Archived News:

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2022 Anniversary of Quake's Release (1996)

Epic Games Store Adds Ratings; Fights Review Bombing

A post on The Epic Games Store from last week announces the addition of Ratings and Polls to the store. Word is: "Responses will populate the store product pages with information about games and apps, creating a better experience and helping players find games they’re more likely to love." But what about review bombing, you might ask, since this has become an increasingly common occurrence. According to Epic, this system is designed to prevent that. Here's how:
Our ratings system will ask random players, who have played a game for more than two hours, to give a rating on a five point scale. Here's how it works: Following a play session, random players will be offered the opportunity to score the game up to five stars. Over time, these scores will help populate the “Overall Rating” that will appear on the product’s store page. Because these requests are randomized, we won’t spam our players, and we probably won’t ask about every game or app used. This approach protects games from review bombing and ensures people assigning scores are actual players of the games.

Prime Games Giveaway

Amazon's Prime Gaming Home now has a special offer for Prime members to celebrate Prime Day, which gets underway on June 12th. Inviting everyone to "start freeloading," Prime Gaming is now offering a large collection of indie games completely free. These are yours to keep as long as you act before the offer ends. Here's word:
Prime Day
To celebrate Prime Day, we're giving away 30+ games–for FREE. Start claiming your games now through July 13.

HYENAS Announced

Creative Assembly and SEGA announce HYENAS, a multiplayer first-person shooter centered around space piracy, which is always the best kind of piracy. The announcement includes a cinematic Announce Trailer as well as word that signups for alpha testing are now underway on the official HYENAS Website. Try to keep a straight face as you read about a natural disaster caused by all those billionaires finally leaving for Mars, turning the Earth into the taint of the solar system:
In HYENAS, the world is broken… literally. The billionaires have finally made it to Mars, leaving Earth and their tax bills far behind. But then, disaster: the zero-gravity tech that powered their journey shatters Earth, abandoning the populace in a drifting slum lovingly referred to as the “Taint.” The only thing the rich care for is rare Merch, pop culture swag looted from the ruins of Earth, which they buy for exorbitant amounts to furnish their Martian mansions. The Hyenas are here to steal it back.

Huge spaceship shopping malls known as Plunderships are full of nostalgic goodies, plucked from Earth and shipped to Mars for sale. They’re also packed with the sort of hired thugs, alarm systems and armed drones that only the hyper-rich can afford. Assemble your crew of Hyenas from a ragtag cast of uniquely skilled and armed criminal misfits to get in, get the Merch and get the hell out. Problem is, you’re not the only crew on the scene...
Continue here to read the full story.

The Wrath of the Lich King Classic Beta

Blizzard announces beta testing of The Wrath of the Lich King Classic is now underway. If you opted in but haven't received an invitation, more invites will be sent out over the course of testing. There's also this update from the development team on how rereleasing this classic World of Warcraft content provided the chance to improve gameplay in several areas. Here's more on how to get invited:
The Wrath of the Lich King Classic beta test has begun! Over the course of the test, we’ll be inviting opt-in beta testers and more to check out the upcoming Classic expansion and give us feedback.

Players selected to participate in the beta test will receive an email invitation directing them to download the beta client directly from the Battle.net desktop app. As always, please be aware of phishing attempts—if you’re unsure whether your invitation is legitimate, please log in to your Battle.net account to verify that there is a Wrath of the Lich King Classic beta license attached (under Your Game Accounts).

Neon White Released

Neon White is now available for Windows on Steam, and has been since its release last week, which was overlooked here at the time. This is a single-player first-person shooter with a speedrunning component. And apparently a thirsty component, as well, as PC Gamer notes: Steam reviewers love Neon White despite its horny anime nonsense, or very much because of it." The concept and some gameplay are on display in the chaotic Launch Trailer. Did you know there are demons in heaven? You do now. Here's word:
Neon White is a lightning fast first-person action game about exterminating demons in Heaven. You are White, an assassin handpicked from Hell to compete with other demon slayers for a chance to live permanently in Heaven. The other assassins seem familiar, though…
Continue here to read the full story.

SANABI Early Access

Early Access to SANABI is now underway for Windows on Steam. This is an action/platformer from developer WONDER POTION and publisher NEOWIZ. Perhaps inspired by Bionic Commando, the angle here is that you are equipped with an extendable prosthetic arm, so your reach will never exceed your grasp. This can be seen in action in the Early Access Trailer. Here's word:
SANABI puts players in the jump shoes of a retired veteran who is recalled to service for one last operation. The goal? Ascend to a mega-city ruled by a corrupt conglomerate. Players will use a signature chain-hook prosthetic arm to climb the heights while utilizing quick maneuverability to quickly defeat enemies. Players must hunt down the mysterious entity known only as SANABI and uncover dark secrets hidden deep within the city.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding

Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition Tomorrow

After a couple of delays, the Steam Listing for Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition now shows June 23rd as the release date for Nightdive Studios' remake of Westwood Studios' classic. This is a point-and-click adventure game set in the far-flung dystopian future of 2019. It was originally released in 1997, and was thought to be lost, like tears in rain. But the experts at Nightdive have completed a renovation and are ready to unleash it on the world. Here's what to expect:
Westwood Studios, the company that brought Real-Time to strategy games with Command & Conquer, brings Real-Time to adventure games with the science fiction classic, Blade Runner.

Armed with your investigative skills and the tools of the Blade Runner trade, you'll be immersed in a world that lives and breathes around you with breakthrough lighting and visual effects. Your ability to survive will be put to the test in the richest game environment ever created.

Immerse yourself in the dark, gritty world of Los Angeles 2019, where you become both the hunter and the hunted.

The Cycle: Frontier Season 1 Begins

Season 1 of The Cycle: Frontier is now underway, kicking off another stage in the lifecycle of this Windows MMO shooter. The game is free-to-play on the Epic Games Store and Steam, and each store also now offers sales a Fortuna Pass for the season. To celebrate the news, developer YAGER will offer almost two weeks of Twitch drops beginning tomorrow. This page outlines all the rewards Twitch viewers can pick up this way. Check out the Season 1 Fortuna Pass Trailer for more details on that, and read on for more about the season:
After a successful Pre-Season launch with over one million unique players, Season 1 of The Cycle: Frontier, YAGER’s first-person extraction shooter, begins today. Experience the dynamic sci-fi world of Fortuna III with new rewards and surprises as you compete against other Prospectors in PvE/PvP action to complete quests, clear dungeons, and gain reputation on the space station you call home.

Season 1 of The Cycle: Frontier introduces the new Fortuna Pass, allowing players to earn Aurum, Salvage tokens, and other free goodies to help them survive the deadly dangers of Fortuna III. The paid version of the Fortuna Pass includes new Prospector skins, a set of weapon skins, emotes, weapon charms, XP boosters, and more.
Continue here to read the full story.

AMD FSR 2.0 Open Source

A post from AMD looks back on the first anniversary of the launch of its FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) upscaling technology. Word is after a year there are over 110 current and upcoming titles with support for FSR 1.0 or 2.0. To help grow that number further, FSR 2.0 is now available for developers as an open source release. Here's word:
Today, there are 110+ available and upcoming games supporting FSR 1.0 and FSR 2.0. Additionally, beginning today, FSR 2.0 is now available on GPUOpen as a free download for game developers.

  • 110+ Available and Upcoming Games Supporting FSR 1.0 and FSR 2.0
    • FSR 2.0 support now at 22 available and upcoming games, including upcoming titles recently announced: Abyss World, Hitman 3, Rescue Party: Live!, Super People, and The Callisto Protocol. And today it was announced that FSR 2.0 is coming soon in The Bridge Curse, Thymesia, and TinyTina’sWonderlands.
    • FSR 1.0 support expands to include enhanced versions of Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3, ResidentEvil 7:Biohazard, and iRacing, as well as upcoming support in Call of the Wild: The Angler, Lies Of P, PC Building Simulator 2, and Project HP.
  • FSR 2.0 Now Available for Developers on GPUOpen
    • FSR 2.0 is now available as an open source API for ease of integration with complete documentation and full C++ and HLSL source code. It supports DirectX 12 and Vulkan, with plug-ins for both Unreal Engine 4 and 5 coming soon. It is also supported on Xbox and will be available in the Xbox GDK.

Cities: Skylines Sells 12M

Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive announce that Cities: Skylines has sold over 12 million copies since the urban planning game first launched in 2015. The occasion is marked by this celebratory trailer and the following comments about the past and the future of the franchise:
After launching in 2015, the Cities: Skylines team worked on perfecting the gaming experience releasing 13 expansions, more than 10 radio stations, and bundles, offering the complete Cities: Skylines experience to new and old fans. Modding is another vital part of Cities: Skylines; constructing a city from the ground up is easy to learn, but when a community starts to put their flourishes atop that foundation, that's when a city becomes a place you can call home. Thanks to one of the most active modding communities in the world, Cities: Skylines continues to grow and expand in fantastic new ways.

“We are grateful for how active is Cities: Skylines community is, and we’re overjoyed to see them sharing their passion for city-building games with us.” Said Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen “It's been a dream come true seeing the game resonate with so many players during all these years. We keep listening to the feedback we receive and we are committed to working hard to bring even more joy to our fans in the future”.
Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

  • Fast Company: Steam Deck proves game consoles don't need walled gardens.
    "The tech industry is filled with companies that seem deathly afraid of this model, either because they don’t trust their users or don’t want to risk weakening their own ecosystems. By taking the opposite approach, Valve is proving that open platforms aren’t so catastrophic, and it elevates the Steam Deck from yet another gadget into the most exciting consumer electronics device in years."

Out of the Blue

Happy birthday Quake, as today is the 26th anniversary of the release of id's first truly 3D shooter back in 1996. I've long been out of the splint that prevented me from playing any last year, so I should be able to do a little Quaking to celebrate. I do still have a lot of difficulty with my left hand, but I imagine playing through the stiffness is probably therapeutic, so there's that. And the remastered version of Quake is such a pleasure, as its release eliminated any of the obstacles to playing the game without choosing between mods and source ports. To celebrate, the logo for our desktop view is an homage to Quake. This was created by the inimitable Walter "2" Costinak and updated by Scott to our current format.

Obituary: Jaylon Ferguson, Baltimore Ravens linebacker, dies at 26.

Quaking Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Stories

Science

Image

Media
Thanks VideoSift.

Follow-up

The Funnies

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