Archived News:

Wednesday, Aug 03, 2022

Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim

Steam now offers Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim, a new visual novel for Windows with a novel approach to the dating sim genre. Developer Psyop and publisher Behaviour Interactive offer this announcement covering the news, including a Launch Trailer showing what to expect. Here's word:
Welcome to Murderer’s Island. Your companions: four dead-sexy Killers who, underneath their murderous exteriors, just want a little romance. Flirt your way into their hearts, uncovering dark twists along the way. Will you find true love, forge friendships… or get hacked to death? Only you can decide.

Build emotional bonds with The Trapper, The Huntress, The Spirit, and The Wraith in this one-of-a-kind choice-based dating sim filled with darkly comedic dialogue, minigames, mysteries, and multiple endings.
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Meet Your Maker Announced

Behaviour Interactive announces Meet Your Maker, a first-person building/raiding game from the developer of Dead by Daylight. Word on this is "every level is designed by players for players," so we no longer have to put up with games designed by lumberjacks for circus performers. Gameplay involves creating your Outpost filled with guards and traps to thwart invading players, while you also embark on your own raids of other Outposts. This is due in 2023. There's a preview on Xbox Wire where Behaviour discusses the project. The Official Reveal Trailer includes word that interested players can now sign up on the Meet Your Maker Website for closed beta testing, which will begin on August 23rd.
In this dying world, players take on the role of the Custodian, servant to the Chimera: a living experiment created as a last resort to save life on Earth. They’ll enter a tactical battle for the planet’s most coveted resource and the key to the Chimera’s evolution: pure Genetic Material. But acquiring it won’t be easy. Players will need to build and fortify maze-like Outposts that extract and guard the precious GenMat, or infiltrate and outsmart other players’ creations to gather more. With every Outpost in the game built by players, user-generated content is the driving force of the experience.

Building is about creating Outposts designed to lure, outwit, and kill trespassing players. To do so, players will combine a huge array of customizable blocks, traps, and guards as they strategically create their deadly masterpiece. The innovative AI recording system allows players to pre-record custom patrol paths for their guards to surprise and swarm raiders. On the flip side, players will also need to raid the Outposts created by others. Each Outpost will test their grit, wit, and reflexes as they try to get in, grab the GenMat, and make it out alive. No two Outposts will ever be the same, making for a highly replayable experience.

Project S Announced

Behaviour Interactive also announces it is publishing Project S, a puzzle game in development at Lunarch Studios for release next year. The Announcement Trailer offers a look, and the Steam Listing outlines the plan, including a mention of beta signups which don't seem to actually be live at this point:
Whether you’re an avid puzzle fan or looking for a unique take on an open-world adventure, “Project S” is the perfect experience for any player who thrives on discovery. Brimming with puzzles to solve and mysteries to unravel, this game creates a memorable world that reveals more of itself with each visit. Quests, multiplayer modes, and character progression combine to breathe new life into the 3D puzzle genre. Wishlist “Project S” today!

 Coming in 2023.

Can’t wait that long to play? Sign up right now for the chance to join our Closed Beta!
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Star Valor Launches

Star Valor is now officially available for Windows on Steam, as the sandbox space action/RPG has concluded its Early Access run. A new Out of Early Access Trailer celebrates the occasion with a look at gameplay from the full version. Would you like to know more?
Star Valor is a Space Action RPG game that puts you in control of your own spaceship and destiny. Explore a vast open-world procedurally generated galaxy as you make your way from a nobody to the biggest name in the galaxy. But be warned, in a universe where the last of humanity is ruled by the alien beings that nearly made them extinct, wealth and power don’t come easy.

Carefully choose which factions you join or go independent and make your own friends and foes along the way. Earn credits through a variety of activities such as mining asteroids for valuable materials and minerals, completing various missions, trading goods, salvaging shipwrecks, crafting weapons, claiming bounties on pirates, or becoming a pirate yourself. Gain experience and level up your skills while unlocking new options for subsequent playthroughs.
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Dracula's Castle Announced

Publisher Gameparic and developer Astirian-Rae Games announce Dracula's Castle, an action/RPG that will put you in the cape of Vlad the Impaler. This is coming "soon" to Steam. Most takes on the myth do not involve Dracula caring too much about housekeeping or his followers, but these will be major elements of this game. Here's word:
Manage the castle by expanding it, then build and unlock new rooms granting new mechanics to explore. The Alchemist will allow you to equip Dracula with mystical tools, and unlock the bat cave to improve Dracula's Mist Form.

Grow Dracula's power the way you want to. Dracula possesses different attributes such as Power, Cunning, Speed, Charm, and Magick. Choose which ones to train and equip the right relics for your build.

Engage angry mobs, town militia, and even dedicated vampire hunters in exciting tactical turn-based combat. Leverage Dracula's powerful abilities and forms to outwit and overwhelm the enemy.

Darfall Announced

Darfall is a city-building/survival game coming next year to Early Access on Steam from two-person development studio Play Square Games. Following convention, this tasks you with building and reinforcing your base during the day in order to withstand regularly scheduled nightly onslaughts. Here are the details:
During the daytime, Darfall gives a player more breathing room, as invasions halt and the player is free to explore the map with all its secrets. But by nightfall unholy monstrosities ravage the land, and you must secure your safeguards if you’re to make it through the night.

In addition to commanding from on high, you’ll have direct control of your hero as they brave an ongoing battle.. During the daylight hours you’ll have to branch out beyond your embattled hamlet, wandering the procedurally-generated landscape beyond your home to gather supplies. Collect materials for your blacksmiths and carpenters to craft weapons, fortifications and shelter for your kinfolk.
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Project Wunderwaffe: Prologue Takes Off

Project Wunderwaffe: Prologue is now available for Windows on Steam, offering the chance to operate a secret German weapons installation during World War II. This is a free sample of the full Project Wunderwaffe, an action/strategy game that currently carries the following release date: "PLAY FREE PROLOGUE!" The Prologue has its own Release Trailer illustrating what to expect. It also includes its own leaderboard. Here's word:
Get into the realities of World War II and command a secret underground base. Your task will be to survive! The aim in the game is constant battle to gain time and force troops hostile to you to move away from your base.

One of the main features of the gameplay of Project Wunderwaffe: Prologue is the constantly advancing fronts. In the prologue, you can control workers in mines to boost production, and the most important improvement in the prologue is the leaderboard, fight as long as possible. Base status control and management at the Command Centre or development of the technology tree at the Research Centre will help you survive the attack of enemies.
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Drift Type C Early Access

Early Access to Drift Type C is now underway on Steam, offering a physics-driven driving game for Windows. Here's a Launch Trailer showing old-school graphics that recall the days when drifting was on trend, if you catch our drift. Here's word on the game, what it intentionally doesn't include, and what it doesn't include that's on the way:
Indie developer Jonworks Interactive has brought its real physics driving game Drift Type C to Steam Early Access for $19.99. To celebrate this, a new high octane Gameplay trailer has gone live showing off some of the 50 real spec cars, 100 miles of track, 13 bosses, and a level editor on offer. Drift Type C brings a complete, authentic driving experience without any micro-transactions, air control, nitrous, or brake assist.

This Early Access period is so players can give feedback about what to add before releasing the finished version in a few months time. Potential upcoming features include: traffic, steering wheel support with force feedback, vehicle models that better resemble their real-life counterparts, an easier difficulty setting, and expanded tutorial, AI improvements, additional surfaces to drive on, and car modifications, among others. What features sound most important to you? Visit the Steam page to see the full list.
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PC In Nightmare This Year

Publisher Maximum Games announces In Nightmare will arrive for PC by the end of this year on Steam, following a successful launch on PlayStation for this psychological horror game. The console Launch Trailer shows off this title from colorfully named developer Bejing Magic Fish Technology Co., Ltd. Here's what to expect:
In Nightmare follows a young boy who closes himself off from the world around him and falls into a deep sleep, during which his inner nightmares take over. Heartbroken about his family’s troubles, the boy escapes reality into a dark, whimsical world created from his own memories. This sets him on a journey to uncover a web of truths within a haunting world of deception. With the help of his dream spirit, the boy will seek out ways to sneak past enemies, overcome intricate puzzles, and embrace his fears so that he may finally be able to awaken.
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SAMURAI MAIDEN Announced

D3PUBLISHER and developer Shade announces SAMURAI MAIDEN, and action/RPG coming to Steam and console this (northern) winter. Games featuring samurai are popular, as are games featuring schoolgirls, so the sky's the limit for this samurai schoolgirl title. Especially since it also features ninjas. The Announcement Trailer introduces the premise, which is explained below:
SAMURAI MAIDEN follows the story of a high school student who falls asleep after a boring day of history lessons, waking alongside historical figure, Nobunaga Oda, known as the first great unifier in Japan. The two find themselves at the burning Honnoji Temple where the underworld has opened. Having trained in the art of sword fighting as a hobby, Tsumugi is suddenly put to the test in actual battle as she is gifted the evil warding blade by the desperate Nobunaga Oda, who steps into the underworld to put an end to the calamity. Even Tsumugi, an admittedly poor history student, recognizes Oda as the hero of the Sengoku period and understands she must rise to this bizarre occasion.

In SAMURAI MAIDEN, players can look forward to slaughtering mobs of undead enemies with Tsumugi’s powerful swordsmanship. With stylish combination attacks and strong counters, Tsumugi is well equipped to slay groups of zombies as well as tough bosses—but as a student from modern times, she is not capable of fighting her way out of the underworld!
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Morning Multiplex

↑ Official trailers. ↓ Content creator videos.

Out of the Blue

Today is the 18th anniversary of the release of Doom 3, as the first-person shooter sequel launched on this day in 2004. The logo now adorning our desktop view is Walter "2" Costinak's tribute to the game that eventually taught us the life-saving value of duct-tape. This actually pre-dates the game, as it first appeared here in June 2002. Hats off to Steve for updating it to fit our current format.

Obituary: Vin Scully: Legendary Dodgers broadcaster has died at age 94.

Doomed Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Links

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

Image

Media

Follow-ups
Thanks Acleacius.

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2022

EA Financials

Electronic Arts Reports Q1 FY23 Financial Results, catching us up on the comings and goings of cash at the mammoth publisher. "EA delivered strong results in Q1 with our growing player network deeply engaged in new games and live services," said CEO Andrew Wilson. "Our expanding EA SPORTS portfolio and owned IP franchises continue to power resilience and longevity in our business. Our teams remain focused on what they do best – making amazing experiences that inspire new generations to play, watch, create, compete and connect." For more, follow the money:
Selected Operating Highlights and Metrics

  • Net bookings1 for the trailing twelve months was $7.478 billion, up 22% year-over-year.
  • Live services and other net bookings for the trailing twelve months were up 20% year-over-year and represent 73% of total net bookings.
  • The EA player network grew to nearly 600 million active accounts at quarter end.
  • FIFA Ultimate Team™ engagement during the quarter was up nearly 40% year-over-year in weekly and daily average players.
  • In Q1, FIFA Mobile delivered the highest net bookings quarter in history, with record high DAUs, up 10% from last quarter.

The Sims 4 High School Years Begin

Xbox Wire has details on the availability of the new High School Years expansion for The Sims 4. Presuming reliving those years is a good thing, this has you covered. Word is the pack even includes the chance to get wild in the mildest possible ways:
Spice up your teen Sims life by letting them get into a bit of trouble. In High School Years there is more potential than ever for teen Sims to explore their mischievous sides by pulling pranks. They might mark up the whiteboard, leave a stink capsule in someone’s locker, or tamper with the school’s PA system! Just be careful not to get caught. While pulling successful pranks will increase a Sim’s mischief skill, being discovered will have consequences and may lead to trust issues.

Teen Sims can also have fun hanging out in their bedrooms, sitting cross-legged on their beds together, or even having pillow fights. Or, if they’re sick of being cooped up, they can sneak out of the house after curfew using The E Window and Trellis Ladder, which will let them climb down the side of the house and escape for a night of fun (again, try not to get caught).

Outbreak: Shades of Horror Demo

Dead Drop Studios announces Outbreak: Shades of Horror, a new installment in the co-op horror series. This is coming to PC and consoles, but does not yet carry a release date, as the plan is to kick off a Kickstarter at the end of this month. But there's a playable demo to play right now. PC users can check out the Windows edition on Steam. There's also a version on Google Stadia you can sample for 60 minutes, and this requires no accounts or logins. For more on what to expect, here's the Reveal Trailer. Word on that is: "Today’s teaser packs all the classic survival horror tropes — including resource management, searching for lore, solving puzzles, and making use of weapons and equipment to find salvation. Take too long, and you'll join the ranks of the infected." Here's more:
Designed as an atmospheric introduction to the tone and visual fidelity that Drop Dead Studios are targeting with the full release, the playable teaser invites players to lose themselves in the aftermath of a catastrophic event. Using first-person puzzle-solving, players will attempt their escape from the city as they unlock each of the eight possible endings.

Outbreak: Shades of Horror is a love letter to the thought-provoking, mind-bending video games of the golden age of survival horror in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Towards the end of this era, there was an emphasis on stories driven by multiple characters with multiplayer co-op — and it's this spirit that Dead Drop Studios aim to capture in their new title.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hearthstone Commits Murder at Castle Nathria

Blizzard announces the release of Murder at Castle Nathria, the latest expansion for Hearthstone, the Warcraft-inspired card game. This adds 135 new cards, and a mystery to challenge the legendary detective skills of Murloc Holmes: "Sire Denathrius—former leader of Revendreth—has invited his enemies as guests to his Castle for an elegant dinner soirée. The evening is going smoothly…until suddenly, the Sire himself is murdered! Now, with the castle turned into a crime scene, it’s up to players—and the brainy Murloc Holmes—to figure out whodunit." Here's more:
To help with the demanding detective work, the Hearthstone team is adding a new card type to the game! Location cards are a feisty addition to your board, playable for an initial mana cost and then activated for free on your turn. Drop them onto the board and wisely set the effects in motion, keeping careful watch on the one-turn cooldown and diminishing durability to execute your strategy.

Also shaking up gameplay is the new keyword, Infuse. Cards with Infuse will transform into mightier versions of themselves by drinking the intoxicating anima surrendered whenever a friendly minion dies. Hold these cards in your hand until they’re fully infused—the transformation will metamorphose the artwork. Plus, no mystery would be complete without suspects! All ten classes will have their own Legendary suspect minion who was present at the party, giving players plenty of potential motives to unearth.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Xbox Insider Preview

Xbox Wire announces the latest beta stemming from its ZeniMax acquisition is Return to Castle Wolfenstein Xbox Insider Preview (thanks Console General). This will allow you to return to 2001 to then return to this alternate history version of World War II. Here's a refresher:
Xbox Insiders on Windows PC are invited to preview Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Originally released in 2001, Return to Castle Wolfenstein takes place where World War II rages and nations fall. SS head Himmler has Hitler’s full backing to twist science and the occult into an army capable of annihilating the Allies once and for all. Battling alone, you’re on an intense mission to pierce the black heart of the Third Reich and stop Himmler — or die trying.

Check out the Xbox Insider Hub on Windows PC to join the preview today! This preview is an integral part of bringing the game to Windows PC, and we are delighted that you’ll be a part of it!

Remedy Delaying Vanguard

Remedy lowers its revenue and operating result outlook for 2022 has the company's latest financial reporting. as the title notes, the company is lowering expectations for the full year. Included in the report is news that the PvE shooter codenamed Vanguard is being delayed. There was no specific release window in the game's announcement, but Remedy is volunteering news of a setback. Word is this is "to ensure that it can be completed according to the high-quality standards characteristic of Remedy games." Here's more:
We have decided to keep the game codenamed Vanguard longer in the current proof-of-concept phase and postpone the significant expansion of the development team until the year 2023. This will postpone income from 2022 to 2023, which means that we expect our 2022 revenue to remain at the previous year’s level and our operating result to decline significantly compared to the year 2021,” says Tero Virtala, CEO of Remedy Entertainment.

Logitech G Gaming Handheld Announced

Logitech G and Tencent Games announce Logitech G Gaming Handheld, an upcoming handheld gaming device to play AAA PC and console games through the cloud. This will leverage Logitech's hardware prowess with Tencent's internet savvy. It doesn't have an exact release date, but we're told to expect a launch this year. You can sign up here to receive updates on the plan. Here's the deal:
Today, Logitech G and Tencent Games announced a partnership to bring a cloud gaming handheld to market later this year that will combine Logitech G’s expertise in hardware with Tencent Games’ expertise in software services. The new device will support multiple cloud gaming services, and both companies are working with the Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce NOW teams, so gamers can play AAA games when they are away from their console or PC.

Logitech G and Tencent Games share a mutual vision of the future of gaming and are committed to ensuring the quality of experience comes together seamlessly to deliver on the exciting promise of gaming from the cloud. Cloud gaming utilizes data center servers to stream video games to consumers. There’s no need to download or install PC or console games. Instead, games are rendered and played on remote servers, and users interact with them locally on their devices.
Continue here to read the full story.

Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered Price Change

A post on Steam reveals a "region pricing correction" for Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered, the upcoming wall-crawling remake. This is good news for gamers in Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, and the U.K., where the game's price has been reduced. The minor bad news is that since Steam does pre-purchases, rather than preorders, anyone in those markets who pre-purchased the game will need to get a refund and buy it again to receive the lower price:
We have now fixed this issue. Other markets have not been affected. If you pre-purchased the title AND are from any of the above markets, you will want to follow the steps below to ensure you receive the correct lower price.

  1. Cancel your current pre-purchase of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered on PC to receive a full refund
  2. Pre-purchase Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered again to receive the corrected lower price point before August 12th to receive early unlock bonuses

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Matchmaking Update

Valve announces a matchmaking update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The post explains that most changes to this aspect of the competitive shooter are minor enough to go unmentioned, but this one is a little more conspicuous:
Competitive Skill Groups are undergoing some recalibration.

Typically when we ship changes to CS:GO’s matchmaking system, the adjustments are small enough that we don’t include them in our release notes. However, today’s update affects all CS:GO players so it requires some explanation.

When you launch CS:GO, you’ll notice that your Skill Group is not displayed–you’ll have to win one more match to reveal your Skill Group. Most of you will notice a change to your Skill Group, but some of you may find that you were already in the right place.

So jump into a match, or two, or however many it takes for your next win!

REDSHOT Shoots Out

REDSHOT is now available on Steam, adding a new installment to the enduring action/platformer genre. This project from developer Brian Lynch is a "bullet-time metroidvania" take on the topic. You can see this in action in the Release Date Trailer, which notes this project has been in on and off development for about seven years now. Here's word:
REDSHOT is a bullet-time Metroidvania where everything is deadly, but you are deadlier. Can you save the royal city from total destruction? Can you do it with style?

After crash landing on a fringe planet on the outer edges of the galaxy, Jack "Goose" Redshot is given a mission to rescue the royal family of the city of Carcosa from a mysterious supernatural invader, who has laid siege to the city and its inhabitants. With over 200 rooms to explore and many weapons, items, and secrets to find, fans of the genre will find a challenging but fair adventure to be had in REDSHOT.
Continue here to read the full story.

Civitatem Released

Civitatem is now available on Steam, following an Early Access run for this Windows medieval city-builder from LW Games. The Launch Trailer shows off gameplay and graphics recalling an earlier time. Here's the pitch on why you may want to settle for this:
Civitatem is a medieval city builder where you help your villagers raise a new settlement in dangerous lands, by making use of their skills and available world resources.

  • Shape the future of your people by managing and assigning the most skilled villager for each task.
  • Research new technologies.
  • Fight off the natural elements or raiders.
  • Explore the land for new villages to develop new trade routes.
  • Acquire new technologies and develop diplomatic relations.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding

Out of the Blue

Two different smoke/CO₂ detectors in the BlueTower are chirping low battery warnings, so I've decided it's time to upgrade the entire place. There are sealed units where the battery lasts 10 years, which is appealing. I figured I'd mention this here in case anyone has any expertise on the right way to go. I'm looking to replace five units, and I see that there are models now that communicate with each other. This seems like a smart way to ensure being properly notified in case there's a problem. But maybe it's just a useless gimmick? Does anyone have experience or recommendations to share on these? This is one of those projects that one doesn't think about on a day-to-day basis, so I'd like to make a wise decision while it's on the front burner. Or maybe these detectors are fairly generic at this point and I shouldn't over think it?

Smokey Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

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