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Friday, May 24, 2024

Uvalde Families Sue Activision, Meta, Gun Maker

Activision Publishing is one of the targets of lawsuits filed today on behalf of Uvalde school shooting victims, reports The Washington Post. Filed by the lawyer who won a record settlement for Sandy Hook families, the suits target the Call of Duty publisher along with Instagram parent Meta and gun manufacturer Daniel Defense for how firearms are marketed on social media and in videogames. Word is: "The complaints contend the three companies are responsible for 'grooming' a generation of 'socially vulnerable' young men radicalized to live out violent video game fantasies in the real world with easily accessible weapons of war." Here's more:

One of those men, the legal team argues, was Robb Elementary shooter Salvador Ramos. The lawsuits allege Meta and Activision "knowingly exposed the Shooter to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as the solution to his problems, and trained him to use it.”

“Over the last 15 years, two of America’s largest technology companies — Defendants Activision and Meta — have partnered with the firearms industry in a scheme that makes the Joe Camel campaign look laughably harmless, even quaint,” the complaint states.

Soulmask Early Access Next Week

CampFire Studio and Qooland Games announce May 31st is the new release date for Soulmask, the open-world survival game featuring a magical mask. Early Access is coming, well, early. The game was expected on June 18th, but that news is so two weeks ago, and things move fast in these parts. It's not clear how it accelerated development, but word is the game is coming early due to player enthusiasm:
Soulmask, the upcoming open-world survival epic that ranked #3 in February’s Steam Next Fest is thrilled to announce that following positive feedback from the community during their recent open beta, the game will now launch on May 31st, 2024.

"We're over the moon to share the news that we’re advancing the release date of Soulmask," says Matthew Jiao, Director of Publishing at Qooland Games. "We’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm for Soulmask from our community, and this decision is fueled by our excitement to continue developing Soulmask alongside our community in Early Access. We can’t wait to embark on this adventure with our community.”

Screw Drivers Announced

Headup Games announces Screw Drivers, an upcoming free-to-play game where players will design and race and wreck custom toy vehicles. Here's an Announcement Trailer showing off gameplay and promising this will come to Early Access this year, which is also reflected on the Steam Listing. Here are some details:
Technical creations mix with crazy physics and high-speed races in Screw Drivers! Craft custom vehicles — powered by combustion, electricity, or both, coupled with axles, gears, and suspensions to propel them. With an intuitive build editor at your fingertips, unleash your creativity! Engage in challenges against pompous royals, each featuring unique mechanical marvels, and triumph against them to unlock their unique vehicle parts. Race with friends in multiplayer, embarking on adventures across an island where thrilling races and competitions await, all fueled by turbo-powered creations and boundless imagination.
Continue here to read the full story.

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Evening Patches

Official patch.

Evening Tech Bits

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Jupiter Ascending Pitch Meeting. Closest I've come to understanding that movie.

Star Trek: Resurgence and Demo on Steam

Star Trek: Resurgence is now available for Windows on Steam, offering the chance to boldly go where many went almost exactly one year ago when this debuted on the Epic Games Store (thanks Frans). This was developed by Dramatic Labs, comprising expatriates of Telltale Games, which should be a telltale sign of what to expect. The game has positive reviews, as it seems about seven of nine players like it. Last year's Launch Trailer includes familiar elements like a diplomatic mission, phaser battles, and a commander that's going rogue. Not to mention cameos by famous characters from the series. There's also a new a playable demo, so there's a chance to check this out for free. Here's more:
Star Trek™: Resurgence is a narrative-driven adventure game created by former members of Telltale Games that delivers all the excitement and wonder of the Star Trek universe. As first officer Jara Rydek and enlisted engineer Carter Diaz, you will join the crew of the U.S.S. Resolute, a science vessel on the edge of Federation space. Its mission: to prevent an ancient and powerful force from engulfing everything in its wake.
Continue here to read the full story.

Besiege: The Splintered Sea Floats Out

Besiege: The Splintered Sea is now available on Steam, adding new content to Besiege, the physics game where you construct your own siege engines and put them to use for their intended purpose. This continues the long-term support for the game, which entered Early Access back in 2015. As the title suggests, this entails seagoing sieging, and a new Feature Trailer is here to help you get your feet wet. There's also a livestream planned for 1:00 pm EDT today on the Spiderling Studios Twitch Channel. The expansion comes along with a free update for the base game and a new supporter edition, both of which are discussed in this post. Here's more:
The Splintered Sea is set to turn all eyes back onto the fan favorite as it officially brings water to the game. After three years of development, this expansion offers impressive immersion and impactful gameplay through carefully designed water simulation, marine engineering physics, and eight new building blocks dedicated to nautical success. Ten new oceanic zones await as players look to conquer the seas both on the surface and in the depths below.
Continue here to read the full story.

Union of Gnomes: Prologue

Union of Gnomes: Prologue is now available on Steam, providing Windows gamers with a sample of the upcoming Union of Gnomes, a fantasy strategy offering. The game doesn't have a release date and the prologue doesn't have an expiration date, but since this involves a union you might want to jump in before it comes under attack from Amazon and Starbucks. The Prologue Trailer shows off the game's stylized 2D graphics and hardcore one-shot game mechanics. Here's more:
We are excited to present the new and mysterious prologue version of Union of Gnomes. It combines the creepy atmosphere of dark fantasy, cheerful humor, and, of course, the daring gnomes desperately fighting for their freedom and independence.

Lead a motley crew of guerrillas to free your captured comrades and escape the tyranny of the ruthless Snow White. For the tenacious players, we've hidden a secret quest within the prologue—conquering it will bring you closer to solving the mystery of the eighth gnome! Look for the clue in the video!
Continue here to read the full story.

Rumor Mill

Game Guidance

Out of the Blue

We're heading into the Memorial Day weekend here in the US, a three day affair that's considered the unofficial start of summer. Furiosa opens today, and I'm set on this being my first visit to a theater since before the pandemic, but I am not so hyped I need to run out and see it this weekend. On the other hand, Dune 2 is now on Max, and since I didn't get out to see that, I'm greatly looking forward to catching up. MrsBlue has already been warned this will entail a double-feature with the first movie, so we're all set. We don't have any other plans, and that's not really a problem from our standpoint. But many do, of course. There will be a lot of travelers this weekend, so if you're among them, stay safe and have fun!

Obituary: Kabosu dies: Shiba inu dog was meme and face of Dogecoin. Thanks Devicer and brother19.
Obituary: Morgan Spurlock Dead- 'Super Size Me' Director Was 53.

Cinematic Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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