Thursday, 8 February 2018

Don't Miss: Designing mobility in Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment

A review of the design iteration and process that led to Specter Knight's unique mobility in Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment. ...

from Gamasutra News

Cities: Skylines is currently free to play on Steam

Splendid city builder Cities: Skylines is currently free to play on Steam, and will remain so until Sunday, February 11th.

Cities: Skylines first rose to fame following the disastrous release of Maxis' SimCity reboot in 2013. That game was played with issues both technical and systemic, raising the ire of long-time genre fans. When Cities: Skylines arrived in 2015, it was everything that SimCity wasn't, offering a feature-rich, offline city builder experience, with genuine infrastructure depth.

Since its PC release, Cities: Skylines has been ported to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and has received five major expansions - adding the likes of nightlife, natural disasters, mass transit, and winter weather. It's been fleshed out further with a broad selection of smaller offerings, ranging from new buildings to soundtrack packs.

Read more…


Fortnite hit 3.4M concurrent players last weekend

The sever-crushing load of players was likely due to the rising popularity of the game's free-to-play, cross-platform Battle Royale game mode. ...

from Gamasutra News

'Sid Meier's Civilization VI' for the iPad is Half Off Again

When Sid Meier's Civilization VI [Free (HD)] landed on the iPad back in December, it was a big deal for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was a full port of the PC original which had just launched about a year prior and it made its way to iPad with very few concessions. Full ports of some older hefty console and PC games had made their way to iOS before, like the incredibly impressive GRID Autosport [$9.99] which originally launched on console and PC in 2014, but Civilization VI was even newer than that and still made its way to the iPad which was a really impressive feat. The second big point about its iPad release was the pricing. Original developer Firaxis Games and Aspyr Media, who ported the game to iPad, felt that a full-blown title such as that should warrant a similar price to other platforms. It's a free to try model with a premium unlock IAP normally priced at $59.99 but offered at a launch discount of $29.99 for its first two weeks on the App Store.

Well, if you were interested in Sid Meier's Civilization VI when it released but weren't able to pull the trigger in time for the launch sale, you now have another chance as the full game IAP is currently on sale for 50% off again until March 1st. This is likely to celebrate the massive new Rise and Fall expansion that launched for the PC version of Civilization VI today. That expansion is not yet available for the Mac and Linux versions of the game but Aspyr Media is hard at work on making that happen. However, no word on if it will make its way to the iPad version or not. At any rate, the non-expanded Civilization VI is absolutely stuffed with content as is, so if you missed out on the sale price before be sure to read our full review for some more info and consider picking up during this latest sale before the price goes back up on March 1st.

from TouchArcade

Splinter Cell: Conviction is now backward compatible on Xbox One

Splinter Cell: Conviction, the premier Sam-Fisher-starring sneak-'em-up of 2010, is now backward compatible on Xbox One.

Conviction is the sixth entry in the Splinter Cell series, and features a beardy Sam Fisher on the run from the law - simultaneously trying to avoid capture and thwart a deadly terrorist plot. You might also remember Conviction as the Splinter Cell where misery montages were projected onto random walls, and where you could bash someone's brain in with a urinal.

If you happen to have a copy of the original Xbox 360 game disc lying around, Conviction will now work seamlessly on Xbox One. However, if you're entirely without Conviction, you can purchase a digital copy on the Xbox Store - and from now until February 12th, Ubisoft is offering a 50% discount, reducing it to £4.49.

Read more…


Road to the IGF: Nathalie Lawhead's Everything is going to be OK

Through a series of vignettes exploring adorable bunnies suffering horrible mishaps, Everything is going to be OK explores life's tragedies through a lens of ridiculousness and hope. ...

from Gamasutra News

'Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter' Review - A Brutal Expedition

Rusty Moyher delivers a brutal platformer roguelike in Dig Dog [$2.99]. You play as a dog that will go to the ends of the earth to get as many bones as possible, even the ends full of weird evil creatures and spikes everywhere. C'mon dog. Those players out there who enjoy getting tested by games will like this, as it's a well-made platformer with a simple but effective visual style. But even if you like games with no fail state, Dig Dog is here to accommodate you as well.

In order to dig in Dig Dog, the player has to jump, then hold the jump button to dig downward slowly, and rapidly tap to dive and dig fast. Every action in the game requires jumping, and considering what's above vertically. The dog can also air dash by holding left or right and hitting jump. Some enemies have spikes on them, and the air dash is the only way to take them out.

Dig Dog is brutal, but not in an unfair sense. It just doesn't give the player much wriggle room for failure. Any mistake, any bad decision, that gets punished by the game. Additionally, the player having only two hearts, along with the limited invincibility time, means that there's no smart reason to go charging headlong into danger without a plan. The first step to doing well in Dig Dog is to only descend when it's definitely safe. The player can bop most enemies on the head, but in general, anything but a pure height advantage will lead to the player taking harm...and then getting one step closer to death. There are some timing elements where you can air dash near the ground to take out an enemy on the same plane as you, but in general, avoiding threats is a good idea.

Once you're confident enough, the game does reward risk-taking. Take out a bunch of enemies at once with either the air dash or consecutive bopping without touching the ground, and the game grants extra coins. Shops appear randomly, offering power-ups. There's a reason to start from earlier in the game beyond high scores: it's easier and cheaper to buy items in the early levels, and the powerups can help out a lot. Buzz Helper turns the buzzsaws into useful weapons because they no longer hurt! In fact, I almost recommend playing the early levels and getting good at them just to figure out which power-ups are good. Relentlessly trying to get as far as possible means you'll be working with your basic abilities through some of the most difficult portions of the game. But then, the game never is "easy" at any point in Bone Hunt, so it's just about building up patience and skill to do well.

Thankfully, Dig Dog's sessions are short enough that digging back into the game when failure hits is never frustrating. And the mechanics are designed well enough that failure feels like it's my fault, and not the game. It's hard to get stuck, or get into a bad situation that wasn't a result of you being reckless. The monochromatic visual style does mean that some enemies can hide in the world, but this is an intentional effect. It's a simple but slick look for the game.

Most of what I said applies to the hard Bone Hunt mode of Dig Dog, but that's only half of the experience. There's also Free Dig, the easy mode of the game, and this is more of a Desert Golfing-inspired experience where the game just goes on and on with generated levels. It's possible to die, but the game just resets the level. For those that want to just enjoy the mechanics of Dig Dog, this is the mode to play. And Dig Dog's mechanics are quite enjoyable to play with. Digging quickly downward through the ground feels good, with the right amount of screenshake. The air dash is fun, and the way that it just makes the dog go sideways not only serves a functional purpose (as it does attack two tiles vertically), but also adds a little bit of comedy to the game. It is a game about a dog digging for an endless number of bones while facing off against weird demon creatures, embrace the ridiculousness, even to a subtle degree!

The problem with Free Dig is that I think it's best served as a completely alternate experience to Bone Hunt. It's not good as a practice mode beyond learning the mechanics. But what Bone Hunt teaches the player is that any mistake comes at a steep cost, and one bad decision can lead to death, and you're lucky if your one mistake doesn't leave you dead. Take away that punishment, and suddenly the player can get sloppy, and not worry about facing each situation in a cautious and calculated way. It can develop bad habits.

Now, I'm not saying that Free Dig isn't a legitimate way to enjoy Dig Dog. It is! It's a lengthy game mode that will give players that enjoy a less-stressful experience a lot of fun. I don't like that it's listed as the "Easy" mode because I do feel like it psychologically makes it seem a bit more like it's the less-worthy mode because of the perception of difficulty screens. I'm not going to say that all difficulty selection is worthless, the Wolfenstein 2 difficulty selection screen amuses me, and be willing to poke a little fun at yourself. But the two experiences here between Free Dig and Bone Hunt are so different that I don't think either should suffer any delegitimization by making the player feel like associating "easier" with "not the same." Instead, let the two modes stand on their own. People will go back to what they want to play.

For me, Bone Hunt is what I want to play. Even when I do zonk out to play a game somewhat mindlessly, I still like a sense of progression, which is why Desert Golfing's innate pointlessness never did anything for me. I suck at roguelikes, but I enjoy when I do really well. And thankfully, Bone Hunt does give the player milestones to go after with progression, especially as future checkpoints are earned by reaching them multiple times. There's still goals to reach in the long term. Bone Hunt is an enjoyable challenge, a solid pick-up-and-play roguelike platformer that will really test you. If you're ready to die a lot, and git gud, well, Dig Dog is the game for you.

from TouchArcade

For Honor's Season Five launches next month, introduces long-awaited dedicated servers

UPDATE 8/2/2018: Ubisoft has announced that For Honor's long-awaited dedicated servers will be introduced to PC on February 19th. Dedicated servers will come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 “soon after”, with exact release dates to be revealed later.

The publisher hopes the new dedicated servers will result in better matchmaking, and smoother, more stable matches. ”This implementation will remove the resyncing, session migrations, and NAT requirements that players currently have and deliver stable connectivity on all platforms", Ubisoft stated previously.

ORIGINAL STORY 25/1/2018: Ubisoft has announced that For Honor's fifth season, known as Age of Wolves, will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 15th.

Read more…


Study the AI and 'Freak-O-System' of Sony's Days Gone at GDC 2018

At GDC 2018 Sony Bend will dig into the AI and gameplay components used to create the dynamic and interactive open world of Days Gone, as well as their unique "Freak-O-System" AI management tech. ...

from Gamasutra News

Fire Emblem Warriors' second chunk of character DLC arrives next week

Nintendo has revealed that its second DLC drop for the excellent Fire Emblem Warriors on Switch and 3DS will occur on February 15th (and a day earlier in the US).

This second expansion, known as The Shadow Dragon DLC pack, follows on from December's Fates update. Each of the three announced DLC packs is themed around a specific game in Nintendo's long-running Fire Emblem series, with its newest offering introducing characters from 2008's Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon on DS.

The Shadow Dragon DLC will add fan favourites Navarre, Minerva, and Linde, who specialise in the sword, flying mount axe, and tome respectively. Each new character will feature a special unique unlockable weapon - Caeda gets the Wing Spear, Tiki the Divinestone, and Anna unlocks Anna's Bow - plus the usual costume variants, and new support conversations.

Read more…


Blog: Creating my top-down roguelike Outrealm - Part 1

This is the first part in a multi-series postmortem my first commercial project, a top-down roguelike called Outrealm. ...

from Gamasutra News

Viacom closes down VR studio Viacom Next

The media company has closed down the VR studio as part of what looks to be company-wide cost-cutting measures that led to the loss of 100 jobs. ...

from Gamasutra News

Pokemon Dialga and Palkia GameStop Download Event

It being an even numbered year… or such is my theory… Nintendo has again decided to give Pokemon players a chance to get their hands on an array of otherwise mildly difficult to obtain legendary Pokemon.

The first up are from the Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, & Platinum generation, Palkia and Dialga.

Legendaries of the DS era

To obtain one or both of this pair you must trundle on down to your local GameStop to pick up a code to redeem with your game.

The code requires you to own a copy of Pokemon Sun, Moon, UltraSun, or UltraMoon, and the legendary you get depends on which copy of the game you have.  Those with Pokemon Sun or UltraSun get Palkia while those with Pokemon Moon or UltraMoon get Dialga.

But the divide doesn’t end there.  Those with Pokemon Sun or Moon get a level 60 version of their respective legendary with one set of moves, while those with Pokemon UltraSun or UltraMoon get a level 100 version of their legendary with a different set of moves and a held item.

Look, here is the chart if you want the details.

You can click on this to see it larger…

So the true OCD Pokemon fan has to have all four games… but of course they already do… in order to obtain all four legendary variations.

I will likely just get a code for my copy of Pokemon UltraMoon… mostly because through my own bit of obsessive “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” collecting, I already have the duo sitting in Pokemon Bank.  But I wouldn’t say no to another one.

Anyway, all of this, including the steps on how to redeem your code once you obtain it from GameStop, are documented over on the Pokemon web site.

There is a time constraint.  The codes will only be available during February and must be redeemed by May 28, 2018.

Happy collecting!

Addendum: I actually picked up a card after writing this.

The Dialga and Palkia card

The cards are much bigger than the last GameStop distro, being about 4x the side by my estimation.

The reverse side of the card

from The Ancient Gaming Noob

Now Available on Steam - Planetoid Pioneers - Up to 25% off!

Planetoid Pioneers is Now Available on Steam and is up to 25% off!*

Welcome to Planetoid Pioneers, a physics-driven action-adventure heavily inspired by classics such as Blaster Master (‘88), Metroid (‘86), and Exile (‘88). It can be played locally with or against your friends in seamless pick-up-and-play Co-Op and PvP action.

To celebrate the launch from Steam Early Access, the Contributor Edition is 25% off*. Owners of Cortex Command receive an additional 25% off the Contributor Edition.*

*Offers end February 15 at 9AM Pacific Time

from Steam RSS News Feed

‘Pokemon GO’ Gets New Pokemon from the Hoenn Region in Addition to Legendary Pokemon Rayquaza

More Pokémon from the Hoenn region are joining Pokemon GO [Free] from tomorrow. This addition brings many Dragon-type and Flying-type Pokémon into the game for the first time. There will also be a new Legendary Pokémon in the form of Rayquaza. Rayquaza joins Raid Battles for a limited time. To celebrate this event, Hoenn region Pokémon will take over wild encounters until a day before Valentine’s Day. This includes the likes of Salamence, Altaria, Metagross, and more.

There will be more than 100 Hoenn region Pokémon joining Pokémon GO with this event. Valentine’s Day will see Legendary Water-type Pokémon Kyogre leave Raid Battles. There will be new special boxes in the in game store until February 23rd that include Raid Passes, Incubators, and Star Pieces. Lure Modules get an extended 6 hour duration as well until the same day.

Rayquaza Raid Battles will be on in Gyms until March 16th. This will also let you stand a chance at getting all three ancient Legendary Pokémon from the Hoenn region. Check out our forum thread on Pokémon GO here.

from TouchArcade

Free Weekend - Disc Jam

Play Disc Jam for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Disc Jam at 40% off the regular price!*

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Disc Jam. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

from Steam RSS News Feed

Daily Deal - We Need To Go Deeper, 50% Off

Today's Deal: Save 50% on We Need To Go Deeper!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Saturday at 10AM Pacific Time

from Steam RSS News Feed

Weekend Deal - OKAMI HD, 30% Off!

Save 30% on OKAMI HD as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

from Steam RSS News Feed

Nintendo Download: 8th February (Europe)

Nintendo Download: Nintendo Download: 8th February (Europe)

Every game, demo, DLC and them hitting the EU eShop today

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Here are the films you'll see at the inaugural GDC Film Festival!

GDC organizers share a sneak peek at the documentaries that have been selected to appear in the inaugural GDC Film Festival during GDC 2018 next month! ...

from Gamasutra News

Noire Point-And-Click Adventure Bear With Me Is Heading To Switch

News: Noire Point-And-Click Adventure Bear With Me Is Heading To Switch

Warning: UnBEARable puns contained within

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

ACA NEOGEO BLAZING STAR Is Now Available For Xbox One

Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: BLAZING STAR is a shooting game released by SNK in 1998. Your mission is to take on the sinister AI “Brawshella” that is the main culprit behind an army of deadly biological weapons. You have 6 different ships at your disposal for this task. The game features classic high score gameplay with higher points awarded when players land successful charge shots to chain multiple enemies.

Purchase ACA NEOGEO BLAZING STAR for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: SNK
Publisher: HAMSTER Corporation
Twitter: @SNKPofficial / @HAMSTER_Corp

from Xbox Live's Major Nelson