Archived News:

Thursday, Feb 11, 2021

Get Halcyon 6 for Free

It's time to celebrate your halcyon days, as Halcyon 6 Starbase Commander is now available for free on the Epic Games Store as their latest weekly giveaway. You have until next Thursday to pick up your copy, and after that two new freebies will take its place, which will be Rage 2 and Absolute Drift. Here's the deal on Halcyon 6:
A retro space strategy RPG with base building, deep tactical combat, crew management and emergent storytelling.

On the edge of Terran space lies Halcyon 6, a derelict starbase left behind by a mysterious precursor race. Your mission is to reclaim the derelict station and rebuild it. A mysterious alien force is making a beeline towards Earth and this starbase is the best chance for the New Terran Federation to establish new alliances, research new technologies and otherwise figure out a way to stop the impending invasion.
Continue here to read the full story.

Kingdom Hearts Comes to PC Next Month as EGS Exclusive

SQUARE ENIX, Disney, and Epic Games announce that the KINGDOM HEARTS series will make its PC debut on March 30th as an Epic Games Store exclusive. "It is truly a great pleasure to bring so many KINGDOM HEARTS adventures to PC gamers around the world," said Producer Ichiro Hazama. "Our collaboration with Epic Games is one that stretches back to the development of KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and as part of this ongoing relationship, the team at Epic Games have been incredibly supportive in helping us make this a reality. I’m incredibly excited for so many new players to discover and enjoy the action, magic and friendship of KINGDOM HEARTS on PC." Here's an Epic Games Store Announcement Trailer and here's a list of the games:
KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX

  • KINGDOM HEARTS FINAL MIX
  • KINGDOM HEARTS Re:Chain of Memories
  • KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 Days (HD Remastered cinematics)
  • KINGDOM HEARTS II FINAL MIX
  • KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep FINAL MIX
  • KINGDOM HEARTS Re:coded (HD Remastered cinematics)

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

  • KINGDOM HEARTS Dream Drop Distance HD
  • KINGDOM HEARTS 0.2 Birth by Sleep –A fragmentary passage–
  • KINGDOM HEARTS χ Back Cover (movie)

KINGDOM HEARTS III + Re Mind (DLC)

KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory

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New AMD Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 21.2.2 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition drivers for AMD graphics cards. Here's word from the release notes:
Fixed Issues

  • Objects may fail to render correctly when using EEVEE render in Blender™ on Radeon RX 400 and Radeon RX 500 series graphics products.
  • Quake III Arena™ may experience corruption during loading or gameplay.
  • Performance may be lower than expected in Wolfenstein: Youngblood™ when a system is AMD Smart Access Memory enabled.

Known Issues

  • A system hang or crash may be experienced when upgrading Radeon Software while an Oculus™ VR headset is connected to your system on Radeon GCN graphics products. A temporary workaround is to disconnect the headset before install.
  • Some resolutions may be unavailable or unlisted in the resolution settings drop down menu for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive™ when using 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • Radeon FreeSync may fail to enable in Forza Horizon 4™.
  • AMD is currently investigating end user reports that Radeon Software may sometimes have higher than expected CPU utilization, even when a system is at idle. Users who are experiencing this issue are encouraged to file a bug report in Radeon Software.
  • Brightness flickering may intermittently occur in some games or applications when Radeon™ FreeSync is enabled, and the game is set to use borderless fullscreen.
  • Enhanced Sync may cause a black screen to occur when enabled on some games and system configurations. Any users who may be experiencing issues with Enhanced Sync enabled should disable it as a temporary workaround.

King's Bounty II in August

1C Entertainment announces that King's Bounty II will be released on August 24th for Windows and consoles. The RPG sequel was originally announced for a 2020 release, and was more recently expected next month. 1C Entertainment CEO Nikolay Baryshnikov explains: "As a team, we had to make the difficult decision to move King’s Bounty II's release to a later point in 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver the best possible King’s Bounty experience." Here's a new Release Date Reveal Trailer and more on the plan:
“We are currently at a stage where the content is complete and playable, but we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing and polishing. The revised launch date will give us additional time for balancing, which is much needed for such an important project, with its ambitious open world, complex narrative and deep turn-based tactical and RPG mechanics,“ said Denis Maltzev, King’s Bounty II producer. “Seeing the love and passion that you, our fans, put behind this project, we are grateful for all your support and ask for a little more patience. We are hoping that this won’t feel like a long delay and please make sure to keep an eye on our news channels to receive the latest updates as we approach the new release date.“
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SnowRunner Season 3

Season 3: Locate & Deliver is now available for SnowRunner, bringing an avalanche of new content to Saber Interactive's off-roading game. This is available for Windows and consoles, and the PC edition is on the Epic Games Store, and it comes along with a free update for the base game. It's available as a standalone DLC and is included for owners of the Season Pass or the Premium Edition. The Season 3 Overview Trailer shows off the DLC's emphasis on logging. Here's an explanation:
Season 3 introduces Wisconsin, USA, a new region that’s all about logging lumber for big paydays. A limited number of generators are needed to power all the buildings in the area, and it’s up to you to pick and choose what you need and when as you repair a train station and its accompanying lines.

Your new vehicles for Season 3 are the International PayStar Twin Steer, the Pacific P512 PF, and the BOAR 45318. They’ll help power you through the new maps of Grainwoods River and Black Badger Lake, two flooded, densely forested landscapes filled with broken-down machinery and challenging missions to discover.

Season 3 also adds a free content update for all players featuring new trials, cargo, missions, and various cosmetic upgrades. More logging activities have been added to previous maps, meaning everyone can get a taste of the action. And don’t forget to check out the ever-expanding selection of community-made mods on both consoles and PC to further enhance your SnowRunner experience.
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Media Indie Exchange Events Revealed

The Media Indie Exchange announces two upcoming game broadcasts. The first is on February 26th celebrating Black History Month with a Black Voices in Gaming showcase, presented with Humble Games. The second is Game Dev Direct on March 13 and 14, with announcements and presentations from several publishers and developers. Here's more:
February 26: Black Voices in Gaming showcase, presented with Humble Games
Black History Month programming continues with additional games, guests and discussions.

The MIX will present this digital event with Humble Games with a special emphasis on Humble's Black Game Developer Fund, also streaming on twitch.tv/twitchgaming, twitch.tv/mediaindieexchange, GameSpot and Steam.

Air time: 1 pm through 4 pm Pacific time

March 13, 14: Game Dev Direct
Game Dev Direct will present new announcements, game footage, special guests, and more from publishers and developers of all sizes.

March 13 kicks off with a special two hour digital event presented by The MIX team, 9 am Pacific time to 11 am Pacific time.
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New Paradox Insider Next Month

Paradox Interactive announces the next episode of Paradox Insider will air on March 13th as part of the Game Dev Direct program mentioned above. As before, this will offer a showcase for their upcoming titles. Here's the plan:
Paradox Insider will be part of Game Dev Direct, a digital event presented by The Media Indie Exchange (The MIX), on Twitch at 9:00 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CET), with Paradox Insider going live at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time (20:00 CET). Paradox Insider will appear at http://twitch.tv/twitchgaming as well as the Paradox Interactive Twitch channel and other platforms.

Game Dev Direct will present announcements, game footage, special guests, and more from publishers and developers of all sizes. Viewers can watch it live on https://twitch.tv/mediaindieexchange, https://twitch.tv/twitchgaming, Steam, and other platforms. Paradox Insider, an “inside look” at upcoming titles, will feature trailers, deep-dives into new game content, and interviews with the developers of Paradox’s award-winning games.

Human: Fall Flat Sells 25M

Curve Digital announces sales figures for Human: Fall Flat, the multiplayer platformer developed by No Brakes Games. Far from falling flat, they say the game has now sold over 25 million units on all platforms worldwide. They also announce the launch of a Lunar Lobby to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The lobby is shown in this trailer. Here's the news:
The astonishing achievement comes on the back of a successful mobile release in China in association with XD Inc and 505 Games which led to more than 2.5 million sales within the first month. Gary Rowe, VP of Franchise at Curve Digital said: “We’re delighted to celebrate this incredible milestone with our talented partner No Brakes Games. The community has really taken Human: Fall Flat into their hearts and their excitement and support has enabled us to keep updating the game with ingenious new levels. 2020 was our biggest year yet, but alongside No Brakes we’ve got even bigger plans for the future and we’re excited to share more soon.”

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, a new Lunar Lobby launches today exclusively on Steam. Created by the winner of the latest Human: Fall Flat Steam Workshop Competition, Muyao Li, who landed a prize of $10,000 for his effort, the lobby explores seven areas inspired by traditional Chinese tales. Within the new lobby players are tasked with uniting the 12 zodiac symbols, can shake the Fortune Tree and have the opportunity of riding the Fortune Carp rollercoaster as it transforms into a dragon.
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Steam Lunar New Year Sale

The Steam Lunar New Year Sale is now underway, offering bargains galore in an event that will run until 1:00 pm EST Monday. They will offer a free sticker each day of the sale in the Steam Points Shop, all centered around the Year of the Ox theme. Here are the details:
The Steam Lunar New Year Sale is on now, featuring popular titles plus recommendations tailored just for you. Save on tens of thousands of titles, now through February 15th at 10am Pacific.

Shop your favorite genres and themes
Browse recommendations and featured sale titles by genres and themes, using tags to drill down to the games that fit your favorite playstyle. Popular genres like Action and Adventure are just a starting point. Be sure not to miss our round up of Co-Op games and more.

Refresh your profile and enhance chat messages with Points Shop Bundles
Start the year on a beautiful note with the Year of the Ox 2021 animated profile, miniprofile, avatar frame, and animated avatar. And for you big spenders-big Bundles are now available in the Points Shop! Save 10% when you purchase a Points Shop Bundle. Already own a few items in a Bundle? You can even complete the set and save.
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DICE LA Working on Next Battlefield

EA recently confirmed a new Battlefield game is coming this year. Now a series of tweets from Justin Wiebe have a confirmation from the Design Director at DICE LA that his studio is working on the next installment in the military shooter series (thanks MP1st). He revealed this through a little guessing game he played with his followers:
Any guesses what EA owned franchise I’m thrilled to be working on now?

Not PvZ sadly...

Not Skate...

Not Apex, but man that’s a great game!

No Jedi...

Correct! It’s Battlefield for the win.

Stolen CDPR Source Code Auctioned

A tweet from KELA has word from this darknet watchdog that the auction of the CD PROJEKT RED source code that was recently stolen is now complete (thanks IGN). There's also a tweet from vx-underground where this malware sourcecode collector confirms the news as well. There's no indication how much was paid, and they say further non-distribution was one of the conditions of the sale, leading to unconfirmed speculation that CD PROJEKT RED themselves were the purchaser:
Just in: #CDProjektRed AUCTION IS CLOSED. #Hackers auctioned off stolen source code for the #RedEngine and #CDPR game releases, and have just announced that a satisfying offer from outside the forum was received, with the condition of no further distribution or selling.

Six Days in Fallujah Revived

Victura and Highwire announce Six Days in Fallujah will come to PC and consoles in 2021, offering a first-person tactical military shooter based on the Second Battle of Fallujah which was fought in 2004 during the Iraq War. Development of this game began in the aughts at Atomic Games, but it in 2009 publisher Konami dropped support for the project due to the controversy it stirred up. Atomic expressed hopes of finding another publisher, and it was reported in 2010 that development was complete, though this was later refuted. In late 2010 Atomic was still expressing hopes that the game would be released, but shortly thereafter they released Breach, which used a cover system developed for Six Days in Fallujah, which was the last we heard of the game from Atomic. That is until now, as the CEO of Victura is Peter Tamte, who was CEO of Atomic Games when it was in development there. There's a statement from the team on the new Six Days in Fallujah Website explaining why they think this is an important game and refuting the argument that video games are not the medium to deliver insight on controversial real-life events. Here's a new Official Six Days in Fallujah Announcement Trailer, and here's more on the revival:
Working in partnership with frontline Marines and Soldiers who fought in the Battle for Fallujah, Victura and Highwire have spent more than three years building unique technologies and game mechanics that bring players closer to the uncertainty and tactics of modern combat than other video games have explored.

Over 100 Marines, Soldiers, and Iraqi civilians who were present during the Second Battle for Fallujah have shared their personal stories, photographs, and video recordings with the development team. The game gives these stories voice through gameplay and first-person accounts captured in original documentary interview footage. Six Days in Fallujah aims to be the most authentic military shooter to date and to tell these military and civilian stories with the integrity they deserve.
“It’s hard to understand what combat is actually like through fake people doing fake things in fake places,” says Peter Tamte, CEO of Victura. “This generation showed sacrifice and courage in Iraq as remarkable as any in history. And now they’re offering the rest of us a new way to understand one of the most important events of our century. It’s time to challenge outdated stereotypes about what video games can be.”
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Little Nightmares II Released

Little Nightmares II is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam. A look at this puzzle/adventure game is featured in the Launch Trailer and you can check it out firsthand via a playable demo that's available on Steam. Here's more on this nightmare fuel:
Return to a world of charming horror in Little Nightmares II, a suspense adventure game in which you play as Mono, a young boy trapped in a world that has been distorted by the humming transmission of a distant tower.

With Six, the girl in the yellow raincoat, as his guide, Mono sets out to discover the dark secrets of The Signal Tower. Their journey won't be easy; Mono and Six will face a host of new threats from the terrible residents of this world.

Will you dare to face this collection of new, little nightmares?
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X4: Cradle of Humanity Next Month

EGOSOFT announces a March 16th release date for Cradle of Humanity, the second expansion for X4: Foundations, their space trading and combat sequel. This was announced for release in Q4 of last year, so it did suffer a delay along the way. Word is the add-on will come alongside an extensive update which will update the base game to version 4.00:
X4: Cradle of Humanity brings the X series back to Earth, significantly increasing the size of the game's universe with new sectors, and welcoming two Terran factions to X4: Foundations. These bring with them their own economy, ships, weapons and stations. New game-starts will introduce the identity and political stance of the Terran factions, as well as giving an alternative perspective on existing story developments in X4: Foundations.

X4: Cradle of Humanity will be accompanied by the most extensive free update to X4: Foundations yet. The 4.00 update will be made available to all owners of the base game, and is set to further enhance X4: Foundations in a number of ways. Among the enhancements are major new gameplay features, such as terraforming, and wide-ranging visual improvements including volumetric fog. Details of these, and other new aspects of the 4.00 update, can be found on our website at www.egosoft.com or in the game's news section on the Steam website.

Blacksmith Legends Announced

Publisher RockGame and developer VM Gaming announce Blacksmith Legends, your chance to live the dream of heroically creating the weapons heroes use in battle. They've hammered out this Announcement Trailer with a look at the game, and promise a playable prologue demo will be released on Steam before the end of this month. Here's more:
Blacksmith Legends is a RPG simulation strategy game. You inherit a small workshop from your parents with a dream to become real legend in your profession. With all your family fortune, you set out to create best items you ever imagined and develop your village/cities, workshop, hire other professions to tinker with your recipe's, create opportunities by completing various quests that can get you on darker(mischievous) or lighter(righteous) path on your way of creating best blacksmith craftsmanship in the Kingdom!
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Euro Truck Simulator 2 - Lunar New Year Pack

A new Lunar New Year Pack is now available on Steam for Euro Truck Simulator 2. This celebrates the impending Year of the Metal Ox with some new paintjobs for your big rig. Here's word:
The Lunar New Year is largely observed in China, as well as in many other countries and territories across Asia, including South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. It's most commonly associated with what's often called Chinese New Year or as the Spring Festival.

We hope these 12 beautiful paint designs representing each zodiac animal sign in the traditional red and gold colors (starting from 2021: ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig and rat) will bring you good luck now and in the coming years.

Out of the Blue

Our wood pellet stove is making me a little crazy lately. I clean it every day, and in recent times it is frequently coated in black, as opposed to the light gray/white ash it usually generates. I've tinkered with the airflow and settings to no effect. We made an appointment to have it serviced, but then it started acting normal again, suggesting maybe we just went through a bad batch of pellets. So we cancelled the appointment, and the problem returned, which is just how the world works sometimes. We will now try to get another appointment, as we're concerned this may have to do with how it exhausts smoke, since getting the flue coated in creosote is definitely dangerous. We've grown to understand that although we think the stove is very nice looking, it's not the best brand out there. It is also annoyingly noisy, as the auger squeaks a lot. And worse, its circuit board does not like the kind of sine waves put out by a UPS, so we aren't able to protect against power outages that can fill the room with smoke when the exhaust fans go off. So we are trying to come to grips with the unfortunate reality that it may need to be replaced.

Wood-burning Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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