Monday, 22 January 2018

Cheaters find more ways to spoil everyone's fun in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Forget aim-bots and wall-hacks, cheaters have discovered new, equally unscrupulous ways to annoy legitimate competitors in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

As reported by Reddit poster MagicIsBull, with accompanying Deathcam footage as proof, PUBG cheaters now have the ability to speed-revive allies and instantly regenerate health. Ordinarily, it takes around ten seconds to revive a downed ally, and up to eight seconds to use healing items. As such, the ability to instantly do both gives cheaters a considerable advantage, and a whole new way to infuriate and exasperate rule-abiding players.

Cheating is a serious, ongoing concern for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and developer Bluehole has repeatedly insisted that it will do everything it can to quash such behaviour.

Read more…


This Week’s Deals With Gold And Spotlight Sale

Here are this week’s games and add-on deals on the Xbox Games Store. Discounts are valid now through 29 January 2018.

These deals will expire at 11:00 am UTC on Tuesday January 30th 2018


Xbox One Deals

Content Title Content Type Discount Notes
STAR WARS Battlefront II* Xbox One Game 40% DWG
Battlefield 1 Revolution* Xbox One Game 67% DWG
Battlefield 1 & Titanfall 2 Ultimate Bundle* Xbox One Game 67% DWG
Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition* Xbox One Game 75% DWG
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments* Xbox One Game 75% DWG
White Night* Xbox One Game 67% DWG
Battlefield 4* Xbox One Game 75% DWG
Assault Android Cactus* Xbox One Game 25% DWG
Battlefield 1 Premium Pass* Add-On 70% DWG
Battlefield Anniversary Bundle* Xbox One Game 50% DWG
Marble Void* Xbox One Game 33% DWG
NBA LIVE 18: The One Edition* Xbox One Game 75% DWG
Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator* Xbox One Game 25% DWG
Seasons After Fall* Xbox One Game 75% DWG
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom* Xbox One Game 75% DWG
Slain: Back from Hell* Xbox One Game 70% DWG
Spellspire* Xbox One Game 50% DWG
STAR WARS Battlefront II: Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition* Xbox One Game 50% DWG
Three Fourths Home: Extended Edition* Xbox One Game 67% DWG
Titanfall 2: Ultimate Edition* Xbox One Game 67% DWG



Xbox 360 Deals

Content Title Content Type Discount Notes
Street Fighter IV* Games On Demand 30% DWG
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition* Games On Demand 60% DWG
Blood Bowl – Dark Elves* Add-On 33% DWG
Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition* Games On Demand 75% DWG
Ultra Street Fighter IV* Add-On 50% DWG

*These offers are only valid for Xbox Live Gold members.
Please note: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region.

from Xbox Live's Major Nelson

The Best 'Hearthstone' Decks Played at the 'Hearthstone' Championship

I just got back into town after attending the Hearthstone [Free] Championship in Amsterdam, and, man, there are few things better than watching that level of play. I read a lot of (very valid) criticism that it can be a little boring watching the same ol' tournament meta, but I really appreciated watching decks like Jade Druid or Highlander Priest being played on a level that is nothing short of masterful. The Taiwanese player Tom60229 took home the championship, so for this week's Hearthstone roundup we're focusing on the four decks he played at the Hearthstone Championship Tour last weekend.

Cube Warlock - Weighing in at a hefty 10,640 dust, Cube Warlock (or Cubelock) is an evolution on the classic control Warlock decks (sometimes called Demonlock). It has seen loads of play, and gets its name from one of the three cards that make up the winning combo: Carnivorous Cube, Skull of the Man'ari and Doomguard. Skull of the Man'ari is a weapon which summons a demon from your hand every turn, and ideally you want to use that to cheat out Doomguard's without triggering Doomguard's battlecry which involves discarding two cards from your hand. The deck also runs Possessed Lackey which recruits a demon from your deck, providing a second alternative to getting Doomguards into play.

Once you manage to get a Doomguard out without discarding, you use Carnivorous Cube which destroys the Doomguard, then by using Spiritsinger Umbra and Dark Pact along side Carnivorous Cube to get four Doomguards on board. Doomguards are charge minions too, so you can cheat out your Doomguard, attack, then attack again with your new Doomguards once the Carnivorous Cube does its thing. It's an incredibly powerful combo that really just gets stupid in the late game when you play Bloodreaver Gul'dan, bringing all the Doomguards back again. Games don't typically last that long, as if you can pull off the entire combo that's 25 damage in one turn which provided you did a decent job at controlling the board state could all go directly to face.

Here's a great video that shows how it all works:

Highlander Priest - If you've watched any competitive Hearthstone being played, you've no doubt seen more matches involving Highlander Priest than you can even count. However, what you probably don't know is where the deck got its name from. The cards that power the win condition in this deck require your deck to have no duplicates. Since there can only be one of each card, it's a reference to the movie Highlander. Specifically, this quote. I first heard decks called this back in the Magic the Gathering days.

Anyway, the basic idea behind the deck is to get the game in a state where you've played Raza the Chained which reduces the cost of your hero power to zero mana, then getting Shadowreaper Anduin online to both clear any big threats from the battlefield as well as switching your hero power to Voidform which deals two damage instead of the typical Priest heal. Voidform can be cast over and over as it is refreshed with each new spell that is cast, which can result in massive end-game turns where you're blasting cheap spells and hero power attacks over and over.

Early game, the deck plays very similar to many other Priest decks which focus on controlling the board to survive long enough to get the game in a state where you can Voidform your opponent to death. It's a beefy deck coming in at 12,000 dust which runs six super crucial legendary cards as games can also be won by comboing Prophet Valen to double the damage of Mind Blast, potentially resulting in 20 damage to your face.

Highlander Priest sees so much play because it's a deck that has answers to practically everything your opponent can play while having multiple powerful end-game win conditions. Of course, the deck is pretty pricy, but love it or hate it, it's here to stay until more cards get introduced or something else happens to shake up the Hearthstone tournament meta.

While he isn't playing the exact same deck, former Hearthstone champion Pavel put together a pretty great video late last year that shows the basic concepts that power Highlander Priest in action.

Check it out:

Jade Druid - Much like Highlander Priest, if you've even vaguely paid attention to anything to do with competitive Hearthstone, or have even played a ranked game recently, you've no doubt seen Jade Druid. Playing the deck is actually pretty simple, as it has the basic goal of make huge Jade Golems, and eventually overwhelm your opponent through your ability to just constantly dump out bigger and bigger creatures.

Mastery of the deck, however, involves managing both the cards in your hand as well as making sure you're using Jade Idol to keep cards in your deck for you to draw so you don't end up killing yourself with fatigue damage. Aside from building Jades, Ultimate Infestation is your main tech card for getting loads of gas late game. You deal five damage, often removing a problem creature, draw five cards, typically giving you more Jades, and while you're at it you gain five armor and summon a 5/5 duel. Overall, a super powerful card for ten mana.

Similar to the previous video, while Trump isn't playing the exact same deck, he does a great job of explaining the thought process that goes into when to hold and play the different cards in your deck as well as how to not run out of Jade cards to play.

Take a look:

Tempo Rogue - The last deck Tom60229 brought to the Hearthstone Championship Tour this year was Tempo Rogue. When playing tempo decks, the idea is to keep tempo throughout the game, starting with powerful low cost minions and eventually ramping up into massive threats. It's not a new archetype by any stretch of the imagination, but recently it has become a mainstay in competitive play.

Patches the Pirate plays a big role early game in getting ahead of your opponent with annoying amounts of early turn damage that comes from the pirates that are typically run in tempo rogue. From there, you play cards like Saronite Chain Gang which gives you some taunt protection to get into later turns where you can do things like soup up minions with Bonemare, cheaply play Corridor Creeper from cheap minions that have died before, or just summoning The Lich King himself.

Or, you can do what Tom60229 did in the championship match and just live the giant Edwin VanCleef dream, which is something aggro rogue decks have thrived on since the earliest days of Hearthstone. He gains +2/+2 for each card played before him, so by using the Coin, Backstab, Shadowstep, and other cheap/free cards you can get a absolutely massive minion in play.

Like the other decks listed in this article, this accompanying video isn't exactly what was played at HCT, but Trump always does a great job at really breaking down how a deck works while he plays.

Give it a look:

To check out the rest of the decks played at the Hearthstone Championship last weekend, head over to Blizzard's site which is where these deck list images are all from. We'll have more coverage soon on the Hearthstone Championship Tour, as well as some interviews, but for now... I'm going to bed. A seven hour time change has my brain totally wrecked!

from TouchArcade

The Red Strings Club Review

Video: How Slime Rancher used constraints to aid in design

In this 2017 GDC postmortem, Monomi Park's Nick Popovich discusses the development history of Slime Rancher and how it was managed during its first year of early access. ...

from Gamasutra News

Our 'Hearthstone' Weekly Roundup Is On Hiatus

Hello everyone. I hope you all enjoyed this weekend's highly entertaining Hearthstone [Free] World Championship that featured a pretty competitive final round and some pretty cool plays (and some enjoyable RNG as well). Usually, today we would publish our weekly roundup of the best Hearthstone news and videos, what we've come to call Touchstone Tavern, but, alas, Touchstone is going on hiatus. Due to an increase in professional responsibilities, I unfortunately cannot write the weekly roundup for at least the foreseeable future. We will, of course, continue to cover Hearthstone, since it's the biggest card game on mobile by a mile and continues to grow in all kinds of promising ways. The only difference in our coverage will be the weekly roundup, so expect plenty of Hearthstone stories on the site.

As for Touchstone, I have to say that when I started writing it, I didn't think I would end up publishing more than 200 hundred roundups; that's a pretty crazy number and a testament to the game's growth. Not many mobile games have so much weekly content over so many months. And it was a lot of fun seeing the community evolve and witnessing the game transform. I wanted to thank everyone for sticking around and reading the roundup over all these months, and I wish you all good card slinging.


from TouchArcade

Inkle's 'Heaven's Vault' Getting Closer to Release, New Teaser and Info Released

In my eyes, Inkle can do no wrong, with 80 Days being one of my favorite mobile games ever. So, you can understand why I'm impatiently waiting for the developer's next game, Heaven's Vault, to drop, and, based on the latest developer blog, the game is getting closer to completion. As the developers proclaim in the dev blog, the game is currently playable from beginning to end, although it's still in a very rough form and needs more work. Still, reaching this stage in development is a pretty big milestone. The game has been in development for over two years, and by the time it comes out, it will be closer to three. That's as long as it took Inkle to make the entire Sorcery! series, which should give you a sense of how much more ambitious Heaven's Vault is.

Apparently, what has taken the longest to get right is the game's visuals; Heaven's Vault is the first truly 3D game Inkle has ever attempted, so that—combined with the variety of places you will visit (deserts, forests, ruined castles, cold palaces, forgotten mines, etc)—have pushed Inkle's limits. Therefore, the developer decided to add two new artists to the mix last year, both of which worked at Guerilla Games, as well as a new level designer who worked on Killzone Mercenary and other AAA titles. In other words, Inkle is growing, and that is good news both in terms of what games we can expect and also in terms of how long those games will take to be completed.

Heaven's Vault webpage is also gradually adding more information, which gives us a better sense of what the game will be all about. We already knew the basics: you play as archaeologist Aliya Elasra, who, alongside her sidekick robot Six, is searching for a missing roboticist. That search takes her deep into the Nebula to explore the ruins of a lost age. In terms of gameplay, Heaven's Vault is a free-roaming, third person exploration game. For a better sense of that, check out the new screenshot below.

The story will be procedurally generated, but don't let that phrase scare you; Inkle wants to avoid the generic storylines that procedural generation can often engender, so the developer has designed its own version of procedural generation that includes plenty of hand-authored content build on top of procedural generation. I have faith in Inkle's story-telling abilities as well as expertise with the genre, and I hope that Heaven's Vault avoids any of the pitfalls that come with procedural generation.

We also got to hear more about the translation puzzle mechanic that will lie at the core of Heaven's Vault. As you explore the Nebula, you will encounter an ancient hieroglyphic language that you'll need to decipher. This puzzle mechanic, though, isn't just about gatekeeping content; the solutions are narratively significant and propel the story forward, with the wrong translation possibly sending you down the wrong track. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this "archaeological science fiction adventure game" (as Inkle calls Heaven's Vault), and I can't wait to get my hands on it. For now, we'll have to do with the lovely music from the teaser trailer.


from TouchArcade

Guild wars 2 devs donate thousands to help fan rebuild after house fire

Guild War 2 developers donated $3,500 to a fan's crowdfunding page after a fire consumed everything but a copy of her collectors edition of Nightfall from Guild Wars.  ...

from Gamasutra News

Muse Games' 2012 Platformer 'CreaVures' Getting a Completely Free Remaster January 31st

Back in 2012 Muse Games, who you may know from the popular Guns of Icarus series on desktop and consoles or from their very intriguing upcoming mobile brawler Hamsterdam, partnered up with Chillingo to bring a very cool puzzle platformer to mobile called CreaVures. In it you'd take control of a cast of 5 different creatures who each had unique abilities that would help you progress through the various puzzles in the game, similar to something like the classic The Lost Vikings. Well, as is often the case in these circumstances, the publishing deal with Chillingo expired and eventually CreaVures was taken off the App Store. However, this tale has a pretty happy ending as Muse was able to get the rights for CreaVures back and are set to release a remastered version that's published under their own company next week on January 31st.

The coolest part? The CreaVures re-release will be completely free. No ads, no IAP, no shenanigans. Instead, given the devastation the hurricane season wrought last year, there will be a link inside the game which will take players to the Unicef page where they can choose to make a donation that will go towards hurricane victims. The remaster also includes some improved visuals and is using the newest version of Unity so it should be running better than ever. CreaVures is a more thoughtful, laid-back platformer that has some really clever puzzle designs and characters with a lot of personality. I'm happy to see it returning and if you missed out on it before then treat yourself to the totally free remastered version when it launches at the end of the month.

from TouchArcade

Rust is leaving Early Access next month after four years in development

Rust, Facepunch Studios' famously nude survival game is leaving Early Access on February 8th, after four years in development.

The announcement was made in a blog post by Rust designer Garry Newman, which detailed what, exactly, the game's transition from Early Access to its version 1.0 release will mean. And that can probably be summarised as 'not all that much, beyond a price increase'.

"We're not planning any big reveals, launch parties, around the world tours or cash prize giveaways for this event. We're not going to move staff onto other projects", explained Newman, "It's very much going to happen without much fuss. It's business as usual."

Read more…


Minecraft: Education Edition introduces chemistry update

Minecraft: Education Edition announces the introduction of chemistry, featuring new crafting tools designed to explain different chemistry concepts to students. ...

from Gamasutra News

Get a job: Remedy Entertainment is looking for a Lead Game Designer

Remedy Entertainment is looking for an experienced designer to take a hands-on approach driving the future of the story-driven campaign mode set in the Crossfire 2 universe. ...

from Gamasutra News

'GRID Autosport' Updated with Additional Control Options and Other Enhancements

GRID Autosport [$9.99] is the gift that keeps on giving, as following its launch in late November developer Feral Interactive has been working on releasing updates based on player feedback to enhance the experience. First was a big update in December that improved performance across all devices with fixes especially geared towards iPhone X, and now a little over a month later we've got yet another new update which focuses on additional control options. First off they've enabled the arrow controls option on all devices so now folks on an iPad or an iPhone SE can also utilize this control method. They've also improved the default control methods and have added new "Pro" and "Custom" variants as well as an auto-accelerate option for Tilt and Wheel Touch controls.

Next they've improved the car handling for those who are using MFi controllers, but since my MFi controllers are both dead I can't really check to see what that improvement is. Oh well! Finally, Feral has added the ability to turn off haptic feedback in the advanced options section for GRID that's in the iOS Settings app. And as usual this update also fixes a bunch of stuff from both a graphical and gameplay perspective, ensuring GRID looks and runs at its best.

In case you missed it, we loved GRID Autosport in our 5 star review of the game, and picked it as our no-brainer Game of the Week winner when it released. Also, unsurprisingly, we chose GRID for inclusion in our Top 100 Games of 2017 list and both Tasos and yours truly picked it for our own personal Best of 2017 lists. What I'm trying to get at is that GRID Autosport is really good, and it just seems to keep getting better with updates like the one that dropped today.

Link to Forum Discussion: GRID™ Autosport (By Feral Interactive Ltd)

from TouchArcade

ThatGameCompany's Journey successor Sky looks lovely in 30 new minutes of footage

Ahead of its hopefully imminent release on iOS, 30 minutes of Journey developer ThatGameCompany's gorgeous new project, Sky, has appeared online.

Sky, a "mobile social experience" designed to "move audiences emotionally with its theme and story", according to the developer, was originally unveiled at Apple's iPhone X event last year. It will launch first on iOS, but quell your mobile game prejudices - it looks and sounds absolutely wonderful in its opening 30 minutes uploaded by AllGamesDelta.

An in-game message at the start of the video describes the footage as being part of a "special preview" of Sky, and notes that the game is still "work-in-progress". Even with that caveat, it still offers a spellbinding (and obviously spoiler-filled) glimpse at a world bought to life with the same skill and craftsmanship seen in the inimitable Journey.

Read more…


Minecraft sets new monthly active users record at 74M

Almost 9 years after its debut, Minecraft saw a record amount of monthly active users this past December. ...

from Gamasutra News

Don't Miss: 8 tips to help manage your indie community

What better way to appreciate the hard work community managers put in than learn about the kinds of tools that can help streamline indie community management? ...

from Gamasutra News

EVE Online community raises $119k in memory of departed dev

A one week fundraiser within EVE Online raised over $119k for the developer's fiancée and daughter after his sudden passing late last year. ...

from Gamasutra News