Month: October 2017

Pay what you want for a bundle of Australian-made video games in the Humble Down Under Bundle

Posted on October 19, 2017  in Video Games

The latest Humble Bundle, the series of video game bundles that offer a host of games for cheap, is up for the next two weeks, and revolves all around games developed on the other side of the world. All 9 titles in the bundle come from Australian developers, and almost all of them are completely unique, meaning there’s probably something for everyone in it. Here’s what you can get for the three bundle tiers:

Pay what you want:

  • The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
    • “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is a tabletop adventure come to life! This fantasy solo RPG combines unique, simultaneous turn-based combat with a journey that changes based on each figurine you take into Firetop Mountain! Which hero will you take into Zagor’s lair THIS time?”
  • Screencheat
    • “Screencheat is a ridiculous competitive split-screen first-person shooter where everyone is invisible, so players are forced to look at each other’s screens in order to win. Supporting both local and online multiplayer, combat in Screencheat is fast and furious with a wide variety of one-hit kill weapons ranging from traditional guns like the blunderbuss or grenade launcher through to unique options such as a hobby horse, a modified car engine that shoots bouncing plasma balls and a teddy bear loaded with explosives.”
  • Hand of Fate
    • “In a cabin at the end of the world, the game of life and death is played. Draw your cards, play your hand, and discover your fate. Hand of Fate is a hybrid roguelike/action-RPG/deck builder, in which the player builds a set of cards into a deck, which is then used to deal out the dungeon floors through which they adventure. Upon entering a combat, all of the cards the player has collected fly into their hands as fully modeled 3D assets, and combat begins.”
  • Satellite Reign
    • “Satellite Reign is a real-time, class-based strategy game, set in an open-world cyberpunk city. You command a group of 4 agents through rain-soaked, neon-lit streets, where the law is the will of mega-corporations. Use your agents to sneak, shoot, steal, and sabotage your way up the corporate ladder, and take control of the most powerful monopoly of all time. “

Pay more than the average (£2.75 at time of writing):

  • Everything in the pay what you want tier
  • Hacknet
    • “Hacknet is an immersive, terminal-based hacking simulator. Dive down a rabbit hole as you follow the instructions of a recently deceased hacker, whose death may not have been the accident the media reports. Using old school command prompts and real hacking processes, you’ll solve the mystery with minimal hand-holding, and a rich world full of secrets to explore.”
  • Hacknet Labyrinths
    • “Join a small team of elite hackers pulling off a complex series of data heists in Hacknet Labyrinths, a major expansion for critically acclaimed terminal-based hacking simulator, Hacknet.”
  • Crawl
    • “Crawl is the dungeon crawler where your friends control the monsters! Battle through randomly generated dungeons full of cruel traps and horrid beasts- all controlled by the other players. If a friend kills you they take your place and it’s their turn to crawl! It’s a race to gain enough XP and loot to face them all as they control the flailing limbs of the hulking final boss!”
  • Hurtworld
    • “Hurtworld is a hardcore multiplayer survival FPS with a focus on deep survival progression that doesn’t become trivial once you establish some basic needs. That feeling when you’re freezing to death trying to make a fire, or you’re defenceless being chased by creatures. These experiences are what make a survival game. When you overcome that challenge and find a level of comfort it’s a great feeling, but what do you do next?”

Pay more than £9.10:

  • Everything in the pay what you want and pay more than the average tiers
  • Armello
    • “Armello is a swashbuckling adventure that combines the strategic play of card and board games with RPG elements. Wage epic single and multiplayer strategy battles as you adventure across the land of Armello on your quest for the throne!”

The charity of choice for this bundle is Special Effect, but you can choose your own charity to support if you so wish. this bundle runs for two weeks, and will end on October 31, at 7pm BST. Last week’s bundle, the Humble Endless RPG Lands bundle, is still available. 

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Month: October 2017

Developers of an upcoming Star Wars video game, Visceral Games, to close as the project pivots

Posted on October 19, 2017  in Video Games

Formally known as EA Redwood Shores, Visceral Games are the developers behind games like Dead Space and Battlefield: Hardline. They’ve been working on an as-yet untitled Star Wars game for some time now, but it has been announced that the team “will be ramping down and closing” as that Star Wars game is taking on a new direction. 

EA are working towards “shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA,” but there are no exact numbers on how many people will remain at EA or EA-owned studios. Visceral Games itself has only shared an image of the team as a whole since the announcement, a memorial of the studio before it closes down. 

The Star Wars game itself, which was supposedly going to feature an all-new story, was never given a full title, but was being led by Amy Hennig, who was the director and script writer on three Uncharted games. At E3 2016, a brief look at the game was given, although the release date was a somewhat tentative fiscal year 2019.

The reason for the shift in the untitled Star Wars project’s focus is that EA feel it has “become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design.”

“We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.”

The project is now being developed by a team across EA Worldwide Studios, with EA Vancouver leading the project. It’s unclear whether Hennig will remain as a part of the project.

The previous aim of fiscal year 2019 is no longer the estimated release date for this game, and instead, a new timeframe will be announced in the future.

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Month: October 2017

This week in video games, October 17, 2017: Indie game summit in Van city

Posted on October 19, 2017  in Video Games

This week, indie developers will be hanging out in Vancouver, Fire Emblem fans get to play on the Switch, and South Park returns to consoles.

Indie video game developers gathering in Vancouver to ‘inform, educate, and motivate’

Independent developers are coming together this Saturday (October 21) to share the creativity and excitement they get from making video games.

The Full Indie Summit is being held at the Vancouver Playhouse, with doors opening at 8:30 a.m.

The annual event includes a number of locals talking about their experiences making games, and it will feature overview discussions as well as topical deep dives.

Among the presentations:

  • Jesse Ringrose will review the challenges in making Splitter Critters, a puzzle game with a unique mechanic.
  • Cloudhead’s Joel Green will talk about his studio’s work in virtual reality
  • Matthew Marteinsson from Klei talking about the importance of failure in making games.
  • Super Meat Boy creator Tommy Refenes explains the close connection between level design and control mechanics.

Kelly Wallick closes the day’s talks with stories about independent game developers around the world. The founder of the Indie MEGABooth showcase and the chair of the Independent Games Festival has unprecedented experience in the community development that is central to indie scenes. 

The summit ends with attendees hanging out in the lobby of the Playhouse to mingle and play demos of games currently in development.

The event is produced by Vancouver’s Full Indie, a volunteer collective of developers.

Tickets are $35.

New Fire Emblem game arrives on Nintendo’s Switch and handheld systems

The Warriors games are unique in that they cast characters from other games into massive, epic-scale battles, with you controlling the flow.

With Fire Emblem Warriors, the royal twins Lianna and Rowan and their guide, Darios, are the main characters. Set in the kingdom of Aytolis, the game will have you fighting against King Ozosid of Gristonne, who wants to awaken an evil dragon.

The game supports the use Nintendo’s Amiibo toys, including two—the characters of Chrom and TIki—that are releasing with the game.

Available for the 2DS and 3DS handhelds and the Switch, Fire Emblem Warriors is available on Friday.

Cartman and the gang turn into superheroes in new South Park video game

Releasing this week on PS4, Windows, and Xbox One is the second video game from Trey Parker and Matt Stone and set in South Park.

The Fractured But Whole is a satire of superhero tropes—Marvel’s Civil War, in particular—that features a new combat system that incorporates some tactical elements. It also includes the humour that is typical of the franchise. Fart jokes abound.

The title of the game came about because Ubisoft told the creative duo they couldn’t use The Butthole of Time, reasoning that some retailers wouldn’t stock the game.

Parker said he came up with the current subtitle as a way to get “butthole” into the title.

Games released or releasing

  • Gran Turismo Sport, for the PS4, brings car-racing into your living room with a fun arcade mode and the competitive online “sport” mode
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Episode 2 for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One
  • WWE 2K18 for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One

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Month: October 2017

Nurse’s aide at top VA hospital played video games instead of checking patient. That patient died.

Posted on October 18, 2017  in Video Games

Nurse’s aide at top VA hospital played video games instead of checking patient. That patient died.
A nurse’s aide at a top VA hospital played video games instead of checking on a patient hourly one night last year — and that patient died. The patient’s family has consulted a lawyer and is considering legal action against the VA.
(Image source: YouTube screenshot)