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Friday, Apr 12, 2024

Leak Apparently Closes Possibility Space

Developer Possibility Space has apparently shut down according to social media posts from ex-staff, as noted on There's no official announcement yet, but the company website is now offline. This studio formed by Jeff Strain would be the second property owned by Prytania Media (co-founded by Strain and wife Annie Delisi Strain) to close in a short time, as Crop Circle Games (also founded by the Strains) shut down a few weeks ago. There's an intriguing twist here, as an X from Polygon reporter Nicole Carpenter (not published on Polygon) reproduces what is purported to be the letter Jeff Strain sent to staff with the news. This suggests that the studio closure is due to details leaking about its game codenamed Project Vonnegut. The terse letter concludes with the ArenaNet co-founder and Undead Labs founder saying he is stepping away from the game industry to focus on family and helping his wife with what she describes as her "personal health struggles":
Leaks of this nature are typically malicious and done by outside hacking, so to see internal team members under a confidentiality agreement engage in this was shocking. Given the company's own strict confidentiality and notification obligations, I immediately got on a plane for in-person meetings with our publishing partner to disclose the information breach and to discuss the impact on the project. During that discussion our partner expressed low confidence they would be willing to invest the additional resources needed to complete the game, so we mutually agreed to cancel Vonnegut.

As a result of the cancellation of the publishing relationship and after careful consideration, I am closing Possibility Space. Today is your last day of employment with Possibility Space and Prytania Media. Your final paycheck including pay for work through the end of today will be deposited to your account, along with any other required payments, as dictated by your work location. For employees located outside the United States, today will serve as the first day of your Notice Period and your final day of employment is currently scheduled for April 19, 2024. However, all non-US employees — like their US peers — will have no work obligations after today. In addition, all employees affiliated through a PEO will have their employment separation processed according to applicable law.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: The Mars crisis, explained by 2 experts (video). Thanks The Flying Penguin.

Obituary: World's Oldest Conjoined Twins Lori and George Schappell Dead at 62.

Slapshot: Rebound Leaves Early Access

Slapshot: Rebound is now officially available on Steam following an Early Access run for this free-to-play arcade hockey game (which unfortunately is not based on the cult classic 1977 hockey film starring Paul Newman). Word is: "this 1.0 update introduces the virtual hangout spot, The Pond, a new ranked season, and a matching season pass." The game's simple appearance belies its fidelity, as this is a physics game with no shoot button, no "puck glue," and no RNG, so it's all about controlling a puck that has no motivation to do your bidding. You can check this out in action in the new Slapshot: Rebound Release Trailer. Here's more:
Line up your shot and swing your way to victory in Slapshot: Rebound. The physics-based 3v3 ice hockey game challenges players, giving them total control of their avatars on the controller or mouse and keyboard. With over 1.5 million downloads, a dedicated player base, and three community-run regional esports leagues, Slapshot: Rebound looks to continue its steady track record.

Mingle with other slappers at The Pond, a freeplay open lobby that is available as part of the full release. Previously only accessible through custom lobbies, The Pond can now be joined while queued up for a match or loaded into directly. Pass the time with friends and community members with casual play, or keep those fingers warmed up between matches. Alongside a standard ice hockey rink, an air hockey rink, two target practice areas, and a sumo minigame are available for play.
Continue here to read the full story.

Infection Free Zone Early Access

Infection Free Zone has infected Steam, where it's now available for Windows in Early Access. This takes the zombie genre in the Bill and Frank direction, as it tasks you with creating the game's titular infection-free zone, which of course will need defending to remain so. The Early Access Trailer shares a look, and here are some details:
Choose any real region from the world. Choose your base of operations, then rebuild and readapt the buildings around you to create a self-sustaining settlement. Take charge of a group of survivors from your city. And when the night falls - Defend the zone from the infected!
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Lotus Lantern: Rescue Mother Released

Lotus Lantern: Rescue Mother is now available for Windows on Steam, kicking off a roguelite action/RPG inspired by Chinese mythology. In this you learn martial arts from legendary monkey king Sun Wukong before setting off in search of your mom. And as the launch trailer shows you also play as a bad mother… (shut your mouth!) … just talkin' 'bout Lotus Lantern. Here's more on the game which sports a 10% launch discount for the next week:
Lotus Lantern: Rescue Mother is a roguelite top-down action game, inspired by a Chinese mythology. Players will experience the journey of Chenxiang rescuing his mother, Sanshengmu, after mastering martial arts skills from Sun Wukong. The distinctive combat styles, as well as a variety of magical treasures and items, allow you to boost combat proficiency and craft extraordinary abilities to defeat legendary formidable foes.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Safety Dance

Out of the Blue

I caught up with the first couple of episodes of the Fallout show last night, and it indeed looks as S.P.E.C.I.A.L. as the early reviews imply. I come away with a couple of meta thoughts on this. First, I'm amused by all the talk about how video games will now be the new source of Hollywood greatness. They are not a magic bullet, just like comic books weren't. The early MCU succeeded thanks to great movies, comic books didn't cause them to be great. The more recent MCU is a disappointment because the movies aren't as good. But the source material hasn't changed. Likewise, movies like Rampage and the first Super Mario Brothers sucked because they were terrible, not because they were adapted from games. And the Fallout show is great because it is extremely well-made. If you had Uwe Boll direct it would be hot garbage, and if you had Jonathan Nolan write House of the Dead it would probably be brilliant. Second, Amazon should probably rethink their ads for subscribers deal, but even if it persists, they need to refine the messaging. Saying this program is brought to you interruption-free 'thanks to the following commercials' is ridiculous. It's like those "as seen on TV" ads that promise to double your order "for free" as long as you "pay an extra charge."

Charged-up Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.





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