Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Psyonix unveils new Rocket League Spring dev road map, Tournament Mode now due April latest

Psyonix has unveiled its Spring 2018 development road map for Rocket League, outlining expected release dates for some highly anticipated new features - including Tournament Mode and much-requested visual improvements for the Switch version of the game.

Top of the pile of new features is Tournament Mode, which Psyonix has pegged for release in either March or April. A Tournament Mode was first touted back in September last year, when the developer explained that it was "something we've wanted for Rocket League since our launch in July 2015". In-game Tournaments, it said, would allow players, "from Rookie to Rocketeer", to take part in competitions without ever needing to leave the game client.

Tournament Mode was initially expected to go into beta by the end of last year, but Psyonix has now confirmed that public beta testing will begin on Steam in February. The full mode is due to arrive in Psyonix's planned Spring Feature Update, in March or April, and will enable play "against other players in bracketed, single elimination tournaments".

Read more…


Mario Is Heading To The Silver Screen, With Help From The Studio Behind Minions

News: Mario Is Heading To The Silver Screen, With Help From The Studio Behind Minions

Despicable Mario

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Nintendo Switch Online Service Will Go Live This September

News: Nintendo Switch Online Service Will Go Live This September

The future of Nintendo Switch online is eight months away...

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Raise The Chequered Flag Because Mario Kart Tour Is Racing Onto Mobile Soon

News: Raise The Chequered Flag Because Mario Kart Tour Is Racing Onto Mobile Soon

It's set to arrive between April 2018 and March 2019

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

'Mario Kart' is Coming to the App Store via the Just-Announced Game 'Mario Kart Tour'

I don't even. What is happening. Nintendo just announced that Mario Kart is coming to mobile via a new game titled Mario Kart Tour. Due out sometime before March 2019, we've got loads of time to wildly speculate what this game is going to be about. Judging by Nintendo's other efforts on mobile, I doubt it's going to be anything close to a "full" Mario Kart game, but, stranger things have happened.

I'm wondering if they're going to try to apply the CSR Racing formula to Mario Kart characters? Their mobile portfolio is filled with games that take the core concept of a game and distill it down to its absolute essence. What do you guys think? What's Mario Kart Tour going to be about?

from TouchArcade

Video: The tools used to design Rayman Legends

In this 2014 GDC session Ubisoft Montpellier's Chris McEntee describes the design team's approach to creating the worlds of Rayman Legends. ...

from Gamasutra News

Sony collaborates with Facebook on God of War text adventure

Sony has teamed up with Facebook to publish the text adventure God of War: A Call From The Wilds, which is available on Facebook's messenger app.  ...

from Gamasutra News

Microsoft reports increase in games revenue

Microsoft published a financial report today for its last quarter showing an 8% increase in games revenue. ...

from Gamasutra News

Rhythmic dungeon crawler Crypt of the NecroDancer launches on Switch this week

Developer Brace Yourself Games has announced that its cracking rhythmic dungeon crawler Crypt of the NecroDancer will launch on Switch tomorrow, Thursday February 1st. Regrettably however, musically inclined heroes in Europe and Australia will have to wait an extra seven days until release on February 8th.

Crypt of the NecroDancer launched on PC back in 2015, and immediately grabbed attention with its odd-ball premise: it's a rogue-like dungeon crawler that unfolds entirely to music. In order to best the crypt's nefarious inhabitants and reach its deepest levels, you'll need to try and orchestrate your every move and attack precisely in time with the beat.

The end result is considerably more strategic and challenging than it might first sound, but it all works wonderfully, and should be perfect pick-up-and-play fodder for Switch.

Read more…


January in Review

The Site

Just trivia for the site this month.  A week or so back my phone buzzed with this announcement.

A New Record!

I found that amusing, though since I have turned off the alert for when somebody clicks “like” on a post, I am not sure who went through and clicked the button on a bunch of posts.  None of the recent posts at that point had more than three or four likes, so I assume it was somebody serially reading and liking posts.

Meanwhile, back in the day, used to give bloggers some end of year stats around New Years, but stopped doing that a couple of years back.  On the stats page there is an Insights tab that shows various meta details about your blog which now includes some annual details.  For 2017 my stats were:

  • Total Posts: 350
  • Total Comments: 1,429
  • avg comments per post: 4
  • total likes: 1,398
  • avg likes per post: 4
  • total words: 326,343
  • avg words per post: 932

It also tells me that so far for 2018 I am averaging over one thousand words per post, so the bloviation continues.  Also, the likes per post stat confirms that 21 in a day is an outlier event which has increased my average likes per day for 2018 to 5.

One Year Ago

As with most years here at the blog, it began with predictions.

Nintendo was telling us all about the Switch console, due in March.

I barely had predictions post before Daybreak announced they were closing Landmark, ticking one off the list for me.  That got people freaked out about other Daybreak titles, so I reviewed the list.

That also led me off onto a semi-sarcastic rant about an EverQuest successor.

It was also high noon for Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2.

With a new iPad I lost all my progress on Candy Crush Saga, so forswore the title forever.

I was also tallying up the results of my purchases from the Steam Winter Sale.  I don’t get why people like Stardew Valley so much.  Just not my thing I guess.  I did play a stretch of Train Valley however.

The long mansion road project was starting to hit home with me, but I kept on moving forward village by village.

In EVE Online I hit the 170 million skill point mark.  All those skill points and I still don’t use my capital ships.  After a false start we got the first update of YC119.  It had music.  It was also the kick off of the CSM election season.

In null sec there was a big battle at F4R2-Q that seemed to herald a new war.  However coordination problems with the local defenders saw us pulling back to Catch.

And in Diablo III we were waiting for the Darkening of Tristram event.  I ran through it quickly once, and then again to get some more achievements.  It was kind of neat, but it wasn’t the original Diablo.

Five Years Ago

Firefly Universe Online.  Was that a hoax or not?  I still don’t know.  And does the acronym FUO seem mildly obscene?

Wizardry Online joined the SOE stable while Pirates of the Burning Sea was sent packing.  Who is laughing now?

We got our full group together in Rift and did our first instance of the year, dying at least 100 times combined.  This lead to a side post about bosses and gimmicks and what makes a challenge.

In World of Tanks the instance group was scooting around. We even created our own little clan.  Potshot and I were totally going French.

In EVE Online, after a sudden burst of war fever died down, there was a surprise battle where more than 2,500 ships clashed in Asakai when CFC FC Dabigredboat led a supercap fleet in to rescue a stray titan.  The battle was so big that CCP did a Dev Blog about it.  Meanwhile, we were to be denied LEGO Rifters.

The DUST 514 open beta was officially open.  I still haven’t bombed anything from orbit yet.

Path of Exile went into full open beta as well.

Krono made its way from EverQuest II to EverQuest while I was wondering what people were spending their Station Cash on.

I was musing about MUDs again, and vendors who wouldn’t simply buy any crap you had for sale and dead rats.

There was a list of 20 games that defined the Apple II.

And I wrote out my yearly list.  This time it was goals, mostly because I was on vacation when I was supposed to be writing it.

Ten Years Ago

I started off with a helping of silly predictions.

I was bemoaning my inability to be a fan boy and parrying claims that PvE players were going to ruin Warhammer Online.

There were some pictures from my daughter’s LEGO birthday party.  Those seem to get linked on Pintrest quite often.

Then, with Tabula Rasa dead to me since open beta, I started wondering if there was any hope at all for a Science Fiction MMORPG.  This ended up being one of my most responded to posts of the time.  Plus, in addition to all the comments, PotshotTipaLemegeton, Gooney, and even Massively following up with response posts. This post still gets a lot of views every month. (And yes, I do think there is hope, I just don’t know when we’ll get what we’re looking for.)

And, along with that, I wrote about five LEGO Video Games I would like to see made.  And a few of those ended up getting made.  Imagine!

Then there was the start of the run-up to Pirates of the Burning Sea which, among other things, required me to invest in a new router as well as reviewing how to pick a server in a new game.  The latter was from a time when we assumed servers would stay crowded like they did in WoW.

In World of Warcraft the Saturday night instance group was hitting Scholomance, Dire Maul West and Scholomance again as part of the Paladin mount quest, Stratholme, then Dire Maul West once more for the Warlock mount quest, and then Scholomance for the third and final time to get all the epic mounts straight.  By then we were all level 60 which meant we could head  to the Outlands only a year after The Burning Crusade shipped!

In EVE Online, after spending millions of ISK, I managed my first Tech II Blueprint, then I couldn’t afford to build it. Ah, life in New Eden.  I also got my standing past 8.0 with the Caldari Navy and spent time hauling trash.

And, finally, in Lord of the Rings Online I was able to pick up my Bree Pony, the 2007 holiday gift to founders.

Twenty Years Ago

I got nothing.  I think we were all still playing Warcraft II and waiting for StarCraft to come out.  I remember a lot of people I knew being anxious for it to ship.

Most Viewed Posts in January

  1. From Alola Pokedex to National Pokedex in Pokemon Sun
  2. Where the Hell is that EverQuest Successor Already?
  3. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  4. Top 25 EVE Online Corporations Graph – The End Number
  5. The Coming Battle in 9-4RP2
  6. My 2018 MMO Outlook – Mining for Old Gold
  7. A Bit More Bag Space with WoW Patch 7.3.5
  8. The Million Dollar Battle Hangover
  9. 2018 – Predictions for a New Year
  10. A Return to Physical Netflix
  11. Quote of the Day – Satan Speaks on Lockboxes
  12. Delve – How Does One Value Minerals?

Search Terms of the Month

pokemon battle on middle earth.jar
[Heresy, both the concept and it being in Java]

[Somebody knows their VASCO products]

everquest 3
[Dream on]

pokemon sun and moon solo run
[It is a single player game, so I guess that is any run]

what is the name of the third warcraft expansion
[That is the one we do not name]

war thunder plane with most bombs
[I think it is the He-111, at least for lower tier planes]

EVE Online

Early in the month I was in as part of our small deployment to the north, dropping citadels and making the locals come up to fight over timers, which went well enough for us until the locals finally got their act together and blobbed up.  We’d have done the same around Delve, just a lot sooner.

Then came the build up for the big battle at 9-4RP2, which distracted us from other efforts in the north.  When I finally came back to our staging system I found that the locals had been busy removing all of our citadels.  So I guess we’ll be starting from scratch on that front.

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go saw the releases of more Hoenn Pokemon towards the end of the month, so my captured and caught numbers went up noticeably again.  I also finally got the last candy I needed to evolve my Slowepoke into a Slowbro.  I also managed to squeak into level 31.

Heartbreak moment of the month was finally seeing a Lapras in the wild, then being cheap and not using one of my few sure catch candies on the first throw and having it flee.

  • Level: 31 (+1)
  • Pokedex status: 262 (+23) caught, 301 (+25) seen
  • Pokemon I want: Seaking
  • Current buddy: Horsea to earn candies to get that Seaking evolution.

World of Warcraft

I spent a lot of time with Pet Battles, right up to the end of the month finish of the Celestial Tournament.  I am also edging my way up to the 700 pet mark, for which there is no achievement.

I also carried on in Argus rather halfheartedly with my main and then worked on some alts.  I potentially will have quite a pile of level 110 characters when Battle for Azeroth ships, so I am not sure what I will do with the level 110 boost that will come with the expansion.  I am certainly not running out right this second to pre-order because of that.  The allied race thing however…

Other Games

I watched The Mittani playing Stellaris for a bit on the INN stream and then went back and played that for a bit.  That is my problem with watching people stream games, I just want to go play them rather than watch.  Meanwhile, Stellaris is still a good game in which you can get lost for hours.

I got fed up with War Thunder and uninstalled it.  I just got tired of high skill players haunting the lower tiers for easy kills.  Or maybe I am just horrible.  Meanwhile the interface that combines the game’s aerial aspect with tank combat and sea combat… I think that is in there… is confusing enough that I stopped bothering to pursue it.  I’ll have to get my flight sim fix elsewhere. (Also I had to use regedit to remove all of War Thunder, which makes it less likely that I will ever install it again.)

I was invited to play a couple of Jack Pack 3 games with Liore’s club, specifically Trivia Murder Party and Tee K.O., both of which were a lot of fun.  There is also an interesting “watch things on your computer screen, provide answer and/or draw things on your phone/tablet” dynamic to the whole thing.

Coming Up

Well, I would take a guess that there won’t be another huge battle next month in EVE Online.  Null sec needs time to ponder before another 6,000+ player conflict happens.  But there will be updates to citadels with the February release, some of which will make them easier to attack, especially if they are just sitting around out of fuel and unused.

Also we should start hearing something about the CSM election campaign season.

In World of Warcraft I have my eye on the level scaling changes that came in with patch 7.3.5.  Specifically, I want to see what going to Northrend at level 58 and spending 22 levels there is like.  Can I get through all the content before I out level it?  Will I need to take off my heirloom gear?  The latter idea bugs me only because I like not having to worry about gear as I play through the story.  Also, I want to do it as Horde to see if there is much difference between that and the Alliance campaign.

I will also keep running the Celestial Tournament every week until I have all the pets from that.  I’m starting to wind down a bit on the obsessive pet leveling binge… the week with 200% exp where I went nuts burned me out a bit… but there are still some key pets I want to get to 25.  Also I should finish up Argus and run all the instances I need to in order to wrap up crafting.  Doing LFG isn’t that much of a pain, I am just not fond of the “rush rush” nature of it.

We’ll see if I keep with Stellaris or wander off after a couple of games.

Also there are a couple of major sports events coming up, Super Bowl 52, which mostly serves to remind me how old I am since a couple of east coast teams are in it, and the Winter Olympics, so I can look forward to people complaining about how NBC has screwed up the coverage.  Somewhere in between the two is my wife’s birthday, better not forget that!

And, finally, for those interested in blog stats, I also have the 2017 blog stats for my other blog, EVE Online Pictures:

  • Total Posts: 183
  • Total Comments: 7
  • Avg Comments Per Post: 0
  • Total Likes: 19
  • Avg Likes Per Post: 0
  • Total Words: 381
  • Avg Words Per Post: 2

I am actually a bit surprised there were that many words, since the count does not include titles.  I guess I can’t keep quiet even on a blog that is supposed to be pictures.  The comments were split, 3 telling me I misidentified a ship, 3 of my copping to my mistake, and one “nice.”  Very few people click the like button or rate the posts there.  I thought the rating feature would be a thing, but it isn’t.  Ah well.  I’ll write more about all of that when it turns ten years old later this year.

from The Ancient Gaming Noob

Soapbox: Nintendo's Riding High On Switch's Wave, But What Does It Need To Do To Stay There?

Soapbox: Soapbox: Nintendo's Riding High On Switch's Wave, But What Does It Need To Do To Stay There?

It’s time to change the playbook

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Alt.Ctrl.GDC Showcase: Lemonade

When life gives players lemons, they can grab onto a pair of pipe controllers and work together to blast them out of existence with Lemonade. ...

from Gamasutra News

'Tekken' Mobile Launching in the US March 1st, Other Countries Beginning February 1st

Back in August of last year Bandai Namco announced a new built-for-mobile entry in their long-running fighting game franchise Tekken, with said mobile game soft-launching in the Canadian App Store at that time. Unsurprisingly, this was not a traditional fighting game like the Tekken games you'd find on console and desktop, but rather a simplified "swipe fighter" in the vein of the Injustice mobile games, Marvel: CoC, and the mobile version of Skullgirls. While certainly disappointing to some, I'm actually a big fan of the swipe fighters and was eager to take the soft-launched Tekken for a spin. While the fighting mechanics aren't quite as tight as my current favorite Skullgirls, Tekken mobile was still a lot of fun and was really one of the most visually impressive games on the entire iOS platform. Its free to play system was pretty typical as well, with a decent amount of content thrown at free players and speeding up the upgrade grind being the main source of monetization.

Well, August feels like an awful long time ago, but Bandai Namco has been dilligently updating that soft-launched Tekken in the months since, adding lots of new characters and new features, and today they're finally ready to announce the global release dates (yes, dates with an "s") for the game. It's going to be a staggered rollout, and starting on February 1st players in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia will be able to download the game. Two weeks later on February 15th those in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Benelux, and Singapore will get it. And finally, two weeks after that on March 1st, Tekken will launch for us here in the United States as well as in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. You may recall that alongside the soft-launch of Tekken a pre-registration campaign also kicked off, and thanks to hitting the 1.5 MILLION pre-registrations mark, when the game is finally available in all countries on March 1st all players will be treated to a brand new character named Rodeo who will be exclusive to the mobile version of Tekken. Check out his trailer.

If you find that you just can't wait for Tekken to launch in your territory, Bandai Namco has also expanded the soft-launch territories today to Mexico, Brazil, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia in addition to Canada. This also coincides with a brand new update to the soft-launch version which includes support for many more languages, progress saving through Game Center, the addition of Bob to the roster, and finally full iPhone X support. Personally the lack of iPhone X support had really put a damper on my enjoyment of the soft-launched game thus far, so I'm really happy to see that addressed. If you're over on the Android side of things, Tekken will indeed be coming to that platform as well, and although no release date has been announced the game is up for pre-registration on the Google Play Store right now if you want to sign up for that. Everyone else, look forward to Tekken hitting iOS in a variety of countries over the next month or so culminating with the US release on March 1st.

Link to Forum Discussion: [Soft Launch] Tekken (by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe)

Soft-Launch App Store Link: TEKKEN, Free (by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe)


from TouchArcade

Activision reveals first two UK charities to receive £30,000 as part of Call of Duty Endowment

Activision has announced the first two charities to each receive £30,000 as part of its Call of Duty Endowment programme's expansion into the UK.

The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit foundation established by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in 2009. It identifies and funds "the most efficient and effective organisations" that assist veterans in finding high-quality employment, and has helped placed more than 43,000 US veterans into full-time civilian jobs since its inception.

In September last year, Activision announced that the Call of Duty Endowment programme would be extending its reach to the UK, and that the process had begun to "identify and forge partnerships with a select group of UK charities".

Read more…


Blog: Developing and releasing my first indie VR project

Here's how game developer Bryson Whiteman developed and released their first virtual reality app independently. ...

from Gamasutra News

Get a job: Armature Studio is hiring a Graphics Engineer

Texas-based Armature Studio is seeking a Mid to Senior level Graphics Engineer to join it on exciting, high visibility projects for a variety of platforms and utilizing various engines. ...

from Gamasutra News

Motiga's Gigantic to shut down in July

Citing sustainability issues, Motiga and Perfect World have announced that the online servers for Gigantic will be closing for good on July 31, 2018. ...

from Gamasutra News

Hollow Knight's final free expansion Gods & Glory is unveiled in new trailer

Gorgeous bug-based exploration adventure (or Metrdoidvania, if you will) Hollow Knight is due to get one final, free expansion update soon - and developer Team Cherry has offered up a new teaser trailer in anticipation of its arrival.

Hollow Knight's final expansion, Gods & Glory - AKA Content Pack 03 to Kickstarter backers - follows on from last year's substantial freebies The Grimm Troupe and Hidden Dreams.

It introduces a new character and quest, more boss fights, a new game mode, and special Glorify Charms. "Track down this disturbing yet alluring being, break her chains and aid her in an ancient duty", says Team Cherry of new character The Godseeker.

Read more…


Gravel Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One

Content: Gravel 
Check pre-order price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until release date (02/26/2018 – 9:00 PM).

Gravel delivers arcade-style gameplay and a thrilling rush experience: destroy obstacles, take shortcuts and forget any rules till the end to win! Race around the world in a variety of environments through 4 different disciplines. Meet the five Off-Road Masters winners of the previous year’s edition of the show. Compete against them in a real show, gain fame and fans in more than 60 events from the most extreme places on Earth or against other players online for the title of Gravel World Champion!

There are 2 versions of Gravel available for pre-order –  Click each link for more details or see below.

Xbox One Pre-Order FAQ

Gravel – This bundle includes the full game + the Porsche 924 GTS Rally and Porsche 959 Rally.

Gravel Special Edition – The Special Edition includes the Full Game + Season Pass with 5 premium expansion sets.

from Xbox Live's Major Nelson

Wulverblade Is Now Available For Xbox One

Content: Wulverblade 
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Help Britannia defeat the Romans in Wulverblade – a hardcore side-scrolling beat ’em up inspired by classics such as Golden Axe, Sengoku, and Knights of the Round! Experience a historically accurate storyline across eight campaign levels – or test your skills in the game’s deadly arenas. Go it alone or team up with a friend in local two-player co-op. It’s time to show the Ninth Legion what you’re made of!

Purchase Wulverblade for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: Darkwind Media
Publisher: Darkwind Media
Website: Wulverblade
Twitter: @DarkwindMedia

from Xbox Live's Major Nelson