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Saturday, Aug 01, 2020

Disintegration Free Weekend

A free weekend is underway on Steam for Disintegration, providing the chance to sample this recently released Windows first-person shooter with RTS elements (thanks SteamDB via Ant). Word is: "Play Disintegration for free from July 30th to August 3rd! Join its exciting multiplayer across three different modes and discover this unique aerial tactical shooter with real time strategy elements." Here's a bit on the game:
From V1 Interactive, the new 30-person independent development studio founded by Marcus Lehto, the co-creator of Halo, comes Disintegration, a sci-fi first-person shooter combining FPS and real time strategy elements. Set in the near future on Earth, the only hope for human survival is through Integration, a process developed to preserve human brains in robotic armatures. You play as Romer Shoal, a former Gravcycle pilot in command of a small resistance force still grasping onto the fading memories of their human selves. With the domineering Rayonne forces set on eliminating the final remnants of human society, it’s up to Romer and his crew of Outlaws to fight back and reboot humanity. Pilot a variety of weaponized Gravcycles and command your crew on the ground by leveraging a variety of unique unit abilities and mastery of your own personal arsenal to dominate the battle.

In addition to the thrilling single-player campaign, Disintegration features frenetic PvP multiplayer where pilots and their crews compete in three exciting game modes across a variety of maps.

Barony Free Weekend

A free weekend for Barony is also now underway on Steam, allowing you to play this "first-person roguelike RPG with cooperative play" for nothing. This is also on sale for 80% off, but It bears noting that the game is also now one of this week's freebies on the Epic Games Store. Here's a description of the game:
Slay baddies, collect arcane treasures, invoke powerful spells, and tally up your death count on your way to defeating the forces of supernatural evil.

Barony is a love-note to RPG classics like Ultima Underworld, System Shock, & Daggerfall, created by fans of the classics.

//HEX Released

//HEX is now available on Steam, offering a hacking simulator for Windows that allows you to experience the lucrative career of a hacker who bypasses security systems to rob banks. Here's a Teaser Trailer and here's what the heck's going on:
//HEX is a team-based game that requires rapid and concise communication between a hacker and a control to bypass internet security measures, and successfully hack into the most secure banks in the world.

//HEX includes 8 types of hacking puzzles and one type of tracer puzzle with a total of 3 currencies to transfer. As the development of the game advances, 14 different hacking puzzles, 4 different tracer puzzles and 4 different currencies will be added.
Continue here to read the full story.

Banners of Ruin Early Access

Banners of Ruin is now available on Steam, offering a deckbuilding game from publisher Goblinz Studio and developer MonteBearo. Here's the Early Access Trailer. Here's what's in the cards for those who play this game:
Build your deck and fight your way through the city of Dawn's Point with card based combat and up to 6 members in your party. Characters loyal to your cause have a set of unique cards and abilities that may augment your deck in powerful, exciting ways. Defeat each of the elite opponents in your path to the city's Guard Captain and cripple the Enders at their core. You and your brethren may fall at this attempt, but there will always be others to carry the torch. House Blackfoot will remember, and they will never relent. Encounter a series of scenarios as you travel through the city which may help you, but at the expense of some moral ground.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Happy birthday MTV, as my old employer first went on the air on this day in 1981 with the perfect debut, Video Killed the Radio Star. That means the channel will turn the big 4-0 next year. I'm hoping this inspires some sort of reunion, as it would be great to see some of my old cohorts again.

Obituary: Bill English, wizard behind the scenes of seminal computer technologies, dies at 91. Thanks Slashdot.

Rockin' Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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Friday, Jul 31, 2020

Halo Infinite F2P Multiplayer Confirmed

A the Halo Twitter has an official confirmation from 343 Industries of the leaked news that the multiplayer mode for Halo Infinite will be free-to-play. Here's the tweet:
Halo is for everyone. We can confirm #HaloInfinite multiplayer will be free-to-play and will support 120FPS on Xbox Series X. More details will be shared later!

Rocket Arena Free Weekend

Celebrating the launch of Rocket Arena Season 1, publisher Electronic Arts and developer Final Strike now offer a free weekend for Rocket Arena, their recently launched multiplayer shooter. They are also rewarding those who've already bought the game: "As a thank you, fans who played Rocket Arena prior to Season 1 saw a bonus of 3,000 Rocket Fuel added to their account, which can be redeemed for unique cosmetic items and/or seasonal Blast Passes through Season 3. These early pioneers of the game will also find 10 animated outfits in their accounts representing each of the launch characters." You can get in on the action through EA Access, Origin Access, and Steam. Here's a quick primer:
Rockets rule everything in Rocket Arena, an explosive 3v3 shooter where you’re never out of the action. Master your hero’s unique rockets and abilities to rule the arena and become a champion! Adapt your strategy with an ever-growing roster of diverse heroes with distinctive powers. Unearth new strategies and tactics based on your squad, explore a wide variety of dynamic maps, and discover the true depth of rocket gameplay. Ready to be blown away?

QuakeCon Quake Giveaway

Bethesda is promising all Bethesda.net members who tune in for QuakeCon a free copy of Quake. If their charity initiative hits their first goal, these members will also receive a free copy of Quake II (thanks RedEye9). Here are the details on the plan, in case anyone who's planning on watching the show doesn't already own both games:
Celebrate QuakeCon from Your Living Room
The 25th annual QuakeCon will be the first ever remote QuakeCon - but that won't stop us from fragging with friends and raising money to do good in the world. So, mark your calendars for this free online event!

Kicking off August 7 and ending August 9, QuakeCon At Home will be filled with round-the clock programming featuring:

  • Developer Streams with Game Updates
  • Special Influencer Streams
  • Esports Tournaments
  • Charity Fundraising
  • More Surprises!

Tune in to QuakeCon At Home as a Bethesda.net member and you will receive the original Quake game on PC for free! In addition, if we hit our first fundraising goal of $10,000, you will receive Quake II for free!

Anthem Rework Loot Status Report

The BioWare Blog discusses loot and equipment goals as BioWare continues with their promised Anthem rework. This offers details from a discussion that started on Twitter, offering a "peek behind the curtain" at "how the sausage is made" in fixing their multiplayer action/RPG. Here's the introduction on creating a more satisfying loot experience:
A good player experience depends on the loot system being extensible and robust, and a lot can go wrong. A lot did go wrong. We fell short here and we realized that building something new from the ground up was going to be required – starting with taking a long look and understanding the best in class of the many great games that inspire us.

Grounded Soars

Xbox Wire informs us that over one million players have checked out Grounded between Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview:
We want to thank the community for showing support for the recent release of Grounded on Xbox Game Preview and Steam Early Access. In its first two days of availability, we’ve had over one million players explore the mysterious backyard, battle giant spiders, and gather tons of useful materials — which has absolutely blown away our small team of 13 here at Obsidian!

With so many of you interested in our game, we can’t wait to bring you more to do in Grounded every month. As we look forward to building Grounded together, we want to let you know that this journey is just the start of the adventure and we will be making continued updates and fixes to ensure the best player experience possible. Also, starting August 27, we will begin our monthly delivery of game updates.

Carrion Carryin' Its Weight

Keep calm and Carrion. Publisher Devolver Digital and developer Phobia announce that Carrion has scared up over 200,000 sales since the launch of this reverse horror game. Here's a new live-action Behind the Screams Video and here's more:
Independent developer Phobia Game Studios, tentacled label Devolver Digital, and crafty production house Imagos Films have released Carrion: Behind the Screams, a shocking three-minute exposé about the making of the hit horror game. Creep behind the pixels with a raw, unfiltered interview with Carrion's star beast and understand the physical and emotional toll it took to create its art.

Carrion released last week to widespread critical and commercial success with nearly 200,000 copies sold and hundreds of thousands of players on Xbox Gamepass. Visit carrion.game for news on future updates or follow @DevolverDigital for funny gifs and stuff.
Continue here to read the full story.

PC Yakuza Kiwami 2 Released

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is now available for Windows 10, offering PC gamers the chance to live the life of crime in this game first released for PlayStation 4 (it's also now available for Xbox One). Here's an unusually early Accolades Trailer and here's word on the game:
Set one year after the thrilling events of the original story, the Dragon of Dojima, Kazuma Kiryu, is finally starting to settle down and build a peaceful life with Haruka Sawamura. However, he soon learns an assassination threatens to erupt an all-out war between the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance. Kiryu must travel to Sotenbori, Osaka in an attempt to broker peace between the rival clans, but Ryuji Goda, the Dragon of Kansai, will stop at nothing to get his war.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 is the first Yakuza game available to Xbox One & Windows 10 players utilizing Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's powerful Dragon Engine, which features vastly improved graphics and performance, as well as seamless transitions when entering and exiting buildings or combat. You can even take fights from the street into nearby convenience stores - just don't expect any service if you happen to trash the store. Yakuza Kiwami 2 also features a full playable side story featuring fan-favorite character Goro Majima, as well as a wealth of new substories and mini games to keep you playing for countless hours.
Continue here to read the full story.

Riot Dealing with League of Legends Griefers

In a Behavioral Systems August 2020 Update, Riot explains plans to detoxify League of Legends a bit with griefer punishments (thanks The Loadout). Here's the plan for dealing with idle/AFK players in their MOBA:
Idle and AFK Actions
If we're detecting disruptive behavior more often, how are we actioning against it? In order to reduce the overall footprint of idle and AFK behavior in League, we've outlined a few options that tackle the goals of:

  • Preventing this behavior from occurring again.
  • Deterring this behavior from occurring in the first place.
  • Mitigating the impact of this behavior when it does occur.

We’re looking to dig more into the following solutions to address AFKs in the short-term:

  • Early surrender options when we identify an AFK early in your game
  • LP mitigation for those in ranked games that have an AFK or intent to lose behaviors on their team during a loss
  • Stricter Queue lockouts for those that disconnect / AFK
  • Pre-queue warnings for those that have disrupted games previously

Halo: Infinite May Feature F2P Multiplayer

Xbox sleuth Klobrille tweets a screenshot of a since-deleted retail listing stating that Halo: Infinite will include a free-to-play multiplayer component (thanks VG247). This is unconfirmed, but here's an outline of what this said before it was edited:

  • Halo Infinite multiplayer will be free-to-play
  • Arena aims for 120fps on Xbox Series X
  • Battle Pass system
  • Customization options completely new to Halo

Quantum League Free Weekend

A free weekend is underway on Steam for Quantum League, offering the chance to take a quantum leap into this Early Access competitive shooter and experience its time manipulation mechanics. If you decide you like it, this can be picked up on sale for half off. Here's a trailer showing off the latest update and here's a rundown:
An original IP from Nimble Giant Entertainment, Quantum League is set in an alternate universe where time travel has changed the face of professional sports as we know it. In mind-blowing 1v1 and 2v2 matches you must team up with your past and future selves in a time loop to battle opponents in casual or ranked matches through a variety of maps, including a night mode. Think ahead and outsmart your opponents in strategic teamwork with your previous runs, taking into consideration where you were and where you want your next self to be to make that final winning shot in this exhilarating arena shooter!
Continue here to read the full story.

Battletoads Returns Next Month

Xbox Wire announces Battletoads is making a return after 26 years, and this revival of Rare's beat 'em up will come to Windows and consoles on August 20th. Here's an Official Release Date Trailer with a first look at the (don't call it a) comeback. Here's the battle plan:
If you’re unfamiliar with the genre-busting gameplay of the Battletoads series, here are the essentials: Zitz, Rash and Pimple are three brawling bruisers from outer space who can morph parts of their bodies to dish out extra destruction. The targets of said destruction, are often the Dark Queen and her abominable allies, in action that takes place across a variety of beat ‘em up, platforming, and racing stages.

The tenacity and split-second reflexes required to beat the original Battletoads has given it a fearsome reputation among fans. Dlala’s new approach focuses on maintaining this mayhem while ensuring you have enough options to play at your own pace. That includes bringing in some buddies for couch co-op, which allows up to three players to drop in and out at will, along with difficulty settings designed to suit everyone from Tadpole to Battletoad. Just like before, you’ll be faced with hugely varied challenges as you play, including new vehicle sections and even some puzzle-solving this time around!

Battletoads’ irreverent sense of humor pays homage to the stylish, self-aware cartoons of the late ’90s, with the new game opting for a distinctive hand-animated style to capture the exaggerated morph attacks and comic timing of the ’Toads. A cartoon also needs gags, which is why the game’s wild story – penned by award-winning writers – unfolds in several fully animated sequences featuring professional voice talent.
Continue here to read the full story.

QuakeCon at Home Stream Schedule

Bethesda now offers a Full QuakeCon at Home Stream Schedule with what to expect when the 25th annual QuakeCon gets underway next week as a virtual installment in the series. Here's the overview:
Because the world is a different place right now, QuakeCon is going to be different this year too, but the beating heart of QuakeCon remains strong. It’s still a celebration of our amazing communities, and it’s still about coming together to share our love of games. Because we can’t be together in person, we’re hosting three straight days of streams focusing on games, the people who make them, and the people who love them. Tune into Twitch.tv/Bethesda starting with the Welcome on August 7 at 11:00am CST to get in on all the streaming action. We’ll also be hosting numerous charity initiatives throughout the weekend of QuakeCon. Learn more about how you can get involved here and get the full schedule for all three days below.

SEGA on Origin Access

Electronic Arts announces a new partnership to bring some of SEGA's games to Origin Access Premier, EA's subscription game service. They've started off by rolling out Sonic Mania, which is now also for sale on Origin. This will be followed by the addition of Two Point Hospital and Endless Legend:
Supersonic news, SEGA fans – Sonic Mania is now available for all Origin Access* Premier members! Get your heart racing when you go explosively fast as Sonic, soar as Tails, or power through tough obstacles with Knuckles’ brute strength. With an exciting new twist on classic zones, you can re-live your favorite Sonic moments while fighting new bosses and Dr. Eggman’s evil robot army.

Also coming to Origin Access Premier are the hit SEGA titles Two Point Hospital and Endless Legend. Later this summer, take on the role of hospital administrator in a light-hearted simulation game that requires you to design stunning hospitals, cure peculiar illnesses, and manage troublesome staff on your way to healthcare greatness in Two Point Hospital. Or, take a break from simulated life by visiting the doomed world of Auriga, which you must save by leading your civilization to glory in the 4x turn-based fantasy strategy, Endless Legend when it comes to Origin Access Premier later this year.

* CONDITIONS, LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS APPLY. SEE origin.com/store/origin-access/terms FOR DETAILS.

WHAT HAPPENED Released

What had happened was WHAT HAPPENED is now available on Steam, offering a psychological horror game for Windows from publisher Katnappe and developer Genius Slackers. You can get a look at what to expect in the new Launch Trailer, and here's more on what happens:
What Happened takes players on a drug-fuelled psychological roller-coaster aboard the deeply troubled mind of Stiles, a student haunted by demons, real and imagined. The player’s empathy for Stiles’ and the pain he feels will subtly affect the outcome, with the ultimate aim of steering him away from self-destruction.

In What Happened, players will experience a very different kind of American high school, where familiar corridors transform into eerily distorted dreamscapes in the blink of an eye. Stiles will encounter rampant vegetation, predatory beasts and the claws of hungry demons, representations of his memories and deepest LSD-fuelled fears. Nothing is ever quite what it first appears.

Crafted with a deep level of care for the subject matter, the small independent team at Genius Slackers have invested three years to create their video game manifestation of teen torment, impressively realised in Unreal Engine 4.
Continue here to read the full story.

Core Defense Released

Core Defense is now available on Steam, offering a roguelike tower defense game for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The game's modest 2D graphics are on display in the Launch Trailer, and the previously released Core Defense: Prelude is still available as a playable demo. The game actually launched earlier this year on itch.io, and solo developer/publisher ehmprah says this helped make improvements:
Core Defense reinvents the tower defense genre with roguelike and deckbuilding mechanics and delivers gameplay which is easy to learn but incredibly hard to master and beat all the way.

A prelaunch demo was released in March and well received by critics and players alike, with very positive reviews. Thousands of players wishlisted the full game on Steam and are looking forward to the full version.

"When I launched Core Defense on itch.io earlier this year, it was a good game. Thanks to the community and their invaluable feedback and ideas it now is an awesome game!" – Mario "ehmprah" Kaiser
Continue here to read the full story.

Flight Catastrophe Announced

Trigger Labs announces Flight Catastrophe, a game that will trigger your fear of flying by putting you in charge of managing crises aboard passenger planes. As of now this is scheduled to take off on Steam on September 2, 2021. This trailer offers an early look at what to expect, ranging from simply extinguishing a fire, all the way through dealing with a hijacking attempt. Here are some details:
In Flight Catastrophe the player becomes the crisis management specialist, responsible for handling the life-threatening situations aboard the passenger plane. The game lets you experience a variety of aviation incidents set in difficult circumstances, when every second, and decision, matters.

Features:

  • Singleplayer campaign
  • Various types of missions: from fires to terror attacks
  • Realistic airplane models
  • Time-reversing mechanic, allowing you to try again after making a mistake
  • Resource and crew management
  • Unique passengers who can help during a crisis
  • Decision making with the consequences of your choices
  • Absolutely thrilling experience

Continue here to read the full story.

PC BLEACH Brave Souls This Summer

KLab announces BLEACH Brave Souls will come to PC this summer on Steam, offering this action/RPG based on the popular Bleach manga. The game was originally released on mobile, and they say the PC edition will add controller support, high quality graphics, and the ability to play the mobile version with the same account. Here's a bit on the game:
The popular manga and anime Bleach is now a full-scale action RPG!
Hack and slash your way through exciting 3D battles with one or more players. Run through the game with easy controls and enjoy exhilarating battle scenes as you defeat your opponents with powerful moves!

Out of the Blue

Well, today was supposed to be my new D-Day to finish my implant procedure at the dentist, but this has been delayed yet again. The lab that's doing the work for these is in California, and they are hard-hit by the COVID-19 situation out there, so everything's taking longer than expected. Obviously my inconvenience here is trivial compared with the issues the pandemic is causing for so many. So despite how this has dragged on, keeping that in perspective makes it pretty easy to not get upset. But I am very ready to be done with my temporary teeth, so hopefully they can make their new delivery date, which is a couple of weeks hence.

Postponed Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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