, but now they say this will come two weeks later on June 25th:
We decided to move Night City Wire to Jun 25th. We still look forward to sharing new information about CP’77, but more important discussions are happening right now and we want them to be heard. We wholeheartedly stand against racism, intolerance and violence. Black Lives Matter.

IGN Postpones Summer of Gaming Event

IGN tweets their participation in today's Blackout Tuesday as support for the Black Lives Matter movement. They offer a Link to Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They also announce they are postponing the start of their Summer of Gaming main event until next Monday:
We stand is solidarity with the Black community and condemn racism.

Out of respect for and in support of those rightfully demanding justice and change across the United States and the world, IGN will be delaying the launch of its Summer of Gaming main events until June 8th.

Today IGN is participating in Blackout Tuesday, a day of reflection, action, and commitment to meaningful change. IGN will be driving donations to support the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and organization that supports legal action and long-term change, including on our daily live news show NG+.

Out sister company Humble Bundle, has announced a $1 million fund dedicated to helping publish games by Black developers.

This is a start, but we are committed to driving long-term change. We will have more updates on how we will continue to support the fight for justice.

Path of Exile: Harvest Announced

The official website for Path of Exile is now counting down the seconds until the release of Harvest, the next expansion for Grinding Gears' action/RPG. This will come to PC on June 19th, bringing the chance to reap what you sow and promising a massive unique item overhaul, a new Vulkan renderer, and more. Here's an Official Trailer and Developer Commentary and here are some details:
In Path of Exile: Harvest, Oshabi is cultivating the Sacred Grove, an ancient garden of mysterious power. Plant seeds that grow into dangerous enemies and craft their Lifeforce onto your items. Our June expansion contains the Harvest challenge league, powerful new crafting options, eight new skills, two new support gems, revamps of Two-handed Weapons, Warcry skills, Brands, Slams and the Passive Skill Tree itself. We've also introduced 12 new unique items and rebalanced over 50 existing ones.
Continue here to read the full story.

Command & Conquer Source Code

The promised source code for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert are now available on GitHub, offering modders and other hobbyists a look under the hood of these classic real-time strategy games. PCGamesN points the way to a Reddit post explaining more about this:
The mod DLL source code is the legacy game code, but adapted to work as a extention of the Petroglyph GlyphX engine, so some minor bits are missing. But all code for the core game machanics is there, along with all sorts of random legacy code (although unused) for the history hunters out there!

DemonCrawl Gets Free Sweeping Heights Expansion

Therefore Games announces the release of Sweeping Heights, a free expansion for DemonCrawl, their Windows "rogulite"(?) puzzle game that's based on the tried and true Minesweeper concept. This includes what they call the Endless Multiverse 2.0 which "reinvigorates DemonCrawl's current endgame." Here's an Endless Multiverse 2.0 trailer and here are some details:
The Endless Multiverse 2.0 completely reinvigorates DemonCrawl's current endgame. Dimensional Portals no longer require you to sacrifice items or stats to proceed. Instead, they will automatically reset your inventory and stats to starting values. The Metagate will acquire a new "Portal Mod" with each dimension. These special mods will impact the difficulty of the following dimension in interesting ways.

Other Endless Multiverse Features

  • New stranger: Guide - Exclusive to the Metagate. He will help you whitelist certain items or stats when you enter the Dimensional Portal. Unlike most strangers, you may only pay each Guide once.
  • New legendary items: Memento - Found only in Endless Multiverse Item Shops, each Memento presents a mini-quests of sorts; if you can meet its conditions, you will receive a buff at the start of the next dimension. There is a Memento based around the mechanics of each Mastery.
  • New landmark: Vault - The Vault allows you to deposit a specific item that will persist between dimensions. You can retrieve this item from the next Vault you encounter, however you must leave another item in its place.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

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Evening Crowdfunding

  • Steamdolls - Order of Chaos by The Whisper — Kickstarter. "SteamDolls is a steampunk inspired metroidvania game with a grimy touch of brutality. You are The Whisper - voiced by David Hayter (The Legendary Solid Snake). Blast your way to your objective or stick to the shadows and perform violent assassinations on unsuspecting guards, as you struggle with the haunting apparitions of a mesmerizing witch trying to reveal the truth about a conspiracy that could shake the very foundation of the world." Here's a trailer and they promise a playable demo on June 15th.
  • Curse of the Sea Rats - An epic hand-drawn ratoidvania by PETOONS STUDIO — Kickstarter. "Curse of the Sea Rats packs all of the best features from the Metroidvania genre featuring beautiful 2D hand-drawn animation and 3D environments, combined with unique real-time combat mechanics, and of course, lots of rats!." Here's a trailer.

Evening Tech Bits

A Total War Saga: TROY an EGS Exclusive; Free for 24 Hours

SEGA and Creative Assembly announce A Total War Saga: TROY will launch exclusively on the Epic Games Store on August 13th. They also reveal the historical strategy game will be free to keep for all who claim their copy within the first 24 hours of release. There are details on the game in the this FAQ, which says the game will come to Steam in summer 2021. In response to concerns expressed about the exclusivity, they tweet that they have no plans for future Epic exclusives: "We currently have no plans for any future games to be Epic exclusives. We do want to be more platform agnostic moving forward, and we would like future games to be available on the Epic Games Store, but that’s in addition to being available on other platforms such as Steam." Here's a new trailer and here's the news:
Sega Europe Ltd. and The Creative Assembly Ltd today announced that A Total War Saga: TROY™ will launch exclusively via the Epic Games Store on August 13, 2020, free to keep for players who download within the first 24 hours.

Using Total War's BAFTA award-winning marriage of grand turn-based strategy and spectacular real-time battles, A Total War Saga: TROY™ plunges players into the legendary Bronze-Age conflict of the Trojan War, where they assume the roles of Achilles, Hector, and many other legendary heroes as they fight to defend the great city of Troy... or raze it to the ground.

"Thanks to Epic, we're able to offer a Total War title for free on its launch day. It's a hugely exciting thing for us to be able to do for our players," says Tim Heaton, Chief Studios Officer at Sega Europe Ltd. "Not only does this mean that we can bring the tales and legends of TROY to a wide audience through Epic's massive platform, but it also means new players will get to try Total War for the first time, experiencing the unique gameplay that the series is famous for."
Continue here to read the full story.

VALORANT Launches with New Map, Mode, and Agent

VALORANT has officially launched in North America, and Riot's new competitive first-person shooter is now available in most other territories as well. Word is: "VALORANT is your global competitive stage. It’s a 5v5 tac-shooter matchup to plant or defuse the Spike in a one-life-per-round, first to 13 series. More than guns and bullets, you’ll choose an Agent armed with adaptive, swift, and lethal abilities that create opportunities to let your gunplay shine." You can pick up this free-to-play game on the VALORANT Website. Here's the Official Launch Gameplay Trailer and here's the Official Launch Cinematic Trailer. The version 1.0 Patch Notes outline what's changed since the beta, including the launch of a new map called Ascent, a new agent named Reyna, and a new beta game mode called Spike Rush. Here's the intro:
If you’re reading this, it’s too late—VALORANT is launching.

What’s new? Reyna is the latest Agent to join VALORANT—straight from the heart of Mexico. Ascent, an open playground for small wars of position and attrition, enters the map pool. Spike Rush (beta) also arrives to deliver a fresh and more hectic flavor of VALORANT.

Sage, Omen, Phoenix, Raze and Jett all received a decent share of buffs and nerfs respectively to get them ready for launch. This patch also targeted the framerate drops some of you were getting during combat. The devil’s in the details, but know that getting performance where we want for all players is an ongoing process we hope to nail down in the next few patches.

Improvements to hit registration, and a rework of Split’s mid chokepoint joins the healthy list of fixes and updates below.

Good game, mad patch notes.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dead Age 2 Early Access Late

Headup Games announces that Early Access to Dead Age 2 on Steam is being postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The zombie-infested survival/RPG sequel was supposed to come to Early Access tomorrow, but now they expect this launch to come on July 16th:
Due to the necessary work adjustments during the COVID-19 lockdown which were necessary to keep everyone at good health, the current version of Dead Age 2 did not quite reach the technical quality standards that the studio and us have set and wanted to achieve for the Early Access Release on June 3rd – we are close but simply not 100% there yet…

As we strive for the highest quality even for an Early Access release and as we feel we also owe this to you, the players, we mutually decided to postpone the Early Access to July 16, 2020 to secure the best possible game experience.

Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty Seasons Postponed

Activision tweets that the new seasons for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Call of Duty: Mobile are all being delayed. They explain this is to stand alongside those currently protesting for social change:
While we all look forward to playing the new seasons of Modern Warfare, Warzone and Call of Duty: Mobile, now is not the time.

We are moving the launches of Modern Warfare Season 4 and Call of Duty: Mobile Season 7 to later dates.

Right now it's time for those speaking up for equality, justice and change to be seen and heard.

We stand alongside you.

Against the Storm Announced

Indie Polish developer Eremite Games announces Against the Storm. Not to be confused with the World of Warcraft quest of the same name, this is a Roguelike city construction game set in a fantasy world beset by never-ending rainfall, sort of like summer afternoons in DisneyWorld. Here's a description of the game, which is coming to Steam in 2021:
Against the Storm is a roguelite city builder set in a fantasy world tormented by the everlasting rain. Settle the unknown wilds to discover and rebuild the ruins of a long-forgotten civilization. Develop technologies that will help your citizens tackle destructive storms and extend the frontier of your civilization.

A unique combination of city building and roguelite genres makes each playthrough a unique adventure. Every reclaimed ruin increases your buildings’ collection. Optimize your set and test different strategies with each run to thrive in a world where it never stops to rain!
Continue here to read the full story.

ER Pandemic Simulator Announced

PlayWay, famous/infamous/notorious for their fill-in-the-blank simulator games, announces ER Pandemic Simulator is in development at Movie Games. This simulation of a hospital fighting a virus outbreak is coming soon to Steam. To mitigate the impression this is exploitation, they promise 10% of the game's revenue will be pledged to COVID-19 relief (though even more ample deflection of such criticism could simply be to point to Basement Owl's announcement of Coof Attack). Here's a trailer showing a surprising number of patients exhibiting the symptoms of zombie shamble and bleeding eyes, and here's a description:
See what it's like to work at a Hospital Emergency Ward when a pandemic attacks the whole world. Become a doctor: Help patients, diagnose them, isolate, and save their lives. At the same time, try to keep your own.

Many people in a crisis ask themselves what the situation on the frontline looks like. Today, this frontline is healthcare and emergency departments. We’re going to answer that question via our latest video game, faithfully reproducing the hard work of a doctor. The classic Theme Hospital showed the hospital in a crooked mirror, in an isometric view. ER Pandemic Simulator will do it in all seriousness, in the first-person perspective - speaks Mateusz Wcześniak, Movie Games CEO.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

While I certainly share lingering concerns that emerging from lockdown too quickly might lead to avoidable illnesses and death, I am very happy that as of yesterday local dentists are permitted to reopen. I now have appointments to deal with my temporary teeth as well as for a cleaning. These are a couple of weeks out, so clearly other even more eager than I managed to call in before I did. I am also pretty impressed with how they are dealing with this. They will call me a couple of days in advance with a screening interview, and they are having patients wait in their cars until right before they are ready for us to avoid unnecessary interaction. I feel dentistry should qualify as an essential service that should have been allowed to stay open, and I am certainly happy that I will finally get to resume my interrupted treatment.

Dental Links
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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