You might have heard the recent news about Microsoft losing a lawsuit and awarding a California lady $10,000 over an unwanted Windows 10 installation. While the tech giant can be mighty persuasive when it comes to making people install and download its Windows 10 operating system whether they like it or not, this news still came as a surprise for many—there are many companies with shadier practices, and most of them are hardly penalised for it.
Perhaps fearing that this would spark off a series of lawsuits it can’t keep up with, Microsoft has decided to stop forcing the Windows 10 installation down its customers’ throats by allowing them to dismiss the upgrade. Previously, if you click on the red “X” at the top right hand corner of the upgrade prompt, Microsoft will pretend that you are playing hard-to-get and download the operating system for you anyway. Now it won’t!
“Since we introduced a new upgrade experience for Windows 10, we’ve received feedback that some of our valued customers found it confusing,” said Windows and Devices Group EVP Terry Myerson to The Verge. “We’ve been working hard to incorporate their feedback and this week, we’ll roll out a new upgrade experience with clear options to upgrade now, schedule a time, or decline the free offer.”
Ah, thank you for making our computers less complex to use, Microsoft. We are glad you understand that no means no, and clicking the big red “X” on the prompt means “No, I really don’t want to upgrade now, and please don’t ask me to upgrade to Windows 10 ever again for as long as Microsoft exists.”
But juuuuust in case you change your mind, the free upgrade offer will only last one more month. After that, you have to fork up $119 for the operating system.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Torment: Tides of Numenera Beta Impressions
Corwin entered the world of Numenera in the beta version of Torment: Tides of Numenera.
» Continue reading the article...
Stardew Valley Review
Purpleblob goes down on the farm with Stardew Valley.
» Read the article
Mega Bucks AAA+
Noticeably well funded
Fairly well funded
Cheap and cheerful
Forum WatchThe ever-popular "Currently Listening" thread by pibbur who
"Nextgen" GPUs by Caddy
So what did you just grab from Steam's Summer Sale? by Galaad
What mordern RPGs lack by sakichop
What I've Been Watching: The Catch-All Film Thread by joxer
Das Tal - Key Giveaway
We have received a number of keys for the July alpha test for the sandbox MMO Das Tal. If you want to try this out all you have to do is post a comment to this news post and I'll get you the key as soon as possible.
There are no restrictions. First come, first serve.
Das Tal is a Sandbox Survival Arena - bringing together MOBA tactics and Sandbox MMO strategy. It claims to make MMOs fun again for PvP fans. No more grind. No more pay-to-win. No more tab-targeting. The game is designed to be compatible with the busy life of an adult gamer. Das Tal rests on the three defining pillars; Meaningful Conflict, Skill-Based Combat, and Constantly Changing Worlds.
It will throw you into a dark fantasy prison valley. You start each game with nothing but your wits and your PvP skills. Over the course of weeks and months you will explore this world, grow stronger and learn to survive.
Hundreds of players will join you in the valley. Amongst them you will find friends and allies to form a clan. Start building your own settlement and empire whilst competing with rival clans.
In a completely player-driven economy, your influence and income will grow through diplomacy and warfare. You will strive to break free of your chains, defeat your captors and emerge victorious from your exile.
Das TalSP/MP: Massive
Release: In development
Saturday - July 02, 2016
Necropolis - Preview @ Tom's Hardware
Tom's Hardware previewed the upcoming rogue-like Necropolis:
Danger And Humor: A Preview Of Necropolis
In From Software's Souls series, the constant cycle of death and revival can be frustrating. In fact, I’ve thrown controllers in frustration as I died multiple times at different points in each of the games. Harebrained Scheme’s Necropolis, which was described as a rogue-lite role-playing game, features a similar mechanic: If I died at any point in the journey, I had to start again from the very beginning of the game. However, I didn’t find myself throwing the controller in frustration. Instead, I smiled and laughed because Necropolis added humor to the experience, which in turn made the game more enjoyable to play.
When I play a Souls game, I don’t play it for more than two hours at most, because I eventually hit a wall where I can’t seem to progress further in the game. With Necropolis, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, I could see myself playing it for hours on end.
NecropolisSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
I Am Setsuna - Can it recapture Chrono Trigger?
Inverse checked out the upcoming JRPG I am Setsuna and compared it to the classic Chrono Trigger:
Can I Am Setsuna Recapture Chrono Trigger's Nostalgic Glory?
Square Enix's quaint new RPG is pulling for a classic feel in the vein of their SNES classic. Will that be enough?
The date was March, 1995, and the SNES had entered its twilight years. Squaresoft released Chrono Trigger, a new game from a team that included Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Dragon Quest designer Yuji Horii and longtime collaborator Akira Toriyama, equally famous for creating Dragon Ball as drawing slimes.
Chrono Trigger, which followed the adventures of Crono and his eclectic, ragtag band of allies across several eras in time, was revolutionary. Its list of innovations were like nothing anyone had ever seen before: the battle system had players teaming characters up for special tech skills, an unheard of redress to the relatively staid, one-at-a-time combat that turn-based RPGs, even Final Fantasy, were known for in the era.
In a sea of other RPGs, Chrono Trigger remains timeless for its personality as much as its innovative systems. It had heart the way that few games do, then or now. If Setsuna is going to succeed it needs new reasons to compel players, and hopefully with the advances in localization, and possibly a clever surprise or two in the wings, it may.
I’m pulling for the team at Tokyo RPG Factory. It’s no small task to stand in the shadow of a giant and say, “this is my version.” The potential for its own flavor is certainly there – particularly with beautiful, almost Ghibli-esque piano compositions that make up the game’s soundtrack. That, coupled with the curiosity of this kind of nostalgia in 2016, might be a good sign.
I Am SetsunaSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
The Technomancer - More Reviews
Running at somewhere between 20 to 40 hours depending on how involved you get with its wealth of side content, The Technomancer is strangely captivating should you make it past its flaky first few hours. Like Spiders’ previous forays into the genre; Bound by Flame, Of Orcs and Men and Mars: War Logs, it’s a game riddled with troubling issues, but those who persist and can see past them will discover that none are crippling enough to ruin the heart of what is otherwise a truly enjoyable adventure. It may not quite have the polish you’d expect of a full price title, yet I doubt it was made with the gargantuan budget available for games of a similar scope by larger developers. As the videogame equivalent of a cult B-movie then, I can safely state that The Technomancer has provided me with more hours of fun than many of the so-called blockbuster releases I’ve played in the last couple of years.
Huffington Post Review
Overall, I enjoyed my playthrough of the Technomancer quite a bit. Yes, the graphics could have probably been better, and I’d have loved to see a jump button added to the controls, but still, the gameplay was good, the plot was good and I digged the way they really brought Planet Mars to life with its many alternate cultures and civilizations. If you have a spare $39 to spend on this summer, the Technomancer is probably a good spend.
Friday - July 01, 2016
BioShock - Remastered Edition announced
Farflame spotted a video for the Bioshock Remastered Edition - a remake of all three parts:
Relive the depths of Rapture and sail through Columbia in BioShock: The Collection! Remastered for current-gen, this edition includes all three BioShock games, complete with all single-player DLC and a never-before-seen video series with commentary from Ken Levine.
Working with Blind Squirrel Games, we’ve remastered BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite making them look better than ever*. BioShock: The Collection brings the three titles together for the first time, complete with all single-player DLC** and a never-before-seen video series, “Director’s Commentary: Imagining BioShock,” which includes insights from Ken Levine – over $100 of content – for only $59.99. It’s a circus of values! And if you already own BioShock, BioShock 2, and/or Minerva’s Den on Steam, you will be able to upgrade to the remastered version of the respective title(s) for free after release. It’s a circus of values!
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
System Shock - Kickstarter Update #1
Yesterday the first Kickstarter update for System Shock was made available.
Our fearless leader, Stephen Kick, the CEO of Nightdive Studios and Creative Director on System Shock has a few words to share:
I'm sitting at my desk after our first day of funding and I'm finding it very difficult to put into words just how grateful I am to everyone and the support they've given us over the last 24 hours. Your outpouring is inspiring and we're doing our best to answer the various questions, requests and concerns you have regarding the campaign, rewards, supported platforms and bugs you've encountered in our demo.
Here we go!
Platforms: We've been listening to your requests and have started discussions with Sony regarding a PS4 release - at this stage we can't confirm System Shock on PS4, but we will follow up with an announcement in the near future with more details.
The Demo: Thanks to everyone who has downloaded and played our demo - also thanks to those of you who have been sending us crash/bug reports. We're planning an update early next week that will fix various issues and bugs you've encountered while adding in a few additional features for you to experiment with.
RPG Elements: We're aware of the discussions going on and while there is still plenty of design work to do, we have the best intentions in mind of making a game that will both challenge the player, while still staying true to what people loved about System Shock.
ELEX - More Details
@DSOgaming they report more details on ELEX from a press release by Piranha Bytes.
According to the press release, the game is set against the backdrop of a brand new post-apocalyptic science fantasy universe that immerses players in a vast, seamless game world full of interesting characters, mutated creatures, deep moral choices and of course, some thrilling action.
"Magalan, the completely open game world of ELEX, was home to a highly developed civilisation until a catastrophic meteor strike devastated the planet, reducing it to a post-apocalyptic world. The meteor also deposited a substance that is now found in nearly everything: Elex, and each faction uses it in a different way. Every inhabitant of the world is constantly looking for Elex, whether as a substance with magical powers, to use in a weapon or as a pure stimulant."
ELEX is all about contrasts: science vs fantasy, magic vs laser weapons and logic vs emotions. In ELEX, Piranha Bytes combines all the game elements that RPG fans love and has placed them in an entirely new environment: a science-fantasy setting. These contrasts are also evident in the various factions.
Regarding factions, Piranha Bytes had this to say:
"While one faction, the Albs, consider the ingestion of Elex as part of their cult, the Clerics group ban the consumption of Elex on religious grounds, and use it to build their high-tech weapons. The Berserkers however, a people who live in harmony with nature, process Elex into mana and use it to craft magical weapons. As for the Bandits, their society has no fixed rules, but they live by the credo: "Take anything you can grab, or someone else will.""
Piranha Bytes' Björn Pankratz said:
"We've been thinking about the setting for ELEX for almost 10 years, and we finally have the chance to implement our ideas. The mix of sci-fi and fantasy offers an incredible number of opportunities and cool contrasts that we can play around with. The fans of Gothic or Risen will recognise our unique game philosophy and ELEX builds on that solid basis. ELEX will be the most dynamic and realistic RPG sim ever!"
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development
Sword of the Stars: The Pit - GOG to the rescue!
GOG has announced that they will be taking over from Shinyloot given its recent closure. This will save Sword of the Stars: The Pit fans from being without access to their game and DLC. GOG is offering a way to transfer the game from a Shinyloot copy to a GOG copy.
Transfer your copy from Shinyloot to GOG.com
With the recent closing of Shinyloot, a number of Sword of the Stars: The Pit fans were left without access to their game and DLC. We're now happy to announce that we've joined forces with Kerberos Productions, the game's developer and publisher, to give everyone affected a new home for the roguelike wonder - right here on GOG.com.
These are the eligible products:
SOTS: The Pit Gold Edition
SOTS: The Pit Gold Edition - Pilgrim
SOTS: The Pit Gold Edition - Juggernaut
How do you transfer your game to GOG.com?
1) Contact Kerberos with your Shinyloot receipt at: email@example.com
Please include the subject line "Shinyloot DRM-free".
2) You'll recieve a GOG.com code for your game. Redeem it on gog.com/redeem.
3) Enjoy your always-up-to-date, DRM-free copy of the game!
Death's Gambit - Boss Battle trailer
@Game Informer The action-rpg Death's Gambit have released a new trailer recently focusing on the boss battles. Death's Gambit is due on PC and Playstation sometime in 2017.
Action-RPG Death's Gambit takes place in a alien medieval world where monsters both small and horrifyingly massive await to battle the player that seeks to rid the world of immortals. In a new trailer from developer White Rabbit, we get a closer looks at some of those bosses.
Using your arsenal of weapons and abilities, the player strategically decides the best way to tackle each beast who have unique abilities of their own. After killing an immortal boss, they come back to life. However, you don't have to fight them again but if you decide to do so you can get new items that they drop depending on the various ways you can defeat them. Trying to figure out who is moral and who is immortal will also change the story.loading...
Shenmue 3 - One Year Later...
One year after Shenmue 3's Kickstarter, the developers only have a few words about the game's development.
One year after launching its successful Kickstarter campaign, developer Ys Net and its head Yu Suzuki have released an update on how development of Shenmue III is going. It doesn't answer a lot of questions, but it is something.
According to Suzuki, the team is creating a prototype build for the game began back in January – which he points out is when the project really ramped up. He continues, saying both the game's battles and facial expressions are starting to take shape, leading to lots of cheers from his team. "It makes me feel it will turn out to be a good game," Suzuki says in the video.
The creator closes by asking fans to continue their support of Shenmue III. Not explicitly saying it, but potentially asking for more backing via the game's still-running PayPal campaign.
Shenmue III was announced last year alongside its Kickstarter campaign at Sony's E3 Press Conference as a joint production between Ys Net and Sony. It was met with large fanfare, meeting its funding in full in under 13 hours,and the developer has opened a second crowdfunding effort (the aforementioned PayPal campaign), as well as having been relatively quiet regarding the status of the game, its funding, and which backers would get what rewards.
No release date has yet been provided for Shenmue III, which is assumed to be still early in its development cycle, though its crowdfunding pages point to a December 2017 launch. Sega has recently shown an interest in re-releasing the first two games in the series.
Suzuki has an uphill battle in front of him, one it may be hard to win. It seems to me that having such a long-awaited, highly-anticipated game comes with a big pro and con. The pro, perhaps most obviously, is the game stands a good chance of being successful, and one could surely argue that it already is. The con, however, is that Suzuki is facing a lot of expectations, from a lot of people. One year after Kickstarting his game, his approach seems dicey, at best. Being this secretive with a game people have invested a lot of money and time into could end up being to his detriment. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out, and I wish the best for Suzuki and his game, but, as of now, I have my reservations about how good this game will actually be.
Source: Game Informer
Shenmue 3SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Dark Souls III - Embracing the Bad Times
Game Informer takes an introspective, thought-provoking look at using games as a lens through which to see our own lives. For the author, it's Dark Souls.
Halfway through my second semester of teaching, I popped Dark Souls into the disc drive of my PS3. I had already played through the game before, understood its insistence on making you earn your victories through many, many failures. But I felt drawn to replaying through it for some reason, so I created a new character, and became hollow once more.
Lordran, the setting of Dark Souls, took a different shape this time. It was no longer just a spooky kingdom filled with all sorts of baddies that I had to get before they got me. Instead, it was an absolutely haunting place, a world of the dead and the damned, a realm of silence. I actually took the time to examine my surroundings. The algae green stone bridge guarded by the fiery Hellkite Dragon, the mountains of bloated blue corpses that lay at the bottom of New Londo Ruins. I witnessed a kingdom that had, perhaps in another age been one of great beauty and wonder, fallen so short of its promise and sunken into ruin.
I saw the unhappiness of my life reflected back at me in fragments, being fed to me in bearable installments, and I was engaging with it in a battle doomed to fail because I was confronting that misery without actually confronting it. Instead, simulating confrontation through an interactive assemblage of fantasy archetypes. But that was important for me...
Sometimes, as silly as it sounds, it’s easy to forget the human experience is not a universal one, and that we are all different entities constructed out of our own personal experiences and socio-economic circumstances. Each and every one of us prescribes different amounts of emotional and logical value to objects and experiences we come across in our lives. Someone might have some kind of deep moving emotional attachment to Watch Dogs, a game I truly despise, or Bubsy 3D. Unlikely? Sure. But it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. Besides, who am I, the guy who chose Tales From The Borderlands over The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt for his Game of the Year, to judge anyone on what they find meaning in?
Perhaps in the end it’s as simple as the right game at the right time, and for me in the fall of 2014, that game was Dark Souls because it allowed me to get away from my troubles without really getting away from them. Lordran is, to me, just as much my home as that little duplex in the heart of Georgia was, filled with memories good and bad, and an essential part of my experience as a person, cracked and broken in more places than the human eye can see, but also housing pockets of light burning well into the neverending night.
Source: Game Informer
Dark Souls IIISP/MP: Single + MP
Thursday - June 30, 2016
XCOM 2 - New Patch released
The June 2016 patch for XCOM 2 is out - it's neccesary for the DLC Shen’s Last Gift:
The XCOM 2 team continues to work to improve your XCOM 2 experience and have fixed a number of bugs in both the base game and the Alien Hunters DLC. New balance changes have been added including additional bonuses to swords to make your Rangers more effective in combat. Downloading this patch will also install the hooks needed for players to access the new SPARK class and narrative-driven mission in Shen’s Last Gift.
Gameplay – Base Game
- Fixed an issue where units would not have their mission starting abilities and Gremlins would not follow
- Fixed an issue with Wet Work where kills were not being tracked for the correct unit
- Fixed an issue where Burning and Poisoned damage was causing free kills
- Damage caused by Psi abilities will now ignore armor
- Faceoff may now only target units that are not mind-controlled (by the shooter’s team)
- Fixed damage preview for abilities that modify damage based on incoming damage amount
- Fixed an exploit where replacing a PCS would not always remove the value it gave when equipping
- Magnetic Swords are now referred to “Magnetic” rather than “Conventional”
- Fixed an issue where the unit flag would not properly show a unit as concealed when loading a save game
- Fixed a crash that could occur after selecting an AOE ability and then another (disabled) ability
- Fixed an issue where Proximity Mines were not damaging every unit in a group move situation
- Blademaster grants +10 Aim to melee and Hunter’s Instinct grants +15 to melee crit
- [MP] Matches will no longer immediately end for the user when winning during the transition before their turn
Gameplay – Alien Hunters
- Fixes instances of Alien Ruler soft hangs
- Avenger Defense no longer fails if a Ruler is in the evac zone
- Fixed an issue where the Skulljack objective caused MECs to stop appearing in tactical
- Fixed a crash that would occur after the Archon King completes an Icarus Drop
- Alien Hunter weapons have range bonuses/penalties applied
- Fixed an issue where Alien Rulers were missing health after increasing the difficulty during a playthrough
- Fixed an issue where Alien Hunter weapons would be lost after upgrading through GTS
- Central can no longer bleed out on the Nest mission due to it causing a soft-fail state
- Removed Freezing Lash’s minimum range of 3 tiles which prevented units from using the ability when standing next to an enemy
- Berserker Queen’s Faithbreaker ability no long targets robotic units
- Removed “Return to Resistance HQ” button from the Hunter Weapons POI complete popup to prevent players from getting into a state where project times are incorrect
- Fixed an issue with Effects being ticked twice a frame
- Optimizations to path solving memory footprint and performance
- Fixed an issue where unnecessary game states were created on the Geoscape
- Updates to allow Steam Workshop DLC to be enumerated before native script packages are loaded. Will allow mods that override XComGame.upk to work through Steam Workshop
- Removed button labels in save/load list that are not hooked up to anything
- New flag bForceReselectAllGroupsForSpawn for use with multi-part mission schedules
- Armor hit rolls have been deprecated as the game treats armor as 100% chance to absorb damage
- Armor is now handled directly by ApplyWeaponDamage
- ApplyWeaponDamage now has a bIgnoreArmor flag so that psionic abilities properly ignore armor
- Tactical Quick Launch menu now supports the grenade slot correctly
- Debug command X2ShowFullObject to display a game state object’s data
- Bonus weapon ammo (e.g. Heavy Ordnance and Field Medic) is now handled through a delegate on ability templates: GetBonusWeaponAmmoFn
- X2DownloadableContentInfo has new hooks:
- AbilityTagExpandHandler, so new localization tags can be added
- FinalizeUnitAbilitiesForInit, which allows special manipulation of a unit's ability list before the abilities are created in a tactical match
- Effects now have the ability to be redirected from their initial target
- EffectShouldRedirect figures out who gets the redirected effect
- New character template flag, bDiesWhenCaptured
- Character templates can now have forced first, last, and nick names
- Character templates can implement the delegate GetPhotographerPawnNameFn so as not to be forced to use soldier pawns for pictures in the strategy game
- Countries can now be hidden from character customization
- Deprecated X2AbilityMultiTarget_SoldierBonusRadius (though it continues to work for now). Base classes X2AbilityMultiTarget_Radius, _Cone, and _Line now support increasing the AOE range based on passive abilities in a generic fashion.
- Effects may add projectiles to a volley conditionally by registering in the EffectsForProjectileVolleys array and implementing the function GetProjectileVolleyTemplate. Effects that are always on should still use the perk system, but this callback allows for game state checks to add or not add the projectile to a volley.
- X2Effect_GenerateCover can now generate cover for mobile units, instead of forcing it to disappear when the unit moves
XCOM 2SP/MP: Single + MP
DarkMaus - Review @ HardcoreGamer
The Action RPG DarkMaus was released in January already - here's an older review from HardcoreGamer:
Explicitly and proudly influenced by Dark Souls, indie developer Daniel Wright’s DarkMaus is one of the most successful translations of From Software’s design philosophies into another genre. A top-down action game that looks absolutely nothing like a Souls game, it nevertheless distills the challenge and tension-filled atmosphere so common to those games remarkably well. Wright’s obvious goal was to take the familiar mechanics of Dark Souls — restorative campfires, weapons, loot collection, leveling and progression — and transplant them into a completely unique type of game. Like Dark Souls, DarkMaus is difficult and potentially punishing, but like its inspiration, DarkMaus also requires players to learn its systems and play in a patient and meticulous way. Dark Souls punishes the brash and careless, and so does DarkMaus.
In DarkMaus, Daniel Wright has created a focused, challenging experience that successfully translates the core tenants of Dark Souls — careful approach to combat, high level of initial difficulty, wise use of resources and character development — into a game that looks deceptively innocent and benign. As a lone developer, Wright wisely chooses not to overreach and the game is stronger for it. There’s not much story but the juxtaposition of the cute little mouse against the ominous landscapes and brutal, Souls-like combat is a winning and effective combination. Other than Dark Souls itself, there really isn’t anything else remotely like DarkMaus.
Vampyr - Encouraging Evil Choices
In their upcoming title Dontnod wants to encourage evil choices but not without implications. Feeding will make you stronger, but you'll have to deal with consequences and moral decisions. Kotaku goes into more detail on how dontnod's Vampyr wants the decision to be more than just a simple choice.
As players explore early 20th century London and engage in the game's central conflict of reluctant vampire vs. vampire hunters and monsters, they'll be able to learn more about the civilians around them. Reid is a former doctor, and the idea is that he doesn't want to give in to his thirst for blood, but the reward for doing so will just be so tempting. Kill too many civilians, though, and the districts of London will plunge into chaos. The developers want you to tempt you to be the bad guy, but they don't really want you to go too far.
By gathering clues about the civilians, players may find the occasional justification for the next person they take out. "You could discover that someone who seems to be very gentle is beating his wife," Beauverger said. Then again: "You could discover that someone who seems to be a very shady character used his money to help his poor in the streets."
Release: In development
Blizzard - Unannounced Diablo Project
Picked up by website Blizzpro, the new vacancy for a game director might very well suggest that Blizzard is in fact creating a complete new Diablo game. Of course there is also the possibility that Blizzard is looking for a new game director for an upcoming new Diablo 3 expansion - just like they did with Reaper of Souls expansion from 2014.
Only time will tell whether Blizzard is working on Diablo IV, instead of a new Diablo 3 expansion. Check out the job listing down below:
Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a game director with outstanding communications skills, proven experience in creative direction, strong ability in system design, and a stellar track record of shipping AAA games to lead the Diablo series into the future.
Be the vision holder for the franchise, setting the creative goals for the team.
Direct game design while successfully partnering with the production director to deliver and maintain an epic gaming experience.
Discuss games with the player community via press announcements, forum posts, interviews, and public appearances.
Maintain an awareness of global player behavior and customs to ensure that design decisions are relevant for international regions.
Coach and guide creative team members toward achieving their career goals.
Establish and maintain a creative environment, resolve personnel challenges, motivate qualified developers, and foster a culture of success.
Knowledgeable and passionate about Diablo games
A minimum of 5 years' directing video game development
Shipped multiple AAA products as a game director or creative director
Outstanding communications and relationship-building skills
Recognized ability to guide and inspire large development teams
Able to work well in a team environment and communicate effectively with all development disciplines: programming, art, design, sound, and production
Exhibited ability to coach and mentor employees at all levels of an organization
Great sense for what makes a game fun to play
Unrelenting self-motivation and initiative
Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience
Experience developing online games, action games, and / or role-playing games
International game experience
Higher educational degree
REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS
Cover Letter which should include:
Why you are interested in working at Blizzard
What games you are currently playing
**Only submittals with Cover Letters will be considered.
Stygian - Psychological Disorders
Stygian's Kickstarter campaign is almost over. GameBanshee found the latest update notes interesting:
As Cultic Games' Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones Kickstarter campaign nears its conclusion with less than 40 hours to go, it has seen a total of fifteen updates to date, which cover a variety of topics, including the game's stretch goals, art design, music composition, combat mechanics, and more. Here's a little something from the most recent update:In this update we'd like to share more information on the advantages and side effects of Mental Conditions in Stygian's challenging combat scenarios.
As we emphasized before, sometimes it helps to be mad in a world gone mad!
Increases Action Points but gives the character a small chance to lose control and attack the nearest enemy unit in combat.
Increases Reaction but gives the character a small chance to attack an ally in combat.
Increases Mental Resistance but gives the character a small chance to enter a catatonic state and lose a combat round.
Increases Critical Chance but gives the character a small chance to lose a certain amount of Sanity after killing a foe.
Increases Supernatural Defense but gives the character a small chance to lose his Physical Defense bonus entirely for a turn.
Slightly increases the success chance of a repeated combat action but gives the character a small chance to automatically repeat a failed combat action until getting a success or passing a High Difficulty Will check.
Release: In development
Total War: Warhammer - Blood Knights Update
A huge patch comes out today for Total War: Warhammer, which will include the feared Blood Knights.
The first Total War: Warhammer update will be out on June 30...and it is a big one. Highlights include the addition of five new multiplayer maps, unit rebalancing across all races, changes to enemy AI that will make sieges against it more difficult, and the coming of the Blood Knights.
“Once the order of The Knights of The Blood Dragon, these noble warriors were dominated and given The Blood Kiss by the vampire Walach of the Harkon family. In undeath, their skill is no less potent: they are among the most powerful cavalry in The Old World,” the very lengthy patch notes explain.
“Tier 5 Shock Cavalry, Blood Knights are recruitable from the Vampire’s Keep building (along with the Black Coach). Heavily armoured and shielded with a high Charge Bonus, they smash into infantry with ease, and with the Anti Large ability, they are apt to take on larger foes. They also have the Frenzy ability, meaning they deal more damage as long as their leadership is high. Blood Knights can also be directly improved with two technologies: Turning Knightly Orders (bonuses to Melee Attack, Melee Defence and Charge Bonus), and Delusions of Grandeur (Upkeep and Recruitment Cost reductions).”
Despite the amount of ground the patch covers, Creative Assembly said it's just the first in a number of planned updates, so it may not make all the changes you were expecting. “For example, while multiplayer has seen some attention in this update, it’s in line for more focused improvement, additional features and rebalancing in an upcoming update,” the studio wrote. “Many of these changes are in testing right now, and as long-term stability and balance are of principle importance to us all, we don’t want to rush the process.”
The release of the patch will also see the launch of Total War: Warhammer's DirectX 12 mode as an opt-in beta. There are “some outstanding issues still to solve” with the DX12 implementation, so it's being kept in beta for the time being. More information on that, including the system requirements, is on the Total War Wiki. And as long as you're here, you should probably also take a look at our rundown of the best Total War: Warhammer mods, right here.
Source: PC Gamer
Total War: WarhammerSP/MP: Single + MP
Tyranny - Dev Diary #5 - Combat System
A new dev diary from Tyranny and this one is focused on combat mechanics.
...Our combat is real-time, with the ability to pause at any time to issue commands to a party of up to 4 characters, including your own. In addition to the spells and abilities each character can use, we've also added companion combos - abilities that allow your character and a companion to work together in concert to create a powerful effect. Abilities use a cooldown system, allowing you to use most of your abilities multiple times per encounter. Combat is based on your character's skills, and the more you use those skills, the more experience you'll gain.
With that overview in mind, let's dive into some specifics!
When you perform an attack in Tyranny - whether it's a basic weapon attack, casting a spell, or using an ability - your Accuracy is compared to the target's Defense to determine how well the attack does. As with Pillars of Eternity, each attack can have one of four possible results: Miss, Graze (attacks deal less damage, status effects are applied for a shorter duration), Hit, or Crit (attacks deal greater damage, and status effects are applied for a longer duration).
Your Accuracy is determined by one or more character skills. A basic attack will use the skill associated with the weapon you're attacking with. A spell will use the magic skill for that type of spell and the character's Lore skill. If more than one skill is used, their values are averaged together to produce the final skill value. Accuracy bonuses from weapons or abilities are added to that base value to determine the final Accuracy for the attack. The skills used to determine Accuracy are also the skills you gain experience in for that attack.
Each attack targets one of five possible Defenses: Parry, Dodge, Endurance, Will, or Magic. Enemies and party members have different strengths and weaknesses in these defenses, making some attacks better options against one type of enemy than another.
Accuracy is compared to Defense, and the resulting difference is used to modify the combat result table. Higher Accuracy results in a greater chance to Crit or Hit, reducing the chance to Graze or Miss. A lower Accuracy has the opposite effect, making you Graze or Miss more often.
Damage in Tyranny works similarly to Pillars. We have multiple damage types based on the armor a character wears: Slash, Pierce, Crush, Burn, Shock, Frost, Corrode, and Arcane. Different enemies have strengths and weaknesses against different types of damage. To maximize the pain you inflict, you'll want to target your enemies with damage types they are weak against.
Armor is still important to mitigate damage, but we also wanted to give more options for different character builds. Heavier armors (bronze or iron) provide Armor, which reduces damage dealt down to a minimum of 1. We've also added a new stat to lighter armors called Deflection. Deflection provides a chance that an attack will be downgraded one level (IE: a Crit becomes a Hit, a Hit becomes a Graze, or a Graze becomes a Miss). Deflection can be increased by the Finesse stat, and by talents and other items you can find in the game.
Tyranny handles hit points differently than Pillars did. Instead of the combination of Health and Endurance, we have a single Health bar to focus on. As attacks deal damage, your character's Health is reduced. When it reaches 0, a character falls unconscious (or dies, depending on game options). Characters can be revived using special abilities or consumables, or they will regain consciousness at the end of combat and begin regenerating Health.
We've also added the Wound system. When your character falls unconscious, they will gain a Wound - more than one on the hardest difficulty settings. On harder difficulties, you'll also gain a Wound when a character reaches low health. When a character is Wounded, their max health is reduced and all of their skills suffer a small penalty. Wounds can stack and will remain on a character until they rest.
Release: In development
Phoenix PointSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
System Shock - First Impressions
In case you haven't gotten a chance to check out the demo yet, PC Gamer provides a bit of gameplay footage from the new System Shock. They really like what they see.
Remember Citadel? Absolutely, and if there’s one thing that really stands out about the new System Shock reboot, it’s that five seconds in, I’m home. To be exact, I’m in the Citadel Station that I think of when I fondly remember the series, rather than the blockier, low-resolution version of it that passed for the future back in 1994. Evil AI SHODAN is back in her original home, orbiting Saturn. All around are the corpses and blood splatters marking the human population’s last stand—a failed one. As the hacker accidentally responsible for the whole mess, you enter the story hoping to prevent things from getting even worse.
And yet, saying that the alpha demo is simply the same does it a disservice. This isn’t just an HD remaster, but a complete rebuild intended to take advantage of what was almost unthought-of technology for the time. It even adds a few clever tricks of its own. It’s System Shock, but it’s also new license-holders Nightdive Studios proving they can handle the franchise—System Shock 3 is on the way, in partnership with Otherside Entertainment. This is a chance to put their own stamp onto it.
Source: PC Gamer
Wednesday - June 29, 2016
Microsoft - No More Forced Win 10 Installs
It seems Microsoft has finally gotten the hint. After a $10,000 lawsuit over a forced Windows 10 installation, Microsoft will no longer be hoodwinking us into forced installs.
Source: Pixel Dynamo
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
I Am Setsuna - New Artwork
Square Enix has released beautiful new watercolor images for I Am Setsuna. Setsuna will release on July 19.
Square Enix has shared some new artwork for upcoming JRPG I am Setsuna. Included are watercolor portraits of new locations and various characters protagonist Setsuna is said to encounter during her journey.
I Am Setsuna draws inspiration for its battle systems from Chrono Trigger, as its developers have said since the game was first announced in March. When we first got our hands on it at PAX East. we found the combat to be an interesting blend of the old and the new. You can check out the combat systems yourself in a gameplay trailer released last month.
Some PlayStation Network preorder incentives were also announced. Two dynamic themes will be available at the moment of preorder. The first, called Kuro (or black) is a night-time theme, while Shiro (white) shows the same background image but during the day. Both of those can be seen below. Those who pre-order will also get an exclusive digital track titled Eternal Winter by composer Tomoki Miyoshi that will automatically download on release day. Additionally, those who preorder through Steam will get a bonus exclusive digital track titled The Warmth of Hope.
I Am Setsuna will be arriving to PlayStation 4 and PC on July 19 for $39.99.
Source: Game Informer
I Am SetsunaSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
The Technomancer - Review Roundup
Here is an overview of reviews for The Technomancer, which show a wide variety of scores
- Dark Zero: 4
- PCWorld: 2/5
- Game Watcher: 4.5
- IGN: 4.9
- PC Invasion: 5
- Push Square: 5
- The Sixth Axis: 5
- TechRaptor: 5.5
- Attack of the Fanboy: 3/5
- Examiner: 3/5
- Gamingbolt: 6
- GBA Temp: 6
- ZTGD: 6
- Impulse Gamer: 6.4
- Dual Shockers: 6.5
- CGMagazine: 6.5
- Lazy Gamer: 7
- Playstation Universe: 7
- WCCFtech: 7.2
- Playstation Lifestyle: 7.5
- Gaming Trend: 7.5
- We Got this Covered: 4/5
Unsung Story - New Update
In a new update for Unsung Story, Playdek informs us that more information about the schedule of the beta will be expected in August.
Here is an update on our current progress towards an Unsung Story beta release. First off, we have released the product spoken of in our updates, and have been getting resources onto making a beta playable version of Unsung Story tactics. The second platform release of the other product took a little longer than expected, so getting onto content work is behind about a month. We apologize for being off a month with this update, as we had hoped to have more specifics for you in May. We have fortunately been able to start getting some agreements in place for outside design assistance on the character classes and mechanics, and we will be able to update you on those specifics later next month.
We are also starting the process of getting additional concept art work contractors in place as well for world and level design, and look forward to sharing the new art work with you. Our beta game play and content goal still remains the same, which is two levels and two character schools, with each school having multiple class variations. We need to spend a bit more design time on the characters for the beta goal before we can provide an updated timeline estimate for the beta release, but we should have a good handle on that by August.
As of now, we estimate to have new art, screenshots and design details to show by September, and we will have another design update for you next month.
We know that we have one method of restoring faith in this project, and that is through delivering on a great tactics game, which we intend to do. Thank you again for your patience and support.
Unsung StorySP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Fallout 4 - Vivid Weathers Mod
@DSOgaming Produced by modder 'Mangaclub' for Fallout 4. The mod contains 75 types of weather including storms and snow.
Modder ‘Mangaclub' released a new mod for Fallout 4, called Vivid Weathers. Vivid Weathers is a complete Weather and Climate overhaul for Fallout 4 that adds 75 new Weathers with over 110 new cloudtextures to the Fallout 4 World for players to experience.
According to its creator, this mod also improves the general Image quality by adding new LUT and Imagespaces to the game.
Here are the key features of the Vivid Weathers mod for Fallout 4:
75 New Weathers
Over110 new cloud textures
Added 15 more cloud meshes to the game so Fallout4 now handles over 30 Cloud layers!
New Rain sounds
Adds 17 new Thunder sounds!
Enhanced Volumetric Fogs for Rainy and Foggy Weathers
Night brightness depending on the Weather
Many little small details as surprise
With Vivid Weathers you can also experience following Weather Situations:
12 New Clear Weathers
12 New Cloudy Weathers
3 Fallout Weathers (Snow)
6 Overcast weathers
9 new Radstorm / Rad Rain / Rad Snow weathers
18 Different Rain Weathers (Lite,Med,Heavy)
8 Thunder & Rain Weathers (Lite,Med,Heavy)
7 Fog Weathers in different strenghts
1 Surprise Weather for all Silent Hill fans
You can download this mod from here.
Fallout 4SP/MP: Single-player
BattleTech - Campaign Setting Details
The latest kickstarter update for Battletech has details on the campaign setting. This is a large update with a lot of details so head to the link for more.
History of the Aurigan Reach
The Inner Sphere, Circa 3025
At the edges of the Inner Sphere lies the Periphery. The systems there were far from the protective embrace of Earth, and were thus colonized by outcasts, misfits, renegades, and those who simply valued freedom and independence more than they valued comfort and safety. As a consequence, the Periphery has always been a somewhat lawless fringe, a haven for misfits and refugees, the Wild West to the civilized Inner Sphere.
In a very real way, though, it was the marginal nature of the Periphery that directly led to the chaos of the current era; the traitor Amaris was a product of the Periphery and was radicalized by two centuries of the Inner Sphere's iron-fisted occupation of his homeland. His resentment and hate led to civil war, the catastrophic collapse of the Terran Hegemony, and with it the fall of the Star League.
In the wake of that fall, the Succession Wars have crippled all of humanity, and the Periphery is no exception. With the chaos of constant war, economies have shrunk, non-essential projects have been curtailed, and planets that might have once been worth colonizing have been abandoned, their colonists evacuated or left to starve in isolation.
The rimward area of the Periphery (what looks like ‘south' on a map) includes a lightly-settled region that's known as the Aurigan Reach. While once divided between the Magistracy of Canopus, the Taurian Concordat, and the Capellan Confederation, all three withdrew from the region during the wars, preferring to hold more secure borders and less marginal systems. The distant, poorly-developed worlds of the Reach weren't worth the danger of overextending one's power, given the sudden brutality of the Succession Wars.
The Capellans, hard-pressed by their rivals in the Inner Sphere, were first to abandon the Aurigan Reach, and by 2798 they'd withdrawn to a new, more defensible line, from Repulse to Rollis, leaving over a dozen systems to their own devices. The Taurians, in the wake of the disastrous and humiliating Taurian-Canopian War in 2813, turned away from expansionism, and likewise abandoned their Reach holdings. The Magistracy was the last to hold on to any Reach systems, but their claim was always more of a line drawn in the sand against the Taurians than any real colonial ambition; by 2840, their military forces were withdrawn to their own borders, leaving a vast and lawless region behind.
Power cannot tolerate a vacuum, though, and many of the abandoned systems had significant populations, industry, and commerce. Four of those systems were particularly well-suited to continue on as though still part of an interstellar civilization: Coromodir, Itrom, Tyrlon and Guldra. Trade between them continued, and the network of JumpShips continued to serve them, and through them some of the nearby, more marginal systems.
Of the four, Coromodir was the wealthiest and retained the most infrastructure and technology from the Taurian colonization. Two major mercantile houses, the Arano family and the Espinosa family, dominated the remains of the Taurian-led economy, and were natural leaders for the newly independent world. In 2820, the Arano family displaced the figurehead governor the Taurians had left behind, and with the support of the Espinosa family, Wiremu Arano ascended to the governorship.
This independence and leadership was needed as the Taurians withdrew from the remainder of the Reach over the next 20 years. By the time the withdrawal was complete, the Aurigan Reach was a haven for pirates and renegades, warlords setting up their own petty kingdoms, and worse.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Slayer Shock - Eldritch Spiritual Sequel
PCGamesN reports on Slayer Shock which is an immersive sim set within vampire fiction from the indie devs who brought you Eldritch and Neon Struct.
Slayer Shock is described as a "role-playing shooter about hunting vampires in Nebraska". From your college coffee shop headquarters, you take on missions patrolling the streets, rescuing human captives and weakening the undead threat.
You're helped along by a team of vampire slayers who operate out of your base, the place where you can pick up new weapons and skills, as well as researching new ways to deal with the fanged threat.
Minor Key Games describe Slayer Shock as a spiritual successor to Eldrich, "in its generated worlds and its immersive simmy blend of stealth, combat, and player choices", though this one won't be a roguelike.
There have also been a bunch of technical advancements since Edlrich, including replacing its voxel world with a mesh-based one and rewriting the entire procedural generation pipeline. There's also been a bunch of work put into making sure the game feels like a campaign and it will track the persistent status of the player, your allies and your enemies.
The game has been in development since November 2014 and Minor Key are hoping to have it out by the end of this year. There's a bunch of fascinating insight over on the dev blog, and there's a really interesting personal developer blog about how professional wrestling influenced Slayer Shock's design.
Tuesday - June 28, 2016
System Shock - Kickstarter Started
The Kickstarter for the System Shock reboot has started a few hours ago and already raised $127K of the $900K goal. It has a demo that you can download from Steam, GOG or Humble Bundle.
System Shock is a complete remake of the genre defining classic from 1994, rebuilt from the ground up with the Unity Engine.
System Shock was one of the first 3D games that took a methodical approach to exploration while revealing a story driven narrative through audio logs and messages scattered throughout the game world. It was a revolutionary step forward for the medium in a time when developers first began experimenting with interactive story telling.
Players were trapped aboard Citadel Station as they fought to survive against the cyborgs and mutated crew members corrupted by a maniacal A.I. known as SHODAN, one of the most treacherous antagonists ever conceived. System Shock offered an unparalleled experience that would solidify it as one of the greatest games of all time.
Bevontule - Second Demo Coming
The devs of Bevontule are preparing to release a second demo:
Bevontule is an upcoming tactical turn-based RPG that layers innovative mechanics atop classic role-playing elements, while presenting a compelling, deep and mature storyline spanning thousands of years. The idea of Bevontule has existed in a very basic, conceptual form for roughly 15 years, and draws inspiration from other role-playing games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Secret of Mana, Earthbound and Shadow Hearts, among many others.
+ Relatively simple 3D graphics guarantuees high FPS on laptops and older PCs
+ Amazing GUI!
+ Excellent Art Direction and world graphics!
+ nice NPC faces and
+ skilfully built monsters
+ THERE IS A DEMO
Mass Effect: Andromeda - Novels to come
Bioware has confirmed a rumor that they are releasing a series of novels based on the Mass Effect universe. Gamespot has written an article containing some possible information about the first book titled Mass Effect Andromeda: Initation.
According to the report, there will be four new Mass Effect novels in all. The first one, which is reportedly titled Mass Effect Andromeda: Initation, is being written by N. K. Jemisin; the report said it's due out in August 2016. The document also revealed that Mass Effect series writer Mac Walters will pen the last one, which does not yet have a title but is slated for March 2018.
In an official blog Bioware writes
This past weekend, information came out regarding our new series of Mass Effect novels from Titan Books. These novels will give us the opportunity to expand the Mass Effect universe and bring new stories to life outside of the games.
Unfortunately, it's still too early to go into more detail about the books or when they will be released. But don't worry, we'll have a proper announcement with all the juicy details at a later date.
We are still in the midst of the creative process, but we are working with a talented group of writers to bring these exciting new stories to our fans.
Read the full article from gamespot here
Read the official comment from bioware here
Mass Effect: AndromedaSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Wizard of Legend - A Closer Look at Arcana Combinations
The last kickstarter update for Wizard of Legend shows us some sweet wizard action as they show us some of the games combat combo potential.
We wanted to take the time to highlight some of the nuances of the combat by focusing on arcana combinations. Part of the progression in Wizard of Legend is learning the effects of each arcana you come across and how to best use them in conjunction with the ones in your deck.
A quick example of this would be the synergy between our Freezing Lunge and Ball Lightning arcana.
Read more here
Kickstarter GamesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development