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Thursday, Nov 12, 2020

Get The Textorcist for Free This Week, Elite Dangerous Next Week

The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia is now available for free on the Epic Games Store as this week's promised giveaway. This is yours to keep if you claim it by next Thursday. At that point two games will take its place, as they will be giving away free copies of Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door. Here's word on this week's freebie:
Get ready for an electrifying mix between bullet hell and typing game!
Dodge bullets while typing exorcisms at the very same time: turn on both sides of your brain and jump into the adventure of Ray Bibbia, a private exorcist who's going to face the threats of a demonic outbreak and deal with his dark and sinful past at the same time!

A city in decay, streets filled with thugs, crime and censorship and only one man to stop it all. Groundbreaking gameplay, exorcists, demons, metal singers, pimps, the Pope, drama, bad jokes and tons of hardcore action-filled boss battles for the first type ‘em up game ever realized.

DEATHLOOP in May

Bethesda announces DEATHLOOP is coming to Windows and PlayStation 5 in May 2021. Here's an Official Launch Date Reveal Trailer and here's the announcement:
Welcome to Blackreef, where the party never stops and neither does the killing. This is DEATHLOOP, a next-gen first-person shooter from Arkane Lyon, the team behind Dishonored. Our hero Colt is trapped on Blackreef, stuck in a timeloop and forced to relive the same deadly day over and over. Armed with extraordinary abilities and devastating weapons, Colt is going to have to use every tool at his disposal to put an end to the cycle and find his way off the island. To do so, he’ll have to take out eight key targets that are scattered across the island before the day ends and the loop resets. And he’ll have to do all this will avoiding his rival Julianna, whose sole goal is to keep the loop going by any means necessary. If you’re feeling villainous, you can even choose to play as Julianna and invade another player’s campaign. Learn from each cycle; try new paths, gather intel and find new weapons and abilities. Do whatever it takes to break the loop.
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NPD: Q3 Game Sales Set US Record

NPD Group announces that third quarter video game spending in the US broke all previous records, saying the $11.2 billion in sales exceeded Q3 2019 by 24%:
According to the Q3 2020 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from The NPD Group, overall total industry consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. continued to break records, reaching $11.2 billion in the third quarter of 2020 (July – September), an increase of 24% compared to the same time period last year.

Sales of video game content reached $10.04 billion in the third quarter, up 24 percent when compared to a year ago. Gains were seen across new physical software, digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, as well as across hardware and accessories categories. The most significant gains were in mobile and subscription spending, full-game downloads for consoles and portables, and video game accessories. Hardware and accessories experienced double-digit percentage gains, increasing 16% and 35%, respectively.
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Half-Life: Alyx Commentary Update

Valve announces a new commentary update is now available for Half-Life: Alyx. Turning on the commentary will offer loads of insight into the development decisions in the virtual reality Half-Life game, though they suggest not doing so until after completing the game, as the commentary includes spoilers. The update also includes additional localized language support and a change in how ladders work to add realism. Here's a Commentary Update video and here's word:
Developer Commentary contains significant spoilers.
We highly recommend that you play the game to its conclusion before enabling commentary


As you may recall, the Half-Life: Alyx team was in the process of finishing the game when the COVID-19 lockdown went into effect here in Washington State. In fact, much of the team had already made the decision to work from home prior to that point. Adapting to this new way of collaborating meant that, while were able to get the game out on time, we weren't able complete some work, such as Developer Commentary and Steam Workshop integration.

We later shipped Steam Workshop integration while in quarantine in May and, over the summer, we have had time to reflect on the development of Half-Life: Alyx. We have collected 147 different points of interest from the team and recorded over three hours of audio commentary, covering every aspect of development, including design, art, animation, rendering, sound and more. You can access these points of interest by starting a new game with Developer Commentary enabled. As the commentary contains significant spoilers, we highly recommend that you play the game to its conclusion before playing through with commentary.
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American Truck Simulator Colorado Rolls Out

The SCS Software blog announces the release of Colorado, the new expansion for American Truck Simulator. This is available on Steam for the Windows, macOS, and Linux editions of American Truck Simulator, which is required. Just please don't drive while Colorado Rocky Mountain high. Here's a recent trailer showing off some highways and byways, and here's the roadmap:
So what exactly does our Colorado DLC have to offer for truckers? These are just a few of the things we think you will love!

  • Drive from the great plains, through the Rocky Mountains to bustling cities and historical towns.
  • Haul cargo on the Million Dollar Highway
  • Discover Colorado's important industries like wind power factories or gold mines
  • Deliver freight to and from the inside of a large cargo aircraft in Denver International Airport
  • Admire representation of cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and many others
  • Visit landmarks like the Four Corners Monument and get a bird's-eye view of it with the viewpoint feature
  • Unlock Colorado-specific Steam achievements
  • And much more!

Continue here to read the full story.

City of Gangsters Announced

Publisher Kasedo Games and developer SomaSim announce City of Gangsters, a life of crime simulation coming to Steam next year. This is not to be confused with Omerta - City of Gangsters, which was released back in 2013. Like the earlier game, the new City of Gangsters is set in the early days of organized crime during the prohibition era. A Mafia Management Trailer kicks off a series of such clips they say will arrive on a monthly basis. Here are some details:
Start a crime syndicate from nothing, and grow it into a well-oiled money machine. Build speakeasies and illegal distilleries. Manage production chains and resource distribution. Smuggle goods from out of town and bribe the police to look the other way. Grow a powerful crew and keep your rivals under your thumb. Eliminate competition and rule the city. But most importantly, keep the money flowing.

The year is 1920, the start of Prohibition in the USA. With congressional action, a huge segment of the national economy becomes illegal overnight: bars and saloons are ordered to close, distilleries and breweries go quiet, distributors shut down. But a new era is dawning: a gilded age for smugglers, black markets, illegal manufacture, and organized crime.
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Handball 21 Released

Publisher NACON and developer Eko Software have served up Handball 21 for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, offering a new installment in this sports simulation series. The PC edition can be found on Steam, but be aware that this does not support mouse and keyboard play, and requires a controller. The Launch Trailer provides a look at gameplay and the description outlines the game:
Handball is back in force this year with Handball 21. Thanks to feedback from fans of the franchise, Eko Software has created a more advanced and realistic adaptation of one of the most popular sports in France.

With upgraded graphics, motion-captured animations and revamped gameplay, players can experience all the thrills of their favourite sport. During this period of lockdown when matches are being played behind closed doors, it is a great opportunity to experience exciting games with your favourite players and teams. Handball 21 includes 129 teams across 8 European leagues with a total of 2,299 official players faithfully recreated in the game, such as Nikola Karabatic, Fabian Wiede and Mikkel Hansen.
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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Trying to Catch a 1,000 MPH Baseball. Thanks Hypothermia.

Bugsnax Released

Bugsnax is now available for Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5, offering the chance to chow down on this comedy adventure game from Young Horses. The Launch Trailer offers a look at the game and a listen to the most cloying theme song since Baby Shark. The PC version of the game is on the Epic Games Store, and it carries a 15% launch discount. Here's what to expect from snack time:
Bugsnax takes you on a whimsical adventure to Snaktooth Island, home of the legendary half-bug half-snack creatures, Bugsnax. Invited by intrepid explorer Elizabert Megafig, you arrive to discover your host nowhere to be found, her camp in shambles, and her followers scattered across the island alone... and hungry!

It's up to you to solve the mysteries of Snaktooth Island: What happened to Lizbert? What are Bugsnax and where do they come from? But most of all, why do they taste SO GOOD?
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Interstellar Space: Genesis - Natural Law Next Week

Praxis Games announces a November 18th release date for the Natural Law expansion for Interstellar Space: Genesis. This will come alongside a free version 1.2 update for the 4X strategy game set in space, where no one can hear you crack wise. This will be released on Steam, where they have this post explaining what to expect from the 1.2 patch. Here's a recent trailer with a look at the add-on, and here's more on the patch, the expansion, and a new fleet set:
And... it's not all! We truly love our fans, so we'd like to offer a new fleet set to everyone who owns and buys the game when the expansion and the free update are out! This will be a second Human fleet set that will be available when customizing a new race. Any race can play with this new fleet. It is based on an old Human fleet, now much improved and brought to the same level of polish as the other fleets.

Regarding Natural Law, our objective was to really infuse the galaxy with a great deal more variety and flavor. To do that, we knew we would need to introduce some more friendly, and potentially not so friendly, faces. As 4X fans ourselves, we knew there was no better way to do that than through the introduction of two new races to the game, as for many new rulers and other goodies.
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Not For Broadcast Episode 2 in January

Publisher tinyBuild and developer NotGames announce a release window for Episode 2 of Not For Broadcast, their Early Access FMV propaganda simulator. They say the new content will arrive by the end of January 2021, though they hedge by adding "probably." They include some photos from their new video shoot and an announcement trailer with a look at the add-on. They don't offer many details, but warn this will take an even darker turn than the first episode:
This timely announcement explains that the newsroom management sim's story will be taking a darker turn with its satirical crosshairs, as it reveals to the player the consequences of a broadcast studio that smiles in the face of political tension.
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Fury of Dracula: Digital Edition Released

Fury of Dracula: Digital Edition is now available on Steam, offering a Windows adaptation of the boardgame of the same name. The title has a certain Hammer Film vibe, which is reflected in the Official Trailer (even though vampires don't cast reflections) with a character who somewhat resembles Christopher Lee. Here's the announcement:
Set in late 19th century Europe, Fury of Dracula: Digital Edition sees four iconic vampire hunters hunting down clues to stop Dracula before he creates an unstoppable army of mindless vampire thralls. With a strong emphasis on teamwork and gothic horror, this is a game that will appeal to both new fans, and those who remember the classic board game.
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Fireworks Mania - An Explosive Simulator This Year

Laumania announces Fireworks Mania - An Explosive Simulator, a fireworks sim set to blow up on Steam by the end of this year. For some reason they seem to think this is "the first fireworks sim ever," which, of course, is not the case. Here's a Teaser Trailer and here's word:
In Fireworks Mania you will be able to play around with fireworks, create beautiful firework shows or just blow stuff up in explorable low-poly urban environments.

The big feature about Fireworks Mania is that not two play-sessions are the same as the game is heavily physics based, resulting in a different unplanned outcome every time.
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Quest to Conquer Cancer

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation announces plans to launch a Quest to Conquer Cancer, a charity initiative for game streamers and steam viewers that will cap off with a week-long finale that will run from December 5-12. Here's more on the plan:
All money raised through Quest to Conquer Cancer directly supports more than 1,300 researchers and scientists as they continue to push boundaries and set global standards in cancer care. This means earlier detection, advanced research, improved diagnostics to better understand the individual nature of each cancer and targeted treatments, ultimately leading to improved outcomes for cancer patients worldwide.

“Time and time again, we have seen the gaming community show passion and ingenuity to support charitable causes while doing what they love,” said Michael Burns, President and CEO at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. “With Quest to Conquer Cancer, we want to inspire this community to play a key role in support of cancer research.”

Quest has no fundraising minimum and features game challenges, prize drops and a unique reward system for reaching fundraising milestones. All donations to streamers or through the Quest to Conquer Cancer website go directly to fund cancer research at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. This inaugural year’s goal is to raise $1 million.

Out of the Blue

The nearby pond has been extra-scenic lately, as the swans have been out there pretty constantly, after not being around for most of the summer. I mentioned that this is an extended family of five that joined together following the death of one parent due to a careless driver. I don't know if they plan on sticking around, but last year a family of three swans stayed most of the winter, though their cygnet (not signet, oops) did eventually strike out at some point. What is interesting was that last year's young one was easily identifiable by being much more gray than the parents well into the winter. But this year's babies are already as snow white as the parents, and quite full grown, so it's very difficult to tell them apart. It's wonderful to see them out there, and their steadfast serenity is a marvelous calming influence in troubling times.

Serenity Now! Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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