Archived News:

Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020

Steam Autumn Sale and Awards Nominations Underway

The Autumn Sale is now underway on Steam, offering deals on loads of games between now and December 1st, so this will span both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This coincides with the launch of community voting for the fifth annual Steam Awards. Finally, Valve is also now offering Autumn Sale artwork in the Points Shop. Here are the details from this post:
The 2020 Steam Autumn Sale is now live, with great deals across the Steam catalog through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ending at 10am Pacific on Tuesday, December 1st. Discover featured titles and franchises, personalized recommendations, plus browse top titles by tag when you shop the Autumn Sale now!

Steam Awards Nominations Open
Join us in our fifth annual Steam Awards by nominating your favorite new games of 2020 across 10 categories, and earn profile XP and badges for participating! Your nominations will help determine the finalists for each category. In December, you can vote on the winners for each category during the Steam Winter Sale. Select your nominations today!

Autumn Points Shop Items
We are also making the Autumn Sale art available in brand new animated Points Shop items, including a new Autumn profile, all available now. Additionally, the Debut Collection Badge will be removed from the Point Shop on December 9th @ 10am Pacific. This is your last chance to level up your Debut Badge.

Cuphead DLC Delayed

Studio MDHR tweets the announcement of a delay to The Delicious Last Course, the upcoming DLC for Cuphead. They say this is due in part to COVID-19: "In the wake of the ongoing global pandemic affecting so many, we have made the difficult decision to push back the release of The Delicious Last Course. For our wonderful Cuphead community, we've prepared a letter from Studio MDHR founders Chad & Jared Moldenhauer to share more." Here's the letter:
In true Studio MDHR fashion, we aren't content for this final chapter to be anything less than our best work. Throughout development, we've challenged ourselves to put everything we learned from making Cuphead into the quality of the Delicious Last Course's animation, design, and music.

Meeting this standard has been extremely challenging for us amid the global pandemic that has affected so many of our fellow developers. Rather than compromising on our vision in response to COVID, we've made the difficult decision to push back the release of The Delicious Last Course until we are confident that will delight the Cuphead community the way we feel it should.
Continue here to read the full story.

Space Engineers Wasteland Released

Wasteland is now available on Steam, offering new content for Space Engineers. They offer reassurances that this is not a P2W situation: "This content is not 'pay to win' and the owner of the package has no advantage against other players. If you decide not to purchase the 'Wasteland' pack, but you want to play with friends or other players who did buy Wasteland, you will still be able to join a multiplayer game or server with them and participate." This comes along with a new version 1.197 update for the game. Here's a full changelist, here's an Update Trailer, and here's a summary:
The new Wasteland update is here! Wasteland is all about speed, dust, roaring engines, twisted metal, and especially, fun with your friends. We have focused heavily on improving the multiplayer experience, something we hope you enjoy with other players. Wasteland provides you with new choices when designing your creations: New Blocks, Planet and Racing Scenario, Voxel Materials and much more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Cryospace Announced

Publisher Games Operators announces Cryospace, an action/RPG in development at kuklam studios for release on Steam in 2022. Here's the Official Reveal Trailer with a look at gameplay, and here's more on this game set in space, where no one can hear you cryo:
You are not a soldier. Not a fighter. Just an ordinary maintenance guy caught in the midst of strange events. Yet you have to fight. And you are forced to run. But above all: you must help frozen crew members survive on a spaceship in the middle of nowhere. You are the only one who can save others from death or eternal cryo-sleep. You are made a hero against your will. You become a leader. A slayer.

Only the smartest will survive
A massive starship navigates through outer space, far from all planets, other vessels, or celestial bodies. On its deck, in cryogenic sleep, future colonizers, workers, soldiers, and... someone or something else.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Crew 2: The Chase Begins

Ubisoft announces The Chase update is now live in The Crew 2, kicking off the third year of live support for the open-world motorsport game. Here a Launch Trailer for The Chase, and here's more on the new progression system and content this adds:
The Crew 2’s third year of live support introduces a new seasonal system, centered around a fictional new company, Motorflix, a television production company known for creating the very best motor-fueled action flicks. Players will be recruited to play the starring role in different TV series with themed episodes per Season. Every Season lasts four months and is comprised of two successive Episodes running for two months.

During the first episode, The Chase, a mysterious outlaw group has stolen from a private bank, Vault Corp, and it’s up to the player to stop the outlaws from escaping the city. Players will play as an elite Interception Unit driver of Vault Corp and will have to stop the outlaws by destroying their cars to complete each of the eight PvE events, which will progressively unlock starting November 25. If players need back up, they can call in reinforcements and play together in a crew, which will increase the difficulty proportionally to the number of players in the crew.
Continue here to read the full story.

Minecraft Adds Permabans

Mojang mentions Microsoft moderators may now mitigate Minecraft miscreants (thanks PC Gamer via Neutronbeam). Word is that violating community standards in the voxel sandbox game can now get you blocked. Here's more on the permaban plan:
So, what’s new? Minecraft moderators can now ban players who do not follow our Community Guidelines when sending online messages using our services (Realms) or Featured Servers, and communicating online through signposts and books. Of course, the content of single player games is not moderated.

Currently, moderators can hand out permanent bans that extend to all versions of Minecraft (except Minecraft Dungeons) in order to target severe offenses, meant to cause harm to others. We are also working on introducing temporary bans for lesser offenses.

When a user is banned, they will receive a message specifying the reason, as well as information on how they can cancel their Realms subscription. For more details, including examples of severe offenses, please visit the Minecraft Help Center.
Continue here to read the full story.

New Metro Game in Development and New IP Revealed

In a press release announcing plans for the release of Metro Exodus on the new console models, Deep Silver and 4A Games also reveals that development is underway on the next installment in the Metro first-person shooter series. They go into a bit more detail in this update on the anniversary of the series. They discuss their plans in general terms, and include reassurances for fans who are nervous about the inclusion of multiplayer support. They cap things off by announcing they are also embarking on the creation of a brand-new IP:
Finally – while we expect to be working on Metro for many years to come, we want to stretch ourselves by exploring new projects and new IP. In 2017 we released Arktika.1, a sci-fi FPS for the Oculus Rift, and our first steps towards a goal of being a multi-project studio. We now want to grow this ambition to another new AAA experience that can sit alongside the Metro series. We’re hiring across both our Malta and Kyiv studios to help us bring these dreams to reality, so if you think you have what it takes and want to join our team, head to our careers page and apply at !

2021 Hugo Awards to Include a Video Game

A trio of tweets from DisCon III says the 2021 edition of The Hugo Awards will honor a video game along with their awards for the best in science fiction. They say this will be a one-off, but the idea of making video games a permanent category going forward is being considered:
In 2021, there's going to be a Hugo Award For Best Video Game.

The DisCon III committee has chosen to create this special category for 2021 only, as provided for by the rules of the World Science Fiction Society.

“Since early 2020, many of us have spent more time gaming than we ever expected. This award will offer fans an opportunity to celebrate the games that have been meaningful, joyful, and exceptional over this past year.” - #DisconIII co-chair @yesTHATColette said of the award.

There is no permanent Hugo Award category to recognize this interactive form of storytelling with which so many fans of the genre create and engage.

The Hugo Study Committee is also considering Best Game or Interactive Experience as a potential permanent category.

Fallout 76 Brotherhood of Steel Update Launches

Today is the release date of the new major update for Fallout 76, which adds a bunch of new content to Bethesda Softworks' RPG prequel, including the return of the Brotherhood of Steel, the Steel Dawn questline, the C.A.M.P. Shelters feature, and more (thanks Dave). This was expected on December 1st, and Bethesda admits that the release is the result of an accident, so this is the rare reverse delay. This forum post has all the details on the launch, while the notes on Steam say the "event starts" at 1:00 pm EST today. Here's a bit:
Update Highlights

  • Ad Victoriam!: The Brotherhood of Steel is back! Explore the first chapter of their story, meet new characters, visit new and updated locations, and unlock rewards as you experience the all-new Steel Dawn questline.
  • Head Underground: Flex those creative muscles by building out your very own instanced interiors with our first three C.A.M.P. Shelters.
  • Gear Up: Complete Steel Dawn quests and take on Daily Ops to earn new weapons and armor that are straight from the Brotherhood arsenal.
  • Don’t Just Survive, Thrive!: We’ve removed all negative effects from Hunger and Thirst. Instead, you’ll receive buffs that increase based on how well fed and hydrated you are.
  • Save Those Atoms: Already have some of the items in an Atomic Shop bundle? No problem! Bundle prices now lower automatically if you already own any items they contain.

Dota 2 Plans

A post on the Dota Blog has details on upcoming updates for Dota 2. Valve discusses plans to launch the new season in their MOBA on December 1st, a version 7.28 patch and new hero to follow in mid-December, and the launch of the new season of the Dota Pro Circuit on January 18th:
As we mentioned in the previous Dota Plus update, the new season will be starting December 1st and it will feature a seasonal quest reset, a new seasonal treasure and more. We have also started rolling in backend changes to gather data for the upcoming Overwatch features. When fully implemented, this tool will allow users to review suspicious matches and help identify bad actors, in addition to our existing systems.

On the gameplay front, our original plan for the new hero was November 30th, however she needs a bit more time to cozy up for the winter. We will be releasing her, along with the 7.28 gameplay update, in mid December.
Continue here to read the full story.

Crusader Kings III Getting Ruler Designer

Dev Diary #45 for Crusader Kings III features patch notes for an upcoming version 1.2 update for the medieval grand strategy sequel. This includes a video to show off the new Ruler Designer feature this will implement. The update and new feature are discussed in even further detail in a post on Xbox Wire from Paradox Interactive Community Manager Troy Pruitt. Here's what he says about the return of the Ruler Designer and other changes coming in the patch:
Fans loved the Ruler Designer in Crusader Kings II, so we have brought that back for Crusader Kings III. Now players can create their rulers before the game starts, enabling them to try out genius scholars, dwarf schemers, and giant romantics – whatever their hearts desire. There is almost no limit on the kind of ruler that can be designed.

  • Choose your ruler’s starting realm and then dive into the designer.
  • Play as male or female, with any in-game culture, religion or sexual orientation.
  • Customize their appearance, including facial appearance and hair style.
  • Add traits and fine tune their skills. Make a brilliant strategist or holy administrator.
  • Add illnesses or injuries for extra challenge.
  • Earn achievements if your character is built within certain limits.

Continue here to read the full story.

Warface Swarm Season Begins

Swarm is now underway in Warface, kicking off a bug hunt in for the first season in the free-to-play online first-person shooter, as seasonal content is the new black. All the details are on the Warface Website while a look at what to expect is in this trailer. Here's more:
With this content update, the game is moving onwards to a seasonal system. Swarm features a special co-op PvE mission under a code name inspired by 1980s horror classics, new PvP maps, four brand-new weapons, new sinister enemies, and tons of seasonal rewards. The new season is available now on PC as a free update, with versions for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch coming soon.

At the center of the new season is the special operation, Swarm. It takes place in a town on the border of the Mojave Desert where people have started to mysteriously disappear. The Warface forces has been told that the Blackwood corporation held samples of an unknown life form from the ship of Martian colonists. The strange creatures have broken free and are now posing danger to all living beings. To combat this threat, the Warface corporation has sent out the elite Sigma-3 squad. Squad members will need to escort cargo through enemy territory and defeat the entity that controls the insects. Team coordination will be vital for success.
Continue here to read the full story.

Insert Coin Drops

Cargo Films announces you can now press play on Insert Coin, their new documentary on Midway Games. Word is: "Insert Coin takes viewers back to the early days of the groundbreaking studio, famous for legendary titles like Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, and Narc." As noted on the Insert Coin Website the movie can be streamed online through Alamo On Demand and Virtual Cinemas. Here's the previously released Insert Coin Trailer and some details:
Director Joshua Tsui has crafted Insert Coin as a love letter, time machine, and insider’s look at a studio that created pop culture giants that would fundamentally change how we played video games. The early 90s were like the Wild West era of the gaming industry, and no studio represented that ethos more than Midway Games with its wildly controversial (and hugely successful) titles like Mortal Kombat, a game that thrilled players and shocked parental advisory groups across the globe with its over the top violence and colorful cast.

Tsui was there when it all went down, having worked on the Mortal Kombat franchise and even lent his face to Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat IV. Insert Coin features interviews with past Midway team members, including Eugene Jarvis (Defender and Robotron: 2084), Mark Turmell (SmashTV, NBA Jam, NFL Blitz), John Tobias (co-creator Mortal Kombat series), George Petro (NARC, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Revolution X), and others. Also prominently featured are industry insiders Carly Kucerek (Coin-Operated Americans) and novelist and screenwriter Ernest Cline (Ready Player One, Armada).
Continue here to read the full story.

Sword of the Necromancer Delayed

JanduSoft and Grimorio of Games are delaying the release of Sword of the Necromancer, their anime-styled action/RPG. This is now coming to PC and consoles on January 28, 2021, which they say is a month later than previously planned. They say: "This extra time will allow for the developers to add a final layer of polish to bring the game to its ideal state." There's also now a second video developer's diary to highlight the game's art and music. Here's more on the diary and the delay:
In the meantime, the second developer diary for Sword of the Necromancer has been released showcasing the inspirations and direction of the art and music that adorns their impending monster summoning dungeon-crawler. This is the second of three videos to be rolled out before launch where the development team provides insight into the making of Sword of the Necromancer.

“As much as we want to get Sword of the Necromancer into the hands of the players, it is more important that the game meets our vision first,” said the developers at JanduSoft S.L and Grimorio of Games. “Releasing in January 2021, allows us to refine the game experience further and also avoid the craziness of the next-gen consoles launch window. Rest assured that the final product will be worth the wait.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

I had a great new wildlife experience the other day when I realized there was some sort of animal fishing in the pond. It was hard to get a good look, as it barely surfaced between dives, but my assumption is it was some sort of otter. It was really cool seeing this in action, even with how elusive it was. My hopes that this entertainment would continue have not come true, however, as aside from that one sighting, it does not seem to have returned. This actually makes sense, as while the pond is fairly large as decorative ponds go, it's still a pretty small hunting ground, and probably wouldn't provide enough fish to sustain an otter for very long. We're not that far from a pretty large lake, and I imagine that this would be far more appealing to an otter, presuming it stays in the area. But I do hope it returns for an occasional visit.

Obituary: LockOnFiles founder Tom Weiss.

Otter Read This Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link




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