Archived News:

Tuesday, Oct 13, 2020

On Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access

Developer Larian Studios offers reflections on the recent release of Baldur's Gate 3 into Early Access. There's a new Community Update #9 on Steam discussing what went right and wrong with the launch, their celebration of the occasion, and the three hotfixes they've issued to address issues. Looking forward, they share some of the feedback they've collected, both through player comments as well as via analytics, including heatmaps, some of which they share. Finally, they provide patch notes for the game's first major patch, saying the TLDR is: "fewer glitches, better stability, and more polish." Here are those notes:
Improvements:

  • Added polish and bug fixes to several in-game cinematics, such as Shadow Heart recruitment, Astarion recruitment and Volo's Poem. (These will be ongoing throughout EA).
  • Added minor text tweaks to various bits and bobs.
  • Altered certain dialogue choices for different NPCs.
  • Added extra combat tutorial messages to better explain the basics (let us know how you get on).
  • Astarion no longer thinks Lae'zel inspected you at camp when she is not in your party. Quite rightly.

Continue here to read the full story.

Second Extinction Early Access

Second Extinction is now available in Early Access on Steam, offering developer Systemic Reaction's online first-person shooter for Windows set in an apocalyptic future where an ice age has caused the dinosaurs to become un-extinct. Here's an Early Access Launch Trailer and here is a bit on the game:
Second Extinction pits teams of up to three players against hordes of bloodthirsty dinos in fast-paced and intense battles across Earth’s sprawling wastelands. Starting today, players have access to four heroes, 10 weapons with five upgrade tiers each, and six missions plus special side quests spread over seven regions. As early access continues, players will get free updates featuring new weapons, difficulty settings, dinosaur mutations, War Effort emergence events and more. You can keep track of new content and features coming in the future with the game’s developer roadmap.

The War Effort is Second Extinction’s community-driven global metagame and reflects changes in the ongoing fight against the dinos. By completing missions and activities, you’ll directly influence the threat level and challenge you’ll encounter in different areas around the map. Win the battle with your squad -- win the war with players all over the world!
Continue here to read the full story.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest Released

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is now available on GOG.com, offering a visual novel for Windows, macOS, and Linux set in the dark world of the World of Darkness. This post discusses the release, the launch discount, and special offers involving other World of Darkness titles. Here's the game's previously released Announcement Trailer and here as some ferocious details:
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest throws you deep into a primeval wilderness in the center of modern Europe. It’s where the protectors of nature wage their ancient, neverending war against the forces of destruction.

You play as Maia, who comes to Poland hoping to trace her family roots. Trying to learn more about her ancestry, she will discover her family’s dark secrets and reveal hidden truths about the last wilderness of Central Europe.

Visit real-world places of mystery and power. Explore local legends and traditions. Discover the fascinating world and history of the Polish-Belarusian borderlands. You will witness how nature clashes with technology and greed. Can it survive without our help?
Continue here to read the full story.

Age of Wonders: Planetfall Expansion Next Month

Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Triumph Studios announce Star Kings, a third expansion for Age of Wonders: Planetfall, their 4X strategy game set in space, where no one can hear your luggage combination. This final entry in the game's Season Pass will be released for the Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One editions on November 10th, adding a new playable faction, a new story campaign, the ability to build your own custom galactic empire, and more. This will come alongside a patch that adds new features and improvements to the base game. Here's and Announcement Trailer and here are the details:
Previous expansions gave us a glimpse into the past and present conflicts of the Star Union but Star Kings looks to the future and lets players mold the galaxy in their own image to plant the seeds of an empire that will last forever. New features coming with Star Kings include:
Continue here to read the full story.

Dungeons and Dragons Online Expansion Preorders and Patch

These Update 47 Release Notes have details on the latest patch for Dungeons and Dragons Online (thanks Dave). These include word on the addition of new Legendary Raids to the online RPG as well as a new free standalone dungeon. The update also includes word that they are now accepting preorders for the new Fables of the Feywild expansion as a Standard Edition, a Collector's Edition, and an Ultimate Fan Bundle. Here's word:
New Legendary Raids
Three of our classic raids have been given a Legendary update! A Vision of Destruction, The Lord of Blades, and The Master Artificer are now available to run at level 32! Additionally, these raids no longer require playing any prerequisite quests to flag for them on any difficulty, and the quest givers for these raids will now teleport you directly into the raid without needing to traverse a landscape.

New Free Dungeon
The Promise of Flame is a new standalone dungeon for levels 6 and 27! This quest is free to all players. Find the quest giver Lady Sera Jaymes in the Searing Heights Wilderness Adventure Area. The dungeon itself is also located in Searing Heights.

Fables of the Feywild Pre-Purchase Has Begun!
Our next expansion Fables of the Feywild will be available to prepurchase on Monday. Find details about our new race, the Shifter, along with the new Iconic Razorclaw Shifter and Universal Enhancement Tree Feydark Illusionist in the release notes below.

Two Point Hospital: Culture Shock Next Week

SEGA announces Culture Shock, a new expansion in the works for Two Point Hospital, Two Point Studios' eponymous game of medical malpractice. This will be released one week from today for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam. The culture in this case is television, and the Announce Trailer shows off this culture clash in action. Want some details? Lights, camera, action!:
In Two Point Hospital: Culture Shock players will experience a world of lavish lifestyles, movie stars, festivals and of course...a party hospital. Before players can live out their wildest dreams, they are teaming up with the County's very own celebs, to bring the television scene, music industry and the very arts themselves back to life. Culture Shock is still a hospital management simulation game where players will have to run hospitals, deal with troublesome staff and cure all sorts of new unusual illnesses like, Stunt Trouble, Private Parts, Concertoes and Writer's Block.

In Two Point Hospital: Culture Shock players will start their new journey in the glitz and glamour of Plywood Studios, where launching a hit medical drama show could save the County's artistic crisis or not... Head to Mudbury and experience festival life for yourself, while serving burgers from questionable vans. Lastly, celebrating the success of previous projects, players can finally live out their Hollywood dreams at Fitzpocket Academy, where art, glamour and hospitals (?!) come together. Culture Shock has the most (36!) new illnesses featured in any Two Point Hospital DLC yet, including twelve visual illnesses, but also three fabulous locations, three new fully animated cure machines, 34 new items to pimp up your hospitals and finally, make sure to turn up the sound, because there is a new DJ in town.
Continue here to read the full story.

Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Dry Twice Delayed

Publisher Assemble and developer CrazyBunch announce a delay to Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Dry Twice, saying the newest adventure of Larry Laffer will leisurely arrive on October 23rd. The game was announced with an October 15th release date, but apparently it needs exactly eight additional days to achieve the level of polish they are expecting:
It’s been said that good things come to those who wait, and while there is nothing worse than a premature...release date...Assemble Entertainment has decided that a little more time is needed to give grease-stained heartthrob Larry Laffer a fighting chance to find his one true love. Publisher Assemble and developer CrazyBunch today announced a new launch date of Friday, October 23, 2020, for Leisure Suit Larry - Wet Dreams Dry Twice. Launching on Windows PC via Steam and GOG, the point-and-click adventure will see Larry Laffer take on some of the most precarious situations yet — all in the name of love!

In light of this news, the infamous ladies man has released an official statement on the matter:

“This never happens to me, I swear.” - Larry Laffer, 2020

Woodsalt Delayed

Team Woodsalt predicted today as the release date for Woodsalt, their eponymous sci-fi JRPG. But that was so last month. They now offer a course correction saying the game is instead coming on December 9th for Windows and Switch. They do not give a reason for the setback, but since delays are never used to make games worse, we're going to assume they plan to make it better. Here's the previously released Announcement Trailer and here's a refresher on the game:
Emerging from cryostasis to discover a brand-new world in Woodsalt, players control Emcy, whose proclivity for sleep has taken him to Nu-Terra, a sprawling city contained within a bubble, 1000 years after disaster on Earth. How? Why? What? Where? As you develop relationships with a cast of quirky characters and otherworldly locales, steadily uncover a mystery that spans the entire universe and your very existence.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Cougar Attack in Utah - Mountain Lion Stalks Me For 6 Minutes. True sphincter check. Thanks RedEye9 and brother19.

Torchlight III Released

Torchlight III is now available, a new installment in the action/RPG series that passes the development torch from Runic Games to Echtra Games, though this is mostly the same group of Flagship expatriates. The Windows version can be found on Steam, where it has been in Early Access since June, and it's also available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with a Switch edition expected later this month. "Torchlight III has arrived, and we at Echtra are beyond ecstatic for gamers to finally join the adventure," said Max Schaefer, CEO of Echtra Games and co-founder of the Torchlight franchise. "Development on this game has had its share of twists and turns, but we think the end result was well worth the wait. A huge thank you to the fans who have patiently stayed with us through this journey. Your support means everything. Now go jump in and have fun exploring the Frontier!" You can get a look at this in action in the Official Launch Trailer and read on for more details:
Longtime Torchlight fans will be happy to discover that Torchlight III features the same signature gameplay mechanics that set the original series apart from other ARPGs, including satisfying hack’n’slash combat, a charming and vibrant world, both online 4-player cooperative multiplayer and offline single-player, plus the beloved pet system. Torchlight III also introduces new features, such as three epic acts, unique Relic subclasses, fully customizable forts and a challenging end-game experience in “Fazeer Shah’s Dun-Djinn.” In addition, the game includes a multi-tiered “Contracts” progression system that lets players earn Fame and unlock elite items, along with a myriad of quests and boss battles. All of these features contribute to the epic return of the iconic franchise and an even more accessible adventure for new Torchlight players.
Continue here to read the full story.

Remothered: Broken Porcelain Breaks Out

Remothered: Broken Porcelain is out, offering a survival/horror game for Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch, with the PC editions available on GOG.com and Steam. This is a sequel to Remothered: Tormented Fathers, disappointing us that Stormind Games and Modus Games failed to take advantage of the opportunity to title it Reremothered. Our passion for dad jokes aside, here's a Launch Trailer, and here's more on the game:
Serving as both prequel and sequel to its predecessor, Remothered: Broken Porcelain joins the fiery youth Jennifer as she settles into her new role as a maid at the Ashmann Inn, a peculiar mountainside resort harboring dark secrets and truly haunting guests. Horror fans will also reunite with the original game’s protagonist Rosemary. Players will help both heroines uncover the answers they’re looking for while staying hidden from their prowling opposition.
Continue here to read the full story.

Unmemory Released

Unmemory is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam as well as for iOS and Android. This text-driven noir thriller is described as "A game you can read. A book you can play." The project originated as a successful Kickstarter, but you are forgiven if you unremember that, as it was back in 2018. The Launch Trailer offers a look, and for more of what to expect, there's a 10-minute demo you can play in your browser. Here's more:
Unmemory tells the story of a person who is tracking down the man who murdered his girlfriend, a member of a band of lady thieves. The difficulty, however, of locating the killer is compounded by the fact that he suffers from a rare, untreatable form of memory loss.

Using notes, pictures and recorded messages he will have to solve the mystery and maybe, just maybe, discover an uncomfortable truth.
Continue here to read the full story.

BioMass Released

Biomass is now available on Steam, allowing Windows gamers the chance to play this side-scrolling action/RPG for Windows. The Launch Trailer provides a look at the game's gameplay and throwback graphics, which look a bit like a sci-fi version of the original Prince of Persia. Here's the pitch:
Three towers, separated by a perpetual flood, hold the bulk of humanity. The eternal lighthouse looms over them, a primordial process repeats itself. As a mysterious drifter you will explore an interconnected world and cross paths with factions each with their own agenda. Use your wits to learn different ways to traverse the sinking city, and in turn discover many possible outcomes for its denizens depending on your actions and choices. Acquire all kinds of different weapons and resources to help you overcome any obstacles in your pilgrimage to the heart of the lighthouse.
Continue here to read the full story.

Football Manager 2021 Getting Body Language

A Football Manager 2021 New Feature Preview Trailer shows off more of what to expect from the new installment in this association football/soccer series, which is due on November 24th. As noted on Eurogamer this will include the ability to influence your players through body language (obligatory pop culture reference). This includes the converse capability to see how players are responding to your coaching by reading their body language in return. Here's hoping this includes wonderful modern subtleties like the side-eye. According to Eurogamer, "Other new features we noticed from the video include tweaks to transfers (now you can ask agents about their player's availability, which more accurately reflects modern transfers), and press conferences get a shake up, with a different layout more like a real conference." Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft Microphone

Tastefully named audio company Blue announces a collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment on the new Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition professional USB microphone. The twist here is this allows you to alter your voice to sound like some of the residents of Azeroth from World of Warcraft, making one wonder what profession they imagine this "professional" microphone will suit. Here's word on what this does, which, disappointingly, does not mention the ability to sound like Leeroy Jenkins:
Yeti X was custom-tuned to deliver superior, broadcast-quality sound for professional-level gaming, Twitch™ streaming, podcasting and YouTube productions. Yeti X World of Warcraft edition features enhanced Blue VO!CE technology, which makes it easier than ever for content creators to dial-up professional vocal effects and custom presets at the push of a button. It also includes advanced voice modulation effects with Warcraft presets that enable players to transform their voices to sound like denizens of World of Warcraft. Gamers can also choose from a massive library of iconic Warcraft sounds and assign them to a keybind to fire off mid-stream. Blue VO!CE is accessible exclusively through Logitech’s free, easy-to-use G HUB platform, enabling gamers to manage mic settings right from their desktop.

Car Detailing Simulator Announced

The devil is in the details, and sometimes in the detailing. But if you are a car cleaning buff, you may be interested in Car Detailing Simulator, a new simulation of working at the car wash, yeah (old school / new school). This is coming to Steam, where it carries a TBA release date. Here's a trailer and here are the details:
Do you love watching full car restorations come to life? Now, you can experience it for yourself. In this simulation, uncover lost pieces of automotive history in an abandoned warehouse full of forgotten antique cars, then bring them back to your garage and restore them to their former glory! Polish the paint, shampoo the interior, find lost treasures and post the freshly restored car for sale online. With the profit, build out your own custom detailing shop, buy new tools, products and equipment to upgrade your detailing studio. Head back to the barn to uncover the next lost super car and continue honing your skills and building your detailing business.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

Happy Prime Day! I dunno, every year I think I may find something I need through this, but it rarely turns out to be the case. There's time yet, and I haven't looked that hard, so at some point I'll put on my pith helmet and explore the Amazon further.

It's been a frustrating morning here in the Blue Tower as I've been going through email hell. I wasn't getting any email in my client and was receiving a certificate error when trying to check it via webmail in my browser. I had to wait forever for tech support, and the support I received was useless, so, yay. I've been meaning to try a different mail client for a while now, as I've found some of the behaviors of Thunderbird to be maddeningly inconsistent, especially its inability to find mail I know is in there somewhere. I'm trying Mailbird, which succeeded in getting my mail, so it's off to a good start. It's pretty neat so far, though I don't seem to be able to import local folders of stored mail, so I may run into problems as a result of that. We shall see. In the meantime, I've posted the news I've been able to aggregate this morning amid this horrible process, and will catch up along the way.

Sparse Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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